Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Danika!!!

What a big girl you've become! November 2nd was Danika's birthday. Her requests for her party were simple. . . dress up and make necklaces. Sounds simple, but since boys were coming, I had to get a little creative. So we had a Princess and SuperHero party. All the kids looked fabulous. Danika chose to be Belle and thanks to after Halloween sales, I was Snow White. Anytime to dress up is a fun time for me! After seeing Colton's birthday cake, Danika requested a "big take with wots of pincesses". I found a cake similar to this at a local bakery, but they wanted $125 for it! I thought for sure I could figure it out. I think it turned out pretty fabulous and a lot cheaper! Pink cake with pink frosting - what else could she want!
We did a few fun activites.
First when everyone was arriving, the princesses and superheroes colored big pictures of Ariel and the Incredibles. Then, we made necklaces! My great friend, Laurie, make shrinky-dink princesses and superman medalions and we added sparkly and foam beads. The kids had a great time with the help of talented mommies! If you look in some of the other pics you can see the finished products.
Freeze Dance is always a big hit. Thanks Carrie for putting together a cd with fun dance music.

Danika opened presents in her new princess throne. It makes music everytime she sits down so of course everyone tried it out!
Those are the highlights! We had a great time and Dani is already planning her next party!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Playgroup

Six years ago I joined a mom's league in our area to meet other stay-at-home mom's. I thought we'd share the highs and lows of motherhood, have playdates, and meet up for lunch. Well, Colton and I did join a playgroup with other kids born within a month or two of him. That playgroup was as much for the moms as it was for the little 1yr olds who were there to "play" together. Little did I know 6 yrs ago that these remarkable women would become some of my very best friends. How lucky I am! Together we've had lots of laughter and tears - childbirth, childrearing, death, divorce, etc. Thanks girls for being such great friends! You have made such a difference for me over the last 6 years and I look forward to many, many more.Jen, Debra, Penni, me & AmyThe kids!
We had a special little birthday celebration for Colton and Dani with just their playgroup friends. They ran around like crazies, ate cupcakes and opened presents. How fun!
Our group six years ago was a little different. Some of our friends have moved away though we wish they'd hurry back. Penni - we're holding our breath, so please come back! Colton and Matthew are the only two boys left since all the boys have moved away. They are great playmates!
My dear friend, Sabrina, is missing from these pics because she just had her 4th girl!!! Yeah! We're all so excited to get our baby fix with little AnneMarie.
What makes your girlfriends so special????

Happy Belated Halloween!

Better late than never to share fun photos of my darling children! Joel took the kiddos out trick-or-treating while I stayed home to work on Danika's birthday cake.Colton reminded us late Thursday night that we hadn't carved our pumpkins yet and we'd need to get it done after Dad came home from work but before trick-or-treating on Friday. Needless to say, I wasn't really excited to squeeze carving 6 pumpkins in on such a crazy night. Joel is a "mad-carver" and got them all done very quickly. I do admit that I wasn't the best sport about it and I was breathing down his neck while feeding the kids some mac & cheese as they cleaned out their pumpkins! Colton didn't enjoy the "cleaning out" part as much as he enjoyed "carving with a sharp knife". Such is a 7yr old boy. They all turned out very different and surely lit up our walkway for all the neighborhood kiddos.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday Colton!!!

My not-so-little boy!Wow! I can't believe he's seven. Some days it seems like yesterday that he was a 7lb bundle of screaming joy and now look at him! Today is Colton's actual birthday, but the celebrating started on Friday night with 20 boys coming over for a Clone Wars party. Yes, star wars again this year. Since last year was a little over the top, we settled for pizza and a movie this go around. I did try my best to create a lightsaber cake and I think it turned out pretty great! There was enough cake to feed an army, but who doesn't like leftover cake! Colton's big gift from us was a new bike. He hasn't had a bike to ride for quite a few months since he's grown so much. He's had to turn down bike rides with friends for too long. Joel extended Colton's old bike as far as it would go last spring and it still hurt Colton's knees to ride, so that's when Daddy came to the rescue and started researching bikes. No way was he going to go to Academy and buy a bike that he'll just outgrow. No, he had to go to a bike shop and get one that he can use forever! "It will grow with him, don't worry." We celebrated with a family party yesterday and ate a little more of the massive lightsaber. Both sets of Grandma's and Grandpa's, Aunt Ashli, Uncle Zane, Keegan, Konnor, Uncle Scott, and Cousin Abe came over. A big thanks to Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Lance and their kiddos for remembering Colton's big day all the way from Oregon! Everyday when he takes care of his new hippo webkin he'll think of you! We also celebrated Grandpa Stanley's 70th birthday. What a milestone!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Festival

We had a great time together Friday night at a Fall Festival for our ward at church. It was outside at a historic farm in Grapevine. The kids had a trial run in their Halloween costumes and if I do say so myself, they looked darn cute! There was a cake walk and lots of fun playing carnival games. Colton was feeling pretty "free" from parental supervision and ran crazy with his friends. I kept asking Joel, "Have you seen Colton???" and he just kept reassuring me that he was having a great time and we'd find him later. Well, he found us when it was time to start the trick-or-treating portion of the night - only because we had his candy bag. I could tell at that moment that he'd find me only when he desperately needs me. Maybe this is a sign of things to come! He is almost 7 you know and feeling quite grown up!
Ladybug & Harry Potter
Danika is doing this funny thing in pictures now where she has to touch her face. Usually she's pulling her cheeks out and making a "monster" face. Thankfully we took this pic caught her just before that scary face!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Texas State Fair

Monday was "Fair Day!!" This simply means that we get a free ticket to the fair and a day off school to do with as we please. Well, I haven't been to the fair since I was hugely pregnant with Colton, so this was our year! My friend, Amy, invited us to come along with her and her girls for a fun filled day. Joel was very jealous that he couldn't come!

Elli, Anna, Colton & Danika

There were a lot of great activities for the kids, including a "Little Hands on the Farm" where the kids acted out the duties of different kinds of farmers. They planted seeds, harvested what they planted, gathered eggs, fed chickens, milked cows, sheered sheep, sold their goods, and spent their hard earned money on a snack.

Danika thought they were real chickens at first!
Colton even played along and drove this way too small tractor to get his goods to market.
We spent the majority of our day with the animals. Joel wasn't even with us - he's so proud. This picture proves that yes, I was there, near smelly cattle to give my children a lesson on how it all works. Colton was quick to point out that this cow needs to find her babies because she's lot lots of milk. About ten minutes later, we went to a "milking" demonstration and this very cow was relieved. The kids were fascinated at the process of getting the milk from the cow into our fridge. I even learned a few things from the informative farmer.

There was a great petting/feeding area where the kids got up close and personal with all kinds of animals from pigs to zebras to giraffes. Yes, all of those at the state fair. It kind of felt like we were at the zoo. For $5 we got lots of food, which Dani kept pouring on the animals until she figured it out to just hold it in her hands. Sometimes I forget to explain these simple things to her. She wasn't scared at all, so she had a ball.
Dani (yes, that's a crooked pigtail line!) feeding a baby camel.

I do admit that the piglets were dang cute. Their mama, not so much!!!

No day is complete at the Fair without seeing "Big Tex" the official mascot of the State Fair of Texas. Somehow we got out of there without riding any rides or eating much junk food.

We had a great time and we'll definitely go again next year!
Thanks Amy for inviting us to come along!

Monday, October 6, 2008

What a Great Day!

Saturday was the annual MEND Walk to Remember and it was wonderful. I'll explain a little, but words just can't describe the emotion and spirit that is felt as everyone there remembers a baby that they've lost. I've served on the committee for the last three years and though it's a lot of work, it is such a blessing to be a part of something so wonderful. This year we had just over 400 people remembering 160 babies. These are the angels that were distributed this year.

This is such a special time to honor my daughter, Savannah Kate, who passed away during birth on January 3, 2004. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and what our family would be like if she would have made it. Right now my heart is full and my eyes are flooded with tears as I think of her. I miss her! It's so interesting how as soon as you find out that you're pregnant, you start making plans for the baby. Not just how the nursery will look, but you develop hopes and dreams for your unborn child. Every mom out there knows what I mean. When all of that comes crashing down and you go home from the hospital without your baby, it's hard to even breathe (really, you'd rather not breathe than live another day in misery). About 4 months after Savannah was born, I wasn't doing very well at all. Everyone else had "gone on" and I was just stuck, not really knowing how to grieve or what the process was to "get back to normal". Well, in that time I found MEND, Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death, and through the support I received there I was able to slowly come out of the fog and live again. I learned that I would never be the Calli that I was before Savannah and that I would form a "new normal" for my life. Since MEND is a Christian based support group I felt very comfortable expressing my feelings on eternal families and the hand of the Lord in my life. What a great blessing that Families are Forever. I know that I will see Savannah again and what a joyous reunion that will be.

This will give you a glimpse of the Walk to Remember. It's from last year, but look closely and you'll see a few pictures of my family. Mend Slide Show Make sure you have your sound up because there's beautiful music.