Friday, November 4, 2011

October: Grayson pictures abound!

My little guy is growing so fast! October 19th, Gray turned 8 months!!
He's been such an active little fella! Climbing up on things for quite a while now, he is traveling along furniture with ease. I guess he wants to keep up with the big boys!
I just love when he sits still and hangs out with me. What a sweet little lover-boy he is. Definitely a mama's boy, he likes to keep me in his sights most of the time, even at home. At first, I found this cumbersome. Don't get me wrong: I love my little guy so much! But I wanted to be able to put him in the nursery and such. After a few tries, I found out that I needed to change my ideals for this little guy's lovey personality. Now, I choose to be flattered by his affection and I love it! It won't last forever, after all! I'm sure I won't look back and wish I'd spent more time apart from him. He's my sweet treasure.
I also love this guy: Steve, The Cat-herd.
And there's that sweet baby face again.
He's getting a little happier to branch out to other family members now. He loves his daddy, too. Also Max is his big buddy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hannah turned 12 this year. Apparently, it was the year for not being compliant with Mom's request for a nice smile for the camera...Also, instead of cake, she requested pumpkin pie. I had to call ahead and give my dad a heads-up so he could get used to the idea--with him being sort of a traditionalist and all...
This picture is sooo unflattering to me! Normally, I wouldn't post a picture of me with double chins but, hey, I have to get a semi-normal picture of Hannah in here somewhere!

August: Gray turns 6 months!

Pretty much how we spent the month of August,
walking Gray around or spotting him while he clung to the sides of furniture and stuff.
What a fun time Grayson has with so many pairs of arms ready to help him grow and explore!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One more post for July: Ira!

I would be remiss to post about July and not mention our houseguest for the month! Irina came from Ukraine to visit us again. She was a delight to host and it was sad to send her back because this was likely our last time to have her visit.

Her 17th birthday was the day after she arrived so we threw together a little party at my mom and dad's poolside.A few days later we celebrated the Fourth by going to a parade. Ira kept wondering "Why do they throw candy?" It's unusual for there to be any freebie stuff passed around in Ukraine. Nevertheless, she ran out like one of the kids and gathered candy to take home to her friends!

Another day, We went to Chattanooga and picked blueberries with Steve's brother Daniel and his family. It was a hot day but she picked like a champ! Again, she was surprised that we were allowed to eat while we picked. She looked at me unbelieving at first but she shrugged and ate her fair share!
Ira loved Dan and Bonita just as she has loved all our extended family members. We took her once again to the family reunion in Pigeon Forge. She loves it there and loves how everyone welcomes her with hugs and bright, warm greetings. I wonder what it would be like to be her and have no one. When she's here, she calls us Mama and Pop. She talks about "our baby" and "our family" and when we went to look at a few houses she asked if "we will buy this one" and so forth. She loved having a family, it was clear. I hope that someday we will be able to visit her again and that she can always count us as a kind of family that she has.. People 'out there' who love her and are praying for her.

We also did some other things like bowling, swimming, canoeing, My dad's 70th birthday party, and such, but mostly, we just hung out and did the stuff families do. The kids loved that she commandeered them in the afternoons to fry potatoes with her. They made all kinds of creations for me to try and we went through a LOT of potatoes but the memories were good and the kids even got better at their Russian!

There were a lot of sad faces around our house after she left.

July: Reunion 2011! Anderson's this time....

What can I say? Fun times:

Lotsa family,

Lotsa fun,

lotsa food,

lotsa cuties,

LOTSA hugs,

Lotsa cousins,

Lotsa this game,

Lotsa food (again),
And lotsa love.

What a good time it is each year to get together and hang out for a few days, reconnecting, talking, playing, and eating too much! Haha! And, one of these years, I need to get some pictures of the late-night Mafia games...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grayson at about four months (June)

Learning to sit up!
Now he can play a little easier with the big boys, his favorite thing to do (besides hanging out with mommy, that is!)

Another favorite:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Also in May, Steve went and bought the canoe he'd been thinking about for some time. He did some other errands and when he got home, he stepped out of the car and walked in, forgetting temporarily the huge excitement potential he had strapped to the roof of his car. Misha, who had gone with him came in and found his brothers and spread the word instead.

A stir of disbelief and a rustle of kids moving out the door to check the veracity of Misha's report and then whoops of joy from the driveway followed! Vitali, who had recently mentioned to me that when he was big he wanted a speed boat, came bouncing back into the house, and while practically climbing up me with excitement he asked, "MOMMY! Did you KNOW my dream would come TRUE?!!" Apparently the 'speed' part of his 'speed boat' wish was optional! haha!
We went in two cars to the lake. Since the canoe only holds 4 passengers, Steve took the first wave of riders while I went and got pizza to eat by the water. When we arrived at the lake, the first crew was pulling the boat onto shore, ready to eat!
Grayson played on a blanket, practicing his rolling and gumming his toys. He also never lacked for a brother or sister to pounce on him with kisses.The boys showed my camera their muscles. Here is Max:I was trying to get Misha to show me his muscles but he wasn't really flexing. All of a sudden, Vitali hopped into my view and shouted, "LIKE THIS, MISHA!"
Silly kid!
But Misha got the idea:
All the kids had a good time. Mom and Dad, too!

In the end we enjoyed this beautiful sunset as we drove away:

Monday, August 8, 2011

This and that from May...

In May, Grayson "enjoyed" his first haircut. He had all kinds of hair on top of his head, nothing around the top of the sides or the center in the back and then a fringe of long, dark hair around the bottom. He was starting to look like Mr T. Haha! I gave the sides a proper cutting but the top was only lightly trimmed because Steve couldn't bear to see all that 'personality' trimmed away. (In the end, I admit it, Steve was right! It has been kind of Gray's signature 'look'. LOL!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011


It's been a while! I thought I'd begin catching you up with a few pictures of Gray from this past June having fun hangin' out with his Family --something he truly loves to do! He's 4 months old in these photos.

Since we've been to the beach he has learned to sit up by himself although he's still wobbly enough that we keep a steadying hand nearby. Or, we just squoosh him into the lineup of kiddos for some siblings-on-the-couch-with-books time like this:
I'm lovin' those little feet!

Snugglin' with Mama.

Hangin' out with Great Grandpa. Gray likes to watch TV with Grandpa. Most babies seem to get on Grandpa's lap and fall straight to sleep (It's Grandpa's special baby-holding secret talent!). Not Gray. He can sit there and enjoy an entire episode of The Virginian, smiling along with Grandpa and looking very proud of himself.
Look at the hands. Precious.