Christmas

We had a great Christmas! When the holidays come around, Jason and I are often reminded of and thankful for the fact that we are able to live close to both of our families! We don’t have to sacrifice and get to see everyone! Thanks, Lord!

Our first Christmas was with the Rude family. We enjoyed a dinner, crafts for the kids, presents, and of course great memories! We are a pretty large group, so this year, we rented some space at a local park shelter and were all able to be in the same room at the same time! (Thanks for the pictures, Rachael Hall!)

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The Whole Gang ;)

The Whole Gang 😉

Our next celebration took place on Christmas Eve with the Stopek family. We went out to eat at a very traditional Christmas dining establishment (aka On the Border… 😉 ) Then, we went back to my parent’s house to open gifts and hang out. Celebrating on Christmas Eve is a long standing Stopek tradition.

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On Christmas morning, we were able to sleep in (how many more years can we count on that??) Max, after he finally woke up, helped me complete the homemade cinnamon rolls and we enjoyed those as we opened a few more gifts at home.

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We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is enjoying the new year! We are currently experiencing -8 degree high temps around here, lots of indoor time to make some use out of those gifts!

Our 2014 Christmas Card

Our 2014 Christmas Card

Family Night at the Movies

So for the past couple of months, every time we go to the mall or there is a preview on TV for the movie “Big Hero 6”, Max has been mentioning that he would like to see it. Last night, Jason had the idea to take the whole family as a new pre-holiday tradition.

Max has only been to the theaters once before and it was when he was pretty little. Gwenyth too, has been just once before but was also to small to remember. We had faith that Max would make it through the movie but planned on Gwenyth not making it very far.

This was a surprise to Max and even as we were getting popcorn, I don’t think he was fully aware of the fun he was about to partake in. He was instantly impressed, as was Gwenyth, and they both thoroughly enjoyed the Disney short that preceded the movie; it was about a dog who liked to eat.

Both kids had a small cup of popcorn and as Max sat in his own seat, enthralled with the film, Gwenyth was lounging on my lap, more focused on getting the popcorn into her mouth. Eventually, she did loose interest and we walked the halls for the last third of the movie.

As we were walking about the theater, she made a new friend. She was so pleased to be able to reach and touch the dog on the “Annie” advertisement.

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Overall, the experience was great and we even topped it off with a trip to the Pizza Ranch. Great addition to our holiday lineup. 😉

Max is Three!

Max Robert Rude is three years old today!! I am so thankful and so happy to be his mom. He is such a great guy! Some of my favorite things about Max are:

  • His Kindness: He often shares his favorite toys with his sister, even when he isn’t asked. When she cries, he always wants to know why and tells her that it will be ok.
  • His Sense of Humor: Lately he has really started to comprehend when things are funny or a joke. He will say something and then follow up with, “Just joking, mama.”
  • His Love for His Family: He always wants to be with his family. He will say he wants to go places and then list the people he would like to join us. The way he says his sister’s name is “Gwen-it.” She is often included in this list.
  • His Bravery: He will go into dark basements, help me kill bugs, climb to the top of playgrounds, and likes to meet new friends. I admire him for this!
  • His Desire to Learn: He loves when we work on school work. He gets excited to learn new letters and will point them out throughout the day. He is also doing an AMAZING job MEMORIZING verses for the Awana program at church! He has said every verse so far and when he hears a past verse repeated during church or at Bible study, he will say, “That’s my verse!”
  • His Memory: He remembers everything! He likes to tell stories when we go through photo albums and will always remember where a missing toy is!

There are so many other things that I love about this little guy and even as I am typing different, fun stories are coming to mind. I meant to only include a couple pictures of the last three years, but I couldn’t choose between all of them! Here are some of my favorite moments of being Max’s mom!

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Max on his “birth” day. Those long fingers and sweet old man face had me falling in love the moment I meant him.

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One of my favorites. All his chunk on display.

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This boy still loves a good nap in mom and dad’s bed.

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This picture captures his personality so well. “Dump a bucket of cold water on my head. Its all good.”

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Displaying his “Max” face.

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His first purchase at Target!

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State fans.

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and Drake fans.

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Day Out with Thomas

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We surprised Max on Sunday with a trip to the Boone Railroad to see one of his favorite characters… Thomas! As we got close to the station, we began to hear a train whistle. Whenever Max hears a whistle, he always says it must be Thomas. We got out of the car and heard the whistle again, Max was still convinced it was his pal, Thomas. After rounding a corner, there he was in all his Thomas glory. Max could not believe it!! He was so excited and began jumping up and down immediately when he saw him! To Jason’s and my delight, Gwenyth started pointing and smiling too! Who knew she was such a big fan as well??

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The day included not only a ride on Thomas, but fun activities like meeting Sir Thopham Hatt and getting a wheel with all the Thomas and Friends characters on it.

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Max continues to talk about riding “Big Thomas.” He says he would like to do it again. Good thing both him and Gwenyth are now certified Jr. Conductors!

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Daddy and Max with some of their friends!

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Max and Daddy waiting to meet Thomas.

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Gwenyth loved the train ride and even stuck her head out the window a couple of times…

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Such a fun time! I love getting to do something fun with my whole family! What a treat it was!

Stories with Max

At a little over 2 1/2 years in age, Max is really coming into his imagination. He loves to be told stories. Books are great, but he really loves what he calls “talk-a-me” stories, or talk to me stories. These are stories that I tell him from memory, usually involving something from my childhood or when he was a baby.

The best thing is that Max has begun telling me stories! I was lucky enough to catch some good ones on video the other day! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

Gwenyth’s 1st Birthday Party

Thank you so much to all who came to celebrate Gwenyth’s first year! What a special time it was for her and wonderful memories to look back on!

We went with a summery pink lemonade theme for the party, but G couldn’t have cared less about the theme. What she enjoyed most was the tissue paper, the cake, and all the attention she received!  What a very blessed little gal!