Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, my dear Hannah!

It's been 3 years since the day you entered my life, and I have loved every moment of getting to know you, this beautiful person whom God created with such a rich, funny and caring personality. It amazes me to know all of YOU is bundled up in the little body of a 3 year old because you have a great big personality.

You constantly make us laugh, like the other day when Daddy had shaved his legs for his race and you said so sweetly as you caressed his soft skin, "Daddy, you are so beautiful." :) And then, when we took you to the zoo the day Chloe started preschool and all you wanted to see were the "Mangos" and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. And how you ask us over and over and over if we know what happened to Daniel and the Lions' Stand. Once recently, you saw me banging the ground with a garden tool trying to uproot a weed and you asked, "Mama? You spankin' dem ants?" You are so so so funny and you are so ready to laugh almost all of the time.

You are also very smart. You pick up on everything... when you choose to listen. A lot of times, you tune the world out and it's difficult not to get mad at you. I know you are not intentionally ignoring me but really absorbed into what you are doing in the moment. I wish I could see all the thoughts racing in your head in those moments. You've learned all of your ABC's but still get some of their sounds confused. And you know how to count to 18. You try so hard to know what Chloe knows, and when you don't, you are a good student for your big sister who teaches you with such patience. Not only does she teach you numbers and letters, but she teaches you how to do things and also about God and how He takes care of you. You remind us, but yourself even more, that He is always us and is watching over us. You do this especially when you are going somewhere where I will have to leave you, such as Sunday School or Gym class.

You are a little bit of a daredevil. You had staples in the back of your head this past year after you fell off the couch and hit your head on the coffee table. Though it happened 3 months ago, you still talk about it quite often. I think you loved that Daddy took you to the doctor then because you always mention it as if it were a special date. :) You still jump on the couch though... You also got on your bike and headed down the steep hill next to our house. You don't yet know how to use your breaks, and if the Lord had not brought a special person (who does not even live here!) to catch you at the bottom of the hill, we would probably still be dealing with the repercussions of that incident. The Lord proved to me that day that He has His hand on you and sees you.

Hannah, your sensitivity and caring spirit amaze me constantly. You exhibit such gentleness sometimes. You care for bugs so tenderly. Once I caught you closely watching an ant crawl up your arm. This is so drastically different than your sister. You just wanted to watch him and see him up close. You love animals just as much, but you are a little more timid around them because they are bigger. You are also so sweet and caring towards someone who is hurting or who is sick. You don't forget to check on them and ask how they are feeling without being prompted. You are very good at caring about others and not only having eyes for your own little world.

You and Chloe are so sweet together. I think you two are as close as you could be without being twins. Your daddy and I wanted for y'all to have this relationship and we foster it and encourage it because we know it will be so important through out life. Y'all have so much fun together and love each other well. You allow Chloe to have her way many times but you do it in a way as to not let her run all over you. So many of your qualities just amaze me because they seem far beyond your years.

I pray for you constantly, sweet Hannah, that the Lord would use these qualities to bring glory to Himself and that you would love Him so intimately. May the next year of growth and maturity be exciting for you as you spend less time with Chloe and find more of yourself. I am excited to continue to get to know you. I love you, little one!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kentucky in April

This is a LO-O-O-ONG overdue post that is very LO-O-O-ONG. In April, we took a road trip to my sister's house in KY for a week of vacation and for Easter. We had such a great time! It was very hard to leave, but we were glad that we weren't all tired of each other by the end of the 6 days. :)

The very first night, we ended up all sleeping on the floor of the basement together for the last half of the night because the tornado sirens went off. We carried all the kids down first after waking them from deep sleep. Then, between sirens, Matt and Jon ran up two flights of stairs to get blankets and pillows and flash lights and water. They even hauled the air mattress that Matt and I were sleeping on. After getting all settled, around 3 am, we hear a hisssssssssssing and realize that our air mattress has a hole in it! Once again, we get up and rearrange ourselves and finally get a little sleep before the kids are up in the morning.

Most evenings, we herded the kids to bed and the adults (and Josh) played games. Since my sister's and my birthdays had just occurred, Matt had a spectacular idea of getting a cake for us to celebrate. He decided we needed a double-doozy cookie cake from Great American Cookie Company. I think the kids got one piece each the whole week and we adults (he-hem... Matt) ate the rest. It was super delicious! And a great way to end each day!

We introduced Joshua to his boy cousins; Jude and Brennan were very sweet with him...

Tough stuff

Josh: "Ohhhh, so that's how you look super cool!"

We played at a park that had an awesome dog park and a community vegetable garden where you could plant your own section and tend it and reap from it. Very cool! And because it rains A LOT there, the gardens do very well. Everything was so beautiful, lush and green! Of course, the cool weather was a plus also!

My BIL, Jon, was able to be off for most of our time there, so we took advantage and drove to a forest to hike. We didn't do much hiking but it was still fun and the kids were still worn out.
Jon gets these ideas in his head; i think he and his boys are half animal...

Jude: "My turn, Dad?"

Can you spot the monkey in the tree?

Not sure what they're doing...

"Crouching tiger"

My Sista, Sally and her husband, Jon and boys, Jude & Brennan. I just love 'em so much! Sally is an inspiration to me as a wife, mom, friend, sister, person in general!! It says a lot that I look up to her since she is my youngest sister!

Sal & Brennan

... & Jude
This boy cracks me up! He's posing! Ha!

Goofy kids!

...more tough stuff

There's 4 years between us, almost to the day. I loved growing up with her. It's fun because there is just about the same difference in years between us as there is between Chloe and Josh. I remember trying to make her laugh as a baby; I remember just adoring her! She was a real life baby to play with! :) Now, she is one of my best friends.

Like I said, it rains A LOT in KY. We spent one morning at an indoor inflatable play-land. It's hard to get good pictures of people moving so there are aren't many.


This is the best picture of the four of them.
Hannah is imitating Sally, who was trying to get everyone to look up. :)

Sweet brothers :)

Sweet Sisters :)

Jude & Brennan: "Are you sure this is going to work??"
I think Josh loves getting his picture taken as much as I do. I thought about doing this very thing in the family pictures we had to take.

The older boys were willing to give it a try and it mostly worked!

Easter egg hunting inside because of the rain...

Doing Resurrection Eggs with the kids.
I was very proud of them for not tearing into their eggs right away.
Except for Hannah... I think she opened and ate about 6 eggs before I realized what she was doing quietly over there. :)

Thank you, Estes family, for having us in your home for so long, for giving up beds and bathrooms and for involving us in your lives for a week! We all love all of you!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Happenings in Tromboville

I just wanted to add some pictures of the last few months... ones that I love and wanted to share with you.

The Warrior Dash

Matt & I have decided to do 10 things together that we've never done together before in honor of our 10 year anniversary in June. We can't really go anywhere because of Josh, so this is a fun way to make up for it. We did the Warrior Dash In March, which is an obstacle course 5K. Many people dress up for it; we went as Mr. & Mrs. T. We put quotes on the backs of our shirts from The Mr. T.
I was only 2 months post partum so I felt a bit sluggish going around that course, but it was a lot of fun and we got COVERED in mud from head to toe. Afterwards, we cleaned off in a lake and then went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory. Thanks to my parents for keeping our kids (I first wrote "girls" but that doesn't apply anymore!).

I got a lot of comments on my beard. I kept wondering why people were staring at me and then, I'd remember. :)

Look at those beautiful eyes! It's no wonder I still get wobbly in the knees. ;)

Mary's shirt: "I pity the fool that goes home cryin' to his Mama."
Matt's shirt: "What's my prediction? PAIN!"

Yes, the Viking hats come with the race.


Hannah Banana loves to get in the dirt and mud, even in her pretty dresses and ballet clothes.


Fishing at Grammie's & Pops' pond

What they caught fishing... Just kidding! It was pretty yummy though!

Hannah playing dress up in Grammie's clothes.
One of my favorite past times when I visited MY Grammy's house.

One of Josh's favorite Aunts.

Mamie holding Josh

Grammie and Josh


Sometimes, I look at this child and wonder how I was so blessed to have a child with beautiful curly hair. Someday, she's going to look at herself and wonder just the opposite. :)

This poor girl was blessed with my mass of hair, but cursed with the most sensitive head on the planet. She is tormented by wanting to have it short with no tangles versus having it long like a princess.

Daddy's girls.
Can you see that Hannah decided to dress Matt on this Sunday morning? He already had shorts on, so she decided he needed a shirt and shoes. These are the ones she picked out... a dress shirt and dress shoes. And she wouldn't let him take them off.

Our friends Brad and Lauren came to visit and brought their little puppy, Maggie. Maggie, as a puppy, of course will put everything in her mouth and try to play with it. It became a saying that weekend to put something up high "so Maggie can't get it." Even though it's been a few months, every once in a while Hannah still says it.

The girls LOVE Mrs. Lauren. She is one of their favorites! :) We all love Mrs. Lauren.