Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My New Favorite Picture

All Aboard!

Tim and I decided to take Abby on the Polar Express this year. She's been talking about trains, loves watching Thomas, and her attention span has increased to well over 10 minutes.  :-)  We asked her if she wanted to go on a train and her response was, "The blue one."  Not a questions, but a statement.  When I mentioned it might not be blue, she said, "The orange one."  Well, might not be orange either.

We received our tickets in the mail and I showed her the gold ticket that is hers.  Her eye lit up like a Christmas tree!  She has faithfully asked about the train every morning solidifying we made the right decision.  I pull up Polar Express on line, show her the train, and we share a little bit of the story.

The author, Chris Van Allsburg, wrote an excerpt on Amazon that I found heartwarming.  Scroll down to the Amazon exclusive to read it.  It will tug on your heart strings and will compel you to hug your loved ones a little closer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Favorite Books

I have several favorite books I love reading to Abby.  We've been reading to her since the first day we brought her home and she now will sit and read books for a lengthy period of time.  Her love of reading will hopefully advance her when she hits kindergarten and beyond. 

When we moved to Maine, the first time I read Good Night Maine, I shed tears like it was my job.  A simple story with such poignant meaning.  We read this one several times a week and I express my gratitude each and every time. 

Another one is, On the Night You Were Born, byNancy Tillman.  I'm fairly certain this one was one of the first ones we read to Abigail Jean.  Even to this day, there's one page I can't get past without the tears forming, my voice cracking, and Abby looking at me like I have five heads. 

"So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for geese honking high in the sky, 
(They're singing a song to remember you by.)

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It's because they've been dancing all night for you!)

Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen's whispering your name again!)"

Get's me every time.

The new favorite is a book Abby received as a birthday gift from cousins Kelsie, Jeff and Trevor -  If I could Keep You Little.  The title speaks for itself and definitely will be on my gift list.  I haven't found it in a board book like the others, but it should!  

These a few titles I tend to pick out.  Abby has a tendency to pick out the nursery rhymes, Sandra Boynton books, and lots others. Not only is she my dancing queen (which she is currently doing), she is my reading queen.  On that note, I'm going to join in on the party!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I know I am a couple days late.  We have been so busy expressing our gratitude, it's been hard to write.  You know, contributing to the economy (shopping), making sure we don't go hungry (stuffing our faces with yummy food), and engaging in educational advancement (watching Monsters vs Aliens and Happy Feet 2). 

On a more serious note, the Proctors have so much to be thankful for.  Our families, a beautiful home to keep us warm, a full pantry to keep our bellies satisfied, our health, employment, and of course each other.  We wish each of you a blessed holiday season and hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love and laughter. 

Gobble! Gobble!

Tim, Jess & Abby

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Two.  She's two.  Abigail Jean was born two years ago today at 12:37pm after four long hours of pushing.  Oh boy do I remember that one well....Here's the original story.

We celebrated yesterday with lots of family, friends, and food.  Southern BBQ was the theme and we had pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, corn bread, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, beans, chicken wings, clam dip, buffalo chix dip, and sooooo much more.  We didn't starve that's for sure.

Here are some pictures of our day!

The obligatory picture with Teddy

Our cow girl

Enjoying lunch outside 11/20/11 58 degrees (Yee Haw!!)

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Creating with new paints!

We had a splendid day and enjoyed every last minute!  The only down fall of having a large family is not being able to spend quality time with everyone.  We loved seeing grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, little ones, and the family's newest additions.  Abby was spoiled in true fashion and will be celebrating her birthday a little bit each day.  Thank you!!!

Tim, Jess & Abby

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Two months!"

Abby knows it is her birthday and she knows she's getting presents.  We've been working on the "thank yous" and holding up two fingers for two years.  When and how this happened, I will never know, but our little Abigail is going to be two on Monday.  We're celebrating tomorrow with family and wish we could have all our friends and little friends with us. 

We started the festivities with dinner at The Local Buzz with Papa and Gwen.  We very much appreciated their willingness to come up to Cape Elizabeth from Kennebunkport and they saw first hand how craaazyy Miss Abby can be.  We love having dinner at TLB because it is family friendly with great staff and they have a corner for kids to play. Genius.  Did I mention family friendly? 

After a short cold shoulder, Abby warmed up quickly to Papa and Gwen.  We enjoyed dinner and are looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.  Let's hope Abby stays her crazy self!

When asked who's birthday is coming up she says, "Abby!!!"  How old are you going to be? "Two months!!" (don't mind the first few seconds...)

I'm not sure where she got the "months" from instead of years.  No, Abby, you're not two months, but time has flown so fast two months sounds about right.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It's hard to find time these days for much of anything besides family, work, and a bit of socializing or sewing.  However, there are few missions as important as Mission:1.  I became involved with Mission:1 through the Mission Outreach Team at our church.  During Nov. 1-11, 2011 we are ONE UNITED CHURCH on a shared mission for 11 powerful days to feed the hungry and confront food-related injustice.  The goal is to raise $111,000 for Neighbors in Need, write 11,111 letters to Congress, and 1 million food items for local food banks.  Our own group was nationally recognized by the UCC here.

We sponsored several awareness events for our congregation including inviting Donna Yellen, Director of the Maine Hunger Initiative and Advocacy at Preble Street, spoke to us about Food Securities in Maine last night.  In 90 short minutes, I learned so much.  

I learned about hunger and poverty in state of Maine as well as international famine.  I learned that Maine is the 6th hungriest state and has had some of its funding slashed by 57% while other states only 24%.  I learned that the men and women begging on the street corner work hard for those few dollars.  I learned that they are more hurt by the lack of eye contact than the lack of money.   They've been ignored, have had hot coffee thrown at them, and have been arrested for stepping into the street to reach for the money being generously handed to them.  I learned that those same men and woman are the sickest of all the homeless and will most likely die on the streets. The news doesn't share those tragedies.

I learned that food sources have been slashed. Grocery stores are using technologies to analyze what their shoppers purchase, therefore having less extra inventory to donate.  And those dented cans?  Dollar stores are buying them for next to nothing.  In light of the economic downturn, funding has been cut.  The shelves in food pantries are struggling to stay stocked while more and more families are in need. 

I learned that I am thankful for my well stocked pantry and full refrigerator.   My time might be precious, but I absolutely have time to try and give back all I can.  That may mean volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating healthy food, writing a letter to my Congress, or donating a few extra dollars to my church's food panty.  I have the ability to help this travesty. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time flies

I can't believe Abby is going to be two.  It's really unimaginable, but here we are almost two years later....

There are some instances where she's clearly not two.  She's still solidly wearing 18 month clothes and size 4/5 shoes.  Many kiddos her age are well into 2+ clothing and size 9 shoes! Abby has completely mastered many of her Melissa and Doug puzzles for ages1+.  She's just a petite little one with a big head, er brain. 

In other cases she's surpassing the two year mark with flying colors.  Her fine motor skills are top notch and she's drawing up a storm. She's coloring on every scratch pad, church bulletin, and coloring book.  Thankfully not many walls.  She'll be replicating Van Gogh's any day now.

I'm excited to give her a trunk filled with dress up clothing for her birthday because the pretend play is amazing!  Currently, Elmo, Teddy and George are eating breakfast with us.  Actually, Elmo is "eating" some of Abby's cheerios right now.  Santa told me he's bringing Abby a play kitchen, so I suspect that will be a huge hit as well.

Oh, she's your typically two year old.  Flirting with peeing on the potty, sassy talk, and of course negotiating on many occasions.  Most of this is quite minor as she is polite (please, thank you, and bless you) most of the time and the "noooooooo's" are only once or twice a day.

The snuggle time first thing in the morning is absolutely one of my favorite things about this almost two year old.  Oh, and the eskimo and butterfly kisses.  And the contagious giggles and streaks of independence.  She's going to be in college tomorrow.  Oh how time flies...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

What a fun Halloween!

5:45pm - wrapping up dinner at MiMi and Grampy's, dressing in costume, taking our last bite of pazzo as we scoot out the door. 
6:00- practice trick or treating at MiMi's and Grampy's.  She did awesome!  The look of incredulous that she was being given candy was priceless.  The phone rang in the middle of the practice round and she had no problems reaching into the pumpkin for more chocolate.
6:15 - Trick or treating at the Lester's!  What a blast to visit my old street and neighbors.  Now, those were the days of pillow cases and bags and bags of candy. On the way, I asked if she wanted more candy? "YESS!!" was her response....
6:20 - On the way to Uncle Rob and Trish's, I asked Abby if she wanted to get more candy.  "candy, Candy, CANDY!" was her response.  Trick or Treat = twik tweat :-)
7:00 Next stop the Benson's/Braiser house!  So fun to see Pirate Liam and Monkey Nora.
7:30 Last stop at the Legere's. Clearly noting her sleepy eyes,  I asked Abby if she wanted more candy.   "No. No more" I'm not sure if this little flower is my child anymore!

She was very polite for all our visits.  Many times she said "please" instead of trick or treat and rarely grabbed for the goods.  Well, I take that back - she seemed to sneak a few pieces when no was looking.

Happy Halloween!