Monday, May 28, 2012


We have ALL agreed that Memorial Day means camping with good friends out at Shiloh Lutheran Retreat Center!  You may remember we did it two years ago and had a blast and this year was equally fun and we agreed that it needs to be tradition now!
It's a little trickier now with 7 of us!  But the memories are priceless!
And since my camera battery died almost right away...most of the weekend was spent enjoying the little moments instead of trying to capture them:)
#14....It's always our campsite.  Everything fits and the set up is always the same.  Only difference this year was be put the tent where the campfire usually is.  The great thing about camping with friends....they have campfires and they share!
But the view is the same....beautiful!  And this is where we spend 90% of our time.

There were old friends and new friends alike.  The thing I LOVE about camping...the kids just slide into friendships.  They pick up where they left off or just start up fresh and new and it is so cooperative and fun to watch them.
Me and Emelia chilling in the shade on the deck.  
 This girl is a fish!  A rare moment on the deck.

Girl has been practicing her JUMP for awhile and she's getting good at it:)  Look at that air!
And her bravery?  It's through the roof!  She could not get enough of the slide with Dad.

Even Emelia kept climbing to the top to go down the water slide!
 This weekend was good practice.  Alice and Kate will spend a week here this summer as camper...sans mom and dad!  Now that we've spent another weekend here, they are getting SUPER excited!
The lake levels were low, so no big jumps this year.
 But Aubrey got her classic throw from Dad.
And Ella too!

And this guy....we've camped with him before.  He and his parents are dear friends.
(super hero cape and mask from etsy shop)
 But next Saturday...they are moving to Minnesota:(
Thanks guys, for spending your last weekend with us out at the lake.  We'll think of you every Memorial Day!

And so we are home and unpacked and the washer is working overtime.  The two littles were in bed at 6 and the bigs at 7:30....and we are gearing up for the last couple days of school this week and then a summer of fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Joel Project

Have you heard of it?  Photographer Melanie Rose Prince is working on a project that will eventually become a book.  She is traveling the country photographing kids with Down syndrome to be a part of her book that will celebrate the beauty and essence of Down syndrome.  This project is inspired by her brother Joel.

You can read more about it here.  Her first round of fundraising is over, but I know she has more coming.  She is doing this all for FREE.  Travel and cost of everything is being covered either by donation or herself!  

Guess which city collectively contributed the most in her first round of fundraising???  DALLAS!!!

Guess who is on the schedule to be a part of that photo shoot???  AUBREY

We are overwhelmed by her heart and the project and honored to be a part of it.  We can't wait to see the final product. 

Follow Joel & Friends on facebook for updates, city announcements and sneak peaks!  You'll see Aubrey there (hopefully) in June sometime:)  We'll let you know.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed.  I am blessed x8.

I was blessed with a wonderful mom of my own. There just aren't words out there to say how much that means to me.  I credit her great parenting, for my own successes.  She was an excellent example of love and strength and patience.  Thank you Mom!
I was blessed with an amazing mother-in-law.  There is a lot of stuff that goes around about in-laws, but none apply here.  I LOVE spending time with her!  And my girls do too.  She raised a wonderful son and her parenting is evident in his parenting.  Thank you, Nancy.
The Lord blessed me with an AMAZING husband.  I am able to be the mom that I am, because of him.  He is loving and patient and supportive.  He is soooooooooo helpful and involved.  I know that not all husbands are like him.  He is a diamond in the rough and I am so blessed to have him in my life and the father of my girls.
I was blessed with Alice almost 10 years ago.  She taught me how to BE a mom.  She was the first....and she stretched my heart in ways I didn't know it could.  It's tough to be the oldest, and I have a special place in my heart for the trailblazer of the pack.  Being first can be tough...cause your parents are still learning.  She takes it all in stride and we are proud of her.
I was blessed with Kate almost 8 years ago.  She taught me confidence in my skills and I was a more comfortable relaxed mom the second time around.  I have a special place in my heart for her.  It can be tough to be the one that follows.  But  she is finding her way well.  And learning to blaze her own path.
I was blessed with Ella 5 1/2 years ago.  I thought that a third girl would be easy, but she showed me a whole new personality.  I have a special place in my heart for my middle girl.  It can be a tough spot to be.. I know:)  But as she grows, she is doing it more and more graceful and enjoying her role as a one of the "big girls" now.
I am BLESSED to be this girls mama!  3 1/2 years of blessings from her.  My love for her can be overwhelming sometimes.  She has taught me strength and persistence and I admire all the hard work that goes into fighting so hard to be healthy and learn.  She has a love for life that I am soaking up.  There will always be a special place in my heart for this fighter.
I am blessed to be this baby's mom.  My little one.  My last one.  And these 15 months have flown by.  She has taught me to savor every moment.  Stick floors and piles of laundry are not as important as peek a boo.....again!  
 Motherhood:  It is everything I wanted and more.  These girls are my life and I am so blessed to be there Mom!

Happy Mother's Day to my 8 blessings and all the moms out there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Little Piggies

This little piggie went to school....
(minus the winter boots and WITH pants)
This little piggie stayed home...
(statue outside our library---she thinks he's real)
This little piggie had track fun day...
Frisbee Toss

Shuttle Runs
This little piggie had fun...(at track fun day too)

she got better with each shot...proud mama!
And this little piggie has been sick....ALL week long....
getting ready for ballet recital rehersal
I'll spare you the "sick" pictures and just show you in all her glory at ballet.  I'm so glad that I took all these pictures on Thursday at the rehersal.  My girl was running a 105 fever on Saturday afternoon and STILL wanted to dance.
 We got her fever under control just long enough for her to dance and tap and get her home again.
She is so brave and strong and I'm so proud that she wanted to do it and that she did it so well.
No one even knew she was sick...but she was and she still is...and we are hoping that tomorrow brings nothing but cheery health for my girl.