Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day Weekend trip to Red River, NM

We enjoyed a getaway to Red River up to my parent's cabin over Labor Day weekend. Andrew and I went to Amarillo, dropped Lincoln off with my parents for a day or so, and then they joined us for the rest of the weekend. (We thought he might be sad to see us leave, but just hugged us and said "Bye mom, bye dad. I with Gramma and Grampa.") Why can't he have that calm attitude when we drop him off in the church nursery, or lately, at school?

Highlights of our little trip - Linc caught his first fish (on his brand new Spiderman fishing pole, courtesy of my dad), Andrew and I enjoyed four wheeling and hiking on the trails around town, and my mom and I shopped (even though the stores rarely change up there, you gotta go into town, visit them all, and make sure...)

When we got back to Amarillo we celebrated Lincoln's 2nd birthday (a few weeks early) with a "jungle animal theme" family party. It was fun getting to see Barrett and Tiffany's new house in Amarillo (we miss them like crazy!) and Lincoln made himself at home, just like he used to do in Sugar Land. Linc is finally getting the idea of the whole "birthday thing" - he got very excited about his presents and about the cake. (And later that night, got a major sugar high, as Aunt Tiffany can attest. He kept asking her to run back and forth across the backyard with him.)
Linc enjoyed his presents - a very cool tricycle from my parents (although he currently refuses to pedal it, saying "I don't like to pedal"), some Curious George books, and a tee-ball / automatic pitching machine from Barrett and Tiffany.
It was fun to get away, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and it all made me miss Amarillo (and being so close to the mountains.) Here are a few photos:






















Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A fun, busy summer


Well, it's been months and months since I've updated this blog (I got sidetracked by Facebook - it's just so much easier to post pictures there!) but I have some free time and want to update on our busy summer. It's been a great one. It is hard to believe that Lincoln will be 2 next month!
here are a few of our summer highlights:
An update on Lincoln's funny comments / habits:
Linc is talking up a storm now, and says some pretty funny things. Yesterday he informed me that he wanted "waffles for breakfast" not muffins, because "today muffins are yucky." (Despite the fact that all he has wanted for the past week are muffins....) When asked what he did at school, the other day he said "had fun with friends." He can name every kid in his class, and occassionally tells me who is "no nice." :) Last week he informed me that "God loves mommy, God loves Daddy, God loves Lincoln, and God loves Major"
He is also becoming quite opinionated, and will tell us exactly what songs he wants to listen to, or what cartoons he wants to watch. It's been funny watching him go from quiet and signing to jabbering all the time. He has such a precious little voice!
He is obsessed with "Clifford Big Red Dog" and "George Silly Monkey" (curious george) He has a stuffed curious george that he likes to carry about (and boss around. "Sit down George", etc.) He is also obsessed with pointing out every "big truck" that we pass on the highway. He loves to count (he's got 1-9 down, then skips to 11...not sure what happened to #10.) He also loves to sing parts of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" at the top of his lungs, and every other word to "Jesus Loves Me." (Which, is absolutely precious.) He loves to "read his Bible" before bed, which consists of him patting and holding this tiny little New Testament while we read a Bible Story out of the Toddler Baby Story Book. (His current favorite story is "Noah's big boat") He also loves to build with blocks and color (and, last week, decided to color on the walls. Not a good thing.) He is very into "helping cook" too, and loves to poor things into bowls and stir when I'm making banana bread or muffins. He loves going on bike rides with Andrew and playing with any sort of ball - basketball, football, soccer, tennis, you name it. He also loves playgrounds and trying to play fetch with Major. (Major will occassionally bring Lincoln the ball back after he throws it for him; this gets Lincoln ridiculously excited. I think the dog is beginning to see a purpose for Linc's existance. While Andrew and I get tired of fetch after a few throws, Linc could bounce and throw the ball for Major all night long.)
New baby on the way!
We are also thrilled that we are expecting "Baby Leeser #2" next March...due date is St. Patrick's Day. Lincoln's world is about to be rocked! Aside from the violent "all day sickness," as I will now call it, the pregnancy is rocking along. (We discovered I was pregnant when, during a jog w/ Shawna on vacation, I had to stop and throw up twice. Good times :)
FLORIDA trip:
We took a trip to Destin, FL with a bunch of friends in June (7 couples, with 14 kids 3 and under....) It was a blast! (And a bit insane, with that many kiddos. We quickly figured out that if anyone saw anyone else's kid wandering off, or headed towards the water, we were all free to "parent" them.) I think the funniest was seeing our slew of cabanas, chairs, blankets, wading pools, coolers, snacks, "nap tents" and umbrellas on the beach each morning. But, we went with the most relaxed group of friends ever, so it was all just fun.
It was especially great getting to see friends that have moved away, like Libby and Kenny from Dallas, David and Whitney from Dallas, and Heidi and Phillip from Nashville. I think we all agreed once a year might be a bit ambitious to repeat the trip, but looking forward to Destin 2011. :) We hope our kiddos will grow up to be friends. (AND, maybe by next year, Lincoln will actually have learned to share some sand toys....)

Here are a few photos...
Linc playing in the sand....(and, getting sprayed with 70 spf sunscreen every 30 minutes so his fair little skin wouldn't burn. This picture must have been a moment where he refused to wear his hat...shocker.)


Ah, a picture of him with the hat on. See, I'm a good mom!


The girls! I miss them already (well, I guess I get to see half of them in Houston...but I really miss the other half :) This was before our big "girls night out" - where the husbands offered to watch the kiddos so we could go to dinner. Although we had glorious plans of a big night, I think after a couple of margaritas, we were all home and back in bed by 10. (WOW, we have gotten old!)


Macy and Miley playing together, Linc being antisocial :) And, just one portion of our "beach gear" in the background.


The group, after dinner one night. Didn't you know the waiter loved to see us coming! As someone said "You guys took the instruction to "be fruitful and multiply" literally!"


Another group shot, on the beach


4th of July trip to Michigan
In July we headed up to Michigan for a visit with Andrew's family. We had a great time, with stops in Detroit, BattleCreek, and Trout Lake in the UP. It was busy, with 2 baby showers, a large family get-together on each side, and a trip to the UP.
Uncle Brandon got leave from the base for a few days, which was fun! (He is moving to Austin (to be based out of Ft. Hood) TODAY, so we look forward to seeing him more often.
During the trip, Lincoln loved playing with all his cousins. One of my favorite moments is when several of them were together in Cradle Roll at the Battle Creek Church of Christ. The usual class size is 2 ... but this Sunday, it was 5 cousins all sitting together for baby bible class--and cousin Morgan wasn't even there yet. (The class was expertly taught by cousin Marcie, might I add :) It was so precious! I think the adults were a bit distracting trying to get pictures, though. Then, we tried to get a picture after church will all of the rest of "that generation" of cousins (including the older 3s and 4s), but the kids were NOT cooperative. There was a lot of crying...and crawling off...the clamoring for lunch. Maybe next time.

From the left: Lincoln, 22 months, Ana (our niece, 18 months) Maeley (Josh and Marcie's little girl from Vietnam, 18 months) Mya (Amber and Logan's little girl, 18 months) and Braylon (Amanda and Drew's son, 14 months)

Ever since we came home, Linc has been asking us "where Gaines and Ana?" and "call Gaines and Ana, say hi?" He LOVES and misses them so much. Too bad North Carolina is so far away, but it was precious to see them play together. Linc thinks Gaines (4 yrs old) is about the coolest thing on the planet. Here is a photo of all of them up on the top bunk, up at the cabin at the lake.


Other trip highlights:
The weather was absolutely perfect - highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s. (Although we did not pack enough jeans or sweaters. who knew it would be so cold?)

We had a family outing to the zoo. (Linc was a fan of the elevated giraffe viewing platform, until they came close enough to eat the Lettuce leaves you can purchase and feed them. Once they stuck their heads through and stuck their tongues out, he freaked out.)
In this photo, Linc is between cousins Taylor and Forrest, with cousin Brooke. (Linc LOVED Forrest, Taylor and Brooke, and they were so sweet to play with him the whole trip. They taught him to "play " tennis, and Linc still talks about it. (last week he asked if "Forrest come play today?") Even though Taylor is about to be a senior, and the twins are all grown up, Andrew and I appreciate them loving on Linc. If only I could hire you guys to babysit for us down in TX....

At night, we loved hanging out with all of Andrew's cousins and siblings (once the kids had gone to bed) and just laughing and playing Wii or pingpong. It reminded us of hanging out together when we were all in college. (It's so fun when your family members, and their spouses, are all friends. Hard to believe most of us now have kids of our own. When we get together, we still act like kids.)
And, last but not least, was a trip to the Upper Penninsula to Trout Lake. Absolutely gorgeous. This is a special spot for Andrew and his family, with lots of great memories. I enjoyed my second trip there (first one was the summer Andrew and I started dating, 10 years ago!!) The weather was much cooler than expected the first few days, which caused lots of sitting in the cabin and playing card games or napping....not a bad way to spend a day! Then, the weather on our last day was perfect for playing on the water, taking the canoe or paddle boat out, or letting the kids catch minnows with Grandpa. We all enjoyed s'mores by the campfire, too.
Unfortunately, our camera stopped working on the last day of our trip (my photos are still trapped inside and not uploaded until I can get it's electrical issues fixed) so I only have a few snapshots from my phone to post.
Trout Lake

Linc and Gaines with Uncle Will, "looking for fish" by the dock.



Andrew helping Ana eat a s'more...not that she needed much help!

After his first s'more, Linc informed me "Chocolate is yummy, mommy." A boy after my own heart :)

Steve, Grandpa Leeser, Uncle Bob and cousin Dustin all got in on the s'more action, too.

Our family by the campfire...











































































Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines Day

I just wanted to put a short post out there to my sweet husband. We had a great Valentines Day dinner, and it was just so much fun to spend the evening together (and without a highchair or goldfish cracker in sight....) Thanks for being so wonderful, Drew!

Linc and his buddy Jackson

Linc and Jackson were cracking us up at lunch the other day...
video

Zoo times




Linc and I hung out at the zoo the other day - it was a beautiful sunny day and we got to see the new baby giraffe (6 days old, and 6 feet tall....crazy.) Linc kept saying "where baby?" and I kept pointing to the giraffe - he just looked at me like I was nuts. Anyway, I made the mistake of giving him cotton candy, and created a fiend. He gobbled it up and was a gooey mess by the end of the day...and I'm pretty sure he got licked by a goat in the petting zoo as a result. But he didn't seem to mind.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sweet Lincoln moments

I was able to spend this afternoon with Lincoln, and he was in a particularly cute mood. His little personality is really coming out. He LOVES books, and today sat down and tried to "read" a story to me - complete with guestures and voice inflection, although no intelligible words. (It was the book "Moo, Baa, La La La" - one of his personal favorites. He especially loves making the sheep noise.) Then, while playing outside he and I picked an orange from our neighbor's tree and he giggled so loudly as we peeled it together, and ate it while sitting in the grass. What a sweet, precious moment! I definitely don't want to take it for granted. He was so fascinated by the whole process-from picking the orange off the tree, (which got a big "WHOA" to getting to throw the orange peel at the dog as he ran by. I especially enjoy his impromtu kisses (even though the post-orange kisses were incredibly sticky - and drooly.)

Some cute, recent school moments:

--Linc LOVES his backpack (thanks, mom) and likes to put his cars in it and carry it around the house
--He is learning lots of new words, like "airplane," "eat," "nap," "soccer" and "Bryce" (for Bryce Borden)
--Linc loves playing in his hut and dragging all of his stuffed animals in - then throwing them out the window while yelling "out" "out" "out"
-He still stops and starts bopping up and down every time he hears music
--Linc loves throwing his football at anything and everyone - and esp. at Major the dog
--Linc loves watching basketball (seriously) and every few seconds will say "Shoot it." (Andrew is so proud. I am just going to give up and surrender the TV to ESPN 24/7 one of these days.)
--He started gymnastics today, and according to his teacher, laughed the whole time and just ran up and down on the foam mats like a little wild man. Perhaps one day he'll learn a front roll.
--This morning at school he grabbed his breakfast from his backpack (a nutra grain bar and a banana) before I could take it out for him and just walked over to the table. Then he grabbed a plate from the end of the table, sat down in a little chair, and started unwrapping his nutragrain bar. I was like "stop growing up - don't you need to me do that??"
--And finally, Linc loves kissing his friend Grace at school (we'll have to have a chat about that at some point.)

Back home and on the mend...

Although I plan to personnally thank everyone who has helped us out so much this past week, I wanted to post and say a general "THANKS!" Andrew and I realized that we have the BEST friends, and we appreciate you all! We were so thankful for our church family, too. (For those who I haven't talked to, I was in the hospital a few days last week, and in and out of the doctor and the ER on other days with a massive headache and other issues. Unfortunately, the doctors were not able to definitively diagnose what was wrong, but they are operating on 2 theories - either viral meningitis with a secondary sinus infection, or the "worst migraine of my life" with a secondary sinus infection. Either way, miserable time. To those of you who emailed, texted, called, prayed, brought us food, and babysat Lincoln, we can't thank you enough. (I would have thanked you at the time, but I seem to have spent most of last week in a narcotic-induced haze....) Anyway, I have some follow-up tests scheduled and still have a nagging headache to get rid of, so maybe they will get to the bottom of it. I am thankful to be home, though.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

MLK day playdate

Last week some of us got together when we had the day off for MLK day. It was fun to catch up and see the kids in different stages. Here are some cute photos (thanks DeAndria!) -


From left to right (and I hope I have the ages right) - Linc (16 mon...that age I know is correct), Kyleigh (6 mon - going on 20 years old...), Greysen (8 weeks - so tiny!), Riley (4 mon - and a little fashionista), and Austin (9 mon - he laughed and laughed all afternoon; such a happy guy)

Kyleigh was cracking us up - what a cutie. She kept hugging Lincoln during photo time. We didn't get it on camera, but Linc gave her a hug back and kissed her on the cheek. We have been told that Tiger gave her a stern talking to when he saw these pictures...but give them 25 years, and who knows.... :) I'm going to save the picture below in case there's ever a need for it at an engagement party...






Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update - our last few months...

It has been WAY too long since I've updated our blog. So much has happened in the past few months, and we've been busy. Here are some photos
UPDATE: Linc LOVES hats at the moment - any type of hat.

Yes, aren't we proud....our son in a beer hat. :) Andrew went to The Netherlands for work last month and didn't take quite warm-enough clothing. A restauranteur gave him and some others Heineken hats for their cold walk back to the hotel. Lincoln loved it.
Barrett picked out this hat for Linc, and he wears it around the house (or carries it around) all the time.

And, last but not least is Linc's cowboy hat. He especially enjoys trying to put this on my or Andrew's head...for some reason, he finds that funny.
UPDATE: Linc loves the petting zoo. We recently took Linc to the Houston Zoo. He loves looking at the animals (especially the giraffes, elephants, and cheetahs.) He also enjoyed the goats in the petting zoo.
UPDATE: Linc loves putting food in his hair. You might ask - is that gel in his hair? OH NO, it is Banana. It guess he thought we weren't letting him express his alternative side.
And the bath that followed...isn't he a cute little lion? Update: Linc loves to be outside now, for any reason. The other day Linc enjoyed "helping" me rake the leaves in the front yard....
CHRISTMAS 2008

Christmas was so much fun this year. We went to Amarillo for about a week and then up to Red River, NM to the cabin and enjoyed the snow for a few days. It was fun to see my grandparents and Uncle Scott and, as usual, my mom and dad hosted a wonderful holiday. We all ate too much and had a blast.
One of the most fun parts for us was watching Linc open gifts - we weren't sure if he was still too young to enjoy it....but he did not disappoint. With every gift he would exclaim "Ooh, Ooh, Ooh!" By the end of Christmas Eve he on a tear playing with everything, and every bag and tissue paper, in sight. He got totally spoiled by my parents (as you'll see in the photos below) but had a wonderful time. When we made it to the cabin, Linc wasn't quite sure what to think of the snow. Barrett, Tiffany, Andrew, Linc and I went sledding while my parents were on "photo duty." (I think they had the most fun, laughing at us as we'd crash and burn. Tiffany, especially, seemed magnetically drawn to a very large pine tree - that her sled would crash under every time. ) After my first sledding attempt it was clear that I was not the best...nor the safest - Linc could only sled down with Andrew, who somehow managed to stay upright. Linc was so bundled up that we couldn't tell if he was having fun or not. He just looked....perplexed (but CUTE in his snow gear.) Thanks again, mom and dad, for a wonderful Christmas!
Wow, what a happy little santa..
Linc and his new wagon, and Uncle Scott who must have made 100 passes around the living room and kitchen!

Aunt Tiff trying to teach Linc "guns up" for Texas Tech; Barrett trying to pretend that she isn't. :)

CHRISTMAS EVE, present time

You have to hug your gifts, just to make sure they are soft....apparently "pillow pets" were the big gift item this year. Linc got 3 :) But they are all different animals, and he enjoys sleeping with all 3. (Our pedeatrician would kill us.)

Mom and Dad being silly.

Our family on Christmas eve.
Do you think Linc had enough gifts to open???


"Mom...I LOVE Christmas. And I love this tree behind me, where I can take things off the branches....and chew on them...."



At the cabin - one of my favorite places in the world!
Andrew and Lincoln sledding...

Doesn't Lincoln look like he's having fun??

THANKSGIVING - 2008
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving up in Michigan with Andrew's family. There were 6 babies there under 15 months, (not to mention other toddlers and little ones) which made for a fun time. We enjoyed a big Leeser family Thanksgiving (held at a church, since there were over 50 people there) and Brandon surprised the family by coming in when we thought he had to stay in Kentucky for work. Linc enjoyed spending time with his grandparents, great grandparents, great uncles and aunts, and tons of cousins. He is pretty sure that cousin Gaines is the coolest kid ever! One of my favorite moments was when all of the baby cousins were together for class at church, and sitting around the little table hearing a bible lesson. It was precious! We celebrated Christmas with Andrew's parents and the Tuckers, and got to spend lots of time with family in Battle Creek. And, we sneaked out just before the big snow storm hit the next week.
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving was getting to meet Maeley, Josh and Marcie's little girl that they just adopted from Vietnam. After praying for her for over a year, it was awesome to meet her and watch her play with all her new cousins. (She was 8 months old, approximately, at Thanksgiving and seems to have adjusted extremely well to her new home. Josh and Marce are great parents! I'll add a photo of Maeley once I locate it on my camera :)
Here are some photos of the rest of our trip..
Linc with his great grandpa Leeser

Lincoln loved playing outside at Grandpa Leeser's farm...and we got some great photos




Uncle Brandon...what are you doing here? What a fun surprise! We thought you had to stay in Kentucky and work??

Brenda and Steve got Linc, Gaines and Ana matching Christmas PJs...so cute! We combined Thanksgiving with Christmas with Andrew's family.



The Leeser Thanksgiving dinner had more than 50 people there, so we had it at Grandpa Leeser's church. It was lots of fun...and awesome food. Thank you Aunt Susan for coordinating!


Some of the kiddos...Linc, Braylon, Maddux, Mya, Gaines, and Ana