Sisters, friends, blessed.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Anderson Christmas

To say that Grandma A was excited to have us for Christmas, is an understatement :).
Auntie Kara was quick to welcome the girls with some delicious Christmas hot chocolate.

Sydney & Ava came down right away to be with the girls, and helped set the Christmas table.  Well, those two hooligans pictured below may have been too busy playing together to be of help :)  But they sure were cute!

Bryndel got some new beloved 'Baby Carrie' books (only the 3rd sister would call the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, the Carrie books!) from Auntie Kim.

Saturday we were treated to a spectacular light display in Duluth right down on the waterfront.  Pictured at Bentleyville ~ Grandma A, Brooke, Kim, Kara, Kyle, Bryndel, Grandpa A, Hadley, Piper, & Ava

Thanks for a very Merry Christmas Anderson Family - We sure love you!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Eve at Home

We were blessed with a beautiful Christmas Eve at home filled with smiles, hugs, candlelit songs at church, delicious food, excited little voices, twirling dresses, and love. 

We traded the twirling dresses for comfy pajamas today, and cozied up in our house playing Legos and eating more Christmas cookies.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Minnesota Christmas

We spent a blessed weekend in Minnesota celebrating Christmas with the Graham Family. All 9 cousins had a wonderful time being together, but are anxious anxious anxious to meet cousin #10 any day now!!!
From start to finish, the weekend was highly entertaining... from matching jammies, to generous gifts, to delicious food, to Grandma's juggling it was a hoot!
Look at those 'babies,' my have they grown!

Everyone woke bright & early Saturday morning to start the gift giving.

They spent the rest of the day playing happily with their new toys and one another.
We were blessed with an evening of Christmas joy and singing when we all attended Grandma's cantata at church.
More playing on Sunday morning, as we waited for both sets of Great-Grandparents to join us.  Bryndel & Jeremiah were quite the cute twosome over the weekend.

Hadley enjoyed helping Grandma prepare a little food over the weekend.

And what a blessing to spend time with Oma & Opa, and
Grandpa Jerry & Grandma Joan over Christmas. Merry Christmas, Graham Family - We love you!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

To be 2

Our little 'Boo Boo' (Hadley's affectionate name for Bryndel) has been changing daily.  Two is such a miraculous age!  Sure, 'terrible' at times, but absolutely terrific most of the time.  From her innocent curiosity, to her incessant 'why' questions, to her enthusiasm for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g, we love having her around! 
She wants nothing more than to be, and do, and go where ever her big sisters are (including out into the cold snow)!  And, bless their hearts, they let her join them just about every time, unless it involves their special lego creations. 
She would also like to be her big sisters as well.  Some little girls might walk around in their mom's heels, but Bryndel routinely sneaks around in her sisters' shoes and even their clothes :)  
With that said, I think she also realizes what a sweet gig she has when those big sisters head off to school each morning... Calling me 'buddy', and happily talking about "Hadee Pipawl sool."  Translation = Hadley & Piper are at school, so we can be buddies, Mom!  At least until they come home and build me cool forts, let me glue things, and read to me, then THEY are my real buddies :). I have also done my best to turn her into my coffee buddy; it's just so much more fun when you have someone to share a cup with.
Our mornings seem to be filled with coffee, reading books, laundry, and finding a project she can get her hands dirty while doing :)  I thought painting with a lego would be SO cool, but why paint with a lego when you have hands?  Duh!

She's also a really great helper in the kitchen - getting the girls' lunches ready each day, making up their water bottles, or licking the batter off the mixer :)
I took her shopping the other morning dressed like this, and the checkout gal told me I had my very own 'Cindy Lou Who' :).  I think we do!

Bryndel is also blessed by the time she gets two mornings a week with Kyle. Nothing lights up her little face like a 'Daddy Date' :)

Right around Bryndel's 2nd birthday at the end of August, I started to get a little anxious about her lack of complete words.  She had a lot of sounds that I knew what they meant, but she did not have any consonant-vowel-consonant words that others might understand.  Hadley & Piper went off to school... and Bryndel's language literally exploded! She routinely strings three, four, and even up to seven words together to make herself known.  She has also since begun to refer to herself as Me & I, vs. 'Na Na' like she had for so long.   And much to my chagrin, her sweet little words are very 'fronty'.  Her K & G sounds are produced at the front of her mouth as Ts & Ds instead.  In addition, that little 'fronty' tongue really really likes to stick out of her mouth for an awesome lispy TH sound instead of Fs, Ss, Zs, Shs, Chs, and Js, hehehe.  I think I just might have my work cut out for me!  With that said, her speech could not be any cuter or sweeter.  We adore having this two year old around.  And can't wait to hear what she has to say next.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sledding in the Sunshine

At Piper's request, we hit the slopes today to do a little sledding before the glorious sunshine melts the snow! 
Kyle, Hadley, & Piper thoroughly enjoyed the slick ride, whooting all the way down.

Bryndel was far less impressed by the out of control feeling, and chose to watch from the bottom after only one trip down :) She did, however, enjoying eating the snow while we watched.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Minnesota Thanksgiving

As we packed suitcases and made pies this past week, it dawned on me that my girls have never once spent a Thanksgiving in Minnesota.  In fact, it has been 15 long years since I last spent a Thanksgiving with my family; 1999 to be exact.  I probably packed overalls and a scrunchie from my UMD apartment the last time I drove 'home' for the holidays, and then met my aunts at Herberger's for the 7 a.m. Black Friday door busters and thought that was early!  While my suitcase has changed a bit, and multiplied by 3 more girly suitcases, the feeling of coming home hasn't.  I was met by the same warm genuine hugs from Mom & Dad, the same delicious smells of a turkey loving made through the early morning hours, and the same bright eyes of my grandparents and aunts & uncles coming to gather together in thanks.  It was a magical and blessed Thanksgiving at home. It was also, LOUD, ha!  
Piper was a huge help on Wednesday making cookies and pies before our MN trek on Thanksgiving morning. 
We were exhuberantly greeted by cousins!  Savannah & Hadley
 Bryndel & 'Miah'

Piper & Brooklyn

Bryndel & Asher

A true 'photo bomb!' The orginal picture had 3 people in it, and then grew to 4, and 6, and then 8! 
Aunt LeAnne, Mom, & Grandma

Opa & Bryndel
Proudly holding the cherry pie they helped make and adorn with cut out hearts.

Game time with Uncle Mike.

Grandma Joan & Bryndel getting some love, while Grandpa Jerry, Aunt Patty, & Brian visited.

We had the pleasure of playing at Aunt Nancy's therapy clinic the next morning, and it was a BLAST!  Brooklyn, Bryndel, Waylon, Piper, Kenzie, Audrey, Hadley, Jeremiah, Cece, Savannah, & Cylas

Piper said it best when she climbed back into our van after playing for 2 hours at Nancy's clinic... "I kept thinking someone was going to say 'Don't do that, Piper' but no one did. It was like there were no rules, Mom!"
Piper & Brooklyn 'breakin' rules, hehe.
Back to Grandma & Grandpa's to play in the snow. Bryndel, Kenzie & Uncle Nathan.

Kenzie & Jeremiah 
Another photo bomb :)

We finished our time at the lake with some shopping and more fresh air.  Ahhhh.  THANK YOU Grandma & Grandpa for very memorable MN Thanksgiving!!

Kyle was blessed with an Alaskan Thanksgiving, and his nephew, Tyler's wedding day!!!  Pictured below are 3 brothers and 3 brothers!  Cole, Brent, Kraig, Kyle, Kurt, and the groom Tyler.
The 'growing' Alaska Anderson Family ~  Cole, Kennedy, Bethany, Tyler, Anne, Kurt, Cali (pregnant!) and Brent.  What a blessing!!