Thursday, December 8, 2011

Merry Christmas!

  As this year comes to a close we are so grateful for all of the many blessings that have occurred this year. We have all had lots of fun things happen and this year we have decided to give you a glimpse of the year for each member of our family.


Brian-  This has been a super exciting year for Brian. After 3 years of hard work, Brian graduated with his DPT-Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Texas Women’s University (TWU) in May. He quickly passed his licencing exam & started work right away. Brian started work in June for Concentra. He really enjoys his job, though he wishes there was less paperwork.
  One week later he helped Sophia bring his third child, Gideon Eduardo, into the world by catching him & cutting the cord. Brian loves all of his children so much, and he really enjoys playing with all of them. It has been fun for him to be able to interact with Cameron & Lilliana in more engaging ways as they have grown.
  Brian also loves his calling. He has been working with the Young Men in our ward through the Scouting program since we moved into the ward in August of 2007. He really loves the Young Men
Sophia-  Has been keeping very busy being a Mommy. The highlight of her year was bringing Gideon Eduardo Crane, her third child, into the world. This was her third successful home birth and she feels so blessed to have had Brian with her as her champion in it. Gideon has been a true blessing with his smiling face.
  She has since been busy trying to figure out the balancing act of being a Mommy to three little ones. She keeps busy with playgroups & going to the park. She has also been hosting an art day with a neighborhood home-school group. This has been really fun for her. She has been able to find a fun way to incorporate her love of art with her love of teaching children. She also has a pre-school co-op that she & Cameron participate in. 

Cameron- This year Cameron turned four. He started Primary as a Sunbeam & really loves it. He has given two talks and led the Article of Faith in Primary opening exercises. Cameron really likes his friends from Sunbeams & was sad when almost half of the Sunbeams moved out over the Summer.
  Cameron has been making more friends through the pre-school co-op & home-school group we attend. He does pre-school with some friends from church & our home-school/art group with friends from the neighborhood. Cameron really loves art, especially collage & sculpting with clay.
  Cameron has always loved books & this year he excitedly started reading them on his own. His new skill has been put to good use as he reads to his brother & sister. Also, when he wakes up before everyone else, rather than waking people up, he usually pulls out some books- his mother and father greatly appreciate his consideration.  
  Cameron also loved all the time that he has been able to spend with cousins this year. He loved spending a whole week with all of his Crane cousins this Summer during our Crane Family Reunion. He also really enjoyed seeing all but three of his Crane cousins at Thanksgiving and just wishes that he could have seen cousins from both sides this year.
  We asked what his favorite part of this year, Cameron said getting a baby brother. Cameron REALLY loves Gideon. He loves being a good helper & making Gideon laugh.

Lilliana-  Our little monkey turned two this year. Lately, Lilliana’s motto has been “monkey see, monkey do.” It has been so fun watching Lilliana’s personality emerge as her language skills have exploded this year. Some of my favorite quotes of the year are: “I not princess; I monkey!”; similarly after I called her gorgeous, “I not go-juss; I monkey!” Lilliana is definitely the feisty one in the family. She loves singing & dancing. She can often be found walking around la, la, la-ing her own little ditty. Lilliana has also followed in the footsteps of her Mother & Vov√≥, she loves shoes. Sophia’s high-heels are often strewn about the house because Lilliana has pulled them out to try on.
  Speaking of trying things on, Lilliana loves playing dress-up; Her favorite thing to dress-up as is Super “Groger” (Lilliana’s way of saying Grover). Having a new baby brother has added a new sense of Mommy-ness to Lilliana. Lilliana, loves being a mommy to her plethora of baby dolls & stuffed animals. She can regularly be found making massive piles of blankets so that all of her babies can sleep close to each other.
  Lilliana is a very considerate little girl & loves her friends and family very much. Her prayers are often the longest of any of the rest of her family because she has to pray for all of her friends & family by name, multiple times per prayer. She really loves nursery & all of her friends in it.

Gideon-  Our newest edition is one happy baby. From the day that he was born he has had a smile on his face. His bright countenance has made the transition to three so much easier. He is dearly loved by his family.
  We had a scare early on with the doctors thinking that he had a heart problem, but thankfully (I am sure in large part to all the prayers imparted in his behalf by our friends & family), it was nothing serious. He has a stenosis of the veins that go to his skin in his arms and legs (I forget the whole medical term) making them appear purple if he is cold or if there is pressure applied to the joints. We were told that he would mostly grow out of it & that it is not serious. He will also likely end up with asthma if current signs mean anything, but asthma we have dealt with with. So, all things considering he is great.
  My chubby little guy is a light weight. At only 18.5 lbs at 5 months, he is the smallest thus far of all of my babies. He is currently sitting up for 30-60 seconds, depending on how quickly he is distracted. He has also started rolling around & scooting himself backwards. It will only be a short while before he is crawling around and getting into everything.

  We have been truly blessed this year by the love and support of all of our friends and family. From meals & babysitting to prayers & well wishes, we have really appreciated & been touched by the outpouring of love. We have also been blessed by a kind and loving Heavenly Father and His Son, who, when we thought we couldn’t make it, was always there for us. We have felt our Savior’s love for us time and again.
  We pray that you too have felt His love. And, as we take the time to celebrate His birth this Christmas season, that we might all take the time express our love and gratitude to Him, who gave us the greatest gift all all- His life.

May His light & love be with you now & always,
Brian, Sophia, Cameron, Lilliana & Gideon Crane

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cameron's First Talk

   I cannot believe that my little boy is big enough to be giving talks in Primary. But sure enough, the day came & he did so well.

His topic was on "How I can know the scriptures are true." We spoke to him about it and He dictated the talk. He spoke about some of his favorite scripture stories: Nephi building a boat; Helaman & the stripling warriors; Samuel the Lamanite preaching on the wall; Captain Moroni; Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-nego in the fiery furnace. He followed by talking about how good he feels when he hears the scriptures read to him & how that feeling is the Spirit. He concluded with telling the Primary that when you read & pray about the scriptures the Spirit will tell you that they are true. 

   Let me tell you, Cameron loves the scriptures. He will not let us forget or skip the scriptures before we go to bed. He loves to pretend that he is his favorite scripture heroes & even gets his imaginary friends (Abbot the Rabbit, Clat & Nat) in on the fun. It touches my heart to hear him enthusiastically tell you about his favorite stories & what he learns from them. I feel privileged when I hear him speak of Christ and His love for us. Cameron is such a blessing to have in my life. I am constantly amazed by the power of the large spirit in his little body. 

   I was so proud of him today giving his first talk. I couldn't ask for a cuter Sunbeam to have in my life right now. Congratulations Cameron, your first talk and you are already a better pro then Mommy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 Family Christmas Letter with lots of photos

   With the end of the year approaching I have been thinking about the complete lack of year end family letters during our almost 5 years of marriage. So, I decided that I needed to rectify this problem by actually sitting down & writing one this year. As a brief means of catching up, Brian & I have been in Houston, TX for the last three and a half years.  Brian is in his third and last year of Texas Women’s University’s Doctoral program in Physical therapy. I stay home and try to keep up with our rambunctious three year old Cameron & feisty one and a half year old Lilliana.
   This year has been lots of fun. We started off the year by, using our Christmas gift from my dad, and visiting Piney Shores Resorts in Conroe, TX for a mini family vacation. Unfortunately, there were record lows, I think it got down to 15 degrees- which is very cold for here, and the pipes froze. We still managed to have fun swimming, playing miniature golf and board games, going to The Woodland’s Mall play area, the kids also loved playing in the extra large bathtub (I did too, it is not often that I find a bathtub that I fit in). I also celebrated a quarter century of life this month.

   In February Lilliana, at only nine months, started walking. Talk about energetic, this girl does not stop. She was very happy to finally be able to keep up with her big brother. We enjoyed the nice weather by spending lots of time at the various parks close by.      

   March’s big event was Cameron’s third birthday. This year we had a big fireman themed party. I made a couch sized cardboard fire truck- that stayed in the house for a month and a half before we finally laid it to rest in our recycling bin, a 3D fire truck cake & then we ended by visiting a close by fire station.    March is also Rodeo month here in Houston. Cameron LOVES it and is always disappointed when it’s gone.  Brian participated in PT Olympics in San Antonio and we took the opportunity to have another mini vacation so we could go cheer him on. We also went to Lulu’s Cafe and ate the biggest cinnamon roll that I have ever seen- mmm… it was delicious; it took us almost a week to finish.

   April our baby girl turned one. It never ceases to amaze me how fast children grow and in an infant’s case was a difference a year makes.  This year I made Lilliana a birthday dress, it was lots of fun and it turned out mostly how I wanted it. We also enjoyed Easter this year. We dyed eggs for the first time & Lilliana had a lot of fun her first egg hunt. She also had her first taste of candy when she found a chocolate egg and unwrapped it before we noticed.

   In May we celebrated 4 years together. Then at the end of the month we headed out to Utah & were blessed to attend the wedding of my brother Jonathan to his beautiful wife Haruka. Cameron was thrilled to get to play in the snow at Alta ski lodge , where the wedding took place. I was glad to get to spend time in the mountains that I love so much.

   In June, Brian started a two month clinical rotation at a hospital in Ogden. We were blessed to be able to stay with my Brother Dax, his wife Kim & their great kids. They had a great view of Pineview Reservoir from their home and, living in a valley, we were surrounded by majestic mountains. We had fun playing at Ogden’s children’s museum called the Tree House, going to the library, finding fun parks to spend our time & going to my nieces’ t-ball games.

   Being in Utah afforded us the chance to visit a lot of friends and family that we haven’t seen for a long time. In July we went and spent the fourth with Brian’s Brother Brent & his wonderful family. I chopped off 15 inches of hair to donate; Brian did a double take when he first saw me. We were also able to attend two family reunions, the Crane family & the Pinegar Family. We had so much fun. For the Pinegar family reunion we camped & that was a first for our kids. S’mores became a quick favorite of Cameron’s; Lilliana preferred plain uncooked marshmallows. We also did a lot of hiking & playing at the beach by the reservoir. with the kids in July. I sure do miss my mountains.

   Home again in August, it was nice to be back. We spent a lot of time playing in the water to keep cool. The kids loved playing in sprinklers, parks with water features & the beach in Galveston.  Lilliana is like a fish when it comes to water. When we went to the beach she spent most of her time playing in or near the water. Cameron, on the other hand, was much more content playing in the sand & looking for sea shells.

   In September, Brian started his last year of his Physical Therapy program. He had another clinical rotation start. Fair weather meant a lot of time spent outside. A clearance sale purchase of a kiddy pool meant the kids spent almost everyday in swimsuits. I found some really excellent bread recipes and started baking loafs almost every day.

   We spent a lot of time celebrating in October. We went to three or four pumpkin patches, a Fall festival and two different trunk-or-treat activities. October was also our National Night Out event that I planned as part of participating in our neighborhood board. I made Cameron a Dalmatian costume. Lilliana was Dorothy.

   In November Brian submitted his research project that he has been working on since his first year. It was a huge burden off his shoulders to have that done. I started watching some kids from our ward during the week during school hours. Cameron & Lilliana have really enjoyed having friends to play with during the day. We spent Thanksgiving at Brian’s Uncle’s house and had a really good time.

   December is promising to be a festive one.  We have lots of parties to go to and lots of friends and family to visit with. Mostly, I am just grateful for this time to reflect on the life of my beautiful Savior. I am so overwhelmed by his love that I see manifest in our lives everyday. May His light shine bright for all of you the Christmas Season.

   2011 will be an exciting year for us. In May, we will celebrate five wonderful years of marriage together. Brian also graduates in May & will then take his licensure exams in June. This summer a fifth Crane will also be making their way to our family. We feel so blessed by the Lord & we pray His blessings on you too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Brian, Sophia, Cameron & Lilliana Crane