gab, gab, gab

a preview of the teen years...

emma really likes to talk on the phone. in fact, she "talked" for a good 15 minutes to ibu (my mother). i can't imagine what it will be like when she gets older. actually, she's talking right now when she's supposed to be napping. i thought she was sleeping (since she's been in her room for an hour), but no...talk, talk, talk, sing, sing, sing. will she ever fall asleep now? doubt it. oh well. it's been nice, now that she's a wee bit older, to not have to be so overly zealous about her nap schedule. as long as we stick w/ a normal routine most of the week, she does great when we stray every once in a while. usually what ends up happening is we put her down for bedtime earlier than normal and it works out pretty good. i'm thankful that i was so strict w/ her nap schedule earlier on that now she's become a great sleeper. i wonder if it will be the same when we have another baby? probably not...but hopefully so. nothing much else going on. i've had a very NICE 2 weeks off of teaching, but will be starting a new session after the new year. tyler left to visit his mom on the 26th, and won't be returning until the 5th of jan. so w/out beau or tyler around it's been rather quiet at night. well...enjoy new year's eve!



we found a ginormous elmo doll in this stuffed animal bin while we were out bumming around and emma was pretty excited about it. she hugged him, kissed him and then tried to take him around with her. it was too cute. thankfully, aaron was able to distract her with something else while i shoved elmo to the bottom of the bin. it's strange how just from reading a couple of elmo books over, and over, and over, again has already familiarized her with the character. i guess that's a good sign though...at least she understands what we read to her.

aside from elmo, my dear and sweet family gave me a new camera for christmas. actually, the gift was right on time, because on christmas day, the old camera was pretty much done for. so i've been taking a mass amount of photos to familiarize myself w/ the features. i've deleted most of them because they're pretty random, but i LOVE the new camera...canon A560. it's not a super new model, but it's PERFECT for what i'm looking for. our old one was a fuji finepix A345 (or something like that) and after only 2 years it was already starting to die. plus the two cameras were about the same price, but the canon features far exceeds the finepix. i'm hoping this one will last a lot longer. here's a sample from the new camera (emma's new ornament for this year).

90 years!

last sunday we celebrated grandma purdum's 90th (yes that's the big 9-0) birthday. actually, she turned 90 in november, but around christmas time was the best to get everyone together. the big bash was at gram & pap's house and talk about a FULL house...1st cousins, 2nd cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents...it was awesome.



it's cookie day!

yesterday (monday) was cookie day at the purdum household (not ours but gram and pap's in ravenna). emma and i drove down monday morning as fast as the roads would allow. as usual, there was a lot of flour, a lot of butter, a lot of frosting, a lot of dirty dishes, and a lot of laughs. in attendance this year were gram, corrie, jenna, jon (he was on kid duty), ben and emma (these 2 along with jon were on the tasting comittee). we made white-chocolate chip cookies (they were the festive red & green chips), almond bark, these jelly-filled cream cheese cookies, sugar cookies (of course!), and peanut butter cookies. we also took home some OH-SO DEEELICIOUS clothespin cookies....but those were made ahead of time by gram. why is it that your most favorite treats are often the ones that take the longest to prepare? i think emma really enjoyed being on the tasting comittee. in fact, she enjoyed it so much that she learned a new word: cookie.

catching up again....

as christmas approaches it seems that we've been getting busier and busier. needless to say, i'm behind on some blogging. i'll start with last thursday. tyler had his winter concert at school that evening, though he only performed with his class and not his band group. i guess that part will be for the spring concert. they did a great job, and their performance closed with a fabulous dance number. i didn't have time to embellish the video clip, so you'll be watching the "raw" version!

saturday, i had to work on the finishing touches for the dance recital sunday afternoon. meanwhile, tyler was off at his buddy stephen's birthday party (this silly photo of them is actually from the concert).

then that evening was our elf movie night party which was super fun. unfortunately, i forgot to take pictures, but a friend did take a photo of tyler dressed up in TIGHTS! i'll post his "elf" outfit when we get a copy. then, wouldn't you know, sunday rolls around and with it a nasty snow storm (think treacherous streets and white out conditions), so i had to cancel the dance recital (thank you aaron for helping make the phone calls!). all the parents were relieved, but i'm sure the kids were pretty bummed out. and all those darn tutus i made will just have to wait to be worn!


18 months!

emma turned 18 months on wednesday. this month last year she wasn't even crawling, and looking at her now it's hard to imagine that she wasn't mobile last year. it's weird how you change so fast when you're little, but as you get older you begin to change more slowly. i guess that's a good thing for us adults, eh? in just the past few months emma has been more verbal, and has a hefty list of words she uses under her belt. lately she's been saying "rea, rea" (rea=read) with book in hand, insisting that you drop everything you're doing so that she can be read to. she hasn't added any new signs lately, but that's partly my fault-i've been lazy about teaching her any more now that she can communicate her needs verbally. she still loves to dance, and has learned to kick her leg out. i'm trying to teach her how to point and tap her toes, but she hasn't quite grasped that yet. she has great taste in music, making her daddy proud by bopping her head to artists such as the adicts, the ramones, and the clash. there are also times when she'll point to aaron's "taw" (guitar) indicating that it's time for dad to play a song for her. too funny. she's really coming into her own, and DEFINITELY has a stubborn streak in her. can't blame the girl for having stubborn parents, i guess. tomorrow she goes in for her 18 mos. check-up...ugh, i'm dreading the shots!






here's to happier times...

today we said good-bye for the last time to our faithful companion, beau. he had been diagnosed with a tumor in his leg 2 weeks ago, after we took him to the vet for a limp. although we'll miss him dearly, remembering all the fun and silly stuff we shared will always brighten our day.


this photo is for my aunty michelle

dearest aunty michelle,
thanks for the hat! i know you gave it to me last year, but i can finally fit into it now. how does it look? does it go w/ my outfit...and my purse? i even put it on myself!


oh christmas tree...

we got our christmas tree this past sunday. we had been debating between a real tree and an artificial one for the past week and couldn't quite make up our mind. getting an artificial one would be much safer with a toddler around, but then again we could always teach her to be careful around the tree. we decided to purchase a real tree and headed to home depot to take a look. it was a REALLY cold and wet day, and by the time we made it inside the store, looking around for a tree in their outdoor nursery section just didn't sound too appealing. then we saw it...a fake white pre-lit christmas tree. should we wait until after christmas to buy it at a discount to use for next year? NAH...who wants to go out in the cold rain to look for a real tree (with a 1.5 year old) when you can just buy one in a box? perfect. (unfortunately, the beer can christmas tree has not made it out of the basement yet)

oh, and this past friday, the kids and i went and checked out light up lakewood-it's where they light up the huge christmas tree in front of the hospital and then watch santa on his rocket ride to the library. it was super windy, and soooo very cold that i can't believe we still went out. tyler ran into one of his buddies, daniel so they hung out together while we were out and about. it was not as impressive as i thought it would be-i think you have to be out there by 6 p.m. on the dot to see everything. regardless, i don't think we'll do it again next year, especially if the weather is bad again.



we had a fabulous thanksgiving holiday, though i apologize it has taken me almost a week to post on it. astrid came to visit us for the weekend, and it was so NICE to have her here!

we drove down to gram and pap's for our thanksgiving meal where mamaw, lorrie, scott, kristin and corrie also were also in attendance. we filled ourselves with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and desserts. emma didn't eat much of her meal, though she made it clear to us that she was more than willing to eat more dessert...especially that heaven!

later that night, astrid and i went out for a few drinks at the merry arts to celebrate her birthday (which happened to fall on thanksgiving this year!) and have a little girl's night out for the 2 of us. we tried our best to stay away from the popular shopping areas on "black friday", though it was somewhat unavoidable when we had to pick up some grocery items at trader joe's. there were plenty of people out and about ready to spend, along with a few protesters holding up anti-consumerism signs (tell me again how standing around holding up big signs changes things?). we also picked up astrid's totally cute and eco-friendly birthday present started by a gal in the NE ohio area...check out cosmic bobbins.

we had an enjoyable visit from astrid. emma had lots of fun hanging out with her auntie...giggling, dancing and chatting together...as if she's known her forever. we hope she comes back soon!


"snow bunny"

the top and slippers are new from last weekend...we thought the outfit made her look like a little snow bunny. she loves the slippers, especially since it gets so cold here. the 2nd photo is her on her little rocker trying to figure out why it was vibrating (i turned on the vibrating mechanism).


busy week

sorry there hasn't been a post in a while. we've had a lot going on this past week. i have a little dance recital next month, and i'm trying to get stuff organized. i think i have most everything done except for costumes...and to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

my niece came for a visit last thursday. she also had an interview at the podiatry school here and she was accepted! hooray! we worked very hard over the weekend to try and sell her on cleveland. we took her to malley's twice (who can resist their delicious sundae topped with whipped cream out of their whip cream machine?) and down the new Steelyard shopping center. the kids scored on some new clothes thanks to ibu. it would be pretty cool to have her in the area.

then on sunday, we had a great "thanksgiving" meal after church. since we the service is held out of the high school cafeteria, we set up the meal there and just pulled a few lunch tables together. aaron and i were in charge of decor and entertainment/games so we had been busy putting stuff together for the celebration. who knew that pin the tail on the turkey would be so much fun for adults?

astrid is coming in today to visit over the thanksgiving holiday. i'm very excited to see her. it's so great to have visitors, because we enjoy hosting!


field trip tuesday

yesterday, the 4 and 5th graders took a field trip to severance hall to watch the cleveland orchestra perform. he wore his suit...

the crossing guard girls giggled when they saw him. "he did it! he wore his suit...teehee, teehee."

a girl in his grade checked out his suit in the hallway. "you look niiice."

his buddy alex didn't want to wear a suit because all the girls would be looking at him. tyler's response: "dude, that's why you wear a suit...for the girls!"



my uncle dave passed away last night. it sucks because it happened so suddenly, and you never really got to mentally prepare yourself for the "final" good-bye. he'll be missed...

4 vinje brothers (uncle dave is 2nd from left and my dad is 4th from left)

uncle dave's family (aunt kathy, his 2 sons with their wives, 2 grandkids and one on the way)


tis the season....

...to get presents (kidding). here are this year's links for christmas gift ideas:

tyler (of course, any lego present you give him he'll surely be happy with..doesn't have to be what's on the list)


aaron & prasti (another gift idea for aaron...a tattoo-big surprise, huh?)

these will also be listed under links to your right.


more from asterisk gallery

Family, Cleveland
Originally uploaded by Mike Levy
this photo was taken by local photographer, mike levy, who was attending the children's exhibit from yesterday. originally, he had asked to take a photo of aaron & emma, but then aaron asked him to take a photo of the rest of the fam. since he forgot our camera. is it a faux-pas to ask a professional photographer to take a "non-arty" photo like that? i don't know, but he was still kind enough to do it. check out his flickr site...he's got some great stuff.


mommy's little helper

i need to find her a smaller version or something. that way it will be easier for her to maneuver.
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