Search This Blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

DuBay Family Christmas

About the only thing that tops the thrill and excitement of this time of year is quality time spent with family. We celebrated Christmas with my side of the family on Wednesday evening. My brother and SIL hosted at their home in Leawood. Linda has the most incredible knack for decorating (she owns her own interior decorating business if anyone would like to use her services!) and her house was just beautiful! I enjoyed snooping at all the details she put into each room and ooohed and aaawed over lots of her Christmas decor. I think one of my favorites were her wise men in the dining area. We ate a casual supper of yummy potato soup & taverns with fresh vegetables and a HUGE array of goodies before opening gifts.

Mom and I had taken Gabrielle to the new AG store opening weekend which was such a fun thing to get to do together as a 1st. Mema had given both the older granddaughters (Danielle now 19 & Paige 17) their first AG dolls so she wanted to do the same for Gabrielle. Gabrielle struggled some with her decision, but ultimately decided to settle on the My American Girl doll which is supposed to look the most similar to her. She was awesome about waiting patiently until Christmas to actually get the doll. She named her Kate Elizabeth and has quickly proven she will take excellent care of her.

Travis and I bought her the accessory kit to go with the outfit her doll came in.
$24 seems a wee bit steep for what comes in that teeny little box, but just take one look at that smile!

And little man, well ... he was overjoyed receiving a snuggie of his own. He looks ridiculously adorable in it. He lounges on the couch with it and takes it to bed with him during nap and nighttime.

I heart this picture of my oldest brother Brett and Paige.
I can only pray that Gabrielle will grow to have as close a relationship as these two do. I love seeing my brother dote on Paige and Paige continue to be his "little girl." She will be off to college in the Spring leaving B & L with an empty nest. Rest assured, there will be some tires beating the pavement :P

And this picture
Well, let's just say that I do believe these are about two of thee most handsome devils a girl could meet. Don't you agree? I love this kid (Tyler aka TJ) and admire beyond words the choices he has made to go against the flow of the teenage/college norm.
I would have loved nothing more than to have camped out in front of their fireplace and visited the night away enjoying a glass of wine however, my bestie from junior/senior high was making her annual trek from Austin to NW Iowa and stops each year to stay a night with us so we called the night young and headed home shortly before 10.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas Comic

Travis often times will cut out a comic from the Sunday's paper for me to read. I have a couple tucked away as they honestly hit home with our family dynamics. Christmas morning he hands me the following comic cut from Baby Blues:
Box 1
"Dear Santa"
Box 2
"Thank you for all the presents you brot me."
Box 3
"If my sister sends you reports about my behavyer again please remember they're all LIES!LIES!LIES!"
Box 4
"You shood espeshly ignore the video evidens."
"Your friend, (enter name) Dawson Matthew Hicks

A Sunday Celebration

This past Sunday my dear girlfriends hosted a baby shower in celebration of our sweet baby girl to be. They did such a bang up job with the decorations and food preparations. We feasted on mint oreo balls, moist mini cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, delic' ice cream punch amongst other yummy finger foods.

Ms. Emily Cowden's 1st diaper cake ... isn't it adorable?

Pink Gerber Daisies from Rene'

Me with my #1
She is so excited to have her baby sister join our family

What this girl can't live without - Hostess powdered donettes (and moo juice, OJ, Dr. Pepper, cereal and ice cream .... but those donuts are a vice!)

The stinkin' cutest sweater from my neice Paige.
I am seeing this paired with a cute pair of jeggings or denim of some sorts :P
So with little more than two weeks until our official due date I am feeling great with no complaints other than mild shortness of breath after making the trek up and down the stairs dozens of times a day. Oh, and I can't forget the interrupted sleep to make the multiple bathroom visits. If there were only a way to bipass that in the wee hours of the morn'. We have very little to do before her arrival - hang the mobile, install the carseat and pack the hospital bag. We are all anxious, excited, filled with anticipation of what she will look like and how her siblings will receive her, and a tiny bit nervous about becoming a family of five. I guess God trusts that we have enough energy for another little one. My hope is this wee one will be the calm amongst the storm. I say that with much love!! We welcome any/all blog followers to send up prayers on our behalf for a safe and healthy delivery. We can't wait for you all to meet her!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Visiting Santa

The Christmas season wouldn't be the same without making the short drive to the local Bass Pro Shop to visit Mr. Clauss himself. This year was different from lasts as Dawson was enthralled with the idea of the big man whereas last year ... well, not so much!

Gabi took it upon herself to grab Santa's undivided attention after her picture was taken to verbalize her Christmas wish list. It was short and sweet this year - a purple unicorn pillow pet (who is the behind the scenes person who created this ridiculous $20 item that is being sold at even the most obscure places (Petsmart among them) who is making a mint?) and her own ice cream maker. A big thank-you to the increased advertisements this time of year. Santa fell short on fulfilling her request as he did NOT deliver on the ice cream maker.

Little man didn't have any special requests this year. He would have been happy with a big bag of sugar! We learned in quick order that receiving clothing as a gift does not please the child. He quickly became a little dude with a big tude!

Our only minor disappointments this year with our visit to Bass Pro was Mrs. Clauss was not present and this old green pickup truck wasn't decked out in greenery and lights like it was this past year. It still makes for a cute picture of my two munchkins though.

Kindergarten Class Holiday Party

Friday December 17th Gabrielle's Kindergarten class celebrated the Holiday's in full fashion. The morning started with an hour long sing along by classes K - 5 grade then each class was dismissed to their classrooms for the festivities.

Gabi specifically requested to wear this dress to her party. It is casual, but pretty darn cute on if I am allowed to say so. The kids and I all had our hair cut the evening before and Ms. Jillian put Gabrielle's hair into two french braids so it would be "curly" Friday morning upon taking the braids out. Ms. G loved how it looked and so I took the opportunity to snap a quick picture before she ate her breakfast and headed off to school.

The homeroom mom in charge of planning the parties really did a bang up job in coming up with some "fresh" crafts and games for the kids to do. Each child was provided a special bag to gather magic reindeer food in and sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve. The label read:
"Sprinkle on the lawn at night
the moon will make it sparkle bright
as Santa's reindeer fly and roam
this will guide them to your home."

The reindeer food consisted of oatmeal, red and green rice, pine cones & the magic ingredient was embossing glitter. The kids LOVED it!
It has been a privelege for Gabrielle to be a part of Mrs. S's class. She is one amazing, tenderhearted, CHRIST LOVING teacher and makes it very apparent that each child is not only special in their own unique ways, but also very special to HER.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Annual Sugar Cookies

Saturday December 11th Gabrielle and I spent the morning up at Mema's house to partake in our annual Christmas sugar cookie decorating party. Mema makes up the dough the evening before and allows it to refrigerate overnight. She rolls out the dough (don't ask me why, but I am a little intimidated by that step) and we all participate in the cutting, baking, frosting and decorating. Gabi's favorite part is taking breaks to indulge in the sweet goodness - can you blame her?

The 1st batch of 2010 being carefully cut and placed on the baking sheet

Our toothless girl in her element

{Experimenting with the Shake It photo app on my IPhone}

I kind of like the retro finish & color to these photos.
We always end up with a ton of cookies, but it sure doesn't take long before they have all disappeared!
They didn't even make it onto Santa's plate this year :P
This is a tradition that we hope to include Dawson in next year. He is in that too busy to focus and stay on task stage of life and we really wanted to enjoy ourselves rather than try to keep up with his mess making.

Meadow Lane 2010 Holiday Shop

Saturday morning December 4th Meadow Lane Elementary School hosted their 1st annual Holiday Shop. A morning of yummy pancakes, sausage & juice followed by singing, a visit from Santa and shopping! Gabrielle loved having the privilege of earning money to shop in the Holiday Mart. Each child was provided an envelope with areas dedicated to particular family members and expense allowance for each member. For example we could help her budget $5 to be spent on Dawson, $5 on Mommy, etc. Daddy was her shopper elf and helped her in her selections. I giggled because she came home with not one, but two gifts she had selected and purchased for herself. She was very eager for each of us to open our gifts immediately ... no placing them under the tree and awaiting Christmas day :)
Even though it was a mad rush for time (we had another event scheduled one hour after the start of the Holiday Shop) we really did enjoy our time together as a family. Mema and Papa as well as GG from Springfield were able to be a part of this fun morning.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Toothless Grin

Gabi had been sporting the snaggletooth look for waaaaayyyyy too long when Daddy decided it was time to take action. This past Tuesday night we used a little bribery and a little hand holding and Daddy gave one little twist and pull and tooth number one was out. We waited a short period and told a little white lie {gasp} that Daddy had talked to the tooth fairy via e-mail and that if Gabrielle was to lose BOTH front teeth on the same day the tooth fairy said she was sure to receive something extra special. Gabrielle's stubbornness won out and the 2nd tooth remained hanging by a thread - looking completely ridiculous I might add. See picture below ...

Wednesday Travis got home from work and shortly after eating supper he told Gabrielle she didn't have an option the other tooth WAS coming out. So twist and pull #2 and out it came. Gabi ran into the bathroom and immediately busted out laughing. The child stops and looks in the mirror every chance she gets. Could be because she is constantly hearing how cute she is without her two front teeth :)

Now we can say boldly, "All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Last Saturday Gabrielle and I were invited by one of her classmate friends and her mom to join them for a production put on by Theatre for Young America. We took the girls for lunch at Fritz then walked across the walkway to Union Station City Stage to see Junie B. (Jones) in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. It was a fun little play with a great message. The production runs November 23rd - December 30th and tickets are $8. Go to for more information. I wanted to share a handful of pictures I snapped prior to the play.

Still a little poser :P
Side note - I am on a mad hunt to find the baby in waiting a matching PB jumbo stocking this year. Dawson is shown below in front of his. They are so well worth the purchase and if you are like me you can fill that sucker up pretty darn quick!

I love this picture as it is the last one I captured before her losing her baby teeth.

My current favorite although I converted to b&w because I took it on indoor setting and it was a little fuzzy.

And of course little man couldn't miss out on getting his pic' taken. He is in that stage where he cheeses every time you say smile to take his pic. Such a ham!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making the most of it

We have been pretty much house bound the better part of the past week so we have been making the most of it. I have spent time in my scrapping area, the kids and I gave the downstairs toy area an overhaul, I spent nearly an entire morning in our master bedroom closet changing out seasonal clothing and doing a little pick up, Travis started a home improvement project - which is now on hold until he is back to 100%, and the kids have really delved into creative play and craft time. I am often reminded of how fortunate I am that my two self entertain so well and for the most part do a good job of playing with one another. They have their scuffles I assure you, but it brings me no greater joy to find them playing so beautifully together.

And I don't even mind too much walking into this mess when they have provided me with two hours of uninterrupted "me" time meal planning, making out the grocery list, cutting coupons, catching up with a friend on the phone and checking e-mail.

Photos taken with my new IPhone. Yeah, I finally stepped into the 21st century and upgraded to a Smartphone. I have to say I can see how they often take over one's life. I limited myself with a minimal data and texting package so I vow not to allow myself to go down that path.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's in a name?

We have really been struggling to nail down a name for the newest member of the Hicks family. We faced the same challenge when we were expecting Gabrielle as well. I don't know if you would agree, but we find it so much easier to choose a boys name. In fact we had our boy name picked out long before we found out for certain we were expecting another girl. Several times a week the topic will come up and we will give it some thought and discussion. The past several weeks Travis has gone into psycho mode spending a ton of time on numerous online sites looking up names - popular baby names, celebrity baby names, etc. He has researched the origin and meaning of the names which made our short list, crossed out names and added names. So over the weekend he shared with me that he was really leaning toward two very different names. One more common, the other not so common - both with different middle names. I have been dead set on MY name since very early in this pregnancy and I CAN NOT get him over to my side. (Enter some ill feeling here as I really have a strong feeling about this particular name). Anyhow, he turns to me and says with such emotion "I would never consider changing Gabrielle or Dawson's name. I love their names and feel they both suit them well. I want the same for this baby. I want to know without a doubt we gave her the right name." How can I argue with that? I want us to both be happy with whatever we name our little girl.
So precious baby to be, please know Daddy and Mommy have poured hours over your name and no matter what it may end up being we know it is perfect, just as you will be!

Up to my Eyeballs

I know this isn't your typical post, but I want to document this so when times get tough down the road I can look back and remember I have lived through bumpy roads in the past and pressed forward. I/we have been up to our eyeballs ... in vomit, fevers, medicine intake, doctor and urgent care visits which lead to medical bills, LAUNDRY, body aches, fatigue, chronic coughs, diarrhea, did I mention LAUNDRY? Our household has been hit pretty hard this fall with the yuck bug. It all started Saturday October 23rd. Travis and I had a teenage neighbor girl over to babysit while we went out on a date. We returned home at 8:30 to the kids sound asleep in bed. We did what we often do and curled up in our own bed and watched some DVR. We were startled at 9:30 by a gut wrenching sound (figuratively and literally). Poor Gabrielle was heaving so bad she was unable to catch her breath. Pair this with a 104.3 or greater fever and it makes for a sleepless night. After NO relief and several chats with the nurses line we opted to take her to Children's Mercy South for evaluation. They had concerns of her showing signs of meningitis as she consistently complained of bad neck pain. The neurological exam was negative as were both a strep test and urine culture so in short they sent us packing stating she was dealing with a bad virus (no blood work or x-rays were done at this time). Fast forward to Tuesday when she is still vomiting, still running a fever now closer to 104.8 and hasn't had anything to eat or drink since Saturday night and we are beside ourselves! Our pediatrician asked us to bring her in to see her. We were in the office no longer than 5 minutes before we were in route back to the hospital for direct admit. The nurses were amazed at Gabrielle's bravery in having a blood culture draw as well as IV placement for hydration and antibiotic delivery. Things moved pretty rapidly at this visit. They tested her urine again, sent the blood for STAT testing and sent us to x-ray. We learned in fast order that the blood showed very elevated WBC and the x-rays showed a bad left lung pneumonia. We were a little baffled why this was missed on physical exam THREE times. The doctor explained that because Gabrielle was so severely dehydrated they were unable to hear it. After several hours of IV fluids the doctor was able to immediately pick it up. This whole incident led me into contracting a bad chest cough (and when I say bad think BAD). I went to see my PCP after a week where they ordered a chest x-ray. No pneumonia, praise the Lord. One week later and my cough is worse so my doctor put me on a course of antibiotic. I am now on week three of coughing. The pediatrician at both CMH and our own ped advised us to expect Gabrielle's cough to last up to six weeks. Put Gabi's cough and my cough together and it makes for a lot of interrupted sleep. I. am. over. it!
This past weekend started with another trip to the pediatrician. Gabrielle's cough was worse than ever. She was up all night Thursday trying to stay ahead of the cough. My worst nightmare was she was dealing with a recurrence of the pneumonia. The nurse at SM Peds said to bring her right in for eval and possible repeat x-ray. I was so elated to learn her chest was 100% clear. They said she had a secondary viral infection and to restart her allergy and asthma medications (which we stopped when she fell so ill). Enter my #1 mistake here. I brought Dawson to the appt with us Friday. You may not think much of this (as I didn't at the time either), but he contracted the worst of worst yuck bugs while there. Without too much detail think lots and lots o' diaper changing, sheet washing, Lysol disinfectant and stink! My prayer (please join me) is that this will not prevent any kind of regression with his potty training. He has been trained for months and months now and we are on day three of constant diaper wearing. Throughout all of this fiasco Travis somehow managed to stay healthy. That is UNTIL Sunday early morning. I woke to him huddled on the couch complaining of fever, chills and body aches. UGH! Can we catch a break?
I long for the day when we can return to this -

We have missed a few days of beautiful weather, awesome church services and frugal store finds. I am looking ahead eight weeks when I will be up to my eyeballs in newborn poops, breastfeeding, burping, baby coos, even more laundry and ... I am elated for all of it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Iowa Pics

I am back with a handful of pictures from our weekend trip to Iowa. I had a 100% brain block when it came to changing the settings on my point and shoot camera, so please forgive the picture quality. Of course as soon as I returned home it came back to me. One of these days I will make it a priority to find where we housed the camera manual upon our move.

Terry approaching our table making sure every one's drink needs were met. He was in charge of the red hot tickets. I am pretty sure I caught Molly off guard in this shot. Sorry Skooter!

The newly married couple: Ryan & Katie Morris with baby boy to be awaiting his arrival just four short weeks after our little miss will join our family.

Dawson loving all the attention that Terry was showering upon him.
Katie picked up glow bracelets and little wooden picture frame crafts that kept the kids entertained early in the evening before they started tearing up the dance floor.

Molly with the kids.
A little side note - Gabi was almost a Molly Christine versus Gabrielle.
This girl means the world to me. She was/is the little sister I never had. She was the junior brides maid at our wedding {reception}. Gabrielle was the flower girl in her and Matt's wedding just two years prior to Ryan and Katie's union. She spoils the kids and makes them know without a question of a doubt that they are as special to her as their mommy is.

My two monkeys near the end of the evening horsing around.
They were both in such great spirits during the party. Praise the Lord, as Travis and I were concerned about dealing with ill behavior.

And last but not least a quick shot of the six of us before parting home for Kansas.
Matt, Mo, Travis, myself & the two little people

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Flatter Me Please

I have to admit something here. I love going through Gabrielle's backpack each day when she arrives home from school. I told Travis I didn't know I was beginning a new part-time position when she started Kindergarten. All the paperwork, order forms, etc - oh my! I committed to keeping it all very organized from the get go as paperwork is not my strong point. I recycle non-important papers, file information for future review (monthly calendar, snack schedule, school directory and such) and add things into a keepsake binder. One thing that provides me with a smile are the resource papers she brings home almost daily. So far this week they look something like this:
Pictured a towel, turtle, tiger, the number 10 & toothbrush
Gabrielle spelled tawl, ______, tigr, tin & tfbrsh
Pictured three individual picture windows which are for drawing a person, a place & a thing
Gabrielle drew herself playing under the sun in the backyard near a large tree, a tawr (tower), and a TV. Next to the TV she wrote ten TV. When I asked her about this she said, "Well, I usually only watch TV for like ten minutes."
I am thrilled that she is enjoying school and quickly forming new friendships. I am even more elated that she has said multiple times now that she loves school. She is excited to tell me all the details of her day as soon as she walks through the front door.
This momma's heart is happy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

We Survived

It is Monday afternoon which means we are back from farmland.
The great news is we survived.
Not without a tantrum or two, but all in all we had a fantabulous time.
I will never, ever take for granted the laid back
way of life I come from in small rural Iowa.
Although I did not grow up farming I appreciate the beauty of the fields and the produce they provide for us all.
My favorite part of visiting my hometown is my time with my 2nd family.
I always treasure the time we get with the Morris's.
They have and always will be soooooo good to us.
I got my baby fix by canoodling the adorable little Benjamin Bradley.
I foresee a little Mrs. Benjamin Bradley Morris joining our family in January.
Audra, are you with me on this one?
I picked up some tips on some awesome baby gear that
is hot in the Philly region. I may just have to
start some baby trend setting here in the Midwest :)
Today has been a day cram packed with unpacking, cleaning, reorganizing & meal preparation. Did I mention disciplining?
Yeah, that one falls in there too.
I have two monkeys that need to learn it is NOT OK to hit one another.
I will be back soon with pics from our weekend mini vaca.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This one is for my Mom

Where to start?
I have really missed keeping up with our family blog, but if I am being 100% honest, I just have not made it a priority. So much has taken place since my last post. Fun and exciting outings, milestone and momentous moments, big firsts, ups and downs with personal life and child rearing. Looking back now I wish I had indeed taken the time to record each of those events be them small or large. This is where I am at in life at this moment. A mom struggling to juggle all the many hats we as moms wear - homemaker, meal planner & preparer, household banker, primary child caregiver, friend and most importantly my role as a wife. Since I already stated I would be 100% honest I will share that I feel I have failed miserably in most of the above areas as of recent. I have continued to maintain the house for the most part but can say that I am more than relieved that my somewhat severe tendency toward house cleaning has been kicked to the curbside. I feel like a super star if I do indeed have a well balanced meal prepared and on the table for my family for supper. The frustrating part is 9 out of 10 times the kids refuse to eat it and I (even in my 2nd trimester) still prefer a bowl of cereal or a PB bagel, so we have wasted a lot of good meat and vegetables lately. Argh! I, for the first time in my adult life, have paid two bills (Kohl's and VISA) a day late over the course of the past month. Do you know what that equals? Late fees! And if you want to see my tail feathers ruffled charge me a late fee when it is my own darn fault!! Several friendships have fallen by the wayside as I have been wrapped up in myself and my families needs. I think this pregnancy threw me into a tailspin. Please don't misinterpret that as saying that I am not over the moon excited about this little blessing because I am! I was pretty miserable my entire 1st trimester and leading into the first several weeks of the 2nd trimester. Enter week 15 through the current and I started to panic about everything that I no longer have and need to care for a newborn. I obsessed about taking inventory of what I had remaining and started hitting garage sales & the kids consignment sales hard. If any of you are still with me I will now share the #1 reason I have fallen off the blogging stratosphere. Life with kids can be tough. I mean really tough! I have two beautiful, wonderful, God fearing children, but those two have a little bit of the devil living in them :) I do not recall going through the struggles with Gabrielle that we are currently facing with Dawson. He was our child who never rocked the boat in the sense of getting into things he shouldn't, disobeying or discrediting authority, etc etc. Starting about three weeks ago that all changed for us. We jokingly and affectionately call him Pistol Pete or Dawson the Destroyer, but let me tell you he fits the names. There have been periods throughout the recent weeks where I frequently hear myself say out loud "Dawson, I am not playing your games right now," "Dawson, we said no and no means no now get down, shut the door, come inside, etc," "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!" "Do you want me to swat your bottom?" "If I hear those potty words come out of your mouth again, you will get vinegar on your tongue" (this one always gets his attention!). You get the point. Many of you may be thinking this is normal 2 - 3 yr old behavior. I beg to differ with you. I shared with my women's Bible study group that I am contemplating scheduling a consultation with a child psychologist to establish if this is a true clinical case of sensory disorder or adolescent obsessive compulsive behavior. I could share sooooooo much more on this topic, but will spare you reading a book. Just know that I am still crazy in the love with the kid and that we have more good/great times of loving and sharing in the day than we do the bad. It is just that the bad tends to be really bad right now. We will be traveling this weekend to NW Iowa to spend time with some people that are very near and dear to us. I would ask for prayers that we have a smooth, tantrum free weekend. I am concerned as anytime we travel our kids schedules are compromised, they don't get the luxury of sleeping in their own beds and they tend to get over stimulated by the activities and surroundings.
Since this post has primarily focused on our struggles with our little man I will leave you with a handful of pictures from his 3rd birthday which we celebrated this Tuesday the 21st. Enjoy!
Please, please leave me a comment letting me know you have stopped by so I know someone out there is still reading this blog and if you have any psychologist referrals or recommendations on behavior modification I beg you to share.

"Look, I am 3!"

Friday, July 30, 2010

From the mouths of my babes

This summer is flying by and I have done a less than mediocre job of documenting our outings and activities. I have also been lax in recording things that I want to look back on and remember. Things the kids have accomplished or said and done. I am going to try my best to be more intentional about 'journaling' more of these everyday things. I know I will be glad I did so in years to come and I am sure my children will as well.

** Dawson affectionately asks me several times throughout the day "Mommy, is there still a baby in your tummy?" I answer "Yes" and he asks each time "May I kiss the baby in your tummy?" So sweet!
** I took Gabrielle to get her blood drawn at Children's Mercy yesterday afternoon and we made a necessary stop by the Costco in route home. As we were traveling South on Metcalf and were passing the cemetery she says enthusiastically, "That is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen. Who owns the cemetery Mommy?" To which I responded "I have no idea." She replied with "Well, I am sure God owns it!" Followed by, "I think God wants us to buy it."
** Dawson is determined he is going to school this Fall. Um, news flash son. Not this year. I want to keep you my baby as long as possible OR until January when the new bean arrives. I do attempt to use this as an excuse to get him to poo on the potty. I tell him "Only big boys who make their shooey in the potty are allowed to go to preschool." Does that persuade him to make every poop in the toilet? NO. He does it when it is his idea and no other time. No bribery for that boy.
** Gabi loves, loves, LOVES KLove radio. She insists on listening to it 99% of the time while driving in the car and at all times in her bedroom. This past week she asks me what it means to be IN LOVE with Jesus. She said, "I thought being in love meant you wanted to marry that person." GREAT teaching moment and a sweet one at that. We discussed all the people in our lives that we not only love but are in love with. She of course immediately says "I am in love with Mema and my Papa and Dawson is in love with me." So true!
** Dawson has names all pegged for this new miracle growing inside of me. If it is a boy his name is to be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and if it is a girl her name is to be Tina. When we asked why Tina he responded very matter of fact with "Well, cause that is a girl name." He more recently said that "Mommy is going to have a baby sister because I am going to always be her baby boy." I love that his little two year old mind thinks in this way.
** Gabrielle has been repeatedly telling on herself. When I finally said to her, "Gab, I don't want to hear it" she replied "Well, I know it is always best to tell the truth." Another news flash - sometimes it is best to not tell at all :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We received an invite from a very loved lady in our church to attend Cinderella at Theatre in the Park Friday night. It was a special evening for her granddaughter and several other princesses. I had some real concerns about attending because the weather Friday was beyond hot and sticky. The 1st hour which involved waiting in line and enjoying the preshow was a bit uncomfortable, but the remainder of the night was perfect. The girls feasted on all things sugar - candy necklace and bracelets, ring pops, italian shaved ice amongst other shared goodies. It was fun to see the girls (all seven of them) play & interact with one another. I am not too sure any of them sat in one place for any length of time.

Cameron Ronning, Gabrielle, Kaitlyn Beddall, Chase Cheney, Emery Caire, Nevaeh Fulk & Grace Ronning in the back row

We are excited about what shows will be coming to SM Theatre next summer!

Friday, July 9, 2010


What a week!!
I am so glad to see this week behind me. It has NOT been a good one.
Should have been, but was not.
Tuesday I kept my girlfriends kids and I was queesy (is that even a legit word?) all day. The kids caught me laying down every chance I could. Sorry, but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do to get through a day. My parents returned from vacation with some dear family friends and stopped by for a visit. They weren't here 10 minutes when I bolted off the couch with the 1st of MANY trips to the bathroom to regurgitate every ounce of anything I had put in my mouth that day.
Wednesday was my 35th birthday AND Travis and my 10th wedding anniversary.
10 years folks
That is a big one!
I spent the ENTIRE day in bed with the exception of the times I was in the bathroom with my head hanging over the toilet. I have dined on NOTHING but dry toast & applesauce for three days now. Can I hear a blah? Poor girl? Awwww? Travis has been absolutely amazing catering to me and checking in on me. He brought me Dairy Queen ice cream cake Wednesday night and I have yet to attempt to feast on a slice. I was so fortunate to catch one BIG break in all this madness. My Mom had taken Wednesday off work to enjoy her company and kept the kids the entire day for me. She transported them to Gabrielle's weekly literacy class, the park, McDonald's for ice cream, then back to her house for rest time. She is an amazing Mema to say the least. Thursday the kids and I had a quiet day in. I was able to get a few small tasks accomplished around the house but for the most part played it easy. Today. Today is Friday and today is a new day. Although I am definitely not back to 100%, I am feeling more energized and able to face the day. I look forward to enjoying the kids today and especially spending some quality time with Travis over the weekend celebrating a decade of marriage.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blueberry Coffee Cake

We arrived at our Growth Group weekly meeting last night and low and behold the most delicious blueberry coffee cake was being served. I devoured not one, but two lArGe pieces (with a few bites stollen by Ms G). Shelle Cox was nice enough to share the recipe with me.
Kiersten, I know you are reading this and well ... I have the blueberries and YOU have the baking skills so get on over here girl!

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 12-ounce package frozen blueberries, unthawed, or 2 1/2 cups fresh

Combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Mix until moist and crumbly. Set topping aside.
Preheat oven to 357°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sift remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Mix dry ingredients into batter alternately with milk in 3 additions each. Fold in blueberries.
Transfer cake batter to prepared baking pan. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Berry Patch

Tuesday morning we visited Missouri's Blueberry Patch for our 2nd annual picking party. The kids and I went with our next door neighbor Joanne and her oldest son Noah. Noah is a blueberry eating fool so he was definitely in his elimate at the patch. We picked a little more than 3 lbs each and Joanne purchased an add'l 3 or so prepicked pounds to freeze.
Gabrielle enjoys a bowl with cool whip and we are excited to make some fresh fruit smoothies with them as well. I would love any recipes anyone would like to share.