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Spring School Pics, 2014

As usual, the school photographer did such a great job!  Ben got a little goofy for their picture together, but it's still cute :)

Anna ~ Age 2.5

Ben ~ Age 4.5

My Sweet Peas!


I. Am. So. Done.

With those last few posts I wanted to make sure I got in, I am officially off the hook as author of this blog :)  Of course, I still plan to post periodically (quarterly?  semi-annually?), but not nearly as often as I used to.  As you may have noticed, everything I post now is a few months late anyway.  As Ben and Anna get older and busier, I have less and less time.  Combine that with a SUPER old laptop that makes 10 minute tasks into hour ordeals and just isn't happening. 

I can blog with my iPad or phone, but some of the pictures I take are on my (also old) DSLR camera, so it's hard to get to them.  And vice versa:  when I'm on my laptop, most of the time my current cell phone pictures aren't transferred over yet. 

I feel like this blog has served its purpose.  In the beginning, it was a way to inform and communicate with family members and friends.  For me, it quickly turned into a record of my babies' infancy and toddlerhood...those moments are precious, and I didn't want to forget a thing!  Maybe one day, I'll make a book out of it for them.  In the meantime, I have started another blog that I update much more frequently, but with much less detail (maybe not a bad thing, ha ha!!).  Sometimes, it's just one picture.  I can do it from my phone, so it's no problem to put up a quick post while waiting in the car line at preschool, or right before I go to bed at night.  For anyone interested in popping in occasionally, the web address is:

Until next month/quarter/milestone/whatever....I'm signing off!!



Part 2: Christmas Morning!

What fun we had on Christmas morning!  Ben was REALLY into the Santa thing this year, and Anna just knew by watching him that something good was coming!!
So sweet, waiting at the top of the stairs...
 Oh, my precious!!

The first thing Anna played with was a Minnie Mouse toy...imagine that!

Ben got a cool train table and a marble run...

Chandler helping Anna ride her new hobby horse :)

 Mason and Ben, checking out the new marble run, one of Ben's most favorite toys.

 Best Day Ever:  Minnie AND Mickey!!

We stumbled upon a gumball machine and thought the kids might like was definitely a hit with ALL ages :)
 And....the aftermath of Christmas with two toddlers and two teenagers.  Whew!  Can we take a nap??


Christmas 2013, Part 1

Hopefully "better late than never"...what a blessed Christmas we had last year!

Anna performed in her very first school program! No butterflies here! :)

Ben had a great time singing, too...
Grandmamma and Grandaddy came to see the show.
These two (and their mommy!) love crafting, so we did lots.  Decorating gingerbread people...
We got the felt tree and ornaments from last year back out, and it was a hit again :)


Something extra special we did was make cinnamon ornaments.  They smelled so good on the tree!  We took one to our favorite neighbors, Jeff and Betsy, and they were thrilled to have one :)

Of course, we had to go to the mall to sit on Santa's lap.  I love that they have the same one every year!  Anna was NOT a fan, but after two tries, made it long enough to get a good picture (actually a fluke - I do not recall her smiling at all, ha!!)  Of course, Mommy and Daddy were all of two feet away, and she wanted to be like big brother....well, maybe next year :)
Ben told Santa he wanted a dinosaur.
When we visited Meme and Pop for Christmas, we got to go to a special lunch with Santa.  Again, Anna was having none of this.  She agreed to stand as far away as possible from Santa while holding Ben's hand for a quick photo, but no more.  After lunch when we were leaving, though, we all got a good laugh.  From a safe distance with Pop holding her, she yelled at Santa, "MINNIE MOUSE, ELMO!"  Just making sure Santa got that wish list before we left, Ha Ha!!!

The whole gang!

Anna loves dessert buffets
Finally, here is the photo we used for our Christmas card this year.  Thank goodness one photo was good out of the fifty I took, ha ha!!


Anna's room

I thought I would post some pictures of Anna's nursery...even though she's not a baby anymore, this is what her room has always looked like.  Maybe one day she'll enjoy looking back at it, and finally here's a look for all my girlfriends in EA that pored over paint colors and fabric samples with me for months :)

I found a similar idea on the web and changed it around to work for Anna's room.  Mark painted her room the pink and blue, and I painted the tree on the wall. It has cream and gold flowers, and ivory and pink rosettes that I made out of linen.  I couldn't find the right shade of pink linen, so I dyed some of the ivory with good ol' RIT dye.  It was a lot of fun.

Anna in her room with "Blankie". 
One side of her crib is up on risers because she has a little cough right now and it helps :)

Behind Anna's chair is a ballerina poster my sister Anne brought me back from Germany when we were 18.  I had it framed for my room in college, and now it hangs in Anna's room! 

In one corner of her room, I hung a sweet plate with her 6-week old footprints, a cross stitched prayer someone made for me when I was born (and hung in my nursery), and a shadow box with Anna's hospital bracelet, bassinet name tag, and first little shirt....ohhhh, so sweet!
This little table was in my dad's house when I was little, and went to college with me to my first apartment!
Her dresser, with newborn pictures on the wall.

To hold all of Anna's hairbows, Mark made this from an idea I saw on Pinterest.  Then I hung one of the garland decorations from her 2nd birthday celebration above it.  It's so fun to have a little girl!

This is a special painting that my mom's friend Cathy Harvey painted just for Anna.  The green book says "Jemima Puddle Duck for Anna".

My Grandaddy Dunn made this sweet stool long ago.  It was PERFECT to put in Anna's room!


So I Don't Forget...

Just a few things I've made sure to write down lately so I won't ever forget...these times are so sweet and I love our days together :)

The other day as I walked down the hall to pick Ben up at school, he sees me coming and shouts, "Mommy! There's my mommy! I SEE MY MOMMY!"  He had the biggest grin ever, and so did I.  Lately, all his papers that come home have his name on them (practicing for Kindergarten), and every time, close to his name, he has written MOM.  I love it that he is thinking about me at school!

We just turned Ben's carseat around to be forward facing. 
Here he is on his first ride, hanging on!  It was SUPER cute and fun!

"Anna Speak"  Anna has a precious way of talking, and I understand 99% of it.  To others, it requires translation, though.  Some of my favorites:

"Dit me downy here! Me weally weally tuck!!"
Translation:  Get me down from here!  I'm really, really stuck!

When Ben is hurt, mad, crying, etc: "torry, beebee. ah you otay?"  (Sorry, Ben.  Are you OK?)

When she doesn't recognize a sound: "dat noise , mommy?!!"

"Me what middie mose cub hose!"
Translation:  I (want to) watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

Anna is such a sweet little girl.  She noticed once I had a Band-Aid on my foot and came crawling over on hands and knees to kiss my "boo boo".  She comes to find me whenever she has a poopy diaper, and when I pick her up, she always lays her head on my shoulder so sweetly that I hardly even mind changing it!  Just like this...except Uncle Tom is definitely not going to change a dirty diaper!!

Anna just made Uncle Tom's day!

Anna's eyes have been changing in the past year...they are getting a litle more hazel, and look a beautiful gray color most days, depending on what she's wearing!

My sweet peas...I love to hear them running wild around the house, giggling at each other, playing chase, so happy....sometimes ;)

New Christmas PJs

At the end of the day when it's bedtime, these two seem to unite against Mommy and Daddy to drag the routine out as long as possible! 

Ben's routine is we sit in his chair and if it's Daddy, Ben gets stories; if it's Mommy, he gets songs.  Usually these:  1. Twinkle Twinkle, 2.  Itsy Bitsy Spider, 3. the "friend song" (Silver and Gold from my Girl Scout days, ha ha!!), 4.  I love you, 5.  Jingle Bells.  I occasionally get asked for The Fan Song, a song that Daddy made up for him about air conditioning units (the latest obsession - we must count them everywhere we go!).  Then it's prayers and in bed.

For Anna, Mommy usually puts her to bed.  We hold her blankie and all her "friends" (Bunny, Bert, Minnie and Mickey, and hopefully no one else, ha!) and sing a little song.  Recently, she got the idea that mom takes requests ;)  So, she has started wanting the Mickey Mouse song every night (from TV Cartoons).  Every now and then (when she doesn't want to go to bed yet) she will ask for the Poo Poo song, doo doo song, poopy pee pee song or something similar.  Thanks to Dad for teaching them that one - ha!!  I just tell her I don't know that song!!

Then it's to bed, and we get up and do it all again at 7:00 the next morning.  Puzzles and more puzzles for Anna; marble runs and tinker toys for Ben.  Fun times with my babies that I never want to forget :)


Busy Day!

Fun times yesterday...crafts for Valentine's Day, homemade pizzas for lunch, and we must have worked 5 puzzles!  Now, what's left for our snow day today since school is cancelled??!  HA!


Thanksgiving 2013

We got crafty this Thanksgiving and made a turkey wreath for the door.  Ben named him "Tom" after Uncle Tom.  Not saying Uncle Tom's a turkey, or anything....ha, ha!!

We managed to get a pretty decent picture with the grandparents!

And, the whole family....I can't believe everyone was looking AND smiling!!

Ben and Anna both had fun things going on at school for Thanksgiving.  Anna had a sweet little special "dinner" in her classroom.  We brought turkey cupcakes to share and it was a huge mess.  Maybe we'll try that again in a few years :)

Ben's class and the other four year old class came together as the Pilgrims and Indians and shared a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner, "catered" by the parents.  He wore a cool Indian shirt he made in class with his name "Chief Bird Tracks" on the front.

One cold Saturday, I thought Ben would enjoying going to see his first movie in a theater.  So, we went to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2".  Although Ben had fun, I wouldn't call it a complete success.  Despite my best efforts, his popcorn and kiddie size candy, plus a piece or two of mine, was gone 10 minutes into the movie (darn previews took 20 minutes!!).  After that, he wanted more - of course, I said no.  After that, he was pretty much ready to go.  The movie was not even half over!  We were at Reel to Real, the discount movie theater (ha!), and about that time, the movie skipped and the sound no longer matched the picture.  When it became clear they were not going to fix it (not suprised), I decided to call it quits!  Maybe we'll try again in a few months, hopefully we can hit a movie that will keep his attention :)

Mommy and Ben at the movies!

Our first big snow of the season was in November.  Ben and Anna had a ball!

Suited up to swing!!  Brrrrrr!!!