Thursday, April 10, 2014


My Gracie. Today was her day. 
Seven years old. 
I could waste time, and talk about how fast time goes by, and how I remember like yesterday, the day she was born...but we all know these things already. I say it every time a birthday comes.
Instead, I'm going to talk about this sweet girl, and everything she is today.
 Gracie is the best big sister. She is definitely the big sister, and there's no question about it. 
The other day she was sitting at the table making cards and I was trying to get Ben to sleep. I was losing my patience with the other girls because they weren't settling down, and Gracie obviously saw that. She called over to the girls, "Hey girls! Come on over here, and I'll show you how to make some pop-up cards."
Hanna and Hailey make their way toward the table, and she turns her eyes toward me and gives me the cutest wink. As if she was saying, "Yeah, I got this, Mom." I didn't even know the kid could wink! It was cute. To say the least. 
 As soon as Ben makes a sound on the monitor, she goes running so she can be the one to receive his big "I'm awake now!" grin, and get him out of his crib.
She takes care of everyone, and I swear she appreciates a cute mis-pronounced word or funny misunderstanding from a 2 year old as much as I do.
She thinks of ways to make things easier for Hanna that I don't even think of, and can understand the language of toddlers that sometimes I can't make out for the life of me. I don't know what I'd do without her translating skills some days. 
She is sweet, sweet, sweet.
The other day she went to town with Matt to pick up some sand for their sandbox. She came back completely upset and in tears about something, and Matt was laughing. 
Turns out, they stopped to get beer, and Matt jokingly told her "Don't tell Mom we stopped at the Beer Store." 
She was upset because she didn't want to keep a secret from me. 
Aww.  :) 
It was funny, but seriously, how stinking cute is that? She's a good girl. 

Every night after being tucked in, she yells out at least 2 more "Good night, Mama!"s. Then she gets up one more time a few minutes later to try to use the bathroom again, just in case. Of course she also comes out to give me one more kiss on her way back to her room. When she gets up much later, either for a drink, or the bathroom, she yells out another "Good night!" as she passes my room, scaring the bejesus outta me, and waking up Ben. It's not my favourite thing she does...but how could I stop it? She just has a sweet nature. 
Six was a big year for her. She started grade one. 
I'm hard on her, because I know she's capable of so much. She's always been wise for her age, and a fast learner, so I expect a lot from her, and sometimes I don't even realize it.
She likes school though, and really does great in math. She does well with reading, but struggles with spelling, and is very neat with her printing.  She can also tell time to the minute, which I think is a huge thing!
She learned to tie her shoes. 
Another milestone. 
 She became big sister for the 3rd time. 
She loves her brother, and could probably replace me as his mother if something ever happened to me. 
She's like...7 going on 20. 
 But she's innocent. And little. She writes the tooth fairy letters when she loses a tooth asking her not to take it. 
She still thinks "finger" is pronounced "thinger", and I'm in no hurry to correct it. 
Seven years is a big one. I don't know why. I figured ten would be big...which it will be...but seven seems big too. She's growing up, and I can't slow her down. 
 I'm enjoying watching her become an independent, strong-willed beautiful girl. She makes me proud to be her "Mama". 
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl.
I love you!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Fools

It's been a while since I pulled an April Fool's Day prank. I used to do the old "water in the glass on the high shelf" trick, and the "seran wrap on the toilet seat" prank as a kid. I used to think they were pretty clever ideas. 
This time, to make up for all of my absent years of non-trickery, I came up with a fake delinquent parking ticket notice.
I saw the idea a while back somewhere, and knew that now would be the time to pull it off. 
When it comes to owing money, or being fined, Matt doesn't take it lightly. 
I searched, and copied, and pasted and came up with a pretty legit-looking notice.   

 He. Was. So. Mad.
I gave it to him, and walked away because I knew I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face. 
He looked at it for a while, then angrily shouted across the room "This is bull! I didn't get a notice before this one, and now I owe 400 bucks?! There is no way I'm paying this!"
He continued for a couple minutes...and wouldn't even look at the next page when I told him to check it out. 
I had to physically turn the page over, and show him the other side where it explained it was a joke. 
It was pretty good. He most definitely fell for it. 
Mission: Accomplished.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

my baby boy... 11 months old today.
 Where has the time gone? 
It's busy around here. 
Really busy. That means time gets away from me, and I absolutely hate it. 

 Benjamin is one month away from being one whole year old. 
He's a busy, walking, dancing, babbling, tantrum throwing, tower destroying, perfect baby boy. And he truly is the sweetest little thing. 
The only bad thing I can say is that he's growing up way too fast.

Friday, March 28, 2014

a very special dinner

Jenn is a great friend of mine. She is a mentor to me. At the beginning of our journey with Hanna, there was so much unknown. She gave me hope, and the emails we sent back and forth kept me sane during my countless hours of researching and googling horrible disorders that Hanna was being tested for. 
I was absolutely honoured to meet her and her amazing family back in 2011 on our way to Florida. You can read about that here. You can see pictures from that visit right here. 

Last night we had that opportunity again to visit with them.
This time, they would be in our neck of the woods! There was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass me by! 
We met at a nearby restaurant, and I wish we could've just froze time for a while. It was much too short a visit.
I'm so so thankful we made it happen though. 
By the time it was time to leave, I realized I was the only one still eating! I guess I was too busy talking. 

Of course, I didn't get enough pictures. Between mine, and Jenn's I think we managed to get enough to show that the girls had a great time. 
I loved how Addie was just tickled by Ben. 

 They were having quite the conversation in the above picture. I'm glad I caught that one.

  We tried to get some pictures of all of the girls together. Jenn managed to get the only ones that turned out! I love Addie in these. She's just so sweet.
 Hanna was being a stinker, and Gracie was way too serious!
 Hailey's wearing quite the stylish hat...but these are just too cute!
 They even got into size order for these ones.

 As if having dinner with the Henderson's wasn't enough, we also got to meet Jenn's mother, sister, brother, sister in law, and two nieces!
It was such an honour!! 
They are such an amazing family and I'm so thankful to have them in my life. 
 Thank you for a wonderful evening, Jenn. It was great to see all of you. 
Next time won't come soon enough.

Jenn's family blog is here. 
It's one of my favourite places to visit. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ben and Dani

Jamie and Dani Lynn have been coming over every Tuesday when they can manage, and it makes my day every time they do.
Dani likes getting reactions out of Ben so she bops, and pushes, and pokes whenever she can. It is hilarious. But Benny, he doesn't think so. 
I have to say though, that he has become much more tolerant and less, how should I say this...sissy baby. 
This week they actually played nice. There was no chasing around, or crying being done by anyone.
They're both walking now, so maybe that makes a difference. Who knows. What I do know is that they're pretty stinking cute when they're together. 


Friday, March 14, 2014


The kids had a blast colouring the castle. It kept them busy for a long time, and they all did such a great job. 

 I can't believe that I didn't get a picture of the big dragon heads that Gracie and my mom made. My mom had a couple big boxes put aside, and assembled into dragon shaped heads with snouts by the time we got there. They were painted and ready to be accessorized. They made teeth, and scales, and cut holes for eyes, and they were absolutely perfect. They even had "fire" that slid in and out of the mouth for a scary effect!

After everyone was there, and fed, they put on their rehearsal of the play. My mom was the narrator, and lead the kids, and I just laughed. It was a mess. 
Later on, they put it on again for Michelle and I, and we recorded it for my dad (who was later than normal) and everyone else who missed it. We couldn't wait any longer to put it on, it was getting late, and the kids were getting antsy!
It was hilarious. They had such a blast. It was definitely the highlight of the sleepover. They all had their parts and they all did a great job. Even after Payton got her pants scared off by one of the dragons, and screamed bloody murder through a good part of it.
Hanna was one of the princesses who got kidnapped, and she was so funny! She got so into the part. You can hear her in the background yelling in her little high pitched voice "Help! Save me! I'm a beautiful princess! Help! Ahhh!"
It was so funny! I wish I could post the video.
Austin and Santi were the dragons. Gracie was a fairy with Hailey, who didn't really do her part. Bryanna was a princess, and Cameron and Sawyer were the brave knights.  Payton was the queen who sat in the castle.
Oh my. It was something else. 
Michelle's kids didn't end up sleeping over. Sawyer is her oldest, and only 4, so they went home after watching a movie. 
I was going to bring home Benjamin and Hailey, but later on decided I would just stay as well. Matt was working anyhow. 

Hanna was the first one that asked to go to bed. She wanted to sleep in the castle. My mom went up, gave her her sleeping bag, and she said "Okay, goodnight! Shut the door. Shut off the light!"
So my mom did. 
And Hanna slept. All night. In the castle.
Crazy little thing. 

Gracie and Bryanna slept on the futon in their sleeping bags, and Austin and Santi, Yuli's brother, who was here visiting for the week, slept on a little mattress. Austin joined the girls half way through the night because he was afraid. 
Hailey and Cameron slept with my mom and dad in their bed. Bless their hearts.   Hailey's horrible to sleep with. 
I slept with Ben downstairs, and that was it. A successful sleepover at Nanny and Pappy's. 
They all woke up the next morning and had some sugary cereal for a nice treat. I may have even had a nice big bowl of that myself. 
Thanks mom and dad. You never disappoint.   
Mom, you kinda showed me up with all your crafty creativeness, and play producing...but whatever. 

sleepover at nanny and pappy's

After getting back from Melissa's house, I gathered everything we would need for "The Big Play" that my mom was planning. She was going to have Kristyn's kids for the night, so she figured she would keep them all for something different to do. She bought this giant cardboard castle that stood over 6 feet tall after it was assembled. She got markers, and the kids were in charge of colouring it and making up a play that the castle be used as a prop. They decided on something with princesses, fairies, knights and dragons 
Gracie and Matt wrote up the play. 
Here is what they came up with (exactly how it was written by them):

Gracies Play
    2 dragons
    2 princesses
    3 fairies
    2 knights
(enter princesses) Once upon a time there were two beautiful princesses. The princesses liked to play hopscotch outside. (play hopscotch)
One day while they were playing hopscotch, two big scary dragons came down from the tallest mountain and kidnapped the princesses. (kidnap princesses, run away)
(enter knights) Two very brave knights decided to team up (high five) and ride their horses to tallest mountain to rescue the princesses. (ride horses)
On their way the knights became tired and fell asleep. (fall asleep) When they woke up they were surprised by three dancing fairies. (fairies dance)
The fairies asked the knights to do their best dance and they would cast a spell to make their biggest wish come true. (knights dance)
After an amazing dance off, the first knight wished for a tambourine!? (makes wish)
The second knight wished for a pepperoni pizza?! (makes wish)
What odd things to wish for thought the fairies, however together they waved their wands and knights wishes came true. (fairies wave wands)
Suddenly the knights heard a mighty roaring from the mountain. (dragons roar) It was the scary dragons!
The knights climbed onto their horses and continued their journey. (knights ride horses) The fairies used their wings to follow them. (faires fly around)
The knights arrived to tallest mountain and climbed to the entrance of the dragon cave but a magical door kept them from going inside.
The first knight tried to open the door. (turn handle) Locked! Then he tried ringing the doorbell. (ring doorbell) No answer!
Then he tried spinning in a circle, jump up and down three times and shout open sesame! (spin in circle, jump 3 times, shout open sesame)
Out of boredom the second knight began to shake his new tambourine. (shake tambourine) The door opened! A musical door! How lucky is that?
Inside the cave it was dark and scary. The fairies waved their wands to make a magic light for them to see where they were going. (fairies wave wands)
The knights found the princesses and began to untie them. (pretend to untie) All of a sudden the dragons came and roared! (dragons roar and stomp around)
The dragons were very hungry and wanted to eat the princesses.
The second knight rememberd his magic pizza and offered it to the dragons. (give pizza to dragons)
The dragons loved pizza so much they forgot all about the princesses and knights who were sneaking away. (sneak away) The dragons sat down to thier table to eat.(dragons sit down)
But wait! The pizza wasn't cooked! The dragons were furious that the knights had tricked them.
Then the dragons remembered what was best about being a dragon. They used their fire breath to cook the pizza! (pretend to breathe fire)
The knights, princesss and fairies returned to the castle.
Everyone lived happily ever after!

    The End be continued in the next post...

getogether with cousins

Melissa decided to try to get all the kiddos together before the March Break from school was over. We actually managed to make it happen, and I'm so glad we did.
Melissa had a really nice lunch made up for the kids, and the rest of us (Kristyn, Michelle, Jamie and myself and all of our kids) brought a little something to throw into the mix. Of course I was super unprepared and picked up a box of donuts on the way. The kids appreciated it, anyway. :)
 They had a blast, and us mama's got to hang out with coffees and conversation. It was really nice.

 Melissa's little guy, Mitchel is so good. He just let everyone pass him around.
 And around.
 He was actually falling asleep while both girls held him. They love the babies.

The other kids were too busy playing to stop for pictures...

It was a nice visit. Thanks for putting it together Meliss! We love ya!