Santa Claus is Coming to Town

It has been much fun preparing for the holidays this year.  Adeline is thrilled with the sights and sounds of the season -- lights, Santa Claus, Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, Christmas trees, etc!  Over the last week, we have made a few trips to Northpark Mall to observe Santa.  You see, last year, Adeline screamed through the visit so we decided we'd try giving her time to watch other kids around him without any pressure.  On our first visits, she had talked to him from a distance and gave him a high five...but no way was she going to sit near him! Our plan worked nicely and the third time was the charm!  "Wanna sit on Santa's lap!" and off she went. She told him she wanted a baby doll...and a new baby!  That wasn't what WE'VE been discussing.  Santa's got the baby doll under control, but she's gonna have to chat with God about the other!!!  Before she left, she again gave him a high five and even a kiss.  It was a precious sight! Pictures to come...

Praying you are blessed in this joyful season!!


Giving Thanks

I started this post yesterday -- at least in my mind!  Yesterday was a tremendous time with family and friends.  I am grateful for much!  I am guilty of getting caught up in the "day-to-day" that I tend to forget my thankfulness.  As I look back to my early posts, I was trying to post each week with a Thankful Thursday.  I'm challenging myself to get back to that as often as possible.

As we celebrated the day yesterday, I remain incredibly thankful for our new home.  We've been here just over a year and it still seems surreal.  We have great neighbors and so enjoy the quietness around us!  The beauty of the fall trees has been stunning. We recently had the roof replaced after this summer's hailstorm and it looks great.  Last week, we had sod laid in the front yard and it changed the look of things for the better, as well!  On the inside, we have plenty of room to enjoy one another's company and we are now looking forward to Advent and Christmas.

As always, I am thankful for my sweet girl. Adeline knocks our socks off everyday!  She talks ALL THE TIME!! She wakes up talking and goes to sleep talking! (and, like her mom, she sometimes talks in her sleep!!) Off the top of my head, she loves her family, her friends, her dogs, books, shoes, giraffes, and monkeys.  She has an intense laughter that causes us to smile and laugh right along with her.  She's a keen observer of the world around her!

My life would be so empty without Ben.  I am thankful for his gentle spirit that loves me and Adeline unceasingly.  After many years of prayer, God opened the door for a new job in March.  While the transition hasn't always been easy, we are thankful for this opportunity.  Ben is being challenged which causes us to be challenged so we are growing. What a gift he is to our family!


A Silver Anniversary

Not that I have any good excuses, but it isn't as easy to update these days.  I now have to maintain a blog for school, and sad to say, it has gotten the updates lately.

I totally missed an update for the sweet thing's 2nd birthday! But, I realized this weekend that I could write about her 25th (month!) Silver Anniversary which occurred this past Saturday, October 30th!  I know I write it each time, but she continues to AMAZE us in so many ways.  Between home and school, she has learned quite a repertoire of songs and nursery rhymes to share.  Right now, her favorites are Five Little Monkeys Swinging on the Tree and Humpty Dumpty.  She's got the ABC song down for the most part and is working on counting past 10. She loves to be outside and is a great helper on Sunday mornings to walk out to get the paper for Daddy!  We are able to communicate more and more as her vocabualry grows.  Each day, it seems, she puts more words together in sentences to clearly say what she means.  There is no doubt when she says, "I don't want to!" and your heart melts when she says, "I love you!"  Adeline Jane -- Mommy and Daddy LOVE you, too!

For her real birthday last month, we took our first family vacation to Branson. We have a great time enjoying the fall weather while playing outside at Silver Dollar City and playing inside at the waterpark in our hotel! She and I rode the butterflies and she rode the frogs with Daddy.  She has her daddy's tummy for rides as she wanted to go again and again!! I will treasure the memories for a lifetime and I hope there is something she might remember, too.  She was also intrigued by a statue of a hot pink gorilla in front of a garden shop there and insisted, "I ride it!" So, we stopped for pictures of her on top of the gorilla!  It was a hoot!

We are all getting used to a new four-legged member of our family.  Aussie is a miniature Australian Shepherd who is keeping us all on our toes!  She loves to be around people and especially enjoys chasing balls with Adeline in the backyard.  Adeline is sweet to her (most of the time!) and cheers her on when she pees outside.  "Good pee, Aussie!"  Gotta love it!!

For Halloween, she dressed up as a giraffe.  She LOVES giraffes!  We went to her school carnival a few weeks ago and she had a blast palying games there.  Yesterday Uncle Chris, Aunt Juju, and Chase had a party that was so much fun and then we got to go to another carnival with some friends.  It was a busy, fun day full of treats!!


100 Weeks!

That's how old my toddler is today! I get a weekly email about growth
and development and each week posts your child's age in weeks. I think
it's a pretty cool way to think about it! The 100th day if school has
always been one of my favorites and this 100th week of Adeline's life
is an exciting milestone to me!

So, what does this 100 week-old toddler do? She walks, talks, plays,
laughs, climbs, sings, cries, runs, bosses, strolls, hides, giggles,
prays, organizes, rides, swings, slides, amazes, hugs, kisses,
smiles, obeys, disobeys, loves, reads, claps, dances ...and blesses us
more than we could ever have imagined!

May the Lord grant us hundreds and hundred and hundreds more weeks!


Chipmunk Cheeks!

These days Adeline LOVES cherry tomatoes! She pulled the container out
of the fridge and plopped herself on the floor for a snack. She also
tends to grab one more as she puts her milk cup away before teeth
brushing. It's the funniest thing! She's like her daddy, in this
regard, because Mommy doesn't like tomatoes very much. Oh well...glad
she likes them!!


She's her mother's daughter!

Those of you who know me well know I adore shoes! I'd much rather
accessorize my life with shoes than lots of jewelry. Well, Adeline is
taking to it quite naturally!! Notice the title of the book--and the
extras she's pulled from the armoire! I promise I did NOT stage this


19 months and counting!

My sweetness is 19 months old tomorrow! Like all the other milestones...it doesn't even seem possible. She continues to amaze us with her words as she has lots to say! She tries to say new things each and every day. She is quite comfortable with the word "NO" and isn't afraid to use it!

These days she tends to burst into laughter -- for really no reason at all! It's hysterical!

She's a great shopper!

She loves to be outside doing anything -- esp. swinging!

She likes animals -- esp. giraffes! (Dont' know why...she just does!)

She sweetly gives hugs and kisses and says "love you"!

The Easter Bunny left marshmellows in some of her eggs. She knows which cabinet to point to and asks for "mellows". She'd eat them all day if we'd let her!

She's learning how to be "nice" to her cousin, Chase. She likes to pat him on the back and point to his eyes, nose, mouth, ears...and give him kisses.

She is opinionated and has her own agenda many times throughout the day! One day she'll figure out that darting toward the corner results in Mommy or Daddy winning! :)

Adeline Jane -- you dazzle our world with love and laughter each day! We thank God for you, little girl!

P.S. I am learning how to post from my phone which will hopefully result in more frequent posts, esp. with pics. (The last few posts were actually from my phone!) Our desktop is down again so I haven't been able to download any pics in quite a while. The phone will have to do for now!



Thank you, Uncle Kyle, for hanging up my swing! It's a great place to rest at the end on a long day!! Mommy and Daddy have let me get in it almost everyday when I get home from school.



A close-up of Chase!

The cousin

Adeline's cousin, Chase, arrived safe and sound last week ! We are so glad he's here! They are getting settled at home and we've enjoyed visiting them a few times already. So far, Adeline has been very sweet to Chase and is learning how to be gentle with him. She really likes to try to hug him which is so sweet to watch. Even sweeter, though, is hearing her call him by name. Love it!

Adeline continues to make us smile every single day! She is becoming more independent and shares her opinions about things, including what books she wants to read and what clothes to wear. She absolutely LOVES shoes (don't know where she gets that!!!) Here's a little video of her browsing the Land's End Kids' catalog...



An interesting title, I know, and I'll get to it momentarily!

Adeline is 17 months old this week and she is so much fun! She continues to learn all kinds of words, including "yes" to go with her "no"! She pointed to something in the sky the other day and I looked to see what it was. It was the first time to tell her about the moon (other than reading Goodnight Moon many times). Later that night, as we were getting out of the car, she pointed to the moon and said "moon"! It's so cool to watch it all come together. On another note...her bottom molars are breaking through so the teething adventures continue, in addition to another bottom tooth in the front. It's a joy to see her smile and even better when she laughs!

About the squats...as a teacher, I have tended to bend down or into a squatting position to be at eye-level with my kiddos. After all these years (this is my 16th year teaching -- when did that happen?!?!) it is just a habit. So, naturally, I do this with Adeline -- and she imitates it, too -- when she's brushing her teeth!!! It's the funniest thing! A few months ago we began using a real toothbrush and the trainer paste. I have been brushing my teeth at the same time trying to show her how it's done. Of course, I squatted down to be closer to her. As I hand her the readied toothbrush, she assumes her squatting position and is ready to go! Maybe we'll catch it on video...

Our cousin/nephew will be here soon! Aunt Julie, aka "JuJu", will be induced in just over a week unless Chase decides to come on his own. Please keep them all in your prayers as we await his arrival. We can hardly wait to meet him!



I continue to marvel as Adeline learns more and more words. It seems like each day she has something new to say! Acutally, one of the sweetest things she says right now is "no". She has shaken her head for several weeks and over the snow days began verbalizing it, too. Now, I know the day is coming when that word will not be so sweet, but we are smiling right now! Her teacher at the nursery commented today about how verbal she is. I wonder where she gets it?!?!

In the last month, she's had an ear infection followed by a sinus infection which resulted in several restless nights for all. Thankfully, we are all getting back to sleeping through the night!

Adeline's cousin will be born in the next few weeks. Aunt Julie (aka Juju) will be induced March 8th unless Chase decides to make his appearance earlier than that. We are ready to meet him and welcome him into our family!!

I have some other pics from the snow to get on the computer! She and I bundled up twice to get outside so she could investigate it. Her favorite part was simply having me carry her up and down the street; and she thought it was pretty fun when I threw a snowball at her tummy!

Happy Valentine's Day! Thank you, Father, that you love us and show us how to love.


And, she's off...

Over the break, Adeline decided she would let go and take her first steps! What a blessing to be at home with her for this milestone!

It all started on the third day of Christmas. She was playing on the floor with Uncle Kyle when he lifted her up, set her back about three feet, and she took several steps right into his arms...and did it again and again! Over the last two weeks, she has slowly ventured more and more and seems pretty proud of what she is accomplishing.

Speaking of Christmas...The Christmas Eve blizzard changed everyone's plans, but we made the best of it. This was the first time I ever remember not going to Midnight Mass and it was an odd feeling. Santa brought Adeline a red wagon which has traveled a circular path throughout the house so far. At times, she is content to just sit in it and play or read books. We made it to Ben's parents for Christmas lunch and back home again for a quick visit from my family. Everyone wanted to be home before dark so the celebrations were cut too short! Thankfully, my family has always believed that Christmas is a season, not just a day. Who knows how long we'll keep this one going?!?!

I took her for her 15 month well-baby check at the beginning of the week. Her measurements confirmed what we'd been thinking -- that she is pretty tall and skinny!! (She certainly didn't get that from me!!) She weighs 21 lbs. 4 oz. and is 31 1/4 inches tall. She continues to WOW us by saying a lot of words. One of the most precious things she says is "bess oo" -- BLESS YOU -- when someone (or something, like the dog!) sneezes!

I leave you with a few of her first birthday pics. (I finally got them uploaded!) My sweet friend, Stephanie, made the cute orange tulle skirt and candle onsie she is wearing! Thank you, Steph! In the other pics, the light pink top was either my mom's or her mom's so it is a neat hand-me-down.