Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thank God it's over!

Okay, maybe that's extreme. Maybe.

This is Rachael the night before Thanksgiving. We were waiting in the car while Daddy and Grace went to get some things for dinner with everyone at Nana's. That is probably the last smile we had from her all weekend. I wish I was kidding. In her defense, it ended up that she was sick with croup. She missed church today for the second week in a row. As did Daddy, since he stayed home with her!

Here is Grace, helping me mix the ingredients for our apple pie! She was in the kitchen watching as I sliced the apples, and she was so interested. I'm not going to lie to you, my first instinct was to say, "Mommy's busy" and have her occupy herself elsewhere, but I quickly realized that my child was interested in something I was doing in the kitchen and I probably shouldn't squelch that! So I pulled a chair in next to me and she watched as I measured the ingredients and put them in a bowl, then I let her stir them up. She was happy to help! I don't know if she actually tried any of the apple pie on Thanksgiving though. I did, and I thought it was great! As were the mashed potatoes that Chris made -- YUMMY!! Everything, as usual, was phenomenal.

Here is Veronica. The last time we saw her, she looked like this. She has gotten so big, and even more beautiful! Grace loved to look at her and touch her, and Rachael liked her just fine... as long as she was with anyone other than ME! Veronica was so sweet all weekend long, and so cuddly! Next year I think she and Rachael are going to be buddying up. They're going to have to, because Grace and Savannah, well...

They are inseparable!! It was a repeat of the weekend we spent in Georgia, the two of them playing and giggling together non-stop! I'm not really a big softy with my girls, but my heart broke when we had to leave Nana's Saturday night -- Grace just fell apart! She loves her cousin so much and sniffled all the way home. I reached my hand back and she grabbed it and squeezed so hard. I definitely think we have to try to get up to Georgia in the summer again. Maybe the whole family this time. It could happen!

It was such a busy long weekend, filled with friends and family! It was fun, but exhausting! Thankfully, Chris and I had enough energy to go out and celebrate our 6th anniversary on Saturday night!

I am so thankful that God brought Chris into my life. He's an incredible man. I mean... He cooks, he cleans, he tidies up the sink after he's done shaving in the morning. :-) He will go grocery shopping, and he'll take both the girls. He's been known to take the girls shopping for clothes too! He is a strong Christian, he is faithful, he is hard-working, he cares deeply about his friends. We have our ups and downs (who doesn't?), but I always know that he loves me and our girls. He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, and I don't know what I'd do with out him.

Have you had your fill of cheese and mush? I know I have! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

For Mom & Aunt Molly

And everyone else who knows my level of cooking expertise... Seeing is believing:

That would be me, in an apron, preparing food! Our moms' group had a night out where we went to one of those places where you are given all the ingredients and just put a meal together, and I'm pretty sure I was the least experienced of the bunch! One time a recipe called for chicken soup and I asked the woman in charge where it was. In my defense, the label was hidden by one of the cylinders... But to be honest, I probably would've double-checked. I mean, the stuff labeled chicken soup was really thick and almost yellow. The only chicken soup I'm familiar with is the kind in the can with the red and white label, and it has noodles in it! ;-) One of my friends heard the exchange and said, "Oh sweetie, you really don't cook, do you?"

But I really did have a great time! Just look, I'm positively glowing in this picture, even handling some raw bacon. ::shudder::

It was a really fun night, and now our freezer is full! Hopefully if I can tackle preparing 8 meals in 90 minutes, I should be able to handle a few home-cooked ones each week!

Mom and Aunt Molly, are you proud? :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Feast

Grace's VPK class had their family feast today! They were all wearing their turkey t-shirts and turkey hats, and there were even turkey cupcakes! Daddy was able to join us too!

Rachael came along, but was much more interested in checking out the room. She'll definitely be ready for preschool in August! She never wants to leave when we drop Grace off!

We are all very excited about Aunt Kiki, Uncle Jerry, Blake, Savannah and Veronica coming next week! It'll be so much fun to have the girls together again, especially since Veronica is going to be interacting with everyone!
As a prayer request, it looks like Chris is going to have surgery in December on his shoulder. Let's see...

2003 - Vanessa has Grace
2004 - Chris has knee surgery
2005 - Vanessa has her wisdom teeth out
2006 - Chris has the kidney stone and surgery
2007 - Vanessa has Rachael
2008 - Chris has shoulder surgery

I'm thinking this pattern needs to change! I'm also thinking no one should take the "in sickness or in health" part of the vows for granted!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! We know we have been given so much to be thankful for, especially our family and friends!

Monday, November 17, 2008

She SANG!!

Here is Grace in her first "performance" -- the end of the year program after her first year of preschool, May 2007. She started out just doing her pout thing and then... Well, you can see for yourself.

Yes, that's my girl with her back towards all the parents and teachers, while her classmates sang and did all the motions.

Here is Grace at the past year's program, in May 2008.

For any children's choir performance, Grace has improved in that she doesn't hide her face, but she has never actually been singing while she's been up there.

But this past Sunday morning, in both worship services...


And, look! A SMILE!
I'm not really an overly emotional mom most of the time, but I was BEAMING on Sunday morning, and yes, even wiping away a couple of tears! There's a Christmas presentation at her school in December, and of course her choir at church will sing during the holidays as well. It'll be exciting to see her enjoying herself like she did this past Sunday morning!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mama's Helper

That's my little helper there. Rachael can be anywhere in the apartment, and if she hears the dishwasher being opened, she'll come running. She loves to unload! One day I was in the girls' room putting away their laundry and I thought I heard the dishwasher opening. Sure enough, I walked into the kitchen to find Rachael pulling silverware out of the basket on the bottom! I double and triple check to make sure the door locks shut now!!

Last week our church had a ladies' night out, and Chris went to meet some guys to play basketball. He left early to set up and took Grace with him, and I brought Rachael when I left. She saw me grab my camera and started pointing at it. "You want me to take a picture?" I asked. She nodded. So I took a picture -- can you tell she's saying "cheeeeese"? :-)

Rachael has definitely been trying to talk a whole lot more! It's a lot of fun to watch her babbling, clearly trying to communicate something! One day we were with Nana, and Nana whispered, "I love you" to Rachael. Rachael started whispering back to her, telling her a bunch of secrets! It's so much fun!

Rachael also loves to point out who she's with, and who she likes to talk to. Mama, Daddy and "Gway" are the most popular. When I say, "Who are you?" her answer is always "Baby." She will not say her own name, and I am starting to think she's just being stubborn, or maybe she just wants to constantly remind us that she is the baby!! Of course, one time I told her she was just trouble, and now once in a while when I ask her who she is, she'll answer, "Twubble." Uh-oh! ;-)

One thing I'm going to try to get on video is a conversation I like to have with her. I ask her a bunch of questions, and her answer everytime is this sweet, melodic, "No-oooooh!" It can be pretty funny depending on the question!

Can you believe she's going to be 2 in just two months?! I can't!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Before it's too late...

Halloween is not my favorite time of year. Truth be told, if I could skip it I probably would. However, there are always plenty of alternative fun activities for the kids to do and dressing up is usually expected. This year I even participated:

In case you can't tell, I was Sarah Palin, and there with me was a fella with a sign saying he was Joe the Plumber. THAT was pretty funny!

Here is our little Dolphins cheerleader -- it was difficult to get a still shot of her, because she was a wiggle worm, especially when the Chick-fil-A cow was around! She was given an award for being "prettiest" that night, awww!

Here are two of the sweetest little fairies you'll ever see. Grace and her "BFF" Faith (who was Tinkerbell).

Grace and Faith have been friends pretty much since Faith was born! That might have something to do with their mothers being as close to sisters as you can get without having the same parents!

I got to take the girls to a fall festival one of the local churches had, and afterwards I took them out for a very, very late dinner. They were having the best time hanging out, and the woman in line behind me remarked at how cute they were, and how sweet they were together. While I was ordering, I heard her speaking to them, and when I finished she said, "I just asked them if they were sisters or friends, and they said both! Isn't that precious?" That definitely warmed my heart!

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