The Gymnast

Notes on Pudding

Andrew and I couldn't wait to get her out of bed this morning and sing her Happy Birthday. I honestly have no idea how she is 3...she snuck a year ahead some how.
Breakfast surprises when she came downstairs...

She asked if she could eat her "pupcake"...

Please note older brother Nicholas who has just mastered the art of winking. He now winks at everyone.

Part of her day was a special date out with mom to the local clip and curl...first time ever. Girls are way too much fun!

She sat perfectly still and acted like she knew what she was doing.

She asked for blue (Thomas is blue)...but I told her red may be a little bit better for the Christamas season.

When we got back she recieved a birthday visit from her friend Myla who brought her donoughnuts.

Christiana mysteriously learned all her abc letters...I think Nicholas must have given her night classes, because last month I randomly asked her which letters were which and she knew them all...I know I certainly didn't teach her.

She loves impersonating characters and names each person in the family as well. Most mornings she will crawl into bed with me and whisper..."Mom you be Gordon and I be Percy, Ok?".....and we do right into character..."Oh Gordon, I just so sleepy." ...sometimes I'm a bull or a catipillar and we chat away.

Nicholas is her absolute dearest friend. She sleeps with him in his room, they wake each other up to play to play all day long. She will always look out for him too, making sure he has a snack or is informed when we are going somewhere. They truly are the best of friends.

Christiana adores her hero, Dad and often says when he comes home, "I gist you best fwend."


Droopy Does Backbends

Resemblence Anyone?

Droopy will now do a backbend ... her head is one ince from the countertop.


Guest Post - A letter from Jana

Jana, who is in her second year of mission work - sent this to me and our family today. Of course I cried and laughed. It's blog worthy because I hope to always have it. One of the fruits of giving God a portion of your life is that He allows you to see things differently, and she shows this in her gratitude.

How I love Jana!

Dearest Family, I want to close this month of gratitude with a special thanks to each one of you.

All of you contribute something beautiful to the family and I can’t imagine what we would be like if one of you was missing. I’m reading the novel “Little women” right now and I have learned an important lesson. Despite the little riches they had, they learned how to value everything that God gave them, making them more happy and rich than all the rest of their friends.
“For she had not yet learned how rich she was in the blessings alone which make life happy.”

Just like George Bailey, we are the richest family I know.

Maria. Thank you for constantly encouraging each member of our family to persevere for our faith through your incredible testimony of conviction. I think I learned how to really be an authentic catholic just by watching you as I grew up. You are truly a tireless apostle and your Joy is so contagious.

Anna. Thank you for always being a peacemaker in our family and for having patience with everyone. Your compassionate heart always knows when one of us is in need and you have always been there to support each one of us in everything we do.

Tricia. Thank you for being so flexible with whatever God has in plan for you. You are so generous with Him. You go out of your way to make everyone around you more happy. I always enjoy the time I get to spend with you, and I especially thank you for giving me a Godson to look after! What a blessing.

Angela. Thank you for being the sunshine in my life!! You have the ability to spark people lives with laughter and Joy just by being yourself. I love how much you love life itself. You treat it as such a precious gift, and you inspire me to relish all of life’s blessings that most people take for granted. You savor even the simplest moments of each day, which is why the moments I spend with you, regardless of what we might be doing, are memorable ones. I want to be like you when I grow up. :)

Joe. Thank you for always being able to offer me your advice when I need it. You gave God the first spot in your heart from a very young age, and the five years that you surrendered to Him did more for our family than you will ever know. Thank you for teaching me to “Never be afraid suffer for Christ”. Through your own sacrifices, you showed me how to really love. You’re my favorite older Brother.

Madeline. Thank you for always being at my side, for building me up when I’m having a bad day, for listening to me, for understanding me, for being there no matter what. I think you see my faults more often than anyone else..yet you still love me. Thank you for making me laugh until I cry and for never letting me down. You are truly my most kindred spirit. :)

Peter. Thank you for the time you spend with me, for helping me plan things for the family, for keeping me updated on the buckeyes, for being a faithful buckeye fan, for sharing the kitchen with me and letting me make you lunch even when you want to make it yourself…you’re a real sport and your turning out to be a fine gentlemen. I don’t think the family would have had the amazing time at the cardinals vs. Reds game over the summer if it hadn’t been for you!! You make things happen around here-we need more people like you!

Paul. Well, well, well. I really want to thank you for your genuine kindness. You are secretly caring for everyone around you and we don’t even realize it sometimes! You always know how to make me laugh and your certainly one of the most sweetest 13 year old boys that I know. The way you take care of your turtles is the way you take care of us-with extra love, tenderness and concern. Oh and thank you for your killer dance moves- you represent our family very well. And thanks for letting me pull your ear lobe all the time.

Gianna. Thank you for teaching me how to be a joyful and simple servant. You are always the first person to do whatever the other one needs and you motivate me want to do the same. You are naturally generous. Thank you for appreciating all the things that I also love. It is so much fun to have someone who is so much like me and will do anything with me if I simply ask her to. Thank you for spending time with me this summer and for always being my friend.

Grace. Thank you for your dimples, your smile, your toe points and your long hair. You will grow up to be a beautiful princess, I’m sure.

Mom and Dad. Thank you for trusting God enough to have 11 crazy children. In the movie the “ultimate Gift”, the young little girl’s biggest wish is to be loved my two people who really love each other. Well I think none of us ever had to wish for this because you both have never stopped loving each other, and that love is seen through the way that you love each one of us. Thank you for your beautiful marriage. You have never stopped giving everything you have for our family. I love you all. Amen.


Turkey Hash

The food, the table, the family, playing family and catch phrase, Ron Pual, push up contests, and lots of stories made it a great great Thanksgiving.

Condensed version via pictures:

Table Before Lindsay got to it.... The table after Lindsay...

Thank you Lindsay...my Thanksgiving wouldn't have been as much fun without a pretty table!

The meal....

I sqeezed and nibbled on her all day

Watching all the cooks in the kitchen

The food spread....oh food how I love thee.... The little girls cousin table

Post meal....Favorite Aunt Hilary with the dogs....

Jora and Andrew.....

Oops...I mean Mila and Avila ... sorry to hurt your feelings Avs

We stared at Mila all weekend - love her! And Kri too ; )

Crazy Uncle Tim...

Nicholas loved the dogs...subconsciously stuck out his tongue while petting them-every time.

We decided to play off our Thanksgiving meal by going to the park - illegally.

Don't these women just scream fun?! They are.


A Little Detail...from God

Today was our first snow. The snow fell out of the sky like huge soft white feathers. It was beautiful to watch. I immidiately called Nicholas and Christiana to come and look. Their grew wide with awe and wonder. I think it's funny that the first snow can always draw the same reaction no matter how old we are.

Nicholas remembered well enough to get his coat on and run outside. I got a picture with my phone since Andrew had the camera. Of course, the trains made it out there too and were dragged through the half inch of it.

At one point, Nicholas looked up in the sky and said, "Jesus' Heaven celebration"...not quite sure where that came from.

After naptime, they asked of Santa Clause came. I chuckled at their little logical thinking.

So this is how Jesus, in his love for details, spoke to my heart today. So fact one:Ever since I was little, I've loved George Winston's December album and in particular, Carol of the Bells, and I love playing it as soon as Thanksgiving arrives. Fact two: There is a long standing tradition in our family that whenever the first snow falls and sticks, you are allowed to call the other family members, usually cousins, and play Christmas music over the phone - you win if the snow fall hits your house first.

Today...the snow started falling. I briefly thought about finding my christmas cds and calling my family far away, but holding Avila that process seemed too much at the time. I usually listen to classical piano on Pandora. It was palying this morning as I starred out my window looking at the snow and thinking how creative the mind of God to design the rain to freeze into something so intricate and mystical as snow....and as a gentle way of bringing in something that is cold....then my favorite song came on, out of nowhere, not even in a Christmas playlist. It was as if God was reaching out into my day, calling my heart and playing the song for me.

It is little I know, but I know God loves in the details, and knows my heart well enough to know how to make it smile big inside. It did. I hope I can love Him in return in little details of my daily life...like wet pants, spit up, constant asking for things....which I usually miss to see.

Switching modes

....SOMEBODY is had her check up and is in the 70% percentile for weight and 75% for height....it seems we have a classic little meatball. I don't think she looks that big but then again I'm not one for growth charts, we never even made the charts in our house growing up...maybe 10th percentile of something.

Avila, since she is five months now. (how is that possible?, pretty sure it's still September in my head) She tried rice for the first time and she acted like she knew what she was doing - leaning into the spoon and opening her mouth wide. She must be secretly watching us eat and taking notes.


Annual Veteran's Parade

I'm sure that I get more excited about our town's Veteran's Day parade than the kids do. I love watching them watch the parade and marching bands wake up something strange inside of me. I'm just glad I don't do a full out dance in front of the town. But apparently Nicholas got the same gene and you can see him belting out a nice good march in the yard.

Each year, the bands and all the floats line up right outside in front of our house. We get up early and head outside to watch it all begin. This year the humane society, with 20 some odd dogs and two horses (ok great danes - same thing) met in front of our house as well.

We usually pre-parade tailgate at our house with coffee and doughnuts. Then, with an unusually a large crew - make our own parade downtown to watch.

The pre-parade front stoop view. The autumn morning sun is apparently very bright.

Aunt Kev

Tucked in and snug as a bug to watch the parade

Buddies Myla and Hayden

Bosco sporting his classic bulldog pup face - love it.

And I love this face.

This year Christiana was brave enough to run into the streets to vie for the candy. She was like Gus Gus getting there rather slow and late each time, but managed to hoard a few pieces.

Avila, watching everyone else eat their parade candy, thought why not try a pink button?

A personal favorite, Clydesdale horses.

Glad to know I married the right man, it seems he loves parades as much as I do.