Thursday, May 31, 2007
It didn't take long to find a list of Fourth of July songs, and Gracie loved the music. She instantly went in to her room and got her drum and other musical instruments.
I tucked Gracie's flag in her dress and she marched around with the drum. Emma in the meantime found the flute on the floor and I was amazed to hear her making a sound come out of it!!!
I dashed for the camera and got a few videos. The one below is the best. They are having a parade of sorts to Yankee Doodle. If you listen closely you can hear Emma blowing the flute. Too cute!
I guess Gracie will be following in Mommy's footsteps after all :) Although I hope she picks a bolder instrument than I did.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I decided to clean out the pantry today, something to do until the repair man came to fix the refrigerator. I figured since I would have to throw all of the food from it out, I might as well re-organize the pantry too.
Anyway, I came across these Gerber veggie puffs I bought for Gracie a long time ago. I had bought 2 canisters of them, and she barely ate any of the first one, so I just set the other canister aside to give away. Since it hadn't been opened, I checked the expiration and thought I would see if Emma liked them. Boy did she!! She ate and ate them. The puffs are a great invention, they are softer than Cheerios, plus the added benefit of vegetable (these were sweet potato), and they melt in child's mouth so there isn't a choking hazard.
Of course since Emma was eating them Gracie to had to have some. The two of the nearly polished off the entire can. I will definitely get more, and told Kathy about Emma's new favorite.
In the meantime, Gracie is having a fun time helping feed them to Emma. I snapped this picture and had to share. It looks like feeding time at the zoo.
Monday, May 28, 2007
I had the ingenious idea on Saturday, and believe it or not they weren't busy (this is rare since they go and go all the time!). I fixed hot dogs on the George Forman grill, and made fresh lemonade. We packed a cooler and met Colette & Mallory under a shady tree beside the playground. Since Tom wouldn't get off work until 6, we played until dinner. Gracie had a great time at the playground despite the extreme heat. She was even able to swing on the big swings!!!
About an hour into playtime we were all sweltering so we walked down to the river. I had just meant for us to get our feet wet, but Gracie was ready to jump in. After trying desperately to hold on to her to keep from diving in the water, I gave up and walked out to the middle with her. We were both already soaked, so we just sat down and got all the way wet. The water was so cool and refreshing! Gracie loved splashing and "swimming." She is such a water daredevil, I have no doubt that she may actually learn to swim this summer.
After Gracie and I got dry clothes we were ready for the picnic. Gracie thought this was just too neat. Colette brought homemade macaroni salad, watermelon and brownies, so we had a great meal (and the hot dogs were still hot--I wrapped them in aluminum foil).
Gracie got to swing and play some more and then we brought a very tired and very unhappy toddler home. She would have been happier to stay at the park until dawn.
We hope that all of you had a fun and relaxing weekend--now, back to the grindstone!
A blessed Memorial Day to all, may you spend it together and find time to remember why we celebrate. Our love to servicemen and women nationwide, for a job we don't have the courage to do. Thank you for protecting my daughter.
Our love to Desiree & Carrie who will celebrate without Scott this year as he has returned to Iraq.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Gracie has wanted the Milton Bradly game Lucky Ducks since they started showing the commercials around Christmas. I knew she wanted the game, but to me there was little educational value and so I chose other games.
Yesterday as I was running a few errands on my own, I passed by at least 6 yard sale signs for different locations around town. I passed by one going to get gas. I decided I would stop on the way back. Here is where I purchased the Lucky Ducks game (a much older version, but it great working order) for .50. I also got a Popsicle mold for a quarter. I knew Gracie would be thrilled.
I did go on to stop at another yard sale where I really racked up. I got a giant play barn, some stuffies, lots of books, and a My First LeapPad system with 6 books!!! All for $13. Gracie has had a blast, and all she can talk about are the lucky ducks. I snapped this picture this afternoon while Daddy, Gracie and I played one of 4 rounds of the quacky game.
Gracie and I went to the Mozingo's church this morning to surprise them. Tom was preaching this morning, and I wanted to hear him. Colette was so surprised to see us, I think it made her morning. Gracie was dressed very patriotic in her white sailor dress and white hat.
We listened to Mr. Tom and gave hugs and then I thought I would treat Gracie to breakfast. I took her to Cracker Barrel and we had strawberry pancakes and eggs and sausage. This was quite a morning for her and she felt so special. After about the 4th couple to walk up to our table, Gracie whispered "momma, everyone thinks I am pretty today." And she was.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
This apartment has been home for more than 4 years, but the walls are starting to move in, and we need something bigger.
I have decided that this will be out last year in this apartment. It is my biggest goal to find a bigger space by next April. So I would appreciate any prayers, because that will be a difficult task. We are a one income family and a mortgage and higher bills will make our budget squeak.
I thought I would share some new pictures of Gracie's room and you can see that she needs a bigger room and a play room. I know that most of this is my fault. She is so blessed with toys, but I can't pass up bargains. 95% of everything you see in this room was either a hand-me-down or thrift/yard sale purchased. But we don't care, there are so many fun things she has to play with and be creative with.
I really hope that our prayers will be answered and that we can find our own place soon. We have worked and waited for a long time, and I hope that we will be rewarded with our patience.
On the left hand side of the blog you will now find a link to all of our pictures and several of the latest videos I have on You Tube. This is perfect for the grandparents who like to see new pictures and videos every chance they get. I also added a section about my week. I was thinking about how a lot of the moments everyday get lost, and so I made a few things to share with you and remember myself. My goal is to update that section every Friday. It has favorite moments, books, and more.
I also added a welcome and a picture of Gracie and I. Blogging has really become a life line for me, and I hope that you enjoy reading about our lives.
PS: I have added several new pictures to our Picasa May folder, so check them out.
Have you read any of these? Were they your favorites? We would love to get comments about our list, and maybe you can help spark more discussion after we finish reading it!!!
I'll change them to red when we have read/re-read them.
|Birth–3 Years |
Best Word Book Ever, Richard Scarry
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin, Jr.,
Caps for Sale,
Chicken Soup with Rice, Maurice Sendak
Good Dog, Carl, Alexandra Day
Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
The Lost Sheep
"More More More" Said the Baby, Vera B. Williams
On Mother’s Lap,
Pat the Bunny,
Read-Aloud Bible Stories,
The Runaway Bunny, Margaret Wise Brown
Shoes, Elizabeth Winthrop
The Toddler’s Bible,
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
|3–5 Years |
Bedtime for Frances, Russell Hoban
The Cat in the Hat,
Giant Steps for Little People,
Go, Dog, Go,
Ira Sleeps Over,
Just in Case You Ever Wonder, Max Lucado
The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper
The Little Red Hen, various authors since 1942
Make Way for the Ducklings,
Millions of Cats,
Noah’s Ark, Peter Spier
The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy, Jane Thayer
The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
|5–7 Years |
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey
A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams
Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel
Goops and How to Be Them, Gelett Burgess
Harold and the Purple Crayon,
The Hole in the Dike, retold by Norma Green
Least of All,
The Little House, Virginia Lee Burton
Little People in Tough Spots: Bible Answers for Young Children,
Ox-Cart Man, Donald Hall
People, Peter Spier
The Story about Ping, Marjorie Flack
The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf
The Year at Maple Hill Farm,
Alice and Martin Provensen
Friday, May 25, 2007
I snapped this picture as Emma was picking up a cup of water. I think she planned to chew on the cup, but didn't realise there was water in it. The water went down her belly. If you look close you can see the water as it is pouring out of the cup. (click on the picture to enlarge)
Best wishes for a great weekend to all of you, and if you have 3 days off--really enjoy it!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I have post dated some entries that I hope you will enjoy.
And a belated congratulations to Cory Morgan who graduated from kindergarten on Monday. I was so excited to get a picture, and I just had to share. I am looking forward to these fun things in Gracie's life, but I don't plan to rush them. Scroll down to see Cory's graduation picture and entry.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Thank you for the new ballet shoes, I love them! Mommy said that they were your old dance shoes. This is my first pair of real ballet slippers and I am very excited. I can even put them on all by myself. I have worn them everyday since I found them in Mommy's room on Monday! They make me feel like a real ballerina.
Thank you very much.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Garren and I are severely sun burnt, sore and very tired--but the festival is once a year and I wanted Gracie to get to ride the pony again and see the duck race.
Garren went with me and we did have some more fun. We each got a treat and Gracie rode the pony again. She also feed the goats a few more times and made a sand art like Mariah's.
After watching the puppet show there wasn't much left to do until the duck race, but we managed. Gracie got a Popsicle and LOVED the live music.
At 3:30 we were on the banks of the "town run" (I swear that's what the little itty bitty creek is called!!!) when they dumped the bucket of yellow plastic ducks in to the water. Garren and Gracie ran along the bank and watched as the ducks followed the water. This is such a neat idea, I may have to find away to incorporate it in one of the tea parties!!
When we got back, the 2 hours of excitement was more than we could handle. We all either laid down or napped.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I think everyone got a much needed night of sleep last night, but they are going to need another one tonight after the day we had. Garren and I are sun burnt to a crisp, and Gracie might sleep until Tuesday...but it was all worth it!
The day started off at the book sale (you know me). We found a box full of bargains, and while Grandpa carted the box off to the parking space in the next county, we took in all the vendors.
Next we took the girls to the petting zoo where they fed several of the animals. Gracie fed the tiny goats (Candice, Gracie is going to love Sassie and Nellie!!), she giggled as they licked the feed off her hands. Mariah feed the zebu (it looked like a cow to me). After the animals were feed and the girls were sanitized, we walked over to the pony rides. I had a feeling that Gracie would ride this year, and she loved it. Mariah took the large horse and Gracie rode the pony. The girls had a great time.
We found many other activities to occupy our time until the parade. Mariah made sand art while Gracie played the kiddie games. Then, they both jumped in the bouncy things, and then there was a picnic lunch.
The parade was very neat, but extremely hot. I am pretty sure this is where we got the first layer of burn. Now Gracie was fine, we kept her covered up. Too bad mommy didn't use the sunscreen she had packed in the diaper bag!!!!
The parade went on for a little over an hour, and Gracie enjoyed every minute. She waved to everyone who came down the street and kept asking "what's next momma!" She of course loved the marching band the best and any one who threw out candy.
After the parade we learned that the carnival was opening early so we made a bee line. I didn't think that Gracie would ride anything--but boy was I wrong. We tried to talk grandma out of getting her the arm band that lets you ride all you want. Little did I know Garren and I would trade in our little baby for a daredevil. He and I watched with white knuckles as she rode ride after ride after ride. We were the most nervous about the swings since she wouldn't be sitting beside Mariah. I nearly puked from nervousness, but she beamed so hard I thought her cheeks would fall off.
To cap off the evening we stopped for dinner at the Hi Neighbor. Grandma, Grandpa and Mariah left soon after.
It was an extremely busy, very hot, and fun day. I am ready to crash, and my head is still spinning. I love days like this!!
Check out the amazing pictures I took on my Picasa album. Click here. Or check out the videos:
Mariah & Gracie on ponies
Gracie feeds Goats (Sunday)
Gracie & Mariah On Swings
Friday, May 18, 2007
I invited Colette and Mallory to come over and eat pizza while Tom worked late; and they returned the favor by bringing over a projector and their latest favorite DVD.
I think everyone enjoyed "Night At The Museum," especially Gracie. She wasn't so much interested in the plot lines, but more in the huge picture that was on the wall. She kept going up to the wall and touching the "people." This seemed to fascinate her. At one point she hugged one of the characters and then he moved and she jumped so quick. It was hysterical!!
I also baked cookies and we had plenty of popcorn. Tom came over after he finished up his job and everyone was ready for bed by the time the movie ended.
We are looking forward to more fun at Mayfest tomorrow!
Believe it or not; today is "visit your relatives day." So go home and see mom, or visit grandma, or your favorite aunt. Live too far away? Give them a call and let them know you are thinking of them! Let me know in the comments who you visited/called today!
Luckily for us, Grandma and Grandpa are coming to visit this evening! So we get to see our relatives in person!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Before long you will have as many as I do and you can eat a lot more fun things than peas in a jar. I love you bunches!
(Emma's first tooth came in on the 8th, but this is the first time I was able to snap a picture where you can see it. Meanwhile Gracie continues to be in agony over her 6 year molars that are just about to pop through! Imagine, 2 teething meanies!)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I pulled one of them out this morning for Gracie and I to do together. You make a pair of slippers out of foam pieces by sewing them together with yarn.
This kit had everything including sticky foamies to make the face. I thought I would have to sew it for her, but the kit included a huge plastic needle large enough for her to use. I helped her line up the holes and she did it. I was so proud, and they are too cute.
I thought I would share.
Friends & Family:
I know that your in-boxes are littered enough already, but here's another one. :) I have several loyal visitors to the blog, but I know that most of you are very busy people and I have had some requests for an email/picture update. So here it is in a nutshell:
Gracie had a wonderful 3rd birthday in March. She celebrated twice and remains more than willing to have a birthday party everyday. We had a Clifford party here at the apartment for her, and invited the girls from the tea parties. Even though they are several years older than she is, everyone had a blast and mommy went way out on the decorations, including a Clifford doghouse cake I made. Each child even got a take home a goody doggie bowl full of treats. The next weekend we had another party in Tennessee; this one for the family. Gracie had loved the kids play place "Fun Adventure" in Johnson City so much, when I saw you can have parties, I signed us up. Grandma and Grandpa drove up from Lynchburg and the many TN family members all came to celebrate. I was bummed that none of my former co-workers and their families were able to come, but Gracie seemed to have a good time anyway. We threw her a Happy Feet party and she was completely spoiled. Plus, the week of vacation we spent in Tennessee after the party was much needed!
When we got back from Tennessee, I started a new job. Well, I added new clients to my current job ;) I now care for Emma, an adorable and lovable 10 month old. I met Kathy (Emma's mom) through my neighbor Colette who thought that I might be willing to keep Emma. Babysitting isn't something I sought out, but after I thought about it, I decided I would love to give piece of mind to another mother. I am so blessed to be able to stay at home with my daughter, and not all moms are that lucky. I can only imagine the stress and worry that goes in to finding a daycare provider for the most precious commodity you have. So, this is my way of giving back. Now Kathy knows that her daughter is being taken care of and enjoyed as if she were at home. As for Gracie, she is wonderful with her. Don't get me wrong we have a few rare moments of jealousy, but nothing extreme. Gracie and Emma adore each other, and Gracie is so protective. Emma hadn't been here a week and she was crying when I laid her down for a nap. Gracie broke in to tears and was sobbing "she needs her gi-gi momma!!" I nearly cried watching my child hurt for this little baby. I had to carry this big one out of the room and snuggle her and reassure her that I would always take care of Emma and Gracie!
We spent Easter in Lynchburg this year, which I think has become a tradition we enjoy. Grandma finished another smocked dress that Lou had started, and she looked precious in pink. The Easter bunny was quite good to her, and we did all the fun Easter things I so look forward to. The week before Easter, Gracie and I hosted an egg hunt and party for the girls here. It was freezing, but the girls managed to find all of the eggs I hid outside the apartment. When they came in from the cold they enjoyed the bunny cake I had made and we all painted eggs.As for Easter weekend, Mariah and Gracie got some time together during a Easter party at Grandma & Grandpa's church, and they got to ride the train at the mall. We didn't attempt pictures with the bunny, knowing that wouldn't have been a success. But, I snapped some really beautiful ones after church on Sunday.
In May we took Gracie to her first Apple Blossom festival and her first circus. She had an amazing time and was so excited. We have another festival coming up this weekend and hopefully Grandma and Grandma will be bringing Mariah to enjoy it too.
Our current project is a garden outside the apartment. I had this awesome idea and called and got permission from the landlord to start a "learning garden;" a place where the kids of this building can be apart of the planting process and watch their hard work grow in to beautiful plants. It took a LOT of work to get the extremely rocky ground ready, but we already have some success. I have green peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, strawberries, watermelon, carrots and pumpkin all planted. Cucumbers are the next to go in. I really hope that this project pays off and the girls get something out of it. Some of these kids have never seen something grow from a seed, much less helped in a garden. How exciting!
Life stays busy here, especially now that I have two. But it just means even more fun and looking for new ideas. The most exciting new development is that Gracie is potty trained! All that effort I had been putting in since 18 months didn't do diddly squat! Gracie just decided one day to use the potty (we hadn't been trying to train her for the past 6 months or so, we decided it wasn't working and it wasn't worth the frustration and mess). However it happened, I am relieved. Waiting until she was ready has paid off. Her decision was about 3 weeks ago, and we have had very few accidents, and we are now in day 3 of no accidents. Those accidents, by the way, would only happen when she was playing and she didn't make it to the potty in time. I gave Gracie a potty party last week and she was so proud. I made her a construction paper cap and printed off a potty diploma. We had cupcakes (with iced undies on top! I'm really getting good with the cake decorating!) and the neighbors came over and she got gifts of big girl underwear. The party made her feel so accomplished, and I was just as proud as she was!!
I think that about sums it up here. We certainly hope that life on your end is going well and we would love to hear from you. If you want more Gracie info you are welcome to check out my blog, I update it nearly everyday and it is such a joy to me.
I have embedded some pictures in to this email, but there are plenty more. Below are some links so you can see whole folders. Last year I switched from Snapfish to Picasa, so you don't have to sign up to see my pictures, just click on the link and there they are.
I hope all of you moms had a nice Mother's Day. Besides Gracie having a cold, mine was pretty good. Gracie gave me a card, and she and I went out with Kathy, Emma, Colette and Mallory for a Mother's Day brunch last Wednesday and we had a great time.
Our love to you all,
Barbara, Garren & Gracie
Week In TN
Gracie & Emma
Easter Egg Hunt & Party
Easter In Lynchburg
Monday, May 14, 2007
JACK (age 3) was watching his Mom breast-feeding his new baby sister. After a while he asked: "Mom why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?"
MELANIE (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was. Granny replied she was so old she didn't remember any more. Melanie said, "If you don't remember you must look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six."
STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mom good night. "I love you so much that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window."
BRITTANY (age 4) had an earache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: "How does it know it's me?"
SUSAN (age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. "Please don't give me this juice again," she said, "It makes my teeth cough."
DJ (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: "How much do I cost?"
MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: "Why is he whispering in her mouth?"
CLINTON (age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried. When his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, "I don't know what'll happen with this bed when I get married. How will m y wife fit in?"
JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." Concerned, James asked: "What happened to the flea?"
TAMMY (age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy looked at her for a while and then asked, "Why doesn't your skin fit your face?"
The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget....this particular Sunday sermon..."Dear Lord," the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "Without you, we are but dust..." He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, "Mom, what is butt dust?"
Sunday, May 13, 2007
To those who chose to stay home and share every moment, and those who work to give their child everything they never had.
To those who act silly and play pretend, and those who read stories before bed.
To mother's of one and two and three and many more. To new mothers and just about to become mothers.
To those who tidy up and clean up and do it again. To those who wish they had more time to play, and those who would give anything to have a spare moment to rest.
To those who prepare every healthy meal, and those who order out.
To those who make sacrifices everyday and would do it all again...
...a day isn't enough, but luckily for us we get a lifetime of mother's days.
Friday, May 11, 2007
When Kathy dropped Emma off in this adorable fluffy red white & blue outfit this moring, I just had to pull out the Polly Flinders sailor dress I picked up for Gracie on Wednesday!
I put together an impromptu photo shoot and pulled out some beach-like toys. The girls seemed to have a great time posing together and seperately. Several of the 80 I snapped came out pretty good. I thought I would share.
Makes you want to spend time at the beach, doesn't it! Have a great weekend from our family to yours.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
We ate at a local restaurant--The Hi Neighbor. I hadn't eaten there before, and was pleasantly surprised by the good food and extremely reasonable prices.
After we ate, we all hiked the short distance down our main street to the local kids thrift store where I got several bargains including a Polly Flinders sailor dress!!!!
Of course no outing would be complete with out me snapping several pictures. I found a pretty spot and had each mother and daughter pose.
I wanted to share with you three mothers who love their daughters more than they can describe. I am very glad I found them, becuase they can understand someone like me a little bit better.
PS: I can't leave out my bestest friend in the whole world--Candice. I appreciate all of her support any and everytime I need it. If she were here in Strasburg we would be joined at the hip. I am especially glad I found someone like her! :) And I think she is a great mom to her 4 "kids." (Lucie, Sassie, Nellie...and Elliott)