Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation

Emma's Kindergarten Diploma

Emma receives her diploma from Mrs. Clos

Outside by the tree in front of her building.

My sweet girl is getting so big! Now on to 1st grade!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Because it's been way too long.....

I decided to at least post some pictures.  I really haven't felt like writing here for a long time.  And every time I think about writing, I feel like I have to update on everything that's happened since the last time I wrote.  Well that's just not gonna happen!  So here are some fun pics of things we've been up to so far in 2009:

Ella took her first ballet class.  This is a shot of her doing a "routine."  Shortly after I took this photo, she broke out of line and started running in circles around the room.  Oh well.  Last week we got to watch a different routine, and she stayed in line and did the entire thing.  I was so proud of her!
I think she enjoys dressing up in a leotard and ballet shoes as much as doing the actual dancing!

I also decided to get back into crochet after seeing this pattern in a book.  I love crochet, but get bored with it quite easily.  I thought of my sister when I saw this, so I decided to make this for her birthday!  Since completing this one, I've got 3 more projects up my sleeve.  They are all gifts, so when the recipients receive them, I'll post pics!

Shortly after Christmas, the girls got a full-sized bed to share.  We've had this bed in my parent's storage room for 5 years and we knew we wanted to give it to the girls.  Todd's great-grandfather made this bed, so it's very special to the family.  Ella was especially excited to be in a big girl bed after sleeping on a mattress on the floor for 6 months!  We even got brand new bedding.  I'm thinking about giving the walls a fresh coat of paint to complete the look.

Emma had to make a box for her Valentine's Party at school.  We got out the scrapbooking supplies and cut out hearts, pasted on stickers, and covered the whole thing with Sparkle Mod-Podge!

You might be wondering about Emma's colorful sweater and hair-bows.  It was 80's day at school, I do believe.  This was the best I could come up with! 

My favorite part of the night was that Emma was so kind and considerate towards her little sister.  She let Ella place the paper hearts after she spread the glue on.  She was very patient and giving, and I was so proud of her!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Trip to the Orchard

This weekend we took a quick trip up to the apple orchard with my Mom and the girls. Todd had to go to Chicago for the day, so we went without him.

It was pretty cold and windy, but at least the sun was shining! The girls had so much fun picking their apples.

We even got an end of season discount. We had to do some searching, but we found plenty of trees that still had a lot of fruit.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


September turned out to be quite the busy month. At the beginning of the month, Emma started kindergarten. She had a bit of an adjustment period to go through, but she's doing great with it now. She loves it so much! Her teacher says she is doing great, and seems to be showing an extra ability in art.

The second weekend of the month, I started a new job. I work weekends at one of my church's 4 locations. I do custodial work, which involves cleaning and set-up and tear down for various events. I work 10 hours each day, and while it is exhausting, I am so thankful for the extra income.

In the middle of September, I celebrated my 33rd birthday! As is usual with birthdays as an adult, it was pretty uneventful. Todd and the girls baked a cake on my birthday. Then the following weekend we ate out at Famous Dave's. Yum!

The end of the month was probably the most anticipated part of the month. Emma and I flew out to Portland, OR for my sister Julie's wedding. This was the first time that I had been to Oregon, so I was pretty excited to go! Emma was the flower girl, so that alone made her excited! Here are some pictures from the wedding.

Julie and Emma before the ceremony.

Nemo and Emma play while pictures are taken.

Emma, Julie, and Nemo pose for a photo.

Emma walks down the aisle!

Julie, Mom, and Dad make their entrance.

We had a great time at the wedding. Emma and Nemo really enjoyed the dance floor! Because of the time difference though, Emma was asleep in my arms by 9pm. It felt like midnight to her!

The day after the wedding, everyone met up at the house where we were staying. We made a brunch for the guests, and we watched Julie and Jeremy open their gifts. After that, Emma and I went with my parents and my sister Michelle and her family up to Multnomah Falls. I'd always heard it was beautiful. It was gorgeous! We had a great time up there. Emma really liked hiking up to the bridge, which was probably about a third of the way up to the top of the falls.

The view from Vista House.

Emma and I pause for a picture in front of the falls.

Emma, Nemo, and Mia with Grandpa and Grandma.

Emma was so excited to be there!

This is the bridge that we hiked up to. The rest of the way up to the falls would've been too difficult for the kids. I'd love to go back with Todd and the girls when they are a bit older!

Overall, we had a great month. We are back in Michigan, and headed straight into fall! The weather is finally turning colder and the leaves are starting to change. I love this time of year, so I plan to savor every minute of it!

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Friend Michelle

Throughout junior high and high school, I was friends with a girl named Michelle. I think I got to know her through some other friends of mine, and we soon hit it off. During my freshman year, I invited her to attend youth group with me. She ended up attending our church, and becoming a strong part of the youth group for our entire high school years. After high school, we quickly lost touch, as does often happen when one goes off to college. And truth be told, I think I probably formed deeper friendships in college. But that never minimized my friendships in high school. Those girls were important to me, and a huge part of my youth; something which helped shape who I am today.

Fast forward 15 years. (Yikes, has it really been that long?) I decided to join facebook about a year ago, and it's been a wonderful way to reconnect with old friends. Michelle was one of those friends that I found rather quickly. We started chatting on the website, exchanged Christmas cards, and caught up with all that had happened since high school. Michelle started to share with me a lot of her life's struggles, hurts, and pains. I knew she was troubled, and it seemed that she'd been that way all of her adult life. Actually, she struggled with depression in high school, and it never seemed to go away. I tried to be an encouragement to her, and she seemed grateful for our renewed friendship. But last Wednesday, Michelle decided she'd had enough pain. She chose to end her life. I got the phone call from a mutual friend, one whom I'd reconnected with on facebook as well. Although I wasn't surprised, I was certainly shocked. I was flooded with emotions and memories, all at the same time. I couldn't think clearly; all I could picture was the face of my high school friend, a face I wouldn't get the chance to see again. And it made me terribly sad. I had huge feelings of remorse, wishing there was something more I could've done. But even though my heart hurts for her, my head knows that isn't true. I did all that I could do, and she made her decision.

If there is a silver lining in all of this, it's the numerous friends that I have reconnected with. I can think of at least 10 people that I hadn't really talked to in years. And now we're reconnecting, comforting each other, remembering the painful and the good. A few of these friends were everything to me in high school, and we've had the chance to let each other know what should've been said back then..."You were so important to me, and I cared about you."

And so, as I think back on Michelle, I'm choosing to remember the memories that I had with her. The 8th grade class trip to Cedar Pointe. Carmen, DC Talk, and Al Denson concerts. A mission trip to Chicago, which was my first exposure to Moody, my alma mater. Youth group retreats. Singing in the high school choir during Festival of Lights at church. The fact that Michelle was tone deaf and had no rhythm (something I found out while we were recording ourselves singing "The Greatest Love of All" at Cedar Pointe. Cheesy, I know!). All of the many encouraging notes and scriptures that Michelle wrote out for me every time I left for a mission trip. Building the MADD float for the high school homecoming parade. Football games. Sharing a locker. The list goes on. Thanks for the friendship and the memories, Michelle. I'll miss you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Well we have almost finished the first week of school, and things are going pretty well. Emma is really liking kindergarten. I noticed her talking to Ella in such a big-kid way today, being a helper and nurturing her. Ella has had a bit of a rough time adjusting to Emma not being here all day long. Today she kept saying, "It's time to go get Emma!" We stayed at home the 1st 2 days, but ventured out to the park to play today. I'm learning how to manage my time as well. It's so strange to only have one around the house! I'm craving a schedule, and I know I'll get there. My main goals are doing an even better job with housekeeping, potty-training Ella, and maybe having time once in a while to scrapbook!

Today I told Ella that if she can use the potty and not have accidents in her pants, then I will get her a Fancy Nancy dress-up outfit from Target. Oh boy! Not sure if that was a mistake or a good thing. She's asked me all evening for the dress. She did have an accident on the floor and was pretty upset that she's not getting that dress TODAY! I don't think she competely understands the incentive. But she loves dress-up clothes, and loves Fancy Nancy as well, so this will probably work!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Emma's 1st day of school

Outside our house.

Emma and Ella make funny faces and look at me as I tell them to "Relax!"

Outside Emma's school, waiting to go in.

Emma at her desk with her "Super Star" pencil and note from Mommy and Daddy.

Emma and Garrison have been friends since they were 1 year old! Now they are in the same class and sit right behind each other.