Sunday, November 30, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Funtime

We were so lucky to be able to have Christina's sister (Auntie Cyndie) and Steve's parents (Nana Rose and GDaddy) out to visit us this Thanksgiving. Although we had lots of fun on Thanksgiving Day, even more fun was the next day where we had activity bonanza!

The day started quietly enough - Elena took a rare nap with Christina (oh, how happy was Christina! It's beautiful being able to watch the girls while they sleep!) while Clara caught up on some reading with GDaddy.

Then, we all went on a trip to the carousel. Nana Rose and GDaddy treated the girls to a trip on the ponies, but Elena was feeling a little bit attached to Christina so she went along for the ride too. This shot is a little blurry, but was still too cute not to post.

Where is the missing baby? Clara poses on the pony, while Elena tries to figure out if she wants to sit on a pony that's staying still. In the end, no, she did not. But the set-up was a cute idea, and Nana Rose made sure to have room for her!

The girls are starting to have so much fun at the local children's museum that we just went ahead and bought a membership while Auntie Cyndie was in town. This made it a lot easier to take the whole crew in to have fun.

GDaddy coaxed the girls to do what they had not done before this November -

Go through the tunnel on their own! They got so good at it, they went through the big tunnels as well. We were so proud of the brave girls.

Christina, Clara, and Elena in the dino dig. It was fun to watch the girls. Elena went right at the "dirt" with the shovel, while Clara picked the "dirt" up piece by piece and put it daintly into her shovel. So funny.

GDaddy put coins into this contraption so that Nana Rose and the girls could see how they spiraled down and out of sight. They loved this. You know we aren't usually matchy-matchy with the girls, but these hats from Nanny (Nana Rose's mom) were too cute not to wear together!

Before we left the museum, Elena showed Nana Rose how much she loves puppets. These little finger puppets cracked her up. Oh, and Christina mentioned that she was making winter coats fro the girls - here is Elena modeling hers.
Clara and Elena LOVED their Auntie Cyndie. She would chase them all over the house and pick them up and tickle them and they just couldn't get enough. We didn't get nearly enough pictures of her with the girls, but here is one we call "Sisters with sisters." It's a nice tradition in our family.

Elena was clutching this tylenol bottle all day - she liked something about the top. The fun part of the picture is that she has gotten really good at following directions. This is the result of us saying: "Elena, can you give Nana Rose a tomato?" Turns out, she can!

Although Elena was a little shy this visit, she blossomed on this Friday after we had all been together awhile. Here she is modeling her giraffe-riding skills. Something about this picture just makes her look so grown up!

Auntie Cyndie was so good with the girls - here she reads them one of Clara's favorites: "The Skin You Live In."
And as a final shot in our series on play, here is Gdaddy making Elena laugh hysterically. He had this game where he would stand her up in the chair, then slide her down. She just loved it and laughed so beautifully. We should have gotten it on video!

Nana Rose made us all turkey soup out of the leftover turkey, and she got the humongous wishbone off for the girls to pull. We found the one from last year we had been letting dry (my, how long can you keep those things??) and so we wanted the girls to pull it. Oh, it was tenacious, but once we got six people in on the action it finally broke. Nana Rose declared that everyone had won - and it seems we did.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for so many things this year. We are thankful for family in town to celebrate this holiday with us, and for all the family we missed who were far away. We are thankful for the family we've created here in town who we celebrate with. We are thankful for our health, for our home, for our work. But most of all, we are thankful that we share our life with the most wonderful daughters we've ever seen, Clara Mary Mae and Elena Ashley Rose. These two girls are the lights of our lives.

We had such a fun day. It started out a bit rough, with Elena feeling under the weather, but after two little naps under her belt she seemed just great. The girls watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and learned to say "gobble gobble" and waved at Santa Claus.

Then, they helped Christina and her sister, Cyndie, make a lemon meringue pie.

We thought they might like trying the lemons - um, we were wrong.

Then, we headed to our friends' house and finished cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We had some snacks while we were waiting for the turkey to finish cooking. This year, the girls got to partake in a tradition from Christina's family - eating a fruit tray with figs and fennel! Elena especially loved the figs.

We are happy to have had Aunt Cyndie in town since last week. Yesterday, Nana Rose and GDaddy got into town!! Here they are, in a pose very telling of their personalities. We love them.

This, sadly, is the best full-length picture we got of the girls. Clara had a purple frilly dress, and look - she wore her fancy black shoes!! Elena (way background) had a velvet white dress which would have looked GREAT with fancy black shoes, but she refused to wear them. So, we have pretty dress with everyday scuffed-up brown shoes. Ah, well.

Finally, the turkey got done! This might be the last year that the turkey weighed more than the girls. Although, with a 30 pound turkey like this we might outweigh the girls next year, too. We'll have to see.
The girls ate SO MUCH food - much of it using a fork and spoon on their own. They are getting so big. What do you do when you're full, but have to make room for some dessert? Get tickled, of course! Here's Elena getting a fun tickle from Auntie Cyndie:

And a fun tickle for Clara from Steve.

We hope that you all had a good Thanksgiving, too. We look forward to celebrating more holidays with more of you in the near future!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meet and Greet!

We were excited that this weekend Sean, the girls' birthfather, traveled out to our neck of the woods to meet the girls. We've been so grateful for our contact so far with birth family members, and meeting Sean was something we all wanted to do.

The girls were a little slow to warm up at lunch, but when we went to the park they really lit up and had a fun time.

Here, Clara is receiving a flower still brave enough to grow on a Montana November day. She and Sean shared this flower back and forth for many happy minutes.

Another fun game Clara started was going through Sean's wallet and dumping out all his cards. Bless his heart, he was so patient with her and let her do it as much as she liked.

Elena, with her wary personality, was a bit standoffish for some of the visit, but Sean soon found out the way to this girl's heart - technology! He shared his cell phone with her, and she was thrilled.
From that moment on, it was a technology bonanza. Cell phones and cameras were swapped around plenty and it kept everyone just so entertained.

The girls are so lucky to know the love of their birthfather, their birthmother, and all of their families. There is no way these girls can doubt that they are beloved, and that their life is one that started and will always continue in great love. We couldn't ask for anything more!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Family in the Fall

We were lucky enough to have our friend Rachel, a trained photographer, take us out for a photoshoot last weekend. We love what she captured about our family - here are some of our favorite shots!

If you're in the area and want Rachel to take pictures of YOUR family, you can contact her at