Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Family Gatherings

Our family has been blessed with an amazingly large family tree. So every year we have at least four separate family gatherings to celebrate Christmas (usually before, during, and after). This year we had an early Christmas dinner on December 22nd at Tim's with Tom & Geege (Tim's parents), Caitlin & Billy, Darcy (Tim's sis), and Tommy (Darcy's son).

Darcy, Tim, Geege, & Caitlin

Tim, Caitlin, & Billy
Maddy tearing off the wrapping paper covering her new Leap Frog Activity Table from Papa Tim.

Maddy posing for a picture with her new activity table.

Reilly & Maddy

Maddy trying to get at her new learning friend Lilly from Caitlin and Billy.

After the gifts had been opened and Maddy was no longer interested in Lilly she quickly grabbed the stem of my wine glass sitting on the coffee table and threw it to the ground. The wine splashed and the glass shattered. I was horrified. It was as if it was in slow motion. I was sitting right there, and I saw her grab the glass, but I just couldn't stop it from smashing to the ground. Thank you Billy and Caitlin for helping me clean up the mess!

Darcy & Tommy

Geege & Tom

Billy, Nick, & Tim

Newly Engaged!

Billy & Caitlin

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christ Is The Reason For The Season

Christ was born for the most amazing purpose in the world. He was born to save us from our sins so that we may live forever with the Lord in heaven. This Christmas I am thankful for Jesus, for Maddy's health, and for the Lord's truth. My one and only hope is to share the Lord's love and truth with our girls so that they too can experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. One way we decided to make our Christmas "Christ focused" was to have a birthday party for Jesus. Reilly thought that would be really cool. So I went to the store and bought the items we would need to have a birthday cake. Reilly made a birthday sign pointing the way to Jesus' party. As time would have it, it slipped away and we never made the cake or sang the song. In fact the box of cake mix and can of icing are still sitting on our kitchen counter. We are still planning on having a party for Jesus, it will just be a little late.

Due to the state of our economy we were inclined to scale down on our purchases and instead focus on time spent with family and friends. This year my mom, Fred, Jill, Joel, Nick & me decided to forgo exchanging gifts. Instead, on Christmas morning we all shared breakfast at our house and watched the girls open gifts.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Traveling Adventures

We traveled down to San Diego on the Friday before Christmas to visit the Stephens Family. Our intention was to be completely packed up by 1:00 so that as soon as Rei was out of school we'd leave and hopefully avoid L.A. traffic. Our plans didn't exactly go as planned.

First of all Nick got off work in the late morning as opposed to the early morning. He had a list of errands to do but his first stop was to take our truck to the Costco tire department. You see, on Maddy's first birthday Nick was traveling out to Buttonwillow after an AM class for the fire department when he realized that the truck had a flat tire. Luckily he wasn't far from home and so the girls and I came to his rescue. We were really just there for moral support even though we all ended up getting dirty and greasy. Maddy was the only one who managed to stay clean because she had fallen asleep in the car on our way to meet Nick. Anyway, the Costco tire specialists informed Nick that not only was that tire bad but we had two other tires that were bad. So, he ended up replacing all 4 and had a wait time of about 2 hours.

We were only about 2 hours behind schedule by the time we ended up leaving our home in the hopes of traveling to SD to party with our niece Sydney who was having her 10th birthday party.

Once we were traveling on Hwy 99 which then merged into I-5 we were really moving. It wasn't until we hit the outskirts of L.A. that we slammed into gridlock traffic. After being cut off by a semi during the I-5 and 110 split we pulled out of the I-5 lane and began our adventure on Hwy 110. While on the 110 we missed the exit for the 405 and then found ourselves at a dead end town. So we stopped at the local Starbucks to get some treats and stretch. While in the Starbucks parking lot Nick ended up sitting on his coffee which went all over the drivers seat and floor not to mention scalding poor Nicks backside. When we finally ended up back on the 110 we took the 405 North when we should have taken South. But once we found the 405 South we were as good as gold and arrived at the Stephens' home at 10:30 PM.
Reilly and Sydney played dress-up on Saturday evening. These were their spy-girl clothes.Nick and Natalie posing for the camera during our game of Chicken Foot.On Sunday we decided to head to Knott's Berry Farm. We were all actually very excited about the trip, that was until we arrived to find the park super packed due to the fact that it was the last day for Toys For Tots... we had NO idea. Apparently if you brought a toy you got in FREE. It seemed like the park didn't have an occupancy limit or if they did they weren't enforcing it! The park was shoulder to shoulder and stroller to heal jam-packed. Isn't this a great picture of Nick! He's so handsome!
Reilly and Sydney posing together. They are both growing up so fast!

All the girls.

Resting at the picnic tables after eating lunch.

All eight of us on the train.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

One Year Old

Madeleine had her first birthday on Saturday. It's amazing how much babies grow and learn in the span of one year. As I look back upon Madeleine's first year I am amazed and ever so thankful. We are blessed by Jesus in so many ways and we are truly thankful for all of our friends and family that helped support us through her first year.

Grandpa Fred feeding Maddy carrots.

Maddy riding her new horse while Grandma Barbara watches.

Bounce house fun for everyone!

Maddy sharing her cake with Grandma Betty. Vanessa playing with Maddy, Luke, and Rei.
Lori, Marissa, Nancy, Papa Tim, Betty, & Steve.

Grandma Sarah taking a picture while holding her youngest grandchild. That's right, this is Nolan. He was born on Becky's birthday, October 28, 2008. Becky and Nolan came and surprised us all. All the way from Texas!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Snow in the Herndon House

After I finished checking my email this evening I entered our living room to find SNOW! Well, it was actually an entire box of Kleenex that Maddy had got her hands on. She had completely emptied the box onto our floor and had ripped almost every tissue into many many pieces!

Let me back the story up just a bit. This afternoon Reilly and I decided to decorate our Christmas trees while Maddy was taking her nap. We have one large family tree and three small baby trees. When Reilly was finished decorating the three baby trees we decided that one of them would look nice on top of our piano. I moved the Kleenex box that usually sits on our piano and replaced it with the baby Christmas tree. As I was doing this switch-a-roo I put the Kleenex on top of an end table. I am usually pretty careful as to what I place on that table because Maddy obviously has access to it!

GG's 90th Birthday Party

GG's 90th Birthday Party
May 2, 2008