Saturday, December 06, 2014

Thanksgiving and more

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We were able to spend Thursday through Saturday with Grandma and Pop Pop Stephens, Uncle Jim, Aunt Andrea, and Joshua. The boys had a great time playing together.

Here are a few of the pictures I took over the weekend.

Ping pong! Luckily, the boys are tall enough that they don't need adults to help them as much.

These boys love to have races with cars down the ramp. We do the same thing at our house.

Sunday evening we went to our church for an event that the ladies bible study hosted. There were various stations that had ideas about how to keep Christ in Christmas and celebrate the Advent season. The boys had a great time and we were able to find some ideas for this year and in the future.

They told the story of Jesus birth and everyone had a piece of the Little People Nativity to add to the story.

I think Ben enjoyed eating cookies the best. Sam liked spending time with some of the teen girls who were gracious enough to spend time with him. Sam is such a flirt and loves spending time with the older girls while Ben is content to play by himself and get lost in his imagination.

Grandma Stephens stayed with us for the week while Dave and Pop Pop Stephens were in Pennsylvania for deer hunting.

Sam keeps growing up so quickly. He is Ben's shadow and copies everything big brother does. Just today he started calling himself Sammy instead of Sam and says Ben rather than Bubba. Of course Sam still has is own words for things such as "blub blub" for fish, "brrrr" for pacifier, "roar" for bear or lion, and makes an airplane noise or says Dusty when he sees an airplane. Right now he is very aware of emotions and will tell us about going to play with other kids at the gym and not getting to play with the bigger kids "me sad". Sam also likes to show us all his emotions and change the intonation of his voice going from sad, happy, and mad. 

This year we were able to participate in our church's annual ugly Christmas sweater and bowling for the first time. The boys really enjoy bowling and getting a chance to spend time with their friends.

I had a hard time convincing Ben to not always stand right next to his ball. Here he is with his friends Ben and Isaac (identical twins) who have given us so many hand-me-downs. Ben always looks up to these boys. 

Ben has really started to grow up to. His imagination is always at work. Right now he is fascinated with the world of superheros. 

Sam and his poses make me laugh. I tried to get a picture of him shrugging his shoulders which he does frequently but was only able to capture this with his hands behind his back.

Today was a very busy day. After bowling we came home briefly for supper then walked to the park next door for Mishawaka's Winter Extravaganza. Last night we went downtown to see the lighting of the Christmas tree by the local police station. Tonight they had a petting zoo by a live nativity scene, horse-drawn carriage rides, bonfire, movie, Santa, and refreshments. It was a little cool but the boys had a great time.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Church Youth Retreat

 This past weekend our Oak Creek Community Church youth group had a retreat. Dave is still involved as one of the leaders so he was supposed to go for the weekend. On Thursday night when we realized it would only be Dave and one other male youth leader with 17 girls and 4 boys, we thought a female chaperon would be a good idea. So last minute we decided that I would come with the boys (Izzie had to stay home by herself but Dave made trips every 12 hours or so to take her for a walk).

Ben's favorite activity was sliding on the floors like sliding into home base, very appropriate given the original owner. 

The house we stayed at is called The Oaks at Southpaw Farm. It a huge mansion that once was a barn and was remodeled by baseball player Jamie Moyer who once played for the Cubs. I don't know much more than that and that this place was HUGE!

Ben actually took this picture of Sam and me. You can see the old beams from the barn in the background.

The basement was a man cave complete with ping pong, pool, and Foosball.  

Ben enjoyed playing his own version of pool. 

Sam kept saying "me circle" as he had the pool triangle around himself. We're still working on our shapes. (note that you can see the slide to the pool in the background)

As you can see the house was already decorated for Christmas. Here are the boys playing with a Nativity set.

Since I had the boys, we stayed in the master suite. Ben and Sam loved taking a bath in the Jacuzzi tub and running around the suite which was almost the size of our house. 

Sam loved the attention from all the teenage girls. Ben was excited to have unlimited access to TV, pool, ping pong, and junk food. Mom enjoyed the huge kitchen and a chance to have fun with our family and church family.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Last week we had Katie stay over while Dave's parents went to Georgia to meet the newest Stephens.  Sam LOVES Katie and Katie is very patient. 

Sam often pulled Katie's tail or chases after her. Here he decided to sleep with her.

On Wednesday I had a conference in Indy. Dave was nice enough to bring the boys and chauffeur me. While I was at the conference Dave took the boys to the Children's Museum.

We drove by the museum on the way to the hotel Tuesday evening. Ben was so excited to see the dinosaurs.

As I said, I was at the conference while they were playing so your guess is as good as mine as to what is going on in the following pictures. All I know is the boys had a great time and weren't ready to leave after being there for 5 hours so that we could go home.

Thursday was a rude awakening. I headed to work and there were a few flurries on the ground. The snow progressed very quickly. It took me over 30 minutes to drive the last 1.5 miles into work since the snow and ice were so much worse in South Bend. The streets in front of my office were basically at a stand still as semi trucks were jack knifed on the roads. Some patients said it took them 1.5 hrs to go 1 mile to our office. 

Looks like winter is officially here.

While I was at work, Dave and the boys played outside and built a snowman. Mishawaka didn't have as much snow and ice as South Bend.