Barbies and Sweet Daddy Moments

What age do little girls start playing with Barbie dolls?  Apparently I’m in denial because Emma received 3 Barbies for her 4th Birthday and I’m just going to pretend that she’s still too young to have a Barbie.  However, that probably won’t stop her from playing with them. 

A funny note about Barbies- I NEVER owned one- not a single one.  I just wasn’t in to the normal things.  I liked digging for worms with my Dad, doing math flash cards, and playing “office.”  So, my stress level mounted as I opened the Barbie packages today.  I was thinking to myself- I don’t know how to teach Emma to play Barbies- what exactly do you DO with them???  I should have known- Emma needed no instruction on how to play with Barbies.  It was love at first site.




She and Daddy played Barbies for several minutes before bed.  They pretended that they were taking the Barbies to school- that one of them got sick while at school and they had to call her Mommy.  When Robin asked Emma what the Barbie’s name was so he could call her Mommy she said, “Her first name is Bar, her last name is Bee.”  Makes sense!

I captured these few sweet pictures of Emma and Daddy having a sweet conversation and hug before bed.




A Birthday Visit…


Pops and Gigi made a last minute decision to drive all the way to Tulsa to be here for Emma’s Birthday Party. The drove around 10 hours to be here for less than 24 hours!  Emma was so excited that they were here and we are so thankful they were able to come!

After the party, we got to hang out at the house for a little bit before they had to drive back to Arlington.  Here are a few pictures of Gigi and Emma playing the piano…  they played several Christmas songs!





Pops and Gigi brought Foster a little gift- he LOVED this talking Elmo.



We’ll see you all in about a week for Christmas! Thanks so much for coming. :)

Emma’s 4th Birthday Party


Emma turned 4 on Saturday, December 18th and we celebrated with a party at Bounce U!

She has been looking forward to this for weeks and weeks!  This is the first year we have really had a “friend party.”  She invited several friends from her new school, her old school, church, playgroup, etc.  If you are reading this and were not invited to the party, PLEASE forgive me!  It was very hard to narrow down the list.  Please know that we love each of you and cherish all of our friendships!

Here are some pictures from the day:

Kaycee and Emma were in the same class at South Tulsa Baptist Church ELP for 2 years and became instant friends their very first day of school.  Their teachers told us that they would pull their cribs close together and babble to each other when they were 20 months old (they were the only 2 that wouldn’t nap!) They aren’t at school together this year but as soon as they saw each other they immediately picked up where they left off.  Here they are surveying Emma’s gifts!IMG_4939




Adia and her Mommy, Kaycee and Emma watching the “Safety Video:”IMG_4966

Katelyn, Kinley, Emma, Kaycee, and Adia watching the video:IMG_4970

Kylan, Katelyn, Kinley, Emma, Kaycee, and Adia:IMG_4971

Emma bounced all the way UP the slide ladder, she never stopped!:IMG_4979

March of the 3 and 4 year olds:IMG_4986

Avery, Adelynn, Emma:IMG_5003

Mommy and Aunt Judy:IMG_5005edit

Adelynn and Emma:IMG_5007edit

There were a variety of bounce items at the party but Emma stayed on the slides in both rooms the entire time… she loves slides!IMG_4999

Aubrey and her Daddy at the Canon shooting game:IMG_5009

Robin, Kennedi, and Emma:IMG_5011edit

Love this!:IMG_5012edit

Robin, Emma, Adelynn, Chloe, and Aiden:IMG_5019edit 

Daddy and Emma (even though this is blurry, I love it!):IMG_5020edit

John and Jax:IMG_5023


Uncle Brandon and Foster:IMG_5031edit

Love this… Emily catching her Daddy on the slide!:IMG_5040

Pops is the coolest Grandpa ever… he went on the slide just for Emma.  The funny thing is that we kept telling Emma to wait for Pops at the top so she could go down the slide with him but she wouldn’t wait for him!IMG_5047edit



Emma and Kaycee:IMG_5052edit

“Hello Kitty” Birthday cake, Emma LOVES Hello Kitty:IMG_5057

The kids sitting down waiting patiently for pizza:IMG_5059



Pops feeding Foster pizza:IMG_5074

Emma drinking her Lemonade:IMG_5076

This was hilarious… WELL before we finished singing “Happy Birthday” Emma blew out her candles- she said she was afraid one of her friends would blow out her candles before she got a chance to!  She was making this face because we were all laughing at her!IMG_5078

Emma got so many wonderful gifts- here are some of the packages:IMG_5088

This is the “throne” that kids typically sit on to open gifts at Bounce U parties.  However, Emma was scared of this chair and thought the sign on the wall looked like a “monster.”  We had to ask the hostess to bring in a normal chair for Emma.  He said, “I’ve done about 100 parties here and I’ve never had a child refuse to sit in that chair.”  I told him he hadn’t met Emma yet! :)IMG_5135

Opening gifts:IMG_5083





She picked out a Lollipop from the Bounce U treasure box:IMG_5112

This cracked me up…. my lucky number is “27.”  Robin noticed this above the door in our party room.  Ironically, we had more than 27 people in the room.  There were probably 35-40 people including the siblings and adults!  So much for rules!IMG_5132

Emma and Mrs. Phipps.  Mrs. Phipps is one of Emma’s teachers at school and Emma is friends with her daughter, Adelynn.  It was so fun to have Mrs. Phipps at the party!IMG_5119

Emma had such a fun day and will remember her party for a long time. Thanks to all of our friends and family for making her Birthday so special!


School Program

On Wednesday, December 15th, Emma had her performance at school.  We were so impressed which how much that she had learned!  They sang several songs, talked about the Christmas story, and even sang a song in Spanish.  We have LOVED Emma’s school this year- she has learned so much and made some great friends… and she adores her teachers.

We didn’t get a ton of pictures from the program because Daddy was taking video AND taking pictures while Mommy literally chased Foster around the back of the room.  He was a MESS!

The whole group- Emma is on the left side of risers, 2nd row, 2nd from right:IMG_4899


After the program their were cookies and refreshments and several tables where we got to do some crafts with Emma:IMG_4911


Emma and Daddy eating some cookies:IMG_4923

Handsome little brother… who was a MESS (oh, did I already say that?) during the performance!:IMG_4936

First Choir Performance on Stage


Emma had her first real “on-stage” performance at church last Sunday night, December 12th.  She has been attending 3 year old children’s choir every week on Wednesday nights and she absolutely loves it.  She loves to sing and the best part is that she gets to sing with her good friends!  I am one of the teachers/helpers in her class and it is fun for me to get to watch her interact with her friends each week.  We have been working really hard on learning our 3 Christmas songs for several weeks.  They sang “Jesus is Born,” “Thank You God For Jesus,” and “Away In a Manger.” 

Emma knew all of the words and motions and was very excited about her performance.

Emma and Nana at home before heading to the program:IMG_4756edit

Right before the actual performance we got to stand on stage and “rehearse.”  The entire audience was already in the room and it was a great time for Daddy to take some pictures.  Emma did great at the rehearsal- she sang all of the words, smiled, and did the motions.  Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal…

Mackenzie and Emma:IMG_4763

Mackenzie, Emma, Adia (in back), Kinley, and Karter: (I love all of their expressions!)IMG_4767edit 



Next we went out in the atrium for a few quick pictures before the program started…

 Walker, Bo, Abby, Karter, Kinley, Natalie, Mackenzie, Emma, and Aubrey:IMG_4820edit

Emma and Aubrey:IMG_4818edit 

Ok, so then it was time for the actual performance.  It did not go quite as well as the rehearsal 5 minutes before!!!  It was if Emma knew this was the ‘real thing’ and she just FROZE!  I kind of expected that this might happen.  While some parents fear that their child will be a clown on stage, I always fear that Emma will freeze! :)  A couple of things threw her off: 1) she didn’t get to stand by Mackenzie.  2) Mommy was on stage this time because I need to help out another little girl.  Emma was jealous that I was holding the other little girl.

You can see in the following pictures that things slowly went downhill!

This isn’t looking good… very nervous!IMG_4852edit

Upset that the girl next to her bumped her with her jingle bell:


Then she dropped her jingle bell and had to go fetch it:IMG_4865 

She finally gave up and sat down next to me for the remainder of the program:IMG_4874

We told Emma that we were so proud of her.  She is such a funny girl- little things really throw her off.  I’m so glad they did the rehearsal because at least we got to see her sing the songs and do the motions before the program.  Next year I will not make the mistake of sitting on stage!  We love you Emma and can’t wait to watch your choir performances for years to come!

Gingerbread Party


Today Emma and I went to the Preschool Gingerbread Party at our church.  Last year, my Aunt Judy took Emma to the party because Robin and I were at a rehearsal for our roles as Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus the following day.  I had so much fun with Emma at the party!  She loves crafts and she loves to be creative.  Today she did most of the house all by herself and I was very impressed.  We got to sit with some good friends and just have a good time hanging out, sneaking in a few bites of candy, and giggling together.  Here are some pictures:






Ok, now this REALLY blows me away… Here below are two pictures from last year’s Gingerbread Party.  One year later and Emma has grown up so much!!! Two things I notice in the pictures below:

1.  She looks like she’s still a toddler here and she could barely do any of the house herself.  Today, she did the entire thing by herself!  She is becoming so much more independent. 

2.  She’s wearing an almost identical outfit both years!  I LOVE these velour outfits from The Children’s Place.  Emma only likes to wear “comfy clothes.”  She does not like jeans or tight pants.  These outfits make us both happy- they are very cute and comfortable.  This year at the Just Between Friends Consignment sale I bought this outfit in 4 different colors!!!  Overboard, I know.  My good friend Terra was really cracking up at me.  You may notice in the last blog post she was wearing the pink version. :) SO, I will try to branch out every other day but you will probably be seeing a lot of “velour” on Emma this Winter!



Emma’s Birthday Celebration at School


Today we celebrated Emma’s 4th Birthday at her school.  Her actual Birthday isn’t until December 18th but her teachers know that next week is going to be very busy with Christmas activities so we decided to celebrate 1 week early.  Her school makes Birthday so special!  I just love their rituals and traditions.  Robin, Foster, and I got to go and enjoy the festivities.  Her teachers asked us to fill out a sheet where we described Emma at each of her milestone Birthdays: 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and now 4 years.  The teacher read this sheet as Emma walked around the “Sun” while holding the “Earth.”  She picked 2 of her favorite friends, Maggie and Adelynn to hold the Sun.    Here are some pictures from the special ritual. 

Emma and Mrs. Fondell:IMG_4622

Emma walking around the Sun, held by Adelynn and Maggie:IMG_4625


Her teachers also asked us to bring several baby pictures of Emma to share with the class.  Here, you see Mrs. Phipps showing Emma’s classmates her pictures. 



Next, Mrs. Fondell lit the candle on their Birthday Cake and they sang “Happy Birthday” to Emma.  I loved the 2nd verse- they sang “God Bless You Today….”  It was very sweet and the look on Emma’s face was priceless.




Blowing out her candle:IMG_4654

Emma’s pouty face… because the boy on the left tried to blow her candle out again after she had already done it.  Silly boys!IMG_4655

Next the Birthday child gets to pick 4 ways to celebrate their Birthday as a class (for instance, 4 claps, 4 leg pats, 4 jumps, etc.)  Emma whispered to Mrs. Fondell her 4 wishes. 


4 leg pats:IMG_4661

Next, Emma got to be the line leader to walk to the snack room.  It is so adorable how excited little children get about getting to be the FIRST one in line!  I remember those days!


For snack time we brought Holiday Fruit snacks from Target (Emma picked these out) and I also picked up some Sugar Cookies from Reasor’s.  



Being silly with friends, Maggie and Ashlin:IMG_4684



It was such a special day for Emma.  I got kind of teary-eyed as she walked around the Sun while Mrs. Fondell read her Biography!  She is growing up so fast.  When Robin and I were leaving we kept trying to get her to come say good-bye to us.  She was too busy playing to come say good-bye.  That’s how you know a child loves their school… and that’s how you know your child is growing up!  Sniff sniff. 

Looking forward to more Birthday Celebrations next week.

Oh, and here’s the supportive sibling during the Birthday Celebration.  This was nap time for Foster so he just chilled in his stroller and drooled! :)


Christmas Dance “Recital”

Monday night, December 6th, Emma’s ballet/tap class presented their Christmas dance to the parents.  It was adorable.  They have been working on it for several weeks and all I can say is God bless their sweet teacher!  She is so patient, so kind, so good at what she does.  The recital was very laid back.  The teacher put an elf costume on each of the girls right before they performed- the girls had not seen the costumes before so they were pretty excited.  Emma’s hat was very big and kept falling down over her eyes but she kept right on performing.  Also… 10 minutes before the parents came in the room the girls were practicing and Emma tripped over her un-tied ballet laces and fell hard on her knee.   (I later realized that she tripped because the laces on her ballet shoes had come untied because Mommy forgot to double knot them- BAD Mommy!)  She bawled and came out to find me.  She was so upset.  Her knee was pretty red and had a swollen knot on it.  After a long hug from me and Daddy she wiped off her tears and went right back in to practice.  We were amazed!  Usually Emma gets very thrown off when things like this happen.  This was a huge step for her. 

She had SO much fun during her performance.  It gave me so much joy to see her having so much fun.  She loves to dance. 

Her fan club included: Myself, Daddy, Aunt Judy, Nana, and Foster.












The girls did their routine 3 times so that all of the parents could get plenty of pictures and videos.  Then the girls got to sit and have a little party with cookies and juice. 

IMG_4602  IMG_4603