Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Christmas Eve Conversation

E: Do you know how much God loves  you?
SJ: No.
E. He loves you a thousand, million more times than Mama or Daddy ever could.
SJ: I didn't know that!
-a moment later-
SJ: Mom? God loves me, but He loves you, too.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baneena Dance

Shirley Jean is enrolled in a Broadway Babies dance class near our home. She absolutely LOVES it! I am so proud of her to see her learning how to control her body and follow direction from her instructors--direction that is different from what she is getting in preschool. I think these things will serve her well later in life. Shirley just loves "baneena dance" and can't wait to go every Thursday morning. I am so full of pride watching her dance and I know she loves to feel like a beautiful dancer.

All set to go!
I bribe Richard with snacks during her class. It works.

Watching sissy on the monitor.

SJ was the only student in class this day.
She got special one-on-one time with her teacher.

Thumbs up!

Showing off some moves.

We LOVE dance class!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

Yes, Shirley is wearing her favorite night gown
(she put it on just for this occasion).
Yes, Richard is pantless.
Merry Christmas!

S is for...

"I vant to suck your blooooood!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

School Pictures

Sibling love.

They offered to do pictures of the student's siblings. How could I refuse?
They had Shirley laughing so hard, she couldn't keep her eyes open

 I'm so proud of my big kids!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy (?) Halloween!

While planning Shirley and Richard's costumes this year, I asked Shirley if she wanted to be a ballerina because she loves her dance classes so much. She looked at me as if I had grown another head and said, "No, Mom. I AM a ballerina." Silly me. No costume needed.
Let's just say I'm glad we are done with Halloween for another year. The children looked great in their costumes, and we had a very nice time trick-or-treating with our neighbor friends for approximately 59 minutes. In the 60th minute of our adventure at the opposite end of the street, Shirley had a complete meltdown and had to be carried home by Daddy.
Richard's night started out a little rough...I think he was scared of his costume, but once he figured out that all he had to do was wave and people would hand him candy, he buzzed all over the neighborhood. At the first house, the man opened the door to greet us and Richard just walked right in! The man said, "Wait! I'm giving things away--I'm not taking anything!" After that, it was smooth sailing.
I'm sure next year will be just as "fun," if not more.
Butterfly Girl

Sad Bumble

Candied Bumble
p.s. Due to the post-ToT meltdown, I couldn't get any better pictures of Shirleygirl. Disappointed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I love you!

If this doesn't make you smile...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

School Girl!

Shirley Jean had her first day of school this week. She is attending preschool near our home. It was hard to leave her there because it was clear that she was nervous once we got there, but we forced ourselves to walk away.
I was so relieved to return two hours later to learn that she absolutely loved it! She didn't want to leave!
Here are some pictures from our preparation leading up to school and her first day.

Getting acquainted at the preschool open house.

Modeling her new school haircut.

This is the picture we chose for SJ's cubby bucket.

"Mama, I need to take a picture for my journal."
I couldn't have been more proud!

The finished cubby bucket!

The morning of the first day.
Yes, she is eating a cookie after breakfast.
SJ was very nervous and didn't want her photo taken.

All ready for school!

Very proud of her bucket!

Outside the school!

Shirley and one of her teachers, Mrs. B.
You may notice that Shirley is wearing a silver heart necklace with her special "First Day" dress. We went shopping together and picked out the necklace and matching earrings. I wore the earrings and Shirley wore the necklace. The necklace is to remind her that no matter where she is, how she is feeling or what she is doing, she is loved by her Mama and Daddy. I told her to touch it and remember we are at home loving her if she felt nervous during her first day at school.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Forgiveness in the Van

Riding in the car last week, Shirley and I got in some sort of an argument. We went back and forth with "I said NO." "Well, I said YES." Until I finally put the kaibosh on the whole situation, reminding her (without losing my temper, though nearly) that I am the mother and what I say goes.
We were quiet for a few minutes, letting the steam out of the van, when Shirley said, "Mama, I have sin in my heart."
It took everything I had to not reply, "YES. YOU. DO."

Instead, we both asked each other for forgiveness and drove onward and upward.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011


Somebody got ahold of mommy's camera...There are lots of clues...

But I just can't figure out who it could be!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Last night, after I read to Shirley and prayed with her and tucked her into bed, she said, "Mama, give me a kiss." Since she's been so stingy with her kisses lately I didn't want to miss the opportunity. She leaned in to kiss me with her eyes closed and kissed me for five full seconds turning her head back and forth. When she was done I said, "Wow! That was quite the kiss! Who kisses like that?" I tried so hard not to laugh because I didn't want to hurt her feelings and I fully expected her to say Cinderella or something like that.
She said, "Yorn and Rine!"

So there you have it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


After leaving Des Moines, we drove the second leg of our journey to Lincoln where my aunt, cousins and grandmother live. We had a wonderful time playing with cousins, going to the zoo, the splash park, and visiting Great-Grandma's new apartment. We had such a wonderful time with our loved ones that I can't wait to go back...even if it means another road trip!

Ice cream with Great Grandma.
On our first day there, we visited the Lincoln Children's Zoo, and had a fantastic time!

On the train!
We got to take pony rides at the zoo. When asked if that sounded fun, Shirley said, "YEAH! I WANNA RIDE THE PURPLE ONE!!!"
She was very, very serious during the entire ride.Checking out the jungle gym.
Flamingos with Grandma.
Butterfly Girl.
In the butterfly sanctuary.

Trying to hold butterflies.

And trying.
Stroller man communes with goats.

The zoo is exhausting.

On the second day, we visited the splash park and had a blast. Shirley had so much fun, I couldn't even get a picture of her!

Splash park!

Busy boy.