Springtime in Paris

Steve and I had the amazing opportunity to go to Paris in May.  We had such a great time and fell in love all over again.  I was so nervous about leaving the kids.  The thought of being on a plane traveling so far away from 4 precious children, just about made me not want to go.  We had Amanda (Hot Nanny) stay with the kids.  She is so amazing.  She is a special human being on this planet and am so grateful to have her influence in my life. 

Anyway, back to Paris.  The city is pure magic.  It seems on every corner there is beautiful landmark, statue, or church.  It was so amazing to have  a week to explore the city.  I was able to take my time and spend time with the Tourist Book but also just walk around and enjoy the beauty.  A highlight was spending the afternoon with Francois (Steve's friend) who took an afternoon off work to take me around Paris.  We walked all over the narrow streets and I got to see Paris with a local.  We then got on bikes and rode around.   I found myself in awe that on a Spring day in May, this Mother of 4 was biking all around the streets of Paris.    Francois was so determined for me to love the city as much as he does.  He succeeded.   He was such a great host.  Love that we sat outside eating glace while a movie was being filmed right in front of us. 

A man playing the saxaphone was playing in this hallway.  It was beautiful.

The most amazing thing for me was to have the time to get away with Steve and have time to think.  I think we get so caught up in the minutia of life that it is hard to see the big picture.  The trip gave me an opportunity to see changes that were needed in myself and family.  Paris gave me the opportunity to have a new outlook, new goals, new family motto, new direction, more positive energy, and more love for my husband and kids.  (Thinking I should go there at least once a year). 
Backside of Notre Dame.
 Orangerie Museum

Night out with friends.

Touristy Night in Left Bank

On The Seinne. 

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Easter 2011

Easter always begins with Sunrise Service.  We get to see and hear Matt sing with his church choir group.  We then come home and find Easter baskets that the Easter Bunny hides.  We have a huge breakfast.  When Matt gets home from singing in the second service, we have a huge Easter Egg hunt in the backyard.  All four kids run around picking up eggs.  I love to see magic still exists at every age!!!

Let the Magic begin. . .
Easter Bunny brings favorite cereals. . .

Chelsea and Kate keep close as they are the only girl cousins in California.  Here are the Best friends cousins.

Love that Kate is posing for the picture.


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Chelsea 's 9th Birthday-Night Owl Pajama Party

In April for Chelsea's birthday, Chelsea and I planned a Night Owl Birthday Party.  We saw this idea from Snowy Bliss.  Chelsea and I made 12 themed owls to give to her friends.  It ended up being a lot of work, but really fun to do for Chelsea and her friends.  Thanks to some more experienced moms (Cyndi Treuhaft and Nadine George), they assured me that 10 girls sleeping over was a "good thing."  Actually, it was a lot of fun to have these sweet girls over.

Nine reasons we LOVE Chelsea:
1. She has such a sweet smile and lights up when she sees her family.
2. She calls me my favorite name,  "Mommy."
3. She always helps around the house and cleans better than the boys in the house. (hmmm, may need to give the boys more practice).
4. She tries to understand and help her friends when they may be going through a hard time.
5. She is the best big sister. She dotes on her baby brother and Marky adores her.
6. She always tries to please everyone and do the right thing.
7. She works hard to get all her homework done without anyone checking or reminding her.
8. She prays each night for all the babies in her life (including all her cousins and Mrs. Martincic's baby Claire).
9.  She is the light of our life!!!!

Love you Sweet Girl!!!
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Father's Day- Steve

I am so grateful to be able to parent with this extraordinary man. 
Steve teaches and exemplifies hard work to our children.
Steve balances high expectations with praise.
Steve helps our children strive to be better than they are.
The kids think he is the best!!!!

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Wax Museum- 3rd Grade

Huff 3rd grade does a wax museum where all the 3rd grade students choose a historical person to impersonate who has impacted the world. Chelsea chose Mary Bickerdyke.  She chose her because she was a nurse during the Civil War and helped a great deal of soldiers.  Chelsea dressed in clothes that I wore in a play when I was her age.  She also wore her great-grandmother's Red Cross pin that she wore during World War 2.

Chelsea telling the audience about Mary Bickerdyke.  She did an amazing job.  I love watching her work so hard on a project and do a tremendous job.  Just love this sweet girl!!!!!

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Father's Day- My Dad

Since I have the pleasure of living by my father and seeing him often, I get to experience the many things that I love about him.  I thought I would write down a few of the things I am thankful for.

I am grateful for the many nights he would sit at the kitchen table helping me with Math.
I am grateful for his constant reminders of what is right.
I am grateful for his common sense help.
I am grateful for his always "happy to go and do" response.
I am grateful for his love of sweets (and my mother's yummy desserts).
I am grateful for his influence on my children.
I am so grateful for his example of parenting.
I couldn't be more grateful that he is my Dad.

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Fun Mom

Ok, we all want to be Fun Mom, but in between reminding your children to brush their teeth, sibling fighting, and running around to all their activities, somehow Fun Mom is overpowered by "Get it done Mom." 

I had a rare opportunity to have Stevie all to myself for 24 hours.  This is a very rare occurrence to have only one child.  As he was deciding what activity to do, I said that we could do it all not just choose one activity. He looked at me and said, "Are you trying to be Fun Mom?"
Well, as a matter of fact I am Fun Mom.

We went mini-golf (and I even got a hole in one).  Went swimming with cousins.  Had In-n-Out for dinner and Harry Potter Marathon with milkshakes and popcorn.

With one child I find it much easier to be "Fun Mom."  Need to find a way to be Fun Mom more often and with all the kids in tow.  So grateful Steve and I are blessed to be parents of this precious boy.
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Teenage Disgust

Aaah, the teenage years.  We are in the midst of them with Matt.  Even though he is pleasant and easy going most of the time,  we have moments when he has a pure look of disgust on his face. 

I remember not to take those moments personally and think about all the joys of being 16 again.   I try to remember him as a 2 year old.  His chubby cheeks, big beautiful blue eyes, his laughter, and his wanting to be loved and kissed all the time.  And boy did I kiss those chubby cheeks all day long.  What a pleasure to watch him grow and see the young man he is turning into.

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Surprising Sounds of Summer

Today, I am noticing some suprising sounds of summer that were very unexpected.  NO Sibling Fighting!!!!  The children have been enjoying each other's company each evening.  Not sure if it is the mornings spent at Vacation Bible School, the excitement of making Friendship Bracelets, or the soccer games.  Whatever it is, I am going to relish these "Sounds of Summer."
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"Mother of the Year" Summer 2011

This summer I am committed to being, "Mother of the Year" (MOTY) everyday.   As I told Steve my "easier said than done" goal, he simply smiled and said, "Well, that is a good goal.  Just don't get frustrated the first day."

We just finished Day 2 and I am still in the running for MOTY.  YEAH!!!  We have enjoyed two days of Vacation Bible School, swimming, and watching movies.
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