Oh, and all of the pictures were taken recently by our gracious and talented friend Paul Enriquez. :)
We didn't end up being able to get all four of us to look forward and smile at the same time that day! Oh well.:)
I love Gabriel's little smirk in this one!
My father-in-law teases me about putting a "flower pot" on my daughter's head with the big bows. I deserve it.:) This bow, looking back, does look pretty obnoxious, BUT Faith is so beautiful I think she pulls it off without looking like too much of a fashion victim of her mother. :)
WOW. Ladies, watch out! He's already the grand old age of three, but he's not potty trained yet. Give him a few more years before you start lining up around the block for him, OK? :)
Faith is 15 months old now, and has been walking since she was about a year old. Michael and I are completely in love with our sweet, outgoing, good-natured baby girl. A few things about Faith right now...She is a good eater, but we had to break her of the habit of throwing the rest of her food on the floor when she is "all done." She says "please," "sorry," "baby," "daddy," "hi," "by-by," "light," and "thank you." She is a real "mommy's girl" and is pretty clingy to me sometimes, which I don't mind most of the time. :) She is pretty lightweight still, and sometimes I put her to bed or down for a nap by laying on the extra bed in her room and letting her fall asleep on my chest. She is a great sleeper and still takes two naps a day and sleeps all night too, which is a major blessing. :)
Gabriel and Michael are two peas in a pod. Michael loves that little boy in this completely joyful way...you just have to see them together to know what I'm talking about. :)
A good shot of Michael and me--probably going up on my bio page soon. :) Michael is doing well. He is a good husband to me and a good father to our children. We have loved having him home so much more this fall, since business has dropped down quite a bit due to the cooler weather (less grass to cut). He still works every day of the week and we continue to get new clients and projects frequently. He has truly enjoyed the job change this year to being a business owner (rather than an employee). He has made some fantastic connections with other businesses in the area that have already proven fruitful with new business and some special opportunities. 2013 is going to be a great year for CrossCutt, but I know it's also going to be tough in many ways for Michael and for me as well, since starting in March he'll most likely be working from sunup to sundown again, and I'll have a newborn starting in May. I'm trying to pre-prayer myself for the busy season though. Some dear friends surprised me recently by giving me the amazing gift of sending me on a three-day silent retreat in January. I'm so thankful for that opportunity to let the Lord work on my soul in a concentrated way before the challenges that next year promises to bring. :)
One of my favorite things about the kids' ages right now is that they play well together. Yes, sometimes Gabriel body slams her or takes her toys or is bossy with her, and yes, sometimes she smacks him upside the head while he's getting his diaper changed and he can't do a thing about it. But they genuinely enjoy each other's company, and they are genuinely happy to see each other each and every time they've been away from each other for more than 15 minutes.
Gabriel turned three on December 7. A few tidbits...He is getting better at counting and identifying his colors and shapes. He can climb anything climbable like a monkey. He loves Thomas the Train (and trains and things with wheels in general). He likes Veggie Tales movies in the van (all two that we own:). He eats baby trees (broccoli) like candy. He likes to blow out candles. He likes to sing "Alleluia." He is getting better at being still and "respectful" for prayer. He still takes a long nap every afternoon--at the same time as Faith! He also sleeps 12 hours a night (don't hate me!:). My mom gave him the coolest truck comforter, pillows and lamp for his birthday this year, which is loves to show off to visitors. He gives the best hugs and the sweetest little-boy kisses in the world. He got a set of Hot Wheels cars and tracks for his birthday from Michael's parents, and I think it's his favorite toy of all time so far. :)
Baby Franco #3 sends her sweet little greetings from the womb! Yep--you read that correctly--it's another GIRL! I couldn't be more thrilled.:) Michael and I actually chose her name before we even conceived her, but we're keeping it a surprise for when she arrives on or near May 18th of next year. My pregnancy is going well--blessedly no problems so far, and Baby Girl looks healthy and whole. I have good energy right now, and my morning sickness is finally gone, but I am still trying to take a nap each day if I can. I definitely need to work on eating better and drinking more water too.