Handsome Cason on Christmas Eve, eagerly awaiting Santa!
Abram, my cutiepie started to get the hang of Santa and Christmas this year!
It is a tradition to have Christmas Eve as a big family, we all exchange gifts with extended family and have a huge Christmas feast. Uncle Scott is helping the kids open their presents. Cason looked back on this picture later and said, "Uncle Scott was so nice to me." It was cute.
Santa was in the area and stopped by to give a couple of gifts to the children, this is them looking at him.
Dear Family and Friends, It's that time of year again. I hate to miss out on sending snail mail Christmas cards the traditional way but November was way too busy to get ahead with those type of projects and here I am right before Christmas just beginning to think of it again. This year has been a great one. We are so blessed! In May Luder began working at Hirschler Fleischer. He enjoys his new job and is surrounded by great people. It has been a good change for our family. May was a big month, Luder and I took a 5 day trip to Boston for his 30th birthday where we saw the Red Sox and toured. We had a great time together! Mom turned 50 and we had a party in Harrisonburg for her, it was great to be with her side of the family! We also had our summer vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC for a week with the kids. We saw all kinds of family and really enjoyed the sun and water. The kids are already asking to go back. This summer it seemed like we had something to do almost every weekend. We went to Lake Anna, visited the grandparents, I went on an overnight get away with Carol to VA Beach (it was so needed and a blast) we went swimming whenever we could and Cason took his first swimming lessons at Burkwood. The fall started off with a Milton family reunion at Patti and Frederick's house and a pumpkin patch visit. My girlfriends literally kidnapped me for my birthday and we spent the night out at my favorite restaurant and shopping, I am so grateful for friends that make me feel special. October and November were really the busiest. I took a cruise with my family, incredible! We got ready for Halloween, it is a really big deal when you have preschool aged kids. We had the boys birthday party in November at Chuck E. Cheese and my Dad turned 50. We traveled to Southern Pines, NC for Thanksgiving and then had a surprise party for Dad near Greenville, SC. December rolled in so fast, I can't believe it is almost Christmas! A little about each member of the family: Luder is still working hard at his career. He is trying to balance his family responsibilities, work and church. He is the Young Men's president for our congregation. He does a great job at everything he does and is especially an exceptional father. I am enjoying the "toddler world" where you fight for toys, throw food and embarrass your parents at least once a week. A since of humor makes it so much more fun. I laugh at my life and constantly think, "Wow, if you would have told me I would be doing this 10 years ago, I would have laughed at you." I love these little children, I just look at them and thank our Father in Heaven that they are healthy and beautiful. They snuggle with me and tell me they love me. Being a stay at home mother is overwhelming sometimes but I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to put my whole life into my family. 2007 has been a year for me to learn more about myself. I have been reading, traveling, home improving and volunteering at church in the Young Women program. I have also started my own wellness business with Luder's support. I am excited about helping people get healthier. Cason has been going to school three days a week in the morning. He still LOVES trains. He has a fish and a dog named Charlotte (who is really my parents dog but it is working for me so far). For the most part he adores his brother and is very helpful. He melts my heart with his sweet compliments to me and he has slowly started to read over the past couple of months. His preschool teachers say he is going to be a President. He is pretty good at persuasion so we will see. Abram is a sweet, funny, chubby little man. He loves to play outside, to be read to and he learns very quickly. He sings his ABC's, knows the sounds of the letters for the most part and can count pretty high. He loves backhoe loaders "bak ho-woders" and anything construction related. He makes me seriously laugh uncontrollably sometimes. We have had a great year together. I am so grateful for all the blessings that we have enjoyed as a family. Life has it's trials but we grow from them. I still think about losing Nan over a year ago and she helps me keep things in perspective. Life is short, I want to be present as much as possible. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Year. We hope that you will take time to enjoy the season and maybe even get a little sentimental if possible. Love, Luder, Ginny, Cason and Abram Milton
This is the Washington DC Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this is where Luder and I were married 6 years ago. The temple is breathtaking all year, I had never been at Christmas to see it decorated. It was amazing, there was a live Nativity Scene and I felt such a special feeling while I was there. Luder took this one of me and my little men. Abram saw the fountain behind us and said, "I get in it!!!" It was 30 degrees and I laughed.
Luder and I agreed that this is truly Abram. This is how he looks most of the time!
Cason had Santa visit today at his preschool. They have a Christmas party complete with Santa, a reindeer craft, Christmas Bingo and I don't know how this always happens to me but I get designated to bring in stories and read to the children at all the parties. It is probably because I get really into reading to them and I learned how to do it "correctly" in my parenting class-Thanks Dr. Rodriguez!
Part of the whole preschool party ritual is eating these really good treats, Abram has officially made himself a place at the big kids table. He is looking to enroll next year! I don't know what I will do with myself with a break like that!
So last night we had Christmas with the Milton Grandparents and Jonathan, Luder's brother. Granmoma got them a pretend chainsaw. So funny, Abram went around all night pretending to use it. I don't think he knew what he was doing. At one point he said he was doing "adjustment" which is what his other Grandpa "Bop" does. My Dad is a Chiropractor and adjusts the kids when we get together.
Dad is surprised, very surprised...we had a surprise 50th Birthday Party for him at his sister, Leslie's house near his birthplace in South Carolina. We were able to have lots of his family and friends from that area be a part of the celebration. Mom worked hard to make it a success. It was a fun time! This is my Dad's sister Leslie. She is like a sister to me and family memebers think we look and act a lot alike. It is almost scary sometimes! These two are inseparable when they are together. Cousins: Cason and Ethan. This is my Grandma Mary, my Dad's Mom. Can you believe she is 72? I can't, I hope I look this good when I am her age!
At Cason's school they have a Thanksgiving Feast where they dress up like little Native Americans and display their crafts while we have a big feast of delicious Thanksgiving food. I take the opportunity to make sweet potato casserole each time to relieve a craving that is slowly growing out of control by that point.
Cason's first portrait of Luder. I made Abram's favorite meal for his birthday dinner; pancakes, eggs and bacon. We followed that with a family birthday party complete with cupcakes.
We had the boys birthday at Chuck E. Cheese this year. Abram turned two on Nov 21st and Cason four on Nov 8th. As long as they will let me I will have their bday parties together. Everyone had a great time. They were so lucky to have lots of family (all four grandparents, I don't think that has ever happened to Luder or myself)cousins and lots of friends. They had tokens for the games, pizza, cake and their own personal Chuck E. Cheese show. It is the way to go for a parent!!!
Today is Cason's 4th bday. He was born November 8, 2003 at 4:23am. I can't believe he is already four! Time goes too fast. Today we gave him a little family party. He and I made a cake and he wanted "chicken legs" for dinner. My good little southern boy! I am so proud. He is a friend to me when I need someone, he challenges me in ways I never thought possible and he makes me laugh constantly. He is full of hugs and sweet compliments. On top of all that, this little man is smart! He amazes me with his complicated questions.
Happy Birthday Cason! Congratulations to me for being a new mom and making it this far!
First off, the kids were so sick. Cason missed school and they both had high fevers. Abram was in the hospital Sunday night. By Wednesday things weren't a lot better but they still wanted to go so we hitched up the "dragon wagon" and pulled them around. Kids are funny, Abram didn't want to trick or treat, he thought it was too fun to ride and pull the wagon in his costume. Whatever, I wasn't going to make him get candy. I just enjoyed how cute they looked. Luder came home a little early, he was so excited to carve our traditional pumpkin. The sad part was, no one got up from couch. My little dragons in front of our house. Cason and Granmoma, the kids were so lucky, Granmoma, Gramps and Grammy were all there. Grammy flew back from a convention and couldn't get home because she got sick so she got to see the kids on Halloween. Gramps stayed at the house to hand out candy. It was fun! I asked for a smile and he is trying so hard to make me happy. Poor kid. This was the most I had seen out of Abram in days. He was so happy.
In October my parents took my younger brother and me on a Bermuda cruise. It was so relaxing and wonderful. I didn't have to clean or take care of anyone but me! I slept, read, swam, took in sun and a lot of good food. Thanks Mom and Dad! Thanks to my wonderful husband, mother-in-law and Carol who held the fort down at home! This is one of my favorite spots on the trip. It was absolutely gorgeous. This was the ship, I was on my way to shop and hit the beach with my fam.
We took a cab tour of Bermuda as a family. This photo was taken on a 100 million dollar estate. The concrete/grass pattern in front of us was a map of Bermuda. The mansion overlooked this pool. The average home in Bermuda is worth $1.3 million. This was taken on an old military base. This bench had the most incredible view of the water - which had SO MANY different colors. I took this picture at a park we visited. The cab driver led us as we walked behind a parking lot and down a little trail with no one was around. Just when I thought he had lost his mind, this view appeared. I just stood there for a long time, I didn't want to leave but we were at the top of a cliff and it was dangerous. This was the fist thing I did on my cruise, I sat down in a lawn chair. This was the view as we headed down the Delaware River out of Philly towards Bermuda. Here we are pulling out of Philly to start the trip. It was cool to see the skyline and go under bridges. (I didn't know if we were going to be able to fit!)
On September 22, 2007, we had a Milton Family Reunion in Fredericksburg with Luder's parents, siblings and their families, (minus Becca/Uli and Shannon). Patti had organized a very special hay ride at a local farm just for our family. We had a great time.
Abram thought the hayride was a blast - he just threw his head back and laughed for about 3 minutes straight!
Then he started getting hot......
Just as the kids started melting they got to hit the watersports!
None of the kids could get up enough speed to get a good slide on the slip and slide so Gramps got pressed into duty. He must have been bent over slinging kids down that slide for about 45 minutes. I imagine he was sore later but the kids absolutely loved it. I thought a few of them were going to catch some air!