Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a wonderful week. We're looking forward to fun family festivities and to contemplating more why Jesus came to be born.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Shutterfly Cards!

I LOVE Christmas cards!

Living in different cities for the past 7 years, we've accumulated friends who live all over the country. A lot of these friends are very dear to us as they have been our family away from family, and have been through some major life experiences with us. So, when Christmas time rolls around, we really enjoy getting Christmas cards with pictures, letters and updates on people's lives. To me, the fact that someone would spend the time and effort to send us a card communicates love!

AND, has some really cute cards. Such as their Photo Christmas cards. I think its a great idea to have the card and photo be one. Then you can artistically arrange your pictures and choose a color and message that suit you. I think my favorite Christmas card right now is this one.

I have used Shutterfly for several things in the past. Every year, I use Shutterfly to make wall calendars for grandparents and great-grandparents. The photos are really easy to upload, and arrange on the calendar. I also have made a photo book of our family for 2008 (and plan to for 2009 and 2010 once I get my act together!).

I also find that Shutterfly often has great sales and free shipping. So, not only am I getting top of the line photos, but good deals on them. Their layouts and backgrounds make it very simple to use. They even have a feature that will fill in the calendar or book for you once you have uploaded your pictures. Amazing!

Did you know that Shutterfly is having an amazing promotion right now on their cards? Check it out here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Anna's Birthday - #2

Anna turned 2 on the 14th. This little girl has really blossomed over the past few months. She is silly and knows just how to make us all giggle if she wants to. She is talking lots. She is playing a lot with her sister - usually baby nursery - Anna's the baby and Hope gets to be in charge, of course. She is running well and fast! She loves to read Curious George books. And she's in the 90th percentile for height. We love her so much! She is also sleeping till about 8:30 or 9 everyday which is awesome. Here are some pictures from her special day (they are out of order, sorry):

A picture with Sissy while eating her cake.

Getting ready to blow out her candles on her "pink cake." Every time I would ask her what kind of cake she would like she said "pink." She was really excited about her pink cake.

A picture with her new baby doll. She has named her Baby A, or "new baby" for now.

Opening gifts.

Birthday morning. Checking out New Baby's tights.

Trying to open gifts.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Halloween - A Bit Late

We had a fun family Halloween. We (the girls) got dressed up, when trick or treating around the neighborhood, got $2 burritos at Chipotle, ate caramel apples, carved our pumpkin and watched the World Series. Fun was had by all.

The girls with out "happy" pumpkin.

Anna came right in the door and started examining her candy.

A Horsey and a Fairy Princess standing.

A Horsey and a Fairy Princess sitting.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grammy's Visit

This post has been a long time in coming! We had a WONDERFUL visit with my mom. She was able to come for 10 whole days. She was the last of the summer visitors, and it was great. Mark was out of town for some of it, so we had lots of girl time. The girls had so much quality time with Grammy - it was wonderful! Grammy read books, played games, dressed dolls, went to the park, and went on walks with the girls... and they soaked it up! And mom and I had lots of time talking and just being together. Here are some pictures.

Mom and the girls outside collecting rain during a thunderstorm. They don't get those in Southern California!

Lots of sweet reading time!

We went to pick apples one day, but just ended up going on a hay ride and playing in the corn maze and play ground. It was fun.

We went to Old World Wisconsin which is a town set up like the time period of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Here's a picture of us in the blacksmith's shop where he made the girls a horseshoe. They had no idea what was going on that day, but were troopers :)

Color time with Grammy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We're Having a Baby!

I'm about 12 weeks along now! The official due date is June 4th, but we'll be scheduled a week earlier in late May. It seems so far away when I think about the snow still needed to come, melt and the ground to thaw. We're happy and amazed that a person is growing inside of me. It never gets old.

How am I feeling? Yucky half the week. The other half mostly fine. Today is a yucky day. But, my energy level is decent so I am very thankful for that.

Gender? Can't decide. Mark wants to find out, but will lovingly wait to find out if that's what I really want. I think it'd be fun to experience finding out the gender at birth, but with a C-section, I'm not so sure it will be what I'm imagining. So, we'll see. That ultrasound will be in January.

The Girls? So excited. Hope often asks, "How big is the baby now?" And she is very interested in how the baby is growing, if it can hear yet, and of course taking care the baby after birth. And every time the baby is mentioned Anna says with a big smile, "Baby? Mommy? Hold? Sing? Out?"

Me? I'm looking forward to another sweet baby. I'm looking forward to the Lord's grace being shown in greater ways by helping us through the adjustments. I'm looking forward to teaching this baby about our great God, His love, the bigness of the world, and loving others. And I'm looking forward to how God will stretch me and continue His work in my heart of showing me my sin and helping me to become more like Jesus.

And, I'll proudly say I'm already quite comfortable in my maternity pants. I think by your fourth, your tummy just knows what to do ;)

Thanks for being on the journey with us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Anna

Happy Birthday, Anna
I'd sing a thousand times
To make you smile or make you laugh
I'll even try some rhymes.

Happy Birthday, Anna
I’ll sing it to your face
And as I do I’ll think of you
God’s little gift of grace.

Happy Birthday, Anna,
I hope you sing along
Cause when you smile and when you sing
There is no better song.

Happy Birthday, Anna
You’re 2 today not 1
We’re gonna celebrate you all this day
We’re gonna have some fun.

Happy Birthday, Anna
How’d you get so old?
One day you’ll leave, one day you’ll go
But my heart you’ll always hold.

Happy Birthday, Anna
That day is far away
So just forget I mentioned it
Let’s dance and read and play!

Happy Birthday, Anna
Your Daddy is so proud
That’s why I brag that’s why I laugh
That’s why this blog’s allowed.

Happy Birthday, Anna
Your Daddy loves you so
That’s why my hugs and why my prayers
You never will outgrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You have to hear this....

I met Heath Lambert when we lived in Louisville. He had been an associate pastor at our church before I served there. He was a tremendous encouragement to me. I knew he had been saved through the witness of that church. I knew that he was he was a strong Christian.

But tonight I heard the story of his childhood and his salvation for the first time. It is one of the most remarkable stories I have ever heard. You should listen to his story. He begins by saying, “Paullette Jamison was my mother… She died a couple of months ago… I hated her. I hated her.” Listen to how God turned his hate into love and how he transformed both Heath and his Mom in the process.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sherry

Oh, Happy birthday
Is what I would say to Sherry
If I could see her

We met 10 years past
In a CBU dorm room
She was so quiet

Turns out we were wrong
Her laugh could wake the roosters
And its contagious

Our friendship has history
We could create a road map
And it would be long

I don't see her often
But she's a friend for always
Never far from mind

When I was hurting
She was there one week later
With tissues in hand

She loves my babies
And all children everywhere
Deeply cares for others

She loves to read books
And teach difficult children
She has an impact

Her hurts are my hurts
Her triumphs make me smile
Thankful for this friend

Thanks to CBU
For placing me with Sherry
And many late night talks

Here's to 10 more years
Whatever they may bring us
Hope your day is special

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Go Giants!

We've been watching a lot of baseball lately. Mark's been following the Giants since he was 5. Its a Rogers' family thing. I've been following the Giants (kind of, through Mark) since 2002 when Mark and I started dating. Thankfully they went to the World Series that year, so it was easy to jump on the band wagon. Here they are again at the World Series in 2010. I like that we have a family team, and that its baseball. I'm glad I played softball for so long so that I understand what's going on and can participate. We're teaching the girls, too.

Here they are last night before game 1, ready to go.

Hope and Mark went to a game at Wrigley a month ago when the Giants were in town. She absolutely loves it. This was the first time she learned how to crack open her own peanuts.

Daddy and Hope.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grace Christian Academy

To Homeschool, or not to Homeschool... that is the question.

We're still learning a lot and looking into this possible endeavor. One way we are doing so, is by having Hope go to Grace Christian Academy - a homeschool coop of sorts - put together by a group of people from our church. She goes every Thursday afternoon, for story time and then craft/snack time (and there's some play in there, too). She loves it. I'm responsible for the craft time, so its fun to see her interact with her little friends (14 of them), and we get a little Hopey/Mommy date out of it. A nice perk of having a husband who works from home 3 days a week is home during Anna's nap time so we can go.

Here we are on her first day of "school." :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Kevin Rogers Family Visit

We had all three sets of the the Rogers' family visit this summer. All three were a blast. We're so thankful they all came! Kevin and Mark did some home repair stuff (which was so helpful), we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, played around in Chicago, and spent some time on the beach of Lake Geneva. I married into a beautiful family, for sure. And I have great nephews, who did well in a house of baby dolls, strollers, and little people.

Anna and Auntie Jackie.

The cousins playing in the backyard.

Hehe - TRYING so hard to get a picture of the cousins after church. I think its still framable.

Making sand castles at Lake Geneva. Its a lake in Wisconsin that many people in the area vacation at.

Anna and Uncle Kevin going to the park.

Playing at the "Bean" in downtown Chicago.

A sweet picture of cousins.

There was a "Tall Ships" exhibit at Navy Pier, so we went. The boys really enjoyed it.

Jackie swooning over Elvis at our 50's McDonalds.

These boys and their dad love licorice.

Ice cream at McDonalds.

Another picture at the Tall Ships exhibit.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Usually Like To Keep Things Updated On the Blog, But...

We've just been having a busy Fall! Busy, but good. I usually don't like to use "busy" as an excuse for anything, but I guess its okay for blogging.

We've added some commitments in the last couple of months and Mark's been working on his dissertation proposal. Which by the way, he passed his dissertation proposal hearing this last Thursday. Hurray! Now, he can formally begin his dissertation. The last hurdle in this schooling journey (and the biggest). He's writing on Edward Dorr Griffin. Never heard of him? Then you'll have to buy the book.... :)

I love being at home with the girls, and have really been trying to make the most of their waking hours. Hope's learning lots about letters and Anna's been learning a lot of new words and putting two or three together. They are growing in beauty, inside and out. That little Anna is a hoot.

I hope to set up some picture posts for later this week. I know you've all been waiting on the edge of your seats. :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Humid Mid-West

This is what the bugs did to us this summer! I know it looks horrible. Thankfully the swelling went down pretty quickly. This happened at 10 in the morning, while I was filling the pool for some swimming. Needless to say, we quickly went inside and didn't go swimming. We are very thankful that the mosquitoes have decided to go away until next summer, and we can now go outside again without taking a bath in bug spray.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Little One at 22 months

Our sweet little Anna is cuter than ever! She'll say almost anything now, one word at a time. She LOVES her sister and wants to do everything she does. Thankfully, she also really loves her mama and daddy. One of her favorite words is "no," even when its not appropriate. She likes to sweep with the big broom, take her babies on walks, ride in the stroller, eat, play in the sandbox, read, watch 5 minutes of tv at a time, and do anything that Hope is doing. I lover her in pigtails. She is such a sweet baby girl!

Miss Amy and Miss Vicki's Visit

In August, our sweet friends Amy and Vicki came up to visit from Kentucky. We are so blessed to have friends who will travel to visit! It was a short and sweet trip. We did a little shopping, lots of talking and catching up, went to church, and of course had some Giordano's pizza. We are thankful for Amy and Vicki and are always struck by the servants that each of them are in their respective families, in their church and to everyone around them. Thanks for coming to visit, ladies!

Vicki, Amy and the girls.

Hope and Amy.

The girls and Amy. Sweet Anna has a hard time with pictures sometimes.


Vicki and Hopey playing and cuddling.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Papa and Nannie's Visit!

Last month Papa and Nannie came to visit! It was a GREAT 9 day visit! We saw and did lots, and just enjoyed a lot of fun times together. Papa helped us weed... a lot!! It turns out that Papa enjoys weeding, so he helped us to fully weed 2 plots and then we were also able to plant tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, watermelon, peppers, and pumpkin. It was so great to get it all done and we certainly wouldn't have been able to do it without their help! Papa, Nannie, Mark and Hope got to go out and see fireworks on the 4th and they had a great time. Mark and I also got to go downtown, just the 2 of us, for about 36 hours and we had so much fun! But, that's for another post. Thank you so much for coming, Nannie and Papa! We love you, and we made many great memories with you. Here are some of our favorite pictures with Nannie and Papa:

Nannie and the girls at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Nannie loves flowers.

In Target with Nannie after Hope's first ballet class. Daddy and Papa went to a Giants/Brewers game in Milwaukee.

Hopey playing outside with Papa and Nannie.

Apparently we really love Cracker Barrel! Actually, it is one of Nannie's favorite restaurants. We went there twice while they were here!

Mark and his dad are two peas in a pod. In the evenings, if there was a Giants game on, they had it on the computer. And I'm so glad they had each other to talk over the ins and outs of the Giants :)

Decorating the Rogers Family Apple Pie with Nannie.

Nannie brought several crafts to do with the girls. They made some 4th of July themed necklaces that were a hit.

This picture is funny because it is often how Anna looks. Thankfully she is figuring out how to push the hair out of her face, but most of the time she just won't keep a bow (or hair tie) in. So sad for her bow-making Mom. :) And, I'm not about to cut it, yet.

Reading with Nannie.

We took a trip downtown one day to Navy Pier.

The girls got to ride on the Thomas train on the pier.

Papa and Anna at Ghiradelli's for ice cream.

Nannie and Hope at the American Girl store. She had fun showing Nannie and Papa around.

We took a little boat ride off the pier along the Chicago skyline. It was a beautiful day!


Getting the plants ready.

Nannie and Hopey :)

Papa and Hopey.