Our Christmas Card

This is our Christmas card we sent out this year. I really enjoyed making it all in Photoshop and printing it as a picture, instead of writing a separate letter. Quick and easy-that makes my Christmas very merry. 2009 Christmas card_edited-1


Turkey Treats

A few years ago my friend Amy gave me this idea for these fun Thanksgiving turkey treats. I have changed it up a bit through the years and now this is our turkey we make every Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving turkeys

  • Striped cookies
  • Peanut butter cups (miniature)
  • Hershey’s kisses
  • Candy corns
  • Wilton’s candy melts 12 oz bag (In the cake decorating section there are bags of small chocolate disks used to make suckers or other candy treats. They melt easy and dry really quick. Chocolate chips could be substituted, but they take a lot longer to cool)

Melt in a small bowl about half of the bag of chocolate disks. Unwrap the peanut butter cups and kisses. Put chocolate in between two peanut butter cups to “glue” together, and a small amount of chocolate on the top to attach the Hershey’s kiss to. Let chocolate cool. Lay out striped cookies flat on a cookie sheet. Put melted chocolate on cookie and lay body part that was just assembled on top of it until dry. While the turkey is still on it’s back attach a candy corn on the Hershey’s kiss for the turkey’s “gobbler”. When that dries, put two candy corns next to each other, apply a little bit of chocolate and stand up the turkey on the candy corn feet. Let everything continue to fully dry before eating.

We have used these for teacher treats at school, treats to give the neighbors, and deserts on Thanksgiving day. We have also used them for place setting cards. Write guests names on small (1x2 inch) cardstock pieces of paper and set on the turkey behind the head and set at each place setting showing where everyone is to sit. The kids love to have assigned seats at Thanksgiving, and their own little treats for after the feast.


Monae’s Birthday Weekend

Aaron and I had the chance to break away for a fun weekend in Destin, Florida to celebrate my birthday. No kids, no schedules, no calendars, not even a camera-just us. It was wonderful. We have never been to the beach in the fall, and I think it’s my new favorite time to go to the beach. Everything was so laid back, not the hustle and bustle busyness that the summer months can bring. We didn’t have to wait in any lines at the restaurants and had the beach almost all to ourselves. It was a great relaxing weekend.

We ate lunch here on Friday at El Vaquero, did a bit of shopping, and then headed south to Destin. It was so nice to have 3-4 hours of uninterrupted talk time-a luxury we definitely don’t usually get on car rides. We checked in at the Hilton at Sandestin, and then went for a short walk on the beach. We went out to eat at the Crabshack that night. Their food was okay, but it had a great view of the beach that made up for it. We stopped by our favorite desert place-Barnes and Noble for our regular chocolate mouse, double chocolate cookie, brownies, and carrot cake.

On Saturday we went out for a morning walk on the beach before breakfast at IHOP, did some shopping at the outlet malls, and enjoyed shopping for souvenirs for the kids. We took a nice nap on the beach before dinner, and witnessed a wedding that was happening there right by the water. It was a bit too windy and cold to swim, but just watching the waves and having no kids to chase after was so relaxing.

We ended out the night eating at Joe’s Crab Shack -always a sure win. I love their food, and their fun atmosphere is great. Even though we enjoyed some time by ourselves, much of that night we talked about all the fun stuff we could with the kids when we come back. Our waitress clued us in on all the fun things to do-fireworks shows, trips to the dock to see the catches of the day, good restaurants, fun beach spots, and the least busy time to come. A fall trip to the beach next year is quickly finding it’s way onto our calendar, and we are so excited !

Sunday, we celebrated back at home with cake, presents, and thoughtful notes from the kids. When we were gone Becky helped the kids make a beautiful card for me with all their own sweet little notes on it:


I love that you snuggle with me at night time, that you always make me laugh, and that you love me so much...Scott :)

Abby: I love you Mommy cuz...you do nice fings, you gets me milka, and water and ice, and you gives me kisses and reads me stories.

Erika: I love you Mommy because...you make my bed, you pour my cereal in the morning, I love it when you come to scripture time, and when I am sick you always give me medicine.  I love the presents you got me for my owl birfday, they made me happy.  And I like it when you help me when it is my turn for family home evening. (and thank you for buying lots of milka)  

Brooke: I love you mommy because...you sometimes help me make my bed.  I like it when you take me to school because you don't get lost. I love that you help me pick up my room, and when you make me chicken and rice to eat.  I also love that you help me look nice by picking out my clothes and curling my hair.  Thank you for always checking my homework.

Austin: I love you mom because...you help me pick out my clothes in the morning. I am glad that you took me to the emergency room, when I was in so much pain. I love that you let me text becky, and when you make inside out pizzas. I love it when you come to my soccer games and cheer for me. I love that you plan fun activities and you help me make cool projects.

Brianna: I love you Mommy because…you pack my lunch, clean my clothes, and take me to and from school.  You let me do fun activities like ballet and soccer and hang out with my friends. You always encourage me at school, and you care about my grades.  I love it when you make dumplings.  Without you I would be the saddest person on earth.  I love that I can tell you secrets and I love when just the two of us spend time together. 

Monae, I hope you have a fantastic birthday!  I am so grateful for your friendship.  I once read that the best thing that a mother can do for her kids is to give them "roots and wings". I love that I am able to witness you do that on a daily basis.  Thank you for giving me a place that my heart can call home.   -Becky


It was a wonderful weekend, and I felt very loved. Thank you family for helping feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Another year older, another year blessed.


Grateful Hearts

Fitting for a month that celebrates the virtue of gratitude, our Relief Society lesson today focused on just that. I was glad for the gentle reminder of the gratitude we should have daily in our hearts for our Heavenly Father for all that He has given us. I feel richly blessed today as I was able to fast and feel of the Spirit so strongly. I am grateful for  the whisperings of the Spirit to questions I have spoken and even those unspoken. He knows my heart and I am so grateful for that.

I am amazed how much our Father in Heaven is aware of us and how he is constantly blessing us. I am now seeing as well, how that love is demonstrated in everything-especially the hard things. He can not and will not force us to learn, yet as a kind and loving Father He waits patiently by, hoping that we will recognize what blessings hard times can be.  I am so thankful for those times that stretch me to learn and to grow. They are my Heavenly Father’s way of reminding me that He is aware of me and wants me to grow, to be happy, and to see His hand in my life.

Some things I am especially grateful for today:

  • The gift of time
  • The Holy Ghost
  • General Conference talks
  • Heavenly Father’s eternal prospective and His willingness to share it with me at times
  • Seeing others be happy
  • The opportunity to repent
  • People that influence me to be better and try harder


Halloween 2009 Fifties Style

Family picture halloween 2009 blog

We were so excited this year to have a theme again for Halloween. I have been lax the last couple of years, so this is the first in a while that the whole family has participated. Brianna started it out with her poodle skirt from her daddy daughter dance, and it spun off from there. Aaron, Austin, and Scott were perfect fifties greasers, complete with this cute little leather jacket for Scotty. He looked so adorable. The girls all wore different colored matching poodle skirts. Brianna’s was black, Brooke’s was dark pink, Erika’s was blue, and Abby’s was light pink. I think the funnest part was watching the girls be so excited about their costumes. They would ask me everyday for weeks before if I had made their skirt yet. When I did finally have them all done they would wear them all day twirling around and dancing in the front room. We even found these cool cat eye glasses at JoAnna’ on clearance for 70 cents, and a cool fold out pocket knife comb for Austin! We were a stylin’ crew!

Scott black and white halloween blog Abby black and white halloween blog Erika black and white halloween blog Brooke black and white halloween blog Austin black and white halloween blog Brianna sock hop eyes blog tint

Scott decided that Halloween was as perfect day as any to make his walking debut. He has been taking steps here and there for awhile, but is finally getting to hang of walking without help more and more. This picture of Aaron helping him walk is one of my favorites. The rest of Halloween for Scott was mostly spent cuddled up trying to stay dry and warm while the rest of the group trick or treated. I don’t think he even tasted a piece of candy. By next year I’m sure he will understand the fun costumes=candy.Scott holding Aaron's hand black and white blog

A picture of the proud fifties parents. Don’t die of shock that I actually put a picture of myself on here. I love to take pictures for a reason-so I can be behind the camera and not in the pictures. With that said, I do love this picture of Aaron and I.Aaron and monae black and white halloween blog

My tough guys. And yes, we planned that black eye on Austin perfectly just for Halloween. Not really, but the little “baseball mishap” happened to come in handy. Austin liked his tough guy imagine, and more than anything his low maintenance costume. He loves Halloween, just not the costumes all the time. When we explained that all he would have to wear was his normal pants, normal shirt, and shoes-he was in.

Tough guys blog

Group shot halloween blog

The weather the week working up to Halloween was not good. We had had rain almost all week, and after getting poured on at Austin’s soccer game that morning, we prepped the kids that trick or treating may have to take a bit of a creative twist. We were prepared with a movie, a log for the fire, and bags of candy from the store to have our own trick or treating from our bedroom doors. The rain held off for us to take pictures and we thought we would be in the clear. After driving to our friends neighborhood and unloading everyone, the rain started. It was just drizzling, but after a few minutes it turned cold and the kids were wet. Scott was tied up warm in our friend Becky’s karate costume, Abby was on Aaron’s back under his coat, and I had the stroller for back up of weary trick or treaters. It wasn’t long before we were about to stop when we saw our friends the Johnson’s show up. The kids suddenly got a second wind and finished out the streets. Aaron went back for the car and the little ones loaded up to stay warm while waiting for the older kids.  After we were all wet and had had enough, we went home, put a nice fire in, watched a movie, and enjoyed the treats. It was a very wet, but very fun night.


Erika turns 5


Erika smiling black and white blog

Things we love about Erika at 5:

  • She still has a love for milk. She is down from about half a gallon a day to about a fourth a gallon. This girl loves milk! She still loves to have her hair in a “hair thing” when she drinks it.  She plays with her hair rubberband - flicking and snapping it with her finger until she’s done drinking, then pulls it out, throws it on the floor, and then drifts off to sleep. She still prefers to have her milk in a sippy cup as well. I know five is pretty old, but I am weak in this area. I am pretty confident that she will be able to kick the habit before she packs her bags for college though.
  • Her long curly blond hair. She lets me brush it more now and actually put bows in it. She likes to do her own hair in the bathroom-usually getting it soaking wet from the sink and placing a clip right in front.
  • She chubby little cheeks. Erika has the softest cheeks I have ever felt! They are as soft as newborn skin. I think her secret must be all that milk. She humors us as we all kiss on them everyday.
  • Her love of pasta.  She would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner….and sometimes she does! She likes it with alfredo sauce and parmesan cheese on it. She also likes chicken tenders, milk, fruit snacks, strawberries, pepperoni, bananas, macaroni and cheese, sausage, and toast.
  • She loves to practice her reading.
  • She LOVES to write. She can write her name and everyone else in the family’s name as well. She can recognize almost all the letters, and does really good at writing if I spell the word for her.
  • She loves to play babies with Abby. They spend hours pushing their dolls around in strollers, carrying them, and feeding them with their little kitchen stuff. Their most recent twist involves taking all of their baby stuff into Aaron and my room and dumping it in big piles. I don’t exactly understand the playing part of it, but it keeps them quite occupied for a long time. Definitely worth the mess.
  • Abby and her also love to play doggies. They get bowls of water and lick out of them, and throw goldfish crackers to each other to fetch. It usually works well until Scott grabs the goldfish bowl and spills them everywhere. They then bark mean barks at him until he either bites them or just laughs.
  • She loves to cuddle with mommy at naptime in mommy’s bed. “It’s just so cozy!” she tells me everyday.
  • She loves her brothers! Her and Austin are outside playing buddies everyday! She waits for him to come home from school so they can ride scooters together and climb trees. She loves to try to carry Scott around and tackle him to the ground and hug him.
  • She loves to watch home videos.
  • She takes ballet once a week, and loves to play ballet class with Abby. They both get on their ballet leotards and then Erika teaches Abby everything she learned from the week before.
  • She learned to ride a two wheeler bike this last year, and loves to ride with the big kids on bike rides.
  • Her testimony. It has been fun to see her testimony develop throughout this year. On fast Sundays she will bear it at home with us. She now has added that she has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the church.  She is in the CTR 5 class at church and loves to sing.

              Erika sitting up smiling blog      Erika with hands on chin blog      Erika with five fingers up blog


Erika by window blog

For Erika’s birthday she decided to have a cookie cake. She loved to wear her new “Hootie Hoo shirt” that mommy made for her. It has an owl on it and says, Look HOOOs five. She got “Click, Clack Moo, Cows That Type” for her birthday book, a Barbie scooter, a Leap Frog keyboard game for the TV, a stuffed cow and cute milk card from Aunt Michelle and Uncle Bill, a drawing pad and new pens from Becky,  and lots of cards and love from grandparents and other family members far away. She loved her little cow and it soon had a prominent new spot on her bed right next to her cow birthday book. 

We Love you Erika!

Erika's birthday book blog

Erika's gift from Aunt Michelle blog


Best Friend Visits

Last month one of my best friends came to visit and I got to take some pictures of her family. I love that she lives closer now so we can hang out more. Here are a few of my favorites for her to preview. Hope you enjoy Amy!!

Libby blog


Libby laughing blog


Ben blog


Ben blog 2


Ben family pic blog


Mike and Amy blog 1

 Mike and Amy  blog 2

Ritter family pic blog


Turtle Time

The kids have this cute book they got from Grandma called Turtle Time. I think of it every time I see a turtle, and it came to mind when the kids caught their latest creature. In the book the girl tries to make a house for the turtle, and give him her kind of food to eat, and dress him up. Imagine all that times 5 kids. This poor little turtle had the patience of a saint. We actually had two turtle, but this picture is of turtle#2.

turtle 1

Erika found turtle#1 out in the road, and it was quickly captured and made at home in our little red wagon. Complete with sand, leaves, sticks, water, and some carrots-the turtle’s new home was ready for him to move in. He wasn’t too excited to be here, and after unsuccessfully getting him to eat we decided we should let him go. When we came back from church though, he had escaped and found his way to freedom.

The next day on the way to school we were driving down our street and Austin spots another turtle-turtle#2. He jumps out of the van, grabs it and runs it back to the house for safe keeping. This one was a little smaller then the other one, and much more active. We decided that the other one was a grandpa turtle, and this one must have surely been a teenager turtle. It may have had something to do with the fact that the girls flooded the wagon and maybe he was just swimming around wildly to get afloat. He would perch himself up on the edge of the wagon and hang out to watch us. turtle 2

The kids babied their new turtle, but after multiple attempts to get him to eat, he wouldn’t. So we said our good-byes and sent him on his way to enjoy the world in his own way and time-turtle time that is.


Date with Erika

Tonight was Erika’s special night to have a date with mom, and we had such a blast. We went out to eat at Red Robin, and she was taking it all in. We got to have a small booth all to ourselves, right by the kitchen. She watched the cooks make the food, and yell out orders that were up. She watched Red Robin make the rounds, but got a little shy when he came to talk to her. She order macaroni and cheese to eat and milk to drink (always her drink of choice). I had a yummy quesadilla and tortilla soup. She got a balloon for a souvenir and had one on one time with me to play all the games on her placemat. After we ate we went to Joann fabrics to get some stuff to finish her Halloween costume, and then on to Old Navy for some shopping.

We found some cute t-shirts for her, and were about to go check out when she insisted she try them on. We had a little fashion show and she was giddy with excitement that she was a big girl trying on clothes just like her big sisters. When we went outside from Old Navy the windows of the store were all foggy from the humidity, so she wrote her name all over the windows. So cute. She saw how dark it was out and said, “Wow, this is really a ‘late night’ (out little term for getting to stay up extra late) isn’t it mom?” Thank you fall weather for making the days shorter and bringing a little extra joy to a four year old.

Next stop-Barnes and Noble for the best deserts in town we have found. They have great double chocolate cookies, the most amazing brownies,and small chocolate mouse cakes. Yummy!! We picked up our deserts and then went outside to the gazebo next door to enjoy our treats.

All the way home she kept saying how much fun she had. Me too Erika-babe. Me too.


After school snack anyone?

My kids are always begging me to make them an after school snack. I usually forget to have one out and ready when they get home, so I end up struggling to find something to appease them that is also somewhat healthy. I found this cute idea a while back in the Family Fun magazine (LOVE that magazine). A fun way to end out the school day.

pencil afterschool snack blog

  • Cheddar cheese cut into  long square chunks. String cheese is what the magazine recommended, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I just worked with what I had.
  • Bugle snack chips for the top
  • Chocolate or small raisin pieces for the lead. I dipped the bugles in Nutella for ours.
  • Small pieces of gum for the erasers. The article used small pieces of bologna, but we aren’t big bologna eaters here, so we went for anything pink we had on hand. Gum was the choice this time.

Assemble all pieces together, add a sweet note, and listen intently for joyous shouts of, “Mom, these are awesome!”


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

sI have looked for years for a great pumpkin cookie recipe. Last year I finally found one. Thank you Tami for posting it on your blog and sharing such a yummy recipe! We love it. The first week we made it three times it was so good. This year I couldn't wait for October to roll around so I would have an excuse to start making all my pumpkin recipes again. This is the recipe we used for our General Conference FHE. Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 box of Spice cake

1 small can of pumpkin (About 15oz)

1 bag of chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients together and drop in large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!

General Conference Week

This last week working up to General Conference has been one of the funnest weeks at our house. The excitement was so high, you would have thought Christmas was coming! My kids, Erika especially, would get this giddy little look on her face and say, "I just can't wait until Conference!!"
We started out the week with a Conference kickoff during FHE. As Erika put it, "It is the night yet when we get really excited about General Conference?" Yes, Monday was the night. Austin constructed a conference center model out of legos, complete with the twelve apostles and First Presidency out of lego men, the choir conductor, the organ pipes, and flowers around the big podium. He gave a great lesson about how we receive the words from Heavenly Father at conference. We turned out the lights and he shined a flashlight down on thelego men showing that they receive the light from Heavenly Father. He then had a mirror that he placed by the men that reflected the light, or words of our Father in Heaven onto us. It was a great example showing that the words they speak are truly from the Lord.
We passed out our Conference Packets so they could get a sneak peek of the fun ahead, and reviewed some of the General Authorities that we would be seeing. Brianna and Becky made up an awesome song  to the tune of Gilligans Island about all the past latter day prophets, and then we ate our favorite pumpkin cookie treats for refreshments.
Everyday after that Erika would ask multiple times, "How many more days until General Conference?" The excitement was high at our house for the talks and traditions that surround this time of year.
Saturday finally came and we surrounded ourselves around the computer to relish in the Spirit. The kids set up their small table in front of the couch, had all the treats lined up, crayons and markers ready, all eager to start filling out their packets. I loved Saturday morning session. I kept listening to each talk and thinking, this is the best talk, only to hear the next one and say the same thing. I felt like I came away with a grateful and very full heart. The two hours seemed to fly by, and before we knew it, a fourth of conference was already over. The kids took a break to play outside, have a lunch picnic from Subway and play at the park, while I was able to get a short nap. The afternoon session was filled with just as much excitement as we continued to be spiritually fed.
Sunday morning Aaron let me sleep in for awhile, and then took the kids for a walk while I prepared our special traditional Conference Breakfast. Muffins, orange juice, fancy bowls of fruit, cute place setting cards for everyone, and questions about the conference sessions from Saturday  decorated the table. The kids came in from their walk and were so excited!! Cheers of, "Mom, this is the best! I love conference! I could smell the yummy breakfast all the way from outside!"filled the air. It was a wonderful morning to review what we had learned the day before, and enjoy the spirit that it brought to our home. Our special treat this year for answering the questions was cinnamon rolls, hidden in the oven again.
For the morning session the kids drew on large pieces of poster board the things they had learned from conference, and continued to write in their packets. Austin drew an awesome picture of the Savior and hung it up for us to look at during the rest of conference. During the break we got out the legos to all play with, me included, while daddy took a nap. We finished out the afternoon session, and were able to end the day with a nice family dinner and night of playing charades.

Austin drawing of Jesus_edited-1
I am so grateful for honorable priesthood holders who are in tune with the Spirit to bring us these talks. The humble feelings of their hearts is so apparent as they share their testimonies with us. I love that my children are able to feel that same spirit. There is no place I would rather have been this last weekend then listening to their words. The countdown now starts again Erika. Only 5 months, 3 weeks, and six more days to go until the next conference! We cant wait!


Mom and Daughter Date

Tonight Brianna and I got to go out and have a one on one date-just the two of us. We planned it go get our nails and toes done, have dinner, and do a little shopping. Neither of us have ever went to have manicure or pedicures done before, and it was a ton of fun. While they did our toes we got a foot massage, tried not to laugh when they were kind of tickling our feet, and talked the whole time. It was so much fun to talk about girl stuff and have each others undivided attention.
After getting french manicures, we went to eat at KFC, Brianna choice, and then went to shop for some clothes. We tried on clothes, laughed, had fun telling middle school secrets, and loved being together. Thank you Brianna for a fun night.


Waiting For Birthdays

This picture of Erika is one I took almost one year ago exactly. It’s hard to believe it has already been that long, but fall is upon us again, and we couldn’t be happier at our house. I LOVE fall. It is my favorite season. I say that about every season, but I think fall is really my favorite. I love the crisp air, the changing leaves, the mild days that the kids love to spend every waking moment outside playing, watching the squirrels from our back window busily hiding their treasures for the winter months, fall decorations, an excuse to eat anything pumpkin, the excitement of upcoming holidays...the list could go on and on.

As a child, fall meant all the excitement of waiting for my upcoming birthday. As soon as the leaves started to hit the ground, I knew that my birthday wasn’t far away. Erika is my fall baby, and loves the season almost as much as I do. She has been counting down the days to her birthday for the last two months and is already planning her birthday party. She looks at the calendar everyday and asks, “What number is it?” to track what day we are on. The other day she came and asked me what day it was and then asked, “What day is my birthday again?” I told her the two and the four. She folded her arms, did a little huffy breath and said, “Hey, why did you change it?” Only one month to go kiddo, hang in there.

Erika blog_edited-2


Bald Heads Smell Delicious

To the surprise of no one I am sure, this post is about something Brooke said. She is my daily dose of spontaneous and random thoughts and comments, all of which are sure to make me laugh. So this weeks quote- Bald heads smell delicious!

While we were waiting in the parent pick up line at Brianna's school last week, we were commenting on how it looked like rain. Brooke noticed that the policeman traffic control attendant was wearing a wide brimmed hat with plastic wrap covering the actual hat to protect it from the rain. Brooke inquisitively asked why he had that on. I assumed she was referring to the plastic cover, and informed her that it was most likely to protect his hat from the rain. She shot back referring to his hat instead, "I bet he has a bald head" We giggled a little, especially when we noticed that he did indeed have a bald head. The conversation moved on to other things for a few minutes, with Brooke in the back seat quietly pondering over life. All of a sudden Brooke takes a deep breath in and says," Bald heads smell delicious!" We were rolling with laughter, all the while trying not to make eye contact with our bald policeman-not that he had heard us, but if we had looked at him we would have been laughing beyond human control. All the way home from school Austin and Brooke were taking turns saying in their funniest southern accent voice, "Bald heads smell delicious!"

The rest of the week that quote conveniently got worked in to as many conversations as we could come up with. At dinner, at the store, during movie night, or anytime there seemed to be a lull in conversation-the appropriate thing to say seemed to be, "Bald heads smell delicious!"
Well, if that wasn't enough, leave it to the Starbuck family to take it to the next level. We are sitting in church on Sunday, and Abby turns to me and says in her loudest three year old voice while pointing to a few others in the congregation, "Look mom, he's bald too. He smells delicious!"
"Shh Abby. It's time to be quiet"
"Look, he's bald too!"
"Abby, whisper it in my ear and don't point"
"He smells delicious!"
I have to admit I felt a little bit irreverent myself as I tried to hold in my laughter.

Then, Wednesday comes and during Activity Days we are filling out fun journaling booklets. In them, there are some questions about their house-what they love best, what it looks like, specific memories about it, ...the way it smells." One of the girls(who shall remain nameless) announced that her house always smells good. I asked if her mom bakes things a lot or something. Then it dawns on me, her dad is somewhat....bald! I start to laugh to myself, and then tell them about the funny quote at our house. "Maybe your house smells good because your dad is bald".
Our kids have reassured Aaron that if he continues to lose more hair, that that's okay, he will at least...smell delicious!


Daddy Daughter Sock Hop

Saturday night was the annual Daddy Daughter dinner at church for all of the Activity Day Girls. This years theme was a 50’s style sock hop. This is Brianna’s last time getting to go to an Activity Days Daddy Daughter dinner because she will be 12 by next years, so she wanted to make this one special. She begged me to make her a poodle skirt for the occasion, and we sewed all week and were able to finish it just in time for the big night.

Aaron holding Brianna blog

At the sock hop that night they had a sloppy joe dinner, various games spread throughout the gym, and lots of dancing. Aaron LOVES swing dancing, so I think he was just as excited as Brianna was to go to the dinner/dance. When Brianna came home she said, “We showed them up with our best moves!”. They would of stayed and danced all night if they would have let them. They also had a bubble gum blowing contest, hula hoop contest, and a fun booth in the corner to get your picture taken like in an old picture booth. They printed the little strip of pictures out for a souvenirs for the girls. Brianna quickly put them in her journal to remember the fun night. With six kids, one on one time with each is a highly anticipated thing at our house, and tonight was no exception. Dancing, talking, and enjoying special time together are priceless memories they will share. Brianna will be the only girl for awhile to have Aaron’s one on one attention at a daddy daughter night. In a few years he will be escorting 3 girls at once to the annual daddy daughter dinner. He better work on his moves to accommodate three dancing girls at once!

                    Aaron and Brianna hugging sock hop blog            Brianna kissing daddy blog

                    Aaron and Brianna dancing tilt blog             Aaron and Brianna sock hop blog

I absolutely loves these pictures of Brianna and Aaron. Brianna is definitely a daddy’s girl. From her curly dark hair and  her love of reading, to her dedication to studying and need to watch a good movie every now and then. They are alike in so many ways-and two loves of my life.

Brianna up close square crop blog

                Brianna in poodle skirt blog             Brianna sock hop blog

I had a lot of fun making Brianna’s skirt, and the best part was watching her enjoy it so much. She wore it all day Saturday waiting for 6 o’clock to finally arrive. She loves the sassy little scarf we made to go with it, and the bling- bling belt to match the sequin leash of the poodle on her skirt. She loved how we did her hair, and told Aaron that it was going to be a surprise, but he would love it.  Aaron loves when she wears her hair down, and she prefers to wear it up. It was a big show of love for her dad to wear it down tonight.

Brianna with glasses blog

Brianna sock hop eyes blog


Scotty’s toothless toothy grin

Scott has the cutest little smile. It makes me giggle every time I see him do it. We get his attention by saying Scotty-Boy…Oh, Scotty-Boy…

Scott at soccer blog

He gets really excited, clenches both fists,  pulls both arms in by his side, and then either sticks out his tongue and smiles a full on top toothless grin…

Scott with tongue out at soccer blog

Scott toothless grin soccer blog

…or pulls up his chin and shows his two bottom teeth. Austin says he looks like a little hamster with just his two sharp bottom teeth. He has one top tooth that is bulging out of his gums ready to make it’s debut any day now.

Until then, here’s to our little hamster grinning boy.

   Scott tooth grin soccer blog

Soccer Opening Day

The soccer fall season has been  well underway for about a month with practices twice a week,  and today is a day that Erika has been looking forward to for awhile. Everyday she looks at the calendar to see if she has an activity that day-usually just ballet or soccer. If it’s soccer she will ask if it’s a practice or the real thing. Her first game was today and it was “the real thing”. It was so fun to watch her run all around chasing after the ball, she’s like the energizer bunny-she just doesn’t stop.

Erika close up soccer picture blog

Her team plays on two small fields with three kids on each field at a time. I love that they do this. It gives the kids a lot more playing time, and at this age that’s so important so they don’t get too bored. If the ball goes out of bounds then one of the coaches just rolls a ball back in. It keeps the game moving and the kids can just focus on dribbling and shooting the ball. At kickoff, Erika saw that one of the other coaches was holding a ball that looked just like hers. Her reaction…

Using Erika's ball blog

..how dare they use my ball. It took her awhile to get focused again, but they as soon as she would run past that coach, she would stop and look at her ball again.

She is a little shy about actually touching the ball, but her coach was great to offer her many opportunities to get it. They tried having her kick off, but them she would just kick it to the person next to her and not want it back. Then he tried to have them kick it to her during the kickoff. Again she wasn’t too interested in that either.

Erika hands on head blog

He finally told her that after kick off she should go down by the net and they would kick the ball to her so she could get a goal. For three kick offs she went down there and waited patiently for the ball.  She would wait for the ball, but when one of her team mates kicked it to her, then she got confused and she would kick it the other way. She was just happy to be out there running around.

 Erika waiting for goal blog         Erika after goal blog

   When the game was over, they all lined up to high five the other team and congratulate them on a job well done. Erika had her official soccer princess stance ready, high fived the other team, ... and then happily ran off to get her after game treat. All in a hard days work. Great Job Erika!

Erika end of game handshake blog