Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Part III - Our Christmas - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Third Annual Christmas Eve Ginger Bread Houses
 We were excited to be "home" this year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the first time!  We were looking forward to going to Christmas Eve service at our own church, have lots of family time, and have a "slower", non-rushed/non-traveling, Christ-centered day.  After church on Christmas Eve, we had pizza, made our third annual Gingerbread (graham cracker) houses, and put the star on our advent calendar (Summer's favorite part!).  Then I dug around in our 'gift box' (I shop at consignment sales throughout the year) to see what goodies our kiddos would get this year.  I wrapped while Paul got our delicious Christmas Day ribs ready for cooking.  On Christmas morning we had French Toast, read the Christmas story out of Summer's Bible, opened presents, and played all day.  I had too many videos (I love hearing their voices!) and cute pictures to post them all here, so I just made a little video to document our evening/morning a bit.  Enjoy :).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Part II - Tommerdahl Side - December 19-22

This year we hosted Tommerdahl-side Christmas in Apple Valley!  With Paul's brother and fiancee flying in from Colorado (and the airport being right by our house) as well as Paul's sister and husband's (who live in the twin cities) work schedules, we would maximize family time by celebrating in the Twin Cities instead of driving up north to Grandma and Grandpa T's house like we usually do.   Its a good thing everybody gets along so well in Paul's family, as all 12 of us were pretty "close" all weekend in our little living room!!!  It was so great to have everyone together--I absolutely love a full house :).  Each person took a meal or two so no one had to do all of the food, which made time for everyone to relax and enjoy family time--which we really did--lots of laughs, music, playtime, food, games, conversation, etc.  I feel so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family.

After gathering most everyone together on Thursday evening and getting caught up, on Friday we went to the Mall of America for browsing, rides, and lunch.  Grandpa T treated the kids to 3 rides at the indoor amusement park--they were thrilled!

Colton and Grandma on the Carousal (Colton waved each time he came around!)

Summer got to go with Uncle Jordan

Grandma and Colton on the Blue's Clues ride

Summer was big enough to ride all by herself!!

Grandpa took the kids on the Big Rig ride

While I knew Colton would love it, Summer did not stop smiling the whole time!
Other highlights from the weekend included hearing about Madison and Jordan's upcoming wedding and finding out that Paul will be a groomsman and Summer will be a flower girl!  We also got to see Grandpa's brother David and family when they came over to visit one afternoon.  The Tommerdahl game of late has been Settlers of Catan, which we enjoyed a great game of one evening!  Some of us went thrifting at a local thrift store one afternoon.  Most of all, the highlight was just being with everyone, all together, in one spot, and hanging out.  Here are a few pictures I stole from Grandpa T...

The original 4 sibs on the couch--Paul, Sarah, Jordan, and Javonte

Tucker on his little bed

Colton playing cars

Summer got a kid's cook book from Auntie Sarah and we have already enjoyed making her first recipe of choice :)

Summer LOVED the doll playhouse from Grandma and Grandpa T

Colton was pretty excited about the soccer ball/goal and t-ball set from Grandma and Grandpa T and all the things with "wheels" :)  He also loves his Curious George stuffed animal from GeeGee Sandy and he is currently a favorite.

Summer's gift to everyone on both sides of the family this year was home-made (laminated) personalized placemats.  She made a set for our family too, and all of used them for our meals together. :)

Reading with Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty...(I think silly Uncle Ty was also the culprit for putting a pink bow in Colton's hair?!?) :)

Reading with Grandma and Grandpa

Love this shot of Summer and Grandma reading

Auntie Sarah had fun snapping pictures of the kiddos

And helping them pose... :-)

Paul modeling Summer's new warm-up suit for gymnastics :)

GeeGee Sandy!!!

Family picture after church

With Uncle Jordan and Auntie Madison

The guys

The cute engaged couple

The gals


Gee-Gee Sandy and her great-grandkiddos

Lincoln log stacking competition--winner? Jordan with 11.

Christmas dinner--delicious!

Uncle Ty joined us after work :)
Here are a few videos...

First: Grandpa and Summer Dancing...

Second: Summer on Stage...Summer absolutely loves to have everyone looking at her and being the center of attention (which I have a hard time understanding because I am so the opposite!)  This trait has definitely created some parenting challenges, where we try to redirect her "stealing the show" into her her asking other people questions about themselves--which she is getting a lot better at!  Anyway, dinner one night was a perfect example of her love for this sort of thing, and the family all egg-ed her on....;)...she started by singing a ballad to her Uncle Ty, and then led the table in Christmas carols, hand motions, and other "table fun".  Her desire and ability to capture the attention of a crowd and organize them is I am sure a gift, albeit one we will have to continue to redirect into appropriate manners, timing, etc!! Anyway, she had the whole table practically crying by the end of the evening they were laughing so hard, and people were pulling out their phones to video her.  Here is one of many videos that were taken of Summer one evening...Uncle Ty was a good sport as she sang to him :). 

Each night, part of our tradition with the kids is to sing the song "Skinna-ma-rink" before bedtime prayers.  We all dance around and act silly.  The kids love when other people join in our bedtime tradition, and her is a video of all 12 joining in the fun...(note both kids slept in our room during the weekend to let others have their rooms, so that's why we were in our room...normally it is in one of the kid's rooms!)

I love you all, Tommerdahls and Crabtrees!  What a great time!

Christmas Part I - Kirkwood Side - December 13-15

We headed over to Woodbury on Friday evening and had "Christmas Eve".  Growing up as kids we had several traditions on Christmas Eve, (such as eating pizza and Christmas cookies, reading the Christmas story by the fire, and opening up one present each), and so we incorporated a bunch of those into our Friday evening.

Cuddles with Auntie Kristin

Uncle Eric showed Colton "cars racing" on his phone...Colton was mesmerized...

Summer wanted to watch too :)
The past few years, the "one present" we open on Christmas Eve has been new PJ's, and one of my mom's "hobbies" ;) is finding ones that all match and taking pictures.

The girls

The boys

The guys, um, *love* taking pajama pictures ;)
My baby sister and me :)
 Reading the Christmas story by the fire has always been one of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up.  My favorite part this year was when, after reading the story, Grandpa asked Summer and Colton questions about the story, like, "Who was Jesus' mommy?" or "Where was Jesus born?", etc.  Colton sat very seriously, legs crossed, hands folded, and each time Grandpa asked a question, Colton would say, "Uuuuuuuuuuum...." like he was about to answer (though he had no clue the answer!).  Totally cracked me up!  Of course Summer knew all the answers and loved answering all of Grandpa's questions :).
Colton "answering" Grandpa's questions about the Christmas story
On Saturday morning, we pretended it was "Christmas morning".  We got up, had breakfast, sang carols like usual, and then opened presents.  Colton was seriously ecstatic to get lots of new matchbox cars and a track for them to race on.  Summer loved her new books, books on CD, big girl CD player, and playdough set!

Racing cars with Uncle Eric

Reading new books

Playing play dough

Summer's new bath towel

Colton's new bath towel
Our traditional Christmas dinner--Swiss Steak--sooo good!
We also enjoyed game nights (Dominos), church at Grandma and Grandpa's church on Sunday, and lots of good food!  It was the perfect first Christmas celebration!  Thanks for everything Mom and Dad!  Love you guys!!

Our Announcement!

We are very excited to announce that there will be a third little Tommerdahl joining us next July!!!  

We are nearing the end our first trimester, we have heard the healthy heartbeat, and since I just "popped" (i.e. I now have a small baby bump!) we decided we couldn't keep it a secret any longer!  We told our families these past two weekends at our Christmas celebrations (blog posts to follow) and now we are excited share the good news with our other amazing family and friends!
This picture is a couple weeks old...but is a snapshot of Baby T #3 at 9 weeks!

Here is a little video of us telling Summer a week and a half ago....

Right after Paul turned off the video, Summer said the cutest thing, so I'll just write it here...it stems back to conversations Summer and I have had in the past about "where babies come from".  I told her that mommies and daddies pray for God to give them a baby.  She immediately asked me if we could pray for God to give us another baby.  She followed up by praying herself asking God for a baby.  One of these prayers was not long before we told her that we had a baby in mommy's tummy.  So when we told her that we had a baby in the above video, she exclaimed, "God gave you a baby!!!!!" --like her prayers for a baby had now been answered---so adorable!

Here is a picture of the kids at the almost-2-hour-long doctor-appointment with me the morning after we told Summer about baby--they did absolutely AWESOME!

After we heard the heartbeat, we were excited to tell our families!!

Our plan was to tell each of our families at our Christmas gatherings.  Paul and I each had fun coming up with the way we wanted to tell our families

Kirkwood Christmas this year was scheduled for December 13-15 (blog post to follow).   One of my dad's gifts was a Shutterfly picture calendar with pictures of the kids.  On the due date of Baby T #3 (July 15th) we placed a picture of Grandpa holding a grandchild and wrote "Grandchild #3 is due!".  It was a fun way to announce it, and they loved it, however, Summer spilled the beans at dinner before we got to open presents, and that was fun too :-).

Picture of the calendar page that announced Baby T #3 to the Kirkwood side

Tommerdahl Christmas was scheduled for December 19-22.  Since we hosted Christmas this year, Paul put up an "extra" stocking for people to "notice"!  They all had excited fun responses, and we feel so blessed to have all of our family be so excited for us!

Picture of 5th stocking with ultrasound picture that announced Baby T #3 to the Tommerdahl side
Colton has been enjoying talking about whose stocking is whose.  I caught him in video this morning, and I especially like the part where he talks about "Baby's" stocking!

I'll be attempting to catch up on other Tommerdahl news and Christmas celebrations soon (I have been feeling pretty sick with this pregnancy which has slowed me down a bit ;) ), but wanted to update you all on our BIG news!  Thanks for sharing in our excitement!!!

Summer did it!!

This post is quite late in coming, but Summer jumped into the pool all by herself two weeks ago!  I am so proud of her overcoming her fear.  Here is a video...love her response at the end!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Catching Up

I have gotten a bit behind on blogging because I haven't felt well.  Starting late last week I started having severe abdominal pains that kept getting worse and caused me to be in so much pain I could barely stand up.  Saturday morning about 4am I woke up from the pain and it was clearly in my right side.  I wondered if I had appendicitis.  My dad amazingly came over early Saturday morning while the kids were still sleeping so Paul could take me to the ER and get it checked out.  All tests came out healthy, and it appears that I pulled an interior abdominal muscle (while shoveling snow?) and that the only way to get it better was to lay down, rest, and not lift, twist, move, etc at ALL.  This was very hard for me, as I am a very active person, always doing something, with two active kids who are always doing something!!  Thankfully, it was the weekend, so Paul was absolutely beyond incredible taking care of all meals, dishes, cleaning, laundry, groceries, kids, discipline issues, etc, etc, etc from morning til night, and I stayed on my back only getting up to go to the bathroom or eat.  Today my mom came over so I could do the same thing (thank you, mom!!).  It is SO much better now.  I can still feel a bit of pain when I move, but it is finally livable!  Wow, I have so much respect for anyone that lives with chronic pain, because it was so horrible!

Anyway, now that I can sit up a bit and use the computer, I will try to catch up a bit on a few pictures and videos from the past two weeks....it will be a random assortment I assure you!

Playing music together...

Playing piano together

Ready to go shovel (and play) in the snow!

Mommy and kiddos

Poor Colton could hardly walk or hold anything when he was bundled up!

Summer was as busy as usual, quickly picking up on how to shovel the snow, and enjoying doing it like a "big kid"

She really did a great job!


Colton going nowhere fast ;)

Kids playing hair salon... Colton was the barber...

Cutting Summer's hair

Deciding what to do next...

Hair dryer!

Summer's turn...

Taking Tucker in for his Dr. Appointment

He did great for his shots, has "model ears", and "a nice waistline" according to the vet.  They also said he is so healthy he could likely live to be 20!

Summer update:  Summer has been such a sweetheart lately.  Several people I have talked to have apart from each other mentioned that they saw a big change in her ever since she asked Jesus to take her sins away.  I agree.  Her attitude toward doing wrong and getting in trouble has dramatically changed.  Her heart feels sad when she does wrong in a way unlike several months ago and she truly desires to "be perfect all day".  The way she treats Colton, her forgiving heart toward him, her desire  help others, and her truly caring spirit are so incredibly sweet.  She continues to crack us up with her outgoing nature. She will walk up to anyone and strike up a conversation!  She will walk right up to a male highschool student who is waiting for his turn to be tutored and introduce herself and start talking his ear off.  She will proactively engage our older gentleman neighbor in a lively dialogue.  It doesn't matter to her if the person is shy, un-talkative, etc, she will chat away until the conversation becomes two sided, and win over the heart of whomever she is talking to (she reminds me of the little girl in the movies Heidi).  I am excited to see how God will continue to use this trait in her to love on others.  I love you Summer!

Here are her last two verse of the week videos:

Colton update: Colton is growing more and more into a little boy.  I laugh at how different he is from Summer (who is and always has been very typically girl).  He loves to destroy, mess up, rough house, tackle (often an unsuspecting Summer), spit, pretend to be an airplane while he is eating complete with sloppy and noisy sound effects, throw, move, and do anything physical.  He will "play cars" for hours and drive anything he can get his hands on, including his vegetables at dinner.  He has amazing tone for a kid his age when he sings he has better pitch than Summer currently does.  We have been having quite a few issues with him lately purposefully and without reason, pulling Summer's hair, pushing her, and (not hard, but still) hitting her.  It is largely related to when he does not get his energy out in positive ways (which can be so tricky when it is single digit temperatures outside!!)  He has spent quite a bit of time in time-out lately....!  After we pray together and he asks God forgive him and help him to be gentle toward his sister and obedient to his mommy and daddy he will always go running to Summer, give her a big hug, and say "I sorry Summer".  Adorable.  Colton give the best hugs (might be termed "Tackle-Hugs" since he comes running at you full steam with arms wide open and plows into you!!!) and is the most affectionate little boy.  I absolutely love hugging that little kiddo and stealing a few cuddle moments right after he wakes up.  I love you, Colton!!

Here is a little video of one way we have tried to get Colton's energy out in a positive way lately...(if you have other ideas and are reading this post please leave them in the comment section!!!)