Monday, March 30, 2009


As I mentioned in a previous post, thanks to a few monetary birthday gifts for Jeff, we were able to have a date night . . . with Chris Tomlin! Chris Tomlin is a Christian music artist whose most well known songs include "How Great Is Our God," "Indescribable," "Forever," "Famous One," "We Fall Down," "Holy Is the Lord," "Made to Worship," "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)." We have been to a couple of his concerts before, but when we found out he was going to be in Indianapolis, we really wanted to go. Our best friends, Jill and Scott Ruddle are big fans, too. Jill is a super huge fan of Tomlin, and she wanted to go to this concert more than anyone. Since Scott's birthday is in March, too, and also due to Jill's super sweet kids, it turned into a birthday gift for both Jeff and Scott. Some other friends of ours, the Seawright family, wanted to go to the concert as well. They surprised all of us with a dinner out before the concert. It was really fun. We had such a great time! This was Tomlin's HELLO LOVE tour, and he sang a few of my favorite songs off of that record. "Sing, Sing, Sing," "Jesus Messiah," "I Will Rise," and "All the Way My Savior Leads Me." I was a bit disappointed that he didn't sing another favorite of mine, "Exalted (Yahweh)." We got home really late from the concert. Jeff's parents kept the girls overnight for us, and we were able to sleep in on Saturday and spend all day Saturday together as well. We had a wonderful time together. It was much needed. As those of you with little ones know, "responsibility-free'" times are few and far between.

Me (looking like I've been hit by an 18-wheeler) and Jill (of course, looking tan and beautiful) before the concert started.

Jeff (looking hot) and me (again, looking like roadkill) before the concert started. It's okay. I bought him the shirt a few years ago, and I asked him to wear it that night. I like it. Although I don't believe in luck, so it should say "blessed."

First Spring Picnic

On St. Patrick's Day (March 17th), the weather was beautiful! We headed to the park with our friends for our first spring picnic of the year. Is was a wonderful day!

Elaina's absolute favorite thing to do outside is ride her bike! She rides around the entire neighborhood when we take evening walks. We took her bike to the park this day, and she had a great time riding bikes with Luke and Benjamin.

Elaina trying to keep up with Luke on her tricycle.

Hannah and Emily enjoying the afternoon at the park.



Madelyn Mae


Sisterly Love

It is moments like these that make me stop from the housework, worries, and stress at times to just sit back and watch our girls love life and love each other so incredibly much. I know that a lot parents' dreams are to have that "All-American" family of one boy and one girl (although we would love to have four children, not two), but Jeff and I were just commenting this weekend on how we can't imagine the girls not having each other. Don't get me wrong, we would love to have a boy along the way if that is what God has in store for us, but to see our girls together right now, we couldn't ask for more of a blessing. Elaina and Emily are 16 months apart. Oh yes, we are already seeing our share of "cat fights," but the concern for each other, love, and friendship that they have already established puts joy in our hearts every day. Here are a few "sisterly" moments that I have randomly caught them in over the last couple of months. These are my favorites.

The girls watching a Strawberry Shortcake movie together. I walked in to check on them, and this is what I found. Love it.

There is a drawer in the kitchen that has my plastic kitchen utensils in it. The girls know that they can play with these things while I'm working in the kitchen because they won't hurt them. One morning after breakfast, I was cleaning up. I knew that they had been in that drawer, but they had left the kitchen and for some reason I heard a faucet running. They are supposed to stay in the kitchen with those things to play. I went to look for them, and they had taken some place mats and utensils and were "making a cake" in the living room. The faucet was running because they needed water to make their cake with. I had to laugh because although I would have preferred for them to stay in the kitchen, water cleans up easily.

Yummy cake.

The girls have a few books that help them learn how to write their letters, numbers, shapes, etc. They are "wipe-off" marker books so that the pages can be used over and over again. They love these books, but we make them stay at the table in their play room to use them. Normally, I stay close by just to be sure that the walls don't get marked on or a book from their bookshelf that shouldn't be written in. Naive me, on this day they were doing really well with not making a mess (Specifically, Emily is the one we have to watch with the markers.), so I thought I might be able to get some housework done in another room while they played. Several minutes went by before Elaina came running out of the play room exclaiming and laughing, "Mommy! I drew picture on Emily! Hurry, come look!" Well, she wasn't kidding. This is what I found.

Edinburgh Sectional Game

On a Saturday evening in March, we headed down to Daddy's Alma Mater to watch Edinburgh's basketball team in the sectional championship game. Unfortunately, they lost in a very close game. We still had a great time at the game with MawMaw and PawPaw. MawMaw got to show off the cheerleading outfits that she made for the girls. She actually made these outfits a year and a half ago while Daddy was still coaching the Northwood basketball team. The colors worked well for this game, and they were barely able to squeeze into them one last time, so we thought we'd get a few last pictures.

On the way down to the game, Elaina kept telling us that her PawPaw was going to buy her popcorn at the game. Guess what? Yep. PawPaw bought Elaina a bag of popcorn at the game. :)

Emily enjoying the popcorn.

Silly girls. Yes, that would be Emily with her ferocious growling face! It's very scary, isn't it? :)

Beautiful, beautiful girls.

Daddy's Birthday

Daddy turned 32 the 1st of March! What an old man! ;) He always enjoys his made from scratch German Chocolate Cake. He has enjoyed it more being able to share it with his girls the last few birthdays although they don't look quite as nice since the girls insist on helping. His birthday was on a Sunday which after church services in the morning, is a super relaxing day for us typically. We did just that . . . relaxed in our pajamas after getting home from church. For his birthday, he received money from different parts of the family. He decided to buy tickets to the Chris Tomlin concert with his money. You'll see a post later about that concert! Happy Birthday, Daddy! We love you!

Elaina adding the finishing touches to Daddy's cake.

So proud!

Happy Birthday, Old Man!

Valentine's Day 2009

Here are just a couple of pictures of the girls preparing their Daddy's Valentine's Day surprise. They (we) decorated the inside of his truck with a lot of candy, paper hearts, and love! We spent the day together as a family and then Jeff and I were able to go out to a nice dinner with friends that weekend while MawMaw and PawPaw watched the girls for us.

"Hi, my name is Emily, and I'm a Daddy's girl!"

Working hard on a couple of the MANY paper hearts that we cut and decorated!

Winter Snow 2009

Our winter snow experience in January and February was much more fun this year. In past years, Elaina has enjoyed the snow and being out in it, but would get very upset if she feel into the cold snow, especially with her hands. I don't blame her, though. I'm not a snow gal either. I do the video taping and picture taking. However, this year, she had a blast sledding with Daddy and playing out in the snow. Emily also enjoyed it as well, although we know next year she'll enjoy it even more. She loved to look out the window and say, "Snow! Snow! Snow!" We always enjoy a snow day with Daddy home from work, but we don't like that he has to make it up at the end of the year. Luckily, he just had to tack one more day on to the end of his school calendar this year.

Emily getting ready to experience the snow. She had a hard time maneuvering with all of that gear on. It was bright! Had to wear those shades!

Elaina loving the snow!

Daddy shoveling and Elaina pulling the little red wagon that was Daddy's when he was her age.

Elaina wanted to help her daddy.

Our sweet pea.


"Now I Want To Be An Ice Skater Just Like Madison, Mommy!"

Those were Elaina's words after watching our very good friend, Madison, compete in ice skating in January. We are so thankful that our girls have such dear friends and good examples to look up to in life. We are very blessed with friendships and friends who love our family so much. When Jeff and I first formed a great friendship with Madison's parents (Kenny and Shawna), Madison was Elaina's age. It has been really neat to watch her (and her brother) grow up! Thanks for inviting us to share in your fun, Madison!

Madison competing on the ice.

Hannah cheering Madison on!

Emily, Hannah, Madison and Elaina

Elaina's First Gymnastics Class

Elaina participated in a gymnastics class this winter, and she had a blast! The class lasted for six weeks (January - February), and only had four to six students in it for each class. Since the summer Olympics were on this past year, she has loved "doing gymnastics" in the house. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity for her. The class was offered through the Franklin Parks and Recreation Department, and was only $20 for the six-week class. Not having participated in something like this before, we were a bit unsure as to how she would do, so we didn't mind paying the $20 to find out. She loved every minute of it, and we hope to sign her up for a couple of more classes this summer and fall. We went as a family every session. The class started at 4:45 p.m., so Jeff was able to meet us there after work. Emily did not get to participate, but she watched, and she learned so much just from watching. In fact, Emily tumbles very well. She has perfected her front roll as well, and will do them at random times wherever we are. We had so much fun and enjoyed watching Elaina enjoy herself so much. She listened to and behaved so well for her teacher each class. One of our proud moments!

Elaina excited and ready to leave the house for her first gymnastics class!

Her first attempt on the balance beam.

So excited to walk the beam all by herself!

Front roll

Elaina sitting next to her friend, Brookie, listening to their teacher.

Brookie, Elaina's friend, with a smile across the beam.

Winter Blues

Yes, so I got behind again! It is now the end of March, and I am posting for January, February and March! I am not one who loves the winter. January, February and March depress me actually. I become terribly lazy. I don't want to go out in the cold, but yet I get tired of being indoors. Basically, I like to snuggle up in my big pink blanket on the couch and be a bum. Then, at the end of March, the sun begins to shine, the temperatures begin to rise, and I feel like coming out of hibernation! So, here I am again . . . catching up on blog entries. With many more exciting things to do outdoors, and Baby #3 growing, you can be sure that there will be many more posts this spring. Enjoy catching up on our family as I begin a slew of entries this week!