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Friday, December 19, 2014

This Boy...

This boy...
 
This boy looks innocent enough, doesn't he?  Just sitting here reading his little Christmas book, not bothering anyone.

 
Just minding his own business...

 
Sweetly passing out encouraging smiles when they're needed...

 
Yes this boy...
this innocent boy...

 
...just sitting quietly for hours...

 
And then suddenly....
 
this boy....
does THIS!!


 
I can't turn my back on him or my hot chocolate for even one second or this boy drinks it all!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Wow!  Here's a #tbt for the ages!!
 
No, this is NOT a picture of me right after eating Santa!!  LOL
  But, this is a very pregnant me just hours before meeting our sweet Marissa face to face nine years ago.  (In my large defense, I was ALL baby!!  All NINE pounds of baby!!)     


What You Might Hear...

Morgan:  "What is red and bad for your teeth?"
Me:  "I don't know, what?"
Morgan:  "A brick"

-----

After being down and out with a cold for two days, Melayna woke up this morning, apparently on the mend.  The first words out of her mouth were, "Can we eat at Steak n Shake? and Penguin Point and if I'm still hungry, maybe one of those chicken sandwiches from McDonalds?"

When I reminded her that it was only 8:30 in the morning, she dramatically replied, "but MOM, I almost DIED! I need my strength back"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Surprise News on Saturday

Noel and I got a surpise this weekend when Morgan announced that she might get to play in a basketball game on Saturday night!
 
What?!
 
If you remember, she's only a manager for the team.  Why would she be playing in a game?  When Morgan didn't make the team, she was disappointed at first, but along with being the team manager, the coach has also allowed her to participate in all of the practices with the team.  It's been a great solution for her to stay involved and learn more about the game and she's been working hard right alongside the players without complaint.  It's been a great experience for her for sure!  Normally they play games on Monday night, but this past weekend, they were also scheduled to scrimmage in between the girls' JV and Varsity games on the high school court.  Since they needed to make sure they had enough girls to play five against five, they combined their "A" and "B" teams and the coach told Morgan that she could dress out and possibly play on the team, much to our surprise!!  (And excitement.  And nervousness.  And more surprise!)
 
So, when the time came, all of the girls lined up along the side of the court and the coach decided who would be the starters.  The game would last five minutes and the clock would never stop so they would have to be ready to sub in and out as needed.  To be honest, Noel and I never expected Morgan to ever be called out on the court.
 
 
The game started with Morgan on the bench.  After the game, she said that she was really nervous and would have been okay just sitting there the entire time because those chairs are really really comfortable!!  LOL

 
BUT, two minutes into the game, the coach surprised us all again and sent her into the game where she played the next three minutes and finished out the game.




 
It doesn't matter that the final score was 4-2.  (At least her team won).
It doesn't matter that she didn't ever touch the ball.
She was still so excited to put on a real uniform and play in a game!!

 
Way to go, Morgan! 
We had a fun time watching you play!

 
(As a little sidenote:  Since Morgan isn't a regular player on the team, she doesn't have her own uniform, so her friend brought in her extra uniform for Morgan to borrow.  She didn't have a chance to try it on ahead of time so when she first put it on in the bathroom, she said, "Uh Mom, I am going to need a shirt to wear under this or I won't be able to play anyway."  None of the other players had extra tank tops to lend to her so she started to think she wouldn't be able to dress out afterall.  Thankfully, I was wearing a white tshirt that was small enough for her to wear that I could pass along to her.  I just had to keep my coat on and zipped WAY up for the whole time!  LOL)

Marissa's FIRST Birthday Party

One great advantage to having a birthday so close to Christmas, is that sometimes you have to celebrate it early in order to fit it in around other Christmas parties and winter break from school, etc.  This year was one of those years.  With Marissa's birthday actually falling on the Saturday after school lets out, several of her friends were not going to be around, so she asked if she could have a party the weekend before.  Noel and I agreed and the planning began.
 
Because of her great love for swimming, Marissa wanted to plan a water themed/swimming party, but obviously, that's a little harder to do in the middle of winter.  She did a great job designing her own mermaid invitations and helping me plan snacks and games to go with that theme.  She thought through so many of the details and planned hard for this day, and I'm not a third grade girl, but in my opinion, things turned out really good!
 
First we pulled out the sand buckets and shovels and filled them up with goodies.
 
 
We had plenty of pearls, an assortment of fish, life preservers, and shark teeth.
 
 
And goodie bags to fill with snacks and door prizes.
 
 
The girls also had a chance to make a craft using these aquarium supplies. 
I was fortunate enough to find the idea on Pinterest. 
 
I bought some aquarium rocks and fake plants.  Then the girls added some sea shells and colored water...
 
 
 


 
...and they had a really fun finished product. 

 
Time for cake!!  Or at Marissa's request... brownies!




 
Everyone loves some fun "minute to win it" games, right?
How about trying to see how many candies you can carry from one side of the counter to the other using only a straw?


 
Even Noel tried this one!

 
The girls also wanted to see how many cups of water they could drink in 60 seconds.  That brought quite a bit of laughing...and then some quick trips to the bathroom!  LOL

 
Ever tried stacking cheerios on a piece of spaghetti?  This one is so easy, even Nolan could do it.


 
Ariel, Marissa, and Megan enjoying the day together.


 
The whole birthday gang, minus Maddie (who had to go away for the
weekend at the last minute).

 
Happy Birthday Marissa!
We can't wait to celebrate you again in just one week!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sad News on Saturday

On Saturday morning, Noel took Marissa to swimming lessons.  She started her first of several lessons over the next few weeks and was excited about going.  Unfortunately, she brought sad news with her when they got back.  Our boy cat - Patches - had obviously tried to dart into the garage as Noel was leaving and he didn't quite make it in as the heavy garage door came down on him.  (Usually the sensor stops the door when the cats do that, but this time Patches must have waited until the door had already cleared the sensor.) 
 
Needless to say, there are a few sad little girls in our house right now as they miss the sweet good-natured little guy.
 
++++
 
Here he was back in July when we first brought him home. (You can read about his arrival to our house in THIS post.) He was definitely a cute and loveable kitten.  You can understand why Morgan and Melayna fell so in love with him.

 
This is Patches about a month ago, a lot bigger, but just as sweet!
 

Movies & Indoor Smores

Family movie night and indoor smores.
 
Can anything be better on a cold lazy winter's night?  Our family doesn't think so.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Back to Our Normal

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I was trying out a new endeavor and started babysitting another little man.  (See THIS post)  As I mentioned, his Mommy was half-way through her semester of student teaching when she found that she needed a new babysitter.  We stepped in to help her and her husband out in the hopes that she could finish strong and not have to worry about who was caring for her sweet little boy on a day to day basis.  That was five weeks ago and our time together came to an end yesterday.
 
As I also admitted those weeks ago, it was a rough transition at first, not only for Kilian but for Nolan and I as well.  I kept feeling like I should know what to do already and that it should always go smoothly.  'Guess I forgot that bringing our own brand new baby home from the hospital had the same time of adjustment and transition because no matter the age of the child, we all get into a comfortable routine and then suddenly things change and you have to find a new routine.  And it's not exactly like the little guy could tell me what he wanted, except to cry.  So it took some time trying to get to know him and his different cries and when he was tired or hungry or just missing his Mommy.
 
Thankfully, after about three weeks, we did settle in.  He seemed to get use to Nolan and I (although he definitely enjoyed it best when Marissa was home and loving on him!!) and we got use to him.  We even started seeing more and more smiles as he became more and more comfortable in our home.



 
 
 
I enjoyed watching Nolan through this experience.  At first he struggled with sharing his toys with a baby and especially with sharing his Mommy, but after a couple of weeks, he was beginning to ask about the baby.  He would shrug his shoulders and say, "Where baby at?" after Kilian went home for the night.  And sometimes he would go over and just give him a pat on the head or a blown kiss.  And I think Kilian felt the same for Nolan as he would often follow Nolan around the house or he would start giggling when he heard Nolan laughing.





 
 So, as planned, yesterday afternoon Paige finished up her classes and came to pick up their little man one last time. In fact, as I type this, they are packing up their apartment and getting ready for their next adventure in life.  In all honesty, Noel and I couldn't be more excited for them! We only pray that God continues to lavish his love and blessing on this sweet little family in the years to come!