Monday, November 23, 2009

A Thankful Heart

I love Thanksgiving for the positive aspect of the holiday. Everyone has lots to be thankful for, especially me and my family. I try to have a thankful heart all year round, though I am not always successful when I get caught up all in myself. Here are some of the things I am thankful for this year.

I am thankful for my family. My immediate family- Derek and Jackson make me very happy, who love and support me. My Dad who has worked, worked, and worked on my house and who still answers the phone, even when it's the sixth time I've called on one day. My mom who also answers multiple phone calls daily and who also offers to watch Jackson just because. My in-laws who let us live with them and for the time when I was having a tough week, I came home from Minnesota to house that was all clean and ready to move in because they wanted to make it feel home-y. And for the fact that all of my family gets along so well with each other. We are SO blessed in that.

Our friends have been truly wonderful to us this year. Hundreds of hours of labor on our house for exchange for a meal here and there. Often times, I hardly had time to even ask for help because they had already offered and/or used the key to work when we weren't even here. We have the type of friends that when we ask for an inch, they give us a mile- every time. Not only with our house... but just in support, encouragement, and friendship have we been blessed.

We love our church. Despite being a member for just about three years, I feel that I have been a part of this family for a lifetime. The foundation, the people, the encouragement. I have enjoyed the Tea for Three activities and getting to know more and more ladies in our church. Our Sunday School class is a blessing and I am so proud of them. Wednesday evenings are my favorite- I love the ladies ministry!

With several friends and acquaintances deployed at this time, I cannot say enough how thankful that I am for our country. I am thankful for the Constitution that we fight to uphold. I am thankful for a President and for the democracy our county has that allows citizens to make a choice.

I am so thankful to be in school- for the opportunity and for the support from the people around me. I love studying psychology. I am thankful for the gifts of understanding people and am so eager to be a counselor. And this semester I am particularly thankful for that my professor agrees that I have a talent.

I love my job. Nothing is greater than to be able to stay home with Jackson and I love having David around. Everything is happy in their world and it is such a blessing to be loved by children- with hugs, and smiles, and giggles. I enjoy watching Jackson grow and move on to bigger and better things each day- to actually get to read him books, while he squeals at the animals on the pages. It is so exciting to hear David count the Ten Friendly Frogs, even if it's the fifth time in one day and nothing is more entertaining than to hear him lecture the cat when she isn't nice ("Mia, it is not nice to hit. Do you understand me? Now you say, 'Yes, Ma'am'.").

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jackson and his toys

We got some video clips of Jackson playing earlier this week. He is really starting to play with toys a lot- pushing the buttons, dancing to the music, and tackling a giant Pooh Bear. But regardless of what he is playing with, he always pauses to make sure we are watching!

Jackson and his airplane

Jackson and his penguin

Jackson and his piggy bank

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jackson's 1st Birthday

The last week of October marked Jackson's birthday week and much celebrating took place. Despite the fact that it's now the middle of November, I am still a little bit in denial that my baby has become a toddler and that he is officially one year old.

Jackson's first birthday picture

Jackson's birthday party was on the Saturday the 24th and was in our new house in the basement, even though the upstairs was still a major construction area. It was kind of a last minute plan because when we first starting thinking about his party, we had no idea what shape our house would be in. We swept up the basement, put down a rug, and brought our little playground inside and I think it went nicely. Mom and I (but mostly Mom) made food and it was yummy! We had sandwiches, fruit, spinach dip, chips, some veggies, and of course- a cake! My friend Tammy has a special talent for making cakes and she did a FABULOUS job.

The cake- half chocolate, half fun-fetti- Delicious!

Jackson eats his cake

Just a little big messy!

Jackson had several friends come to the party and he had fun and of course grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles joined the party too! Linda and Forrest got him a kid broom to appease his desire to carry the big broom around the entire house. Grandpa Duff got Jackson this little big that dances, sings, and squeals and needless to say all of the kids love it. Jackson got several other gifts and he plays with them all, though his favorite thing is get to play with the 'big kids'!

Yum- a basketball!

Jackson and I went up to Kearney on his actual birthday and went to Chick-fil-a for lunch with Grandpa. They have a playplace that is more suited for the toddler and Jackson always enjoys climbing and going down the slide. The manager at the restaurant gave Jackson a balloon and Jackson carried that thing around as if his life depended on it-- up the stairs, through the tunnel, down the slide, even when he fell asleep in the car. Both Jackson and Grandpa had a good time.

Jackson and Grandpa

He sure loved that balloon!

Since Jackson's birthday was on a Wednesday, we planned to have a mini celebration after church with cookies and edible markers. The kids all decorated some cookies and Jackson just squealed in delight of having the 'big kids' around once again. Not only is Jackson loved and adored by all of our family friends, he also have a fan club from kids ranging from age 2 up to the 7th graders at church- especially our Sunday school students. In fact, we are having a Sunday School party tomorrow and the 4-5th graders have insisted on Jackson being present.

Decorating cookies

Happy Baby!

These boys love each other-
Grant and Jackson

And can't forget to mention that Jackson was just so excited about his birthday, that he was up several times in the night. We were awake from 3:30-5:00 all because Jackson wanted a banana and it took us that long to figure out what he wanted. We are so blessed to have Jackson in our lives and also for our friends and family who love him so much! And here is a video I made for Jackson's birthday. It is kind of long, but it's really cool. And for more birthday pictures CLICK HERE.


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