Class of 2024

Lexi has had her first graduation. She successfully completed her preschool career. We celebrated by attending a cute preschool graduation ceremony with family and pizza dinner with friends.

Addie and Lexi pre-ceremony. They chose the poses themselves.
They had the graduation at a local winery. It was a quaint and very pretty location. We grabbed a most-of-the-family picture on the way in.
Lexi has loved, loved, loved her preschool experience. She started off in New Mexico and had a wonderful finish in California. She's learned so much that will help her as she goes on to kindergarten. They did science experiments, learned about social studies, math and of course, reading. They learned songs and did a lot of art. They also took field trips and had a concert in the park. I love that while we are driving in the car, she can read the names of the store signs and ask me what they sell.
Lexi has zero stage fright. She had the opening line and was all too happy to deliver.
Congratulations Lexi on your first educational accomplishment. I know we'll stand proud in 2024 as you leave high school and our nest to start your own life. In the mean time, don't grow up too fast, ok?


Just So Ya Know

 I've had a lot of people say, "I want to leave a comment, but I don't want to make a blog!"

You don't have to have a blog to comment. I wanted to keep the wierdos at bay so I set it up requiring commentors to at least have a log in ID. But, you don't have to create a blog to have that.

Just put in your email, a password, and speak yo' mind!


Leona May George

April 11, 1933 - May 27, 2011
 My grandma passed away in the early morning today. 

A mere 6 weeks ago, she was walking, eating, and talking. And while no one told her that Grandpa was gone, and her logical faculties had been robbed by her disease, her soul knew. She has been freed from her mortal prison. I'm sure they are dancing together now.

We'll miss you so very much Grandma.


Marine World

In April, Grandpa Bob chaperoned while my bestie, LuAnn, and I (with kiddos, of course) had a day at Marine World.

LuAnn and Dallas. Both are the ultimate thrill seekers.
Gavin waiting for mom and sissy to go on the ride.
The eager audience.
Told you they are crazy.
Waiting for the Orca show.
The small fry area had this water feature. Emmy loved it!
Totally drenched. Thank goodness LuAnn brought an extra shirt. Emmy wore a diaper and Gavin's t-shirt the rest of the day.
All that swimming tuckered her out!
Here's Dallas and Lexi. Dallas is clearly looking for some excitement. Not sure the hopping frogs did it for her.
This was priceless. Grandpa Bob stuffed in a frog that jolted it's riders up and down. Addie thought it was great. We got some good belly laughs out of the deal too.


Shoulder to Shoulder

When it comes to cooking, there are two ways to do it. There's the make-it-all-and-clean-it-when-you-get-to-it method. Remember the kitchen in The Little Mermaid?
It was in complete disarray. While there was probably lots of really good food cooking, the place was in shambles. He probably had servants to pick up after him so he didn't really mind the mess - he was too busy working on his masterpieces.

Then there's the clean-as-you-go method. This means as you finish using one product, you put it in the sink, dishwasher or wash it immediately. When you are done with a can, you throw it out on the spot. When part of the counter is cleared, you wipe it down. Even if you're going to need to use it again.

In my kitchen, I subscribe to this method. I try to, at the bare minimum, have all the prep dishes in the sink by the time dinner is ready to serve. I wash my prep bowl multiple times during my cooking rather than dirty another one. I make sure all of the garbage and empties are in the trash. Then, when I'm done with dinner, I only have to clear the table and the actual serving plates.

There seem to be two similar thoughts when it comes to making moral choices, too. Some people figure they ought to do whatever makes them happy, without much regard for the mess it makes along the way. They hold on to the thought that if they aren't hurting anyone, they must be doin' all right. Life is meant to be lived, so live it up! After all, you can fix it all at the end, right? I used to live this way. I didn't worry too much about the future. I did what seemed the most fun and shoved any consequences deep down inside. I enjoyed a lot of experiences. I also made some pretty bad choices, too.

The other half knows the peace of making the best choice the first time. We try to clean as we go. We repent for the big things, and even the little ones, so when we step up to the judgement seat, we don't have quite so much try and clean up at the end of our lives.

Even so, with the best of our efforts, there's still gonna be a mess on the table and the stove. This is where our elder Brother Christ steps in to make such the difference. He's going to be there to help us clear up that last little bit we can't do on our own. There's gonna be someone to help us dry. We don't have to go it alone. We're never gonna be perfect enough to have all of the work done before the meal, but at least we've made a dent in the mess by the time we sit down to eat.

The atoning sacrifice he made for us allows us to practice the clean-as-you-go method of living. We don't have to feel soiled and dirtied by life. We don't have to feel mired down by the mess. We don't have to wake up the next day with a chore already on the list.

At any point along the way, we can lay our weaknesses before him and he will make us whole. Even if we've made a huge mess and just now finally see how deep we are, he is eagerly waiting for us to ask for his help. Sure, there are some rules for our protection and safety associated with this type of living. Just like with the dishes, you gotta practice some discipline. You have to prepare a little bit more. You have to have an empty trash, dish soap, and a scrub brush. You have to be willing to do the work up front. But, the peace of sitting down to the meal in a mess free kitchen is well worth the sacrifice. The peace of laying your head down at night knowing you've done all you can do and have trusted in Christ to help you make up the rest is well worth the simple rules that we're asked to follow.

How grateful am I to know I have a partner in this life who will always show up to dry? Who will tell me good job for the small efforts I make? Who won't ever complain about the dishes in the sink because he knows I've done all I can do? Who will praise the meal I've worked so hard to make and then willfully stand by my side at the end of a long night to make sure things are completely cleaned up and perfect?

I owe my life to this man.

And I can't wait for the day when we stand shoulder to shoulder at the sink.


Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat. ~Jim Davis

Addie has struggled with a feeding aversion since month one of her life. Due to undiagnosed reflux and food allergies, she developed a bottle aversion which morphed into a full blown solid food aversion. We are still working though that aversion. However, we've made huge strides. Especially considering we are in the thick of the two year old year when most kids eat string cheese and gold fish crackers three meals a day for a year straight.

For those of you who stumble upon this post who are knee deep in this struggle {clearing throat: Lisa}, I say to you - have hope. It sucks to be in it. I've gone through it twice. I can swear with my whole heart that it gets much better as they leave behind the twos. I promise.

 Just a bit of advice for those of you who are desperate: even if they won't eat, give them a utensil and let them play with the food. Don't have any expectations. Put something new down every meal. Clean the mess with joy and praise them mildly if they do take the leap. Expect it to take months for one food to become a regular part of their diet. Oh, and lie. Addie loves cheeseburgers. So, I told her a grilled cheese sandwich was just like a cheese burger without the meat. She loves them now. I'm serious. It works.

To further prove my theory on improvement, here's a list of what Addie will now eat (after 2 1/2 years of therapy and ongoing efforts at home):

* Cheeseburgers
* Fries
* Sweet potato fries
* Frozen gogurts
* Any type of cold cereal
* Yogurt with granola
* Bagel with or without cream cheese
* Grilled cheese sandwiches
* Pancakes
* Sausage
* Waffles
* Peanut butter and honey sandwiches
* Peanut butter and jam sandwiches
* Granola bars
* Any type of cracker
* Fruit snacks
* Ice Cream
* Fruit leather/roll ups
* Banana bread
* Smoothies
* Pop Tarts
* Apple (this is a ebb and flow type deal - some days she will, some days she won't)
* Any type of chip
* Pudding
* Cookies

This list is not exhaustive. As you see, most of these foods are on the sweet side. That is typical of kids with feeding aversions. They also have texture issues, as does Addie. We're working on fresh fruits and meats. But, she has come so very far. I mean, we're finally at a point where we don't have to pack her food when we go somewhere.

Addie self regulates really well. She doesn't over eat. She doesn't over indulge in sweets either. When she does eat something savory, she'll chow that down just like she would a cookie.

We keep her doctor up to date on her progress and she's growing really well. So, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other and look toward her four and five year old years as goals for normalcy. For now, I look how far we've come and try to accept her for who she is right now. 


Party for One

I made Emily a milk, dairy and gluten free cake complete with milk, dairy and gluten free fondant frosting for her birthday.
I made everyone else cupcakes.
Just in time for the celebration, she finally passed out after all of the day's events.
So Daddy opened her gifts for her.
Look how much she loves her cake!
The ever exuberant Uncle Craig and Aunt Rachel.
I think Claire approved of the cupcakes.
Mass 'o children. They had such a great time.
Seems super excited, huh?!?
Happy Birthday, Emily!


Emmy at One

Emmy is one. How can I possibly describe this last year? I mean, really, how do you put into words the constant challenge just simply surviving has been for us this last 365 days? Let's not. We'll just skip over the botched delivery attempt, the malaria scare, the scrounging through rotten food for lost truck keys, the awful c-section, the dog dying, the colicy baby who only napped for 15 minutes at a time, the 16 month old sister who would stand at my legs and cry all day for 5 months, the reflux and the non-sleeping. We'll just leap frog over all of that and talk about Emmy. Dynamic and effervescent Emily.

Here are some stats on Emmy: She weighs 26 lbs and is 31 inches long. She wears a 2T clothes. They guesstimate she will be around 5'9" or 5'10" when she stops growing.

Emmy is still eating elemental formula, but we're weaning off of the bottle. She is completely weaned off of her reflux meds (happy dance). She loves to eat. But, she has milk protein and soy allergies which prevent us from feeding her lots of yummy foods. Plus, she shows many signs of a gluten allergy. So, she eats a very limited diet, but eats a lot. Thankfully, there is an increasing awareness about food allergies so finding milk, soy and gluten free foods is becoming easier.

Emily is still a horrible sleeper. Now, I'm a tried and true cry it out type of lady. This child does not buy into that method. She just cries. And cries. So, we just wait until she's obviously tired and ready for bed and then proceed with the program. That's usually right in line with the normal bed time routine so it's not a big deal for us.

Emily has this really fun habit of waking up in the middle of the night for 2 or 3 hours. She used to do it every 3rd day. We'd let her cry. She'd cry for 2 or 3 hours. I'm not lying! Slowly, over the last year, it's stretched to once a week and now, finally, once every month. So, rather than have her cry for hours on end, I just get up with her and watch TV while she toddles around and plays. She gets tired and goes back to sleep and sleeps until 9 if I let her (but I don't because then the whole day is ruined).

This little girl is a pistol. I swear she does not feel pain. She doesn't cry at shots (no, seriously, we have to have a series of 3 to get tears), when she falls down, or when her sisters accidentally run her over. She is loud and I mean a complete yeller. She has this raspy voice too, which I think is completely adorable on a baby.

She is a daredevil. No fear at all. She regularly scolds our 90 lb. doberman.

Emily adores her sisters and plays really well with them. Most of the time, Emmy is content to play for hours on end in the play room. She comes to me when she's messy or hungry or tired. For as high maintenance as she was, she is a total dream baby now. Since she's discovered the art of running, she and Addie play chase almost non-stop. They help one another retrieve dropped pacifiers and they like to snuggle, too.

She is vivacious and confident. She is quick to smile and laugh. Emily loves to be on the go and is a great traveler. She already has about 7 words and a couple of phrases she uses on a regular basis.

It's very clear that she is much older and wiser than her 12 months. And while she came to our family earlier than we thought she would and the last year has been painful and miserable in almost every single way a real chance for emotional and spiritual growth, Emily is a very important and necessary part of our family. She adds so much joy to our lives. I don't think a single one of us would know what to do if she wasn't with us now.

Happy Birthday baby girl!


Let's Get Physical

Lexi {at bedtime}: Mom, do you know why I'm wearing this? (referring to her hot pink hair accessory)

Me {silently wondering why she's been sporting such an accessory for the last hour}: Why?

Lexi {told you so voice}: 'Cause I'm gonna stay up late and excercise.

Me: Really?

Lexi {loud, informative, told you so voice}: Yeah. I'm gonna stay up and exercise to one of YOUR exercise videos.


Easter Morn

Lastly, to tie it all up in a pretty bow, we had a visit from the Easter Bunny at our very own house Easter morning.

We got on our prettiest dresses and head out to church. This was the only picture I got of all the girls together. I was so bummed. The day just went so fast.
I snuck this picture of Addie on my phone in nursery. In case you can't tell by the look on her face, Addie does not like nursery. We just walk by the door and she starts backing up, shaking her head and crying. I don't think she trusts a place with that kind of adult to kid ratio.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.