Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve in Washington

"It's Christmas Eve in Washington, America's home town..."
Most of you won't ever have heard that particular Christmas song, but it's one I know pretty well! And I have to say, I'm kind of partial to Christmas here -- it's where all the family is! We had so much fun this year -- as the boys get older Christmas just gets more and more fun!Some of the highlights were Peking Gourmet, baking gingerbread cookies, eating Dennis' cooking (as well as everyone else's -- it was all good), Santa spending 3-plus hours putting together a very elaborate castle, and of course being with our family! Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome Home Della!

After a year in Afghanistan, my dad, Dan Alexander (Della, to the boys) finally returned home last night -- just in time for Christmas! What a special Christmas treat for all of us. Welcome home Della! We're so happy you're here with us again! We love you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

Pictures from the Orr Hanukkah party, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Talking to the Big Guy

Jake met Santa the other day. Did he tell Santa what he wants for Christmas? No. Did he talk Santa's ear off, about anything that popped into that little 5-year-old brain? You bet! Santa was cracking up, and Jake was talking, and talking, and talking... At least now there is no doubt -- Santa really does know everything. Jake told him!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Funny Photo Catch-Up

Hello there! Just thought I should update the blog with a few of my favorite pictures of those "sweet" boys I hang around with.

So, the first two pictures are from the Best Fit Ever. I'm telling you, both boys threw their best fits ever, and at the same time! I have to say it was one of the highlights of my week -- maybe longer. Okay, maybe I should explain: See, ever since the boys were very small -- I think it all started because Camden was such a happy baby and Dan wanted to prove to people that he did cry sometimes-- we've kind of had this obsession with taking pictures of their fits. Okay, we're probably horrible parents and our children are going to grow up with serious psychological problems, but I try to justify it all with, "Hey, at least we don't get all upset and beat them or something... Maybe they'll learn to laugh at themselves since their parents laugh at them all the time..." A stretch, maybe, but it sure makes me feel better about it all! Okay, so back to the fits. The boys were tired, they were hungry, and they both wanted to do completely opposite things, neither of which was going to happen. Oh, and we had just had the home inspection at our new house and Dan and I needed to talk to the realtor. So now you can picture the scene -- we are outside our new house, in our new neighborhood, and our two boys are screaming their heads off. So we wrestled them into their carseats and figured, "hey, let them scream it out there; at least they're safe." But then we couldn't hear ourselves think, much less our realtor, so I just shut the car door. For some reason, this really got them mad. I think my favorite moment was when Jake's hand was inside Camden's mouth. No, I'm not completely sure how it got there, but I think Jake put it there. No worries though, I'm not sure Camden even noticed; he didn't bite -- or even react at all. At least I don't think he reacted; his crying didn't change... So all in all, it was pretty great. For Dan and me, at least. And I don't think there was any permanent emotional scarring. Well, maybe for my brother who watched it all unfold. But the boys seem fine! Just to let you know, the rest of the evening was fine. They recover quickly. The realtor went to McDonalds and came back with cookies, which the boys got to eat before dinner. The got to stay up late watching The Incredibles (that was planned before the fit. We do not reward that kind of behavior around our house, well not usually). The next morning all we had to show for such a great fit were a few pictures, that really don't do it justice. Oh well, when I opened the car door to snap the pictures it kind of distracted them. But c'est le vie!

Okay, so the last picture was taken just a few days later. This is how Jake plugs his nose. Enough said.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Change of Plans

Isn't it amazing how our plans can change so suddenly? What is really amazing is that even during a huge change of plans, we can still see the Lord's hand in all we do!

After two weeks with a contract on the cute little farmhouse in Stafford, we had to void the contract. A very hard and sad decision to make, but we know it was the right one. We learned through various home inspectiuons that the foundation of the house (it was 100 years old, after all) was disintegrating. The sellers were willing to make the necessary repairs, so we continued to plan for that house. However, last Sunday morning Dan woke up with a horrible feeling about the house. We discussed it and since I had been having doubts for a few days already, we decided to void the contract and move on with something else. Luckily, there was another great house sitting there just waiting for us (even closer to Dan's office) and we will be closing on the 30th of this month! We just had the home inspection on this house and what a different feeling we have about this one! It will be a great home for our family -- and it shouldn't fall into it's foundation, either!

What a blessing we have received. Not only will we have a great, strong home for our family, but we also had a chance to listen to and obey the promptings of the Spirit. The Lord is always taking care of us and guiding us through this life -- if we will let Him and listen to His counsel.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! Despite a very sick little boy (Camden), Halloween was a lot of fun for the Orr family. Both boys have been telling me they wanted to be Spiderman for at least two months. So with all that time I planned ahead and costumes were ready in plenty of time, right? If you think that's true, you don't know me very well! I started making Spiderman costumes the evening of the 30th, and we were ready for trick-or-treating by the time Dan got home from work on the 31st. Nothing like the last minute! Trick-or-treating was fun. We made it about 8 houses before Camden tuckered out, so I carried a sleepy Spidey back down the hill while Dan and Jake kept going a little longer. I think the best part of the evening, at least for Dan and me, was that Jake insisted on wearing underwear on his head instead of a spiderman mask. One old lady asked, "Is that underwear on your head?!"

We hope you all had a great Halloween! Oh, and Camden is feeling much better...

Sorry about the lack of pictures. For some reason they won't upload. But I'll try again later!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dreams Can Come True!

After 6 months of desperately trying to find a new job for when Dan got out of NOAA (he's with us now!!!); after 6 months of stress about where we would be living and how we would support our family; it all has come together in the last few days!!! Two weeks ago, Dan sent a resume to SAIC and they called him five minutes later. The next day he interviewed for the job, and exactly one week later he accepted a great offer. The day after he got the offer was his resignation date from NOAA, he hopped on a plane, and was with us in Virginia. We have had the most wonderful week being together as a family again.

The job, which Dan starts tomorrow, is for SAIC, and he'll be at an office in Stafford, VA (more specifically, Garrisonville). And here's the best part: we found our dream home just a few miles from the office! We go to settlement in axactly one month. Now, for all of you who don't know this part of the country, Stafford is where people go to buy big houses that they could never afford in the DC area. But they work in the DC area, so everybody commutes up. With no traffic, it's a good 45 minute drive from Garrisonville to Falls Church, and if you need to actually get into the District, we're talking longer. Throw in a TON of commuter traffic, and it becomes a two hour commute -- each way! We are so blessed to get to live there AND work there. We can afford a house and we don't have to exchange it for family time -- Dan can still bike to work! And no more months away at sea!!!

We feel so blessed. Our Heavenly Father loves and takes care of His children. We know this because He has shown us in so many ways. So many times in our marriage -- and before (ask sometime about the road to our marriage and I can give you a list...) -- we have come to a crossroads and had no idea what to do or how to make things work. But every time the Lord has guided our lives so that the right things happen at exactly the right times. So while we stress for 6 months about what we will do, the Lord already knows what we need, and He pulls it all together for us in the last few days. We are constantly reminded of His great love for us and our family -- and you and yours!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"My Mommy Is Amazing"

Okay, so this story isn't so flattering to myself, but it was so funny I just have to share. Tonight, Jake was on the phone with Dan while I was getting dinner on the table - or at least trying to get dinner on the table. Here's the problem: I could not get the chicken from the baking dish onto the plates. I literally threw every piece of chicken I touched onto the floor, much to the dogs' delight, but much to Jake's dismay. And it went something like this (actually, it went exactly like this):

Jake (on phone): "Mommy keeps dropping the chicken on the floor!"
Jake (still on phone): "It's not funny!"

Jen (laughing hysterically): "Yes, it is!"

Jake: "Oh no, Mommy thinks it's funny, too!"

So poor sweet Jake was pretty upset by the fact that both of his parents were taking such a devastating waste of good food so lightly. And then it happened. I successfully transferred a piece of chicken from the dish to a plate!

Jake (on phone): "She did it! She didn't drop the chicken! My mommy is amazing!"

Wow. And there you have it. Proof that I really am an amazing mother...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BV Boys

The boys and I are so very excited and happy to be going up to Northern Virginia this weekend. Dan is finally coming out to the East Coast to join us! And he may even have a job soon, too... But a part of all our hearts will be left here in good ol' Buena Vista, home of the "Buenaversity" (thanks Tommy), aka Southern Virginia University, and of course Bob and Della's house. When we came down here a few months ago I had no idea how many old friends we'd find still hanging out in the Virginia hills. And now all those fun people I went to school with are all grown up with little ones of their own! What great times we've had! Jake and Jackson (my old roomie Joyelle's little man) were best friends as soon as they met, and even got to go to preschool together! I just love seeing the two Jacksons running around together. And it's been kinda nice to be the "Nugget" again, too! We'll miss you BV!
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