A note from the writers

Blogger seems to be having some trouble with its videos. They've been uploaded correctly and will run sometimes. If you can't see them now, come back another time and try again. It's totally a game of chance to get them to run. If anyone out there has a fix, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

This Christmas was awesome. We had so much fun with lots of visits from good friends and tons of yummy food. It was sort of a two-day, marathon adventure. Of course, that's not to mention the hours and hours of preparation in stores, the kitchen, and, of course, the woodshop.

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner celebration with the Hoffmans and Brooke. We enjoyed a steak & twice-baked potato dinner, yummy apple pie and lots of great conversation with friends. It was a wonderful way to prepare for Christmas festivities the next day.
The big gift for Ava this year was a play kitchen. Matt built it all of his own design (but I picked out the faucet!) and it turned out absolutely beautifully. Of course, it was a down-to-the-wire creation, so it was still being constructed at about 2315 Christmas Eve. Regardless, here's a few shots of Santa's elf in his workshop.
As I said, Christmas this year was amazing...mostly because our little girl sort of undersood what was happening. Ava loved opening her presents (although all she wanted to do when she woke up was watch Clifford dog) and we were delighted to watch her have so much fun. We got to enjoy that fun for several hours as it took four hours to work through the mountain of gifts under the tree. We never seem to learn to stop opening each toy as it's unwrapped. We played with everything for a while before we moved onto the next present. Guess that's good for extending the merriment!

The kitchen Matt made for her was a total hit and well worth the many hours (and couple of late nights) in the garage to get it done on time. Thanks to all our friends and family for the many wonderful gifts...knowing and loving you is indeed the best present!

We took almost 300 pictures on Christmas, so here's a little collage to sum up the big day. Present opening videos will arrive in another post.
Wishing you all the merriment of the season and lots of joy as we look forward to ringing in the new year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Potty Training Begins

We're passing another major milestone in this house. Ava's been going on the potty for several months, but she's finally advanced to wearing panties and going consistently. In reality, she was ready a long time ago, but Mommy & Daddy needed the time at home to be able to support the endeavor.

She's doing so great! Every time she goes pee in the potty, she gets a stamp. And, oh boy, is she proud of those stamps.
video

Way to "go," Ava!!

TPS 07B Mini Reunion

The Jungquists drove to town on Saturday to catch a flight for a family Christmas get-together. We met up for dinner that night at the Hoffmans and had a great time. We got a call from Grabber at about 8:30 on the night they were to depart looking for some room in the inn. Due to the major storms all over the eastern part of the country, their flight was cancelled and they were delayed until Tuesday. So, we got a mini MOTO/Bond girl reunion fun for a few days. (Dave decided it was a worthy occasion to crack open some MOTO graduation wine.)
With four kiddos in this house, we stayed very busy. We went on an afternoon picnic.
We watched Christmas movies.
We tormented the dog, made lots of very loud noise, and played super-silly games.
We made and sugared Christmas cookies.
We nursed babies and then dressed them up like silly Christmas elves.
Then, the babies spit up everywhere.
So much fun! Thanks for visiting guys!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Visit with Santa

We took Ava to visit Santa Claus the weekend before Christmas, fully expecting the same terrified toddler we had last year. Instead, she snuggled right in and we got a boatload of adorable pictures.

We even got one of the whole family! Thanks Santa!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

TPS 09A Graduation

Matt's best buddy, John P., graduated from TPS at the beginning of December. They were mostly celebrating the bad-for-your-kidneys process of having built a huge pyramid of Pepsi Max cans.
We went back for the big event to celebrate and simply enjoy the simplicity of Edwards living. We never thought we'd miss much of the life at that base, but it was a wonderful weekend of relaxation and festivities.
Thanks to the Jungquists for watching Ava for the duration of the graduation!

These graduations are often a little long. But the attendees have plenty of options for keeping themselves entertained. Bond girls, this one's for you...a throwback to 07A's graduation and my best impression of Lynette. :-)
Did I mention that the drive home from Edwards is long and boring? Thank goodness for the DVD player in the van!
Congratulations, John! Glad you've joined the TPS family!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

St. Nicholas Day

Matt's family always celebrated St. Nicholas Day growing up. I knew nothing about it until we were married, but I have to say I'm pretty much a fan of a random day chosen for present giving. :-) We've celebrated each year we've been married.
Ava, of course, has no idea what it's all about, but she was pleased enough to open her present from St. Nick. This year, Matt received some router bits (clever St. Nick knew he'd be in the woodshop); I received a PostSecret book; and, Ava received the coolest Very Hungry Caterpillar pop-up book.

The best part, as always, was the packaging. This one is nothing if she's not her daddy's girl.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Five

The day after Thanksgiving, Matt and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. We had a wonderful day. We saw a movie (New Moon!), went to a casual, low-key dinner, and then went to see an amazing show (Ka!). We didn't manage to get a picture of the two of us that evening, but just picture us happy as can be, loving our time together. That's how we'd look. :-)

I don't have a picture of the two of us, but I grabbed this shot of Matt the day after our anniversary. We were having a very quiet day and snacking, watching movies, and chilling out after a long couple of weeks. Even with all the amazing fun we have, days like the one pictured here are still my favorite.
Thanks for a wonderful five years, Matt. Looking forward to all the decades to come!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

After Ava's birthday, it was time to coast into Thanksgiving celebrations. We love to cook Thanksgiving dinner and really enjoy having a houseful of people on this very fun day.
On Wednesday, known around here as Pie Day, we cooked nonstop to get all the side dishes ready for Thursday as well as the pies, of course. Per White family tradition, Pie Day usually ends with an enchilada meal, but this year, since Matt wouldn't be home to make them, we opted to make a Renfro family traditional meal - pizza!
Thursday was a beautiful day and, thanks to all the help, dinner was a breeze to put on the table. In fact, we had enough time to do some playing around before all the eating began.
We're a very blessed family and one of our biggest blessings is the people with whom we get to share our time. Love these people...we're so very thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our Family Rules

One of the walls in our family room has undergone some updates and I wanted to share the fun!

The wall behind our couch (now behind the La-Z-Boys) used to have three big floral prints from Michael's hanging on it. You might remember it from this awesome photo of my Bond girls. Nothing fancy, and certainly nothing personal and awesome about it.

I found inspiration for the change from this blog post. The theme of the rules posted there weren't for us, but the project concept was great. So, after some crafting, lots of consultation with Matt, a bunch of Modge Podge, and some cheapo frames and photo printing, we've got a wall full of family that we're happy to look at every day.



Maybe the best part of this project was that Matt and I sat down one night and really discussed these rules. (Believe you me, the thesaurus and dictionary got a lot of use that night!) We both realize that words have power and wanted to choose just the right ones to guide our family. These rules really are what we hope our family will value and the way we want to be reminded to live each day. It was nice to have that time with him, to reconnect about our purpose, and to have a tangible result of that work to help us remember.


They're a little hard to read, so here are our rules (sorry about the flashy glare in the picture...photographer, I am not!).

Family Rules

Point Out the Good
Listen
Share Love Generously
Celebrate Peace
Make Time to Play
Have Faith and Seek Hope
Honor and Treasure Friendship
Strive for Patience
Accept Yourself
Be Kind