We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year and it seems only appropriate that we're eternally grateful for the most amazing gifts we've ever been given. Who else, but your children, can make you want to laugh, cry, pull out your hair, and jump for joy all in the same moment. I can never express my gratitude for these three little spirits that have been entrusted to my and Aaron's care. They are truly my angels here upon the earth.
That's how I feel about my first foray into sewing - it's unbelievable that I actually finished it! I've been wanting to try a little something here or there for awhile, but since both of my boys are past the "wear cute homemade stuff" age in general (with a few exceptions), I figured I might as well just wait for my little girl to come. So, I made Ellie a quilt back in the spring (finished it about two hours before I went to the hospital in labor!), but hadn't tried to sew anything until this month. A friend of mine from church convinced me to go with her to Sirs and just bite the bullet. So, with A LOT of help from my highly educated Mom and a good bit of encouragement from my sew-all-the-time MIL and SIL's, I tackled a nice, easy dress for Ellie and I did it! It's even fully lined! I'm going to work on some more stuff soon - let's see if I can expand my horizons!
So, in an effort to get the post in, I totally forgot to put anything about our trip to Chicago in my "October" post. Aaron had to go for a conference and since I have been itching to get out of town, Ellie and I decided to go with him. She was FANTASTIC on the plane both ways and was a doll the whole time. We had time to do a little site-seeing and got to check out the Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). That was a ton of fun, although the glass "ledges" that you can stand in and be literally over Chicago were a little nerve-racking for me. We did, however, spend most of our time wishing that the boys were there with us - they would have had a blast! In short, we can't wait to get back on a real vacation!
...has been extremely busy - I just can't seem to keep up! So, to go back and play catch up, here's our month of October...We began the month with a trip to the doctor for check-ups all around.
Sam - 46" tall and 47.6 lbs; Jack - 40" tall and 36 lbs; Ellie - 25 1/4" long and 14 lbs, 9 oz. She's hit a pretty average size and seems to be staying there. After some traumatic shots and blood draws, everybody is healthy and now very happy (Jack's no longer anemic so no more yucky iron drops!).
The next day we left for my Dad's to visit over fall break. We had a fantastic time - most of these pics are from a great place Sandy found called "Monkey Joe's" that was full of big inflatables for the kids to jump on.
The whole gang with Papa
We also got to visit with Great Grandpa Dave - his first time meeting Ellie.
We went on to celebrate Sam's 7th birthday. Coincidentally, this is a picture of my second Wilton cake - Sam picked out all the colors and even helped me with the decorating.
He also lost one of his front teeth on his birthday - he wiggled and wiggled all the way home from church and then pulled it himself - a job that usually falls to Mommy! He then proceeded to lose the second one the very next day. He also had school pictures just a few days later, so we'll have Mr. No-Teeth pictures for the yearbook too! (Another side note - those were actually the make-up pictures at school - we had him skip the first ones because his face was covered with poison ivy...ugh...boys!)
Finally...Halloween! I had fun getting Ellie all dressed up in her orange and black and then again in her orange and blue - War Eagle!
We had two Skywalker's this year - Anakin and Luke - I have a feeling they'd be Star Wars characters every year if we let them! Aaron mentioned dressing Ellie as Princess Leia, but I refused to put her in a Star Wars costume her very first Halloween - maybe next year!
Some of my family and I love to read the Jan Karon Mitford Series - it's basically the evolving story of a small town preacher, his life, and the lives of those around him. It's very entertaining and always very funny. One of the revolving themes in the book is the food - what people bring to the potlucks, what the reverend himself cooks, etc. One of the most famous dishes in the series is Esther's Orange Marmalade cake - it's always chalked up as one of the most decadent cakes ever and typically gets the reverend (a diabetic) in lots of trouble. After she began the series, the author was getting tons of requests for the recipes, so she decided to put together a cookbook which I was fortunate enough to receive as a gift from my father-in-law a few years ago. I immediately looked up the cake recipe and wanted to make it, but it's one of those absolutely from scratch, lots of ingredients, triple-sifting types of recipes and I just kept putting it off. Well, this year for my birthday, I decided to try it out. I didn't get it done by my birthday, but I did finish it up on Sunday - AMAZING!!!! The recipe is lengthy, so if you want a copy, send me an email or post a comment and I'll get it to you. Until then...let your mouth water away!
My girlfriend Becki posted this link on her blog yesterday, and after taking the time to read through, I felt impressed to add it to mine as well. This blog follows a family that is enduring a most difficult trial and the blessing that their faith has been for them. It will take some time to go back and read all posts from the beginning, but it will not only give you a sense of some of the basic precepts of our faith, but also a greater appreciation of the love our Heavenly Father has given us through our family and friends. I am so grateful to have the knowledge that my family is forever. For my family, I love each of you more than words can say and feel more than blessed to have you in my life.
In trying to yet again play catch-up, I thought I'd combine a few of the things we've been into the past few weeks! The boys had a fantastic first day of school - Sam is in 1st grade and is officially too old for Mommy to walk him to class - at least he let me get a pic at home before we left. Jack is in Pre-K and while we debated about whether to do a half-day or full-day, with Ellie at home and with Jack's high-energy personality, we figured the structure was better for both of us! We absolutely love his teacher (she was Sam's Pre-K teacher too) and he is truly thriving
Next up, Ellie officially turned 4 months old and had a fantastic check-up. She weighed 13 lbs, 1 1/2 oz (up to the 40th% from the 10th) and was 25 inches (up to the 75th% from the 10th) - that's four inches in two months! Her hemangioma is already fading and everything else checked out well - the doctor said she is absolutely perfect!
Along with that milestone came another one - solid food! We started out with some cereal, but
the doctor gave us the go ahead to start with 1st foods, so we're slowly introducing all the fun stuff - we've tried sweet potatoes, prunes, carrots, green beans, and bananas - so far so good! We also got a brand-new, girly girl high chair - thanks Grandma and Papa Coons!
Preface: The first Sunday of each month is "Fast Sunday" at our church and we fast for two meals and take that time to pray for and focus on a need in our lives. Here's a little something from our last Fast Sunday.
Sam: Mommy, why aren't you eating breakfast?
Me: Daddy and I are fasting today.
Sam: Oh, I know what that means.
Me: Really Sam, that's great - what does it mean?
Sam: It means that you eat really fast so that we can get to church on time. :)
It's hard to believe that three months have already passed since the little miss joined our family. Taking a note from my fellow blogger friends, I thought I'd do a little update on Ellie. She's up to about 11 1/2 pounds and 23 1/4 inches. At three months, she...
sleeps wonderfully - 10 to 11 hours at night - and yes, we know how blessed we are for this
loves taking baths
isn't crazy about tummy time, but we're working on it
loves getting her diaper changed
smiles for pretty much everybody, but does it more quickly for her daddy and her big brother Sam
is finding her voice and likes to talk to us and sings along with mommy
giggled for the first time this past Sunday on mommy and daddy's anniversary
buries her head in the crook of daddy's arm, especially in the evening when he gets home from work - I mean completely buries - you can only see the back of her head - she doesn't do this for anybody else - just daddy!
has eyes that can stare right through you and make you want to jump through hoops just to keep her happy...this is going to be problematic later!
Our botanical gardens had a "Big Bugs" exhibit-type thing that we had been trying to get to since it started back in March and we finally made it on the last Saturday it was open. We got to see all of the amazing bug sculptures, played around in the kids garden and had a lovely picnic with Aaron's dad and stepmom. The kids had a fantastic time and of course, Ellie had a nice stroll (and nap) in her bug outfit too!
A little bit of catch up...back at the end of June we went to the Harmony Park Animal Safari - it's this great drive through safari where you can feed the animals as you go. We had the best time! One of the emus kept putting his head in the truck and scaring the kids (especially our nephew Kortlan). In his defense, the emu kept sneaking up on him and surprising him! There was also a gorgeous white horse that we were so excited to feed; unfortunately, we weren't feeding it fast enough and it scratched my truck! Later on the trek, there was a huge llama that also wanted to stick its head in the car - this lead to a yucky spitting incident - gross! After all was said and done, we needed quite the car wash and vacuum, but laughed harder than we had in a long time. Definitely worth the trip!
We just got home from our annual King Family Reunion - this is my granny's side of the family and we always have a blast getting together each year. It was everybody's first chance to meet Ellie and her newest cousin Luke whose about six months older than her. I can't wait for them to get a little bit older and be the best of friends! Can you tell my little miss is starting to get some chunk on her - I love it!
We were so excited to have almost our entire family at our house a few weeks ago for Ellie's blessing - all three of our children have been blessed by their Daddy in our home. Aaron's mother made a gown shortly before she passed away that we were able to use with all three of our kids (she made the "H" monogram blue so that it could be used with boys or girls), but we were able to use the bonnet this time too! Our little Ellie was so precious - what an amazing experience!
We had a great Memorial Day this year - it started out with the Cotton Row Run - this is my fourth year participating and I wasn't sure that I'd be able to do it just six weeks after having Ellie, but my cousin Kelli and my SIL Karrie both agreed to walk it with me and we had a great time! We then headed over to Nana and Poppy's for the traditional breaking in of the pool. The water was only about 70 degrees, so the adults all just watched, but the kids had a fantastic time. The best part - my SIL Brandie and her family are here visiting from Colorado!
Sam's officially finished with kindergarten and received certificates for completion, Indian education, and excellent attendance at awards day. Here he is with his teacher (we love you Mrs. Amanda!) and his best friend Will.
Since I'm a little behind on my posts, I'm going to try to cram in a few while I have a minute. Had a great Mother's day this year - after going to our church, we went and surprised Mom and Granny at theirs and then had a yummy lunch at Mom's house. This is one of the things Sam made for me at school this year - I love his answers! Okay, all but the one about black and gray hair, but we clarified that later - he now knows that my highlights are blonde - not a speck of gray on this head!