Friday, December 30, 2011

Snow Day - Part 1: "Shoveling the Walks"

If you grew up in Washington, like I did, you might not have much context for what it means to "shovel the walks," like I didn't.  Well my husband grew up in the land of sunshine and snow (Colorado, duh), so to him this is a perfectly normal and common phrase.  In Washington, you're lucky to get a "good snow" (we're talking 3 - 5, people) once or twice a year.  Maybe some days with flurries here and there, and every few years there's a decent dumping of snow...once a winter.  As much as I did not want to move to Colorado when the idea first presented itself, I have come to LOVE the snow here!!!  (Dad, when you read this, don't freak out that I'm going to love it so much that I'll forget about my sand and salt water roots and never move back - I'm just choosing to point out the JOY in this moving situation ;-).  Right before Christmas, we got over a foot of snow at our house.  I was acting like a giddy child.  It's so beautiful and fluffy and dry and fun to play in!  Plus, as soon as it stops snowing, the clouds disappear and it's just gorgeously blinding sunshine which makes sunglasses mandatory for snow play!  Because I was so overly excited, and took so many pictures, I broke our "snow day" into two parts, covering shoveling here, and then I will post all of the playing-in-the-snow-pictures in a second post.

Since the move, I have learned that "shoveling the walks" is a common occurrence, and something that has to be done in the evening as it snows so it doesn't pile up TOO high overnight, and again in the morning, while it's light and fluffy enough to shovel easily so you can get your car out of the driveway and walk to your mail box.  (If my Colorado friends are reading this, you're probably laughing hysterically at the novelty in my discovery about shoveling.  Well, don't laugh too hard, because I'm sure you'd learn a few new things visiting the San Juan Islands and all of it's ferries and salt water and sea creatures!).  Tyson has quickly come to love his very own snow shovel, and as a first born male, he LOVES to do anything that daddy does, and works quite diligently when you let him take part in these tasks!  I know I'm biased...but these guys are the cutest things in the world when they're at work together.

Daddy had his work cut out for him with the amount of snow accumulation!  He started out with his boarding jacket and a scarf, and kept taking off layers because he was getting a work out.

For the most part, Ty is a great helper, although he doesn't always get the concept of where daddy needs to shovel and staying out of the way ;-)

Serious work.

He looks like a teenager to me in this picture, lol!

I love this one because you can see how much snow piled up after shoveling, AND the beautiful open space next to our house, giving us stunning views of the mountains every morning from our breakfast nook in the kitchen.  Oh, and that little kid in the picture is pretty good lookin, too...
There you have it - snow day part one.  I may have over-documented this day, but I don't care because I didn't grow up with this kind of snow, and I always want to have pictures of what it's like!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas morning!

Of course we know that presents are not the reason for the season, but I thought I'd do a little post of the family doing presents on Christmas morning.  Grandmommy and Pappy came over around 7:45 am because Robin had to leave by 9:30 am to get ready to lead worship at church, and we wanted to do breakfast and presents before he left. 

Before we ate we sat down and opened our "special" present: a box revealing the gender of baby #3!  When we had our ultrasound last week, we had the technician box up a pink shirt, or a camo shirt (obviously representing boy or girl!) and tape it closed, and then put the other shirt in a brown paper bag so we wouldn't see which one was not being used.  We wrapped the box and put it under the Christmas tree and waited a painfully slow 4 days to open it on Christmas!  Ty helped us open it, and I think he was quite confused that a brother or a sister wasn't inside the box...just a shirt.  He didn't quite get the symbolism, but promptly moved on to breakfast with the thought of more presents in the front of his mind :)  I'm sure anyone reading this has already seen the news on Facebook or email or text message or some other medium, but just in case you haven't, we're having another GIRL in May!  We are so very excited :)

Okay, moving on to the rest of the morning.......... 

Ty practicing with his new wooden guns...that expression cracks me up.  Something happens to little boys when you put toy guns in their hands, lol!

Jersey opening her "feeding set" for her Baby Stella doll, from Nana and Papa.

Ty madly opening his package of Skybuster airplanes that daddy bought for him (I think Robin enjoys living vicariously through Tyson, and purposefully picks out stuff that HE wants to play with, too!)

Jersey would not leave Grandmommy's new books alone!  She clawed and climbed to reach them every time she saw a book.

Tyson's new book from Grandmommy and Pappy.

Spontaneously clapping before her present is even opened ;-)

The little monkeys opening #1 of 2 "joint" gifts from mom and dad....

....which turned out to be a new set of healthy play kitchen food!  I got a little tired of pizza and donuts being the main course while they played, from our first little set of cheap play food (not to mention the plastic smelled like chemicals), so I finally found a set with HEALTHY options (whole wheat bread, yogurt, fruit/veggies, pretzels, etc).  I think I was more excited about the health factor than they were, but they were really excited about the realistic looking food and the three grocery shopping baskets that came with it!

Aaaaand here we are, the fab four.  Well, I guess it's more like the fab four and a half since I'm 20 weeks along now...  It's so crazy to think that next year we'll have 3 kids to celebrate Christmas with!  Lot's of little people to teach about Jesus' birthday :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Well, we did it.  Jersey's first birthday party :)  We kept it pretty small and low-key, and missed having cousins and Nana and Papa there, but with Grandmommy and Pappy and a few friends, we celebrated our little princess in pink (VERY pink, as you'll see...).  I expected her to get overwhelmed and fall apart half way through, as first birthday parties usually go, but she did just great and held it together the whole time.  Here are (quite) a few pictures of the day.

My pretty, pink, princess 1-year-old!  No first birthday is complete without a feather/sequin birthday crown.

Random arial shot of our living room as the first of our friends time to watch the end of an incredible Bronco's game, I might add ;-)  Tim Tebow always makes for the start of a good party!!!
Birthday girl with Grandmommy!
Aaaand then she discovered Grandmommy's Christmas tree pin and was completely distracted :)
Watching the end of the Bronco's game with Pappy.
"Hmm, what should I make for this party...?"
"I think I'll bake some cupcakes."
"Oh, hi, I'm just cooking in my kitchen..."
"...and eating cake mix boxes."

Ok, she didn't actually make the cupcakes, I did, but she can pretend...
Getting ready to sing and taste her first real sugar!
She kept the same blank stare through the whole song :)
A little help from big brother to blow out the candle.

Attempt at a family photo...but she was obviously distracted by the cupcake in front of her.

"What does this thing feel like?"
" gets all over your hands!"

"Ohh...and it tastes pretty good, too!"

Trying to get a second wind to open presents.

Tyson was glued to the pile of gifts...and not too happy about not being allowed to open them.

The girly gifts made me quite happy :)  I mean LOOK at the ruffles on that skirt!  Love it...

The wrapping paper made Jersey happy...

Loving on her little baby doll.

Cutest hand made ribbon hanging for Jersey's room!!  Finally a cute and practical way to store her hair clips :)  I just love this idea.

Oh, and she really liked the cards, too ;-)

Daddy love.

Pappy showing Ty his wooden, dancing puppet.

Everyone all tuckered out at the end of the night.  Amelia and Ty are much so in fact that apparently she curls up on his lap to watch Veggie Tales, lol!

Pretty little princess all tuckered out.
 We had so much fun celebrating our Jersey Joy!  I still can't get enough of the pink tutu...oh my.  First girly birthday party at our house!  We find out on December 21st if we'll be adding to team boy or team girl - we'll see if there are even more girly parties in our family future.  I'm trying to get the self-control to have the ultrasound results on the 21st sealed up in a box to be wrapped, and then we'll all open it together on Christmas morning.  That's the plan, if I can stick to it!  Until then...signing off for now ;-)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

One year ago...

Well unfortunately I'm too sick today to write much of a post, but seeing as today is such an important and special day, I had to at least do a short one!  One year ago today, Jersey Joy Schween was born into our family.  It's amazing to me how quickly this last year has gone, and how much JOY she has brought into our lives even in just one year.  The Christmas season will always remind me of having a tiny, newborn baby girl, cuddled up by the fire with our Christmas tree sparkling in the night.  Happy birthday to our precious baby love. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Outings: City Building Lighting

Last year during the holidays I was either on bed rest (Thanksgiving), or had a newborn baby (born Dec. 8th), so our Thanksgiving and Christmas season was very low-key, to say the least, and I felt like we didn't really do any fun Christmas outings with Tyson.  This year we're making up for lost time ;-)  So far we've gone to the "Star Lighting" which is where the town illuminates a big star on top of Castle Rock, near our house.  We met up with friends and went to that and then did dinner afterwards.  It was neat, but also short, and Ty couldn't understand why we couldn't see the "rock star," as he called it, light up again (it just stays lit through sometime after Christmas).
A couple weekends ago we packed up the kids and headed downtown Denver on an impromptu adventure.  I had a Groupon for a pizza place downtown, and Robin mention going down to see the ceremonial lighting of the city building, so we combined the two for a fun family outing!  We don't have a big entertainment budget these days, so it was a really fun treat to go out for dinner with our little family of four, and then spend some time downtown all bundled up together.  We listened to Christmas music in the car, and Tyson made faces at Jersey so she was laughing hysterically.  I dont' know why, but it was just a special night for me...with my own family that I love and adore, and a night out together at a magical time of year.
Forewarning...the picture quality from the night is NOT great!  So these photos are just to document what we did...but they aren't exactly frameable material.  Oh well!
Getting ready for the building (behind them) to light up, live news crews and a big stage with choirs going in the background.

I think all of the pictures are slightly creepy because it was so dark and the bright flash made all of us look bug-eyed, lol!

Right before the lighting...

And right when it was lit up!  We didn't take any pictures of how it looked over the course of the next 20 minutes or so as music blasted and there was an awesome lights show of so many colors and combinations all set to the music.  It was so pretty!!

All bundled up in front of the city building.

Our sad attempt at a picture of the three of us, ha ha ha.  Jersey was so bundled up in the stroller we didn't want to get her out and then have her be frustrated to be buckled right back in.  The girl seriously needs to learn to walk...outings would be much more fun for her!
Well there you have it.  More Christmas traditions to come over the next few weeks.  Kids at Christmas time make it even more special!