a merry little christmas

holidays are always a whirlwind adventure for our family. christmas normally includes traveling the grandparent triangle (mount eden, ky to huntington, wv to cincinnati, oh) and some places in between. we are headed for our last stop today, but i thought i would share a glimpse of what the christmas holiday had to offer.i regret that i didn't take a picture of the amazing spread of food my mom prepared for us on christmas eve and the delicious breakfast both of my parents prepared on christmas morning, but i did take some pics of moments shared with family members on those days.last year my parents started the tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas to the grandchildren on christmas eve. if you look close enough at my animated father you can see he is sporting a sweet blue cast on his arm. he recently had hand surgery & is recovering. the holiday brightened his spirits so much!
here is the family portrait at my parents house for the year 2008.

as a joke on my mom's intense rooster collection we dressed wilhelm up as a baby chick (rooster) during gran's present opening time. it got lots of laughs...but not quite as many laughs as my mom got when she put it on. while i was posting this entry i thought it would be interesting to see just how much wilhelm and my nieces have changed in one year. here are the two different christmas morning pictures.aside from the physical changes that are obvious, it is amazing the personalities that they now exhibit (at least for picture taking).

AND on with the presents. our family was very blessed, and everyone had a fabulous christmas. daddy will and gran provided wilhelm instruments to start his own one man band. in the days since christmas we have had LOTS of harmonica and guitar playing by our budding musician, along with settling in our other new christmas gifts.

signing off until the new year... nothing but the best to you and yours in 2009! -our eargle family


a first annual cookie decorating party

my great friend radhika & i hosted a cookie decorating party for our children's friends & families on Sunday. both of us were novices at this type of event, but thought it to be a great tradition to start for our families.

we got together on friday and baked quite a few sugar and gingerbread cookies. each were cut out as holiday figures and then we froze them, to keep them yummy, until sunday's party.

though we had some last minute cancellations the party went lovely. each family decorated six cookies with a variety of goodies, including m & m's, gumdrops, sprinkles, licorice laces, candy corn, and three colored icings. their goodies were packaged in little, brown craft paper boxes and sent home for the families to enjoy or give as gifts.

amazingly clean-up wasn't as bad as i'd expected. sprinkles and two year olds doesn't always match! and i learned that my husband is pretty handy at decorating cookies.

below are a couple of pics of wilhelm's masterpieces. uncle justin helped wilhelm to start, then daddy took over.

a office christmas party and santa encounter...

this past saturday we went to alan's workplace family christmas party. since his plant has endured many layoffs in 2008 it was decided to forgo the adult formal party and do a family, mid-day one instead. it was two hours of entertainment and presents for children, and a very kind gesture.

the party included a local clown named Gimbo and of course Santa & his elf.

Gimbo's entertainment truly amazed wilhelm & he enjoyed the juggling, the comedy and the balloon figures that the clown produced.the clown made wilhelm his very own orange, wiener dog. it lasted for a whole 20 minutes before he managed to pop it. it was replaced with an orange sword.

wilhelm's santa experience went totally different than the clown experience.
prior to arriving at the party our son was LOTS of talk. he kept repeating SANTA CLAUS and seemed quite excited about meeting the jolly guy. the picture explains it all!
to his defense, he was two hours tardy for his nap and the pair posing as the old st.nick & his elf were a little creepy. regardless, we love this picture that captures just how hard everyone was working to get his attention, including the camera guy with his squeaky ball.

once on the other side of the room wilhelm had recaptured his interest in santa. thankfully, it is now all a forgotten memory to him.


a nice thanksgiving holiday celebrated

this thanksgiving we headed on our usual journey to baltimore, although this year it was not by plane, but instead by car. the head colds that we all had made the trip seem like it took for days, but the outcome of the trip was worth it. we spent four days with alan's grandparents in baltimore, along with seeing other family while we were there. they all got their dose of wilhelm love and he enjoyed himself to the fullest. here are a few scenes from our days there.
preparation for the thanksgiving feast starts days before the actual event, but some of the dishes must be executed on the day of. we always help grand po mix his MASSIVE tub of famous dressing. it makes enough dressing for the masses and even neighbors. if you aren't able to tell we use a large rubbermaid tote to do the mixing in. seriously!
for some reason this picture would not allow me to insert it correctly, but you are still able to see how much wilhelm & i enjoyed our task, even if we weren't all the way finished getting ready for the day.same problem with this picture, wacky. this is the whole clan!
we also were around to celebrate grand po's 81st birthday. it is tradition that he gets his cherry cream pie (a family recipe from days past). he also got to wear a cool birthday hat constructed by alan's dad.

it was good times had by all in baltimore this holiday season and we look forward to our next visit.


a first trip to the movie theatre

before thanksgiving i meant to publish this post, but didn't have the chance to so here it is.

this past sunday we took wilhelm to his first real movie in a theater. technically wilhelm has been to a movie in a theater before, but instead of being awake and the movie being for him, he was carried in his baby sling and sleeping soundly & enjoyed a movie of momma & daddy's choice.

the movie was Madagascar 2 and the company was: alan, myself, our friend amy (wilhelm calls her mimi) and amy's niece, caroline. everyone enjoyed themselves, despite the timing falling right on prime nap time. here are a few shots from our day. excuse the quality of the photos since i took them with my cell phone and not with an actual camera.yes, i was the obnoxious mom taking pictures of her child's first movie in the theater. don't worry the movie had not started, it was only the previews.


making a christmas list?

i had to capture this shot. i'm not sure if we are making a christmas list for wilhelm or for daddy?

a family day with the fishes

on sunday afternoon alan got a wild hair and thought the family needed to take a trip to the newport aquarium, near cincinnati, oh. wilhelm and i were on board so we headed, on a VERY cold day, to visit the fishes (i realize that it is fish, but for some reason we like to say fishes at our house. when grammar becomes a little more critical for wilhelm we will halt the fishes deal.).

wilhelm, after a travel nap, woke up to a variety of fish, frogs, sharks, alligators, penguins, and more all around him. the boys and i had lots of laughs, including a run in i had with a sting ray, and found many teachable moments with our little guy. even though the underwater creatures were slightly out of their habitats they still amazed us with their skills and beautiful colors. viewing them was fun and interesting. i'm not sure which one of us enjoyed it the most, but these pictures will show you a few of the moments from our day.impersonating a fish is one of the popular acts at our house, so we thought the boys should try it out with the fishes in newport.
it might be a little blurry, but we did find nemo and hundreds of his look-a-like cousins.if alan and i had one exhibit to choose as our favorite it would have to be the jellyfish room. they had each species of jellyfish displayed behind frames (their tanks that it is), classical music playing, lighting that looked liked the fish for where the room received its namesake, and velvet furniture. for some reason it made us giggle! note to self & others: it is very difficult to photograph a jellyfish, especially if you are a novice. translucent images are a doozy!the penguins cage needed a little cleaning attention!after the aquarium, we took a quick trip to see pappy up the road in cincinnati. we continued the wilhelm fun day by taking him to red robin for a hamburger and french fries. sorry no pictures of this portion of the day.

once home wilhelm insisted on wearing the top portion of his haloween costume and building a makeshift tent with his daddy.wilhelm found himself very funny and scary, since he was in costume and hiding from momma. we played until a little too late, which made for a long night to get him to sleep. oh, well it was a tremendously wonderful day.


an addition to an earlier post

it was brought to my attention by aunt melinda, that a few pictures were unfortunately left out of the massive october post and our time in confluence, pa. in order to show the world what happens when parents are away i thought i'd include these two pics of my son experiencing a new skill.
what a photographic masterpiece! one we will have to share with wilhelm in 20 years or so, when he LEGALLY can make the decision to consume alcohol. thanks aunt melinda for the laugh!

a daddy & momma weekend away

wow, alan and i haven't been away on a trip, alone, with just each other, in 22 months, until this past weekend.

in celebration of our three year wedding anniversary (october 15) we headed for a weekend away together. after dropping wilhelm off at my family's farm to be watched by his uncle & aunt and daddy will & gran, we headed to knoxville, tn. now i know some of you are saying, "knoxville, tn, really?" and to that i say, "yes!" knoxville was the perfect location for just such an occasion.
  • it was a good starting point get away before we decide to go somewhere many hours away, (only 3.5 hours from where we dropped off the boy child)
  • it is a city we haven't explored much,
  • the drive was gorgeous with wonderful, fall colors on the mountains,
  • and it has a nice hilton hotel, where alan had hilton credit to spend from his work trips.
the weekend was incredibly relaxing and was filled with good food & fun. also, since we were in knoxville we made a point to run into cousin anne marie. it was fantastic to see her and spend some quality time. the highlight of my weekend, aside from the quality time and conversation alan & i had, was sleeping in one of the two days. yeah!

taking pictures wasn't high on my list, but here are a few to share:here is alan & cousin anne marie. she could quite possibly be the biggest tennessee vols fan around. truly everytime i've ever seen her she is wearing orange. it is awesome! on sunday she was cheering for the lady vols basketball team, who spice it up by adding a light blue to the normal orange & white color palette.this is the market square area in downtown knoxville. it is a fun place to shop and grab a bite to eat. we had a delicious dinner on saturday night in the square and walked around on both days.

the weekend itself was well deserved and decided to be a model for weekends away to come. who knows, it may even be weeks in the future! aside from our happiness of celebrating the love a have for each other we did miss our little guy back home. once arriving back at the loft and unpacking wilhelm decided to practice his sailing skills in my suitcase. a great laugh to a great daddy & momma weekend away.


a massive october post

october 2008 has been a busy one for our eargle family. due to the aforesaid, i've not taken the time to sit down and type a blog post for a bit. our month was one filled with family and friends, which was delightful, but lots of travel, not as delightful. here goes our month in a brief synopsis.

wilhelm and i started the month by traveling to bowling green with gran (my mom) and cousins lily grace & hannah kate. my cousin tiffanie & her family were in from Colorado visiting my uncle cyle, aunt peggy, and cousin melissa & her family. they only make it to KY three or so times a year so we attempt to cross paths sometime during those visits. here are a couple of shots from the day:this is all of the younger cousins (with the exception of carlie mae). they look slightly silly and haphazard in this shot, but that mirrors the day.
here is my mom and her brother taking in the days events. enjoying that they are grandparents and not the parents.

our next stop was Columbus, OH, with alan's brothers ben & sam for an Ohio State game weekend. we stayed with alan's stepfather mark's parents, and while there had the opportunity to also visit with the family on that side: aunt melinda & uncle tom, aunt jodie, uncle terry & haley. aside from the glory that is the ohio state university and its football team, btw they thankfully won that game, we celebrated the birthdays of grandpa mccalla & haley. here is grandpa blowing out his candles.confluence, pa, is where the wind blew us on our third trip. it is difficult to describe in words all the purposes of that weekend were. our main intention was celebrating the life of mark, alan's stepfather who was murdered on june 19 of this year.
nearly thirty of mark's friends and family gathered at a bed and breakfast that was located on the river where he learned to kayak. the b & b is one owned by some close friends and they made gracious hosts for the weekend. the weather was absolutely gorgeous and the time everyone had together was priceless, sharing stories and remembering an amazing man. the part of PA that we were in showed the beauty of fall, with the glorious tree colors.
here is a pic of a teachable moment that alan had with wilhelm on how to put on mittens. the weather was so that sweaters, mittens, and hats were required.
wilhelm really did listen, even though the image doesn't back that up.

that weekend yielded a variety of good shots, but this picture truly spoke words. after a small statement by pam, alan's mom, she placed a glass, water drop head marker with mark's name, date of birth & death, and a quote, we all then watched mark become a part of nature as his ashes were placed in the Youghiogheny River. before we left on sunday we went to the marker to say our farewells until we visit again, even wilhelm had a moment with his grandpa mark.
once returning home we hosted a b.y.o.p (bring your own pumpkin) party for wilhelm's friends and their parents. the first picture you see in this post is the master piece my boys created. here is alan & wilhelm in the act of to baltimore, at the end of the party week, for cousin nicole's wedding. nicole is uncle steve (alan's mom's brother) and aunt jenny's oldest daughter. the wedding was lovely and we truly enjoyed sharing this exciting day and some time with that side of the family. due to our location and our strategic planning we were also able to see alan's grandparents on his dad's side. we stayed with them from friday til sunday. a fabulous weekend but unfortunately no pictures to share.

our month of october was wrapped up, of course, with Halloween. with sound effects and all, our little guy was the perfect little blue monster. he has discovered the world of suckers and can't seem to get enough of his "treats." we dressed up on three occasions beginning wednesday. here is a picture from each event:cousin hannah kate & wilhelm went to hannah's story hour party in shelbyville, ky.
friends kiran & claire and their moms walked with wilhelm and i to a local sorority house for their kids trick or treat night. it came on invitation from kiran's babysitter.
alan and i decided to take wilhelm to the mall for trick or treat night since we really didn't have any homes that we knew and felt safe taking him to. as you can see he quickly started indulging on a sucker, but for good reason.

we ended our month on a bad note. halloween night wilhelm started running a fever and vomiting. for three days he battled his way back to better health and i'm happy to report tonight that he has recovered from a horrible stomach bug.
whew, i know it was a ridiculously long post but i appreciate you sticking with us. hope your october brought bright moments too! until next time, bests to all of you.