Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Vacation Starts Out Good

Our first week of Summer vacation is starting out really well, I think. I was telling Doug tonight that it's amazing how much work I'm getting done, since Katie's home. He seems to think it's because I'm not spending an hour a day, dropping off and picking up Katie every day. I have to add that Colton isn't hanging on my leg every where I go either. I think it's because sissy is here to entertain him. Last weekend, daddy and Katie brought home a plastic swimming pool with a slide. The kids love it and we have to go swimming every day for at least 30 minutes. I guess it saves me $20 from the Aquatic Center everyday. LOL! Poor Colton is so fair complected, you have to really keep the 50+ SPF sunscreen lathered on him. He is so funny. He is at the stage that he doesn't want a shirt or shorts on at any time. I have to chase him down just to get his shorts on to go to town. LOL!

Katie and I are reviewing some school lessons that she learned this past year and a little extra every day. She loves these fairy chapter books. She started on "India" Monday and should be finished by tomorrow. We went to the Library the other day and picked up a few books. Colton insisted on checking out a book called "Frankenstein wants a sandwich." I think he has mistaken Frankenstein for Hulk, but he really loves this book. It has some poetry in it, but mostly silly stuff. Definitely a boys book. I've already read it to him three times. I picked up a great summary book of all 44 Presidents of The United States. I love the fact that it has tons of illustrations along with the facts. I think it helps to learn if you have a visual because History can be a bit boring for young kids. I also picked up the same type of book for studying Rocks and Minerals. I've had packs of Moon Sand for one of our Science experiments. The kids had fun playing with the sand in water. It's weird how the sand stays dry in water until you add oil, in order for it to break it down. It was a teaching tool about molecules, polar and non-polar bonding. We also experimented how oil and water do not mix, again polar and non-polar bonding. It kept Katie and Colton's interest for a little while. As far as math, I've found some great websites to keep it interesting.  Coolmath is an excellent site for not only math games, but worksheets as well for geography, reading, spelling and science.  I recommend this site to anyone.  Katie loves it!  She's played addition/subtraction and fraction games.   I went over multiplications by 2s yesterday and she caught on very quickly.  I knew Ms. G was getting them ready because I know they can count by 2s, it's just showing the relation.  Tomorrow is her math quiz, which will reflect everything we went over this past week.  I think she'll do pretty good. She insisted on taking her spelling test today instead of tomorrow.  She did great - 105!   Ms. G gave each parent a sheet of Summer reading references that her class has subscribed to all year.  She read a couple online books through her school Library subscription about animals.

I don't know if it's her growing up a little or if it's school.  All school year, she has been relentlessly testing my patiences.  She still aggravates her brother, which drives me crazy.  Overall, this past week has been enjoyable.  I'm not at the point of pulling my hair out yet.  It really makes a difference and I hope she sees it.  I know,  I praised her last night for helping and not so testy.  I let her pick out a reward out of the goody bag.  My goody bag contains little paper strips with awards written on them.  For instance, she picked out that she gets 30 minutes on the Xbox as a reward.  She loves drawing rewards out of the goody bag.

While Colton took a nap, Katie and I had a little time together playing Scrabble and Rack-o.  Rack-o is her new favorite game.  She caught on very well.  I broke down last weekend and purchased a Scrabble Deluxe Edition.  I remember as a child, the women in my family and I would play hours of board games like Scrabble, Yahtzee,  Rack-o, Aggravation, Life, Monopoly, etc.  Playing games whether it's cards, board or arcade games is in our blood.  Katie is just another generation of game players.  It was nice spending good quality time with her today.    

I'm kind of stuck on our one day field trips.  I can't think of any new places that we haven't been.  We may have to just revisit field trips past.  I would love to take the kids to the Botanical Gardens for picture time, but it's been so hot lately.  Except for today, it's felt like the middle of July.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Thanks!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Grace of God

I wanted to share with you a recording from Beth Moore's Part 1 of 11 series DVD "Here and Now; There and Then." She reads out of the Book of Revelation about Jesus' love for us and the revelation of God's grace.

I absolutely love Beth and she is so inspiring every time I read and listen to her messages. Whether you need uplifted or revived, she is so full of energy, love and have some funny real life stories to share. This website gives you an option of purchasing MP3 downloads or purchasing the actual DVDs.

I hope you can take a few minutes just to listen to this lesson today. It will bless your life and reassure God's love for you.  Just click on the post title "Grace of God" and it will take you straight to the lesson.

Enjoy and have a blessed Memorial Day tomorrow.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Katie Story & School Update

I have to tell you this story that happened to us last night. First of all Katie has been a little impatient with me, finding a weekend that her girlfriends could come over and spend the night. If you've been keeping up with my blog, you can see that I've been just a little busy this month. We've had events and parties every weekend, all weekend and it seems to be carrying throughout the rest of the month. I told Katie that we will just try to get her and girlfriends over sometime next month. Well, apparently she can't wait until next month because I received a text from her best friend's dad. He wanted to know if we could talk about the scheduled play date. What? What play date? Doug and I asked Katie about this play date. I figured that she had been talking with her friends about a spend the night at our house again. She admitted to planning a spend the night this weekend with her friend A. Ugh! I asked her when she was going to decided to tell us about it and when was she going to fit A in, between the Saturday birthday dinner or the Sunday birthday party with her friend, N? We still don't have anything for N's birthday party. We agreed that Friday after school, we would go shopping. I have another birthday and graduation gift to buy as well, so I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to get that done as well. That knocks out our girls, getting together on Friday night. I love it when she puts me in these predicaments. A's dad went on to text that he and his wife were impressed with Katie's arrangement. He said that she wrote A a letter with the invitation and added activities such as going to a museum Saturday. Ugh! They thought I helped Katie draft out this note. I can't wait to read it. Shocked there was a written invitation involved, Doug went in Katie's room and asked her about it. She just pulled her sheet up over her head. My daughter! Us parents had a good laugh and A's dad was worried that I was mad at her. Of course, I want Katie to think I was very disappointed in her. I expect her to get with her dad and I before planning these things. Just think if A's daddy didn't want to talk with me about it. I wasn't mad. I just hope she won't do this again. A's dad is trying to send a picture of the note to me.  If I ever get it, I'll be sure to post it for your amusement.  LOL!

On a more positive note, I received an email from Katie's teacher yesterday. Sometimes I cringe when I get notes from Ms. G, but this was a good note. She said Katie had her year end Math Assessment last week.  This assessment measures her Core Math Curriculum for the year.  She first took this assessment the beginning of the year (August).  From what I understand, the August test she scored 13 out of 100 questions.  This test reminds me of a placement test, where to begin.  Her test last week, she scored a big fat 100 out of 100 questions.  Whoo Hoo!  Ms. G went on about how proud she was of Katie.  Ms. G gets worried about how Katie handles pressure.  She's a lot like her mama.  If I can't figure out something, it drives me CRAZY.  Ms. G said all year, if Katie couldn't figure out a math problem she would get so upset that she would start crying.  Yep, like me.  I also blame Doug and I for expecting her to do her best in whatever she does.  I'm hard on her because I don't want her to ever be behind the older kids in her class.  I have to keep in mind, she will always be the youngest in her class.  I know she can do it.

Last Sunday, I passed around the Mother's Day book that Katie made for me at school.  Ms. G told me that I would love it.  She was right!  I will keep it with the rest of our keepsakes.  It was a booklet, all about mom.  Everyone that read it, got so tickled on the page that read:  "My mom always says pay attention."  She even drew a picture of her and I with "pay attention" in a bubble over my head.  LOL!  She's got me pegged on a lot of things like how I like to watch "American Idol", I like to go to museums, I'm happiest when I go to Dairy Queen (lol!), how I like to read chapter books, how much I love to watch movies, and my favorite thing to eat is salads.  LOL!  I love that she wrote "I love it when mom cooks me ravioli."  This book is priceless and I will treasure always.

Today at school in "Fun in the Sun."  All the students brought their beach towel, sunglasses, sun screen and their favorite books.  Katie was so excited, we got everything all organized and packed in her backpack last night.  I wish you could have seen the stack of books Katie was planning to take.  LOL!  Of course, they were all Barbie storybooks.  We compromised on three specific Barbie books.  I think Ms. G was wanting each child to bring just one book, but I couldn't get that through Katie's head. Ms. G plans to let the kids sit outside and read books.  Sounds like fun.    

Tomorrow is Western Days.  We finally went to The Children's Place the other day and bought Katie a cowgirl hat.  It is precious!  It's pink with a tiara on it.  I was a happy mama when the clerk rang it up and it was only $4.  Yay!  I saved so much money on the hat that grabbed a few other good deals for both of my chickadees.  I will be sure to take pictures, so be watching for them.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Celebrating Moms 2012

Daughters & their Mom 2012
Mom and three of her five girls

Four Generations 2012
Four Generations

Maryann, girls & mom 2012
Maryann, her daughters and mom

Maryann & her girls 2012
Maryann and her daughters

Susan's Family 2012
Susan and her growing family

Susan's kids 2012
Susan and her babies

Feel the Love 2012
Feelin' the Love!

Doug & his mom 2012
Doug and his mommy

Whitney's First Mother's Day 2012
Whitney's First Mother's Day

God has blessed me so much.  It's hard work, but in the end I love being a mom.

Mothers and Grandmothers may hold the hands of their children, 
but they hold their hearts forever! 


Luau Day 2012

Last Friday was Luau Day at school. All the kids were encouraged to dress up in their flowery shirts, grass skirts, lias, etc. Katie absolutely LOVES to dress up.

This past week, I've allowed her to wear her flip flops to school. She is in heaven. She loves wearing her shorts, short sleeve shirts and flip flops. She is in her element this time of year. The only thing she doesn't care to wear is denim shorts, which she is slowly beginning to like.

They were dancing in this picture


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chase & Leslie Wedding 2012 Photos

I have all good pictures posted on my photography website. Please CLICK HERE to view them.

Thank you.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Mother's Day tomorrow.  God Bless You!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Wedding of the Year - Chase & Leslie 2012

Sunday, May 5th a beautiful couple exchanged their vows to God, family and friends. My niece, Leslie, and her finance finally tied the knot after such a long engagement.

The ceremony was simple and elegant. Their colors were pool, which is close to an aqua marine color. She had each of her bridesmaids, pick out their own style of dress to wear up on the alter. The alter was decorated so beautifully. In the center was a wooden arbor with white tulle, lights and white wisteria hanging from the top. Ferns in the background and a few around the arbor and front of the alter. Kellie used these beautiful candleholders, which were metal trees with branches. Chase and Leslie poured unity sand instead of the traditional unity candle. This unity sand will be sealed and sitting up on their mantel in their living room. Out in the vestibule, guests were greeted by the photo tree (minus the photos) on a table with candles and tulle. The registration table had a photo book for everyone to sign or write a special message for the happy couple. So unique and I loved the idea. The book contained photos of the couple's engagement pictures. They had a few small sample photos for the guests to take with them.

My morning didn't start out too good. I didn't book an appointment for Katie to have her hair fixed for the wedding because we had such a long way to travel. Mistake number one. The lady that does our hair, explained to me what to do with Katie's hair. I allowed three hours to work on her hair before we had to leave. At first, I had all kinds of pretty curls in her hair then, it was time to put her hair up. Ugh! It just wasn't working out for me. How simple it sounds to put her hair up in a ponytail and then pin her curls here and there all over her head. Right? Katie has very heavy, thick and naturally wavy hair. I could not get it to work for me. By the time it should have been fixed, my hands began to shake.  Her curls were falling out of her head and I wanted to cry. I spent an hour and half working with hair that didn't want to cooperate. Frantic, I called Susan then I thought I didn't need to bother her with this because she's got enough on her mind. I called Theresa, my hairdresser, and told her what mess I was in. There was no way Theresa or anyone at her shop would be able to fix Katie's hair and get to the church on time. What to do?!? I was in tears at this point. What was I thinking that I could do this? It's amazing how God can show you how prideful you can be thinking you could do something on your own, when you really do need help from someone that makes it their profession. Susan did calm me down some and convinced me that Reagan, Leslie's soon-to-be sister-in-law, which is also a hairdresser, will get Katie ready. I was so relieved by the time I got to church and saw all the girls there, ready for Katie. I broke down again. I just wanted Katie to look pretty for Leslie's wedding. I didn't want to ruin Leslie's big day. Reagan did such a great job on Katie's hair and she had it fixed within minutes. Relief! She wasn't taking money for the hairdos, but I slipped her some money because she absolutely saved my day. Katie was so pretty, especially with her special tiara that Leslie gave her for the wedding. She was a princess for the day.

Doug videoed the entire ceremony. Below are clips of the wedding:

Part 1: Seating of the Grandparents and Parents

The songs that were sung just about got to me. I choked back a few tears.  By the time Susan was seated, I could not help it.  I began to get watery eyed, then I saw Leslie.  Her face was red and tears rolling down her cheeks.  Then, I looked at Chase.  He was the same way.  I couldn't hold back anymore,  I kept crying and I tried to straighten up.  The minister was crying.  It was a long awaited day for so many, especially Chase and Leslie.  Everyone was shedding happy tears of joy for them.

Part 2: The Wedding Party and Exchanging of Vows

Part 3: Pouring of the Unity Sand and Introduction to Mr. and Mrs. Chase Mosley

The reception was so beautiful, but it was such an unseasonable warm day for an outside reception. The food and drinks were kept inside the building where it is air conditioned, everyone was to sit outside. I wish I could explain it well. This building is a barn shape with a loft. Inside the decor is rustic, wood floors and brick fireplace. Very cosy and warm. The kitchen is a nice industrial size. The family that owns the barn are making wooden walkways through the cleared woods beside the building. Every now and then on the trail, they made small patios for a small table and 2-4 chairs for people to sit. They also had beautiful handmade picnic tables lined up out on the lawn for people sit. Chase and Leslie had their first dance inside the barn, while everyone grabbed a plate and got in line for the food.

First Dance at the Reception

Their photographers took pictures of the wedding party, while everyone ate. When it was ready for Chase and Leslie to leave for their honeymoon, the couple went up the loft. They threw the bouquet and garter from the loft. My niece, Natalie, catch the bouquet. The first throw of the garter was a bust and Chase ended up dropping it on the ground. Nathan, Natalie's boyfriend, ran and got it. All the guys wanted a re-do. Nathan threw it back up to Chase. This time, he threw it like a football and my nephew, Ryan, caught it. Both Natalie and Ryan are my sister, Maryann's kids. She is really hoping that Natalie and Ryan will decide to have a double wedding with their mates. Ryan's girlfriend, Angie and I walked around the property after the reception and found a perfect place for their wedding. They have a huge pond with an island out in middle that would be a beautiful place for an outside wedding. Angie is such a sweetheart and we had a good time dreaming. HAHA!

Hope you enjoy the videos.  I did take a few photos during and after the wedding.  I didn't want to get in the photographers way, so I'm sure my pictures are not going to be a great as they.  I did watch their techniques and tried to take notes.  This group had LOTS of equipment, two photographers and two people taking videos.  They are very detailed that is for sure.  I hope I learned something that day from them.

Stay tuned for photos of the wedding, coming soon. . . .