Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent repost

I posted the following post last year, tonight at church as we were talking about Advent it popped back into my head. I feel this year more than year's past I have been overwhelmed with Christmas prep and trying to make sure it is perfect for the girls and quickly lose sight of what it is really all about. This post reminds me why we are anticipating Christmas, it isn't about matching p.j.s or the perfect present or beautifully decorated tree, or the right cookies but about Jesus. My prayer in the coming weeks is that we can keep that the center of the focus so our girls learn the true meaning of Christmas! And can I just say---has it really been 5 years!?! 
4 years ago Chuck and I were anticipating the birth of our 1st child soon after Christmas--Chuck wrote this Advent devotional for church. As we look forward to our first Christmas of parents of 2 children I think it continues to be applicable, especially as I watch Emily's excitement over the approaching holiday! May we all look forward to Christmas with her childlike faith!!

I Think I Get It Now

You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.

I think I finally get it now.
For hundreds of years the Jews looked forward to the day their messiah would come and restore their kingdom. They wrote about their desire for him to come. They prayed for his coming deliverance. The eagerly expected him. I think I finally understand their sense of anticipation. As Sarah and I wait for our first child to be born I am beginning to understand the anticipation felt by the entire Jewish nation (on a much smaller scale, of course). We have spent the last six months preparing ourselves, and our home, for our child's arrival. We have prayed for our child every day. We have put together baby things, cleaned, and
prayed some more. Sarah has eaten and I have taken that as a challenge to eat more than her. I think I'm winning. The level of excitement about Christmas is a little higher this year because I know what it's like to anticipate the birth of a child. I would like to remind everyone about how exciting this Advent season really is. There is a reason the whole world is not excited about the birth of our child. He (or she) is not the savior of the world! We are anticipating the one who has saved us from our sins and redeemed us from the curse of the fall!
I pray that you would enter this Advent season with a sense of excitement and eager anticipation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Emily was full of good quotes tonight--I told Chuck I needed to record them for future embarrassing moments! We drove out to Living Springs for a meeting so she got to spend 2 hours playing at her most favorite soon as we walked in the Lodge she asked which room we were sleeping in tonight!

Driving home she asked me to look at something and I told her I couldn't because I had to watch the road-the following conversation ensued-
Em-Why do you have to watch the road?
Me-In case a deer runs in the road.
Em-Or a pincher bug!
Me-That's right.
Em-Or a giraffe.
Me-Yep a giraffe would be bad as well.
This continued through cow, horse and bat, when we decided a bat wouldn't be bad, cause it can fly.

Then this next conversation occured-
Em-Mommy--handsome is for boys and pretty is for girls.
Me-That's right--where did you learn that?
Em-In the snack room.
Me-Really?? Who taught you that in the snack room?
Em-Blaine and Jordan-Blaine is handsome, but Jordan is pretty. Cause boys are handsome and girls are pretty.
Me-What about Ella and Nina?
Em-They are pretty, but I don't want to talk about the girls, let's talk about the boys.

At which point Chuck went into daddy mode and ending any further conversation about boys until she is 25!

It was quite a night!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer wrap up

Summer is officially coming to an end, I go back to work tomorrow and the girls both start in new classes on Monday. My dear lil sis reminded me that I haven't blogged lately so I figured now is as good of time as any to wrap up our summer adventures. So, in no particular order--here goes!

4th of July in Indiana--we hadn't seen Nai and Pop in a really long time and figured 4th of July would be the perfect time to go visit. We also go to see Jen and Mike as well as Hildy, Lilia and Jenna. The highlights of Indiana on the 4th include Lake Michigan and lots of fireworks! Here are some pictures of our fun there!

Emily went on a walk with Aunt Hildy to the beach....she assured us she would stay out of the water so she didn't have a suit on....silly us!
One of Emily's favorite lake activities is being thrown in the water, that was until she discovered she could "throw" daddy in the water instead! Emily also "swam" out to the buoy (see it way out there) with Jen, Lilia and I several times and thought she was pretty hot stuff each time!
Aunt Jen reading one of her favorite books to Emily!
This isn't a great picture of Lilia and Payton but I love it, because I have a very similar picture of Lilia and I when Lilia was just about Payton's size.
Payton at the beach. She enjoyed the water, but was equally happy simply sitting on the sand playing.
Payton after lunch on our last day there....clearly she had more than enough fun!
Lil miss Sassy pants!
The girls watching fireworks on the beach. I think Em would have stayed up all night long watching them if we had let her!

Shortly after 4th of July we went to St. Louis to visit Martha and Nick. Our typical St. Louis adventure includes the zoo, we also went swimming at a river, played at Toddler time at their church, and ate some fabulous bbq and ice cream.
Nick and Em hanging out!
One of our favorite part of the zoos is the penguins. We usually try and get a picture instead with the penguins, however this was our last stop of the day and we were getting cranky so we didn't get one.
Both girls loved the carousal ride!
Payton has recently discovered her love of ice cubes so I had been putting them on her stroller chair. As they melted she would try and lick the water off the tray!
Family picture with the penguins!

Emily sitting on the pincher bug...this was especially exciting for her because her and her classmates are all about bugs right now!
This was the sign at the river we went swimming at. Yep...we went swimming in a deadly river!

Payton also got her first experience with sweet corn. Needless to say it was a huge hit!

A week later we went up to the QC for my cousin's wedding. The wedding was beautiful, but Em's favorite part was the dancing at the reception. Unfortunately dancing didn't start until WAY after bedtime, so we didn't get to do much of it, but enjoyed a little. The next day we met mom, dad, Mar and Nick at Iowa Machine Shed for brunch, and went on a tractor ride. We then headed to John Deere Commons for kids day and had fun riding and climbing tractors and doing lots of other farm related activities.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our final summer adventure

I'm about a month behind in my blogging, and have several summer adventures I need to catch up on, but today was our final adventure and I have pictures uploaded and a free 5 min so I figured I'd get them up before I don't have free time again.

Our final adventure was a new one for all of us. Chuck's Aunt Karen and Uncle Doug live in Oak Run, a nice little community that has a fabulous lake included. We've talked several times about visiting and going out and just never seem to make it. Boy are we glad we finally got it set up!
The morning started with a visit to The Oaks Community Church. This church is special for us because Chuck's 1st Pastor, Marty, is now the pastor there. Marty is the pastor that did our wedding and has been a mentor to Chuck so it's always nice to go and visit.

We then headed to the lake with Karen, Doug, Gma and Gpa Hilman. A little side note, we've been planning this adventure most of the summer. Uncle Doug had to be in Canada for work a good chunk of the summer so this weekend was chosen. Those of you that live in IL know that this summer has been ridiculously hot and dry, of course the day we want it to be hot and dry it is a mere 75. Fortunately the rain held off till we were done playing on the lake! Regardless of the temperature, Em was super duper excited and couldn't wait to get into the boat. Doug took us out into a cove, we enjoyed a nice picnic and then the real fun began.

                                    On the way out to the cove. Em was loving being able to balance herself          and attempt to rock the boat.
 Payton enjoying some lunch.
 All of us in the water. Em was in heaven, Payton couldn't decide if she liked it or not.
One happy little girl!
 Because the day was chilly, P didn't stay in long and had just as much fun watching Em and Chuck jump of the boat.
Check out those blue lips! All the while asking when she could get back in!
On the way back to the Marina Uncle Doug let Em drive the boat. She drove us in a circle and then parked the boat with only a little help!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Family reunion

Yesterday was the annual Leader family reunion. This reunion has been happening for as long as I can remember, it is always on a Sunday afternoon in June at Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline. It has been a few years since I had gone, so we decided we would load up the car and go for the afternoon. When we left after church it was just starting to rain, it poured pretty much the whole way to Moline, stopping about 10 minutes before we got to the park. By the time we got unloaded at the park the sun was out and it was a perfect day for a picnic. All of my dad's siblings were there, and several cousins, as well as other relatives. It was a great afternoon of catching up and playing with the girls. And what post is not complete without pictures--

Payton preventing papa from eating his lunch.

Emily catching bugs. When we pulled up in the parking lot, Em saw the playground and said "Wow, that is the coolest playground I have ever seen in the whole world!" She was super excited, until we discovered that it was covered with mayflies. So we didn't get much play time, but she still had fun!

The mayflies seemed to like the slide the best. Gross!!

Emily loved looking out at the river. Papa taught her all sorts of interesting things--the difference between a dock and a pier, different types of boats and all sorts of interesting things about the Campbell's island. He apparently lived in a renovated garage on the island when he was younger.

Feeding bread to the ducks.

Just being cute :)

Both girls looked like this before we got to the interstate on the way home. I'd say that's the sign of a great day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great Family Day!

Today was a fabulously fun day for the Hilman's. We had several people strongly encourage us to check out Heritage Day's we did. I'm not entirely sure what we are celebrating, but it was a great time. We started with the parade this morning...Em kept saying she didn't want to go to the parade, but once we got there she was excited. She was even more excited when we found a friend from school to sit with.
Emily's parade wave....she apparently thinks she is a princess already!

Next up was the carnival. They blocked off the street by the park and had about 8 inflatables, for $8 you got a bracelet for unlimited play for the day. We spent about an hour playing, came home for naps and then went back for more! Emily's favorite was the giant slide. She went down it probably 50 times over the course of our time there.

This was another one of the inflatables. It was kind of an obstacle course. You were supposed to go down the slide and then end up in the ball pit. Em found this method much more enjoyable.  The launch......

And the landing......

Payton didn't get to partake in the intflatables, but had fun watching. Chuck also snuck her her first bite of funnel cake. She enjoyed it immensly and had several more bites after the first!

After the inflatables we ordered pizza, while waiting we stopped at the park to fill time.
Playing Peekaboo!

Emily as a mountain goat...

More peekaboo!

Father's Day

This is a little late, mainly because we were at camp the week before Father's Day and then came home and had sick kids all week, but better late than never!
Emily's thoughts on Chuck-

My daddy's name is -Chuck
How old is daddy -14
My daddy is great at -watching me on the bouncers
When my daddy was my age she liked to - play
My favorite thing to do with daddy is -play
I love my daddy because -because I liked him
When daddy is bored she likes to -be a baby (???)
Daddy's favorite color is -green
My favorite food daddy makes is -pizza

And sadly, cause I am a bad mommy, Chuck didn't get a present from Emily (his "big" present was his new ipad last month) but Payton's teachers were on the ball, so he got a hand print plate and some fabulous pictures from Payton before we left from camp. He did however get not 1 but 2 ice cream cakes at camp....cause they are his favorite :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Payton!

Payton turned 1 yesterday, I can't believe it has been a whole year since she came into our life! It has been a crazy year, but wouldn't change a thing! First a Payton update, then pictures!
One year old Payton--
*has been walking since the end of Jan.
*can say-mama, dada, uhoh, and ball
*waves hi and bye and is ecstatic when she sees mommy or daddy
*loves playing with her friends at school
*eats pretty much anything she can feed herself, she refuses to be spoon fed except on rare occasions on her terms
*is finally sleeping through the night (knock on wood!)
*drinks a bottle before nap and bedtime but all other beverages are from sippy cups. Loves her milk!
*loves playing with her big sister, again on her terms!
*loves Keeno and the kitties--her favorite is to smash her face into their fur
*makes her mmmm face and looks like a duck (impossible to catch on camera thus far)

And now some pictures--1st her family party-
We gave her 250 balls to fill her sandbox with--she loves the ball pit at gymnastics class and like we expected this was a major highlight of the day! The other highlight of the day was the water squirters Chuck and Uncle Nick bought (I think Em enjoyed these the most!) Payton was very not interested in her cake--Em on the other hand thought it was fabulous and was more than willing to help her out with it!

These pictures are from her actual birthday--we had several friends from Geneseo down for the weekend to celebrate--we tried cake again, still not interested! More pictures of the big kid visit will have to follow in another post cause they haven't made it to my computer yet!