Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reds vs. Cardinals

We took the girls to a Reds game. It was so much fun. When we entered, an attendant asked if this was the girls' first game. We said it was and he took our seat information. Before the game was over, another attendant brought the girls certificates for attending their first MLB game at the Great American Ballpark. And they both got free Reds jerseys. Very cool.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Just a little off the top

One of Caroline's favorite activities is cutting shapes out of paper.  She's really good at it.  And she's very safe with scissors, so I don't hover over her.

(Anyone see where this is going yet?)

Last Friday, I was walking through the dining room and picked up a lock of hair on the floor.  I thought it was strange, but didn't worry too much about it because we had just been to get Caroline's hair trimmed that morning.  I figured some hair had gotten stuck to the bottom of her shoe.  It was a good two inches long and Caroline had maybe an inch trimmed off.

Later that afternoon we were playing on the floor.  I looked up at Caroline and saw some hair around her face that was quite a bit shorter than the rest of her hair.  I immediately started giggling because I had solved the mystery.
Me:  Caroline, did you cut your hair?
Caroline: No.
Me: Caroline, I'm not mad at you and you are not in trouble.  Did you cut your hair?
Caroline: No.
Me: Caroline, I'm not mad at you and you are not in trouble.  Did you cut your hair?
Caroline: No.
Me: Caroline, I'm not mad at you and you are not in trouble.  Did you cut your hair?
Caroline: No.
Me: Caroline, I'm not mad at you and you are not in trouble.  Did you cut your hair?
Caroline: No.
Me: Caroline, I'm not mad at you and you are not in trouble.  Did you cut your hair?
Caroline: No.
I must have asked her 50 times.  She finally told me "it was an accident."  Sure.  
An "accident."

I found the whole situation (except for the lying part) really funny.  I giggle every time I think about her sitting in her chair, wondering what it would be like to cut some hair, and then doing it.  For such a straight-laced, obedient little girl, this was a real act of rebellion!  It could have been much worse.  She didn't go crazy with her scissors (thank God).  I always fix her hair so you can't tell.  You can hardly even see it if it's not fixed either.

Is it too much to hope for that all her rebellions will be this minor and easily handled?

(We dealt with the lying thing by taking the Proverbs 12:22 and then Colossians 1:14 stance. It was a good reminder for me, too.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easter dresses

I went all-out for the girls' Easter dresses this year - satin batiste, smocking, lace, ribbon, pearl beads. These are some fancy dresses!  I got my inspiration from a picture in a magazine.  Would you believe that the Monday before Easter these dresses were in 8 separate pieces each?  Yikes.  I kicked it into high gear.  I wound up hemming Caroline's dress Saturday night, but thankfully the girls didn't have to go to church dress-less.  :-)

I love my girls in blue!

Helen is such a character.  This picture makes me giggle every time I see it.

I even smocked and embellished the backs.  See what I mean by "all-out"?

So here's the deal: I told Kevin that next year when I start talkin' crazy about birthday dresses AND Easter dresses, he needs to slap me. Birthday dresses and Easter dresses will be one and the same in Spring 2011. Help me remember that, will you?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Day of Resurrection

We've been preparing for Easter all week long. We hunted Easter eggs. We dyed eggs. We made special treats like marshmallow sheep and bunny rolls. And most of all, we are so grateful to celebrate by serving a risen Lord! We hope your Easter celebrations were as special and blessed as ours were!

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And listening to His accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
His own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The birthday dresses

The birthday dresses deserve a post of their own, don't you think?  I wanted to make the girls a dress that would would for early spring with turtlenecks, late spring with short sleeves, and summer with no shirt underneath.  I'm all about getting as much use out of a dress as possible.  I used the same jumper pattern that I used for the blue corduroy snowflake dresses.  I chose a floral cotton print.

For a fun little embellishment, I embroidered the girls' first initial on a tab that is attached to the yoke with buttons.  It's something I've wanted to try for a long time.  I like how it turned out.  What I didn't plan was how perfectly the embroidery would mimic the floral pattern of the fabric.  I picked the design out of a book without even realizing how perfectly the little lazy-daisy flowers and leaves matched the fabric.  A very nice surprise!

I'm looking forward to a full six month's worth (or more) of these dresses!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Birthday celebrations

We have had a fantastic month, full of birthday celebrations!  We're so proud of our big four-year-old and our little one-year-old.

We took the girls to the Children's Museum and to an Imax film right before Caroline's birthday. Both of the girls really enjoyed that. Caroline got a special date with Mommy - manicures. I got to go to Caroline's school and deliver cupcakes and read a story to her class. The girls each got special birthday meals and cupcakes. And presents, of course! Caroline was so sweet. She said, "Oh my goodness!" with every present she opened. She was genuinely thankful of each one. My sweet big girl helped to make her little sister's birthday very special.

And finally, a couple of birthday videos:

I do this every year for my girls. Caroline got sung to probably six or seven times all day.

Helen didn't quite know what to think of her cupcake at first. But she got into it after a little experimenting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Helen Renee

Happy birthday, Little Sweet Pea!  You are a joy in every way and a precious part of our family.  I can't believe you were this tiny just one year ago.  You came into this world in a hurry and it's been non-stop activity and excitement ever since.

You are a delightful, fun-loving, high-spirited, little girl.  We are so blessed!  God was so good to give us you.

Your first year has been wonderful! We are enjoying the wonderful person you are and are becoming.
We love watching you grow and learn. You fill us with gratitude and happiness.

We love you so very much! I hope you have a most wonderful first birthday!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Caroline Suzanne

You are four! We've been teasing you for weeks that you are really only turning three this birthday. But you are insistent and sure that this is your fourth birthday.

I can't even begin to quantify every single thing that makes you so awesome. But here are just a few things the we love about your four-year-old self.

You love reading. You read several words and can sound out easy ones by yourself. You are always up for reading a book together. We've started reading bigger books to you. We read The Tale of Despereaux and recently started The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. You really get into the story. You tell us all about what is happening in the book. Your eyes light up with delight when you say, "Aslan is on the move! Spring is coming to Narnia!" I am so excited about this. There are so many great books I want to share with you as you grow.

You love school. You are very smart. You can write all the letters, spell easy words, and do very simple addition problems. You have an amazing memory, as evidenced by the fact that you know several Spanish words, lots of sign language, tons of songs, and the Lord's Prayer. We are all excited about Junior Kindergarten starting this fall!

Princess is your favorite pretend scenario right now. Daddy is your Prince (of course!). You run off and say, "Where is my slipper? I can't find it anywhere!" And Prince Charming brings your slipper and it's magically a perfect fit! Then you dance together. You are definitely a Daddy's girl.

You are now big enough to play many games. Go Fish is a lot of fun and has become our "go-to" game or time-killer. You tell me that your favorite is Hullabaloo. We have so much fun playing games together.

You play and pretend and flit and dance and sing and twirl and party. All day long. You play so well by yourself. It is highly entertaining to watch you entertain yourself.

I feel like there are pages and pages I could write about you and all of your awesome attributes, sweet Caroline. Your Daddy and I think you are amazing - inside and out, head to toe. It is a joy and a privilege to watch you grow. It is exciting to think about who you are becoming, what you will do, where you are going. We are lucky, blessed, and humbled to be your parents. You are an incredible gift and we thank God for you.

Happy birthday, beautiful girl! We love you so much!
O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.
-Isaiah 25:1

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Mornings are so fun!

I love the greeting that I get after her every sleep.

Caroline celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday at school this past week. It was "Mixed-up Monday." I let her pick out everything - inside out and backwards dress, two different shoes, unmatched hair barrette. How can she be all mixed up and still so adorable?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

11 months

Teeth: two on bottom and one on top

Walking: almost

Baby signs you can do: dog, more, hello/bye, hug, yay (clapping)

Words you can say: Mama, more, bye-bye (only said it once, but I'm still counting it), hug

Favorite book: Neighborhood Animals by Baby Einstein (this was your sister's favorite, too)

Favorite snack: Cheerios

Favorite games: Jumping on the bed with Caroline, playing boo

Favorite rhyme: Pat-a-cake

Favorite song: Good Morning, Merry Sunshine

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow #5 (or is it 6? I've lost count.)

More snow. It fell all day long. And the snow from last week's winter storm was still on the ground. We certainly weren't expecting a winter this exciting! Caroline's school Valentine's Day party keeps getting pushed back until the next day. Kevin says it will be March before they can celebrate!

Gotta love a man who shovels snow in a shirt and tie! Or who just shovels the snow.


They've been doing a little bit of social studies in preschool - talking about presidents and the White House. Kevin was giving Caroline a pop quiz one evening.
Daddy: Who was our first president, Caroline?

Caroline: George Washington!

Daddy: Good. Where does the president live?

Caroline: The White House!

Daddy: Alright! Now, who is our president right now?

Caroline: Um....?

Daddy: Barack...

Caroline: -TOBER!

And this little conversation happened in the car on the way home from dinner out one night.
Caroline: Are we going home now? I don't want to go home. I want to go somewhere fun.

Mommy: Where do you want to go?

Caroline: Um... How about IKEA!
That's my girl!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy Valentine's Day!

Craft time: Valentines for classmates, family, and friends

I added an embroidery floss tail and wrote "Have a MICE day!" on the back. Then Caroline signed them herself.

Sweet treats: sugar cookies with glaze, decorated with markers

Favorite: roses

Silliness: a "pacy" found in her safe-to-play-in kitchen cabinet

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowed in

We've been snowed in for a couple of days.

But it hasn't been that bad.

I feel guilty saying "snowed in" when we have friends on the east coast that are really snowed in. This is nothin'.

We've wintered a lot this year and have made the most of it.

The girls and I were excited to finally get out of the house this afternoon.

But, come on, SPRING!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Two talented little girls

I caught Helen doing two of her latest tricks today on video. She spots the dog and does the baby sign. Then I convince her to wave at Tigger. Her wave makes me laugh every time: she uses her wrist and rotates her whole hand. Adorable.

And now for our sweet Caroline. I've always heard that children's minds are like sponges. Now I know it's true. We started having her repeat small phrases of the Lord's Prayer about a month ago. Within a couple of weeks, she was saying it all by herself! She amazes me. Kevin and I get so cracked up at her inflection and tone. 4-H speech competition winner perhaps?

Hans Brinker

Sometime in January, we took Caroline ice skating at Fountain Square in downtown Cincy. We all had a good time. She fell a lot and I thought she might get discouraged. But she hopped right back up every time and kept going.

It is really hard to keep yourself balanced and help a small one stay upright, too!

Shucks... Kevin just missed getting photographic evidence of my triple toe loop.

Please tell me you've seen the movie Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates? It's a classic. It was one of my very favorite wintertime too-sick-to-go-to-school flicks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

10 months

I held a 1-week-old baby last week who is one pound heavier than you were at her age. I don't remember you being that small (smaller, actually) 10 months ago. You've grown so quickly. How have 10 months passed so easily?

You are lovely, bright, spirited, and just all over cute.

You are noisy now - making all kinds of sounds. You even mimic us sometimes. You say "mama" and we are sure you use it correctly. I'm really quite pleased "mama" is your first word. We've also been doing some baby signs. Caroline really gets into that part of your education. We are pretty sure you do "dog" (sticking out tongue and panting). Regardless, you know and love your dog and get so excited when he is patient enough to let you pat his back and tug his ears. It's just a matter of time before all these silly sounds and motions we make start to click in your amazing little brain.

You eat almost everything we eat. You love feeding yourself and get frustrated if I offer you too much from a spoon. Your very favorites are sweet potatoes, saltine crackers, toast, and pineapple.

Playtime is so much fun these days. You love playing hide-and-seek and "boo". You have discovered that splashing in Tigger's water bowl is very exciting. When the refrigerator door opens, you crawl as fast as you can to see what treasures you can grab from the bottom door shelf. Your favorite toy is whatever Caroline is playing with at the moment.

I have a hard time keeping up with you. I've caught you trying to climb onto Caroline's step stool. You love opening drawers and cabinets. You are bold and curious and adventurous.

I've said it one thousand times, but you adore Caroline. You search for her every morning and after every nap. You get so excited when we find her - bouncing in my arms, smiling, reaching out for her. You're very lucky to have such an awesome big sister.

(Winter dresses I made - blue corduroy jumpers with hand-embroidered snowflakes)

You have a shy side. If we are around someone new, you tuck your head into my shoulder and peek out at them. It's very flirty and endearing.

You aren't much of a snuggler. You almost always put yourself to sleep. I lay you down and you grab your lovey and fall asleep with very little fussing. I occasionally get to rock you to sleep at night after your last meal of the day. Rocking you (and your big sister when she was little) is a huge privilege to me. I love coming to get you out of your crib after your naps. You are HAPPY!

I have a hard time finding the right words to praise and thank God for the precious gifts He has given me in you and your sister. I find myself praying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you." It feels like such an inadequate way to describe how immensely grateful and joyful we are for you both.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
-Psalm 28:7