Thursday, November 13, 2014

Guatemala (written by Jordan)

For the past 10 months, I have been preparing to lead a team of 11 to Guatemala to drill a water well in a local village. Our trip was the last of 4 mission trips our church committed to in 2014, and as we prayed for each team and heard the amazing stories from their return, I grew that much more excited about this trip. I had no clue what to expect, as I had never been to central America, nor had I been on an international mission trip, let alone led one. I was anxious, but extremely excited.

On Saturday November 1, myself and my team met at 5 AM at our church, loaded up 2 vans and headed to the airport to begin our journey to Guatemala. We arrived in Guatemala City, got our luggage, proceeded through customs, and met 2 of the most amazing guys I have ever had the opportunity of knowing; our hosts, drilling engineers and  staff members of Living Water International, Rudi and Manuel. These guys loved their country, their jobs and the Lord, and you could see it in how they lived their lives. 

After meeting we loaded into the van’s for our “short” 1 hour drive to Antigua, Guatemala. Although, we were unaware that November 1st is a national holiday for “The day of the dead”, where all Latin Americans go and celebrate their loved ones since past, which meant that our 1 hour trip turned into a 3 ½ hour trip. Yikes!

The next morning, we woke up, went to eat breakfast at an incredible restaurant in town and went to a local bi-lingual church in Antigua.  It was such a treat to be lead in worship in both Spanish and English. It was something I will never forget. After church we headed back to the house, had lunch and packed up the van and truck for our drive to Nueva Conception, where the local village is located. The trip was roughly a 3 hour drive, which we came to realize was because nobody in Guatemala drives over 40 mph. But it was nice to take our time and enjoy the amazing local sites (volcanoes, mountains, local plantations, etc.). Once we arrived in Nueva Conception, we checked into our “hotel”, which was basically just a bunch of rooms with beds in them (and a few bugs), but they at least had window A/C units... which come to find out, my room was one of the only ones that actually worked. My roommate and I learned really quick to keep that knowledge to ourselves, lest we have a coup.

The next morning we woke up early and headed about 20 minutes down a dusty old country road to the village that we would be drilling in named Las Pampas. We arrived to the school that we would be drilling in front of and were greeted by all of the amazing people of the community. We were quickly ushered into the school open air auditorium for a welcome ceremony, where the locals told us how glad they were they we had come, and how long they had been praying for this. It was quite the pep rally.

Our team was divided into 2 groups, 8 drillers and 4 hygiene teachers. As the hygiene team started meeting the locals and inviting them to their classes, my team started to prepare the drill rig and site for our work for the next 4 days. The first day was our exploration day: we would drill to about 200 ft in order to explore the soil/rock samples to find the best and cleanest water depth. The village did have a well that they had dug, but it was around 40 feet and would easily get contaminated by waste and pollutants. Finding water isn’t a problem in Guatemala, the water table is about 7 feet down, but finding clean Agua Pura is the real challenge. It took us all day to get down to about 180 feet. We would drill 5 feet and take a soil sample and preserve in a ziplock baggy. Once we got down to a safe depth, Manuel laid all of the bags out and reviewed the type of rock at each depth. He concluded that we would drop our pipe 160 feet in order to get the best water quality. We headed back to the hotel, had a late diner and crashed from exhaustion.

The next day our plan was to bore out the hole to about 7 inches all the way down to 160 feet. This process took a lot longer than expected. As it turns out the ground was a lot harder and rockier than expected. We had to slowly drill each 5 foot section, and about half way down we realized we had broken our drill bit. Luckily we had an extra, but that meant the slow process of removing all pipe, replacing the bit, and drilling back down again, which was very slow and tedious. After another long day, we headed back to our hotel for a much needed nights sleep.

The plan for the next day was to prepare the pipe and drop it down to depth, and then pack the cavity around the pipe with gravel to help with stabilization as well as filter out sand and dirt. The first 40 feet of pipe is perforated and allows for the water to be absorbed into the well. As we dropped the pipe we didn’t realize that some of the hole had collapsed around the perforated filter section, not allowing for the gravel to drop down and protect the screen from sand and dirt. Unaware, we dropped all 160 feet of pipe into the ground, and started to flush the well out with an air compressor. We quickly realized that the perforated pipe was clogged and was not going to allow water to flow properly. After about an hour of discussion between Rudi and Manuel, and hearing the word “problemo” way too many times, Manuel told us that there was a possibility that we may have to start all over again and re-drill another hole. Although this was frustrating news, we were ready to do whatever we needed to do to complete our goal. Manuel said he had one idea that we would try first. We would drop the drilling pipe down inside the pipe and once we got down to the perforated section we would flush with clean water to try and push all of the debris out of the screen, and allow for the gravel to settle around the pipe. By this time our hygiene team was there watching, and we took advantage of an incredible moment to gather our team, the Living Water team and all of the locals together and pray over the well. We prayed in English and Spanish and asked God to perform a miracle and allow this long shot to work. One of the local pastors in the community came and we all prayed in faith that God would do an incredible work. After about 3 hours of flushing, and adding more gravel, it was decided that it had worked and could now properly flush the well. We left instructions for the locals to make a concrete slab form and create a concrete base for the well to sit in, and we headed to the hotel.

We arrived back for our last day at Las Pampas to a completely formed and cured concrete slab with the pipe sticking out of the middle. It is incredible to see the ingenuity and talent of these people. We spent the rest of the morning flushing out the well, and cleaning the rig, equipment and drill site. After lunch, we had an incredible dedication service with the entire community filled with prayers, thank yous, and songs. We packed up and dropped the drill rig at the next drill site for a group coming back the week after next. 

These guys have the most amazing job. We came in for one week and experienced, in my opinion, a trip of a lifetime, and Manuel and Rudi get to do this all over again in a couple of weeks. How rewarding!

The next day would be our final day and was designated as a tourist day in Antigua. It was an amazing time, visiting some incredible sites in Guatemala, with a group of amazing people, both Guatemalan and American that I had grown to love as brothers and sisters!

I am glad to now be home amongst my family, but I will never forget the connections that God gave me on this journey. I cannot wait to see these people again someday, and if not, certainly again in heaven!

Click here for pictures

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halloween 2014

For several years now, Kate has wanted to be Jasmine for Halloween...but each time we tried on a Jasmine costume, it was waaaaaay too itchy.  Last year, we even purchased a Jasmine costume and then st the last minute, Kate chose something from her dress up clothes because she just could not wear that itchy thing!
Well, this year, she thought ahead.  She picked the least itchy Jasmine costume out there and we got a leotard to wear under her outfit for extra security.  And it worked!  

Reese's costume journey was equally emotionally weighty.  She told Nana for several weeks that she was going to be "that doll like Kate has that has white hair".  After a while, we finally realized that she was talking about LaLaLoopsy... but once we bought a LaLaLoopsy costume - she changed her mind.  She wanted to go pick out her very own costume, so Nana took her shopping one day.  Although there were many costumes that I thought she might connect with, she had her own idea: she was sure she wanted Rapunzel... mostly because of the wig.  Although the movie isn't one she particularly loved, she was certainly in love with the Rapunzel costume.

From day one, Avery knew what she wanted to be for Halloween: a Native American, but certainly NOT Pocahontas.  She did not want to be confused for a princess since her sisters were both Disney Princesses.  

In the end, each girl got what she had dreamed of for Halloween, complete with flowing wigs that absolutely made the costumes what they were.  

We trick or treated with our neighbor friends.  Avery went with her girlfriend ahead of the crowd and had a blast... they skipped lots of houses and went to the ones that looked most fun.  Kate was determined and focused.  She knocked on every door without skipping any houses.  She was proud and overflowed with candy at the end of the night.  Reese decided that the house decorations that she had loved all month were super scary.  Her daddy took her home and let her hand out candy to trick or treaters and that was the absolute best answer for her.  She owned that job and had a blast all night.

Three girls with three beautiful personalities... all with their own Halloween experiences!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Kate's 6th Birthday

Things I'll Always Remember About My Birthday Week:

-Mommy brought me a cookie cake at recess
-Nana brought me Chick-fil-A at lunch at school.  Nana gave me a birthday crown.
-I got to be on Birthday Book Club.  I picked out a book for the library and I told the school that I turned six when I was on tv (on the morning announcements).
-At night, we picked out my cake at HEB.  I looked at all the
cakes and picked a chocolate cake that looked like a pumpkin.  I wanted Chick-fil-A again and since it was my birthday, I got it!
-On Saturday, we went to The Storybook Cottage.  First we looked at the dresses and I picked the dress I wanted.  I picked it because I liked the color.
-Then we painted our nails and we got to pick out pretty tiaras and I got one that said "Happy Birthday!" and I got to wear a pretty bracelet.
-We had a fashion show.  I felt shy but I had fun.
-Then had a tea party and made a cupcake.  It was yummy.
-We made a picture frame.  I sat by Lana and Allie and then we opened up presents.

My friends liked dressing up and eating cupcakes.  I liked having all of my friends there because they play with me.

Click here for pictures of the week

Love, Kate

Monday, October 20, 2014

State Fair Of Texas 2014

(written by Avery, who is the #1 fan of the State Fair of Texas)

Every year I look forward to going
to the State Fair of Texas because I have so much fun doing all of the different things there.  When we got to the State Fair of Texas this year, the first thing we did was look at tractors.  Then we went over to a barn.  At the barn we looked at Gypsy horses.  Gypsy horses are big.  After that we saw a dog show called "Splash!"  "Splash!" made me laugh.  I thought the dogs in it were really cool.

Then we went to a petting zoo.  (My favorite were the baby goats.)  Next we went to a show called "World on a String".  It was a puppet show.  Then I bought my own marionette.

The next day my m om, my dad, and my sisters went home.  I stayed an extra day.  And then I went on a 6 hour trip home! (Four hours to Lockhart and 2 hours to Houston!)

I can't wait until next year!

Click here for pictures

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mario Bonding

Towards the end of the day recently, Jordan came into our room with great purpose and told me, "Well, it finally happened.  All of my years of practice as a child, and all of the parenting we've done up until this moment... it all came full circle today when I dropped the girls off at school.  When she was getting out of the car, Avery asked me, 'Daddy, when I get home today, will you help me beat level 2 in Super Mario B

They spent the afternoon playing Super Mario, making lists of characters, and even creating a cartoon about Mario and Luigi.

We're all so thankful for the years of practice Jordan put in so that he and Avery could bond over turtles, koopa troopas, and Bones.  Like father, like daughter!

Click here for pictures of the week

Monday, October 6, 2014

Important Things from Last Week

Each girl had an important week, for their own reasons.  Avery keeps a list of "Words of the Week".  Here they are, to explain our week:

Avery, Catalina, Playdate, Early Dismissal: On Friday, we had early dismissal... and you guessed, it, a playdate with Catalina.

Kate, Cast, Cast-Free: Kate's big week to get her cast off finally came!  She celebrated by picking her own outfit (long sleeves!) and swimming.  We also celebrated her birthday a bit early with Nana, DD, Amelia, Amanda and Kyle at The American Girl Cafe.  What a special day it was!

Reese: This week Reese had her turn being the leader in her classroom.  There is a very special "Leader" cape that the leader gets to wear and she did a super job being the super leader.  It was such an exciting privilege that she couldn't take her nap... she had to stay awake so she could tell me all about it the second I walked in the door to get her!

Author Visit, Library, Books, October, Creativity, Reading and Math: Exciting things from day-to-day school life.  An author came to visit and inspired Avery, the girls learned about the character trait Creativity for the month of October, and day to day school work, especially in math and reading, kept the girls busy.

Improved: I had a parent teacher conference with Avery's teachers this week and they were super complimentary.  I came home and told Avery all about it and apparently the word that stood out most to her was 'improved'.  Way to go, Avery!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kate's Journal

For extra Kindergarten practice at home, Kate keeps a journal.  Here are several entries from her book:

*I wear a bag over my cast in the tub.
*I am playing at the SmartBoard (at school).
*I can open my own milk at lunch.  I like to buy the tray.
*At recess, I play with Alex.  She is a Never-Die Dragon and I get bad guys with my cast.
*I am playing Barbies with Avery.  She is pretending to be my Barbie horse.
*Me and Reese are playing baby dolls.  Reesie is the mommy and I am the teenager sister.

Click here for pictures of Kate's journal and the week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My First Day of School!!!

It was finally my turn to have a first day of school!  This year I'm a big girl, so Mommy stays in the car and I go in the Puppy Class by myself (in the carpool line).

When I get to the Puppy Class, I play with my friends.  I not know their names but theys my friends.  Ms. Syd and Ms. Scarlett are my teachers and them write our names.  They read me books and they sing songs with us, but not with someone else... just with us.  And I don't know what else them do.

My favorite thing to do at school is playing at centers.  I play with blocks.

I don't have to cry when I'm at school because I don't want to.  I am a big girl now and grown-ups come back at the end of the day.  We always sing that song!  (from Daniel Tiger)

But I did miss Mommy one day, but I love school!

Love, Reese

Mama Note: Reese was so proud of herself the first week of school and hopped out of the car with great purpose.  She didn't even need a goodbye kiss or wave!  And when it was time to pick her up, her demeanor hadn't changed a bit.  It was like she was thinking, "I got this, Mom.  I have big girl, important things to do and you'll be okay without me!"  Such a proud, happy girl going into class each day this year.  We're also proud and very, very thankful!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nanny's Birthday Party

By Avery

This weekend we went to Lockhart to celebrate Nanny's 85th birthday.  One of the reasons I love Nanny is because she always thinks of fun things for us to do.

First we went to Nanny's house
and we ate dinner and played.  Nanny's puppy Schatzie is always happy to see me.  Then we went to Mimi and Gran's house.  We spent the night there and when we woke up, we had chocolate chip waffles.  They were delicious.  We played and then it was time to go to Garcia's for Nanny's Birthday Party.  We ate lunch there and made noise with noise makers.  Then we went to Aunt Sandy's house to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake with Nanny.  My favorite part of Sandy's house is the horse, but there were also some new dogs to play with and they were so cute.  I also liked seeing all of my cousins and family.  They're all nice and funny.

Click here for pictures

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When Sisters Are Away...

Avery and Kate started school last week, and this week, Mommy started her school.  My school doesn't start for another week... but not to worry!  Nana cleared her calendar and we got to spend three days together!  I do miss Avery and Kate when they're at school... but this week was pretty special!

On Monday, I was having trouble playing by myself.  I missed my constant playmates!  I asked Mommy, "You pway with me now?"  And I asked it a, a whole lot.  But once Mommy turned on some background music to fill the house with a bit more noise, it felt a little more like our house.  While the music was playing, I was happy with my toys.

On Tuesday, I met Nana and she got out of the car grinning.  She was saying, "It's Reese's Day!  It's Reese's Day!"  And she was right!  She asked me what I wanted to do, and I knew for sure: go to her house and play with the toys all by myself.  We found lots of toy horses from Uncle Trey's old toys and I was very sure of how I wanted Nana to play... and not afraid to tell her just what I wanted.

Wednesday, me and Mommy spent the day running errands.  I'm a pretty good side kick.  At least my Mommy says so!

On Thursday, Nana and I went shopping.  I tried to talk her into buying a pet for me.  When that didn't go over well, I started trying to talk her into buying a pet for her house.  We looked at all of the pets and I really liked the rats... Nana said no thanks.

And on Friday, Nana and I went to her house and swam.  When it was time to get dressed, I decided to match Nana... we both wore pretty black dresses and we met Mommy for a lunch date.
Avery and Kate went to school.  Then Mommy went to school.  But... don't feel sad for me!  This week was a good way to end summer for me.  Nana and I know how to have a good week, that's for sure!

Click here for pictures of the week

Love, Reese

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Week of School and a Broken Arm

On my very first day of school, Mommy, Daddy, Avery and Reese walked me into my classroom.  Once they left, we listened to lots of stories.  We didn't have calendar that day, though.  I made a new best friend, but I didn't remember her name.  We also have this special thing, a student teacher, what is learning how
to be a teacher.  Ms. Dugosh is my teacher and I like her.

On the second day of school, I broke my arm on the way to school!  I was riding my bike and Avery bumped into me.  Mommy wanted me to get back on my bike and I almost did it but my arm hurt too much.  When we got to school, Ms. Dugosh gave me a bandaid.  I was holding my arm for the whole morning so Ms. Dugosh knew it was broken.  I went to the nurse and then Mommy came to pick me up.

At the hospital, they took an x-ray and gave me a soft cast.  My doll, Kate the Penguin Trainer, also got a soft cast.

When I went back to school on Wednesday, I got to have my friends who were helpers who helped me open the door, open my lunchbox, and other things too.

The other thing I want to tell is that I made new friends.  Their names are Emma, Grace and Fiona, Nayara and Juliette.  I met them on the first day of school but now I know their names.  I decided they were my friends because when we were walking around together, they said, "I want you to be my friend."  I always wanted to be their friends so I said yes.  They're really nice and I like school.

Click here for pictures

Kate the Kindergartener


This week had big, important new things:

Avery has been working all summer to get Dream the horse to trot.  Not only did she master this new skill this week, but she also began to get posting.  Her instructor was really impressed and said that Avery is the only student she has that has begun to grasp posting.  Go Ave!

Avery got her pet cat when she was 5, so all summer Kate has reminded us that she is 5 now, too.  On Saturday, we visited PetsMart, PetCo, and CAPS (a rescue shelter) in search of the perfect animal for our family, and especially for Kate.  She thought about several dogs, but in the end, she really felt that a guinea pig was the right choice.  And she knew exactly which one, too.  Our new pet, Mr. Bubbles, joined us and has been a source of happiness, cuddles and giggles.

Reese has also been waiting - she's been waiting for Mommy to finally be ready for her to cut her hair.  When she found out she was going to be able to cut her hair, she was super excited.  She knew immediately that she wanted short hair just like Kate's "Because I a big girl now!"  At the salon, she fully enjoyed the entire event, carrying herself like she had crossed an important finish line.  This was her first haircut, ever... so we held on to the baby hair for her baby book... if you can count 3 year-old-locks as baby hair.  Reese feels all grown up with her haircut, and she'll tell you all about it if you ask!

Click here for pictures

LA Dream Center Mission Trip

August 11-21, I spent 10 days on a mission trip in inner-city Los Angeles.  I experienced many beautiful things and loved the time I spent serving and playing with my team.  God's goodness was evident, even in the darkest places I went, and it was such a blessing to see how much more power His light is than any darkness we may have faced.

My favorite experience on the mission trip was loading, unloading, sorting and handing out groceries.  It was fun physical labor with a great sense of accomplishment to see the huge pallets of food dwindle down to nothing.  As we handed out food, we met some precious people who needed some help feeding their families.

There were many other ministries we took part in, and I felt that each was important and each challenged me in a different way.  But the thing that was hardest, by far, on this Mama was leaving her babies at home for ten days.  I felt every second inch by as we were separated, and even though they were happy and well loved, I could not wait to be back home with my favorite people on earth.

While I was gone, Jordan single-parented and worked full-time for half of the trip.  With help from friends and family, the girls were happy and only exhibited some signs of missing Mommy.  The second half of the trip, Jordan flew out to join me in LA and the girls stayed with Nana and DD.  They went to Moody Gardens and got many much-needed hugs.  They each wrote me a letter and mailed it to me from Galveston.  Here's what they said:

"Mommy, today we are going to Galveston!  We will go to the pyramids and see the penguins.  And maybe go to Palm Springs.  And we will definitely go to the beach!"

"Mommy, While you were gone we painted.  I missed you."

"Dear Mommy,
I love you Momma.  Go swimming at beach today.  I saw waves pushing us and moving us.  I stay at hotel with D.  At beach I just wash off myself.  I see seagulls.  They just eated some bread sandwiches.  They say eeeeee, not eeeee but honk honk.  We saw fishes.  I saw penguins.  I think about this bed and I going to sleep.  Just kidding!  It was a good day.  See some more penguins."

The trip would not have been possible without my amazing husband and parents, who took on the task of mothering with enthusiasm and patience.  Love you guys - thank you!

Click here for pictures

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Horse Birthday Party

(Written by Avery)

My favorite animal is a horse and I love sleepovers so I had a horse sleepover birthday.

The first fun thing was eating hot dogs. Then we all went to the barn & I got to ride in Nana and DD's car.

At the barn I enjoyed riding Dream with my friends. We each had a turn alone and then we rode two at a time. There was a donkey at the barn and he was loud!

Then we came back home and beat a piƱata and then we had cake. My cake was a big ole horse head.

Then we watched Horse Land (my favorite tv show). When it was time to sleep we were crazy. We stayed awake for hours and hours. Everybody decided they wanted to sleep with me... but we didn't sleep.

It was a really fun birthday!

Click here for pictures

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Changes

These girls.  This summer.  So much growing and changing.  Becoming and being.  So much love.

This summer, Reese went from a non-swimmer to a little fish... or more specifically, a mermaid.  She has grown in her vocabulary and carries on full conversations, usually telling people exactly how they are to engage with her in play.  She still slips into bed between mom and dad most nights, and she still finds joy in everything... but she's growing.  And learning.  And she's pretty sure she can keep up with her two big sisters.  She's usually right, too.

This summer, Kate Beth has gotten so tall.  And so good at expressing her feelings, even when she feels overshadowed.  I look at her, and I can believe she's about to go to Kindergarten: she's become such a big, beautiful, five-and-a-half year old.  She's ready, and she's going to charm her new friends and her teacher.  But also, wow!  What has happened to the time?  Did I really experience 5 1/2 years of growth?  It seems like yesterday when that tiny child was struggling to find her voice.  But yes.  Yes, she has grown, and yes, I have watched the beauty develop and unfold.  From delicate, shy and tender, she has blossomed into strength and beauty, although still so tender-hearted and caring.  This summer, she's lost her first teeth.  And she is so, so talented at the things she tries: dance and gymnastics.  Swimming, with strokes.  And recently, she learned to ride her bike without training wheels.  She needed a few reminders from her Daddy about her own strength and ability, but before long, she was off.  Within days of learning to ride on her own, she accompanied her family on a 5 mile round trip bike ride to get snow cones.  She held her own and is now fully confident that she can be a bike rider when the school year starts.  A summer of growth and preparation for this blossoming beauty.

Avery has spent the summer losing teeth... much like her younger sister.  However, her teeth have fallen out in succession.  She's taken to writing the tooth fairy letters and making requests, like: "Can you leave some pixie dust so I can fly?" and "Please take a selfie!"  Apparently, her tooth fairy has a pet lightning bug, wears a blue dress, and only needs a tiny pinch of pixie dust to fly - although she left some behind, it just wasn't enough for a big person to use to fly.  Avery's imagination is one of my favorite aspects of her, and it's always been fun to watch what she comes up with next.  This summer, she's also spent a fair amount of time nurturing others.  She has such a compassionate spirit, and it has been fun to watch her mature and begin to see other people's feelings and needs.  She's about to be a third grader, which will include switching teachers for the first time.

Click here for pictures

Monday, July 28, 2014

Jackson Hole

I tried to type a concise retelling of our awesome trip to Jackson Hole, but there was so much to say and my retelling kept going... and going... and going.  At dinner last night, the girls were still talking about their memories from the trip, so I collected their comments about Jackson Hole:

Reese's Comments (Sunday through Thursday):

For Nana's birthday, we all went to Jackin' Hole.
Daddy went early and hiked the mountains with Uncle Trey.  He saw a poke-e-pine.
Then we went on an oh-pwane to try to see him.  But the oh-pwane took so long when we was almost there.  (Mom Note: We stopped off in Denver for a layover but ended up on a plane that was delayed four hours and cancelled before it was uncancelled and got us there.  The kids did great and had better attitudes than I did most of the time.  At one point, we'd be waiting on the plane 3 hours and Kyle jumped up in his seat, yelling happily, "We're on an airplane!!"  They kept us smiling.)

On Thursday, we ride the gon-ah-la and we saw some animals like that, when we was on the gon-ah-la.  At the end of the ride, all of us on mountain!  We hiked on mountain.

Kate's Comments: (Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning)

Then we ate cake because it was Nana's birthday.
Then we rode on the top of a horse carriage.  The driver told us about the horses who were named Blueberry and Bluebell.

On Friday we went on snow ski lifts and rided down a mountain with scooters.  Reese says she was flying, but I went slow.  DD was my partner.

In the afternoon we hiked to Taggart Lake.  I was
out in the front a lot and then we tried to catch minnows in the water.  Me and Avery saw a moose before Mommy did because we were in front and it ran in front of Avery!

Then we all saw a moose eating with her baby.

We saw buffaloes from far away and then we rode a boat across Jenny Lake.  I think the boat was Kyle's favorite part.

Avery's Comments (Saturday afternoon and Sunday):

After that we got to ride horses.  I got to ride on a horse named Vegas and Daddy got to ride on a Clydesdale.  We went to the middle of the mountain and it felt really high.  The base of the mountain looked like it was in the distance we were so high. Then we swam... that was fun.

We flew home on Sunday.  It was better than the flight getting to Jackson because we didn't drop and because we didn't have to be delayed!

Click here for pictures

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Frozen Birthday

She turned three, and she loves Frozen.

So, Frozen it was.  

With a two-story ice castle...

And a visit from the Frozen Sisters themselves...

With lots of special party guests...

And a very special, sweet, Frozen birthday princess.

All of our girls naturally gravitated towards princesses for their third birthday parties and Reese was no exception.  We had no complaints; we loved celebrating a magical girl in a magical way!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ebiz Family Retreat 2014

You might think the best part of an EBIZ family retreat at Great Wolf Lodge is the water slides.  Or you might think it's the swimming pool that is shallow enough for a toddler to stand up in.  Or you might suspect that it's about meeting all of Daddy's coworkers and their families.  All of that is wonderful...

...But for Kate, it was the unusual animatronic show entitled "There's Nothing to be Scared Of" that plays 4+ times a day.  Five minutes long, starring two animatronic people and many animatronic forest creatures, the show was truly enthralling for a five year old.  No matter what you are doing, at each possible opportunity, it is so important to drop everything and run to the show.  It's just that good.

...And for Avery, it was MagiQuest.  With wands doned with new toppers and a little confidence from familiarity with the game, Avery was on a mission to become Master Magi.  All over the hotel, there were figures, paintings, and chests of gold that lit up at the point of a wand.  Lots of them said silly things and the book that was down the hall from our room became a fast favorite.

...And for Reese, the craft room was the place to be.  Kate colored a pillow case, Avery chose sand art, and Reese picked a piggy bank shaped like a cupcake to decorate.  The first craft time was SO good that when it was time to pick the very last activity of our stay, it was no question.  Swimming is fun and water parks are exciting, but the craft room was hands-down the top choice for Reese and Amelia.

There is so, so much to love at Great Wolf Lodge.  The water park and EBIZ friends kept us busy for hours at a time, and then there was even more to love when water play was done for a while.  Great Wolf Lodge 2014... truly a magical experience!

Click here for pictures

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Shenanigans

"Nana, you know that lotion you bought us?  We're running low. Maybe you can buy us some more...?"

And later, saying prayers: "...thank you that we got to have fun ice skating in our bathroom with the lotion, even though we got in trouble & had to scrub toilets... It was still so much fun!"

Summer gives plenty of time for cooking up bright ideas, like lotion-skating, concocting potions in the backyard with kitchen ingredients, adding handfuls of glitter to playdough, & just generally being a kid.

Here's to summer shenanigans!

Click here for pictures of the week

Monday, June 30, 2014

Reese's First Theater Trip

Joining the ranks of those who have grown before me, I finally got my first invitation to see a show at the theater!  

Sisters have told tales of horse-drawn carriage rides, restaurants that are more like amusement parks than eateries, and singing actors and actresses robed in glitter.  

Up until this week, it was always decided (by mom, of course) that I was too young for the event they call the theater, usually banned to infant-dom with Daddy as my guard.  Ah, but today!  Today, I chose a fancy dress alongside the elite.  Although, I didn't feel like letting anyone fix my hair... that seemed totally unnecessary to the experience.

I've been to The Downtown Aquarium before, but this time I saw it with new eyes.  There are fish as big as I am!  There are some with stripes and some with funny noses and even some long skinny ones.  Every time a new fish swam by, I'd have to run to tell Nana or DD what I'd seen.  It was awe-inspiring.

After dinner, the horses with the carriages seemed to have the night off, so we strolled to the theater for the main event.  

Inside, we peered over the orchestra pit and saw so many instruments!  The show itself (The Little Mermaid) was awesome - everyone wondered if I would be scared, but only King Triton was intimidating.  Hiding my face when he was around was sufficient.  It didn't start until 7:30 so Mama thought I might go to sleep during the second act, but there just wasn't a dull moment and I didn't want to miss anything!  Ariel swam up high on the stage (almost like she was floating!), and there was signing and dancing and magical fins-into-legs.  

If there was any doubt that I am old enough to enjoy the occasional kid-friendly musical, I took this opportunity to express my delight and clear any confusion.  No more leaving 'baby' out - I'm a cultured toddler now!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Fun Things

Fun Summer Things We Like To Do:

*Stay up playing in the pool by under the big open sky
*Horse back riding lessons for big girl
*Tagging along to play with the farm animals for also-big girl
*Science and exploring with s
ensory materials
*Biking and "jogging" with Mommy
*Morning cuddles
*Losing teeth!
*Hanging with friends
*Frequenting neighborhood pools
*Taking selfies.  So many selfies.
*Sleeping in!

Click here for pictures

Gran's 95th Birthday!

We went to Lockhart to celebrate Gran's 95th birthday!  We made him a banner and ice cream cake.  We swam and found rolypoly bugs and we ate chicken and french fries (and the adults ate catfish and okra but I didn't want to try it).  At night, Mom and Dad let me and Avery spend the night at Mimi and Gran's house for a sleepover when they went to the hotel.  The best part of that was the chocolate chip waffles in the morning!

When we were in Lockhart for Gran's birthday, we went to the watch the Chisholm Trail Roundup Parade.  We went to where the parade was waiting to start and we noticed some princesses on a float.  We got to meet them and take pictures with them.  Then one of the princesses told us about how she trains dogs and rides horses and she let me try on her tiara!  She asked me to sit up next to her on the float while they were waiting for the parade to start and she taught me how to wave like a princess in a parade.  She even gave me a fan to cool off with.

Love, Kate

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

End of School by Avery

On the last day of school, my family had a celebration for me.  Kate and Reese made two cookie cakes for me.  They were delicious.
 I'm so glad that school is out.  I'm glad school is out because I get to go swimming and I don't have to wake up early.  My plan for this summer is to go swimming a lot so we don't get hot.  I can have sleepovers, even on weekdays.  I'm starting two new hobbies; swimming lessons and horse back riding lessons.

Summer is fun!

Click here for pictures

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Avery and Kate both took dance this year.  Their recital was this past weekend, and they each performed a ballet routine and a tap routine.

After the dress rehearsal, Avery said, "I love the part where I'm on stage and I get to perform!  I didn't like practicing every week.  That was boring.  But I love the rehearsal because I get to dance in front of people and especially because all of the performers get to hang out together backstage the whole time!"

Kate (who has loved going to practice every week) said, "Mom, we didn't have enough time to learn our ballet dance all the way so we don't know the whole thing.  It's not okay.  We just don't know that part!"  After some discussion, we decided that when Kate couldn't remember a part of the dance, she could stand in a beautiful pose and let the audience admire her pretty costume.

The night of the recital, Avery did great on stage -- but the highlight of the night for her was playing backstage with her friends.  By the time I picked her up after the performance, she had her feather tutu on her head and her red lipstick was smeared all over her face.  She was all giggles.

Kate did a fantastic job on her dances, and during the part that they hadn't learned fully, she stood like a beautiful model, posing in her costume.  Her face was stoic on stage - this was an important task she had been given, and she was taking it very seriously.  Afterwards, when we picked her up, she was wearing her medal proudly and posing f
or pictures.  She had a great time, even with a section of a dance unknown, and she embodied the ballerina and played the role to the very last scene.

The girls were fully beautiful and fully themselves at the recital.  And it was an utter joy to have the privilege of watching them as a spectator and fan.

Click here for pictures 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kate's Metamorphosis

Kate started pre-school timid and tearful:
Kate's First Day of Pre-School 2010 - too shy to look at the camera

Even as she progressed through school, she kept a bashful, apprehensive spirit about her.  And there was always the issue Kate's health.  A little small for her age, consistent eating issues, and a reoccurring stomach ache that doctors couldn't seem to diagnose.  Really, in the grand scheme of life, they were small issues... but they were still there, in the background of Kate's days.
Most of the time Kate would enjoy herself at school, despite all of this - and it appeared that Kate's personality was extra quiet.  Throughout her pre-school years, her teachers have been excellent and have allowed Kate to grow at her own pace and to participate on the level she felt comfortable.

And then along came Mrs. Archambault and Mrs. Miller.  They have been Kate's teachers for the last 9 months.  Mrs. Archambault knew Kate for about a month when she had Kate figured out.  She pulled me aside one day and told me: "Kate is shy and needs some time to adjust and come out of her shell, but she's got a really strong personality under that timid demeanor.  I've decided to give her space and room to grow and to let her come into her own without making an issue out of it."  Mrs. Archambault spent the year letting Kate be herself and making mental notes about Kate's growth, but never spoke with Kate about her eating choices, her moments of shyness... or any of it.  In Mrs. Archambault's estimation, Kate gained power and confidence when her behaviors were treated like non-issues and when no one made a fuss about Kate deciding to participate mid-game or needing a few extra minutes at the door in the morning.

The year started like any other: Kate felt timid about going into the classroom but seemed to bounce back each day once the transition was over.  On her first day to have a turn being Star of the Day, Kate felt particularly shy.  Mrs. Archambault handled it like any other day and neither gave Kate extra attention for being Star of the Day nor tried to push her into "enjoying" the extra attention.  Mrs. Miller, her other teacher, caught me on my way to my car: "Kate's so much like me," she said, "I feel that way sometimes too.  And when I have a chance to warm up on my own, I usually can start to enjoy the special treatment by the end of the day.  We'll watch what Kate needs today to be able to enjoy her turn as Star of the Day and make sure it's a good day for her."

Sure enough, when I picked Kate up that afternoon, she didn't mention feeling shy or embarrassed.  All she remembered was the show and tell circle and the lack of pressure she felt.

The strategy wasn't revolutionary, and it's not like we'd never used it before.  But somehow, this year, under the wisdom and care of Kate's teachers, something clicked.  As the year went on, Kate had less and less days that looked embarrassed and quiet and more and more days of skipping down the hall towards her class ahead of the rest of us.

Mrs. Archambault measured Kate's confidence using the playground as a litmus test: at the beginning of the year, Kate huddled near the entrance to the playground, barely feeling brave enough to venture out to the rest of the play area.  As friends began asking her to play during the year, she'd slowly come out from her safety spot a little more quickly each time.  At our end of the year conference, Mrs. Archambault told me that Kate now is the one leading games on the playground and it seems as though she doesn't even remember she had a safety spot!

Kate turned a corner this year.  She grew into a school child, confident and excited to learn.  She no longer deals with consistent stomach issues (a doctor finally diagnosed her with Situational Stomach Disorder and prescribed less chaos and more calm for the fix).  Although her eating is always progressing, she is not the smallest child in her class anymore - not even the second smallest!  She still has a sweet, gentle (often quiet and shy) demeanor, but the strong personality and the confidence show themselves a bit more readily in all areas.
Last Day of St. Peters!  May 2014

Truly, Kate's last year in pre-school has been her best.  And it has prepared her for big school next year better than I could've imagined.  Watch out world, my Kate Beth is headed your way!

Click here for pictures

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mayfest 2014

In 2011, Avery showed off her skills for Mayfest.
In 2012, Kate took a turn.
In 2013, Avery was slated to show off at Mayfest but she broke her arm instead.
This year, though, this year was a trifecta!

Avery, Kate and Reese all took turns performing at Mayfest.

For Avery, the skill she enjoyed performing most was the straddle jump into the pit.
For Kate, she said her best skill was the dive roll.
For Reese, for the very first time ever, she landed a seat-drop jump on the trampoline.

Click here for pictures

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mother's Day Flower and Bake Sale

Avery had an idea early in the year: she decided to host a bake sale and make $1 million so that she could help all of the people in the world who needed homes.

I waited to see if she'd forget the idea, but she held onto the idea and continued to ask when we could host her bake sale.  Since I didn't know how many sales we would make on our cul-de-sac, our Children's Ministry at church offered to partner with her and host a flower-and-bake sale for Mother's Day.  Our family pastor helped Avery make a more concrete goal: earn $2,000 to help fund a mission trip to Guatemala that our church would be going on later this year.

$2,000 in profit meant we would need to sell 150 flowers and baked goods, and on the day of the sale, we had only sold 85 in pre-orders.  Avery prayed and asked God to help her reach her goal.  And He did.

Avery had her hands in every part of the bake sale: advertising, signage, baking, flower care, clean-up, and counting money.  After the bake sale, we had made an astonishing $1,600 in profits - so close!  God showed up through very generous donations from people in our community and church, and we were just a little jump away from the final goal.

And that's when Kate got an idea - she had been hearing everyone talk about all of the hard work Avery had done, and she decided she'd do a little selling of her own.  She called her Nana and DD and offered to sell them 3 pieces of artwork.  She took her efforts very seriously and her hard work, along with the hard work Avery put into the bake sale, equaled exactly $2,000 in profits!

Avery helped count the money one last time and then turned it into the church to "help people who need water".  I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day gift than watching my girl give out of the kindness of her heart and seeing God come through for her in a big way.

Click here for pictures

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Oh, Reese!

The little one keeps us laughing.  About a hundred times a week, we laugh with her and then smile and say, "Oh, Reese!"  Seems like that's the best response we've got to her antics.

For example, every night the girls pick a book.  We kept telling Reese to go get her book and she kept telling us she already had.  She held out her hand to show us a stack of plastic Barbie-sized books meant for play.  "Itsy Bitsy Spider!" she told us.  So, we held the toy books, which would not open, and sang Itsy Bitsy Spider as if we were reading it.

Reese was playing with Kate this week and was trying to carry a trophy in her mouth.  Jordan heard her dropping it over and over and told her not to carry the trophy in her mouth so it wouldn't break.  "But Daddy, I horse!"  Um... huh?  "Daddy, I horse.  I not have hands."  The rules of imaginary play are strict and unwavering.

Many weeks ago, Reese heard the ice cream truck and told her sisters she would treat them (they obviously had a hand in planting the idea that Reese use her money to buy all of the ice cream, but she was happy to oblige).  She ran inside and got her $0.79 and sprinted back out.  It wasn't enough, sadly, and we didn't have any cash on us.  Well, for Easter Reese got more money, and her sisters reminded her of the ice cream deal.  Ever since then, Reese would run downstairs, hands in her ears, yelling, "You heard that?  You hear that truck?" every time the music from the truck would come.  For many nights, we'd hear the truck but could not find the truck.  Finally, at long last, we heard the truck, grabbed Reese's money, and made it to the front yard in time.  It was just too much... Reese danced and jumped and yelled, "I love that ice cream truck!" while her sisters made their selections.  And then she proudly paid for the whole experience.  Worth it for sure.

When Jordan travels, the first few days he is back in town, there is a traveling tax that he must pay: every time he sits on the floor, he is tackled by either Reese or Josh.  Reese smashes her face into his as hard as she can and leans into him with great passion and force.

Click here for pictures

Monday, April 28, 2014

Highlights of the Week

Monday, we get Avery to school and then Reese comes in: "Mommy, turn on Fwozen music pwease?"  As soon as the music is on, Kate and Reese go change into "fancy" clothes and living room dance party commences.  "Mommy!  Dance with me!"  Yes, I will.

Tuesday, we find our first produce of the season: a small green tomato has started growing.  All day the girls talk about how it's going to grow and turn red.  By afternoon, Reese comes in
: "Mommy, it okay I eat this toe-may-toe?"  Sure enough, she's carrying the unripened, green tomato proudly.  When we told her it was not ready to eat and now it wouldn't be able to get ripe, Reese cried and had to process her grief.  She was so sad about her choices, so Daddy took her out to show her the flower buds that will turn into tomatoes.  They also covered how Reese is not allowed to pick any  more tomatoes unless Daddy is with her.  We'll see.

Wednesday, Kate and Reese host their church friends for a cookie party.  Usually, we meet at the church for Bible Study but this week is a bit different.  Instead, we're decorating cookies to give to people who don't get treats very often.  As Kate's friends pour in, her heart almost explodes when she realizes: "Mommy!  There's three babies in our house!"
After school, Avery decorates cookies too.  We decide to give the cookies to her lunchroom custodians.  Heart full.

Thursday, Kate wakes up with sister's pink eye.  She stays home and watches hours of Strawberry Shortcake in our bed, soaking up the quiet.  Luckily, drops on hand, she's ready to roll 24 hours later.

Friday, Nana and DD have invited the girls to spend the night.  All day, starting at breakfast, Reese asks, "It time yet?  It time yet?"

Saturday, Avery and Kate go to Beauty and the Beast symphony with Daddy and DD.  Avery tells me later, "There were drums, and a harp!  And a man used a typewriter like it was an instrument!  And there were ladies playing flutes, and the conductor dressed up."  Music connects with these souls.

Click here for pictures of the week

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Joy

Easter Joy came in all shapes and sizes this year... giant hugs from Nonnie, Aunt Megan, Uncle Michael, Uncle S
ean and Aunt Jen Easter treat bag from Nonnie a small egg just for Oscar... his first ever! ...courtesy his doxie-cousin Macy two services to worship and celebrate a 20 pound accordion, borrowed from DD, played onstage with Current Worship oval chocolate egg candies 6" of Elsa hair two giant water blasters thousands of tiny confetti pieces scattered about the front yard half of the sand and water table filled with water 5 cousins together, playing Elsa and Anna, hunting eggs, and swimming

Click here for pictures of the week

This list generated by Kate about her favorite joyful moments from Easter

Monday, April 14, 2014

From Their Perspectives...

This weekend, the girls had several fun activities.  As it happened, each girl had an event that they enjoyed most of all.  Here are their accounts:

Zoobilee, Friday night:
On the way home from the Zoobilee, Reese said, "I tell my Nana and DD about zoo!  I tell them... me see zebras (actually, giraffes)!  And me see... um, monkeys.  Um... ell-phants, and lion, and tiger.  And bears!  And Avery go feed them through edge... she feed wettice (lettuce) to dwaaffes (giraffes)."

Texas Children's Hospital Fun Run, Saturday Morning:
Kate has told me many times that she wants to join Josh and I on our runs, so we signed the older girls up for a family fun run.  Avery ran alongside me and
held hands for the whole 1K, and Kate was planning to hold Daddy's hand.  But when the race started, he just wasn't fast enough for her.  Jordan was trying to keep pace with Avery and I, but Kate kept pulling his arm and trying to weave in and out of the crowd to go faster.  She was all smiles; shoulders back and head high.  Jordan told her that she could run ahead and he'd keep up with her, and she bolted.  She was confident, proud and fast!  It was so much fun to watch her come alive and own that race.

Astros Opening Game, Saturday Night:
Avery got a special invitation to go to the Astros game with Nana and DD, Aunt Melinda and Wayne, and Cousin Kathryn and Elvis.  She wrote an essay about it to share with her teacher the next week at school:
The Big Ball Game, by Avery
When I went to the Minute Maid Park with my Nana and DD, I got club level seats.  We even got our own room!  When it started I got a hot dog.  Also in the beginning the Astros were doing great!  In the third inning we got popcorn.  Then it was the middle of the game, and the Astros weren't doing as well.  In the sixth inning, we bought peanuts.  While we waited, I saw the Budweiser horses!  The score was 5 for the Angels and 1 for the Astros.  Then it was the 7th inning and we sand the Old Ball Game and Deep in the Heart of Texas.  Finally it was the 8th inning.  We got ice cream.  We got in Nana's car and watched Frozen on our way home.  I loved the ball game!

Click here for pictures of the week

Monday, March 31, 2014

Our Weekend, by Kate

We goed to Avery's school for Bonzer Bash.  It was a fair.  We got hair spray, got face painting, we got to make some sugar, we got to eat a cupcake.  We got balloons!  Reesie got so many cookies with her tickets.  Right now it's just Avery's school but I'm going to go to that school after summer.  I'm going to be a Kilpatrick Koala in Kindergarten!

We got to watch horses jump.  I liked it!  I want to be a horse back rider and get a big, humongous purple ribbon.

Click here for pictures of the week

Love, Kate

Monday, March 24, 2014


Anytime we're trying to leave the house and Reese has decided she must put her own shoes on:  "Don't weave out me!  Don't weave out me!"  (yelled with frantic terror at the thought of being left behind)

When playing make-believe with Nana: "Nana, you watch my puppy.  I go to hot coffee shop."

Sitting outside on a sunny day: "It's so beautiful outside.  Thank you for buying yours house."

When on my phone: "Just minute.  I's doin' my

When checking on our newly planted sprouts: "I love them startin' growin'!  I love them startin' growin'.  Them beautiful like me!"

Our smart, funny 2 1/2 year old is full of quotable quotes!

Click here for pictures

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Break 2014

From Kate's Spring Break Memory Book:

We collected pine cones.  We rided our scooters.  We got to see some branches what fell off of trees.

We skipped church because I was sick.  We had donuts.  We played at Nana and DD's house.  Then we packed up.

We got to see horses.  We got to see a camel.  We got to feed the camel.  We got to feed the horses.  We got to pet the horses.  We got to see a deer.  We got to pet a deer.
(Reese added to her book: "We eat ice cream.  Ice cream ice cream ice cream.  We see kimmels.  We see hossies.")

I got to feed big horsies, and my little horsie.  After that, we got to go home.  We took a bath.  Then we rested.  We got to see Simba the Camel hiding.
(Reese's book said, "Today I feed that horsie.  My horsie!  Feed grass and my food.")

We went to a zoo.  We saw monkeys, snakes, birds, baby turtles, baby giraffes and a baby elephant and mommy elephant and daddy elephant and a medium kid elephant.  We got cotton candy then we ate Chick fil A.  We got the movie Frozen and we watched Frozen.
(Here the girls' Spring Breaks differ: Avery went with Nana, Amanda, Amelia and Kyle to Lockhart, where she played and visited Mimi, Gran, Nanny, and Aunt Sandie's farm.)

Ms. Kathy bring us to gymnastics.  We played at the mountain, the bars and the floor.  The best part was playing with Macy.  We went home in Mommy's car and Macy stayed.  We puted on make up.  We played wedding day.  We went to gymnastics again.

We watched Frozen inside the morning.  We played outside.  Avery came home and we played together.  We planted seeds - wildflowers, bluebonnets and I don't remember what kind Reesie planted.

Click here for pictures of the week

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It Takes A Village...

Avery had two major school performances this week.  And as Mama has juggled three children and school for herself and Daddy has managed new projects at work and his usual worship responsibilities, we have fully embraced the idea that it takes a village to raise our children.  Carpools, playdates, help picking kids up from school... in order for me to be at a party for one class, Nana attends another, and Reese spends time with a friend or on the iPad at home while Daddy tries to still get work done.

Avery's performances this week were a fitting sampling from life with three busy kids in three seasons of life.

On Monday, Avery was Georgia O'Keefe in her GT Living Museum.  Props and costumes were required, and family help was encouraged. She had the idea to paint one of O'Keefe's paintings on canvas as one of her props.  DD came over and helped her, showing her how to use feathering techniques and gently cleaning up sections of the canvas.  For weeks leading up to the performance, she practiced with Daddy on memorizing the speech and on presentation.  The night of the event, Mom grabbed Avery from school and took all the girls to ballet while Daddy ran to get dinner at just the right timing for it to be warm and ready in the car for the drive over to the school.  Avery ate, changed into costume and was ready to step into character right as the Living Museum Night started.  And, as Avery rocked Georgia O'Keefe, her sisters might have needed a little guidance in not getting in the way... cue Nana and DD for distraction and containment.

On Thursday, Avery had three performances of The Principal and the Pea, her second grade school play.  She and Daddy worked hard for weeks before try-outs and Avery earned a speaking role during the last song.  While Mom was at school Thursday morning, Nana attended the first performance of the day.  Mom and sisters got there in time for second performance, and after running back and forth to gymnastics with complicated variations of Mom and Dad drivers, her evening performance was attended by all of her adoring fans.

Not every day is busy.  In fact, many days are not.  But when the schedule piles up, Avery knows it takes a village!

Click here for pictures

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Teddy Bear Clinic

I got to get a teddy bear at the Children's Hospital.  The bear got a doctor cap.  My bear looked like a patient doctor because he has somethings what a patient has.  My favorite part was watching him ride the horse.  He got a cast because he fell off a horse.  We got to get it an x-ray.

We got to give it a sticker what says No Peanuts because it's allergic to peanuts.  They ran tests on it to find out.  It had a lazy eye so they put an eye patch on it.  They put a patch on the good eye so the lazy eye could work harder than the eye what was normal.

By Kate

Click here for pictures

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dinnertime Convos

A snippet from Monday night's dinner conversation:

Mom: What do you like to do outside now that it's a little warmer?
Avery: Go outside and read a book.
Mom: What else, Kate?
Kate: Help plant a garden!
Mom: Yeah.  Reese, what do you like to do outside?
Reese: Mush mud.
Mom: You like to smoosh the mud?
Kate: And ride my scooter outside! And ride in the wheel barrow!
Avery: One thing that I really enjoyed today was... you know how I told you about those dangly things at recess?  ...Me and my friends try to get up there, so...they try to grab one of my foots and push me up to the tallest thing and then they help me push my legs up.
Mom: Sounds fun!  Did you do it?  Were you successful?
Avery: Yeah
Reese: And build snakes!  With playdoh!
Mom: Hey, you know what I like about the good weather, Aves?  I like that we can come get you on the bikes and not have to sit in the car.  What about you, Reese?  What else did you do today that you  like?
Reese:  I not 'member.
Mom:  Did you go outside in the backyard?
Reese: Uh-huh!
Mom: Did you tell Daddy "swing me! swing me!"?
Reese: Uh huh!
Kate: Hey Reese, I have something to tell you.  When Daddy pushes me one time, then I can swing by myself!  When Daddy pushes me one time.  I don't go high.  I go medium.
(Daddy finally gets to sit down after making all of the plates.)
Reese: Hey, Daddy.  This new.  Almond milk... I want Sprite!  My tummy say that!  My tummy says want Sprite.
Kate: Mine does too!
Avery: Mine too!

Click here for pictures

Monday, February 17, 2014

Love Is...

Love is... Reese crying on facetime with Daddy while he's traveling because it's just too hard to be away that long.
Love is... your pre-school teacher knowing Daddy is gone and giving lots of extra hugs.
Love is... all three girls, two dogs, and a Mama cuddling in one bed each night.
Love is... having Daddy back home and doing a week's worth of hugging before school.
Love is... falling asleep while sitting on Daddy's lap while he plays piano.

Click here for pictures

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 on the 10's

The objective:  Starting at 10:10, the goal is to take a photo of whatever we're doing for 10 hours straight at 10 after the hour on the tenth of the month...

Our 10 on the 10's:
10:10 am: At the dentist.  Seems appropriate: most of our last two months has been spent in some sort of doctor's office

11:10 am: Saying goodbye to Daddy as he leaves for a business trip.  Kate told him, "I'm going to miss your cuddles so much!"
12:10 pm: Grocery shopping and spending hard-earned chore money at the Dollar Bin.  Such a proud mini-shopper!

1:10 pm: Jungle Princess and Rock Star are happily playing upstairs, so Mama works on dishes downstairs

2:10 pm: Quiet time for the girls.  Studying for school with a little help

3:10 pm: It's cold out there and we have to go get Avery.  Coffee is a must!
4:10 pm: At 4:08, Reese was sleeping.  Which led to the crying at 4:10 and then happiness at 4:20 at "mah-nastics".  Avery and Kate happily wait for dance while cheering Reese on

5:10 pm: "Mah-nastics" is finished for Reese so we get to peek in on Avery and Kate's dance classes while we wait for them

6:10 pm: Dinner prep. 

7:10 pm: One sleepy toddler is ready for an early bedtime and her usual favorite book