Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Visit

The Corzine and Rush clans have enjoyed a wonderful week together. All totaled there were 14 of us coming from 7 states (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas for those interested...)

Christmas Day was hosted by Joel and Kelly. There was a great brunch and later a big ham dinner. The celebration was slightly more chaotic this year now that there are three little ones. With so many people there combined with the fact that when the kiddos opened a toy they, understandably, wanted to play with it RIGHT away, the gift exchange lasted all afternoon.

Throughout the week we played games, watched old movies, and ate a lot of goodies. We also helped serve a meal at the True Light Nazarene Mission. Today we took a tour of the Roasterie downtown.

Ben and Levi got matching rompers.

Ben gives the sweetest smiles and has started to babble at us.

Aunt Kathy with her hands full:

Attempting to get all three to pose with Aunt Kathy.

Nana and Papa got Levi this push toy and he loves playing with it. He also carries it upright and uses it as a mallet. Where did he learn that??

Ruby was enthralled with opening presents.

It was a long, fun day.

Here's Luke assisting Joel in putting together Ruby's new toy kitchen from Nana and Papa.

Mom, Dad, and Joel ended up at the little table after Ruby decided to join her Mama at the big table.

Auntie Lea!

Ruby was very helpful in assisting Levi opening his presents. This one is from her. She dictated the label on it. It said, "Happy Levi to You"

Cute Nephew Alert!

Levi on the tour at the Roasterie. It's a good thing he has a hairnet on- we wouldn't want one of his 30 transparent hairs to fall out onto the manufacturing floor.

Ben was uncaffeinated (unlike the rest of us) and slept through the tour.

Ruby received a huge treat and was given a lollipop to keep her occupied. This made her very happy.

Lea, a barista, gave the Roasterie a thumbs up.

Levi managed to sneak several licks in on Ruby's lollipop.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Letter

Dear Levi,

How enjoyable you have made this advent season. I can picture very clearly your face one morning when you came downstairs and trotted over to your favorite window. You were so curious to find the lawn and street covered in piles of foreign white stuff. Your little mind and body have been very busy. At the beginning of the month you didn't know what to do with the wrapped Advent gifts from Gran and Grandpa. Now you smile knowingly and reach out to rip off the paper.

There were many sweet moments like when you clapped your hands and bounced excitedly at church while we sang Christmas carols. There have been funny moments, too. I'll always remember watching you march around with the soft nativity set that Nana and Papa sent for you. You were holding Joseph in your left hand, Mary in your right, and sticking out of your mouth was the little baby Jesus, his swaddling clothes covered in drool.

It makes us incredibly happy to see you surrounded by the people that love you so much. We have really appreciated the fact that this season you've been able to spend time with all of your grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. We even get to see the Johnsons next week and finally get to meet the twins.

Your Daddy and I have a deep, deep desire to protect you, to give you the very best, and to do whatever we can to make sure you know that you are special, important, and beautiful. But more important than all of that, we want you to know how much God loves you. If we, your imperfect parents, love you so much, can you imagine how much God, your heavenly Father, loves you? God loves you so much that he sent Jesus, his little boy, here into our world. God sent Jesus knowing that people would not take care of him and would in fact hurt him very badly. God did it anyway because it was so important to Him that you be taken care of. We celebrate Christmas with gifts because God gave us the biggest gift of all.

with love,


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Here's Levi hanging out with Nana. He's smiling and looking down because...

...cousin Ruby is trying to get his attention!

My amazing husband:

Little Ben being so cute:

Two peas in a pod:

Reading before nap time. I think Nana was wishing she also could have a nap.

Levi is still trying to get the hang of his riding toy.

Something on this dismount went awry.

Yay! Lea's here!

Building towers with Papa:

These are Christmas cookies Levi made at the sitter's. MMMmmm. anybody want to try one?

We had a great Christmas Eve. Lots of family was traveling to see us and the weather unfortunately had an impact. Mom, Dad, Lea, and Uncle Bob were slated to land at 7pm but didn't get to our house until 3:45am. We all had lunch together here then later went to Leavenworth to have dinner at Mom and Dad Dickson's house. Then we all went to the Christmas Eve service together. It was a really special time.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This weekend we celebrated an early Christmas in Leavenworth. It was really fun to enjoy family. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of pictures to share since I brought the wrong charger and the camera ran out of battery.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Here Comes Santa Claus (HELP!!!)

Santa thought it might go better if I sat on his lap with Levi. It didn't.

Christmas Pageant

We enjoyed the children's pageant at Leavenworth Christian Church this evening. Levi loved watching the kids and the props that Mom D created were really impressive. Thanks again for dinner!

Pictures from the Week

Ruby worked hard pushing Levi around on his riding toy. He loved it.
Here's Levi in his favorite sleeping position. I don't know why he considers this comfortable!

This apple made me laugh. It had little nibble marks all over it. Levi has figured out how to actually take a bite.

Levi smiling while his Grandpa tries to get an updated wallpaper picture for his phone. It's hard to do since he's in perpetual motion

He had a pretty good time with his hat. He's getting closer to actually being able to get it to stay on his head.
Saturday, Luke and Dad D. were working on getting the bathroom tiled. Levi so wanted to be up there with them. As you can see in the picture below, he stood at the bottom of the stairs calling up to them. He was in hopes that Grandpa would come and get him and take him upstairs to where all the fun was.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I am a poor boy, too...

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the Christmas carols. I'm pretty much a purist as far as stylization is concerned and get cranky about things when artists vary too far from the traditional take on the classics. The straightforward playing of the carols is how I like it.

In my opinion, one of the best is 'The Little Drummer Boy'. I recently went looking for my favorite version. I didn't know exactly who sang it, I only knew it was a choir and I knew it was an old recording. If you type 'Little Drummer Boy' into itunes, 150 different songs are returned to you in the blink of an eye. The results span many genres and range from the good (Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney), the bad (Rosie O'Donnel with Lauryn Hill, the Jackson 5), the ugly (New Kids on the Block, Kenny G), and the strange (the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Klezmonauts).

Happily I did find what I was looking for. It's a version sung by the Harry Simeone Chorale recorded in 1959. Somehow with this version the 'rum-pa-pum-pum's don't get distracting and the message hits home for me every single time I hear it. In the second verse when they sing, "I have no gift to bring that's fit to give our King" I start to get a lump in my throat. Then I actually get tears in my eyes when they sing, "I played my best for him, then He smiled at me, me and my drum".

p.s. You can see/hear the version I'm talking about here. You should have heard me try to sing this for Lucas. It sounded a little like "Alvin and the Chipmunks' Sing a Christmas Opera"

Monday, December 01, 2008

This pretty much sums up their relationship at the moment:

I love this picture that Mom just sent. She took while they were out here for Levi's birthday.

Holiday Weekend

Here Levi is carrying around his advent present that he unwrapped this morning from Gran and Grandpa. He doesn't understand that the bucket contains bath toys and is just having fun walking around with it.

Luke on Thanksgiving, ready for turkey.

Reading with GG on Thanksgiving.

Playing with Aunt Aundrea in her yard.

The soccer ball comes up to his knees.

Levi is working on figuring out how to get onto his riding toy by himself. He finds it easiest to ride it backwards.

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We really enjoyed all of the long holiday weekend and were blessed to have great visits with family.