Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009...A Big Year....

Wow!  It's already New Year's Eve!  Can 2009 almost be over? 
As I sit here and try to recap the whole year, I am speechless and that lump in my throat is starting to form.  Ok..yeah...the tears are coming! 

There have been so many emotions in 2009.  It has been a year of joy.  A year of love.  A year of new adventures.  A year of blessings.  And most importantly, a year of faith. 

May the Lord bless you in 2010!

Our Christmas Card and Letter

Dear Family, Friends, Distinguished Individuals, and Mr. President,
I have heard all of my life, “My how quick life passes you by,” but never have I realized how fast it actually passes, until I jumped on the rollercoaster this past year! As I sit down to write our first ever Christmas letter, I am finding it difficult to remember what has happened this past year. I know we have experienced something worth writing to you about. It just seems like we are the same old Bandermanns:

Sarah and I are still married - not ‘still’ in a bad way, but in an awesome and positive, ‘five years of marital bliss’ way.

We still live in the same house - we purchased my grandparents house in March, 2007 in Gordonville, MO.

We both still work at the same jobs - Sarah is a radiology technologist at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape while Jason is in Marketing for the large and progressive Saint Francis Medical Center where medicine is practiced to ‘the highest power’. We love the competition this brings to our house-can’t you tell!

We have the same two dogs - Cy, our yellow lab, will be three this year; Alleigh, our chocolate lab, just turned two this past summer.

Sarah continues to enjoy making our home look awesome - she is an HGTV freak and has implemented many great ideas into our house, including using slave labor (Jason, Barry, Rick, Ryan, Marilyn, Pam and both Kyles) to finish our basement.

I continue to enjoy running and hunting - I completed two half-marathons and one marathon in 2009 and killed my first deer with my bow in Illinois.

As you can see, our lives are consistent with years past but it still feels like so much has happened this past year. WAIT A MINUTE, a cry from the back bedroom just reminded me! We did undergo one major change this year-we were blessed on the 4th of July with a beautiful, healthy baby girl who we affectionately named Ansley Harper. If you know me at all, you know I couldn’t wait to finish the above section so I could start talking about my baby girl. Sarah and I are absolutely amazed at the joy Ansley has brought into our lives. Many of you are aware we prayed for a baby for over 18 months and it was worth the wait! She will be 6 months soon and is the most beautiful baby you have ever seen. Seriously, we are extremely thankful to our Heavenly Father for the trust He has placed in us to care for Ansley. It is not something we take lightly and ask you all to continually pray for us as we raise her according to His will. We will be looking to you, our family and friends, for guidance and encouragement as we undergo this daunting, yet exciting adventure of parenthood!

As we celebrate this Christmas season, I am reminded of one more thing remaining constant in our lives-the One who this season is all about, Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin birth in a lowly manger and walked this earth as a perfect man only to endure a humiliating and painful death on the cross. What a reason to celebrate! Not simply because of the miraculous events surrounding His life, but also because of the results of those miraculous events-salvation by grace alone!!! Sarah and I hope you have found Him and that you take the time this season to celebrate what He has done in your life. I know we certainly will as we enjoy our first Christmas with the newest member of our family.

Merry Christmas and Much Love,

The Bandermanns

A Very Merry Christmas!

Ahhh....the sight of snow falling on a crisp Christmas morning, the husband making pluckit cake, and a cute little button-nosed baby in your lap.  What more can you ask for?  Maybe a maid to clean up the tornado that blew through our house and put everything back where it belongs and find space for the new :).  Now, that would be nice!

Ansley's first Christmas was amazing!  Jason and I decided to get her 3 gifts (a book, an ornament, and a toy).  We knew she wouldn't remember this Christmas, so each gift had significance.  The ornament we made together as a family, the book is The First Christmas story, and she also got a see-n-say farm animal toy (right now her favorite thing is animal noises).  The morning couldn't have been more perfect!  We lounged around in our pjs until it was time to head out to all our family Christmas parties.

At the family parties Ansley scored big!  She got so many cute things!  There are too many to mention, but she raked in a lot of fun toys, stuffed animals, books, clothes, an activity table, adorable coats, and money.  Let's just say...she did good!  Overall, Christmas was a blast!  There were a few stressful moments trying to get to and from places, but I think that is inevitable.  We enjoyed our first Christmas as a new family and look forward to many more!       
Ansley's first bite of rice cereal

Not so sure...

Can't stop looking at Aunt Laura

Playing with Ansley's toes

She got Noah's ark Little People

Kyle and Laura got their swing!

Our family picture

So cute

The pluckit cake that almost caught our kitchen on fire :)

Making animal noises with dad

Helping me unwrap presents

Aunt Soni got this adorable coat for Ansley

Waddy and Anzie

 G Aunts who spoil Ansley

GG loves Ansley

Dani and Kenzie with Ansley


Family picture at the cabin

Mimi and BB

*More pics to come!  I still have the Bandermann side to get in on all the Christmas fun!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Skaters Reunite!

Wow...what a cheesy title.  My core skating girls/really good friends had an appetizer party for the annual get together.  We like to see everyone as often as possible, but it's so hard considering we are spread out all over Missouri and Illinois.  Not to mention, we have busy lives!  So, because everyone was coming home for Christmas, we made a point to rally.  I'm so glad we did!  Ashley and Gwen had not yet met little Ansley, so of course, she got all kinds of loving and gifts!  Yay!  Have I mentioned how much I love these girls?!  There will always be an unexplainable bond between us...we have skated so many years together and during those years made some life-long memories.  I couldn't begin to tell you all the stories we've laughed about and most of them are only funny to us!  Our husbands just roll their eyes and usually leave the room...we are a force to be reckoned with!  By the end of the evening, we had gotten so loud we woke Ansley up!  It was so fun to reconnect!
Ansley opening her present from Kristen

Gwen, Kristen, Me, Ansley, Lindsay, and Ashley

BB's Birthday!!!

December 22nd was my dad's birthday, so we loaded up the car and headed to the big MH.  He's pretty easy to please...all he wanted was pizza and all of us at home.  Well, that's what he got! We celebrated with a cookie cake and family time.  I love you, dad!  Thanks for everything you do!  You are an amazing father to us and BB to little Ansley!

Ansley's First Ornament

Last week, I thought it would be special if I could make Ansley's first ornament, so I went to Hobby Lobby to gather my supplies and was all ready to get to it, when Jason suggested we go to Creative Ewe to make one as a family.  Of course, I said yeah!  So, Tuesday we decided we would have a little afternoon lunch at El Terero's (yum) and stop at the pottery place here in town.
Our first highchair experience

Not so sure at first...

Then...the paint tickled her little hand :)

There were lots of distractions, but we still got her hand on the ornament


Griswold Family Christmas

Well...kind of.  We all celebrated Jimmy's birthday last Friday with a bad sweater party.  However, if you know my husband, you know he likes to step it up a knotch.  And this occasion was not going to be any different!  While most of us got in a really ugly sweater, Jason went as cousin Eddie from the Griswold's Christmas Vacation movie.  To our suprise, others had the same idea!  We had Aunt Bethany, Clark, and Ellen in attendance, as well as, some other fun characters.  See for yourself!

 Fun times!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa...I'd like some rice cereal :)

We took Ansley Harper to see Santa last Friday and we're pretty sure she would have gone back to the North Pole with him.  She loved him!  There was no sign of fuss or aggravation at all...she simply smiled and cuddled with the skinny Santa (he had no round tummy :( ).  It was hilarious!  She must have thought he had some food under that suit.  Ha!  Speaking of food, Ansley will be getting her first taste of rice on Christmas Eve.  Merry Christmas Ansley!

I wish these pictures weren't as blurry, but it's the best we have!