Snow Days!!

We got to spend a few days in the White Mountains and enjoy the beauty of the snow. James seemed to like it, but really liked eating it more than anything else. Uncle Tony, Trent and Troy were able to join us as well. We LOVE snow days!!!

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Baby’s First Christmas

Here are just a few (okay maybe way too many) pictures to show you what our Christmas celebrations have looked like this year. Enjoy. Merry Christmas Everyone! Hope it was filled with His unending JOY!!!

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Celebrating with Grandma Marty who came into town to see sweet baby James.

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My boys napping.

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Loved seeing Ben and Megan for Ben’s birthday!!

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James loves his Granny!

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First Christmas Eve family photo.

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My dad reading Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus and The Night Before Christmas a long tradition in our family.

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James’ first March : ) Another family tradition.

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Family photo post march.

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James with Ariana and Elena.

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Santa Claus came!!!

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He loves his new hat that Santa brought him.

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Gahh those eyes! Melt me every time.

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Plowing through the presents.

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Inspecting the windup Santa.

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James’ favorite gift to play with, the clementines at the bottom of his stocking.

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He even tried to eat them whole. Love this face.

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All tuckered out.

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LOVE my family! But missing my brother for sure! Hope to see him soon!

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Granny and Grandpa got James a Radio Flyer Wagon! Lucky little boy!

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James and Uncle PJ!

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James and Auntie Princess and Uncle Scotty.

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Boys will be boys.

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Nerf gun wars.

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I was secretly hoping that James would get one of these for Christmas. Thanks Auntie Amy!!

‘Tis the Season

Well the Christmas season is in full blast around our house and here are just a few reasons why….

1. Decorating for Christmas with the neighbors using tall bucket trucks to deck out the super tall pine trees in our neighborhood.

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Our house all lit up. Didn’t get to the display this year but we will have a lot more time to prepare for next year!

2. Birthday celebrations for me with my family.

3. Walking through Winterhaven with a large group of our friends and having them all over for hot cocoa and treats afterwards. BTW if you are walking through just text us and we will supply you with some delicious goodies and hot beverages.

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Auntie Ani and James showing off their props.

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A full house= A happy house : )

4. Being invited over to our neighbors for a big family dinner. This is the first time as a married couple (besides our time in Tanzania) where we have met and hung out with multiple neighbors. WE LOVE IT!!!

5. Hot tubbing in the middle of December. I LOVE ARIZONA WINTERS!!! Since I will be missing my fourth season of snow boarding, (I don’t want to talk about it! Mark my words I will be out there next year!), we decided to pretend as if we had finished a long day of boarding, instead we watched the Art of Flight a sweet video capturing some of the world’s best snowboarders pushing the limits of boarding, and ended the day chillin in the hot tub. Not quite the same but it was fun either way.

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6. Random conversations with my husband including this one. Austin: “One day when we have time to be come Country stars (Never mind wanting to become Country stars), I’m going to write a song. It will go like this… (Austin in his most ridiculous singing voice), ‘Our love is SUPER DUTY. Da Na Na Na’ (His rendition of strong guitar chords that follow the catchy chorus line.)” His inspiration was a large F250 SUPER DUTY Ford pickup. He said he figures if there can be a song about a Red Solo Cup that can go big, this song is a sure bet. Life is seriously more fun when conversations such as this fill your day. I LOVE MY HUSBAND.

7. Grandma coming to visit to spoil baby James. Eating a delicious ham dinner and celebrating an early Christmas.

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Unwrapping his very first Christmas present.

8. James celebrating his very first Chanukah as we do every year with our friends.

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9. The coming of Austin’s 30th birthday on the Apocalypse. Poor Austin it’s bad enough that his birthday is on the shortest day of the year each year.

10. Remembering Jesus and soaking up the season of Advent as we celebrate the arrival of the Savior of the world.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7

9 Months

Jamesy is 9 months today. Recent activities include: pulling himself up on coffee tables
and furniture but screaming when he is done being there because he hasn’t figured out how to lower himself yet, wanting to walk everywhere holding on to your hands, feeding himself two fistfuls of food at a time, digging into the shelf of his bib to eat the food that he missed his mouth with the first time around, continuing to find anything minuscule on the floor and shove it in his mouth before we can catch him, finding the loudest possible toy or object to bang or hit, playing peek-a-boo behind the couch laughing hysterically, skipping nap time altogether when there are people to play with which makes his parents tired, being spoiled by aunts, uncles and grandparents who sneak in cookies and pie, helping daddy play the piano, playing cars with the big kids at the nursery at the gym, smiling at everyone who walks by or interacts with him, meeting Santa for the first time completely in awe of his beard and ready for a posed smile instantly (Santa even asked if he could stay all day because he was so good. Poor Santa dealing with all the crying babies.), soaking up all the attention given to him by his loving babysitter Lindsey and wanting to be held all day and be by mommy or daddy’s side at all times. It has been a busy month for sure but James sure brings joy to everyone around him. We are constantly amazed at how much more we fall in love with him and what a fun little boy he is! So grateful for baby James!!

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Enjoying the food the dropped into the shelf of his bib. He is a serious eater.

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Love this sleeping pose.

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Helping decorate for Christmas. Loves ringing the jingle bells.

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Getting messy making a birthday card for Auntie Ani.

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Helping untangle and test the lights at the neighborhood light testing party.

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I love Santa!

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Watching his first lacrosse game. Go ALI! Go CATS!

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I love my boy!!

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A Manly Endeavor

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It doesn’t get more manly than this.

Austin has an old 1977 Jeep CJ5 with a custom roll bar (admit it you’re impressed I knew that!) that is a valued possession of his. Honestly, once I saw that he had a dog, a Jeep and spoke Spanish I knew he was the ONE for me. Needless to say, it is now his main mode of transportation which he enjoys thoroughly despite the fact that it does not have doors and can be either freezing or blistering hot to ride in depending on the weather, and baby James is not able to ride in it. Regardless it is a classic.

Like any classic, it has its fair share of issues that need to be fixed, but not quite as many as some of the old fixer uppers out there. Austin loves reading about whatever the issue is and figuring out what needs to be done. The most recent issue was a crack in the exhaust manifold. Honestly I don’t really know what that means, except for the fact that he couldn’t pass emissions. So he set out to fix the exhaust manifold. Apparently you have to completely take out major parts of the engine fix the issue and then put it all back together. Since you can’t take an engine out by yourself he recruited our dear friend Peter to help out. After two days of exhaust manifold fixing, it was time to give her a try. Much to Austin’s dismay once he got it going there was gas leaking everywhere. After some research he deducted that it had to do with settings in the carburetor.

I would have never been able to get to this point, but if I had I sure would have given up and called someone to come fix the carburetor for me. Not Austin, he searched forums and online jeep help pages, found the parts he needed and purchased them. He then meticulously took apart the carburetor, which has a million tiny pieces and specific settings, cleaned it all, fixed what needed to be fixed and put it all back together. After all that work, he was rewarded with an engine that did not leak gas and a car that passed emissions with flying colors.

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A carburetor in pieces.

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The cleaned and fixed carburetor.

I cannot put into words how impressed I am by my husband. His patience, persistence and ability to solve problems is uncanning. Way to go Tootsie!! You did it!!! Long love the Jeep!