10.12 - 12.12: A MAJOR Catch Up Post!!

Well,  it seems as though I fell off the face of the earth after my sister got engaged.  The truth is, I did not fall off the face of the earth, I sprinted all over the earth and had NO time for blog posts!  Fall has been B.U.S.Y.  There are several things I want to document, so I will try my best to go back to October and remember as much as I can!

I returned home from Kansas City after my sister's proposal to host some of our best friends from Northwest Arkansas at our house for the weekend.  We had a great weekend with them and Cale had an AWESOME weekend with their boys.  Cale thinks these guys are his best friends.  He could not get enough of them!

As they were packing up to leave, their youngest got sick...bummer.  That night, Adam, Cale and I were on our way to dinner, and Cale got sick....major bummer.  So started our family adventure with the stomach bug.  Adam woke up that next night totally sick.  I woke up sick two days later.  At one point, with Cale and Adam in S.L.O.W. recovery and me just beginning to go downhill, Adam and I ranked our nauseous feelings on a scale of 1-10 when we woke up each morning.  Whoever was feeling better, relatively speaking, would be the one to get up with Cale.  All I can tell you is that it was an experience.  A doozie, really.  I was starting to sweat bullets, about our trip that we were planning to take to Adam's hometown in Louisiana that following weekend.  I was praying that we would ALL be able to make that trip, but our tummy bug was edging right up to the trip date.  Thankfully, we all woke up the morning we were supposed to catch our flight feeling much better.  Whew!

So, the first weekend of October, we flew to Louisiana.  Cale had never been to Louisiana, and we were excited for him to meet some of Adam's family and friends that still live there.  Adam was able to take some time off of work so that we could make it a four day weekend, and spend some good time there.  We enjoyed seeing Adam's parents, as well as some extended family that we had not seen in a while.  Cale really loved getting to "explore" the land that Adam's parents live on, and Adam spent a lot of time refining his bow shooting skills.  It was laid back and low key - a great way to spend our time there.  The last day we were there, Adam's mom invited many friends over for lunch.  It was great to visit with everyone and be able to keep Cale on his nap schedule, making for a very happy little boy!
One of the mornings that we were there, we were able to go and visit Adam's grandmother, Cale's great-grandmother!  I'm so glad that we got a picture of the three of them together!

We were having so much fun that weekend, and I handed camera duties over to friends.  I don't have any of those pics yet - sad!

We returned back to Dallas, and had just a few days before we welcomed Kiplyn, my best friend from college, and her little boy, Cooper, to our house for the week!  Her husband, Derek, was on a work retreat near Dallas, so they rode with him and were dropped off at our house!  Having people in your home for an entire week can be exhausting...unless it's your best friend and sorority roommate!  We had so much fun just living life together for the week.  The boys had a great time with each other, and we went on several fun "field trips" while they were here! 

We went to the mall...

We had a picnic at the Arboretum...

And we did a whole lot of laughing!  It made me sad that we don't live closer...and that won't be changing anytime soon - they are moving to Colorado Springs in February to plant a church.  I guess it will be a great excuse for a ski trip! Ha!

A few hours after they left, I got a phone call from another friend who lives in San Antonio.  She and her two boys were traveling through Dallas on their way to Little Rock and needed a stopping place for the night.  Of course we were so excited to have them bunk with us!  Once the boys went to bed, Randi and I got to catch up - so fun!!  Robby (her oldest) is only six weeks older than Cale, and they are VERY similar!  They had a fun breakfast together before heading on to Little Rock!  Their visit was short, but sweet, and we're hoping to make a trip to Sea World with them this Spring!

After that, my sister came to Dallas for a wedding extravaganza weekend, and I helped with renovation details in the house my parents will be moving into soon.  Have I mentioned that their new house is less than a mile from ours?  We're not worried - boundaries are not an issue with them! :)  If anything, they might have to tell us to stop coming over...since there will soon be a sonic ice make residing in their kitchen, their house might become my new sonic.  They might even have to enforce the Sonic happy hour times! :)  

Anyway, we ended up having a few weeks that were not so full, so we decided to take advantage of the days that Adam had off and went on a few outings!  First, we had to take our annual trip to the pumpkin patch at the Arboretum.  It was so much fun to see Cale running all over the place, as fast as his little legs would let him go!  He loved all of the pumpkins, the petting zoo, and the ponds that were crowded with fish!  Cale is at the age where everything is so interesting and exciting, because it is all new... such a great stage!

The next week (Thanksgiving week), the Dallas Zoo had "dollar day", and we (along with the entire city of Dallas) decided to take advantage of the discounted admission.  Cale had never been to the zoo before, and we were eager to see what he would do!  The first thing he saw was the carousel.  He loved watching it from afar, but the second that we stepped on it, he clung on for dear life and would not let go of me.  He was so brave - no tears, but he was happy when we got off the ride!  We headed to see the kangaroos, rhinos, and other African animals.  Cale was in total awe.  He just stuck his little head through the fence slats and watched in total amazement.  So sweet.

As we were walking along, moving on to the giraffes and elephants, Cale found something walking along side him.  He was very amused.  He spent lots of time watching his shadow and making different movements to see what it would do.  He thought it was so funny that it did everything he did. Ha!

We stopped for a snack break at a little park in the center of the zoo.  There were stone statues of animals, which Cale loved to pet...

It didn't him long to find a stick and begin to dig.  This was not taught, people.  It is built in to every little boy.  Sticks can be made into shovels, swords, guns, etc..., and dirt is the MOST fun to play in.

And, because we have an awesome zoom lens on our camera, I was able to get some good pics of the animals...

We spent a great morning at the zoo, and Cale took an even better nap that afternoon!  Such a fun family adventure!

Thanksgiving was low key at our house.  Adam had to work the next day, so we stayed in Dallas.  My parents came over and we also had some family friends come over for lunch.  It was easy, no big deal, and maybe even relaxing.  I love Thanksgivings like that!  Sadly, the only picture I have from Thanksgiving Day is of Cale helping get the beverages...

No, I did not employ him to do this job.  He took on the responsibility all by himself.  Look at that face..."what?!"  

Thanksgiving night, around 10:30, my mom and I hit the stores (for the third year in a row)!  This year, we did something that I think qualifies us as "extreme professional black-friday shoppers".  We braved Toys R Us.  At Midnight.  And, it was worth it!  We hit several stores that night, but I made it back to our house in time to be in bed by 2am.  Since, Adam was working on black-friday, I still had to function for Cale that day!  My dad was generous enough to keep Cale so my mom and I could continue our black-friday shopping.  We picked back up at 11 and finally called it quits at 6!  I have to admit - I LOVE black friday!

The next weekend (first weekend of December), Kiplyn and Allison came in town, we got a hotel in Dallas, and went on a Christmas shopping mission.  I am happy to report that I finished all of my Christmas shopping that weekend!  That is the earliest I have ever finished it (although it is all still not wrapped and laying on my guest bed).  

And to bring us up to current date, last weekend I made dinner for a church group of 30 on Friday night and we had a successful garage sale on Saturday morning!  The rest of December is just one party after another!  I just love the Christmas season! :)

Now that I've posted our happenings, I need to record some key things about the nineteenth through twenty-first months of Cale's life...

He is a crack up.  He loves to make people laugh.  He is very spirited about most things, almost swallowing his tongue when he sees anything that excites him...which is almost everything.

He is a helper.  An engineer.  He loves to use a screwdriver, a tape measure, a hammer.  He likes to put keys into doors and into car ignitions.  He will spend hours in a parked car, pushing all the buttons and figuring out how everything works.  At this rate, he'll probably be driving by next year.  He loves projects, especially with his dad, and is very determined.

He plays hard.  He thinks that every time someone comes over, it is show 'n tell time in his room.  He will literally pull every thing out of his bins to show his toys off.

Notice the double-layered shirt.  He is almost two.  We are in the throws of declaring independence.  He wants to do everything by himself...including picking out his clothes.

He is a climber.  A runner.  A tumbler.  A wrestler.  He can scale the rock wall at the park playground in less than a minute.  It is a little concerning.  He loves to wrestle with his dad after bath time each night.

He is an organizer.  He loves to put things in order.  This day, I had left the fridge open for a second and walked into the other room.  About forty-five seconds later I came back to find this.  Cale is organizing Adam's beers on his table.  He was so proud of his work.  Lovely.

I need to follow that last picture with this... 
He loves to read.  Most importantly, his Bible.  Particularly, the bible with the picture of a horse in it (he's kind of obsessed with horses right now).  I can walk into his room and find him in his rocking chair with 5-6 books in his lap, just reading as loud as he can.  I'm not really sure what he is saying, but he says it with total confidence, so I am convinced he knows what he is talking about. :)

He is a mirror.  A repeater.  A mimicker....for better or worse.
In BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) that we attend on Wednesday mornings, we are studying Genesis.  Cale has been learning about Noah and the Ark and the covenant that God made with Noah after the flood, being symbolized by the rainbow.  One day, as I was getting ready in the morning and Cale was playing in my bedroom, he noticed the rainbows flooding my bedroom floor from the lead windows.  He got so excited (and almost swallowed his tongue) and ran over to them and began pointing to each one, saying, "bow! bow!"  We sat down among all the rainbows and talked about the promise God made to Noah and what that means for us.  It just made my heart smile!  I hope that it is these things that is being impressed in his little memory, and not my sinful actions that I'm sure he sees on an everyday basis!  Lord, please help me to set a good example of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control!

He is big. Old. Too Old.  When people ask how old he is, I still refer to his age in months because saying, "Almost two." is way too hard to speak.  In fact, I might refer to his age in months for his whole life.  That might help me swallow the fact that there is nothing I can do about it.  He. will. grow. up.  {sob}

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