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The Rest of the Gang

I mentioned in the last post that when we got Anna's one year old pictures done, we took the opportunity to get the whole family, finally!  This first one is my favorite, and we used it for our Christmas card this year.

Everyone is growing up so quickly!!

Ben and Chandler...

Sweet Hugs!

and Mason and Anna...

I love this one of all four kiddos!!


Miss Anna ~ 1 Year Old

We took Anna's first year "photo shoot" as an opportunity to get the whole family in on the deal and they turned out GREAT!  Anna was actually 14 months in these pics...growing up so fast it makes me wish I could just slow each day down and savor it even more.  Already as it is, I carry her around with me everywhere I go (an arrangement we both prefer :)  She's so lovable AND loving...always giving hugs and kisses, and snuggling at every opportunity.  And a happy girl for sure ~ she smiles and laughs all. day. long!!

Anna is getting really good at using sign language. She can "say" More, Milk, All Done, Bath, Please, Poop (as in: "I need a diaper change"!) and Help Me. "Help Me" has become a frequently used sign, and it's really helped us avoid lots of crying and whining, because whenever she's playing or eating, etc, and needs help getting a toy down from a shelf, opening a lid, peeling a banana down more, you name it...she just comes over and signs for help, and we follow her over to whatever she needs help with and problem solved! It's great since her spoken vocabulary mostly consists of Dada, Bye, More, Uh Oh, La La (I love you), Up and Mama. Oh, and na na na na na....that is what everything else is called right now, ha!

Her favorite things to do at this age are take a bath, try on Mama's shoes (she picks a certain red pair of flats EVERY time!), and bee bop to music.  Also, eating is pretty high on her list!  She carries around a snack cup of Cheerios or Goldfish most of the day, just grazing.  She's great at eating all kinds of foods, too, as long as it's baby food in a jar :)  I guess I don't blame her for not being too crazy about some "big people food" though, because she still only has six teeth!!

We have adored this first year with our baby girl. She truly is our princess :) Every day, we are amazed again at how much happiness she brings us and our whole family ~ a special girl we are so thankful to God for!!!


Santa Came!!

Christmas wouldn't be complete without a visit to the mall Santa, ha ha!!  I really love our local Santa because it's the same one every year, and he's so, so sweet ~ just how Santa should be :)  I may have mentioned before that Anna will only be held by Mama, Daddy, and more and more often Grandmama and Grandaddy.  So, we knew it was going to be a challenge to get a photo this year with Ben and Anna on Santa's lap.  As expected, Anna was having none of this big, furry strange man holding her, but we managed to grab a decent photo before she knew what was going on!!

Ben asked for a present, a toy, and when pressed by Santa, finally asked for a dinosaur.  This year was really neat because it was the first year he could really comprehend the Santa story.  I'm so glad he wasn't afraid of him (it also helped that we told him Santa would give him a candy cane after he sat on his lap, ha ha!!)

Here's Ben and Anna putting out cookies and milk...we all got so tickled at Anna swiping Santa's Oreos!

Checking out what Old St. Nick brought!  Ben got a dinosaur (of course, since that is the only thing he asked Santa for!), a marble run that we had to drag him away from to open other gifts, an art easel to share with Anna, and Anna also got a wooden walker with a xylophone and other fun things on it. 

We've had a yellow Elmo chair for several months that's been such a hit. Even though Mama had to hit up Ebay to find another one exactly like it, Ben still asks which one is Anna's so he can sit in THAT one.  Goodness!!

Funny pic of Anna playing with Ben's Santa hat...

Christmas Morning, 2012


Christmas 2012

This year, we kicked off Christmas with Ben's school Christmas program.  Here are Ben and Anna at school before the performance, all dressed up.  Anna's outfit was made with love by Mama!!

We took a video of his class performance, but there's really not much to see because this is what Ben looked like the entire time. HA! He kept his hands up to his mouth just like this the whole song. I think he wasn't quite sure of the words since he missed several days of school when they were practicing because he was sick...poor thing! We got a good laugh, though!

In deep thought...front row, 3rd from the left!
Next it was time to get our tree. Ben was really excited about going to the tree farm because they have hot chocolate and popcorn :) Here are some of my favorite moments from our trip:

Anna gets a ride/Daddy gets a hug:

Ben gets a ride from Chandler (thank goodness, because when we first got there, Ben must have tripped at least five times in a row as he excitedly ran around - he didn't "get it" that there were a bunch of stumps everywhere from the trees that had been cut!):


Ben's most anticipated moment: hot chocolate and popcorn!

Finally, the whole gang!!