first christmas

We had a great Christmas. We were blessed to be able to spend time with both families. Even though Ryan was sick (grocery store runs for 7-up and juice) and Mason was a little fussy and plugged up (grocery store runs for prune juice) we enjoyed our holiday. But, it's good to be back home:)
Mason impressed us all with his little drummer boy ability and entertained himself at Grampa's and Grammie's with a paper plate and measuring spoon. He even helped open a few presents. He is loving all his new toys!
At Papa's house we whipped out the Christmas costumes. He was a good sport while we all laughed and took pictures. He provided more than enough entertainment.
It was so wonderful to celebrate his first Christmas with friends and family. During all the visiting, opening presents, playing games, and laughing, it's important to remember that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

May you have a wonderful and blessed New Year!


splish splash

Mason loves his baths! It didn't start out that way. He used to cry during the whole thing. Now, if he's crying and you put him in the tub, he actually stops. He's been getting baths a lot more frequently since he started eating more foods. If you can call it eating...I guess most of the food makes it into his mouth.

He recently figured out how to splash in the bathtub. Now that he can sit up by himself, he loves to reach for his toys and splash the water with his hands. If I hold him on his back he kicks his legs in the water. All of this splashing is followed by lots of giggles.

Bathtime has changed from carefully holding this tiny baby in his tiny tub in the sink to full-blown fun in the big tub! And of course it must be followed up by a few pictures in his adorable bathrobe.

One of his first baths.Um, mom and dad, don't you think I'm getting a little big for this thing?

Check out my cute robe and my rubber duckie!

I hope you are all enjoying this holiday season, and taking some time to slow down and enjoy time with family. Take time to ponder all the wonderful blessings God has put in your life.


6 months

Dear Mason,
You have been such a blessing during this trying month. In the midst of sadness, you bring pure, innocent joy. It amazes me that you do not know pain or sin yet in your prescious life. We have watched you grow in so many ways and it's hard to believe you are half a year old.

We have spent a lot of time with family this month and you are loving every minute of being loved on! You are such a people person.
You love going for walks and being outside. And you are already borrowing daddy's clothes!At six months, Mason, you:
~still drool like crazy
~can roll over both ways
~can sit by yourself, leaning forward on your hands to support you
~love to be held upside-down, and be tossed in the air~talk to us all day long
~sleep through the night
~love your spinach
~love when Java licks your hands and feet
~always fall asleep in the car
~love to touch faces and pull on beards (especially daddy's)
~love to sleep on your side
~really like to play in your exersaucer
~get excited when we walk into the room
~love to be around people, especially family

We love you so much, Mason and look forward to the next 6 months. You're going to learn so much.


daddy & mommy


I love you, dad

I've been thinking about this post for the last week and I really just feel like I need to write it before I can move on and post about something happy. My dad passed away last Saturday, after a battle with cancer. I feel like I have a big hole in my life, where my dad used to be. It doesn't even seem real, and I don't even know what to write. Except that God is good. Even in tragedy, He is good. I am thankful that my dad is no longer suffering. I am thankful that since everything happened so quickly at the end, and I couldn't be with my dad, that I was already together with my mom, sister, and the rest of our family. What a support to gather with them in prayer. I am thankful that I took Mason to visit him a few weeks ago. And I am thankful that God is unchanging in a world that is constantly changing. He is my Rock and my Comforter. I miss you dad.


pumpkin pecan pancakes

These pancakes are wonderful! If you can't get enough pumpkin, like me, then you know what I'm talking about. I love baking with pumpkin this time of the year. As I write this, I have pumpkin coffee cake baking in the oven. I'm trying a recipe from my sweet sister-in-law, Caroline. Either way, you should make something pumpkin for a yummy breakfast treat.

Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes
(adapted from Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes on allrecipes.com)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 c. 7 grain cereal (uncooked)
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. pureed pumpkin
3/4 c. plain yogurt (or sour cream)
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chopped pecans
Mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix. Add the pecans. Make pancakes:)
Whipped Topping
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 c. whipping cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. vanilla
Mix together until stiff peaks form. Top pancakes and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.


a room with(out) a view

We've temporarily traded in our beautiful view of the mountains for some lovely plywood and nice, shiny plastic. All the windows on our west wall have been taken out and moved to their new homes in the addition. Also, we have opened up part of the wall to make a doorway to get from the current part of the house to the new part of the house. Ryan has been working so hard (in between his real job, being sick, and helping with Mason) on our house. I love him even more for it. He is awesome. Really. It's a lot harder for me to help him now with Mason, but I just keep going back and forth from Mason to him, helping when I can. And spending time with my two favorite guys.

One of the living room windows, coming out.

The bedroom window: gone!The windows in their new places. We still have 4 more windows to cut in. The south side of the addition. The doors and one window are in the living room, and the far window is one of the new bedrooms.And the opening that goes from our current living room to the new addition. It's pretty crazy, but just another fun adventure!Have a happy day!


5 months

How did another month already pass us by? I must admit though, that I'm looking forward to November. Already this month has filled me with a sense of gratitude for all the blessings in my life. I'm looking forward to spending time with you, Mason, and enjoying every little bit of you. You are growing up too fast:)

We love to watch you play on the floor. You are pretty content most days with a blanket and a toy or two.We still love your sweet expressions.You started eating rice cereal just a few days ago. You seem to like it.

You still drool like crazy...waiting for those teeth:)

You have been helping with dinner a lot lately. A little tired maybe? Please ignore my work clothes. I'm taking a break from working on the addition to make chipotle turkey burgers. Yum!

At 5 months, you

~smile and flirt with anyone that will look at you
~love to touch my face and pull daddy's beard
~are starting to show interest in your books and toys
~are so close to rolling from your back to your tummy, but are pretty content to just lay on your side once you get there
~can sit up with support
~smile every time I kiss your cheek
~laugh all the time
~are very interested in glasses of any drink, you love to reach out and hold them while we are drinking
~take 2 naps a day, one long and one short
~love to watch your doggies and smile when they lick you
~entertain yourself with this high-pitched squeal noise all.day.long (oh, and out in public too!) you sure know how to get people to look at you:)

You are such a sweet, happy baby. We love you so much!


whole wheat pumpkin muffins

Ever since Ryan and I bought our wheat mill and started grinding our own wheat, we have been putting it in everything! I've always been a fan of wheat flour and enjoy using it in baking, but we have a new love for it:) And really, you can never have too much pumpkin this time of year. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

(Adapted from Addictive Pumpkin Muffins on Allrecipes.com)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. chopped walnuts
handful of chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin, and applesauce, until smooth. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir. Add the walnuts and mix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, (I made 18). Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

I love these muffins, they have a good pumpkin-y spice (and they're fairly healthy...no oil/butter, lots of wheat flour). And, it makes enough to share with a friend:)


sweet pea

We had a really fun Halloween. Mason spent most of the day in his ghost shirt from my sweet cousin, Marylin.

He did a good job of entertaining himself while we worked on the house.
Then we headed over to Hillary's house for some yummy food, some trick-or-treaters, and lots of laughs! Mason was a little sweet pea.

The cousins stopped by:)

And he was very sweet, all the way until 7:45 when he promptly fell fast asleep. If he's anything like his mom, he won't be much of a night owl.