Our Boys!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas 2007 at the Liller Home

So we started out the day with the kids waking up at 6:45am! They just couldn't wait to check out the loot under the tree. . . and so the day began, the first of 3 stops.
You can't help but be excited by all the gifts for the kids, but we also need to make sure our kids know and remember the true meaning of Christmas. We didn't have a birthday cake this year, but we still sang "Happy Birthday Jesus" anyway and said a prayer thanking God for the most amazing gift of all - His son Jesus Christ!!!
Oh yeah, and one more heartbreak (for me anyway) was Evan asking if Santa was real the night before Christmas Eve . . . it's sad in a way because it's the end of that make-believe era when one of your children finally knows their parents are Santa. He was cool with the truth and everything, he said he suspected last year when "Santa's writing looked a lot like mom's". Maybe it's just more devastating for me as a parent. So now I just have to make sure he keeps the secret until Grant and Blake are old enough to understand . . . hmmmmm, that could be interesting!!!
An aerial view of the 3 boys tearing into their gifts.
Grant grabbing a heavy present (Magnetix).
Evan and Grant loved all the Pokemon books they received - they almost couldn't tear themselves away to open more . . . I said ALMOST! ;o)
Evan and his Pokemon Kyogre doll.
Blake loved his Dora backpack - I think he kept it on most of the day (and didn't really even bother looking at all the games that came inside it)!

This video is Blake dancing with his favorite toy, "Sing and Spin Pablo". Click the play button twice on the video to watch it.This video was taken as Grant was opening his most asked for present - a wooden mailbox! Check out his reaction by clicking twice on the play button on the video.

Next stop: The Elmlinger house

So after opening gifts at our house, it was off to Cincinnati for more! We went to my parent's house for the festivities. What made it even more special was that I got to spend Christmas day with my 2 siblings (whom I hardly ever see). My sister Melissa and her hubby Mark and my adorable nephew Kyle (2) were passing through on their move to Atlanta, GA. My brother Greg was also there (he's also moving back to San Francisco in January). So it was a great day with my family!!!

My mom had all the grandboys wear Santa hats as they handed out the adult's gifts - they got a big kick out of doing that!
Kyle and Blake had to get in on the action too, so they donned Santa hats as well.
Kyle loves Pablo almost as much as Blake, so they had a great time playing with Blake's Pablo's.
The biggest shock of all was The Wii and the Nintendo DS. See below for the video of Evan opening the Wii.
The annual Liller family Christmas photo - not the best, but hey - at least we didn't forget! ;o)

So I stood in line from 11pm til' 6am at Meijer a few weeks ago to get a Wii (which my parents bought for the family). Evan's reaction here is priceless - he totally never expected we'd get one, he knew how rare they were to find! Check it out by clicking twice on the play button on the video.

Final stop: The Liller house (Shawn's mom)

So our final stop of the night was at Shawn's mom and sister's house. We decided to stay the night there since my mom's house was already fully occupied with my siblings! A really cool surprise was seeing Shawn's sister's engagement ring. The wedding will be on March 19th, which is both Shawn and Stacy's dad and fiance David's dad's birthdays!!!

Evan with one of the things he really wanted - an Action Replay for his DS (don't ask me what it does, I'm still trying to figure out what the Wii does!!!)
Grant is a Deal Or No Deal fanatic - so he was thrilled to get the electronic game!
More Pablo/Backyardigan's stuff, what more could a 3 year old ask for?!?!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ice Skating Fun & the Mall

We had the opportunity this past Saturday to go to an ice skating party downtown at the Pan Am rink (Thanks Cheryl & Tim!!!). I didn't think the boys would actually put on ice skates, but they all tried it. Evan was the best tryer of the group, Grant lasted about 5 minutes before he was too afraid to go any further, and Blake was the most fascinated. It was a great time - and since we were downtown, we decided to take the boys into Circle City Mall (what we're we thinking - it was the Saturday before Christmas)!!! ;o) We had a great family day, I wish we could do more things like that together more often!

Also, we didn't send out Christmas cards this year - so here is just a little greeting from our family to yours. HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and may God bless you in this coming year!
Shawn, Beth, Evan, Grant and Blake Liller

They give the little ones cones to help them learn how to skate - it helps them keep their balance. Blake thought it was a blast!
Grant was fine - as long as you kept the cookies and hot chocolate flowing!
Evan was braver than I thought he would be. The last time he attempted to skate, he quit the first time he fell. This time, he kept trying and moved around pretty well. He especially liked this penalty box - he and a few friends he met liked playing in it.
So the boys had to check out Game Stop at the mall. I think we have our very own Guitar Hero in the making here!
Nothing like eating pretzels in a crowded mall - so we just picked a non-crowded spot on the floor outside Gameworks (we went in there to play some games, but got shoved out pretty quickly when the fire alarm went off).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Concert with Steve Quinn

What an awesome night! Steve's concert was AMAZING! It was such a privilege that he asked me to be a part of it, and I had a great time! It was videotaped and everything, so I can't wait to see the whole finished production. In the meantime, Steve recorded a brand new Christmas album that you can purchase at Capstone for $15 (and I got to record with him on that as well - 3 songs including the solo I did at the concert "Breath of Heaven"), so all in all, it's been quite an awesome experience. Steve also wants to record a Valentine's Day album with me of love songs, so stay tuned for that!!!

Steve and I before the concert.
I agree Steve, it IS the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!
The stage setting was so cool - the tech and video teams did a fantastic job!
Steve and I singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside".
Steve and I "Walking In A Winter Wonderland".

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Busy Week

It's been a busy week with Thanksgiving, Birthdays and Babysitting - but it was a fun one!

These were the roses my hubby gave me on my birthday Monday - I waited until today to take the picture though, they are just gorgeous in full bloom! He would've gone broke if he had bought one for each year of my age though! LOL!
We watched Emily and Jake Poe the other day so Shannon could get some Christmas shopping done (you go girl!). Grant loves babies, so he got to hold Emily as the others looked on.
And of course he wanted a picture of just him and Emily.
We spent Thanksgiving at my parent's house in Cincinnati. The night before, all the kids wanted in on the action of breaking up all the bread for the stuffing - you know, eat a piece, put on in the pan...
Grandma Dear wasn't happy at all to be "breaking bread" with her boys!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


So I'll just preface Blake's birthday today by stating he was my most difficult pregnancy. A little synopsis: Bedrest forever when he tried to come WAY TOO early (at 24 weeks); Magnesium Sulfate (which was HORRIBLE) combined with a week's hospital stay until they stopped my contractions and sent me home - doomed to the couch forever; a PIC line for collapsed veins - which I got to keep for a few weeks when I went home, yep - that was fun too.

Anyway, my friends and I were talking about it earlier this week - and at their request, I give you these first lovely pics! But it just goes to show how worth it it was! Read on for the rest of the story...

I really hate this picture, but a growing belly really is miraculous. We took this pic before going to the hospital to be induced - yes, induced. First he wanted to come early, then decided he was quite comfortable. Since I wasn't so stable, they had to get him out at 38 weeks.
A little over 9 1/2 lbs. - not a bad size for a 38 weeker!!! hehehe!
Blake's very first kiss from his mama!
"Ummmm, this NICU place isn't so cool - can I go back and see my mom soon?"
Some of my battle wounds from delivery, guess they should've left that PIC line in longer after all!
Blake's Birth Announcement

Fast forward 3 years later...

Time to help mom make my cake...

and eat it too!!!
Mom's not a great baker, but it sure was fun helping her make my Dora cake. "Yep, I love Dora - don't make fun of me for it just because I'm a boy though!"
Blake takes the cake - and the presents too!
My brothers loved helping me open my presents.
Cool presents for all to enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lake Rudolph Halloweekend 2007

So I'll just apologize now for the massive amounts of pictures I've added to this post - but it was hard to sort through 156 pictures and just pick out 4 or 5!!! Just call this my equivalent to scrapbooking!

We've made this a yearly weekend trip and it just gets better and better each year we go! We met up went with our best friends from Cincinnati, the Cassidy's - Kevin, Linda, Alexis, Taylor and Megan, Friday morning about 60 miles from the campground, had lunch, then went to set up our cabins and campsite. We also took along our neighbors across the street, the Rock's - Mike, Jody, Amanda and Ben. If you like Halloween and/or Trick or Treating, you've GOT to take your kids down to Holiday World's campground and check this out - it's something we look forward to every year and it's worth every penny!!!

We finally broke down and splurged on the family cabins this year (we used to rent the RV's) - now we're really spoiled . . . and hooked! We've already reserved our cabins for next year!!!
Daddy, Evan and Grant - riding bikes and playing football!
Grant, Kevin, Blake and Alexis hangin' in the woods.
So Evan is way too young to know what the Bates Motel is, but he thought it was a cool thing to hang outside of our cabin. It's one of the few "decorations" we have left from our wild Halloween Party days.
Evan and Blake, chillin' on the couch inside the cabin. It's amazing that my kids never missed having a TV or XBox the entire weekend!!! It gives me hope that they really CAN live without it!
Blake loved the 3 twin mattresses up in the loft - he can't wait until he's old enough to sleep up there with Evan and Grant next year!
The Urban Assault Team - Another Evan (whose family was on the other side of our cabin), Evan, Grant and Ben
Daddy and Kevin playing football with Blake - he's actually quite good!
This was hilarious - Evan gave his plastic knife to Megan, and she kept trying to "stab" him with it, so he pretended to look scared so I'd take a picture of it!
Grant LOVES babies, so he loved every opportunity he got to hold Megan.

Blake and Taylor jumping in the "Monster House" during the carnival on Saturday.
Blake, Grant, & I getting ready to make some sand figurines (fish of course).
Blake loved trying to pour the sand into the funnel on top of his fish, and Grant was a true pro with a little bit of help from Amanda!
Blake, Grant and Taylor fishing for prizes.
Blake actually liked the clown - Grant wasn't so sure, but he eventually got a picture with him too.

Grant picking out a pumpkin to decorate.
Evan picked out a turtle figurine to fill with colored sand.
Everyone costumed up and ready to get "the booty" (candy) as they called it.
Another great feature at Lake Rudolph is the golf carts you can rent. Makes travelling around the campground so much easier - cuz' it's a pretty big place. This is me with the girls (cuz' I have to live vicariously through Linda with her 3 girls, and she through me with my 3 boys) and Blake couldn't stand it, so he wanted to be in the picture too.
Blake getting some candy from Amanda.

Evan and Grant going for more "treats".
The campsite decorations were unbelievable this year. Grant thought this one was cool, cuz' you had to reach into this slimy thing to get your "treat".
I think I'm going to be in trouble when my boys start driving!!!
Shawn and Kevin hangin' by the fire - and you should've seen the blaze these boys put together - good thing Smoky the Bear wasn't around or they would've been arrested for almost burning the entire place down!!!
Linda and I on the last night there! Love and miss ya already girlfriend!!!