Wednesday, June 30

Father's Day in Little Rock

Our family of 4 celebrated Father's Day with John on Friday, the 18th. We knew we would be in LR on Sunday, so I declared Friday as our celebration of John. John was able to spend the whole day with us, so after Em's Art Camp, we took John to lunch and gave him his new hiking/water/photography shoes. He really wanted to take pictures that weekend, so he got up early and left for his adventure and we all met up in Little Rock that afternoon. We were taking two cars anyway, so the girls and I could stay an extra day with my family.
On Saturday, the 19th, we went to Little Rock. We had a long time friend take our family pictures on Saturday evening and that was super fun. Whitney is super talented and we can't wait to see all the pictures she took. Here is a little sneak peek. Thankfully she took pictures that weekend because we did not take any of the girls with John for Father's Day.

Father's Day was Sunday and it was so fun to get to spend it with my Daddy. We all went to church together and then ate lunch at Dixie Cafe. 4 out of his 5 kids were able to be with him on this day. Everyone was tired, so we went back to nap and then go swim at my sister's pool. When the rain finally moved out, the kids got to swim and they had so much fun. They love my sister's pool and I do too. We went back to my parents and spent the rest of the evening chasing lightning bugs. It was a perfect summer day.

The girls and I were there for part of Monday and we had fun playing with Claire while my sister did a little work. Claire came to my parents house and we played outside for a while. We did bubbles and my girls caught baby frogs. Yes, baby frogs. They were super cute and my girls loved them. I emphasize "my" girls because Claire was not such a fan of the frogs. Claire is at such a fun age and talking so much more than the last time we saw her. I love to hear that little toddler voice and all the cute ways they say things. We ate lunch there and then it was time to head home. From the previous post, you know that right before we left my Mom worked a little on Emma's tooth and she lost it! It was so good to be there with my family!! As a side note, I don't think I have mentioned on the blog that my sister and T are having another baby girl!!! Claire will be a big sister mid October!!! We are so excited!! Brooklyn has been especially interested in how the baby got to my sister's tummy and was a little nervous when my sister said she could touch her tummy. It was cute.

Art Camp

The first full week that Emma was out of school, she went to Art Camp at the Nadine Baum Studio which is part of the Walton Art Center. Emma did this last summer and loved it. She got to play around with watercolor, glitter glue, beads, markers, and tissue paper making all kinds of things. The best part was getting to be there will Molly, Elle, Ben and Silas!

Friday, June 25

The First Loose Tooth is Gone

Emma discovered about 2 months ago that she had a loose tooth. She has wiggled it and asked a million times when it would come out. Last week, the tooth seemed significantly looser and I could vividly see the big tooth coming in right behind it. We went to Little Rock last weekend for family pictures and to celebrate Father's Day. Emma asked my Mom to look at her tooth, so my Mom gladly wiggled it. There was no doubt it would come out at any moment. It could practically lay flat. On Sunday night, my Mom worked on getting it out, but it just wasn't going to happen without hurting Emma. Right before we left on Monday afternoon, Emma asked her to try one more time. After about 15 minutes, it came out!!! I have never seen such a happy smile from Emma. And from my Mom, for that matter. Brooklyn was crying. We are not sure why. Either she wanted some attention back on her or she was really bothered by the tooth coming out and the small amount of blood on the kleenex. We took pictures and then got on the road to come back home. We spent the next 30 minutes calling Daddy, Nana and GDad, PaPa, Zia, Amy and the kids, Sam (who was out of town), etc....It was an exciting day!

The tooth fairy made an appearance that night. She surprised Emma with 10, $1 bills. John and I assured her that we were almost positive that she got that much because it was her first tooth and that she should not expect that much money the next time around. :) The fairy wrote her a little note too and explained the little box that the tooth fairy left her tooth in. We went to Target later that day and she picked out 2 new Littlest Pet Shops. She graciously let Brooklyn play with one of them.

Monday, June 14

Brooklynisms Age 3 1/2

Brooklyn's little voice is one of the more precious sounds in this world. The way she says certain things cracks us up and her observations are hilarious. And sometimes embarrassing! A few of my favorite things right now are when she says Ganket or Gankie for her blanket. When something is plural it always has an "es" on the end. For example, "I love my toyes" instead of just toys.

I have already mentioned the funny things she mentioned while getting her toes done. She still talks about those fireworks on her "toeses". Another funny thing that has kept me smiling all week is her observation about Belle. Belle just had surgery 2 weeks ago and had her ACL repaired. The doctor had to shave her entire back leg for the surgery. I was not prepared for her shaved leg and the girls surely were not. When you have a very black dog and one leg is shaved, it is alarming because the shaved leg is WHITE. One of Brooklyn's first comments was, "When is Belle going to get her feathers back?" HA!
Last Friday, I took Belle to the vet to have her stitches taken out. I dropped the girls off with my sister in law before I went and I told the girls that I was going to take Belle to get her stitches out and I would be right back. Brooklyn said, "Mom, will you please tell them to give Belle her feathers back!" She has continued to talk about those feathers and I have failed to correct her because it is so cute. I finally told her that Belle has fur and not feathers. I'm not sure she was convinced. :)

On a more embarrassing note, she is becoming more observant of people. Don't let that sweet, innocent face above fool you. She is not all innocent. While checking out at Walmart last week, I found her looking really hard at our checker. The sweet girl had very thick glasses that enlarged her eyes a good amount. Brooklyn looked at me and said, "Mom, she has crazy eyes." I gave her the "look" of please be quiet and don't ever say something like that. I don't think the girl heard, but I wanted to die.
2 days later, we went to the mall to try to find Emma a swim suit. While in Gap Kids, this larger lady was helping me find a size. She was in front of us walking back to the counter and Brooklyn said, "She has a big bottom." Wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out. Emma took over and said very loudly, "Brooklyn, that is not nice. Don't say that." At that point, I wasn't sure the lady heard her, so I just wanted Emma to drop the whole thing. So, it was dropped until we got out of the store and I could explain to B that we don't say those kinds of things. Oh, the joy of a 3 1/2 year old. :)

Sunday, June 13

First Day of Summer Break

I wanted to make the first day of Emma's summer break special, so on Tuesday, June 8th, we had a "girls day". All of the Malco theaters are doing their $2 summer movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, so that was our first stop. The Fayetteville theater was showing Charlotte's Web, one of our favorites. So, for a total of $12, we all watched a movie and each had our own popcorn, drink and candy. For that cheap, I didn't even make them share. That was a treat within itself!

After the movie, I took them for their first pedicure! They both love having their toes painted at home, but I didn't know what they would think of the whole pedicure experience. This place has 2 kid chairs where they get a soak for their feet, a foot massage and scrub, and toes and fingers painted all while watching a DVD! I was one seat away from them getting my toes done and it was so fun watching them. They LOVED it. About half way through, I wondered to myself what I had gotten myself into. They are way to young to begin asking for pedicures! :) Emma chose yellow for her fingers and toes. Brooklyn chose purple. The added bonus was the "fireworks" (as Brooklyn called them) that the ladies painted on all their fingers and their big toes. They did great! It was a super fun, girlie day!!

Brooklyn's comments about the "fireworks" on her fingers cracked me up. This comment was even better. The ladies doing their toes were Asian and spoke Chinese (I think). Brooklyn's lady talked to her a lot. Brooklyn looked down at me and said, "Mom! I like the way they talk to me!" It was hilarious. She has been on a role with funny comments and observations. Some of which I have wanted to crawl under a rock and die. That will be my next post!

Saturday, June 12

Last Day of School

Emma's last day of school was on Monday, June 7! All of the snow days made us go a week past Memorial Day, when they normally get out. Emma's school had a Field Day on the last day. Sadly, it rained quite a bit that morning, so it forced most of their games inside. Each kindergarten teacher came up with a game and the classes rotated through each class. Ms. Norris had Duck Duck Goose in her room, so that is where I was. The other classes had games such as musical chairs, heads up seven up, and bubbles. Once they had rotated through the sun was starting to come out and they got to go outside for Popsicle and to play on the playground. They came back in for a drink and Ms. Norris read them one last book in her classroom.

I won't say it again because I have said it a million times, but it was a great year! Challenging at times, but a good year. I won't lie, I'm glad for a break and excited for summer to be here!!!

Sadly, I forgot my camera and only had my phone. The pictures are not great, but I'm hoping for some better copies from another Mom.

Friday, June 11

Silver Dollar City

Part 2 of our Memorial Day weekend was spent in Branson. After resting on Sunday from our camp out on Saturday night, we packed up for a quick over night trip to Branson. We got into town at dinner time and ate at a quaint little Mexican Place called Casa Fuentas. It was really, really good. One of the best Margaritas I have had. We went to John's parents condo and settled in. Since both girls napped that day (that never happens!) we headed to the pool for an evening swim. It was the first time in the pool this year for the girls and they had a blast! At about 7:45, we got in the car and headed to Cakes n' Cream for a treat. (because we love to give our girls lots of sugar before putting them to bed! ) The girls both got ice cream, I got a yummy piece of coconut pie and John got a sinful funnel cake, which is what they are known for. We got back to the condo and got the girls in bed by 10 and we both went to bed soon after.

We got up on Monday morning and went to Silver Dollar City. Our friends, the Eoff's, met us out there and we spent the day together. They left Elijah with Mandy's Mom, so it was Jordan and John and a bunch of girls! We had a lot of fun riding rides with the kids and watching them play. It was a HOT day, but the crowd was down (I'm assuming they were all leaving town), so it made it tolerable. We stayed until about 3:00 and then headed back home to Springdale. Emma had school the next day, so we got home in time for her to get cleaned up and in bed at a decent hour. Memorial Day weekend was a great start to the summer!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 10

10 Years Ago Today.......

10 years ago today, I made a really great decision to get married to a great guy! It was such a fun day and one that we both wish we could repeat. Looking back on our day, there are only 2-3 things I would change about the whole day.
#1 is pretty obvious from the post. None of our pictures are digital (which I'm not sure any photographer used digital at that point. we need to scan ours in. this picture was taken on my phone of a picture we have) and most are very posed. This picture is my favorite because it is the most natural of our pictures.
#2 is my bridesmaids dresses. My poor sweet friends wore 3/4 length sleeve sweater sets in the middle of June. HOT!
#3 is that I wish I could have slowed down and taken the day in more than I did.

There were so many great things about June 10, 2000. I loved those first sweet moments with John before we took pictures. Just the two of us in a huge sanctuary, ready to get married so very badly. I LOVED my flowers and probably would pick the same ones again. I loved our invitation. I now work for the wedding queen and believe that I would pick the same invitation all over again. The girls singing in our wedding were awesome! I had tears before I ever walked out because Leah sang Amazing Grace accapella. John sang to me and it was so sweet. (and so brave! I never could have done it) I loved walking out to the trumpet and seeing so many faces that mean so much to me. I will never forget sweet Gracie as our flower girl. I can't believe she is now 14 and babysitting our children. She spent the majority of the service licking my sisters hand and inching her way closer to her Daddy, who was marrying us. I loved being pronounced husband and wife and walking up the aisle together. The food was great. The drive to Memphis was funny. The hotel in Memphis was shady. The liquor store in Memphis was downright SCARY. The honeymoon was rainy. But fun :). As I reminisce about "our day", the thing we talk about the most is how fun it was to have
(almost) everyone we care about all in one room celebrating with us. You could have taken all the other "fun" stuff away and that would have been enough. It was a perfect day.

We celebrated on Tuesday night by going to Bonefish Grill for dinner because tonight we had a Kellogg Family Event at Fast Lanes and our girls would have killed us if we didn't take them to that. We kept it a small celebration on Tuesday because we will be celebrating big in about a month when we go to Monterey, CA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! July was the best time for the girls to go to Little Rock, so we are going to have a belated 10th anniversary celebration! We are so excited and grateful to GG and Papa for helping us with our girls.

The past 10 years have really been great. We started with just the two of us in a little apartment and grew into a family of 4 with a dog and a house. As John said today, there have been many changes in the past 10 years, but our love has remained the same. (insert AH....) Here is to many more happy decades to come!!

Sunday, June 6

Memorial Day Weekend Camp Out

John and I have been wanting to try camping with the girls, so we decided that we would give it a shot in our backyard before we ventured into the wild. We invited the Elleman's to camp with us, but they then asked us if we could come to their house instead so sweet Layton could sleep in her bed.

The Elleman's yard is a little more camp friendly, so we gladly accepted! We cooked out hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. The kids ran wild, jumped on the trampoline, watered the sidewalk (Carley and Brooklyn), and played corn hole (Emma and Davis). Layton crawled around begging for food and being as cute as can be. :) Faye and Belle (the dogs) had the time of their lives running together. Belle was ecstatic to not have a fence and she did great staying near us.

As it got darker, Aaron fired up our camp fire and we roasted smores and opened up the glow sticks that Allyn purchased for the kids. It was a good time! Around 10:15, we got everyone into tents. Allyn slept inside with Layton. Aaron was in one tent with Davis and Carley. John and I were in the other tent with Em and B. Everyone was asleep by 11 except for me. I, literally, stared at the ceiling for 2 1/2 hours before I decided to just give up and go inside. My mind must have been going strong because I could not even sleep inside on the couch. The Elleman's were up by 6:30, Emma up at 7 and Brooklyn and John stumbled inside around 7:30. We ate some powdered donuts and said our goodbyes. By noon it was obvious both of our girls needed naps. Luckily, they both did fall asleep and had plenty of energy for our trip to Branson that afternoon. More to come on that......

Friday, June 4

Weekend in Ponca

For Christmas, part of our present from John's parents was a weekend away with them in Ponca, AR. It is John's favorite place to go for photography and the girls and I had never been. He usually gets up early and drives out there for a few hours and comes back, so we have never gone with him. We were all excited about our cabin in the woods, no technology, hiking, exploring, etc....We met John's parents there on Friday afternoon and stayed until Sunday morning. There is NOTHING in Ponca, so we packed all the food we needed and made our meals at the cabin.

On Friday afternoon we went to a waterfall that I cannot remember the name of. It was an easy 100 yard hike to these falls. The rain had been plentiful that week, so the falls were going strong. The girls loved throwing rocks in the water. The grownups (besides me) snapped picture after picture! It was beautiful.

Saturday morning we got up and went out to see the Elk, but could not find anything. We came back to pack our stuff up for our big hike at Lost Valley. The girls longest hike was at Devils Den at about 1.5 miles. I believe Lost Valley is about 2.5, so we knew we would be pushing them. They started off weary, but along the way they were able to play in some water and climb some rocks, so it made it more fun for them than just walking a trail. We finally got to Eden Falls where everyone was taking pictures and playing around. The girls named the big rock formation/cave the Cave of Wonder. They spent a good hour just exploring through this open cave and climbing every rock imaginable. It was awesome! We headed back, so we could eat lunch and rest a bit. It was a long morning. The girls did great! Brooklyn only had to be carried about 100 feet. Pretty good for a 3 1/2 year old!

The Girls!

This looks very posed, but it actually was not. I don't know what she was doing, but John caught it.

Brooklyn had wanted a buttefly to land on her all day. At just the right moment (when she was about to decide she was done hiking) the butterfly landed. She perked up and made it all the way back after that!

Nana helping B take a picture!

We all rested that afternoon. The girls went swimming in the outdoor hot tub at our cabin that afternoon, before dinner. We ate some yummy steaks and then got in the car to go hunting for elk. We saw a few, but not any of the big herds that John is used to seeing. The highlight of this outing was seeing these horses running on a nearby farm. The cowboys (yes, they were cowboys) were out there running them and attempting to round one of them up to take back to the barn for some reason. I like horses, but I LOVE seeing horses run. We pulled off the side of the road and probably watched them for 25 minutes. John got some great shots! After that, we headed down to the river and threw rocks and played around before heading to bed.

We got up the next day and packed up. We made one last stop to the Elk Education Center and then headed back to reality. And technology. I do like technology, but it was so nice to have a break from email, blogging, facebook, twitter, etc......

Softball 2010

Emma has been playing softball for about 5 weeks now and has one game left. It has been a fun season although a little warmer than I had thought it would be at this point in the year! I think she has enjoyed herself, but I have no idea if she will ask to play again next year or not. She has had fun being with a few of her school friends that she typically only sees at school, but after a long day at school we have had to push her a few times to leave home and go to the fields. :)
Last week, they started having the coaches pitch to them instead of using the tee. The coaches pitch 2 times and if they don't hit, they can use the tee. We really have not practiced with Emma more than 5 minutes with the tee, so we had no idea how she would do. It is her personality to get really frustrated if she can't do it right the first time. This last game she hit the coaches pitch 2 of the 3 times she was at bat. It was awesome! I could tell from her face that it gave her some confidence and a little pep in her step!
Here are a few pictures from the season. A few playing softball and a few just being a 6 year old girl without much to do in the outfield! (lots of pictures in the dirt for this little artist!)

Thursday, June 3

Emma's Art Show

Emma's Art Class runs in three sessions through the school year. She started taking art during the winter session and continued on with the spring session. Each session has an Art Show at the end. We were not super impressed with the set up of the first art show, but this one was awesome! Her teacher just opened up a studio outside of her home and it is in a shopping center in Fayetteville with quite a few restaurants. She set up a Progressive Dinner with art from the students displayed in each place. The food was great and the art was so fun to look at. Emma painted a cat this session that was really cute! She
also did a few small clay pieces that somehow did not have their picture taken.

Going Private

Well, I have been meaning to do this all year and just keep forgetting. We are going to turn our family blog into a private site. Nothing major on the reason why we are doing it, but just feel like there is to much scary stuff out there that can be avoided by simply being for sure who is looking at our blog.
If you want to be invited to our blog, email me or comment below and I will get you added. I will, hopefully, try to get it private in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 2

Brooklyn's End of the Year Program

Brooklyn's school ended last week, but the week before that, they performed a few of their songs that they have been learning this semester. She goes to a Kids Day Out Program at a local church, but they really treat it like a preschool. I have been impressed with what Brooklyn has learned this year and have been SUPER impressed with the little music program. "Miss Jillybean" comes to each of the classrooms during the day and teaches them songs to scripture with motions. Brooklyn sings these songs all the time and even taught Emma one with motions. You must know that B thought she was pretty hot stuff being able to teach big sister something for a change.

Brooklyn, you have grown up so much this year! You have become much more independent with Emma being at school every day, but you still LOVE when 3:00 rolls around and most of all the weekend when Emma is home to play. You are a firecracker, but the cutest little firecracker I have ever seen! You are a 3 year old! When you are sweet, you are sweeeeeeeeeeeet, but that can turn to something not so sweet within seconds. You do have a precious heart and you care for people. You love your friends and family. You are a lot of fun! I love having you all to myself during the days and have loved getting to know you this year with no other distractions. You are my buddy. :) We are proud of you and all the many things you have learned this year and how you have grown as a little person!!!


Emma graduated from Kindergarten a few weeks ago. It is now June 2nd and she is still in school thanks to all the snow this winter. I am a little late in updating, but here are some pictures of the big day. It was mainly a music program and they handed out diplomas at the end. It was sweet.

Emma, we are so proud of you! I remember that first day of school so vividly and what a mess I was. I prayed many prayers over the summer for you and your kindergarten year. God answered those prayers. He gave you a teacher that loves you to pieces and most of all, loves Jesus. You have grown and changed in so many ways, but you are the same sweet "you". Praise the Lord. I hope you always keep that sweet spirit about you. God brought us mid year challenges, but we prayed our way through them together. God was faithful to answer our prayers. You went to school barely being able to read a word and now you are soaring through chapter books. It has been a good year! I can't believe that in 2 1/2 months, I will have a first grader!

Emma with a few of her classmates: Colin, Shaylin, Allie, Audra, Em, Brady and Gabe

Ms. Norris giving Emma her diploma!

Emma got to play the blow up saxophone during one of the songs. Super cute!