Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guest Post: 2008 Year in Review

Hello, is this thing on? Oh.

This is my first post on the Gaskill Rascal blog. I’ve kind of made fun of Anne for doing it, but I guess I have to admit it is pretty cool to have, even if only like 3 people read it. A few days ago I was reading one of those “Best of 2008” lists that are usually pretty good for no more than a timewaster. But this time it kind of got me thinking about all the events of 2008 that took place in the Gaskill Rascal home. It wasn’t a boring year by any stretch of the imagination. So I asked Anne if I could make a “guest post” on her blog to talk about what 2008 meant to me. The irony was that I had to go back and look at all her blog posts to remind me of what actually happened. So I guess the blogging thing is pretty cool after all.

They say (whoever the heck “they” are anyway) that some of the most stressful events in a life are (1) death in the family, (2) starting a new job, (3) moving to a new city/house, and (4) having a baby. Well, we had all of them all packed in one single year. But looking back, it was probably one of the best years in recent memory. Yes, stressful at times, but like being on a fun adventure at others.

So with that said, let’s look back at the major events of 2008 for the Gaskill Rascals:

December, 2007 – I know, this is supposed to be a look back at 2008, not 2007. But, it’s my blog post and I want to start with the end of 2007. That’s when I started my new job at the Big D. For about two months, I was living the big life in Richmond while Anne and Danny were still in Atlanta. Not cool. We didn't decorate for Christmas because we were selling our house (plus I wasn't there anyway) and it was just tough being apart for that much time. But in the end I absolutely love my new job. There’s no travel, very few long nights at the office, no taking my laptop home to work, and I’m working for a company that I really love. So the job change has been a real positive experience for everyone.

Jan 1, 2008 - The best New Year's of my life. Anne’s uncle Gary gave us 8 tickets to the Sugar Bowl so Anne, my brother, mom, and some friends went to New Orleans. I’d never been there before and I definitely want to go back when I have more time to see it. What a cool place. Plus, the game turned out pretty good too!

February, 2008 – Closed on our house in Richmond. Yeah! We loved our house when we bought it and still do. One thing about our house is that it’s 20 years old so there’s always little things to do. Problem is that I’m not real handy. And when I say “not real handy”, I mean “not handy at all in any remote sense of the word.” But it has been fun trying to learn and I’ve got a father-in-law that loves projects (at least that’s what he tells me) and has lots of patience with my tool-challenged ways. Oh, and there was THAT little incident. Probably the best thing about our house is our neighborhood. Last time I counted, we were approaching about 1.3 million kids in our neighborhood. Or maybe it was more like 50…I can’t remember. Either way, our neighbors really welcomed us from day one and we’ve gotten to know them real well. That’s something we didn’t have in our old neighborhood in Atlanta and has been a blessing to us.

April, 2008 – Let’s see. Anything exciting happen in April? Oh yeah, that. We got to bring home our second bundle of trouble joy. Josh was born the night of April 25. Looking back, that was a really fun time leading up to the big event. Anne had been having contractions for several weeks and we were convinced he was coming several weeks early. Max and Nana (or as Danny now says, “NanaMax” as if they’re one single entity) drove up from Atlanta when it looked like he was coming early, only to go back when he wasn’t. They took Danny back home with them in what would turn out to be the last quiet moments of the year in the Gaskill Rascal home. Oh, good times. Then Josh came. He’s been so much fun to watch grow and to see Danny learn to be a big brother. Definitely the highlight of the year.

Summer, 2008 – I’m not going to do a month-by-month breakdown of the summer because it all kind of runs together for me. But it was a lot of fun. One of the great things about Richmond is that there is always a lot to do. The summer was filled with trips to Virginia Beach, a visit to Belle Island, multiple visits to the neighborhood swimming pool, playing in the backyard, being chased by a hurricane, Danny's 2nd birthday, and learning how to keep up with two little boys instead of one. Fun, Fun, Fun.

September, 2008 – September is usually my favorite time of year. Not coincidentally, that’s when football season starts. This year was a little different. I think this fall was actually probably the hardest time of the year for Anne and I. We kind of hit a point there where the “newness” of Richmond was wearing off and we were kind of homesick. My sister had her baby Jada in August and we weren’t there to meet her. We had to watch football games on TV or internet instead of getting to go to the games every week. That’s not a big deal in itself, but going to football games with my brother and the sounds and smells of the game just make it “feel” like fall. It was just a point where we both kind of questioned whether we made the right decision to move. I still loved my job and we liked our new city and all that, but we just missed the familiarity and family of Atlanta. There were definitely some fun times too - I took a trip to Arizona with my brother, we picked apples in Charlottesville one weekend, and the fall leaves and weather in Virginia are hard to beat. But overall, if April was the high point of the year, this was probably the low point for both of us.

November 1 -7, A Week That will Live in Infamy - The first week in November was a disaster. Maybe one of the worst weeks in history. There was this. Shortly followed by this. To quote the great Forest Gump - That’s all I got to say about that.

The rest of November was great. NanaMax had moved to Maryland the month before and were only 2 hours away. So seeing them more often kind of helped ease the homesickness a bit. We had a fun trip to D.C. with Max, Nana, Danny, Josh, and Bob the Builder. We drove down to Atlanta for Thanksgiving and had a great time with our family. So after the disaster that was the first week, I guess November turned out okay after all.

December 2008 – A month of mixed emotions. The buildup and anticipation of Christmas is always fun. And its even more fun now with a two year old. Just getting to teach him, not just about Santa, but also about the birth of our Lord is fun. On a different note, Anne’s grandmother passed away last week so that has been tough. We’re heading to the funeral this week. It will be great to see all of Anne’s family again, but we all wish it were under different circumstances.

Overall - What a year! I don’t think the word “exciting” quite does it justice. But I don’t know what other word to use so we’ll just stick with that one. It was filled with lots of highlights - New Job. New City. New House. New Church. New Josh. New niece Jada. Along with some lowlights - missing family, UGA going 9-3 after being ranked #1 in the preseason (even worse, the gayturds are in the national championship game), losing 30% of our savings as we watched the stock market collapse, and the passing of Anne’s grandmother.

But if every year was like 2008, I probably couldn’t be happier. Indeed, the state of Gaskill Rascals has never been stronger. We wish everyone (all 3 of you that read this blog anyway)
a great new year and hope it is filled with as many blessings as we had in the previous.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Crawling cutie!

Josh is on the go. He has been an official crawler/army style mover for awhile, but it seems like he is getting more bold in his exploration. He is much happier on the floor than in our arms now....funny how things change!

Check out our cutie pie!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the highlight of our shopping trip

If you ask Danny, he might say that his favorite thing about going to Walmart and Sams(other than the food at Sams) is getting to drop a coin in the salvation army bucket. Every time we get close to the end of our shopping trip, when we start to get tired and cranky, I can perk up my little shopper with a promise of money for the bucket. Danny loves to tell the bell ringer Merry Christmas and give him his money. Our favorite bell ringer was a man who played requests on his cornet(little trumpet). Danny talked about that one for days.

So, Danny had me cracking up last time we went to Sams and the bell ringer and bucket were not at the usual post. Another organization had come to hassle shoppers and we were so disappointed to not be able to share our money. But I almost fell over laughing when Danny turned to me and said "Mommy, where is the man with his piggy bank? I want to put money in his piggy bank." I figure that is a good interpretation of what that bucket really is....like a piggy bank. But I wonder if I didn't do a good job explaining the purpose of giving money to the bell ringer? We are not just filling up some other guy's piggy bank, like we do at home with Danny's multiple piggy banks. We are hopefully helping people who are in need. But regardless, it is cute to hear what children come up with on a daily basis. Their little minds are so moldable and full of creative potential. Moms could write a book on the funny things our kids do....or maybe a blog!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

check out our cuties!

This should have been our Christmas picture for our card this year! oh well, I am sure people will enjoy our actual cards, but I wish I had made them sit for a photo earlier in the season. And I am proud to say I am getting better at Photoshop, b/c most people will have to look twice to even notice the giant drool going down Joshie's shirt. I actually made most of it magically disappear! Now, if I could only do that to the extra 10-20 pounds that I would like to lose. Magically click the mouse and ....poof. It's gone!

Today was a hard day. We found out that my grandmother died this morning after a battle with Alzheimers and multiple strokes. She was a wonderful grandma and I was blessed to have known her. Soon we will gather with family to celebrate a life lived well and grieve our loss. She touched many lives...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

these are a few of my favorite things...

I was browsing my frequently visited blogs and enjoying reading Ashley's favorite Christmas things when I found out it was my turn to share!

so here is my list of favorite things about Christmas....

1. I love sitting in a dark room with a crackling fire and the Christmas tree lit. Something about the glowing tree, the warmth of the fire, and snuggling in a blanket makes me slow down.

2. I love the smells of Christmas. Vanilla is my favorite scent. Sugar cookies in the oven are a close second. Real Christmas trees are infinitely better than fake ones for the fact that they give off an amazing smell. And of course, cinnamon. And apple cider. And the smell of wood burning. hmmmm!

3. I love seeing family. My family lived all around the world(East coast, Midwest, Europe, Asia) growing up and Christmas was usually a time when we would gather back together and celebrate. We are staying in Richmond this year, but I am really heartbroken at the fact that Danny and Josh are missing all the Gaskill family fun. We know we are making the right choice to not travel, but it is hard!

4. Christmas Eve services. It doesn't take much for me to get emotional about my faith and the gift of Christ, but Christmas eve services top the list. I think it is a combination of the music, the quiet reverance, and the dimmed lights....every year that service is a big tearfest for me. But I think that is a mistake that we often make by assuming that the birth of our Lord was a meek, quiet, tearful event. Ultimately it was an unmatched and powerful night when God came down to win the battle over sin for us. Angels sang and people were changed. wow.

5. Vacation. This goes back to my days as a student and then a teacher. Who doesn't love a little time off to rest. And all the teachers say amen to that!!!

6. Nativity scenes. I remember sitting for hours playing with nativity scenes at my house as a child. I like to collect them now as an adult. I have some favorites that seem to find a way to stay up long past Christmas. I love my angel tree one the best, but another favorite is my little round people from Peru. Mary, Joseph, and the wise men are all dressed in Peruvian clothing.

I think I will tag Lauren T., Kristin, and Erica.

Here are some pictures from last year. Danny and Josh were dedicated at Grace, even though our littlest was clearly still in my belly!

This was before going to see the lights at Lake Lanier....we waited two hours to enter the park, but it was worth it!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Do you like our house?

Aunt Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.

Our lights from down the street....

Do you think that's enough?

OK, so I am pulling your leg. How much do you think these people spend on lights, electricity, property damage(people were roaming the streets all around) every year? We are happy to know that Richmond is a great place to live at Christmas. People really get into the Christmas spirit! We have a tacky lights tour and if I could vote, this one tops the list. I have never seen anything like it before.

Here is the real thing!


update: those crazy lights cost about $3500 a month in electricity(which means bigger bonuses for my husband since they are using a lot of Dominion's power) and their biggest vandalism problem is the squirrels that eat the lights way up high. oh and they start working in September. wow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank you for.....

....balls and bubees(pacifers), NanaMaxGrandmommy, Mommy, Daddy, Joshie. These are a few of the things Danny thanks God for every night. But I guess he wasn't finished yet tonight. He hollered for his Daddy and Scott went back in to the room to see what he needed. This is the conversation I heard over the monitor...
S: What's wrong, Danny?
D: I pray Daddy.
S: You want to pray?
D: I thank God for Santa..
S: sure, let's pray for Santa
D: ..and Jesus, and Christmas, and presents, and CANDY, Daddy!!!
S: OK, We can thank God for that. Dear God, Thank you for Santa and candy and presents that help us remember the gift of your son Jesus. In Your Name, Amen.
D: Amen!
S: Good night, Danny.
D: Night, Daddy!

So sweet and precious. Last year was a tough holiday time for our family. We were trying to sell our house, so no decorations. Scott was already in Richmond. I was pregnant and still feeling a little queasy here and there(funny how you forget that part so easily). And most of all, we knew we were about to leave our family and move to an unknown. This year is going to be the first year that Danny will get involved and understand what we are celebrating. And we get to decorate!
This is my favorite season and I can't wait to teach our boys about all our traditions and why we celebrate this time of year. Even though Danny knows that Jesus was born on Christmas and enjoys singing Happy Birthday to God, Santa will always be a fascination to little children. So, of course we had to go visit him this week and get Joshie's first and Danny's second(skipped last year!) Santa picture. Danny refused the lap, but this Santa had a little reindeer for the scared kids to ride on in the photo. What a perfect solution! Mom and Dad get their cute munchkins in a Santa photo, without having to touch the big guy in the red suit. I don't blaim him. If I was two years old and someone asked me to sit on a strange fat dude's lap, I might balk at the request. But as you can see from the photo, everyone was happy! Even the little elf(notice the ears?) in his lap.

After seeing the santa photo, my mom decided that she had a photo of me that looked very similar. Also, I included a photo of Scott as a boy. We think they look like him too! No question who these children belong to!!!

We are attempting to go all Griswold on our neighbors, so I will be posting some "bright" photos soon. I know we won't even come close to loud and tacky, but for first timers, I think we are doing a commendable job!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

lots of thankfulness

(note from the blogger: "yes, I changed the title. I felt like calling our cousins a birth control method was unkind. They are a sweet bunch of kids and a joy to be around. We love the busy time together. It is loud, but it is a house of blessings! Lots to be thankful for...but I will stand firm that surviving Grandmommy's house on Thanksgiving is a good test of parenting skills. If you are pregnant and want practice, just give us a call.")

We love our cousins, but it sure is busy at Grandmommy's house!

There are eight of them....all under six years old!

Christmas pic?


Monday, November 24, 2008

mind of his own

I wish I had a photo to upload related to this post. It would be so cute!

We have given Danny lots of ways to show his independence lately. He likes to feel like he has some control and we can give it to him with in the safe perimeters of our home. One thing he enjoys doing is running in the buff from the bath to his room to pick out his pjs. Usually after a few minutes of waiting for him to come to the changing table, I have to go in and give a little guidance or else he is on the floor playing with his toys....in his birthday suit. But once he picks out a pair of pjs, I try to honor his request. Since it is quite chilly these days, the t-shirt and shorts he ALWAYS picks out aren't enough to keep him warm. So, mommy just grabs a pair of footy pjs to put underneath his choice. And it is one cute outfit when we are finished. Just imagine footy pjs with a too tight shirt and shorts...all with no unifying colors. And he is proud! I might even start letting him choose his outfits during the day. Of course, mommy will still get to decide church clothes and outfits for special occasions.

We went to the UVA/Clemson game this weekend and nearly froze our toes off. It was a blast though. Danny and Josh stayed warm under blankets and multiple layers, but I am guessing we won't get parents of the year for this trip. I felt a little guilty about taking them out in such cold weather, but then I remembered some childhood adventures that I had. When I was preschool age, my dad was a teacher at Cornell and we would go to the football games. In the cold. With snow falling around us. And I survived. My parents even used to take me to the hockey rink in the middle of the night in my footy pjs to watch my Dad's students play. For them, it was about quality time as a family. It was important for us to be together. And that is how we look at this past Saturday. I will post some photos soon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What you would do for your babies...

....anything! I know other parents would agree that mommies and daddies would give their lives for their children. The love we feel for our children is unlike any other love we have ever experienced. I love my husband with all my heart and he comes first in my life, but even he would agree that our love for our children is different. We love them, we care for them, and we hope for the best for their lives. Everyday I pray for my boys and find my self having to turn over their care to God. Even with as much as I love them, my care and protection is never as good as what God provides. I pray that they would know Jesus and find fulfillment in Christ.
All this to say my heart was overwhelmed today by a couple of things. When we went on our trip to Walmart after the Children's Museum today, we passed by a tent set up outside with men sharing how a certain organization had changed them and brought them out of drug addiction. I think it was a Christian organization based on the God bless yous that I heard while walking by one man. They asked me if I wanted to stop and hear about their group and possibly give money. I said no thank you(kindly!) as I usually do....I have good excuses:tired babies, groceries to get home, it was raining, etc. As I passed one man said something to Danny. Our firstborn was being friendly as usual and smiling at all the people. I didn't hear the full sentence, but it was something to the effect of "don't turn out like me". I thought about it all the way back to the car. What if? Danny isn't always going to make good choices and I know he will grow from mistakes, but I guess I couldn't picture him doing drugs or getting involved in crime. But we are all with sin. My heart was breaking for that man's mother. I wonder if she was like me thirty years ago. No parent wants that for their child, but fortunately in this man's case, he was using it for good. He was able to use his experiences to impact others and share Christ's love. Isn't that like our Father? He wants so much more for us.
So, then I came home and put Danny down for a nap and settled on to the couch to snuggle Josh to sleep. I had tivoed ER from last night and thought this rainy afternoon was definitely a TV watching afternoon. Forty five minutes later, I was crying and sobbing. Why do I do that? Why do I watch shows that get me emotionally involved? One of the characters had lost her son a few years ago and she was reenacting the event. I can't imagine and don't even want to think about the possibility of losing one of my boys. But I do pray that if it happened I would be strong and know that God has a plan even through the horrible stuff. How did God feel as His son hung on the cross? I find hope in His death, because it paid the price of my sins and He rose again. But the pain was real. Our sin is ugly, just like death is horrible. What a sacrifice.

I think you need some cheering up after that post, so here is a cute Gaskill family photo! I think this picture fits us...outdoors, informal, smiling Josh, independent Danny. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can he fix it?

We just got back from a trip to Maryland to see Nana and Max. It was nice to spend a couple of days checking out their new town. Danny loves his Nana and Max and fortunately climbed into their bed every morning! Yea...nice break for Mommy and Daddy. I have lots of fun stories to share and cute pictures to post, but I think we will start with every one's favorite builder. Yes, that's right. Bob the builder. Bob was a last minute addition to our trip. I think we will be seeing more of Bob in the future.

Bob and the Washington Monument. Bob feels small.

Bob and the Capitol. He is hoping for a future in politics.

Bob and the White House. He was hoping to catch a glimpse of President Bush and President-Elect Obama after they had their meeting that day.

Bob with Max, Danny, Nana, and their favorite coffee. Monday tradition!

I have more to share, so stay tuned.

Friday, November 7, 2008

God made you special

Our two boys are so different. I know that is to be expected, but I think since Danny was our first child, he is my standard of measurement. I assume that all children will be just like him. But isn't it wonderful that God makes us all different with unique personalities and characteristics.
For example, Danny is my sensitive, smart little boy. He worries about people and seems to have developed a tender heart. He is very inquisitive. In our home, we experience the ups and downs of a normal two year old, but I believe there is more to it. He has the ability to light up a room with his cheerfulness or completely bring us down when he is unhappy. He is social and I believe will have the ability to organize and unify people. He is full of life and personality.
Now Joshua is just a little baby, but I already see his personality coming out. He is so easy going. We get comments from everybody about what a happy and easy baby he seems to be. We are also learning that he doesn't like to sit still. While Danny used to be content as a baby snuggling in your lap, Josh will have none of that. He is persistent and doesn't like to give up trying new things.
I am sure some of the things they do have a lot to do with the stage of life they are each in, but I do believe babies reflect their future selves. Most moms that I ask say that the way their baby behaved as a child was a good indicator of the type of person they became. And isn't it great that God uses what we think as frustrating for good. While I may be challenged by Danny's reluctance to follow his mommy, it is that strong willed child that has the ability to be an adult who is firm in his convictions. It is my role as a parent to daily pray for those characteristics I see to be used for God's glory. His design is so amazing!
And another difference between my boys is their size....

Joshua's 6 month stats
weight: 19lb 4oz 80%
height: 28 inches 90%

Daniel's 6 month stats(actually it was closer to 7 months)
weight: 18lb 1oz 70-75%
height: 27 1/2 inches 85-90%

I know that may seem similar, but it really makes a difference. Especially with the clothing. Josh is already wearing stuff Danny wore at 1 year. He is a little chunk.
But they certainly favor each other in looks!

Here is a picture comparison. Same outfits and same smiles!

Can you guess the right name with the picture?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


No matter who wins today, at least half of the nation will probably feel like this.....a bad taste in their mouth.

Yummy green beans!

I hope people check today and take advantage of these free things....sorry to Nana and Max who voted absentee. Maybe you could go get a sticker and still participate?

If you have a "I voted" sticker...
Chick-fil-A will give you a free sandwich.
Krispie Kreme will give you a free doughnut.
Ben and Jerrys ice cream will give you a free cone.
Starbucks will give you a free coffee.

I know there are more, but some of them are regional or just in certain cities. (ex: Baltimore California Tortillas will give a free burrito and supposedly have a McCain and Obama burrito for the occasion)
We are headed out in a few minutes to join the nation in voting. Do you think if Danny and Josh start crying they will let me skip the line? I packed snacks, books, puzzles, and cars in anticipation of a long line.

If you are still undecided, here is a good article that might make you think.

Happy Voting!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mis cosas favoritas...

I know that there are people reading my blog, because I have some of you letting me know in conversation and emails. thanks! But unfortunately, very few of you have joined the blogging world(it is sooo easy!) Ashley G tagged me to do a list of my favorite things and I think it sounds like a fun idea. But part of the assignment is to tag some people in my blog. I know a few of you who read this have done a favorites list before, but if haven't I would like to pass it on! If you are a blogger and decide to share your favorite things, jot me a note in the comments and I will head over to your blog and check it out. I can't wait to see your lists! And all you non-bloggers....you are welcome to comment too with your favorite things!
Now for my favorites!
1. Top of the list favorite thing is when I am listening to praise music in the car and I am moved to praying and crying at the same time. Might not be the safest driving experience, but it is a refresher to my soul. I love a long car trip when I am by myself or with my boys and I can let down my defenses and really just worship!
2. I love how my husband I balance each other. We are different in many ways and yet we agree on the important things. I love how we each have different ways of growing spiritually. Scott is led by his head more and I am led by my heart. That might be more to do with male vs. female, but it is definitely a good thing. We have taught each other so much over the years and have each grown in our faith because of the other person.
3. I love cold weather sleeping. I really like to have many, many blankets. Then I tuck them tight around my shoulders and just let my head peek out. Scott also likes blankets, so you will often find us with the fan on high and the heat off in the middle of winter, snuggling under blankets. But due to the fact that we have little babies, the heat is reluctantly turned on now.
4. Christmas lights. I may have mentioned this before, but I love twinkly lights. I love them on houses, in houses, in the winter, and in the summer. You will find lights up year round inside my house on our fake ficus trees.
5. My mom introduced me at an early age to the joy of consignment shopping. We used to volunteer together at our church thrift store and I loved finding little treasures. She taught me how to be patient as you dig through layers of junk, because you are bound to find something good. Now with two boys, I love getting nice expensive church outfits and unique clothes for a few dollars. It is like an exciting treasure hunt.
6. I love traveling by plane and getting delayed or the plans changing last minute. I love the anticipation and excitement before a trip to a distant location. Whenever we travel, I always hope to get delayed just so I can hang out in the airport. It is so fun to watch people. Scott would completely disagree with this one, because he has been delayed too many times trying to get home. But if I am with my family, I always feel like it is just part of the adventure. I guess I am usually a fairly patient traveler. I know that one is weird, but I guess I just enjoy a good adventure!
Hope you enjoyed my favorite things!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the coolest pumpkin ever

If you are a Georgia fan, you will appreciate this pumpkin...

Scott saw it online and thought it was a cool idea! Wonder if our Virginia neighbors will get it?

Danny enjoyed watching and poking the pumpkin, but was not into touching the seeds and guts. That is, until I roasted them and then he couldn't get enough! In this photo, he is trying to get guts off the hat after peering into the pumpkin.

This pumpkin was going to be a classic with eyeballs like the left side, but then I accidentally chopped off the inside. So, it became an eye patch on a pirate. Can you tell that he is saying arghhhh?

I will post again soon with Joshie's info from his appt. He is a big boy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

my wild animals

It is brrrrr chilly and very windy outside. I am enjoying candy corn and warm coffee today. Definitely need coffee to keep me awake after our boys have had restless nights lately. yawn. Mommy is worn out!
Tonight we are going to carve our pumpkin. Any good ideas for face designs? I don't think we are big Halloween people at the Gaskill house, but we do enjoy the fall festivals and pumpkin carving. I think Danny and Josh will probably get to dress up for a few more years and then we will hopefully phase out of that stage.
We did enjoy a fall festival this past weekend and look forward to going door to door as the cutest giraffe and lion you will ever see! I included some pictures of our "wild animals"!

my sweet boys!

Josh was worn out!

Caroline is giving Danny some TLC. He is such a flirt!

Danny loves his tail!

Tomorrow is Joshua's 6 month appt....more updates to come!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Three kids...not yet.

I mentioned in our last post that we took care of our friend's little girl this weekend. She is a sweetheart. Danny followed her around all weekend and is still talking about her. Her name is Caroline, but he says it like "Cawowine". Adorable!
Mommy and Daddy are exhausted though. She was an easy baby, but I think having three children in diapers is not ideal(my sympathies to Mere) Another tough thing was the fact that two children had to be carried whenever we went anywhere. No rest for the weary. After she left, we were amazed at how calm things seemed. But I have to say that if we have a third and are blessed with a girl, I hope she is as sweet as Caroline. I loved having a little girl to dress up! Not a good reason to have a baby. Maybe I need a baby doll for Christmas!

Here is a picture of Danny and Caroline sharing cheerios on the couch. I wish I had taken more photos!

Speaking of Christmas, I love this time of year. I love the fall and the cooler weather. I love sleeping under tons of blankets. I love the smell of firewood burning. I love the bright colors on the trees. I love the anticipation of advent. I love fresh evergreen decorations. I LOVE all the decorations for the holidays. I am itching to get the Christmas stuff down from the attic. I know, I know, we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, but I can't wait. I guess that explains why all my fake ficus trees have lights on them. I love twinkly lights! Can you tell I am excited?
Now it's your turn. I have a request of all my readers....I am curious how many of you are out there. Please take a moment and make a comment(I have reset it so you do not need a blog account to comment!).
Please tell me about your favorite holiday tradition. We are looking to adopt some new traditions. Do you have a yearly event that makes the holiday time special for you?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Someone please feed the kid

I am currently loading pictures on my computer and getting started on long overdue updating of our smugmug site. Stay tuned for fall photo updates. I love taking pictures, but as I browse through recent photos, I am overwhelmed with the fact that I am practically a year behind in my scrapbooking. yikes!

I am also excited to share stories from this weekend, as we had our first family of five experience. We had our friend Caroline spend the night Friday and Saturday. Danny loved having a "girl"friend here. She is between our boys in age and is so cute! I have decided it would be fun to have a little girl, but I was reminded by my family that wanting to play dress up with a little girl is not a good reason to keep having kids. We will definitely be attempting to wait a few years before we have any more children. I will write some more stories later about her visit!

Something exciting is happening at the Gaskill house!
We have done some rearranging at our breakfast room table. Danny has upgraded to a booster. Previously, we were using his high chair with out the tray as a chair at our table. He loves his new seat and is proud of being a "big" boy at the table. Josh has also upgraded from Mommy's arms/bouncy seat/where ever he would sit during the meal...to....the...HIGHCHAIR! Yeah for real food! Our Doctor is big on waiting until they are 6 months to feed them their first food, but I couldn't wait. He is always trying to take bites off my spoon when he sits in my lap during dinner. That seemed like a good sign to me. Here are a few cute pictures of his first real meal. Can you believe how much he has grown up?

I tried to explain to him that you don't actually eat the tray, just the food on it. I promise he isn't hungry. He is a rollypolly baby!

Don't you just want to kiss those sweet dimples? I do!

I will share more later, but here is a recent picture from our trip to Carter's Mtn for a fall festival!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

friendly sign war

My official position is typically anti-yard signs or bumper stickers or t-shirts promoting your favorite candidate. Honestly, do you really think that your bumper sticker is going to change someone's mind...hmmm, she looks nice and she likes McCain, so therefore I think I like McCain. No. And yard signs are just asking for someone to egg your house. But I gave in a few weeks ago.
Yes, I put up a yard sign.
We have this neighbor who is very supportive of Obama and so she recruited her elementary age girls to go around and get neighbors to put up signs. I started to see a scattering of yards with Obama signs a few weeks ago. Another conservative neighbor of mine decided that we needed to even out the advertising and offered signs to a few people. I put one up. Scott cringes at it every time he drives up the driveway, but now we are just one of many neighbors stating their support in a candidate. I mean it is actually pretty funny as you drive down the street and see sign after sign. Our quiet little neighborhood has become an interesting study in the state of this election.
I want to make sure that this blog is just a place for family and friends to read about our boys and how our life in Richmond is going. I don't want my readers(ie: the 5 of you) to feel bombarded with political opinion. I also believe that my role as a Christian is to love my neighbor. And pushing my beliefs on them certainly won't achieve that purpose. God is not for politics. He is for people. Including the unborn child and Joe the plumber. I definitely disagree with Obama on so many levels, such as: abortion, taxes, health care, size of government, etc. I felt the need to let our neighbors know that we were not on the Obama band wagon.

This is like my little "blog yard" sign. Please don't egg my blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It was like seeing a celebrity...

We were in Frederick, Maryland visiting my parents at their new house. After church, we headed down to the main street area to grab some yummy Mes-si-can food. If you ask Danny to go eat Mexican, he will literally squeal and jump up and down like a little kid....oh, wait...that's because he is a little kid. But he reallllly does love some beans and rice. But I digress(as usual). We were walking down the street when we came upon the fire station. It was basically some garage doors open to the street with four shiny fire trucks inside the garage. We stopped and took the opportunity to point out the trucks to Danny, when (get this!)...a...real...live...FIREMAN came over to talk to us. Wow...a fireman. Danny was a little speechless. He did keep a tight grip on Nana's finger, but we managed to snap a few photos. What friendly people! And what a cute little town! We can't wait to explore more in the future.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Time for a rescue

It was less than a minute. I only stepped into our kitchen for a minute and left Joshua in his usual spot on the ground rolling around with his toys in the living room. I heard sweet words coming from Danny's mouth as he sat down to play with his brother.
But much to my surprise, Danny was not being very sweet. I turned the corner to the living room to find Danny banging Josh on the head with a toy! Fortunately it was just a soft toy...it was the base to our fabric ring stacking toy. Joshua was not in any real danger, but he certainly was a little shocked to be repeatedly banged on the head by his brother. I hollered at Danny and swept Josh up just as he started to whimper.
Is this a taste of my next few years with two little boys?

this taken was on vacation....just layin' around.