Friday, December 23, 2011

The time in between

Happy New Year, everyone! 
I have enjoyed a much-needed break from the world of cyberspace over the holidays, and am ready to begin making a comeback. :o) 
This post has pictures of the two weeks we spent at home this December. 
Hopey finding her new blocks from Uncle Andrew quite entertaining while Mommy works in the kitchen. 
Good old measuring cups to the rescue when they needed a diversion one day. The metal ones are particularly great for banging together like one would cymbals, and create such a thrilling sound. ;o) I have discovered however, that the handles do bend when stepped on by someone such as myself. :o) 
This video was taken on my birthday. Langemanns had done a birthday breakfast for me before we left Denver, so my birthday at home was pretty simple, and enjoyably so. I had a birthday gift left to give Joy, so I decided it would be a happy thing to do on my birthday. Presents are just plain old fun - doesn't matter if you're the giver or the receiver. :o) 
How does she know to do that? Smart child.
She was having lots of fun stirring and mixing air around in the bowl with her little purple spoon.
Hopey and I were playing in her cardboard house, and I started drumming my fingers on the roof, making like it was raining. Well, that led to the need for an umbrella when she was going to go out "to da stooooore" so I ran upstairs and grabbed her adorable umbrella and that gave her a whole new sense of delight!
"Hello down there Mommy!"
Talking to Granny Collin on the phone, telling her all about our time in Denver and talking about our upcoming trip to the farm for Christmas Day.
Joy wasn't to be left out.
In fact, she was quite perturbed and noisy in her pursuit of Hope and the phone until I quickly found the toy one and gave it to her.
"Now... let me see...." Yes - this is why she doesn't get the real phone as much as Hopey. Buttons, buttons!
However, once Hope and I had visited with my Mum, we let Joy have a turn, figuring it was alright if she ended the call with her curious fingers. :o)
"Ai, ya ya."
And here she comes with her dolly!
Hope told me her dolly was cold, or upset, or something, sto she was going to "settle her down." Three blankets, and much singing later, the said doll was quiet. :o) Phew! LOL!
Taking the last few Christmas cards to the mail with me on a mild day while Joy was napping. It was such fun. I pulled out Hopey's special sled, and once I convinced her that bumps were okay and that she wasn't going to fall out, I pulled her to the post box and around the back alleys for a good half hour or so. She also helped me shovel snow for about half an hour, which made it so much more enjoyable and challenging. :o) (she thought making a pile of snow in the middle of the walk was very cool.)
"A-eeeeiiiiiiii." Translation: "this stroller is stuck Mommy, and I'm pretty sure it needs to be fixed IMMEDIATELY!" :o)
And this would be Joy trying to get into the bathtub on her own...
...Which feat she attempts every time the bath water runs. She's grown enough now, she can actually get her heel up over the edge, and if she could get enough of a bounce on one foot, I'm sure she'd actually get herself into the tub!!! Thankfully, she hasn't mastered that, yet!
As I was nearing the end of our preparations for our Collin Christmas (wrapping gifts, laundry, cleaning house, laundry, cooking, and oh yeah, did I mention - laundry) I was needing a diversion for the kiddos so I could finish up on time.
Christmas gift to the rescue!!!
This particular gift, (from their great-grandparents, the Cote's) had been tucked away in our basement since the late spring when Granny and Grampi had visited us. I guess Gran saw it in a Christian bookstore one time when she was shopping and thought it would be a great gift for the kids. So, she brought it, wrapped and all, when they were here on a visit, and told me it was there for the girls for Christmas. :o)
What is it Hope?
A Noah's Ark set! Hurray! A perfect gift for little-miss-immagination. And it did keep her busy, while Joy kept me busy and helped me finish up the packing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colorado Pt 8, Time to return home

All good things must come to an end, so they say. Here's the pics of our last days in Denver. 
Josh had a very blessed time in Ireland, and returned home to us Thursday evening (Dec 8th.) The girls were happy to have their Daddy back, especially Hope, who ran across the floor with open arms calling out "Daddy, Daddy, you came back!" 
Joy somehow got Amy's purse, and was carrying it around like a big girl out shopping. :)

Around the corner she goes... 
Cuddles with Auntie Mello on our last day in Denver. 

The kids had a Living History Christmas party on Friday night, so we finally got to see them all dressed up in their amazing, homemade costumes. 
 Sir Andrew... I couldn't get over how TALL that outfit made him look. :o) Of course, he is tall, I think the tallest of the bunch, but the outfit accented it greatly. I think it's the long black socks that do it. :o)

 Sir William and Sir Andrew heading down the stairs to see what was detaining Sir Joseph. And... Andrew heading out the door with his supper - two bananas and six mozzarella sticks in his pocket, of which he said he would only eat three and share the rest!
 Joseph the dapper, finally ready to go. :o) (He had just got home from work and had to change quick...)
No this is not a joke, but yes it is hilarious! Mom really was talking on her cell phone and on the house phone at the same time. I think Christy was on one line and one of the kids who had just left was on the other. Cracked all of us up nonetheless.
Walking that eager Albert boy around.
 The girls brought out beads and pipe cleaners the last day we were there, and Hope could not get enough of them! She played and created with them for probably 3 hrs that day.
 Grandma and her girls at the Denver airport. Those are real poinsettias forming that tree and the other tree you see in the background. 
 Trying to get a good shot of Uncle Joe in there too, but Hope was busy sharing her grapes with him so no luck. :o)
 And, this is us, at the end of our wonderful stay in Colorado. Going through security at the airport this time I learned (after the fact) that you no longer have to take off kids shoes. At least not until they're 12. Yay! That's automatically four less items we have to handle. :o)

It was such a blessed time of being together. Having Christmas right around the corner helped the goodbyes to not be as hard. Thank you Lord, for the blessing of family that accepts us and lets us walk alongside them in their journeys! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Colorado Pt 7, Happy Birthday Joy

Joy's first birthday came while her Daddy was still away in Ireland. But we still found fun things to do, so here's the day in pictures for all the family that wasn't with us. :o)
We started the day out by going to Auntie Christy's for tea and playtime with cousin Albert.
A double version of "doo-bi-dee-doo."
Albert wasn't into giggling s o much, but Joy sure was.
Watch out folks...
She's on her feet and there's no stopping her now.
Albert loves to wave his arms and legs quite rapidly while lying on the floor. :)
Building towers with Albert's blocks. Joy watches and waits till you have about 5 blocks stacked up and then happily knocks them over. :)
The birthday girl and her sister, hamming it up at the supper table. 

Joy clapped her hands as we finished singing Happy Birthday to her.
Uncle Willi held the Joy-Belle, since Daddy was away.
We didn't have to tell her what to do!

Her very own baby doll, from her big sister Hope.
Joy always wants to play with Hopey's doll, so we thought that would be a good gift for Hope to give Joy. :)
Decided she wanted to sit on Auntie Melody's lap.
"Foam letters!! Yay. These must be for chewing on, right?"
"Tissue paper... YAY!"

Melody gave her this sweet Beatrix Potter set place setting. Sooo pretty!
More cuddles for her dolly. Joy was being so cute that night!

Little multi-tasker!
Thanks for the smiles, Joy!
Joy had fun swinging her Rice Krispie treat around like a drumstick.

These are two short videos of Joy-Belle walking. Not the best, but among the first. :)