Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas with family!

We headed up for time with Amos's parents in the middle of the month so that we could all get time together before schedules got too hairy. It was a great time. And, Landon loves his new rocking horse from Grandpa and Grandma Haffner.

Don't fear for Adam's life (read title of book)... his Mom picked this up for her. Good times.

On Christmas Eve it was up to Muncie for a large family gathering at Landon's Great Grandparents house.

Amos & Crystal did some proactive thinking and showed up about 2 hours early for some extra time with the "Greats." It was also time for LA to get acclimated before the masses arrived and it worked. He was 100% himself for the 20+ plus crowd of family...did crazy talk, all his animal noises, turned in circles, played cars with Great Grandma Turner, scratched his belly and ran around like a nut until 1.5 hrs past his bedtime.

Great Uncle Wayne showing Landon the "Balls!"

On Christmas Day, after some time at home with just the three of us, we headed to Brownsburg for time at Papa and Nana's. Landon got to spend the afternoon with his cousin Raymond, Uncle Frankie and Aunt Ruby as well.

Landon opening up his new F150 audio truck with boat in tow! Papa was pretty proud of this find.

The Haffner Home along with Crystal's brother and sister created three framed and mounted pics of their three grandkids for the hallway that leads to the loft where the kids always play. They were very appreciative!

"If he could only reach the spicket." thinks the Westie.

Papa and Landon closing out the night with a new Colts football and Billy Bass.

Friday, December 21, 2007

cuddling with Mama

Amos is officially off work until 2008 and we're doing some relaxing today!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

#7 -- Junky Car Club Calendar the "Top Ten Gifts That Give"

This 2008 calendar features beautiful shots of Junky Car Club members and their vehicles. The Junky Car Club is a group of members who are learning to live with less so they can give more.

"We're a bunch of happy drivers who are politely rebelling against consumerism by driving junky cars. We encourage our members to use their dough to support social justice causes instead of making fat car payments. We believe in environmental stewardship and hanging onto things a little longer. Junky Car Club members sponsor kids living in poverty through Compassion International."

Check out this sweet ride from their gallery...

Because not only is the Junky Car Club itself a great cause and message in a world of bigger, better, faster, more...but 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this calendar will benefit the Corps of Compassion in Las Vegas. The Corps of Compassion currently delivers food to over 700 homeless and at risk children in 14 schools every weekend through their backpack program. Currently, there are over 4,000 homeless and at risk children living in the city.

$12. Or, pick up a bundle for $40 and divy them up to even more friends this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

#8 -- Blood:Water Mission the "Top Ten Gifts That Give"

Doesn't every warm-blooded American love a quality t-shirt? Why not gift one that gives to a life-saving relationship-building cause?

One out of every five people in the world don't have access to clean drinking water. According to UNICEF, 80% of sickness and death among children is caused by water-related diseases That's almost four million deaths every year!

Blood:Water Mission was inspired by a few actively broken hearts when the guys from Jars of Clay visited Africa in 2002 and learned of the dyer (all too literal a term in this case) need for clean water amongst the majority of the population. Dehydration isn't the only issue. Unclean water is a primary cause of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. And, why? It's just clean water for Goodness sake! Just drill some more holes! That's precisely what the 1000 Wells project is set out to do. To drill 1000 Wells into African communities through communal involvement, fiscal support and awareness.

BW:M is committed to clean blood and clean water to fight HIV/AIDS, to build clean wells in Africa, to support medical facilities caring for the sick, to make a lasting impact in the fight against poverty, injustice and oppression in Africa through the linking of needs, talents and continents, of people and resources.

Twenty bones is all. That's about a cup of coffee a head-sized burrio and a couple energy drinks. Who needs all that faux energy when you could pick up a B:WM shirt for someone? Rest assured that over 80% of the profits BW:M makes from all purchases go directly to the cause...not salaries..not admin fees...straight to the cause.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas in Chicago!

We went into the city last weekend while visiting Uncle Eric and Aunt Debbie. We had such a great time. Above is a very cool train in the Hancock building. Landon was entertained for...oh about 3 minutes and then wanted to run around.

A family photo...Crystal was freezing!

A great "Amos" shot of Landon opening gifts at Uncle Eric and Aunt Debbie's house.

Very funny! Aunt Debbie is opening a "Landon" calander that we made for her and Eric.

Landon is more entertained with ribbons, boxes and paper this year. He loves to get in the boxes!

Papa and Uncle Eric being boys, playing with fire. It is about 15 degrees and they could care less.

Landon and Nana enjoying the Christmas tree. Landon loves balls, so he was very excited to show us every ball on the tree.

An early morning picture with our snuggly son. He is such a cuddler!! I hope he stays like this for a long, long time!!!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

#9 -- 963 the "Top Ten Gifts That Give"

#9 -- 963 Coffee Project

You Java. Black Gold (or, is that oil?). In America, we consume 2.3 billion pounds of the stuff a year! That's the equivalent of 4 football stadiums, 620 African elephants, 12,500 gallons of 2% milk and 62 average-sized female baboons. (It's important to note that this measurement is not at all precise.)

However, for the 108 million coffee-drinkers in the U.S., fair trade options still aren't top of mind. When the big dogs like Starbucks, Seattle's Best, Dunkin Donuts, etc are still offering "slave trade coffees," it's a problem.

963 Coffee Project offers a half dozen blends of fair trade coffee (and hot cocoa) on their website. You can even purchase whole bean or ground. They also offer fundraising kits, mugs and apparel. 963’s purpose is twofold: to provide a fair wage for coffee farmers in poverty-stricken communities and to allow groups and individuals to use the coffee to raise funds for mission projects (like Blood:Water Mission) and relief initiatives.

Why Care?
Behind oil, coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world. However, the trade system does not work in favor of developing countries; unlike the oil industry, coffee producers live in extreme poverty, bringing in an average of only $500 per year. For every American coffee drinker, there is one worker elsewhere in the world who depends on coffee for their day-to-day survival.

Because the rules that govern trade favor rich countries, the potential to reduce poverty and support economic growth for poorer countries is being lost. As a result, most of these developing countries are dependent on outside aid for their survival. If Africa alone could increase its share of world exports by just 1%, it would generate $70 billion – about 5 times what it already receives in aid.

Families do not have enough money to send their children to school, nor can they afford basic medical care and have access to clean water. They are trapped in a cycle of poverty, unable to escape on their own.

A bag of beans is only setting you back $10 Washington's. A fair price for fair trade. So, get to gifting it!

Friday, December 07, 2007

craZy talk

For whatever reason, Landon started playing around with a new language the other day. We started calling it crazy talk and he gets a real kick out of doing it and making us laugh. We're hoping he doesn't opt to only communicate through this means. Should that occur (as you'll see in the videos below), that could make the next few years a bit jargled.

Crazy Talk #1 (yeah, that's milk on his chin)

Crazy Talk #2

a day full of fun!!!

Lots and lots of pictures!!! We had 2 photo shoots after his morning nap and his afternoon nap. You wonder what we do all day??? We take lots of pictures!! Will I take this many of baby #2?? I hope so!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

#10 -- Instant Karma

Let's get this countdown started with...
#10 -- Instant Karma - The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur

This Christmas give someone the gift of music and a life saving cause with a rockin' dual disc (or one bohemeth sized download if you prefer) of audio skillz. Composed of John Lennon tracks and heavily promoted by U2, this album is a heavyweight of artists...R.E.M., Lenny Kravitz, Snow Patrol, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, etc (even Green Day, which Amos really doesn't care for, but it's about the cause). Proceeds from CD and digital sales will support Amnesty International and its campaign to focus attention and mobilize activism around the urgent catastrophe in Darfur, and other human rights crises.

Why Care?
Hundreds of thousands of people have died since 2003 as a result of the violence raging in Darfur. Some 4.5 million people, or 2/3 of the population of Darfur, are currently at risk of death or displacement. Read more here.

Depending on which version of the album you purchase, it seems to cost as little as $11.99 and never more than $19.99. Remember when buying music it's always good to support local music stores (not the mega box stores). Remember when buying music it's always good to support local music stores (not the mega box stores).

Introducing the "Top Ten Gifts That Give"

More so than ever, we at The Haffner Home have found that this year our distaste for "stuff" has reached new heights. Which might be an indirect way of saying we "want less." In fact, Amos would admit, he's downright upset at the notion of bringing home one more unecessary item in the next few weeks in the name of the Christmas spirit. Not because of a lack of appreciation over reciept of a loving gift, but because he doesn't need anything.

The Facts...

There are only two potential historys behind the reason for the season. One is the birth of Jesus Christ. One is the life and legacy of Saint Nicholas. Both of which relentlessly gave to those less fortunate. One of those guys even died for the cause.

Research tells us that if we make over $48k household income a year, that we're in the richest 1% of people in the world! Those things considered, Christmas is about giving to those less fortunate, which we have determined is not us. "Us" meaning that if you're reading this, you have a computer and therefore are rich...or at least employed by the rich.

We don't claim to be staking new ground with this topic. And, this is no War on Christmas, either. We're just feeling a bit more personally accountable to respond to the Christmas Consumption Mindset our culture seems to be promoting. Thankfully, others have gone before us in the effort. In the days to come, we'll outline our Top Ten Gifts That Give. So, here's to saving one less receipt, wearing "that" sweater Aunt Pollie gave you (but, only when she's in town) one less time, keeping one less crystal turtle in the closet for the next white elephant gift exchange and putting a bullet in Secret Santa's head...

Crystal would like to go on record in saying that the bullet-in-Secret-Santa's-head comment was 100% not her idea.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Responsible Celebrity - "Make It Right"

As the year comes to a close, two things come to mind very quickly...

1) Celebrities have never been more in the news for their idiotic behavior as in 2007. However, I question how much of that idiocy is really that outside the norm.

2) Social Cause is the responsibility of every person...especially the institutionalized Church.

This hopeful article from the New York Times today addresses both as Brad Pitt acts on his desire to help rebuild New Orleans. My favorite quote as a precursor to a forthcoming Haffner Home blog regarding Christmas Consumption...

"Mr. Pitt is asking foundations, corporations and individuals to contribute to the project by adopting one house, several houses or a portion of a house through the project Web site, 'You can adopt a tankless water heater or a solar panel or a tree or a low-flush toilet,' Mr. Pitt said. 'You can give it to someone for Christmas,' he said — instead of another sweater."

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Helio WINS!!!

Can I get a wahoo?!! Helio and Julianne won Dancing with the Stars! Let the media frenzy begin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a trip through the house...

...according to Landon

heating & cooling needs

Most of you already know, but just in case you didn't, Crystal's Dad (Frank - aka "Papa") is a heating and cooling expert. With the cold moving in, we thought we would remind you. :)

fun with tp

Why is it that we adults always work to convince ourselves (& our children) that they need toys (& lots of them!) when it's really the simple things they enjoy the most?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

our little LA..... walking all over the place.

...makes us smile bigger everyday! I gave him his first haircut last was needed!

....loves hanging out with his Nana!

..........gets sad when Dada has to leave for work in the morning!

.............loves to open cabinets and walk away real fast with that smile on his face. Is he thinking......"I got away without them seeing me. haha!" us this face when he doesn't get his way. Poor LA!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

+ - (x2)

We learned a few backs back that when two of them are positive, it's pretty much a sure thing.

And, we couldn't be more excited to be expecting baby2! We have had a couple doc appointments and all signs are healthy and go. Due date is June 2. Could even be an Indy 500 baby. And, Landon will be almost 2 (and, hopefully that's not terrible twos). Crystal is working through the joys of the first trimester. :) ...but loving every minute of knowing that little baby2 isn't far off. And, no, we won't be finding out gender this time either. Blame Amos. :)

The below picture isn't entirely on topic, but it sure makes us smile. This was Landon's Nana's (Crystal's Mom) reaction when we shared with her that we were pregnant with Landon back in December 2005. She was completely was everyone else. Including us! :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween chicken!

Crystal The Hippie, Amos The Not Costumed Yet Rocker and Chicken LA.

Landon looked so cute!! He got to visit Amos at work and two people said she is so cute. So, maybe next year we will but him in a superman costume, so there will be no confusion! Thanks Jakey Poe for letting Landon borrow your costume!!

Papa with his 2 grandsons, Raymond "The Bat" and Landon!

Landon hung out with his Papa and Nana and cousin Raymond for the evening. Amos and Crystal got dressed up and headed to Brookside Celebration Church on the near east side to help out with a party for the kids there. It was a blast and we had tons of kids attend!!!

Landon chewing on Chloe's ball.

Crystal and the little chicken. Thanks Emily for letting Crystal borrow your very funny costume.

Landon playing with his Bat cousin.