Tuesday, November 30, 2010

going on a date

Has it really been so long without a good Ava story? I may have to write down some I know I've missed. : )

But here's my sweet Ava the afternoon of today's story.

What a girl. Notice the outfit?

She changes about 5+ times a day.

Usually it's into some form of summer clothes - here's a summer dress, a sweater of Kate and Olivia's and of course, the beloved flip flops.

Every day before preschool we have a "discussion" that she can't wear shorts or flip flops but she can put them on when she gets home.

And she always does. : )

But on to my story. . .

One late afternoon a couple weeks ago, we were waiting for Daddy to get home from work.

Ava and I had talked earlier on how excited mommy was to go on a date with Daddy that night and how Ava was going to go play with her friends.

"Why are you going on a date with Daddy?" Ava asked.

"Because mommy likes to spend time with daddy. It's special to go on a date with him. Someday when you're married, you can go on dates too!" I replied.

So the girls were playing and I was cleaning up the kitchen so we'd be ready to go.

All of a sudden, Ava came skipping across the family room in front of me and telling me something that out of my interrupted train of thought I absentmindly asked, "What?"

At the same time I asked "what?" I registered what she said (I know you know what I'm talking about."

And as I watched my daughter's bashful face appear and her suddenly getting very shy as she refused to repeat her statement, my heart melted a little bit.

For Ava had skipped into the room happily telling me,

"I'm going on a date mom."

As I told my laughing thoughts inside not to make her more embarressed, I quickly responded,

"Oh, that's special. Who are you going on a date with?"

I wasn't sure what to expect but all of a sudden my little girl looked about 25 (my preferred dating age for her) as she thought about it, shrugged her shoulders and answered with big eyes and total sadness,

"I don't know. I don't have anyone to go on a date with!"

Trying not to smile more, we started talking through her friends.

Are you going on a date with Cole?

"no mom - he's not here."

With Cade?

"No mom (getting giggly), he's not here either." She quickly added,

"It's just pretend mom, not for real."

Phew. Glad we don't have to really have this conversation yet.

With Noah?


With Levi?


How about Landon?

Ava paused for a full minute and seriously considered the prospect.

And then my heart kind of stopped again as my much too grown up little girl once more turned to me with the most vulnerable eyes, threw up her hands and said,

"But I don't know if he'd want to go on a date with me!"

Heaven help us.

fall fun

We couldn't have a fall go by without some fun playing in the leaves

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hmmmm . . . .

When I first decided to buy a bookshelf as a nightstand between the twins' beds in their big girl room, I was super excited and thought it was a great idea. It was something different, unique and fun.

Kate and Olivia liked the idea too.
In fact, they thought it was a great idea.

Who needs ladders or bunk beds?

In fact, we may just skip that whole bed idea entirely.

I mentioned I thought the bookcase was good idea?


Monday, November 15, 2010

my two favorite songs right now

Although getting to hear them sung live this weekend may have slightly influenced my bias. The words are worth listening to the end every time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

halloween extravaganza

Halloween fesitivites lasted a few days in our home this year. I had a friend ask me how we feel about Halloween and I have mixed reactions. But I think at this point, we've come to the conclusion that it's much of what you make (and don't make) it. At the ages our girls are at, it's fun and innocent. Add in some intentional family activities with a purpose and we're enjoying the extra fun for now. So here's some photos of our family's fun.

Ava's preschool party was thursday morning. Excited and ready to go!
A cute bunch - wouldn't you say?! I told Ryan I had so much fun watching all the kids file into school that morning.

Friday morning was our annual trek to Daddy's work.
Olivia, my care bear, ready to go

Kate was pretty snuggable as my Lady Bug

Ava was quite excited to hang out in Daddy's office. She had Kate and Olivia sit in his other chairs and SHE got to sit behind the desk.

"trick or treating. . . " (although that would imply my girls said that)
We figured "dank you's" were good enough for now.

Snuggling Daddy on our way down to lunch

Sunday afternoon Ava and I headed out to our church's harvest party. They had fun games for the kids to play and the beloved face painting. Ava wanted me to match and I got her to settle for mommy getting a smaller butterfly.

Grandpa and Grandma came by with Aunt Callie to see our little trick-or-treater's off.
A quick family photo

Aunt Callie and Kate

Then we headed out with some friends for some trick-or-treating.
Right now, we only visit about 6 close neighbors before we're "done!" I'm waiting for the day my girls figure out there's a WHOLE LOT MORE houses and a WHOLE LOT MORE CANDY. : ) For now, I enjoy the simplicity and the fun of being together.

I think Kate was a little sad I kept making her only take one piece of candy.

And with that we headed back home to enjoy some pizza, friends and the fun of handing out candy. At this point, I think the kids (ok, mine : ) ) were getting a little sick of the pictures.

And this photo? I just had to throw it in for fun. Ava loves our friends' little girl Alexa. Alexa tolerates Ava's love and attention. Ava wanted a picture with her and I thought it pretty perfectly summed up their relationship. : )

And with that we were Halloween'd out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin painting

Before the month of October was completely over, we had to get a family night of pumpkin painting in! I knew Ava would love it . . .but Kate and Olivia were right there with her. I think sometimes I forget how big they really are and just always think of them as babies. All my little girls had a ball.

Ava excited to begin
Kate hard at work

Olivia showing off
(speaking of showing off: one of Kate and Olivia's favorite things of late is showing off any art project they're working on in search of some praise. "Maaam - Loooook" is something I hear all throughout the day. It always makes me smile).

Such concentration : )

Some Kate Cheese

Olivia cheese

And cheese all the way around.
Let's just say it took an entire night and then some for these pumpkins to dry.

And of this just in time for it to rain 3 nights later and wash most of the paint off. : )
It's the memories - right?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Poor Ryan spent his birthday flying back to Illinois by himself to get back to work while I stayed to drive our girls home from michigan the next day (my parents had them while we were in Mexico). Actually, it wasn't a big deal for him. But Ava was quite worried about missing daddy's birthday. : ) So the night we got home we had to head straight to the store and have a birthday party for daddy.

Decorations up and ready
Daddy and his 3 girls

We love you!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Ryan and I each have a college roommate and close friends who have spent the past 5 years down in Magdalena, Mexico serving at an orphanage there. While I still can't believe it took us 5 years, we finally were able to get down and visit them and see their daily lives. It was such a blessing - not only to be with them but to see how clearly God is using every individual down there to permanently affect the hearts and lives of each child there. I didn't take lots of pictures, but here's a few.

Our first morning there (after being up and traveling roughly 18 + hours the day before), we got to spend the morning with Seth at Keith and Emily's for breakfast. It was so fun to catch up and just relax . . .and the fact that I got to snuggle Keith and Emily's sweet new Brielle for long periods of time was a double bonus.
One of Seth's boys, Michael, hung close to Ryan most of the time there. It was fun to watch them together.
Some of the boys playing

Helping in the kitchen
The sanctuary they have there on campus I think is beautiful - this picture doesn't do it justice. It was really neat to be able to see the people that come, share a service with them and see God's work in action.

How Carissa and I spent much of our Saturday - getting the meat ready for Sunday's dinner.

Katie is opening up the most adorable coffee shop in town. We got to go visit it Sunday afternoon. If I could, I'd totally go spend quiet afternoons there! It has atmosphere, good books and lots of delicious stuff to drink and eat. We definitely pray God will bless her dream and vision to touch the lives of those in Magdalena.

Ryan and I got to go visit the downtown area . . .a little sunny. : )

They have a nice tradition of smashing a birthday person's face in their birthday cake . . .since Ryan's birthday was going to be the day after we left, we HAD to indulge the kids. : ) Ava still quite get over this one. She keeps asking, "Why did they push Daddy's face in the cake?!"

Our last morning on campus with Seth and Carissa

Thanks for your incredible hospitality and friendship. We were blessed by your hearts of service and trust that God will continue to give you the daily wisdom, love and patience : ) you need for every moment.

Chuck E Cheese

For better or for worse, we introduced our girls to the world of Chuck E Cheese last month while my niece Auburn was here for a visit. Surprise - it was a big hit. : ) It was fun to watch my girls enjoy some of the same games I remember.

Kate and Daddy have fun
Ava takes a turn

I remember spending hours playing this game as a kid - I'm a little rusty these days : )

This sort of counts as a group shot - right?! : )

Me and Auburn

Ava LOVED this horse

Thursday, November 4, 2010

rule #1 in blogging. . .

What you can't stop . . .

. . .you post about.

Give you one guess which parent came up with this idea.
And no. It doesn't sound anything like mommy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

need a makeup consultation?

Ava's now booking appointments through december.