"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 4: 6-9

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tanner's Dedication

Tanner was dedicated at church today! Our pastor spoke to us, as parents, explaining the importance of raising our children to know the Lord. Matt and I feel so blessed to have our wonderful family, and church family, alongside us as we strive our best to raise our boys to know how much God loves them! Tanner also received his first bible with his name engraved on it, and a certificate of dedication. Barbara, our Children's Director at our church, has a strong love for children and a passion to teach them about God. Tanner loves Ms. Barbara! Our church pastor:
After the service, we went to Magnolia Park for a lunch celebration. Tanner opened a few sweet presents from our family. He especially loved his new Noah's Ark that Aunt Mamie and Uncle Will got him! Look at that smile! We enjoyed the beautiful weather visiting with our family.

Tanner (and Carson too!) were tuckered out from all the fun! Thank you to our family for being apart of such a special day for us. Thank you Aunt Erica, Uncle Scott, and Benson for thinking of us all the way from Arizona and sending Tanner his dedication frame too! We love you all so much!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Grandpa Schmitz passed away on January 9th, 2011. He was 100 years old. Matt's grandparents were from St. Louis and we traveled there for the funeral. Matt has many fond memories of his grandparents. He visited them every summer in St. Louis when he was younger. Matt was able to take us on a trip down memory lane and talk about all the wonderful memories he had there. We spent an afternoon driving around the city, taking photos of places Matt's Grandpa would take him. Our first stop was at the house they lived in the latter part of their lives. This is the Catholic church that Matt's grandparents attended for many years. It was just a few blocks away from their home in South St. Louis. This is where the funeral service was as well. This is a photo of the Bevo Mill. It is a landmark restaurant in St. Louis and is also a few blocks away from where his grandparents lived. The Bevo Mill was built by the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch and his Grandpa always told him that it was used as a stay-over on the first night of their beer deliveries out of town. It was always a special treat when Grandpa would take them to eat there. Many of the ponds and lakes were starting to freeze over while we were there. This pond was in Forest Park, which is the largest park in the city of St. Louis. Grandpa would take Matt to the zoo, the science center, museums, etc. which were all located within Forest Park.
While driving through the city, Matt seemed to take familiar routes that he always drove with his Grandpa. Matt pointed out that while going over this bridge, which is located on KingsHighway, his Grandpa would always comment about how there were too many lights on the lightposts, and how the city was wasting their money. The funny thing was when he was telling me that story, we noticed that every other lamp post was missing a light. We laughed and wondered if Grandpa ever knew that the city had removed some of the lights. Grandpa worked for Anheuser-Busch for most of his life, and retired from there as well. He was an oiler and worked on machinery throughout the entire factory.
Taking a tour of the brewery was something Matt did every summer when he would visit. His Grandpa loved working for Anheuser-Busch and enjoyed taking him on the tour. The Soulard Market was another place that Matt's grandparents would take him every year when he visited. This is where they purchased alot of their produce and meat. The reason for this was because Matt's Grandpa's cousin, Mike Schmitz, owned a butcher shop at the Soulard Market, and other family members had other types of businesses within the market as well. For Grandpa's 100th birthday party, barbecue sauce from the Soulard Market was given out as a favors. Matt is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan. Grandpa was even more of a fan. He would watch almost every game on TV and when his grandkids were up for the summer, he would try to take them to at least one game.
Pietro's is an Italian restaurant located in The Hill, which is an Italian neighborhood of St. Louis. This was another favorite restaurant for Matt's grandparents to take him. People would give Grandpa gift certificates there for helping them, and he would save them up to use when the grandkids came. It was one of Grandpa's favorites. After the funeral services, the whole family was able to gather for lunch there. We loved Grandpa very much and we will miss him. It was good to be able to visit so many of the places he loved to go to when he lived in St. Louis. Our family was very blessed to have Grandpa and Grandma living in Orlando the last few years of their lives. This was Grandpa's 100th Christmas and a memory we will never forget.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Animal Kingdom

We were so excited when Jamie invited us and the rest of our family to visit Animal Kingdom with them, it was Hannah's first trip to Disney! Tanner had his first official visit at Christmastime, but it was just for a few hours, and he didn't get to meet Mickey, but this trip, he did! He smiled at Mickey and held his hand, so sweet! Our family picture with Mickey Mouse: Hannah got her first pair of Mickey Ears! She was the cutest! Hannah did great meeting all of the characters, especially her favorite, Minnie Mouse. Our whole family with Mickey: After a great time meeting the characters, it was off to DINOLAND! I was over the top excited about this part since Carson is completely in love with dinosaurs right now. Our first stop was the Triceratop Spin Ride. So fun!
Hannah loving on TT in Dinoland: There were giant slides all throughout this dinosaur playland. Carson had such a fun time sliding and running crazy. There was a "dig for fossils" area and Carson was all into it. He layed right down and started digging! A walk through Pangani Forest was next. Matt and Carson were on the hunt for specific types of birds. Those must be some interesting ducks guys! Carson was searching for Nemo and Dory in the big fishtank. Looks like Carson found the hippo skull, very funny Daddy! Gorillas are always so interesting to watch. Carson was just as glued watching these 2 as I was! Time for a little jam session in the streets of Africa: Then it was off for a train ride and a trip to Rafiki's planet watch. We had fun exploring all there was to do there and Carson loved the petting zoo! He had me laughing as he ran alongside goats and sheep that had escaped their holding pens. On the train ride back, Carson fell fast asleep. What a fun day at Animal Kingdom! We can't wait to go back!

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the go!

Tanner officially learned to pull up a few weeks ago, and now...he's into everything! You can't leave him for even a second these days. He finds the smallest piece of fuzz to put in his mouth, or a fun table or chair to crawl under, he's everywhere! He is one happy baby. I didn't think I would be getting this activity table out as soon as I did, but he loves it! His new favorite activity is trying to climb up into his big brother's chair. When he makes it up, he is extremely proud! Carson is getting great at giving up his chair so Tanner can climb into it. Mischievious little thing...trying to get into the suitcases. And a big boy able to play on the indoor playgrounds now (that is when Mommy isn't being too much of a germ freak!).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Once Upon a Time

I couldn't help but post these cute pictures of Carson. He was reading my high school year book, upside down, in my bed today. :) The best part was he kept saying, "Once upon time" and would tell me to lay down so he could read it to me. Our full of energy 2 year old can keep you on your toes, but also melt your heart with moments like these!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


For Christmas, Matt, Will, and Jacob all got certificates to go Ziplining at the Sanford Zoo. We were really happy that the boys got to do something fun (and challenging!) together. Here are some pictures of the guys on the ropes course. Here is a video Matt took of himself ziplining! A couple of things to know while watching: 1)There is a point where the screen will go blank. It's only Matt shoving his phone in his pocket because he thought he was being yelled at by the ziplining attendant for having his phone out. Normally you would want two hands while ziplining! 2) The real reason the attendant was yelling at him is because if he would have just gone, he would have slammed into a garbage truck passing by underneath the zipline. Needless to say, we are glad our boys had fun, and came home safely!!

7 months

Tanner is on the move! At 7 months he can pretty much get wherever he wants to go in a short amount of time. His crawling technique is fun to watch. He gets on all fours, rocks back and forth, then lifts both knees and hops forward! Today he surprised me by doing this when I walked into the living room: He was very interested in what was inside of this basket: He was so much fun at Christmas. He loved the boxes and wrapping paper! He also sat up for the first time on Christmas Day. Now he's a pro! Now that he is sitting up, we let him sit in the bath seat that Aunt Erica sent him. He loves to take baths and has figured out how to maneuver himself to make the best splashes! He is learning how to use his jumparoo he got from Aunt Mamie and Uncle Will for Christmas, and thinks it's quite funny! Tanner still thinks his brother is the absolute best! He watches everything Carson does, and belly laughs when we chase Carson. Tanner looks for Carson the second he wakes up in the morning and he greets his big brother with a giant smile. Carson is very loving, but can get a little rough somtimes, but Tanner doesn't mind even if Carson is squishing him, he just can't get enough of his big brother! Another month has flown by, but we are enjoying every minute with our sweet angels!