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


Happy 9 Day

Today was a special day according to the calendar world. 9/9/09. All those nines called for a holiday at our house. We are usually up for any reason to celebrate, and a made up holiday of "9 Day" fit just nicely. Erika and Abby helped me fill little treat bags with 9 treats (okay, really 11 treats but we just couldn't resist adding in a few extras. Who doesn't love treats.), and write little notes to put on the bags for all the kids and some of their friends. The note listed nine reasons they were each loved or reasons they were glad they were friends with their friends. After school we surprised them with the treats bags, and had fun passing them out to their friends. Daddy got an extra big bag of Jolly Ranchers (his favorite) with his note. Happy 9 day! Be sure you tell someone you love 9 reasons why you love them!


A Prayer For Sister

A few days ago Erika and Abby were outside playing, when Abby came inside, slammed the door and pouted off across the family room. I had heard some faint arguing from the front porch just minutes before, so her dramatic entrance was not unexpected. I peeked out the front window and saw Erika still sitting on one of the white rocking chairs. Minutes passed and soon Erika walks into the kitchen and with a sad look on her face announces that when she was outside she said a prayer to Jesus that Abby would be nice to her. Abby was right there listening intently, and upon hearing this said, "I am going to go outside and say a prayer too." We all agreed that would be a nice thing to do, and off she went.

Fast forward to today at the kitchen table and Erika is showing me her fingers that had some ant bites on them and have been hurting her very badly. Abby picked right up on this and said that she would go outside to say a prayer for Erika's fingers. She walked out the front door, and I immediately ran to spy on her out the front window. I figured that she would go sit on the rocking chairs on the porch, where I had assumed she had gone the other day to say a prayer.

She passed right by the porch and started walking down the front pathway. I began to wonder if she would simple walk around for a few minutes and then come back inside saying that she had said a prayer. For a three year old that seemed like a likely thing for her to do. Instead, she walks to the very top of the driveway in her white fancy dress and white high heel church shoes, kneels down on the cement, folds her arms, and starts to say a prayer. I could see her lips moving and her eyes looking very concerned (at three having her eyes closed during a prayer isn't a very common occurrence. We're working on it.). It was all I could do to not run and get my camera, but I knew that as soon as I would walk away the moment would be lost.

So instead I just watched her, took a mental picture to always treasure, and said my own little prayer of how grateful I was for sisters that love each other.


Callaway Gardens Balloon Festival

Almost every year since we have moved to Georgia, we have said that we would go to the balloon festival at Callaway Gardens, and every year something inevitably comes up to stop us. This year we finally made it up there to see the balloons on Friday night for their balloon glow. We met up with our friends the Johnsons, and as soon as we got there the kids had fun running races against each other and playing soccer with Aaron in the sand. We walked around looking at the balloons as they were inflating, tried keeping the little ones out of the water, lit sparkles, ate treats, and had fun enjoying each other’s company.

callaway gardens balloon festival 2009

My three little girls

three girls by sand blog

Emily and Brooke building sand castles.

emily and brooke in sand_filtered blog

Our big group of kids minus two babies secured in their strollers. I think getting ten kids to all look at us and look somewhat happy is next to impossible. I’ll just take sitting relatively still and looking in our general direction.

starbuck and johnson kids beach blog

Brianna austin katie on beach blog

Scott in his usual set up-in his stroller. I think almost every trip we have been on in the last six months, I have a picture of him that looks identical to this. This is just his safe place, and until he gets past his sand eating phase, I am sure we will have a few more pictures like this. It’s a good thing that he loves being pushed around in his stroller. He loved looking at the big balloons as they were blowing them up. And there are his two little teeth that are in on the bottom.

scott in stroller balloon callaway blog

The nighttime balloon glow. So, I definitely learned that I need to practice my nighttime shooting skills. These two were the best of what I got. Between trying to fine tune my really slow shutter speeds and keeping the kids from walking in front of our cameras, I consider these a success.balloon glow 2 blog

balloon glow 1 blog

The Johnson’s brought some sparklers, and the kids had fun waving around. Here is Brianna spelling her name. Really fun! Thanks Callaway for another fun time!brianna sparkler blog