Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009... Over and Out.

This will be the final post of 2009. Holy cow! This has been an eventful year.

Lincoln, January 2009
When we think about where we've come as an immediate family, as an extended family, as a nation... wow. All of the stories that we could revisit (see the blog post list to your right for the details) all illustrate that you never know where life is going to take you. Through all of the twists and turns of 2009, God has been very, very good to our family, and we're very thankful for his provision.

We've got plans for New Year's Eve with some friends (provided Lincoln doesn't get sick), and then on New Year's Day, Jenn plans to get her sauerkraut fix at Grandpa Doug and Grandma Paulette's house. It'll be low key with just close family... and the Buckeyes!

Auntie Em got to spend some good time with Lincoln this Christmas break.

We wish you a great 2010. Pray and seek the Lord's will and guidance, and you'll be able to look back, as 2011 approaches, with great satisfaction.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009, cont'd

After much noise from the public, I've set aside the pressing needs of my home and posted some Christmas photos of Lincoln. Enjoy!

On my way out to Phoenix I spotted another Lincoln in the airport!

We went to a Train Park in Scottsdale. Lincoln was into the sights and sounds.

Clearly I've been blessed.

The carousel ride was... interesting. Lincoln did not like going up and down without me sitting behind him on the horse, but when the ride was over, he signed, "More! More!"

Lincoln can do the smaller slides by himself now.

But he loved riding beside his Auntie Haley!

Snack Time

Lincoln received his very own tape measure...

... as part of his very own tool box.
Was this a great Christmas, or what?!!

The concept of receiving and opening presents wasn't terribly exciting to Lincoln,
but he did enjoy unwrapping a few things.

Grandpa Dave, Auntie Haley, Lincoln and I stacked blocks for a long time.
The stacks always ended with Lincoln taking his very own hammer to the towers.

The plane-ride home was much better than the trip out.

Flashback: October 2008

Lincoln actually napped on this flight...
a HUGE help!

Lincoln now has his own chair!

And his own Pooh!

Belly Laugh

Lincoln gets along quite well with his Uncle Jeremy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dec. 21

I was bouncing around on Flikr earlier today and I stumbled across photographs from last Christmas. My how things change in a year.

Lincoln enjoys sitting in Grandpa Doug's chair
in his new Christmas sweater-vest from Grandma Paulette.

Sunday was Donati Family Christmas. We began a new tradition this year. Rather thang going all-out on presents for each other, each family chooses a charity or a need to which to make a donation in the name of the Donati Family. It was a very nice Christmas, with family contributions made to provide healthy goats to families in need in Laos; to provide assistence for women below the poverty line in Erie county, PA, to receive job training and follow-up; to provide mosquito nets for the needy in Africa; to provide bee colonies to produce honey for sale and pollenating capabilities for the needy in Central America; and to provide needed resources for the Salvation Army of Nashville and middle Tennessee. The focus was more on providing for needs, which was exactly what Jesus did for us in Bethlehem 2,009 years ago and on Calvary 1,976 years ago. We also had lots of good food! The Donati Family was disappointed that Lincoln was away, but I told them that he'll be in Ohio next Christmas and for future Christmases as well.

And getting back to Lincoln, Jenn took him for his first haircut last week.
I'm still waiting on the photos to share with you, but she said he did very well. He got to sit in a racecar and that he actually liked it. Yesterday she took him to an event in Scottsdale where Winnie the Pooh was, and he walked right up to Pooh to say, "Hi."

The flight out to Phoenix was tough, Jenn said. Lincoln didn't want to sleep in his seat, and with the long day, he got tired after a while. On top of that, he threw up just as they turned into the driveway at Grandpa Dave and Grandma Laura's house. Uuuggghh. Jenn began feeling sick before the trip, and it's taking her a while to get back to feeling good again.

But he recovered well the next day, I understand. He's had a bunch of marshmallows from his Grandpa Dave, he's starting to put two words together with consistency, and he's making Jenn laugh lots. I can't wait to get out there and see him again.

The Browns won yesterday!!! Josh Cribbs ran
two kick-offs back for touchdowns (100 & 103 yards, an NFL record) and Jerome Harrison ran the ball for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns, the third best rushing day in NFL history. There's no hope of playoffs this year, but I thought I'd make mention of this unbelievable day as a bit of a historical marker. Also, I pretty much called the Browns quarterback situation back in the preseason, and I'd like to get out in front of the following issue. I haven't consumed a lot of sports media lately, so I don't know if anyone else has come out saying this, but I'd like to make a case for Josh Cribbs for NFL MVP. He won't win it because the Browns are lousy, but there's not a player in the league who is more valuable than Josh Cribbs. Not Peyton Manning, not Brett Favre, not Drew Brees. Josh Cribbs does it all. Literally. And he ought to be named the league MVP this season.

I'm having a hard time letting this blog post pass without commenting on the dark day that this will be marked as in American history. However, I've made attempts to keep this blog from getting political. With only a few lapses, I've stuck to this plan, and I intend to do so today, because I've got a lot to say. However, if you are interested in my thoughts about what has transpired today in the Senate, click here to visit my column at Keep in mind that by clicking on the link, you are actively choosing to enter my mind and read my thoughts, and I am not forcing my opinions upon you. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

Pictured here is our first opportunity to utilize our basement.
The guys would rather wrestle/beat on each other or play Wii the whole time, but we always spend some good time in Bible study and discussion. This was post Bible-study.

It's been a while since we've added a photo of Lincoln, and this has been one of the funnier ones of late. I actually took this a few weeks ago, and Lincoln has improved significantly with his spoon since then. He used to flick the spoon out of the bowl, but now he picks his food up appropriately. The new food fascination is the graham cracker. It has become his dessert.
I'm not sure exactly how he got into them, but I suspect it was at Grandma's house.

And speaking of Grandma and Grandpa's house, Lincoln loves all of the Santa Clauses around. He's not sure what it's all about, but he's into them. Between all of the Santas and a few other objects such as doors and books, we've been practicing counting. He can get to three, which I think is pretty impressive at this point. But gettin back to the Christmas things, he's also quite entertained by the jingle-bells on the Christmas tree. He started out being allowed play with one jingle-bell, but that has progressed to somewhere between 5 and 8.

He's also been very interested in the Disney Sing-Along playlist I've put on the iPod in the car. We (Jenn and I) were starting to go crazy with a playlist of about 16 songs (each played over 200 times. So I downloaded Volume 2 and now I've got "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" stuck in my head. I even had a dream about it last night.

Pictured below is our new dining room furniture and the view of our great room from the entry way:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We're back! After the move and all of the unpacking, both Jenn and I were pretty content to some of our non-work time to sit around and not do much. No, we haven't been lazy, as there hasn't been much time to be lazy with, but when that time has come, we've enjoyed the break. We were also without internet service at home here for a while. We're now with AT&T U-verse, and we love it.

Most things are unpacked, and there are only some things in the garage left to put away. When Jenn takes off to Scottsdale in mid-December I'll do some of the little projects that need done. Thankfully, there aren't many of them, which is why we LOVE this house.

I had my first middle school small group in the basement last Sunday and it was great to have their noisy mouths downstairs while Lincoln was sleeping upstairs.

Our new dining room furniture arrived, and we're looking forward to hosting dinner parties once the new year comes.

Lincoln is shooting up (growing into the length of his pants!) and talking a BUNCH. His appetite has also decreased over the last two weeks. He still eats a good variety, but just less at a time. This is good for his pants' waistlines.

It hit Jenn today that she'll be in AZ in one week! Holy cow!

We haven't grown less thankful for this house. We love living close to my work, we haven't gone any further from church, and we're anticipating good walks on the sidewalks when the weather improves (60mph gusts right now outside!).

It's been a while since I've taken photographs of Lincoln, so when I get back into that swing, I'll post them here.

Christmas is coming and we're looking forward to the family time that's approaching.