Ethan got a laser assault set for Christmas, and has been neutralizing everything in his path ever since. Hayley is a good sport for engaging him in combat even though she invariably suffers neutralization.
In Afton, VA about 30 miles from Charlottesville a local Baptist church stages an elaborate recreation of Bethlehem, complete with camels, surly Roman guards, sheep, and a live nativity. We made the trip again this year, and enjoyed taking time out of shopping and the hustle and bustle to remember why this season is so special. The kids loved going from shop to shop learning about papyrus, pistachios, clay pots, camel hair blankets and olive oil.
If there was any question of how much of the experience had sunk in for Ethan and Hayley, it was erased the next day when Ethan greeted me at the door and said, "Shalom, Dad!" "That means hello in Jesus' world!"
The holiday chocolate fountain was an instant hit with Ethan and Hayley. As you can see it didn't take long at all before he was sporting a slim little Uncle Rico moustache, but it did take hours for him to fall asleep that night.
Brandon and I carved Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home, the one on the back of the Nickel) this year. It was our Ode to Charlottesville. We're going to try to make a Monticello Gingerbread house this Christmas.
This is the picture we sent out for her birth announcement and we made the postcard below and attached it on back. I thought I'd post it on the blog and save some postage. Mariah says hi, read her message below.
Mariah was born on Sat. October 6th at 12:13am. She weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long. My biggest baby yet!
Ethan and Hayley meeting her for the first time. They just admired her for a long time and said things like, "OOOHHHH, look at her tiny feet. " "Let me see her cord." And when we asked Ethan what the new baby smelled like he said, "A baby's bottom!" Which he apparently meant to be a compliment.
Ethan's preschool went on a field trip to a local apple orchard. Hayley and I got to tag along- we had so much fun! He got to use a cool apple-picker tool that looked like a mix between a lacross stick and a birdcage. It was so handy!! Oh, and the last picture is of Hayley showing off some new "back to school" duds.... she's started a little Joy School/Preschool as well. So fun!