Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kathy's Christmas party

Hey everyone,
Last weekend, we went to John's cousin Kathy's Christmas party up in Dallas. We had a great time--so great, in fact, that we didn't get any pictures. But we did manage to get these two videos of her and Aaron's sons. The first is li'l Andrew singing hi-ho, hi-ho, from Snow White. He has a band-aid because he fell and slightly reddened his cheek. The band-aid, miraculously, made it all better. The second is his older brother Jake half-heartedly describing the set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves he received as a pre-Christmas gift from his grandparents.

Oh yeah, and here's a picture of a big grill that looks like a gun. Just for kicks. This was taken at a gas-station/barbeque/jerky shop stop in Centerville, TX.

Well, that's it for now! We hope all of you are having a blessed Christmas. We miss you and we hope the joy of Christ is in your hearts and in your gatherings.

John and Lindsey

Friday, December 11, 2009

Random pictures

I thought I'd put up an assortment of pictures from this year and last for all to enjoy.

Our Thanksgiving last year outside of Torino.

We actually had two Thanksgiving feasts last year: the first was spent with our friends, Larry and Debbie. We miss you guys!

Sledging in the mountains. Everybody looking tough.

Teaching Lloyd and Sian how to bake cookies. And listening to George Strait's "Christmas Cookies" on i-tunes.

Up to the present--John and I with his aunt, uncle, and cousin's family in front of a giant ring on the campus of Texas A & M. Note that Aaron (on the far left) and Jake (in the short front) are wearing Baylor Green. Not everybody in John's family is an Aggie!

John eating a pillow. This was after the Thanksgiving feast.

Tom showing off his waders.

Our little Christmas village.

Noah setting up his mom's not so little Christmas village. This was just the beginning.

Audrey and one of her darling kittens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween weekend

Hello again! I know I promised cowboys, jedis, and bumblebees, but first, here's an Aggie and an Aggie look-alike. We gave Katie an adorable little Texas A and M t-shirt (don't worry: she already has plenty of Mizzou gear) as a belated birthday present. She really enjoyed wearing it over her sweater and looking like Uncle John.

Here's the crew, motley as it is! Do cowboys always smile like that?

Out on the streets. Uncle John, who reportedly only went trick-or-treating once as a child, was an enthusiastic guide through the streets of Gower. That's Caleb in the stroller there, with John holding out his bucket. One wonders who received the majority of those proceeds?

After pounding the pavement for what seemed like hours, we stopped at the fire station, which had free hot dogs, lemonade, and a hay bale maze. Looks like the Jedi has just seen the Force.

Ryan and his bumblebee.

The next day, we returned again to Gower to celebrate Caleb's first birthday. Caleb willingly gave up his animal adventures to sit on Papa's lap and accept our homage.

The theme this year was pirates. Joy typically makes three cakes: the main attraction (center), a side cake to ensure all the guests are fed (left), and the celebrant's cake (right), which the birthday boy gets all to himself.

According to tradition, the birthday kid gets to eat his cake sans fork. It took a little while for Caleb to get into it, but once he received some help from Daddy, he was more than willing to participate.

The Packers also played that Sunday. Here are Seth and Noah showing off their Green Bay pride.

Audrey and Katie at the swings. Katie adores her older cousin and Audrey takes good care of her.

When each grandchild turns one, Mom and Dad have a rocker handmade for them in a nearby Amish community. Caleb had long been eying his cousins' and sister's rockers; now he finally has his own.

What can we say?

John took this wonderful picture of Katie. It looks like a postcard for autumn.

Noah and I watching the festivities. (Seth was my official photographer while Caleb was opening presents.)

Kids playing in the leaves. If nobody recognizes the little girl on the left, that's because she wandered over to join our party; she even played football with us until her mom called her away.

How many kids are hidden under the leaves? 2? 12?

While we were up in Missouri, I had the privilege of taking care of four struggling kittens that had been born on Steph and Jeff's property. With Mom and Dad's help, we set them up a cozy little area in the backroom. I spent many an hour helping them eat, cleaning their faces, and watching them play. It was very therapeutic. Here are some photos of the wide-eyed little wonders.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We recently took a trip up to Missouri to visit my family. On the way, we stopped at Kathy and Aaron's (Kathy is John's cousin) in Dallas and spent some quality time with their two boys.

Here's Jake. He's five and a half and already (alas!) a Dallas Cowboys fan.

It was a little more difficult to get a still shot of Andrew. This was the best I could do. :-)

We arrived in the Kansas City area earlier than we expected, so we took the opportunity to surprise my darling Grandmother. She was very excited to see us--she even provided us with the opportunity to cut down her rosebushes!

When we finally arrived home, Mom and Dad had just gotten back from some function or another. They looked so good that we just had to take a picture.

The Thursday after we arrived, Mom, John, and I decided to take little Katie (our niece) to her preschool Halloween party. The opportunity of seeing cute little kids running around in costumes was just too good to pass up.

Here's John taking the ladybug to school. Though it doesn't look like it, they're having a good time.

Katie's little brother, Caleb, came along, as well. Enter the penguin and his Nana.

She's having a good time, I swear.

After we returned from trick-or-treating around various classrooms, the preschoolers sat down for some debriefing. The younger siblings of the preschooler, however, got to play.

And attempt feats of daring.

Several times.

But, things finally settled down and the little insects eventually reverted back into little children, complete with smiles.

Later that day, John and I went down to my sister's house to hang out with her, her sick husband, and her kids. We gave Noah his belated birthday present from us, Tyler and Jerilyn--a massive Stitch whom he immediately dressed up as a cowboy.

The present went over well (Stitch would later go trick or treating with us) and was a hit even with Noah's older brother.

Here's John with Audrey. For those of you who were praying for her this summer, look how well she's recovered! Thank you for your prayers: we're so grateful to have our beautiful girl back.

Stay tuned for some cowboys, jedis, witches, and bumblebees. . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Texas A&M vs. Utah State

A couple of weeks ago, John took me to my very first Texas A&M game at the Aggies' home stadium, Kyle Field. I received the full A&M experience: first we went to watch the band line up. Before every game, the band marches from its barracks to the stadium. All the band members are part of the ROTC--for those of you overseas, the corps provides military training in college for those who are planning on a career in the military (although sometimes students just enroll for the grueling experience). A&M started as a military school and continues a proud military tradition to this day. John's cousin, Mills, was in the ROTC band during his time at A&M.

Here's the line-up. . .

. . .and the kick! Listen to the melodious tunes of the Fightin' Aggie Band.

Though we were excited to see the band, we were there to watch football. And when Kyle Field called, John had to answer. . .

Some shots of the stadium and the game. Although there were some tense moments when we dropped the ball (literally), our cause prevailed and we triumphed over Utah State.

So there you have it! I could go on and on about the traditions I encountered during my first game, but I'll let John tell you about it person. We had a great time and we hope to go again this season!