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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dishing the Dirt

Hi Monkeys,
Mommy feels compelled to share a little secret with you. Today was the day we set aside to "deck the halls" and "trim the tree." Daddy pulled up all the storage totes and the tree and set to work. You each began a happy dance running up and down the stairs staying on his heals. You ripped into the totes unloading things as fast as your hands would allow you to. The front room was quickly covered in ornaments, tissue, strands of lights, an assortment of holiday beanie babies, etc. I did what I do every year and began putting out the Christmas dishes and storing our every day table ware. When I walked back to the front of the house my blood pressure rose. You see, I enjoy decorating the mantle and the little things, but when it comes to the tree I prefer to take a back seat. Your Daddy pokes fun of me saying it is because it is work. And it is, I won't argue with that. I don't know what it is about the process of fluffing, stringing lights, strategically placing ornaments & topping the tree with a golden star that I have a distaste for. Maybe it is my deep desire to have a NEW tree. A tall, slender, pre-lit tree with beautiful trimmings. I will have that someday, but for today we have our tree. The same tree your Daddy and I have had since the year we met and fell in love - 1999.  We called a time out (it is totally fair for you to interpret this as mommy having a bad attitude and was the one needing a time out) and took a short break from the decorating. When we came back together your Daddy did something I am very grateful for. He told us he was going to go outside and put lights on the rose bushes and shrubs leaving us to finish trimming the tree. It was then that I had a change of heart. I watched as you marveled over some of the prettier ornaments and recalled when and where you had made or acquired others. I want to make the tradition of preparing our home for Christmas a happy memory for each of you so I vow to take on a new attitude (one of gratitude as we are instilling in you) in the years to come.
Here are a few closing memories from this year:
McKenna,you wouldn't nap with all the fuss going on downstairs so you joined in the mess making. You sucked on lights (unplugged of course) and found a Pottery Barn sterling ball ornament that you took a shining to.
Dawson, you were gung-ho out of the gate, but quickly lost steam until I started handing you specific ornaments and telling you the story behind it.
Gabrielle, you were in your diva decorating limelight, taking charge and being the ultimate helper elf.
Gabi, GG gave you kids a really pretty gingerbread house night light that you claimed as your own. You have it plugged in at the foot of your bed and it lights up your room so bright we question how it is possible you can sleep. We have found both you and Dawson sitting in front of it admiring it.
After the decorating was complete and Daddy and I were working on the clean up, MJ napped while you two older kiddos laid out on the family room floor with the basket of Christmas books. My goal is to read at least one book a day from now through the new year.
Mommy needs to print out a new set of scriptures and hang the advent calendar in preparation for December 1st. I commit to reading and praying the scriptures with you daily.
Daddy cut the perfect branches for our thankful tree that will now hold your beanie ornaments.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Ravens

GG treated Gabrielle to a morning cheer clinic at Olathe Northwest High School which was hosted by the Ravens cheerleader team. She counted down the days until the clinic and was so excited when the morning finally came. The clinic was 3 hours with the morning ending with a parent performance. Each class, K - 5, learned several cheers and the older girls did a little dance skit.

All the girls who participated in the clinic were invited to perform during the 1st quarter of the ONW Varsity football game on Thursday night the 13th. The girls were just that - girls! Giddy, giggly, busy bodies.

Poor girl has suffered something fierce this year with her allergies. I seriously chuckled out loud when I uploaded the photos I took as many (OK, most!) have her nose in sniff mode. I'm looking forward to a new calendar year when we can have Gabi scheduled for allergy testing to get her on the right path to a better way of living. The Claritan, Flonase & inhalers aren't cutting it. She has resorted to the old man's snort. You know which one I'm talking about. Yeah, the one that makes you shutter with disgust. Uh huh, that's our girl.

Look out Little Ravens - Gabi is on your turf and she has some mean cheer skills!

An out take showing the obnoxiousness cuteness - of G's snorts :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Schaake's Pumpkin Patch 2011

The Sunday before Halloween we played hooky from church (ssshhh, don't tell) and headed West to Lawrence to the Schaake's Family Pumpkin Patch. We have always gone to the KC Pumpkin Patch in years past but wanted to try somewhere new this year. Schaake's is just a short drive up the highway, VERY family friendly and best of all FREE. They have many of the likely attractions such as a hay maze, children's play area, donuts & cider, etc just on a smaller scale.

Travis was a sport (or should I say goof?) and knelt behind this prop to get his photo with the kids. Have you ever taken notice that Dawson isn't a fan of the sun being in his eyes? Well, me either!

Yep, I think our 3 are about as cute as they come. Would you believe Gabi picked out their clothes? She did pretty good coordinating outfits whether she intended to or not only she will know.

If I haven't said it before, (which I'm sure I have and I'm even more sure I will say again at some point) McKenna is thee best baby! She is just so laid back and happy to tag along with whatever we are doing. Here she is chilled watching G & D play in the kids area.

Gabi wanted to take her chances at pummeling a target with the mini pumpkin sling shot. She rocked it and came oh so close to hitting one.

Here you can see the pumpkin headed right for the ghost.

I want to look back at this age/stage in the kids life and remember that wherever Gabi is, Dawson is sure to be two steps behind. He adores her and she really is very tolerant of him for the most part.

We took the tractor ride out to the patch which as the pictures show was very dry & dusty. Even though it appears as if there were slim pickings, there were hundreds upon hundreds of big, beautiful pumpkins of all colors and varieties to choose from. I think D was a little too ambitious with his choice!

Leave it to our miss perfectionist to pick the most perfect pumpkin. She takes into account the size, color and the stem. Who made this child anyway?

2nd attempt at capturing all 3 looking at the camera at once.
I digress.

And we couldn't leave without pictures in front of the "How Tall this Fall" prop followed by warm cinnamon donuts and ice cold slushies.
D - 3 1/4 spiders and G - 4 spiders and growing

Halloween 2011

I'm once again playing catch up with posting events and such so bear with me.
Halloween proved to be a good day this year. Pair incredible weather with happy kiddos, a Daddy who got to attend the Kansas City Chiefs versus San Diego Chargers game (which was unbelievable if you missed it), and a Mommy whose "crack" of choice is anything sweet and it makes for one picture perfect evening. All were happy!

Costumes were easy this year.
I asked the older two what they wanted to be/dress as and they both said they just wanted to pick something from their dress up bin. Score for the wallet! Dawson picked a monkey costume picked up on clearance at Old Navy for $5 if my memory serves me correct. Gabrielle was a wizardess (Target post Halloween 75% off clearance purchase) and McKenna was the cutest darn cupcake you ever did lay eyes upon (another Old Navy clearance buy). I love seeing siblings dressed in matching or themed costumes, but alas that wasn't the case for us this year. Next year perhaps! Maybe three little monsters?

Both "big" kids wanted a picture taken with their baby sister & I obliged.

And here MJ is all her cuteness. I could just eat her up.
Thanks to Little Sugars {like my friend Brandi's page on FB} for the fun pink puff hair clip.

I LOVE this picture!
I plan to print it and replace an existing picture taken at the pumpkin patch in 2009 of Gabi and Dawson. My friend Jeanna gifted me an adorable little frame that says "My brother & Me that has been on G's bedside table since we received it.

And I will close this posting with this crazy, cute monkey child of mine.
The costume is very appropriate for his current monkey like personality :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Embrace the Camera: November 3, 2011

My heart bleeds a little each time I look at my sweet MJ and know that she is our last baby blessing from the Lord. She is growing so fast and changing with each passing day. My talented friend and neighbor provided these keepsake photos marking McKenna at 9 months of age. I will forever treasure them!

Little Miss,
You are the littlest love of our life! There is nothing that brings us more happiness than to watch Gabrielle and Dawson interact with you, to see your face light up when Daddy walks into the room, the way you lean into your Mema and look at her with such love in your eyes when she sings to you, the way you laugh from the depths of your tummy at your Papa & most of all the way you love Mommy best. Tis true! You are a Momma's girl and for this I am thankful as I know in time you will become a Daddy's girl just as your sissy did. We love you McKenna Jane. YOU complete US!