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Monday, April 30, 2012


Friday night the 20th Gabrielle had the opportunity to have a very fun night out with a special teen from our church. Courtney picked up Gabrielle and their evening began with dinner at their favorite restaurant, Pei Wei. Courtney told us that Gabi ate every bite of her meal and proceeded to then eat off of Courtney's plate as well. Girlfriend can throw down some food when she puts her mind to it. After supper they attended the Kansas City Christian School's ACT One (Academy of Christian Theatre) performance of Cinderella where another fellow church teen played the part of one of the wicked step sisters.
Amanda (pictured below) assists her parents, Larry & Shelle, in teaching Gabrielle's class at church on Sunday mornings. Gabi was thrilled when Amanda extended the invitation to see her perform in the play.
Courtney spoiled Gabi by stopping for milkshakes at Winsteads before delivering her home for the night. 
Gabrielle had such a terrific time and is already looking forward to the next time she gets a girls night out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Carnival of the Animals

Last Tuesday the 1st graders at Meadow Lane Elementary put on the musical presentation of Carnival of the Animals which features the music of Camille Saint-Saens.The kids practiced a ton and poured their hearts into memorizing their individual lines. Each child was responsible for their own costumes with a choice of about a dozen different animals. We were blown away with some of the creativity the parents put into their children's costumes. Blown away! Gabrielle had decided she wanted to be a donkey. Really? A donkey. We went to Party City in hot pursuit of a donkey costume, or something that would closely resemble a donkey (mind you we went out at the 12th hour). Putting it very matter of fact, I was in no creative mindset so when nothing caught our eye we did a little persuading of Gabi to pick another animal. She contemplated a lion, an elephant, but decided on a swan. She choose white and silver glitter angel wings, a silver sequined eye mask and paired them with a white tee & silver pettiskirt she had received from a classmate for her birthday. We were a tad surprised when she came home from dress rehearsal the following day stating several other girls were also wearing the identical wings and pettiskirts or tutus. I'm glad I wasn't the only parent who pulled out the easy card.
Gabrielle was the only girl who wore a face mask. We were in amazement that she wore it the entire performance without fidgeting with it once. I laughed out loud when my friend Christian shared these photos with me. Gabrielle's friend Bam (upper right hand corner) is hysterical. Poor guy must have been miserable by the look on his face.
Off with the lion mane. Apparently Bam wasn't the only being bothered by their costume. Just take a look at the differences between these two images.
The beautiful swans.
I was busy wrangling Little Miss a good portion of the musical. At one point she made her way to the very front of center stage squealing with delight wanting to join in the festivities. I made a bee line behind her in embarrassment. Cute yes no.
We were so proud of the kids hard work and terrific performance.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


After Easter brunch Papa & Mema urged us to take advantage of the beautiful weather. We decided to go to our "happy place" the Overland Park Arboretum.
We enjoyed strolling the paths and seeing all the beautiful plants & flowers in full bloom.
When we crossed the bridge we were met by a lot of BIG gold fish (as you called them). They were happy to stay close by and perform a little swimming number for you. There were also quite a few turtles in sight. One large one in particular that kept peeking his head out of the water near the fish.
Taking a quick break to rest your feet and squint into the sun for a fast photo.
Baby girl didn't get a nap but that didn't stop her from staying chipper. She kicked back in the stroller with her leg flung over the tray for a good part of the time. We all giggled that Mommy had grabbed last years sun hat {which was way too small}. McKenna left it on the whole time perched atop her head.
We took a nice long walk on one of the nature trails before leaving. If we could do it again we would have skipped the walk. The mosquitoes were out by the hundreds and apparently we all tasted good to them because they feasted on us. We'll be sure to pack bug spray before our next visit for sure!
Why can't you two always be this stinking cute with one another?
We stopped to rest one final time before loading up in the van. We are so thankful that Mema is slowly regaining her energy and is able to spend more time with us again. This is our favorite time of year to do fun outings with P & M when Daddy is working or golfing on the weekends. Mema is going to be upset with Mommy for posting this picture without her wig on, but we all love her just as she is. White hair and all!
Just a handful of the beautiful flowers we saw on Easter.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Easter 2012

We spent Saturday morning prior to Easter dyeing eggs with Mema. In keeping honest, you kids took a lot of the joy out of it. Next year we'll do things a little differently and have two sets of dye cups and have you sit opposite of each other allowing you to do your own thing.
I suppose you can't tell you had been spatting with one another by the looks of this picture. I swear you go from one extreme to the other in .2 seconds flat and right back.
Dawson showing off the start of one of his camouflage egg creations.
Easter Sunday we attended early service at church without Daddy. He had to work :(
After church we had a yummy brunch with Papa, Mema, Uncle Brett, Aunt Linda, Paige & the current favorite family member, Leo.
Aunt Linda spoiled you with unexpected gift bags which included bubbles, fun dips & the coolest gummy meal platter. She's always so good to you! Papa & Mema gave you each a special gift. Gabrielle, you received a 3 pack design your own t-shirt kit for your American Girl dolls and Dawson, you received a LEGO set. Daddy and Mommy changed things up when it came to Easter baskets as well. This year you each received 14 plastic eggs. 10 filled with coupons good for things such as ice cream, extended bedtime, a movie of your choice, dinner of your choice, get out of doing a chore for a week, play a game of your choice, a special date night with just Daddy & Mommy, etc. and the remaining 4 eggs contained change. We also included a pack of gum, a bubble wand and cookies & cream milk straws. We sat down at the dinner table Easter night and talked about what Easter means to you and the importance of remembering the gift that we were given through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was pretty endearing hearing you each share what Easter meant to you at age 7 & 4.
Boo, I'm pretty sure you are as about as cute as little boys come! For the record, I was so thrilled that you cooperated by wearing a button up shirt and khaki shorts for Easter. You have such a mind of your own when it comes to dressing {and redressing & often times redressing yet again all in a days time}.
And Little Miss, you looked sweet as could be in your big sister's dedication dress that I had tucked away in the closet. It was also a gift from Aunt Linda six years ago when Gabrielle was just a babe herself. 
More of our Easter Sunday to come. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Embrace the Camera: April 12, 2012

Here I am once again beating myself up for being intentional about taking photos to preserve memories only to upload them and find I had the focus and/or lighting all wrong. I don't really think it matters to my munchkins whether the picture is crisp or not so it shouldn't matter to me either, right?
The kids love their Daddy. 
Love. Him.
He is so good about letting them climb all over him and just be kids. He is also very good about sitting down with them to watch a show or movie (I on the other hand am not, I busy myself with other things). So recently when they were all snuggled up on the couch together I grabbed the ole' camera and snapped a few pictures.
 Travis has been working some late night shifts at work so the kids (particularly Gabi) treasure their time home with him. I will often find her cuddled up with her Daddy on the couch or in our bed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MJ @ 15 Months

In my efforts to declutter paperwork amongst my office area in the kitchen I came across some notes I had jotted down on our sweet McKenna Jane at 15 months of age. Better to log them now than shuffle the paper any longer.

Diapers: size 3
Clothing: size 9 - 12 months
Sleep Pattern: two naps daily and sleep an average of eleven hours each evening
good girl
all done
bubu for puppy
Mo-ma for Mema
nana for banana
night night

Post entered 11/27/12
Post dated to month & day of 15 months of age