Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Estes'!!

We miss you sooooo much, 
but we hope you have a 
Merry Christmas 
and a
Happy New Year!

We love you more than you know!! We are giving you BIG hugs in our hearts!


Chloe is waiting for a kiss from you....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Chloe AND Gloria!!!!

Chloe Ruth on her Birth Day

I have waited all day to post a "Happy Birthday" to my one year old, Chloe Ruth, in hopes of including my new niece, Gloria Noelle, who was born this evening!! Yep, they share a birthday! How fun!

Chloe & Pops

My dear little Chloe is no longer an infant, but a TODDLER! How can this be? How are we the parents of a toddler already?! No, she's not yet toddling, but you can bet she will be soon! She won't allow us to help her walk; she wants to learn all on her own. Hmmm... I think she may have a bit of her mother in her. :)  

Aunt Amy & Chloe being silly

My reminiscing of one year ago today was made very real when my sister Kaye called this morning to say she was going to have her baby today! After a hard day of labor, Gloria Noelle entered the world at 18 inches long, weighing 5 lbs 8 oz. How glorious! This photo is from my mom's cell so I'll add more once I get them...

Gloria Noelle Birdsell
(2nd daughter of Scott & Kaye)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lions and Cows

Lately, we've been working with Chloe on recognizing animals and the sounds they make. Now, this is not as easy as it seems. There have been many times when one of us has made a sound for an animal and the other's been like, "That's not what that animal sounds like." :) Hopefully, Chloe doesn't get too screwed up by this. I guess we should just take her to the zoo. 


Anyway, Matt has taught Chloe how to "roar" like a lion. :) My sweet, innocent Chloe crawls around on the floor roaring. She also knows how to "moo". Her favorite book is Moo, Baa, LaLaLa by Sandra Boynton. She picks it up and says "ooooooo" as she hands it to us (or throws it at us, which is usually the case) for us to read to her. She is a little delight to our lives! We laugh so much! 

video

Chloe has reached the point when she is absorbing everything and catching on so quickly. She recently learned to brush her hair, and she also realized what her hair bows are for. She picks it up and presses it to her hair, then lets go. She looks at me like, "Is it pretty?" Chloe knows what to do when I ask her if she is hungry; she goes straight to her chair. She knows what a tree is and says "tee." She knows what a light is and what a dog is which is called a "dee." Everyday she seems to learn something new. It is SO exciting to watch her learn about her world. We feel so privileged to be able to teach her!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Socks

This is what happens when Mommy asks Daddy to put Chloe's socks and shoes on... :) 


I do have to admit that it was quite cute. And it was kind of cold outside... ;) 

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pictures

Chloe and I played with the camera in the backyard the other day. We had lots of fun! She ate dirt and leaves and enjoyed getting dirty! We headed straight for the tub afterwards because she was a mess! :)




Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Princess and the Chicken

Have you ever heard of this story? :) 


One day, there was a little princess who was so unhappy. She could hardly stand how horrible her day had been! On top of that, her mother made her dress up for Halloween! She screams, "This thing is itchy!! Can't anyone understand me?! Hello?"

But Mommy comes, swoops her up, kisses her sweet cheeks and all is forgotten. Yeah, right! All the while, the princess is thinking, "I can't put my arms down! It itches! Get this thing off of me!"


Once she has seen how precious she looks, she finally begins to understand her true calling... (ha! ha! ;)


Meanwhile, the chicken is realizing that in order to steal the attention from the princess, he must be as or more adorable than she is.



Once they are ready, the princess and the chicken go off to trick-or-treat together. Along the way, they meet some friends... 

As the evening comes to an end, the princess and the chicken sit down for a break to go through their spoils.

The chicken retires early, but the princess sneakily stays behind and devours all the candy!

"Oh, no! I've been caught!" she says. Alas, her parents still love her and could not stand to be away from her a moment longer...


THE END.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Where do I begin?

God is so good! He blessed us with another few days to be together! My sisters and I and our babies and Jon and my sweet parents were able to spend one more weekend together (sorry you missed it, Matt and Scott). Just when we thought it'd be years to come...

Thanks to Grammie and Pop and Jon, the four of us girls got to spend several hours shopping on Saturday, helping Sally check things off of her to do list. Of course, she wasn't the only one shopping. I think all four of us scored! It was fun to not have the stress of keeping babies happy the whole time. We each reached into our inner child and got ICEE's from Target (which then made our blood sugar drop to sickly levels; it was actually hard to finish the shopping trip. How on earth do kids do it? Ugh!). I found some cute black sandals, but Sally said I looked like a hooker, so I decided to return them seeing as they were for me to wear to church. Amy found a cute hand bag though...  

... and she was sweet enough to buy me one as well; although, 
I think I'll just use mine as a purse, Amy. :) Aside from shopping, we spent a lot of time in the evenings playing SpeedUno. Sally and Jon taught us to play. I think we all finally got the hang of it by the end of the weekend. There was one incident where I got sprayed with milk from Kaye's mouth, which then resulted in several of us wetting our pants and my dad laughing himself to tears. Who knew Uno could be so darn fun?

Sunday, we spent a few hours with the babies outside and were able to watch them explore this environment. Grace is an adventurer; she has no fear. She will do anything and try anything without a second thought. It is fun to watch her joyful free spirit develop. Kaye & Scott just better watch out because who knows what Grace might attempt with her little sister!


Jude, on the other hand, does not like the grass so it was funny watching him throw the ball and then realize that in order to get it, he'd have to step in the grass. He'd reach as far as he could...














Chloe decided it was safest to stay right on the blanket. In just about every picture, you can see the uncertainty. She is quite the opposite of Grace!
One place Chloe is VERY comfortable is in the bath!! We threw them all in the tub together after playing outside and as Amy said, "Man, Chloe comes alive in the water!" She loves sloshing around and getting wet. I hope she enjoys it as much next summer when we start swim lessons! 
I'd love to post every single one of the pictures I took over the weekend, but I'm afraid it'd get quite boring! You can watch them as a slide show at the end of this post. Even though, all of us have become sick due to our weekend together with colds and sore throats, it was all worth. I love each of you so much! 

Oh yeah! Before I forget, I have to include one very sweet story. On Friday evening, when my dad, or Pop, got home from work, all three of the babies were thrilled to see him! Jude absolutely adores Pop and wanted to be held immediately. Chloe smiled and waived right away and Grace crawled over to join the party. Here is a picture of the sweet moment that I know my dad will NEVER EVER forget. I'm sure he never realized how much he'd love them, or, even more, how much they'd love him...



Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Fun

Our neighborhood mommies organized a day to go to the The Pumpkin Patch out in Medina. It's about an hour away but it is a BEAUTIFUL drive! The day happened to be Columbus Day so Matt was off and we went as a family. We had fun showing Chloe the animals. She kept calling the horse a dog, but considering they had a miniature horse not much bigger than our dog, Lucy, I can understand how she was confused. :) Anyway, our day was filled with a petting zoo, a hay ride, and a picture on a cow.

Chloe is not too sure about this...

Somehow, my head got cut off in most of my pictures with Chloe.


We had fun even though it was hot and muggy. Hopefully, next year, Chloe will enjoy it a bit more too. 

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chloe's figured it out...

Our child is just amazing! I know everyone thinks that about their child, but how can I not say it too? Chloe decided to eat with a spoon tonight!! I had been feeding her some prunes, but she kept grabbing for the spoon, so I just finally gave it to her to see what she would do. She immediately put the spoon end in her mouth. She played with it a bit and then held it out and made a scooping motion with it. I put the prunes in front of her and she dipped her spoon into them, and then put the spoon in her mouth again. It's just amazing how fast babies learn! You can see it for yourself...

video

I must admit, she is such a cutie with those prunes all over her face. She seemed to really enjoy herself!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Family Football



Of course, this weekend is the first weekend of the NFL season so we had to get all dressed up and go watch a game. Not just any game but that of the Denver Broncos (as most of you know, Matt is a HUGE fan, having lived there from birth through the 3rd grade. He has stayed true to his orange and blue). The Broncos, thankfully (very thankfully for those of us who have to live or work with Matt), won by one point with a last second field goal. Chloe got to experience the vast expanse of emotions that her daddy feels AND expresses (rather loudly, I might add). Several times, I caught her looking at him trying to figure out why in the world he was dancing around and waving his arms in the air, screaming at the box mounted on the wall that was filled with colorful people.

Anyway, we had fun as a family. Matt and I have watched many Broncos games and have eaten many wings at sports bars over the years because half the time, the Broncos are not on our local cable stations. It's kind of a tradition for us for football season. Chloe and I, of course, came late and watched the last quarter of the game because there was no way she'd make it through the whole thing, but still, we got to keep up with our tradition. And we plan to keep it up as long as possible. Here are some pictures of us in our Denver Bronco garb.








Aren't I just so adorable in my very own Broncos jersey?! (We had to add the bow because she looked like a boy without it! Sorry, Matt, if she's going to grow up liking football, she's gonna look pretty doing it! :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Family Time

Recently, we took a small vacation with my entire family. All of us got to be together, all husbands, all babies, all sisters and my parents. We spent a few days on a lake. A BIG thank you to the Martins for blessing us with the use of their home. I'm sure that your house serves as the back drop for many vacation pictures on many peoples' refrigerators! Thank you, thank you!!

We played lots of games - Settlers, darts, ping-pong, Catch Phrase, In a Pickle, and card games. We jet-skied and bobbed in the lake. We laid out in the sun, and we ate A LOT of food! We had girl talk time, which after 45 minutes, was interupted every 5 minutes by one of our husbands peeking in the door asking when we'd be done. They just can't live without us. It was still a productive girl talk time. We made a few very important decisions... ; ) It was over all too quickly. I feel like I needed at least one more day.



Matt always teases me because my sisters and I often say, "But it could be the last time!" or "It'll be the last time for a long time!" This time we could truly say it'll be the last time we'll all be together for a LONG time. Lord-willing, Sally and Jon and Jude will be leaving in a few months to move overseas for a few years. Amy's furlough is over at the end of September so she could be off again to travel the world, and of course, Kaye, Scott, Grace and baby Birdie2 live a few states away. Mom and Dad are still rock solid in where they are and Matt, Chloe, and I aren't moving anywhere anytime soon.

It still hurts to know that my very best friends are, or will soon be, the farthest away. I can't even think about it without tearing up. It is not a hurt of someone leaving, but of part of me being torn away. Though a person can make new friends and have very close relationships, it's hard to replace someone who has been in your life from the very beginning, someone you know inside and out, someone you can be honest with and expect honesty in return on a level that you don't often get with even your closest friends. Someone who will expect righteousness from you, not just because it is right but because she knows beyond a doubt that you are capable of it because she has seen you through the course of your life, through your ups and downs and ins and outs, and she has seen you rise and fall and rise again. She is someone who scratches your back and caresses your arms and plays with your hair knowing you need that loving touch without feeling awkward and not expecting it in return because she knows sometimes you just NEED. To have friends whom I can trust and rely on, who will fight for me in prayer and will call me out when I am wrong, to have sisters who will love me unconditionally and will accept my differences because they know their own, who will wait patiently while I try to get my life back in line with the Word, who will encourage, who will cry, who will clean my wounds and shower me with love; to have these in my life... God has revealed Himself to me. I can see Him clearly, WHO He is, because of who my dear sisters are. Thank you, Lord. I can see now why You have blessed me so richly; You want me to know You.

I love you, my family, no matter where you are. My cup overflows...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy 30th Anniversary!



Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!! Thanks for sticking it out and for showing us how it's done!!

Important Conversation


You would think these kids are having the most serious conversation. Gracie is, of course, sharing her opinion as she always does. Let's hear what they have to say...

Grace: I am really considering changing my name to Princess. I think I look like one.
Jude: Yeah, yeah. I can see that.
Chloe: Whatever, Grace.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Somethin' New Everyday

Chloe is coming up with somethin' new everyday to show us. This is a video of one of her newest developments. Along with about 6 more teeth coming in (that makes 10 total), she'll be all grown up before we know it. She is 7 1/2 months now. She loves to cruise along the floor toward every thing that she is NOT supposed to have: shoes, remotes, telephones, plastic bags, dog tails, dog food. But we can hardly get her to go after her own toys; hence, the bait in the clip below.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another New Trick

Friday, July 06, 2007

New tricks

I am so proud of our little girl! She can sit up now for several minutes without us holding her up! We have been practicing sitting everyday, including falling so that she wouldn't be surprised when that happened. I'd clap my hands and say, "Yay!" when she'd tumble over. She can't pull herself up to the sitting position yet but can hold herself up now once we put her there. She seems to like this new perspective on life because she stops fussing if I set her on her bottom. It was all the sudden that this happened too; or maybe it was that, before, I didn't want to let go of her while I helped steady her. It's sad but happy that our little girl is growing up! We do enjoy her company so much though!

Another new trick is her voice. She has started saying, "Bah" & "Blah". She will tell Matt all about her day sometimes when he gets home from work. It's so cool! She adores him so much!

Fun with the Fam

Read the previous post first if you want to read these in order... sorry. ; )

Our second trip was exciting because I was able to introduce Chloe to her Aunt Amy for the first time! All of my sisters, Jon (Sally's husband), all the babies, and my parents stayed at my parents' house. It was busy!!! The ratio of adults to kids was good because at least two people were always available to watch the 3 babies. Chloe did NOT like her cousins though, but I think it's because they are mobile and she is not, so she could not move herself away from their curious hands. Plus, they would just crawl over her if she was in their way. ;) She started this shreeking sound while there; maybe she felt she needed to make herself heard since she was the youngest. The problem was that she'd wake up 4-5 times a night making this noise with her cousin Jude in the next room. Thankfully, he had a sound machine that sounded like a wind storm so I don't think he heard her... although, I dreamt about storms for a few nights. One night I could hear Jude crying through the storm, so of course, I dreamt about a little boy in a storm.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from our visit. I didn't take that many of the kids; I guess 'cause if you weren't holding a baby while they were awake, you were doing something else that needed to get done.


Chloe's saying, "Mom, Gracie touched me!"


Pop & Chloe just hanging out.


Kaye & Chloe


Pop with a handful of unhappy babies!


Kaye with Sally's & Jon's Jude

Catching Up

Chloe and I have done a lot of traveling lately. We were gone for the first and third weeks in June. Matt was a good sport and allowed me to go see a few friends the first week and then go be with my family the third week. Chloe traveled ok; she didn't sleep well which meant, of course, that I did not sleep well. But after we got back from our second trip, she slept for 5 nights straight without waking up and two of the nights, she slept from 8pm until 10am the next morning! She must have been pooped from all the attention she received from my family and her cousins! She had become quite anti-social for a while but by the 7th day with my family, she finally seemed comfortable being around so many people. She is definitely like me in that way; she just needs her down time, her quiet time, away from all the hooplah.

During the first leg of our first trip, we saw Michael, Shanna, & Jonathan. It was our first time to meet baby Jonathan; he is a little cutie!! He is just so cool and laid back; he just goes with the flow. Shanna and I enjoyed sharing mommy stories and advice with each other. Moms never lack having a topic of conversation because you can always revert back to the kids it seems. Here are a few pictures from our time with them...


We actually got to get out and go to the mall!


New little buddies.


Jonathan and Shanna getting ready to go for a walk with us.


This one makes me laugh! It's Jonathan's "suave & sophisticated" face! It's how he'll get all the girls! I saw him trying it on Chloe! ;)

For the second leg of our first trip, we visited Travis & Rebecca and their two (now three) kids. This was more of a trip to introduce them to Chloe and to get some girl time with Rebecca and then to help her clean and such as she hosted her in-laws while she was 8 months pregnant with little Zekariah. Thankfully, she let me help her! We don't get to see them often so it was so wonderful getting to spend time with all of them! And thanks to Travis and his family, Rebecca and I were able to slip away from all the kids a few times and just talk. I didn't get many good pictures, but I have a few.


It looks like Alexia Karis is trying to aim the toy at Chloe to smack her in the head, but don't worry, that's not what she was trying to do. ; )


Alexia Karis enjoyed it some when Chloe was within her reach. She was very sweet with her! She is going to be a great big sister!


Chloe really, really enjoyed hanging out with Travis' grandfather. She was happy just sitting in his lap, playing with his watch.

So that was the first part of June for Chloe and me. We had lots of fun with friends! It's definitely not as easy to do anymore and requires a commitment to your friendships in order to make it work. But Shanna & Rebecca are very dear to me, as are their families. Thanks, girls, for adjusting your schedules to allow us to come!