One of those, "you had to be there" moments

As I mentioned earlier, my dad and Patti were up last weekend. We celebrated Christmas on Saturday and had a big turkey dinner that evening. Needless to say, there were a lot of dishes to clean up. My wonderful husband offered to clean it all up. I was off to the side helping here and there, while he did all the dishes. When we were almost done, well, when HE thought he was almost done and was wiping up, I brought over a handful of dirty bowls that needed to be washed. Without hesitation he announced, "these dirty dishes are having babies!!" Given the fact that I was extremely tired and had hit that giddy stage, I completely lost it and for a few minutes was doubled over in laughter. Later that night, I was trying to tell Kel and Mark what he said, but was laughing so hard as I recalled the incident that I could barely get it out. I know, it's probably not that funny now, but at the moment, as tired as I was, it was hilarious to me. And also probably because it was my husband who said it and he never fails to keep me laughing. One of the reasons I love him so much! I told Dave it would go on my blog so I never forget!


Our Christmas

Whew, it's been a fast and yet wonderful past 2 weeks. I can't believe its been that long since I posted last. No, we haven't disappeared, just a little sick and then playing catch up with everything to do to get ready for Christmas. At a time of year when there is so much to post about, unfortunately we haven't been posting.

After being sick for over a week, I finally decided to go to the doctor (actually the ER since I couldn't find a doctor with a single opening!). Found out I had a sinus infection, but after being on antibiotics for a few days I felt so much better.

Even with not feeling so well, we still managed to have some neighbors over for dinner. We went with them to see a light display at Brookside Garden. Highly recommend that! Our friends came bearing sweet gifts. Selah thoroughly enjoyed opening up her gift as you can tell!

Then last weekend, my Dad and Patti came to celebrate Christmas with us. What a great time we had! The first night we celebrated Dad's birthday, which was on the 14th.

Mckenna must love having Pop-pop read to her because she was always bringing him books to have him read. It was so cute!

Then on Saturday we opened Christmas presents. They lavished everyone with generous gifts. The kids were busy all day trying out their new toys.

They left Saturday night and I was in bed by 8:30! Sunday we went to service in the morning and then celebrated Christmas with the Castro side. We had dinner and then went to the Christmas Eve service together. Then it was back to our place for dessert and presents. Here are the girls in their Christmas outfits. I think mommy had more fun dressing them up than they did matching each other. I don't even think Mckenna noticed! Oh well.

Christmas day we stayed home for the morning. We had a nice breakfast and Dave read and acted out the Christmas story with Mckenna's nesting doll nativity set. That was fun...he did a great job! After that was presents! (more presents). Mckenna is going to go through present withdrawal come January.

We left around noon for moms and spent the rest of the day there eating, eating some more and opening yet more presents.

...and, of course, taking turns doing damage control duty with Ty (boy, is he a handful!!!). Next year we'll be doing the same thing, but with Selah Grace ;o).

Amidst all the craziness of baking, wrapping, and family gatherings, I tried to pause at times and reflect on why I was doing all those things. I am currently reading through the gospels and it just happened that on Christmas Eve and Christmas day I was in Luke 1 and 2...perfect! I was filled with fresh gratefulness for my Savior. I'll end with a quote that I had posted up above my sink the last week before Christmas. It was a great reminder:

"Christmas then is not the season to be jolly, as if the other seasons are the opposite. But it is the reason to be joyful. Christ's coming to the earth, His perfect life and sacrificial death as a substitute for sinful people like us, is certainly a reason for joy to all who will come to Him by faith." - Jim Elliff

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Merry Christmas!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE, a little late!

We are a little behind with everything these days. This past week, mommy and Selah Grace were a little under the weather and many of our "to-dos" didn't get very done.

In fact, I was so sick on Tuesday that Dave had to stay home and it was his birthday, no less. He joyfully served me with the girls on his special day. I was able to get some much needed rest.

So this post is quite late. Nonetheless, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE! I'm so grateful for you! Thanks for being such a wonderful husband. I love you!

We did manage to get Dave's presents wrapped and cards done the day before. Mckenna colored a card for her Papa and when I asked her what she wanted to say, this was her message:

"Birthday party! What's to do? Not be 'fraid. I love you. Then he gets his hat and birthday hat. And what's to do? Then he cool his head. I love you."

So, that's exactly what I wrote. Dave loved it, to say the least. And how we love him.

Happy Birthday Dave!


A surprise for my Dave

Well, sorta. He knew something was going, but didn't know what. At around 3pm today, some of Dave's friends showed up at the door to surprise him for his birthday, which is next Tuesday. They came in for snacks and cake and took time to honor him. Then they headed out to Dave and Buster's to eat and play some games. Thanks to all the guys who took time away from their families today to honor Dave. I'm so grateful for your friendships to him.

And thanks, most of all, to all you wives who released your husbands to come today. Thanks for serving back ultimately were serving us!

I wish I had taken a few pictures, but totally forgot to pull the camera out. Oh well!


First Tooth

Selah Grace just got her first tooth yesterday. It was a particularly fussy day and when I went to see if she was interested in chewing on my finger, I noticed her bottom right tooth had just popped through.

Here's my little girl with her papa!


Christmas Chain update

We have had so much fun with our Christmas Chain! Everyday Mckenna has thoroughly enjoyed taking a link off the chain, reading the scripture and tackling the activity for the day. Some of our favorites so far have been decorating the tree as a family, making cookies, and creating a nativity with stickers.

This is the first year we carved out an evening to decorate the tree as a family. What fun! Mckenna is old enough to help and she had a blast putting on candy canes and opening up all the ornament boxes. To her it was like have tons of presents to open.

Here is a picture of the nativity scene Mckenna made with stickers. For some reason she wanted to put the stars on everyone's eyes instead of in the sky. Not sure where she got that from. And lastly, today Mckenna helped me make cookies. This particular recipe flopped...oh well. Usually I get one of those a year. Hopefully the rest of my recipes will turn out!


O Christmas Tree

So, Esther has me singing the song! In fact I started singing it as we headed out on Sunday to go cut down a tree. I tried to remember her version, but didn't get very far.

Anyway, we had a great time on Sunday going to get our trees. Dad and Patti stayed the night and we all went together with the Ploons to cut them down. All in all, it was a great outing. The kids did great, but Selah had had it by the end and cried the entire way home (at least a 30 minute drive!).

Here is everyone bundled up and in the car.

We entertained Ty by playing Peek a Boo! He did great, considering he missed his morning nap.

On a mission to find the perfect tree.

...and here it is!


Mckenna is 3!

This past Saturday we celebrated Mckenna's 3rd birthday. Hard to believe she is 3!!! We had these great plans for celebrating, but many things had to change last minute as the work on our house was not quite done yet. Thanks to all our friends who were so gracious as we had to cancel the little party we had planned for Mckenna's friends. And a big thanks to Kel who opened up her home so we could have a party in the evening with our family.

Here is the birthday girl opening a few gifts from Dave and I in the morning. This was a nativity nesting doll set.

These are from her party later in the evening!


Play Time

Even in the midst of all our constuction we have created some space for the girlies to play while I make dinner. A few evenings ago, Mckenna and Selah were having such fun playing together. It's so cute to see them start to interact and make each other laugh!


Thanksgiving Day

I am just now getting around to posting some pictures from Thanksgiving.

This is Mckenna with her cousin, Constance.

After spending some time with Dave's moms family, we headed over to hang out with the Castros for the rest of the evening. Here is a picture of Selah Grace with her second cousin, Grace O'Halloran (Gracie). They were born 2 days apart, Selah on June 3, and Gracie on June 5. Gracie already knows to smile at the camera...pull it out and she is all smiles. Selah, on the other hand, has no idea what a camera is, as you can tell!

A group picture of the Castros!


Under Construction

Sorry we have been out of touch for awhile. We are a little under construction over here at the Castro house. At times I forget where my camera is or can barely get to it. So, I have not been taking too many pictures. I have a few from Thanksgiving that I will soon as I can find the camera ;o)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!


Encouraging quote

A dear friend of mine had a very difficult few days last week. One one of those days she posted some details of what was going on and a great Spurgeon quote that served her soul. It so served and blessed me that I wanted to pass it along.


Number 5

The number 5 has be become Mckenna's absolute favorite number. You ask her how old she is and she will say, "5." Ask her how old she will be and she will hold up 3 fingers and say, "5." If I ask her if she wants a cherry tomato (she loves them), or a cracker, she will respond, "I want 5, mom."

So, the other day Dori (Dave's mom) came to take her out to lunch. She took her to use the potty before they headed out. She asked Mckenna if she was done and she said, "no." Then Dori asked if she needed to go #2 and to that Mckenna said, "no 5, Grandma, 5!" We both laughed!!


Ladies Getaway

This past weekend, my mom, sister and I (and Selah Grace, of course) got to go away for the night. We left Friday afternoon and headed up to Gettysburg. Having a baby definitely puts a different spin on things. We had these great plans for dinner, but our teething little girlie didn't allow for that. So, we found a quaint little Italian restaurant, but the food was pretty awful. However we made a memory and had fun together.

The next day we hit the outlets! We had a great time shopping. My mom served, served and served us some more, by holding Selah Grace and keeping her happy so Kel and I could shop and finish up some Christmas gifts. We were also able to find some clothes which is always a nice treat! I know my mom had lots she needed to get for Christmas too, but her goal was to serve us...thanks, Mom!!!

Later that afternoon, the guys drove up with all the kids and we meet up to take my Uncle Keith out to dinner for his birthday. It was a great time!

I especially love these first two shots!


We will remember Chase

Many of you know the Smith family and all that they have walked through in the past 9 months. For those of you who do not know them, may I introduce you to Jon and Jenni Smith? Jenni carried their beloved son, Chase Miller Smith for 9 months, knowing that he would not survive long after leaving the womb. Chase was born on Nov. 6 and lived for 4 hours before leaving to be with our Heavenly Father. Jon and Jenni's faith and appropriation of grace is about as provoking as it gets and has lead me to wonder and be even more amazed at the Cross and what our Savior accomplished there. I encourage you to check out their blog:

Jon and Jenni, I am giving thanks for you continually. Few have provoked me in such ways as you both have. Your dear son's life was not in vain. May God continue, as He already has, to receive much glory from the way you have walked out the last nine months. I can't wait to meet your little boy one day!


Christmas Chain

In our family we have 2 birthdays in December, Dave and Mckenna's. Add to that the busyness of Christmas and it makes for a super crazy, yet wonderful time of the year for us. So, our holiday planning began in October! Some might think that is crazy, but for me it's necessity. This week we made a Christmas Chain, which we will use every day in December, leading up to Christmas. I got the idea from a friend. The chain is 25 links long. On each piece we glued a different Bible verse pertaining to Christmas and our Savior's birth as well as an activity for the day. The activities include everything from baking cookies to watching a Christmas movie to just playing with Christmas stickers to taking Mckenna shopping for family or even just wrapping presents. Every day we will open a link and read it. Hopefully we will all enjoy this and make a tradition for our family out of it.

Mckenna was a big helper in making the chain. She helped me glue all the Scriptures on the construction paper. Then when that was done, she had a blast picking all the glue off her fingers the WHOLE time that I wrote activities for the day under each verse!

We had fun working on it together!


First taste of food

Last night we gave Selah Grace rice cereal for the first time. She actually did very well, being it the first time she has ever had anything but milk. She made some very funny faces and half of it ended up coming back out, but overall I think it was a hit!

Here are some pictures.


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