Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is it Really the End of June?

I can't believe that my last blog entry was mid-May! The time has flown by since Emily's 2nd birthday party. We have been so incredibly busy, and I am sad to think that the summer is half over, but anxious and excited to know that the biggest event of our summer is yet to come! We love our summers with Daddy at home. He is so wonderful and a very involved Daddy, and the girls really thrive on us both being home with them and doing things together as a family.

So, here's trying to catch you . . . and me . . . up on our very busy month of June! Enjoy the pictures. I had so many to upload that it was fun for me to stop and actually see what we had been up to as well. Phew! I'm exhausted! Next big event coming up . . . Let's have a BABY!

Celebrating Our Favorite Daddy! - Father's Day 2009

We loved celebrating Jeff on Father's Day this year. We knew he would just want to have a relaxing day at home that was also inexpensive, so we did just that. We had a long morning at church, and the girls (and us, too) are always ready for a Sunday afternoon nap. First, though, the girls gave Jeff his special gift for the day. We gave Jeff the picture book, "Dance Me, Daddy" which was written by award-winning singer and songwriter, Cindy Morgan. It is based on the song, "King of the World," recorded by Christian artists, Point of Grace. When I heard the lyrics to this song/book and saw the illustrations in the book, I just knew it was the perfect Father's Day gift for Jeff this year. He and the girls love to dance together in the living room. I love to watch them, too. It is something that happens a lot in our home, and it's exactly what this song/book is about. I knew he would love it.

Here is a link to actually listen to the author, Cindy Morgan, read the book, "Dance Me, Daddy" along with a slide show of the picture book as she is reading it. It's well worth it watching, especially if you have a very special Daddy to a very special little girl(s) in your life.

If you would also like to hear the beautiful recording of the song, "King of the World" by Point of Grace, here is the link for it as well.

Jeff, I am so thankful for you. Thank you for being an amazing Daddy to our very beautiful girls that God has blessed us with. You are truly the King of OUR World. We love you so very much! "There's nothin' better than bein' your girls." XOXOXO

The loves of my life!

Dancing to "King of the World."

Dancing with his girls.

"Spinning around on the tops of his feet . . . "

We spent a wonderful and relaxing day at home together with Daddy on Father's Day. Nice long naps, Daddy's favorite meals, and then watching the girls enjoy some time in their pool. Love this picture. Elaina is such the "SUPERSTAR!" So dramatic! She and Emily love each other so very much!

We're Goin' to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo . . . How 'Bout You, You, You . .

Our girls love this song, and we love to watch and hear them sing it! Thanks to Emily and Mommy putting their birthday "monies" together, we were able to purchase a family zoo pass at the Indianapolis Zoo so that we can visit the zoo as many times as we want to for the next year. This was our first trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, and the girls loved it! Daddy loved teaching them at every stop we made, so it took us all day to get through the zoo, and we even had to skip a couple of places. The day we went to the zoo, I was in my 35th week of pregnancy, so I spent most of the time as the caboose of our little train. It was such a great day. I'll just let the pictures and captions show how much fun we had. Mommy was photographer for the day.

Just getting started. Our first stop were the flamingos.

Elaina told us the whole night before we went to the zoo that she was so excited to see the giraffes, so we were really thrilled when we got a chance to see them up close.

The girls did this for what seemed like forever. Jeff and I laughed so hard. They were squawking, buawking, calling, whatever . . . at the chickens. It was so funny!

Mommy brought up the rear most of the day. :)

This was a stance that we saw Emily take a lot throughout the day. She would hunch down, put her arm behind her back, squint her eyes, and point while talking to the different animals.

One the several "lessons" from the day from Mr. Daddy. He is such a great teacher to our girls!

One of our favorite parts of the day was getting to sit in the front row to watch an African Elephant named Tombie get a bath.

Emily and Daddy in front of the giraffes.

Elaina in front of the giraffe exhibit.

After the dolphin show, Elaina asked Daddy, "How do the dolphins sleep?" Daddy had to tell her that he really didn't know, so they stopped to ask one of the dolphin trainers. Usually Elaina gets really bashful and won't speak, but she walked right up to the dolphin trainer and asked her question like a big girl. She listened the whole time the dolphin trainer answered her question.

Petting the sharks. Well, Daddy did anyway.

Elaina dancing around in the underwater dolphin area.

Emily's new found "dolphin kiss."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crocodile Dock - VBS 2009

Ok. So, let's just get this out there. I LOVE Vacation Bible School! Seriously. I think I love it as much as the kids. It is my one of my favorite weeks of the year. For the last few years, I have had the privilege (yes, I call it a privilege) of being the Registration Coordinator for VBS at Franklin Memorial Christian Church. I assisted with registration in previous years, but after a good friend stepped down from the official job as Registration Coordinator after she had been doing an amazing job of it for several years, I was asked to fill those large shoes. Now, this may seem like no big deal, but actually it is. Our Children's Ministry team, of which I am a part of, starts planning VBS at the end of January each year, and my responsibilities really hit hard right after spring break each year when it's time to update documents with the new theme, make copies, compile registration packets, etc. Then, the starting the second week of May or so and continuing through the actual week of VBS in June, I live and breathe VBS. Seriously. I thrive on registering all approximately 250 children and getting them assigned to groups, and my amazing husband doesn't mind when the house isn't cleaned as regularly or when I'm up on my computer until wee hours of the night/morning. Fortunately the craziest week for me, which is the week prior to VBS, Jeff is home since he is a school teacher, and he is right there ready to take care of the girls so that I can put all of my focus on VBS if I need too. Now, I must admit, this year was the most trying year for me, as my oldest baby is 3, and my youngest just turned 2, and I was 7 1/2 - 8 months pregnant. I was a bit more tired, and it all wore on me a bit more, but I can still say that I loved every bit of it!

Mommy and her two favorite VBSers.

Now, I'm not the only VBS nut in my family. Jeff really loves it, too, and this year, he had the most responsibilities that he's ever had for the week of VBS. For many, many years, Jeff has organized the recreation activities for the older elementary kids, and he has also been the "big kid," "dork," etc . . . for the daily skits that take for the opening an closing of each morning. This year he also led the worship time for our "Get Soaked" program for the 5th/6th graders. He was a busy man, and I was so proud of him for keeping himself moving throughout the mornings and being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there. Jeff doesn't really have a good sense of time. He kind of just gets places when he gets there. I felt like each morning I was giving him a pep talk about how he needed to keep moving and get to where he needed to be. Really, I didn't need to do this. He did a great job taking good care of himself. :) With VBS week being right after school lets out for the summer, he really enjoys his time. He loves making a fool of himself up on stage for the skits, and really, truly, he is the BEST at it! He totally makes us all laugh. This year, he portrayed "Skeeter" as in "Mo-skeeter" ya' know mosquito???!!!

Yep, that would be the love of my life . . . "Skeeter."

We have always loved VBS week, but now that we have two beautiful girls to enjoy it with, we love it even more. Typically our VBS is open to children who will be entering grades Kdg. through 4th in the fall. However, we do offer classes for the children of volunteers, so that is why our girls are able to attend. The girls had a great week, and they loved learning more about God. We start learning the VBS songs in our van at the end of April, and the girls love them. The department leaders and teachers who are in charge of the toddler age group do an amazing job. Elaina, even just being 3, shouts out each and everyone of the five daily Bible points by memory followed by a very powerful, "FEAR NOT!" Emily joins in on the fierce, "FEAR NOT!" as well. This gets to Jeff and I every time she does it. She is so young and already learning so much about Jesus. We are so appreciative of the volunteers who worked with our girls and taught them so much that week.

Elaina dancing and doing the motions to the VBS songs.

The girls and Hannah

Brooke and Elaina praying together. So sweet!

Emily and Miss Clair letting their lights shine.

One specific very special moment during VBS week was one evening at home before putting the girls to bed. Each year, the offering that is collected daily during VBS is donated to a mission. This year, the money was being donated to a mission where there were children who were needed new mattresses. We were raising money so that they could purchase the mattresses. We were explaining to the girls one evening about how we "give" of our time to serve Jesus, but we also "give" of our money to serve Jesus as well. Jeff asked the girls if they would like to give any of the money from their banks to the children at the mission. Elaina immediately said, "Oh, yes, Daddy, I will give the girls and boys my monies, and I will give them my bed, too."

Daddy helping the girls with their offering.

We had a wonderful week of VBS. I am always sad when it is over and already looking forward to next year.

See ya' next year!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mommy's 29th Birthday Weekend!

Right in the midst and the most hectic time of VBS, falls my birthday! You read about VBS in another entry. My 29th birthday fell just two days before our first day of VBS this year, and I had a lot to do, but I am so glad that I took a couple of days from being so very busy with all of those responsibilities to spend with my family and friends.

On Friday, June 5th, three of my girlfriends had a yummy birthday breakfast for me. The breakfast was complete with super yummy donuts from my favorite donut shop, chocolate covered strawberries, and delicious egg and ham casserole. It was so yummy!

After breakfast and our Bible study, we headed to the Indy Air Show. It was practice day (basically like a dress rehearsal so to speak), and much cheaper than going for the actual show later in the weekend. We packed our lunches and got a lot of sun that afternoon! The highlight of the show was the Blue Angels. The girls loved being with their friends and seeing all of the loud and fast airplanes.

The girls, with Hannah, riding around checking out all of the airplanes.

Look out! Emily's behind the controls!

Going on a plane ride?

Emily and Hannah - so cute!

One of the Blue Angels

Watching the planes way up high!

A wonderful day with sweet friends!

There was a time that afternoon when Emily decided she wanted some special time with Scott. (Scott is Jill's husband, Daddy to "Nannah," "Ben-Ben," and "LUUUUUke.")

"Fat Albert"

Blue Angels


Emily yelling, "AIRPLANE!"

We had been gone since 8:30 a.m. that morning, and we were pulling back into our neighborhood at 5:30 p.m. We were all exhausted, but Elaina and I were going to hurry to change our clothes, spray some smellies, and head back out the door to go to our dear friend, Sarah's, first dance recital. As we pulled up to the house, I saw my parent's car parked in front of our house. I was so confused because I had planned for a couple of months to spend some time with Elaina and take her to this recital. Jeff knew this, so I wasn't sure what was going on. Jeff had secretly asked them to come down to spend the night and spend the next day (my actual birthday) with us. He was hoping that we would have a chance to go out to dinner before the recital, but we got home from the air show later than he thought we would. So, Elaina and I headed out to pick up Jill and Hannah for the recital and had a really special night together. The dance recital was almost three hours long, and it was really neat. The last half of the recital was "Mary Poppins" and Elaina loved it. She had never seen "Mary Poppins." Sarah did a great job! My mom, dad, Jeff, and Emily stayed at home and enjoyed each other's company. It was about 10:45 p.m. when Elaina and I got back to the house, but Emily was still up! She was not going to go to bed without having some of Mommy's birthday cake that MeMe brought with her! :) So, at around 11:00 p.m. that night after being gone since 8:30 a.m. and having an absolutely wonderful but exhausting day, we finished it off with birthday cake! Yum-yum!

Emily putting candles on my cake! You would have thought that she was exhausted after such a long day, but she was running around like a crazy girl!

My loving Elaina Joy. She was SO tired, but she was definitely ready for some cake!

Emily singing, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" She cracks me up!

More candles!

That night, sometime around 1 a.m. (so, morning, I guess) Jeff informed me that I would have no time to work on any of my VBS responsibilities on Saturday either. My blood pressure began to rise greatly at that point; I'm sure. I knew I still had a lot to do to get prepared for VBS Monday morning, and now he's telling me that instead of taking one day off from VBS preparations as I had originally planned, that I was taking two days off???!!!! He knows how I work and how my brain works . . . what was he thinking!!!??? It didn't matter though, it made me so happy that Jeff had planned ahead for me. He is totally a last minute kind of guy, and he really wanted to make my day extra special for me. He knew I had been working so hard for several weeks on VBS, and he wanted me to relax and enjoy my birthday.

So, Saturday morning (June 6th - my actual birthday) we woke up and had a late breakfast out with my parents. It was so nice to see them and spend some time with them. After breakfast, we all went bowling. We had been together last year on our vacation, but it was candlepin bowling, so the balls are very small. This was our first attempt at regular bowling with the girls. They were so funny, and had a great time. They both wanted to be so independent and do it all themselves. They figured out very quickly that the balls were so very heavy for them. Elaina was really into the idea of bowling. Jeff was constantly trying to teach her, and finally after much instruction from Daddy, Elaina looked at him, pointed at him sternly and said, "Daddy, you go sit down over there!" By golly, she was going to do this all for herself! So funny!

Cheering on and encouraging their bowling balls. They went SO S L O W down the lane . . . oh my land!

This was the stance Elaina took every time after she rolled her ball down the lane. Feet apart. Hands on hips. Mind you, she had to stand like this for a very long time because again, their balls went SO S L O W down the lane. It became painful to watch.

So proud of her bowling skills.

Emily saying, "Cheese!" So cute!


After bowling, we went to back to the house for a break, and then Jeff told me that we were going to go on a picnic. He had already asked my mom to prepare my favorites for lunch, and we were going to pack up and head to the playground for a picnic as a family. He did ask me if I'd rather go to the playground or just eat out on our deck and play in the backyard. I preferred to stay home. Even though I know he would have packed everything up and my mom would have lovingly helped and I wouldn't have had to do anything at all, it just sounded better and easier to stay home and have our picnic in our very own backyard. It was very yummy and so very relaxing. I spent some time on our swing, and that was so nice.

Not long after lunch and after an absolutely wonderful morning celebrating and being pampered by my family, Jeff told me that it was time for me to leave. He had made plans for me to go to a friend's house and swim, float on a raft, and soak up some sun with some of my girlfriends for a while that afternoon. My great friend, Shawna, who owns the home with the pool, had offered to have a pool party for me a week or so prior, but I knew how busy everyone was (including her) and told her that it really wasn't necessary. We were going to be getting together really soon anyway for some relaxation time. This time of year with everyone's schedules with baseball and VBS is crazy! Well, after Jeff found out that she had offered that to me, and I turned it down, he called her and just asked if I could come out and enjoy some "Mommy" time. It was nice. After a while of being out there by myself with some friends, Jeff brought the girls out after their naps, and we were able to have some fun time together swimming and playing in the pool as a family.

Thanks, Scott family!

Having so much fun with my girl in the pool! She loves the pool!

Stealing a kiss!

The day was not done, my best friend, Jill, was hosting a cookout at her house that evening with a lot of our friends. Another wonderful friend, Hilary, and I share the same birthday. (She is 7, I say 7, did you hear me, 7, years older than me.) We have many mutual friends, so everyone gathered at Jill's that evening for some yummy food, family fun, and delicious strawberry shortcake!

It was a wonderful birthday! I am so thankful for my incredible friends and family for making me feel so very loved! You are all the best!

Jeff, you are an amazing husband and an incredible Daddy. Thank you so very much for loving me the way that you do. You truly are the best, and I appreciate you more than you know.