Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still Celebrating!

This has been a great Christmas! We have already celebrated 4 times with different parts of the family and there is still one more celebration to come. We head out for snowy Wisconsin tomorrow morning for Christmas with my dad's side of the family. Lily is so excited about the snow and can't wait to go sledding with her cousins. She doesn't even know what sledding is, but we've made it sound fun, so she's in! I had a funny conversation with one of my WI aunts the other day....she was telling me about all the snow they were getting and I asked (stupidly...being from Texas!) if the snow would last until our visit....she laughed and said it would be around for months most likely! Well, I didn't know! Here our snow comes in the morning and has melted by afternoon!! Then she told me to be sure to bring the girls' snow shoes and snow suits!! What? Not only do we not have those, I wouldn't even know where to buy them!!! She wasn't referring to ski clothes! So, they've been on a mission to round up snow gear for the Texas crew!

We will also be attending my grandpa's memorial service while we are there. I am glad they were able to postpone it until our visit.

So, no pictures at this posting time. We just got a new digital camera (all this time I've been scanning in pics!), so once I get that all figured out I'll post one big Christmas slideshow! I am a big fan of the film camera, so we'll see how I well I do digital!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picture Outtakes

We recently went to get pictures of the girls and as I was picking out some to show you, I couldn't resist the outtakes! We just went to one of those cheap places that move you through like cattle. But despite that, and the fact that I get so stressed out over pictures, we did get a few good shots that I'll post after the outtake slideshow.

I do feel sorry for the girls though...they are cursed with a mother who doesn't know how to do hair! Who could have thought I could have screwed up on Jade's hair? She doesn't even have any! I put one of those stretchy band things in and a bow on it...obviously I didn't know what I was doing...I cringe everytime I see the metal clip! I've always felt inadequate in the hair dept...when confessing this to one of my old teaching buddies, she told me she had a book on doing little girls hair, making bows, etc...I NEED THAT BOOK! Of course she's the kind that handmade matching bows for every outfit and even her daughter's swimsuits! Love you, Jane!

Of course even our favorites looked a little better than they do here...they cropped them and added all the finishing touches!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Letting Go of Grandpas

I never thought that the year 2007 would be the year I'd say goodbye to both of my grandfathers. I realize that I am fortunate to have had all four of my grandparents living this long and even the pleasure of knowing and remembering some of my great-grandparents too.

This past July my mom's dad passed away. It was after a yucky battle with throat cancer and many other complications. We were glad that he wasn't going to be so uncomfortable anymore, but that didn't make it any easier. The saddest part for me personally was that I couldn't be there for the funeral. I was seven days postpartum with Jade and they live in Michigan. The timing of things just wouldn't allow it. Maybe it was better that way. I never saw him sick like that, so my memory of him will be of the last time they visited Texas...Thanksgiving of 2004 shortly after Lily was born. I always knew Grandpa K was a kind man...with the most beautiful pale blue eyes...but I never knew until that trip how much he loved children. You should have seen him with Lily and my niece, Avery. His face just lit up as he interacted with them and he enjoyed it so much...I had never seen him in that element. It was during that last time that I saw him that Avery took her very first steps across my kitchen floor...right to Grandpa K...I know Kelly will never forget that. I also have fond memories of visiting their farm in Michigan over the years. I went on the combine tractor with him, fed the pigs "slop", tended baby piglets, fed the barn cats, and on and on. On a comical note, one other thing I'll never forget learning from him was the term "birthday suit". I'm not even sure how it came up, I was really little, but apparently that is what he slept in, and when I finally figured out what he meant...well, let's just say it left a lasting impression!!
Grandpa and Grandma K on our wedding day in July of 1999

In 2004 shortly after Lily arrived
Avery hanging on to his finger after taking her very first steps!

Grandpa and Grandma M at our wedding
Grandpa with Lily after her baptism in February 2005

I got the call today that my dad's father passed away this morning. As I type this I still can't believe he is gone. I knew him much better than my other grandpa simply because they flew and my other grandparents didn't....and when you're traveling between Texas and MI or WI...flying helps!! I knew the call was coming...he had taken a couple of bad falls recently, and was struggling the effects of diabetes, etc. He had gone home to their little cottage in Green Lake, WI last Thursday and Hospice started visiting, so we knew there wasn't much time left. We are flying there over the holidays and were hopeful we'd make it in time for one more visit, but it just didn't work out. Once again, it is probably better that I didn't see him. My dad said he was just a shell of what I would have remembered him as. I have so many fond memories of Grandpa Robert....everyone called him "Bob". I visited their farm many times growing up...I remember playing in the corn crib, the milk house, the barn...etc. I remember letting the chickens out of the coop when I was supposed to be getting eggs! I'm sure that made him mad although he never let on. Grandpa M never knew a stranger....that man could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, about anything! I loved that about him. I'm thankful he made it to his 82nd birthday December 1st and his 61st wedding anniversary December 11th. I'm also thankful he went so peacefully. He hadn't been responsive in days... no talking, and even very little eye opening, smiling...etc. My aunt went to check on him early this morning and noticed his breathing was more labored. She sat by his side and read him several passages from the Bible and then began to sing Silent Night to him. It's so special that after many unresponsive days, that he started to hum along with her as she sang...I can just hear my Grandpa humming it now...then he opened his eyes, gave one last obvious smile and went to sleep.

Silent Night, Holy Night,
All is calm, All is Bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child,
Holy Infant So Tender and Mild,
Sleep in Heavenly Peace,
Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Sleep Grandpa, sleep. Sleep in heavenly peace.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Day Just for Momma and Lily

Yesterday, Lily and I had the rare chance to go hang out together without having Jade in tow. My in-laws were in town and since it was cold and wet, Lily and I headed out alone. First, we headed to dance and tumbling where she had pictures made in her recital costume...yes, that means you'll probably be seeing yet another recital post! Then we met Lily's playgroup over at the mall for story time with Mrs. Claus. While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, we went over to see Santa. I was really interested to see how Lily would react to him because she has been telling us ever since she could speak that SHE DOES NOT LIKE SANTA. We can't figure out why...we've never forced her onto his lap for pictures or anything. Just the night before she had told us that she wanted Santa to mail her presents because she didn't want him coming to our house! The thought process of a 3 year old amazes me! So, I decided to tell Santa that as we were standing there...Lily a good 5 feet in the distance. He told her that the mailman doesn't work on Christmas! She didn't seem too excited about that. Still no progress on liking Santa I guess.

Once all her little friends arrived we went over to hear Mrs. Claus read a couple of stories. Then Mrs. Claus let the kids pick out some Christmas songs to sing...although she didn't really know the words to any of was sad, they must have really scraped the bottom of the barrel on this lady. She would just sing la, la, la when she didn't know the words. We heard a lot of la, la, la's! After that, we headed over to the mall play area with Melissa and Emma. I met a lady there who had triplet 3 year old boys! I learned that they had just been trying for their second and ended up with, going from 1 to 4....conversations like that scare me! Anyway, after playing a bit, Lily and I headed to Panera Bread for a mother-daughter lunch, rode the escalators a few times (couldn't have done that with Jade!), and redeemed the free cookie coupon that Mrs. Claus had given us.

It was the perfect day...sounds like it, right?!? Well, these are the parts I left out, so I'll let you decide!! Lily wouldn't sit still during story time...and when she wasn't swinging her raincoat around hitting others, she was totally harassing baby Campbell! So sorry, Sarah! Then when Mrs. Claus stood up to sing, Lily was tired of me being on her, so she stood up, walked over and climbed up into Mrs. Claus' chair! That was after peeking under Mrs. Claus' apron a few times on the way there! I had to drag her out of the play area and had trouble keeping her from climbing under the table at Panera Bread...where she managed to squeeze bright blue Gogurt all over her shirt! On top of that when we went back into the cold rain, my car wouldn't start!!

I just hate it when I envision these perfect outings and they don't go so perfectly! Jerry constantly tells me I have too high of expectations. He's right, too. Life with a 3 year old is loud, messy, chaotic and unpredictable. Thank God it is also fun, rewarding, and full of lots of hugs and kisses!

If you look carefully, you'll see Lily sitting in the big red chair. Yep, that's my girl!

So, I guess it was a perfect day after all...just in its own imperfect way!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Christmas Tradition

Every year, a couple weeks before Christmas my mom, sister and I get together for a Christmas cookie bake. It has changed over the years, especially since the addition of the now 3 granddaughters, but it is always fun. We used to tackle all sorts of cookies, plus fudge and divinity, but with the little ones it is kind of hard to keep your eye on a candy we opt for just a few simple treats these days. It is so fun to see them decorate sugar cookies...they gain talent each year! Last year we used colored dough...boy was that a mess...and tasted so bitter! We learn something new each year! There is one special thing that has been added to the tradition since the girls came mom makes homemade old-fashioned donuts for breakfast before we get started!! It's my grandmother's recipe and they are oh so tasty! I'm typically not a fan of the cake donut, but these are awesome. As Jerry said this year, "They're worth the wait and the weight!" And the girls had fun shaking them in paper bags to coat them with cinnamon and sugar! This slide show showcases our donut making and cookie baking adventure!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Parade

We decided to check out the local Christmas Parade this weekend. And although it turned out to be more like a walking advertisement for a bunch of businesses, it was still fun. Fun to sport summer clothes and flip flops on December 8th! One of the firefighters threw Lily a beanie bag puppy which really made her day! Some of the floats passed out little toys and balls as well which was fun. Beyond that it was CANDY, CANDY, CANDY!!! You know it is too much candy when towards the end your 3 year old gets too lazy to get off your lap and pick it up!

Sporting the double stroller!

Lily really enjoyed the marching bands! She is into all things musical. We love that about her! It was also really sweet to hear her shout Merry Christmas back to everyone on the floats as they passed by. She learned quickly that if she said it loud enough they'd be sure to notice her and throw candy her way! Manipulation starts at such a young age.....

Friday, December 7, 2007

Where are you Winter?

I just enjoyed my first Starbucks holiday flavored drink of the season. I'm sure you are envisioning a hot drink that I could sip away at while it warmed me up from the chill of the air! I only wish! No, I actually ordered my favorite...Peppermint Mocha...ICED!!! It is a chilly 80 degrees in the metroplex today! I am ready for winter, people! I went and bought a couple of new sweaters last weekend. I wore one to Lily's recital and about burned up...I think it was in the 60's then. When, oh when, will I be able to go order my hot Peppermint Mocha and enjoy it in my new cozy sweater?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another Dance Recital Post!

Here are some still pics of Lily's case you couldn't view the video. Most of these were taken at the dress rehearsal when flash photos were allowed...not that parents really obeyed that rule the next sad.

Such a sweetie!

Hop, hop, hop!

Not exactly the Rockettes...but hey, they're only 3!

Finally, all on the same beat!

Makeup on for showtime! Teaching a 3 yr old to "blot" her lips proved difficult!

I never thought my Lily would remind me of Madonna! It's that bow!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Be Our Guest!

Lily's first dance recital was this weekend! I am not sure who the voices are in the background of the video...not ours...Jerry was speechless, and I was bawling! They were the youngest act and did the opener for the entire show, so that was special. The kick line at the end is hillarious...not exactly the Rockettes...but hey, they're only 3 years old! Jade also enjoyed the recital...totally entertained by all the music and lights...sat content in Paw's lap the entire time. Thanks, Paw! I'll post some still pics too...for those of you who don't have video watching capabilities.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Trees Are Up!

I realize they look like they are on fire...but for some reason I like these poor quality pics from my cell phone! I love decorating seems like if we don't get it done the day after Thanksgiving it just isn't up long enough to really enjoy it! It's not like we are elaborate decorators anyway...just one tall tree in all silver with white lights and then a small tree with colored lights for the girls. This years decorating went so much better than it did last year. Let me recap last year's experience:
It was Friday evening and the mood was set....Christmas music playing, fireplace lit, kettle of water boiling for hot cocoa....etc. So, Jerry set out to get the boxes of Christmas decorations/trees/stockings/wreaths..the works! He climbed into the upstairs xmas boxes there, so he climbed into the garage xmas boxes there either. So he figures he must have put them in our storage building out back. Jerry gets the keys and heads out there a little frustrated at this point. When he returned and told me that he couldn't find our xmas boxes out there either, I thought he was kidding! We had just moved in to this house in July, so the wheels in our heads started turning. We had moved out of our E. Dallas home in May....and stored our things in various places...while we lived with family and house hunted. Could we have left the boxes in one of our two storage buildings? Did we forget some of the things we stored at Jerry's parent's home? Or, did we never move them from our old house at all!?!? At this point we were worried! When you think of your Christmas things, so many of them are irreplaceable...our first Christmas ornament (which still doesn't have a photo in it 9 Christmases later)...okay so maybe that isn't so special, but Lily's first baby ornaments, precious antique ones, the stocking Jerry's grandmother knitted him when he was a boy, and countless other treasures...were they all gone? We were on the phone immediately...first to our family to see if we had left these items stored with them, then to the people to helped us move to see if they had any recollection of getting things from the attic...and finally to our realtor so we could get in touch with the new owners of our old house. We spent an entire weekend not knowing the fate of our special Christmas things. Then finally we were in touch with the new owner...he had noticed all of the boxes in the attic shortly after moving in, but somehow couldn't get in touch with us...huh? our realtor had our cell phone numbers....oh well! We were just so thankful that he hadn't thrown them out or something...he figured we would track those boxes down eventually! Looking back, our panic seems silly...especially when considering the true meaning of Christmas...Thank You, Jesus, for being born and giving us reason to celebrate...YOU are our true treasure!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Special Day, A Special Dress

Our First Family Photo with Jade!
3 Generations of Manthes that have worn "The Dress"

It has been a little over a month since we had Jade dedicated at church! Honestly, I was glad baby dedication time came around when it did because otherwise she may not have fit in "the dress". The dress you see her wearing above is a sixty year old baptismal gown that my dad wore first (yes, boys do wear baptismal gowns...Jerry still doesn't get it!), then my sister, then yours truly, then Lily and most recently Jade. If you are wondering why Avery isn't pictured above, she, like Jade was blessed with the chub and probably wouldn't have fit in it! The first three of us who wore it were baptized in the Lutheran tradition and therefore baptized should see my mom in my baptism photos...just 14 days after giving birth to me! Lily was baptized at 5 months....she was the Presbyterian relatives thought we were never going to get around to it! And now with Miss Jade we are attending a church that dedicates babies...which is all new to me. After the initial shock to the family, it really went mom didn't run up there and sprinkle water on her (like she threatened...jokingly...I think) and the only comment my dad had when he overheard me talking to someone about the special gown, was that it is NOT sixty years old...yet, just 59!!!

I was a little unsure of the whole baby dedication vs. infant baptism debate, but my friend Mandy encouraged me correctly that the heart motivation of parents is the same in either! On October 13th we brought Jade before the Lord to recognize that she is actually His...and we promised to pray for her and teach her to love and follow Christ and hope that one day she will trust Him as her Savior....after all...not any outward act of man can save our child...only the Lord can do that!

Enjoy this slideshow from this very special day!

I love the verse on her certificate...."For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him. Therefore I have lent her to the Lord, as long as she lives, she is lent to the Lord. I Samuel 1:27-28

And I couldn't resist pulling out some pictures of Lily's baptism in February of 2005. See below!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jerry Won the Jackpot!

No, we haven't made an escape to Vegas! Did that once and neither of us feel the need to go back! 2 months ago Jerry put $10 in the pot at work for a weight loss contest. He has been weighing in every Wednesday since then and staying near the top. You had to put a quarter in any time you gained a pound, and I think he only did that once. Last week he was in third place, so he put it in high gear for the finish!

We've been working on losing weight together. How is it that husbands always gain baby weight too? I don't actually gain much in pregnancy...mainly due to losing so much via puking in the beginning (my friends joke about my pregnancy diet), so I guess the extra I'm carrying around is just the "maternal store"?!? Who names these things? Or maybe its just because we're 30+ now and our metabolism is slowing down. Anyway, we've been cutting back on "bad carbs"...the refined sugars and starches that make your blood sugar wacky, and adding plenty of vegetables and lean meats. And, it has paid off! Literally! Jerry brought home $207 this afternoon!

So then the next question is...where are we going out to eat tonight!?! Lily heard us talking about this and put her votes in for Peter Piper Pizza and McDonalds, I voted for Mexican (but any of you who know Jerry know that this was husband is the only person I know that will actually order a hamburger at a Mexican restaurant!), and then Jerry mentioned SNUFFER'S!!! We have a new one in town and all decided that Snuffer's Cheese Fries are calling our name!

Must go get my fingers greasy and enjoy's back to eating right again tomorrow!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Don't Pack Up Those Summer Clothes Yet!

At least not if you live in Texas anyway! This weekend we experienced temperatures almost 20 degrees above normal...highs in the mid 80s! Having such warm weather in mid-November prompted an outing to Life's a Beach...lovingly known to Lily as "The Sand Restaurant"! This is the best place to go when you want a date, but don't have a babysitter! I guess the owners created it to be a place for sand volleyball, but in this area families with young children took over once again. So basically it is the largest sandbox you've ever seen! You just sit out on the patio and eat great food while the kiddos play. When it's hot they've got the misters on and when its chilly the patio heaters are's the best thing ever!

You'll be able to tell from the pics that a) it was windy (hair in our faces) b) it was bright (we're all squinting) and c) my skin is as white as the sand!! Unfortunately, I'm always that white!! Except for that bad phase in the early 90's that I frequented the tanning, why did you let me do that!?! That reminds me...I need to make that dermatology appt!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Membership Has Its Privileges

We're ready to go mommy...sporting our animal prints!
Isn't that an old American Express ad? I'm not referring to AmEx though, I'm talking about our membership at the Fort Worth Zoo! November is "member appreciation month", when we can bring other visitors for free, get in early (who can get there w/two kids prior to 10AM is a mystery to me), ride the train and carousel for free, etc, etc, etc! So anyway, I invited my sis and niece to venture to the zoo with Lily, Jade and I, while we left daddy home to mow lawn, trim trees and that sort of stuff! Thanks, Daddy!

Lily looking at the elephants!

The girls just liked to climb up and look way to get a picture of their faces!

Jade...happy as a lark on the train ride!

Not so happy riding in the zoo stroller!

We even ran into Amy and Sophie! Stalkers! Just kidding Amy!

Lily's favorite animals...the "mingos"!

It was fitting running into Amy out there...I think we bought both our zoo and Dallas Arboretum memberships together! The best privilege of membership is that if your kids start acting cranky soon after your arrival, you can leave and not feel like you wasted any money! Not that my kids ever fit in that category!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Jader Tater is 4 Months Old!

Our little Jade turned 4 months old this week. I took some of the sweetest video of her talking, smiling and cooing at me. The sad thing is you won't be able to see it! I am so technically challenged! I was very proud of myself that I actually figured out the camera and got the footage. So I sat down to try to upload it to youtube or google to get it on the blog...this is only happening because I actually have both the girls asleep at the same time...a feat in itself! So anyway you should see my desk right video camera...lots of cords that I'm sure have a purpose...and the instruction manual...yes, I even resorted to that. Apparently you have to get the video on your computer to be able to upload it. I have no clue how to get it to my computer! So I started reading...because surely if I can't figure it out at least I'll be able to point Jerry in the right direction. Well, Jerry won't even be able to save the day on this one! I guess to make the MPeg I would have actually had to have recorded on the memory card in the camera...oops! My precious moments with Jade were recorded to the tape! There they will sit with many other precious moments of her sister...unless there is something I've overlooked of course!

So, until I figure out how to record and post video I'm sure most 8 year olds can'll just have to trust me that Jade is a happy, cooing, laughing, smiley baby girl...that the Lord so graciously gave us 4 months ago. It is so hard to believe that 4 months of her young life have already flown by. And judging by how quickly Lily's first 3 years went, I know time will continue to fly by. We love you Jader Tater, and thank the Lord...who loves you even more than we do...for blessing us with your sweet plump self. I almost forgot to give the stats from the doc check up....Weight 16 lbs 3.5 oz and Length 25.75 inches...both in the 95th percentile!! Jade, that means only 5% of baby girls are smaller than least you are proportionate! And we know you'll roll over soon...once you figure out how to get that much weight up and over!

P.S. I've gotten a few questions about where Lily was on the chart at 4 months...she was a petite thing...Weight 11 lbs 6.5 oz (15th %) and Length 23 5/8 inches (25th %).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

And the Curls Stayed!!

Lily is 3 now, and was long overdue for her first haircut! Yes, her very first one...we had never even taken her for a trim! You see, we were so scared that her curls would be gone once we got it cut. It seemed like whoever we asked, be it a hair cutter or simply a parent of another curly headed child, would say that as soon as we cut it the curls would disappear. So, we had a predicament. We loved the curls and didn't want to see them go! It is so funny how many people on both sides of our family have stepped up to claim these curls! It is also funny how none of these people would ever claim to be kin to her sassy 3 year old behavior! Anyway, her hair was getting straggly, so it was time! There are all these salons around town that are made just for kids, but my sister had a good experience with my niece at Hair Diddle Diddle, so off we went! Lily had a blast in her pink radio flyer airplane as her hair (almost 3 inches) went falling to the floor! They carefully selected some of the prettiest curls and put them in a Ziploc baggie for me! And guess what!?! The curls stayed! It has been almost a month and they are still here! (I'm new to blogging and catching up on some notable events) The funniest part of all is that the next several times that I washed Lily's hair, she would get worried and say, "Mommy, if you wash my hair, will my haircut go away"? I just love the honesty and curiosity of my little curly headed Lily!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Should Have Used Snopes!

I just hate being duped! Unfortunately it was my poor husband that took the brunt of this one.

So this Saturday night, we were gaining an extra hour, so after we got the girls in bed I told Jerry about this Blockbuster coupon I had for 2 free movies, popcorn and cokes. He thought that was awesome, so after spending time online deciding what movies we'd pick, he headed up to Blockbuster. Mind you it was late, so he already had his flannels on and just added a T and some flip flops....looking classy to say the least! Who else would be at Blockbuster at this hour, right? So he picks two movies and waits in in hand. Finally it is his turn and he presents our prized coupon to the Blockbuster chic along with the movies. She looks at it, and looks and him and starts to laugh explaining that this coupon is a complete hoax and definitely not valid! That people are just printing them off the internet or whatever.

So, I get a phone call that went something like this....J-uh, Kerry...where'd you get that coupon from? K-Well, I printed it off the internet. J-So, you just printed it off the internet and assumed it was real? K-Well, Suny had emailed it to me and I just clicked the link and printed it! J-Well, it was a complete fake, and I was told that while 15 people waited in line behind me at Blockbuster!~

Anyway, I couldn't stop laughing and was still laughing when Jerry got home! He, needless to say, didn't think it was very funny! I am usually pretty good at using to check these things out. Maybe I didn't this time because just a few weeks before I had gotten an email for free Chick-Fil-A stuff and I snoped was true...we got our coupons and used them! I just checked snopes now and laughed even more when I saw that this is currently their #9 Hottest Urban Legend! Oh well, at least he had his wallet and we saw one great movie and hopefully we'll see another tonight! Thanks Suny for giving me a good laugh this weekend...and hopefully this post will save others the same embarrassment!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

One Final Halloween Observation

It seems like kid's costumes are either designed for the tropics or the poles...the choices are either near bare or burn me up! Jade would have been snuggly and warm in subzero temps dressed up as this pumpkin, but unforunately the costume could only stay on for a few minutes because she turned beet red and started sweating. And even though the weather was nice I had to add a t-shirt and tights for Lily's tinkerbell outfit so she wouldn't be so bare! To the left of the pumpkin is what Jade was wearing (weather appropriate) moments before being put in the hot sack...see the problem?!? Isn't there a happy medium?
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