Archive for January, 2014


this kid!

Thought I would do a little post on my baby, because well, he isn’t one anymore!  He is definitely growing up, (you know you’ve got a big kid when they can shower by themselves now!  Woo-hoo!), and is getting particular on what he does and doesn’t like!  First off, Asher will tell you he is an artist.  His favorite thing to draw these days is rainbows and hearts, which I’m sure will change, but it’s hilarious how every drawing has a rainbow and heart in it!  I’ll admit, he has some skills!  Check out this finger painting he did last week while I was cooking dinner!

Here is an example of the rainbow and heart drawings he always draws!

Asher is a sweet little brother to his sisters, in particular Ella. Look at him playing “spa” with Ella and massaging her feet in her new Orbeez foot spa she got for her birthday!

Asher is very stubborn, and he doesn’t want to fail. When we took him rockwall climbing at Main Event, he wouldn’t go all the way to the top, because he wasn’t 100% confident he could do it.  He didn’t want to try and fail so, on his terms, he declared, “I’m not going to the top!  I don’t want to!”

He will be six in April, and is reading and writing in kindergarten. He will be playing soccer in the spring for the third year, which we are so excited for! He is getting really good at memorizing Scripture, and he calls heaven “the good world”.  He always asks questions about going to “the good world” and what will be there.  🙂  He is very curious and also lots of energy!  He loves roller coasters and all things fast.  He is particular to Beyblades and Legos right now and jumping on the trampoline.  We love our busta’ man!


Rockwall climbing!

We went to Main Event that night to have Ella’s birthday dinner celebration!

(cell phone pic) I forgot my camera! ugh.

The highlight of the evening was rock climbing!


Go Ella go!

Can you see Ella in the middle dressed in pink! She is so high!

Asher almost made it to the top!

Rilyn made us so proud through with her rockwall climbing skills! She made it past an overhang with great skill! James even made a video because it was so impressive to watch her!

Get it girl!

Rilyn made it to the top several times! She was on fire!

Ella had a great birthday week which ended with a school celebration!

cell phone pic-Rilyn got to come in the class to join!

Her best friend completed her elephant family collection for her birthday! Thanks Anna!


Ella is eight!

Ella, you have been the best little sister, (and big sister)-bringing extra joy and compassion to Rilyn, and being extra silly with Asher (which he loves)! I promise to slow down, and snuggle when you ask me (everyday!) Love you!

Party night Ella had a sleepover with three of her best friends!

slumber party!

We started her birthday morning with our traditional “wake up to a birthday donut!” Since they had a sleepover the night before, she got to have all her friends watch her!

Not so sure of this sparkler…

Traditional run through the crepe paper birthday morning!

She got to open her presents from Asher and Rilyn!

Birthday girl all ready for church with her American Girl!

After church, her big birthday surprise was a new bike from mommy and daddy!

She was pretty excited, can you tell?


American Girl birthday party!

Ella had her 8th birthday party last Saturday and the theme was American Girl tea party!  We had 14 girls here, and they all were asked to bring their doll!  So fun!

I made this “photo booth” for the girls each to pose in as dolls!

Big sister, Rilyn!

I also used old American Girl boxes and Ella’s picture in one, as decorations along with the magazine pages to decorate our cupboards! To seat all 14 dolls, I duct taped bandanas to the counter, and they worked great as “seats”!

me and the birthday girl before the party

Ella and “Sophie”. I bought doll party goods at Michaels!

Grandma and Ella (with a photo bomb by James!)

Look at that cute cake my friend made her! Designed to look like an American Girl box!

It’s a tea party! I wrapped tulle around the chairs to make it more “fancy!”

All of the special guests waiting to eat! Their owners were busy making the party food for them!

I bought Sculpey clay, and the first thing the girls did at the party was make party food for their dolls! AFter they made donuts, cupcakes, cake, etc. we put them in the oven to bake during the party! 🙂

baking the doll desserts!

Next, the girls got their own doll dress to fabric paint! My sister in law sewed all of these for Ella’s party!

The girls then played American Girl Bingo using candy as place markers!  Click the picture for the link to the free printables!

The doll desserts came out of the oven and were ready for the dolls to eat!

That means it was time for the big girls tea party!

Happy Birthday to Ella, happy birthday to you!  Notice the pink flames on the candles!

Make a wish!

Yummy pink tea (punch)!

Party pic!

present time! Ella got Olaf, from Frozen. Can you tell she’s excited?!

Ella hugged each friend after she opened their present! So sweet!

Love this girl so much! My cuddlebug!

We ran out of time (our party was 2 hours), but I also had bought lots of duct tape so the girls could make their own dresses. See the easy instructions here.

Ella had a few girls stay and sleep over, so they got to make the duct tape dresses!


Family and footsies!

After my parents house, we headed to DFW to visit James’ family!  James and I actually got to go to Winstar in Oklahoma first with his family, and see Jim Gaffigan perform, which was awesome!  I highly recommend his comedy show, as he is hilarious, and clean!  I think I got sick from Winstar though, because it was so crowded, smoky, and with all the flu stuff going around…the next morning, I started feeling not so great!  😦  But I had plans to surprise my girls with their first trip to the American Girl store in Dallas with my sister that morning so I put on a happy face!  It was an early birthday treat for Ella!

This was Ella’s face when she saw the store for the first time!

I had made reservations for the bistro! They even seat and serve your dolls!

Happy early birthday Ella Bella!

After the store, we celebrated Christmas with the Paquettes!

Christmas dinner!

The kids love them some aunt Mandy!

Disneyland Kinect game for our new Xbox! We love Disneyland!

James’ parents got us season passes to Schlitterbahn! Woo-hoo!!

James is photobombing in grand style as we are about to open a “ladies gift” 🙂

My mother in law got all the ladies footsie pjs! How funny is that?

The next day we played the “stocking game” in which I won $20 from a lotto ticket in my stocking! Woo-hoo! The kids always enjoy being “elves” during the stocking game!


family time!

At my parents house ready to celebrate Christmas!

The cousins in front of all our stockings!

My mom wraps one ornament each year for us to open!

My sister with her nieces and nephew!

a little silliness!

My mom with her grandbabies!

Time to open presents! I got rain boots to use on those wet/muddy photo shoots!

Looks like someone else got boots too!

Ella got her American Girl!

Meet Sophie!

And this is Serenity!


a December to remember

Here we are January 6th, 2014, and things have FINALLY calmed down!  Routine is just about to start again, (school starts tomorrow), and I can now look back over the hundreds of pictures I took in the last 2 weeks and remember the great winter break we had (besides me and James getting nasty colds that lasted most of the break!)

Christmas caroling in the neighborhood!

Rilyn LOVES singing (and an audience), can you tell? lol

Christmas Eve was quiet with a beautiful service at our church, and then we counted the money in our Shepherd’s pouches. The kids earned enough money from the month of serving to buy safe playground equipment for the children at a Compassion Center, and Rilyn picked out the gift of a water well for a family. It was a beautiful way to end the night before Christmas. Asher had a small breakdown when he realized HE wasn’t getting the playground equipment, but he also has never been to a developing country like the girls, and doesn’t have the understanding of being without. More opportunity to pray for his heart. We discussed how much they had earned, and prayed that next year they could double that total. Honestly, many times it was hard to watch them for serving opportunities because their hearts would be hard to it. I would leave a laundry basket of Asher’s clothes out in the hallway, hoping one of the girls would see it, and offer to put his clothes away without being asked. It never happened. Sigh. Shepherd’s Pouches are a good reminder of how selfish our hearts are to serving others. I’m just as guilty, but it was tough to see how many missed opportunities the kids have to serve each other, even when I made it very obvious and easy for them. I pray that years down the road, they will make quadaruple the amount of money because of soft hearts to serve each other!

Christmas morning started with us putting the last ornament on our Jesse Tree.

Ella putting the star on the Jesse Tree

We read this book

each day of Advent to change it up a bit. I really enjoyed the book. The imagery the author uses to tell the Bible stories is really beautiful. It made the Bible stories come alive for me in a fresh way!

Christmas morning-the Shepherd’s Pouches are replaced with their stockings!

Asher’s favorite stocking stuffer? His whoopie cushions!

Rilyn got the boots she wanted!

Ella and her elephants! She got the middle size one for Christmas this year!

Asher the artist! He got his own mini easel and paint!

Their big gift this year was an xbox! Here they are opening a game which made them realize they got one!

Well, Asher didn’t understand. He yelled, “I got the Cars 2 movies!” Ella was already running to the living room where the xbox was. LOL

Rilyn got Just Dance!

We ended our morning with birthday cake for Jesus for breakfast!


My photography business!

January 2014