Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas

What a fun Christmas. Our gift to our kids is that we are taking them to Disneyland on January 3rd. Most of the time having a teacher for a parent is great because of the school schedule is great, the problem is we can't go anywhere when it is "off peak season." This year the way the school district calendar worked out Andrew and Ainsley don't go back to school until the 7th- which means that we can go to Disneyland during off peak season- less money and less people (we hope). Mom and Dad (G&G Seaquist) were so great about letting us take over there house-we were there with Tennille, Nathan, and kids for the whole week. That is 11 people living in one house. The good news is there house is amazing and it works out great. Christmas morning there were 17 of us there opening gifts. Amazingly we had it done in about 90 minutes. You should be able to see from the pictures how fun it was. My favorite moment was watching Ainsley and Hudson open our disneyland gift and slowly figure it out (t-shirts and other disney stuff), my second favorite moment was Zech running around going NUTS, being so excited about getting a combine. It was precious. Hopefully someday it will make it into a movie, until then you will have to just go with the pictures...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What a difference 8 inches makes...for 2 people

Ainsley was in need of a haircut, and when Aunt Tennille is here it is a good time for a free haircut. Our plan was 3 to 4 inches, but then Tennille told us about an organization called Beautiful Lengths that collects hair to make wigs for women going through cancer treatment. At first Ainsley's response was a very affirmative negative to even the 3 inches. You see, Ainsley is very attached to having long hair because, you know: princesses have long hair. But amazingly she had a change of heart and decided that it would be a good gift to give someone else and so she even went for the 8 inches. She really likes it now, and hopefully her hair will help someone going through a very difficult time.Before:
The cut hair

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not one of the choices

The day before leaving for Milton-Freewater, in preperation for Christmas, I sent Ainsley and Hudson with a paper bag each and told them they needed to find 15 things to give away. Ainsley happily ran upstairs saying, "great, I've been needing to re-arrange stuff and clean up in my room." (I so "get" this child- as a kid one of my favorite things about Christmas was re-arranging my room.) Hudson came down about 3 minutes later saying, "I can't do it, I w(l)ove everything, I can't take anything out." I told him he had too. He looked around and then said, "okay, I'll get rid of these." Want to know what he was pointing to? our kitchen chairs.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Not one of my better parenting moments

So this is how my Wednesday went. Spend most of the day making cinnamon roll wreaths for "neighbor" type gifts. My happy little baking day with my kids took a turn for the worst when the animal that lives with us (that I refer to as the stupid dog) managed to get not one, but two of the wreaths and ruin them. Do you know how long they take to make??? I'm not really someone who has much of a temper, but one suddenly appeared at that moment, and in front of my tender hearted daughter I "gently" put the dog outside while saying something to the effect of "your never coming inside again, you can rot out there for all I care." Look at the title- I already admitted this was not one of my best parenting moments okay? This sent Ainsley to her room crying and yelling at me that I'm being mean to Cammie. So now I'm mad at the stupid dog for ruining my cinnamon rolls and making Ainsley flip out. I continued to make really sound parenting decisions when I went to go and talk to Ainsley my talk was listing for her all the families we know that used to have dogs before they had kids, then got rid of them because it is too hard to have an inside dog when you have little kids. My point was at least I haven't gotten rid of Cammie (only because her father won't let me, but I omitted that detail- I'm being honest with the Internet, selective honesty with my daughter). In hindsight that may have not been the best route to go. Unfortunately I can't even claim that I just blurted it out, I talked to Heather on the phone about it before I talked to Ainsley and she advised me not to say that. Sadly I didn't listen. The result is Ainsley is on a crusade making posters to put all over her room that say, "I love dogs." What I have done here is probably set her up to someday become a veterinarian. Which will be a real problem for me because a couple of weeks ago when I had to take stupid dog to the vet it was all I could do to not throw up right there in the office it smells so bad. I'll never be able to visit her at work. I'm also not paying for college for that either. Anyway- Ainsley and I are all fine now. I was almost back to my normal state of tolerance with Cammie until yesterday when we came home from a cookie decorating party and Cammie proceeded to eat Hudson's plate of cookies. The good news is I learned from my mistake the day before...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas - Take One

Monday night we had Christmas early with Andrew's family. It was so fun, the kids were so excited they could hardly stand it. You would think after opening presents on Saturday night at his party and Sunday with us for his actual birthday Hudson wouldn't be bouncing off the wall about more gifts. But not to worry, he had plenty of unwrapping still in him. The day before we met Jim and Arelen in Salem and rode the carousel at Salem's waterfront park, visited Santa there, and went and picked out food to buy for a family Arlene knew of that needed some help this year. The kids had a fun time picking out the food, although if it had been up to them this family's pantry would have been well stocked with candy, candy canes, chips, and cookies, and canned ravioli. We hope you can see how much fun we had through the pictures.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hudson at FOUR

Minutes after being born, 12-16-03

Blowing out FOUR candles!

Dear Hudson~

Wow. I just peeked in on you sleeping on this, the night of your fourth birthday. It hardly seems possible that that tiny little baby that we had just met at the hospital 4 years ago tonight has transformed into such a big kid in 4 very short years. The years with you have been filled with so much fun and laughter, I can't imagine life without you. It is really hard for anyone to be around you for more than a few minutes and not be smiling or laughing at something.

I don't think there is ever a year children change as much as they do their first year of life. Your year from 3 to 4 though has been a pretty amazing transformation though. This last year you changed from a big toddler to a full blown kid. The most fun part this year has been watching you develop your relationship with Ainsley. This year the two of you have become real friends. As soon as you were born we started telling Ainsley that God had really blessed her because He had given her a best friend in her own family. This year that changed from just a phrase we said to the truth. The two of you play and play and play. You love her so much that it is just torture for you that she has to go to school all day long. When Ainsley had a friend call and ask her to come over and she turned them down because she wanted to stay home and play with you it was one of my best parenting moments so far.

This is the year that you have also turned into a big brother. Right after Camden was born you asked frequently when he would be big enough to play. Now that he can crawl and walk you would prefer that he stayed away from your play stuff, but you are delighted when he is happy playing with a toy that you don't care about. You are very sweet and protective of him, my favorite example of your protective nature is how you alert the whole neighborhood when Camden has anything smaller than, say, a toaster by yelling, "Camden has a choking hazard!"

Hudson, you seem to be tapped into an endless supply of energy. You certainly keep us moving and never lacking for opportunities to work on obedience and self-control. The flip side is I don't know if there is a sweeter child with a more loving heart. You probably tell me at least three or four times a day out of the blue, "Mom, I really love you." You look at the world with a sense of wonder and awe that is so fun. The first night we went for a walk when people had Christmas lights up you would exclaim at EVERY house, "Oh my gosh, that is just gorgeous! We need to get that!" You have brought that joyful wonder and excitement and just love of everything and everyone around you to our lives.

We are so excited for this next year of your life. To watch you understand more and more about God. To watch you continue to enjoy Ainsley. To watch you and Camden begin to be friends. To watch you enjoy life. Thanks for being so fun for us to watch Hudson. We love you. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our life in Ornaments

Andrew's parents have a really neat tradition of getting an ornament each year that reflects something big from that year. Arlene then started that out for us when we got engaged. Here are our ornaments so far: The first one is the trolley Arlene got for us because we got engaged that year in San Franscisco ('95). The next ornament is a little "just married" car with little cans trailing behind us that we actually even found on our honeymoon('96). The little dog when we got Cammie('97). There is a wreath with a little house and a sign that says "home is where the heart is" which is for when we bought this house('98). Next is the Micky that we got when we went to Disneyland with Heather and Brent('99). We bought the nativity one in The Czech Republic for our 2000 ornament when we were there on a mission trip (it is made out of something native to Czech, I don't remember what it is though)

In 2001 Ainsley joined our family so that is the little baby bear with stars. The big bell with a moose on it is from Minnesota, we bought it there the first time we went there to visit Tennille and Nathan ('02). The next baby one is when we had Hudson in 2003. The little white church one is for the year we started going to Cornerstone (a little ironic considering Cornerstone meets in an elementary school!). In 2005 I started my little business "Bright Stars Tutoring" so I have a silver star for that year. And last year's is Camden joining our family.

Someone in this household (not me) finds it very funny to have a stuffed squirrel on our Christmas tree. He finds the movie Christmas Vacation very funny and likes to relive the scene where a live squirrel is accidentally brought home in the family Christmas tree and it wreaks havoc in the house. Not much of an ornament-but part of our tree none the less.

What will this years ornament be? It is a surprise because it has to do with what we are getting our kids for Christmas. A very good hint is that it will be very similar to another one that we have. (And NO- not a baby one!)

This is what we came down to for breakfast the other morning. Ainsley had made us a candy breakfast. It was hot chocolate (VERY thick), assorted candy, whipped cream and carmel for dipping. Why did she do this... she was thinking if she made this breakfast for us she might be able to eat some of it also. Can't blame her for trying!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Camden!

To Camden on your first birthday~

I can't believe that it has been a whole year since your daddy and I were hanging out in the hospital waiting to meet you. We spent the day debating what we would name the baby if it was a boy. We went back and forth between Anderson and Camden. By about noon we had settled on Camden, but a middle name was harder for us. One of us wanted Jonathan and the other wanted Paul. As you now know, you are going to spend the rest of your life trying to fit two middle names on every form you ever fill out because of our fine compromise.

It has been so fun getting to know you this year. You have delighted us by being such a great, happy, easy going baby. You are adored by your brother and sister who fight for your attention. We have learned that you are not much of a morning person. I have to drag you out of your crib at 8:00 to take Ainsley to school, and your preference would be to just be nursed back to sleep and sleep for another 3 hours or so before greeting the day. The flip side of that is you are a little night owl. Your siblings go to bed at 7 and that is when you turn on. You are silly and love to spend from 7 to 10 just playing around all on your own. Not really the ideal schedule for a 1 year old, but for now it works. This morning we woke you up to have a cinnamon rolls together as a family for your birthday. Ainsley and Hudson were bouncing off the walls and you looked at us like we were crazy. If you had the words you would have been singing, "Happy birthday to you, I live in a zoo."

It is like you knew you were coming upon this 1 year milestone and prepared for it by learning to walk. In the past three days you have figured out how to walk all the way across the room. What is so cute is how pleased you are with your new skill. Your favorite part of the day is taking a shower. For some reason you absolutely love showers. If you are anywhere upstairs and you hear the shower being turned on you go nuts squeeling and "run-crawling" as fast as you can to get to the shower. If the person in the shower won't let you in you bang on the shower door like a maniac. It doesn't matter if you just got out of the shower, if it is on, you want back in. When you are finally let in you happily sit there letting the water go all over you playing with a couple little bowls. You would stay in all day, even as the water turns freezing cold.

You are the most verbal of any of our kids have been. We are anxious to see if you talk early. I'm happy because after Ainsley's first word being "dog" and Hudson's being "ball" I finally got you to say "mamma" as your first word. You elevated yourself to first place in the will! (all 6 dollars of it.)

We love you so much Big C. Thanks for making the last year so special. Thanks for joining the family!