Thursday, September 30, 2010


On Tuesday Paige informed me that she wants to go to school. . .everyday.  Our plan has been to homeschool, at least through grade school.  I'm not saying that this is not our plan now, but Mark and I are really going to have to pray about how we are going to educate our girls.

After she told me about wanting to go to school I asked her if she would rather have Mommy teach her.  Then she could be home with Alaina and go to the Children's Museum, and to parks, and other fun things. She said, "No, I want to go to school," and still pleading her case, "I will listen to my teacher and obey her!"  Oh my heart.  I know this girl would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE school.  She has always been social and much prefers people to toys.

"What's the problem, then?" you ask.  I'm not ready to throw my babe into public schools.  She is very tenderhearted and believes that everyone is her friend.  I'm not ready for a broken heart.  I know I have to let go, but I would like to still do some esteem building and heart training at home.  I could put her in private school, which would actually be my first choice, but I just don't know what kind of a financial burden that will put on us.

I know that ultimately Mark and I are the parents and we make the decisions as to what we feel is best.  But we want to make the best choice for each of the girls.  We still have a little time to decide, but would appreciate your prayers as we walk this journey.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All About Alaina!

It's been awhile since I've posted, so I posted quite a few new ones today.  Make sure to keep reading after this one. 
 This post is all about Alaina.  I want to give you an update on our baby.  She is so quickly leaving the baby behind and trying to be a big girl.  Her she is with stickers on her face, courtesy of her big sis.
 She just can't quite get enough.
Alaina is our spirited child.  She will not be bullied or persuaded into something she doesn't want to do.  And believe me, I've tried.  She would rather forego something fun (or delicious), than do (or eat) something that doesn't suit her.  All in all, this isn't a bad trait, it's actually a very good thing, if we channel it towards wise choices.  Just this morning she threw herself on the ground at the top of the stairs because I didn't carry her down.  She cried and screamed and carried on for an hour before heading to the couch and almost falling asleep.  I went up because she got quiet, and she walked down with me after I talked to her about it.  I can't even tell you how many desserts she's missed because she refuses to even try her vegetables.  She'll watch us eat ours and cry about not getting any, but won't touch that bite she needs.

On the other hand, she is super animated about life.  When she is excited, her whole body lights up.  When she is upset, her whole body shows it.  Her facial expressions are priceless.  She ADORES her big sis and tries to copy everything she does and says.  They play well together, most of the time. She wants to walk and not sit in the stroller, but has a hard time controlling herself and staying by me.  We're working on that. 

Alaina LOVES to sing.  Her favorites are Today is the Day from Bible School, The Bible Book Bop, Jesus Loves Me, The Wheels on the Bus, and Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink(which is just too cute for words). 

This girl runs, not walks.  She has forever.  She is full speed ahead and has a hard time slowing down.  She wants to do and say everything.  The other week while taking a bath, she decided to back float.  I'm not kidding, the girl can float on her back.  It's amazing.  I need to get a video on here soon. She keeps us on our toes and teaches us so much.

Here are a couple conversions we've had with Alaina:
M:  Hey baby!
A:  I Naina!
M:  But you're my baby.
A:  No, you baby.
M:  I'm not a baby, your my baby.
A:  No, you baby, I Naina.
(She's always Naina, never our princess, or our baby, or any other title we can come up with.)

This conversation took place after Alaina ran down the sidewalk away from her Daddy and wouldn't turn around.  I may not have it word for word, but pretty close.
D:  Alaina, you need to obey.  Daddy asked you to turn around and Daddy's the boss. 
A:  No, I boss.
(much chuckling from Mommy)
D:  No Alaina, Daddy is the boss.  Who is the boss?  (We thought that since she always corrects us the other way, she would go along with this one, not so much.  Smart girl!)
A:  I boss.
She didn't win this one, we drilled it in that Mommy and Daddy are the boss.  She responds correctly now.

Alaina is busy.  She goes from one thing to the next and rarely lasts more than two minutes doing anything.  She brings so much joy and laughter(when we remember to laugh and not get mad) to our home.  We love her to pieces and I'm going to miss this stage when she grows out of it. 


We did it!  Alaina doesn't suck her fingers and Paige doesn't suck her thumb. Well, Paige doesn't suck her thumb MOST of the time.  A four and a half year habit is hard to break.  I've been looking for a motivation to help them stop.  Paige isn't motivated by things, so pre-k was the perfect thing to work towards.  We told her that big girls go to pre-k, but big girls do NOT suck their thumbs.  So if she wanted to go, she had to stop sucking her thumb. 

At the same time, knowing that we are coming up on cold and flu season, we had to try Alaina.  We knew it would be a struggle, but this was as good a time as any.  So we got out the Mavala Stop and put it on.  As I was painting it on their nails I was praying out loud for God to help them find comfort in Him and not in their fingers and thumb.

God does answer prayer!  I haven't seen Alaina suck her fingers in two weeks, not since that first application.  And if you know Alaina, this truly is God's intervention.  It hasn't been an issue for her.  She's handled it like it was never a habit.  Praise God!  Paige has been a little slower going.  We've used the stuff before and like in the past, she sucks her thumb with Mavala Stop on.  So we've started using bandaids as a reminder at nap time and bed time.  She really is doing great and wants to succeed.  It just is taking a little longer and more reminders.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. . .

It's off to school she goes.  That's right, my baby started pre-k.  One of my friends told me about enrichment classes for homeschool families that included pre-kindergarten.  I checked into it and ended up signing Paige up for two classes on Friday mornings.  She goes from10-noon and takes Little Artists in Europe the first hour and Little Learners the second hour.  She was soooooo excited and really had a great time.  She didn't even turn around to tell me goodbye.  I think this is a great fit for us right now and will help us determine how we will educate our kids in the future.

Monkey Business!

This is how we find Alaina EVERY time she is awake in her bed.  The pajamas are so fitting.  She starts it as soon as we lay her down at night, and is how I find her in the morning.  The girl LOVES to stand on her head.  I took these pics in the dark, so she is squinting at the flash and trying to cover her eyes in some.  If you look hard, you can also see the pretty hot pink duct tape we use on her daipers, so she won't take it off.  Nice, huh!

Paige likes to show off and get her picture taken, too.  I'm sad I cut off her feet, she was doing a perfect headstand.

The Zoo

On Labor Day we headed to the zoo.  We needed some family time and the zoo was the perfect place to have fun together.  Unfortunately my camera died during the pony ride, but fun was had by all.  I think a highlight was buying nectar in the bird sanctuary and getting attacked the minute we walked in. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Labor Day Family Reunion

Here is your warning. . .This is a family-interest level only post that is extremely long with tons of pictures and videos.  I didn't want to leave anything out so family that wasn't able to join us could get a taste of the weekend.
My mom's side of the family got together to celebrate my Grandma G's 80th birthday over Labor Day weekend.  And if I heard correctly, there were still 27 missing.  My grandparents had 6 children and also raised 3 foster children making 9 kid in all.  They have, right now, 27 grandkids and 27 great-grands.  It's always fun to get together and never a dull moment.  Unfortunately Alaina got a fever on Friday, so her and Mark weren't able to come.  That's why you won't find them in any pics.
Grandpa and Grandma G.
Wendy, Aunt Jan with her grandbaby, Austin, and Aunt Deb
Paige playing with Grandpa.
From left: James with Olivia, Jenna, Amber, Grandpa, Grandma, Paige, Naomi, and Aunt Jan.  Grandma was opening her cards here.
Paige sat herself right beside Grandma to help her.
Paige taking in the basketball game.
Erin with Austin and Kathy with Amelia
Anna decided she could climb the flagpole.
Monkey see, monkey do.
My cousin Raina's girls, Ainsley and Aubrey
Free time!
Jaron and Paige were playing ball with Aaron.
Jaron and Paige
Of course, the youger men played basketball.
Paige playing with Jaden, Tiffany, Evan, and Naomi.
Grandpa talking with Kathy and Patrick.
TJ, Raina with Ainsley and Uncle Tom with John or Kane. (John and Kane are identical twins.)

Hanging out during lunch.
Around this table from left: Amber, Keton, Lukas with Ainsley, Kayla, Carolina and Jerry, and Papa.
Tiffany and Paige playing Air hockey.
Jaron and Jaden playing foosball.

After the family celebration we had some time to head out to the apple orchard.  Here is Paige with her Unkie Patrick and Papa.
from left: Auntie Kathy, Paige, Amelia, Papa, and Unkie Patrick
Sweet Amelia!
Paige riding the big trike.
Her Marilyn Monroe pose.

The following are random videos I took during the reunion/birthday party.  Really nobody, but family is going to enjoy them.

Grandpa singing He Leadeth Me on Karaoke.

Great Grands singing Twinkle Little Star for Grandma.

The end of the Hash song.  I wish I had gotten the whole thing.  

Singing for our Sunday family worship time.

More Sunday worship time.

Lord Listen to your Children Praying.

Grandma thanking everyone for coming.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Daddy's Girls!

Sassy girl wanted her hair curled.  I've used the straightener before, but this is the first time for curls.  She loved it and was soooo proud.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our First Campout!

We went camping as a family for the first time ever a couple weekends ago.  Mark and I both grew up camping in pop-ups.  In fact, this camper belongs to Mark's parents.  It's the one he camped in growing up.  I haven't wanted to take the girls camping before now, because I just can't imagine it would be much fun with a kid under age 2, but that's just me.  Of course Alaina was the last one asleep and the first one awake both nights, but that's part of the fun.  I knew we would have some trouble as she is used to sleeping in a crib and she had a bed here.  After the first night I asked Mark if it ruined the camping experience to bring out our portable DVD player.  We decided it didn't and used that to help them relax the second night.  (PS this was my first attempt at editing a picture to look vintage.)
It was great to see the girls entertain themselves with nothing but sticks, dirt, rocks, an alligator, and dinosaurs.  They had a blast and were filthy.  As you can see, Alaina refused shoes for much of our weekend.
We did get out some polly pockets the last day, just for something new.
And Alaina played with the alligator.
This is how Paige buckled up on the way out.  Pretty cute, but not so safe.