Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grace's Big Day

Another day, another birthday in our house.

(Here is a picture of Gracie on her first birthday.  She's ready to dive into that cake! )

2.  She loves FIERCELY.  If you are lucky enough to be someone that Grace loves, you are lucky enough.  

(Here's Miss Grace at 18 months.)

3.  She is hysterically funny.  She makes me laugh EVERY SINGLE DAY.  She is ridiculously verbal for her age, and what she says is typically really, REALLY funny.  (She is a WEALTH of material for this blog! HA!)

(Here's a picture of Grace at 2 years old.)
4.  And, the final reason I love her so much is because she was such a nice little gift from God when she was given to us.  We had a little trouble conceiving the first two girls, and just assumed that we would only be fortunate enough to have two children, even though we always wanted more.  When we found out that she was coming, we were SO thrilled.  We have always said that she wanted to be born.  We are so lucky to have her... She brightens our day and makes it special EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Happy Birthday, Baby!  I LOVE YOU!!
**Today we went to Build-A-Bear to celebrate Grace's big day, and BOY, do I have a lot of photos!  I'll be uploading them soon to share, but not tonight.  Tonight, I'm going to bed.  It's been a LONG week!**

**Also, Kate's Basketball Team won their game this morning!!  Woo-Hoo!!  They have come so far... If there was an award for the "most Improved" team, they would win it!!**

Friday, January 30, 2009

10 Reasons Why Kate Is Cool...

I promised a post all about Kate today, so even though it is late, here we go!  In honor of her 10th birthday, here are 10 reasons why Kate is COOL!

3.  Kate is COOL because she loves whole-heartedly.  She loves her family, her animals, her friends, and her Lord with all that she has.

(Here is a photo of Katie Beth at 2 yrs. and 9 mo. - give or take a month!)

4.  Kate is COOL because she WANTS to do the right thing, and she almost ALWAYS make the right decision, if given the chance.

5.  Kate is COOL because she is discovering the athlete that is within herself.  For the longest time, she wouldn't try sports, and now that she has, she is learning to love them.  This past year she has played softball, soccer, basketball, and has also completed her first triathlon.

(Here's a pic of Kate at age 6.)
6.  Kate is COOL because she is always so helpful to everyone.  She helps me EVERY single day.  She helps her sisters.  She helps her friends.  The most amazing thing is, she WANTS to help, and enjoys doing so.

7.  Kate is COOL because she is kind and empathetic.  She never wants anyone to be hurt, and will go out of her way to befriend someone who she is afraid is being left out or is feeling bad.

(Here is a picture of Kate last year, at age 9, at her first horse show.)

8.  Kate is COOL because she is learning that it is OK to step out of her comfort zone and try something new.  This year she tried out for the Math team at her school, even though she didn't want to, and was afraid to do so.  Her teacher encouraged her to do it, and do you know what?  She made the team.

9.  Kate is COOL because she is loyal and true.  When she makes a friend, she really will stand by them.

(Here is a picture of Miss Kate just a few days ago, at her 10th birthday party.)
10.  And the tenth and final reason that Kate is COOL is because she loves her Mama.  She still likes to hang out with me and her Dad, and for that, I am so grateful.  I do vaguely recall being a girl once, and I know that the days are coming when she WON'T be so fond of her parents, but for now, I'm holding on to these moments with all I've got!

Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet Kate.  I love you more than ice cream (and that's saying a lot!)

You are REALLY cool.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A FABULOUS surprise...

We pulled it off... we surprised my daughter!!  When she came home from school, this is what was waiting for her.  Her bedroom door was "wrapped" like a giant present!When she opened the door, her "old" room (which she shared with her younger sister) had been transformed into a "new" room.  She was so excited!  She squealed and jumped and kept asking, "HOW?!?!?"  It was PRICELESS!!

Luckily, in the middle of working on the room, my bloggy-friend, Amy, called and said, "DON'T FORGET TO TAKE PICTURES!!!!!!"  Whoops!  I forgot to take the "before pictures, but I took lots of "after" pictures.  Here they are, in no particular order.

Abby and I picked out this new lamp for Kate yesterday.  The table is an antique.  It was in my mother's room when she was a little girl, and then it was in my room the whole time I was growing up.  It has been in the nursery since Kate was born, and then when Abby was a baby, and then when Grace was a baby.  I gave it a new coat of paint to match the new room.
This is her new chair.  She also got new curtains.  CUTE!
Here is her bed.  She picked out these letters from a catalog months ago, and I ordered them right away.  I've been hiding them...
Here is another view of the bed area.
Here's her book shelf and cute monkey picture from Tar-Jay.

This is a cute little vinyl rub-on wall decal.  (Bridgette and I worked on this for a LONG time, but finally got it to stick!)  This is on the wall right when you walk into her room.
It was a perfect birthday surprise.  I'm so glad we did it!  I also have pictures of the other bedroom that we did for Abby and Grace, but I will post them on another day.  I'll leave you today with a HUGE thank-you to Shelley, Bridgette, and Judy.  I couldn't have pulled it off with out them!

AND... Happy 10th Birthday, Kate.  Your mom loves you more than you know!!!!  I'll be back tomorrow with a special post all about the birthday girl, including "10 Reasons Why Kate is Cool!) ;-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tomorrow's the big day...

Tomorrow is Kate's 10th birthday, and BOY!  Do I have a big surprise for her!

SHHHHH!  It's a secret, so don't tell her!

She is getting her own bedroom for her birthday.

When she leaves for school tomorrow, she will be leaving her bedroom that she shares with her younger sister, just like always.

When she comes home from school tomorrow, she will be coming home to a new room that is ALL HERS, complete with new bed, new bedding, new pictures on the wall, new lamp, new chair... it's going to be quite a transformation.

I have a few friends that are going to make this all possible, so a big thanks in advance to Judy, Shelley, and Bridgette.  (THANKS, GIRLS!!!!!  LOVE YOU!!)

Can't wait to show you the big re-do...  Hopefully I'll remember to take photos...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Luke's New Toy

Luke got a new toy this weekend.It's his belated Christmas present, and his birthday present and his everything present for the next year or so, but isn't it pretty?  He says it is quite fast.   And  (according to him) it can do almost everything except slice a loaf of bread.  I don't know... looks a lot like his other bike to me, but I guess boys must have their toys...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The birthdays just keep on a comin'...

January is a big month for birthdays in our family.  We have my aunt Beth, her twin sons, Luke's sister, my brother, his youngest son, my oldest daughter, and my youngest daughter.  It is a popular month, clearly, and (frankly) exhausting, coming so soon after Christmas.

The girls played outside and played inside, and we made some special pillow cases and a special picture frame to commemorate the special day.  Then we ate some pizza.

And then it was time for the cake.  I must say, this might be one of my favorite cakes of all time.  Cute, cute, cute, yet not TOO "little girl-y".  (Because, you know, we're ten and all....)

We sang happy birthday, and then she blew out the candles...
... and then we opened some spectacular presents.  Then it was time for pajamas and popcorn and movies.  I convinced the girls to pose for a group shot before the movie, and then made copies of the photo to put in their special picture frames that they made earlier.  They look very sweet, I think!
But, of course, we had to take a "silly shot", too.  
The party was a great success, I think. At least I know my girls had a great time!  All the girls got along fabulously.  And, there was NO DRAMA, which is a huge accomplishment when you have a group of little girls!

So, my "little girl" doesn't actually turn 10 until Thursday, but the party is HISTORY. (I can check that one off my list and get ready for Grace's party now! ha ha!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Aidan!

My youngest nephew, Aidan, turned 2 yesterday.Yes, this photo is exactly one year old now, but it's the most recent one I had on my computer.  Clearly, I should take time to load a few more photos!  But, is he not the CUTEST baby?  

Anyway, it just seems like yesterday he was born, and now he is 2.  Time flies.  

I hope your birthday was a happy one, little man.  Aunt B. loves you!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, dear Brother!

Today my much older brother has a birthday.

He turns FORTY today.

Yep, I said 4-0.

It's a big one!

I love you, big brother!! I hope you day is as special as you are!!


This morning, Abby was waiting in the kitchen for me to come and fix her some breakfast. Her Daddy came in and offered to make something. She told him no, she would just wait for Mom. He said,"But Mom is still getting ready. Tell me what you want, and I'll make it." She looked at him, incredulously, and said, "YOU can't make my breakfast, can you?" Her Dad assured her he could, if she would just tell him what she wanted. She looked at him, doubtfully, and told him she wanted those little microwave Aunt Jemima Pancakes out of the freezer.


Dad so seldom cooks that my child did not think he could MICROWAVE a frozen pancake.

Clearly, I need to give the man more responsibility around here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

She's a songwriter...

My little Grace was playing with the rubber duckies in the bathtub today, and thought nobody was watching.  She proceeded to make up a song.  This was the song:

Three little duckies swimming in the lake.  One fell in and drownded.
Two little duckies swimming in the lake.   A shark came along and ate him.  Duck's his favorite food.
One little ducky swimming in the lake.  He lost all his hair.  It fell out.

****We're a little concerned about her lack of empathy for those poor little ducks!!****

Yesterday Mighty Miss Grace told her dad, "Hey Dad!  I'm gonna be a ROCK STAR!  Listen to me!"  ... and then she proceeded to sing "Away in a Manger".

'Cause that's what ALL the rock stars are singing these days.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Basketball '09

Kate had her first basketball game today.  Her team (which I am helping coach) lost.  Badly.  But, they hung in there, and I really feel like they were "figuring it out" by the 2nd half.  It was Kate's first B-Ball game EVER, and she scored a basket!!  Go Kate!!  Mom is so proud of you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trixie Mae, Cow Dog

When we got home tonight, these little Yay-Hoos and their Mommas were walking around my yard.  Somehow one of the gates to the yard had been left open, and they were making themselves at home.I did not want them pooping all over my yard, so I headed outside to herd them back through the gate.  This is not as easy as it sounds.  I took my dog with me, and I wasn't so sure if that was a good idea or not... Trixie looked like this when she was a puppy, and she was  WILD.
Trixie immediately knew what to do.  She barked and tried to "show" me where they were.  We went slowly around them, and her instincts took over.  She knew how to herd the cows!!!!  We walked them back through the gate together, and put them back in the pasture.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Thank goodness for Grace, or I'd have nothing!

Grace was in rare form today.  Many, many, funny things were coming out of her mouth, and I should write them down just as soon as she says them, because I forget!!  Her most recent "funnies" went something like this...

Mom:  Grace, close your mouth when you are chewing.
Grace:  (speaking with mouth totally full) Is that another one of those "manners" things?

Mom:  That's a big hot dog, huh?
Grace:  Yeah, it's GINORMOUS.

Mom: Are you tired of this movie yet? (Alvin & the Chipmunks... we have watched it 3,000 times since Christmas, and I do NOT exaggerate.)
Grace:  Yes, this movie is so bored.

Grace:  Daddy, I don't want you to love any other kids.  Except for maybe my sisters.  They might be OK.  And my Mom. But that's all, OK?  I don't want them thinking you're their Daddy.

Grace:  Watch this Dad!  I can make bubbles in the bathtub. (TOOT.)  See?  That's fun!!  (At this point, the other girls jump, naked and wet, from the tub, in complete horror.)

Ah... she so obviously takes after her father...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Husband Rocks

Tonight I was talking to Luke and telling him that I was experiencing a case of "blogger block", in which I have nothing that I can think of to write about (except 70 year old women on foreign continents who are having babies.  Random.) 

Any-hoo, when I asked him what I should write about, he said, with a mischievous little grin, "me".

So, this post is about hubby.

He's really cool.

I just showed him this post, and he shook his head with disbelief.  Then, he asked me if I need a job.

Perhaps I do...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Random-ness Swirling Through my Brain...

Today I was a substitute in the Jr. High Library at our local school.

Not a lot going on in the ole' Jr. High Library, except a LOT of adolescent hormones.

I supervised two sessions of study hall, and checked out approximately 5 books.

I should have known it would be slow when the librarian told me I might want to bring a book or something else to do.


So, while perusing the paper, I came across a story about THIS lady in India who recently gave birth to her first child.

Doesn't SOUND too exciting, until you read on and discover that SHE IS SEVENTY YEARS OLD!!!!    

Yes, you read that right, I said 7-0.  

Oh, my heavens.  Can you IMAGINE being a first-time Mom at 70?!?!?!?!?!?


Science is capable of doing amazing things.  But, should it?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Tree is down.

Mom is happy.

Enough said.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Today was the day that we were going to get "back in the saddle" with our routine... the older girls were heading back to school, Dad was heading to work, Grace would be ready to go to school on Tuesday... the world seemed to be righting itself after 2 plus weeks of chaos.

And then, last night, I watched the weather.

They were calling for a chance of a "wintry mix" of precipitation.

Wintry Mix?!?!?!?!?


If there is a "wintry mix", they might call off school!  This can't happen!  I am telling you friends, this possibility was quite distressing to me...  Rules.  Routine.  Order.  I was craving them.  I needed a little down time without the children.  My CHRISTMAS TREE is still gracing my living room, for heaven's sake!  I haven't set foot in the gym in WEEKS (ok, maybe that's not the kids' fault there, but give me a little creative license! ha ha)

Anyway, I got down ON MY KNEES and prayed that we would not have ice and snow today.


 I needed it!!

And my prayer was answered.  We got rain, and the temperature hovered right at 32 degrees all day, but the roads never got slick.  We had icicles all over the roofs and fences and stuff.  Just enough for the kids to go out after school and play in the cold. 

And now it's melting, so they can go off to school again tomorrow.

Praise God.

That tree is COMING DOWN TOMORROW!!!!!  WOO-HOO!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas '08 in Photos

Well, since it's not even 2008 anymore, I decided I should finally post photos from Christmas 2008. 

Trixie Mae, our loving puppy, was relegated to the porch to watch the festivities.  She just COULD NOT stay out of the presents, so she watched us through the window.  (Lucky for her, it was nice and warm!)Here's Katie sitting in the middle of all the gifts, showing off her Fur Real monkey.  She liked it.  Santa obviously thought all the girls had ben REALLY good this year.

Here is a very happy Abby, showing off her swimming puppy that Santa brought.  He's pretty cute.  He even has goggles to wear while swimming!  He likes the bath tub - can't wait to see what he'll do in a swimming pool!
Gracie had some trouble opening her gifts.  The paper was a little tough, so she used her teeth.  Good thinking.  :-)
Oh, the joy and surprise!  Just what she asked for!  A boy baby alive doll (which, friends, just FYI, is ANATOMICALLY CORRECT!  Hmmm... I am pretty sure Santa did not know that when he ordered it off the internet!)
Christmas Day is also Bandit's Birthday.  Our little baby Pomeranian turned 14.  He's an old man now, and much too dignified to wear these goofy reindeer ears.

Trixie, however, kinda liked the ears, but she was so hyper that she kept shaking them off.
My "little helper" assisted in the making off all the pre-christmas gift baskets that we gave to friends, family, and teachers.  She only sampled a LITTLE BIT of the chocolate we used for dipping!
Here is a visual of SOME of the baskets we made and delivered before the holidays.  Whew!  Good cheer and joy and all that, but I'm GLAD that part is FINISHED!!
And, here are my little darlings, all dressed up and looking beautiful for Christmas Eve Services at church.  
Hope your holidays were merry and bright!  Bring on the New Year!