Monday, December 24, 2007

Gingerbread Houses

Noah and Katy actually made these "Gingerbread Houses" with graham crackers, frosting, and candy! On Tuesday we made these, then during the week we read The Gingerbread Man and watched The Gingerbread Baby(based on Jan Brett's book). Then on Friday they made gingerbread cookies at Mimi and Papa's house! The cookies were delicious! Yum!

Katy's Girlfriends!

We are posting this late since we wanted to get permission from all the parents. These are Katy's girlfriends at her birthday party in November! Aren't they beautiful?!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Christmas Newsletter

Christmas 2007

Dear Ones,
We have a lot to praise the Lord for this year. We decided to tell about each family member in their favorite color!

VJ, at 18 months, is our precious little mischief maker! After 4 months of physical therapy to loosen up tight heel cords and strengthen trunk muscles, he is now walking, running, dancing, climbing and making up for lost time! It’s been hard keeping everything toddler proof! Some of his favorite activities are: looking in the garbage, opening the dishwasher and pulling out dirty dishes, pushing buttons on the computer and/or printer, walking around the table with his hands reaching for anything, pulling items out of the fridge door whenever someone opens it, and sneaking into Noah’s room to play. He loves swinging, popsicles, baths, snuggling, exploring, and playing with Katy and Noah. His favorite word is “Dada”. He is making lots of sounds, but not many words, so we have started teaching him sign language using “Signing Times” DVD, to keep his frustration down. So far, he signs “milk”, “more”, and “sleepy”. Thursday mornings he goes to pre-school at a local Baptist church. It’s amazing how much we can get done, at home, during that time! Next year he’ll go twice a week. J We love VJ.

Noah is our 7yo Jedi Knight! He continues to love all things Star Wars and is serious about training VJ to be a Jedi. (VJ seems to enjoy the light saber lessons.) Noah can also hum the Star Wars music with out missing a beat! Noah tested out of Speech Therapy this year and has decided to take Karate to aide in his Jedi training. He has worked hard and now has an orange belt with a black stripe. When he is not doing his first grade school work or listening to me read a Magic Tree House book, he loves to play outside. We often hear him asking Katy, “Do you want to play pirates or pilgrims?” or “Do you want to play cowboys or Ingalls?” Since their interests are so different, he has to bargain with Katy, “I’ll square dance with you if you wrestle with me!” Noah usually has either a gun and holster or a light saber hanging from his waist. After purchasing him two new pairs of sweat pants, he informed me he can only wear pants with belt loops! He needs something to hang his weapons from! In August Noah had a Pirate birthday party, and in October he dressed as Mace Windu for our fall festival. Noah is full of action!

Katy, at 9, is still our little lady. She loves the dresses, music, books, and movies of the pilgrims, colonial times, and pioneers. She had an “Annie Oakley” birthday party in November. She dressed up in a buckskin dress with cowboy hat, and, of course, a gun. She was thrilled to receive a colonial style dress and mop cap for herself and her doll. Katy is an avid reader and her current favorites are the “All of a Kind Family” series and even a few of the Junie B. Jones series. Katy is in her 3rd year of ballet and has just started taking guitar this year. She is quickly progressing and loves to play western songs, hymns, and Christmas music. Katy also enjoys watching VJ. She has already read “The Babysitter’s Handbook” and often tries to give mom pointers! Katy is doing well with her school work this year but has needed Dad to help with all the new math concepts (fractions, decimals, and negative numbers). Her favorite subject has been the nature study and bird unit in her “Wonders of God’s World” science book.

Chris continues to stay busy at home. Home schooling both Katy and Noah with a toddler running around has been challenging! She thinks about returning to nursing, but for now she is too busy at home! Chris’ brother, Tyrone, and his wife of one year, Stephanie, are joining the African Mercy, a hospital ship in January, for at least one year. Tyrone will be Chief Chef and Stephanie will be working in the ICU. We look forward to spending time with them at Christmas before they head for West Africa. Chris also occasionally posts on our new family blog. Check it out at We try to post pictures of the kids frequently.

Raf has had a busy year at work as a designer for the liquid hydrogen fuel tank on NASA’s new manned launch vehicle, the Ares I. It has taken him quite some effort to coordinate the activities of folks in all sorts of disciplines, including materials, stress analysis, thermal analysis, manufacturing, testing, safety, avionics, propulsion, and designers of other components of the vehicle (such as the instrument unit near the top of the vehicle and the bulkhead that keeps the hydrogen and oxygen from mixing before they’re supposed to)! Raf has also been busy at home on his days off helping the kids with schoolwork and doing yard work. He really enjoyed the vacation we took at the beach in Gulf Shores, AL in September!

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year! This verse from the Scriptures has meant a lot to us:

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

May the Lord richly bless all of you in this coming year!


Raf, Chris, Katy, Noah, and VJ Ahmed

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bye, Bye Bottle! (A VJ update)

VJ has given up his bedtime bottle. He hasn't really been taking much of it for a couple of weeks now, but I so love to hold him and feed him that way. I've procrastenated, but it's time! Last night I threw away all the bottles, nipples, covers, etc., except one that I placed way up high out of reach, "just in case". He won't be needing it though...he's moved on. He loves drinking out of the sippie cups with soft straws in them.

We stopped physical therapy in November, and honestly, to see him now, you'd never know he needed therapy. He is doing so good! He is walking, dancing, and sometimes running.

Recently we also started teaching VJ a little sign language. We bought the first two "Signing Times" baby videos. He doesn't really watch the videos (although they are cutesy). We watch them and start signing to him. He can "sign" milk, and tired/sleepy, and more(as in more food). Sometimes he is so cute. After preschool on Thursday we took Noah to karate. VJ was in the back of the van and kept doing the sign for "sleepy". Poor thing! He finally got his nap after Noah's class.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Noah and Aunt Stephanie

Beauty and the Beast, aka Katy and Uncle T-bone

VJ Cleaning Up His Act - Scrub a Dub Dub, VJ's in the Tub

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

We have so much to thank the Lord for! We have had an awesome holiday weekend with family and new friends!

Thursday we drove to Nana's and Mr. Robert's house for the usual Thanksgiving feast. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Robert's daughter, son-in-law, and their two boys for the first time. Katy and Noah really had a fun time with their boys showing each other karate moves, turning out the basement lights to "hunt" for Cleo with flashlights, and just playing! We had a little extra time with Nana by spending the night and returning home the next day.

While we were gone, my brother and his wife arrived at our house. Friday night Katy and Noah spent the night with Mimi and Papa, while the rest of us picked up dinner, caught up, and watched The Ultimate Gift. It was one of the best movies we have seen in a long time...Please watch it if you can.

This afternoon Mimi and Papa brought K & N back. They have had a fun time with T-Bone and Stephanie this evening. They will be leaving for Africa in January to work on the African Mercy. We are trying to spend as much time as possible with them. They'll be gone for at least a year.

We are so blessed by our family!

Thanksgiving Psalm

Psalm 100
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name, for the Lord is good.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The "key" to a bath!

So, I am running Noah's bath water tonight and he says, "Do you know what the key is?" I say, "What key?" He says, "The key to a bath!" I say, "What is the key to a bath?" Noah: "The colder the water, the shorter the bath. The hotter the water, the longer the bath!" Ha, ha! How true! Sometimes he has such a way with words!

We are so proud of Noah! He passed his karate test for the orange striped belt last Monday! He has really been practicing hard.

Katy enjoyed her 9th birthday on Saturday! It's hard to believe she's 9! She is such a blessing to our family! She is so thoughtful, helpful, caring, and tender-hearted! Nana, Mimi & Papa, and 4 girlfriends were all able to come help her celebrate with cake and ice cream, games, and gifts! The Annie Oakley figurine we ordered to put on the cake wouldn't stand up, so I was forced to ram her legs down into the cake. Oh, well, she did have boots on!

VJ is finally over his cold and feeling frisky! Raf was off work today and able to see a little of how my day's are. VJ was into everything: climbing up on chairs and getting whatever is on the end table, standing in the kids rocker and rocking so hard that it bangs against the wall, opening the dishwasher and pulling dirty utensils out, walking around the kitchen table with one hand feeling for anything he can reach, trying to nibble on the computer cord, and playing with the screen in front of the fireplace. Yea, he's getting around real good these days. I think tomorrow may be our last physical therapy session. :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Katy dressed up as Annie Oakley for her 9th birthday party. Happy Birthday, Katy!

Noah just passed the test for Orange Stripe Belt in karate this past week!