Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Fisher-Price Advent

It is Advent and we again took out the Fisher-Price nativity set for the kids to play with. Mary and Joseph as well as the donkey, camel, and oxen have all been found and are being played with. We even managed to find the wise men in a corner of the basement. But once again, for the third year in a row little baby Jesus cannot be found. 

This year instead of tearing the toy bins apart looking for him I am trying to just get excited for when he does turn up. I can still hear Emily's voice from that exciting moment last Christmas: "Mommy, I found baby Jesus!"

Come thou long expected Jesus, come.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Three Years Old!

Sophie Grace,

You turn three years old today.  When I woke up this morning, I immediately remembered that and tried to process it, but I just kept coming back to "how can my baby, my BABY, be three already"?!  But here we are.  I take some comfort in your remaining mispronunciations (you still can't pronounce the "th" sound, leading to lots of "I'm stirsty" throughout the day), but traces of toddler are also fading fast.

Your imagination is pretty spectacular.  You create games to play and assign roles, but you also love to go off script.  You hate to be bored, and are constantly searching for the next adventure.  When we drop Emily off at ballet on Tuesdays, you and I have a whole hour to ourselves to simply explore.  You love the excitement of finding a new spot each week.

You are very smart, little one, but you are not very intrinsically motivated to learn.  For the longest time I wondered why you were having such a hard time learning your colors, and then - by playing a game on the computer - I realized that you totally knew them, but just thought it was more fun to give the wrong answer.  Only when you got a prize did you start answering correctly.  It's going to be interesting to teach you in class someday! 

You may be tiny, Sophie, but goodness are you ever spunky! You demand to be noticed, and you've got personality in spades.  You have also, by the age of three, become a master manipulator, often telling your father "but mom said I could" when I did no such thing.  Let's hope you learn to use your powers for good, and not evil, or the teenage years are going to be very interesting.

You love to giggle, to be tickled, to help me cook in the kitchen, to do craft projects with your sister, and to play hide and seek.  You adore your gymnastics preschool, and can flip and sommersault with the best of them.  You do not like to wait, and you will often wake up in the morning yelling "MOM!  Come and get me!  Now!  It's morning!".  We're working on teaching you about patience, but this particular personality trait seems to be pretty hard wired, so I'm not sure how successful we are going to be.

This past weekend your Grandma Ruth and your Aunt Elsa were visiting us, so you opened a few early birthday presents.  And your reaction to each present was to gasp, and then ask "Is this for ME?" followed closely by "It's just what I wanted!".  And that, my girl, is exactly how I feel about you.  I am so very blessed to have been given the chance to be your mommy, and you are most definitely just what I have always wanted.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oh, Sophie!

Sophie's had some real gems when it comes to fun conversations this fall.  Here are a few of our favorites! 

She started preschool in September, and when I picked her up after one of the first days I asked her if she missed me.  Her response?  "Don't be silly, mommy.  They have a trampoline here!"

Also, she's been thinking about her vocation a lot, and this is the latest:
"Mommy, when I growed up I want to be a ballerina who fights fires with a truck and lots of water and a dog with polka dots. Is that a great idea?!"

Both girls also enjoying praying before dinner, and here's a sample of what we get: 

Emily: Thank you God for the sun and the rain, for my house, my family, and my school. Thank you for all your many blessings. Please be with our family and friends. Amen.

Sophie: Thanks God for bacon, and um, elephants. Amen.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Oh girls! Glad you can have fun almost anywhere.


I ate this entire bag. All by myself. In less than 3 weeks. Yikes!


A little windy and rainy, but still fun!


Braving the waves to swim in the ocean.


This girl is totally in love with everything about the beach.  I couldn't agree more.


Someone forgot to tell her the beach isn't as much fun when it rains.


Recovered ottoman score on craigslist! Oscar approves.


Just hanging around before church. 


The girls tell people that our new house is on the beach.  Here's a snapshot of our new "beach"front property. :-)


Yikes!  I fell behind again, but I'll catch up again soon.  Lesson learned: 365 projects are no joke!

Here's a "selfie" of Sophie and I that I just love.

Friday, July 12, 2013


This holiday has never been my favorite.  I am not a fan of fireworks set off by neighborhood kids (or adults).  But I was a fan of swimming and grilling with good friends


They all really wanted to swim, but the water was freezing so mostly there was just talk about swimming.


Our new patio dining set found on clearance!


I have reached the halfway point!  Phew, this is quite the large undertaking.

Emily, Sophie, and Lydia played in the Heslinga's new van for at least thirty minutes happy as clams.


Sometimes this whole playing all day thing can be exhausting!


Grandma, Emily, and her new baby doll.

Monday, July 8, 2013


A little quality girls time.  Sophie loves her "pink toes" and is sad that the polish is starting to chip a little.


Grandma Ruth was a real trooper, and very brave to get into a car where Emily was behind the wheel.


Someone, the powers that be determined that at just over 36 inches, Sophie was allowed to ride most of the "big girl" rides.  She had an absolute blast, and I held on to her with a vice grip.


A big highlight of our trip was a visit to Kennywood with virtually no waiting in lines!


Headed back to Pittsburgh for some girl time with grandma Ruth and aunt Elsa, but we also got to meet little Monty.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013


We celebrated Father's Day at the beach.  The people in this picture make me feel so blessed when I wake up each and every morning.


Turns out Emily is also a pretty big fan of Lake Michigan.


Words can't express how much Sophie loved the beach.  That makes me so happy.


Hillary may have been 8.5 months pregnant, but she still somehow rocked a 90+ minute set.  So much fun!


I got to hang out with my very favorite band tonight.  I sure do love Lady Antebellum.  They are right up there with running and healthy baking for my current passions.


Today I overheard Sophie saying, "I love you so much buddy" and when I checked on her she had poor Oscar in a headlock.


We attempted a group walk tonight with a bicycle, a tricycle, a bike trailer , a scooter, and an umbrella stroller.  I lost count of how many times the kids traded places.


We had a wonderful reunion with old college friends tonight.  Ten years and six kids later, we're still the best of friends.


I love this little nook in our home!


Everyone needs a little company once in awhile.  Emily will sometimes offer to read to Sophie on the potty.


It took Emily all of two days to meet a fiver year old girl named Allie who quickly became her BFF. This is Allie.


Sophie wasn't satisfied with our landscaping and got right to work making adjustments.


We moved in to our new, awesome home today.  And in all the craziness, I forgot to snap a picture.  But here's a cute one of Sophie and Lydia from a couple days later.


While I travelled back to Michigan to assist on move in day, grandma Evonne and grandpa Don watched the girls.  Photo credit to grandma here, as the girls watched a turtle cross the road.


The day after her birthday, my sister took her boards to become a certified PA (and she passed, of course).


I didn't get to see her today, but cheers to my sister on her birthday!  Love you, Elsa Belle.


This girl has a killer smile, and can outrace any toddler on her tricycle.