Friday, December 14, 2012

Change is in the Air

Sometimes life settles into a routine and you get your groove when suddenly everything turns upside down. That's how this fall as been at our house. I look back at my last few postings in ahem...October...and think about how much our lives have changed since then. While I was fighting some sort of bug we were actively anticipating the END of Nick's masters program. I knew that while the promise of evening free and endless family time were probably a little too good to be true, I hoped for a bit more flexibility in his non-working hours and looked forward to selfishly leaving him with 3 kids while I reclaimed a small portion of my identity outside of the family...I'm not sure I had thought about how or what I would do, but I knew taking a class or setting up a standing coffee date would do the trick. 

We also eagerly anticipated weaning Ginny. (well, I eagerly anticipated it anyway). Sleepless nights, early mornings and a lack of dates with my hubby were all sacrifices I willingly made for my sweet baby girl who was super attached to me and only me, but the time was coming for her to learn that she has 2 parents who love her and are able to care for her...and sleeping through the night is beneficial for ALL of us involved. 

Well, just about that time my little bug cleared up, it seemed the medicine from the doctor was doing the trick and I was feeling like myself. Life was going grand. We had our family under control we were ready to celebrate. 

About a week later I just became overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by life away from family, caring for children and still not feeling completely healthy. So I did what any normal self respecting adult would do and I called my parents crying...well bawling actually. I'm pretty sure they could hardly understand the words coming out of my mouth, but after our long tearful phone call a train ticket was bought and my dad assured me he would come for a visit that weekend. (I have pretty amazing parents). 

So, Pop Pop came for a visit. For some reason the medicine stopped working and I was feeling worse, but we played, we cleaned he helped me get on top of a few chores and mostly he just reminded me that even though I'm grown, I'm loved. We tearfully sent him home on the train, Lucy and I could hardly control ourselves as we waved goodbye. 

The next night it happened...our lives forever changed and the pieces clicked together. In a spiteful act against comments on facebook I took an at home pregnancy test. I was sick...NOT pregnant...until I saw the results of that test and started laughing and crying all at the same time. 

Just when we thought we were ready to relax, calm our lives down and move onto the next "phase" God threw us for a loop and sent us another blessing from heaven. It took us awhile to rejoice, a visit to the emergency room for fluids and an emergency visit from my mom to get our (well my) feet back under me, but we're excited for this adventure God has planned for us. 

Murray is excited that our family will have 6 people in it (and he's hoping for a brother). Lucy excited for a baby she can snuggle and hold that doesn't try to get away and Ginny...well she's excited it meant I was too exhausted to force her to wean just yet...and I'm sure she'll love being a big sister once she gets over having to share me. 

This adventure has led to a series of transitions and changes in our lives. Lucy started attending the public school up the street. It was a tearful decision, but one we made with confidence. School wasn't happening at home, field trips were non-existent in my nauseous state and she was quickly falling behind in important skills like reading. I miss her terribly, miss our crafts, miss our snuggling up with a book throughout the day, but she's growing so much attending school and I know she'll get the independence she craves while I'm home with 2 littles next fall. It's hard to imagine sending 2 "big" kids to school and being home with a 2 year old and an infant once again...didn't I just do that a few years ago, and now those littles are getting bigger each day. 

Change is in the air. Our family is growing and changing in ways we can't even begin to anticipate, but we're trusting God on this one...this child was completely His plan, His design for our family and something about that is exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Temper Tantrums

As Ginny gets older she's becoming an expert at tantrums. Today was a doosy. She hadn't really napped. Falling asleep for a few minutes on the way home from co-op and just refusing to resettle once she was in the door. I rocked her asleep, laid her down and she screamed. After awhile I got her up and she played happily for a bit. 

Then it happened...

she leaned over for a toy, lost her balance and knocked her head on the bench. 


Under any circumstance this would have caused tears, but the overtired Ginny, just couldn't control herself. She LOST IT COMPLETELY. Nothing could calm her down. After about 30 minutes of screaming I took her up to her room and rocked her. Another 20 minutes and she was sound asleep. So I tried to lay her down. Immediately her body became stiff, rigid and the tears started to come. I tried to lay next to her in my bed and the kicking and crying continued. 

Finally my mom intervened and somehow we got her calm enough to continue on with our day. Over an hour after the crying had begun...let's be honest, close to an hour and a half!

While holding this screaming baby and willing her to sleep, I couldn't help but wonder about myself. I've been having a bit of a tantrum lately. A disagreement with God if you will. He seems to think our lives should go down one path...I seem to be perfectly content continuing along the path already laid out for me. 

I wonder if He looks at me, His creation as I was looking at Ginny as she screamed. Telling her to just give in, rest in my arms and go to trust me that I knew what was best for her. 

I felt a little silly. Don't think all my fears are gone about this new path or any of my apprehension really, but I wonder if my tear streamed face looks at all to my heavenly father the way Ginny's did to me today. 

Does He find it silly that I'm fighting Him when He knows the end and knows that I will be better off with His plans over mine? I may want to continue with life as I know it, but He knows life will be infinitely better if I just rest in His arms and follow His plans. 

Oh how I love when God speaks to me through my children...I'm not quite sure I'm done with this tantrum just yet...but I'm beginning to see it for what it is...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gretta Muffin

One of my very dearest friends had a baby just over 2 months ago. Since before her arrival I've been thinking of what cute and unique baby gift I could send without spending a lot of money (hello...we live on a budget). Anyway, I hadn't thought of anything and every once in a while I'd get that pang of guilt that I was an awful friend. Enter a conversation with my friend where she explains they've been calling their baby "Gretta Muffin" so they want her to be a muffin for Halloween  Problem being, muffin costumes aren't easy to find and she doesn't have a sewing machine. Problem solved: a super cute, fun and useful gift I can create for this sweet baby Gretta! 

I used this as an inspiration, but tweaked it. I may still make a headpiece, but for's the Gretta Muffin!

I liked the "picket" type wrapper the inspiration had, but thought that sewing would add a little more dimension so we picked the most "muffin wrapper" stitch and went up and down the fabric. 

I used a 3 month shirt from when Murray was a baby to measure the shawl part and chose to only hot glue on the blueberries. I sewed the suspenders in the back and safety pinned them in the front so Mama can adjust to fit Gretta as needed. 

Here's the costume hanging...can't wait to see it on sweet baby Gretta!

One more of it together! The shawl can be trimmed if it's too big for Gretta and I used velcro as an enclosure for the back! 

I LOVE IT!! Can't wait to see pictures of little Gretta in it and I just wished we lived closer so I could take a bite out of the Gretta Muffin! 

Loved getting the creative juices flowing today...and I especially love I wasn't keeping my hubby from his homework while he entertained the kids (they were making their own "brand" of IPA while I sewed). 

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Mackinac Island

Here are a few of the pictures from Mackinac Island. We really did have a fun time. All the kiddos on the bench are our friend's family minus their baby and of course Ginny. All in all we walked around the island with 7 kiddos most of the time, we were quite the crowd!

We walked up and saw the Fort Mackinac. We were sad it was closed, but enjoyed seeing it from the outside and it was a good hike up there. 

Of course we visited Murray's Fudge and brought home some sweets from there...I think I'm in LOVE with the mint fudge and the kids picked the orange cream. Yum! It was beautiful and cold as I said before and except for Monday morning we didn't take too many pictures...when I was with the kiddos we were too busy chasing kids around and on Wednesday morning when we wandered around town it was just too cold! The kids loved everything about the island though, the boat ride over, the no cars (although we were thankful to have borrowed a double stroller so they could take breaks from walking) and all the sights were lots of fun. 

Lucy did hike up to Skull Cave and was a little disappointed she couldn't go in and that it didn't actually look like a skull. (I'll have to get that picture from Mendy of her at the cave).  

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trying to Get Back

I haven't written in quite some time. I could say it's been because life has been super busy (it has). I could say it's because I have 3 kids demanding my attention and by the time I get them all in bed for the night I struggle to complete thoughts (this is true). I could say it's because I keep starting ideas to write about and then struggle to follow them through to the end (oh wait...that's sort of what I just said). I could say it's because I've been struggling with life in general these days, homeschooling, getting my husband through his final masters class and raising my kiddos while keeping up with a house and all it entails have just seemed overwhelming (it is!).

All of these things are true. 

We just spent 3 days on Mackinac Island for a Pastor's conference. I'd like to tell you how beautiful the scenery was, how refreshing it was to get away and how I'm rejuvenated for life again, but really while we had a wonderful time; it was exhausting! I fell asleep by 9 most nights and missed out on lots of the socializing because I was doing fun things with my kiddos. I LOVE them! I love the fun things we did and I am SO incredibly thankful a friend also brought her kids so I had a companion through it all, but it was not refreshing. The scenery was beautiful and it was COLD!

I am thankful we went. I am thankful for the times in the car when Nick was taking a break from his final project and conversation happened. I'm thankful for the music we listened to and the family time we had. I'm especially thankful for the friends I did see and get to connect with in person. 

I came home realizing while I'm still exhausted and overwhelmed as Nick makes this final push to finish his class and we regain a piece of him we've been missing for the last 8 weeks, it's time for me. 

I'm not one to say that. I love giving myself to my family. I would rather do something fun with them than by myself any day, but as I've struggled through the past few weeks I've realized that I've lost something. I've given up a chance to be creative, to think the thoughts that are in my head and to just stop and listen to where the Lord wants me to go. 

Decisions I had made with conviction are now being second guessed, ideas that once helped define who I was as a wife, mother and woman have been left by the wayside and it's time to get those creative juices flowing. 

So...I apologize if the next few blog posts are incomplete or make little sense, but I'm going to hit post before I can second guess them. I'm going to shut the door to the extra bedroom on Saturday while Nick and the kids rescue princess Zelda and I'm going to create a princess tooth pillow, a pirate tooth pillow and a muffin costume. 

Then...Saturday Night I will go out alone with my hubby and have a complete thought and slowly I'm hoping to regain some pep in my step and stay up past 9 pm. 

...and then we'll wean the baby...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The New School Year

Today was a BIG day for a lot of our friends. It was the first day of a new school year. We chose to have ours last week. We started on Thursday after being up late the night before having the end of summer movie in our backyard for "daddy's big kids". It wasn't a big deal for anyone but us. We got down to the business of learning. 

Ginny practiced being Ginny. She colored, looked at books and screamed. She added to the chaos to say the least and will have to learn (quickly) that sitting on the table and taking the pages people are working on is NOT a productive way to spend her school time!

Murray worked on the letter F, a few mazes and some number activities. 

Lucy opened new books, tried her hand at 1st grade math (easy!), science, spelling and READING! We were VERY excited at the end of a long day when we finally found a quiet moment to curl up on the sofa and try out the new reader I had bought her. She was very nervous insisting she couldn't and I urged her to just try. So, try she did and she did it! She read! I had only planned on her reading the first 1/2 of the story, but she just kept going. She read on and on and on. 

She tasted sweet success and in that moment I was thankful for having her home. Thankful for moving at her pace. Thankful for seeing the pride in her eyes and being able to share that moment with my daughter. 

While our neighborhood kids had their first day of school we had our first day of home school co-op. It was a hit all around! Murray loved his preschool class, Lucy came home excited about P.E., her other classes and the new friends she had made. Ginny successfully stayed in the nursery (and even took a nap) during 3rd hour when I couldn't be with her. I enjoyed some adult company and hearing other moms talk about what they do for school. I also really enjoyed helping out in a classroom of older kids and seeing where they're at in their home school process. 

All around our school year is off to a great start. 

Life is busy right now, but it's even more full. We have a lot of good things going on and it's fun to be the mama watching these kiddos grow. My hands may be full, but they're full of love and goodness and with that, I don't have much time for anything else. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Evangeline Kate

Look how she's grown!

(start in the top left corner and go down then back up then down until her final 1 year picture at the bottom right corner...sporting a USA diaper for the olympics.)
It's amazing to see how much she's grown in a year!
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Get Around Ginny

Ginny sure can get around these days, she may not be walking but she is a mover and a shaker and in true Koschmann style a CLIMBER (although...she may get that from me). These are just a few of her favorite places to "perch" throughout the day. She's an expert at going up and down the stairs and enjoys exercising that freedom exploring all levels of the house. We'll find her anywhere from Murray's room playing on with the lego table, to the kitchen, the 3 season room or the family room. A few times Mr. Nobody has left the door to the basement open and we've caught a little girl going to the one place in the house we'd really rather her not be...ok...the bathroom may be on the list of places we prefer she not play as well (we've had one clean toilet incident thus far). 

She's a happy independent girl and it's fun to see her play expanding with each and everyday. Those smiles get you every time!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Monday was our first quiet day at home in quite some time...this is what Lucy dressed herself in...she did her hair and all!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Evangeline Kate - 12 months old

I'm sitting here in a moment of quiet just a few days ahead of schedule and I can't even type the words {1 year old} in the heading. I just can't believe it. I'm in denial. 

I can however think back on this year and think how beautifully and perfectly you arrived into our family, how much you've grown and I can't imagine life any other way. Shortly after you were born I realized my life would never be the same. I was a mom before you came, but little Miss Evangeline you changed the way that works. I've learned so much being a mom to 3 Ginny, with your arrival I've learned to slow down and enjoy you, your sister and brother for who they are at this very moment...because the moment doesn't last long! I've learned to plan ahead and organize so I'm ready for all the surprises that could arise, and when something I didn't plan for happens, we laugh and figure it out.

In this past year I've snuggled you countless hours at any time of day. I make sure to check your ears and your toes regularly...I've watched them slowly grow from tiny newborn ears to toddler ears that check the acoustics of every room. I'm certain as well that your sweet baby toes will take their first steps soon and you'll be off and running leaving me behind and chasing Lucy and Murray. 

You're 1. ONE!!! 

It's hard to believe. 

You have a mouth full of teeth. Four on top and four on bottom with more ready to poke through. 

You play with toys now...pushing cars, flying planes and making noises as you "drive" them around. 

You laugh at pillow fights with Lucy and Murray. 

You stand at the play kitchen and try to cook food. 

You lay on the floor with your ear to the ground and kick to hear/feel the vibrations. This is a favorite activity on every new floor we go to. 

You're going up the stairs and working on going've caught yourself from falling once or maybe twice. 

You're eating lots of big kid food and drinking lots of water from a sippy cup. You love any fruits and cheeses. You like cubed ham and rice and always eat chicken. You're warming up to ice cream, but love to suck on freeze pops (you can tell you're the 3rd child by the treats you've tasted already).

You're laughing and giggling with Daddy more...proof that one day you won't just be an extension of me, but your own person. 

I look back on this year and it's such an amazing thing.
It's hard to remember when Murray was the youngest or Lucy was the only. I can't imagine our family without you. Your sweet smiles, your silly tricks or your gentle hugs. 

It's a bittersweet day, but I'll hold back my tears and celebrate. Just thinking about the day you were born and how much you've grown makes it a day worth celebrating. You're 1...yes 1 Evangeline and I can't imagine it any other way. Soon you'll be a full fledged toddler, but for today I'll hold you close, snuggle you and let you eat cake...because today is the only 1st birthday you'll get and I'm thankful to be here to share it with you!

Ginny on her 1st Birthday in Cable, WI...covered in sand and enjoying being 1!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Graduation Cake

One of the youth asked if I could make a graduation cake for her. I wanted to something a little more "fun" than a sheet I scoured the internet and found this. I did a variation of 2 cakes that I really wanted to try and I think it turned out really well. I was super proud of my fondant covering of the cake. I did both cakes on the first try and no screams or crying were involved! I did go a little overboard on the cornstarch and it was super hard to get it off the black...lesson learned for next time!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Today Ginny taught us a valuable lesson...

not only can she unscrew the top of something (we learned that with a water bottle a few weeks ago)...she can get the freshness seal off of a brand new bottle as well...

Yep...she's a Koschmann...and acting like a toddler!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Murray Man!

Every year I am amazed at how much more of a "little man" he becomes. From the moment I laid eyes on him I was in love...and I saw that look in his eyes like he was a wise old man. Well, he's getting older, and wiser and he still gets that glint in his eyes. This boy is too smart, too fun and too lovable!

At the age of 4 Murray Man loves:
legos, cars, crashing, running, anything fast, anything strong, anything that makes noise, anything that shoots, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Tigers, imagining, dress ups, cooking, grilling, beer...especially an IPA, testing out independence, picking out his own clothes, computer games, lovie, eating, snacks, more eating,  riding bikes, his scooter, races, games, helping, and his family

He loves to play and argue with Lucy and to play with Ginny especially to make her laugh and to laugh with her. Murray is an amazing brother and son. 

This past year Murray Man has grown immensely. He became a big brother, started preschool and has a whole new year of life experiences to take with him. 

I can remember babysitting in high school and college and just dreaming about the little boy I would have one day. God certainly gave me an amazing one. I never really believed I could fall in love with a boy at first sight until I saw my Murray Man. He's everything I ever hoped for with the energy and adventure from his daddy and his love of snuggles and quiet moments with me. He certainly makes my life more joyful, more adventuresome, more intense, louder and full of love. He teaches me patience, understanding and how to enunciate my words. He makes me laugh, and makes me want to scream. He gives me hugs and reminds me to watch for the little things in life. 

We're so glad we could share another birthday with you Murray!
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Evangeline Kate 11 months old!

11 months old and counting. Stop already sweet girl. We're avoiding the 10th next month...we'll go straight from the 9th of July to the 11th with no turning back and refuse to admit what could have, should have happened on the 10th. 

I may try to avoid your birthday, but in so many ways you're telling me that you're leaving being a baby behind and moving forward. 

Your mouth is FULL of teeth. You went from 2 sweet little teeth on the bottom to 4 on bottom and 2 just barely poking through on top. Your smile is still infectious and it's a joy to see each and every day. 

You are becoming an adventurer. You crawl around exploring the world around you. You're usually close to me and one of your favorite places to be is in the kitchen pulling out baking items like sprinkles and spices and shaking them around. You also have tried opening and closing the big drawer of pots a few times which usually ends in a few pinched fingers. 

You started pulling up! Just when we thought it may not happen for awhile you decided you were ready and did it over 10 times in one evening. Now, you do it like a champ. If I am sitting in a chair and not paying enough attention to you your crawl over, scream, pull up and start hitting the chair to get my attention. As soon as I pick you up you're all cuddles. 

You're starting to sleep through the night! That occasionally means waking up around 5:30 am, but if you're sleeping from 8-5:30 I'll take it! You're all snuggles and giggles when you wake up in the morning and laugh and hug us as you crawl around in our bed after nursing. 

You still like to bounce on your bottom on the trampoline at gymnastics with Lucy and Murray and on their big kid bed. You laugh and play with your big brother and sister so well and are starting to interact more with them and toys. You point your remote control at the tv, put play phones (and real ones) to your ear and try to push cars across the ground. 

After a week with Grammy and Pop Pop you're eating like a champ, sleeping well and drinking from a sippy cup. Some days it's hard to remember what life was like a year ago when we were anxiously awaiting your arrival. I can barely remember what it was like to anticipate meeting the little girl growing inside and learn her ins and outs. 

Now, I can't imagine a day without you. In fact Ginny 11 months you have not spent more than 3 hours away from me at any given time. We are literally joined together and I wouldn't trade this year for anything. 

Evangeline Kate, at 11 months old you are still easy going, but learning to assert yourself. You are joyful, smiling easily at the antics of our family. 
You can be bashful, clinging to mommy when you're unsure of a situation. 
You're observant, carefully watching what we are doing and doing your best to mimic it. (My favorite of this is when Lucy and Murray are doing gymnastics and you put your arms above your head and bounce on your bottom and then face plant yourself on the floor!). 
You're loving. The smiles, snuggles and kisses you share show how much you love us!
You're beautiful! 

You're growing! I can't slow it down and I'm enjoying the adventure and I know as you continue to grow you will continue to bless us in ways I can't even imagine. 

We love you Ginny Girl!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday

As I'm trying to get back into the swing of things...I thought I'd have some input in my Thankful Thursday post. 

Lucy is thankful for visiting 2 parks this morning and painting outside with "liquid chalk".

Murray is thankful for Ginny and presents. They had a surprise last night that Nick brought home from church and this morning we let him open an early birthday present from Grammy and Pop Pop that arrived in the mail yesterday. (More on that later...with pics to come...he's getting WAY too big). 

I'm thankful for fun with my kids. It's nice to feel like we're settling in back home and just having time to be together enjoying the warm weather and the company of our own little family. It's truly amazing to watch them play and grow together. 

Ginny just crawled over and wanted to thank me for putting a clean diaper on when she got up from she could create a lovely present in it for me...I better go take care of that!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So Much to Post

So little time. 

A friend of mine likes to call every so often even if it's just for 5 quick minutes. Her reasoning is that it becomes too daunting to "catch up" if you haven't talked in too long. If you've heard the cliff notes version every so often it's easy to have a nice long catch up when time allows. You know the basics and can go from there, talking about what's really important and not just the facts of who, what, when, where....

I feel like my blog is in need of a 5 minute catch up or I may not pick it up again. 

We've been BUSY. We were sick and busy, we've been healthy and we're onto EXHAUSTED and busy! We went from Lent into Easter into Confirmation into a visit from Grandma and Grandpa from Albuquerque, into a few days to recover into a few days in Frankenmuth then we're home for a day and a half and the kids and I will head to Chicago for a week. 

Phew! It gets tiring just to write it. I'm looking for some quality relaxation in Chicago. The kind where the days are filled with fun without a schedule. Bike rides with my dad, walks to the library, ice cream after dinner, Portillos, and just sharing my childhood with my kids. 

I'm also hoping to catch up on some blogs. the meantime, my camera memory card is saving lots of cute smiles and moments to be shared soon...except from Frankenmuth...since Nick's busy working I didn't bring the more thing to keep track of...besides, most of our time is being spent in the pool! 

Hope you're all enjoying your spring as well!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Evangeline Kate: 10 months old

10 months old! You're into the double digits. I feel like you're no longer inching towards that first birthday, but with the goal in sight you're now boldly moving towards it. I keep joking that we're not having birthdays this year. You can celebrate your first birthday when you're 2 because I don't want my snuggly baby to be toddler just yet. 

You don't seem to agree and you keep growing and becoming more confident with each passing day. 

You still have a few lovely qualities for me to cling to. You still like to wake in the night to nurse. Truthfully, you just like to nurse. You like to snuggle close and know that I am near. I don't mind one bit. I'll trade all the nights out, the days of being able to leave you behind to know that you're near too. One day you'll tell me you don't need me with you, so I'll cling to this as long as you will!

You still only have 2 teeth. They're the cutest little teeth and their are many more that are so close to breaking through. They're just not there yet. 

As much as I enjoy thinking of you as my "baby", you're certainly growing up and I wouldn't want to mark you turning 10 months without acknowledging these "big girl" things you're doing. 

You've pulled yourself up to standing. It's not a sure thing, but you're definitely pushing yourself onto your feet while crawling and pulling yourself up to standing on a regular/daily basis. 

You crawl with confidence.
You're a girl on a mission. You know you can move with a purpose and you do so. You know what you want and you go after it. While you still sit back and observe your surroundings at times, you also know where you want to go and how to get there. A few of your favorite places to get into mischief are the kitchen cabinets, the art cabinet and the closet in the hear that door open and go straight for the toilet bowl brush...of course you do!

You're discovering your voice. It's like you woke up and realized you're a know you can scream and you know how to use it! You may know the sign for "more", but if you really want something a scream is much more likely to get the attention of multiple people who are able to meet your needs!

We've enjoyed some warm days going for walks and playing outside. You've seen the ducks and tasted your first taste of dirt (You are certainly "Boba's girl" in that department). You enjoy sitting in the swing or on a blanket and watching us be outside. You've tasted Daddy's BBQ and ICE CREAM! You couldn't get enough of that!

Oh how we love you. You love to pull Lucy and Murray's hair, crawl all over them and just laugh at their antics. You're such an amazing piece of our family and it's difficult to imagine life without you in it. People constantly comment on how cute you are, how sweet, how calm you can be. I just smile and say, yep, that's our Ginny Girl. 

10 months old Ginny! slow down...let's take these next few months nice and slow!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just a letter...Continue On...

If you're friends with me in real life or on facebook you know that the past week or so everyone except my dear husband has been sick. We've all had fevers, we've all had sore throats. We've had 2 ear infections, 1 case of strep and a miserable mommy. 

But, life does not stand still. While we've had a week of doctor visits, it's also been filled with many firsts for Ginny, lots of giggles, a few tears (well, maybe more than a few), and an overabundance of playtime and love. It's been a pretty great week. One of those super exhausting I'm so glad this is my life type of weeks. 

Yesterday as I lay on the sofa letting Nick make dinner for the kids (leftovers) Lucy brought me the mail. There were a few things I was expecting, but then there it was. The unexpected. A card from a friend. She's one of those friends that just always seems to know when a letter will brighten your day. We had dinner a few weeks ago and had some great conversations, she's such a wonderful encouragement to me. 

I wanted to share what was written in the card. It's a little long, but if you're a mommy or were a mommy or just love your should try to read it to the end. 

Continue On
by Roy Lessin

A woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life. 

She feared she was wasting her potential by being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. 

At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. "Is it worth it?" she often questioned. 
"Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?"

It was during these moments that she heard the still, small voice of her heavenly Father speak to her heart. 

"You are a wife and mother because that is what I've called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye. But I notice. Most of what you give is done without payment. But I am your reward.

Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. 
I bless him through your service and honor him through your love.

Your children are precious to me--even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for me. What you invest in them is an offering to me. 

"You may never be in the public spotlight, but your obedience shines as 
bright light before me. 

Remember you are My servant. Do all to please Me. 
Continue On."

In light of the comments made about Stay at Home mom's in the media. I know a lot of people are defending this dying breed of motherhood. The thing to remember is that it really isn't about what the world says about you as a mother, it's oh so much more. all my mom friends...continue on...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Evangeline Kate is 9 months!

If I didn't want to record your growth somewhere I think I would refuse to do this month's post. You're not allowed to be 9's just TOO BIG!! and you are well aware of what a big girl you are!

Oh Ginny would have thought that when you started moving your brother and sister would have become annoyed with you and started being frustrated with you getting into everything. Exactly the opposite has happened. They fawn over you even more, share their toys and do everything they can to keep you safe (which does result in your tears frequently...but it's {usually} for your own good). 

A few things that you've accomplished in the past month:

You're crawling...officially crawling EVERYWHERE!

You've fallen down the carpeted stairs. I hate to admit this one, but it's true. You were just too quick and had a HUGE interest in figuring out what those things were for...we now keep an extremely close eye on you at all times...and gates are ready and waiting.

You're clapping. Just this past Saturday you started clapping. It's so much fun to watch and you get that proud look on your face when you do it. 

You've waved just a few times. We're pretty sure you learned this from your quick visit with cousin Betsy. But, we've seen it enough to add it to your repertoire of things you can do. 

Just today you pulled up to standing for the very first time all on your own (without immediately falling over). 

We still need to schedule your 9 month appointment, but we visited the doctor on Saturday (where we learned you had an ear infection) and discovered you were just over 21 lbs! That's a lot of baby to love...and man do we love you!

You're EATING!!! You prefer to feed yourself. That "spoon fed" phase was almost too short, so we try to sneak in a few meals every now and then, but you love to feed yourself pieces of avocado, banana, other fruits, and black beans might just be your favorite! 

Your hair is growing in thicker and darker, your eyes still seem to change colors in the light...still giving us those mystery eyes you've had since the day you were born!

You have a great belly laugh. It gives me such joy when your brother and sister get you laughing. They love to play with you and peekaboo type games can really get you going. You're still pretty quiet and mellow most of the time, but when you get laughing it's the greatest sound in the world.

You've also starting babbling more. We're hearing lots of "dadadadada" and a few "mamama". Aunt Katie swears you called out "Mama" the other day at dinner when you wanted my attention. I'll take that! I want you to know that we love to hear you babble and the sound of your voice.

We're so thankful you're a part of our family and we still feel incredibly blessed each day we get to share with you. We can't imagine our family without our sweet Evangeline.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet Lucy. 

6 years ago you arrived into this world, into my life and things have never been the same. You turned your daddy and I from a couple of newlyweds into a family. You've brought us more joy and more work than we could have imagined. I remember it like it was yesterday, but I look at you and the infant I held in my arms in complete awe seems so far away...

You're 6! I can hardly believe it's been 6 years, but here you are, turning into a young lady before my eyes. So much about you is the same as that wonderful day 6 years ago...those blue, blue eyes! I would have bet those would have faded, but they're just as bright as they were that day. 

Your HAIR! It may be lighter, longer and "styled" a bit different, but sweet Lucy girl...your hair has been a trademark since the day you were born. 

You're independent and stubborn...both to your benefit. You don't give get an idea in your head and you work until you get it just so!

You're my baby girl, my first sweet baby. That will never change. You Lucy girl, gave me the name Mama. A name I cherish and always hoped to have. You teach me and challenge me daily about  being a mom. You send me to my knees in prayer to help me do this job right. I oh so want to be the best mom I can for you.

Some things are the same, but you've also grown and changed so much! You're crafty, artistic, strong, flexible, energetic, thoughtful, kind, loving, and getting so tall and so mature. You make me smile. You're starting to show interest in "big kid" things. You're starting to shadow me in a new way. You're not just wanting to be under my feet and near me doing the things I do. You're watching me to learn so that you can do things yourself...for real. You're not satisfied with "washing your baby" while I wash Ginny. You watch closely and want to help me with my chores.  You're practicing for being a grown woman and I am aware of it Lucy. I'm aware that you're learning from me and I'm praying that I'm being an example worth following.

You're growing into a young woman right before my eyes. As much as I want you to slow down, to pause, to stay small and innocent forever...I am SO excited to watch you grown. You're an amazing, silly, cuddly lovely lady Lucille Grace and I wouldn't have you any other way!

From this...

To this...

I couldn't be more thankful for the past 6 years of being your mom! I love you Lucille Grace!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Betsy came to visit today...

She's still trying to figure her crazy cousins out!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lucy's Party

I remember turning 6...

I remember getting my ears pierced, my nails manicured for the first time (with a candle on them that glowed in the dark)  and I remember my party with my friends from school. Maybe this is what made me think that this year Lucy's party should be a bit more involved. Maybe it's that last year was her "golden birthday" and while we celebrated grandly it was in the midst of wedding celebrations and it didn't really feel like she got a day to herself. Maybe I wanted her to feel surrounded by friends since she spends so much time at home with the family. Maybe I just wanted to celebrate being a Mom for 6 seems like a milestone to me. Maybe it was that her and I were completely in awe of the party we saw on pinterest.

Maybe it was a little bit of all of these things. 

Either way her and I talked, plotted and planned for quite awhile. Then I got to work creating almost everything she dreamed of.

First off, the sewing. I am not the seamstress my mother is, but she did teach me to sew a straight line and a few other basics. About 17 phone calls and a few consultations with in town sewing friends and I had 21 adorable ruffles and the velcro they needed to be "mixed and matched" as the girls desired. 

A few iron on's later, the aprons and hats were complete. I must admit, my dear husband Nick helped with the iron ons for the hats! (He's the expert on printing and adhering iron on's at this house) I was the cupcake iron on expert ;)

The girls seemed to enjoy getting their ruffles just so, and in case you were wondering, by the time everyone had adjusted their ruffles "just so" they all had them in the same order: Polka dots on top, then the white cupcake fabric and pink cupcake fabric on the bottom. Lucy was quite the trend setter!

The decorations:
I wanted the house to feel like a bakery...I also wanted the girls to decorate to their delight and not to my dismay...SO we rolled up the rug and turned the living room, dining room into a bake shop. The only items purchase specifically for decorations were streamers, tissue paper for making the flowers and cupcake liners for the garland like we saw on the blog. It was just too cute to pass up on! The rest was created with items we had around the house! I thought it was sufficiently transformed. When Lucy and Murray went downstairs on party day their were ooh's and ahh's all around!

Oh, I also couldn't pass on the adorable "cupcake" party yard sign I found...I mean, I have 2 was an's amazing how many cupcake things I started seeing that I had to pass by...I'm still finding things just walking through stores!

The cake decorating and cake plates:

I made all the cakes from boxed cake mixes, but the frosting and fondant were made from scratch. Lucy picked the colors and we picked out the cookie cutters from our own collection together. I just crumb coated the cakes, figuring the girls were going to add enough sugar over top anyway. 

The cake stands were a bit trickier. The blog we looked at had a tutorial on making them from plates and candlestick holders. Easy enough, except I couldn't find candlestick holders anywhere! As a last ditch effort at the umpteenth store I had been to I found mini punch bowls. I brought them home and then bought clear plastic plates. We filled the punch bowls with Easter grass, got out the handy glue gun and a short time later, Nick had created 7 lovely cake stands. Not quite as impressive as the blog we were inspired by, but they were perfect for the day, and Nick promises the wider base actually made them sturdier for younger girls! 

After decorating cakes we opened presents and sang to the birthday girl "Lucille" as she's asking to be called these days! She requested a Barbie cake and I enjoyed making a fairly simple yet fancy cake for my birthday girl. 

The party was a blast for both of us, it was great fun to do together and I loved giving such a special memory to Lucy. 

I can't wait to eat the cake she decorated for her birthday! Yum!