Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 comes to an end.

WOW! I mean.... seriously, WOW!  Can you believe that today is December 31, 2011??  If this is how fast time flies when you have one child, what am I in for when 2012 comes? 

With all of that being said, 2011 has brought so many blessings that I am reminded about today.  I am so incredibly thankful to have spent another year with Daniel and Leeland.  Some fun things about 2011:

--Getting my job (though I later left) at the Pregnancy Care Center.  Truly a blessing to work there, and absolutely adore the ministry.  They will always have my heart and prayers and I look forward to volunteering some there in the future.
--Leeland turning 1, having an awesome dinosaur party and enjoying cake for the very 1st time.
--Daniel getting his new job with the Police Department.  He's still in the academy and we look forward to graduation in 2012.  But what a great opportunity, and even better that I now get to stay at home with my little guys.
--Finding out we were expecting baby #2... and another boy! And so blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy so far.
--Finished up my 1st semester of MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers), getting to know some other Moms, enjoying adult conversation, and allowing Leeland a place to play with other kids for a couple hours. That was a lot of fun!
--Leeland has grown and changed and developed SO much in the past year that I could write a book, but one of the more fun things has been watching his imagination develop.  He is very in to pretending and it is absolutely adorable to see what his little mind comes up with. 
--And just to brag a little bit.... I have been pretty darn good at winning giveaways in 2011. (Hehe!)  I can only hope that 2012 brings even more freebies.
--Daniel winning in his powerlifting competition this year, with a medal and a fancy trophy to show for it.  I couldn't be more proud of him and look forward to cheering him on at more competitions once he is finished with the academy.

Maybe my preggo/Mommy brain is failing me, but that's all that I can think of right now.  I hope you all have enjoyed your 2011 and cheers to 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

31 weeks

I had Daniel take a few photos of Leeland and I before the Christmas Eve church service this weekend. I wanted to get a decent belly shot so that Hayden knows that he was here at Christmas loved and thought about. 

We had a midwife appointment this morning which was extra exciting because it was the 1st appointment that Daniel had been able to attend with me because of his work schedule.  I'm measuring right on point and Hayden's heart beat makes a beautiful sound.  There are some concerns about my thyroid levels being low so I had additional blood drawn today, but I'm not worried.  Other than some back pain, which is probably brought on not only by the pregnancy but also by chasing and lifting a toddler, I am feeling pretty great! Only 9 weeks left to go and my is time just flying by!

Christmas Festivities:

We were unable to go to Michigan this year for Christmas (much of Daniel's family lives there) because Daniel didn't get enough time off work.  He only got Saturday through Tuesday and since we typically drive, 2 days are spent traveling there and back. (About 13 hours in the car one way.) It was nice to celebrate and enjoy my family's typical traditions that they do here, but I really did miss getting away.  Looking at the calendar prior to Christmas weekend, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and like we had overextended ourselves.  It's so easy to get caught up in all the festivities, and subsequently not truly be able to worship and celebrate.  Here's what our weekend looked like.....

Friday December 23rd

 Praise God that my Brother-In-Law is home safely from Iraq!  We were so excited to have him back on this side of the pond, AND home to celebrate Christmas!  Friday night was spent at my in-laws celebrating his return.  While he was in Iraq, he missed his birthday and Thanksgiving so we had a Thanksgiving dinner re-do with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie... And I baked him a birthday cake.  Of course we also had to celebrate Christmas in there, so Leeland and his little cousin got to open all of their Christmas presents.  My in-laws left the next morning for Michigan which is why the babies got to open their gifts a bit early.

Saturday, December 24th

Christmas Eve morning we had another couple over that is friends of ours for breakfast.  They of course brought Leeland a gift-- cute little track suit pictured below.  And they even got Daniel and I a little something which was unexpected and super sweet of them.  I made breakfast, I made this breakfast casserole and this french toast recipe.  Both of them SUPER easy, I prepped both ahead Friday night and baked them in the oven that morning. 

Saturday evening we went to church.  The Christmas Eve service was PACKED!  It was such a sweet service though, with what seemed like lots of extra singing which was totally fine by me-- the band at church is always wonderful and singing Christmas carols with a packed house is just magical.  After the service, we went to my Granny's house for some yummy food and for Leeland to yet again open some more Christmas presents.  

After my Granny's house we were headed home to play Santa, or just simply put the gifts that had been wrapped and hidden in our room for several weeks now under the tree.  

Sunday, December 25th-- CHRISTMAS!

Christmas morning we woke up and got Leeland up to open gifts.  We had a minor issue with my fancy camera and all of our Christmas morning photos had to be taken on my iPhone.  I was quite bummed!  We left the camera out in the car on accident the night before-- when Daniel walked the dog, he brought it in.  It was pretty chilly out that morning and when he brought it in the lens got all fogged up.  I wiped and wiped and it kept fogging, it took about an hour to "defrost" and of course Leeland was not waiting to open his presents. 

After we opened up our gifts and our stockings, it was time to head to my parents house.  Their tradition is a big Christmas morning breakfast-- bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, pancakes, eggs.... MMMM, I'm starting to drool just thinking about it. And of course there was more presents.

Once we were done there, we were free to celebrate as a family.  We came home and took naps with new PJ's on and then got up and had some dinner.  And cake.  Our new tradition this year is a "Happy birthday Jesus" cake-- an excellent way to teach the boys a bit more about the meaning of Christmas. 
And that my friends is our Christmas in a nut shell with some photos.  The past 2 days since Christmas have been all about family time (taking advantage of Daniel's time off work), cleaning, organizing and trying to figure out what to do with all these presents!  Our little man really racked up and got far more than he could ever need or want.... kind of makes me nervous about next year with 2.  Hope you and your families had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011


My worst fear came true this week-- that's an exaggeration, it's not really my "worst" fear, but it is one that I have talked about and hoped and wished not to happen.  What is it?  Something happening to Leeland's teeth.

I remember running into another Mom a couple months ago at a football game, and Leeland was about the same age as her youngest son and they ran around and played so we were chatting.  She asked if I had other children and I told her we were expecting (at the time not knowing it was a boy yet) and she told me that she had 3 sons.  She followed that with, "if you end up having more boys, there's a support group for Mom's like us."  I giggled and said something about how from all the stories I have heard about my husband and his brothers that we needed to make sure we have good medical insurance.  And she said, "no, you need good dental insurance," and followed with a story about a freak accident with her youngest son and his tooth having to be pulled.  Mind you, he was only about 16 months old at the time. 

That has been my fear.  In all actuality, we of course get 2 sets of teeth in our lifetime so it's technically not that big of a deal, but knowing that Leeland may have a jacked up tooth for at least 7 years before his permanent teeth come in is really scary to me.  

So anyways, Leeland chipped one of his front teeth this week.  Thankfully it's a small chip so there wasn't any sort of root or extreme damage causing us to rush off to the dentist office, but it's a chip in his tooth none the less.  Daniel says that it is small enough that no one would notice if I didn't point it out, but I know it's there! The way it's placed in the corner of his front tooth makes his tooth just look, not straight across at the bottom (if that makes sense).

He bonked his mouth on the side of the bath tub the other night.  He cried and I consoled him and remember checking his lips and glancing at his mouth to make sure he wasn't bleeding.  (He has been known to get a bloody lip in falls from now and then).  I don't recall looking at any of his teeth (dumb me) and he stopped crying after about a minute so I assumed he wasn't hurt too bad.  The next morning, we were sitting on the couch enjoying our cheerios together-- and Leeland likes to take very large fist fulls of cheerios and put them in his mouth.  When he did, I noticed his tooth didn't look right and thought for whatever reason there was cheerios stuck in his tooth.  But it wasn't cheerios-- it was the chipped tooth. I beat myself up about it most of the day because it took me to the next day to notice and I felt horrible about being a "bad mom."  And then I just got sad for him that his teeth are perfect anymore.  :(

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


We took Leeland to see Santa this past weekend. Let me remind you of how it went last year when he sat with Santa for the first time at about 8 months old....
Leeland would be on the left in the above picture with my sleeping nephew on the right, who never flinched at any of Leeland's screams might I add and enjoyed his little nap with Santa.

And here is this year-- he still didn't care for Santa much this year, though it was the wailing of last year....

Just a little bit of whining this year. :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dallas Cowboys Cake

I made a Dallas Cowboys birthday cake this weekend for a surprise birthday party.  Sadly, the only picture I took of it was from my iphone. (My bad.)  Here it is though:

Celebrating Advent

 Tis the season to begin celebrating Christmas and not have stones cast at you.  Kidding, but for real, I have lots of friends who are very anti-anything Christmas before Thanksgiving.  This past week at MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) we had a guest speaker Jen who came to speak about traditions.  She was specifically speaking about the importance of traditions in the family year round but she also mentioned several of her family's Christmas and Holiday traditions. 
 One of the traditions that she spoke about was the "Jesse Tree," which is essentially a Christmas tree where there is a new ornament placed on the tree everyday of the season and there is scripture that goes with it.  The scriptures take you and your family from the beginning with creation to the birth of Jesus. I grew up in a family that only went to church on Easter and Christmas and this was something that I had never heard of and immediately knew that I would like it.  The concept of keeping the season so focused on what truly matters and the anticipation of the celebration of Christ on Christmas day.  I knew that we needed to start this tradition and we needed to start it this year-- let me remind you that Tuesday was November 29th and the advent season typically starts on December 1st.

Thankfully she also shared that Ann Voskamp has free Jesse Tree printables on her blog.  If you haven't heard of Ann Voskamp, she is a fabulous author and her most recent book "One Thousand Gifts" climbed to the top of the charts.   You can find her blog/website here. Once you subscribe to the blog, you can get access to the free printables for the Jesse Tree.  The printables include picture cut outs that you can use as ornaments and also devotions and scripture to go with each day.  I cut out the ornaments and attached them to some scrapbook paper and added a ribbon to hang them on the tree.  Most people use a separate small tree for their Jesse Tree but due to it being last minute and not entirely in the budget, we're just adding the ornaments to our regular Christmas tree.  It really works out for us too considering I limited the ornaments on our tree this year since the ones we have are glass and I didn't want them in tiny hands. 

It is going really well so far!  At almost 20 months old, Leeland is still a little young to completely understand but he truly does love to read and hear stories and he loves the Christmas tree.  We sit and read the devotions before bedtime and then he and Daddy add the ornament to the tree together.  I think it will be so much fun to see how he comprehends and gets more and more into it each year.  I know that it is going to be a precious time that we look forward to each Christmas season. 

A special thank you to Jen for sharing about the Jesse Tree and also to Ann Voskamp for the awesome devotions and printables!

Lastly for this season, just for Daniel and I-- our yearly tradition is a candy advent calendar.  This calendar I got at Starbucks a few years ago and I buy candy to refill the drawers each year.
Hope you all are enjoying advent as much as we are!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving Days 21-30 & Debrief

Day 21: Today I am thankful for girlfriends to hang out with this evening. And also thankful that the swelling in my hands and feet from yesterday has gone down this morning.

Day 22: Thankful to have Daniel and that he is such a wonderful father to Leeland. Nothing like waking up this morning to my boys talking football and touchdowns. 

Day 23: Thankful that we have made it to the 3rd trimester with our baby boy Hayden.

Day 24: Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! Here I am so thankful for Daniel, Leeland and Hayden (on the way.) So blessed to have a roof over our heads & food on the table. And most importantly, thankful for my God who is the provider of it all.

Day 25: Today I am thankful that we have everything that we NEED. It's no secret that when you drop to one income, it gets a little tighter, but I can honestly sit here and say that I am content with what we have. Feels weird to not be shopping on black Friday like I usually do, but there's nothing that I want or need. Happy at home.

Day 26: So thankful today and everyday for the men and women who serve our country in the military. But on this day, I'm especially thankful for my brother-in-law Nate! We love you buddy and miss you so much, look forward to having you back on this side of the pond. Happy birthday buddy- there will be a cake ready for you when you get back.

Day 27: I'm so thankful that I have such awesome in-laws. It's really great to have such selfless, loving, and supportive adults for Daniel and I to go to. Love you guys and I know that Leeland really loves his G-Ma and PaPa too.

Day 28: Today I am thankful for the ability to create. I love dabbling in crocheting, sewing and baking- I do not consider myself a pro at any of them and am always learning new techniques but I must say that I really enjoy my crafting hobbies. And it makes me feel even better when I can save us a little money by making things myself.

Day 29: Today I am thankful for MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers)! Adult interaction and fellowship for Mommy, and lots of fun, cool toys and children for Leeland to play with for a couple hours.

Day 30: Thankful today for free guest passes to the Natural Science Center that were passed along to me. Looking forward to taking Leeland for the 1st time and also spending time with friends and their children. What a blessing that person gave us and they have no idea how much it means to me.

Just to say a little bit about this Thanksgiving project-- it has been incredibly fun, challenging and also eye opening.  All of us like to think that we are innately good and that as "good people" we are of course gracious, courteous and thankful.  But I'm not afraid to admit what this project truly was-- this was a CHALLENGE.  Coming up with something new each day to be thankful for aside from the hum drum food, clothes, shelter was kind of difficult.  What an eye opener to truly sit and reflect and open my eyes to the MANY blessings that we have as a family! And what a perfect time for my eyes to be opened: 1) During this season of mass consumerism, I am now so much more focused on what the season is truly about and 2) Money has never been more tight around here than it is now.  I can sit around and mope about it and be depressed about it, or I can think about all that we DO have.  

Hope you all have enjoyed your season of Thanksgiving-- Christmas is coming next.  I encourage each of you to focus on the reason for the season.  Don't get caught up in the "me, me, me" "buy, buy, buy" attitude of our society.  Blessings!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crocheted blanket.

After being sidetracked by other projects, the regular household duties, and just plain laziness, I have finally finished crocheting the project that I first spoke about here in.... ummm... September.  This took much longer than it should have for sure and I really don't have much of an excuse. 

The end result is a blanket for Hayden.  (So really I didn't have to finish for another 3 months :D)  It's a little bit bigger than I expected so it will be a blanket that he can grow into.  I found the pattern out of a crochet book called "Cuddly Crochet."  I bought the book at a local craft store last year and have gotten a lot of use out of it, had some fun, had a little stress, and learned some new techniques.  Most of the patterns in the book are classified as "easy" and would be suitable for a somewhat beginner crocheter.  Going into this book, I only knew how to crochet a "single crochet stitch," and I now know many more stitches.  The book goes over some of the how-to's in the beginning with diagrams and pictures, it breaks down yarn weights and also gauges.  There is also a very handy glossary in the back that breaks down all the crochet abbreviations in the patterns.  The hardest thing from this book when I first started was making the hats.  My stitches tend to be a little bit larger than the author's and therefore if I made a hat with the amount of stitches she suggests, my hat was far too big-- it took some tweaking for me to figure out the edits to accommodate my stitches but I have successfully made hats for Leeland, and also for some friends' babies.  Without further ado, here is Hayden's hand crocheted sheep blanket.

I love how all the hexagons put together give the blanket a more unique shape than the typical square.  I also love (though the pictures don't show it) that the sheep are 3D.  The little sheep heads and ears are pretty fluffy and kind of pop out of the blanket-- I can totally see our baby boy sitting on this blanket very amused by that and possibly trying to yank them off.  Daniel's critique of the blanket is that he says the sheep need legs, but I think it's meant to be a bit more abstract.  Plus I would think the legs of the sheep would need to be black and I don't know that black yarn stitched onto the navy blue would show up very well. 

I am very pleased with it, and it feels good to have it completed.  Now on to figuring out what my next project will be.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving Days 11-20

Day 11: As we head out to Leeland's check-up appointment later, I am thankful for healthcare professionals.  *His check up went great this day by the way. At 19 months old he is 23 pounds, 1 ounce and a little over 33 inches tall.  Still very high on the scale for his height and low for his weight but he's staying consistent. 

Day 12: Today I am so thankful to know so many excellent photographers. Talented men and women who help us capture special memories as a family. Family photo session this morning with Alisa. Thanks Alisa!

Day 13: Thankful today for family.

Day 14: Today I am so thankful to have a working washing machine and dryer. They aren't anything fancy, but they sure do get the job done.

Day 15: I am incredibly thankful for coupons! It's always been tight around the Kroh house and it's so nice to have a little extra help to decrease the grocery budget. Every little bit adds up to make a big difference.

Day 16: I am extremely thankful today and everyday for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I don't deserve the many blessings he continues to provide us with. It's hard to think about my life before I knew Him, but I am SO happy that he brought me out of that life and made me new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Day 17: Thankful for this "challenge" that has definitely put some things in perspective.

Day 18: Very thankful for my AWESOME sister Paige who helped me clean the carpets today. Thanks sis! I love you tons! *A toddler and a dog can do A LOT of damage to carpets and it probably doesn't help that our carpets are white.  Unbelievably excited to have them clean!

Day 19: Thankful for my Granny. She is so selfless and loving of others. Enjoyed hanging out today with the family over some of Granny's delicious brunswick stew. (A yearly tradition to enjoy this yummy yummy food the weekend before Thanksgiving.)

Day 20: Thankful for more family time. Celebrating thanksgiving a wee bit early with my family today. Excited for all the good eats too--being pregnant during the holidays is the best!!! *On this day, we celebrated Thanksgiving early with my family because my sister would be out of town on Thanksgiving day. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New foods.

Leeland is starting to develop an excellent palate for food. He went through a stage in the past few months where he refused to eat several different things but mostly vegetables.  I offered him vegetables every night at dinner anyways but they unfortunately typically got thrown to the dog. But now he's starting to come around to them and can be found scarfing down carrots and corn and squash at the dinner table.  And we also recently discovered that he likes things that are a bit spicy!  He downed several bowls of chili that his Grandmother (Daniel's mom) made us last week, and he was surprisingly very in to some spicy BBQ chips that Daniel was eating last week. Here are some messy chili photos--

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Family Photos 2011.

We had our family photos taken this past weekend! I am so excited to share a little sneak peek. Photos taken by Alisa at the Old Guilford Mill.