Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Pajamas

Every Christmas Eve since I can remember, my parents would tell Emily and I that we could open "just one" present (we had a tradition of opening presents Christmas morning- so to us, this was a big deal). We always got so excited as we ripped open our own box. But excitement soon turned to disappointment when we saw what lay inside.....matching pajamas. Now, let me just say that although it is very amusing to parents to see your kids in matching pj's, it's not cool when you are 14 and your 8 year old little sister is matching you. But we eventually got over it- and actually started to look forward to what mom came up with each year.
Did I mention that she makes the pajamas?! That's right. Homemade matching pajamas...even better :)
As the years have gone on, mom has added to her project. When John and I were engaged, he spent his first Christmas with the Riolo family- and got his first pair of homemade pajamas. I don't have any pictures- but lets just say she wasn't quite sure how to sew pants for someone 6 foot 8. And the the following year, she tried to correct the mistake by making pajamas for someone 8 foot 8! Finally, 7 Christmas's later, she has perfected his size.
Anyway, now our kids are the beneficiaries of the pajama tradition. So here's this years' pj's....good job mom! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tiny Dancer

Well, it was exactly what we had anticipated...not as much dancing as it was standing around nervously lifting up her tutu :)
Bella had her first dance performance this morning, and call it first-time jitters or just stage fright- the poor thing was scared out of her mind. We got some great pictures, but the video is even funnier. Click on this link to see a photo album of the performance:
Nevertheless, I'm still so proud of her and I thought she looked gorgeous in her bright yellow costume. Maybe next time will be better! We love our little ballerina.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Boys.

"The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in Him".
Proverbs 23:24

For no reason in particular, I just had to share this picture of my two boys. It touches my heart and makes me smile when I look at it- ....I even wonder if God has it in His plans for Tyler to have a son of his own someday..... Thank you Lord for these two wonderful blessings in my life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Angel.

Here's a quick snapshot of my precious angel before our church's kids Christmas performance. The three year olds had to wear white since they were the angels....and angel she was indeed. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hectic Life

"Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans."
-John Lennon

I know I haven't posted a blog entry in forever...but I blame it on the busyness of our family's' everyday. But lately I have felt convicted to slow down and enjoy the little things that are zooming by around me.

Work, raising kids, keeping up with the house, bible studies, outings with friends, dinners out, date night with my husband, church activities, holiday parties, Christmas shopping....augh! The list goes on and on. Even as I sit here and write, I'm feeling guilty because the kids are napping, and there are at least 5 more productive things that I could be doing. But before I started writing this blog, I saw the picture posted above, and it made me pause and smile. It kind of represents how our family is going down our path...keeping busy...but to stop and pause for a quick kiss or to enjoy each other is what I look forward to the most. My kids may never remember how hard I worked to keep our house clean, meals prepared and everyone on schedule- but I hope they look back and remember that mom and dad always had time to love them......and maybe steal a quick kiss :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Family Snuggle Session

We recently had some family pictures taken, and a small sneak peek is up on Kimberley's blog! When we get our full CD with all the pictures, I will post them right away- but for now, enjoy a few snapshots of our little family! :)

Tyler John...forever my little boy.

I don't know how it happened, but an entire year has gone by since I had my little baby.
Tyler John Anderson officially turns 1 this evening, and our family is all the better because of him. I've come to realize after having my first child, that the years go by too with Tyler, my resolution has been to soak up every minute I have- because one day he'll go off to Kindergarden....then off to someday- another woman (sniff). I have such a limited time to teach him so much....but with a lot of prayer, I am confident that he will be an amazing man someday.
There is an old sign that hangs in the Neonatal ICU where I work, and sometimes it catches my eye and I stop and think about its meaning and how true it is for reads:
"The cleaning and housework can wait till tomorrow,
Because babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down dishes, and dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep."

One Year Ago.....

Ok, so I can't help but get a little mushy and emotional as I recall what happened to our family one year ago....
Most of you know, but one week before Tyler was born, we got a earth-shattering call from John's dermatologist telling us that the biopsy of a mole that John had removed had come back positive for malignant melanoma. Here I was- 9 months pregnant and getting nervous about the new baby...when I felt the earth just drop beneath my feet. What could happen to my precious husband? Would the cancer be in other places? Could it had spread to his lymph nodes? How could I have this baby when everything seems so uncertain??
But God is good. So good.
He provided us with a fantastic surgeon, who happened to be a friend of the family and strong Christian, and He held our hands as He helped us walk through a very dark week of tests, surgery and the agonizing few days of waiting for results. In the end, all of the melanoma was removed and the lymph nodes they had taken out were clear and free of any cancer. We cried, laughed and celebrated the night we got the results....and little did we know that our precious baby boy would be arriving the very next day.
That was a year ago yesterday- and I thank God every day for getting us through that terrible time- and for the most amazing husband that I appreciate every day. He's the best father, husband and friend I could ever ask for...I love you so much John! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


"The King is enthralled by your beauty." -Psalm 45:11

My girlfriends and I are currently reading the book Captivating, by John & Stasi Eldridge, and I am completely taken aback by some of the powerful statements they make about the essence of being female. One passage in particular really made me smile in its reads:

"Remember twirling skirts? Most little girls go through a season where they will not wear anything if it does not twirl (and if it sparkles, so much better!). Dime store beads are priceless jewels; hand-me-down pumps are glass slippers. Once dressed, they dance around the house or preen in front of a mirror. Their young hearts intuitively want to know that they are lovely. Some will ask with words, "Am I lovely?" Others will simply ask with their eyes. verbal or not, whether wearing a shimmery dress or covered in mud, all little girls want to know."

I loved this passage because I remember twirling around the house in my prettiest dress-up dresses and pretending to go out on dates with my dad. Why is it that little girls long to be the princess of some great fairy tale? Because (as the author puts it)- "we desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are."

I snapped this picture of Bella as she twirled around her room, totally unaware that I was following her and watching her dance with joy. She is so beautiful to me- and even more beautiful to her Creator. I pray every day that Bella will see the true beauty that God has created inside of her.

To me, she is breathtakingly captivating.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen-...we have a walker!!

Well, we finally caught some walking on video, so I will try to post in as soon as John can help me download the video. Being the overly-proud mom that I am, I was so excited when Tyler took 13 consecutive steps the other day! (Yes, I counted- don't laugh). He even paused for a minute in between steps, and then just kept walking! Last night we saw him pull himself up on the coffee table, then let go and walk over to John all by himself! Yay for Tyler! He still knows that crawling gets him places faster, so sometimes he just gets frustrated with walking and goes back to crawling...but he just looks so darn cute when he walks! Just like a little man :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Our Little All-Star

Tyler is getting so big these days..... he turns one this month and I'm already sad that the days of holding and snuggling my little guy are almost gone. He still loves to snuggle with mom- but it never lasts as long as I want it to because then he'll see something fun to do, and off he goes! He can take 4 or 5 steps by himself, and he just recently learned to roll the basketball back and forth with us. Of course we take this to mean that he is destined for basketball stardom :) He has a little work to do to fill out that jersey he's wearing though....
There is something about having a son that really brings to life God's sacrifice for me. Allowing his Son to die for all humanity is completely unfathomable to me- and when I look at Tyler I just shudder to think of ever allowing anyone to hurt him. I am excited to watch Tyler grow to love the Lord and I am so proud to be his mom.
"This is my Son, whom I love; With him I am well pleased." Mathew 3:17

She's All Girl....

So John just left for work and took Bella to drop her off at preschool, and I start my usual routine of picking up the house, having a cup of coffee and cleaning up after breakfast. I really love my mornings when it's just me and Ty because we get to just hang out together when the house is all quiet...just me and my boy. Anyway, I had already made Bella's bed earlier in the morning- complete with her favorite doll sitting on top- Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty to those of you who do not know your Disney Princesses). But as I picked up her room, I noticed Bella had added her own special touch to her princess.....look closely......

Yes, Princess Aurora is wearing one of Bella's favorite "diamond" necklaces.

She must have put it on her sometime before she left. I just had to grab my camera and take a picture because this completely epitomizes my little girly and feminine....and she knows that every outfit isn't complete without the perfect accessory. I love our little princess!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"..and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."

Mathew 24:11

Enough said.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ugghh....Just One of Those Days....

I just need to vent about my day so far....someone please tell me I am not alone in having days like this! .....

1. The house is a disaster today. I'm trying to be more casual about my cleanliness lately- but today I actually saw a clump of hair and dust bunnies float across the floor. Yuck.

2. Tyler had a major blow-out in his pants and it managed to seep out of his diaper and onto the back of his tee shirt- which I did not notice when I went to pick him up! Double-yuck.

3. We have NO groceries in the house...I've been putting off grocery shopping because I hate it- but I seriously need to make a list today. Does anyone out there actually make a "meal-plan" when they shop? Kuddos to you because I'm trying it and it's already frustrating me.

4. We were late getting Bella to her cooking class....I don't know why, but I just couldn't get it together fast enough today.

5. Bella made Pumpkin Mousse in her cooking class today...which was actually quite delicious! But then she offered her cup full of mousse to Tyler when we were in the car (unbeknownst to me).....and when I looked back at him in the mirror, he had orange pumpkin mousse all over his face, clothes and brand new big-boy car seat.
*on a positive note: my car smells like Thanksgiving!

6. At home, both kids refused to eat the lunch I made them- so everyone is cranky and probably hungry.

7. My hair increases in size and frizz with stress- so today I look like Diana Ross.

But one thing that made me smile to myself.... when I went to check on Bella after she had fallen asleep for her nap, I found her in her bed with about 15 stuffed animals and dolls lying with her. She also had her jewelry box laying on her bed open...and every doll or animal was wearing a necklace. :)

Sigh. I don't know whether to laugh or collapse with exhaustion. Just one of those days!

PS- Stay tuned for a picture of Tyler's pumpkin disaster that I took with my cell phone.....
"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone; and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."
-John Quincy Adams 6th US President

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Little Homecoming King and Queen

For Halloween this year, Isabella was a spirited little cheerleader that was cheering on her quarterback little brother (John says he's a wide receiver- but whatever!). The two of them looked so adorable and they wore their costumes to our church fall festival as well as out trick-or-treating last night. Tyler wasn't too thrilled about the helmet- but he was a good sport about it.
Bella's preschool class had a costume party...the pictures are hilarious. Click on this link to see her photo album, and scroll down to the bottom to see the recent pictures:
Click on this link to see Tyler at the fall festival:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"My Rainbow Song"

I added a few songs to the blog that I enjoy and wanted to share..
But the most important song is "Somewhere over the Rainbow" , because it is the ABSOLUTE favorite song of my baby girl Isabella. She knows every word and she spins around the house dancing whenever I turn it on. John and I even hear her signing it over the monitor in her room after we've put her to bed. It's just one of those songs that will forever remind me of her childhood. Enjoy Bella! We love you!

This Just Makes Me Smile

It's just a small thing in life that I enjoy- but I really love that the kids sit next to each other in their booster seats at the table, and that we can all sit together as a family. Bella usually says a prayer for us, and then we can chat and enjoy our kids as we eat.

Sometimes Bella will tell us stories about her friends at preschool....and sometimes it cracks John and I up to hear about life through her eyes. Tyler usually sits happily and eats everything in sight...and we can usually catch Bella sneaking him food off her plate as well. Last night Tyler really loved having spaghetti, and I had to grab the camera so that I could always remember his sweet little face. He looks so content and so happy as he enjoys his dinner....

Like I said, it's just a small moment- but I wish I could hold on to them for a little longer!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prayer Time with Bella

Just a cute story that made me laugh today......

I was just putting Bella down for a nap a little while ago, and she asked me if I would stay in the room for a little while with her. She asks this every time because she will say or do anything to avoid having to go to sleep. I told her to ask Jesus if He would hang out in her room with her for a little while, so she closed her eyes and said,

"Hey Jesus, can you stay in my room for a little while...and remember when I fell down and hurt my knee? It's still not better- I think you forgot."
I tried so hard not to start cracking up. She scraped her knee the other night, and it still has a scab on it. We prayed for her knee the other night, but apparently she thought God had forgotten to make it all better. I just love these moments!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Happy (Potato) Family

For my first official post, I am happy to introduce our family! This is our family... according to Bella's creation :) Apparently, this is our family through her eyes....
Dad, Mom, Bella (notice that she gave herself the princess wand?), and obviously that's Tyler on the end. I guess potato heads make for a good self-reflection....oh, to be 3 years old!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ok, here we go.....


After much reluctance, I have succumbed to the world of blogging. With all our friends and family that live far from us- this is the best way to share stories and pictures of our life and family. We have a photo album site online that we update frequently, so we'll include a link to the gallery and let everyone know when we've posted new pictures. Yes- we are those parents that take waaaay to many pictures of their kids..but I've accepted it and proudly own it! Life with Bella and Ty is too precious for us to not try to document every memory that we can.....we are already learning that they grow fast and we will never look back and say, "man, I wish we didn't take all these pictures!"

So here we go....I'll try to be diligent about posting recent family news, funny little daily happenings around our house, or even recent prayer requests or answers to prayer. I feel better about using this blogsite rather than something like Facebook or MySpace (no offense to all of you that use those.....yes, I know there are a lot of you! Shame Shame :))

For now, you can see recent pictures of our family at

Until next time-

Joshua 24:15b

"But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."