Thursday, November 24, 2011

giving thanks

Today was a good day. We started off Thanksgiving as all American should...watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Packers game simultaneously. Clearly, we are thankful for the invention of the remote control.

Here's Jackson pointing out the Tom Turkey float.A quiet morning in our pajamas at home soon gave way to the hustle and bustle of prepping food for the family gathering. We packed up the kid and the food in the car and headed south to Tacoma to feast on turkey and all of the trimmings with the Blankenship Clan.Here are a few more pics from the day...

After the meal, Jackson "cleaned up" with his popper toy.This is the Thankgiving card that Jackson "made" for Grandpa & Grandma Blankenship. It's truly a one-of-a-kind card because it turns out that Jackson HATES to have his hand traced (the body of the turkey is Jackson's hand outline) so I only got him to hold still for one card. The other cards we made for family in Florida involved leaf rubbings and coloring - two things Jackson enjoys.

Then we played in a giant cardboard box...just because it was there.
Grandma Jan showed Jackson some magic tricks she could do with her magnetic balls.

All good things must come to an end and all good days must end with a bang! This time the BANG! was quite literal - Jackson smacked his left eye into the edge of the coffee table and got his first black eye. He's now our "little black-eyed pea" instead of our "little sweet pea."We're so thankful to God for the blessing of our sweet, little, black-eyed boy and all of the joy that filters into our home through him. Dan and I feel incredibly blessed by God in His outpouring of love and blessings ! Today is definitely a day for giving thanks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

first snow of the season

All week long the weatherman has been talking about it and this morning we finally saw it...snow!!! The first snow of the season hit Edmonds in all of its icy, white glory and our family took full advantage of it.
We took a short drive up the hill to find a good snow patch for Jackson to play in and he was ecstatic! He had a blast running around in the white stuff and being chased by Dan. His favorite part, no doubt, was when Dan would run and jump over his head.
There were crocodile tears shed when we had to pry Jackson away from the snowy field and head home for lunch and nap time. Hopefully this is only the first of many more opportunities for snow play this year.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dan's birthday

Today Dan turned 36 and we (meaning Jackson and I) did our best to make him feel like king for a few days.

Last night we threw a surprise poker party for him with some of the guys from church. And it actually worked! He was truly surprised when the guys knocked on our door at 7:00 carrying with them folding chairs (because we literally only own 4 chairs) and beer from the local brewery. Thankfully, he was tired from his long work week and hadn't noticed the man snacks (chicken wings, taquitoes, and spicy, manly chip dip) I had cooking in the kitchen. Once Jackson and I revealed the fancy 400-piece poker set in the incredibly heavy aluminum case that we'd picked out for Dan as a birthday gift, the party was a complete success!This morning we started off the day with birthday cards and gifts, the traditional birthday banner, and a leisurely birthday breakfast. My favorite party of Dan's birthday was when Jackson gave him his personalized card and gift. Ok, I admit I helped him a little with the idea and the execution of the card and the personalized Starbucks travel mug boasting a colorful collage of pictures of Jackson and his daddy. Now Dan won't have to borrow my travel mug that's covered in pictures of me and all of my girlfriends to transport his orange juice to work in the morning.The original plan was to spend today adventuring to a nearby mountain for some snow but instead Dan opted for a slightly less exciting drive to Target to pick out Jackson's first potty. (Yep, we're soon to be headed down the one-way street to a potty-trained toddler.) Dan was hoping for a toilet with sound effects but in the end we opted for the froggy potty. Hopefully, it will do the trick!

Tonight we finished out the birthday extravaganza with a Blankenship Family dinner and game night in honor of Dan and his fellow birthday celebrants...Uncle John, sis-in-law Jeri, and big brother Steve. There's nothing else quite like a Blankenship Family game night - all of the hollering and laughing while buzzers are buzzing as time runs out on a heated round of guys vs. girls (plus Glen) Catch Phrase is PRICELESS. We capped off the night with Dan's favorite cake...homemade German Chocolate Cake. It was a great day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall in fast-forward

Well, we've been busy and I've been neglecting our blog so here's a quick run-down of the events of late...

When we got back from Italy, Dan was made a lead at work! Yay!!! We were thrilled for him and saw this promotion as a direct result of the prayers offered up for Dan leading up to his getting the job in May of last year. God is so good and He is ever so faithful! We're grateful to see Him continue to pour out blessings on Dan and our family through the Boeing company.

We hadn't been back in the States for long when it was time for another trip - only this time it was just Jackson and me traveling to Florida to visit my side of the family and our Sunshine State friends. The trip was a long one -- 2 1/2 weeks (translation, WAY TOO LONG to be away from Dan/Daddy but a LOT of fun!). Since we would be gone for Halloween, we left behind a special package for Dan to open after we'd left.
While we were in Florida, Dan was off on his annual hunting trip in Eastern Washington with long-time friends, The Vollmers. No deer were harmed in the making of this year's hunt but fun was had, gourmet meals were cooked in the campfire, and camouflage was worn. Jackson and I like to attribute some of the trip's success to the hunting kit that we left behind for Dan to take with him. (We dressed up in our own camouflage for the picture.)Meanwhile in sunny Florida, Jackson and I had a great time visiting my parents and my sister Julie in Orlando.We met up with lots of friends - old and young.Thanks to our friend Shannon, we got to introduce Jackson to Disney World for the first time. He loved his close encounter with the cast (including Shannon herself as a cheetah) from The Festival of the Lion King Show at Disney's Animal Kingdom. And at Epcot he met Mary Poppins (or "Poppins" as Jackson calls her) herself (our friend Tiffany) in jolly ol' England. He also learned how to say "Dude!" from Crush the Turtle (from Finding Nemo) and was pretty enamored by the giant "Golf Ball" that was at the park's entrance.Here's a post-Disney debriefing interview we did with Jackson in the parking lot before heading back home to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

While we were in Florida, Halloween came and went and Jackson had not one but TWO costumes this year! He was a fireman by day and a giraffe by night. When we went trick-or-treating at my cousins Tim & Gina's house, he said "Trick or Treat!" and then when they gave him the candy he said "Thank you" but gave it right back to them. I'm guessing by next year, he'll have quite the opposite reaction to having candy handed to him.Jackson got to visit Aunt Julie and Grandpa at their offices. He even brought Aunt Julie some flowers for her desk.One of the biggest reasons we were in Florida this time of year was to meet Ked & Christie's new arrival, Autumn! She arrived while we were in town and we were thrilled to be able to spend a little time getting to know her and fall in love with her. Congrats, Pomeroy Family!
In the midst of all the Florida fun, we found some time to take a music break at the home of our friends, The Hicks Family. Jackson went to town on the piano.

Here are a few more Florida pics:Once we bid our sad goodbyes to the Tyckosons in Florida, we were thrilled to be home with Dan again and he seemed to have missed us quite a bit too. He had a welcome home bouquet of red roses and a card waiting for me when we got home from the airport. What a guy!We got back into the swing of busy West Coast life right away. Dan took me to my first University of Washington Huskies football game. Go Dawgs! It was a historic game, considering it was the last to be played in Husky Stadium before undergoing its major renovation. While the Huskies didn't win, we still enjoyed hanging out with friends Kat & Rondell up in the nosebleed section. We're hopeful for a victory at our next game! My only regret is not snapping a photo of Dan in his game gear for the night - all dressed up in "duck hunting" camouflage since we were playing against the Oregon Ducks.Our wonderful long-time friend Bethany came for a visit from Colorado. We've missed her terribly since she graduated from nursing school here in Seattle and moved back to her hometown. Jackson smiled a big "CHEESE!"-y smile when he posed for a picture with her.We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary -- well, sort of. We haven't technically gone out yet to celebrate it but we will. For the big day, we settled on a home-cooked dinner and some fancy molten chocolate lava cakes with homemade raspberry sauce for dessert!We both feel so blessed by God through this amazing journey of marriage together and it's hard to imagine that already 3 years have gone by since we first said "I do."