Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Year in Review


I've been meaning to send out a family newsletter along with our Christmas cards for the past several years, in part because I love reading everyone else's that we receive in our mailbox. November rolled around and I knew that a newsletter definitely wasn't happening for us this year, so instead I have decided to make an online version and post it to our blog. Perhaps not as fun as ink and paper (I'm all about being able to hold something tangible in my hands), but at least our family and friends will have the opportunity to see what we've been up to for the past year. So here goes!

Derek has had a busy year work-wise, expanding and improving Channels 12 and 84 in Ames. He seems to cram a massive amount of work into each workday, then comes home to his other job: Caring for a wife and three(!) kids. Atticus and Adelaide usually greet his daily homecoming with much shrieking and hugging, vying for his attention- even Caedmon usually has a smile for Daddy.
Derek still loves to golf (although the aforementioned children have drastically cut down on his course time), and January brought Derek's annual Florida golf trip, where he enjoyed much milder weather than we were experiencing here in Iowa. This sanity-restoring vacation combines Derek's love of golf, reuniting with old friends from ESPN, and Disney World. His obsession- I mean, passion for the Minnesota Vikings has not waned; it's been a rough year for us all.

Kristy had an eventful year, gestating and bringing forth our third addition to the family: Caedmon James (sorry about all the "bringing forth" business, but it's honestly the only wording I can think of- we've been reading alot of the Christmas Story lately, so the phrase "Mary brought forth a child" has been ricocheting around my head). She continues to read just about anything she can get her hands on, and even managed to start (and finish!) multiple cross-stitch projects this year. She is also really enjoying living in small-town Huxley, where she has found many other moms of young children just trying to keep it together. Having three children in four and a half years has proven to be challenging, but rewarding.

Adelaide danced in her first dance recital in the spring. She looked lovely in her blue costume (although she wished it were pink), and did very well remembering all the steps to her ballet dance, not a whisp of stage fright (but decided not to continue with ballet). She turned 4 in May, and in the fall began a much-anticipated program: Preschool. She loves school, so much that she continually reminds us that she can't wait until next year, when she gets to start Kindergarten, which means she'll get to go to school all day, five days a week. We hope this enthusiasm for education continues for a long time.

Atticus (aka the Destroyer) has changed so much in the past year. He started the year as a new walker, babbling nonsense sprinkled with a few legitimate words, and is now running-stomping-jumping-dancing just about any time he's awake, speaking in (somewhat intelligible) sentences, and singing his favorite songs (the ABC's, the Itsby Bitsy Spider, Jesus Loves Me). He and Adelaide get along reasonably well. They love to play together, although he is just learning what fun it is terrorize and purposely irritate his big sister. It's hard to believe he turned 2 in October.

Caedmon has probably had the biggest year of us all: he was born September 21 (just one day after his due date), at 7 lbs, 13 oz, and 22 inches long. He's changing so fast; he smiles so much now, and just recently began experimenting with laughing. He lifts his head easily during tummy time, and has begun the rocking back-and-forth motion that precedes rolling over. He nearly always has a smile for Mommy and Daddy, and loves his brother and sister (particularly Adelaide, who likes to sit close to him and talk in an extremely high-pitched voice; whereas just about all he can expect from Atticus are snotty kisses). For the most part, he seems to have outgrown his colic, for which we are all grateful.

2010 has been a full and blessed year for the Crisler family, and we have so much for which to be thankful. We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.

We all enjoyed a visit to Adventureland last summer:  Adelaide liked the amusement park...

...and Atticus liked the waterpark.

We'll see what Caedmon thinks of Adventureland next summer.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake



Today is my birthday.

This is how my conversation went with Adelaide this morning before school.

Adelaide: "Happy Birthday, Mommy!"
Me: "Well, thank you, Adelaide!"
A: "What kind of cake are you baking for yourself today?"
Me: "I don't think I'm going to make a cake today."
A: "What?! But that's what birthdays are all about! THE CAKE!"

I was about to argue with her and tell her that birthdays are about celebrating someone's life and another year and blah blah blah, but then realized I have no room to talk: half to maybe three-quarters of the reason I ever go to weddings are for the cake. The cakes pictured above are from my sister Kelli's wedding in September: the groom's cake was a red velvet armadillo (Steel Magnolias, anyone?), and the flavors in the bride's cake (if I remember correctly) were vanilla latte and creme de menthe, which was delicious.

Cake credit goes to Sweet Designs Cakery in Pittsburg, KS.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thankfulness


Adelaide came home from school last week with this pinned to her coat. When I asked her why she was thankful for scissors, she said, "For cutting hair, Mommy." (In a "Duh, Mom," tone of voice.)
While I'm also thankful for scissors, and I know Derek is thankful for Garfield, Adelaide's little leaf pin got me thinking about all for which I am thankful. Oddly enough, the thing that comes to mind again and again is our washer and dryer. Maybe it's because I spend so much time in front of them, doing endless loads of laundry.
When we lived in Connecticut in our condo, the washers and dryers were in the basement of the building. On laundry days, I had to first make sure we had enough quarters for the coin-operated machines. Then, juggling multiple laundry baskets and baby Adelaide, I made my way from our second-floor condo to the basement, where I then I had to unlock the finicky basement door, and I could finally begin washing our clothes. (We actually have several photos of Adelaide as a baby, either perched on top of a pile of clothes in a laundry basket, or with her head poking out from under the pile.) It was important to remember to set the timer when I got back upstairs, because if I forgot to switch the wet clothes right over to the dryer, or forgot to pull the dry clothes out of the dryer, I was liable to find our clothes piled on top of one of the machines. This is all assuming the machines worked; I would frequently make the trek down to the basement to find one or both of the washing machines not working. Laundry in Connecticut was a major chore, and I dreaded it.

The good thing about all that work back in CT is that it's made me appreciate the fact that all I have to do now is march into our laundry room and stuff our own clothes into our own machines- our own home, no quarters, no locked doors, no waiting in line for the washer.

Not to mention the fact that we are blessed with clothing to wash, and three children to (constantly) soil them.