Dec 17, 2009

Such A Kind Friend

I have a friend who really knows how to serve a mommy with a newborn second child.

When Madelene Kate was just 2 weeks old, we had a warm day in between wet and cold ones. Gretchen called to ask if she could come over to our neighborhood and take James to the tot lot with her 3 year old and 1 year old. She kept James outside for more than an hour, playing hard and getting him good and tired for his nap.

Today, we had a Mommy's Group scheduled. I wanted to go, but really need to run some errands and get some Christmas stuff done. Gretchen e-mailed and then called to see if it would serve me for her to pick up James on her way by.

James was quite excited to go with her. He kept asking, "Where's Gretchen?" while waiting rather impatiently. And then when she arrived, he ran out to her car very happily.

Gretchen, THANK YOU for serving me so generously! I am off to Costco with just one instead of two. What an enormous blessing.

Dec 14, 2009

Happy Girl

Madelene Kate smiled today.

True - she's not even four weeks old.

But there was no mistaking it - she grinned up at me while I was holding her. And when I smiled back, hers widened. Then while James held her a bit later, she broke into a bright happy grin. This evening, she smiled at me again, and this time, Ben was there to see.

Our girlie has been so pleasant since her birth, with a sweet countenance that certainly looked like smiles even from her first day. Here she is with each of her Grammys...

with Ben's mom, six days old

with my mom, twelve days old

Dec 11, 2009

Pictures from Madelene Kate's first day

The very first picture we were able to take of our precious girlie - before a bath. (Mommy thinks she's beautiful!)

Although my mom was the first person to hold her, the camera hadn't come in yet, and I'm so disappointed that we didn't get to record it.

My good-looking husband: the proud daddy of a daughter!

My dad - Madelene Kate's Papa

A very happy mommy with her darling girlie

Bea & Uncle Kurt drove all the way down to meet our their newest niece and then drove home again. What a kind gift to us!

This is "Emmy" (our friend Kim) who works in the HR Dept at the hospital. She got to come up at the end of the day to meet Madelene Kate.

Ben's mom - happy Grammy!
Yay for evening visitors! Aunt Katie, Oma (Katie's mother-in-law), Grammy and Aunt Elizabeth (a close friend of our family) all came at the same time. Opa came, too, but didn't get in on the picture. Thank you all for coming to rejoice with us!

Dec 10, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Our little preschool group at the start of a new year - Sept 1, 2009:
Dorothy, Madison, Dalton, James, Faith and Anna
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Dec 8, 2009

Ruth's Chris Birthday Dinner

On September 20, we got to take my parents, Kurt & Barbara and Greg & Sharon out for a special dinner to celebrate Greg & Dad's birthdays. We were sad that my brother Chris & his wife, Leslie, live so far away! (We missed you!)

Preggo sisters!
The guys hamming it up outside the restaurant.
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Dec 7, 2009

James' Skillz

In August, as I prepared for preschool, James helped me make playdough. He thoroughly surprised me, though, when he picked up this airplane and helicopter, placed them on the playdough, and announced quite confidently, "Match!"

Then he further surprised me with his engineering skills. We had put away the trains for awhile, and when we finally pulled them back out, James proceeded to create the following layout by himself. At one point, he asked me to help him, so I added three pieces in one place and three in another to finish it out. I was quite impressed with his work!

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Dec 6, 2009

The Van

For those who wondered how our van weathered Madelene Kate's birth, I just realized that Ben took pictures. The towels I put on the seat before leaving home did their job. You would never know that a baby was born here (phew!).

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Dec 5, 2009

Big Brother

A little boy at our house loves that he gets to be a big brother to a darling baby sister.

There's hardly a time when we pray that he doesn't pipe up in the middle of it to say, "And sank you for the baby..."

He takes every opportunity to give her kisses, to hug her, to snuggle.

Each morning, he comes running into our room to greet the two of us while she nurses - "Good morning, Mommy. Good morning, Madelene Kate."

He finds every way he can to help me - stocking diapers in various places around the house so they're always handy, putting dishes by the sink or in the dishwasher whle I nurse her after he and I eat lunch, bringing me the diaper bag so I can change her wherever I happen to be at the moment, taking diapers to the trash...

Our dear friend and Care Group Leader's wife, Jonalee, came over on our first morning home to take some pictures of our three-day-old girlie. But what would that shoot have been without a very proud and adoring big brother?

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Labor Day 2009

Labor Day weekend, we had the joy of going with Ben's long-time friend and his family up to their family reunion. The trip typically takes 6 hours, but with their one-year-old and our almost-three-year-old, we managed it in 7 1/2!

On Saturday night, they always do a huge bonfire and corn roast. James got to "help" with the fire.

James and Daddy roasting hot dogs.

A quick take with Mommy before running off for more adventures!

Ben and his buddy Steve found these great spots to take pictures on Sunday morning. James wasn't crazy about the idea of a photo shoot.

My big belly...

My darling husband and me
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Dec 3, 2009

Vacation 2009

We had a wonderful time on vacation with Ben's family at the end of July and beginning of August this year. We couldn't pass up two of our favorite activities: a train ride and the nature center.

The otter swam right up to the children. She is on the other side of glass... and James, Anna & Philip loved that she "played" with them by following them around. It was a lot of fun to watch!

Even Aunt Katie got in on the fun!
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