My favorite time of year

I love spending time with friends and family,

having more family time,

and seeing people all dressed up for Christmas.

We had so much fun this Christmas! As a parent of a two year old, I now remember how fun Christmas is for a child. We celebrated Christmas at my parents' house the weekend before Christmas... yes the weekend with the snowstorms. Luckily, all of my siblings were able to get home for Christmas. My parents also hosted their annual soup party for my mother's brothers and their families. So it was great to see some of the Quades and celebrate the season with them.

We spend the day with Keir's family on Christmas Eve after attending Candle Light service with Keir's parents. We had a great time with some who we don't get to see so often and enjoyed sharing the joy of our children.

Christmas day was celebrated at home with opening of stockings and a few presents. One being Griffin's toy room. He was excited and mom is too with a organized central location for all his toys! My parents and Travis came to spend the day with us! We watched a favorite Christmas movie: Nation Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Gotta love it!

All celebrations included great food, the magic of Christmas and good company. We are very thankful for our families and friends.

Below is Emerson's new trick... scooting backwards on her head. Go ahead and try!! She also has taken a liking to grabbing both feet while laying on her back. Today we had her first laugh! Luckily Keir was home to hear it too!


Changes happen fast

Emerson and Griffin are both changing rapidly... and did I just say last post that Griffin wasn't entering the terrible twos? I bite my tongue, as yesterday I was in the mall and praying those around us knew that this is normal behavior for a two year old. He screams when he is unhappy... whether it's getting his coat on or he wants to be "warmed up" (held with his blanket) and the most common reason for a scream is that he doesn't get the toy he was playing with because he was being naughty with it (chasing the dogs with the lawn mower or throwing a ball to close to Emerson).

Emerson, thank God, is not entering the terrible twos, but does scream. Well actually it's more like a yell. She has seized crying when she is frustrated and has turned to giving her vocal chords a try. She smiles more than ever especially upon waking. Mama is her favorite person, which you may have learned at Baptism. It was Keir's turn to hold the baby while being Baptized. Emerson wished it wasn't so. She cried the whole time until Daddy finally gave in and handed her to mom, then the crying stopped immediately... embarrassing Keir in front of a full congregation. It's okay, Keir. Many parents know that around 4 months the baby loves whom ever it gets milk from... milk man or woman. Emerson can roll from tummy to back, grabs her toys and tries to stick them in her mouth, sucks on her fists, tries to talk with her lips closed and grabbed her foot yesterday! We're still waiting for that attempt at a laugh!

Griffin's favorite words as of late are, "Let's Go Mavericks! and Ole, Ole!" Ole being the song we sing after the Mavericks get a goal. Hopefully we'll be singing a lot this weekend at the Mav/Denver game. We encourage this fun chanting... except when it happens at church... oops!

Emerson's baptism was a glorious day and we enjoyed visiting with our friends and family. Unfortunately it was the last full day of Keir's Grandmother Jean's life. We enjoyed sharing so many fond moments with her. She was quite the lady and I feel lucky to have gotten to know her over the years. We will miss her.
Emerson was given so many nice gifts to use on her walk of faith. One of my favorites is the busy bible (http://www.busybibles.com). This is a hands-on bible with stories that go along with the picture. Each picture has an activity (unsnapping the fish and putting them in the net). We are already reading many of the books as Griffin loves to listen and look at books.

Griffin is liking the sights and sounds of the season. We open our advent Calendar(s) doors each day, look at the lights, tree, and listen to Christmas songs as well as read books about the holiday. He is learning Jesus' birthday comes before his and the gifts under the tree are for others. We are enjoying getting Christmas cards and pictures. I've hung them low enough for him to look at.

We are so blessed to have one another and good friends and family. You bring us much joy and we are thankful you believe in Jesus as we do. Enjoy this holiday season 2008.


Kids first skate

Emerson is three months old now! She is acting like a three month old. Smiling, loving to watch her mobile and watching people as they move around. She loves to have a conversation (true girl). We're looking forward to her baptism this weekend.

If you know much about Griffin, it's that he LOVES to play hockey. So when he spotted the skates Dad brought home for him, he was pretty excited. It took us awhile to help him understand he couldn't use them until there was ice to use them on. So sometimes he calls them water skates (ice is a hard concept to get when you can't see it outside yet). Last weekend after the Mav game they had skating with the Mavricks. Keir was very excited about his, mama, not so much as Griffin has a hard time making it to the third period of a game. So off Daddy and Griffin went to the game with their skates. I was excited to hear how it went and see pictures.

I can tell Griffin is getting closer to being 2. Luckily not the terrible twos. He just plays differently. He likes to fall down, run in circles, oh, and play hockey with a helmet?! He's found one of Keir's hockey helmets that he insists upon wearing while playing hockey (which is about 3 hours a day). I'll


For Keir's birthday his parent's gave us tix to the WCHA Hockey Showcase featuring the Mav vs. Gopher game. We had a great time!
Also, here is Emerson's favorite position... looking over her head while laying on the floor. I caught a nice smile!

Here's our two monkey's on Halloween. I should be counting the times I've heard what an appropriate costume for Griffin as he's quite the jumper, climber and funny guy.


Halloween party 08

We went to Lamberton to stay with Grandma & Grandpa Nickel for 4 nights. Keir and the boys hunted pheasant and the moms and kids stayed back to play. The older kids did a great job planning games- bobbing for apples, find the water balloon in the leaves, and pin the teeth on the vampire. We also carved pumpkins and made Halloween cookies! Griffin loved every moment of it... except wearing the costume. Hopefully he'll be ready for that in a week.

Emerson is smiling and cooing in her second month of life. It's so fun to "talk" with her. She's also thinking she wants to roll over so has been looking over her head while laying on the ground and getting on her side.

We've all got some sort of the plaque the last few weeks with the latest being Griffin with an ear infection. His first, so we're pretty luck there. Although his eyes have swollen and been yucky along with his nose. Poor boy, hopefully he'll be better soon.

Have a Happy Halloween!


Dreams Come True

Saturday Griffin and Papa took a ride in a great big combine. When we drove up and got out he was pretty excited until I told him he was going to go for a ride. Then his face was a bit hesitant. Luckily Papa took him before he could think about it too much. Now he talks about it with pride and loves to look at this picture. He says, "It was noisy."


October brings fieldwork!

And why does this pertain to us (October bringing fieldwork)? Griffin loves tractors, combines, etc. So last night when the farmer across the road was harvesting, there was much excitement at our house. Keir took Griffin to get a closer look and of course the combine went around the grove so they couldn't get a close look. I see they didn't finish the field, so don't worry, Griffin, they'll be back.

Emerson is starting coo, which is so fun... and funny to think that it's so fun! I know she's on the verge of a social smile and we can't wait!

Here's the latest greatest pics of the kidos!


Birthday wishes from Griffin

Listen closely as Griffin sings Lora "HaaaBirthday to you" He's been singing it for a month now. Can we sing to anyone else?


"hold her" is what Griffin says when he wants to share a little one on one time with his sister. He's starting to be a quite a concerned big brother, saying "it's okay emmy" when she cries and tries to put her nuk in.

Lora and Emerson at Lora's Birthday party.

Will this be the last time Griffin plays in the sand this year? We enjoyed an afternoon at the lake with Jan & Chris, Cayden & Dillon (and Vokal family) this Sunday. As you can see the boys had a blast playing in the sand.


Life with two wee ones

Emerson is a little darling. I've caught a few glimpses of the little satisfied smile. She has an alarming cry for such a little thing, but other than that she's living the life of an infant... and now I remember what life with an infant is like. They eat, sleep and poop and you want to watch it all. But with all the hustle and bustle around here, I'm not doing as much baby watching as I did in Griffin's first week... sorry Emerson! I do enjoy it all the same. Those funny faces as she drifts off to dream land and taking in every moment when she's awake. Smelling that new baby smell and touching her soft skin. Those little fingers, toes and squeaks are so precious.

Griffin is taking to brotherhood just fine. He runs to see her when he hears her cry, sings her songs and likes to touch her and say "nose, head, etc". However one has to keep a close eye on him as he's lightening fast at getting to her and doesn't always have a gentle touch.

The hustle and bustle has included many good friends and family. You are not only helping welcome Emerson into our lives, but also helping finish the basement. It's been a work-in-progress for quite sometime (initially it was going to be done before Griffin's birth), but lately they've been working super hard. First electrical, moving the "things in storage" out to the garage, insulation, sheet rock, mudding & taping, texturizing (all before Emerson came). Last weekend they primed, painted and worked more on electrical. Wow, we have great friends and family to help us turn this shack around! Today Dad and Keir started putting in the flooring! It's going to be great!

So thanks to all for your hard work! We can't wait to enjoy the basement with you and have a guest room for you to stay! Also, thanks for welcoming Emerson to this world with open arms. We're so lucky to have a strong support group to help raise her. We love you!
Here is the link to the latest gallery of Emerson's birth + first week.



Hi, I'm Em

Here's a picture of the hair!

We love hearing from you all so please post your comments!!

Thanks for all your well wishes! We certainly appreciate them all.


She's here!
Emerson Joy Asher arrives at 12:25 weighing in at 7.02lbs and 20 3/4 inches long.
Mom and 'Em' are doing great!
Dad didn't faint!

More later.....

Sleepy time

All the prep work is done. Now we wait. While we wait, Tricia rests. I'll watch Team USA thump Japan in men's volleyball. This time around, daytime TV kicks the snot out of the time we were here when Griffin was born. My apologies to Charles Nelson Riley.

We're here and ready.(?)

Its "go time" for the Asher family. Grif has been left in the loving care of Gama and Gapa Asher soon to be joined by Papa and Gama Nickel and neighbor Jeannie and Bill. When we left, he was happily mowing the bedroom carpet.

Spirits are high, and I don't mean Bombay or Grey Goose. We all know life will be very different, again. Nearly all aspects our lives together(Tricia and I) have been scheduled. Kinda weird.

Back to business. They are drawing blood, prepping and waiting. So, nothing exciting, yet, except I did decide to mix grapefruit juice AND pineapple juice together this morning. Now THAT is excitement.


The belly wave

While watching tv in bed and feeling/seeing my stomach do the wave, I thought, if this (being pregnant) is the last time this is happening to me, I better get this on tape. So, prepare yourself if you haven't seen a pregnant women's belly move b4. It's something else.

I guess the baby likes the Olympics too!

Last day of being pregnant!

Will it be Willamina or Willard Asher? Just kidding.. and actually Willamina was the name of my Great-Grandma"Minnie", so don't be writing any complaints. Here are the boy & girl clothes we're bringing to the hospital... which one will we see worn? And yes, that is my belly that accidentally got in the photo. I guess the baby wanted to vote.

Next question, will we decide on a name? We have 3 girl names picked out and I have one boy name I'm hooked on. Will he sway and give in? I'm waiting for a boy name proposal we can agree on, but none have come up... stay tuned!


Big Helper

The guys have been working hard on the basement. Yesterday sheet rock went up and currently they are mudding and taping. Hooray! A big shout out to those who were willing to give a little muscle, brains and time to help out. We really appreciate it!

Here's Griffin in his winter hat (what is it with hats & shoes?) plaing with his skiddy.


Family Reunions Fun?!

Here we are at Old Muskego Church on/near the UofM campus. It's a church that ties back to Hood roots. http://www.exploreminnesota.com/listing.aspx?EntityID=8481

Keir's aunt Carol and uncle Ben organized a weekend of festivities at their home in Shorview. I was a bit skeptical going in as I didn't know many of the "Hoods", but everyone was great and full of personality! Thanks for the great weekend!


August is nearly here!

Only 2.5 weeks until we meet our baby! We're so excited. I've been easing Griffin into the idea of being a big brother & what a baby means. I put the bassinet in his room today and told him, "You get to share your room with the baby!" and he nearly laughed for half a minute. I must have had a funny expression on my face or he thought I said something different, cuz I'm not sure he's going to think it's funny all the time. I'm starting to think he'll love being the center of attention for this little one. He's always pulling on my legs trying to get me to look at him. It's hard to get a meal cooked. Also, I've bought some gifts for Griffin for the week of the birth, but just had the though to have him bake a cake for the baby's birthday (with a little help) and maybe buy it a birthday gift. Griffin is big into birthdays as we sing "Happy Birthday" for a week when it's someone's birthday. So I think he'd get a kick out of celebrating the real birthday. However, I'm afraid too much fun at the hospital might cause him to not want to leave... which will be hard on him and I. Any ideas?

I can feel the baby is getting bigger. It's estimated at this point to be around 18 inches long and 5.5 pounds. It supposedly gains 1/2 to 1 pound a week near the end! So it hopefully will be a healthy weight when it's born (c-section is why I'm not concerned it'll be too big).

Keir has been working hard on the basement. Much of the electrical is now in place and we now have a fireplace! I'm looking forward to a nice glass of wine in front of it! A big THANKS to my dad who's come up a day the past three weeks to help out and Keir's friend, Tyler for helping.

I'm looking forward to seeing my friend, Becky on Friday. Her due date is a day away from mine, so we'll see who has the baby first. She has been having contractions and thinking she's going any day, so she may beat me to it. I'll be sure to post a picture of the two of us and our 37 week bumps.


Ahhh... vacation

Gracie & Griffin chillin on the beach

Over the 4th of July we went on our annual vacation to Leech Lake with the Nickel clan. Yes, 15 of us in one cabin for a whole week! It's amazing we can get along so well for the entire week. Griffin had a great time playing with the cousins and aunts/uncles and of course Grandma and Grandpa. He loved the sand, lake, pool & to our surprise, he loved shuffle board. I guess he does like anything with a stick and something to push or shoot (hockey, baseball, golf). Mama and Dada had a good time too. It's always nice to spend quality time with the family. Mama was however feeling the 8 month of pregnancy along with worrying about a toddler next to the lake. She was happy to see her fenced in backyard when we got home.


A beautiful day of motherhood

I just realized, it's lunch time and we've had a perfect day thus far. We woke up at 8 and layed in bed for a bit babbling and talking... yes, I say layed in bed because Griffin kept on waking up every hour or two, so finally after 6-8 trips to his bedroom during the night I succumbed to bring him in our bed at 4:30 hoping for a couple more hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, waking up an hour to an hour and a half past the usual was a treat. We started the morning off in the usual way- changing diaper & clothes, getting Luci & Greta (which reminds me I didn't hear Greta begging me out of bed at 6:30 either) and feeding them, then having breakfast (no oatmeal on the floor or in hair!). Playing nicely while Mama made some Rice Crispy Treats until 10 upon which I decided we should head for a walk before the day reaches the high temp of 81 degrees. A perfect walk in which we saw a backhoe digging a house and a skiddy... a couple of Griffin's favorite things. We stopped to play in the park and he was ready to walk back home (Mama didn't have suggest it). So he walked almost the whole way home with me pushing the stroller and Luci and Greta by his side. When we arrived home we played in the backyard and enjoyed the umbrella shade and breeze. He played in his 2" of water in his pool, getting his shorts wet, so ran around in his muscle short onsie that reads "king of my castle" and hat with no shoes the rest of the time. Quite cute I must say. Lunch time came and we went inside (I had run inside to pop in a pizza w/ Cook Time on so it would shut off when time was up) and ate broccoli from the garden & pizza... no fuss. Ah, that's what motherhood should be about... no stress. I guess if I wasn't rushed here and there and didn't have to calm a crabby kid, I wouldn't appreciate the wonderful mornings like today.


Happy Dad's Day!

A snapshot of Keir being an awesome dad. As you can see, Griffin perfers Daddy's rides in a wagon.

Griffin loves his papas... Here's Papa Nickel making him giggle.

Keir and his dad working on the computers... surprise, surprise. Like father like son!

Happy Father's Day, Dads! Everyone deserves a dad like you!


Griffin sees the animals

We talk and talk about animals and their sounds, now he got to see/hear it for himself. Griffin sure did smile and laugh watching the animals at the MN zoo. Keir and I had a great time too. Meg and the girls met us there to add to the excitement! The kids enjoyed the farm animals and the dolphins and Discovery Bay. Keir and I enjoyed the Tropics Trail especially the gibbons. They are fun to watch swing around. See them here on the webcam.

Here are our pictures of the day!


Summer is here! Here as some of Griffin's favorite things to do outside: play with the dog's water dish, swing, wagon rides, push his lawn mower, play in the pool (or any water), go to the park, send the trucks down the hill and he giggles his head off when he rolls down the hill. Enjoy your summer! We're taking a trip to the zoo this week, look for pics to come!

Baby Progress!

We're at the 29 week mark and have set the date for scheduled c-section August 18th. The baby's birthday will be 08-18-08... yes I am a number person. Keir's born 11-1-74, me 5-25-77, and Griffin 1-11-07.

Baby now weighs about 2.5 lbs. and is 15" long... feels like he/she's bigger than that when it does it's tumbling routine daily.

This little one will have many friends close in age. Here's who's expecting and what they're having if we know or have had him/her!

Erika & Matt Esterby: it's a boy! Kasen was born March 30th.. Congrats! Kyan is now a big brother! That makes 7 boys-0 girls from 4 families of the Mankato group!

April:Carrie & Jerome Brown had a girl April 24 & named her Joslynn.

June: Sara & Nathan Brown had Parker William on June 13th. Sophia is adjusting well!
Lee & Chris Edberg (surprise)

Kari & Dave Henry (girl)

We will go in for a c-section August 18... is it a boy or girl?
Becky & Eric Bishop (girl) on the 25th!

Shannon & Jason Beal (surprise)
Doug & Kim Woodgate (surprise)


Fav best of cd

Griffin just got a new set of cds that aren't the regular old kids tunes... they are something I like too! Keir and I both like #2 better than CD #1, but they are both good!


Is it a girl?

I tell ya, I can't get enough sweets. Keir says, "Where did those peanut m&m's go?" Did he forget he has a pregnant wife? I don't know if the sweet tooth was this bad with Griffin, but if it's sweet, I want it! Rhubarb crisp, carrot cake, ice cream... the more sugar the better? Is it a sweet (toothed) little girl in there? Ladies with daughters... did you notice a need for the sweets when prego?