Monday, December 31

The Second Final Installment Of Christmas In Des Moines

We had just woken up, so give me a break about the hair, k?
Jack's go-cart.
It was time for a nap so he was very serious while on Grandma's lap for this picture, but I got him smiling. I believe the trick was putting something on my head then sneezing it off. Cute pic.

Thanks, Susan, for sending these on. I'd have put them with the others, but Amy is anti-anything-to-do-with-school right now, so she hadn't checked her email until last night!

Sunday, December 30

Pic Of My Nephew

My dad sent me this photo of lil' Jacob Kent today. I thought I'd post it so everyone can see how much he looks like Luke did when he was born. (Well, except for all that black hair!) He is so adorable! I'm sure Missy will be updating her blog very soon with photos from his first few days of life. Her link is "Blackman's Zoo" at the right. Have you noticed how all four of the babies we've announced this month all have family blogs? That's pretty darn cool!

Christmas Card Honorable Mentions

"Which one of you other elves left this toy laying the floor of the toy shop? You know that's what got us our last pistol whippin'! What part of the Toy Shop Cleanliness Doctrine do you idgit midgets not understand?" Itchy hats are all Santa has for his helpers. Who can make a bajillion toys under those kind of conditions?
" These three gifts are ready for delivery, Santa!"
We used this one on the card.
We loved this one, but for some reason, it did not look very good on the card.
Elfin ponderance.
He was actually enjoying this. A lot. But serial: Who doesn't love being adorable? I know I love being adorable.
We used this one but cropped out the tag. His face in this one reminds me of photos of Amy as a kid.
Cute pic...too many cords. Plus he looks overworked and underpaid. Like a common sweatshop elf who only gets leftover molasses cookies and skim milk.
Great face, but the tag on the airplane kinda makes it less 'North Pole' and more 'Taiwan'.
Again with the cords. How did I not notice that?
Obviously we're okay with elves and cords. We trained him not to go near the tree, so we were safe. (And of course, we always have an eye on him. Always. And I hope he remembers that well into his formative years.)

Christmas In Des Moines, Final Installment

Granny Janny got Jack an Alpaca teddy bear from Karen Beveridge in Hamlet because he loved her rug so much! He loves his soft bear. (Seriously, Karen and I worked together so this is not a shameless plug for her at all, but have you ever felt alpaca fur? It is the softest thing in the world.)
"You have a puzzle piece on your HEAD!" Exact words.
Dad and Jack played with Play-Do while Mommy and Uncle Jake went to a movie.
And the obligatory attempt to eat it. The kid won't eat mashed potatoes because they give him heebs, but he didn't mind the taste of The Dough.
Here, Susan, you color with me.
Thank you, Aunt Susan, for the wonderful photography of our time there!

Saturday, December 29


Congratulations to Missy and Jared on their new arrival, Jacob Kent. He arrived this morning and weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz. We'll post pictures of him and his headful of black hair as soon as we get 'em! And we get to see him next weekend in person! Yay!
(Confession: I secretly hoped he would surprise his parents and come out of the womb a girl just to prove me right and the ultrasound wrong, but it looks like I'll just have to settle for an 86% guessing rate!)

Missy, Jared, Kenna, Luke, Matthew and Nathan
on your new family member!

Friday, December 28


Welcome, Miss Addison Sherman!
We can't wait to meet you!
Addison is my cousin Vanessa's first baby, born yesterday afternoon. And she was 8 lbs. 8 oz. Their blog is at the Sherman Family link at the right of the page. No photos yet, but knowing Vanessa there will be soon! I hope so anyway!
Congratulations, Scott and Vanessa, on your new arrival!

Christmas In Des Moines, Part 2

The toddler markers were also a gift from Mom and Dad. Jack loved them.
See how well he writes his own name? Amazing, huh?!
What do you mean 'Christmas is almost over'...?
See and Say. Pretty much sums up Jack's existence right now!
Uncle Dan and Aunt Amber got Jack a music table for their little nephew, Mr. Happy Feet. Long story...I'll fill ya in later...
We all chipped in and got Granny Janny a camera. Obvs she loves it!
And I don't remember who got her this little salsa dish with removal sombrero spoon, but it was also appreciated much.
...And we never heard from Emily again that weekend...hee hee...
Vanna White, Granny Janny and Amber check out the candles.
Mike got an awesome sweatshirt from Granny Janny. You're welcome, Mike, for making Janny stop and get us firewood when we were puking because we were afraid the power would go out with the ice storm and making her go to Orscheln's where she found that sweatshirt after going to many other stores looking for firewood but being unable to find any anywhere else but Orscheln's where she found your awesome sweatshirt. I feel like it was a gift from me really. But it wasn't...long story...and now you pretty much know it!

Thursday, December 27

Happy 30th Birthday,

Christmas In Des Moines, Part 1

The first of two big Christmas din-dins. Yum yum.
And the first of about a million holiday smiles! Here, he was wrastlin' with his Uncle Jake.
Playing with Uncle Dan. Not sure who's sillier.
Lookin' good, boys...lookin' good...
He built the blocks up, then pushed them over and one hit Jake in the eye. Brutal! You got served, Jake!
Buildin' with one of a bajillion gifts.
Relaxin' with Gramps.
Contact! But where's that tongue?
No steroids were involved in the making of this blog post.
What?! Don't act like you've never seen an 18 month old put stuff on his dad's eyes so he'll say 'Take Me To Your Leader' in his crazy robot alien Dad voice...

Hey battah, battah, battah...swing!
Hugs for Dad.
Ka-boom! I found this set of nesting blocks and knew they'd be perfect for a Santa gift! Jack completely loves them, and more than anything, knocking them down!
Classic Jack smile.
Smiles for miles. He was in such a good mood all weekend. And needless to say, the center of all attention.

In "The Charlie Brown Christmas Special," Jack was the understudy for anyone Charlie called a 'blockhead'. Ba-dum-ching!
After bruisin' the blocks, Jack was looking mighty tough.
Judo CHOP!
Build 'em up just to knock 'em down. The Spears family knows the feeling...
Hmm...what's this I can destroy?!

Thanks to Aunt Susan's spectacular photography, we have a lot of photos of Christmas and I'm having a really hard time choosing which ones to scrap since they're all so great. So, I decided I'll give you Christmas in Des Moines in three installments for the next three days! It took me a while to get these uploaded because when Charter unhooked our cable TV (yay! it's gone, and we really haven't even noticed!), they messed up our internet connection. Crikey! I just got it re-established, so you'll be getting a heckuvalotta the Vrbi the next couple days!