Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Birthday Celebration

Colette took this awesome picture of our family tonight! She and her family helped us celebrate Garren's 29th. Gracie enjoyed the attention that she got as well. She is wearing her ballet outfit because she had just finished a performance for the neighbors.

As for Scrabble...Garren came in second. That's an improvement over his bowling score from Saturday ;)

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Daddy got quite the birthday surprise today as Gracie and I arrived at his office around 3:30 with a basket-full of cupcakes. I made the cupcakes and Gracie helped wit the card. She even lent her Blue's Clue's balloon for the occasion.

She was the cutest little helper as we went from desk to desk sharing daddy's carrot cake cupcakes with the whole office (or as I explained it to her; daddy's friends.)

As for the hat, when I told her we were going to surprise daddy at work she wanted to wear the ladybug hat. This is the hat that I picked out for her from Grandma's dress up stuff when we surprised Grandpa. Boy does that child have a memory! Anyway, since that hat is in Lynchburg she settled for one of her Barney hats.

I think Garren's office got a kick out of the birthday helper. And there is more birthday fun in store for Garren. Tonight we are having the neighbors over for one of his favorite meals: chicken casserole!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Something Cute


Okay the quiz made you register and all that, I will list the questions and the anwers and you can see how well you did!

1. What Is Gracie's First Name?

a. Barbara
b. Grace
c. Tina
d. Tabitha

2. What Is Gracie's Birthdate?
a. March 2, 2005
b. March 6, 2003
c. March 5, 2004
d. March 8, 2004

3. What Color Are Gracie's Eyes?
a. Brown
b. Hazel
c. Blue

4. Which Is Gracie's All Time Favorite Stuffy?
a. Dora
b. Mumble
c. Lambie
d. Clifford

5. What Is Gracie's Favorite Sport?
a. Ballet
b. Football
c. Swimming
d. Soccor

6. Which Is Gracie's Favorite Princess?
a. Snow White
b. Ariel
c. Cinderella
d. Aurora

7. How Old Was Gracie When She Got Her First Haircut?
a. 18 months
b. 1 year
c. 2 years
d. 3 years

8. What Is Gracie's Favorite Snack?
a. Popcorn
b. Pretzels
c. Shredded Wheat
d. Fruties

9. Gracie's Best Friend Is...
a. Clifford
b. Dora
c. Mumble
d. Lambie

10. Gracie's Favorite Book
a. Peter Rabbit
b. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
c. Runaway Bunny
d. Three Little Kittens

The Answers
1) d Tabitha
2) c March 5, 2004
3) b. Hazel (Garren says brown, but look deep, you will see the speckles of green!)
4) c Lambie
5) a Ballet
6) b Ariel
7) c 2 years
8) a or d (I say fruities, Garren says popcorn--since she loves both you can count either answer correct)
9) a clifford
10) d The Three Little Kittens

4 or less correct: you don't know much about our little angel, but stick around and keep reading the blog and I am sure you will find her to be a doll!

5-7 correct; you are just starting to get to know our Gracie, we hope you find her as fascinating as we do!

8-10 correct: yea, you're a real Gracie fan! WE hope that we know you just as well!

I was having a bad day, and I found this on a classmates website, and it was such a cute idea. It's just for fun, so take the quiz and see how well you know Gracie, and don't fret know one knows her like me!

How Well Do You Know Gracie?

Create your own Friend Quiz here

Monday, January 29, 2007

Twinkle Toes

The little ballerina got a dance skirt last night, and she just couldn't wait to try it out! Gracie put on an after-dinner performance and I just had to snap a few photos. She looks so cute in her dance outfit, and I swear I haven't pushed this on her! It really is one of her favorite things to do.

I have been looking for a dance/gymnastics class for her to go to and just have fun, but there is very little offered here unless you really want to push your kid in to ballet. I just want Gracie to have an outlet to express herself, burn off the excess energy and meet some kids her age. Maybe they will offer a summer program through the county. In the meantime we are looking in to some thick foam pieces for the floor to cushion her not so graceful feet.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bowling Amongst Friends

Garren, Gracie and I had a wonderful evening as we shared in some "family fun" with our friends and neighbors, the Mozingo's.

I thought it would be fun to go bowling as sort of a pre-birthday outing for Garren, and I am so glad we did. We all had a wonderful time. Even Garren. Garren's not the world's best bowler, but he was a very good sport.

Gracie really got in to the game as well. Garren and I shared our turns with her and she was always so excited to get to go up on the lane. In fact Gracie became quite the little bowling good luck charm! On her last turn she got a strike!

I don't ordinarily share videos that have me in them, but this time I am making an exception as Garren was able to catch our strike on video.

After bowling we got some pizza and watched a movie. We put Gracie to bed around 8 and pulled out Trivial Pursuit. That made for an interesting ending to our family fun day together.

I think Garren really enjoyed his pre-birthday fun. On Wednesday I have invited Colette, Tom and Mallory back over for a birthday dinner and cake...and a rematch; this time at Scrabble!

PS: Garren turns 29 on Wednesday, January 31st! And, I have more bowling pictures, but I will have to wait until later in the week to post them (see below).

Friday, January 26, 2007

Photo Warning!

Argh! I have run out of space on Picasa.

This site is really the best, especially since no one has to sign up for it and can see all of my pictures at one time and for free. So, I want to clear up some room for future pictures. On Tuesday I will delete all 2004 and 2005 folders from this site. If you want to save any of these pictures now would be the time to do it. Click on the folder you want and then click on the picture you want to save. You can either right click the picture and choose "save image as," or you can click the "download photo" link on the right side of the page.

As always I am willing to email any picture to friends and family as well. If you know this site then you know my personal email address. If you have forgotten/lost it, you can email me through my yahoo account (

As always, thanks for letting me share Gracie with you!

Gracie Catches On Quickly

It didn't take very long for Gracie to catch on to her newest skill today.

Grandma sent back some packages of lacing beads when we visited her last week. I thought since we had played every game in the cabinet, I would pull out something new to try. I showed Gracie how to put the lace through the hold in the top of the colorful plastic teddy bear bead, and how to pull the string through. It only took 2 examples before she was ready to try her self.

She was so cute as she concentrated hard on getting the string to line up and then pulling it through. She was so proud each time she added a bear to the string.

When she had added all the bears to the string she just had to show off her handy work. Then, of course she wanted me to tie it so she could wear it as a necklace.

I was so proud I had to share this new skill with all of you. She sure does catch on to things quickly. Just yesterday I pulled out the Mickey Mouse Bingo game that I picked up from the thrift store (for $1!) and she figured out how to play that half way through the first game!! I am so proud!

PS: You guys likely get very confused looks on your faces sometimes when you see the T-shirts Gracie wears. We would like to thank Mariah for this hand me down and many more. Gracie wears these t-shirts to bed and to play since they are older and can get dirty and worn. I really don't plan to make Gracie into a future black belt ;)!

Gracie Photos

I thought I would share some of Gracie's finest portraits taken on her Fisher Price camera. She has become quite the shutterburg, and I thought you might get a kick out of a few of her "subjects." Click here.

Oh, and I updated the January 2007 folder as well, so you can see new pictures that mommy took in there.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Save The Date!

The Party's All Planned
Gracie's 3rd Birthday

March 10, 2007

Johnson City, TN

Formal invitations will be sent next month.
We really hope you can come to Gracie's big day!

PS: Garren and Grandma talked me in to giving Gracie a Happy Feet party instead of the Clifford party i wanted. Oh well, I guess the licensed character department always needs more money ;) That, and gracie adored the movie and her stuffed mumble has become one of her best friends! If you have no idea about this movie, you can go to

All Better least that's what Gracie would say. Last night's horror turned in to the sweetest morning.

Garren had to get up at some unseen hour this morning in order to drive to Richmond for work, and he must have woke Gracie up when he got in the shower, because I felt her crawl in to bed. A few moments later we were both back to sleep.

Unlike Garren's, my wake up call this morning was a kiss on the nose and a "I Love You Momma." I assure you, there is no better way to face your day!

Gracie has been a real gem today. It started snowing around 10 this morning and I thought it would stop quickly, but when it was still blowing around 11, I thought I would take her out and play in it.

What a treat! It was very cold, but she really loved having the snow fall on her. She tried to catch the snowflakes and then she found out how much fun it was to listen to the snow crunch beneath her feet. I took a few pictures, the best is above this post.

I am glad we went out when we did, the snow stopped while we were playing and Garren says it is supposed to reach single digit temperatures this afternoon and tonight. So, we will stay inside where it is warm and have a good time together.

PS: The sun melted everything that fell, as I had predicted--but it was still fun to share the experience with Gracie!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Learning Experience

If I have at anytime referred to Gracie as having a "tempertantrum," I was sorely mistaken. I knew not what I was talking about. As of tonight I can now more accurately define "tempertantrum." Tonight's insight in to the true stubbornness of my child lasted 31 minutes straight.

I owe the neighbors some cookies. But, I stayed strong and did not cave to her screams (and I do mean screams), so I think I deserve cookies too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Snow Walk

Gracie and I had the best time this morning. She was very antsy, as she usually is the day after we get back from any trip. (She doesn't handle change well, wonder who she gets that from ;)

Anyway, I thought why not take her for a walk. So, I bundled her up and grabbed a blanket and drove her Queen Street. One thing this small town is blessed with is a very quaint and pretty "main street." Gracie and I have taken many walks along these streets in the summer and early fall, so she was more than ready to go again.

It had been snowing (barely flurries) this morning for quite a while, but I figured if it got worse we could get back in the car and go home. The weather stayed the same and we enjoyed an hour trek through the pretty neighborhoods and main street. The air was fresh and we were plenty warm underneath all our bundlings.

Since I had brought the camera along, I thought what a cute idea to document our walk. Gracie helped pick out the things to take pictures of and found this to be a very fun game.

At the end of our walk we stopped in at the kids thrift store and found a few books, an adorable dress, and we warmed our cheeks for a few minutes. When we got home Gracie was much calmer and she had a snack of warm raisin bread and shared my hot chocolate.

The pictures turned out very nice, and I thought we would share our wintry walk this morning. Maybe we will do it again tomorrow!

**Pictures; (Top-Left) First Bank, (Top-Center) Waterspout that Gracie called a waterfall, (Top-Right) Silly Face on sign, had to share. Bottom: American Flag in old tool store, Presbyterian Church that looks like a castle, puppy in front of his home, BBQ sign too bad they are tearing the place down!, bicycle hanging from pole in front of bike shop, store front with snowman display.**

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snowed In...Sort Of

Well we didn't get any snow today here in Lynchburg, but we got plenty of ice and sleet. The roads are covered tonight and Gracie wasn't able to go out and play in it, but I posted a picture of the beautiful "wintery mix" we did get.

I heard from Garren that we got 3 inches of snow in Strasburg. I am sure he is loving it, as snow is definitely one of his most favorite things. I know it was quite disappointing for Garren to have to give up a snow day with Gracie, but he is such a loving and caring father that our safety is far more important.

Garren is so unselfish to share his girls, and we don't properly thank him. Family means so much to the two of us, and it is important that Gracie be instilled with that same value. We get to love our toddler in person everyday, but grandparents and friends aren't so lucky. Though we live so far from nearly everyone we know, we have the ability to share Gracie. Being a stay at home mom provides a great advantage for her to not only get to know the family, but to be able to visit those she has come to love. Garren and I are so thankful to have such caring people in our lives, and I feel ultimately blessed to have a husband who understands that strengthening family bonds, justifies the few days a year that he misses out on seeing her. And, I know that Grandma and Grandpa are very thankful for that as well.

Gracie and I are planning to return to Strasburg tomorrow, but it all depends on the weather. The ice here is pretty thick and they have cancelled schools here for Monday. Gracie's safety is top priority, so we will only travel if we feel it is safe enough to do so--so, no need to worry!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Little Late

Okay, I was a lot late.

Gracie and I were scheduled to leave Lynchburg today, but I just couldn't get everything done in time to get home before dark, and they are calling for "winter weather" tonight I didn't want to chance it. Looks like we will be staying with Grandma and Grandpa for another night--maybe two.

But, on the plus side Gracie gets more time with the Grandparents who adore her, and she may get to play in the snow. On the down side, that more spoiling I will have to deal with when we do eventually get back to Strasburg :)

If it does snow I will definitely add more pictures. In the meantime you can check out pictures from our Lynchburg trip here.

***Above: Gracie plays engineer with Grandma's new train set.**

Friday, January 19, 2007

Grandpa's Birthday Surprise

Grandpa got quite a surprise this afternoon when he came home from work. Mariah, Gracie and I had decorated the kitchen for what would be his surprise 50th birthday party.

We decided to forgo the usual "black" theme and found a new way to celebrate 50--by reliving the 50's. Mom and I found some neat 50's sock-hop style decorations, and even some party napkins that had a 1957 Chevy on them; Grandpa's dream car, and the car made the year he was born.

Mariah hid as Grandpa walked up the ramp. She tried to get Gracie to hide to, but little Miss No-Nap would have nothing to do with that. Grandpa got quite a welcome, as well as plenty of birthday hugs and kisses. We didn't wait long after his arrival to wisk him off to his birthday dinner at the Chinese restaurant. I mention the dinner to explain the picture above. We all had a wonderful dinner, and mom and Mariah had secretly told the waitress it was Grandpa's birthday. At the end of the meal our waitress comes to the table with a beautiful plate of vegetables skillfully cut and arranged to what looked like a lobster (mom says it was a dragon--whatever), and a small cake with a candle. The music over the loudspeaker played Happy Birthday and we all sang. I started to notice Gracie's lip was quivering. When we finished singing and the whole restaurant clapped, Gracie let out the biggest howl followed by extremely loud sobs. The other patrons started to laugh after we all did. Grandpa scooped her up and gave her some hugs. When she dried her tears he let her and Mariah help blow out the candles. Then she was ready to eat the cake. It was so funny! I guess she got embarrassed because the whole place was staring at our table? Who knows.

After dinner we had another celebration with an ice cream cake and "presents." I put that in quotes, because besides the handmade cards Gracie and Mariah made, he received My Little Ponies and a Little People set. Apparently at Grandma's you get gifts when it some one else's birthday! You can probably tell that Grandma did the shopping!

It was a very fun evening, and a birthday celebration I am sure Grandpa will NEVER forget!

PS: Grandpa turns 50 on Sunday, January 21st.

**Top: Gracie dries her tears in Grandpa's lap. Below: Birthday hugs from Gracie and Mariah**

Thursday, January 18, 2007

At Grandma & Grandpa's

Gracie and I are here in Lynchburg this week for an impromptu visit with Grandma and Grandpa.

Poor Gracie had been missing them so much that on Sunday she finally told Garren and I that she wanted to go to their house. Gracie and I left on Tuesday and we plan to stay through Saturday.

And, we've already had an exciting week.

Because of the cold we haven't been able to play outside, but we have done some shopping and plenty of fun things indoors. Gracie's favorite things are playing with Mariah's My Little Pony castle, her entourage of ponies and their accessories, as well as Mariah's doll house. I guess someone else's toys are far more fun to play with!

Gracie is having a great time, and I am enjoying myself as well. I will try to do better about blogging--we just seem to stay so busy when we are here!

***Above: Gracie tries Grandma's fuzzy bunny slippers on for size.**

Monday, January 15, 2007


Gracie put on another command performance this evening in our livingroom.

The dancing-bug hit my active toddler this evening after seeing the Angelina Poster that I had hung in her closet (it came with one of the videos Grandma got her). Anyway, the Prima demanded her ballet shoes, then her ballet "shirt" (she wanted her leotard), then she wanted her ribbons. I put up her hair and turned the television to "ballet music' (classical music channel) as I was requested to.

I looked on with proud eyes as Gracie twirled and leaped and danced across the livingroom floor. When she finished what was to be the first of 15 acts, I applauded loudly much to her enjoyment.

Gracie was absolutely adorable and I couldn't resist snapping some pictures. The best one is posted here.

Click here to see more.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

We have the air conditioner on. Yes, I said the air conditioner. It has been on since yesterday.

The sky is overcast and gray, but every window and door in our humble abode is open and the air conditioner kicks on for a moment or two when the breeze stops blowing. It is 65 degrees in Strasburg, VA on January 14th!

While I am confused by all this on again, off again weather (I mean we got HUGE snowflakes Wednesday), I am not one to let it go to waste. I opened the door and let Gracie feel the spring like temperatures. She then asked if she could do chalk. I told her to have at it.

She seemed to have a good time playing outside. So much so that she asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the "terrace." Actually, she sat at the patio table and said "peanut butter sandwich?" So, I fixed one.

Garren says the warm trend won't stay long. It is supposed to cool off this week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Princess Tea Party

Gracie was the cutest little hostess this afternoon as she welcomed 4 young ladies and their mothers to our Princess Tea Party.

I had the great idea for a princess tea earlier in the month, and I went all out. I made invitations to look like royal scrolls. Each mother and daughter had a placecard, a homemade scepter, and a princess-themed cup at their table settings.

This time we decided to invite two new mothers and daughters to join in our tea party fun. Shyla and her mom Millie moved in next door to us, and we were introduced to 5 month old Emma and mom Kathy last month through Colette. The new additions were a big hit with Gracie, because now she had 4 other little girls to play with.

Gracie and I requested that each girl dress like a princess for the party, and Gracie was no exception. Grandma had found an adorable Snow White costume last summer on clearance, and this was a prefect time to pull it out. Gracie was too cute for words. The other girls were precious as well, as each used their imaginations to create their outfit--and each definitely matched their personalities!

We had snacks of fruit, popcorn, pretzels, cupcakes and pink lemonade. For crafts each girl got to decorate a foam crown and then we made stationary with blank paper and envelopes.

I think everyone had a great time, and Gracie may have had a little too much princess fun. My little Snow White fell into distress when it came time to take off her princess dress. Her spirits were raised when I reminded her we would have another tea party next month for Valentine's Day!

Click here for more Princess pictures.

**Princess Gracie enjoys her royal chocoalte cake at her table with guests Princess Mallory, Princess Leelou and Princess Shyla.***

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's Snowing!

Dear Candice:

I got snow at my house too today! Since yours didn't last very long, and you had to go to school anyway, I thought I would send you some through the internet!


The snow started just after Gracie woke up from her nap this afternoon. I thought I would let her touch it and watch it since it will likely be gone very shortly. Actually, as I look outside as I type, it has already stopped. Oh well, Gracie had fun while it lasted!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gracie's First Haircut

The baby mullet has been trimmed!

Tonight was the first time I have ever cut Gracie's hair. Only once before did I trim 3-4 strands of hair that kept getting in her eyes. So, technically Gracie still has all of her original baby hair.

That was until after bathtime tonight.

Gracie was NOT a big fan of the hair cutting idea, but it was way past time for a trim. Her hair was wild and stringy and I know it needed to be trimmed so it could grow longer and healthier.

Besides not wanting to cut off the hair that was there the day she was born, I was not thrilled at the prospect of losing her curls. As her hair has gotten longer she has developed the cutest curls at the ends of her hair (she definitely gets that from Garren, my hair is flatter than an ironing board!).

I figured after bathtime was best since her hair would be wet. I sat her on the bathroom sink counter and combed it all out nice and neat. Gracie cried and cried over this, telling me she didn't want me to cut her hair. Garren and I reassured her that it would be fine. It only took 4 snips and her hair was shorter and even. I of course saved the hair that was cut.

Only 10 minutes later her hair was dry and so were her tears. And guess what! She has even more curls than she started with! It really looks good to. I am glad that I finally bit the bullet and trimmed the baby mullet.

I have put all the pictures from tonight's hair cutting on Picasa. Enjoy!

***Above: (top-left) This is how most of the hair cutting went, and I hadn't even started yet! (top-middle)I fluff Gracie's new hairdo and she starts to dry her tears. 9top-right) Graci e's new do all dried, you've gotta love the curls! (Bottom) The first snip of the scissors. (Very Bottom) Gracie had quite a head of hair when she was born, and it was hard to cut any part of it!***

Ms. Shipley

Gracie was so cute this morning pretending to be a teacher!

We set all of her little people out, including the animals, in cute little rows. Next thing I know she was talking to them all. I didn't get much of what she was saying, but I did hear "Class, today we are going to..." She saw me watching and began to mumble bashfully. I think they were learning their ABC's. It was too cute.

This isn't the best picture, but it illustrates our makeshift classroom.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bear Gets Emptied

The other fun thing we did today was empty Gracie's bear's belly.

Boy that is probably confusing a lot of you! :) Gracie was given a wooden bear bank that was Uncle Brian's when he was a kid, and she has filled his "belly" up since that day.

We noticed earlier in the week bear was nearing capacity, so we decided to let her cash in her coins. We used the Coin Star machine at the Food Lion because getting Gracie to the bank during bank hours is next to impossible. Garren and I will make up the fee that the machine charges.

Anyway, we took the change out of bear and Gracie wasn't freaked--thank goodness. Her hard-found money actually added up to $17! Not bad for a bear that can't eat quarters (mommy and daddy need them for laundry!) Garren will take the money and put in to Gracie's account this week. She has a small account and we plan to let it accrue until she is 7 or 8, and then we will help teach her the value of money by having her write out "checks" for things she wants so she can keep track of how much she spends and how fast it can go!

Warm Enough For The Park

Garren, Gracie and I celebrated this very unusual warm start to 2007 by going to the playground today. Garren and I agreed that it was far too warm not to let Gracie go outside and play. It has been so warm this week that I have had to open the doors and windows everyday in order to cool off the apartment. Last night we finally caved and turned on the air conditioner!!!

This morning was a lot of fun at the park. Gracie loves to be outside and she had the best time as both of her parents chased her from one thing to the next. We even got subs and had a picnic before it was time to go home and take a nap.

I have included some more pictures from today in the newly created January 2007 folder on Picasa.

We hope that all of you enjoyed your warm weekend as well! Do anything fun? Tell us about it in the comments. Gracie LOVES to get comments. She giggles when I read them to her. Then of course I have to find a picture of the person who left a comment so she can remember who you are.

**Gracie takes a rest before running over to the big kid swings. I love this picture--what a face!**

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Did You Know It Was Spaghetti Day?

I had no idea, but I thought it was hilarious! I think Gracie and I will read one of my favorite books when I was a Kid Wednesday Is Spaghetti Day. I would fix spaghetti for dinner, but I already thawed the chicken. Then again, I could add chicken to the spaghetti.

Have A Happy Spaghetti Day!
Love, Barbara & Gracie

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fishing Game

I realized today that my lack of energy with Gracie's pre-Kindergarten education seems to have caused a backwards effect. This morning I pulled out some long lost worksheets (I guess we took a holiday vacation from "school"), and she couldn't get her numbers right. I thought at first this was a fluke and she just didn't want to try, but several attempts later in the day to identify different numbers proved the same.

Last night, when I was flipping through the channels I watched a few minutes of Supernanny. I do not like that show, not that the nanny isn't wonderful, but because the parents who let their kids get like that make me so upset. Anyway, the Supernanny had made a game for the kids to play where they "fished" in a bowl with a homemade pole and fish. I noticed that her pole had a magnet and so, I decided to take the idea in order to help Gracie with her numbers.

I cut out fish in several different colors, used brass brads for the eyes, and then added a smile and a number from 1 to 10. Then I used a fat pencil and added a rope and a magnet to make the pole.

Gracie LOVED this game of fishing! She played and played this game all afternoon and evening. She never got tired of the fish. Each time one of us would catch a fish we would say "wow I caught number x fish!" We would let her tell us the number regardless of whose turn it was. She still struggles with a few numbers, but it has been great practice.

I also glued objects to paper and taped them to the front door (which is magnetic) and had her count the objects on each paper and then choose the number magnet that matched. This also helped, but she really loved the fishing game.

**We watched Leelou after school today, so that's why she is in the picture. I tried to distract Gracie so that Leelou could do her homework. Gracie is so proud each time she catches a fish!**

Monday, January 01, 2007

Sad House, Sad Baby

Garren and I spent the day cleaning up and putting away the Christmas decorations, and Gracie did not handle it well.

She wasn't the only one. I had it so festive and warm and Christmasy in here. If you don't believe me check out the pictures I took of our decorations! Anyway, when we took everything out the apartment looked very bare.

Gracie had been out of sorts for over a week now, as I have mentioned before. She had been crying a lot and just very whinny and clingy--this de-Christmasing project didn't help. While Garren and I took things down and wrapped them up, Gracie seemed to be in the middle of everything. We did all we could to be patient, but with breakables and boxes and her temper tantrums I wasn't sure we were going to make it.

I put her down for a nap and Garren and I decided to have everything back to normal by the time she woke up. Unfortunately she only took a 45 minute nap and was quite distraught to see that the tree was gone.

Garren vacuumed up the the overwhelming amount of tree needles and I carted the things to the storage unit downstairs and then we had some baby cuddle time.

I guess that not liking change will run in the family. Gracie is doing better now, and seems to be coping with the end of Christmas since we have told her there are many more things to come in the new her birthday.


I looked back at the resolutions that I made for this family last year. I am embarrassed to say we didn't accomplish much. Here's the list, the ones we accomplished are in red.

1. Get Gracie Potty Trained
2. Get Gracie Off The Binki
3. Go To The National Zoo In Washington, DC
4. Write & Mail More Cards & Letters
5. Visit Family More
6. Take More Pictures
7. Continue To Go To Church Regularly and Get Involved
8. Spend More Time Outside
9. Find More Family Time
10. Give More Hugs & Kisses
11. Continue To Eat Meals At The Table
12. Make More Friends
13. Keep Up With Friends & Family
14. Finish Gracie's Scrapbook

These were all great goals, and the truth is if I had to make a list again this year it would look similar. But, all in all my goal for 2007 is to let the pain of the past go. That, and to try harder at everything I do. I often feel like I gave minimal effort to Gracie or to my family and friends or the house or my efforts to slim down. So, I resolve to try harder for myself, and to try and move on and let go of all that bad stuff I so often hold on to and dwell on. My family needs all of my attention and energy and I want to give it to them!

Happy 2007!

A wonderful New Year to all our friends and family!

Garren, Gracie and I wish all of you a blessed and happy 2007. We hope that you find the love, the trust in God, and the desire to start all over again. Forget your past mistakes and make a new and improved life for yourself.

As Buck and Roy would say: "We loved the time we spent with you, to share a song and a laugh or two. May your pleasures be plenty, may your troubles be few. So long everybody we will see you next year! Yee Haw!." That's all!