Monday, November 25, 2013

What it looks like to turn 9!

In a way 9 years seems like an eternity ago, but when I look at that sweet girl's face, it could be yesterday that I brought her home.  I'm sure you have heard the story.  Daddy in Iraq.  Mommy in Maine.  Baby born via c-section.  Daddy meets baby, when he goes on leave, when she is almost 8 months old. Home for good when she is 10 1/2 months old.  God is good.  All the time.  Even times like this.  I still get so emotional when I think how gracious He was bringing our little family back together.  That first year of her life was the hardest year I have ever had.  I honestly don't think I would have survived with out my amazing sister-in-law, Dawn, and her family.  Okay, now that tears are rolling down my face, I TOLD you I still get emotional about this, let me tell you how this year's birthday celebration went, because it was FUN!  But first, here's that sweet face when she was just a few hours old...

And here's another, one of my very favorites, when she is just a couple days old.  Check out that adorable red head who was so excited to be a big sister!
The girls with their besties

So when it's birthday day here at our house, the birthday girl is queen of the day.  They plan the day's activities and dinner and anything else their little heart desires.  So far request have not been outlandish.  This year's request was to go to the American Girl Bistro and a trip to the Lego Store in the same mall.  Easy peasy!!  Mark had to work that day but we made reservations late enough so he could join us.  Us girls got all dolled up...haha, pun Emmalee and Katheryn (Hope's American Girl dolls) and Katy and Grace (Julia's American Girl dolls) ready and headed out.  After we browsed the Lego Store, Disney Store and Justice, we headed up to the Bistro to meet our handsome date...Daddy!!  What lucky girls we are do be able to dine with a real super hero!  (I've told you before I'm a bit biased on what he does for with it!)  He did awesome surrounded by dolls and pink, it doesn't phase him a bit.  **Insert contented sigh here**  Dinner was great!  The food was tasty.  The company even better.  I love the American Girl company.  They are awesome at empowering girls without any pressure of growing up too quickly.

Birthday breakfast of pumpkin pancakes and a candle, of course!

At the American Girl Bistro with Emmalee and Katheryn

These chairs are so cute!!!  The waiter brought these mugs over so the "girls" wouldn't get too hungry while they waited for their food!

Julia is taking a cake decorating class and asked Hope if she could make her cake.  You should have seen and heard them planning the cake.  The only thing I did was make the actual cake.  They did everything else and it was so so so cute!!!

Crushing Oreos for the dirt

See the grass, flowers, river with fish and the dirt with worms?  How cute is that?!?!


Awesome birthday celebration.  My baby is 9!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More Visitors

I enjoy having people in our home.  I guess I'm glad they want to come.  When we went to buy a bed at Mardens for a guest room when we were in Houlton, we told the salesman that we wanted it for a guest room and asked for suggestions.  He asked, "Well, how long do you want them to stay?"  Funny stuff.  FYI, I think the bed is pretty comfy, even if the box spring did fly off the back of the truck on the way home with it.  The loaders should have done what Mark asked and put the box spring UNDER the mattress.  hehe  Anyway, company seems to be feast or famine.  We won't have anyone for a long time then, BAM, three sets of company in as many weeks.  I enjoy the laughter company brings.  It gets us out of the mundane.

After Don and Michele left, my parents followed not too many nights later.  We had a wonderful time with them.  Took them into the big city to see a few museums.

Hey Dumb, Dumb!  We give you gum, gum!!

We saw an IMAX movie at the Natural History museum about monarch butterflies.  Amazing!

Dad and Mom even ventured in a day by themselves while the girls and I slaved away at school.  And before you say...Awww! You made the kids work while their grandparents were here?!  YES, I did!! In fact those kids did 2 days worth of work in a day to have a day off the next day!  Oh, and Mark and I were able to sneak away over night and do some Christmas shopping.  We saw Captain Phillips.  What a great movie!  Our Navy Seals, studs.

Out to lunch with hubs...deviled eggs and sugared bacon?!!  YES PLEASE!

A stop at Bass Pro Shop for ammo for Julia's gun!

Oh and I even snuck out of the house for a much needed hair cut!!!  Thanks Su at the PX!

No sooner had we put Dad and Mom back on the train and finished school and cleaned up that the Osterhouts arrived!!!  This is a visit that I have been looking forward to since we moved to Carlisle!  Joy and I are friends from when we lived in CT and we got married and had babies just about all at the same time which makes getting together fun...a buddy for everyone!  We hit the Zoo and Manassas Battlefield with them.  It was a perfect combination of chillin' and tourin'.

Panda girls eating bamboo...or I think that's what they are doing!

The next 9 photos are an obnoxiously large number of photos of the same thing, but it gives you an idea of the trouble we went through to get a pic of all four kiddos on the Sloth Bear statue.  Ohmyword!  I wish you could have been there.  It was the perfect combination of laughter and head-banging.  

Where are the monkeys anyway?  Oh, yeah...they are hanging off the railings....

Or on a monkey...or gorilla, I should say...

Oh, the laughter from these 4, followed by many giggles of the parents sitting behind them.  What a fun, crazy bunch we were!  I'm glad we were the only ones here...we just might have gotten a couple evil eyes.  And it would all be because they were jealous that they were not having as much fun as we were!!!

Later on that night, we had to see Mr. Lincoln.  This sight never gets old.  

This little people are so much fun to hang out with!!!
 Here's some pics at the Battle of Bull Run, or Manassas as they call it here in Virginia.

And so ends our company streak.  Back to the quiet life.  Sigh.