Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Emmeline: Firsts

I cannot believe how big Emmeline is. I know that she is still small. . .She wont be 5 until December. Perhaps it is that she is so big next to her sisters. Perhaps it is the way she talks. When giving a story it is not uncommon for her to use phrases like, "continuing on" and other random transitions. Perhaps its that shes always asking me questions if I use vocabulary she doesn't understand. In reading from the scriptures tonight she asked, "Mom, what does Mercy mean". Or maybe she seems so big to me right now because of all her recent "Firsts."

Emmeline just started Pre-K on August 23. She is in the Turtle class. I was a little bit worried to put her in the program because it is everyday. But it is only a half day. Infact, it is sort of like the old Kindergarten. Brett gets her up and ready and drops her off at the school on his way to work. I love that they get that special "Daddy/Emmeline time" in the morning. She plays until school starts at 7:45. She gets to have breakfast there at the school and is thrilled that she can choose chocolate milk every day. Mabel, Madelyn and I pick her up from school at 10:50. It is always so fun to hear about her day. After two weeks of school I can only say how much she loves it. It is fun for me to hear about this activity and that game and this new friend and that new friend. I am reminded of how much I loved school growing up. Even though I was a bit wary at first, I am very excited that she gets to start this new adventure.

Another first for Emmeline is ballet/tap classes. Emmeline has wanted to be in dance classes for a long time and I finally decided that this was a good time to start. I found a Christian dance studio which advertised clean music and clean costumes. When I went to check it out, there was a great feeling about the studio and a sense of community and friendship among the people there. So I signed her up. She had her first lesson on Tuesday the 31st of August, and no surprise. . .she loved every minute of it. I loved getting her ready. She looked so beautiful with her hair pulled back and her slippers on.

This is such an exciting time in Emmelines life right now. It is fun and exciting for me as her mom to watch her and help her begin all these new adventures. I am so thankful to be blessed with such a smart, kind and outgoing daughter.

Mabel Moments

Mabel is a beautiful, sweet little girl who has a way of warming the hearts of everyone she meets. She has a beautiful dimple in her right cheek that she knows mom adores. I'll say, "Mabel show me your dimple" and she'll give me the biggest smile and point right to it--definitely showing off. It is so cute.

I've mentioned before how much Mabel loves her nursery class. Well she came up with this song called, "How Mabel goes to Nursery". Pretty much we just repeat this line 4 or 5 times and end with "on sunday afternoon". She requests that we sing it every Monday for Family Home Evening and often other times as well. She loves to sing, dance, play and eat. You would be very hardpressed to find Mabel in shorts or pants right now. Most likely you will find her in some sort of dress or skirt and it will most likely be pink. She loves being a big sister and will run to Maddie at the smallest cry.

Here is a funny comment from Mabel that I feel should certainly be recorded for future reference. This was a conversation she had with my sister Lucy when we recently visited them in Virginia.

Lucy: Hey Mabel. Are you picking your nose over there??

Mabel: (very indignantly) NO!! I am picking my boogers!

Hilarious!! I love my little Mabel so much. I cant believe that her third birthday is fast approaching on September 6. She truly fills my home with sunshine! :)

P.S. I've included a picture of Mabel on the toilet. (Yes she will hate this picture when she is older). Yes. . .she is asleep. We sent her to go to the bathroom a couple of weeks ago. She was taking awhile, but that is not necessarily uncommon. Brett finally went in to check on her and she was asleep. Another hilarious moment in the life of Mabel!!

Maddie Milestones

Madelyn has been growing, growing, growing. She has four little teeth poking out now with more on the way. She is handling the teething pretty well, just the usual-snot, drool, a little clinginess, more snot and then more drool. :) We are all more comfortable when I remember to apply a bit of baby orajel.

Maddie has also discovered the joy of real people food. Not to be confused with baby food. When I try and feed her baby food at mealtimes, she stares over at Mabels plate and lets me know with her eyes exactly what she wants and seems to wonder why in the world I would feed her such strange, mushy goop when she could be having chicken nuggets or whatever else happens to be on the menu. It is hilarious. She is happiest when I give her pieces of whatever we are having; bread, fruit, meat. She really doesn't seem to care as long as she can pick it up with her little, chubby fingers and put it in her mouth herself. Oh, heaven. :)

Maddie has also started sitting up and playing/exploring by herself within the past couple of months. She knows which toy box is hers and she will pick and chose the toys she wants. As long as I put the box within arms reach, she is happy and I can go about my other various activities. Again, hilarious!!

I cant believe how fast Maddie is growing and even though shes only been in my family for 8 months, I cant go back and imagine life without her. She has a beautiful smile and a wonderfully sweet spirit.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nana Visit

Nana came to visit us on August 26-August 29. We had a really nice visit and were so glad that she came to see our new place in Texas. We showed her around the duck pond, park and of course we went swimming in our pool. On Friday the girls were thrilled to stay home with Nana while Brett and I went on a date. (Brett and I were pretty thrilled also!!) On Saturday we stayed busy going to a free Lowes children workshop and then the dollar movies. We also tried out a new Mexican restaurant called Angelina's which was pretty delicious. Mostly we just had a great time visiting and chatting. Thanks for coming Nana!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Making the Train: A Personal "Tender Mercy" from the Lord

On Friday August 13 (during a trip to visit my parents in VA) I took the train to meet Brett, who was attending a work conference in Philadelphia. On my way to the train, I had one of those "Tender Mercies of the Lord" Moments. I decided to take the Metro to Union Station. I love the Metro and it would take me right there so I thought it would be a good idea. Anyway, the first metro took a little bit longer to catch then I had anticipated and so I was running a bit behind schedule. I was on the blue line and had a couple transfers to make to get to the red line which would take me to Union Station. I was planning on stopping at Kings Street but I just had the most yucky feeling that I was going to miss my train to Philadelphia. I know that I could always buy another ticket for a later departure and it wasn't the end of the world or anything. . . but I just felt yucky. Anyway, I said a prayer to my Father in Heaven asking for some comfort and possibly a miracle to make my train. When I finished I thought about my plan to transfer at King Street . I still felt hopeless. Then I thought about transferring at the Pentagon stop instead, which is a bigger station and so I thought it might be more hectic, but it felt better. I still wasnt convinced that I would make my train, but I didnt feel so yucky either. When we stopped at Kings Street and I saw what a small, non confusing stop it was, I was once again tempted to get out. . .but decided to trust the feelings I had after I prayed. I made my first transfer at Pentagon station then made my next transfer at chinatown and finally arrived at Union Station. I ran. I had about 5 minutes before departure time and I had no idea where I was supposed to go or how difficult Union Station was to navigate. I found an automatic ticket kiosk and checked in and printed out my ticket. I still wasnt sure where to go so I went into the first gate I saw and asked the person at the desk, who pointed me to a gate clear down at the other end of the station. Once again I ran. But I got through the line and on the train. I sat down and not more then two minutes later. . .maybe less. . .the train started up and pulled out.

When I first got on the metro that morning, I really doubted that I would make the train. I really believe that the Lord was watching out for me and helped me to make choices which would help me get to the train on time. . .I am so thankful for His "tender mercies" for me and my family.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A visit to VA and a getaway to Philly

Brett had a conference in Philadelphia and I decided to take this chance to go visit my parents in Virginia. The girls and I flew out on Wednesday August 11. We had a nonstop flight (pretty much a requirement for me flying by myself with the three young girls :) ) and it went really well. The girls were great and we got through it without any trouble.

I really enjoyed my trip to my parents' house. It was great to play games, chat, relax, and eat food cooked by someone other than me. :) I know that the girls also had a wonderful time. They loved watching "grandma" movies. Their favorites include, The Heffalump Movie, Strawberry Shortcake Moving Day and Big Paw. They also loved playing with their aunt Lucy and uncles Leland and Adam. Leland was very considerate to take so much of his time and devote it to playing with his young nieces. They pulled out the large blocks and built a castle in which the "mean guy" locked the princess. Then the prince would have to fight the "mean guy". After dramatic battle and death scenes (the mean guy always lost) the prince would knock down the castle and free the princess. This play was reenacted multiple times; each time with the roles being switched up. It was quite hilarious.

On Friday I took the train to meet Brett in Philadelphia. My parents graciously watched my girls--yes, even Maddie--so I could have a romantic getaway with my husband. (Thanks mom and crew!! I really appreciated this getaway! We owe ya!!) Getting on the train was a little crazy (read about the adventure in my post Making the Train: A Personal "Tender Mercy" from the Lord). But I really enjoyed the ride once I got on. It was nice to be able to read my book without being interrupted every other paragraph by my children. :) Once I got to Philadelphia, it was a short walk to Bretts hotel. He met me and got me a philly cheesesteak sandwich which was delicious of course.

We spent some time walking around U Penn and the surrounding area. It was really nice to just be together. . .alone. We spent Saturday morning in the historic district taking tours of Constitution Hall and the Betsy Ross house and of course enjoying another philly cheesesteak. That afternoon Brett caught his flight home and I took the train back to VA.

My Parents met me at Union Station with my girls, Lucy and Leland. We had a fun dinner at Union Station and then we went to the Lincoln and Washington Memorials. It was a beautiful evening to spend on the National Mall.

It wasnt to hot and there was a slight breeze. It was perfect. It was fun to climb in the trees and watch the kids run around and play. Washington D.C. really is one of my most favorite cities in the world.

On Monday we were planning to drive down to Virginia Beach. After two hours in traffic. . .we decided our beach trip was doomed and we turned around. Going the other way, we covered the distance we had gone in 15 minutes. lol.

Instead we went swimming at a neighbors house and then had a popcorn movie party. Tuesday we went to the National zoo. It was fun. . .but it was hot. The girls did really enjoy riding the Metro ("the train that drives underground") and they liked seeing the Panda.

A couple highlights of the trip for me other then what I've already mentioned were going on a couple of house calls with Adam at work. He is a pest control man and it was fun to watch him in action. Also, spending so much time with Leland. Leland was 5 when my family moved to Virginia and I stayed in Utah. So in my mind, he's always been the little kid. But he has really grown into a nice and funny young man. Now he will stay and talk with the "adults" and contribute to the conversation. It was really fun for me to spend some more time getting to know him. And finally, the creation of a super fun game we aptly named Power Play. The game uses Uno cards but it is much more exciting then Uno. Along with the usual skipping, and draw twoing that take place during traditional Uno, Lucy had to massage my dads feet, Leland had to put ice down his pants, and I had to make Lucy and Ice Cream Sunday. . .along with several other things which made the game interesting. Maybe you had to be there. . .but it was certainly a keeper. (Lyds, you are gonna love it!!)

We had a wonderful trip and cant wait until our next chance to get together.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What would you buy for $1.57

I have been getting some great deals at CVS lately. Here is one of my favorites. I bought everything pictured for $1.57. Yes, that is a giant box of Pampers diapers!! YEAH.