Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The ZOO - Northwest Florida

On Tuesday we went to the zoo in Gulf Breeze:

Jessica's favorite part of the visit (besides the delight of watching the cows eat the Petting Zoo pellets we bought for a dollar a bag; that elicited great squeals of delight) was going up and down the stairs at the playground:

She was also delighted that she got to ride a horse and a zebra (though they weren't real ones):

We also took lots of animal pictures, which you can see here:

Zoo Pictures Slideshow

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blowing Bubbles, Feeding Seagulls, Building Sandcastles

We're currently on our annual post-Christmas trip to Pensacola; this is the eighth time Chris and Anna have made the trip, and the second time for Jessica. Yesterday we stopped for a while at a rest area just past Auburn, Alabama, where Jessica and Mommy played with bubbles:

(That expression, by the way, is what you get when you ask a two-year-old to smile for the camera.)

Today we went down to the beach so Jessica and Mommy could feed the seagulls:

and build sandcastles:

Tomorrow we'll be going to the zoo in Gulf Breeze!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care

"...We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices..."
This afternoon we went to Rockdale Medical Center, the hospital where Jessica was born, to deliver a gift of five preemie outfits to the NICU. In the box we included prints of the following photographs, along with this description:

Jessica at the beginning of her six-day stay in the NICU, January 2007, and again at twenty-one months, November 2008

"...I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round--apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys..."
We are forever grateful to the nurses in the Rockdale NICU for the care they gave Jessica during those difficult first days. We pray that all babies who must spend time there fare as well as she has, and that their parents have cause to feel the same gratitude we feel.
"God bless us every one!" said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

He sat very close to his father's side, upon his little stool. Bob held his withered little hand in his, as if he loved the child, and wished to keep him by his side, and dreaded that he might be taken from him.
God bless us every one, indeed.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Madison Heritage Holiday Tour of Homes

On Saturday, December 6th (which is also St. Nicholas Day), Jessica and Mommy and Daddy and Granny and Pa went to Madison, Georgia, for the 2008 Heritage Holiday Tour of Homes. In this picture, Jessica walks the sidewalks of Madison, holding hands with Granny and Pa:

(Chris and Anna lived in Madison for two years while Chris was in graduate school earning his MFA and starting his teaching career, but they moved to Loganville when Anna was only about four months pregnant with Jessica.)

Here's a recent picture of Jessica and Mommy having supper on one of the first nights of Advent: