Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Santa, Stockings, and More..

Before bed on Christmas Eve, Jared helped me bake cookies for Santa Claus. He took responsibility for putting the milk and cookies out for Santa before bed.

Upon waking, the boys quickly discovered the gifts from Santa. Santa left Josiah a covered wagon for 2 (where he returned to eat his breakfast)!
As always, both boys indulge in each other's gifts!
Santa brought Jared a "kitchen"-- although he promptly corrected me and told me was his "restaurant"!
And again, both Jared and Josiah promptly began exploring all the features of the new "restaurant"!

After the discovery of their special gifts from Santa, Jared went in search of the Christmas stockings and found the remnants of Santa's midnight snack. He was shocked to see Santa had left one of his cookies unfinished!

As soon as Jared turned his back to get his stocking, Josiah resolved the problem of the remaining cookie! This Christmas was his first experience with chocolate chip cookies, and we can safely say he is a BIG FAN!

The boys finally sat down to open their stockings (from Mom and Dad). Josiah is still scarfing down the last of Santa's cookie!

I think their favorite stocking stuffers were the blinking Rudolph noses!

It was a blessed Christmas! I love my boys!!!

Christmas Tree 2008

Every year I take a picture of the boys by the tree....

Jared's Letter to Santa

So Jared composed a letter to Santa this year which I found sweet and hilarious. Here is his letter:

Dear Santa,
This year I would like to ask for:

1. Incredible Hulk skateboard
2. color pencils
3. pajamas
4. a Dora book for Josiah with his picture like I have
5. toy tape
6. flowers for Mom and Dad

Thank you,
Jared Devine

The next day I helped him mail the letter. :)

"Okay, Mom-- here goes! Are you sure Santa is going to get this letter in time?"

"Can't.... quite... reach!"

"Okay-- done! I hope you are right about the Postal System, Mom!"

AND for those who are interested-- this is what happened:

1. No skateboard this year! (Are you KIDDING me?)
2. He did get colored pencils from Mom and Dad.
3. He DID get Incredible Hulk pajamas from Mom and Dad.
4. Nini actually bought Jared this book (in which he plays a character), and she is likely to eventually get Josiah this book, so she overruled Santa.
5. Sadly, he did not get toy tape (tape to play with) but he DID get to help Mom wrap Christmas gifts for family.
6. Santa did NOT buy Mom and Dad flowers-- whats up with that, Santa?!

Santa brought the boys each one gift (as he does every year). Jared received a kitchen, which he says is a "restaurant, NOT a kitchen, Mommy!" Josiah received a wagon for 2.

More Christmas pictures to come...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Portraits 2008

Jared and Josiah are excited about Christmas this year... okay, well maybe just Jared. At one, Josiah doesn't really have much idea whats going on... but he HAS enjoyed driving around to look at Christmas lights! :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Spooktacular 2008!

We decided to take the boys to Spooktacular at the Jax Zoo this year. Its a huge Halloween event with hundreds of carved pumpkins, an enchanted garden, a pirate's cove, and lots of trick or treat stations.

The boys look like cat burglars! :) I love when they hold hands in the car.

Here is a close up of Josiah in his ladybug costume!

And here is Jared in his bumblebee costume. Although he really liked being a bumblebee this year, I think it is the last year I get to dress him up in a baby-ish costume!

Finally, we arrived at Spooktacular-- I had to get one picture of the boys with hay and pumpkins! Naturally, I can never get both boys to look at the camera at one time. :)

The path to the Enchanted Forest was fairly long and lined with pumpkins. Here I am cozy with my boys! Jared was distracted by all the sights and ready to find his cousins!

Josiah LOVED walking around in his costume (and dancing to the DJ they had playing) but he usually liked to walk in the opposite direction, so Dalvin was often Josiah's mode of transport!

We finally found JR, Laurel and the kids at the entrance to Pumpkinville! I managed to get one shot of all the kids. :)

Sarah looked stunning and WAY too grown as Cleopatra! :)

Micah was a mighty Power Ranger!

Many of the animals were asleep, but there were a few available for viewing-- including this giraffe-- Jared's current favorite animal!

Here is Jared posing in front of another of the huge pumpkin displays! The carvings were so cool-- we may add pumpkin carving to our traditions NEXT year!

Our two little ladybugs, Josiah and Baby Hannah stopped for a hug and a kiss!

Another close up of Josiah...

And a similar close up of Jared...

Here's a family shot of Bro and his clan...

On our way out of the enchanted garden, we passed a troll! He was a very patient troll, because some of the kids were quite liberal with the insults!

Jared studied the map to see where we should go next! Off to the pirates cove we went!

Sarah and Jared were the first to enter the Pirate's Cove.

After a long night of checking out animals, fish, jaguars, trick or treat stations, a black light display, play areas, and dancing to old school tunes, we finally headed out! Spooktacular (and our Halloween with the boys) was a success! Happy Halloween to all!

Trick or Treat!

On Halloween night we took the boys Trick or Treating in our neighborhood. Traci came up from Orlando with her daughter Taylor to join the boys. Our neighborhood is small, so it was a brief, but fun adventure!

The boys were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their friend, Taylor. They were dressed in their matching glow in the dark Halloween t-shirts to answer the door for early trick or treaters!

After tearing the playroom apart, the kids finally got dressed to go trick or treating! They were fast friends.

Josiah joined them for a photo, but he wasn't happy about it! He was ready to go for a walk!

At one of the houses, they had headstones that were set off by motion detectors, a crime scene and more. Jared had mixed feelings as he is not fond of the scary parts of the holiday!

Taylor and Jared had a blast ringing doorbells and exclaiming "trick or treat!" They didn't really care if anyone answered the door, although it was more fun when they were given handfuls of candy.

Apparently a flying witch had a little accident at one neighbor's home!

Josiah was just excited when we let him run around the cul-de-sacs!

All in all, Jared and Taylor had so much fun and declared that they were best friends. :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Jared's First Day of School (June 2008)

This summer Jared started preschool at the school on my campus... I have been so delayed in posting pictures lately, but I saved these pictures of his first day of school to eventually post.

When Jared started school, we were still living in Gainesville, so we had to wake him up earlier than usual to get him to school on time after a 2 hour commute! As you can see he was still very sleepy when Daddy carried him to the car.

He struggled to wake up for one farewell picture, but wasn't very successful! :)

Once we arrived on campus, Jared was very excited to carry his own lunchbox and wear his new backpack!
Before going to school, Jared wanted to stop in Mom's office. My office is about 2 minutes walking distance from Jared's school. Part of our daily ritual is to go on a campus walk when I pick him up every day-- ending back at my office where he has a snack while I wrap up my day and pack up for home.

He wasn't even 3 years old when he started school this summer, but he looks FIVE in this picture!

Jared wanted me to take a picture of his backpack. :)

This is the last stretch before arriving at Jared's school.

When we arrived at his school, he rushed right in and dropped his bags in the middle of the floor.

One of his teachers showed him his personal cubby-- where he keeps his backpack, a family photo and sheets and a pillowcase for naptime.

One of Jared's favorite corners of the classroom is the full kitchen. He has prepared many a pretend meal for me in that kitchen!

Here he is sitting down in his class for the first time!

Ms. Heidi is about to do Music Time with the kids.

Jared was still a bit unsure about this new environment! This was the last picture I took before leaving him for the day! I can't tell you how difficult this was for me at first. I took comfort in the fact that he seemed very comfortable and that I could peek in the glass windows at ANY time during my day to make sure he was okay!

When I went back to pick Jared up in the afternoon, he and his new friends had been outside playing and he was busy drinking a glass of water.
Jared loves his water! More please!

He was happy to see Mommy after a hard day at school! :)

Here Jared is showing me some of the toys on the "baby side" of the school. Jared is on the toddler side.

After leaving, he declared that he loved his first day of school and sometimes he still asks me to tell him the story of his first day of school.

He promptly turned to begin what would become a longstanding ritual-- our afternoon walk around our very pretty campus. We always chat about the day and often stop at the vending machine for an afternoon snack and some raspberry tea. I LOVE having him so close to me every day and he has a wonderful director at his school who gives me SUCH peace of mind!