Silly Sock Day!

March 25th, 2015

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We’ve got a sweet sweet girl right here!

We Got to Build a Snowgirl!

March 23rd, 2015

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Crazy we were 5 days into March in Texas and building a snowgirl!  We’ve had a blast during snow days with outdoor fun, extra cuddles, hot chocolate by the fire, all of that good stuff.  Excited for spring but totally enjoyed all the weather excitement late winter brought our way!

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Anna Kate was the most excited about the snow.  She worked hard helping us roll snowballs.  We had to work quickly because it was melting quickly!

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PondFam5+1!

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Rose was all over the place, and it was adorable watching her play in her first real snow.  Anna Kate tried to pick up this snowball that she had made, but it was too heavy.  She’s so funny!

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Malia came over to join in the fun!

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These girls are so lucky to have each other as neighbors and friends.  I say that often, but it’s just the sweetest thing to watch their friendship grow each year.  

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Malia’s mommy, Susie, and I took a snowgirl picture too!  We’ve been talking about adoption in our house lately.  Not for our family, but just the concept in general.  Anna Kate found out last summer that Malia was adopted.  She was asking questions about her cousin, Hudson, and trying to understand what it all meant to be adopted.  We were in Florida at the time, and I vividly remember our conversation.  To help her understand Hudson’s story, I used Malia’s story as an example.  I said, “Hudson was adopted, just like Malia.”  Her mouth fell open and she exclaimed, “Malia is adopted!?!”  I just assumed that she knew.  She was 5 years old at the time and they’ve lived across the street from each other all of their lives.  I said, “Right.  You know how she looks different than her parents?  Her mom and dad had a home and love to share and Malia’s birth mom needed help, so they adopted Malia to come be a part of their family.”  It took me so aback that it never struck her as anything different than anyone else’s family.  I can honestly say skin color means nothing to our children, and this brings me so much joy.  We are simply all unique and beautiful and that’s it, end of story. 

One other interesting conversation I had with Anna Kate this year was during her open house at school.  I saw she had colored a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. on the wall.  I asked her who he was (just to see what she knew) and she said, “He was a man that wrote a speech about not being judged by the color of our skin.”  I was very shocked my 5 year old could tell me that, for one, so I continued, “What does that mean?”  And she said, “Well, you know Malia and I are different colors, right?  But Susie still let’s her play with me.”  It brought tears to my eyes.  She has no historical context to the colors of their skin, so to her, the judgment was in the opposite direction, as in, Susie still let’s Malia play with her even though she’s white.  This is our world.  It’s crazy when you think about how relatively close in history to us such injustices were commonplace.  Not anymore.  It’s a non-issue to my kids.  Simply a history lesson and reminder that color of our skin doesn’t matter at all.  It’s just the science of the amount of UV ray exposure at the place of origin of our ancestors, how close or far away they were from the sun.  Kids are awesome and don’t come into the world with prejudices or hate.  Let’s keep it that way! 

*I didn’t plan on writing all of that in this post, but it has been a topic of conversation this year, and I hope it may enlighten you as it has me to see these subjects through the eyes of our healthy middle child. 

February YOLO

March 20th, 2015

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I love finding new hairstyles and playing with the girls’ hair!  They both loved this fun heart braid!  Donuts are so very horrible for us, we know this.  So a rule we’ve been holding to the past couple of years, is only on the morning of each girls’ birthdays (and special vacations) do we get donuts.  It helps us look forward to our favorite treat without being too unhealthy!  So, here was Rose’s birthday breakfast!  

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Lots more beautiful sugary treats.  Good grief, birthdays and sugar sure do go hand-in-hand in our culture these days.  I recently read, the more sugar you eat, the more you crave it and the less sugar you eat, the less you crave it.  Silly that I’m talking against it as I’m showing you how pretty the culprit is!  Oh well, we try every day to have an overall healthy diet.   

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This day of errands sure was interesting.  We saw a google maps car at Target and a parrot at Hobby Lobby! 

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Kinder Kate!

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My friend took me to the World Trade Center for the first time this month.  It was super fun!  There was a store named Simply Noelle.  I had to take a picture for her to see!

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Flashback to Jaalisa’s amazing tea party!  Next pic: I love working in our flower beds outside.  It just feels good to get my hands in the soil.  Enjoyed planting a few pansies and cabbage this year.  It was a last minute decision.  We’ve enjoyed them so much that next year I will plant them earlier in the season.  They are still going strong today!

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Lots of Valentine’s cards floating around our house this year!  I have a feeling the one from Nathan on the left, will be one of many as the girls get older!  Winking smile

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More dance morning memories with our friendsies!

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Can she get any sweater? 

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I’ve really enjoyed setting up an Instagram shop this school year, selling new and preloved girls’ clothes.  I’ve also had fun meeting new friends from all around the world on my personal account.  Here are 3 cuties from Australia sporting my custom made gold glitter initial tees I carried this winter in the shop.  We’ve been sending care packages back and forth too.  It’s been such a blast hanging out with this family on IG and working in my little store too!

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Miss February sure is something else!  Rose and I have totally bonded this year with lots of quality one-on-one time.  She is my little side-kick, and we are connected at the hip!  I don’t know what we would do without this little stinker, who fills our lives with immeasurable joy!

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More food art by Noelle.  Anna Kate requested oatmeal, and since Noelle was in the kitchen, she got it a little fancier than usual.  I had fun crafting for Rose’s birthday, but can barely remember those crafts, as new ones have filled our house as I’ve been getting ready for Anna Kate’s Jelly Bean Birthday Bash!

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More adorable dance days, and Noelle helping with the laundry with a cheerful heart!

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Who do you think made this?  Another Saturday breakfast made with love by our eldest.  When Monday rolled around, the best I could do was pancakes with sugar-free chocolate chips!  All I remember from this week was being exhausted.  I’m so thankful we have a February birthday and Valentine’s to look forward to, because every year, right about this time, winter really presses down on all of us, and we are just so cold and over it.  Currently, it’s mid-March, there are little buds on all of the trees, and a fresh start is in the air!  Couldn’t be more ready or thankful!

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This is a little flashback gem I finally got printed on a canvas for our loft upstairs.  It makes me so happy to see it every day and remember what an incredible time it was in our lives when our last little love entered our family.  They are already so much bigger than they were in this picture, and this wasn’t that long ago.  We are entering the years we like to call the golden years where we have no toddlers or teenagers in the house.  It’s just simply fun, and we are so happy and goofy all the time.  The physical labor isn’t as much, so we get to enjoy everything more because we aren’t exhausted (as much).  I just want to freeze time every single day.  I truly believe my life has never felt better or more at peace over all, and I just want to be present and take it all in.  Hope you guys had a fun February and enjoyed a peak into ours!  Now here we go marching through March… treasuring each and every day!

Snow Girlies

March 17th, 2015

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It was sooo cold the next snow day, so we didn’t last long, but Rose’s friend, Katie, came down to play for a little bit.  The snow this day would not pack to build a snowman or even snow balls.  At this point, I didn’t think we’d get to build a snowman this year, but to my amazement, we had one last snow storm the week before spring break that was a winner!

Happy 6th Birthday, Anna Kate!

March 16th, 2015

First Snow Day with Friends!

March 15th, 2015

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We had so much fun throwing snow balls with our friends the last Monday in February!  It’s crazy how much snow we got this year.  It was definitely a treat, and no school on top of that was a huge bonus.  We made the most of our days off and had a blast! 

3rd Grade Wax Museum

March 11th, 2015

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Noelle and her friends did such a great job at their 3rd grade wax museum this year! 

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From Amelia Earhart, John Adams and Margaret Wise Brown…

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To Wilbur Wright and Queen Elizabeth,

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Laura Ingalls Wilder, Bill Gates, and Rosa Parks, these kids did an amazing job portraying men and women that contributed greatly to our society.

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Emily was so proud to be Abigail Adams, and Carson proudly held out her dot to be pressed so that she could come alive as Amelia Earhart and tell her story. 

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Noelle picked Margaret Wise Brown all by herself for this project, and we all learned about the strong and vibrant woman behind Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny!  Go Noelle and Miss Brown!

Here’s Noelle’s memorized speech from this morning as Margaret Wise Brown:

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1910. As a child, I used my imagination and played in my own made up worlds in the woods near my home. In high school and college, my friends called me “Tim” because my blond hair was the color of hay, timothy hay.

I graduated college in 1932 and began work at Bank Street Cooperative School for student teachers in 1935. Here I learned new ways of teaching children.

In 1942, my book, The Runaway Bunny was published. Did I tell you that I had pet rabbits growing up? Sometimes we had more than 20 rabbits at once!

In 1947, my most popular book was published called… wanna take a guess? You got it, Goodnight Moon! I had no idea that over fifty years later, children would still beg to hear about “the great green room” and “the old lady whispering ‘hush.’”

Rose’s “My Little Pony” 4th Birthday Party!

March 6th, 2015

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Rose had such a fun birthday party this year!  The theme was “My Little Pony” and was at the carousel.  Each one of our girls had a carousel birthday party, so this was super special and sentimental!

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The big girls helped Rara and me decorate this year, and we had it all set up in record time!

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Rose could not have been more excited her “My Little Pony” party was finally here!

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Harper was so excited to get the party started with her Auntie Momo!

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We collected all the little ponies for table décor and our present to Rose.  She has played with them constantly every day since her party! 

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We’ve had this pony train set for years that is around the base of the cake, so when Rose picked this theme, I just knew it would be a hit to have it riding around the cake!

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The girls and I have been crafting ever since Christmas break for Rose’s party, and we were so excited it turned out so cute! 

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The girls had so much fun turning the train on and off just for fun!

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After we finished decorating, the girls put on their bands for unlimited carousel rides, and we got this party started!

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Anna Kate, Harper, Fancy Nancy and Saylor rode the bench all together to start out!

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Saylor is such a fun and beautiful baby girl!  So far, she prefers her Mommy and Rara, but I’ve got my eye on her!  Winking smile

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Rose was on Cloud 9! 

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These are the moments I live for right here!  I cannot put into words my love for our sweet baby Rose!

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The girls love riding the carousel! 

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Rose was soooo excited!

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Isn’t she such a ham?  I have a friend who always says Rose needs her own show.  She really does!  From the scratch on her cheek to the hair she decided to cut on her left side (because she said she was having a bad day and needed a hair cut) and these silly poses, she is a hot mess through and through!  She has the best friends in the world!  Aren’t they all so cute and silly!?

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Shelby and Malia arrive on the scene!

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Katie, Rose and Cerly always have a blast when they are together!

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Emily and Ava come over so much that Rose considers them to be her best friends too.  We are so blessed our girls have such sweet and caring friends!

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Eden and Ava are adorable!

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Everyone was so very happy today!  It was the most fun, relaxed and care free party we’ve ever had.  It’s so great now that the girls are a little older, and we can just chill and play with no melt downs!

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Nancy, Jaalisa and Rachel are some of my very best friends!  I rarely share my social life on the blog because it’s my time to get away and chill, but it’s friends like these that keep me going when no one is watching!

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Lots of fun with Daddy, KayKay and Eden!

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Caden and Anna Kate are such sweet little buddies!

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Riann, Natalie and Jaalisa were hanging out with me right before cake time!  Again, I love my friends!!!  Wish I had gotten a picture with all my Mommy friends, but they all know how much I love them! 

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There’s nothing better than watching your child as all her friends and family sing happy birthday to her!  Seeing her get showered with all the love and attention in the room is just the sweetest thing.  She was so bashful but so very happy!

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After we sang happy birthday and blew out the candles, it was time for the big fluffy cloud to turn into a rainbow!

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Rose couldn’t wait to see her rainbow cake!  My friend Jaalisa made it from scratch for Rose, and it was the best cake I’ve ever had.  Thank you, Jaalisa!  You’re simply amazing! 

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Here is Noelle with our great family friends, Haley and Brianna, and Rose with her running buddy, Harper!  Love these girls so much!

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Malia and Anna Kate rode the carousel over and over again together and had a blast.  Rose was telling GrandPapa all about it!

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At the end of the party, Rose had fun waving to all her friends who were still riding the carousel.  I thought that was so cute!  Rainbow Dash is her favorite pony for the moment.  Winking smile Rose and Rara are two peas in a pod!

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Malia and Landon were Anna Kate’s very first friends in life, and it is such a joy watching them grow up together!

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Landon and Logan make me smile so big!  Jon and Heather know how to make beautiful baby boys!  I’m so lucky that my best friends have the cutest, sweetest boys!  Anytime I need a boy fix, I know where to go!  Winking smile

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After we were all partied out, we watched the ice skaters and headed home for naps!  Rose, you are so very loved, and we had a blast celebrating your first 4 years today!  We are crazy about you, kid!  Keep being awesome!!!

Miranda Sings

March 3rd, 2015

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Mike and I had a blast taking Noelle to a Miranda Sings show.  A girl named Colleen Ballinger, has a super silly youtube channel where she pretends to be this girl named Miranda.  This character, Miranda, thinks she is so amazing, but she’s obviously not.  At first glance, it’s too silly, but after Mike and Noelle kept playing her videos month after month, I slowly got why they love her so much and now, I’m a huge fan too.  It’s just a fun youtube channel where kids are having fun together and not taking life so seriously.  Honestly, the whole thing is highly entertaining and a breath of fresh air!

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We were so excited to have a date night with our eldest at The Majestic theater!

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I love technology at these events!  Colleen, aka Miranda, was snap chatting from back stage, and we got to see her sister giving her a haircut before the show.  It made waiting for the show to start a lot more fun getting a glimpse into what was going on behind the scenes!

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Everyone was on their phones hanging out all together, it seemed.  This crowd was full of lots of super thoughtful kids.  It was really fun to be a part of the atmosphere here, and isn’t the Majestic amazing?  It has a historical marker, so I know it’s over 100 years old.  It’s a really neat venue!

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At first, Colleen and her sister Rachel (who also has a youtube channel), came out and sang “My Lips are Moving” to get the show started.  She’s still Colleen in this number.

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Colleen has an amazing voice and graduated college with a degree in vocal performance.  Her first few songs showcase her sweet, almost shy, real self.

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Then half-way through her next song, she changed into Miranda, but still kept singing as Colleen until the red lip stick went on.  

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After the bobby pins were fixed, the lipstick went on, and the crowd went wild as Miranda took center stage.

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Her sister was swinging her cape from behind.  So funny!

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She did several medleys throughout her show, and this one was hilarious.  She started out singing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, then “All About That Bass.”

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Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” and Frozen’s “Let it Go” were also favorites from this number.

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This comedian, actress, singer and YouTube personality is the real deal.  She is true to herself and most importantly, is having fun!  I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time—we love Colleen and Miranda Sings!

Colleen’s YouTube channel is psychosoprano and has over 2 million followers.

Miranda Sing’s YouTube channel is Miranda Sings and has 3.3 million followers.

January YOLO

February 28th, 2015

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New Year’s Eve is always such a blast!  

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Noelle got temporary hair chalk for Christmas from one of our good friends, but we didn’t see that the bottle said, “Do not use on blonde hair.”  This picture was taken a week after she put it in!  It lasted for a little over a month, and she thought it was the best present ever!  Right pic: Right as we were leaving to go out of town (car was almost all loaded), I spilled the salsa I was bringing for my dad all over the kitchen floor and cabinets.  We laughed it off, but I just couldn’t believe my luck that day!

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I love girl power!  Next pic: I read this comment on a news feed that I was reading about the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack last month.  It really touched me, and I wanted to share.  It’s so terrifying when radical Christians do things like bomb abortion clinics in God’s name, and I know peaceful Muslims are just as horrified that this attack was carried out in the name of their religion (I personally know 3 Muslim families that feel this way).  Although I know very little on the subject, I know the majority of us want to peacefully coexist.  Before the attack on this newspaper agency, they averaged 60,000 newspaper sales.  After the attack, their following publication sold over 7 million copies in 6 languages.  Violence will never silence the pen.  Je suis Charlie!

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We love shopping the end of season sales!  I have big plans for this sweet little number!

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Rose had to have gloves and a bucket on her head in order to draw one night last month.  She always cracks me up!  Next pic: Jaalisa wrote this next paragraph on her Instagram account, and I wanted to remember it here for my girls to see.  I surely don’t give myself enough credit, and that’s something I need to work on!  Aren’t we the hardest on ourselves?  I think this is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me, and it means so much!  For the record, I feel the exact same way about her!

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One night, Anna Kate spontaneously decided it was her doll Julie’s birthday.  She passed invitations out to all of us, and we followed her to her room for Julie’s birthday party that she coordinated.  We sang happy birthday, had tea and cake, and a dance party, of course!  Little girls are so much fun! (the pretend cake stand was the stool from Anna Kate’s vanity with a tutu around the legs)

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Another day this winter, Anna Kate invented her very own version of a lie detector test.  She called it the “Lying machine!”  I have no clue where she heard the concept of a lie detector test, but she knew exactly what she was doing.  When she and Rose got into a little disagreement, she asked Rose to put on the hat.  Then, she pressed her pom pom buttons and asked Rose a question.  When Rose answered it not in the way Anna Kate wanted, Anna Kate immediately made loud noises like an alarm going off, pressed the buttons and said, “It says you’re lying, see?  This is proof you aren’t telling the truth!”  She is so clever and thinks outside the box, if you will.  We have the most entertaining lives getting front row seats to all of this!

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Lots of freezing dance days so far this winter.  Anna Kate is doing such a great job dancing, and more importantly, she LOVES it! 

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I bought this infinity shirt thinking it would be a cute cover-up this summer, but Noelle had better ideas!

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Rose and I have a blast hanging out together on her dance days too!  She doesn’t love it right now, but she likes it.  She does LOVE the idea of the costumes and the big stage.  She’s just into being a ham!  I think that’s what keeps her coming back for more! 

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Noelle loves to make breakfast on the weekend.  She always has the sweetest set-ups.  She was trying to keep the sisters out of my breakfast until I got a chance to see it first.  Silly girls!  Next pic: When we stayed with my parents over the holidays, this was the scene looking up from my pillow on the bed.  The first time I laid down on the bed and looked up, I was like, “Whoa… you know you’re in the country if…”  I love my parents!

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Another day, another clever idea from Anna Kate.  These were our voting cards.  She passed them out to all of the family members.  She did a dance to a song from each season listed on the left side of the paper.  At the end of her recital, we had to circle which dance we liked the best.  Since we all voted for the Halloween dance, she let us all get up and do it with her.  She’s such a fun kid, and we all love going along with her truly bright ideas.  

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I finally found a sturdy kids’ table to set the sewing machine up for the girls to begin learning sewing basics.  They are excited!  And yes, Noelle had a face mask on while sewing this night, lol!

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Anna Kate’s favorite pretend play is to be a doctor, that has never changed.  Tonight, she decided to be a patient with a broken leg (the movie cases were her cast).  She had pretend buttons and her hospital bed set up just right.  You can tell she thought she was clever.  Then, I turn around, and Rose is wearing the Wii remote covers as jelly shoes.  Front row seats, right here!

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Rose said she needed to moisturize.  Ya think?  Rose hasn’t been making messes like she did when she was two years old, but occasionally she’ll find herself in a pickle!   

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I wish I could say I made this snack for us, but I’d be lying!  Where’s that lying machine!?!  Noelle is da bomb!

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Love finding these little gems around our house and on our phones.  Noelle is awesome, there is no doubt about that!  Next pic: Although we pick on Rose for being our hot mess, she is also such a sweet, gentle, tender-hearted little girl.  It’s looks like these that give you a glimpse into her sweet-natured soul. 

For every picture I take, there are at least 50 others I wish I could document each day with these amazing little girls.  The bottom line is, we are thoroughly entertained and love each one deep down to the core of our beings, as I’m sure you do with yours.  Isn’t it amazing?  Enjoy today; It is such a gift!

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