Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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A WEE BIT OF HEAVEN DRIFTED DOWN FROM ABOVE

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YOU LIGHT UP THE WORLD WITH YOUR SWEET BABY CHARMS

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Day at the Zoo

The Sunday after we met Naggy & Pappy in Rockwall, our wonderful neighbors invited us to meet them at the zoo on Sunday afternoon.  After church we grabbed a quick lunch and headed out.  The girls were so excited to get to spend the afternoon with Kaitlyn and her family!

 
We love the Tyler Zoo.  It is just big enough to make a good afternoon trip but not so big the kids can't walk it. 


Carli, Kaitlyn & Ava reading the map.
 

Carli, Austin & Kailyn watching the Elephants


The kids LOVED the birds.  Ava even got one to ride on her feeding stick!


The THREE Amigos.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Birthday Celebration with Naggy & Pappy


Here it is the end of the month and I finally have gotten the last of Carli's birthday celebration pictures on the blog.  At least it isn't November!

The weekend following Carli's birthday, we drove up to meet Naggy and Pappy in Rockwall.  They had just flown in the night before from a week long vacation up in New York and Niagara Falls.  It was perfect timing to meet at Aunt Sarah's for a quick gathering.

We met for lunch at a really cool place called Shenanigan's.  It was like Chuck-E-Cheese on steroids!  The food is much better.  We all treated the girls with game cards.  Their second cousins, Isabella and Logan, met us there as well.  We spent a good hour playing games and spending our tickets.  The girls had a blast! 




Before we headed off to Aunt Sarah's house to celebrate with cake and ice cream, Naggy and Pappy took the girls to the New Balance store to buy them some new shoes.  Technically it was for Carli's birthday but they couldn't buy Carli a pair without getting Ava a pair too.  The girls picked "rainbow" shoes.  They are the neon shoes with every color you can imagine on them.  They LOVE them.  And I do too b/c it is a gift we use almost every single day.  I'm a bit practical.  :)

When we got to Aunt Sarah's house, Carli had cake and presents waiting on her.  It was a nice surprise!  Carli opened presents from Isabella, Logan, their parents and Aunt Sarah & Uncle Robert.  Even Ava got a gift from Isabella.  They are so sweet to make sure not to leave her out.


And then we had ice cream.  Carli had escaped us singing Happy Birthday too her all week - but finally it caught up with her! 


It was very good cake.  We are very appreciative of everyone's efforts to make a special day for Carli!
 
Our Saturday in Rockwall was a great day.  The girls really enjoyed getting to see their Naggy & Pappy and their cousins too.  Ava fell asleep on the way to dinner and we never did get her to wake up for a bite before we headed home.  She did manage to give some good bye hugs.  Carli really had a great day - and a great birthday.  Thank you all for making it special!


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Monday, October 28, 2013

OAMC Saturday

This past Saturday my friend and I attempted to do a once a month cooking for our families.  We had each picked out 10 recipes each as well as 2 breakfast meals each.  Our thought was that most of these recipes would be new to our families and we did not want to take home double of them unless we knew we liked them.  The traditional way of doing OMAC is to make about 8-10 recipes and double them so you go home with 16-20 meal, 2 of each.  The way we did it, we ended up with 25 meals and only a few were doubled. 

I posted this picture on facebook and got many request for the recipes we used.  So this post is to serve to meet that request as well as provide a reference for me to come back for the recipes if we would like to use them again.

 
 
First we made a list of recipes, then a master a grocery list.  Each of us marked off what we already had before having our final grocery list.  What helped us a lot is that Sarah had about 20 lbs of beef for us to use.  We decided that to use this savings in order to buy some good quality chicken instead of just the plain frozen ones.  We did our shopping at Wal-mart and Sam's.  Between the two of us, we spent about $160 each.  We ended up with 25 meals and 4 breakfast grab and go meals.  If you just count the breakfast meals as one, that is about $5 per meal.  There will be enough food leftover from dinner for lunches the following day.  It took us about 8 hrs of cooking. 
 
So without further ado - here is our list for the food we did linked back to the original recipes:
 
 
 - Provolone Chicken (Used Sarah's recipe but similar to this one)
 - Poppy Seed Chicken
 - Spaghetti Sauce
 - Biscuits & Sausage
 - Taco Soup  (I used an old recipe I already had for this, but this link is similar)
 - Taco Meat (We made 4 lbs)
 

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Carli's Birthday Family Style


This is the first time on Carli's birthday that we did not celebrate with a party.  Keith and I decided that we wanted to make Carli's birthday a celebration of who she is, and what an awesome girls she is instead of focusing on things.  We wanted to spend the day together as a family and celebrate Carli. 

On the Thursday following Carli's birthday, Keith took off work.  We ate a really light breakfast and loaded up in the car and headed out for a quick chiropractor appt.  We go every other Thursday, so we moved our appt up to the beginning of the day so we could spend the rest of the day playing!  After excitedly telling Dr. Wilson that today was her birthday surprise day, but having no clue what we were doing we went to the Diner for a late breakfast of yummy pancakes, omelets and eggs benedict.  It was super yummy!

There is no denying that Carli belongs to Keith!
 

 
 Then we headed to the Silverleaf Waterpark in Flint.  We had never been but the girls LOVED the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark, so we thought for a few hours this one might just work out well too!  The girls were super excited when we got there.  It opened at noon and we arrived at 11:59 and yes, they made us wait to go in.  :)


Once inside, we got changed into our swimsuits and walked into the waterpark and the big bucket of water dumped.  Carli crawled into my arms and whimpered, "I want to go home!!"  Oh boy.  Looks like our surprise was a good one!  ha!  She actually really enjoyed the lazy river the whole 3 hrs we were there.  Seriously we had to pull her out.  The bad thing about Silverleaf is that there was lots to play on but the big bucket of water dumped all over the playscape for the kids so if the kid was scared of the bucket, they simply  didn't play!  At the Great Wolfe Lodge, there was a place for the toddlers to play to their hearts content without the worry of water randomly dumping on them.  Mind you, this isn't just a small bucket.  The force would knock a kid Carli's size over!  So we really couldn't blame her fear.  We were also bummed that they did not allow the water tubes in the wave pool...whats the point of a wave pool if you can't float on a tube?!


But they did have a lazy river and Carli LOVED it.  So Keith and I took turns doing a few of the bigger slides and taking Ava over to do a few of the slides she was tall enough to do.  Ava would have done them all if she had been tall enough!


There was one slide that the bucket didn't touch and Carli would go down it reluctantly.  It was her celebration so we tried not to get frustrated with her lack of want to be brave and do the other slides.



 We left the park around 2:30.  We had promised the girls ice cream, but they were some serious walking zombies.  Ava was so determined to stay awake for ice cream that she seriously propped her eyes open!  So we went and got ice cream at Braums.  They LOVED it as always.


 They both fell asleep in the car on the way home.  Between the excitement of doing new things, the 3 hrs play in the water, no amount of sugar in ice cream could keep them awake!


We all took an hour nap when we got home and it was awesome!  :)  Ava had her first soccer practice that afternoon.  I was going to take Carli to get a pedicure but Ava wanted to go to.  So we all went to practice.  After practice Carli was dying of hunger and opted for Chick-fil-a over a pedicure.  Then it was off to Walmart to buy Ava some soccer shorts for her first game and let Ava pick out a birthday gift to give Carli. 


Ava decided to get Carli a Hello Kitty ball since Carli's pink ball got kicked over the fence.  The older neighbors didn't ever throw it back.  I am sure it is b/c they didn't know which of the five yards they should return it to.  The girls tried leaving a sign for the neighbors on the back fence but between the rain and the neighbors not being home that didn't work.  Ava got Carli a new one...and yes, we let her get one too.  We were only suppose to be getting the balls but we ended up coming home with two fairy princess costumes as well.  Hey - it's her birthday celebration!  :) 


 We all had a wonderful day and enjoyed getting to spend it together as a family.  

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Carli's Birthday at School

Carli celebrated her birthday at school with her friends on Wednesday.  We were going to make pink cookies and teacakes for the boys but we had lots of cupcakes left over from her celebration on Tuesday so she decided to take cupcakes instead.  I was a bit relieved not to have 24 extra cupcakes around the house plus making more sweets to take to school.  She did me a huge favor!  :)

Ava took half the cupcakes to her class to share and Carli took the other half to her class.  Her teacher, Mrs. Chrissy, took pictures for me since I had to go to work and couldn't come back to help them celebrate!

 
 

After school we met our friends Kenzie and Hayden at the Discover Science Center.  Somehow I didn't take any pictures.  I'm not sure how that happened!  They all had a blast getting to play together before it was time to head out to gymnastics.

After gymnastics we came home to find that Naggy and Pappy had sent Carli flowers for her birthday.  She actually got two sets b/c the first florist says they delivered them but we never got them.  So a second florist sent a replacement.  Friday morning we found another, bigger bouquet waiting by our door when we headed out to school.  They were both beautiful and Carli LOVED them!  She also got to open some birthday cards that came in the mail, including cards from Aunt Carolyn & Uncle Johnny and Grandpa Herb with money in them as well as cards from Logan, Aunt Chelle, & Uncle Andy and Cousin Dionna, Ron & Weston.  She was pretty stoked to get her own mail!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tuesday, Oct 1st - Carli's Birthday!!

It has become the tradition in our family to take the birthday girl to the donut shop for breakfast.  They get to pick out whatever two things they want and their parents can only agree with a smile on their faces.  That is the rule!  :)  Carli picked two donuts:  teacake pink sprinkle donut and a white sprinkle donut. 


Donuts with Dad.  We all go up early enough to have breakfast with Dad before he had to go to work.


We spent Carli's birthday in Alto at the TeraGanix office.  Keith picked up some rainbow cupcakes for us to take to the office so we could celebrate.  Carli made sure that her Daddy properly secured her cupcakes in the car before we left.


Carli was greeted at the office with gifts from Becky.  She and Ava were pretty excited to get new glitter markers and stickers with coloring books. 


The girls spent most of the morning with Pa.  They checked the chickens and jumped on the trampoline.  Their favorite is the ride in Pa's big truck!

After lunch Kayla came to the office and she brought more gifts!  I think the girls were more excited to get to see their Kayla.  That was the best gift of all!


 

And then Grammy came to the office after school with balloons and a beautiful necklace for Carli's birthday. 



After work we went back to Grammy & Pa's house.  Eric had the girls laughing so hard while they were jumping on the trampoline.  It was pretty funny to watch!  :)


We finally ended our day in Jacksonville at Adolphos.  It is Carli's favorite restaurant mostly b/c of the games and not the food.  We usually try to convince her to go somewhere else but since it was her birthday - we all put a smile on our face and endured!  :)


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