Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday, Shelby!

Shelby's birthday is on Christmas Eve. 12 years ago, she gave her mom and dad such a shock when she came 5 days early and the day before Christmas at that. Since her birthday falls when it does, we usually celebrate it early with her friends. This year she and 2 friends went ice skating, and we all had a great time. I took the book You and Your Girl by Vicki Courtney and in between skating, I was able to get lots of reading done. One of the 2 friends moved away over a year ago, so the 3 of them had a great reunion. Her actual birthday was lots of fun, too, since, of course, there was no school to do. Her breakfast of choice was Monkey Bread- her favorite. Shelby had really outgrown her bike so she picked out a very nice new bike. By the way, our camera stopped working the day of her birthday and I had to use Shelby's camera. Thus the pictures aren't too good. Thankfully, my BIL fixed it the night of her bday! (Thanks Tripp!) That afternoon, before church, Shelby's grandparents and other family came by to have cake wth us. Note: the huge crack in the cake is a mystery. I assure you it was not there after it cooled. It was not there after I iced it. It was such a pretty cake, and I was really proud of it because I am not very good at making pretty level cakes. Well, God must have thought my pride was sinful because when I took the cover off the cake, I was shocked. There was a HUGE crack. Oh well, I learned my lesson. "Pride goes before destruction. . ." Proverbs 16:18 Seriously, I spent too much time trying to create the "perfect" cake and God showed me that despite all of my efforts, His plan was different because my cake was far from perfect! However, that red velvet cake with the gigantic crack still tasted delicious, and the birthday girl was happy. Shelby is a special child with the temperament of her father- not her mother. She is so patient and loving especially with her younger siblings. Many days, I just listen to her and am convicted of my impatient attitude. She loves the Lord, and I can't wait to see how God uses her to further His kingdom.

Happy 10th Birthday, Katie!

Katie celebrated her birthday 2 weeks after Shelby. She and 3 friends went to Build-a-Bear and had great fun creating new furry friends. On her actual birthday, she started the celebration with her breakfast of choice: chocolate chip muffins. I'll share a new secret I learned. The store was out of choc. chip muffin mix, but I noticed a new Martha White pound cake muffin mix. I debated in my mind whether or not I should just make a muffin batter from scratch and add the choc. chips. My mind quickly remembered that her birthday was on a school day and that I better go w/ a box muffin mix. So I made the pound cake muffin mix and added choc. chips. Let me tell you- those were the BEST choc. chip muffins ever. Try it! Anyway, back to Katie's birthday, after breakfast, she opened presents and loved her new purple bike. Then she had to do school although she tried her best to talk me out of it to no avail. Later that night, her grandparents and other family dropped by for pizza and birthday cake. It was a great day for Katie. She is a precious child with such a servant heart. She thinks God is calling her to be a missionary in China. I'm not sure how God plans to use Katie, but I know He definitely has big plans for her.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our First Christmas with Ellie

The only picture of all 6 kiddos. Here they are showing off their Christmas ornaments. We give each child an ornament every Christmas related to that child's interests for that year. This year we had 2 horse ornaments, a baseball, a dump truck, a Princess, and a "gift from God -2008" for Ellie.

Our children at Mimi's house with the "older" cousins and for now the only cousins in the family. As you can see, the day was just too full of excitement for little Lilly. She became so irritable that it was actually funny then her Aunt Lala held her and in just a few minutes, she was out. Even during the switch-off to cousin Amber's arms and through the annual cousin pictures, Lilly slept! It was Ellie's turn for a nap on the way to my grandmother's house and for the first half of our celebration there.

One of Ellie's favorite gifts from her Aunt Renee- a baby who moves, talks, and makes sucking noises as if she is really drinking the bottle. Thankfully, we did find a switch to turn this doll off! However, Ellie also found the switch to turn her back on. And Lilly got this doll's twin so now it's like we have 8 kids!

Big girl Lilly with her new Princess scooter. Her brothers helped put it together and were so happy for her to have a scooter like they do.

Ellie and Ethan enjoying sitting in an empty box that was their "boat". Ethan is always using his imagination.

Katie and Ellie checking out the goodies in their stocking. I found Christmas candy with scripture verses on the package so each older child read their verse on Christmas morning. We try to downplay the gifts and focus on Jesus' birth each Christmas season. We do well at our house, but it becomes more difficult when we get to the 3 Grandmoms' houses when there are so many gifts!

Lilly with her "BB" as she calls her. She can say Shelby fine now, but Shelby prefers Lilly to still call her "BB" rather than Shelby. They are a sweet pair as are Katie and Ellie!

Fulton getting some sweet hugs from Lilly and Ellie. He is such a sweet big brother- most of the time until one decides to mess with his "stuff".

Holding hands- can you see? A moment where they are "best friends" as Lilly says. However, it can be only a mere moment later when Lilly is not nearly so sweet!

Ellie got to open the first present on Christmas morning. She was so excited!

She loves music so the musical set with lots of instruments and a very big drum was a huge hit!