Memorial Day with friends!

Each year over Memorial Day weekend we try to get together with our good friends the Kreys and the Rowes.  We all went to Baylor together- the boys were in the same fraternity and we have stayed in touch for over 13 years now post-college!

This year was our turn to host everyone at our house.  It was so much fun!  It was definitely a circus having NINE kids all under one roof, but we made lots of good memories- that’s for sure!

Here are the kiddos:

Elliott, Oliver, Emmy, Emma, Hayden, Foster, Lincoln, Hazel, and Cash

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This was everyone’s first time to meet Cash.  They wanted us to “re-enact” his birth story but we did not!  Here is Conner holding Cash!

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Each afternoon we tried to do a semi rest time.  Here are all of the kiddos watching the movie “Babe.”

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Notice that baby Cash even joined in on the movie watching- but he’s facing the wrong way!

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On Saturday afternoon we headed to downtown Tulsa to hang out at Guthrie Green.  Robin and I had never been but we heard that it was a fun place for families to hang out.  Tulsa’s first annual Music Festival was taking place.  Here are the kiddos right after getting there.  (Shortly after this picture we decided to move to a more shady location!)

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There were these really cool misters/fountains around the park.  The kids loved them.

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Sweet baby Cash- just along for the ride.

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Here are the kids dancing to some music

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I don’t have a picture but the biggest hit at Guthrie Green was the food trucks!  I had amazing fish tacos.  Scott had chicken and waffles (I had never heard of such a thing before that night!)  Conner had frito pie with fried egg.  All of it was pretty yummy!

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There were several inflatables for the kids to play on

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Waiting for the Daddy’s to get the car.

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Attempting to get a picture of all of the kiddos on our gazebo steps!

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Sunday afternoon we attempted to let the kids play in the sprinklers.

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However, instead of playing with the sprinklers that I purchased, they opted to play in the MUD!!!  That sure was fun to clean up!  But the kids had a great time so that’s all that matters. :)

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All weekend the kids entertained themselves for the most part.  The fought over the swings, played in the gazebos, and even put on a couple of plays for the parents!

 

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We had such a great weekend and we hope our guests did to.  There is one more baby on the way (NOT OURS!) so next year there will be TEN KIDS!  The adults are definitely outnumbered.

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Emma’s last day of school

Emma’s last day of school was on May 23rd.   It makes me so sad to look at these pictures and realize how big she has gotten this year!  She has grown not only physically but also academically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Love this girl to pieces.  I am so ready to have her home all summer!

Last day of school:

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First day of school:

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Recital Day

Nana and her little ballerina…Nana gave Emma a precious bracelet right before her recital- Emma loved it.

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Emma and Daddy walking into the recital

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The ballerinas waiting backstage

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BFF’s…

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Afterwards… Emma was SO embarassed.  She didn’t want us to give her flowers, tell her she did a good job, or take any pictures with her.  You think we’d learn after 3 recitals- she does that after every recital!  She does not like having a lot of attention directed at her.

So here is Daddy holding the flowers that we got for her… that she did not want!

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Emma’s Ballet Recital

Emma’s Ballet Recital was on Sunday, May 19th.  Her rehearsal was on Saturday, May 18th.  I almost enjoy the rehearsal more because I get to watch from the edge of the stage and take pictures!  Their dance this year was a beautiful dance to the song “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins.  It was very jazzy, soulful version of the song.

Here is Emma before going to the rehearsal.

Nana helped us put Emma’s hair into a bun for both the rehearsal and the recital.  It was kind of neat- I still remember her putting my hair in a bun for my ballet recital when I was 6 years old. :)

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Getting ready to go on stage

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Her teacher, Miss Tracie, is on the left

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Emma’s best friend, Aubrey, is in the foreground of this picture- this is the first time they have been in a dance class together- they loved it!

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Here are the girls “feeding the birds”

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Emma and Aubrey

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Flying like a bird

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She bites her lip JUST LIKE HER MOMMY!

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Really concentrating on her positioning!

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After Emma and Aubrey practiced they asked to stay and watch the big girls dance

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Foster’s Last Day of School

Foster’s last day of school was on May 7th.  He has had such a great year!  He was in the oldest 3 year old class for Mother’s Day out.  His teachers told us just about every day that he is the sweetest boy ever.  They always ask if he is “perfect” at home like he is at school.  He is NOT perfect at home but I am very thankful that he is good at school!  He had a couple of good friends in his class this year- Timothy and Levi.  His class was very “girl heavy” and they were pretty wild girls!  Foster loved telling us stories about the girls every day.  Here is last day of school pic and right below it is his first day of school pic.

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Here are his teachers- Miss Nancy and Miss Linda- he LOVED them!

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We are very thankful for a great year at Redeemer!

Mother’s Day

I had a great Mother’s Day… despite the fact that I had to work for 4 hours in the NICU. :(  We went to early church and Sunday School then went to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants- The Bistro.  Judy, Nana, and Uncle Ron joined us for lunch.  Lunch was yummy but for some reason the service was a little off that day- it took a LOOOOONNNNG time to get our food and our appetizers never came.  I worked from 3-7 in the NICU which wasn’t too bad.  After work I met the kids and Robin for smoothies at Jamba Juice…. that was Emma’s idea!

Overall it was a wonderful day- I feel so blessed to call these kids mine.

Cash was asleep during our photo op on Mother’s Day so we took some pictures the next week at church and called them our “belated Mother’s Day pics!”

 

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Belated Mother’s Day pics!

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Emma’s Choir Program

Emma’s end of year choir program was on Wednesday, May 8th.  Judy and Nana joined Foster, Robin, Cash, and myself to watch Emma’s class perform.  The 5 year olds sang 2 songs and did a great job!  We were so happy to see Emma smiling!

Here is Emma walking in with her friends Kinley and Mackenzie

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You can tell that she’s feeling a little bit nervous here!

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We are so thankful for her awesome choir teachers this year: Miss Kari, Miss Lorie, Miss Melody, Miss Sarah, Miss Candace, and Miss Erin.  They are so fun and taught the kids so much!

Celebration of Learning

On Friday, May 3rd, Emma’s class had their “Celebration of Learning.”  This was a very fun time for Emma and her classmates to perform and show their parents what they had learned throughout the year in both English and Chinese.  We were SO BUMMED that Robin was in Oregon and had to miss out on Emma’s special day.   Luckily, Nana took a personal day at work and was able to come.  That made Emma feel a little bit better about Daddy not being there.

The morning started in Emma’s Chinese classroom where the kids sang several songs in Chinese, they read us a book in Chinese, and they demonstrated how their class time works each day.  Emma’s teacher never spoke a word of English- only Mandarin Chinese… and the kids understood everything she was saying!  It was pretty amazing to watch!

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Here are the kids getting ready to perform… waiting patiently!

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Emma reading her Mandarin book to me

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Emma teaching Nana how to write her name in Chinese…

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Emma with her good friend Ava.  Ava was in her pre-k class last year.

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They made these writings for the hallways- based on The Grouchy Ladybug… their teacher took a picture of them with a “grouchy face” and then had them write what makes them grouchy.  This cracks me up because Emma put that it makes her grouchy when her brother bites her and her brother takes her toys.  He has actual never done either of these things!  I think she copied off of a friend’s paper!

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Alliteration…

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They had to pick an insect and research the insect with a partner.  Here is Grant and Emma’s butterfly project.

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Getting ready to perform “The Very Hungry Kindergartner” in the English classroom

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After the performance Mrs. McDaniel walked around while holding Cash.  She loves babies!

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Mrs. McDaniel, Cash, and Emma

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Mrs. McDaniel made a slideshow for the kids including great pictures from the entire school year.  It was so awesome and we now have a copy to keep.  This has been a great year for Emma.  We feel so thankful for her teachers and her school.

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Patio Handprints

We have a long list of “house projects” that we would like to do to improve our house and one of those items was putting in a patio for our backyard.  We decided to get it done in April so that we could enjoy it for the Spring and Summer.

The workers who poured the concrete were able to complete the project in one day!  At the very end of the process the owner of the company asked me if we wanted our kids to put their handprints in the patio.  I didn’t have to think about it for very long!  YES!  My brother and I put our handprints in a small patio my parents had poured when we were little.  I still remember that!

We decided to put Cash’s footprint instead of handprint because it is very difficult to get a baby to cooperate for a handprint.  I love the way it turned out!

So now I’m not sure we can ever move away from this house!  My precious babies’ handprints/footprints are in the patio and Cash was born in the hallway.  Yep, pretty sure we have marked our territory!

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Emma’s big decision

April 19, 2013… a day I will never ever forget.  It was the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and just a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing occured.  My Mom, Robin, and myself were watching a Dateline or 20/20 special about the two bombings.  The kids were playing outside and wondered into the living room from time to time.  I didn’t think Emma was really watching the news… but apparently she was.

After the program was over and Nana had left, I was sitting in the rocking chair checking my phone for e-mails, Facebook statuses, etc. and Emma crawled in my lap.  ”Momma, what will happen to those poor kids that died because of the bombs?”  My heart sank.  She had been watching.  I told her that the children who died were in heaven with Jesus.  She asked about heaven- what it was like and “did I want to go there when I die?”  We have had many conversations before about heaven and salvation but tonight was different.  A couple of her close friends from church have asked Jesus into their hearts and have gone forward and been baptised.  I wouldn’t say that we have “put her off” but we wanted to make sure that Emma was truly ready to accept Christ in her life and not that she was just “following the crowd.”

So the conversation continued.  Emma had a lot of questions.  I told her that when she was ready, we would pray a prayer with her and she could ask Jesus into her heart.  She said, “Momma, I did that a few weeks ago when Pastor Ted was praying in church!”  Oh my Emma… that is just so like her.  When she decides something, she just does it!  And she loves to have secrets.  Apparently this was a secret between she and God!

Robin was on the phone.  When he got off the phone I said, “We need to talk to you!” I filled him in on what we had been talking about.  He asked Emma several questions and then he and Emma decided that she would say the prayer again in her bed.  Listening to Emma say the words out loud to accept Jesus were some of the sweetest words to my ears.  It was heartfelt and sincere.

Here are a series of text messages to tell Robin’s family about Emma’s decision…

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Here are a few pictures of Emma that I took that night after we talked to her, but before she prayed the prayer in her bed.  I wanted to capture her in that moment.  Just a sweet innocent, silly girl.  You could tell she was so relieved to have talked about this very important decision.  Apparently it had been on her mind for a while!

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Honestly, there is no greater joy than knowing that my first born child has accepted Jesus to be the Lord of her life.  There is nothing in life that I want more for her.  The next huge step will be for her to walk down the aisle to share this news with the church and then be baptised.  We are still working up to that!