Monday, March 31, 2014

Birthday explosion x 3!

Birthday celebrations were everywhere two weekends ago - Bryant celebrated turning 7, Grandpa celebrated turning 70, and Uncle Todd celebrated the number 40.  Surrounded by nieces and nephews, nuts and smarties, balloons and gifts, and oh yeah....CAKE!

Just because.

Her name is Hope Kaylynn.  On this day, she was three and a half.  She was singing.  She was belting out (from her heart) the words from Disney's movie Frozen.  And I don't want to ever forget "the right now."
Superstar.  My superstar.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The girls...

Emma, Hope and cousin Allie getting all girled-up with an evening of castle playing, house make-believing, school pretending, fancy dress-up dressing, glow stick pajama throwing party fun!  There was a lot of pink, purple, and sparkle going on.  Not to mention quite a few giggles too.  Girls will be girls!

 *note - to get Allie to smile say "make silly face!"  To get her to make a silly face, be sure to say "pretty smiles!"  Maybe it was just her dress up face?! ;)
Here we go - all smiles here!
The next morning the girls got their pink on at Lion's Park.  With Emma being 8, Allie being 5, and Hope a few months shy of 4...I would like to see this picture duplicated in five years - what a treat that would be on this same slide!
The girls.  Two zonked off...and I'm not sure about the other one.

Presenting... new nephew! You may have seen a glimpse of him in the Christmas highlight roll, but no official blog introduction until now.

Welcome Austin Jay! So glad to have gotten some pictures of you (with a little help from Hope...sorry kid, you're stuck with her.) ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Table Starters

Ever go to one of those meet-n-greet events and there are table starters on the table. You know, the tiny cards that you and a group of people you barely know just stare at, waiting for someone to make the awkward move to pick one up...let alone break the barrier and read it out loud forcing everyone to answer.  Life long friends are made this way, right? 

So where is this story going?  Emma comes home from school one day last February, and actually doesn't just say the typical "good" answer when asked how her day was.  She pleasantly talked about fractions in math and declared that she was going to make supper for her dad and I.  This was a spin off of her teacher's examples of cooking using fractions, 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc, etc.  A little nervous I was, just turning over the kitchen.  Don't get me wrong, Emma is a supreme helper in the kitchen, but solo?  Solo?  And she made it clear, it would be waffles and scrambled eggs.

As much as I wanted my hands in there, I followed her request letting her amaze me with her skills.  I showed her our homemade batter recipe and off she went.  I offered few answers to a few questions she had and enjoyed watching every minute of her reading, measuring, learning how to use the timer, all the while keeping little sitter at bay.  Then out came a table cloth, candles, and decorations.   Hey when this girl does something, she goes all out!  All.out.  (no idea where she gets that from) ;)

Adam came home to quite the welcome.  Dimmed lights, candles flickering, and warm waffles on the perfectly set table.  As we ate, Emma instructed Hope they were not aloud to talk, and we (Adam and I) were to pretend there were no kids there.  Then, as we ate, we were given Table Starters by our hostest with the mostest.
"How was your day?"
"Where is your favorite place to eat?"
"Tell something you saw on email today"
...and my personal favorite, "Did the pipes freeze?"  (Please direct this to the Polar Vortex posts!)

Adam and I enjoyed so much our dinner and conversation with each other.  Let's face it not many meals are centered around what we did during the day.  So there is a good chance I may have just made a life long friend with these Table Starters tonight.  Thank you Emma Lillie for your thoughtful heart.

Now, I know you are wondering....who got stuck cleaning up?  No surprise.  Mom with the help of Dad.  ....and the two yahoos went off playing.  Kinda the pitfall of what was a relaxing wonderful dinner, aye?
No, not really.  Because I found this as I was cleaning up the "prep area"....

Nothing more needed to be said.  It was then and there my heart humbled as I looked at the writing and drawing of an eight year old.  Her unselfish planning for conversation and table decorations (the drawing) went way beyond extra practice of fractions for school.  Emma - the girl who always takes the simplest tasks in life and turns them into a service for others.  God has created such a beautiful thing with her.  Forever grateful.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Always welcome little hands to pray before mealtime.  Apparently we welcome a little entertainment as well.

 "Open and shut them, Open and shut them, give a little clap.  God is great, God is good. [Begin singing] And Jesus was his name-O...Amen"

"Dear Jesus, I want to go to Papaw's house. Help us to obey and not lock the doors. And, help Hank to go outside to pee and poop. In Jesus Name, Amen..."

 "Dear Jesus, thank you for today, please help us get four more sleeps so we can go to Papaw's house, please help us obey and help us not run the scooter into the kitchen cabinets again and again, and please help us say no to the birthday party at Marianna's house tomorrow. Amen"    

(Anyone know who Marianna is???  I bet this girl does.)

Show me the love, not snow!

Happy Valentine's Day! (...over a month late, not bad, not bad.)

Valentine's day falls on February 14.  It hadn't snowed in a couple days, in fact there seemed to be some almost pleasant weather brewing. The plans for this love filled Friday were that I would take Hope to our blessed neighbors around 1:00 to play, then I would go into Emma's school and help with the "game station" during the big 2nd grade Valentine party.  [side note: game station?  What was I thinking?  Crafts, stick with crafts.  Oh ya, definitely crafts.]  I would leave school, pick up Hope, be home in time for Emma to get off the bus, have girls ready for big date night out with their dad as soon as he got home...word was he was taking his girls out fancy.  Lovely plans for this lovely day.

Get real, it's the winter that wouldn't end.  Let's share how it really went down....
Everyone up, Emma off to school, Adam off to work, all good. 
Noon hits, lunch time. 
Oh wait, whats that I see out the definitely isn't the neighbor's house because it is a WHITE OUT!  ummmm, weathermen, your "get a couple inches on Saturday" didn't quite fit the bill.  It was Friday and the snow was coming down hard.  Within an hour there was an inch.  We couldn't cave now. 
Load up Hope and games, slide down the drive, and off to the neighbors. 
Slide into neighbor's drive (literally). 
Drop off Hope, head to school in a wintery mix of snow and sleet.  What can you do though, you're already out, turning around and going back would have been just as bad. 
Pull into school - in the out, mind you.  Did I mention it was hard to see? 
Carry a bunch of games into school as inches of snow falls.  Hey I wasn't alone, the pack of mom's carrying in party stuff began to get comical to watch.  All were sharing their slipping and sliding stories! 
Have party.  Get head ache. *refer to side note above

The principal comes over the intercom and says "If any parent volunteers are still in the building, please feel free to take your child home with you after the parties to releave bus drivers from as many stops as possible."  geez. 
Done, Emma in car, head back to neighbors, slide in drive, pick up Hope. 
Drive back to our driveway, get stuck in driveway, carry girls in house, neighbor come over and help push car up drive.  ThankyouverymuchGregwhatwouldwedowithoutyou! 
Hunker down inside, get warm, watch as snow continues, text hubby and say, "if you want to be home even close to bedtime, you better start now!" 

He already had.  And stopped for take-out.

Happy Valentine's day 2014.  Home, warm, with my loves....and Chinese, yum.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A little somethin' more than just cousins...

Two kids who didn't ask for it, were defaulted into being cousins because of their parents.  Sounds like a prison sentence, huh?  Not for these two.  There is something between these girls that no one can really explain.  They think alike, talk alike, act alike, ARE alike in every way....yet there is a three hour driving distance between them.  When they do get together, there is nooooo stopping them.  They are in their own world, ah-hem I mean galaxy, and instantly begin plotting together.  A friendship that ranks pretty high on the loyalty chart.

Let's go back three and a half years.  From day one, Amaya took Hope under her wing.  Just look at the 18 month old's face as she takes in this new cousin she has been dealt.  No question, this cousin was going to be a buddy for life.
So here it is, almost four years later and the two most definitely have become partners in crime.  Probably safe to say, they will forever have each others back.  Which is a good thing, because I wasn't kidding when I mentioned partners in crime. ;) 
There they are.  Two kids, cousins by default, but best buddies by choice.  Some might even call them twins....but that's a whole different story and post for this family, just ask "twins" Micah and Emma!