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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Love Bug

Do you ever catch those moments with your kids that you just want to bottle up and save forever?
Well, this was one of those moments for me.
I caught the kids just sitting on the bottom stair, hanging out, enjoying each other, and yes ... maybe even sharing a little love.
That made this Mommy smile!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Conlon Thank-you

Matt & Molly
Thank-you, thank-you for our
Melissa & Doug Lights and Sounds Puzzle &
Groovy Girls Dog Sled

You guys rock!
We love you!!
Dawson and Gabrielle

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Highlights

In no particular order:
*Gabrielle telling me "Shhh ... God is talking to me right now."
*Dawson totally suprising us by reciting the ABC's ON Christmas Day!. This was a 1st.
*A white Christmas
*A Christmas spent with the entire DuBay clan - all 16 of us!
*Family photos by - a gift from Mema & Papa
*Time with a dear childhood friend, Carrie
*Gabrielle repetively stating that the laundry room smelled like Santa ... "He must have come in through the garage since he is too fat to fit down the chimney."
*Dawson loving his new interactive "crocodile (um son I have news for you - it is a dinosaur) Spike Jr.
*Goodie baking. The plus side here is only one recipe flopped and I blame that on what is thought to be stale brown sugar.
*Travis surprising me with a very nice!! wine selection as well as a gift card to the Legends
*Gabrielle literally crawling into the Santa present bag to retrieve her gift. Too cute!
Picture forthcoming on this one
*Sledding TODAY!!!!!!
*Successful shopping with many great deals and some bonus buys from one VERY GOOD FRIEND! You know who you are - HUGS!
*Post Christmas sales
We hope you and your family had a happy, healthy Christmas!
Please share some of your favorite memories. I would love to read them.
Peace and blessings! Christine

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We are reading The Jesus Storybook Bible each night prior to bedtime and tonight's chapter ended in a rather memorable conversation between Gabrielle and me. We were discussing the devil which perplexed Gabrielle. I then said "You know, Satan. Sometimes he is called the devil, other times Satan." I went on to explain that Satan persuades us to believe his lies and leads us to do bad things such as make bad decisions or be naughty. Gabrielle responded by saying "We (referring to Dawson and herself) were a little like Satan today. We were naughty. Momma, is it OK if next time we are naughty I just say we are Satan?"
Some times kids say the darndest things!
Time will only tell if our little convo stuck and if she wraps her mind around the message between good {GOD} and bad {SATAN}.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Short Sexy Hair

I had to giggle when I pulled out a small tube of hair gel from Travis's bathroom drawer to doll up Dawson's new cut this past week.
The tube read - Short Sexy Hair
That about sums it up!
Travis and I disagreed about Dawson's longs locks. I was in no hurry to cut them, however Travis was wishing for more of a boyish cut. I promised Travis that after Dawson's 2 year old photos were taken that I would succumb to cutting it.
I miss his long hair, but I also love the way the new short cut draws more attention to his round checks and handsome eyes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Green Thumb

So glad someone in this house aspires to have a green thumb.
Lord knows her Mommy doesn't!
Ms. Gabs planting bulbs with the neighbor 11/04/09

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hello 11373

October 16th we said goodbye to 20929 and hello to 11373.
After much thought about "moving up" we stepped out in faith in late January and listed what is now our previous home. Our hope was that our house would sell quickly and we could profit from the low interest rates and buyers market to upsize. We waited and waited AND cleaned and cleaned for many, many showings, but our efforts weren't fruitful. It was yet another testing of me being patient and waiting on God's perfect timing. It wasn't until mid August that we received an offer. With much reluctancy (on my part) we accepted and advanced in the search for our new home. What we found meets not only our needs (or should I say wants?) but far more. I have posted a couple shots taken in late August prior to our possession.

Front Elevation

Private wooded back yard (playset was previous owners).
The previous home owner had her son's bedrooms painted with murals that we {currently} can't bring ourselves to paint over. They are done beautifully and are pretty darn cute if I can say so myself. We chose the transportation themed room for Dawson for obvious reasons.
What boy doesn't love trains & tractors?

Dawson's bedroom murals

This giraffe is my personal favorite!
We had every intention on painting Gabrielle's room as soon as we were settled. She had her heart set on pink (her previous bedroom was a bright green). We didn't make it past night one in the new house when Gabi let it be known she LOVES her new bedroom and we ARE NOT to paint over her jungle friends.

Gabrielle's bedroom murals

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When Mommy isn't watching

This is what happens when I am packing the pantry and the little man is

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting Settled

It has been a long few weeks and I couldn't more thankful that it is now behind us. Travis and I worked diligently to pack up our home over the past month or so. I won't go into all the details, but just know we dealt with about every emotion there is to experience throughout the selling/buying process with this transaction. Our close date got moved not once, but twice! Then the morning of our scheduled closing there were yet further delays.

It all worked out and we are the happy owners of our new home (which needed a lot of elbow grease and TLC - which is why ALL these cleaning supplies came in handy).

For weeks we lived like this - boxes, boxes, everywhere boxes.

My one regret was not photographing our garage just prior to the move. Travis was meticulous about placing the boxes in "sequence."
One aisle for the kids bedrooms, one for the kitchen, one for the basement ... you get the point.
It made the loading and unloading so seamless.
My other regret was not photographing our movers and help. They were amazing beyond what I could possibly put into words. WELL worth the small investment! I am happy to give you a referral if need be in the future.

We will deeply miss our FFV home.
{Front Elevation of our "old" home shown above"}
It is the home we purchased when we had just found out we were expecting Gabrielle. The home we brought both of our babies home to. The home we spent 5 1/2 years of our 9+ years of wedded life together. It is not the house so much as the neighbors who became like family to us that we will miss. Even though we moved just a little more than a mile up the road, it isn't the same as walking across the street, up the block or around the corner.
We are thrilled about our new home and the memories we will make here. We love the additional living space and the wooded lot. The kids quickly made friends with the next door neighbors and I have met several of the moms.

The ONE negative THE SKUNK invasion!
Apparently they have found our neighborhood to be a well suited home for their ENTIRE family. From what I understand from the neighbors it is not unlikely to see them on a frequent basis. One greeted us Friday morning in the front yard at 5:45AM!!
Pictures to come soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Facebook Ministry

I have a confession - here goes!
I am somewhat of a Facebook addict. There are days I may log on a half a dozen times to get the latest status of my online "friends."
Many may say "So, what is the big deal?"
Well, the way I look at it is that is time wasted that should be spent somewhere else.
On mothering, reading, cleaning, anywhere BUT on Facebook.
Well, after 4 plus days without phone, cable & internet I have spent a little time last night and tonight playing catch up. I have a point here ... stay with me.
I have had a heavy heart recently for several reasons. Some mentioned, some not.
- I have been dealing with chronic back pain for over two years and it has me knocked down further than ever before. It has changed my stamina, my attitude, & most importantly my spirit.
- I have been dealing with self pity about the fact that some dear friends stepped out in faith and traveled with a team to Africa on a mission trip (and I kept telling myself it wasn't the right time for me). They returned to Kansas with their lives forever changed while I still have the aching desire to leap out and GO!
- There are family health issues that have created undue concern.
The list goes on.
Sooooo ... tonight I logged onto Facebook and I was ministered to. It may not seem like a big thing, but it "spoke" to ME.

When a fellow CRCC member that traveled to Africa was asked if she could share one thing that Christians could apply to their lives. This was her response.
"Well, we might just rely on our "stuff" and ourselves too much ... I think we crowd out God. I think we don't see miracles b/c we would rather insert our human effort into the equation ... we're not comfortable letting God hold up our cause and be our provision."
And this is the response from the individual whom asked the question.
"I am encouraged that you mentioned miracles!! We have put so much emphasis not only on stuff but on man. We are ready to go and fix it because it's a good thing ... but is it the right thing? Sometimes suffering and depending on God's provision is the ultimate fix, but we are not comfortable with that. To be able to experience a peace that surpasses all understanding is the miracle."
See the message?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goodbye Summer Days

The kids and I had a free day today so I loaded them up and headed to Buffalo Park to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Beautiful AND windy!!! We decided in short order that it was a little too windy for our liking so plan B was a near by McDonald's playland. The kids made fast friends with some fellow visitors and played extremely well for the better part of the late morning.

We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then shopped for Mema's birthday present. We spent the evening with Papa, Mema, Aunt Linda and Paige eating homemade potato soup and watching the Minnesota Twins versus the Detroit Tigers. 12 innings!! What a game! Our Tigers ended up losing :0(
Love you Mom - more than words can ever express! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My boy is TWO

Monday September 21st we celebrated Dawson's 2nd year of life. The weeks preceding his birthday I found myself flooded with emotions. I caught myself crying on several occasions. I would watch him playing or would be loving on him and the tears would come. I am sad knowing that the baby stage is behind us. I miss all the newborn canoodling. I miss nursing him already and it has only been a few short weeks since he weaned (I thought it may never happen!) & believe it or not I miss his complete dependency on my fulfilling his every need. On the other hand I am overjoyed knowing how far we have come since his entrance into this world. We had somewhat of a rocky start with his trivial medical concerns in the beginning. Now here we are a year later and I have quickly forgotten about all the running from doctor appointment to doctor appointment. I look at my baby D and see a healthy boy abundant with energy, fearless, FULL of life. I continue to fall more and more in love with him daily. He is a handful and keeps us on our toes. I think he is 100% boy in full fashion :0)
I am honored that God hand picked me to be his Momma. I fall short so many times in my parenting, but I continue to strive to do my very best. We have been blessed with two very beautiful children, and for that I am eternally grateful!!

They say there is a special bond b/n daddy & daughter, mommy & son. So true!
Maybe it is because to me he is still my baby, but this little guy sure pulls on his Momma's heartstrings.

I asked Dawson what he wanted for his birthday and he said Mickey Mouse. I think he has seen it a total of 3 times (if that). It could be that he and sister play with the stuffed Mickey at Mema & Papa's frequently. We often hear him say "Oh toodle!" Love it!

I am throwing in a couple of cake pictures because they're cute. Just sayin'!

LOVE this kid!
What I want to remember about this stage of Dawson's life:
his amazing vocabulary
his love/hate relationship with his sister
how he knows no stranger
the neighbors total infatuation with him (they shower him with hugs and kisses)
my special time with him in the mornings while Gabi is at preschool
how he coined the name Daddy-O for Travis
his fierce stubbornness when he wants things his way

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This past weekend we went to Springfield for a multitude of celebrations. Saturday was my mother-in-law's 70th birthday (yes Phyllis I did just say 70!!). Saturday evening Travis's oldest sister Pam & her husband Brad hosted the family for a BBQ. The burgers were delicious, the baked macaroni & cheese divine and the ice cream dessert was absolutely to die for. I can't wait to make the recipe myself in the near future. We had planned to take the kids to the Springfield zoo on Saturday in celebration of Dawson's birthday but the never ending rain kept us indoors. We enjoyed a quiet morning in opening presents and visiting. Sunday morning we attended Hamlin Baptist church where Travis's uncle Gary is the interim preacher. I don't know that I could ever tire of listening to Gary preach. He is a gifted speaker and gave an amazing message. It was a special Sunday service as Phyllis was baptized - rededicating her life to Christ. Sunday would have also been Travis's parents 52nd wedding anniversary. Busy weekend of celebrating!

Dawson examining his gift determining the best way to tackle opening it.

Dawson practicing patience while Travis removes the ridiculous amount of wire attached to toys to prevent anyone from stealing them.

My two handsome boys - I love little D's smile :0)

Aunt Shari, Travis, GG & Dawson

The kids enjoying Dawson's new Elmo music book.
Dawson's birthday pics soon to come!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Lost Boy

Sale Notice

Jesus the Story Book Bible is currently on sale at Lifeway Christian Book Store for $10. You can read more about it as well as read friends "reviews" here. Mema picked this up for Dawson's 2nd birthday which is just around the corner!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Preschool 2009

This past week what we have come to know as our normal summer routine was shook up a little bit by the start of another school year. Gabrielle entered her last year of early childhood preparation prior kindergarten. Wednesday we had an informal meet the teacher session. Her teacher Mrs. G is in her 19th year of teaching at this particular school. NINETEEN years - I call that dedication and a true love for children. Mrs. G is one hip lady, full of life and has a passion for music which I was thrilled to find out.

Mrs. G made this train drawing and provided black circle stickers for wheels. The children placed one on the 1st wheel and one for each day with the last being placed the morning of school (Monday). Gabi had fun coloring the train and adding the days of the week below the wheels.

The first day of school.
Papa came over and spent the morning with Dawson so I could attend a parents meeting following drop off. He took this picture of the two of us before loading up in the van. I generally am not a fan of ANY picture of myself, but I was pleased with how a couple turned out.

Sassy outside her new school.

Walking the hall to the octopus room.
You can see the banner in the upper right hand corner.

Unloading her backpack.
Those of you who know me well will appreciate this picture.
Notice how the inside label has another childs name?
Garage sale find - enough said :0)
We are all excited for Gabrielle to embarck on this new venture. I pray that she expands her knowledge and that she makes great friendships throughout the course of the year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Calling Martha

Martha Stewart, meet your match!

Both my kiddos tend to be right under foot as I am preparing meals. It can be frustrating at times. The other evening I was one child down so it made it somewhat easier to allow Dawson to "come along side of me" and help in the cooking. He was insistent on having his very own pan and mixing spoon. He wasn't content with having the pan empty so I added a little water which seemed to please the little guy and kept him busy for a period of time.

He must have thought that what he was cooking up was pretty good because he frequently would stop his mixing to take a taste test.

Make that darn good! There was no holding him back :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Birmingham Installment #2

On one of our outings in Birmingham we visited the Vulcan statue.
The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and is the city symbol of Birmingham, Alabama. The 56-foot tall statue depicts the Roman god Vulcan, god of the fire and forge. It is the seventh-tallest free-standing statue in the United States.

I learned on this little venture that I am NOT as fearless of heights as I once thought. It was fantastic to go up the elevator and see the city scape, but it wasn't long before I found my way back down.

From one side you could see the city skyline.

And from the other side, the mountains.

My favorite family fun trip was to the McWane Science Center.
In summary, this place ROCKS!!!
I am talking four levels of state of the art fabulous, funness (is that even a word?)
And ... would you believe me if I told you a family membership costs almost exactly the same as to our wee little Wonderscope?!?!

First we all took turns laying on this bed of nails.
The sensation was a little - well uneasy at first, however I think I could get used to the applied pressure.

One of the kids favorite attractions was the inventors garage.
Think NASCAR in adolescent form. The kids have free reign to inspect under the hood, change the oil & tires, replace the muffler ... you get the picture.

They had a large touch tank where you are allowed to touch sharks and stingrays. Much to our dismay none of the little creatures swam close enough to touch. Dawson loved the aquarium action. He was plastered to the glass watching every move and frequently tapped the glass and said "Pishy, pishy!"
I realized after uploading pictures from our time in Alabama that I really didn't take many. Argh! I am anxiously awaiting some from my SIL. Can't wait to see what she got with their awesome HD camera.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birmingham Installment #1

The kids and I road tripped to Birmingham, Alabama with my parents Aug 1st - 8th. The drive took us a total of 13 hours each direction. We left Kansas, drove through Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, & arrived in Alabama.
The drive was just what my parents had prepared me for
The highways were thick with Kudzu which I found to be so pretty. If you don't know what it is, I encourage you to google it. It's a vine that was imported to the U.S. from Japan to help with erosion control. The vine grows at very rapid rates on anything it comes into contact with - trees, power lines, etc.
We drove through some scenic areas including several towns saturated with year round flea markets, the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Mansfield, MO and the birth home of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, MS.
Gabrielle and Dawson did remarkably well with the long drive. We did our best to keep them busy with movies, snacks, car friendly activities & a lot of conversation. I wanted to share a handful of pictures from our trip.
This group of photos was from our visit to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Arboretum.

Little Poser :0)

I was in awe by the size of the sunflowers.
The bud was as large as the circumference of an adult face.

Just one of the many rose bushes in the rose garden.

Gabrielle taking in the sights and smells of the pretty flowers.

Cousins - Dawson, Gabrielle, Logan, Dylan, Danielle and Connor.

Other highlights that I don't have photo documentation of included:
Meeting my mom's cousin Larry and his son Eli
Seeing the home that mom's dear Aunt Ruby (my grandmother's sister) lived in
Watching Gabrielle develop a true love relationship with her cousin Logan
Witnessing my sweet son be a bully to Connor
A bug invasion that caused lost hours of sleep - only my family will understand this one!
NO TELEVISION FOR 9 STRAIGHT DAYS (with the exception of one 30 minute taped episode of Coach). Minimal computer usage (I checked e-mail, google reader & Facebook once daily which is stellar for me ... working on this one!!)
Sweet time with family!!

Installment #2 soon to come