Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We're on vacation!!! We got up at 3:15 AM... that's right... 3:15 AM... yesterday morning fly out at 6:40. We had two of the most uneventful flights ever, and arrived in Rapid City at 9:30. It would have taken us 19 hours to drive, so this was a much easier trip! The girls were perfect on the trip. When I see other children out, I am so thankful for our children! They really are great girls- I don't know how we got so lucky!

Anyway, Dave and Pat met us at the airport and took us to breakfast. Then we made our way to Bear Country USA in Rapid City.

This reminded me of a northern version of Exotic Animal Paradise, for all you Springfieldians! We saw reindeer, elk, and lots of bears! It was fun!

Later that evening, we had dinner with 4 generations of Simpsons and got to meet Maegan's fiancé, Steve. More to come tomorrow!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!

I have a great dad.

He has always been there for me. He attended every piano recital, band competition, and play that I was in. He cooked me breakfast and let my sister and me do his hair! (I wish I had pictures of that!)

He and my mom took me on great vacations every summer!

More importantly, he instilled faith and values in me that I hold to this day.

I never had to look for love in the wrong places because I knew that my dad loved me.

Don't get me wrong- we fought like cats and dogs (especially during high school!) But now that I am a parent, I understand why I had to be in at 10:00 (when the rest of my friends could stay out until whenever,) and why I couldn't date until I was 16 (even though the rest of my friends starting "going together" in fifth grade!) All of his rules safeguarded me against getting into lots of trouble!

And for all of those reasons (and more) I am so thankful for my dad!

In the same way, I am so grateful that my girls have a great dad.

From the beginning, he has been wonderful. He has changed as many diapers as I have, has given more baths than I have and has been spit-up on just as much as me!

Even though he claimed he couldn't hear the baby monitor, he would get up in the middle of the night when I gently nudged him (or kicked him as I screamed, "GET UP!!")

Nowadays, he can sing all of Madison's steel drum songs, knows all of Madison's lines from her plays, and greets Ella's endless drawings like they are expensive masterpieces!

He is better at slowing down and playing with the girls than I.

He doesn't sweat the small stuff. He knows what is important.

Just like my dad, he is instilling in the girls faith, love, courage and compassion.

The girls will never question his love for them because he tells them literally over and over each day. More importantly, he shows them that he loves them.

For that, I am eternally grateful!

So, to the two best dads I know- HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I love both of you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm an aunt!!!

Many of you know that my sister and brother-in-law adopted twins from Ethiopia. Dax and Fiona came home in March, but since I have been such a bad blogger, I haven't mentioned them! Here is a short video that Steve made for them. Believe me, you will see more of them on this blog! Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl Ella! I can't believe it's been six years since you joined our family!

For being such a tiny, petite girl now, you made your entrance to the world in a huge way! You were 9 lbs, 7 oz, and 2 weeks early! You were off the charts! I was so happy to bring you home on my birthday- what a fabulous birthday present!

This has been a great year for you. You went to Kindergarten this year, and it was so fun being at the same school together. I loved peeking into your room and seeing you hard at work, or chatting with your friends! You came out of your shell this year and made lot of really good friends.

You also showed us what a smart girl you are. You learned to read (at your own pace, of course) and we found that you are very good at math! Of course, we knew you would love art and music- PE, well that's another story!

You still do everything when you feel like it. That's how you have been your whole life and I don't expect that to change anytime soon- if ever! I have a funny story about GT testing for you when you are older! You are a girl who knows what you want and when you want it. That will get you far in life, so stick to it!

You make me smile everyday, and I am so glad that God chose me to be your mother! I love you! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Proud Mama!!

It was so fun to have the girls at school with me this year! Actually I moved to their school
last year, but whatever! This is the only year that we will all be together because Ella started Kindergarten this year, and Madison will be moving to the 5th grade, which is a different building, next year. So it was fun while it lasted!

One of the best things about being at school together is that I am able to attend all of their events that take place during the school day. I got to go to spelling bees, parties, field days and all kinds of fun events!

One of the last events I got to attend was Madison's 4th grade award ceremony. Each teacher gave out the top awards in their class. Madison received the Reading award and an award for getting A's in all subjects all year long.

After she won those awards, I put my camera away and thought it was over. After all of the class awards were given out, the principal announced that there were two awards left, the Principal's award. This award is given to one boy and one girl
for having good grades, excellent citizenship and being an all-around great student. The student is nominated by someone and then the principals talk to everyone the student comes into contact with, and they decide on the winner. You might guess from my build-up here that Madison won the award! I was shocked and I didn't even have my camera ready! Luckily, others were taking pictures!

Here are some other pictures from that day!

With the boy who won the award!

With her heavy metal!!

With her FABULOUS teacher!

With the principals!

And with me! I'm one proud mama!!
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas... or running until I couldn't run anymore!

I used to complain about being busy. When I was in college, I griped about having to get up for an 8:00 class, going to chapel at 9:00 and then having one or two other classes during they day. Sometimes, I would not even get my afternoon nap! I was busy!

When I first started teaching (as a single woman) I had to teach all day and then grade papers in the evenings. The only free time I had was on the weekends! How did I ever manage?

After getting married, having two kids and a full-time job, I realized what busy was. But this Christmas, busy became almost unbearable. Our family didn't have a night at home from Thanksgiving until December 18. What we were doing was enjoyable, but boy, was I exhausted!

Basically, we watched Madison perform all Christmas! She was in her first community play, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which I will post more on later! Plus, she performed with her school choir and steel band. In addition, we had all kinds of church activities. Besides our regular band practice and services, I directed the Christmas service, which took a HUGE amount of my time! After Christmas, we took our annual trip to Springfield, which was fun, but also tiring. So, I guess I am trying to say that it is time to go back to school so that we can get some rest! Well, I'm tired of thinking about this, so here is a slide show for you! Merry Christmas!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Christmas 2009
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Sunday, November 29, 2009


We had a great time over the Thanksgiving break. It has been a long and stressful fall, so I really needed the break. In fact, I'm not really ready to go back, but to school, but I will!

My entire family comes to our house for Thanksgiving. I love when we are all together! I cook dinner and everyone acts surprised that I can fix the meal (even though I've been cooking it for about 7 years, I think!) We always eat WAY too much (I start on Weight Watchers again tomorrow) play games and shop. I accidentally poisoned my mom with MSG, but she recovered quickly! Sorry Mom! We even shopped on Black Friday, although we decided that was a HUGE mistake and won't do it next year! Anyway, a fun time was had by all. Here are a few pictures to prove it! =)

Madison sang with some carolers! They were. um, not very good!

This is Ella's reaction to seeing Santa... yes, she's 5!
Right after deciding NOT to jump in the bounce house... right before we asked for our money back!

Madison loves Aunt Tamra and Uncle Jason!

Drinkin' with Grandpa!

Dad and Tamra

Mom, Dad, Ella and my diva, aka Madison!
I think I look like my dad in this picture!

The girls!

Mom and Dad
Happy Thanksgiving!