photo taken by Angela Speiker

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Union Station and Crown Center Beauty at Christmas-time

This is a keeper!

Calvin loved driving the "tractor".

Behind this fire truck is an outdoor ice skating rink. Emerald was ready to try roller skating on ice. I told her we'd try roller skating first!

While we were there the KC symphony played music and the water (seen behind Emers) "danced" to the music.

Our little "poser". Don't know what is up with her lately, but I love it!
Playing in water was too much fun for Calvin!

Grandma loving on her kids.

My mom, dad, and grandma with Skip and the kids in the background.

Showing off her penny she got to throw in the water for luck.

Grandma, Grandpa and the kids.

Oh, this shirt says it all for our sweet Calvinator!

Pretty sweet!

My grandma gets around pretty well for being almost 92, but walking such long distances are kind of hard on her these days. We got a wheelchair and she thought that was fun!

This was a favorite place for many kids (not just ours) b/c they could just run! Really pretty with the tree at the end. Poor Calvin can't quite keep up with big sis, but he tries. Soon I'll have to try to capture 3 of them running together and Calvin will be the leader that Lobster is trying to follow :)

They have this HUGE train display that was mesmerizing for the kids. They can only see what's in front of them, too. It is pretty amazing.

Yesterday we visited Union Station and Crown Center in downtown KC with my parents and grandma. It was so much fun showing the kids the train and Christmas decorations. We visited last year and knew we had to go back. It was a great experience seeing the sparkle in the kids's eyes as the observed the very large train display and the gorgeous Christmas displays. After walking thru Union Station (which is a working train station still) we walked down to Crown Center (a mall type area) and went outside to play on some wooden displays. Even though it was cold outside, the kids had a blast and didn't notice the cold at all. We look forward to watching the amazement of both kids as they experience this Christmas season. Sorry we posted so many pics on this one, but it was difficult to fully capture the fun in just one or 2 pics.

Happy Thanksgiving

My dad capturing me, capturing him.

Our kids making the new generation of the "kid's table".

Here's wishing everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We did and feel thankful for so many things! We had my parents up for the day and my grandmother made her first trip to our house. It was fun entertaining the holiday meal at our house. It was a little odd not having our other family around, both on my side of the family and Skip's side. We had way too much food, as always, and ate way too much! The kids enjoyed their gobble, gobble, wibble, wobble (from a great book about Thanksgiving we have been reading). They thought it was so much fun having their own "kid's table" to sit at. That hadn't even occured to me until just before the meal. We can have a kid's table now!! I was thinking that in just a few years all the cousins can sit there together and it will be a very full table! The next morning we got up early and mom and I hit a few stores and Skip even ventured out for his first Black Friday experience. We were able to find nice, mellow crowds with many helpful people, and purchased a lot of gifts for Christmas and even got the kids's birthdays taken care of!! We are rockin' this year on that, but of course I am trying really hard to prepare ahead of time, not knowing what my next couple of months will look like! After shopping we headed to Union Station and Crown Center (another post). Then, that night we had Emerald's dance (another post). It was a long, busy, exhausting day, and we were all ready to fall into bed at 9:30 after we got home.
As we asked Emerald and Calvin what they were thankful for, here are a few responses we got:
--my family (and listed us all)
--good food
--my cousins (both Josiah and Simon were mentioned)
--our new house
Skip and I add our own list of Thanksgivings:
--our precious children (and the 2 incredible women who helped bring them to us)
--our family who support and help us in so many ways
--our health, something that is quite apparant right now as we continue to pray for Lobster
--our new blessing of Lobster
--our new house and neighbors
--Skip's job, in today's world we are always thankful for that
--our sweet Laney-girl who seems to get quite ignored these days, but who still puts up with so much from our kids
--each other, for our love continues to grow and change into a new kind of love each day
--our wonderful new year in Kansas
--our friends, both near and far
--so many, many other things
We also noted that one year ago this week we were involved in our car accident. We are thankful for having survived that w/o a scratch and that we have remained safe in the year that followed. Happy Thanksgiving!
May you also enjoy as many moments of excitement in the upcoming month as we anticipate. It isn't even December and the ohhhh's and ahhhh's of Christmas lights, Santas, snow, and many other things remind us each day of the continuous "awe" moments of a child. May we all hold that near to our heart in the upcoming Christmas season.

Thanksgiving fun in the leaves

Yes, you can believe your eyes, that is a picture of 2 kids looking at the camera, at the same time, and smiling!! No way!!

Thanksgiving day was a beautiful day! We had fun playing in the leaves in the backyard, w/o even wearing our heavy coats!! The kids really enjoyed helping rake up the few leaves we have and sliding into them. Then they got to help Daddy start hanging Christmas lights. It was nice to spend the morning in a relaxed mode, waiting for Grandma, Grandpa, and Great-Grandma to show up at our house.

Our little doggies in their matching pj's

Emerald and Calvin were super excited the other day when they discovered they had matching pj's. Emerald insisted that they wear them together and that I go get the camera. Then, they had to crawl into Laney's kennel and act like doggies. They were pretty sweet! Funny, we had the smaller pj set from one I had purchased, then someone gave us the larger size.

Emerald's Little Dance as Rudolph

Here's our little "poser", aka Rudolph. No, I did not ask her to pose like that!

Emerald was super excited to see us in the crowd.

This is how we kept Calvin quiet during the dance. He was happy!
That explains half the night, in one shot.
Emerald with her dance teacher, Miss Christine, who, in my opinion, deserves an instant spot in heaven!

Emerald had her first dance last night. She was a Rudolph with a rather large group of girls. She was super excited and did a decent job. Of course, she was more concerned with her antler headband instead of the actual dance. After the dance she got a candy cane and then we got to see Santa. It was quite an exciting night!
Our video of the dance just didn't turn out so hot, sorry! I'll have to try to figure out how I could put video on the blog from our video camera. She was pretty cute!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Showering Baby Josiah, Heidi, & Jeff

So this was the "before" the shower pic--the kids had to help Nana make dirt cake. Don't worry, Heidi, they washed their hands!!

Dirt cake, all boy, or as Emerald calls it, "wormy cake".

Prayer cards asking everyone to pray for Baby Josiah and his parents upon his delivery.

A wagon full of wishes--advice, and suggestions to help Heidi make it in the parenting world.

Nana Pankewich trying to think of baby animal names.

Heidi's close college girls. The one closest to bottom of the photo, Angela, is the awesome photographer who captured the great pics of my kids. I can't wait to see the pics she takes of Josiah. Her website is a link on the side of my blog.

Near the tree are Heidi's relatives and friend. Eleanor, Heidi's sis-in-law, and the Call cousins, Mandy and Holly. Wishing Heidi's other 2 sis-in-laws could have been there, but they sent their love!! All the way from Telluride and Germany!

More of Heidi's friends, and her mom.

Heidi's mom, the guest of honor, Josiah, Danielle, and our Emers.

Josiah squished between some women that promise to love him dearly!!

Ok, I had to pose these pics. I got such a cute one at Laura's shower. And Emerald is so super excited about her new cousins. Soon I'll get to post pics of her holding her cousin Josiah, and when Simon visits, then lots of pics of that, too.

They are going to make such wonderful parents!!

My belly at 26 weeks and new shorter haircut.

This weekend we had the privilege of showering Baby Josiah with diapers and other goodies to show him how excited we are for his arrival. Our house turned into a very "boy" place filled with red (Heidi's favorite color) and wagons (something that always reminds me of Heidi and Jeff since Emerald rode in a wagon at their wedding). We had a couple of Heidi's cousins, both Grandmas, 2 sis-in-laws, a neice, and lots of friends here to celebrate. I'd say Josiah received quite a few good gifts. Heidi looks fantastic and is doing a great job preparing for her new role as mommy. We can't wait to meet this little guy when he decides to make his appearance (he is due on Dec. 23, but I think he'll come on Dec. 16, just pick of the pool). Of course the main thing I am concerned with is that he and his mommy are healthy!! I am getting so excited for 2 things--the chance to go to the hospital to meet him, and when Laura brings Baby Simon and we can see all the cousins together!! What a blessing in the Pankewich family right now! Oh yeah, on a personal note, I added a pic of my belly and haircut, too. Don't know how we missed taking a pic of Heidi and I together, but her friend got a pic of us so maybe I'll steal a copy and post later.