In the Land of High Speed Internet Again!!

Hey everyone. Major news for those of you we haven't talked to already. We are back in Phoenix for awhile. David's boss laid him off last week due to the decline in work over the winter. We knew that might be a possibility. David wanted to come to Phoenix to work temporarily but we weren't too crazy about the family being separated. Then his parents called and asked for the whole family to come and they would put us up. Thanks Mom and Dad! So here we are in sunny, warm Phoenix for 1-2 months. I look forward to seeing all my old friends again while here. We already saw many of them at church this morning and evening.

Now on to the photos. These are not in any order necessarily, so I will just narrate as I go. We are starting with Christmas morning photos. Here are the girls just getting up and finding their presents from Santa. Trinity was absolutely delighted that Santa had eaten the cookies and drank the milk she left out for him.

This is the girls opening their stockings.

Trinity is beaming because Santa brought her a tool box full of tools. That is her Craftsman work goggles hanging around her neck. One day I had the tool box out to get a screwdriver, and she wanted to pull everything out. I told her they were tools, not toys, and she couldn't play with them. She sighed and said, "I wish I had my own tools." Ding, ding, ding, ding...I now knew what the special gift would be this year from Santa. :) I told her she would just have to ask Santa for some. We scored big time on finding a great deal too. Once again I hit the trusty craigslist and we got a Craftsman work table, toy power tools, and the toolbox stuffed with tools for $30. The work table, power tools, and some assorted nuts, bolts, and planks will be her birthday present. (which is coming up this Saturday, the 19th - 3 years old, can you believe it?!) She will have to wait on those gifts though - we weren't about to try and haul them down here in the van. It was a looooong 27 hour drive as it was with two little kids.

Admiring the pooh and eeyore necklaces that came with books for her and Angelina.

more presents...

Here they are opening their gifts from Uncle Larry and Jiah. Trinity got a baby jaguar and Angelina got a chimpanzee. They are battery powered and drink from a bottle, burp, sleep, clap hands, etc. Very fun!

tearing into the wrapping...
Angelina was a little stand-offish, but happy to see her new friend.

Angelina got a Mr. Potato head from Santa. Here is Trinity very seriously working on him with her new tools. She would use various plyers and wrenches to put in and remove the pieces.

Here was the first day I braved letting Angelina near crayons. (she still very much wants to put things in her mouth and I have to keep on her not to eat them!) Trinity took time away from her own artwork to help her sister figure out the whole coloring concept.

working away...

Cousin Jiah with a little holiday cheer. :) This cracked me up. I asked Trinity to smile and this was the face I got!

This was shot out the kitchen window. The men took the kids outside to play on the trampoline. Here is Jiah in mid jump with his dad looking on.

Here Trinity and Jiah were playing chase.

Trinity getting up the nerve to run past Jiah.

This was early January. David loves taking the girls down the hill on the sled. He starts up by the back door to the garage and ends up down by the barn.

Another Christmas holding Angelina.

Have I mentioned that Uncle Larry and Angelina just love each other to pieces? If you didn't know, you could tell just looking at their pictures together. Angelina had fallen asleep in Larry's lap here. She did that quite frequently and Larry was thrilled for the opportunity. Angelina is actually getting into the separation anxiety phase - much later than Trinity. I thought we had actually lucked out and missed it. She still won't let Grandma, Grandpa, or Uncle Fred hold her and we have been here for 4 days now. But she immediately went to Uncle Larry and when she was upset, he was the one she sought out over mom and dad. They definitely have a connection.

Happy girl with her favorite Uncle.
I call this the "aw shucks" photo. That's what she looks like she is saying. :)

Here are Trinity and Jiah with their gumdrop wreaths that we made one afternoon. We also made Graham Cracker houses and I took pictures, but they must still be on the other computer. I will post them when I find them, after we are back in Iowa. I wish I had thought to get pictures of the kids with their paintings that they made. I will do Trinity's at least, when we are home.

Angelina is such a smoochy baby. Here she is planting one on her all too willing sister. They are really affectionate with one another. (when they aren't fighting over a toy!!)

Yogurt baby! We had just put our decorated Santa sugar cookies in the oven and decided to have a snack. Feeling generous with the holiday spirit, I decided to just let Angelina feed herself the yogurt. She still had red sprinkles on her tray from decorating cookies, so that found its way on her face too. My sugar sprinkled baby. :)

Cousin Jiah gets in on the pictures with the yogurt queen.

Trinity and Jiah had a great time playing together. At first Trinity was a little scared of the high energy action packed play adventures he wanted to have, but I suggested that she would probably be fine with playing Dora and Diego. That was all it took - they were off chasing down the Bobo brothers and keeping Swiper from swiping things. We had a good time with Jiah and she was sorry to see him leave. I enjoyed having Larry around during the day while David had to work - another adult! Hooray! We were sorry to see them both leave.

So, there is the update. We are missing our quiet, country retreat, but enjoying the beautiful weather here in Phoenix. Please keep David's job situation in prayer. We would really like to find him a job with a company that would be steady work with benefits. Thanks so much.