Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas

We didn't put up a tree this year, but we put out our traditional nativity scene. We put it in our front picture window/window seat surrounded by white lights.
When I bought this carved olive wood nativity set in Jerusalem, I dreamed of my future child treasuring it and loving to see it come out each year as a special tradition. So when Joseph hugged each piece as I unwrapped it and explained it to him, I was in heaven. However, about five minutes after this sweet scene that I snapped a picture of, Joseph was turning a little more rough with the pieces--breaking the staff one of the shepherds holds.
Daddy likes to dress Joseph in red and green for Church during Christmas.

Let it Snow!

Our first snow of the year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I'll Be Home for Christmas!

Christmas in my house growing up was always a major, month long event. Maybe it began when we were in elementary school and we were in year-round school. While we only had a three week break in summer, we had the whole month of December off. So we filled the month with Christmas traditions--everything from making gingerbread houses to seeing the children's Christmas Marionette show to making a construction paper countdown chain. All of it became tradition in the most serious "Fiddler on the Roof" sense of the word. I remember driving home from Thanksgiving in Tennessee and scheduling all of our Christmas activities on a calendar. My Mom loves Christmas. She loves the magic, the surprises, the love and giving, the tradition. And after spending a Christmas season with my Mom, I'm not sure it is possible to not love Christmas.

Now that I'm older and married with my own child, I still love Christmas. It is the one thing that is just as fun for me as an adult as it was when I was a child. I haven't learned to create the atmosphere Mom has at her house, but I certainly look forward to going there for Christmas. In fact, I can't wait:

  • Watching old Christmas movies like White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn ...

  • Driving around looking at Christmas lights

  • Whispering about what surprise we have gotten for someone

  • Stressfully fun trips to the store to find the perfect gift

  • Sitting by the Christmas tree all lit at night

  • Arguing about which baked goods are "tradition" (it is a joke at our house if you do it once, it is tradition)

  • Making and eating too many baked goodies

  • Caroling with the family on Christmas Eve

  • Playing Christmas songs on the piano (I used to have a piano teacher who would start me practicing on Christmas songs in October; now the only time I play the piano is when I visit Missouri)

  • Candle lit Christmas Eve dinner

  • Christmas morning--lining up youngest to oldest and singing "Jingle Bells" as we walk into the living room

They've already done all the decorating before we get there this year. And we missed the annual trip to Pearidge Christmas tree farm http://www.pearidgeforest.com/ to cut down the Christmas tree, sit on Santa's lap and drink hot chocolate. And of course, the annual argument about which tree to choose. But I'm comforted in knowing that Hannah will make sure the traditions continue! While I'm quite happy with my small family of one child, I have to admit at Christmas, there is nothing like a big family!

I think Joseph might have some Moore genes in him, afterall. If I do something once, to him it is tradition. I bought a box of clementine oranges last week. When I opened the box, I sat down on a bucket near our trash can to peel it. Then I gave Joseph pieces. After that he kept pointing to the clementines on the counter. But he wouldn't let me peel it anywhere. I had to sit on the same bucket right by the trashcan. If I forgot, he patted the bucket and made noise . So until we're home for Christmas, I'll be busy with clementine traditions with Joseph!

Can you see us trying to contain this wiggly, happy boy?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

We spent Thanksgiving in the Outer Banks, North Carolina at Aunt Joyce and Uncle Dave's beach home with Marc's side of the family. Joseph absolutely had the time of his life... Swimming in the Hoggan's heated pool

Posing with Aunt Rachel. Joseph LOVES Aunt Rachel and has taken to calling her "Ch"

Another posed "smile" for the camera. Joseph is playing with golf balls on the Hoggan's mini golf course

Joseph and Grandma on the beach Thanksgiving Day

When you have a 20 month old like Joseph, you enjoy "moon sets" at 6 am instead of sunsets. Isn't this moon over the water beautiful?

November 21-24, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank you!

On Saturday Joseph and I joined thousands of other Hokies to spell out this thank you message to the world for their love and support following tragedy last April. They took pictures from airplane, helicopter and satellite while we stood on spray painted lines on the drill field. Joseph and I were part of the "N", I think. I can't quite remember. Joseph loved the band playing, the helicopters overhead, and the dogs that many people brought for the event.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mr. Bear Injured

Mr. Bear lost an eye. Joseph has been quite disturbed. Everytime he sees him, he points to where the eye should be and starts whimpering with a very pained facial expression. I try to tell him Mr. Bear will be okay, that we'll fix his eye, that maybe Mr. Bear needs a hug. After an unsuccessful trip to the craft store to find a replacement eye, Marc found the eye in the car. However, it came out again during the night. We'll try super glue, then it may have to be an eye patch. Mr. Bear might become Captain Bear the Pirate.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween

Joseph was a cat for Halloween. He didn't say "Trick or Treat," but instead "Meow" which sounds more like "mow." Very, very cute. We went trick or treating in downtown Blacksburg with lots of other children on Halloween afternoon. I got to go in a lot of stores I've never been before, and the shopkeepers loved my little cat. The vegetarian restaraunt gave cookies, the theater gave popcorn and most everyone else gave candy. Joseph's favorite were suckers. He got the hang of it quickly--it is amazing how smart kids are! Then we met Marc so he could take Joseph to his evening class to show off.
Joseph playing in the backyard leaves with his costume on
Maybe a little better view of the tail

Asheville, North Carolina

Over the weekend we took a trip to North Carolina. Marc and Joseph dropped me off with my wonderful college friends. We toured the Biltmore Estate, stayed up late talking and laughing and just had the perfect girls weekend! Joseph and Marc went off to have a few adventures of their own. I enjoyed getting to introduce Joseph to my friends.

Marc and Joseph went along Blue Ridge Parkway at this perfect time of year for fall scenery. Here they are at almost the top of Mt. Mitchell.

Saturday night they camped in the car. They took out the seats (the backseat folds down) and put a mattress on the floor of the mini van. They were able to stay warm enough--and it looks like Joseph had a fabulous time!

Marc said it was a beautiful area.

And that Joseph was most interested in the puddles. . .

October 27. 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Loving Life

The weather was beautiful this weekend. The trees have changed colors and are absolutely stunning. We enjoyed our time in the car soaking in the scenery.

Joseph enjoyed his time in the car too. In this picture he was playing--talking, singing under the blanket.
But he didn't want to be gone from the crowd for too long.

Even better than the car ride for Joseph was getting lots of attention from Aunt Rachel (and Bryan, too). Joseph was quite sad when they had to leave.

October 21, 2007


Joseph had a great time playing with Aunt Rachel and Bryan in the backyard

Look at this face! Before Rachel and Bryan arrived on Friday, Joseph took a bad fall and got a fat, bloody lip. Since Joseph never slows down, he re-opened the wound several more times during the weekend. Four days later and we're still hoping for a blood-free day!

Bridge Day

At the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County, West Virginia they have an annual "Bridge Day" celebration. The bridge is the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere with a 1,700 foot span. It is the second highest bridge in the United States at 876 feet. Each year they close the bridge to vehicle traffic and open it to pedestrians--and have an extreme sports extravaganza. People can parachute, bungee, etc. off of the bridge.

Last Saturday, Rachel and Bryan were visiting us from DC and we took the trip to West Virginia to join masses of people at Bridge Day.

This is the platform at the edge of the bridge from which the parachuters jump.

This is what is below them when they jump.

We joined the spectators in watching these amazing feats!

October 20, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hanging Out

We just had a great time with my mom and Hannah here. It was fun to just hang out and talk.
Here are a few pictures of everday life.

Joseph reading one of his favorite books.
Joseph in his new train pajamas (thanks Grandma) watching out the window. Joseph watches Dad leave in the mornings from our front window and waves as he rides by on his bike. Speaking of trains, don't forget to ask Joseph what does a train sound like. He does a great "Woo, Woo!"

We took Grandma to our library so Joseph could show her the great activity center they have. Grandma found a book that Joseph can't seem to get enough of. It is a word book--with nouns and the picture, verbs and the picture, etc. Here is a picture of Joseph and Grandma reading this book.

Marc was glad to have a willing tandem partner. He got both Hannah and my mom to take tandem bike rides with him.

We also took Grandma and Hannah to the park. As I've mentioned before, we live near an elementary school that has a playground. Everytime we pass it, Joseph squeals--and keeps squealing at least until you acknowledge that you, too, see the playground. Grandma felt badly for Joseph that we always kept on driving past the playground so we went to the "Caboose Park." It has a real Caboose--and lots of slides that Joseph enjoys.

In regard to squealing, Joseph also squeals when he sees our house upon returning from a walk or ride, when he sees our car after coming out of a store. He barks when he sees a dog; he tries to say bus "B" when he sees a bus, truck "Tu" when he sees a truck. All of these things he will say very emphatically until you respond. And my personal favorite, "Bease?" in his husky voice when he is trying to say please. How can you turn the kid down?

Cascade Falls

On Saturday morning we hiked to Cascade Falls. It was a beautiful (and steep) hike along a rocky stream.
Marc and Joseph stop along the trail to throw rocks in the stream and wait for Hannah, Grandma and me who were trailing behind.
Toward the end of the hike, Joseph didn't want to be in the backpack carrier anymore so Marc carried him on his shoulders. In this picture you see Hannah beside Marc and Joseph.

Joseph escaped and was ready to keep on going. . .

Pumpkin Patch

We visited a Pumpkin Patch, which we found out was really open to school groups that day. We were glad we didn't know it until after we'd gotten to see the animals. We couldn't get a pumpkin or go on the hayride, but Joseph didn't even know the difference.
Grandma helping Joseph pet the horse. Grandma is definitely braver than I am.

Joseph loved seeing the animals--chickens, pigs, turkey, sheep and little lambs, cows, a donkey, a horse . . . and perfect timing because he has really gotten into singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" lately.

October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Floyd Country Store

With Grandma and Hannah here we had all kinds of fun adventures including Joseph getting to stay up way past bedtime to go to the Friday Night Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store. In neighboring Floyd County, there is a country store that has local bands play on Friday nights. Both locals and tourists travel to the store for a great night of music, dancing, and old fashioned ice cream. The place was packed--standing room only. Joseph had a great time--you should see his clogging moves.

There were also bands playing outside in a couple different locations. Marc snapped a picture of us dancing to one of the outside bands.
October 5, 2007

Joseph loves Aunt Hannah!

Aunt Hannah and Grandma came from Missouri to visit us! We had a wonderful week. Just a day before they arrived, Joseph fell face first into some brick pavers at the bottom of a few steps and scraped up his eye. You can see it a little bit in this adorable picture of Hannah reading to Joseph. He loved climbing ito Hannah's lap for a good book. I think they are reading Corduroy's Busy Street in this picture.

Joseph was so attached to Aunt Hannah. One day after Joseph got up from his nap, he was a little sad. I brought him downstairs and he immediately jumped from my arms and ran to Hannah who was sitting on the floor. He hugged her around the neck for probably 30 seconds solid--a record for Joseph.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Homecoming Parade

We went to the Virginia Tech Homecoming Parade. It wasn't quite a BYU parade--and we missed marching with the BYU Sailing Club, but all in all, it was a fun Saturday morning. Our favorites were the bands-- school marching band, military bands, and the alumni band--which plays at all home games, too. Marc and I wish we had been part of a marching band.

September 29, 2007