Saturday, March 31, 2012

Miss Independent

Oh this sweet girl got up this morning and was super quiet in her room.  When I went to check on her she was hard at work for about 15 minutes, but she did it. As soon as her little feet hit the floor she got dressed, cleaned her closet and made her bed.   I did not want to spoil the surprise so I walked away and let her come find me.  She was super excited, took me by the hand and ran me back to her room. 

I was so proud of her that I snatched her up, hugged her, swung her around in a circle saying, "you did a great job Emma, I am so proud of you."  All the while, I was wondering how in the world I would allow a bed to look like this in my house all day.  As hard as it is going to be to look at this, I don't have the heart to remake it.  However, it might be a race every morning to see who can make it first since she declared, "Mom, I am going to make my bed everyday."  I politely told her it was my job and I did not mind doing it at all.  Today is one thing, but I don't think my OCD could take looking at this on a regular basis.  So proud of you Emma Lou and so thankful for an independent child.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Little Fish

Emma has joined the swim team and will be spending most of her time starting in April at swim practice and meets throughout the summer.   She has not been in the water this season, so we thought it would be a good idea to get her some private lessons before she attends "rookie camp" in April, which is mandatory for all new team members.

Emma has been super excited to begin swimming and has been begging me to take her to the pool at my school.  Today she had her first lesson to practice her breathing, free style, backstroke and kicking.  She was so attentive to what Coach John had to say throughout her entire lesson.

Coach John was super impressed with Emma today and says she is going to have no issues at all with swim team and making the laps across the pool during a relay.  He chuckled a little because it was a far cry from the little girl he tried to teach two years ago, she was far more interested in the ducks back then.  Rumor has it that if a 4 year old makes it off the wall during a meet they are doing good and he is confident that Emma will make it across the pool like a pro based on what he saw today.

When it was time to get in the pool she took off running and jumped in, kicked her way to the top, turned around and made her way back to the wall.   She has absolutely no fear when it comes to the water anymore and we are so proud of her.

It was so cute to see her in this little swimsuit that was so grown up and athletic looking.  Perhaps it was the lack of pink I struggled with, but she made up for it with her goggles and swim bag.

Emma will continue private lessons with Coach John twice a week until April 23rd when she starts "Rookie Camp".  Beginning April 23rd she will start swimming four days a week and sometimes five days when there are meets on Saturday.  I plan to take her to the school a couple days a week to practice also until season starts. 

Coach John is an amazing swim coach and is so patient with the little ones, but he is serious business and his swimmers know it.  We are blessed to be able to have him help Emma perfect her techniques and skills in the water.

Emma learned how to hold on and kick off the wall today for the backstroke start.  All in all, Emma did very well and I was very impressed with how serious she was during her lesson.  At the end she even got up on the dive block, jumped off, got in the arrow position, came up for breaths and kicked her way to Coach.  Coach John was so impressed that he gave her a new swim cap.

When we got in the car to head home Emma said, "I love swimming Mom, I want to do it for the rest of my life."  Honestly, our goal is to expose our children to as many activities as possible, so later on they can choose 2 or 3 they want to stick with for the long haul. For now, we are looking forward to a summer filled with Dance, Soccer, Swim & Theatre Camp. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's a Hard Knock Life!

Last night we had an amazing evening with my BFF and our 4 girls.   RaRa invited Emma to go to see the musical Annie with her and her girls and I invited myself.  We had been looking at going for months, but the tickets were a little pricey and I was a little concerned about Emma lasting through the entire performance.

Emma was so excited to see all the orphans sing all the songs from Annie and I must admit that I was just as pumped about it too.

It was the best time, just the six of us and it was so nice to have a Mommy/Daughter girls night out.   We had dinner at an Italian Restaurant before the show began and then it was time to head on over to the Theatre.

Robin and I have been BFF's since 7th grade, at this point in life we are family and our kiddos are going to be really disappointed one day when they realize they are not cousins (ha ha).   Her three girls are so beautiful and as sweet as can be.  When I say Robin & David have been blessed with amazingly wonderful daughters, I mean it.  These girls are pretty close to perfect and love their parents to the moon and back!

I will continue to pray that my sweet girl will grow up and be as smart, kind, sweet, loving and friendly as the Triple A's!

We hung around after the show to get the girls Playbills autographed and Emma got a hug from Annie herself.  This little girl is 9 years old and played the lead role in the musical.  She was AMAZING and had a presence about her that was not typical for a child her age.  Her voice was perfect for the part, she was so confident and definitely stole the show.  The orphans were played by students from 5 years of age to High School and were local theater students.   Emma was quick to declare that she wanted to be in the musical Annie one day and her favorite song was, It's a hard knock life.

Emma did a great job and I was so impressed with her throughout the entire evening.  She sat so quiet, paid attention, took it all in and loved every single bit of the show.  By the end of the show she picked Annie, Molly & Savannah as her favorite little orphans.  I am sure I do not have to include that she loved Sandy and thought she was the cutest dog ever.

Emma has talked non stop about her evening all day long.  We spent a good part of our day searching for the Disney version of Annie, but were unsuccessful so Daddy is ordering it.  I was quite surprised to hear Emma retell the story of last nights production to her Daddy.  There were so many parts of the play that I thought she would struggle to understand, but she explained them in great detail just as they happened.

Ashlyn, Addison, Ally &  Emma

I am so thankful for these three girls and so grateful that they serve as wonderful role models for Emma Lou.   Emma looks up to "the girls" so much, loves them and thinks they are absolutely hysterical.  They adore her like crazy and lets just say she is a little spoiled by all three of them.  It usually is an argument to determine who will eat by her at the table and ride by her in the car (she loves all the attention). 

Emma and I returned home last night just after midnight and she was still chit chatting until I put her in bed, the girl was a trooper.  It was a perfect evening and one that we were proud to spend with some of our favorite people in the world.  Thank you RaRa and the Triple A's for inviting Emma and allowing us to spend a wonderful evening with all of you!

I hope you all remember that no matter what life has to offer...
The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gavin's First Soccer Game

We have been looking forward to Gavin starting Soccer for months, well truth is since he could walk and we noticed how much energy he had bottled up inside him.  We knew from the start we needed to keep him involved in extra activities and busy, busy, busy!

To bad the little stinker woke up at 4:30 in the morning ready to start his day.  My Mom asked, "why did he get up at 4:30"...  Um, hello he gets up between 4:30 and 5:00 every morning of his life.  Needless to say by the time his tiny cleats hit the field at 9:00 he was  a bit  mega grouchy.

I started to think I had probably just made a $95 donation to the YMCA, until Gavin quickly made friends with this cone that was on the ground.   At least it was near the coach during warm up, so that got him a little closer to the game.

After he saw a few of his teammates kicking into the goal, he thought it might be fun to join them to see what the action was all about (yawning the entire time).

Paying very close attention to what Coach Murray had to say before the game got underway.

Team Salt Lake all lined up and ready to practice taking the ball down the field using only their little feet.

Squatting and cheering his team on most of the game seemed a little less tiring than getting in there and having to run down the field.   Oh if he wasn't so cute, I would just get him at times.

We decided we would let him join the game whenever he was ready by occasionally telling him that Coach really needed him and so did the rest of the kids.

Not sure if he finally felt comfortable or it was his sister calling him, "sideline Steve" that encouraged him to go ahead and join the game.

When he finally joined the game he did a great job, had fun and was able to kick the ball down the field and keep it under control.  The game was not a success for us since we scored 3 points for the other team, wrong goal kiddos.

He was not intimidated by the other kiddos, even fell down flat on his face at one point and kept on going.  He was one dirty little boy by the end of the game.

I was a little nervous that he might be thinking about shoving one of the other kids down at this point, but he did a great job and kept all that energy under control.  Yay Gavin, get the ball, run, go Gavin go is what we all chanted from the sidelines.   At times he would cup his little chubby hands up around his mouth like a megaphone and scream something back, who knows what he was saying.

Gavin just turned three two weeks ago and most of the kids on his team are older three and four year olds, but he is going to be just fine if he gets the rest he needs before a game.  This kid has so much athletic ability and energy inside of him, no doubt he is going to be extremely talented at whatever he does as long as he channels all that talent in the right direction.

We were so PROUD of the effort he put into Saturday and just wish he would have been more rested.  We might have to keep him up until midnight the night before a game, just so he sleeps a little later (no I am not joking).  He is going to have a blast this season and we are so excited about supporting Team Salt Lake and our Son.

When it was time to shake hands and Coach told the kids to line up Gavin did just that, with his hands behind his back like he does at MDO daily.  Only one problem G-man, looks like you might have lined up on the wrong side buddy!  Oh I love this kid more than life, he keeps us belly laughing.

One last thing, you can always count on your sibling to let you know how you did in the game. On our walk to the car Emma says, "Well, Oh Gavin moved as slow as a turtle out their on that field."

Just maybe I did have to promise him an ice cream cone when it was all said and done to get his little feet to hit the field.  Whatever it takes, right?  We can not wait to see what next week has in store for Salt Lake and Gavin.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Grandfather

The sweetest man I have ever known earned his wings tonight and I am beyond blessed to have called this man my Papa for the last 39 years of my life. Tonight I am thanking God for his life and rejoicing that he has been reunited with my Grandmother who met Jesus 11 years ago, his three sons and my Daddy.  I can only imagine what an amazing reunion it must have been.

Although my heart is broken, I am praising my Father for not letting him suffer any longer.  I have come to realize that God's timing is perfect and he knew 90 years ago today, that he would welcome my Grandfather home.  God has clearly answered our prayers this evening.  

I am sad, as a matter of fact I am SUPER SAD for so many reasons, but all the while thankful that my sweet babies got to know and experience life with one of the greatest men I have ever known.  His smile, his laughter, his singing, his stories and his love will forever be etched in my heart and in my mind.  So many valuable lessons I have learned from walking this journey with him and seeing him live life.

He loved me so much, he loved all of us so much and he was never afraid to tell the world all about it, over and over.  He was a supporter of everything we did and it was only last summer he sat daily in the 102 degree heat to watch his great grandchildren on the athletic fields.  He loved with everything he had and it showed throughout his entire life.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
 I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Papa, thank you for the life lessons that I will cherish forever.  Thank you for loving me, encouraging me, supporting me, correcting me, helping me, believing in me and for always being there for me.  I am so blessed to have had the conversations we shared up until the very end.  Most importantly, my life was changed because YOU have been my grandfather all of these years. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Little Boys

Little boys come in all
shapes and sizes,

Shy and adventurous,
 full of surprises,

 With misshapen halos and mischievous grins,
Small dirty faces, and sweet, sticky chins.

 They'll keep you so busy,
and yet all the while

 Nothing can brighten the world
like their smile.

And no greater treasure
has brought homes more joy

Than a curious, active,
and lovable boy!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break TWELVE

Spring Break 2012 has come to an end, but we had an amazing break and this Mommy is going to miss her babies when we all head back to work/MDO in the morning.  We did not travel anywhere this year, but I was determined to keep Emma and Gavin busy with fun activities the past 9 days.  Our week was jam packed with lots of laughs, love, adventures and much more:

Twins THIRD Birthday
Emma got 4 inches cut off her hair & begged for more
Play date with Matilda Jane Twins (Lily & Laney)
Gavin's Three Year Old Check up
Children's Theater & Chik Fil A
Rodeo & Livestock Show
Zoo & Lunch
Visit Papa
Swim Shop getting ready for Swim Team
Play date with Brooke and Luke
Sidewalk Chalk
Bought and released 1000 ladybugs
Gavin got a haircut
Splashpad & Creekbed
Park & Flying kits
Buying Gavin's Soccer gear
Arts & Crafts
Shopping for shoes
Playing in the backyard
Visit to the Toy Store
Fingernail Painting
 Potty Training

We were on the go nonstop and we would not have it any other way.  I am not one for staying at home and neither are the busy little people that live in my house.

We had a blast celebrating our cousins, Brynlee & Chance's 3rd Birthday.  They had an Eric Carle party and their Momma did a great job on their special day.  My kids had a ball and talked about the party for days. These sweet babies are exactly one week younger than Gavin.

One day we went to see, "How I became a Pirate" at the children's theater with our friends Lauren & Tyler and the kids really enjoyed the play.   Gavin squawked like a parrot through half of it and thought the actors were hilarious.

Emma & Lauren have been in Ballet and Jazz together for 2 years and really enjoy each others company.  These girls are silly as can be when they get together.

The littlest buccaneer making his way to his seat before the play got started, he was ready to munch down on his pirate ship cookie.

Emma invited Lauren to go to the Rodeo with us and they had a BIG time.   Lauren had never been to the rodeo or livestock show, so it was really fun to introduce her to all that it had to offer. 

When these two started giggling and screaming, they could not stop.  It was hysterical and I think Curtis got a taste of what life is really going to be like having little girls around.  They were plum goofy to the core, but so sweet and innocent. 

Lauren was a trooper when it came to the animals, you would have never known it was her first time to be around the farm life.

Only my son would climb a fence to see a turkey, fall off backwards and land in a cow's watering troth.  He was soaked from head to toe and had to stay like that for the entire rodeo.

We had a blast going to the zoo with Nana, Aunt Stacey, Hunter, Camryn and Dana.   Afterwards we had lunch at a great mexican restaurant and we had some tired kiddos on our hands.

Camryn loves Gavin to pieces and can not keep her hands off of him when they are around one another.  Gavin thinks she is pretty special too.

It is a little difficult to get a good picture of all four kiddos when they are looking, so here is the best I could do on these geese.

We were so excited to have a play date with Brooke and Luke.  They are getting a swimming pool, so they spent the week in survival swimming lessons and both of them did incredibly well.  So proud of their Mommy for making the commitment to make them safe around the water.  Their pool is going to be beautiful and we are beyond excited for them and more play dates this summer.

Gavin and Emma love anything that crawls, flys, barks and stings.   One day we bought 1000 ladybugs (organic fertilizer), brought them home, watched them become active and eventually released them.  

We decided to release some of the ladybugs near our splashpad/park/outdoor theatre in our neighborhood.  We actually picked up pizza and ate outside at the park one night while we released half of the ladies in red.

We asked Emma to come eat and she said, "Mom, I would rather just watch all these ladybugs, you know I love all bugs and I am very curious about them, so I will just eat later."  The girl thought she was going to have enough time to hand release each one and talk to it before she sent it on its merry way.

After dinner we flew kites that we had bought earlier in the day.  Let me just tell you that Gavin is one heck of a kite flyer.  All of that energy makes for alot of running and high flying kites.  He could literally take off running with the kite on the ground and get it to go up in the air and stay there.  It was so much to watch him fly his Spiderman kite.

The kids enjoyed racing each other while flying their kites high in the sky.  They both did an awesome job considering it was the first time for them to fly kites by their self.

Emma chose a Cinderella kite, of course and she really fell in love with flying her kite and has begged to do it everyday since.

We brought half of the ladybugs back home and released them in our front flowerbeds.  They have hung around and the kids have enjoyed playing with them this week.

Last, but certainly not least Gavin had a SUPER successful week of potty training. When we were at home, he sported his boxer briefs and only had one accident all week long.  We are so proud of our big boy and looking forward to being a diaper free home soon.  We have been buying diapers for 57 months straight!  A smiley face and gold chocolate pirate coin encourages this boy to go everytime.

We also got to visit with Papa this week and the kids even got to see him, because it looks as if he is sleeping.  We are praying that he will meet Jesus soon, he continues to be in Hospice care. 

There were many activities we did not get pictures of this week, but we enjoyed all of our time spent with family and sweet friends.  We are looking forward to upcoming birthday parties, Gavin's first Soccer game Saturday, Emma starting swim team, upcoming dance recital and so much more.

In the meantime, we will continue to pray for the perfect peace over so many people that are dealing with various trials and tribulations.