Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Love Today

Side note: I should mention that all the pictures in this post are old, like a year and a half. No new camera yet and I thought it would be fun to show you some images of my kids before I started this here little, right??

I came home from the gym to find our bed unmade and Joe still in his pajamas. Isaac playing his new Wii game from Uncle Jesse on the couch and Selah and Gabe still sleeping. No rushing around, no quick breathing treatment, grab your lunch and backpack before ushering Isaac out the door. No quick kiss before watching Joe drive away to a meeting.

Just us. Taking our time. Lazy breakfast, content kids playing. Me reading my bible without checking the clock to see if I have enough time to get another chapter in.

I love today. After the high energy that is Christmas (which was great!), it's nice to slow down. It's my favorite thing. Taking the time to actually play with the kids because we don't have somewhere to be in twenty minutes.

Selah and I have made coffee and eggs, lasagna, pizza, spaghetti, cake and ice cream so far in her play kitchen.  It's so sweet to see how much she adores the one on one time. Why don't I do this more?? Why??

Now I'm enjoying the scene as she pushes her baby around the house in her toy shopping cart. She takes "baby" out from time to time and gently pats her back, places her back in the cart and continues on her way.  I love this age. Why does it have to go so fast? It hurts, I tell ya! I remember Isaac pushing his cars and trucks (such a boy and just as cute) around in a little "doll" stroller. Seems like just yesterday.

And today is only going to get better. We are celebrating my firstborn. He doesn't know we are having all of his friends and family meet us at the local bowling alley in a few short hours. I can't wait to see his face when he walks in with Daddy.

Today, it's such a gift.


We spent Christmas Eve watching Isaac sing up on stage with his friends at church. Later, we headed to Uncle Jim and Aunt Polly's house where we exchanged gifts, ate good food and shared favorite being from my cousin Pam. Her two year old had a rather messy ketchup incident. And, if you know my cousin, she has a way with telling stories. I couldn't stop laughing! So funny...and I hope (like, really, really hope) Selah wasn't listening!

We made it back home by about eleven p.m., promptly put the kids to bed and I began wrapping gifts. Yes, began! And, by five forty a.m., I fell into bed just to be woken up two hours later. I overheard Isaac exclaim that Santa ate ALL the cookies! There's no going back to sleep when you realize Santa has been in your home eating cookies and placing gifts under the matter how tired an up all night mama may be...

The boys loved their remote controlled monster trucks, Legos and Wii games and Selah loved her new toy kitchen. Her new Cabbage Patch has already been properly disrobed and, of course her hair is no longer tightly twisted into a perfect side ponytail... My favorite gift of all was Selah's "new" quilt I found on eBay. It's perfect! I've looked before but when I saw this particular one with the scalloped edges and bordered in yellow, my favorite color, I knew it was "the one" (not to mention the price was great at $39.99!).  Now I'm looking for the perfect iron bed and we will be on our way to a "big girl" room!

After opening gifts as a family we made the hour drive to have Christmas with my dad, step mom, brothers and sisters along with my grandparents and a slew of nieces and nephews. Wonderful, it was. All my favorite people in one room eating yummy food and nowhere to be other than right there. Having my nephew, Greyson (Selah kept referring to him as baby Jesus. Who can blame her after all the singing "Happy Birthday Jesus" we did and talking about his manger birth. She was convinced no matter how many times I told her it was Greyson!) my chest was dreamy. Next year I will have a new niece or nephew to breathe in. I can't wait.

We had a grand Christmas, how about you?

I'm off to shower and put the finishing touches on a bowling themed birthday party. A great day awaits!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Because I Don't Want to Forget

Gabe's Christmas Concert:
The way he stood so proud in the back row singing to his little heart's content. Precious, it was. He kept telling me he was going to do a good job. I sensed his excitement leading up to the big day, it's all he could talk about! Me, well I could hardly contain myself as I watched him take the stage with all his little friends. The way he swayed back and forth with his classmates and sang the cutest Christmas songs ever. He did great. He knew every word, every clap, every hop. Quite different from his big brother who kind of stood there and watched everyone else!

Sharing my testimony:
I joined a bible study with a friend a few weeks ago. Last week our leader asked if anyone would like to share their testimony this week. I wrote mine out the night before and it was read as sweet women sat quietly and listened the next morning. I was so touched by the reaction of the group. Tears were shed, some of them my own. A kind young woman came up to me afterwards with tears in her eyes and said she was going through a similar situation. She almost didn't come that day but was so glad she did. Isn't it cool when God does stuff like that? I love it.

Selah's newest thing:
She's hilarious. She now calls me "Mama Mia", Joe is "Daddio", Gabe is "Gabey" or "Gabey Knopp" and Isaac is "Isaac Knoppy". I'm not sure where she came up with it but it's pretty funny. Makes us all laugh as she's running through the house calling for us. She's also nuts over her ABC's. Sings 'em all the time, if she's not singing them then she's asking me to. Cutest thing. Right now she's huddled between two big brothers, happy as can be :)

My almost seven year old:
January first marks Isaac's seventh birthday. Where in the world has the time gone?? How can it be possible that it's been seven years since I held him for the first time. The first time I held my very own baby to my chest and drank in that sweet newborn scent. Life changes when you become a mama. And it never gets old, thinking back on those first moments with my boy. Doesn't seem possible that it's been seven years since his little body was tucked away in mine.

Christmas movies on the couch:
I love this. We watch one every night before bed. Side by side on the couch, squished under blankets. Me rubbing a sweet boy's back or holding a hand. Them entranced by a Christmas scene played out on the TV. I'm already looking forward to tonight's movie.

Christmas break:
Today marks the first official day of Christmas break for us. On the agenda: Baking and cookie delivery. Hobby Lobby, and more Christmas movies on the couch. Other ideas include pumpkin pancakes, ornament making and other crafts, Clifton Mill, seeing family that's visiting from Florida :) and hunting down neighborhoods for the best Christmas lights. Can't wait!

Things I'd rather forget:
Breaking my camera (that explains the old photos in this post). It was like slow motion as I watched it tumble from the top shelf of the cupboard. I tried to catch it but no. I cried a little bit on the inside. Joe got it for me for Christmas last year which means I had it almost a year. Bummer.

Merry Christmas out there!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Went To The City

New York City that is.  Before driving back home we thought we'd spend a couple of days in the city. Joe had been once back in high school but the kids and I had never been.

We thought we'd give it a try on Black Friday. Why not, right? I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays and a bazillion people all in the same spot. I love taking the kids to new places and seeing their eyes fill up with excitement. It was great. From navigating the subway to riding the Ferris wheel inside the Toys R Us store, it was jam packed with new experiences. I told Joe before we got there that I wanted to do as much as possible in those two days. Forget the naps, forget bedtime, just live it up!

The view from our hotel room:

Lady Liberty

Hey, no free rides around here. Take care of your own bag...even if you are little. Actually, she insisted after watching her brothers pull theirs.

First glimpse of the Empire State Building.

Macy's window display.

We had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. It was really, really loud but somehow Selah managed to nap through it all. She must be more Rock N Roll than we thought...

Isaac's drawing a picture of the City. So cute :)

Gabe drew the Statue of Liberty.

Look at all those people!!

The Ferris wheel!

The next morning the kids played with a few toys they picked out the day before from street vendors. Isaac's bubble blowing gun was a big hit. He had $9.00 in his wallet when we arrived...he chose to spend $5 on this. Seeing how much they all enjoyed it I would say it was $5 well spent!

After that we got dressed, hopped on the subway and made our way to Central Park. I think the kids would say this was the best part. We had them race up and down a big hill. I think it was just the kind of thing they needed :) It was great the way their faces lit up as they made their way up and down this huge piece of earth. Such a little boy thing to do :) It reminded me that they are still little, and I love little. They are ours, those smiles, those round faces, those belly laughs, they are our little people to love and enjoy. What a blessing to be able to take them on such a great adventure. To a place people travel from all over the world to see. They got to hear new languages, see different faces, experience something other than our little Ohio town. You have no idea how thankful I am for that...

Earlier, we found a cute little place for breakfast. We ate upstairs and had a fabulous view of the city as we sipped coffee and talked over eggs and pancakes. After breakfast we went to Victoria's Secret (I got new jammies, yay! I now have pj's that match...never thought I'd see the day...), then we browsed Tiffany's.  Joe surprised me with a new necklace :) Said he wanted me to have something special from New York. Love him. Seriously, love that guy.

Back to racing up the big hill...

This is Gabe getting a head start...

Daddy joined in on the fun...

I bet we did this twenty times! And the cousins were so sweet to keep it up, they knew the boys were lovin' it :)

These next pictures of my boys? I love them. I really, really do. Really.

This is Isaac telling Gabe the plane. Run down to that tree, turn around and race back...

Next, race up the hill holding hands, five jumping jacks and back down...

Love Selah's smile in this one...

We even saw a couple having their wedding pictures taken :)

Off to FAO Schwartz. The line was out the door and around the building. We thought we'd be there all night. Nope, we were in the door in less than five minutes! Who knew...glad we waited. We were seriously thinking the kids could not handle a long line. So glad we didn't have to!

Then back on the Subway and off to dinner before starting the drive back home.

Dear New York,

We like you. A lot. We will be back.

The Knopps.

The coolest part of all you ask? As we were getting in the elevator to make our way down to the subway we heard a choir singing Chris Tomlin's How Great Is Our God. I have no idea where they were, just off in the distance somewhere. It really was the coolest thing, these loud, passionate voices weaving in and out of city streets and over rooftops. It was literally the very last thing we heard as the heavy, silver doors were closing. Joe and I locked eyes and were reading each other's that what we think it is?? So very cool. Loved that.

And that was our little trip. So much fun. Oh, and in a strange twist of fate I lost my voice on the way home. No words, no wonderful conversation, no singing along with the Christmas tunes. I was bummed. My husband? Yeah, he thought it was hilarious. He kept saying things like, speak up, I can't hear you,  or oh, that must make you pretty miserable over there, not being able to talk and all... good thing I had that necklace ;)

Happy Wednesday out there!