Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Afternoon

One of Isaiah's Christmas gifts was a brand spankin' new sled.

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Christmas Morning 2007

Christmas morning for the Steeles was a bundle of excitement for young and old.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Bedtime Story Narrative

It's Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, everyone.

This is Micah writing tonight, if you're wondering.

I was granted the task of putting Isaiah to bed tonight. I didn't think much of it, until I lay down and realized that I had been given the chance to put the exclamation mark on Christmas bedtime-story season. I retrieved his toddler-bible from his night stand, and turned to the beginning of the toddler-new-testament, and read the story of Christ's birth in a way I hoped he could understand one more time. What a priviledge.

After the story was over, I closed the book, and looked at Isaiah. He smiled. I smiled back. Then, I explained in as basic terms I could what am amazing story this is. I told him that God loved us -- Mommy, Daddy, Isaiah, Naomi -- SO MUCH that he sent Jesus to be born in a manger, just like the story said. Then, I explained how, in the morning, he would wake up and open gifts Mommy and Daddy had gotten for him ONLY because God had given us such a gift as Jesus, and that the gift we've been given is the reason we love Jesus back. Then, I said, "Merry Christmas, Isaiah." He replied, in a way he never has before, "Merry Christmas, Daddy."

Now, I'm not an emotional or over-dramatic man, but I was shaken by that simple little conversation with my son in his bed. Isaiah is three years old. His concept of Jesus takes the form of what we've told him. He knows that Jesus was a gift, and that if we love Jesus, that he can live in his heart. One could say that he doesn't understand. But I also think that Isaiah's comprehension of God's love and perfection and sacrifice and grace is comparable to mine, since I'm not sure how well I can really understand it. At least I'm not sure how much it makes sense.

But I do believe it. There is no more dramatic story than the story of God, the creator of the universe and author of our lives, looking at mankind as the worst investment perhaps there ever was, then responding with the greatest investment one can imagine. In some ways, it's a complicated story, and one I continue to attempt to unpack. In other ways, it's simple. Thank God for that.

Friends, we find ourselves in an amazing story. We are so thankful for a season dedicated to one of its watershed events. Just like my prayer for Isaiah, I pray that we can all find some way to understand the dramatic depth of the words "Merry Christmas". IF WE DO, I believe that God's love and grace will become real to us in a way that will change our lives, if they haven't already.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jing Rock

This is Isaiah's favorite Christmas song, "Jing Rock," as he calls it. It puts him in the dancing mood.


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All dressed up...



Well we have another 6 inches of snow this morning on top of the other 400 million inches we already had. We were in our jammies knowing that there was no way we could get out today. Then the plow came by at 9:oo. Yay! We hurried to get ready for church excited to not be housebound again. We all hopped in the car and made it about 20 feet up our street and got stuck. Isaiah cheered and suggested that the neighbor could tow us out. We made it back into the drive but not into the garage. SO...here we are ready for church. We took the opportunity to take a family picture instead.

We miss you all in NC and wish we could be at Nana's today. Eat some dressing without celery and think of how much I love you all. I really do love you all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cookies


Isaiah made cookies and decorated them. He had such a fun time. He said the cookies were "tasty good". It was an exercise in self control for mom who did not like the flour everywhere. In the end it was great. We did it again today.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Time isn't slowing down





Our children . . . . .
are growing up.


















Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our snow man


He helped me shovel today. He did a great job.

Stuck


If you live in Dubuque and you are looking for a package it wont be there for a while. It is stuck on my street. Those UPS men can do wonders with a snow shovel. They shoveled the whole hill since the plows had not been by yet. Our neighbor helped out by attaching the truck to his truck with a tow line. Isaiah and I loved the entertainment.

Snow day...or week


Here is Isaiah in our back yard this morning. It is really pretty here but we are stuck in the house. Its kinda nice.

Updates from us


Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. The kids and I went to NC for 10 days while Micah went to Mexico for work.
Here are our angels in their holiday garb.
We are not sending out a Christmas card this year. I (Jamie) am trying to relax and remember what this season is really for. Take it all in, ya know? I just think that this year a card seems like alot of work. I will get to it next year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sweet Slumber


This is what the kids looked like less than 5 minutes after we left the Steele's house. They had a great time and I am sure they will miss grandma and grandpa. Naomi learned to walk while she was there and learned several words. Isaiah only had two potty accidents all week!

City girl turned farmer...


Here is Jordan on Rick's new 8000 series John Deere. Pretty impresive, huh? I meant Jordan, not the tractor.

Jordan in Illinois


I picked up my sister, Jordan, and we went to Illinois to pick up the kids at Micah's parents house. We went to visit the cattle with Rick and Hannah. Jordan had a fun time and loved the farm atmosphere.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Heidelburg


Here we are on our last night of the trip in Heidelburg. The castle here is so beautiful and streets like a dream. We had a wonderful lunch and coffee and laughed at each other till we thought we would pee our pants when we tried really hard to communicate with our waitress. In this picture we are standing in the shopping district and you can see the old church behind us.

Enchantment




This is the small town of Bad Wimpfen that I visited on Friday while Micah worked. I had seen pictures of these sorts of places but it is another thing entirely to be standing in such a place. This is the center of town and these buildins are small business such as the bakery in the green building.

Germany

This was the most wonderful vacation! Micah and I had a great time- Maybe I should not speak for him because he had to work:). Ok- I had a great time. It was wonderful to try and find my way by myslef in a foreign land. Talk about getting outside of your comfort zone!


The scenery is like something out of a fairy tale. The small towns are so enchanting. Getting lost is even a pleasure! The pictures don't do the place any justice. This is a picture that we took from the Heidelburg Castle of the town below and the Neckar River. It rained much of the time and was cold but that did not dampened our spirits.

We vistited our friends, the Van Essens, who just moved to the Manheim area and heard their stories of getting settled and figuring everything out. Kimber was a gracious host even though Jeramy was away on a trip.

It was hard to leave such a wonderful place to come home but we missed the kids and remembered what a wonderful life we have back here. It is really good to be home!




Monday, October 29, 2007

Isaiah's birthday and other updates


This past Saturday was Isaiah's 3rd birthday. Here we are celebrating. Naomi couldn't make the party because she needed some beauty sleep. Isaiah had fun and even enjoyed blowing out the candels on his cake this year- a first.
We have been pleasantly busy this fall. Micah has not had to travel much so that has been nice. He does have to go to Germany next week however, and he bought me a ticket to go along. It was my birthday present. He ought to be worried that I would have really high expectations for the gift on my 30th next year! So, we are leaving on Tuesday Nov. 6th and the kids are going to "Farm Camp" once more. I am very excited to see Germany. Mom is worried that we are going there to find a place to live. She thinks we have some plan up our sleeves which we do not.
This past weekend was a real downer for us despite having Isaiah's birthday. We took our beloved dogs to a boxer rescue to find them a new home. We are saddened by their absence and I know that we will miss them for a long time to come. Even this morning I missed their noises. The rescue was a great place with 8 other boxers for them to play with. The lady was so nice and reminded me of my dear friend and animal lover Janet Grovo. I know that they are in good hands. The lady at the rescue tried to send three birds home with us complete with accessories. We debated and Isaiah lobbied but we declined. So, we are petless for the first time in 6 years.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Naomi's new hair


Naomi got a haircut yesterday and screamed the whole time which was embarrassing to me. All of the other women in the salon had come there for a relaxing retreat I'm sure and got nothing of the sort, at least while we were there. Anyway, she got a bob-ish thing and it looks really cute. Here she is looking just like Micah and the rest of the Steele clan. Isn't she cute? Isaiah was left along for a while so that I could get some airline tickets and while I was unsuccessful he was unfortunately successful in drawing a masterpiece. The only problem being that it was all over his shirt, pants, and about a 15 foot section of my yellow wall. He used a red marker. I hope it lives up to the name on the marker which says it is washable.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fun Weekend


This weekend we tried to do some fun activities. First, Isaiah and Micah went to a football game at the high school near our house on Friday night. Isaiah had a blast and Micah had fun watching him take it all in. He loved the band and the hot chocolate and popcorn. He will talk about that for a long time to come.
On Saturday morning we went to a farm about 30 miles east of here where we get our meat. (Both kids whined all the way there...) We have never been there because the farmer usually delivers it to us. We went to check out the farm and get some more meat. We saw the pigs that we are going to eat next week and some of the cousins of the chickens that we took home yesterday. Then we visited the turkey that we will eat for Thanksgiving. Isaiah was disappointed because the Farmer did not have calves like grandpa does. They were at a different farm so we could not see them.
On the way home (more loud whining) we stopped in Galena for lunch and Culver's. Yum yum.
After naps (Isaiah woke up in a horrible mood with taffy in his hair) we went to a pumpkin farm just outside of town for some fun with other friends. That is where this picture was taken. They have animals and hay rides and hay bale mazes and such.
Even though we tried to have lots of fun this weekend Isaiah was pretty grumpy the whole time. He got several spankings- one at the pumpkin farm- and was pretty disagreeable. Micah and I looked at each other in disbelief at the end of the day on Saturday and decided that maybe we should do fewer fun things in a weekend. It was pretty frustrating.
This morning I woke up to Isaiah in my bed. He gave me a kiss and said "I love you mom. You are the cutest girl I ever seen in my whole world." After taking that in I said do you want to get up and eat? He said "yeah, lets get this show on the road!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nomi's New Teeth


This is a picture of Naomi with her new teeth. Sorry it is so blurry but it was hard to get her to smile enough to see her teeth while holding the camara and not have her crawl away or all over me! She has two teeth on the top and two on the bottom. She walked for the first time last week. She says dada, mama, Isaiah-kinda sounds like Isaiah anyway, and dog. She is a joy- although right now she has an ear infection and is a little cranky.

Me and my shadow


Here are Isaiah and I in our kitchen yesterday. I took this one for all of you who have been hounding me of a picture. You can kinda see what you are wanting I think:). I am sorry it has been so long since we posted. Alot has been going on around here and we have been terribly busy but doing great. Isaiah is almost potty trained. He is doing a great job. I have hardly had to hound him at all. Micah went out of town for a week. We have been heavily involved in all of our activities as fall has officially started. The weather is beautiful here and the air is crisp!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Vacation Picture Videos

Watch the picture videos we just finished for each of our 2007 summer vacations.

Pine Knoll Shores:
http://www.micahsteele.net/2007PNSVac.html

Vancouver Island:
http://www.micahsteele.net/2007BCVac.html


If you want to download the high-resolution versions (~35MB each), you can do that here:

Pine Knoll Shores
http://www.micahsteele.net/2007PNSVacation.wmv

Vancouver Island
http://www.micahsteele.net/2007BCVac_v7.wmv

Monday, September 3, 2007

New Collages

I've assembled some picture collages from the past few months. Enjoy.

















Sunday, August 19, 2007

I LOVE CAKE!


Naomi's Birthday Party


We had a throw down for Naomi's birthday. The four of us partied till we dropped. Not really. We did eat cake and wear hats and get this one picutre and a couple others.

A New Hobby


Since we have no other hobbies Micah and I are trying to figure out how to eat healthier. We are visiting the farmers market every Saturday and getting tons of veggies to freeze so that we might have them for winter. We are having fun figuring all of this stuff out. I think we are going to have to get more freezer space. We started buying all of our meat from a local free range farm and that is taking up lots of freezer space. Another new adventure for us.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Naomi





Sunday is Naomi's 1st Birthday. Watch the picture video we made for her.

http://www.micahsteele.net/Videos/NCS_FY.htm

Monday, August 6, 2007

Orca "spy hopping"


This picture was taken by another person on our whale watching tour. It was so fun to learn about these amazing creatures.

Whale Watching


Micah, Hannah, and I went whale watching south of Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island. We were able to see the resident orcas which were traveling through that day so it was a big treat. They only live in and around the Straight of Juan de Fuca during the spring and summer months and you cant see them everyday even then. It was very cold on the boat and you had to be very patient but it was worth the time and money to see them.

Naomi and I at Taylor Beach


The beaches in the area we visited are very rocky and the water is very cold compared to what I am used to. Here are Naomi and I playing around with Aunt Hannah on a beach near our house.

Taylor Beach, Vancouver, BC


Here are my boys at a really cool beach that we played on one day. Hannah, Naomi, Isaiah, Micah, and I took a picnic lunch and plopped on the beach. There was a seal that watched us from the water poping his head up every few minutes to see if we were still there, on his beach.

Kids in Vancouver


Isaiah, Naomi, and Miriam had fun on our trip. Miriam loved Isaiah's antics and laughed at him a lot. Naomi learned how to crawl just so she could keep ut with Miriam. Here, the girls are wearing matching outfits that Grandma Steele made.

Our Vancouver Island Vacation


This is the view from the house where we stayed on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is a beautiful place with awesome weather. Highs in the 70's and lowes in the 50's! It took 26 hours to get there and back and so we are pretty tired. I will post more pictures directly...

Naomi Walking

Naomi just started to crawl last week but she would rather walk.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another day at the beach


A day a Shakelford Banks


It has been a really rough week. Can't you tell? I keep thinking I am going to put pictures on here and I just have not had the time. We took the boat over to Shakelford Island and plopped down for two days in a row. This year Isaiah really liked the ocean and swam all around.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

GQ


G and Z


Our little guy and his GG.

Nomi's new dress



Grandma Gwen made this dress for Naomi and mailed it to us in NC. She looks so cute in it. The fabric used was also used by my Grandma used to make an outfit for me (Jamie) when I was her age. Thanks Grandma!

Swimming


Mom and I took Isaiah and Naomi to the pool in Grandma and Grandpa Sanders' neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New calf on the farm


Rick and Gwen had their first calf born yesterday. Rick was able to help her deliver. How cool! Hannah went to meet the baby and named him Cory. I tried to zoom in on the image so that you can see how much fun Rick and Hannah are having in the pictre but I could not. You will just have to click on it to see it up close.

Cousin Mim comes to visit


Last weekend Joel, Steph, and Mim came to visit. The adults went to the John Deere Classic golf tournament. The kids had a fun time playing. Mim tried to teach Nomi how to crawl but she has decided that she is not up for it yet. Why do today what you could put off till tomorrow? Especially when you have a mommy that will pick you up every time you cry.
Joel, Steph, and Mim are going to welcome a new addition to their family in December and we are all excited about that. Family gatherings and vacations are going to get more and more interesting!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

New Do


I keep trying to do something different with Naomi's growing hair and today I tried my hand at rubber bands. Not the most fashionable thing ever and she cried the whole time I was trying to put them in and take them out.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Potty Training


Grandma Gwen helped potty training along by trying to start with Isaiah while he was at her house last week. We have been trying at home and he has had very few accidents. As you can see here he likes Thomas the Train underwear on his bottom as well as his head.

July 4th

We went to the Dubuque country club golf course and watched the parachuters and fireworks. The kids really loved it because they could play around on the nice grass. Naomi still isnt walking and has no teeth yet. She is my late bloomer. She will be 1 next month!

July 3rd

We went to the Dubuque festivities for the 4th which included an air show. Isaiah and Naomi did not appreciate the noise of the planes but Micah and I enjoyed ourselves. We did not stay for the fireworks due to a tornado watch.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

More from "farm camp"


It was a hard day at farm camp. Here is what grandma Steele had to say:"This was a big day at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Mim came to visit and Isaiah used the potty three times. His reward-- 5 Ms. He was so happy! Supper time was in the middle of Spiderman so we set him up in the kitchen. At the climax of the movie we looked over and he was asleep (6:30.) Mim and Nomi had a great time together.We are going to the zoo tomorrow. Isaiah has been talking about it all day! Aunt Stephi and Mim are going too!"

Farm Camp Pics

Grandma Steele Says:
"Grandpa brought a Kreckels burger to Isaiah at the pasture. He ate it all but not until after the field trip. Nomi was just interested in sitting and pondering the whole experience.It was "tag their ears" day. We tried to get Isaiah to go and pet the steer but he didn't think much of that."