Friday, July 18, 2008

To Grandmother's House We Go...

This week has been busy for us, as we prepare for a week away. Kristoffer will be taking our youth group on it's first ever mission trip. Keeping with the Gray family motto of "go big or go home", the group will be going to North Carolina for a week doing home repair. Hopefully the week will be a week of growing, both as a group and in our faith.

When the mission trip was in its planning phase, 2 years ago, Dana was suppose to go on the trip too. However, God had different plans for our family and blessed us with Karter! So, while Kristoffer is away, Dana and Karter will be spending the week in Indiana. Dana has spent this week planning and making sure everything is together for their trip...babies don't travel lightly! Dana and Karter will spend the first part of the week at Grandma Vicky's house and the second part at Grandma Terry's and Grandpa Kim's....marking his first trip to visit his grandparents!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

All in a Day's Work

We (mostly involving Dana) have gotten on a pretty standard routine with Karter. A "day in the life" of Karter starts at his 5:00am wake-up and ends at his 10:00pm bedtime - after a good, hot bath! Rascal has also taken a liking to Karter - even sleeping right beside him for naps during the day (as seen in the picture to the right). Rascal finally realizes that this "new human" will be living with us permanently. But...he seems to like being in charge of one extra Gray!

He has been a fantastic baby when it comes to sleeping. Usually, he wakes up only once at night - but only because he's hungry - at around 2 or 3 in the morning. He's then fine until around 5 or 6 in the morning for breakfast.

We only have a few more days here in Minnesota before we leave for Indiana!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's a Twister, It's a Twister...

On Thursday afternoon, at about 1:30, two tornadoes touched down in southeastern Minnesota. One touched down in Vasa - about 15 miles southeast of our home. Another touched down in Welch - about 15 miles directly east of our home.

Dana was home at the time with Karter and Rascal when the tornado warning came out. She took all of them into the guest bathroom downstairs to weather the storm.

While we did not get the tornado at our house, we did get 60-80 MPH straightline winds and penny-sized hail. The fields around our house have had the corn either laid down or stripped of their leaves. A few houses in Hampton had trees fall on their house, and there were many limbs and leaves down. Our next door neighbor had three mature trees fall.

At our house, we had LOTS of sticks and limbs down in the yard. Our garden was completely destroyed. And...we have half of one of our mature trees down - and still barely hanging on. While it is difficult to see by all of the pictures, we will have to cut down the tree - leaving us more firewood than we will know what to do with. That will be a big weekend project - the most difficult of which has been finding a chainsaw!!

We just thank God that he kept us and our neighbors (and our houses) safe. Lots of cleanup to do in our area the next few days and weeks...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tomaw Family Visit and Other Thoughts

Over Independence Day Weekend, the Tomaw clan from Chicago traveled north to Hampton for a visit. Dana's brother, Jake, his wife Joscelynn, and their seven-month-old son, Jonah all made the journey and spend a long weekend with us.


It was the first meeting of the cousins - and their interaction was pretty one sided. Jonah wanted to either chew on or pull on Karter, depending on how hungry he was. It was interesting - and a great lesson in parenting - in planning EVERYTHING around "the boys." We did manage to get out of the house pretty frequently. We went to a 4th of July parade in Cannon Falls, went out to eat three times (once for ice cream at the Dairy Inn), and went to church on Sunday.

It was great having some newer parents to talk about parenting and what to expect during Karter's first few months. It will be fun for the boys in having a close boy cousin in age to grow up with. It will be even more fun for Dana, Jake, Jos, and me as we watch our babies grow up together.

Karter is doing fine. He is awake ALL THE TIME now! :-)

But...he does sleep well at night. After a bath and feeding, we are in bed around 10:00 at night. Karter wakes up between 2:00-3:00 for a feeding, and Dana then feeds when we get up in the morning around 5:00. He is a growing boy - we think weighing close to 9lbs. 11oz. (Dana was at the hospital on Monday - and snuck him onto a scale!)

It's a great week here in Minnesota - but we wish we could be preparing for our annual Beach Trip with the Gray family. We can't wait for next year at the beach!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gray Family Happenings

Last week and weekend was a fun week - with a full house at the "Hampton Hilton." Eight people were at our house staying the night!! Grandpa Kim, Grandma Terry, Aunt Emily, Uncle Zach, Uncle Kyler, Kristoffer, Dana, and of course, Karter all stayed at our house last weekend! We were so appreciative of Grandma helping out and the family making the pilgrammage up north. We really enjoyed spending time with them!

This weekend Dana's brother and his newly grown family visited. Uncle Jake, Aunt Joscelyn, and Cousin Jonah (aged seven months) came up from Chicago. It has been fun (and tiresome) having two baby boys in the house at the same time. The most interesting thing has been timing EVERYTHING around two feeding schedules - which do not always align perfectly.

Regardless, it has been great having them here to visit. More to come on our escapades with them in a future blog...(in the blogging business, this is what we call an eTease...)

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Just a side-note. We have received several comments regarding the Hampton sign post and picture. The picture was actually made by Kristoffer's mom, Terry - so we can take no credit other than putting it on our family post. :-)

Hope you had a fantastic 4th of July!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Interestingly Enough...

For the first time since the 2000 census, the municipality of Hampton, MN, has decided to change its signage. Here is the new sign of this quaint village as you approach town from the north on U.S. Highway 52: