Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kennedie is 6 Years Old TODAY

My precious first born is six today... I mean, I can't even.  Y'all that's two hands to hold up her age. Whoa.  It feels like yesterday that I got to meet her for the first time, and here we are today, 6 years later with Kindergarten almost over and 1st grade on the horizon. Ahhh! It just goes so fast!

I continued my yearly tradition of interviewing Kennedie on her birthday to see how things change from her perspective.  It's always neat to see how she answers.... to see how some things are so new and fresh on the brain, and others are constants and no brainers.

-How old are you?  6 
-What makes you happy? Chantzlyn 
-What is your favorite animal? Zebra & a ostrich & a giraffe because I like to feed a giraffe-What is your favorite thing to eat? Macaroni & cheese, and waffles, and also pancakes
-What is your favorite thing to do? Play family
-What is your favorite TV show? Peppa Pig
- What are you really good at?   I'm very good at cartwheels... I think I know how to do one now. (Side note,  Kennedie cannot do a cartwheel. Lol! But I love the confidence!)
What is your favorite movie? Snow White 
-What is your favorite color?  Purple & pink & turquoise What is your favorite song? I like to make up my own songs. 
Who is your best friend?  Lia, & Riley, & Cheney, & Veda, & Jacob, & Myra, & Kinjal & Karrissa, & Shelby, & Natalie
What do you and Mommy do together?  We clean up 
-What do you and  Daddy do together?  We go on dates
What is your favorite sport? Volleyball
Where is your favorite place to go? McDonalds, & just the ice cream place {Dairy Queen}
What is your favorite book?   I don't have any favorite books, but if there was a Snow White book I would get it and that would be my favorite book.
- What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a teacher and a mom and a dentist.
What is your favorite Bible verse? "How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." ~ Ephesians 3:18 
What is your favorite toy? Barbies 
- NEW QUESTION: Who loves you? Mommy, Daddy, & God

{If you are interested, you can go back and read her previous responses to see how things have changed, and how things have stayed the same: for year FIVE click HERE, for year FOUR click HERE, for year THREE click HERE.}

Kennedie, I really love doing these yearly interviews and hearing about you from your perspective.  Here is a little about you from my perspective:

- You have really grown up so much this year!  I am blown away by your perseverance in Kindergarten.  It was really hard to start at a new school and for the first half of the year you really didn't want to go and almost every day you cried because you wanted to stay with us, but you really persevered and are doing so great!  It's hard to do hard things, but you've done it!  You are almost done with Kindergarten and you have done amazing!  
-You are reading! What?! That's right girl!  You are sounding out those letters and just going through new books each day!  I'm SO, SO, SO proud of you! What a HUGE accomplishment! 
- You are also writing words, sounding things out, putting sentences together, labeling pictures, and even writing stories!  I LOVE to decipher the things you write.  It's so fun to go through your folder after school and see all the fun things you have written about. You are fantastic!
-Also with school, you are doing great in your math!  You don't give up when things get hard and you are continuing to try so hard each day.  I know that sometimes the "more than's" and "less than's" can be tricky for you, but you are trying and of that I am SO, SO, SO proud of you!  You are really great at shapes and lengths, and heights! Wa-hoo! 
- You have made SO many new friends this year at school! At the end of the day I love hearing about who you play with each day.  I love that there are names I hear every day and that you are making good friends, but I also love that I always hear a new name each day! This shows me that you are trying to play with lots of different people and that you are not just being exclusive!  This is a big deal!  I'm so proud of you! It's really easy to just keep playing with the same people, but you are branching out and meeting new people and trying to play with lots of different people!  Keep it up girl! 
- You have really grown spiritually.  You have such a nurturing spirit and you really someone who try their hardest.  It's been such a joy to watch you implement some of the things that we talk about spiritually and also some of the things you learn in Bible class.  I love to listen to your prayers and how they have matured some over the year.  I see how you are processing through lots of the things that we talk about.  I love that you have a heart to share Jesus with your friends. This is the most important thing in life... loving God, loving others, and sharing Jesus with other people. 
- Last summer you were so close to being able to swim with out a life jacket. I'm really hoping that this summer you will be able to get the whole swimming thing down good enough to where you won't have to have a life jacket this year.  I know if we can get you to the water more and you can have more practice that you'll get it! 
- You are also close to being able to ride your bicycle without training wheels.  I think if Daddy can get you outside more to practice that you'll get that too! 
- You are still very tiny for your age.  You are by far the smallest one in your class. It will be interesting to see what you weigh and how tall you are when we take you to the doctor for your well-check. If I am guessing I think you are about 35 pounds now and maybe 45 inches tall. We'll see soon enough!
- You can wear some size 6's, but some are just too big, it seems like 5 fits you the best right now. In the waist you could wear a size three, but then we have length problems! 
- You have not lost any teeth yet, but your two bottom teeth are loose.  Probably sometime over the next two months you'll loose them I'm thinking. 
- You are such a great big sister!  You play with your little sisters and you are always there to lend a helping hand. You especially love to carry your baby sister Chantzlyn around even if she doesn't want you to. Ha!  {In all fairness, you also know how to get on each of your sister's nerves and do that as well from time to time!}
- You love art!  You love to create!  You will draw pictures with sidewalk chalk, you will paint pictures sitting at the bar, you will color in your coloring books, you will create pictures on the magna doodle-- you just love, love, love art! 
- More than anything, you love to play babies. It is by far still the most played thing by you followed by Barbies in a close second. Every day you either "have a baby in your belly that's about to come out," or you "just went to the hospital to get your baby out."  You are such a little Mommy!  You love to play family and play babies! I love your nurturing spirit and your deep desire to be a Mommy. :)
- You also LOVE movies!  If I let you, you could sit down and watch movies ALL DAY LONG.  If the tv is on, then that is exactly where your attention is at (even if it's not necessarily something you would choose.) You LOVE to get caught up into a storyline and you love a good movie! 
- You have dropped your nap for the most part.  Every now and then I will lay you down for a quick little nap, but that is rare.  
- As far as sleeping, you go to bed sometime between 7:00 and 8:00-- pretty close to 7:30 most nights and we prefer to lay you down earlier as opposed to later, but some nights we have things going on and just can't get you down until closer to 8:00.  You tend to wake up about 6:30 each morning. 

My sweet little Kennedie, I am so proud of the little girl you are becoming.  You are compassionate and caring and observant and nurturing.  You have a heart for other people and you are a servant.  You are quick to help me with whatever I may be doing, whether cooking, cleaning, going grocery shopping or taking care of you sisters.  You are so sweet to always want to lend a helping hand.  You are full of joy and love to act silly.  Your smile lights up a room and brings me so much joy!  Six years ago, you made me a Mommy and that's the best gift I've ever received.  Each day you teach me more and more about God's love.  You are so quick to forgive me when I make a mistake and in other times you are quick to remind me of what God wants from me.  I'm so thankful for your little heart that is a constant reminder of God's presence.  You are like my little side kick in so many ways.  I love that you want to spend time with me... it's something that fills my heart and makes me so happy!  I know that you will not always want to be with me like you do, but I'm so thankful for this phase where you desire to "hang out" with me. I love to spend time with you. YOU, my sweet girl are such a blessing and I'm just so thankful to be your Mommy. I pray that you'll continue to learn more about God and the rich life that HE has planned for you in service in HIS Kingdom.  May you continue to be drawn to faith and one day commit your life to Christ in baptism.  I love you so much Kennedie... more than you'll ever know. Happy 6th birthday my love! 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chantzlyn is 7 Months Old Today!!

My, oh my!  Where or where does that crazy time go?!  It just keeps slipping away faster and faster! I can't believe my baby girl is already 7 months old!  She is officially closer to being 1 than being a newborn! Ah!  I don't think I can handle that stat right now!  Here is a little bit about my sweet girl this month:

Chantzlyn Hope:
- This was a BIG month for you!  The state of Texas will now officially recognize you as Howard girl! Yay! You were so big in the courtroom!  You did great in front of the judge even considering you were running a small fever.  I thought you were trying to get your sister's cold, but no... low and behold you were teething!
-Which brings us to exciting fact #2: TEETH!  Yes, 2 little bottom teeth barely poking through and giving that adorable grin of yours a little more character!  You are precious, and even with the snot and low grade fever you handled it like a champ! (Just a little extra fussy which is to be expected!)
- I think I'm going to go ahead and say that you are officially sleeping through the night! {I'm holding my fingers tight as I type that!} So far the last 2 weeks you have been doing great!  The few times you have woken up you have fussed just a tiny bit and gone back to sleep all on your own! Extra YAY for that!  Thank you for that early Mother's Day gift!
- Another big event is that you have started sitting up for just a few seconds by yourself... maybe up to ten seconds.  You soon realize what you are doing and you start to topple over.  You just laugh at yourself and think you are so funny!
- You have really started to fill out this month!  I think all those solids are really helping you grow!  I mean.... those little wrinkled knees get me every time!
- Now even though you are getting bigger, you are still in your 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers.
- You are starting to roll over more when I lay you down.  When I put you on your tummy for some tummy time your little neck and lower back are getting so strong now that you can lift yourself up for a few minutes now.  You have started to move your hands up under you some and kick your feet, but I think you are still far off from crawling.  You can roll over to your side, but you are not "rolling around" or anything.
- You are starting to get a teeny-tiny amount of more hair and it seems to be coming in pretty blond on the top and sides.  The back looks a bit more auburn.  Your eye lashes really seem to be filling in more and getting thicker too! Speaking of eyes, your eyes are still very blue!
- You still raise your legs up if I try to have you "stand."  You do not like the idea of standing up that's for sure.
- You are now eating peas, rice cereal (mixed in with things because you don't really like it), bananas (your favorite hands down!), avocado, sweet potato, apples, and squash.  You are doing great with your solids!
- You are still nursing 6 times a day and doing such a good job. You still very much enjoy my breastmilk.
- You LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your sisters and I love watching you watch them!  If the big girls are in the toy room playing, you love to sit in your bumbo and watch them.
- You love it when someone is singing.  Your eyes automatically lock in and just smile if you hear someone singing.  It's so sweet!
-You are trying to find your voice more and more and you are trying to talk and mimic sounds and facial expressions.
- When you are really tired, sometimes you will just fall asleep in your bumbo chair-- sometimes without a fuss.  We'll just look over and you will be asleep. It's so funny!
- You are still chewing/sucking on your thumb, fingers, or fist and you still don't take a pacifier.
- Sometimes when you smile so big you squint your eyes and and your gums go straight together with the biggest grin ever! It's SO cute!

Precious little baby girl of mine, my heart is so rich with love for you.  Your gorgeous little smile can light up any room that you are in.  Your giggle is priceless and unmatched and your eyes sparkle when you smile.  You are such a sweet, sweet little cuddle baby.  My heart is so full when you cuddle up in my neck when you are over my shoulder.... it's so sweet when you duck your little head right into the crevice of my neck.  Sweet girl you melt my heart when you smile when you see me.  I'm so thankful for you every single day.  I love you more than I could ever put into words.  

Court room smiles!


Sneak peek at 6 month portraits!  That grin though!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I love that I have some pictures of all 4 of my girls in the same outfit.  It's fun to see how they look alike or different, and it's especially fun to see some similarities in Chantzlyn even though she has different DNA.  It's also interesting to see how different they all are-- even if some share the same DNA! Ha!

These were all taken when the girls were around 3 months old.  Some maybe a tad sooner and some maybe a tad later, but roughly all about 3 months old. Some of the pictures are out of birth order, but you'll get the idea.  And there is different coloring to the pictures & some backgrounds are different, but again- you get the gist.

This next set shows a blue dress that I had when I was a baby:

The next one I don't have one of Kennedie in this dress, but it was mine when I was a baby also:

The next set is really special, because I have a picture of myself in the dress when I was a baby, and now one of all four of my girls sporting it:

Pretty fun!  Love all 4 of my girls & each of their unique features!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sawyer's Puppy Party

We got to celebrate Sawyer turning 4 about two months ago now.  It was so much fun!  She requested a "puppy party" and so it was fun playing it up for sure!  And no, she did not get a puppy.   The party was all things puppy, but there was no puppy.  I know... we will not win parents of the year award, but it's completely okay-- she had a great time.

This was such a fun party to really play up the theme!  Since last year she had a "Going on a Bear Hunt" party and it wasn't super girlie- I decided this year to play on a more girl-ier aspect of all things puppy.  It was awesome to see Sawyer's face light up as the decor started going up.  She really did love it and of course, that made me love it!

Get ready for a picture overload for sure!

First things first, my amazingly talented friend Natalie over at Topsy Turvy Print Shop designed the PERFECT invite to set the tone for this fun party.  She also created all the other cute prints you'll see in the pictures (the food tents, the favor bag toppers, the birthday sign, the cute framed signs). Here is the adorable invite:

Sawyer could not stop talking about her party all week long!  She was so excited she got up super early... which was kind of disastrous, because she was a bit tired which made her a little grumpy and super shy.  But we did the best we could and I think even through the exhaustion I know she had a fun time!

Here are some family pictures pre-party. Note the fun puppy ears we were all sporting for the pictures.  Each kid at the party got to take a pair home.  Thanks Pinterest for the idea.  Just plastic headbands, glue and felt.  I made several different colors.  For Sawyer's party shirt I just bought a pink shirt from Walmart and added a puppy appliqué from Hobby Lobby.  The whole thing was less than $7.  She wanted to add her necklace and bracelets to complete her party look!

We had the party at lunch and had fun with the food.  Here is the main food spread:

(I made these from ready made refrigerated bread sticks, just rolled them out and tied knots on the ends.  Spread butter and garlic powder on the top and baked in the oven.)

(Just pretzel sticks & Reeses cereal)

Here is the party table that housed all the sweets & treats {Sawyer's favorite!}

Some close ups of the yummy treats:

"Pupcakes"- Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting & French Toast cupcakes with maple syrup buttercream frosting

Chews sticks- the kids loved these- pink marshmallows & bubble tape gum

I made this chocolate cake to look like dog food in a dog bowl.  It's just chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and whopper candy. 

Scooby Snacks were perfect little dog biscuits. 

"Bark" -- super yummy! 

Poodle Fluff was just cotton candy 

Here are a few pictures of some of the decor:

Guests got to take home little dog bone sugar cookies that I made, and I also had out little "doggie bags" that people could fill with treats from the party. 

My favorite part was when we played the song, "Who Let the Dogs Out," and the kids danced to it. We listened to it over and over all week and Sawyer danced and danced.  Of course though, the day of the party she didn't want to dance at all.  It was still super cute with the other kids dancing with their little puppy ears on.  I didn't take a picture of it, but I have a video.  Here is Sawyer sitting in Lantz's lap (not dancing with her friends):

We were blessed by some sweet neighbors to let us use their bounce house that they have.  It was a great addition to the party.  All the kids had a fun time on it!

Everyone ate, drank, and were merry:

Of course when we sang to my sweet Sawyer, she had a bit of a melt down from being so tired.  She especially didn't like the extra attention. Poor thing:

But after the singing there were plenty of sweets and that kinda made up for it:

Then there were plenty of presents to open: 

Again, it was such a fun party and we are so thankful for friends and family who came to help celebrate our Sawyer Sue!