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.
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