Y’all Come Back!

September 18th, 2014

Lucy, Rose, Harper

For the first time in almost 9 years, this is truly how I feel about the blog right now: Closed.  I’ll get my mojo back, but for now, I’m working on some other projects that have been on the back burner for a long time.  So… I guess this means I won’t post as much as frequently, but we’re not going anywhere.  The girls love “checking the blog,” and I love seeing them relive and enjoy their memories, and at the same time, I hope we bring a smile to your faces and refresh your spirits as well.  xo

Pond Girls as Cartoons

September 17th, 2014

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Jaalisa turned the girls into cartoons as a treat for them one night.  They loved them, and she nailed it!

First Soccer Game Highlights

September 14th, 2014

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Anna Kate is such a precious little girl!  We are having a great time watching her grow up!


The referee told Anna Kate to “call it in the air.”  She had no clue what she was talking about.  Winking smile


It’s game time!

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Oh yes!  These girls get Mio with soccer ball ribbon and red rhinestones on their water bottles, because, why not!?!

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There is absolutely no where else I’d rather be than on the soccer and football/cheer fields on Saturdays!  xo


So this happened in the middle of the game… and made me smile so big! 


We lost 9-2, but the team we played against has been playing together for two seasons already, and it was all of our very first game ever.  One of the little girls on the other team had a big sister that played on the Skittles with Noelle back when she was in kindergarten.  It was so fun seeing the little sisters getting a turn in the spot light because they hung out on the sidelines of all of their sisters’ games together!

Starbursts first game Annika

No words.  Success and probably my most favorite action shot to date. 


This is hilarious!  I’ve never seen soccer players chill in the goal after the game before;  A great place to be!  The coach wanted to have a pep talk with them, so he came on the other side of the net to talk, and they loved that!

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Old friends, new friends and memories in the making!

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These guys have been hanging out since they were tiny little babies!  Their friendship is inspiring, and I love them so much!

Thank you, Heroes!

September 11th, 2014

Lila and Anna Kate Malia and Anna Kate





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Noelle Claire Aya

This is my favorite program at the girls’ school each year when we gather around the flag pole to honor those who serve and remember those lost on that terrible day 13 years ago.  Their music teacher pours her heart and soul into honoring our country through the blessing of our precious children’s hearts and voices.  It is such an honor to witness each year and such an awesome tribute!

Also, happy birthday Aunt Michele and Grandpapa!  Hope your day is super special!  We are so thankful for both of you and your service to our country as well!

Kicking off Cheer

September 11th, 2014

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Noelle is so excited fall cheer is back!  There was a lot of confusion with the football team formations this year, so we didn’t get assigned a team until a couple of weeks before game day.  Their uniforms won’t be ready until their third game, but that didn’t stop them from looking adorable for their first game!  It was so hot, so this little practice uniform turned out even better.  She had a ball and loves being with her friends!  Go girl! 

Soccer Star(burst)!

September 11th, 2014

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So much has been going on around here, including our kinder kid starting her first season of soccer!  So excited!  (more to come)

At School with Rose

September 8th, 2014

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It’s so awesome Mrs. Paula documents Rose’s pre-school experience for us; It’s just amazing!  I love all the learning in nature that goes on at this school, and Rose is having such a wonderful time.  There are no words how happy we are to be here!


Anna Kate was so excited for Rose when she saw the new sand box!

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Creatures of the great outdoors!


Lots of water/ice play!  It’s getting hotter and hotter in Texas right now.  Crazy because we have had a pretty mild summer.


I had to ask Rose about this picture but when I did, she just got silly and wouldn’t stop laughing!


Reese and Rose… two peas in a pod! 

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More pre-school scenery!

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Off on an adventure!  

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Rose and Reese decided to turn their sidewalk chalk into make-up!  Doesn’t Rose look so proud!?!

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Just beautiful, Rose!



Taking off her make-up via the mister!


Happy girls who love using their imaginations with an awesome teacher who lets them!


When Rose comes home each day, I can literally smell how much fun she’s had!  There’s nothing better than a Rosie hug at the end of her school day.  These girls play hard!

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Another day, tons more fun!  For every picture Mrs. Paula takes, there are hundreds she does not.  They do so much at school!  They sing and memorize songs, they read all day long, they eat lots of yummy food, they cook, they make art, they do lots of math… it just goes on and on.  You can’t believe it unless you experience it.  I wish Mrs. Paula could bottle it up and give this experience to every child in the world!   


This day, they went next door, and picked veggies to serve with their lunch!




I love these little fingers!  She is so proud of her pickings!

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Check out all the veggies the class picked all together!  Rose goes to school two days a week (most of the students are full-time), but Mrs. Paula is so sweet to always include Rose (and all her children) in the special activities!  Everyone gets a turn when at all possible, and this is so thoughtful. She truly goes above and beyond! 


I love Texas!  It’s so diverse and beautiful!


I love everything that’s going on in this picture!


Just another day in paradise.

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We all know Noelle loves jewelry.  Well, Anna Kate absolutely does not, so since Noelle puts hers on herself, I often forget to ask Rose if she would like to wear a necklace or bracelet.  Turns out, she may be a little more like Noelle than Anna Kate (I’m like Anna Kate, for the record).  She was admiring her shiny flower necklace in this picture, and her eye lashes are killing me.  Rose has some gorgeous eyes, if I do say so myself!  And who knows what’s going on at the swings, but Rose is pointing, so you can probably fill in the blanks.  Winking smile

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Mrs. Paula has done some really clever ice play this summer!  She’ll color and freeze ice with toys inside for the kids to problem solve and figure out the fastest way to melt it to reveal the treasures inside.  Clever, huh? 


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This was technically Rose’s first day of “back to school” for the fall semester.  She had so much fun going to MPP’s version of summer camp, and it couldn’t have been better.  She absolutely loves school!  I hustle and bustle the days she’s gone, and then we have the best mommy and me days the rest of the week getting more stuff done.  One-on-one time with Rose has been so different than I would’ve imagined.  She’s not a baby anymore and has really matured over the summer.  She’s less of a curious trouble maker and more of a little buddy.  She is just so thoughtful and sweet and really takes care of me.  I know our 2 years together before kinder will fly by, but I’m soaking up every day we get to spend together and am so thankful she gets to experience such an awesome preschool too!  It’s the best of both worlds!  

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This week was the letter “A” and they did it up, of course!  Mrs. Paula has taught me kids are a lot more capable of doing things than you think.  Given rules and guidelines, they love responsibility and take ownership of their privileges.  I finally get that it’s okay to let kids chop with dull kitchen knives.  They love it, and it helps the family.  I remember at one point last year when I was struggling, Mrs. Paula said, “Ask Anna Kate to help you.  She loves helping!”  So simple, but I needed to be reminded that if I slow down and teach them how to do something, then they are so proud and fulfilled and I have help… and we’ve spent quality time being productive together!  Go figure.  It’s such a win-win. 

Rose’s First Day of Fall Preschool

September 5th, 2014

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Sweet baby Rose started her preschool career last May during the week they were studying the letter Z.  That’s pretty perfect if you know our unconventional hot mess!  And since she went to school all summer, I had to add, first day of fall preschool in the title of this post.  Sweet girl.  Rose has always been full out in life, and she simply loves being where all the action is.  When she was little, we used to call her our “go baby.”  Noelle had fun at lots of summer camps this summer with her friends, all Anna Kate wanted to do was spend her days with me, and Rose wanted to go to Mrs. Paula’s Preschool, so that’s what we did. 

Rose loves every minute of school, and I am so happy for her.  She’s learning so much, so fast and is so very smart.  She knows her shapes and colors and is starting to identify letters, numbers and patterns.  Rose loves music!  She makes up really creative songs every day and plays all of our instruments around the house with great interest.  She can carry a tune and has a very beautiful little voice.  Her specialty is ending her songs with impressive vibrato; It’s hysterical and I don’t know where she picked that up.  She won’t sing on command though; She has to feel it with her heart and soul.  She loves acting out stories in her head with any object that comes in her path.  In the shower, she makes up elaborate stories with our bath toys.  She speaks out loud for all the characters, changing voices back and forth, so I can totally follow along with the story unfolding in her imagination.  While I’m brushing her hair, all of our tooth brushes turn into characters that walk and talk and have issues with each other they have to work through.  I’m telling you, her mind never stops from sun up to sun down.  After my parents kept her last weekend at their house to help us out with back to school for the big girls, my dad emailed, “You sure do have your hands full.”  And mom said that one night when Rose went to check on my dad, she walked into the room and said, “I’m here to terrorize you!” 

Rose is her own little creature, unlike anyone I could ever dream up.  She brings so much laughter and joy to our family and is simply awesome.  Like our other girls, she is tender hearted, empathetic and caring.  She’s gentle and loving, however fierce and as in control as we let her be.  She’s such a mix of everything she needs to do anything she wants to do in this world.  Rose rocks! 

Starbucks After School

September 3rd, 2014

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3rd graders are rockin’ it!

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Kindergarten cuties!

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Happy kids are back to school!

First Day of Kindergarten and 3rd Grade

September 2nd, 2014

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We had a blast getting the girls off to their first day of school and celebrating the start of a new school year!  The left picture is a before picture, and the right picture is an after picture, just to let you know we were all smiles by the end of the day too!  Winking smile

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Noelle showed me the hair tutorial on our Cutegirlshairstyles app last Sunday night, and begged me to do the #CGHDoubledutchback for her first day of 3rd grade.  It turned out so cute and different, and she told me she felt like a rock star all day!  She was so brave to wear something so different on her first day of school. 

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I stayed at the school for a “Cheers and Tears” little social, so Mike and I drove in separate cars to school.  Noelle rode with Mike and Anna Kate rode with me, but when they saw each other across the court yard, they ran toward each other and started hugging.  It was so sweet!  They were both so proud to be at school together! 

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Then, the moment of truth came when we had to drop off our Cutie Kate for kindergarten.  Bless her little heart.  When we began our goodbyes, the tears started flowing.  I told you guys this would happen!  I know her too well.  I’m calling it right now that Rose will wave us goodbye when we leave her for kindergarten.  They are each so precious and so different.  As Mike and I headed for the door, I turned around and saw this tender moment.  As much as my heart was breaking when I took this picture, I wanted to remember my girls loving on each other today.  It gives me such comfort to know that they have each other to lean on in life, as well as sweet baby Rose, who was in Jacksonville with her Poppa and Rara.  I knew this day was going to be traumatic for Anna Kate, and we needed to focus on her.  After we got Noelle all settled into 3rd grade, I definitely shed some tears, not gonna lie one bit about that!  You never want to see your kids stressed out or anxious, even though you know they are going to be okay even minutes later, it’s still no good.  I have never been so busy as I was that Monday running around catching up from the summer (and getting an allergy shot without my baby child trying to open the freezer that holds everyone’s serum!!!).  My heart was pounding as the minutes ticked by to meet them at the bus.  I couldn’t wait to hear about both of their days.  And we got excellent reports!  Whew!  We made it! 

And as I type this, week one is in the books, and we are about to start week two.  Anna Kate told us tonight she didn’t want to go to school tomorrow, but she had soooo much fun last week!  She’s still getting into the new big kid school routine, but she is doing great!  Noelle is an excellent student and does all of her work with all of her heart!  Math hit us hard this weekend, but she and Mike got it all figured out.  We are ready to rock and roll and see what the year holds!