May 29, 2009

A day to celebrate!!!

Today my family celebrates not one but 2 special occasions. My mom's birthday and mom and dad's anniversary!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! May all your wishes come true!!


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM & DAD!!! 39 years....wow that's a long time!!


We celebrated by going out to eat together and of course I had to take some family pictures while we were there:
my little family!!

Chris, Danette, Kelby and Kolin. Getting Kolin to smile for a camera is virtually impossible :)

Mom and Dad with the grandkids!!

Mom and Dad, hope you had a great day. We all love you very much!!!

May 26, 2009

Inspired....


Friday we spend the day in Arlington at the Special Olympics Summer Games. Paul's company was a corporate sponsor so he and some of his coworkers volunteered to work the event. Avery and I didn't have any other plans so we decided to tag along.

I wasn't really sure what to expect but I have to say it was an amazing day. To see the kids out there giving there all, having a wonderful time was great. Many of the athletes came up to Avery with an eager "Hi!" and with all her spunk she was "Hi" and "Bye" right back.

When we arrived we checked out the "Athletes Village", they had games, crafts, snacks and even karaoke for the all of the athletes. Avery and I spent quite a bit of time in the karaoke tent. We were greatly entertained by these kids singing their hearts out with no inhibitions while they were being cheered on by the crowd. Personally I know there are many times that I am too worried how other may perceive me or my actions but it was so inspiring to see these kids (who may not have known all the words or may not have been in tune) belt out these songs!! Our favorite was a young man who sang Achy Breaky Heart! He literally gave it all he had and even had some back-up dancers to accompany him!

Over all it was a great day for us!!! We interacted with a ton of kids, we played, we cheered, we were inspired!!!

You know I couldn't let the day pass without a few pictures, right?

Avery was loving the bounce house!! She was in there with several other kids and they were so protective of her!

The slide was also a favorite!!

There were several sports booths and games set up:
Avery trying her hand at the football toss. We just may have a little quarterback in our family!!

And last but certainly not least:
The #947 crew having a great time!!

Thanks for checking in!!

May 18, 2009

Ready for summer!!!

After spending time running around all over lately we were very happy to have spent this last weekend at home with just a few outings. In our area we have had a ton of rain lately but thankfully as of yesterday that seems to be over for a little while. Friday afternoon I took the opportunity to go through part of Avery's closet and see what swimwear she had available for this summer. We spend alot of time in the pool in the summer months so adequate swimwear is a must for us!

One of the swimsuits she tried on she became very attached to, once we put this one on she did not want to take it off. She literally ran around the house all afternoon and evening in this attire:
I guess that's her way of saying she is ready for summer to begin!!!

Saturday we were supposed to attend not 1 but 2 birthday parties. Unfortunately one got cancelled because of weather. That meant another morning a home for us. I got caught up some much behind tasks (unfortunately not all my blogging). Early after we started getting ready for birthday party #2 and it soon became "the great fit of 2009!" Avery had been running around all day in a old tshirt and shorts and when I tried to change her clothes for the party she was NOT a happy camper!

Here she is in the middle of her crying spell because mommy would not let her wear the tshirt and shorts to the party.
Since when does a 2 year old get to have an opinion about her wardrobe??

We finally compromised and headed to the party.

This was Avery's first time at a bowling alley and she was amazed by all the lights and music.
Here she is getting a little help with some bowling.

In addition to bowling there were also a ton of video games all around. Avery would climb up on every thing she could reach to test it out.
Avery and daddy driving one of the cars. I love the serious look on Paul's face....it's just a game honey!

The birthday boy received this new bicycle and Avery had to give it a ride too!
She conned several people into pushing her around the facility on the bike. Her little smile works like a charm.

I do have to point out that if you look closely at the pictures you can see the tacky pink flip flops she is wearing. Of course we have adorable brown sandals that would have completed this outfit but that is where the compromise came in....mommy has to pick her battles!!

Next up was climbing onto one of the motorcycles. She immediately knew to lean forward and grab those handlebars.

It was a great party and Avery had a ton of fun!!

After the party we headed back home to catch the last half of Mekenzie's spring dance recital. The girls have all had an awesome year of dance and this was their opportunity to show off their skills.

After the recital Avery posed for a picture with Mekenzie and Emily.

Sunday morning had us getting ready for church and wearing yet another adorable outfit. No big drama with the clothes this time, Thank You Lord!!!

This frog top was one of her Valentine's presents from Aunt Kathy and Uncle Bill.

After church Avery and I walked up to mom and dad's and instead of walking back home Avery got herself a nice little ride:

Yep, country livin' at it's best: having your wagon pulled behind the lawn mower!!

Avery's version of a Sunday afternoon drive.

So that was our weekend. I still need to post our pictures from our trip to Branson, MO over Mother's day weekend and some pictures of Mother's day dinner. Hopefully I will be able to do that in the next couple of days!!

Thanks for checking in!!

Happy Monday!!

May 6, 2009

Avery's Birthday Party!!

Last Thursday we celebrated Avery's birthday by having a party at the Wiggly Play Center. We were lucky enough to be able to rent the facility after hours for a very special time with our friends and family. There was a ton of playing, pizza galore, and a birthday cake shaped like a purse (since that seems to be Avery's favorite thing). We are blessed to have so many wonderful family and friends come together to celebrate our little girl turning 2!!

Here is our little birthday girl playing around with daddy. He was trying to hold her so I could get a good shot of her "Birthday Girl" shirt but she was too anxious to start playing.

Avery and her cousin Alexis checking things out.

Kaiden getting a helping push from little sister Aubriana.

I just loved that the adults seemed to have just as much fun as the kids.
Valerie, Buci, me, and Christie sharing a "moment".

Christie, Erin, and I proving you're never too old to stop sliding!

Quint was having a ball! Love the smile on his face.

Mollianne, Mia, and Emily taking a turn on the carousel.

Avery having a great time jumping in the bounce house.

Avery with her cake. Unfortunately she did not want to blow out the candles so mommy had to give her a little help

However......

she had no hesitation in tearing into her gifts.
don't you love how all the adults are watching her open gifts, meanwhile the kids were all having a great time playing.

Spoiled???? Nope, not our child.
We will definitely have to be doing some purging in the toy room to make room for all the new things she received.

A very cute shot:
Mekenzie, Avery, and Mekarlie all wanted these little dinosaur tails so of course we had to oblige. They looked very cute walking down the sidewalk all swinging their tails.

So that wraps up a very successful 2nd birthday!! Do we need to start planning #3 already?

Happy Wednesday!!

May 5, 2009

Camping Trip Recap.....

Gosh, I can't believe it has already been 2 weeks since we headed out for our annual family reunion/camping trip. Every April we head down to south Texas to get in some rest, relaxation, and family time capped off with a big family reunion on Saturday. This year we headed down on Tuesday with the travel trailer, the dog, the baby, and just "got away from it all". Paul, Avery, Rowdy, and I were at the campsite alone on Tuesday and Wednesday and then Thursday other family started arriving. We are such creatures of habit that we always stay at the same state park in pretty much the same campsites. We have many traditions on our camping trips so I thought I would share some of those.

This is the first year that we have had Avery with us on this annual camping
adventure. Even though she was home for the reunion last year because we had just arrived home from China we nixed the usual camping plan and instead just stayed in a local hotel for a couple of nights. It was so reflective for me sitting in my chair in the evenings watching her run around and play all the while thinking of the years that we sat in these very same spots dreaming of her. Life really has come full circle.

For the first couple of days just our little family enjoyed the outdoors including the playground, bike rides, nature walks, and the solitude that comes from having no schedule and nothing to do.

Avery loved the playground. We would walk here every morning and sometimes afternoons too so she could slide and swing.

One of our family traditions on camping trips is to have homemade sloppy joe sandwiches the first night. I don't know how or why we started this but it is something we always do.
Avery was really enjoying the sloppy joe meat and for her of course the messier, the better.

I thought this picture of Avery with the rubber hammer was just too cute. I think every male in Paul's family thinks a hammer fixes anything so needless to say we always have one with us on camping trips.
Avery is just looking for something to hit with her hammer!!

Loving the swing!!

Another tradition we have on camping trips is taking bike rides. Last summer we got this trailer for Avery to go behind the bike and she loves it. Whenever she wanted to go for a ride she simply walked up to her daddy and said "Ride, pease!!!" He of course could not resist so off they went.
Isn't it awesome how kids get so excited about things?

One of the crazy traditions we have is that the ladies always give each other pedicures. It doesn't matter if we are lakeside, in the middle of woods, or wherever....camping means pedicures!!

Here I am getting my pedicure from Sandra!

Avery had to join the girls and get her toes done also!

Camping also means spending hours just sitting around visiting with family
Paul, Sandra, and Cliff try to decide what's next on the daily agenda.

This year on Friday evening we all gathered up and went to a local BBQ place for dinner. It was so great because they gave our party the whole patio. So we were outside with nature but didn't have to do any of the prep work or clean up. We were also lucky enough to see several dear very close to the restaurant while we were eating.
Getting ready to chow down!!

Saturday is the actual reunion with all of the extended family. Everyone was amazed at how much Avery has grown since last year and of course she loved all the attention. We love this opportunity to catch up with everyone.

Here is our little branch of the family! Us, Paul's parent, grandparents, brother and wife, aunt, and uncle.

My little family!!

Our little girl who's not quite so little anymore!!!

And yet more relaxing...
yep, this is a typical Saturday night at the campsite.

Avery enjoying another mode of transportation:
Kaydee and Avery going for a stroll.

One of the last traditions we have is playing cards. While the girls were playing cards the boys were playing Wii.... a sign of the times I guess!?!?
Sandra, Melinda, and me

So that pretty much wraps up this years camping trip!! We loved the time away and it went by all too quickly!!

I still have to catch up my posting about Avery's birthday party and another family reunion. Maybe blogging would be a little easier to keep caught up if I didn't take 100 pictures of every event !?!?

Thanks for checking in with us!!!!