Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Celebrations

Toby’s birthday celebration at the end of July kicked off a crazy couple weeks of celebrating in the Willson household. Just 4 days after his birthday, Mark and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary with a delectable dinner at the Cashtown Inn followed by the gorgeous views at Hauser Estate Winery topped off with a hot fudge sundae. We rejoice for the gift of our union and our Creator and Redeemer who is our guide, strength, and inspiration.

In celebration of the completion of Mark’s summer grad class we hit the road – 5 hours, non-stop to VA Beach where we joined most of my extended family for 3 lovely days of sun, sand, and surf.

(oh yeah, and ice cream. :)

At our annual Chinese extravaganza at the Imperial Palace, I was treated to song (you really should hear the Gotwald’s sing by they way – they do harmony and everything) and cake. Can you tell I LOVE my birthday? ;)

The town of VA Beach even joined me in the celebration by setting off fireworks from a boat right outside our hotel window.

Unfortunately, my big birthday beach plans were somewhat thwarted by my hubby waking up with a vomiting migraine which left the kids and I on our own for the morning. I took them for a bike ride to the end of the boardwalk where we stumbled upon this awesome playground on the beach.

After packing and loading we joined my family for lunch, shopping, pool time,


and dinner before heading home, another non-stop trip.

I returned to a mailbox full of cards, gorgeous 2 dozen roses on my doorstep (from my dear sister-in-law Meredith),

and multiple serenades on my answering machine. What blessings are my family and friends who shower me with love and help me to be who God created me to be!

The other side of my extended family enjoyed a picnic at Cowan’s Gap for my cousin’s and my bdays. We played spirited games of bean bag corn-hole (and Mark and I actually won 2 games!)

took a little walk to the lake,

and had a scrumptious dinner with loving fellowship. Yes, and sadly it was the final celebration of my birthday month.

We’ve just been “taking in” these final days of summer: playing outside, taking walks, eating lots of ice cream…

Lydia declares that she is ready to go back to school (but NOT with the big kids!) and we are getting prepared for that transition after Labor Day. Another huge transition around here is the children moving to bunk beds. Tobias was climbing out of his crib with increasing frequency and proficiency so we decided to move him to a “big boy” bed and them into the bunk beds Aunt Leslie had in her basement (Lydia has been begging for bunk beds ever since she experienced my cousins over Christmas). It has been a trial with lots of frustration but guarded success. We went from having to have one parent in the room with them as they fell asleep for every nap and night time (to remind them it was time to put their heads on their pillows, quiet themselves, and FALL ASLEEP), to reminders and a few repeated “checks” which are decreasing in necessity. I have to say, it’s awful cute having them cuddled up in one room.
Reading to the kids before bed. (Tobias insisted on wearing those goggles. :)

Here are a couple developments of the kiddos…
• Lydia is drawing with purpose, creating scenes from her mind that actually resemble something.
This is 2 suns, 2 kids, and 2 beach balls.

• Tobias developed the response to the question, “Why did you do that, Toby?”, “Beeeeeeecause… I want to.”
• Lydie develops elaborate plans such as going to Disney World, and a “Party for Jesus” complete with a menu that she created, and delegated who is doing decorations, cooking, making dessert, etc.
• One of Toby’s silly phrases: “What’s going on, guys?”

Well, our celebrations don't cease when August does, we have lots of birthdays to celebrate in September (2 close friends, a new baby, and 5 immediate family members). Let the celebrations continue! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Where's your...?"

Yesterday morning, Mark was attempting to keep Tobias engaged and quiet during the beginning of the church service. Mark initiated the name-the-body-part game. He'd quietly ask, "Tobias, where is your... head?" "Where is your...ear?". It seemed to be working: Tobias was smiling and silent. Until daddy completed the typical list of body parts and Tobias stopped, looked daddy in the eyes, and at the top of his voice (which, anyone who knows Tobias knows is QUITE loud) inquired, "Daddy, where is my penis?!?!"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Birthday Boy

Look who's TWO!

We had a lovely family birthday celebration a few days prior to his big day – all of our immediate family were present to rejoice in Tobias’ sweet life. What a blessing to be surrounded by such love, affection, smiles, and, of course, presents. True to form,Toby was so comical opening his presents – completely in awe and enthusiastic beyond measure. When he opened a shirt, he exclaimed, “Oh, Look! A new dress!” You can tell he spends time around his dress-obsessed sister. ;)

Here’s a clip of his reaction (to practically every present):

And here is Toby's amazing "dump truck" cake created by daddy and Grammy with lots of time, energy, creativity, and love.

Toby learning the finer points of his new Ferrari's from daddy. He quickly learned how to say "Ferrari" particularly in the sentence, "That's MY Ferrari."

We had pizza (Toby’s favorite) and took him out for ice cream on his birth date. Just so happened that, as we were running an errand prior to dessert, we ran into Uncle John, Aunt Leslie, and Rach so they joined us for frozen treats. And, of course, lots of playing and running...

Mark took the day off work Friday to spend as a family so we headed to Fuller Lake for some fun in the sun.

Here are some more things our 2-year-old is up to:
• Uses the words, “delicious” and “humongous” appropriately.
• Frequently reiterates, “I get it MYSELF!”
• Pretends he’s “Cap’n Caillou”
• Uses prepositional phrases in most sentences as descriptors: “This one is in the tunnel.” “My milk is on the table.” “I wanna go under there.”. "My Bryon the bulldoza is in the car."
• Speaking of “tunnels”, Toby has a slight infatuation with tunnels. Loves to manufacture/build/create them and drive his vehicles through them. He also loves to drive under or over them in the real car and loudly announces when this occurs.
• Uses “like” like his sister. (at dinner, from under the table Guinness is heard burping.) Toby: “Guinness is like burping.”
• A couple evenings ago after reading books we gather for prayer time. Toby initiates praying: “Dear God, Thank you play. Thank you toys. Thank you friends. [Giggles spurred on by his sister], Thank you Peek-A-Boo. [more Giggles.] Amen.” His first spontaneous prayer.
• Mimi & Pop-pop taught Tobes a little hand shake that includes a “fist bump”. One morning as I was still relaxing in bed, Mark brought Toby in. He crawled on top of me and said, “Mommy, fist bump!” So if you see him, ask him to “fist bump” – so cute.

Oh, how we love Tobias! Here's to a blessed year ahead, buddy!