Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fireproof & the Love Dare

I came across a blog that touched briefly on a great new movie out called Fireproof. It's about a couple on the verge of divorce, and this fire fighter's father gives him a 40 day faith based dare to learn what it means to truly love his spouse, and to show her a genuine love. I watched the trailer and was immediately inspired to watch it. In searching for where I could find this movie...I also discovered a website that offers a book called the 40 day dare, and other tutorials on how to "fireproof" your marriage, and add the strength of genuine love.

Now...I am not posting this because my marriage is on the verge or anything, but Ron and I are always looking for ways to improve our relationship and marriage, and I really think this is something that would be so amazing to do! You have to check out the website, it is truly inspiring. To see the movie trailer Click Here. Click HERE to see the Love Dare Book sample.

Here is an excerpt from the website:
The Love Dare, as featured in the new movie Fireproof (starring Kirk Cameron and from the team that brought us the #1 best selling DVD Facing the Giants), is a forty-day guided devotional experience that will lead your heart back to truly loving your spouse while learning more about the design, nature, and source of true love.

Each day’s entry discusses a unique aspect of love, presents a specific “dare” to do for your spouse (some will be very easy, others very challenging), and gives you a journaling area to chart the progress that you will be making.

It's time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy and developing a dynamic marriage. Take the dare!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A movie for Daddy from Brayden and Mommy!

This Christmas Ron and I decided to handmake at least 1 gift for each other on top of purchased items. This was my gift to him-a DVD movie that Aunt Beth helped me burn with a DVD intro, everything! I made the first draft on One True Media...then we used another computer program to actually make our own DVD from this. It turned out great! Thank you Beth for your help-you are the best! Bray and I wrapped the DVD with chocolate covered Cherries so Daddy would not guess what it was. When I put it in the DVD player and it started to play...Ron shook his head and could barely hold back his emotions...it was beautiful. He absolutely loved his gift from us. Here it is...turn on your volume.

Litte Guy, Big Guy...

I made Daddy and Brayden matching sweatshirts for Christmas that read "Big Guy" and "Little Guy". Since they both share the same middle name-Guy...I thought this would be fun! They both proudly wore their shirts yesterday! Too Cute.
Picture 222
Picture 254

Some Handmade Gifts!

Now that Christmas is over and everyone (almost everyone) anyway has received their gifts...I can post pictures! Here are just some of the gifts that I made this Christmas.
Here is an old storm window converted into a conversation piece-given to: Todd and Beth. I just painted it, distressed it a bit, and placed a vinyl lettering quote kit onto the glass. It has the old handle and hooks on it, and they absolutely loved it! The quote is so them too! It was perfect. Thanks to Kacey over at Chronicles of a Mommy for such a great idea!
Picture 060
A plate for Rons Mom with all of her Grandchildrens name on it. I just purchased some ceramic paint markers and viola!
Picture 045
A canvas I painted for Rons niece Brooke-she loves dance!
Picture 051
A canvas I painted for Rons nephew Marion-he loves baseball!
Picture 048
A canvas I painted for Rons niece Chelsea-she is 16!
Picture 044
Last but not least-Braydens very own baseball knot blanket from Mommy! They are so easy to do, and so warm and soft. He loved it!
Picture 099
I made jewelry for my nieces, and other gifts for family that they have not yet received, so I can't post those just yet! It was a fun thing to make gifts, and so special! Enjoy!

Thank you for my Christmas gifts...

Brayden wanted to say thank you to everyone for his Christmas gifts! He loved everything! You all picked out such perfect, thoughtful gifts for the Bray! Here are some pictures.
Christmas Jammies from Grandma (and thank you for the other gifts not pictured):
Picture 359
Drum set from Uncle Todd, Aunt Beth & Emily & Molly:
Picture 288
Outfit from Uncle Scotty and Aunt Tara:
Picture 370
Fridge Magnet toys and touch and feel book, baby scrapbook from Uncle Scotty and Aunt Tara:
Picture 140

Silly Nilly...

Today we got up early and decided to head out for the day to shop and spend a nice day together since I did not have to go into work until later. We went for Breakfast at Bob Evans, and Brayden had his favorite pancakes. He loves going there because the waitresses all know him now and flirt with him...he gets such a kick out of it. Later we went shopping, and here are some pictures of Brayden being the ultra nutty silly nilly while standing in line at Kmart! He has his new outfit on from Uncle Scotty and Aunt Tara! Cute Cute.
Picture 393
Picture 389
Picture 392

Christmas Day 2008

What a fun Christmas Day! First we opened presents with Brayden, and he could not decide which ones to play with, and which ones to open! Then we headed over to Ron's Mothers house to celebrate and have Brunch with his family, then off to Uncle Todd and Aunt Beth's house to celebrate and have dinner with my family! We headed home around 9:30pm, and decided to blow up Braydens new Ball Pit toy, and he fell in love with it instantly! Brayden ended the night just shy of midnight! Whew! We could not get him out of the ball pit. Needless to say we had a wonderfully exhausting Christmas! Hope yours was just as wonderful. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow Family Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Years of Snow...

This marks the end of 2008 for the Snow Family! This year has brought us many blessings and a little wisdom.

First let's talk about Brayden. He has grown so much since this time last year! I was looking back at pictures from Christmas 07, and at a mere 3.5 months I thought the amazement in him would fade...but it has only grown since then. He is such a funny little guy. His personality has really shown over this last year and gets stronger with every new day. He loves to make us laugh, loves the Noggin Channel, Mooose A Moose and Dora, not to mention his Backyardigans! He loves to be tickled, and having his "piggies" massaged. He splashes in true madman fashion in the tubby, and has now learned to tell us "no". He says Mama, Dada, Ba-Ba, Yum, Good, uh-oh, Eat, no, go, you go, Gee which means (thank you) Gaa which means (your welcome), yeah, uh-huh, Wow, Oh, nuy-nuy (nite nite) and other little words here and there when prompted. He is 95% of the time all smiles first thing in the morning, and loves to stomp his feet in the crib until you pick him up-to which he immediately gives "lovies" and "kisses"...some mornings Mommy even gets the slobbery buzzerboo on the cheeks! He is growing up so fast, and is so clever! Ron and I love him more than words can even describe, and are truly grateful and thankful for having Brayden in our lives. He is the best part of every day! We are amazed at how we never knew we would love and adore him this much.

As for us...Ron and I celebrated our 13th year together this past November and our 6th year married this last July! We have our moments believe me-but we are evolving and growing as a couple, and as parents to Brayden. We have many exciting opportunities ahead of us this next year, and we will be sure to keep you posted on all of those fun things as we know more! Right now our lives revolve around the Bray! We sat and talked the other night about how many obstacles we have overcome together, how many bizarre mishaps we have experienced, and how every single moment we have shared has taught us so much! (We have been truly blessed). We laughed at how young we once were, and how naive and silly we must have appeared at times (and probably still do)! I teased Ron about his new found grey hair, and how he is starting to look a little "distinguished" and he in turn teased me about my thinning hair! There are times we want to choke each other, but there is nobody like Ron in the world, and nobody I would rather be with until the day I pass. He continues to make me laugh, amazes me with his tender heart, and blows me away when I watch him with Brayden! We have grown together and grown up so much over the last 13 years together.

We feel truly blessed with our lives, and all that has been given to us from God. We thank him every single day for entrusting us with this little beautiful child that we never thought we would have, and that we never knew how much we would love and adore once he arrived! We used to sit and "dream" and talk about having children. We laugh now because it was nothing like we had ever imagined...it is a million times better, harder, more challenging, exciting and scary all at the same time! We wonder if the decisions we make are going to totally screw him up, or make him well rounded and normal ;-) Probably a bit of both I suppose! For now though...he is still pure and perfect and we are inhaling this spirited little guy every chance we get! We know that each day we share together is a gift from God, and we are concentrating on making memories together, and appreciating those moments God gives to us.

Our prayer for you and yours this year: Count your blessings every opportunity you get. Help make others lives happier or better everyday. Forgive wrongs and forget them...embrace beautiful moments and appreciate them. Live with grace and understanding. Thank God every chance you can for everything...even the bad! Live with strength and humility, compassion and love. Smile at people you don't know, and hold your family tight every chance you can! Leave the dishes and get on the floor to play with your children, or have coffee with a friend who needs it! Laugh at yourself...ALOT! Everything else non-important will fall into place. God Bless you and yours this Christmas, and into 2009!
With Much Love-The Snow Family

Monday, December 22, 2008

All by myself...

Brayden has learned to sit on the ottoman all by himself. He loves to sit here while Daddy or myself put his shoes on, or brush his hair. He knows how to get down without totally knocking himself out, and he kicks his little legs proudly as he looks down at the floor with that "Hey-I'm a big boy" look. He is too funny. I'm sure next he will be attempting to get on the ottoman all alone, hopefully we still have some time until that happens. (hopefully!)
Picture 146
Picture 145
Picture 144

Almost ready for Christmas...

The last few weeks have been hectic with trying to get ready for Christmas! I decided this year to make handmade gifts for most everyone-our family is so very large that purchasing gifts for everyone would be insane, and handmade gifts are more fun anyways! This has forced me to be ultra creative though this year-and Ron too! Ron actually handmade my big gift, and one for my mom too! He of course won't tell me anything about mine, but if it's anything like the gift he made my mom-I will surely be impressed. He never ceases to amaze me-he is known in my family to be the best "gift giver" around-he is so thoughtful with things like that. I would LOVE to post pictures of the things I have made so far because they are really cool-but I can't until after the Holidays for obvious reasons.

We are anticipating spending time with family and friends over the next few days, baking cookies, a ham (and I will not let it smoke up the kitchen either!), wrapping gifts, etc etc. Ron decorated the Christmas tree this morning because I am so behind with work, making gifts-everything that only the lights were on it as of last night! I usually love to do this as a family, but I did not mind this year, just one less thing on my long list of things to get done. Plus-he let me sleep in while he did it, and had coffee ready for me when I woke up (Merry Christmas to me :-)

More than anything this year, I have made it a point to be more conscious of our blessings, and more in tune with realizing all of the wonderful gifts God has given me and my family. We are truly blessed and grateful for everything, and I feel very loved and fulfilled. We hope everyone has a safe and blessed Christmas and that you take a few minutes from your day to be thankful, grateful and to count all of the wonderful blessings we sometimes take for granted. We wish everyone a wonderful, loving, warm and happy Holiday. God Bless

-The Snow Family

Monday, December 15, 2008

15 Month Checkup and Shots

This week we took Brayden for his 15 month checkup and shots appointment. Boy was Mr. Brayden none too happy this week! Two of the shots were in his arms...and since that was a first-he was pretty upset! The other one was a leg shot, but it was done after the two in the arms...so he was EXTRA mad at that point! He was pretty quick to calm down afterwards, but OH MY! Since Brayden is so curious and active now...this Doctors appt was exhausting to say the least! Thank God Ron was with me because after the initial check-up and him grabbing at the stethoscope, ear probe, paper on the table, his clothes, my necklace, my hair, Dr. Lynn's hair, Lynn's jacket etc etc etc...I was sweating! Seriously. Then Brayden decided he wanted to get down and explore some more with only a diaper on...in a room that has probably seen a million sick children...barefoot....(you see where I am going huh?)...but I was so exhausted at this point...I put him down and let him run! Whats a fried mother to do? Let him build up those immunities! Exactly so. I know...it was a moment of duress-don't judge me :-)

I am not even going to go into how he fell and bonked his head on a table during this little "exploration" he was on! (yes-he did).

On a lighter and happier note-the little Chunk of Love, and I mean CHUNK of love....weighed in at a whopping 30 pounds! BUT-he is 33 inches...so a bit on the high end, but healthy none the less! He is doing well developmentally-all that jive was great...and he is happy and doing just fine!

Thank God we have known Dr. Dunham (Lynn) since I was a little girl! It is so nice to have a Dr. for Brayden that our families have known each other for as long as I can remember. It also helps in moments like these ones because she can actually look at me at laugh at me for it :-) Sometimes small town life is good! :-)

A tinkle and a cookie jar....

The other night I was changing Brayden and getting his pajamas on him. Naturally-he decided he wanted to run around the house naked, and I have stopped trying to catch him to get him dressed so I just sat there and laughed while watching his little bare tooshie and chunky little belly take off running all over the place. A few minutes later I heard a trickling water sound and looked behind me and there sat Brayden...with his cookie jar...tinkling in it! Yep! Tinkling in the cookie jar...I was impressed! It's not like he was tinkling ON it....he actually took the lid off of it, and tinkled IN it! Big Boy! ha ha. Ron and I got a good giggle out of it. Here he is with the famous "potty training" cookie jar!!!

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

Picture 135
Brayden loves to go to the mirror and look at himself more than a few times a day at least! We tell him to "kiss the baby" and he kisses himself, then proceeds to lick the mirror :-) You can imagine how often I have to clean it right? Finger prints, kisses and slobbers frequent this piece of home decor we have :-) He has realized finally that he is looking at himself! He thinks its quite funny. Out of the million toys he has to play with-he loves the mirror....go figure!

Our Happy Guy...

Here is one of my favorite smiles Brayden has. He is such a sweet happy little guy. I could just kiss his chubby little cheeks every second of the day. Daddy took this picture one evening while I was at work and woke up at 3am when I got home to show me! I giggled at how cute it was with that big old dimple of his! I just love these little jammies he has on too-he looks like such a little chunk of love, and he is so soft and cuddly in them. He is growing up so fast...I cannot believe how fast the time is going.
Picture 060

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas is upon us...

It's officially Christmas 2008! Wow! Time flies so fast. We are getting very anxious for Christmas Day. We have so very much to be thankful and grateful for this Holiday Season. Brayden will probably open one gift and take off playing for the rest of the day, but we are greatly anticipating staying home having a low key day to play with Brayden and his gifts from Santa. Christmas Eve we are making cookies and giving him frosting and his own sprinkles to go to town on! That should be fun.

Ron and I used to spend so much time talking about "when we have children". We never had a clue that it would be THIS great! Brayden is such a happy little boy, and he is so much fun to be with. He is our greatest gift ever! I thank God every single day that he has given me this wonderful little soul to care for, and love. Here I think I am the one teaching him about life...but in his short 15 months in our lives-he has taught us so much more!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stinker Part II:

Here is Brayden (again) with that Pure Stinker Expression. He is pictured here under the end table where he likes to hide (quite frequently). This was his expression when we asked him to come out from under the table. Yes I know we should refrain from taking his picture during these moments because we know full well we are only further facilitating his love for crawling under there...but it's just so hard when he acts this cute ;-)
Picture 016

Warning: Static Guard Needed

We were playing with Brayden the other afternoon and soon discovered Mister Static Hair with his blanket. Brayden giggled so much I almost tinkled a bit myself laughing in response to his belly chuckles. He kept running around with this full head of crazy hair stompin' his little feet! Funny Funny moment.
Picture 080
Picture 082
Picture 090

Piano Man

Brayden has discovered how much he enjoys music lately! He loves to sing, and actually finds the right pitch when "oooing" along with music! Even more so, he is obsessed with the keyboard, playing it, and singing into the microphone! Once he figured out he was making all that "music" on his own...we have been unable to stop him, so we frequently encourage his love for it- and the microphone. We have since added turning the lights out and shining a flash light on him so he feels like he is truly on stage, and he embraced it like a trooper :-) As soon as that flash light goes on-he smiles and giggles and starts playing and singing away! Here are some pictures:
Picture 198
Picture 201
Picture 202
Picture 200
Picture 203

Daddy's Little Helper...

On Thanksgiving day Brayden wanted so badly to help Daddy in the kitchen cleaning up and putting away all of the left over food. He loves to be in the kitchen, and even more importantly, loves to be Daddy's little helper. Here are some pictures of Brayden with his crazy after dinner sweet potato hair as he explores after dinner clean up in the kitchen with his Da-Da.
Picture 179
Picture 170
Picture 165
Tuckered Out:
Picture 183

Mommy's Tickles & Giggles...

I LOVE to tickle Brayden! He is so very ticklish and belly giggles the most wonderful sounds when Mommy tickles him. Ron captured some fun pics of one of our tickle moments a few weeks ago. You will have to forgive my "homebody" look...I was clearly not trying to make a fashion statement that day :-)
Picture 151
Picture 153

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where have we been this week (???)

Sorry it has been a few since I have posted anything. After Thanksgiving I had to attend a training at work-which meant working days all last week (ugh!) which nearly killed me since I AM NOT a morning person :-) Then, the laptop went on the fritz for the last few days and Ron finally figured it out-so we are back online. It kept giving us an error message stating the network cable was unplugged...so after troubleshooting a million different things, Ron checked the cable, and LO-AND-BEHOLD-it was in fact UNPLUGGED!!! Silly us ;-0

Friday evening...we FINALLY had a night out together sans Baby! My awesome Brother, sister inlaw and nieces all came over the the house to play with the Bray so we could go out with my mother inlaw and her good friend Lonnie to the local Fish Club on the lake for some good food and fun karaoke! Yes...I sang...Carpenters, Endless Love, and even a duet with the President of the Club-Summer Lovin from Grease! What a fun time we had! I could have stayed there singing all evening-it's been awhile for me :-) We came home to a happy Brayden, and stories of how they all played and giggled and had fun (they always do bring out the best in him). God love them for giving us a night out, it's been while since that has happened too!

So...we are just preparing for the Holidays now, shopping, making gifts, and watching the Brayden grow into such a funny little guy. He loves to make us laugh lately, and my Mom laughs at us lovingly in that Brayden really keeps us entertained 24/7 these days! I will post some updated pictures soon, I promise! I am so behind on the pictures thing, and have just been so very busy these last few weeks. They are coming though this week-at least by Friday ;-) Until then...Happy Shopping, Happy tree hunting, Happy Cookie Baking, and Happy Family Times :-) Hugs

Monday, December 8, 2008

My story featured on Lupus Foundation Website!

If you remember reading my Lupus "50 Years without a new drug" post a few weeks back...well, The Lupus Foundation of America emailed me letting me know that they would be using my story as a featured article on their site. Click HERE to go see it and other stories they have featured on their website (you will have to scroll down). HERE is the official Lupus Foundation of American website.