Sunday, December 28, 2008


Well, Christmas is over. WHEW! It was so fun this year. Leah really got into the whole Santa thing. We didn't let her forget who's birthday it was though. We did our Christmas early because we went to Florida to spend Christmas with my Dad and family. On our Christmas Eve we had a pizza and went for a drive to look at lights. Then on "Christmas" morning Leah didn't wake up until almost 9am! Jeremy brought both the girls down and I videotaped. (I will send all you grandparents a copy!) You should have seen Leah's face! It was so cute! She saw that Dora bike and went crazy. she just started claiming all the presents she thought were hers and went to town. Luckily Grandma Pat and Santa wrapped all Leah's gifts in Dora and Tinkerbell paper so she was able to figure it out pretty easy. She "helped" her sister open gifts too. HA! I say helped because she would grab it from Lauren and tear it open and put it in Lauren's pile. After the excitement of presents was over, I went into the kitchen to start with dinner and cookies. Leah put all her new toys up on the couch so Lauren couldn't touch them. I made a double batch of petticoat tails. We had a ham, mashed potatoes with ham gravy, green bean casserole, cranberries, cornbread casserole, rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert. It was yummy! The Keans came over and the kids exchanged gifts. Leah gave him a toolkit play dough set and Skyler gave Leah a Sleeping Beauty dress up outfit complete with high heels, a purse and tiara! She thought she was really something!

This is the beach up by St. Augustine

Leah sick of the car ride

Daytona Beach

Lauren getting to open a gift from Great-Grandma

Leah doing the same

Leah tearing into a gift on the actual Christmas morning

the kids...Dessi, Kadyn, Leah and Lauren with my Great-Aunt Debbie and my Grandma

more gifts

Rachelle, Dessi and Kadyn

do you think the girls were excited?

hanging out by my Dad's pool

Dessi was a wild woman that morning! She was all over the place excited!

Grandma and Papa's tree

my Dad, Jeremy and the dog-child Taz

a cute picture of the kids in front of the tree
the girls and Daddy

Lauren and Kadyn

driving on Merritt Island, Florida

the Kennedy Space Station

Leah at our house "Christmas morning"

our tree

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas thoughts

Well, Christmas is upon us. By this time next week, we will be in sunny Florida. Well, Georgia hasn't been too bad either! It was 73 degrees today! I am nervous/excited/happy/nervous about going to spend Christmas with my Dad. For you that have known me has been a rocky relationship. I haven't spent a Christmas (or really any holiday) with him since I was five.

Santa is coming to our house this Saturday. YAY! Leah is so excited to see if he will bring her a Dora bike. She is going to be amazed at all the presents! I don't know who is more excited, me or her!

We went to a pretty cool place this weekend. It was called the Lights of the South. It was a huge light display that we rode a hayride through. Leah loved it! Lauren was just mad that we had a hat on her so she screamed the whole time. I really missed going to the Walk Through Bethlehem this year. But, it was nice to do something Christmas-y. We went with the Moms Meetup group and the families all came. Our small group was just a few families though because we couldn't find the rest of them! The guy that drove our hayride said they expected 4,000 people that night. It was pretty neat! We got to sit on Santa's lap. Well, the idea was for the girls to sit on his lap....but they chickened out so we all were in the picture together. Leah froze when he asked what she wanted. So, as we were leaving she was screaming back "DORA BIKE!!!" and crying. I told her that I think he heard her and Jeremy told her he had already whispered it into Santa's ear. Leah got to rode the train with her new friend, Owen. He is a sweet little guy. They had a lot of fun in line waiting to see Santa.

At playgroup today we had a cookie exchange. It made me a little sad because last year Kim (my sister) and I made ALL the different kinds of cookies together. But, we had a lot of fun. The kids played for a while. Then we did our swap. After eating one or two, the kids did a craft. They made pipe cleaner and bead candy canes. Leah HAD to make one for her Papa. She said she is going to put it on his tree when we get there. She also made one for her Daddy. She is such a character! She went to sleep at around 12:30 this afternoon and is still sleeping at 3:09 pm! WAAWHOO! I love playgroup!

I hope to get some pictures up here soon. I keep forgetting my camera when we go anywhere lately. I need to get a picture of Lauren walking with my help and a picture of Leah stooping over the presents with her little hands on her hips trying to figure out who's is who's. My kids are such a trip! Well, that is it for today, I guess.

I figured out my New Year's Resolution. I am joining Weight Watchers. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tis the season to be jolly. Right? I am feeling jolly too! Like a big bowl full of jelly myself! After the New Year....I am going on a diet! Well, a lifestyle diet. I need to make my family eat healthy and that means I must suffer with them. HA!

Today I found out that Lauren has a cow's milk protein allergy. Which means....NO cheese/milk/yogurt/butter/or ANYTHING made with milk or whey (and there are plenty of other names for it on the ingredient lists). It is going to be a challenge. But, like Jeremy pointed out...there is cheese on pizza-so one less unhealthy food choice for us to eat at our house! Wow, I was reading labels and EVERYTHING is made with milk or in a factory that processes milk. That sucks! I was so happy earlier when I read that a favorite cereal at our house isn't made with milk...only to read further and see it is made in a factory that handles milk products. I guess we will be eating more from scratch dinners. We will be having more Martha Nelson meals...chicken, veggie and potato. :-) I just pray that she doesn't have other allergies we haven't discovered yet. We will have to go every couple months to an allergist. I was kind of taken aback when the good doctor told I didn't ask a lot of questions. He kind of left me to google. I did find out though that a lot of kids outgrow the milk allergy by about 3 years old. So that was good news! I guess we will just always have the benadryl on hand and I will ask for a prescription for an epipen.

My girls are nestled in their nice warm beds. I started thinking about our troops today that are deployed. I feel so bad for their poor families. I was feeling depressed about not going home to Michigan for Christmas. I am so glad Jeremy is home this year. I may not be so lucky next year. Please...if you know a military family whose spouse/dad is deployed...thank them and ask if you can help them in any way. I was thinking about when Jeremy was gone at Basic and I was pregnant and had Leah. It was impossible to go grocery shopping and I had my family there as a support. My neighbor's husband is in another state doing some training and then he is off for 12 months on deployment. She has two daughters and just found out she is pregnant. She is from Puerto Rico. Talk about sucky! I offered to watch her girls for her sometime so she can rest. I just keep thinking...that could be me next year. Next year I could be spending Christmas here in Georgia with no family except my girls. There are programs out there to help families of deployed soldiers. One of them is called Heroes at Home. The website is If you want to help someone that will REALLY appreciate it...there you go. Another good one is the USO So there you have it....go support our heroes...the ones serving and the ones serving silently beside them.

Okay I am done...I have to go climb into bed next to my soldier. Until next time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Well, my prayers have been answered. God always has a plan for us. A couple weeks ago I started helping at our Church's preschool. I am volunteering. But, last time I went, I was asked to be the teacher next year. Leah can go with me. It is only three days a week and only half days. Then that brought me to a little dilemma. I didn't know if I could find daycare for Lauren and did I even really want her to go to daycare? Another problem solved! My neighbor is going to watch her in exchange for us paying for her daughter's preschool and she will just ride with us. It really works out in our favor because all the day cares I called only do full time for infants. (under 2) Full time rates are horrendous!! The cheapest was the base daycare because it goes by rank and income and it was $336 a month! That would leave me with about $100 ahead. I couldn't do that to Lauren to only make $100 a month. (I have heard the base daycare is terrible) But Jenna is such a nice girl and I am thrilled that she will have Lauren while I work. Plus, she is only 3 doors down so they can run to my house for whatever (extra diapers/different toys/whatever). I am going to do once a week starting in January as a paid employee and then next fall start doing three mornings a week. If the teacher that is there now goes out on maternity leave then I will have to step not really sure what to do about BOTH girls if that happens. I am sure it will all work out though. I am really looking forward to doing it next year! I love that age. They can be trying at times....but they crack me up! We are working on the Christmas program for the parents and families and they are so cute! One of the church members is lending them her children's hand bells. So cute!

But, after the last couple months of praying about what I should or not work....God answered my prayers.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Holidays

We are gearing up for Christmas in our house! Leah wants Christmas music all the time and wants to watch Christmas movies and stare lovingly at our tree non-stop. She is too cute! She tells the tree (big and the small one in the kitchen) "hi tree" in the morning and "nite nite tree" at night. She thanks Jesus for our tree in her bedtime prayer. It is so sweet. She has also been thanking Jesus for her long list of friends (Skyler, Lucy, Elliette, Corbin, among others). Then she thanks Him for her other family (Grandmas and Grandpas). I love saying her prayers with her at night. She thanks Jesus for simple and whatnot. I am constantly learning from her to appreciate what we have. She doesn't care that we can't afford a nicer tv or bedroom furniture. She is thankful for her chalk and her doll. She hasn't gotten old enough I guess to feel envious of others blessings. Looking around at our place, there are many things I can think of that we "need". Like I need a new Christmas table cloth. Or I need brown shoes. We have so much. We don't really need anything. Sure, I would like a new tv or new dress pants, or nicer stuff for the kids. But I need to really look at all we have been blessed with and sit down and really say a prayer of thanks. We have two of the most beautiful girls in the world. I have a husband that loves me. We have a roof over our heads. We have enough (MORE THAN) to eat. We have a great support system with our church and friends. I have family that loves me. We paid off all our credit card debt in September. We are so blessed. I got an email about things that seem like a negative that you can really make into a positive thought. A few that stuck with me were....I am thankful for the clothes that are a little tight, because that means I have enough to eat....I am thankful for cleaning up after guests, because that means I am surrounded by friends....I am thankful for my children's whining, because that means I have kids! A couple years ago we were looking into adoption. We thought we were never going to get pregnant. I am so thankful for Reproductive Endocrinologists because now I have Leah. I am so thankful for alcohol...because now I have Lauren!!! Just kidding.....she was such a little miracle and such a wonderful surprise. Our fertility doc gave us less than a 5% chance of ever conceiving on our own. He said slim to none. God had other plans! He knew Leah needed a sister to tell secrets with and share life with. He knew we wanted another child. He knew when it was the perfect time. Okay, I was a little freaked out when Leah was 8 months old and I found out I was due in another 8 months! But, it is the perfect age difference. Leah loves her sister more than anything. Lauren thinks Leah is the cat's meow. God has been so good to us.

Sisters and best friends

posing in her church clothes

who doesn't like to dance to Christmas music in a monkey suit...come on!

first Christmas

terrified of the tree...clinging to Daddy

ooooo shiney!

it looks better in the dark!
Leah admiring her decorating skills...from about two inches from the tree

decorating the tree

Lolo eating her first Thanksgiving cracker :-)

Lauren and her friend Elliette

Leah being a drama queen

here you can play with this one and I will play with that one

she thinks it is SO funny to lay down with her baby sister

Leah shared her birthday play food with Lauren

Lauren scooting on her butt

according to Leah, Skyler "broke" her nose

she LOVES the playdough

you like that big fat bump on the bridge of her nose??? that's what happens when you play with sticks! hahaha