Friday, April 27, 2012

More words

There are now getting to be too many new words to count, but I had to mention "mine". So far, Ava is using it in a happy way like "Wow, I can't believe this is mine!" but she is heading closer to age 2 every day. I don't think the next stage is avoidable. After having Jack though, I know there are rewards for sticking the training out and not giving in to a two year old's whims. So we will hang in there and be grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in a little life.

Also finally "mommy" is in almost every phrase. I'm not tired of it yet! And even though Jack is 5 and says it incessantly, it makes me happy to be so important to two of my favorite people!

I had a softball practice and didn't break any bones or have any major mishaps. Since I haven't played in about 20 years, I was a little concerned. I actually got more exercise than I thought I would and really enjoyed it. I'm excited to give it a shot. It's nice to be outside and enjoying the girls and the exercise. It was also fun to have Matt and the kids there cheering for me. It's nice to be loved!

Friday, April 20, 2012

No greater joy

I walked into Jack's room yesterday looking for Ava's sock. I didn't really notice what he was doing until he popped up and said with a shy smile, "I was praying." I said "Oh that's great! Would you like me to leave so you can pray?" He said, "Well, you can pray with me." I asked what he wanted to pray about and he said for God to watch over me and take care of me and give me things.". And I added, "and maybe that He will help you do things for Him?" He said yes and we prayed right then for those things. What a blessing to my heart when Matt and I have been praying for Jack to grow spiritually after accepting Christ. It's so wonderful to see fruit in his little life! We are looking forward to his playing t-ball this summer for Champlin. We will all be playing ball even me maybe!

Ava is saying funny things. Yuck yuck sounds like kaka. She says OW loudly when I wipe her nose or anything minor that happens to her. She says sure which sounds a lot like shoe when we ask her things. She also still shakes her head for most things though too! It's an adventure in conversation!

We are looking forward to our family reunion in June. Very excited to see everyone on the Hanks side!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vacation Pics

This is going to be a large post as I am putting up quite a few pictures from our vacation. We had a wonderful time and I think you will be able to see that from the photos!

Here are Shannon, Jack and Ava waiting for the show by the castle

Jack meeting Buzz again

Shannon and Ava getting ready to ride the Buzz ride

Jack liked being locked up with Emperor Zurg, but as you can see Ava didn't

Shannon and Jack on the Dumbo ride

We had just finished waiting in line and meeting Mickey and Minnie when we saw the line to meet the princesses. It was long, but we decided to wait since Shannon really wanted to see them. As it turns out, Jack really liked meeting them too. He got kisses from all of them!

Jack and Cinderella

Jack and Belle

Jack and Aurora

This is one of our favorite pictures that we got from the vacation. I (Matt) was waiting with the kids while Shannon did some shopping so I decided to play around with the camera a little bit and I got this picture of them looking at the castle.

Ava and the castle

Here we are waiting for the night parade to start

Shannon, Jack and Ava at Epcot

Ava didn't quite know what to make of all the different rides and stuff. A lot of her pictures are of her being somber or just plain crying like this.

Jack was in character in Bruce the shark's mouth

We love Epcot and all the different flowers and plants.

Jack actually took this picture of me and Shannon and I think he did a pretty good job!

I don't know exactly why Jack was posing like this with Woody and Buzz but he thought it was pretty cool

When we go to Florida we stay with Shannon's aunt and uncle, Carol and Larry. One of our favorite things to do is take their golf cart and go around their little community and try to find alligators. Here is one we found and he was smiling for the camera.

We also found this bird right after he caught this catfish. We parked and watched him for a while as he was trying to eat it.

Me and Ava as we wait to see the car stunt show

Shannon wanted to meet the princesses and I wanted to meet Mike and Sulley

One of Jack's favorite shows is Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He loved meeting Jake!

Shannon and Jack as we are about to go on the safari ride

Jack with Doug and Russell

Waiting to see the Lion King show

Jack with Lightning

Many of the workers would give kids Mickey stickers as you walked around. Every time Ava would get a sticker she would put it on her legs. Right before this picture she got a bunch of them and proceeded to put them all on.

We had a great time on our vacation!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! And other happiness!

Ava's first attempt at a sentence: "I 'tinky" while pointing to her diaper. Nice! She has also said "coat" and possibly "Mickey" while looking at vacation pictures. With so much jabbering going on, we are not sure of all of it.

Great vacation and wonderful Easter with church and family! Now things should maybe settle down. Maybe!

We were able to visit with some family on the way back from vacation and had a wonderful time. Here is my Aunt Boonie, Uncle Tom, and Aunt Rose along with some Easter doings.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Florida 2012

Pictures will be coming, but here is a quick recap of our trip.

Top 10
10. Because we drove, we were able to see some dear family and friends that we haven't seen years.
9. We were able to stay longer at the Magic Kingdom and see the light parade and fireworks.
8. Although it was busier this year at Disney World, we were able to do so much and some things we don't normally do.
7. Matt had a great time golfing with Uncle Larry, and we all were able to go looking for alligators in the golf cart around their complex. They have a few big ones!
6. Aaah Epcot! The Flower and Garden Festival showcased so many beautiful flowers and smells! We went there twice!
5. We were able to meet so many Disney characters, and I got to meet Cinderella! Jack loved watching the young jedis fight Darth Vader.
4. We were able to enjoy many food items that we don't have opportunity to here in Minnesota: Chick Fil A, Steak and Shake, Baskin Robbins, Manny's Chophouse...oh and the Mickey ice cream bars! Yum! Yes I gained a few pounds! Oh and they had a Hobby Lobby, so I got some treats for my house!
3. Although we got rained on at the beach, we had a great time and brought home white sand and seashells. Some of it even on purpose!
2. My almost favorite part (see #1) is the weather. Although I'm a Minnesota girl, it's hard to beat flowers year round and green grass and blooming trees. I loved seeing all of the orange trees full of oranges and trucks transporting them to the orange juice factory. It was around 90 the whole time but with the breeze off the gulf, it felt perfect!
1. Best of all, we created some wonderful memories of family time. What an important thing! We are thankful God provided this time for us to be away and together. (Matt and I are looking forward to a kid free date night soon though! :)