Thursday, May 31, 2012

The "not-so-sleeping" Beauty

Everyday, I put Gracie down for a nap in her room and I hear her playing for a while before she falls asleep.  I never know what the room will look like when she wakes up and how many toys she will have in that bed of hers :)  I don't mind because it's a little extra quiet time for me!  I also never know what she will be wearing when she wakes up.  She could have on pajamas, a princess dress, a swimsuit or nothing at all :)  I went to check on her the other day and this is what I found:

(notice the ladybug slippers that complete the ensemble)  I'm just super impressed that her Rapunzel doll actually has clothes on!!!!
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BTW...I snapped the picture and then left her alone :)  Gotta love naptime!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


These pics are from the same day that Braden's were taken.  (I want to post about that trip, but wanted to get all these posted first)  These might be my favorite pics of Cade in a long time!  I don't think he looks like he just turned 11!!!  These look like they should be his senior pics!  Thank goodness, they aren't :)  He's all about his style and what he wears.  He was dressed and ready to go hours before we actually left, and brought an extra shirt and shoes.  I never stop being amazed at how different each of my children are!

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My favorite:
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Cade's favorite:  This was before he got all sweaty playing football :)
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Friday, May 25, 2012


Braden is my child that always seems to escape the camera. There are a few reasons for this. First, he is always sweaty and dirty, playing in ditches or baseball in the backyard. Also, if he had it his way, he would never have to button anything. It would be sports shorts and t-shirts 24-7. Add to that the fact that he really doesn't like to have his picture taken and you have my least photographed child :) We met a lifelong friend of mine the other day at a great place to take some pics and I made sure they were all clean and presentable before we left. That doesn't mean they were that way when we were done...but there's only so much I can do! I even got Braden a haircut before we left...he was my goal.

 So.. Here are a few shots of my middle boy. He is 13 and is in the middle of a growth spurt. He comes up to me and measures nose to nose everyday. It could be any day now that his nose moves above mine (I still have him by about a 1/2 inch, if that :)  We also weigh the same.  (Proof that muscle weighs more than fat!!)  That puts him at about 5ft. 5 1/2 inches. His limbs, however, are the size of Richards. His arm from elbow to fingertip is actually a tiny bit longer than Richards. Knee to floor, Braden is about 1 inch shorter than his dad. That essentially makes him a 13 yr. old boy with the body of a 5'6 girl (minus the boobs)  and the limbs of a 6 ft. man :) Don't you dare tell him I said that!! lol...

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Look at those long limbs!! :)
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So that's my "B".  He finished school yesterday, and couldn't be happier about it!  We'll be baseball-ing it this weekend.  Maybe he'll hit one out of the park and I'll have something big to take pics of :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Coming to a Close's almost a wrap!  This school year is coming to a close, and I couldn't be happier about it!  This school year began with Richard and I in China to get Gracie and I feel like I never really caught my breath.  I am already hoping next year will be more organized and "calm".  I know...I'm still living in my state of delusion. Please...let me be...I like it here!!

Meanwhile, we've said "goodbye" to a few things this past week.  The girls said goodbye to their first preschool teachers.  These ladies were amazing.  Gracie came to them not speaking any English.  They came up with creative ways to involve Gracie and foster her English.  I will never be able to express how much of a blessing these women have been to me this year.  They loved each of my girls for who they are and embraced their individual personalities.  What an amazing experience this year of preschool has been for my girls!

(outfits are from Zulily!)
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 Cade said "goodbye" to elementary school! I have a 1 year break from our elementary school. Then I get to start it ALL over again!!! I have had at least one child in this school for the past 10 years! Unbelievable...even more unbelievable that I still have 5 more to go!!! Cade had amazing teachers, as well. These women know me (we've been there 10 years, after all!). They have picked up my slack on more than one occasion and I so appreciate it! They have loved my boy, and you can't ask for more than that. And you can tell...he loved them right back :)

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 Bryce said goodbye to riding with someone else to school :) Evan is our neighbor. He has brought Bryce to school everyday this year...what a blessing! I just love Evan. They both thought I was nuts going out in my pj's to take this picture, but that's the way we roll over here :) May 2012-5901

 Bryce turns 16 on August 7. School starts on August 9. It might be the only time he's ever wished a summer away :)

 Braden is saying goodbye to the school he's attended for the past two years. We have decided to bring him back to the public schools here. He and Cade will go to the same jr. high for one year and then be together for 2 years of high school. He's still there for a few days, so I don't have any pictures of him yet :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This and That

We are so busy right now (like everyone else). School ends for most of my crew Friday and the others only have a few days past that. I just can't even believe it! This school year started with Richard and I in China and it never really gained a sense of "calm". I am just happy we all survived it and made decent grades. I feel like I should be striving for more, but at this moment...that's all I can muster. Next year, Braden and Cade will be at the same jr. high and Bryce will be driving (YIKES!). Maybe we'll strive for more "calm" then. Hey...a girl can dream, can't she? Just let me live in my delusional state!

Here are some random pics of today. I took the girls for their first mani/pedi today. I'm thinking it will be their last for a LONG time! Wesleigh is totally still and calm, but Gracie is lucky she left there with any color at all :) The ONLY reason I brought them was because Gracie had stepped on my big toe yesterday and totally messed up my pretty purple toes.

 I love the look on both the girls' faces here. They were in awe. They had no idea that there was a place full of a million different polish colors :) Wesleigh has a big "wish list" now. May 2012-5755

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Kelly is super sweet, but I have a feeling she was probably cussing Gracie in Vietnamese ;) She had to re-do those fingers and toes multiple times. It is just impossible for Gracie to be still...even when there's a good reason.
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 Bryce was home early today after an exam and pulled "his" truck out to clean it out. Truth is...he just likes to sit in it :) This is Richard's old truck. It has over 200,000 miles on it and is the perfect first car for Bryce. He is so excited. He doesn't turn 16 until Aug.'s going to be a long summer for Bryce :) May 2012-5759

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She was dancing to the music
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Cute "teeny tiny" feet (Wesleigh's)
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I'm not sure why I love this shot.  Maybe because it shows a side of her that never gets captured.  She has a bite of a peanut butter sandwich in her mouth, which she hates!  She does not eat bread...ever.  Which has been fine, but I would be really happy if she'd eat a quick sandwich every once in a while :)  I also don't take many pics with her hair down.  She pulled her pony out and I just left it alone.
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These are my favorites.  They only have one tricycle (I know....I should buy another), but why...when they look so stinkin' cute riding it like this??  They take turns driving each other around.  Gracie is much better at it, but she's patient with Wesleigh and helps her out.
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The girls have been in swim lessons the past 2 weeks, and have loved every minute of them.  We get to go in and watch them tonight, so I'm anxious to try to get some cute pics of them.  Our pool opens tomorrow and they we cannot wait.  I'm ready to sit by the pool and do nothing!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Today was a different kind of Mother's Day. Richard and Braden were gone all weekend for an out-of-town tournament, but he did arrange for this amazing arrangement to come to the door Saturday.

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The girls came home from school with flowers of a different kind. Sorry, Richard...they trump yours :) I have never seen anything like these before and think they are amazing. They are made from the girls handprints. 
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The boys were scattered, but I did get a picture with the girls today.  This is what I wanted them to wear to our afternoon activity, but you will see that I decided to let them have a total princess day :)
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A couple of weeks ago I bought 4 tickets to Disney's Princess on Ice show.  I had no idea I had bought them on Mother's Day.  It could not have been better though because my mom went with us.
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These two were so excited they could hardly stand it!  Just to be able to wear those dresses was enough to put them over the moon.  Wesleigh thought we were going to Disney World and kept saying, "I so essited to go to Disney World!"  lol...Truth is, she loved it so much there was no disappointment.  In fact, I never told her it wasn't Disney World :)
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I love this picture even though Gracie is a little out of focus.
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When Wesleigh wasn't jumping up and down saying "wow!" or "this is awesome", this is what she looked like. cute!  Gracie was just as excited, but was sitting too close for me to get a shot.  Gracie was  interested in all the backstage things.  She noticed the American flag hanging and details like Cinderella's necklace and the lights on the ice.  It is so fun to see their differences.
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Just a couple of shots from the show.  It was so fun and very entertaining.  I hope there's another one soon!  So worth the small fortune it cost!
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At the very end, all the princesses came out, and we were able to see our beloved Mulan.  It was the perfect ending to a fun afternoon.
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I don't have a picture but Gracie was asleep by the time we were out of the parking garage.  After spending most Mother's Days at the ballpark, it was fun to enjoy a girly day with my girls and my mom :) was totally for me today!  The title "Calm Down and Carry On".  I'm going to try to live by those words each day :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Time Goes Too Fast

Bryce is finishing his sophomore year right now.  His 16th birthday is in August and he will officially be a driver...Yikes!  If I'm honest, Bryce is probably the child who gets the shaft most often.  His primary activities are band and Sea Cadets.  I love watching him, but have not been involved at all.  (Granted, we got home from China with Gracie right as football season started, so I do give myself some grace for that one.)  This is about to change, though!

I attended Bryce's end of the year band banquet Monday.  He plays the French horn, and there are 6 total French horns.  Two of them are graduating this year and Bryce is so sad about it.  David and Alicia date and have been great friends to Bryce.  He is going to miss them so much!  I have been super sad about them leaving too.  I was in such a tissy trying to get to the banquet (actually had to bring the girls to swim lessons in formal wear!) that I forgot my camera!!  For this mom, that is the cardinal sin!  I am still so disappointed about it.  Thankfully, Alicia's mom sent me these pics :)  Alicia has been the "mom" of the group.  I'm not quite sure these boys are going to survive without her!!!




This one makes me tear up just looking at it.

This night made me realize that I'm going to wake up tomorrow and it's going to be Bryce graduating!  I am making a commitment to be more present in Bryce's activities and really enjoy these last 2 years of high school with him.  I have already talked to a few babysitters about helping with the girls, and I intend to use them.  They would much rather be at home playing with a new "friend" than being drug from event to event with me.  And I will be a much happier mom if I know I've been able to focus on each child a little more instead of spreading myself so thin.  Some of you might disagree with that.  That's ok, but for my family, I need these boys to know that I was truly interested in their lives, even after the girls got home.  They have happily sacrificed alot for us to go to China twice.  I never want them to feel second best.

So here's to Bryce's blur of a sophomore year...and here's to his junior year that his mom didn't miss!!  :)
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