Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ben!

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!

Christmas in New Jersey

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:

Christmas Day...

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 he let him open one while no one was looking.


The Chaos:
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??

Christmas Eve with the Weir's!

On Christmas Eve morning, we drove to PA to visit Caleb's side of the family. It is tradition to spend Christmas Eve with his dad's parents and the entire Weir family. Caleb has 6 aunts and uncles, two of which were not there this year. But, we still had over 40 people to celebrate. Hope you enjoy the pictures:

Lots and lots of food:
This was Dessert Row:
Caleb would not keep a straight face:

My sister-in-law Jill with my nephew Alex:
Grandpa Weir, handing out the mound of presents. Grandma Weir was overseeing the operation from behind:
Ben was so tired, I was able to put him to bed on the couch. I literally placed him on the couch, told it was time to go to sleep....and he didn't get up once.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Train Garden

Hope you enjoy this photo update of our last day in Baltimore. We visited a train museum....Ben LOVED it!

It was COLD outside:

Real Train Ride:

We were able to get a much better "legal" picture with Santa here:

I love this shot! As soon as Ben got his candy cane, he got up and ran away so fast. I love the look of Santa's face. He was a little pissed....