September 12, 2014

{Back to School}


It’s that time of the year again.
School started for my kiddos Aug. 20 (Caiden started Aug. 13). A month in and they are doing fantastic!

A senior…a sophomore…a 1st grader…and a preschooler.

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Amanda: I’m a little stressed right now…and anxious, knowing my oldest has only a few more months with me until she heads off to college on her own. Have I done a good enough job preparing her for the real world? What have I missed? She is such a good girl… and is preparing herself well…taking college prep courses, working hard at both school & her job. She’s prepping to take the ACT in Dec. and doing dance again this year. It’s going to be a busy year with ACTs, applying to colleges, senior pictures, graduation prep, etc. She’s ready….way more so than I am  :)


IMG_0622 IMG_0629 And Emilee: This girl has grown so much in the past couple years. Gone are most of the teenage drama days. She is fiercely loyal, loves her family. She is working hard this year to prove that she’s not the same girl from a couple years ago. She’s back to playing softball, which she loves…despite all the politics. She’s still involved in dance…and has added speech & debate to her extracurricular activities. She will be 16 in just a few months and is working on filling out applications to get her first job. I sometimes worry that she’s taking on too  much….but I think she has something to prove to both herself & me that she can do it. And I know she can!

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Kalia: This sweetie surprises me all the time. She started school and it’s like she never left. We worried about not having her attend summer school…worried that she wouldn’t retain what she’d learned. We shouldn’t have worried. She picked up right where she left off and is already adding new skills. Her PT has dropped her back to 1/2 of what she was seeing her for…she’s doing so well. She’s barely behind her regular ed peers in sight words (and I mean BARELY) and is working hard to understand math. Her biggest problem is she just gets so tired by the afternoon that she gets a bit grouchy with her teachers. She may need a built-in rest period again this year.

IMG_0616IMG_0620 IMG_0613 Caiden: This boy…what can I say? He has integrated into this family just seamlessly. After a minor worry about being put on a big bus, he has adjusted to preschool with no problems. He loves seeing his teacher/friends and the 3 hours he’s there is doing wonders for his speech/social skills. He plays with others well, is working hard to learn his colors, knows his name/age and is just a huge joy!

So very blessed with all my kiddos. Can’t wait to see how they grow this year!

August 30, 2014

{The Party}

Well…I did it.

I went & allowed by 18 year old daughter to choose a party she’s been wanting to do for a couple years.


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And…while it was super messy…it was SO MUCH FUN! I think my sister might have had more fun that the kids.

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We hung up canvases to splatter and they had fun doing that. But it quickly turned into using the human body as a canvas. Paint washes off the body very easily, but the hair is another story.

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Caiden had a blast. It took Kalia a bit to get interested, but even she participated for a little while.

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My nieces have already requested one for their next party, though I think that idea was shut down by the parents :)

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After hotdogs & ice cream sundaes, we called it a day. Amanda had  a few friends stay the night and a couple others come over for awhile. They walked to the park &, while playing around, she proceeded to fall off a swing & fracture her nose. Not a great ending to a wonderful party, but it’s definitely one for the memory books :)

August 27, 2014


18 years since this beautiful baby was placed in my arms.



And she’s since grown in to this beautiful young lady.


This girl….my 1st baby…my guinea pig in a way. She makes parenting look easy. I’m so very proud of her. She is going to take this world by storm and I can’t wait to watch her blossom this year.

August 04, 2014



Three already.

And home 4 1/2 months.

And doing FANTASTIC!!!

A few things I don’t want to forget:

  • Favorite foods are bananas, grapes, most meats, yogurt & milk
  • Favorite toys are the play kitchen, popcorn popper toy and playdough. He also loves to color.
  • Favorite Song by far is “The Wheels on the Bus”. He loves the “wah, wah, wah” and “beeping horn” parts!
  • He LOVES music & busts a move all the time
  • He talks to his bears at night before falling asleep (usually in our bed)
  • He whines a lot…it drives us all crazy…we love him anyway :)
  • His vocabulary grows more & more every single day! He still says “min min da” for Amanda, but is starting to say Emilee correctly (now Em-mo-yay instead of mim-mo-yay). His mispronunciations are SO cute!
  • His smile can light up a room


We may have missed his first 2 birthdays but we’ll miss no more! We’ll be having a party in Sept. for him & Kalia…monster themed :)

July 31, 2014


Emilee has decided she wants to get back into softball…and I couldn’t be more excited!

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I love going to the ball fields & watching her play. I love watching her get excited when she wins or makes a good play…and even watching her get frustrated when she messes up…because I know she’s taking it all to heart & learning from it. I love watching her smile and enjoying herself.


This year she played on 2 leagues…the school summer league (the same group of girls she’ll play with when school starts back up) and a summer league through Parks & Rec.


Since I have 2 young kiddos with me, and Dan & Amanda were often at work, I didn’t get many pictures this season. But here are a few.

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As you can see….Caiden & Kalia have no problems entertaining themselves during the games. :)

Oh….and they finished the season in FIRST PLACE!

July 11, 2014

{4th of July}

Another first for Caiden….celebrating the Independence of our great country.

We love China, and we will return one day, but I’m so, so glad that Caiden is a US citizen & able to experience all the freedoms America offers.

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The night before Caiden experienced his first parade. Sadly, parades are not the same as they used to be…now they are more just walking political advertisements :( But he had fun watching & waving his American flag. Then we walked down & watched the free concert.

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The next day we celebrated at my mom’s house for a bit (some swimming, yummy dinner & just relaxing), then headed back home to watch the fireworks.