Memorial Day Weekend Fun with Friends

This will be a loooong post because we just returned from a very fun-filled 3 day weekend with friends in Allen, TX.  Our good friends, The Rowe’s, were gracious enough to host our family and the Kreys at their new house in Allen.  Their home is beautiful and we had such a great time!  We try to get together every year but it seems like everyone keeps having babies which really complicates the planning!  We went to Galveston with both of these families two summers ago and it was such a fun family vacation.  Both of these families went to Baylor and it’s so fun to reminisce about old times!  Now we have 8 children (ranging from 5 months to almost 5 years)all together which makes for a CRAZY time!

Here are Emmy, Emma, Foster, and Hayden eating breakfast the first morning that we were there.

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The Kreys arrived in Allen mid-morning.  It was so good to meet baby Hazel for the first time and Emma was so excited to see Elliott and Oliver!

Robin holding Hazel, The Krey’s new baby girl, for the first time.  She is so adorable!

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Emma and Emmy playing on the stairs!

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All four of the big kids on the stairs- too funny!

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Elliott, Oliver, Emmy, Emma- they look SO BIG!

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Foster (1 1/2 years old), and Hayden (2 1/2 years old)

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The whole crew walking to the park- I bet we scared people when they saw us coming!

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Emma and Emmy reconnected and bonded immediately.  They haven’t really played together in 2 years!  It was very sweet to watch them together.

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Eating our picnic lunches.  Each child got to pack their own lunch by picking a fruit, a couple of snacks, and then a sandwich of their choice.  Capri Suns to drink.  Little did we know that it was going to be so windy!  The trash kept flying away.  It was a very humorous but fun lunch.  The kids loved playing at the park after lunch.

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Saturday evening the dads took the big kids to a new splash park that is close to their house.  Emma had a great time.  We cracked up when the girls came out of the rooms after getting dressed- they had the SAME swimsuit.  Jessica and I have very similar taste in a lot of ares PLUS we both shop at Target a lot. :)

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Saturday night was a bit wild.  Foster had a severe allergic reaction that kicked into high-gear about 3 hours after we went to the park.  We haven’t figured out if he was reacting to sunscreen or peanut butter.  We’ll be having him tested soon.  Poor Foster developed hives, a severe rash on his face, completely swollen lower lip, and he was coughing and drooling- all very yucky signs.  We rushed him to an urgent care center that was just 5 minutes from their house.  It was such a great medical facility- I’m so thankful for their good care when we got there.  They immediately gave him Benedryl, Steroids, and shot of Epinephrine.  He got better very quickly and it was such a relief to see him smile.  It was such a scary weekend but we are so thankful for good medical care, and to our friends for being so supportive and for watching Emma for us while we were with Foster.  I’ll update on what we find out about Foster’s allergies when I know something.  This was the first time this has ever happened to him and I pray that it’s not the start of something.  That night we kept him in a pack and play by our bed so that I could monitor his breathing and give him Benedryl every 6 hours.  I was on edge all night.  Thankfully, he did great through the night- with the exception of wanting to play at 3am- I think the Benedryl made him a bit wired!

Sunday morning the kids played in the front driveway for a while.  They rode bikes, scooters, played basketball, and they played with water balloons!

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Foster opted to play inside most of the morning- he loved playing with the cars, the dollhouse, and the play kitchen in their playroom!

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Group party pic!  This is getting to be more and more difficult as more children are added!  There are some hilarious out-takes from this photo shoot.  This is the best one that I got!

(Lincoln, Emerson, Foster, Oliver, Hazel, Emma, Elliott, and Hayden!)

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Sunday afternoon we ate at Dickey’s BBQ before saying goodbye to the Kreys.  They had to leave to head back to Waco and it was sad to see them go.  Sunday night we went to Gloria’s to eat dinner and it was a really neat atmosphere- we even got our own little private room- thank goodness because our kids were CRAZY!

Monday morning we got up, had cinnamon rolls, hung out, packed, and then had to say our good-byes around 11:00 to head for home.  Here are some pictures of the girls before we left.

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After leaving, we went through the drive-thru at In-N-Out Burger which was just 5 minutes from their house.  We waited in line for about 20 minutes which I hear is not bad at all.  It was well worth the wait- best burger and fries I’ve ever had!!!

Thank you so much to Scott and Jessica for hosting such a fun family weekend!  We loved your house and we loved getting to hang out with you even more.  Your kids are precious!  Thanks for everything!!

Library Time

Well school is officially over and I have been busy packing our Summer calendar full!  Not really, I want us to have a relaxing, fun summer with lots of down time.  But I know me, and I know my kids and we HAVE to get out of the house, preferably every day!

Emma and Foster both LOVE books so I’ve enrolled both of them in the summer book club and I plan to take them every week to storytime.

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Our first library visit was last Wednesday.  Here are the kids outside of the library before going in.

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After checking out several books for Foster and several books for Emma we went to Conner’s Cove for Preschool Story time with Miss Kristie.  At first Emma was very shy and would not sit on the rug with the rest of the kids.  She sat on my lap in the very back.  However, 5 minutes into the story time Emma jumped up from my lap, walked to the VERY front, and sat down right in front of the librarian!  Sometimes she just absolutely shocks me!  She sat there for the remainder of the time and loved listening to the stories and participating in the songs.  She even asked Foster to come sit by her (so sweet.)  Can you see Emma in the picture below?  She’s right in front of the librarian’s knees!

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Tornado Season

If you’ve watched the news you KNOW that the past month has been very bad in the way of tornados in the mid-west.  I feel so blessed that our family has been protected from the horrible storms and feel very heartbroken for those in Oklahoma and neighboring states that have lost loved ones and homes.  I really can not imagine losing a child, a parent, or a home in the blink of an eye.

I take storms very seriously- I watch the Weather on the news like a hawk and have my kiddos take cover at the slightest threat of severe weather.

Emma actually enjoys taking cover in her bathroom which happens to be the safest room in our house.  As we sat as a family of 4 in a tiny bathroom last Tuesday evening Robin and I talked about how we both have fond memories from our childhood of taking cover with our families.  What other time can you think of that your family is required to be together, in such a small space, and just be together?  It’s called quality family bonding!  I’ll admit that the kids got a little restless but Emma asked the following day if we could take cover in the bathroom again even if there wasn’t a storm.

Foster was fine in the bathroom as long as he had snacks.  He ate pretty much the entire time we were in the bathroom and I had to clean a lot of cracker crumbs out of the bathtub the next day! He was very tired as it was an hour past his bedtime but we made it.

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Robin and Emma are the only two in our family who have bike helmets… here they are sporting their bike gear to protect their heads in the case of an emergency.

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Robin passed the time by watching the storm on his iphone and Facebook updates.  What did we do before iphones?

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Sleepy sleepy boy!

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Dance Recital

Emma had her very first dance recital tonight, Sunday, May 22nd.  I posted several pictures of her in her recital costume several weeks ago when she had pictures at her dance studio but I thought I’d post a few more from the actual event.

I must say, I definitely had my first really “Nervous Mom” moment as I waited for Emma to take the stage tonight.  She was so nervous when I left her backstage- she didn’t want me to leave- even though one of our very good friends from church was the Stage Mom backstage and had brought activities for the kids to do.  Emma was very overwhelmed and she had a look on her face like she was about to fall apart.  I was able to successfully get her distracted, I gave her a quick hug and kiss, told her I loved her, then left the back-stage area to go sit with my family.  I was sitting there thinking- “Is she going to make it out on stage?”  ”Is she bawling her eyes out?”  I said several small prayers for her sweet nerves.  When the curtain opened for the 4th performance of the evening out came Emma with her class- 10 girls in all in cute Teddy Bear costumes.  Emma had a huge smile on her face and I breathed a huge sigh of relief!

Now- I won’t say the performance was perfect- Emma didn’t even stand where she normally does!  She stood on the opposite side and appeared lost at times.  But I was SO proud of her!  Proud that she did something so independent- without Mommy. Proud that she came out of her shell and was performing!  Proud that she has learned so much in Dance this year!

This first picture was taken during the rehearsal which was on Saturday at 12:30.  Emma was taking it ALL in.  She was watching all of the different dancers in the different costumes- she asked me hundreds of questions about what was going on.

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I got Emma all ready for the recital on Sunday afternoon and we ran in the backyard to take a few quick pictures before we had to leave.  Here’s a picture of Daddy and Emma before the recital.

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Mommy and Emma- she was all giggles!

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Poor Foster hasn’t been feeling well for the past several days.  He was finally better today- but still kind of puny.  He stayed home during the recital with a sitter.  Maybe next year he can WATCH the recital in person?  I doubt it!

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The following pictures were actually taken during the rehearsal on Saturday.  They pictures crack me up- the girls are all doing their OWN thing in every picture!  That’s kind of how things went during the recital too. :)  Emma is in the middle for most of the following pictures.

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“Shuffle Stomp… Shuffle Stomp…” Emma had been practicing this at home with Nana

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This picture was during the Grand Finale at the actual recital- Emma is on the far left waving at the audience- that is SO unlike her!!!  We were cracking up.

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Emma was very quiet after the recital.  When she came outside to greet the family she hardly talked to us!  I think she was very tired.  Daddy gave her some beautiful roses and she barely looked at them.  She was very interested in eating her ballerina cupcake.  I’m thinking she hadn’t eaten very much all day long because she was nervous. :)

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I’m very sad that I didn’t get a picture of our entire family after the recital- Emma was in a very funny mood and didn’t want to be in any pictures!  We are so thankful to our family who came to support Emma.  They waited in line for an hour for a seat, sat through a two hour performance- all to watch her 4 minute dance!!!  Thank you to: Nana, Greant-Aunt Judy, Uncle Brandon, and Great- Uncle Ron for coming.  We love you!

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Last Day of School

I can’t believe that today was Emma’s last day of school!  It was actually supposed to be last Thursday but due to the blizzard in February we went one week longer.  Emma has had such a a great year at Redeemer- I really can’t say enough great things about her school and teachers.  She learned so much and loved going.  And she made some really sweet friends.  Next year she will be going to Pre-K at Jenks Southeast in the mornings (we hope) 5 days/week.  It will definitely be an adjustment but we are looking forward to it!  Foster will also start going to Mother’s Day Out next year 2 mornings/week in the mornings.

Here are a few pictures of Emma on her FIRST day of school this year and then today, on her LAST day.  You can definitely tell that she has grown this year!

FIRST DAY: August, 24, 2010

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LAST DAY: May 19, 2011

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A couple of pictures from the playground when I went to pick her up today on the last day- looks like she’s having fun!

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This picture breaks my heart- she was so sad to leave today.  She ran inside to her classroom and just stood in the middle of the room looking around at all of the bare walls.  She is a big thinker and I know she was thinking, “I’m gonna miss this place!”  We will definitely be getting together with some friends for play dates this summer!

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Mother’s Day

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures with my kiddos on Mother’s Day but we WERE together!

We went to Sunday School and church and then had a wonderful lunch at the Waterfront Grill.  I had a great day and felt so blessed to be a Mommy to 2 great kids.

Here are some answers that Emma gave to a survey about her Mommy in Sunday School:

 

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In case you can’t read the answers: (and my commentary in parenthesis)

1. Brush her hair (she is really really good at this and I love it!!!)

2. Play Dress up (true- she loves when we play dress up together)

3. Yellow (true)

4. Meatballs (I have a new recipe for meatballs, I guess she now thinks it’s my favorite food!)

5. Nap (SO, true.  I nap a lot.)

6. She’s already grown up (she’s so logical!)

7. When they got married (love this answer)

8. I make a silly face (she has a lot of silly faces)

9. 14 (just about 20 years off)

10. Me! (SO true- she knows I love her lots.)

 

And here are a couple of pictures of Emma and Foster playing nicely together- the best gift ever to this Mommy:

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Foster’s First Real Haircut

We waited SO long for Foster’s hair to grow… if you’ll remember, he was BALD for a long long time!  Right about 1 year, Foster’s hair just started growing and growing- mainly in the back. :)  He was kind of growing a mullet.  So we decided it was time for a trim.  Mr. Will in Tulsa works wonders on busy, crying toddlers.  Foster played with the toys in his shop for about 10 minutes before sitting in the race car chair.  He was kind of tearful for the first minute and then he just chilled out and kept trying to watch Mr. Will.  Nana came along for moral support.

I almost cried when Mr. Will was done- he looked like such a big boy with short hair!  He even spiked it up a little bit which I loved.

Enjoy these pictures from Foster’s first real haircut.  But first, check out that bald head!!! Do you see a little bit of blonde hair there?  I loved rubbing that little head.

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Bye bye Mrs. Will- we’ll see ya nex time!

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Choir Performance

Wednesday, May 4th was a busy day for Miss Emma- she had TWO performances in ONE day!  The day started with the Mother’s Day Tea and ended with her choir performance at church.  I have loved helping with the 3 year old (most of them are now 4 years old) choir this year- the kids are just so sweet… and funny!

Here are Mackenzie and Emma- Emma just adores Mackenzie and it has been really fun to watch their friendship blossom this year.  Mackenzie’s mom, Candace, also taught choir this year and it was really fun to get to know her better too!  Sometimes we were both so worn out after corralling the group of Preschoolers but we survived the year and it was so worth it!

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Another one of Emma’s good friends, Karter, and Emma.  Karter and Emma went to school this year together too.  Here they are playing with helicopters!

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Emma’s BFF, Aubrey- she loves talking on this toy phone in our choir room!

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Here is the entire group: Mackenzie, Karter, Addison, Abby, Emma, Natalie, Kinley, Aubrey, Bo, and Walker.  They are such a good group- Robin and I are so pleased that Emma has such sweet friends at church to grow up with!

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The kids did so great!  They sang three songs: “Jesus Loves the Little Ones LIke Me Me Me,” “God Wants Me To Pray To Him,” and “Listen to Your Mother, Listen to Your Father”

It is really difficult to get good pictures inside of our chapel and I literally threw the camera at Robin as we walked in… so here is what we got during the performance.

Here is Pastor Ted talking to the kiddos while we got all set up and in place.  I think one of the kids was telling the Pastor about his Spider Man bicycle here!

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Mother’s Day Tea

Today I attended the Mother’s Day Tea at Emma’s school.  It was so special!  I can’t say enough wonderful things about Emma’s school experience this year- she has loved going every single day and has learned so much!

During the Mother’s Day Tea the kids performed several special songs for “Moms” and they also sang a song in Spanish and a song about the 7 Continents.  Then Emma got to play the bells for the song “Jesus Loves Me!”  I was so proud of her.  She just kept looking at me with the biggest grin on her face.

After all of the presentations were finished she got to come sit with me.  While we munched on some yummy snacks we got to watch a slideshow of pictures from the entire school year.  It was so cool and really neat to see how much the kids have changed from the beginning of the year until now.

After the slideshow we got to make a photo frame craft together, get our picture taken together, and she gave me a booklet with several of her artwork pieces from the year!

Here is a picture of Emma walking out onto the stage- she spotted me and waved!

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Can you spy Emma?  She is kind of in the mid-right on the 2nd row.

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Here she is getting ready to play the bells

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Brooklyn and Emma

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Emma and her wonderful, amazing teacher, Mrs. Fondell.  She has been such a phenomenal teacher for Emma!

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Mrs. Phipps and her daughter Adelynn with Emma.  Emma LOVES Mrs. Phipps!  We have loved getting to know her this year!

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Ok, so funny story…. before the program started and the kids came out they had slides playing with the kids’ individual pictures and a quote from them about what they love MOST about their Mommy.  There were adorable quotes like “My Mommy sings to me when I go to sleep,” “She spins me round and round and we giggle,” “My Mommy takes me to the park and we have picnics,” “My Mommy is Pretty,” etc.  Then it comes to Emma’s quote…. I love my Mommy because she goes to work.  I almost died!  Really?  Is that what she thinks of when she thinks of me??? I work ONE day/week?  We do so many special things together!!!  Sometimes I think she says things for the shock value. :)  Robin tried to make me feel better- he thinks she meant that she likes that I’m a nurse and help take care of people.  Yes, that must have been what she meant!

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Picture Day at Dance

Tonight was Emma’s first ever “picture night” at dance.  Her recital is about 3 weeks away and this was great practice for us to figure out how to fix her hair, costume, etc.  Emma was so excited all day- she kept asking how long until she could put her costume on.

The song they will be tapping to is “Teddy Bear” by Elvis Presley and their costumes resemble teddy bears.

Her teacher asked that the girls wear their hair in two high buns behind the teddy bear ears.  I was already worried about putting her hair in ONE bun, but TWO???  Fortunately, I think I figured it out.  It wasn’t perfect, but it worked. My mom came over on Sunday night for a trial run.

As I was doing Emma’s hair by myself on Monday afternoon Emma said, “Mommy, do you know what you’re doing?”  I think she could sense the stress on my face- kids are so honest and perceptive!

Here’s to many more dance picture days!

I love this first picture- this is the first time she has ever worn mascara and it just made her look so grown up!

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