Friday, December 9, 2016


We're snugly into December, but I am going to turn the clock back to November, just for a bit.

If you were to burst into our home, you would see scenes similar to this. Toys are EVERYWHERE these days. I pick them up, with the help of Ian, and pretty soon they are all out again. Both boys love to dump bins out. I know the scene below doesn't have very many toys but you can bet the rug where I am standing does!

We've arrived at the age when Owen can get anywhere on the floor, and quickly. He can also pull himself up. If Ian wants some uninterrupted play time, he has to play on the table or in his room. Most of the time, he doesn't mind playing with Owen, but there are those moments (I know I have them, too) when he just wants his toys to be his own. That's what I really love about this picture. It documents a scene where Ian has given Owen a choice few of his animals, while he plays with them on the table, his sanctuary away from baby hands.

There will come a day when this just isn't possible. For now, it's working for all of us :)

Oh yes, this is more like it. This is what our living room looks like most of the time. I will give you a small glimpes here. Inevitably, when Papa's home, there's often a moment that looks like this. Every single boy is on the floor, even Leif. He's a celebrity around here.
 November also means Thanksgiving! Ian made this adorable hat at PMO and loved wearing it around our house. We had planned on bringing it with us on our trip, but it got forgotten in the shuffle.
I love this little turkey.
First stop was at my parents' home in Paris. And, this year, everyone was around!
I'm not sure if Owen is looking at them in the picture above, but my dad keeps many bird feeders on his porch. Owen and Ian loved watching the birds flock to the feeders throughout each day. Ian would ask, "Do you want to sit and watch the birds with me?" Why, yes. Yes, I do!

Dad read Owen a book and hoped his first words would be things like "aardvark." ;)

 A couple of times during our visit we sang "Thanksgiving Time." My dad found the music to this song on a piano in Brooklyn Friends School, when he taught there. He never could find where it came from or who put it there, but it's been a tradition in every school he's ever taught in to sing this song during the Thanksgiving program. As a family, we sing it every year, too. I had been singing it to the boys before bed each night and they were captivated when Grumps started playing the piano.

 Willem & Samantha joined us in singing it on Thanksgiving morning, and then we sang it again with Phoebe later before we had to leave on Friday.
 Ian gets so serious and focused when Grumps plays the piano. He's fascinated. He sits so still and always on a little step stool.
 As if that wasn't treat enough, Grumps gave him another thrill by pulling him in the tractor trailer. My grandpa used to do the same thing with us when we were little. Ian even helped gather the wood they cut for firewood.
Ian just beamed!!!
 This was such a tender moment between Uncle Willem & Owen.
 And then it was feast time!!

 After the feast, it was time for our traditional hike to Paris View. Aunt Phoebe wore Owen :)

 And then it was time to return home, racing the dark. Time for a dinner of pies.
On Friday we hit the road for Philadelphia!! We were greeted by Seraphina, Aunt Erin, Uncle Russell, Aunt Christine, and her new dog, Penny!
Penny meets Uncle Jim
Who would have thought, but Jim won the homesteading board game that they played that night ;)

The next morning these sweet cousins continued to play. They were so fun to watch interact. Both of them are obviously big book lovers!
 Uncle Russ & Owen hit it off :)
 And these kids just kept reading. Really, they did to other things, too. Ha! I promise.

 Gramee & Grandpa drove in for the day on Saturday and that's when we had our big feast.
 Aunt Christine loves our little ones so well. Super aunt reading to three very active kiddos.
 Gramee soaked up every minute she could. And check out Seraphina's beautiful smile!
 Ian made it a point to snuggle with man's best friend, Leif. We continue to be so grateful for Leif's incredible patience; what a great, kid-friendly dog he is!
 "This is the life."
 Before Gramee & Grandpa had to go home, we took a family photo.
Sunday came and we hit the road back home, but first got a few last photos.

 I probably took twenty pictures and this is the only non-blurry one. I hope you got a better one, Erin!!
 Safe & sound back home, we bunkered down for a day. We hit traffic on the way home, making our trip much longer. We were grateful for time spent with both families, for the blessings of their love for us and our kids, for delicious feasts to share with them, & for safe travels.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


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