wrapping up 2016.

Well, another year has come and gone! And all too quickly, like usual! 2016 brought us many blessings and good memories. So much to be grateful for! I am especially grateful that my family is healthy and safe. Here are some memories to wrap up the year: ^^the epic election that I won’t even go into: Donald Trump is elected President of the United States.

Family photos. We don’t get formal photos taken every year; just every few years. We are lucky to have gotten a few shots. Emmett only cooperated for the first 10 minutes. After that, he was running around, wouldn’t stay still, only made silly faces, or wouldn’t look into the camera. Sigh…   ^^Emmett kept making Ethnie laugh. ^^Emmett is holding a cherry in this picture. I didn’t notice it until I was ordering our Christmas cards.^^this was the very first shot of the session. Emmett was calm and willing to work with us.^^Ethnie had a great time subbing her friend’s paper route over Thanksgiving. She hopes to have her own route this spring.^^Ethnie and I delivered Thanksgiving meals for some local families in need. She had a lot of fun coming with me! 🙂^^we usually decorate the tree the first week in December. Emmett is so proud of himself when he hangs ornaments on the tree. Then when he goes to bed I rehang them in better spots. 🙂^^cookie decorating! even the frosting is an ugly color. 😉Christmas up north the weekend before^^Matt and I in our matching couples’ sweatshirts 🙂
We went and saw Santa and the YMCA. Of course, I waited until the last possible day to see him in Rochester. This was our only option. All of the other places that had a Santa were done. It was nice though; there was hardly anyone there so the kids could take their time. ^^I know this was Ethnie’s last year asking Santa for gifts. It’s bittersweet for me. She asked for star wars stuff. She has crossed over to the dark side. I want my girl back!^^Emmett would not sit on Santa’s lap this year. It took him 30+ minutes just to get comfortable enough to sit next to him. Ethnie told Santa what Emmett wanted. He asked for cars, trucks, and trains. Before we left, Emmett gave him a fist bump.^^Christmas morning. Santa brought the kids what they asked for! 🙂

We always get to end the year celebrating Ethnie’s birthday. Yes, it can be stressful planning and fitting everything in; being it’s just five days after Christmas. I’ve asked her if she would rather have a half birthday party in the summer, but she keeps saying no. I can understand wanting to celebrate on her actual birthday.Ethnie had her two new friends from school, Ashley and Ella, over for a sleepover. We also went swimming in the waterpark at the YMCA. The girls were so great about including Emmett in everything they did. Ashley was giving him rides around the pool and I’m pretty sure he has a crush on her now. 🙂Of course, there was a Star Wars theme. after cake and presents, Matt took the girls to Rogue One.Some facts about our big 11-year-old:

  • she has a big heart wants you to be pleased with her. always.
  • she is sensitive, but understanding and very forgiving
  • she is kind to everyone
  • she is a fantastic big sister
  • she wants to make good choices and never forgets to say her prayers
  • she is easy to get along with and can make instant friends
  • she is very imaginative and creative
  • she is showing signs/interests of a teen, but doesn’t want to let go of being a little girl yet

Happy Birthday, lovely girl! We love you SO much!

We are excited and eager to see what 2017 has in store for us. 🙂

sibling love.

I didn’t get on the national-sibling-day bandwagon yesterday (sorry Steve). I can’t keep up with all of these mini holidays, especially on social media. There are so many of them. Isn’t national donut day coming up? I always get excited … Continue reading

my baby is 10! wait, what?

Ethnie’s birthday always creeps up on us so fast and this year was no exception. Her birthday is on December 30th so we are hardly recovered from Christmas before we are flipping the house from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to “Happy Birthday.” Yikes. Honestly, it can be exhausting and I always feel bad that her day always has to get “squeezed” into the chaos. She ends up opening birthday gifts from others on Christmas day or all of her gifts are wrapped in left-over Christmas paper. Hmph. I should be grateful though; her due date was actually Christmas day…

I’ve been trying really hard the last couple of years to make Ethnie’s birthday feel like a separate event and all about her. I believe that is important. Even though it’s a crazy time of year, a lot of her friends are usually able to make it to her birthday party.

   ^^just a couple of minutes old!
^^10 years later  🙂

This year was a bit different from birthdays past. We decided instead of having a party with her friends, she could choose an activity to do with family. She narrowed it down to either going to the trampoline park or seeing the new Star Wars. Matt and I were very hesitant about letting her go to that movie because it is rated PG-13 and we are pretty strict about what we let our children watch. But, after much research and asking other parents about what their kids thought of it, we decided to let her go. It was her first PG-13 movie and she loved it. Matt took her, while Emmett and I waited for their return so we could have cake and open presents.

Ethnie has been obsessed with Star Wars ever since the new movie trailer came out. I have never been a big fan of the movies; I think it’s because I didn’t grow up watching them, unlike Matt and his family. They are huge Star Wars nerds (did I say nerds? I mean fans) and have managed to corrupt our kids. Emmett naturally follows what Ethnie wants. Matt showed Ethnie the old Star Wars movies and she fell in love instantly. It’s all she wanted for Christmas. She even went as far as asking for a Star Wars cake and decorations for her birthday. Now she knows much more about Star Wars than I ever will. If I can’t beat them should I join them? I’ll have to think about that one.
happy birthday to you!!      opening gifts  mostly Star Wars gifts
  new clothes 🙂

   ^^one of her gifts was a pom-pom pet kit, where you can make tiny animals out of pom-pom balls. super cute!


I am truly blown away by how grown up you have become. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago when I got to hold you for the first time. I will always remember how happy I was when I first saw you. You are beautiful inside and out. You have grown into the best big sister your brother could have. You are kind, patient, understanding, honest, and lovely. I am so proud of you and am lucky to be able to call you my daughter.

love-   mom