Saturday, December 26, 2009

An Adorable Christmas

After the decorating was done, we started the rest of our Christmas festivities with Rachael's preschool Christmas concert.  As you can see, she got a little case of stage fright!  She was quickly rescued by her teacher and thankfully her tears dried up!  She stayed in her teacher's lap for the rest of the concert, and afterwards was just fine and dandy! 

The very next day, the kindergarten classes at Gracie's school had their Christmas concert, and each class had their own song to sing.  Gracie's group sang "Santa Bingo" -- that's Gracie proudly holding up the second 'A'.  If you aren't familiar with this tune, think B-I-N-G-O, only with S-A-N-T-A.  There was a man with a long white beard, and Santa was his name-o!  All of the music was very cute!

Daddy got to come home early on Christmas Eve, and not long after he got in we had a visit from Papa.  Later, after the church services were over, we spent the rest of Christmas Eve with Chris' parents, and Christmas morning we got to experience the joy of the girls waking up and making their run to the tree to see what Santa brought!  (My favorite part was after all the gifts had been opened, Rachael pulled out a tub of blocks that they've had forever and started playing with them!)  After that, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's for a delicious Christmas dinner, made it home for naptime, and then had a visit from Nana and Grandpa Ken!

This was the first year we actually really did Santa with the girls (even Grace), so we're still learning!  Santa forgot batteries for the little Dirt Devil that Rachael got, and Grace is wondering how I'm going to be able to go to Target and exchange the princess tent that Santa brought them... What can I say?  I'm a novice!

We have been blessed every year as a family, but this year did feel a little extra special as we celebrated in our home! 

We hope you enjoyed your Christmas, especially those of you who were able to have a white one!! 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Home for the Holidays

See that? It's our first Christmas tree in our new home! The day after he got back from his latest trip to Texas, Chris put it up with Rachael while I was at a doctor's appointment! Before we picked up Gracie at school, we took a trip with Rachael to get some decorations, then after getting Grace, we had the girls pick out which star we would put on top. (They picked the same one!) Then while Rachael was napping, Chris and Grace did some decorating!

Today, after the rain finally stopped, Chris was busy outside. Not mowing this time, though! We have deer courtesy of his parents, and Gracie and her friend, Noah, named them all...

Meet Princess, Austin, Rudolph and Kiki!
The girls are big fans of their Frosty, greeting folks as they come to our door!
Earlier this week, the girls cooperated just long enough for one of our friends to take some amazing pictures of them! He did an excellent job with them, and I can't wait to put these up, give them to Chris to put up at work, use them for gifts, etc., etc.!
Hope your holidays are starting out happy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Time 2009

Thanksgiving is no longer something we celebrate for just one day, it's an EVENT! With Katrina and her family spending the entire week with us, it is filled with family -- and we love every minute of it! This year we had a very special treat in going to Disney World on the first day of the week -- it was Mommy, Gracie, Rachael, Aunt Kiki, Uncle Jerry, Blake, Savannah, Veronica, Nana and Papa! The little ones had a wonderful time, meeting fairies, riding rides, and being pushed or carried all the livelong day!

It was so good to spend that much time with everyone, and we definitely have to get those girls together more!

Here are some pictures of our time together...

Savannah & Gracie ready for their Disney Day!

Aunt Neener & Veronica in line to meet the fairies!

All the girls together, getting ready to watch a movie!

Rachael with her cousin, Blake at Nana's house.

Rachael, Gracie & Savannah, playing while Veronica was sleeping on Uncle Chris, then Nana.

One of my absolute favorite pictures ever!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Halloween isn't a huge deal to us, but this year Chris and I got into it a little more than usual thanks to a costume night that our friends had on the 30th! If you ever watch NCIS, you might recognize...

Abby & McGee!
We braved the heat for a really fun fall festival today. Gracie was originally supposed to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but she said the dress was just "too itchy." (That's Mommy's fault for not trying it on earlier -- it was a dress-up outfit that she's worn several times at a friend's house, but she always has her regular clothes on underneath!) She was bothered enough by it that she was willing to not dress up at all, but thankfully we had a quick fix, so she was...
Country Girl!

Rachael was the prettiest little pirate! She wasn't as cooperative in front of the camera, but she held still long enough for this one after getting her face painted!

Earlier this week, Gracie made a little card for Rachael, and she told me it was for Rachael's birthday in January -- but she wanted to give it to her right then! Of course they have their times when they fuss and fight with each other, but I cherish moments like these!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Steady as she goes...

The Adorables have hit a lull. A lovely, lovely lull. It's kind of nice to just go with the flow for a little while! Between the house hunt and the girls both starting school, I think it's safe to say that there was a little stress floating around the household. Now that we've all found our little grooves, the breathing is a little easier.

To the left you see the girls playing in the yard one evening a few weeks ago. They had the best time just chasing each other around, sometimes even daring to go barefoot. :-) We've had some interesting weather the past few days -- last Friday we spent a good part of the day at a friend's pool, and by Sunday I was scrambling to find the girls some long sleeves and TIGHTS! And today, Grace wore a sweater to school but by the end of the day she was very comfortable in her t-shirt and shorts!

Gracie and kindergarten are like peas and carrots. :-) Today she brought home her library book and her Book-It book, and she read her Book-It book to me without any help at all. I will admit that I was a little relieved that she still needed me to read her library book to her! Report cards come out on Thursday, and we have our first parent-teacher conference next week. So far, the only difficulty I've found with kindergarten is figuring out what to pack for her lunch -- she confessed to me this morning that often much of her lunch ends up in the trash. ACK! Although, I helped in her classroom today and then stuck around for lunch, and it was obvious that I'm not the only parent with this issue! Those kids threw out SO MUCH FOOD! So if you have mastered the art of packing a lunch that your kids do not waste, clue me in!

Gracie's favorite activities during the week at school are P.E. and art, and her favorite daily activity is coloring at the literacy center.

Right now the big deal with Rachael is potty training. After the (mostly self-inflicted) fiasco I had with Grace and potty training, I made the very honest statement that I would rather go through labor and delivery with BOTH GIRLS than have another potty training experience like that. But Rachael, of course, is a do-it-yourselfer. Not long after we moved, she initiated the training. She was doing very, very well, but then I think we may have had a setback after everyone got sick (Gracie came down with the flu and Rachael had bronchitis, then all of us -- Grace included -- picked up the bronchitis). Now it's hit or miss -- but I have learned from my mistakes, and I'm not pushing. She's still showing interest and doing it on her own, and I think soon we'll institute a rewards system and that might give her the extra encouragement she needs!

Rachael is still loving school, she loves any and all art that she gets to do, and she is happy to talk about what she did during the day. She talks about her friends and her teacher the rest of the week. I love how much she loves it! We have no problems getting her up and ready on her school days, that's for sure!

Nothing really new under the sun for Mommy and Daddy. :-) Well, Chris just had to do a little traveling for work -- they sent him on a very brief trip to California... first class. I could not even try to hide my jealousy! But truthfully, he works so hard, and I think he's more than earned a little upgrade like that!! They are going to be sending him out a couple more times for longer trips, but it's a good thing -- he learned their new software well and trained those in his department, and they're sending him off to do the same elsewhere! As for me, I've started walking regularly, and soon I am going to attempt running. Please note I said attempt. :-) I am still teaching Sunday school every other week at church (3-year-olds), I work in childcare, and I'm beginning to think that having a house may be bringing out the housewife in me -- and I like it! :-)

Hope you're enjoying some beautiful fall weather where you are!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Florida Fall

I know some people scoff, but I think Floridians appreciate our autumn as much as anyone else. I think we might appreciate it more, considering we don't have as many leaves to rake. ;-) Anyway, today was our first day of cooler weather! Before the girls even went outside, they were asking for their sweaters! So there they are, my little Florida Girls, ready to brave the icy temperature of SEVENTY DEGREES!!!

And just over the weekend we were in tank tops and shorts at Sea World!

A couple of weeks ago, Gracie celebrated her 6th birthday. Early that week, we had a few friends over for a birthday playdate. Gracie and I worked together that afternoon to put the stage up for her friends:

The girls had a great time dressing up, and a few times the runway got some use! (It's got a sensor so that when they head out on the runway, you hear music and applause! Thanks, Papa!) One friend brought over a particular dress that Gracie tends to wear when she goes over to their house to play. We will label this "Daddy's Worst Nightmare":

Rachael found another use for the stage when the rest of the girls were back in the bedroom being different variations of princesses...

On her actual birthday, we just had family over at the house (it's so nice to be able to fit everyone!), and Gracie got to celebrate again! Publix made the cake for the gathering with friends, but since I'd bought two packages of Funfetti mix, we were able to have a cake that night as well!

Rachael loved it too!

The girls are still enjoying school, Gracie got the Student of the Week honor last week so we were proud of her for that! (Each child gets a chance to be it, but I was still pleased!) When Rachael gets to her preschool class now, she barely spares me a wave! She just puts her little bag in her cubby, and off she goes! So far, I haven't cried over this! :-) It's actually kind of fun to see her so comfortable and enjoying herself like that, and definitely better than the alternative!

The house is ALMOST done! I am hoping that when Rachael is at preschool, I can come home and tackle the office -- maybe not get it entirely done, but at least make a decent dent! We still have a few boxes that I'm ready to sort through and get rid of -- it'll be nice to not have to keep the door closed when we have company! ;-)

All in all, things are going well! Hope you're enjoying the beginning of fall where you are!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Six years ago, this little angel with ruby red lips and a headful of thick, dark brown hair came into the world. In a year that had brought a lot of difficult change for our family, she was a bright spot of love and laughter that we needed so much.

She's a little lady, most definitely -- 110% GIRL! She is also precious and sweet, strong-willed and kind. She has a pure, sensitive heart. She is polite, fun to be around, and we are so proud of her and so thankful she is ours.

Happy Birthday, Gracie! YOU are one of God's best gifts to us!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Country Girls

Grace was studying the farm this week, and as part of that they read about the country mouse and the city mouse. On Friday, they were able to dress like a country kid or a city kid, and Gracie chose to go country! She flat out REFUSED to wear overalls, but this dress worked just fine. As you can see, Rachael wanted to be a little bit country herself!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

School's Cool

So far, so good! Both girls are loving every minute of their school days!

Gracie has adapted to kindergarten as well as she has to any other change in her life, like it's all a breeze! (She gets that from her daddy!) Loves her teacher, loves her activities, and if you ask her what she likes about school, her answer is: EVERYTHING! She's already made some friends, and she actually did me a huge favor by being buddy-buddy with a little girl with sweet parents and a little sister that's close to Rachael's age! As an added bonus, they don't live far from us!

She has already come home and asked to show us a science experiment (we sprinkled pepper in a cup of water, then she put a drop of dish detergent on her fingertip and set it on the top -- she and Rachael were fascinated), she is thrilled that she gets to go to the library (er, media center, sorry) one day a week, and she adores the P.E. teacher! He is in the car loop directing traffic each day, and Grace has asked for me to park and walk her in because that way we get to drive by him! It's like a celebrity sighting every morning!

The other day she told me that two boys had asked her to marry them. She told them no. I was happy to hear that, until she told me it was because she was already going to marry her friend, Noah. And then today she asked me if I knew one of her classmates' last names. I didn't, so she caught up with him and asked him herself. He answered, and as we walked away she told me she was going to marry him. (It may have been because his last name starts with an M, I'm not sure.) After we got home and Rachael went down for her nap, I explained that it would be a while before she got married. She wanted to know how long, and I told her she'd probably be around 25 or so, because she had to finish college first. (I was giving her a couple of extra years in case she wanted to get her Master's right away or go to law school or something...)

Rachael is in heaven at preschool! She gets to paint! Play with Play-Doh! Play with stickers! She gets to PAINT! Today when we were dropping Gracie off, she said that she missed her teacher -- it was so cute! If you ask Rachael what her favorite part of school is, she will answer "Snack time!"

I am so blessed to have two girls that can entertain themselves so well! Rachael is really great when we're at home together. One of her favorite activities is actually helping me with the laundry! She even asks to help with it -- asking if she can put clothes in the "washing clean." (I'm sure she is trying to say machine, but it's so cute that it sounds like that!) With the front loaders being lower to the ground, it is very easy for her to put the dirty clothes in and transfer the wet clothes to the dryer, and I think my back appreciates that!

Today we spent the morning at home, and before lunch I was treated to a concert (Rachael the Musician sitting on a chair using unsharpened pencils as drumsticks while music played), went to the doctor (Dr. Rachael listened to my heart and declared, "It's working!" -- good to know!), and got a haircut (Rachael the Stylist said, "Looks good!").

Soon we'll be celebrating Grace's 6th birthday! Time definitely does fly by, but I think that's only a bad thing if you're not paying attention as you go!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Before and After, Part II

So Chris and I spent last Saturday clearing this:

Until it looked like this:

And then Chris spent all of today making it look like this:
What a difference! He did a great job!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Day #2

Little Miss Rachael has been so excited about school! Last night we went to Target, and for some reason she thought we were going to take her to school then. When we told her we were just going to a store, she started wailing! This morning, she was all excited! She was practicing saying her teacher's name, she was talking about seeing her friends -- she was thrilled!

When we got to the classroom, she immediately headed for a table with crayons and paper. There were a couple of kids who started crying (and one who bolted out the door after her mommy left!), but Rachael wasn't one of them!

Rachael was checking out one of her new friends, who was crying.

Enough of that -- back to coloring!

I gave her a high five as I left, and then she rushed around to give me a hug. Well, I thought she was coming to give me a hug. I thought she said, "Mommy! Wait!" So I stopped and knelt down to hug her, and then she looked at me and said, "Mommy! PAINT!" I had told her a long time ago that they might paint sometimes in her class -- apparently she remembered that! I told her maybe she could go ask her teacher, and as she headed towards her, I made my exit. I waited in the hall for a little bit, trying to stay out of sight. I didn't hear my girl crying, so I left.

Then I cried. Just a little! After I ran a couple of errands, coming back to the house with no one here except Snickers was a little strange! I look forward to picking her up (in just a little bit actually) and hearing all about her first day!

UPDATE: Rachael came out the door from preschool with a note from her teacher saying she went potty TWO TIMES, and she was "a great helper"! :-) As if that wasn't enough, when we brought Gracie home, she showed us how she can tie her shoes all by herself!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Before and After, Part I

Chris is very fortunate to have every other Friday off from work. It is very rare that he actually takes a day OFF, though. The man is always working on something. And now, of course, with the new house, there are plenty of projects to keep him busy. The first thing on his list was the landscaping in the front yard. I posted a picture of the house before, here (scroll to the bottom). Looks nice, doesn't it? Although the tenants took excellent care of the inside of the house (it was basically immaculate), this is what the area in front of the left window looked like when we got here (I took this yesterday):

After a half day (of his "off" Friday) and basically a full day of work, here is Chris' finished product, and this was taken earlier this afternoon:

Chris is my hero!

As for next weekend?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Day #1

Amazingly enough, nobody cried on Grace's first day of kindergarten! I'm kind of surprised at myself since I got a little misty-eyed when I was making her lunch last night, but today at the school everyone had dry eyes! Daddy was able to join us, and of course Rachael came along for the ride -- asking if she could go to her school pretty much all morning! Tuesday apparently can't come fast enough!

We have heard nothing but great things about Gracie's teacher, and she was comfortable with her right away when she went in for her assessment on Wednesday. That was such a relief!

Here is Grace going into her classroom, with her teacher greeting her. The teacher wears an apron with four different greeting options that they point to and choose: a hug (heart), a smile (smiley face), fist bump (fists) or a "good morning" (sunshine). Upon meeting her teacher yesterday, and again today, Gracie chose the hug. :-)

We do it all again on Tuesday! I'm hoping for a repeat when it comes to the tears -- but sometimes Rachael can surprise us!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Post from THE NEW HOUSE!

Oh, how I wish I had some pictures to offer you! I tried to take some photos the other day, but I just don't have a gift for getting the right perspectives and everything! I hope to get some though, especially some before-and-after shots of the work in the yard that Chris will be doing! He's already made some vast improvements! The yard is in great shape, but there are a bunch of weeds in the landscaping, and he wants to make some more changes. He'll be great at it!

The week before last, I had a bunch of wonderful friends that watched Rachael during the mornings (while Grace was at a VBS at the church where she'd gone to VPK), and I packed away! The next week, Grace was at dance camp and I was helping with the arts camp (helping lead the drama class, what a shock!) at our church. That FRIDAY was closing and that weekend we had our plans to move!

Friday morning at 8:30 a.m., Chris and I went to sign a bunch of papers (that's us right after with our keys -- can you tell we're happy??), while his mom took Grace to dance camp and watched Rachael. Right after closing, I headed to the church for the last day of the arts camp. The performance for their families was at 11:30 a.m. While I was there, Chris and his mom started moving a ton of stuff over to the house! We took some more stuff over when I got back, and Chris took the first shower in the new house (without hot water, the breaker for the a/c and hot water heater was turned off!), then we rushed over to the dance studio for Grace's performance. WHEW!

All weekend I was in awe of the help we had, it was incredible! So many people came to lend a hand, and we were so appreciative!!

We still have a long way to go, of course, but we can take our time! IT'S OUR HOUSE! Yay!!

Grace has made herself right at home, she loves it! (Check her out playing her current favorite, Mario Kart.) Rachael took a little more time getting used to it, for a few days she kept asking when we were going to "the different house." (She's checking out a bagworm that was right outside the front door.) They both LOVE the space they have! We've already had a couple of their friends over for a visit, and it makes such a huge difference! I think Snickers is still getting adjusted -- she is definitely not acting like herself, but hopefully she'll realize that this is HOME, and she can get quite a workout speeding around the house! I really want to take her for a walk around the neighborhood, but she quits before I do in this heat! However, I will have more time soon since...

THE GIRLS GO BACK TO SCHOOL! Well, Grace goes back, Rachael is starting! Grace's first day of kindergarten is this Thursday (we meet her teacher and she has her assessment tomorrow), and Rachael begins preschool at the church two days a week next Tuesday! (We will also go to her open house tomorrow, right after we leave Grace's school.) I am praying that Grace will adapt this year as well as she did last year -- her first day of VPK, she didn't know anyone at all. Even though some familiar faces will be at the same school, so far I haven't talked to anyone that has the same teacher. I am excited for her, though! Rachael is READY! She has been asking to go to school! I know she's going to have so much fun!

So many changes in such a short amount of time! But so many positive changes, and so many blessings!