We had a joint birthday party for the boys on Sunday, January 3rd. The theme: THOMAS! It was a hit. The boys absolutely LOVE trains. They have been playing with them the whole time we have lived here....so they loved all the decorations and the "happy cake". Ever since Ben's birthday on the 28th, he will randomly start singing, "Happy Birthday to you". We usually start to sing with him....and then he interrupts to say "Happy Tate?" He thinks that if he can convince you to start singing then cake is sure to follow!
Ben and John....seriously, they are BEST BUDS! We invited our small group and a few people from church. Very low-key! I love this picture of Kelli and Brandon. Their daughter Maddie was doing something they didn't like:
Here's a picture of Baby Brian with his mom Kristin:
Ben woke up with bed-head....and the hair just wouldn't cooperate. But, we hoped his cool hoodie from Uncle Ron would distract people from the mess of his hair:
The boys definately knew what to do with the cake this year!
This is a blurry picture...but I love it!
They are so silly!
Opening cards and gifts. We have a ton of airplane toys for our adventure:
This picture is really overexposed....and I plan to get a better picture on Monday when we see Maddie again....But here is Ben's friend Madison (the only girl who made it to the party). She could keep up with those boys! Isn't she beautiful?? (Sigh....must.....wait.....for.....another....baby)
I like this picture, too, because it shows Carson chasing John and the "partying" going on in the background. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends!
Here's a picture of my friend, Amy. She is the one that truly believed in me and taught me the ways of Guitar Hero. 'Nuff said!
Happy Birthday, Benjamin. We love you more and more every day.
When we returned from our trip North, we had another New Year's party to attend. Our small group from church decided to have a party on January 2nd....a Mexican Theme....we all knew we would be ready for non-holiday food! Our friends Corey and Jill hosted the party. The evening started with yummy appetizers and then Moe's Fajita bar. Yum! Right after dinner, our friends Greg and Jennifer had to be picked up from the airport (They celebrated New Year's in New York City!). When they joined the party, Guitar Hero came out.....along with mustaches and crazy hats! Good Times! Bringing the fiesta mustache back.....along with fluffernutters! (Don't ask!)
Rocking Out with my friends Chris and Kristin: Our funny host: Matt, David and Corey and Greg (with the hat)- Fun Times: Sitting- Jennifer, Amy and Greg (they all joined in soon after):
One by one, the couples packed up their kids or belongings and headed home....all except Greg and Jennifer and us! When we looked at the watch, it was already 2am. Too late to call the friends we are living with! =0) So....we had a sleepover! Corey and Jill gave us pajamas, Greg and Jennifer still had their bags from New York.....memories were made....really good ones. We had such a good time with everyone!!
As most of you know, life is wonderfully crazy right now. I have not been able to make cohesive thoughts or speak understandable sentences of late. In fact, there have been many days where I have wanted to post the thoughts and questions racing through my head, but those posts never materialized because on second thought, they didn't make sense.
So....I am going to stop pretending that I am thought-provoking. I am going to stop worrying what people will think if I post something without a reason. I am going to start posting my random thoughts.....maybe I will come back to them at a later date to write more. Maybe I will just let them be what they are: random thoughts!
Adrienne's First Random Thought: When we move, I am going to have to wear clothes that I would never be caught dead in here in the States. I have never considered myself someone with really nice clothes, but I have prided myself on at least matching. (sigh) I am not sure that I am going to have that luxury when I move. Lately, I have found myself thinking (and getting depressed) about what I will be able to wear. When we move, it is more important (in theory) to be culturally appropriate. But currently, my attitude about what I am going to have to wear speaks that it is more important that I am comfortable with what I am going to have to wear....I mean, what will my blog readers think if they see me wearing something that doesn't match, isn't flattering, etc? And......sadly.....what does that say about me? It's not like I can ask, what would Jesus wear? There is something sad about how much weight I place in what other people will think....and what I count on to bring me a sense of comfort. We learned during one training that you can use the word culture and comfort simultaneously. Your culture is what you find comfortable.
When I was in Baltimore, I went out to dinner with friends from high school. Dawn and I have been friends since we were in 4th grade (what is that, over 18 years??). We decided to get coffee and egg soufles from Panera before we both went our separate ways (Dawn lives in FL). Dawn was my first "Good-Bye". I know that it is only a couple of years, but it is going to be so hard to not see our friends and family while we are away. I really hope that people can come and visit us, but the reality is that plane tickets are ridiculously expensive. Anyway, I stole this picture from Dawn's facebook site......
Let the Good-Byes begin. Here's to learning how to say our Good-Byes well! To date, we have already said good bye to most of our extended family and some very special friends....
We celebrated New Year's with our good friends and their family at The Beach House. I think I will just start referring to the house as The House.....I have said it time and time again...this house is amazing....AND I always seem to relax the best when I am there. This year, the company added to a wonderful start to the New Year.
Rebecca, Joel and Jacob: Brandon, Amber and PANAMA: My college friend Kelli: Our favorite host, Pam: Kelli is expecting another baby!! Here is a picture of her trying to wrestle the best champagne ever away from her husband. He would not let her try any:
And, as always, here is a picture of Ben at midnight:
I hope that you all spent New Year's with someone you love or amazing friends or your family. Here's to 2010....and the new adventure that it holds for us...and everyone else taking this journey with us!
On Monday, Ben turned TWO!!!!! (Seriously? Where has the time gone?) In the morning, we celebrated with our gift to him- a personalized I See Me book recommended by my friend (who I met while stalking her blog).
That night, we had a party! It is becoming a tradition to spend birthdays in New Jersey with cousin Jackson:
We all sang to Ben. What is funny is that now he wants us to keep singing it to him. When we start to sing, he immediately asks for cake ("tate"). After cake, the boys went downstairs to play with the train ball pit:
Kevin's girlfriend Laura started the game of throwing the balls back into the ball pit and watching Ben throw the balls out. He was entertained for a whole 30 minutes doing this, I think!
Phew! Break Time.
Then, it was on to TRAINS!
We hopped into the car Tuesday morning and started down I-95. The 7 hour projected drive took 12 hours, but it was not unbearable. We had a wonderful trip North. We were able to spend quality time with so many loved ones while making amazing memories that will last for the next 2 1/2 years. Thank you to everyone who put us up and made our time so wonderful. We miss you already!
On Sunday, after Christmas, we traveled to New Jersey to visit with my Grandparents. We had SUCH a great visit. It was so good to see my Grammy (who is now Ben's Baba) and my Granddad. Ben absolutely LOVED Granddad's wheels. He wanted to push him around the whole time. Granddad was a great sport. Ben was EVERYWHERE. He had alreday had a lot of sugar, but what's one more cookie or two, right? I don't have any pictures, but we also saw Beach Grammy and Beach Grandpa this visit. That night, we celebrated Christmas with my Aunt JuJu and Uncle Frank. Here's a picture with Uncle Ron. I am so happy we had a chance to see Uncle Ron. He is SO much fun to be around:
Here is Ben holding his new Muppets Christmas DVD. He also got a couple Wiggles DVD's.
Here's a picture of Juju hanging out with Ben (who was being silly....trying to eat his snow globe from beach Grammy):
We watched the Jets game while Ben played with his cousin Jackson's toys and TRAINS:
On Christmas morning, we celebrated with Caleb's mom's parents. Before I show you all the pictures, I have to tell you why I was guarding my Green Bean Casserole: The second year we were married, I offered to bring the green bean casserole. It was a hit...and since then, my mother-in-law has asked that I make it. I was really excited that I had a "secret" recipe that everyone liked. But, somehow, the green bean casserole was "ruined" or "tampered with" each year after that. Once year, my mother-in-law bought chedder fried onions. The next year, she gave me french cut green beans to use. I started to think that maybe, just maybe, she was sabotaging my recipe since others had asked specifically for me to make it. Thus....I needed to guard my reputation and my recipe. I would not let anyone near it after I overheard my sister-in-law saying that we should just microwave it.
Ben caught on early to the whole "opening presents" thing. Ben started disappearing for a few minutes at a time, and we almost always found him trying to open a present that wasn't his. Uncle Carson saw how badly Ben wanted a gift....so he let him open one while no one was looking.
Alex opened trains for Christmas. It hurt to watch the boys try to share:
Christmas afternoon, we visited with friends that we met during our training in Orlando. Dan & Melinda are such a great couple and have such a great encouragment. They even gave us their son's 2T and 3T clothes. What a blessing!
Fun line up shot:
Christmas night, we visited with family friends- the Guyers. Long story short, the Weir's met the Guyer's when they were going through training to move to PNG. The Weir's had 4 boys at the time and the Guyers had 3 boys. They became great friends and have kept in touch since then. We had a "family" reunion of sorts....which meant PICTURE time:
Also got one last shot of Ben with Uncle Casey and Uncle Carson:
One more picture of Uncle Cam, Aunt Jill, Little Emory and Cousin Alex:
Here's a picture of Ben with Sherm and Bernie. Sherm actually passed through Raleigh when we first applied for membership with our mission agency. He was such an encouragment then and they were such an encouragement again. Here's the post from the last time Ben was with them. We actually hope to see Sherm and Bernie in PNG!! How fun would that be??