Flying South for the Winter

Or should I say, flying the winter down south? Our visit to Florida this Christmas break was a fun one, but darned if it wasn’t cold down there too! Since Holly and Ray had their baby in October, we hadn’t gotten to meet little Revery Josephine. They weren’t able to make it back home for Christmas, understandably so, so we decided to take a little trip south for a few days on our school break!

We had a great visit, and since we left our kiddies in Kansas (sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa’s are the best!), we got to relax a LOT. Did a lot of sleeping. Did a lot of lounging. Did a lot of eating. And it was a lot of goodness. The Jansen’s took us to several of their go-to joints for lunches (Stein and Vine, “The Pub,” and Eddie and Sam’s N.Y. Pizza [they import water from NY to make the crust!]), we got to cook a meal together at their house, and we ordered some stinkin’ awesome Indian food to be delivered the last night. We ate well!

For entertainment, we played with one sweet little babe, we watched some Catfished, Office, and Planet Earth whilst playing some games, we did a little walking around the block and on the Riverwalk, where we also took some family photos of the new threesome, we chatted, and we ate chocolate. A three day fast track of chillaxing.

Thank you so very much for hosting us, Ray, Holly and Revery! Love ya!


The Cheery Season

Our life in pictures during the jolly season. It is really something else to be able to relive some of the magic of Christmas with my little lady and baby boy. I can’t think of a better group of people to celebrate with than the folks in these photos.

Even though that magical feeling of Christmas is pretty stinking awesome, I have to add the cliche message, because Christmas isn’t actually magic. Folks, magic isn’t real. But I’ll tell you, the dude we celebrate — Jesus — is.

I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate during this “magical” season than with the birthday of Jesus. He has literally changed my life completely. I used to be a crowd pleasing approval junkie who had a big problem with being imperfect, but Jesus rescued me from that bondage, and I have to say, even though the sin nature is and will be intertwined in my flesh until I get to heaven, I have freedom from that way of thinking. So grateful to our God for that.

There’s reason to celebrate when I remember that I don’t have to earn his favor (even though sometimes I try), that he gives me the unmerited grace to scoop up salvation and claim it for my life. No matter what life throws at me, I can rest in that truth.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed celebrating these things with these wonderful people!

The Elliotts came and celebrated New Year’s Eve with us! Minus Olan, we all made it to MIDNIGHT! WOW!

The Christmas Bake Off in 6th grade! Oreo Balls with some pretty fly peeps.

The next entry was surprisingly good… Oreo Snow (oreos with yogurt on top!) I’m kinda missing these folks.

These sweet ladies created chocolate covered pretzels with some holiday pizzazz!

The dudes made “Donut touch my snowman” creations… So creative!

Marshmallow Reindeer!!!!

Evie and I’s annual girl date to the Smoky Hill Museum Holiday Open House. Even got ourselves in the newspaper for the second time at this event! 🙂

Posing at the museum with my cutie!

Evie got to request a few carols… this harpist was the bomb!

Evie got to make a homemade candle at the open house too! Really cool.

The obligatory family photo by the Christmas tree. We are happy. I think.

The Baldwin side at the CrossPoint Christmas Eve service. Love my fam! We got to have our sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa B a few days before CE, since it was on Sunday and our men would be wrapped up in preparations for church and for the evening service. It’s really cool to be able to serve alongside these folks – my real family is my church family too!

Good times with grandparents!

6th graders holding in their happy dances right before school is out for Christmas break… pajama day + ugly sweater contest for teachers = a weird Mrs. Henry outfit. Ha ha!

Olie and Evie at the mall. Gosh that tree is great big.

Candy Land with Grandma Henry at Christmas!

Evie fell asleep on the floor at my mom and dad’s… too much excitement! Never ever happens this way!

Logan and I’s ornament creation for my students. A 3D printed ornament with shrinky-dinks made by each kid. Not bad!

Our full family photo – with our eldest son, Trail pictured. Ha ha. This was the day Trail moved out actually. We loved housing him for the semester – and he’ll always hold a special place in our family! Thanks for putting up with our crazy selves, man. You’ve probably got some major dirt on us.

Olan and Uncle Coleman!

Hanging out with my Grandma Crawshaw during our “Thanksmas” celebration! Love you grandma!!!!

The whole crew, minus Olan and Logan. Olan was home sick. 😦

Olie chilling at the Christmas Eve service

Evie singing her heart out at Christmas Eve!

These folks. Our grow group had a “Breaded Ginger House Party” to celebrate… complete with amazing awards! Love them.

Evie and my Ginger creation. My Grandma B would be so proud.

Santa and Mrs. Henry at SES!

Evie helped put up Christmas decor! She had a ball. She especially loved putting the treats in the advent calendar, and I must say, she did an amazing job!

The complete Santa Puzzle at the Henry Christmas!

Our friends, the Franklins, invited the staff kids to their house for a Christmas party! My kids loved it, and it was super awesome to have a random date night for all the parents! Thank you, Kristen, Eric, Sadie and Cole for your hospitality and fun idea!

Here they are eating their gourmet meal!

Henry family train ride at the mall. Oh boy!

Olan’s first real snow. Both kids were mesmerized.

Christmas Eve pajamas. Both kids were thrilled to have their portraits taken. Oh well. Their pjs have Mr. and Mrs. Claus on them. They were so cute! No good pictures to capture them… just take my word for it.

Our grow group adopted the rescue mission… so we made treat bags for their holiday dinner. Evie loved helping the assembly line.

Some of my favorite people on the face of the planet!

Gift wrapping room. Lol. Thanks, Trail, for moving out just in time.

O: 1.25 Years

The three months after year one. This little Olan dude is becoming quite the character! Although he didn’t get a photo shoot all to himself this time, I compiled a bunch of random ones from this season. He’s our little tornado baby, he’s still a crawler (although he can walk, he’s milking the crawl for all its worth), he’s starting to say real words (mom, dad, sis, grandma, star, ball, downstairs, car), and I can’t get enough of his sweet baby cheeks! Gobble ’em up.

Some notable Olan thangs this time around:

  • Has his little tongue out constantly.
  • Points where he wants to go (and he KNOWS where he wants to go, let me tell ya)
  • Loves opening doors (bedrooms, cabinets, microwaves, no discrimination)
  • Throws tantrums. Oh my, we have got our work cut out for us. Hitting, screeching, contorting… the whole gambit.
  • Feeds himself. Even getting the hang of using a spoon like big sis!
  • Obsessed with kicking and hitting a ball around. He is even throwing it up in the air and catching it! Paired with a huge tantrum if he misses. I know how ya feel, kid.
  • Favorite food is bananas. I’m pretty sure he’d eat 12 bananas a day if I let him.
  • Makes the brrrm car noise when he’s pushing around cars
  • Loves reading books with his mom. Swoon!
  • Loves to be upside down with his mouth gaping open
  • He’s got 4 new teeth (all four back molars!) for a total of 12!
  • Wearing 24 month/2T clothes and a size 6 foot
  • Major belly sleeper (and much more attached to a pacifier than Evie ever was… hmm)
  • 7:30pm-6:30am sleeper
  • 28 pounds of goodness
  • Climbs up and down stairs with ease (we haven’t witnessed a “head first” attempt in a long while)
  • Loves to be chased
  • Slides are fun!
  • Makes a mess in 3 seconds flat.
  • Must have food. He will follow us around relentlessly until food is in his grasp.

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