Friday, December 11, 2009

We're Still Here! looks like I've fallen off the blogging bandwagon. I have. I've been so super busy with everything (I do have 4 kids) that I haven't blogged in a while. I've got plenty to blog about but just no time really. I should be scrubbing the kitchen floor and ironing right now, but I want to sit for a few minutes.

I just had to explain the new header. That picture was taken in an attempt by Matt's parents last Christmas to get a family picture of us in front of the tree. Every year we do this, and every year the picture looks something like this one. I actually did have one halfway good picture, but this one was just too fun to pass up! This is the Stines...what you see is what you get! We're loud, crazy, busy, chaotic...we weren't before we had so many kids. I actually remember having 2 sweet little girls and being a very normal, quiet family like everyone else. Then came #3 and #4. That changed everything!

We haven't taken a Christmas picture yet. Not because I'm a procrastinator (I'm not). I waited forever to get their matching outfits in. I seriously could not find 4 matching outfits for boys and girls sizes 2-6x in any of my favorite boutiques.,..seriously. And I started looking early (like early October). So I ordered on the Internet. I was about to order them when I got an email that they were going to go 50% off for Black I did what any frugal stay-at-home mom who has to buy 4 matching outfits would do...I ordered them right after midnight on Black Friday. Then a week later I got an email saying that Ali Kate's dress wasn't in stock....really?!? Really. After all of the hunting, planning, searching I'd done...and it wasn't in stock. So what do I do? I scoured the internet to find it and called all kinds of places to be sure they had it before I clicked "order" on another site. I found it. Paid full price plus $6 shipping (ouch!). Then I had to wait almost another week to get it. In the meantime, Grant's longall had to be hemmed. A fabulous woman did hem it in 24 hours...we'll be repeat customers of hers!
And in the meantime, I did get the girls all new haircuts so they'd be cute for the pictures...and I cut Grant's hair myself (I'll so have to post about that later). Let's just say that my calling is not to be a stylist. Ever.

So after all of this, I've got 4 matching outfits (which are beautiful I might add) in hand...but 2 of my 4 have the most disgusting snotty noses (and Grant has a big goose egg on his head...which is normal for him...he's all boy and into EVERYTHING). So we've been waiting for a couple of more days for them to look cute again to try to snap that perfect photo and get these cards on their way.

And if we don't get the photo? No problem...we could always send this one!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me Monday

It's that time again. Not Me Monday. Time to join in with women around the world as we admit our imperfections to one another....yay!! Seriously. It's so nice to know that we're all doing the best we can, and we all don't meet the "mark" each and every day.

So what didn't happen to me this last week? Well, let me start with Sunday morning. I didn't wake up at 7:00 for church when I'm supposed to wake up at 6:00 to get this family moving. It takes the full 2 1/2 hours to get us all ready for our day at church. Then I didn't have this happen to me. I most certainly didn't have my next to oldest walk up to me and ask me to get the sticker out of her hair only to find that it wasn't a was bubblegum. Her sweet dad definitely didn't let her have gum the day before without making sure that he got the gum back after her gum-chewing session. Seriously, I make it a habit to ask for gum back when I do let Abby and Isabella have this fun treat. That was I don't find it later in the van, on the floor, or in this case in my child's hair.

Well, I didn't proceed to try to wash it out of her hair and then remember that once my mom used peanut butter to get it out of my own hair when I too slept with bubblegum in my hair. I most certainly didn't holler to my husband to bring the jar of peanut butter to the shower to help (it wasn't coming out so well on its own). I then of course didn't smear loads of peanut butter in her hair and then slide the gum right on out. Aren't you glad you found this entry? You may seriously need to use this home-grown knowledge one day on your own kiddos!! And I did wash her hair 3times after that just to be sure that she didn't smell like a PBJ in Sunday School.

What else didn't happen to me this week? My same child, I think I see a pattern here, didn't steal a Green Apple Airhead at Shoe Carnival. Not my child. We ran in there because I couldn't find a size 13 pair of Keds to save my life for my oldest. Now all Southern girls have white Daphne t-strap Keds in the winter. It's like an unwritten rule. Well, when you get to a size 13, you have to get the laceup kind. Yuck. If you're a Keds representative reading this, please please consider making the Daphne in larger sizes (at least a 2 or 3 please). I digress.

While I was trying on shoes, two of the employees started talking to me...and yes, they were two of my former students from my middle school teacher days. And here they were seniors in high school now...and helping me with my shoe crisis! Well, the one teenager says to me, "That one eating the candy is so cute!" And I didn't reply, "What candy?!?" That's when we unfolded that Isabella had helped herself to an Airhead while I was catching up with my students. While she had stolen (and we had to have a long talk about this and of course actually pay for the already digested airhead), she had at least found a garbage can and thrown away the wrapper so as not to make a mess. I must have trained that backwards...clean up: important....stealing: not so much. I totally joke! Of course, it's the honesty that's most important, and she's young. I don't think she honestly realized that the candy wasn't there for her to just munch on while we shopped. So we had to have a very long explanation about that one!

This week Matt most certainly didn't accidentally put Grant in Ali Kate's white Rosalina shirt. You know, the Sir John ones are for boys and Rosalina for girls. Well, Matt didn't miss the scalloped collar and mistake it for Grant's shirt. Explanation? It was a 2T. Seriously? And he chides me for dressing Grant too "girly"...I may put him in smocked tractor jon jons, but at least I don't put his sister's clothes on him for church!! Honey...when you read this...I love you!!
It really could have happened to any of us!

And this week I didn't take my kids to the bakery for a special "treat" because I wanted one myself. And my linebacker of a 17 month old son most certainly didn't holler "COOKIE!" at the bakery lady until she selected one for him and fed it to him herself....seriously! And the next morning, Grant most certainly didn't say cookie as soon as he got downstairs for breakfast. Not a kid after my own heart. I'd never eat a cookie for breakfast! Not me!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday...Toddlers and Preschool Prep

Join us on the Works for Me Wednesday Blog Carnival hosted by "We Are That Family."

This year we took a big leap when we had to get 3 of our 4 little, tiny kids ready for preschool and Bible study 3 mornings a week. So what works for us? Prep, prep, prep. Now...let me confess that I'm not always as prepared as I am tonight. Yay for me tonight though. Now I can sleep till 6:30 tomorrow morning unless our little guy decides to wake up before the sun does. Seriously. He will.

We're the king and queen of assembly lines here at our house! Matt and I are both of the thought that if we can streamline as much as possible, then life will be easier. And with four kids ages 1, 2, 4, and 5, we're right on this one thing for sure!

Here are the girls' clothes and shoes all laid out already for tomorrow...did I cheat a little this time? Yeah. I went shopping today and got them all matching outfits that they're going to wear tomorrow. So I didn't have to do any real work to pull this together. We've got panties, socks, shoes, outfits, and matching bows ready to go! I really do try to get these things laid out in the kitchen at night so that in the mornings they can get dressed right before breakfast in peace. My morning goal? To enjoy them before I take them to preschool. I want them to be happy and ready for fun!

While this looks like a huge mess, it's actually most of the bags we'll need for tomorrow. We've got 3 lunches, 3 backpacks, 1 diabetes care bag, and 2 nap mats. Nap mats aren't even shown here (they're on the floor). I've already packed their lunches...and take a guess...they're all the same food. Sometimes I'll sneak a small sweet into Isabella or Ali Kate's but otherwise all 3 are the same for my sanity and simplicity. PBJ, PBJ, PBJ. Banana, banana, banana. Cheetos, cheetos, cheetos. There's something nice about doing things exactly the same. Of course I vary it from time to time to make them feel special or give them their individual favorite treats but usually it's the same as their sisters.

And while I didn't do it tonight, last night I actually fixed everyone's breakfast and poured their sippy cups (leaving them in the fridge of course) so that this morning would go smoothly. It's very hard getting all of them out of the house fed, cleaned, and looking cute...and most importantly keeping my testimony intact as I love on them before they start their days...without getting everything done the night before. Pack lunches, fix breakfast, lay out clothes.

Oh, and one more thing....I lay out clothes and shoes from youngest to oldest, left to right to keep things straight. Especially since my 3 girls are almost the same sizes. I do the same when folding their laundry. Left to like a charm!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I've participated once before in this blog carnival, and I thought it'd be fun to do again today while I'm supposed to be printing orders. I'm tired and need a break for a few minutes. Here's are some things that I definitely have NOT done this last week (the theme of this carnival is of course to admit some things that show we're really not perfect...seriously, a mom, not perfect? Don't let the kids know!)...

Right now underneath my stove there is most certainly not a GoGurt tube from a couple of days ago. My husband would NEVER have forgotten to finish this important task of retrieving the gogurt that my little sweet Ali Kate most certainly didn't throw underneath our stove in a fit of rage because it wasn't the right flavor. And of course I most certainly didn't nag him at least 10 times to retrieve the gogurt!!

This morning I most definitely didn't do this: Same kid...she's let's keep that in mind. She did not have a small accident at her big sister's school because she didn't scoot back far enough on the toilet...I most certainly didn't leave my 3 kids in the restroom with strict instructions to not touch anything in site while I definitely DIDN'T run back into big sister's kindergarten class to grab her extra panties in her extra clothes bag that the teacher keeps on hand. The teacher then didn't have a look of horror on her face when I said we had an accident because she of course DID NOT think that it was our 5 year old (rather than the 1, 2, or 4 year olds). Then after cleaning everything and changing into big sister's spare panties...I most certainly didn't let my child wear her dress/leggings set sans leggings the rest of the day (after confirming with her preschool teacher that they weren't going outside today). Not me...never!!

And I did not throw 2 fun size kit kat bars into my purse this morning for breakfast...never would I eat chocolate candy bars for breakfast.

And to top it all off today, I most certainly didn't wait in line forever to buy the cutest Little English overstock smocked dresses for my girls and some other clothes for my handsome little guy. I most certainly don't have a horrible weak spot for smocked clothes at discounted prices, no not me. And I of course have no weakness for chocolate. Or boutiques...not me! And if you're one of my friends reading this and you happen to go to the sale later this week when they've marked things down more, call me while you're there...I'd like a few more pants for Grant...seriously....

As for more things I haven't done this week. I definitely did not have my sweet husband install and then teach me how to use my new diecut machine to make girly die cut letters and invitations. I most certainly didn't have him making swirly vinyl letters...and I'm not now sharing that with the entire Internet. Honey, you are the best!!

For whatever reason...this is fun to admit my shortcomings...I've got my fair share...because too often we take ourselves so seriously and think that everyone else has it all together. Just read some of the other people's entries...none of us is perfect...and it's quite a chuckle to share what we've NOT done lately!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oh, to catch up!

To begin to catch up blogging would be overwhelming to say the least. The last entry on here was right before Abby started I thought it appropriate to add some first day of school pictures at the top. Of course, to blog about everyone's first day will take a while...and one day I should sit down and do it. But not right now.

Since my last entry, we've been swamped!! I've sent Abby off to kindergarten, Isabella off to 4k, and Ali Kate off to preschool. And Grant...well, he's stuck at home with me and loving it! We've not made it but to 2 days of preschool though. Strep, fevers, and stomach viruses ravaged our household for the better part of 5 weeks. I'm not kidding. We'd get sick, get well, get sick, get well. Never the same kid twice in a row. We went through cycle after cycle of getting sick, waiting to be not contagious to go somewhere, then watch someone else get sick. Repeat cycle. And did I mention it rained for weeks on end I think. Seriously. So most of September was spent indoors with sick kids on rainy days. My TV worked overtime! I'm not an advocate of TV viewing for more than maybe 2 hours a week....oh, but we logged at least an hour each day during sick fest 09. I'm ashamed, but it's true. We hit survival mode a few points, and I had to let Olivia or Franklin babysit one kid while I took care of a feverish baby or a throwing up toddler. We even had to say goodbye to a car seat that couldn't be used again after a throwing up incident.

During September, I think we successfully cancelled every bunco, church meeting, girls' night, playdate, you name it. We were just quarantined by choice.

Then as that all finally let up I began to face some serious medical issues which I'll not go into right now....I'm still waiting to get some answers but am very thankful for modern medicine. Without modern medicine I wouldn't be able to sit here and type. My sudden onset of arthritic issues rendered me unable to care for my own children for almost 2 weeks. Matt has been home way too much, and my dad has had to come in and save us. He even took the dynamic duo back with him for a week to relieve me. I'm doing fine now thanks to the meds. If I miss them though, I can't move. Seriously. It's that bad.

Now that we're all finally well...and I'm on the right medications...we're going to have a fabulous October. We've already decorated, and we've been fall clothes shopping lately. We've been doing some crafts too. I'll have to post pictures! And of course playing outside in this nice,cool weather. I absolutely love fall...and the baking that goes with it!

I've got some great stories and more to write soon....just when I'm not so sleepy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

I think I can do it. I really do. I really think that I can put on my big, brave mommy face tomorrow and do it. Or can I?

Just last week I was at Methodist Germantown on Thanksgiving Day delivering the smallest of all my babies. Just last week I cried my eyes out as my oldest daughter announced her arrival into the world with big, loud cries. Just last week I was putting her in her preemie clothes and those newborn Pampers Swaddler diapers. Just last week I was rocking her to sleep every night. Wasn't that just last week?

Somewhere in the midst of me having one baby after another for four solid years, that little baby grew up. And tomorrow, bright and early, that little baby is going off to school. Real school. Big kid school. Not the Mother's Day Out that all of us mommies call "school" for our 3 year olds. No, the big one. With kids that even drive themselves to school. Where those 5 years went, I'll never know. Well...I do know. Most of them went to being pregnant, having a baby, caring for that little baby, being pregnant again, having a baby...there's a pattern there. And during all those cycles, my oldest was growing up. And growing up way too fast! I've known for a while that it's been happening. She can ride a real bike, read an entire book that she's never seen before, brush her own teeth, lay out her own clothes, fix her own meal (if she had too), check her own blood sugar, fold her own laundry, clean up her own room, converse on an almost adult level.

Oh, my mama's heart is breaking tonight. Tomorrow my life will forever be different. Four years ago I finally got the privilege of staying home (when Isabella was born). I have spent all day every day with my children. Now the oldest two did go to preschool two mornings a week this past year...but really that was no preparation for what this year will hold. Tomorrow I join "the club." Those moms that live in their SUVs and minivans. Those moms who somehow remember the names of dozens of kids, moms, siblings, teachers, and others from school, soccer, dance, church, gymnastics, Bible study, the grocery name it. Tomorrow I can't stay in my pajamas if I want or go to the Children's Museum all day or swim with the kids for hours on end.

This afternoon I got a glimpse of "the club." At gymnastics, so many sweet mamas were sharing their stories about their first day. Long carpool lines, crying kids, kids that didn't want them to drive them, mean teachers, sweet teachers....tomorrow I will have my story to share. I will be a school-aged mom. Really? Me? A school-aged mom? My head spins just thinking about it. I have grown so very comfy in my role as a stay-at-home and play mom.

Jean Stockdale has taught us time and time again to begin slowly to release our kids. Our job is to prepare them to leave one day. To prepare them to live as adults. To teach them about the Lord and point them to Him through instruction and example. And this aim will never change. Whether Abby is at home or at school. And so in the morning I'm going to begin to release her. And I am so thankful that the Lord has provided us with the ability to send her to an excellent school with such a fabulous teacher! Her teacher is a fun, spunky lady who genuinely loves the kids and what she does. She loves animal print fabrics, wears the cutest dresses, has her hair in the most stylish cut, and always has her makeup just you know she's got an A+ in my book! And after meeting with her for Abby's diabetes care...I know that Abby is in great hands. Most importantly she's in the Lord's hands.

So it is with a huge mess of emotions that I send my baby (yes, she will always be my baby) off to kindergarten tomorrow. To make new friends and learn new things. And I am so excited for her because this year holds so much promise! She's going to fall in love with school just like I did. And I can't wait to join her in her new stage of life....let's just hope I adjust to my new stage of life quick!

And if you've actually read this far...I ask that you add Abby and her teachers and staff at her school to your prayer list this entire year as they have the very serious and challenging responsibility of managing and controlling her diabetes all day every day. Please also continue to pray that our insurance will cover her continuous blood glucose's being reviewed soon. The Lord knows the need, and I know His hand is on this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

5 Things Friday

Jean Stockdale, one of my all-time favorite teachers of the Word of God, is hosting 5Things Friday over at her blog (you really should go check it out). Today she's asked us to chime in with 5 things we love to do with our kids in the summer. Here's the Stine's five:

1. Eat popsicles in our pajamas, diapers, whatever out on the deck too many times a day (thank goodness for those yummy Crystal Light ones that Abby can devour)

2. Swim, swim, swim whenever we can have an entire morning or afternoon

3. Eat picnic dinners outside on our gigantic picnic blanket (this may have been the best $9.99 I've ever spent)

4. Have impromptu movie night where we take baths in the mid-afternoon, put on our pjs, pop popcorn, and lay with our pillows and blankets in the living room to watch a good movie together

5. Water play...wading pools, the actual sprinkler, slip n slide, you name it...we're there!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Thousand Words Thursday


Country life is for kids. My girls love the open fields, real hanging-from-an-actual-tree tire swings, golf cart rides through blueberry bushes, swimming with their cousins, running barefoot through the dirt, eating dessert twice a day....all the things that we just don't get living in the suburbs of Memphis. This is summer at its best.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh, that Grant man

First of all...I just saw Grant today and realized that he's not all that little anymore. Do you ever look at your "baby" and realize that they're not really a "baby" anymore? Well, he is only 14 months old...but it seems like he's been here forever...and he's a big one. I mean big! Like wearing size 5 diapers and 2T clothes kind of big! But something about his facial expressions and contour is changing from baby to toddler...and Mama's not ready for that!!!! This is our last one (like 99.9% probably our last one)....and I want to keep him a baby forever. And ever. And ever. Only for a little while longer will those fat chunky legs be adorable!

Grant is into everything these days...keeping us on our toes. Today he played in the dishwasher while I cooked dinner. I was trying to keep him occupied so that I could put together a nice meal for everyone before I had to dash into the rain for a church meeting (which I was late for despite leaving with plenty of time to spare). When it rains in Memphis, people forget how to drive, so you need to add like an hour to your drive time. The interstate was a nightmare!

I digress. He entertained himself by putting a Little People girl into the dishwasher several times and then rescuing her. Put her in danger. Rescue her. Put her in danger. Rescue her. This was working very well for him for a while until he decided that he needed to climb up my leg while I was working at the stove. Not the best idea. So brilliant mom that I am...I put him in a walker so that he can roam the house without destroying everything in sight. Wrong!

Grant literally made his way from our living room back to the stove in less than a minute with his walker flying skills. It was insane! The girls never flew around the house in that thing. I don't even use it often...just in times like these when I need a few minutes. How he's gotten this good so fast I don't know. Boys are just different. Very different. I'm in for some surprises I think in the upcoming years for sure!

Maybe tomorrow I'll carve out 10 minutes to upload a picture of my handsome man to go with this post. He is one very handsome little guy for sure! Those blonde curls make your heart melt!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sometimes You Just Give Up

Don't know why...but today was one of those days. The kids were irritable ALL DAY LONG. I should have been a smarter mom and cancelled our afternoon playdate based on the morning's behavior. But I thought a nap would cure everything. I found us this afternoon ruining what could have been such a fun playdate. We invited some friends from church over....friends that Abby and Bella usually love to play with. But my girls were so whiny, irritable, cranky, etc....that they just wouldn't brush it off and play. We wanted to go to the Redbirds game with some friends, but we just had to give them a light dinner and send them off to bed (early, like 7:00 early). Their bedtime is around 8:30....but they just couldn't function any longer.

And I'm really praying that a good night's sleep cures it all! I want this to be a fun week!

On a much better note, we began the process today gathering information on getting Abby a continuous blood glucose monitor. Pray along with us that everything will line up so that we can get her on one of these. I just wanted to do cartwheels when I read about how this technology works. It would be a huge blessing for her to be able to be on one! I'm excited about the possibility of having this extra safeguard in place for her (especially with her going off to school).

Oh, and I also have to praise my dear Matt. This weekend he went crazy and literally kept the washer and dryer going non-stop both Saturday and after church Sunday. Let me say that Matt may in a normal month do 2 loads of laundry if that. So I thought he was losing it! But he really worked hard to help me get ahead at home, and I appreciated it so much!! Much praise to him for doing those 5,092 pieces of laundry (my guess but probably close!!).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Real life pictures

So sometimes I know it's hard to see an image on the screen and translate that to reality. I am horrible at visualizing pieces of furniture or decor in my home until I actually bring it in the house! Pitiful I know. But true!

So I thought I'd take this chance to show a few of my recent orders. I took this picture at night (and I'm not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination)...but you can get a great idea of my finished products by looking at these photos. Enjoy!

And be on the lookout for new fall and holiday designs as they are gradually added to our site!

Oh, how we spent the weekend of the 4th!

Matt and I got a wild hair (well, really Matt did) that we'd shake things up a bit in the Stine house. Ali Kate and Isabella have always shared a room since AK was born. Always. But lately they've been having MAJOR problems sharing a room because (imagine this) they keep each other awake laughing, playing dolls, talking....I mean big, serious offenses here!! (oh, so kidding) Oh, my goodness to be a little girl again. Anyway, it began to take a toll on them as they went week after week with no nap (and a toll on Mommy too who counts on nap time to be her productive time). So Matt suggested we move Abby and Isabella together. And while our new home is much larger than our old one, the kids' bedroooms are still not large enough to spaciously accomodate two preschoolers and all their stuff!

So we made the decision to give up having a playroom. Now I can already hear mamas near and far lamenting this. Oh, no, not the playroom. But kids had one of the best playrooms ever and didn't really actually go play in it all that often. I had visions of me having to scrape them off the playroom floor to come down to dinner once we moved in our house...didn't happen. I sometimes actually begged them to go play in the playroom while I cooked or cleaned. Didn't happen. Only when I was up there engaging them would they play we figured that giving it up wasn't really much of a sacrifice.

So July 3rd and 4th...we painted. Well, first we moved all of their belongings up their the week before (and casually made several playroom toys disappear into toy oblivion). We had to thin out lots of room. So many of our large items found their way into our (gasp here) garage. That's another blog entry for another day.

Anyway, the playroom was still this dark brown (not my favorite but very low on our list of rooms to repaint when we bought the house). So of course we had to change that IMMEDIATELY. We don't keep a house this messy I promise. I took this after we had moved all their stuff into the middle of the room to prep for painting.

And I have always wanted to paint a huge chalkboard wall for them. So here was my chance. My kids are allowed and ENCOURAGED to draw all over the wall. Since they already have shown interest in decorating our walls (see my main entrance hall where Ali Kate used a black Sharpee to draw Mommy a mural. We still can't find the exact shade the previous owners had this house painted after many, many phone calls. Here's Abby testing it out while it was still a work in progress.

After lots of painting during bedtimes, naptimes, and independent playtimes...we got the job finished. It was alot to paint since it was a big room and of course being dark brown meant that the whole thing had to be primed first (that equals painting twice). But we painted it together and knocked it out pretty fast!

And here's what it looked like once we got it all put back together!

Big thanks to Brian and Amanda Williams for giving us the color from Ella's room. We've had a couple of flops with doing an apple green, and I've just given up on apple green. But when I was at their house last, I fell in love with Ella's bedroom color and knew I would use it whenever we redid the girls' rooms. So Ella...thanks! We are loving this color!

And now my next project is to get their room super organized with cute labels on everything and then to paint their monograms above their headboards. And of course figure out what to do with their walls. I'm not 100% decided yet how I'm going to decorate (we eventually need to buy new comforters that match...these are the same color scheme but different I may wait a bit to decorate it all!).

And what do the girls think? They love it! It totally revitalized that space! They play in it tons every day and even let the babies play there too. We set up a grocery store in one area, a dollhouse in another, school in one...they love it!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Before and After

So I would desperately love to show you a "before and after" of me losing 60 pounds! But that's still being worked on....only 10 lost so far. So instead I'll share these pictures that my 5 year old took before I finished mowing the yard and after I finished. Matt has been SO busy lately, so one day a couple of weeks ago I decided that the best way I could show love to him was to mow the yard for him. The kids stood in the shade on this VERY HOT day and ate popsicles while I mowed the front. What should have taken 25 minutes took over an hour since I had to stop and be the popsicle police several times. I also learned how to bag the grass, restart the engine, and add gas.... several phone calls to Matt later I did finish the job.

And afterward, I got out the hose and sprayed it straight upward so that I would be soaked. It was at leat 95 that day. I'm sure the neighbors and passersby thought I was insane, but that water was so so necessary!
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not So Healthy

This morning we had to stay home from church because Grant had some horrible diapers yesterday. We'll leave it at that. We also wanted to avoid the hand-foot-mouth that seems to be plaguing his room at church.

So I had time to actually fix breakfast. Not just a cereal bar or Eggos or bowl of Cheerios....but actually flip some pancakes. (I do cook dinner but rarely cook breakfast!). Anyway, Isabella ate last because she slept in really late (like 8:30...that's what fireworks will do to you!). She ate her pancakes and then brought her cup of chocolate milk (2% mixed with sugar-free chocolate syrup) to me in the other room. She said, "I can't drink this because it's not healthy for me." I very seriously told her that she could put her cup in the sink then if she didn't want to drink that unhealthy stuff. But then I said, "What about the pancakes? They weren't healthy for you." She said, "But I love them. I can eat those!"

Gotta love it!! Four year olds rock!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Little Fish


I just have to thank my friend Kim Ball for recommending Melissa Brown to me! We've been taking swim lessons every day this week, and she has taught Abby so much. Abby can seriously swim across the pool now. She could already swim so-so, but this week has sharpened her skills. She can even drop into the water and then swim to the other side. We had a "show" today where the parents could go back and see what all they've done. I was very impressed at how far Abby had come! Melissa makes the lessons tons of fun (they've done things called pencil drops, monkey climbs, turtle faces...). She's incorporated play, games, and fun activities into teaching them the fundamentals of swim. Abby is going to go back in a couple of weeks to start working on strokes! How awesome!

We'll post more pics soon...Isabella does her lessons in two weeks. She's never taken any lessons before, so I'm eager to see how she'll do!
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lunch Boxes!!! Just in time for school!!

It's hot here, and that means school is around the corner! In only five weeks, my oldest will start school (can you believe that?!?). So we're in back to school mode at Duck Duck Goose Designs, and we've got these adorable metal lunch boxes to celebrate. Each old school metal lunch box is food-safe, lead-free, and ready for you to customize! You can pick any of our designs along with your favorite font to make it uniquely yours. I just opened a lunch box section on our site, and I'll be adding more designs daily (although you can always use any of our designs).
And in the month of July, buy a matching lunch box note with your lunch box for only $4 (usually $8). A great way to stay in touch during the school day with your child!
Hope you enjoy these and our lunch box notes that we'll be posting soon!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cross My heart....pinkie promise

I pinkie promise to rewind soon and journal about some of the latest Stine news. Since May, we've had 5 family birthdays, VBS, camp, swim lessons, a dance recital, Father's Day, Mother's Day....tons! I want to post a few pictures of our zany life! And it's true...when they get older you get busier and busier and busier. Oh, the season of minivan rubber meeting the road is coming in 5 more weeks. For the first time, back to school is going to mean something in this house!!!!

I'm planning now for special "back to school" activities. I have a few ideas...but would love to hear from friends what you do/have read/have dreamed of for making back to school memorable for your child. (So far...Matt is taking the day off so that I can take Abby all by myself to her class....and of course we're having a special outfit made just for her....and we're going to take "first day" pics...and probably have a crazy breakfast (on a special plate I'm thinking)...) But I need some "out of the box" ideas. Anyone game?

She's just plain crazy!

Oh, I just have to stop and thank Isabella for being just plain crazy. The past few weeks she has really mellowed out on her temper tantrums and difficult behavior...and she has been a riot! I believe God put her in this family to keep us guessing and laughing and laid back. When things get too serious, add a little Isabella and all lightens up. More often than not she has us laughing ourselves silly at the dinner table with her silly antics. Tonight she asked for an Oreo for dessert after she heartily finished her meal. I said sure since she'd eaten all of her food. She looked at me so seriously and said, "I'm gonna sneak one." Then she brought the whole pack out to the table. Matt looked at her and said, "I hope you never get a job as an investigator!" Later she whispered to me "There are 2 more Oreos for you and me to sneak later." She was beaming from ear to ear as she whispered it in that no so quiet voice of hers!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Boys and Honey...

Yesterday Abby and Isabella went for a few hours to Rock Star Camp at Stars in Motion (their dance studio). They had a wonderful time of course! They loved it!

In the meantime, I took Ali Kate and Grant to the gym so that I could get some exercise. I worked myself silly! As we were leaving, I was asking Ali how she enjoyed playing at the gym. She says to me very seriously, "I love playing my new friends, but boys are baaaadddd." (She has a very long Southern drawl on that bad.) It was hilarious!

Today I called her to come downstairs, and she said, "I'm coming, honey." When she reached the bottom, I gave her a kiss and hug and said, "Am I your honey? How sweet." She quickly said, "No, you're not my honey. You're my mommy. You're not a bee. A bee is honey." Pretty adept for a new 2 year old!

Oh, Ali Kate says so many hilarious things these days...and I've got to stop forgetting to start remembering to write these things down (ode to Silly Tilly there). (You have to have read the book.)

And Miss Abby herself is actually finally getting excited about kindergarten. She's not been excited about leaving home but is beginning to get cautiously excited about it. I think secretly she's super excited but is guarded about showing her enthusiasm. She told Matt yesterday that she is going to "graduate from naps on August 11th" (the first day of school). I did promise her that...and she won't let me forget it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An exciting day in the blog world!

Today's a big day for the Stine family in the blog world! My shop is featured and having a giveaway at Memories on Clover Lane (I love this blog!! She has 5 kids, so I can identify with her on so many levels. And she takes pictures I only wish I could take!!). Hop on over and check out her beautiful blog!

And....Isabella is the featured kiddo today on Totally Tots. They have kind of an "interview" about her. Isn't she adorable! And now those pretty blue eyes are famous! Well, in the mommy blog world at least! I love this site because it is chock full of millions of creative ideas for toddlers and preschoolers (and since we've had a house full of toddlers and preschoolers since before I can's a favorite source for creative Bible lessons, arts, crafts, etc.) Journey over there to see our adorable Bella (who is actually getting too old to be on this blog....yes, she just turned 4. I can hardly believe it!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Matt!

I want to wish you a Happy Father's Day, honey! Not many dads deserve the thanks that you do. You put in a full schedule at work and then come home to 4 wild kids each and every day. (I think the fact that you come on home is impressive on its own!). You have learned to speak my love language (serve, serve, serve)...and you do so much to help! Not many dads work as hard and as long as you do. You are a wonderful husband and father. Thank you for loving these four kids so much and helping raise them every day. You have a special bond with each of them (still working on that one with Big Al a bit, don't you agree?)...and it's sweet to see your individual relationships with them. Grant is going to have lots of fun learning about "boy stuff" with you (cause his mama would probably keep him from all things dangerous like football till he's 45).

Thank you for helping clean up dinner, pick up toys, read books, sing songs, get ready for birthday parties, go get balloons, bandage boo boos, fix lunches, give me breaks, taxi kiddos to dance, put on leotards and tights, dance on stage with Isabella and Abby, check blood sugar, give way too many shots, take care of the yard, teach them Bible stories, pray over and with and for them, change diapers, take them to the potty, brush teeth, fix bows, roll ball, feed, fix dinner, feed, entertain, and did I mention feed?

It takes some serious stamina, love, patience, and caffeine (or chocolate in my case) to care for our crew! And you, Matt, have been there every step of the way. And every diaper of the way, every spilled juice along the way, every ER visit along the way, every nighttime've done the dad thing for a long time now! Almost six years!

The girls all think you rock! And I'm pretty sure Grant does too with his "da da da" all the time! We love you and want you to have a wonderful, relaxing day. It's all yours, baby! Kick back, put your feet up (but not on the furniture of course...oh, so just kidding in this house...whose feet haven't been on the couch?!?) and just enjoy the kids that call you Dad on this Father's Day.

We love you!

Oh...and the above picture for anyone else reading this...that's Matt dancing on stage at the girls' dance recital in the "Daddy Dance" front of about 250 that's a real man for you! Sweet, honey!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look Who's Featured on Totally Tots!

Hop on over to Totally Tots to see a sweet birthday picture of Isabella. She's the only one turning four in June! I also nominated her to be featured there...maybe she'll be picked soon. My friend Ashley told me about this site, and if you have little ones at have to check it out! It's an awesome resource for all things related to little ones!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

If only I'd had the camera...

then you would have seen ME mowing the back yard today! Yes, that's right! I mowed about 1/3 of our very steep back yard. Matt was getting so tired and sweaty, and he looked like he needed a break. I was out there trimming bushes and cleaning out flowerbeds (I'll share a story about that soon!)...and I'd been dripping sweat (I'm sure you wanted to know that too!). But he looked worse than I I offered to finish the yard. Well, he actually laughed at me when I said it. So of course then it was on! I was going to finish it if it killed me! I did mow all the time when I was a teenager (my mom made me), but I've never mowed once in our married life (sad, I know). I actually wanted to mow rather than be inside with the kids. Yes, today was that rough. 99.9% of the time I'll choose kids over almost anything (especially anything involving yardwork), but we had a very rough day and I needed to sweat my frustrations out! Let's just say that we had a botched attempt at potty training, Ali Kate decided she was really 2, Grant has been crawling and getting into everything and putting it all in his mouth, Abby is "the B word...bored for those of you who are new to my blog", we've had activities like every night, and well...I'm just tired! And why I am blogging at 11 p.m.? Because I'm working on Isabella's stickers for her party favors for Saturday...and I always multi task on the computer!

Need to wrap it up though!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Duck Duck Goose Giveaway

If you're reading this, you need to take a minute and head over to my Duck Duck Goose blog to enter our first giveaway!! Details are on the blog! Good luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Needles upon Needles



I was cleaning out underneath our kitchen sink the other day and took these pictures. Upon first glance, it looks like we're stockpiling formula for a major disaster. Grant would be full for days with this much formula on hand. However, open the lids and the picture changes quite a bit. These three Similac containers are full of used syringes. Each container has dozens of used syringes that I used to inject insulin into my child. Each needle there has actually pierced my baby's skin. I usually throw each container away once it's full. For some reason I didn't...and accumulated three of these. It almost took my breath away to see this harsh visual picture of what I do to keep my baby alive every day. Harsh reality.

While my other three kids have no medical issues at all, Abby takes several daily injections to stay alive. Those words are hard to type. Hard to read. Hard to swallow. Every once in a while it hits me hard. The day I cleaned out the cabinet was one of those. There were probably 200 needles under my kitchen sink that day. That's alot of shots. Alot of injections. Alot of pain.

I do pray that a cure will be found in Abby's lifetime. She deserves it.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Kid Talk

So Anna Claire spent the night Saturday night (I gotta blog about Saturday sometime soon), and she and Abby had the funniest conversation on the way to church Sunday. It went something like this:

Abby: I can count backwards from 10.
Anna Claire: I can count backwards from 13. 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Abby: I know what 5 plus 5 plus 5 plus 5 is.
Anna Claire: How much?
Abby: 18
Anna Claire: How did you know how to do that?
Abby: Because I know how to do stuff like adults. That's how I know it's 18.

Matt and I were about to crack up laughing as they kept doing their version of adult math!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

If you live near Memphis....

then you have to order a cake from Too Much Designs! Shelly made both Grant's birthday cake and my birthday cake, and they were delicious. You'll notice next time you see me that I ate a bit too much of both! She did Isabella's cake last year, and it was both adorable and delicious. And did I mention very well-priced? My in-laws ate two slices each (a first for them at any of our parties). And I ate, well, a bunch! I can't say enough about how very cute her designs are and how very moist and perfect her cakes taste! And yes, she'll be doing one more in a couple of weeks for Isabella's birthday. Then I'll be hitting the gym hard to work off all those cakes! She has a website at www.toomuch that's worth checking out for sure!

Oh, and she was too sweet to make Grant an extra little cake for himself since she had enough batter left! Too sweet!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slip N Slide Time


Pawpaw and Granny came for Grant's birthday (which I'll have to blog about later). He was miserably sick from about 1:30on...not a very good first birthday. Anyway, they bought the girls a Slip N Slide (oh, I have a good story from my own childhood to share about my fear of these things). Well, it took quite a bit of work to get them to use it. Abby was scared of it. Ali Kate was too happy playing in their wading pool. Isabella didn't "get" how to get a running start to dive into it. So we pulled her along with those pool noodles. She loved it, and we got soaked! Well, Pawpaw and I did anyway. After lots of water play, we all cooled off with these frozen ice pops. Matt and Pawpaw got a little wet with all these slippery girls!
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This is pitiful


My family absolutely LOVES these all-natural Cheetos (which I inadvertently called organic for like 6 months before my dear husband finally graciously corrected me). Anyway, they haven't had them for like 3 weeks at Kroger much to our disappointment. So Monday when the grocery guy asked me if I was finding everything ok, I actually asked him to help me find them. They've always been on a certain endcap, and I grab a bag each week (despite their crazy price of $'s one of our few grocery splurges...and well worth it). They were replaced with Doritos (who really cares about Doritos when you could have these?!?). I had searched the chip aisle to no avail. But the guy found the Frito-Lay Rep who was stocking the shelves. He kindly told me that he had some on his truck and that he hadn't been putting them in Kroger because they didn't leave a space for them. I told him that we LOVED them...and so he said that he'd clear off some of those Doritos and make us a space for our white Cheetos. What a sweet man! Matt laughed at me when I told him what I'd done. Abby asked if the shelf would have our name on it. Not quite, I told her. But I will be glad to be able to keep buying them. For all you Desoto County Kroger shoppers, you're welcome! And if you've never tried these, buy a bag today! They're yummy!
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How to Stave Off Summer Boredom!


Step 1: Gather your cutting tools and scrapbook paper to cut two circles.
Be sure to choose cute colors!


Step 2: Adhere the two circles. Choose any letters to spell "idea jar."
Also go ahead and write all of your fun ideas on strips of paper to go into the jar. Ours included read a book, play Leapster, pretend to camp, swing, paint, dress-up, and more!


Step 3: Adhere the labels to the jar and adorn with a coordinating ribbon. (Abby chose everything for this project...papers, letters, and ribbon). I think she has a great eye for colors!

Abby and Isabella finished preschool for the year two weeks ago (May 13th). I am SO behind on blogging for sure! We had a week of stomach virus in our house, and then we had party week with Grant's birthday, Mother's Day, and my birthday....and we launched Duck Duck Goose Designs. We've been a little busy to say the least! So I have lots I gotta blog about.

Anyway, oh it took only about 2 days before Abby was wandering the house saying, "I'm bored." Now mind you she only went to preschool on Mondays and Wednesdays, so it's not like she's not used to being with us. But I do have to say in her defense that I too would probably be bored with a house full of babies and toddlers. As the mom, however, I can't hear this the next 3 months. So I made her promise that she wouldn't use the B word (bored) at all all summer. Well, it only took 48 hours before she started saying, "Mom, I'm that word I'm not supposed to say all summer." What a little genius! So the idea jar was born!

After rattling off a list of things she could do and have fun doing, I got the bright idea (pun totally intended) to make the idea jar. Off we dashed to my scrapbook closet to get some cute papers. First, we cut two circles with my cutting tool (I love this thing!). Then we adhered those together and chose some fun stickers from my leftover sticker letters (great way to use those up!). Abby listed off fun things to do (with my help), and I wrote them on slips of paper. She can pretty much read almost anything now, so I knew she could read these when she pulled them out of the jar. We then stuck this on a Mason jar that we'd gotten full of Krystal's yummy Christmas treats (of course it had been scrubbed of all sugary remnants). Then we added a sweet bow...and wow! An idea jar!

Yesterday she actually used this to my delight. She had that look on her face (and we'd already read books, eaten breakfast, done a memory verse, played school, learned how to count money, eaten snack, and played independently...and it was only 11 a.m...and she was already the B word). On her own, she goes, "Oh, I have to go check my idea jar." She read her slip "pretend to camp" and off the girls went to set up a pretend camp in Isabella and Ali Kate's room. That turned into a solid hour of imaginative play. Go, idea jar!
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh, I'm getting old

So it's beginning to settle in with me. I'm aging. I had a friend from college send me a friend request on Facebook (which I rarely even use), and I realized that it's been 12 years since we were roommates. 12 years! Back in 1997, and now we're in 2009! To top it off, let me list some other aging factors.

Last night we celebrated with Abby at her preschool graduation. She begins kindergarten this fall. Am I seriously old enough to have a kindergarten child? That's wild! Did I not just have her a little while ago? My days at home with her have been far too few. Oh, my heart already breaks for when she leaves. And it's only half day kindergarten. But I love being home with her!

Another aging tidbit...Grant turns one this week! Yes, one. Now I seriously did just deliver him. Was it already a year ago this week that I was on bedrest and could barely walk across the house without unbearable pain? Was it already a year ago that we brought that new little baby home to his 3 big sisters? Oh, it flew by!

And the big topper? I turn 30 two weeks from TODAY. 30! I used to babysit for people who were in their 30s (who are now in their late 40s). Can I now be one of them? Did I make that transition that fast? I will no longer even really qualify for the Young Married stuff at our church (which is fine since many are even up to 40)...but still...I'm an old married now!

Don't know why I'm having this moment, but I am. So indulge me a little as I soak up the fact that I'm aging....and quickly! Oh, I may gain 5 pounds this month from chocolate alone if I dwell too long on this one!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Camp Notes

This was part of my art fun today while the kids were napping. I told you Matt did the laundry today...I love him for that! Usually I go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons, but that didn't happen today. I got lost in art world...and had fun designing this!

The top one is a fill-in note for the little camper to send to friends and family while away. The bottom one actually comes blank so that Mom and Dad can write their little camper a note to open each night at camp. (I just filled in my own text for fun!). What a great way to stay in touch with campers while they are away from home!

The Perfect Mother's Day

Today has been an absolutely wonderful day! I woke before the kids and grabbed a shower. While I was brushing my teeth, Abby ran into the bathroom shouting, "Happy Mother's Day," and she gave me a huge hug. She was so sweet. I said to her, "I can't believe you remembered." Then she said, "I remembered because I love you so much." Talk about making you melt.

Then when I went to get Ali Kate out of her crib, she too gave me a huge kiss and said, "Happy Mother's Day." I don't know how she remembered because Matt was at the grocery store (not home to prod her along). She was too sweet for words. Isabella didn't have a clue it was Mother's Day for at least another half hour...she had a time waking up today!

Matt arrived with donuts (a twice a year at best treat) for us. Luckily, Abby was 85when she woke up, so she was able to indulge in a sweet treat with a little extra insulin in her morning dose. Anyway, as soon as I threw on some comfy clothes, we all headed upstairs to open gifts. The girls couldn't wait a second longer to give me my gifts. Why upstairs? They were hidden in the attic...yes, Matt knows I'm a snoop at the holidays!

As I closed my eyes, the girls brought me their gifts one at a time. Matt had taken them to Mud Monkey Pottery to make individual pieces of pottery for me. Each made a plate...totally their own. Matt said he let them walk in the store, choose their pieces, their paints, their designs...everything. They did fabulous jobs. I'll take pictures this week and post them. Grant did his footprints on a piece.

And yay...I got my mommy bracelet replaced! The thieves stole all my jewelry in October, and I've missed wearing my mommy bracelet. You rarely saw me without it. Well, I got a new one (and with a fourth strand for Grant). This bracelet is now HUGE with four strands. If we ever had another child, we'd have to find a new mommy kind of jewelry. This bracelet would be too big to wear!

Anyway, we took our time just being together and eating our sweet breakfast...and we didn't rush to church. We hated to miss Bible Fellowship, but we treasured our sweet morning as a family. Then we had a wonderful morning at church, and we came home to a simple lunch. The girls napped while MATT DID HOUSEWORK for me (yes, he did like 4 loads of laundry...go Matt!). That was part of my Mother's Day gift...he did the housework, diapers, insulin, baths, etc. today. I crafted...I painted some pictures and made Abby's teacher the most adorable frame. Art relaxes me so much...and I really enjoyed my relaxed afternoon. We played with the kids all afternoon and night...just hanging out as a family. No big fancy meals or big plans...just hanging out and enjoying one another. It was fabulous! Matt really made this a wonderful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mommy Memo Pads


While I'm on a roll posting my newest Duck Duck Goose products, I thought I'd post a picture of our new mommy pads. Recognize those kiddos? I had so much fun designing this and playing with my new memo pad maker. I was really excited about my new machinery. Abby helped me assemble this, and she was really into it too. She is so interested in all of this designing process.
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Another Duck Duck Goose Tee


This one is a birthday gift for Hannah who had to cancel her party because she's sick. What a yucky situation. I know that would be hard to deal with for sure. We'll get it to her when she's all well. This looks just like her...for anyone who knows her...don't you agree? These faces I orginially designed for memo pads and then thought they'd be perfect for these tees. So here they are on tees. I can do any bow color, hair color, hair length, skin color, etc. I think the girls are going to have to have one of these this summer!
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Duck Duck Goose Tees!


So Matt and I are still trying to get our website complete so that we can launch my line of stationery, invitations, and gifts...well....we're going to offer these adorable tees in our gift line. I am so excited about these. I made these for Abby and Grant and was so pleased that I have made tons of them this week! I have listed several in at Etsy shop. You can find me on Etsy at I wanted to use duckduckgoosedesigns, but it was already taken. I think I've got 12 or 13 on there...with more designs to come. I love designing this stuff! Don't the kids look cute in theirs? This turned out to be the perfect solution for a top to match those super adorable capris that Abby's wearing. I bought those at the FBC sale last month and needed a top to I made one! She loves it...and well, Grant, he couldn't care less of course. But he is handsome in it!
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Jesus, dogs, and hearts

So we had a long morning of running errands...which I usually try to avoid. But we just had to today. The kids thankfully were very well-behaved everywhere we went. Thanks, kids! As we were driving home, Isabella started asking me about's how the conversation went:

Isabella: "Mom, do dogs have hearts?"
Me: "Yes, they do have hearts."
Isabella: "Do they have Jesus or Satan in their hearts?"
Me: "They don't have either in their hearts."
Isabella: "Do they have Jesus in their hearts?"
Me: "No, they only have blood in their hearts."
Isabella: "Blood in their hearts?"
Me: "Yes, we all have blood in our hearts."
Isabella: "I don't have blood in my heart."
Me: "Yes, you do."

And thus began a long conversation about anatomy, heart functioning, blood sugar checks, pancreases, etc. The kids were absolutely fascinated to know that dogs don't have Jesus in their hearts and that we all have blood in our bodies. The things you didn't realize that they didn't know. You never know when you pass a minivan on the road what might be being discussed in that vehicle. Especially if you happen to be passing ours!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

So this tiny talk actually comes from my oldest. Abby was eating lunch today and said to me, "Mom, I was smaller in dance class today. Usually I'm much bigger."

So I asked, "How did you get smaller?"

She said, "I think it's those vegetables. That healthy stuff from yesterday did it."

I about laughed out loud. She was as "serious as a bee" (as she oftentimes says).

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Got Sticky!


Today Ali Kate and I indulged in an Oreo dessert at lunch while the girls were away at preschool (we have a tendency to treat ourselves sometimes while they are away). Anyway, I let her have one oreo for dessert with her lunch, and this is what she looked like! She lifted her hands to me and said, "I got sticky." So I said, "I'll help you after I finish feeding Grant." She then screams, "You gotta clean it. I got sticky. It's yuck!" So we had to pause a minute and disinfect her, oops I mean wipe her down, before I finished feeding Grant. How one child can make this much mess with one cookie is totally beyond me. But leave it up to Ali Kate to make a gigantic mess out of nothing. She's the best at that!
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Those Eyes!


Have you seen a sweeter baby?
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The Woes of Diabetes


This was supposed to be a great picture of my little ones in their matching Easter outfits to send to my mom (who graciously bought these for the kids). We snapped a few photos on our way into church (lest we get paint or marker on our outfits during SS), but none were good. So after church we went back to the courtyard to try again. My rule? We only try for a few minutes....we get what we get. I never want my kids to feel like I'm being OCD or crazy about getting the perfect picture, so we are very laid back and only try for a few minutes. (That may be why I don't have any great photos of all 4 together....but getting four little kids to all look in your direction at once is asking ALOT!). Anyway, we went to take photos, and Abby just lost it. She started being rude to us and refusing to take any photos at all. Well, I was not pleased because these were to be a gift to my mom. So I told her to just smile for a minute and we'd be done. She instead stormed off and hid behind these bushes. She just started balling. A quick sugar check showed us that her being rude wasn't was a dangerously low blood sugar that she hadn't detected. After some juice, she was a jovial, upbeat kid again (of course we were halfway home by that time). So we'll be wearing our Easter clothes another Sunday and attempting to get a good family picture. Poor Abs. She's a trooper for sure!
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