Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Penguin Thank You

We were a bit late in getting our Christmas Thank You cards out, but we made it with in a month of Christmas, so it's within the socially acceptable guidelines, right? If not, I've got plenty of excuses! :)

Carli and I decided that we would make "feet" penguins. I wasn't sure she would want to b/c it involved putting paint on her feet. She didn't mind at all and actually had a blast doing it! Ava, who I thought would have a blast doing paint on her feet, totally freaked out on me. Melt down, major melt down that didn't stop until all the paint was washed off. So, we had to do plan B - which was more time consuming and maybe not as cute...but it's the thought, right?

We traced the girls feet, and cut out the outline and went from there. I printed "Thank You" on the front of the card and Naggy helped in encouraging the girls to color them all...all 18 of them. Which they accomplished with no melt downs much to my relief! Ava even colored a few!

While they colored I cut and assembled the penguins. Then Carli came and did a really good job in adding their eyes and beaks...

And then Ava came and added her two sense of artistic interpretation to a few cards...
Ava actually did a pretty good job for a 20 month old! She came in with a grey marker and attempted to add eyes just like Carli did! She'd color away, and push the card away when she was done and say "Nother one?" Listen close...

Here are some of our finished cards...

Some people have asked me why I bother, and stress about getting Thank You cards out...so let me get on my soap box for a second because one day I hope my children will come back and read this and know, it wasn't just one of those silly things Mom made them do!

No one has to do anything for you. And if you have earned it, you still should be thanking the good Lord above for the blessing of receiving it! Yes, it is true, many folks do give out of love and the desire to give and expect nothing in return. And for those folks, we are very thankful! So, if someone goes out of their way, spend their time, money, effort and much thought and care on doing something for us - why would we not take our time and effort to let them know we appreciate not only what they gave or did for us, but that we are thankful for the blessing they are to us? And so, one day Carli and Ava, when you are a teenager and you are complaining about your Momma making you write thank you notes before you can go off and do what you want...take a minute to stop and think about the love and thought that that person put into giving you something, because they thought you deserved it. They sure do deserve to be acknowledged and thanked for it.

By the way, I have to take a minute to thank my Mom for instilling that in me. I remember thank you notes. I remember trying to figure out how to not write them. And I remember my Mom explaining why we needed to write them. And let me tell you...I sure appreciate that lesson she taught me!

**This was in no way directed at anyone...please don't take offense. Just like we teach our children to pray at meal time, say thank you, your welcome, etc...this is just a value I want my children to learn. Nothing more.**

Okay...off soap box now...

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes

Naggy and Pappy came this past weekend and the best part was that they came for Naggy's birthday! Carli was so excited. She has been ready to make cupcakes for Naggy ever since we came home from Amarillo at Christmas! Saturday morning we got to work...

Carli was a big help mixing the colors.

Pretty, huh?

After mixing the rainbow colors, Carli decided Naggy really needed her to play. So Momma was left to "build" the cupcakes...

Half way through!

Carli was quick to come back and show off her hard work!

And perform the ever important taste test!

What big sister does, so must Ava.

Naggy's birthday rainbow cupcakes.

Funny how Naggy managed to not get in a picture AT ALL!

Even the wrapper was pretty cool!

Happy birthday Naggy! Thank you for spending it with us! We enjoyed having you guys here and hope you enjoyed your cupcakes. Carli took one to school today to show everyone the cupcake that she made just for you...and ate it all! :)

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grammy's Sewing Room

In Christmas of 2007, Keith and I gave my mom the promise of building her a window seat unit with a bookcase in her sewing room. Then in January 2008 we found out we were pregnant. So, four years, two kids, a new floor and new windows later, we finally came through on our promise!

The actual "gift certificate" we gave my Mom four years ago...she saved it!

Grammy and Pa went to Hawaii on January 7th and we got busy! We actually all spent the night at their house the night before under the pretense that we would get a jump start on a drive to Houston for my cousin's baby shower. The girls and I went to the shower and Keith stayed in Alto to measure, go buy wood and start cutting!!

**In the pictures below, you can double click on them to make them bigger.**

Here is the room before.
Everything in there belonged in there, just no storage!

Monday was the first official work day. I cleaned out the room and spent the day sorting fabric while Keith started building! He got the bottom shelves done on Monday.

Tuesday I had to work and stay home with the girls, so Keith worked alone. He made good progress by finishing up the bottom shelves and facings as well as getting the top bookcases built.

Wednesday was a detail day. Though you may not see it in the pictures, a lot happened on this day! Keith finished up the facings on the the bookcases and got them all secured to the wall. He also got the top piece (between the two bookcases) built. I finished sanding and cleaning the PVC pipes that Grandma had started that would be used for storage.

Thursday I had to work again so Keith worked by himself. He got all the trim finished and the top piece installed, including lights!

Friday we started the day caulking...lots and lots of caulking but man does it make a difference! We got that done by 10:30 and put a coat of primer on. We ate lunch at 2:30 and made the decision that we would go get the girls and bring them to "Hotel Grammy" so that we could do another coat of paint that night.

Saturday we finished the second coat of paint and declared the main piece of our project finished! Keith loaded up the girls and took them home about 1 pm and I stayed to put everything up! I finally got home at 9 pm.

Here is the "BIG REVEAL!" I thought it turned out awesome! I think the fabric closet is pretty cool looking! The only thing that could have made it better was to have seen Grammy's reaction in person!

We owe a HUGE thanks to Sassy and Kayla for watching the girls for us most of the week. Kayla even came to Alto on Saturday morning so we could finish painting. Thanks also to Grandma, Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Johnny for coming Saturday afternoon. Without your organization skills and help we could not have finished getting everything put up!!

Thanks also to Pa for helping to keep our intentions a secret and answering our random texts and questions throughout the week all while not letting on to Grammy what we were doing!

Grammy, we hope you enjoy your new sewing room. Sorry it took four years for us to come through, but we think it turned out better this way b/c Keith's skills in building have greatly improved over the last four years! :) The cherry pie was fabulous! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas in Alto

We got home from our trip to Amarillo on Thursday evening and were up and ready to go to Alto on Friday morning. It's amazing to me that Carli didn't collapse from exhaustion as she went from being so excited about seeing and playing with Naggy and Pappy to demanding and begging to see Logan!

Grammy had a special story planned for the kiddos....you'll have to check out the video in the previous post to note the awesome memories there!

Logan, Carli and Ava in front of their Christmas Tree covered in tinsel from their spiders and the big snowman!

Ava quickly found a nice cup holder in her new plasma car!

A very special moment between Grandma and Ava
Logan's new grill!!
Pa's new bat!
He had made some passing comment to Keith about wanting this Jackie Robinson 33 bat. I was pretty impressed that after six months Keith remembered and found one - I think it is a 35, but close enough! We knew he liked it when he said, "I think I may sleep with this!"
Uncle Tone's new tablet
We all had to go in to get this one for him, and he loved it!
Grammy's growing ruler
We made this for Grammy to put at the lake house to mark the grandkids growth!
Ava wasn't in such a sharing mood with her new puzzle!
Andy and Michelle's gift was really neat. Mom and I got together and planned six date nights for them. We made up six envelopes and put a date in each envelope and made sure to include a gift certificate, brochures, etc so the hard part of the planning is done! They can enjoy each others company and take a break from reality!
Christmas in Alto was great! The kids loved spending time with each other most of all and you really can't beat seeing someone smile from ear to ear with happiness when they open a gift you gave them! That is the best gift of all!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Christmas Story with Grammy

A bit late, but we had a good excuse! Set aside 10 minutes and watch this awesome video of Grammy reading to her Grandkids. So very precious, and will be treasured for years to come!

Many thanks to Uncle Tone for putting the video together for us!

Our Alto Christmas post to come soon!

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas in Amarillo

We spent five days in Amarillo and I'm pretty sure we wore Naggy and Pappy out! :) We flew in on Christmas Eve. It was by far the easiest travel we have experienced with the girls. We had no crazy long lines at the airport and there were no delays. It was a huge relief.

Carli had been so excited about going to see Naggy and Pappy. It was all she could talk about for weeks. She was also excited to get to stay at a hotel the night before and go swimming. We are pretty sure that the thought Naggy and Pappy would be at the hotel as well but the distraction of swimming got us out of that potential melt down. We scored a sweet deal at the Hilton Anatole in downtown Dallas for the night before and "enjoyed" taking the girls swimming. We headed out by 6:30 to the airport to "go way up high in the sky to see Naggy and Pappy!"

Carli was so happy to see everyone! I should have video taped the reunion b/c I missed taking a picture of all her hugs! She was so cute running through the airport when she saw Naggy and Pappy. I captured one hug she gave Aunt Megan.

I'm pretty sure Naggy and Pappy were just as excited!

The girls played the whole week on Naggy's treadmill. Naggy helped them excercise and they even used it as the converyer belt for their luggage when the played "airport."

Ava hanging out with her Daddy.

We pretty much got off the airport and went straight to the house to have Christmas. Naggy was so excited! :) Santa (and everyone else) was super nice to Carli and Ava this year!

One of Carli's ever famous poses...

Ava checking out her new book.

M&M's...thanks Santa!

Carli opening her stocking.

In the middle of opening presents, they needed a snack...on their new plates...and of coarse it was M&M's!

After presents were over, we just got to hang out with Uncle Kevin, Aunt Megan, Naggy and Pappy. We had lots of fun playing in the snow, playing with Henry, playing with our new toys and eating lots of yummy food!

Ava all snuggled up and ready to brave the cold!

The most played with toy was of coarse a box! Aunt Megan let the girls have the box one of her gifts came in and with the help of Uncle Kevin even cut some window holes in it for the girls.

They played and played....

And played!!

At the extended family get together, Ava got a little doll that when you push it's belly it giggles. She was instantly in love! She slept with her new baby the rest of the time we were there!

Our gift to Naggy was a "growing" ruler to put up to track her grandkids height. It's the same concept of using the door jam but we wanted to make sure she could bring it with her when the moved to Tyler... :)
We had an awesome time in Amarillo. I had a momma break and read three books! It was really nice! Ava must have been working on a tooth b/c true to form she had another nasty diaper and got sick the night before we were to head home. The girl likes to make me stress! But she did fine on the plane and the long drive home. We detoured through Fairfield to see our cousins who were in from Washington before heading home to our puppy dogs!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

A White Christmas in Amarillo

We got to Amarillo on Christmas Eve...and the weather was cold but clear and sunny. We woke up Christmas Morning to find snow! My kids have experienced so many things in their short lives that Keith and I only experienced as adults...a white Christmas, flying more times than you can count on two hands, watching baseball games for air conditioned suites....

But anyway, the snow fell and fell and fell and was so pretty. Monday morning while Ava was taking a random morning nap, Carli convinced all her "menfolk" to take her outside to play!

Making a snowball

Building a Snow Man

Laughing so hard because she hit Uncle Kevin with a snowball!

The laughter and complete joy of watching and listening to Carli play in the snow was enough to make Christmas in Amarillo so special!

More on actual Christmas festivities coming soon!!

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