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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Computer 'Fasting'

I will be logging off the computer for the next eight days.
We will be traveling to Springfield in the morning to be with the Hicks side of the family. Travis's Dad had been struggling with his health since the first week of August and after an extended hospital stay, skilled nursing, home care & hospice care he was taken to be with the Lord this morning. We will have a celebration of life gathering Tuesday evening and a small grave side service early next week. We will greatly miss our father, my Papa D (what I have called him since Travis and I wed over eight years ago) and our Grandpa Dallas. Please be in prayer for the entire family. Gabi says Grandpa is now in heaven living with Jesus and helping the angels. I know he is enjoying listening to country music and watching his beloved Rams with a new set of ears and a fresh set of eyes. We love you and miss you already!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus

{Pay attention to Dawson's face & excuse the voices ...
we ALL are suffering from bad colds}
video
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 NIV
Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Parent/Child Dedication

Sunday December 7th we dedicated to the Lord Dawson Matthew.
Travis and I "accepted our responsibility before God to raise Dawson in the ways of our Lord, guiding him in the Word of God and by the example of our Christian lives." I love the certificate of dedication that the church provides each parent. It states the above and is a fresh reminder of our responsibility to our commitment to love, discipline and to be a Christ like example for our child(ren).

We took the opportunity to catch a few family pictures after the dedication in the church's Connecting Point Room.
More of these pictures to come ...

I love this little peanut!!

GG was able to make a very short visit to KC to be with us for Dawson's special dedication day. We enjoyed a meal out and had a great outing to Crown Center Saturday evening. Sunday following service we all (our family, my parents & GG) had a wonderful brunch at First Watch. We were sad to say goodbye to GG after such a short visit, but loved having her with us.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crafts

It has been a week.
A week of ups and downs.
Good behavior and bad behavior.
I (me, myself & I) need to practice several fruits of the Spirit.
Patience, Gentleness & Self Control.
Motherhood ...
I will just leave it at that.

On another note - if I am seeking a quick change of attitude in my strong willed soon to be four year old I simply reach into the craft shelf in the pantry.
These are two simple projects we did together this week.

This was a super quick peel and stick ballerina. It included purple and gold glitter paint that Gabrielle used to make "good night light shades" for baby D & Daddy. I used the gold glitter to add the hearts and her name to the top of the curtain.

I had every intention on investing in a nice advent calendar this year, but it didn't happen. So in order to divert Gabrielle from asking if it is Christmas today (everyday) we whipped up this little count down calendar yesterday.
AND ... it worked!
This morning she proudly said, "Mommy, it isn't Tuesday anymore. That means there are eight days until Christmas!"
8 days!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Graduation Day




Thursday December 4th was a big day for our little man.
Dawson officially "graduated" from his physical therapy appointments with Ms. Debbie. I {being the emotional person that I am} cried tears of sadness (we will miss our time with Debbie dearly) and joy. Debbie was quick to remind me that Thursday marked a day of triumph. She wanted me to reflect on how much Dawson had progressed over the past year. We left each other with a big hug and Dawson received several squeezes and a kiss or two. We could not have asked for a better PT match. Debbie provided us with kind words, endless encouragement & lots of smiles. She made our dealing with Dawson's torticollis diagnosis an uplifting, pleasurable experience. We shared time in discussing our families and our faith and developed a lasting friendship.
It is so refreshing to know that we will still be in contact with Debbie through her interactions with Gabrielle's classroom once a week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Program

Wednesday evening The LeeAnn Britain Infant Development Center hosted its annual Holiday Program at Atonement Lutheren Church. Each class performed one song or dance. Ms. Shanan's Tuesday/Thursday morning class (Gabrielle's class) performed the Jingle Bell Circle Dance. I was so disappointed in the pictures I took that evening. I think I get impatient with the flash and moving objects as we all know can be difficult to capture.

These are the three girls in the class.
Sydney is on the far left, Gabrielle is in the center and Molly is on the right. Gabi said to her Mema "I want a skirt just like Molly's!" It was over the top. News alert - not happening girlfriend!

Ms. Thang making sure she was keeping her audiences attention.

Performance complete and proud of it.
After the program the director invited all the students and their siblings up on stage to sing one final song of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Gabrielle was all excited and then when she realized I had walked her upstage and gone back and sat on the front row she began having a meltdown. Poor thing. Santa showed up and was passing out really great gifts for the children but the line was horrendous so we skipped out. Maybe next time Santa!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Family Tradition

This last Sunday marked the 1st annual family tradition of rolling, cutting, baking & decorating Christmas cutout cookies.
Oh, I can't forget the best part ... eating them!

This is my absolute favorite smile!


These first few pictures show the pure delight that Gabrielle reflected the entire time. She loved every minute and wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty in the process.


Dad took notice of how extremely focused Gabrielle was on the task of frosting and decorating each cookie.
It was as if each one was her own special masterpiece.


Did I mention that Ms. Magoo loved this special event?
These pictures are worth a million words!

Mema DuBay, Mommy & (grand)daughter

These two share such a special bond with one another.
Gabrielle is 100% her Mema's girl.
We are beyond blessed to have my parents live just around the corner from us.We couldn't imagine our lives without them.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Improved Look

Our little man has quite the head of hair. I guess you could say he was graced with my side of the family's hair. He received his first trim from Daddy at three months of age. Marietta then shaved him at four months of age and he had had two professional haircuts since then. His last cut was at age ten months (if my memory serves me correct). As his hair kept growing longer and longer I fell in love with his long locks and even his side "wings" that he sported every day. Well ... as the hot weather and humidity have since passed those locks and especially the wings weren't looking so cute anymore so we decided it was time for another cut - #5 if you are counting!

The kids and I love going to see Ms. Jillian.
She is young, fun and full of life.
Oh to be 21 again!!
As you can see from this picture Dawson wasn't quite sure at first if he was happy to be getting a haircut. But wait ... what is that that I see?

A lollipop!!!
{Yes, I realize that makes two lollipops that he has had within a month. That doesn't make me a bad parent. I am a fanatic about oral hygiene so no worries.}

Mmmmm all is well

My little man is looking more and more like a little man as the haircut progresses.
Jillian took a break to love up on baby D and give him a good long lick of that delicious lolli.

And here he is.
Mommy's new man - just as his shirt says
All clean cut and looking cuter than ever.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sharing T.M.I.

This may be too much information for some, but once again I have to "journal" this now before it is just a lost memory. Gabrielle and I ran to the McDonald's on K7 to return a Red Box movie we had rented yesterday. I ran in to return the DVD and as I returned to the van I caught Gabi in the act of picking her nose. Yes, I profess we have a booger picker on our hands. It isn't a huge problem, but this Mommy detests the act. It completely disgusts me. So with that said I told her {as I have many times in the past} that they don't allow booger pickers in Kindergarten so if she ever wanted to go to school she had better put a stop to it and fast.
Fast forward about 5 minutes
Gabrielle says "Mommy, guess what? If I pick my nose I will be grounded for a week. I won't get any TV, no ice cream & no play dates (you can easily see where her passions are (but on a side note she gets very limited TV) and what is used as rewards in our home)"
I simply responded with "That's right girlfriend. Grounded for a week. No more booger picking!"
Praise the Lord - maybe I am making some ground in my battle to stop the boogie picking :0)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day Y'all

So it isn't turkey or even pumpkin pie ... but it is two of the cutest kids on the planet sharing a lollipop (I can say that cuz they are my kids and they are pretty darn cute in my eyes!)



I hope everyone had/is having a wonderful Thanksgiving and that each of you took a few minutes to reflect on all there is to be thankful for. We had a wonderful noon meal enjoyed with my parents and our dear friends Jason and Rene'. The food was excellent and the conversation was lighthearted. It was fantastic to spend the majority of the day with loved ones. I am looking forward to couch time and hopefully some good football action later this evening.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Santa's Wonderland

This past Saturday we visited Santa's Wonderland at the local Bass Pro Shop.

We hadn't discussed the mornings events with Gabrielle so as we entered Bass Pro the greeter welcomed us and informed Gabrielle to follow Rudolph's paw prints to Santa's Wonderland. Her eyes lite up and off she went.

We arrived early so we had time to kill before Santa and Mrs. Clauss made their debute. BP is definitely a favorite spot of Ms. Magoo's so it wasn't hard to pass the time. I love this shot of Gabrielle. She is showing her true smile!

Gabrielle took a little ciesta prior to meeting the infamous duo.
I keep asking Travis to take us all camping. He is a little nervous how we (that being me mainly) will fair the great outdoors.

This Santa and Mrs are/were incredible. They were so kind and didn't make us feel rushed at all. Dawson was pretty aprehensive which is to be expected. The kids were thrilled to receive miniature candy canes as a gift.

The morning was complete by stopping by the train table as well as a brief visit to the coloring table. This picture captures Gabrielle in her true form!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tiny Tim Pictures

Fall 2008 School photos taken October 14th




Each year the LeeAnn Britain Infant Development Center hosts an annual fund raiser event, the Tiny Tim Holiday Fantasy. This year's Fund-a-Need live auction item was for a new autism program at the Britain Center. It is the hope of the Britain Center to begin a comprehensive autism classroom in the near future. Each year before the Tiny Tim effent the Britain Center has a photographer (Brian Collins with Fixation Media by Design out of KC, MO) come take pictures of all of the children. The pictures are then used at the Tiny Tim event (as a slide show). They also used the photos at IDC on the Christmas tree and made photo buttons for all the parents so they can proudly show off their child(ren). The money raised at the event goes to the the Britain Center and the NICU at Shawnee Mission.
Parents are able to purchase a CD with the photos taken of their child(ren) for $5 so I wanted to share just a couple of each of the kiddos. Dawson hammed it up for the camera, but Gabrielle on the other hand wasn't quite as relaxed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Car Convo with My Girl

G: Mommy, I want you to go back to work. {stated very matter of fact}
Me: Why do you want me to go back to work?
G: So I can stay all day at my Mema and Papa's house. That's what Tatum does. She stays with her Grandma and Grandpa while Ms. Rene' and Mr. Jason work.
Me: Mommy does work. I take care of you and Dawson. I like staying home with you and baby brother. Won't you miss me if I am gone at work?
G: Uh, no. {once again stated as a matter of fact}
Me: Honey, Mema works too. Remember?
G: Oh yeah! That's OK. I will stay with Papa. He will play silly with me all day.
Me: Well, we will have to talk to Papa about that one.
G: I know Mama ... you can just go to work with Daddy.
... sudden abrupt end to the conversation ...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What is new {and not so new}

*Dawson is walking 99% of the time with minimal bumps and bruises. He has become somewhat of a Daddy's boy over the past several days in the evening hours. Travis spoils him by holding him endlessly and showering him with kisses.
*Gabrielle is preparing for her preschool Holiday Music Program and has been in the full swing of the holiday spirit. I have taken the opportunity to have great conversations with her regarding the reason for the season. She has enjoyed the spirit of giving by putting money in the Salvation Army bucket outside WalMart, helping me purchase and prepare the Operation Christmas Child shoebox & helping someone else out who is gathering items for an angel tree family.
*We have a new president elect ... America's first African American to hold office. History has been made!
*Gas is now under $1.80 per gallon.
Can I hear an AMEN to that one?!
*The days {hours of daylight} are now shorter which automatically throws me into a season of laziness. I want to stay curled up in bed in the mornings where it is warm and comfortable and then am quickly ready to take a nap in the afternoon when the kids are down. It seems to take more effort to get myself and the kids cleaned up the days we do leave the house & I have zero to little motivation to do the deep cleaning that is so overdue in this house. I have made myself commit to doing something little everyday. Yesterday it was the bathrooms and seven loads of laundry, today I cut three weeks worth of coupons & tomorrow I plan to dust the kids bedrooms (which are covered in an inch of dust - no joking!).
*Uncle Yuck paid us a visit this past week. Gabrielle was up through the night Friday vomitting, Dawson has had a nasty nose for what seems like days now & Travis has been dealing with a terrible sinus infection.
I promise to update soon with recent pictures for those out of town family & friends. As Emily stated in a previous post "get off your google reader and leave me a comment" so I know you peeps are out there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

History is about to be made folks.
Regardless of WHO wins.
If McCain wins we will have our 1st female vice president.
If Obama wins we will have our 1st African American president.
Regardless of WHO wins history IS about to be made.

I received the following forward from my SIL this morning and thought it was SPOT ON.
TEN PREDICTIONS NO MATTER WHO WINS THE ELECTION:
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.
ISN'T IT GREAT TO KNOW WHO IS STILL IN CONTROL?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Up Side

Quotes from today's positive thinkers - Guideposts August 2008
"Your attitude will take you up or take you down. So the question is, what are you thinking?"
"Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable."
"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent."
And my two personal favorites:
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist or to accept the responsibility for changing them."
"A day hemmed with prayer rarely unravels."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fun with Black & White





I wish my two precious peanuts would stay young forever. I simply love where they are at right now. Dawson is walking and exploring his world more and more each day. He adores his sister, is giddy over his Daddy and remains my little man. Gabrielle's personality continues to develop into the young woman she will one day become. She is strong and independent, creative, & imaginative. Her love for Jesus is displayed in what she says and does. Her daily prayer as of the past month or more is "Dear Jesus, please help my grandpa to get better. Make his legs strong so he can walk again. Praise our food {I don't know why she asks to praise the food instead of bless it}. Amen. We are working through a 31 day devotional book on patience (something both mother and child need to improve on). She lives for her Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions at the Britain Center. She loves all her friends she has made in class. The short time she is there allows me to run errands or spend one on one time with Dawson. I am always excited to pick her up and hear about her morning. So my present wish list for Christmas is a device to freeze time. Anyone know where to locate one?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ride On

Dawson received this Mator ride on toy for his birthday and he and Gabrielle both have spent countless hours already enjoying it.


You will have to excuse the fact that Gabi is bottomless
It is par for the course for her

Ride on little man!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rainy Wendesday

We spent our rainy Wednesday house bound (and I like it). We have been in our jammies ALL day (and I LOVE that). We have colored, read books, sang & danced and played with modeling clay, which is a new experience in our house. Other than eating, entertaining the kiddos & nursing my aching back (I DON'T love that!) it has been a relatively unproductive day.

This is the snowman Gabrielle created
Initially she stood the snowman next to a "log"

But soon decided that it was more appropriate to have miniature snow balls surrounding her snowman

My sweet {yet sassy} girl

Her audience of One!