***I'm determined to catch up on cataloging our family's events this year. Be ready for outdated posts galore!


79 Days and Counting

as a brand new sunbeam, madison was given a chart to keep track of her daily scripture reading for the year.
(once we got back into town after holiday traveling)
i honestly thought the paper would find its way into the trash by the end of the week.
boy was i wrong.

 madison helped us remember to read scriptures before bedtime every night that week so she could fill in her next little box.
now we just started the book of mormon reader over again for the second time this year and have been at it for 79 days straight and counting.
(we missed one night - had friends over)

 madison noticed and pointed out on her own that everyone in the stories "keep going back and forth - good, bad, good."
and grace loves to point out all the prophets and bad guys.
what used to be a hit and miss thing for us is now a constant in our bedtime routine.
we are grateful and hopefully there is no going back.

i won't pretend every night is smooth sailing.  there are plenty of distractions. (sadie no longer joins us on the bed. :)



june 2010

*dan and grace were watching football together and when i came downstairs he had her tell me what team they were cheering for.  She said, "GO RAISENS!!!". i'm proud to say i am familiar enough with the nfl to know she meant ravens instead. :)

*madison started coming upstairs, leaving grace behind and she said, "i'm lost down here by myself madi babe!"  i sometimes call madison, madi babe as a nickname and apparently grace picked up on it.

*every time grace gets dressed for the day or undressed for the tub she yells, " i'm a maked girl!"

*she says, "i love you the mostest."

*instead of upside down, grace says up-side-ways.

*she calls the elevator, "alligator" and wants to be held every single time.

*i found her in the corner, with madison's pillow and a bunch of stuffed animals and asked what she was doing and she said, "i'm having a camp-over!"

*"NO sadie!!!!  you can't have your bone until after we have prayer!!" haha, she knows not to eat without having a blessing first.

*we were trying to discipline her for something and one of us said, are you going to obey or do you need to have a time out? 
her response, "i need a time out!"

our gracie is a brilliant, spunky, mischievous, affectionate, and tenderhearted little girl. 
she keeps us busy. and laughing.
{we like to think she's done all she can to prepare us for having a little boy next.}


Day One of Spring Break

snow isn't quite what we were expecting for spring break but we'll take it ... hoping this set of flurries is the last until next winter. 
the girls were gung-ho about throwing snowballs.
and for the first time, they didn't mind being all bundled up. 
at least from the waist up.

this little girlie wasn't quite the happy camper she normally is-

-partly because this guilty dog shook snow all over madison's little bare legs.  bad sadie!
but it was hilarious to watch madison having fun and trying to act grumpy at the same time.

this girlie had a blast and only came inside after going down the slide in her leggings, landing with her bum in the snow.
now if only it will start warming up again so we can fit some park days in too!


Operation: Make It Up ToThem

madison ran into my room this morning yelling, "it's zoo time!  it's zoo time!  you forgot to wake me up early so we can go!".  i spent the next 15 minutes trying to console her.  {we were supposed to drive to st. louis with some friends today to go to the zoo but i decided that driving two hours each way to spend most of the day walking around outside in 34 degree weather wasn't my idea of fun.  the girls would have miserable too.  but i still felt like the worst mom ever by disappointing the girls.}

after some convincing, the girls made a list of things we could do to salvage the day.  so far we've:
snuggled in bed and read books
made (and played with) rainbow pancakes, served with strawberries and syrup
danced around in the kitchen to 'wee sing silly songs'
helped train sadie with dog treats
colored with madi's birthday art supplies
and are watching a show or two - cat in the hat and super why (i heart pbs!!)

still to come:
paint our nails - fingers and toes
get out more baby stuff for baby brother (their idea!)
read more books
eat and play at mcdonald's
sort clean clothes (they LOVE helping with that)
make chocolate covered strawberries
watch a movie with mom and eat popcorn

we haven't planned the evening yet but it will be a girl's-day-continued since dan will only be home for 1/2 an hour while the girls are awake today.  i'm sure they'll come up with something - pillow fights have been a favorite lately. 

i'm grateful for short memories and forgiving little girls. 
we'll try and squeeze in a trip to the zoo next week.



this morning:
we ate mini muffins and cantaloupe for breakfast
listened to paul cardall's assorted hymn arrangements on shuffle
prepped and started dinner in the crockpot
the girls snuggled together watching a church movie as i raced to get ready for church
(i got in the shower 35 minutes before sacrament meeting started and we live 10 minutes from the chapel - oops!)

this afternoon:
grace fell asleep on the way home from church and transferred easily to her bed
madison had quiet time and watched mary poppins
i attempted a new homemade roll recipe and it was a success!! (link here)
enjoyed a diet coke
had a perky two year old after she took lengthy nap
played outside in our gorgeous weather
and ate an awesome family sunday dinner at 7:30 when dan finally got home after being at the church for a long 11 hour day - shoyu chicken, sticky rice, steamed broccoli, fresh fruit salad, and rolls - i'm still stuffed

our life is by no means perfect but i found myself completely satisfied this afternoon.  dan was still at the church, having been there all day. my kitchen was a disaster, a whirlwind of dishes strewn across all the counters.  our muddy dog's barking was interrupted occasionally by crying from the girls about who's turn it was on the baby swing or which princess was who's. 

yet everything just felt right. 
the ups and the downs.
the laughing and the crying.
this is exactly what i signed up for.

i think i've said this before but there's something totally enchanting about living everyday life. 

here's to being better at blogging about it!


Thoughts on Baby Boy Bedding

our house is dominated by pink.  pink clothes, pink toys, and pink bedding - i think it will be nice to throw some blue into the mix.  i just haven't been able to get excited about dinosaurs, trucks and trains, jungle animals, or any of the other boyish themes i've seen.  after searching high and low i decided a couple months ago on THIS bedding from target.  this set would be simple enough for a new baby and still look cute as toddler bedding down the road, plus allow some flexibility and versatility in decorating the rest of the room. perfect, right?

well i went to finally order it online yesterday so we can start getting things decorated and ready for when this little guys comes, only to find out it's "not available".  bummer!  after calling for more information i was informed there is a chance it will be stocked again.  hmmm, now the waiting game begins.

for now i'll hunt for a back up.  THIS is another option at target, same pattern but different colors, though i would probably choose something with more blue.

what are your thoughts? favorite (cheap) bedding lines?  boy themes and decor you like?  somewhere along the lines of simple, cheap, and easy....  we just have 11 weeks to go!

**pictures of our finished girl's room coming soon!!



A Glimpse

my last post was over a month ago so we've been MIA for awhile. wow. no excuses or apologies for now. just a quick summary of the big things happening around here:

dan made it home (finally!) from the AAD conference in new orleans
we recovered from rsv/some sort of serious cold
celebrated valentines day
and our dad's birthday's
dan turned 30 with a "surprise" party
madison turned 4 and had a friend party
dan has immersed himself in studying for the mock board exam which is later this month
i helped plan a generations dinner and new beginnings for yw's (spoke at the later)
i also taught preschool and a combined yw's lesson
recently enjoyed a week long visit from aunt/sister/sister in-law lindsay
bought a piano
and started my third trimester!

 i'm sure there are noteworthy events missing and many of these things even deserve a post of their own but this will do for now.  

and since every post is better with a picture... or three...   

grace has the tiniest bum ever and couldn't keep her skirt on. but there was no way she'd put down her bubble wand and use both hands. silly girl.

so there you have it - a glimpse into our busy lives and an update to hold you over until next time. :) 


Madison Turns Four

on february 28th, 2007, madison elizabeth skinner joined our family.  is seems like just yesterday but now we're celebrating her FOURTH birthday!!

the festivities started the night before her birthday so we could skype with family and have her open presents from them "in front of them".  madison loved everything she was given and grace lucked out with a few presents too.

monday was madison's actual birthday and she took cupcakes to share with her preschool class.  that afternoon we headed over to bonkers, an awesome indoor playground.  dad was a good sport and climbed around with the kids.

we took jackson and hallie, some of madison's good friends, and aunt lindsay was in town visiting so she came too.  (this is terrible picture but i t cracks me up.)

we returned home from bonkers, made homemade pizza for dinner, and opened more presents.

madi loooves her new dress from lindsay because it twirls and she grins at church whenever she gets compliments.

madison had a good little helper...

she was given art stuff out the wazoo but it's been wonderful and exactly what she wanted because madi spends hours coloring and painting.  some of the markers are already drying out.


i'm the frazzled pregnant mom who couldn't remember where i hid the candles so we sang happy birthday and lit matches instead.  :)

that night madison snuggled right up with fluffy, her new pillow pet, and looked content.  it made me happy seeing her so happy. 

madison is a tender, sensitive, affectionate little girl with a strong desire to please others and always do what is right.  she's such a great little helper and the perfect oldest child for our family.  we are so grateful for her excitement to read the scriptures and pray daily and she has been a huge example to me.  
Happy 4th Birthday Madison!! We sure love you!!