Emma Katherine

I get quite emotional when I think about how old Emma is getting.  It really seems like yesterday that she was my only baby and we were navigating the new road of Parenthood.  This girl has completely changed my world in a very positive way.  

Emma is so unique, so precious.  I love every little thing about her.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our struggles, but man I wouldn’t change a thing about her.  

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It is impossible to describe Emma in words.  You really just have to get to know her for yourself.  But… for journaling purposes I want to try to put into words what she is like at this age.  Robin and I often say that Emma is like a cat… she is extremely hard to get to know but once you get on her “good side” she will be your best friend!    There are a good number of people that Emma has never talked to including her Uncle Craig, several men at church, and our Pediatrician.  They have tried and tried to get Emma to talk but she won’t budge.   I think it has become a challenge to Emma to see if she can NOT talk to them.  And trust me, we can’t make her talk!  Some people ask us if she ever talks.  Oh my, trust me she does.  At home, we can’t get her to stop talking!!!

Emma is an introvert, she is a homebody and she gains energy by doing things by herself.  She is an avid reader but she loves math just as much.  You can often find her in our house either in her room or our craft room- she will be working on a craft project that she came up with, coloring, reading, or pretending.  She can pretend with the best of them!  She loves to play school.  

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She is the perfect big sister to two little brothers.  She cares for them like their second Mom.  Often, Foster and Cash listen to Emma before they listen to me!  If Foster is upset or throwing a massive fit, Emma can usually get him to calm down.  She knows the way to his heart.  In addition to caring for her brothers she is very caring to others as well.  If someone in her class is upset she is always the first to recognize it.  When she is laying in bed at night she will tell me about a student that was sad, or a person on the playground that seemed sad.  She always wants to make other people feel better.  I have a feeling she may end up in a profession that cares for others.  

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She is a loyal friend- once you become friends with Emma she will do anything for you.   Emma is very timid in new situations but once she makes friends, she is quite comfortable hanging out with them… and she still remembers friends from when she was 18 months old… she still wants to invite friends from her very first preschool class to her Birthday parties.   She has several good friends at church, in our neighborhood, and in her class at school.  

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She is very inquisitive and likes to understand the way things work.  Often, her questions blow me out of the water.  On more than one occasion Emma has asked me to google something if I don’t know the answer. :)

I would say that she’s a Daddy’s girl because she absolutely adores Robin.  She soaks up every second of quality time her Daddy and loves to go on special dates with him.  I would say that she likes him the best but if I’m being honest, I think she loves Mommy just as much. :)  She loves to organize things with me, cook with me, paint her nails, etc.   Really, she just loves quality time with both of us.  

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Lastly, Emma is one of the absolutely silliest people I have ever met.  Only people close to Emma have seen that side of her but just trust me, she is so hilarious!  Usually in the evenings, she lets her silly side out.  She loves to dance very quirky, tell jokes, and play tricks on us.  

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I’m sure I haven’t really even scratched the surface in describing Emma Katherine.  She is wonderfully complex and I love everything about her.  I thank God daily for the blessing she is to me. 

Emma and Cash Tutu pictures

When Foster was about 10 months old I did a little photo shoot in Foster’s room with Emma and Foster.  Emma wanted to wear her red tutu and I thought it was a fantastic idea.  If you’d like to revisit that blog post you can click here.  Here are a couple of the pictures from that day…

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I thought it would be fun to re-create this photo shoot with Emma and Cash.  Ironically, I took the pictures on a day that Emma stayed home from school because she was sick.  I needed to take the pictures when Foster was at school and I had Emma and Cash at home… I knew Foster wouldn’t understand why he didn’t get to be in the pictures too!  The picture quality is definitely better in the second set of pictures.  People always say that Cash and Foster look identical… I see so many differences! 
 
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Cash was not nearly as cooperative during his photo shoot as Foster was at that age!  The second I would try to sit him in the chair or next to Emma, he would either dive off the chair or crawl away. :)
 
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Emma got really good at “restraining” Cash by holding his arms for the pictures! 
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Robin and I say it all the time.. Cash as a baby reminds us SO much of Emma when she was a baby.  They are both “spirited.”  They rarely sit still, always moving, very strong.  Changing Cash’s diaper and changing Emma’s diaper at this age is like wrestling a wild baboon!  They are also both very inquisitive, some people refer to it as “nosy.”  They both watch everything that is going on around them and feel like they need to know what is going on with everyone in the room.  
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Bribing Cash with fruit loops. :)
 
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Emma is such an amazing big sister to both of her little brothers.  I honestly feel like God knew that she needed two little brothers.  She is a mother hen in every way.  I adore the way she cares for them. 
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Cash’s 1st Birthday Party

As if having a Birthday party at our house for Emma (with 12 girls) wasn’t enough excitement for one day, we decided to have Cash’s 1 year party that evening!  Their Birthdays are exactly one week apart and December 14th fell right smack in the middle.  I figured it would be easiest to clean the house thoroughly ONCE than clean it 2 weeks in a row. :)  I needed to do it the 14th instead of the 21st so that I could have at least 10 days to prepare for Christmas.  Oh the joys of having 3 Winter Birthdays!  We also celebrated Emma’s Birthday with family at Cash’s party.  When I talked to her about celebrating her Birthday with family she said, “Can I PLEASE just share a party with Cash?”  Well of course!

When I started thinking about a theme for Cash’s 1st Birthday party, I didn’t have to think very long…. I knew I wanted to have a firetruck/fireman theme since Firemen helped him enter this world!  I didn’t go over the top for Cash’s Birthday.  I ordered the cake at Walmart the day before the party and I picked up Rex’s chicken for the meal.  We just invited family.

My friend, Krista, let me borrow her “ONE” sign that she made for her little boy’s 1st B-day party.  I had several of my favorite pictures of Cash on display for his party.  I’m a little nuts about pictures.

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My good friend, Candace, made these adorable cookies for Cash’s parties.  She amazes me, she can make ANYTHING!  I love that she put his name on some of them and a “1” on some of them.  What a special addition to his party.  They are so yummy.  I must admit that I ate 3 of them while decorating for the party…. oops.

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Aunt Judy, Nana, and Cash- he is one LOVED little boy

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Mommy and Cash

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Uncle Ron and Cash

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Here is the crew eating dinner

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Robin made a video for Cash’s 1 year Birthday- he has done this with each of our kids and it is so so special.  Emma and Foster still ask to watch their video on a regular basis.  We always watch it at the child’s 1st B-day party.  Here is Cash ‘watching’ his video. :)

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Gift time!  Cash got so many nice gifts!

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Emma opening her Rainbow Loom bracelet maker…

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After Emma and Cash opened gifts we sang to both of them and lit their Birthday candles…

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Cash did not dive into his cake like I thought he might…the dents you see in the cake are from me trying to entice him to eat it!  :)

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I love these pictures of Foster behind Cash- he is photobombing Cash’s 1st Birthday cake-eating pics!

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One of Cash’s gifts- a giraffe ride on toy!

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Cash started really started acting like a ham towards the end of the night- I think he realized the party was about him and he really enjoyed the attention!

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Thank you Nana, Judy, and Ron for helping us celebrate!  We are so proud of our big 1 year old!

Pancakes and Pajamas Party

I can not believe my 1st baby turned SEVEN in December!  Emma has been asking every year for the past 3 years if she could have a Birthday party at our house.  I’m not sure why she wanted to have it home- other than she is just a ‘home body’ and her favorite place to be is HOME.  Obviously there was no way I could have her party at home last year since I had a NEWborn at home.  So I put on my big girl panties and told her we would have her party at home this year…. in the middle of December… 2 weeks before Christmas. :)  To say this added some stress to my month would be an understatement BUT the stress was totally worth it to see my Emma having a ball with her friends at our house on the morning of December 14th.  Me and Emma were looking for an idea for a theme on Pinterest and we saw so many great ideas but her absolute favorite was Pancakes and Pajamas. 

My friend Jamey wrote in colored chalk on my chalkboard…

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I really wanted the girls to all be able to eat at the same table and I wanted to make the table feel kind of ‘fancy.’  The table is ours but we rarely pull it out to its full length.  I borrowed the tablecloth from my Mom.  After we started putting various random chairs around the table I just wasn’t liking the way it looked.  I ended up renting the little white chairs for a very reasonable price from a store in Tulsa and I loved the way it turned out!  

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I used glass milk bottles for their drink glasses.  I tied lime green tulle and red and white baker’s twine around each glass.  I used circle labels to put their name on each glass.  I loved the red and white striped paper straws- from Target.  The cupcake themed plates, napkins, banners, and laterns were from Oriental Trading  I loved that they had red, green, and pink in them- perfect for a Birthday party close to Christmas!

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Pictures taken before the party… Foster stayed for the party, such a loving little brother. :) He wore pajamas too! 

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I am forever grateful to my Mom and Aunt Judy for helping so much during the party!  Here they are preparing last minute things for the breakfast.  My friend Jamey was also a humongous help throughout the party.  She helped me with the craft, crowd control, and getting the party favors together! 

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Here are the drink options:  Milk, Strawberry Milk, Orange juice, and water.  Most of the girls picked strawberry milk. :)

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Here are a few of the other things we served in addition to pancakes.  Strawberry, grape, and marshmallow skewers, and sprinkle donut holes (from Walmart!)

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Some of the pancake toppings: powdered sugar, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, sprinkles, cool whip, bananas, strawberries, blueberries.  Can we say SUGAR HIGH????IMG 2879

 

As the girls arrived they each took a picture with Emma in their cute pajamas.  I purchased these photo props from Oriental Trading.  They were a huge hit- the girls knew just what to do with them!  

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I won’t post all of the pics of the girls here but they were all cute. :)

After the girls took a picture with Emma they made a “fruit loop necklace” at the table in the kitchen.   Emma wrote on the little chalkboard sign.  I loved the way the girls necklaces turned out! 

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I am so disappointed that I didn’t get a picture of Daddy cooking the pancakes.  He was our chef for the day!  We had the pancake batter ready when the girls got there but he didn’t start cooking them until right after the girls started arriving.  We wanted them to be hot when the girls ate.  He made about 40-50 pancakes within about 20 minutes!  They were so yummy, he did a fantastic job!  

Her are the girls in line to get their pancakes… we sang Happy Birthday to Emma after she fixed her pancakes.  She only wanted butter and syrup on her pancakes!  

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Here are all of the girls at the table after they made their plates- such a great group of girls- some from her class at school, some from church, some neighbors. 

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After the girls ate they made a little cupcake ornament craft.  This may have been insane to try with 12 girls considering it included GLITTER, but the ornaments turned out really cute! 

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At one point the girls ended up in our craft room and started coloring.  

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After Daddy was all finished cooking up the pancakes and taking a quick breather, he read the girls a story in the living room.  He read, “If You Give a Pig a Pancake.”  Emma’s Daddy is pretty much her favorite person on earth so it was very important to include him in the party. :)

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Gift time… Emma opened gifts in the dining room by the little white Christmas tree.  Emma got so many nice gifts- she was so excited to have so many new fun things to play with! 

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Cash stayed in his high chair through the entire party!  I would say I feel badly about that but he really seemed to enjoy himself!  He got to watch everything but wasn’t able to make messes everywhere. :)

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Here are the party gifts all lined up…  We had such a great time at the party.  I was about ready to collapse when it was over, but I would do it all over again for Emma.  

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What a Difference a Year Makes

December 11th.  What a difference a year makes.  Wow.  

December 11th, 2012 I was giving birth to my baby on the carpet in the hallway of our house.  Nope, wasn’t the plan.  Not at all.

Here are 3 pics from that scary morning…

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And here are pictures from a year later to the day on Cash’s actual 1st Birthday.  

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We went to the fire station that sent the truck to our home on December 11, 2012.  The station is less than a mile from our house and I called them earlier in the day to let them know we would be coming.  When I called Fireman Daniels (the one pictured holding Cash in the 2nd picture above) answered the phone!  I told him we would like to visit and bring them some goodies and he said they would love to see us.  He said he definitely remembered us!  We were bummed when we got to the station because we found out that Fireman Daniels was called away to another station, but we still got to visit with the other firemen who were on call.  We talked about our story for a while.  Next, they offered a tour of the station for our kids- how cool!  Our kids were SO quiet and shy. 

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We are so thankful for everyone who came that morning- including the Paramedics.  It is more difficult to get back in touch with Paramedics!  Thank you Jesus for giving these people a calling to help others in a time of need.  They are definitely our heroes. 

First Snow Day of the Season!

We had our first big snow of the season on December 5th and 6th… we were so excited to have several days off from school.  December is such a busy time for us, I will always welcome a couple of stay-at-home days in December.  This was Cash’s first time to really experience snow!  I bundled him up as warmly as possible and only let him stay outside for about 2 minutes total before bringing him inside to stay with Daddy in the heated house.  Here are our 3 little snow bunnies…

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Cash is thinking, “What is this white cold stuff?”  

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Making a snow angel

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Can you see Cash watching the big kids out the window?  

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Sledding time.  The kids absolutely love to sled.  We have a tiny hill between our house and our neighbor’s house.  We decided not to venture to any big sledding spots because our kids were perfectly content to sled this hill over and over again AND they could carry their own sleds back up the “hill.”  Smart parents, huh?  Foster and Emma took turns pushing each other.  

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We had so much fun with all of the neighbor kids.  It was SOOOO cold that day so the fun only lasted for a little bit before everyone was ready to go inside and warm up! 

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Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day was kind of a blur for me… The night before Thanksgiving we stuck with tradition and had family over for “Hobo Stew.”  Later that evening Pops and Gigi arrived from Texas and we were all just hanging out when ALL OF A SUDDEN Foster threw up everyone, followed by Mommy throwing up about 5 minutes later!  And the rest is history.  Mommy and Foster had the stomach bug and we had it BAD!  We were up most of the night.  I really didn’t know how I was going to be able to stand up the next day.  However, by morning I was feeling somewhat better and was able to keep water down!  I really didn’t want to get anyone else sick but I also didn’t want to miss out on Thanksgiving!  My family convinced me to come and we did our best to keep Foster and me quarantined at a separate table away from everyone… it was so sad!  Here are the healthy folk at the healthy table.  

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This picture includes Cash at his first Thanksgiving meal!  

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Cash tried a little bit of everything: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and corn!  He loved all of it.  He has yet to refuse any food. :)

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Here you can see me and Foster’s sick table.”  Thank goodness I had a small appetite and was able to eat a little bit of my Mom’s yummy meal!  

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Gigi playing spoons with Dillon, Foster, and Emma after the meal

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This was my Uncle Danny’s first time to meet Cash!

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Pops and Gigi made a very quick trip to Tulsa… they had to leave the very next day after Thanksgiving… here we are eating at Zoe’s on their way out of town.  We love you Pops and Gigi!

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Thanksgiving Feast at Emma’s School

Right before Thanksgiving break Emma had a Thanksgiving Feast at her school.  Each family was told to bring a “picnic lunch” to enjoy in the classroom.  Our picnic lunch was from Chick-Fil-A, per Emma’s request!  

The 1st graders were at Art class when we arrived in the classroom so we had some time to look at around at some of the kids’ school work.  

Here is a display of the kids’ adorable home projects for the month of November.  The kids were told to make a clothespin doll pilgrim representing part of their family heritage.  Emma’s pilgrim was named “Effie Montgomery”, after my Great-Grandmother on my Dad’s side of the family.  I just loved all of the creativity here… some of the pilgrims were so impressive!

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Here is a close-up of “Effie” along with the write up that Emma filled out.  On the far right is an actual picture of my Great Grandmother, Effie Montgomery.  It was really neat to to get to talk to Emma about ancestors on both sides of our family.  She was very into this project!

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Here are some more of her classmate’s pilgrims…

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I thought this was a cute activity also… the kids made a turkey that was color-coded to match their preferences and traditions regarding Thanksgiving.

Emma’s turkey in code states that she:

* Will eat dessert

* Will go away for Thanksgiving… (not really- just 6 miles away to Nana’s!)

* We won’t have guests for Thanksgiving

* I like light meat

* We will eat in the kitchen

* I don’t like gravy

* I like: corn, green beans, pie, cranberries, rolls

 

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Here are Mommy and Cash waiting to greet Emma… Surprisingly Cash did very well in the classroom that morning!  He loved watching all of the kids!  He wasn’t feeling great that morning, you can tell by his sleepy eyes!

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Robin and Foster waiting for Emma…

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Emma was so excited to see us sitting at her desk when she got to the classroom!

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Robin, Emma, and Foster eating their picnic lunch

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We always love getting to go to Emma’s classroom and the Thanksgiving Feast was no exception! 

Birthday Gifts!

The Monday after Foster’s Birthday party we spent the entire day playing with all of his new gifts.  He got so many cool things for his Birthday!  It really cracks me up how very “BOYISH” all of these toys are- lots of things with wheels. :)   Foster loves all kinds of cars and trucks so he was pretty much on Cloud 9 to have all of these new toys to play with.  For the first time, Foster also received a lot of Superhero stuff that he was very excited about!  

Cash had a ton of fun too!  We feel so thankful to have such nice family and friends who blessed Foster with gifts for his Birthday.  Also… I look at this pile of toys and think- WHERE IS ALL OFF THIS GOING TO GO? And…”CHRISTMAS IS IN ONE MONTH!!!”  

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Foster’s Birthday- a family game of washers!

Foster’s actual 4th Birthday was on a Sunday and God blessed us with the most perfect weather to enjoy being outside as a family.  It is quite rare to have a day in late November with temps in the high 60s/low 70s but that’s what we got on Foster’s Birthday.

After going to the early service at church we came home and just hung out.  At about noon Foster asked if we could all “play” in the backyard for his Birthday.  Please excuse our leaves in these pictures!  Her are Daddy, Emma, and Foster playing washers in the backyard to grant the Birthday boy’s request.

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