Malakai's 1-Year Portraits

I don't know how it happened so fast but the time has come for me to take my son's 1-year shots. His birthday isn't until Dec. 17th but I wanted to get these done in time for Christmas gifts so I decided that he wouldn't change all that drastically in three weeks and I would go ahead and get them done before it got ridiculously cold outside. He was very excited to examine the leaves at County Park, and by examine, I mean quite a few of them got taste tests. I was exhausted when we left about 20 minutes after we arrived...it's so much work to get him to look at me, focus my camera, stop shaking the toy that's wrapped around my neck and capture his sweet personality and smile before he looks away. After his morning nap, we did a few inside shots, but there's nothing like being outside in the beauty of nature. You'll see at the end of the outdoor session he had a bit of a meltdown...I mean what's a kid's photo shoot without some tears, right? He's such a honey...


Martin Family Weekend

This past weekend, the Martin family (12 of us now!) set out for the cabin near Raystown Lake, in the middle of a snowfall. It was gorgeous on Saturday morning to look out the windows and see the fresh blanket of snow that had came down over night. The brothers did what guys do out in the woods, shooting holes in homemade targets (cardboard boxes) and the rest of us stayed inside playing games or reading books. Malakai had a tough weekend as his routine was upset which made him extremely fussy and not so much fun to be around. He is beginning to really test Mommy and Daddy to see if we'll be consistent with our requirements of him, such as swallowing what we put in his mouth, etc. LORD, give me a love I've never known for my little boy as he turns into a toddler! Each day is a new adventure in parenting, that's for sure. Here's a few pictures from our weekend together.


It's Snow Time...

Well, I don't know about you, but Eric and I love the cold weather and snow on top of that is an added bonus. I think we could both be happy living in the Arctic region where your body never has to sweat and there's no humidity. This morning I woke up to an unusual sight in November...it was snowing! It's now 12 noon and just stopped. I even got a phone call from my good friend, Denise who lives in North Carolina and it was snowing there too. She loves the cold and the snow. When Malakai woke up, I took him over to the second floor window so he could see all the white stuff covering our yard and he just stared without blinking for a long time. I can't wait to take him out in it a little later. While he was napping, Gid and I went out in the back yard for some fun and our neighbor, Don brought his little 4-pound Boston Terrier outside for a quick potty break. Sebastian is 12 weeks old and so adorable! He's always giving me kisses when I pick him up. Don & Esther now have two Bostons. Leo is 7 years old and they just found out he has lung cancer, so they went ahead and got him a companion to make it less painful when he breathes his last breath. They are one amazing couple...70+ years old with two dogs. Gotta love 'em! We are leaving in a few hours for the cabin with Eric's family for the weekend. Should be a fun time playing in the snow together.


...First Time For Everything

I feel as though I've done something that every woman should do at some point in their lives...cook a big fat turkey! Last week as I was checking out at Giant I was told that I had enough points (thanks to Malakai's formula) to get a free turkey. What? I felt like that's something that only my mom gets. How did I rack up so much so fast? Oh yeah, my little boy needs to have his formula. So with much fear and anxiety, I brought home this 15.25 pound frozen rock of a turkey and left him thaw in cold water in my sink for 2 days. It was quite a process getting him into the oven...

-cut open the bag
-drain and wash the turkey off
-remove the neck (so gross!)
-remove bag of giblets (heart, liver, gizard)
-pat dry
-put in an oven bag and season
-cook for an eternity (4 hours)

Believe it or not, I didn't blow up my kitchen and it smelled just like my Grandma's house on Thanksgiving day. Isn't it funny how smells can take you back to a moment in history? I could picture me and my cousins running around, not being helpful, while my grandpa was carving the turkey and all of my aunts were setting the table, pouring the water, and getting the other dishes filled with veggies, etc. Meanwhile, my uncles were sitting in another room just talking and getting geared up for a long afternoon nap after some good grubbin'.

So we had 4 other friends over to indulge in the fruit of our labor and it was delicious. I made baked corn (in my neighbor, Esther's oven) for the first time and everyone else brought a dish. Eric had a blast carving the turkey with our electric knife. Thanks for a great meal Marv & Dori, Jamie, and Melissa. Our kitchen may be small, but it was worth being a little tight to enjoy such a great love feast with all of you. Here's some pictures from the turkey making process. Gideon was not happy that I wasn't sharing with him...don't worry, we gave him some giblets and turkey later on :)


Swiss Woods Getaway

Thursday and Friday, Eric and I stayed at Swiss Woods Bed & Breakfast in Lititz, PA for a little getaway. This was our first night away from Malakai and it was SO refreshing not to have all the added parental responsibilities that have become part of our routine. We did some Christmas shopping, went out for dinner, had a professional massage, watched a movie and SLEPT IN!!! We had hoped to do some hiking but it rained the entire time. They made one fabulous breakfast for us and then we played two intense rounds of Chess (each winning one!) We just got home a few hours ago and are going to pick up Malakai (and Gideon) at my parents soon. Can't wait to see them both again:)


Wenger Family - 11.9.08

Yesterday I had the privilege of taking family pictures for someone who may have invented the best Lancaster County meal of all times...ham loaf. Not just any ham loaf...Gene Wenger ham loaf! The Wenger's wanted family pics and I got the job. It was a crisp fall afternoon and the kids were wound tight. We made it through and got some fun shots. Afterwards, we went to see their neighbor's eight Siberian Husky puppies. I would've taken them all home if we had enough room in our Highlander...they were so adorable. Malakai liked petting them too. Thanks for the tour of your beautiful property.