Sunday, December 31, 2006

Leeann's Birthday Cake

I am sitting here doing some work on Rob's computer, and I was looking through his pictures and found these ones of Leeann's Birthday cake. I wrote in July that I would post them when I got them from Eroica (which I never did, that's why I haven't posted.) But anyway, now I don't need to, because these ones will work just fine! This may have been my all-time favorite cake that I've done so-far. We had a super Blue party! See July for more details!

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas at my Dad's

We went to St. Helens two days before Christmas to celebrate with my daddy and his family. It's still lot's of fun, because there are still plenty of kids to go around! I can think of few greater things than watching kids open up presents! Leeann's highlight was a couple Dora the Explorer dolls that she's clung to pretty tightly (one even went on vacation with us!). Rob particularly enjoyed his Starbucks and itunes gift cards... and the Monopoly Here and Now game that got plenty of playing time over Christmas Vacation. I got a vacuum that I am super jazzed about and Titus got a cool walker toy that has helped him to realize that he can actually walk from point A to point B. These are just a few of the gifts we were blessed with over Christmas! My other highlight just might be eating lunch at my favorite restraunt in the whole wide world... Sunshine Pizza! (and of course staying at my aunt Pam's house!)

Titus was hanging out with Uncle Jason in his new jumpsuit outfit. This was also a gift from Great Grandma Lorraine (see below).

One of the most coveted gifts of the evening was a pair of hand-cuffs that my older brother Jason got for my younger brother Logan. See above.

Leeann and Uncle Jason had lot's of fun together!

This is my dad and his girl friend Tasha, her son Brent and my little sister Hope (who was born on my 23rd birthday. Yup. 23rd. I know, it's kinda wierd, but so is the rest of my family!) and my brother Logan who is 3 weeks younger than Leeann. It's a little strange to compare developmental milestones with your dad about your kids... but hey... welcome to my family! Posted by Picasa

Christmas Dress

This is one of the dressed that Leeann's Great Grandma sent her in the big ole' box of blessings (see below). She LOVES this dress. We went to a neighborhood cookie exchange and Leeann got to get all dressed up for the party. She had no problem posing for pictures in this pretty dress! Posted by Picasa

Christmas Program

Leeann had a preschool Christmas program... but I forgot my camera. This was her second program, it is the program that the kids put on at church. It was sooo cute!

This is the little angel Krista I used to watch!

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Rob took a picture of me sorting through a BIG box of clothes that Leeann's Great Grandma sent for the kids. It's always such a huge blessing, and full of awesome treasures! Thanks Grandma Lorraine!

This is a random picture of Titus with a cup of milk. He doesn't like to drink with the stopper in the sippy cups, so I usually give it to him without the stopper. This hasn't been a problem in the past, but he discovered how fun it can be to bang the cup against his try and watch the milk fly! Leeann thought it was the coolest thing ever, I think he earned her respect in that moment in time!

You may want to click on the picture to enlarge it just to get the full effect!
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All Dressed Up

Here's a picture of Rob and I all dressed up for our Staff Christmas Party. It was a blast, as always... and kid free too! Pam is a wonderful hostess, and Denny is a wonderful entertainer. Those who know Denny know what I mean!

*Note my new haircut for those who haven't seen me since the chop.*
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Our Staff Christmas Party

This is Denny, our Senior Pastor, and his wife Pam. They are holding up white elephant gifts. Notice Pam walked away with a beautiful picture of our children!
This is our youth Pastor Joel and his wife Brenna. Brenna got the gift that keeps on giving and won't go away... the antique mouse!
This is our worship leader Paul, and his wife Debbie. Paul wasn't too pleased with the 95% used thing of frappacino mix he ended up with. (I won't mention who brought that one...Rob!)
This is our treasurer Marilyn and her husband Les. They ended up with matching reptiles filled with candy. Not bad?

Our secretary Lauri and her husband Tom weren't able to make it this year... so they didn't make it onto my blog... maybe next year?

I ended up with a Jimmy Newtron video-in Spanish! I think I'll actually play it for Leeann and see if she even picks up on the fact that she can't understand it!
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Getting Ready for Christmas

(okay, so I'm a little behind in my blogging... better now than never right?)
The day we get the house ready for Christmas is just as, if not more exciting than Christmas itself at the Buhl home. This year we got to make a day of it because Rob had the whole day off! It was loads of fun, complete with setting up the tree, decorating it, hanging lights around our house, placing the nativity on the mantel, listening to Harry Connick Jr. sing Christmas classics, and eating Papa Murphy's pizza and drinking rootbeer while watching Robots the movie! Does it get any better than this? Yup. It snowed even!

Leeann and the Christmas Tree Box

The first year she just climbed right in the box and had a hay day
The second year she did with a little prompting
This year we had to practically throw her in the box, but hey, at least we got the picture right?
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And Then...

And then we tried to throw Titus in the box too, so that we can keep these comparrison pictures going on... but this is what he thought of it! Even sister's kisses didn't help convince Titus that the box is fun!
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These Two...

These two make me laugh! They have more fun together than should be legally possible! Below are some pictures of Leeann and Daddy from the last 3 Christmas's.

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Helping Daddy with the Tree

Leeann is a helper, and that has been evident since the beginning of her little life. She's also a daddy's girl to the core, so 'helping' him put the Christmas tree together every year seems quite natural.

Leeann at approximately 1.5 years old

2.5 years old

3.5 years old

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Helping Mommy

After Leeann and Daddy assemble the tree every year, Mommy and Leeann get to work decorating. We don't have a picture from the first year, so you'll have to settle for these two instead!
Side Note: Rob saw me getting these pictures together and said I look a lot younger in the one above, and asked me when that was taken. I told him it was from last year and if I look 'younger', as in thinner... that's a problem, because I was 8.5 months pregnant! Personally, I'm hoping it's the hair, or the lighting or something!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

I am Blessed

I realize that 2006 has been an incredible year. In spite of ourselves God has blessed us time and again in so many ways.

The biggest blessing of all is knowing that God, who created heaven and earth (whose ways and thoughts are so much bigger than my own) sent his Son Jesus to be born as a baby. Jesus led a sinless life and was condemned and hung on the cross to pay the price for the sins of mankind.

You and I are sinners. We fall far from perfection. There is no way that you, or I, or anyone else would be good enough to get to heaven on our own. That's why God sent Jesus to pay the price so that when we admit that we are sinners and ask Jesus to come into our lives... he takes our sins away from us. Jesus stands between us and God so that when God looks at us he doesn't see our sins, but instead he sees his Son.

Jesus didn't come to save the good people. He didn't come to save the perfect people (there aren't any!). He came to save people like you and like me. People who are not good enough to be called children of God. Those are the people that God wants to call to himself through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you want to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ...

Admit your spiritual need. Admit you are a sinner.
Repent and be willing to turn from your sin.
Believe that Jesus Christ died for YOU on the cross.
Receive Jesus Christ into your heart and life, by choosing this relationship over your current life of sin and separation from God.

Nearly 7 years ago I made this decision for myself. I knew I wasn't good enough, and I thought that God wouldn't send Jesus to save someone like me. If he only knew the bad things I had done, he certainly would not have sacrificed his Son so that I could live with him forever in heaven. On New Year's Eve 1999, I heard someone tell me otherwise. He told me that not only would God forgive my sins, but that he would forget them... never again to be used against me.

Wow, the God of the Universe really wants a relationship with me? I thought. I knew I could use a blank slate, and I took God up on his promise. I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life that night. When I got home I just knew somehow that life was going to be different from that point on. I didn't know how, and I had no idea what he had in store for me... but I knew regardless of what happened, my life would be better off because I would no longer be walking through this life alone... I'd be walking through it hand-in-hand with my Creator and my Savior. In the midst of a very stressful, hectic crazy time in my life, I felt an abundance of peace.

And now, on the other end of this life, I know that I will be in heaven. I can live without fear because I know that through his Son, Jesus, God will welcome me to heaven with open arms.

I can think of no greater joy this season to see you make that same decision. Pray to God (no magic words necessary, just talk to God in a heartfelt manner) and tell him that you are a sinner, but that you want to turn from your sin and that you believe that Jesus Christ died so that you could live with God in heaven forever. Ask Jesus to come into your life.

That's what Christmas is all about. It's not about the giving of gifts, or about being generous. It's not even about coming together with family. It's about doing all of these things to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the only way by which we can have a relationship with God. I pray earnestly that you choose to make that decision this Christmas. I promise, it's a decision you will never regret!

If you want to hear a little more about what it means to become a Christian go to and click on the video "What does it mean to follow Christ." If this is a decision you've decided to make, please let me know. I would be ecstatic to hear about it, and to be able to share in your joy.

Merry Christmas,


Monday, December 18, 2006

Titus's First Haircut

Okay, so these pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago, but I'm way behind on my blogging so I'm just now sharing them with you. I have a friend who I went to school with who cuts my hair. She has no formal training, but she is amazing, and I wouldn't trust my hair with anyone else! She just got married in May and when I called her to schedule this latest haircut I found out some great news... they moved to Albany! She's also the Children's ministry director at a big church in Salem... so that makes her living in Albany extra exciting!

A little sad to see the locks go, but happy to have my baby look like a boy again!

Our friend and stylist... Jill!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Random Act of Kindness

Today, I decided to take the kids to Fred Meyer. I don't do that very often as it's hard to shop with both kids, especially if one of those car-carts with two seats aren't available. The logistics of taking them shopping is more trouble than it's worth, but I needed to pick something up for Leeann's preschool Christmas program tonight so I knew it would only be a short trip and I decided to brave it by myself instead of sending Rob after he gets off of work.

Well, I practically stalked a lady who had the car-cart I needed and parked as near to her as I could so that I could make a mad dash to get the cart as soon as she finished unloading her groceries. I succeeded, and the three of us 'drove' on our merry way with the cool car-cart. If you've ever driven one of these you know that the kids love them, but they are a pain in the neck to turn and you can't fit through aisleways very well and it's quite cumbersome (but worth it for the ability to have two kids in the cart and happy!)

Well, as I paid for my groceries I had a dilemma. Do I leave the car-cart inside and try to take my three plastic sacks of groceries in one hand, Titus in the other and let Leeann walk next to us? I could, but it would be heavy, and I'd rather have Leeann hold my hand or be in the cart in the parking lot.

Option 2: I could take the kids and the cart to the van, unload the groceries, then take the cart and the kids to the cart drop off and bring them back to the van. This is what I usually do as I don't like to leave my kids in the car by themselves, even for a minute.

Option 3: Drop the kids and the groceries in the van and take the cart back and then go on our merry way.

Well, I was planning for option 2, but once I finally got the big bulky cart to the van and in a position that I could get the back open, and the side door without putting anyone in danger, I decided to just put the kids in the van too and I'd take the cart back. It was going to be more effort than necessary to maneuver the cart to be able to get the back closed with the kids inside the cart. And besides, Leeann was already standing up ready to be put in the car.

Well, just as I was strapping Titus in, with the back of the van still open and the cart in an obviously weird spot, this lady who had parked next to me that just finished unloading her own groceries asked if she could take the cart back for me. It was incredibly sweet. This might sound silly to people who haven't gone shopping with young kids lately, but to me it was priceless. She said to me, "You have sweet kids, may I take this for you?" Then she came back and took her own cart back to the cart drop-off. She was probably in her late 50's so she wasn't a young mom who just went through this dilemma herself. I was grateful for her and for her noticing my predicament and purposing to bless me with a random act of kindness.

Find someone you can bless in a silly little way today, and if you ever get the opportunity to return a cart for a mom with youngsters... I guarantee she'll be blessed!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Titus's 1st Birthday Party (Round One)

This is cake #1. I have a goal of making special cakes for my kids for their Birthdays as long as they'll let me. My aunt Pam used to make us fun character cakes and they were always incredibly special... and I want to share that tradition with my kids. Many of the cakes take me anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to make, and since I didn't have the time to do that for Titus's first party, I compromised and made him and my brother Jason an easier version of a home-made cake. I forgot to bring the candle, so a tea light rested nicely on the trailer! This cake was actually quite fun to make (with the help of my aunt Pam... the one whom I stole this tradition from! Thanks Aunt Pam!)

This is Titus and my brother Jason. Awww!

Another fun family tradition is the box of cereal that my Grandma gets everyone for their birthday. Our presents are always wrapped in comics and somewhere in the pile of gifts there is always a box of cereal. I love this tradition! Titus seemed to enjoy it too!

My family went together and got Titus a car seat! It's such a blessing!

(Okay, I have a confession to make... we got it almost a week and a half ago but haven't installled it yet. We keep waiting for our van to get back from the shop but they keep putting us off. Installing carseats is quite a pain, so we're trying to avoid having to install it in the Buick only to take it out and re-install it in the van. We should get the van back today and I'm excited to test out the new seat!
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