climbing & instruction.

Maybe someday I’ll mean ‘cliff’ or ‘mountain’ when I title a post ‘climbing’, but this time I mean ‘chair’ or ‘all other furniture or taller objects within reach’ climbing.

I’ll explain all that LL had been learning and exploring lately in her 9 month post that is yet to come, but for now, she climbs:

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… Under the chair, before giving herself a lil bonk on the head and realizing she can’t stand up under there.

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She didn’t seem to mind though. She was having too much fun exploring!

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We’re working on teaching/instructing & disciplining when things are dangerous to ‘explore’. Not EVERYTHING is ‘baby proofed’ at the Asayplacey. Though we don’t leave the sharp knives on the floor within reach, we’d (I think most parents can agree) rather train Linley to follow Ephesians 6:1… Joyfully because of proverbs 13:24, among others. In due time. She listens to her daddy’s voice much more attentively than mine. It’s low and apparently comes across as more serious.

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She’s a sweet gift, and is teaching us SO so much! Explore away Linley Louise! (just not over to the bookcase that could topple over on your little body, or onto the frames that are on the floor because momma can’t make up her mind, or near the cans of ash next to fireplace because we haven’t found a good solution for that yet, or up the stairs cause you could fall, or into the kitchen because you’ll probably find crumbs on the floor and put them in your mouth – gross! -, or… I’m SURE there are SOME places you can explore!) :)

Cash & planning

In hopes of becoming better stewards of the gifts we’ve been given (namely money), we’re making the move to cash… actual, I can touch it, count it out, and use it: cash. We’ve had a budget ever since we’ve been married, something I am so thankful to Tad for. And we’ve always tried to ‘do our best’ to spend under the allotted amount within each category, but we tend to go over in some areas; like groceries…and other ‘random’ spending. I am mostly at fault for this since we’ve made it my responsibility to plan the meals each week (though my man can cook!) and i do most of the ‘random’ spending. So we discussed which categories those random spending items fell under, made a list and budget, and I threw together a lil ‘cash envelope’ to start January 2012.

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I’m looking forward to seeing how well we can make it work! I don’t like hauling around even generally moderate sums of money, so this lil guy will be for food, dates, and shopping outings only.

I’ve already made our meal plan for the week, now let’s see if we can stick with it! If anyone is interested in what we’ll be consuming the rest of the week, I’ve posted the plan below with lunches being mostly leftovers with some sandies and salads thrown in the mix. These meals are staples I already know how to make so the list was easy!

Tuesday: potato soup

Wednesday: fajitas

Thursday: chicken lasagna

Friday: chops + roasted veggies

Saturday: chili

Sunday: tostadas

Monday: homemade pizza

celebrating christmas twenty-eleven.

Tad, Linley, and I celebrated with three different groups of people. My mom and step-dad (celebration 1), my dad and step-mom (celebration 2), and Tad’s parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. (celebration 3). Here we go!!

CELEBRATION ONE:

First, there’s Gus. He’s the horse seen below. When we first arrived, Linley started SCREAMING after just looking at him! She didn’t know what to make of the rowdy, ‘i’m so big but think i’m a small puppy’ dog. Needless to say she took after cousin Maggie’s outlook (below with her daddy – my big brother) and by the end of the night was okay with him licking her face (not by request).

Then we celebrated with gifts and even had special helpers to pass them out.

I made Linley little booties to where… can you see them? They were so sooo simple: felt and yarn. This is Aunt Dani hangin with the LL:

She had fun and as usual put everything in her mouth. The doll in the middle right image, was made by grandmomma marty. 

Hey Papa Chan!

A ring for Momma from my brother and sister-in-law found on Etsy:

gmomma and the two girls – LL had already changed into her jams (a theme throughout). Maggie is saying, ‘bye-bye’!!

CELEBRATION NIGHT TWO: Friday before Christmas at my Dad and step-Mom’s:

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY! Linley got this sweet top and turtle neck for my shower before she was born from a sweet friend and it was perfect for today. Doesn’t she look like she’s off to a holiday party?

Gifts gifts galore! and practice with paper.

SO MUCH FUN!

oops. same picture twice.. see it?!

okay, the SWEET poncho knit baby cape beauty was made by my ever-so-talented-sister-in-law, Nichole. She is a machine! If I had the link ready for our Etsy store, you could purchase there and get your own goodies. Both the sweater she is wearing herself and Linley’s brand new cape (which you’ll see her wearing again Christmas day) were hand knit by her. Nicely done sister!

One of my very favorite gifts that we gave this year was to my dad. (it was my favorite because I knew he’d love it so much). It was a Melodica. We attended a concert with them a number of weeks ago where he saw it and was very interested in it. He’s a SUPERSTAR when it comes to ANY musical instrument and is VERY gifted. Don’t be shy, Dad. We who have heard/seen you pick up an instrument and just ‘figure it out’ ALL know it’s true.

And I can’t leave out these two buddies. They were having lots of fun together:

But so much fun wears a girl out, and when this happens, you know it’s about time to say goodnight.

On to CELEBRATION NUMERO 3: Off to Omaha immediately following Christmas at my dad’s. (Saves driving the hour+ home then making the trek again the next day). However it also meant lots of sadness in the back seat. :(

Christmas Eve day, the happiness returns! Linley and Grandpa Thom reading the newspaper together.

We went to the Christmas Eve service at Tad’s family’s church in Omaha (Thank you Grandma Michelle for the lovely red dress!) followed by dinner, traditionally chicken sandies, rice pudding, and treats:

Because all of the little ladies were wearing their best, we thought it’d be good to have them sit nicely together and pose for a nice Christmas picture. Below are our attempts (not too bad… you know):

In hopes of not having an over-tired, emotional babe, we attempted to put Linley to sleep in a pack N play we had brought with. ‘Attempted’. And failed. So we just partied and hoped for the best!

We again gathered ’round to celebrate by exchanging gifts (blessed-blessed-blessed! – but not as blessed as the reason why we exchange gifts in the first place – to represent the BEST gift given, EVERY year – His name is Jesus. He’s God. Know the Story?):

I really wish I could say what was going on here. Suggestions anyone?

Linley’s oldest cousin was trying out her new wings! I’m not sure why she seems so unpleased in this photo. She was really very excited about it…I think!

Linley, too, had fun practicing her climbing skills on the boxes. But little did she know there was a little (bit bigger) someone on the move behind her. Her other cousin, Addi! So LL got plowed by the bigger baby.

She didn’t mind, though, as you can see below, she went right back after her. I feel like these are WAY better little lady photos than the ones we attempted earlier :) They always are!

Finally it was time to say goodnight, so we packed up and headed home to Grandpa and Grandma Asay’s placey. Linley just deliriously stared out the window, would close her eyes, then throw her head back and whip her eyes wide open again (exhaustion setting in.) Praise the Lord though, she didn’t have too much trouble falling asleep once we put her in the crib.

CHRISTMAS DAY we enjoyed lunch, games, and dinner together at Tad’s other Aunt and Uncle’s home. Linley was having fun playing with toys and her (2nd?) cousin Molly.

She was getting sleepy and ready for a nap, but I knew if I waited, the light would be gone and we’d miss a good opportunity for photos, so we put Linley’s lovely new cape on and away we went!  – However, when she’s sleepy and you set her down somewhere without joining her, she seems to become very troubled, so we did our best to cheer her. It worked! I thought she looked like a little peddler boy (girl) with her leggings riding up like that (thanks gma marty!)

With the light right there and our cameras out, I asked cousin Molly to snap of few of the three of us (as this is unfortunately a rare event), so THANKS Molly!

And then Granda Michelle and I headed back home for a quick nap and returned for more family fun. What a weekend!

I thought we took LOTS of photos (and we did) but after sorting through all of these, I realized that we really need to do a better job of taking pictures WITH grandparents! Something I missed this year. Even still it was a great first Christmas celebrating with a Little Lady!

Thank you Thank you everyone for sharing time, resources, love, and gifts with us! MERRY CHRISTMAS… and now, HAPPY TWENTY-TWELVE!