Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jumpin' Jack

Jackson enjoyed his first experience in the Jolly Jumper that Grandma & Grandpa Blankenship picked up for him. He lived up to the name Jumpin' Jack, bouncing happily as he entertained the entire family at our early Christmas celebration.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Newsletter 2010

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to send out another round of Christmas wishes and to share the highlights of a year that has nearly reached its close. 2010 has been an extraordinary year for us and if you haven’t seen the thousands of photos Jill has uploaded on Facebook, here’s the Cliff’s notes version of what’s been going on here in beautiful Edmonds, WA.

January started off with a big blue bang! We rang in the New Year wearing blue after our sonogram revealed that our bun in the oven was indeed a little boy. We were beyond excited.

In February, we took our “babymoon” trip to Leavenworth where we again stayed in our favorite bed & breakfast, The Abendblume. Fresh snowfall made the weekend especially romantic and magical, allowing us to go on a snowshoe hike. Jill’s sister Julie also came out for a visit in February and we had fun acting as tour guides on her first trip to our new home.

We celebrated Jill’s 29th birthday in March and then took a trip to Florida to further celebrate the anticipation of our son. Jill’s Mom and Julie threw the ultimate baby shower at friend Reidi Lott’s home and our little boy was duly spoiled with 4 suitcases full of the cutest baby boy merchandise on the market.

April was a busy month with last minute preparation for our son’s arrival. We spent a lot of time pouring over owner’s manuals in assembling the crib, changing table, dresser, and other baby paraphernalia. When we weren’t busy building things, we were busy traveling. Along with our friend Thanh, we took a road trip to the Tri-Cities and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for a weekend of golfing for the guys and maternity massage for Jill (who really enjoyed being able to lay on her stomach for the first time in months). Next we took a trip with our Mars Hill Church home group to beautiful Cama Beach, WA where we slowed our pace long enough to enjoy the gorgeous view from the front porch of our cabin. We saw seals and watched whales sound just a few hundred yards away. We hiked, biked, threw horseshoes, and ate s’mores. It was a restful time with our church family.

May was the pinnacle month of the year. In God’s perfect timing, after a year’s worth of resumes and prayers, Dan was blessed with an Industrial Engineering job at Boeing which would soon allow Jill to quit her job and become a stay-at-home mom. Three more amazing baby showers further spoiled our unborn son and the waiting game began as he was due to arrive any day. Jill’s parents flew in from Florida to wait with us for their first grandson to appear on the scene. Finally, after 72 hours of pre-labor and 14 hours of active labor, Jill’s natural childbirth experience culminated in an emergency cesarean and Jackson Cole made his grand entrance weighing in at 7 lbs., 12 oz., 20 in. on May 26th. Jackson immediately lived up to his name as “God’s gracious gift” to our family. We were instantly in love.

June brought Aunt Julie out to WA to meet her first nephew. We didn’t waste any time before taking Jackson on his first adventures. Before the month was over, he’d been picnicking in Eastern Washington and strawberry picking in the Skagit Valley. As Spring gave way to summer, BBQ’s and walks with Jackson to the beach became routine. Dan began volunteering as a leader for the junior high boys at Proxy, a Mars Hill Church ministry.

More adventures unfolded in July when we resumed hiking, now as a family of three. We took a day trip to Port Townsend to enjoy the sunshine and wander Fort Worden with our friend Bethany.

August included a Blankenship Family reunion at cousins Erik & Sue’s cabin in Skykomish, a private tour of the USS Green Bay docked in Seattle where Jackson got to take a seat in the Captain’s chair, and a gorgeous, sunny Mt. Rainier hike with our friends The Rikalos. Jackson also became a world traveler that month when we crossed the border into Canada to picnic with Jill’s cousin Heather whose cruise ship was docked there for the day. And it wouldn’t have been summer without a trip to the Evergreen State Fair where we spent the day eating elephant ears, petting bunnies, and marveling at over-sized gourds along with our home group.

September took us to Montana where we spent Labor Day weekend with friends George & Susie on their family cattle ranch and enjoyed a rugged weekend of shooting, 4-wheeling, ghost towns, coal kilns, and s’mores. We welcomed Fall in the Pacific Northwest with all of its hues of red, orange, and yellow and Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes. A trip to the pumpkin patch ultimately resulted in posing smiley Jackson inside of a carved pumpkin. He enjoyed squishing pumpkin goo between his toes.

October was a blur of activity. Dan came back from his annual hunting trip in Eastern Washington just in time to give Jill instructions to go to the airport to pick up her surprise guest, lifelong friend Shannon! We spent the next five days acquainting her with Jackson and the Northwest with a day at the local corn maze, a Rainier hike, a ferry ride to Kingston, a stroll through Pike Place Market, and a trip to see fall foliage in Leavenworth. Our next visitor was Mom Tyckoson who spent 2 weeks with us and joined us for Jackson’s first Halloween where we dressed him up like a tiger and took him trick-or-treating in downtown Edmonds.

Mom ushered in November with us and babysat while we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. Dan’s 35th birthday was celebrated a few days later. November also brought our first snowfall to Edmonds and Jackson seemed to enjoy it even though his snowsuit left him immobile just like the kid in A Christmas Story. We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Blankenship family and Julie, who flew in to celebrate Jackson’s 6 month birthday and do a little snow shoeing with us.

December has already been a blur of Christmas events, sweet treats and traditions. We once again hiked up into the snow-covered mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree which has already fallen over twice but nonetheless is a source of endless wonder for little Jackson who is now starting to crawl and say MaMa and Dada. We just returned from another trip to Canada, this time to ski at Whistler with Mom & Dad Blankenship, Rob & Beth and friends. This Christmas we’ll celebrate with the Blankenships here in WA before we fly to Orlando to celebrate Jesus’ birth and ring in the New Year with Jill’s family and introduce Jackson to his sunshine state fan club.

God has shown Himself faithful to us throughout all of 2010 and we look forward to seeing what He has in store in 2011. We pray that you are filled with the joy and peace of Christ this Christmas season and in the new year ahead. We love you and thank God for your presence in our lives.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Jackson is still working on his crawling moves. Tonight he figured out how much fun it can be spinning in circles by the Christmas tree. He was spinning for a good ten minutes before I got out the video camera to try to get a few circles on record. Of course, the camera was a distraction but he didn't disappoint. Don't get dizzy watching....

Friday, December 3, 2010

crawling practice

Jackson has been working on hard on figuring out this whole crawling thing before Christmas. (I guess he wants to impress everyone in Florida with his moves.) So far though he keeps running into the problem of crawling backwards instead of forward.

Still working on it...

And eventually he just got completely frustrated with himself as usual.

We love our backwards crawler!