Monday, December 27, 2010

That was then, this is now...

Our son is, officially, a toddler! I feel awful that I've not blogged about this sooner, but you've probably already read about our December marathon. :) Here is a video of some of his first steps, as well as a more recent video of how quickly he's become an expert!

Dedicating our baby boy to the Lord

On December 12th, Brandon and I had the honor of dedicating ourselves to raising Isaac in the Lord. It was such a special day for us. My parents came in to town for the event, which made the day even more special! Both sets of Grandparents, and two of Isaac's Aunts, Jenny and Karen, also made it for the dedication that morning. Thank you so much to all of you that went out of your way to be there for this special occasion. We are very blessed to have such wonderful family - we love you!

The church asked all parents to dedicate a verse to their child at the dedication service.

Psalm 73: 24-26.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

I love this picture, because you can see our choir director in the
background playing with Isaac. :)

Dad poses for the camera... note the tie. :)

What a lovely couple. I love you, Mom and Dad!

Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of our son, Isaac. We promise to raise him in Your will so that he may receive Your gift of salvation through Your son,
Jesus Christ. May You be his portion forever.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Gaylord Texas

My awesome mother-in-law loves nothing more than having all of her family together for a meal. She always makes the event as special as possible bt pulling out her china, making a lovely display of her wonderfully cooked meal, placing beautiful linens on the table and lighting the candles as we sit down to eat. From time to time, she also plans an outing for the family. Since everyone was home for Christmas this year, she planned an outing to the Gaylord Texas, an amazing hotel in Grapevine which puts on amazing Christmas displays. This year, they were displaying a collection of ice sculptures! We didn't see those due to the hefty $25/person price tag to get in to the display, but we did enjoy the other Christmas trees, trains and lights around the hotel. While it wound up being quite a chaotic evening after fighting through terrible traffic to get to the hotel, wading through massive crowds of people to see the displays, and eating at a sports bar instead of the nice restaurant we had all envisioned - without a table!, it was still a great photo-op. Take a look!

The lighting displays are amazing.

The kids made the most of our interesting seating arrangements!

Isaac spots the train traveling around all the trees and lights

Two lovely ladies
He's a keeper, folks.

Christmas Day

This is the second year for Santa Claus to visit Isaac, and this year was great fun for Mom and Dad to see little Isaac's excitement over his new toys, books and clothes. Well... maybe not so much his clothes, but his other gifts from Santa were a real hit! After playing with his new toys, we rushed around the house to get ready for Christmas brunch at Grandma and Grandpa's house. After devouring a scrumptious brunch, we gathered in the living room around the Christmas tree and began passing out gifts to each of the grandkids from aunts, uncles and Grandparents. It was so fun to see all the kids tear into their gifts and get so excited about each of them. I can only imagine that Christmas morning will become more and more special for us as Isaac grows older each year. I'm already looking forward to next Christmas. Not only for Santa Claus to come to town, but also to continue sharing with him the true reason for our celebration of Christmas - the miraculous and humble birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And now- the moment you've been waiting for... pictures!!
As you can see, Isaac was a very good boy this year!
Isaac discovers Santa's gifts!

Rushing over to check it all out...


Opening gifts at Grandma and Grandpa's

Mamma, help please!

Patiently waiting for everyone to recieve a gift...

Ready for a wonderful meal

The Ritter family - 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The annual December marathon...

December is a month full of shopping, twinkling lights, merry music, happy energy and more activities squeezed into a three week period than are humanly possible in which to partake! Add on top of that all of the special performances expected of our Choirs at Christmas, and you have the annual December marathon! After three weeks of having an obligation every night of the week (except for 1), a couple of lazier days, thanks to our Christmas vacation, are much appreciated. And, since I now have nap time on my hands, I can catch up on my much-neglected blog. Thank you for being patient with me! There are so many things to report... too many to put in one post. So, keep your laptops open! The Ritter Life will have posts galore over the next week!
Thanksgiving 2010 was a wonderful time spent with my side of the family. While things just weren't the same with my Grandad Rhodes around at the Rhodes Thanksgiving, cracking jokes and doting on all of the babies, it was wonderful to have time to catch up with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Mom also organized a Thurlkill Thanksgiving. It was a relaxed wiener and s'mores roast - a great time! It was also wonderful to have the opportunity to stay in a cabin on Lake D'Arbonne with my parents, brother's and sister's families and all of our nieces (well... the second niece is on the way!) and nephews during our stint in Louisiana. We were even able to celebrate Christmas with my family while we were there. It's the first time in several years that we've had the joy of sharing Christmas as a "complete" family. It was was a wonderful time, and seems to be the beginning of a new tradition for the Rhodes, Jr. family. Here are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving with the Rhodes and Thurlkill families, as well as our "Christmas Day".

All the boys

Mike and Sam check out the beautiful cabin view
Madelyn and Isaac - too cute!

The Pruitt Family
The Rhodes Family

The Ritter Family

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Before the gift exchange

Santa after playing with the grandboys...

Greyson tears in...

Sam loves his train set!

Vroom, vroom!

No wonder all the grandkids are so good lookin'...

The Thurlkill clan

Walking to the pier behind the cabin

Isaac loves the water

Stay tuned... there's more to come!