Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends! Our household has so much to be thankful for this Christmas! First of all, we are joyfully celebrating and remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. We are so thankful that he came to this earth to be a sacrifice for our sins and that by believing in Him, we can have eternal life in heaven with Him. It has been so fun this year to hear the kids really begin to understand this story and the significance behind it.

Something big has come into our family in the past few months... and it has a little something to do with the picture below!

We are expecting our 3rd child next summer!!! We are thrilled and excited and SO looking forward to growing our family. We should find out sometime around February whether it is a boy or girl. The kids know there is a baby in my belly... as Gabby says: a baby in my belly button! She is excited for the baby to grow bigger and come out and play with her :) I'm sure she will be a big help as her favorite thing to play with is her baby doll Hannah.

Our children continue to bring us joy and strength of character :) We work hard to be parents that are encouraging and loving as well as deliberate with discipline and instruction. Parenting is like no other challenge I've ever endeavored to undertake, but one that I take great pride and satisfaction in doing. I feel supremely blessed to be able to stay at home with our children and though some days are quite a challenge, there is no place I would rather be than with my babies. The kids are happy and busy kids - they love their friends and neighbors, time with extended family members, puzzles, board games and Family Movie Night. They make us laugh daily and inspire feelings of love in us that we had never experienced before they came into our lives.

Matt continues to thrive at his job and we are so thankful for the stable, supportive workplace that he has! The kids still brighten up when he walks in the door in the evening! We are so blessed that he has a normal 8-5 schedule and gets to spend so much time with us!

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us. We'd love to hear from you as well! Leave us a comment and tell us how you are doing! We hope that this letter finds you all well! We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a fun beginning to 2010!

Love, The Dillards

Gabriella - 2 years old

Oliver - 4 years old

Click here to view more of our family christmas photos. Special thanks goes out to Ann Marie Shambaugh for being our awesome photographer!

Feel free to scroll through my blog and catch up with what else has been going on with us during 2009.

Let's Party

We held many parties this past week to celebrate our big boy turning 4 years old! We started things off with a party in Houston during the Thanksgiving holiday with my family. Oliver was thrilled with the Madagascar theme that his Meme picked out for him... complete with plates, decorations, tatoos (which just came off yesterday!), and the Madagascar 2 DVD which was watched many times while we were there. We were so thankful to have all of my immediate family there with us! He got to celebrate with all of his aunts and uncles and was showered with many more sweet gifts. We took a trip to the Houston Zoo as part of the festivities as well. Fun times!

The day of Oliver's actual birthday, we got up with him, made him cinnamon toast with 4 candles in it, and proceeded to open up his present - a new board game that Daddy found that he LOVES called Gulo Gulo!

While we were sitting in front of the fire enjoying our time, I thought, hmmm the rain must have stopped because I don't hear it anymore. So I looked outside and it took me a while to realize what I was seeing... SNOW! It was a wonderful surprise and made the morning so much more magical and memorable!

I'm Four!

That night, Oliver got to pick the agenda. And there was no surprise to what he picked. We first went to his favorite restaurant, The Purple Cow, for dinner where he predictably ordered mac and cheese and chocolate milk. The waiters sang to him and brought him ice cream which he thought was pretty neat :)

After that we headed to his favorite indoor bounce house place - Boomerangs! They both ran and played and had a great time. Oliver's perfect evening.

A few days later, we held a birthday party at our house to celebrate with family and friends. He picked the theme "Super Why," which is a kids show about learning to read that he enjoys watching on PBS. It was kind of funny that he picked this as his theme. He likes the show and has seen it many times, but it is by no means his favorite show or do we ever really talk about it that often. So to me it was a little out of the blue when he announced that was the kind of party he wanted to have. Who knows how a 4 year old's mind works - but we indulged him and went with it!

It was a little bit of a challenge for mommy though because the show is not quite main-stream popular. So there are no plates, cups, decorations, etc. to fit the Super Why theme. But I got creative and made a few little decorations, did blue and green balloons and table goods to match Super Why's colors, found some little toys to put on the cake, and scored big when I bought him a Super Why outfit to dress up in. He LOVED that thing. He wore it all day long that day, most of the day the next day, and has usually put it on once a day since. I LOVE it when one of my ideas really hits the spot with my kiddos!

For those of you not educated in children's television, the characters are Super Why, Wonder Red, Alpha Pig and Princess Presto.

Here is my little Super Why with glasses, cape and wand-thingy

Princess Presto

And Oliver convinced Papa to wear a pig snout and join the crew as Alpha Pig!

We painted pictures of the characters with dot painters at our Super Why themed table

Nana and Bodie

He got 3 of the candles on the first try

And of course little sister must do everything brother does. So here is Gabby's turn as Super Why.

It was a fun day and we loved celebrating our sweet boy! The best part of all was seeing that happy smiling face all day long and knowing that he could feel the love!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My four-year-old man

Oliver is becoming a little man. No matter what I do about it, he just is. I wanted to take a minute to document the things he's been doing recently so I can help cement them in my memory!

He knows the Pledge of Allegiance and how to count to eight in Spanish - preschool is doing him good! He has recently been loving being my model anytime I get my new camera out. He's recently ventured into the arena of Knock Knock Jokes. Here is an example:

Oliver: Knock, knock
Me: Who's there?
Oliver (looking out the car window for the closest object): Sign
Me: Sign who?
Oliver: Sign tree

He's so creative.

He also has his first performance coming up at preschool. We are super excited and can't wait to see the preschoolers put on a Christmas show for us. Matt and I will be there as well as Granna - all smiling proudly and taking lots of pictures and videos along with every other parent there. I'm sure it will be a well documented production.

He loves board games and is really into playing Sorry, Cariboo, Go Fish, War, Go Away Monster, and his newest game Gulo Gulo. He still loves playing computer games and can hop up on the computer chair, open the web browser, type in the name of the website he wants to visit and off he goes! He told me when he grows up he wants to be a "computer man like Daddy" - very sweet! Although, I'm convinced he thinks Matt sits at work all day and plays games on PBSkids.org.

And today is this little man's birthday! To reflect, I created a slide show of pictures from this past year of his life. Click here to check it out!

We love you so much Oliver and enjoy living life alongside of you - watching you grow up into an adorable, sweet, helpful, and loving little man. Happy birthday my baby boy!