Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

Highlights of 2013

  • J getting a new car!  Now we can all comfortably ride together in either of our cars!
  • New windows for the house!  Our house is so much warmer/cooler and quieter.
  • Our vacation to Glacier National Park with Grammie and Grampie
  • LSK learning how to use our fancy camera and taking much-improved photos of our family!
  • LSK getting involved in a Community Band - it is so much fun to play again
  • LWK's 2nd Birthday
  • LWK REALLY talking now - full sentences/requests/demands, pleases and thank yous and our favorite, "I love you!"
  • LWK being able to recognize all the letters (upper and lower case), colors and numbers.  He can even write the L and the U of his name!
  • LWK singing - lots!
  • No food allergies for LWK (just environmental ones like all Seattleites, boo)
  • LWK's love of trains and Legos
  • Mommy and LWK swim lessons
  • LWK's first concert - Caspar Babypants
  • Celebrating Grandma and Grandpa's 40th Wedding Anniversary
  • A new bed for J and me (and that 2.5 year old 2am visitor that we often have).  How did we survive without a king sized bed for so long???
  • Watching LWK learn about the world, love his friends and family and grow up to be such a sweet boy.  We are so blessed with a happy and healthy kiddo!

Lowlights of 2013

  • LSK having pneumonia in June (for concert season no less!!!)

What we are looking forward to in 2014

  • No one getting pneumonia...
  • A Roadtrip Vacation - maybe Vancouver Island?
  • Potty Training (okay I'm not looking forward to the training, but the results)
  • The Olympics!
  • Getting better at my camera- I have made huge improvements in 2013 but  I have a long way to go!
  • Time together as a family, it is never boring with LWK around!

Probably one of my favorite photos of the year (post photography class).
It just sums up LWK's wonderment with the world around him this year!

Monday, December 30, 2013


Last night we went to the Woodland Park Zoo for Grammie and Grampie's last night in town.  Each year the zoo has a special Wildlights program where they have Christmas lights throughout the zoo.  I have wanted to go since I was a little girl!  We got some hot chocolate and walked around the zoo!

LWK wasn't very impressed at first.  Maybe it is because I had woken him from
the nap he was taking during the car ride!
Staying warm!!!
I was excited to try out my new lens, sans flash!
The raptor exhibit was showing this awesome owl!
LWK's favorite lights were the salmon swimming!
Good job getting Mommy in the picture, Daddy!
First time on a carousel for LWK.  He LOVED it but didn't like waiting in line...
Faster!  Faster! Faster!!!!
LWK LOVED all the horses!
The lights were so pretty!
And, of course, there were penguins!
I think this is a new family tradition for us!  We loved it and it was a nice thing to do that wasn't all about Santa or presents!  Maybe next year we will check out the Pt. Defiance Zoo's lights!

Photography note:  I used my 50mm lens with no flash on Aperture Priority Mode.  Some of the photos would have turned out better if I had a tripod (and if LWK would have held still, haha).  I might look into getting one of those pole tripod things to help me hold the camera a bit more steady for things like this.  Overall I was pretty happy with the results but taking photos in the dark is a lot more challenging than the daytime!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Grandma and Grandpa's House

While Grammie and Grampie went shopping with Daddy this morning, LWK and I went and visited Grandma and Grandpa.  It was a nice, low key afternoon!

Grandpa likes building towers as much as LWK does!
Look at that tongue - must take after Aunt Julie's concentration!
Notice that there are never two of the
same color in a row???
When did LWK become a little boy???
His teeth are bothering him again,
but he is still thoughtful!
Checking out the farm book!
Gotta check it out from every angle!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Let's Play!!!

We had a bit of a lazy day yesterday - lots of Lego and train playing for LWK and Grampie!  The question is, who was having more fun playing???  I'm putting my money on Grampie....

And David and John made some time to come over and play for a bit too.  LWK likes showing him how to do his new puzzle!

And then Mommy and Daddy got to go out to dinner with David and John, sans LWK!  It was amazing to actually have a long conversation with grown ups for three whole hours!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Snowpeople

I wish I was craftier, but I am not.  I don't want to clean up the mess and LWK doesn't like to be too dirty anyway, so hand and footprint things with paint are out.  When I saw this project on Pinterest, I knew I could pull it off and LWK would like it.

The materials you need:  empty/clean creamer bottles, cotton balls, black and orange Sharpies and ribbon.  Be forewarned:  I had to buy the big pack of Sharpies to get an orange one - that was the most expensive part of the project and now I have Sharpies of every color under the sun!

Grandma and Grandpa donated their clean creamer bottles, thank goodness I come from a coffee-loving family.  I drew the snow people faces and buttons because I am a control freak like that.  LWK put the cotton balls in and loved it.

I think that they turned out pretty cute.  Grandma is sending some ribbon for scarves tomorrow.  It will be a sweet little winter craft to give to the grandparents and aunts and uncles!  And of course, keep one for ourselves to "remember when!"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Horsies

Grammies and Grampies make the best horsies....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

With all the excitement of Christmas Eve, we slept in on Christmas morning.  I know this whole "sleep in on Christmas morning" thing will be short-lived, but it was nice to sleep until 8:30!

We started with a some piano music from our little Mozart.

This first gift LWK opened was a new computer from Grammie and Grampie.  He is a chip off the old block!

He also got a new puzzle and already has it figured out!  I am glad he is liking jig-saw puzzles!  I guess we need to move up to more pieces since he is figuring out 12 piece puzzles so well!

LWK finally is getting this whole unwrapping gifts thing down!

This one had a whole bunch of new trains!  He was very excited about Gordon!

He also got a train crossing and a drawbridge.  He is in train heaven!

For dinner I made this super-pretty tri-tip and it was so very yummy!  Here is the recipe.  It is pretty easy and makes everything smell so good!  It also set off our smoke alarm, oops....

A nice family dinner with both sets of grandparents!  LWK liked the jello and Grandma's cookies!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

We had a nice, slow start to Christmas Eve Day.  The men of the family got to be cozy and chat.

And LWK and Grammie practiced "raining bows."

We headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house to play with the cousins and open gifts.

LWK was thrilled with his Thomas gifts and Harold the Helicopter!

The most fun was getting to be with the cousins!

He even got a tent to play in - all the boys loved playing in the tent!

Grandma and Grandpa's house is always fun - especially on Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Chalk Circles

We were in a mad cleaning frenzy today and LWK was kind of left up to his own devices (as long as he didn't make a bigger mess).  I had cleaned his chalkboard and when I came back to it - he had drawn circles!  I am so proud that he has graduated from scribbles!

Obviously the legs of his easel needed some sprucing up!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas, Round 1

We started a nice tradition last year (for LWK's 2nd Christmas) of having a little Christmas the weekend before actual Christmas of just our little family.  LWK can open gifts at his own pace and enjoy them, there is low pressure, we stay in our jammies and have a yummy breakfast.  It's a win-win for us all!

Last night, I got everything set up.  My dad had cleaned up the piano I had when I was LWK's age to give to him.  Snoopy had to get in on the photos!

LWK was delighted when he came downstairs.  Most of his playing was far less refined than this, by the way....

LWK also got Legos - of course!  This was actually the only thing he asked for when I was telling him that Santa would ask him what he wanted for Christmas.  Good thing Santa just KNEW that he wanted them when Flash Sales were happening on Amazon!

I, I mean Santa, actually got him some more Lego animals on one of those Flash Sales.  Santa thought they were the bigger (or smaller) version of what he had, but he loved having two of each that were the same size! He lined his duplicates up 2 by 2 - I think it is time to start playing Noah's Ark!

The new orange tractor was a hit too.  Especially for hauling Legos!

J got a new Lego book and had to get in on the action too!

And then we had Ebelskivers!  LWK loved the powdered sugar - what kid doesn't???  I love the powdered sugar 'stache!

The aftermath - all his new toys and old toys out at the same time.  Gotta keep it real even if I try to pretend that we have it together around here...

 This is LWK's piano debut promo photo:

It was such a nice day to spend together as a family.  We have a few more celebrations this week and many more toys to come, but it was nice to start our holiday just us three!