Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mother's Day and Father's Day 2015

Mother's Day and Father's day is about celebrating motherhood and fatherhood. It recognizes the special journey that Jay and I are blessed to be a part of. It also is a tangible reminder of the places that we have been as we are both very blessed by our mother's and father's in our own lives. These days are usually full of love and laughter and time together. While our time together as a family was truly perfect, it was still a difficult holiday emotionally as I missed my mom terribly on this day, wishing that I was celebrating with her. I realized that it doesn't matter how old you are, you miss your mom no matter what. I took a lot of time remembering the best things about her, mostly how she dedicated her life to caring and providing for her children physically and emotionally. Most of all, I miss her love that glued our family and myself together more than I ever realized before. My girls will be forever blessed that they have met her and may they have a lifetime of memories in their heart of someone who loved them so very much. In her memory, the girls and I planted flowers, which will be a yearly tradition. Since then, I look at them and smile, remembering how much she loved planting flowers on her deck in the spring and fall. They brought her so much joy and it is amazing how seeing the flowers below her wind chime now brings me joy. On a lighter note, we made taco dip for the first time together and we gobbled it all up smiling, laughing and remembering how mom used to make taco dip on all special occasions.

On Mother's Day weekend, we packed up and spent time at our favorite family spot-Jellystone. Each time we go, the kids can do more and more and they look forward to the different activities. In just one weekend we had so much fun between the water park, play land, roasting smores, learning to play "go fish," eating funnel cakes, riding bikes, ice cream social, train ride, watching outdoor movies and so much more! It really is such a fun time and the weather was more than perfect. At home we celebrated with our traditional picnic (this year indoors from a rain shower). It was neat watching the girls play Candy Land; it was a big step in our lives because they actually had an attention span to legitimately play half of a game! Jay spoiled me with a wonderful dinner and desserts.

In June, we celebrated a very special daddy! We went to the infamous Killen's BBQ for lunch and went to our first movie together "Inside Out." Daddy got a "movie date night with the girls" gift where he got two Disney movies and specialty popcorn and candy to enjoy with the girls to remember the first movie together. No doubt it was a memorable day for all. We learned that Avery eats popcorn fist over fist where Aubrey is more piece by piece! It was a fun day.

Mother's Day weekend: Fun at Jellystone, indoor picnic at home and movie night to top it all off!

First game of "Go Fish" (Yes, Aubrey is eating a dill pickle, girl after my own heart!)
Remembering mom on Mother's Day and enjoying some taco dip on her sunshine plate.
Indoor Mother's Day picnic

Game of Candy Land

Aubrey and Avery each planted their own pot of flowers for Gramma for Mother's Day. It a special and memorable time. Avery picked more orange and pink flowers (with a little bit of purple for Gramma) and Aubrey all pink and purple. Flowers are still healthy and growing.  

Father's Day 2015: Kick the day off when fun at the pool, then enjoying BBQ at Killen's, and then the movie "Inside Out." The day was so memorable and fun.

Three happy campers waiting for BBQ!


The girls got bikes for their trip to Jellystone.

"Go Fish" for the first time. 

April - June 2015

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines JOY as a "source or cause of great happiness." Without a shadow of a doubt, my two minis are one of my greatest sources of joy. Even in the worst of days, there is nothing more joyful than being surrounded by these two  love-bugs. My favorite thing that they say/do now is they hold out their arms as far as they can reach and they say: "Mommy...I love you THISSSSSSS much!" My greatest joy, even more than being with my two littles, is when the four of us are all together. The girls call us "Mommy-Daddy" and see us as one....Just like God intended it to be!

April was a fun month. We celebrated our Risen Lord and enjoyed Easter as a family. The pace at which they gathered eggs this year was exponentially faster than last year! In the morning we did Easter baskets and an egg hunt, church, and then had a wonderful dinner with Aunt Aimee, Uncle Israel and Tessa. In April, we also had two wonderful visits from both sides of the family and to no surprise the girls were spoiled with love and fun. Poppy had a special treat for them: Frozen on Ice! The girls are still all about Frozen and seeing them in the show was pretty fantastic! Poppy got some good one-on-one time as he helped us out with childcare while I went to work. Nana and Grandpa also had a fun week spending time with the kids-playing, snuggling and everything in between. There was no shortage of fun and family!

The girls finished up their first (half) year of Pre-K 3. They did really well in school and Avery often would tell me that her favorite part of the day was school. This year they were in separate classrooms and next year they will be together. Every day when I ask them what their favorite part of the school day was, they always respond: "when I got to go outside and play with Aubrey/Avery." I know that the time separate is good for them, but they sure do thrive together. I told them that next year they will be together and you should have heard the cheers! If only they will stay so lovingly sweet to each other as they get older! Talk about being sweet, and precious...We had the round of the GI bug in May and Avery got sick at a restaurant (before we knew she was coming down with something). I loaded them up in the car while Jay packed up and I got my buckle on and before pulling out, Aubrey says to me: "Mommy, can we pray for Avery?" I told her that would be a great idea and I would love it if she could pray for her sister to feel better. The words that she spoke were so pure in heart and such a blessing to my ears. It was so evident that they truly care about each other.

In May, Avery learned how to ride her balance bike and Aubrey was shortly behind, learning in June. Avery is so speedy and balances so well! Aubrey is now just tall enough to sit and swing her legs back and forth and you wouldn't believe that on day one she was already going around the neighborhood circle! Another new and exciting phase of toddlerhood.

June finished off with a visit from Poppy so we could celebrate a big birthday together! We are so blessed that both families are able to be such a big part of the children's lives. Poppy got to see them at gymnastics and swim lessons and was able to celebrate "kid style" by going to Chuck E Cheese! (Hahaha!). Speaking of swim lessons....the start of this year was less than ideal, but by our fourth lesson they turned the corner and now they are little fishes! We have gone every day for three weeks and they have made so much progress. Right now they jump in from the side, pop up, turn themselves around and make it back to the side; they swim breaststroke (3 year old style) and are working on coming up for breaths (1-2) and are great at picking up toys from the bottom of the pool and various other water skills. They ended up having such a great time we signed them up for two lessons a week for the rest of the summer. Gymnastics and swim lessons it is...and lots of reading on the in between for these growing kids this summer! I am just absolutely loving them being off school for the summer...we are having so much fun and I just love the fact that I have so much time with them. They truly are my blessings from above.

Enjoy some pictures below over the past three months! I made a separate blog post for Mother's Day and Father's Day 2015. Make sure to check it out! 

April 2015:
Nothing makes me happier!
My princesses!

Easter Egg Hunt at CFA: Last year and this year we were able to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt hosted by CFA. You would be surprised how many pictures we took and ended with many more outtakes than keepers, but it's reality! Trust me, eating candy or being goofy is way more exciting than looking at the camera to smile!


Beautiful princesses in our beautiful backyard. These simple every day activities are the memories that I cherish.

Making beautiful pieces of art from a gift from Gramma.
That is some serious concentration!

Easter 2015: We enjoyed our day together, celebrating that Christ has risen. We had a fun egg hunt outside, opened presents in our Easter Baskets, had fun at Church and then go to see Aunt Aimee, Uncle Israel and cousin Tessa for dinner!

Tessa is 9 weeks old. Loving baby cuddles!
We both have Elsa braids!
This is what happens when Aubrey has sugar! She is constantly on the move!

Easter morning: 

Frozen on Ice: Poppy had a very special day planned for the girls-Frozen on Ice. To the girls, everything is Frozen related and they remind me multiple times an hour..."My name is not Aubrey/Avery, it is Elsa, or the green Anna." We have Frozen bandaids, Frozen blankets, Frozen pillows, make Frozen pancakes, live in Frozen princess name it, our house is littered with Frozen! It was the first ice skating show the girls had seen and their attention was captivated the entire time. Unfortunately, Aubrey was sick that same morning so we didn't get the happy pictures we were hoping for, but nonetheless, she still had a fun time. Don't mind the fact that Aubrey is in a bright pink dress--it was our "back up dress" after she vomited on her original Elsa dress twice! Good thing we were prepared! We had a fun visit with Poppy and he was a big help with childcare while we both were working.

Avery being sweet trying to give her sister a hug to make her feel better.

The first time Aubrey threw up, we could rescue the dress, but not the sweater. *Wish I would have gotten a picture earlier!*

Just another day in April! 

Do you know how entertaining medical gloves are?!
They played doctor and "leader" (not patient!) for a very long time.

Visit with Nana and Grandpa:  We had a fun visit with Nana and Grandpa in April too. Rest assured, these are two spoiled and loved kids!! They sure got a double dose of girly princesses!!! They enjoyed seeing them go to school, dinners out, picnics and water play.

I claim that I was working on this day and didn't dress the kids for school! Hahaha.

May 2015:

Play date with Ms. Pam and Mr. John: We are so blessed by our amazing neighbors Pam and John. Countless times they are serving us and loving on us in more ways than you can count. We are so blessed by them. The girls love to play with them. I asked them to watch the girls for an afternoon while I was at church and Mr. John arranged for them to have a tea party. He even remembered to include their babies in the fun!! Mr. John had everything in mind, including princess table cloths, plates, sprinkles and everythin in between. Ms. Pam enjoyed her time building blocks and reading. Ms. Pam is an amazing teacher and she shares so much knowledge with kids through reading. The girls are so blessed to have them in their lives.

Happy Birthday Ms. Pam!

Last Day of Preschool 3 (May 21, 2015): The girls had a lot of fun at Preschool. Aubrey had Mrs. Brown and Avery had Mrs. Austin for teachers. Both were great. The last day was tons of fun for both. Here are some of the pictures from the festivities!

Cousin Love:
Avery is holing Tessa's hand.


June 2015:

Pizza night!

Avery teaching Tessa woodworking skills.

First time writing name all by herself.

First time writing name all by herself.

First Time Bowling!!! 

Poppy visit and family birthday pictures: