At nearly 4 months old, Miss Vi is 25" long and 15 lbs 10.5 oz. What a big girl!! The Dr says she has GREAT muscle tone and is very alert and extremely cute! :)

On another wonderful note, GraceAnne made Violet laugh almost the whole way home. It was the most fantastic music we could possibly hope to listen to. Violet thinks GraceAnne is the funniest thing she's ever seen. She also thinks she has the best big sisters in the world. She's right! What a lucky duck. ;)


Too Cute!

They like to watch movies together. Violet likes anything GraceAnne picks out. Yes--I am aware it kills brain cells. Yes--she will probably have fewer brain cells than Gracie. No--I'm not worried about it. She only does it once a week or so and my kids are baby geniuses, so I'm sure she's just fine. ;)
Who can resist a man and his baby? Especially his baby girl! My hubby is so cute and he makes the cutest babies, too!
She likes to look down at me. I guess it's a new perspective, but it makes her giggle a lot!
There she is doubling over in laughter after looking at me from above. Blurry--but let's call it "artsy" ;)

Did I tell ya'll that the host special for Pampered Chef for October is 60% off the cookware? It's amazing cookware in Stainless Steel or the Executive finish (nonstick). Ask me how to get all kinds of other free stuff, too! :)

Love and miss you all!


I am Officially...

...your new Pampered Chef Consultant! I am SO EXCITED about this opportunity, and I really can't wait to get my parties going and see how big God can make this! I signed the papers today and my goal is to have over $1,250 in sales and more than 4 shows within 30 days. In order to be considered a "show" I have to have $150 in orders.

Please consider hosting a show, the benefits are awesome, (You get free product, half-price product and a discount on everything else. You can also take the host special--September is 60% off the cookware--and get 10% off any future sales as well as booking benefits. Just ask.), not to mention I will come to your house and cook for you and your friends! If you live far away, that's okay, because you can still do a catalog show and get benefits. If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin, we'll be there this winter, so maybe we can do a show then! A Christmas show with desserts would be fantastic!

Above all else, please just PRAY for me and success in this venture. I'm really thrilled at the prospect of what this could be, (a chance for me to get out of the house once in a while, make some money and get some more adult interaction), so thanks for all the prayers, well-wishes and business!

On the grander scheme of things...this has really helped me decide "what I want to do when I grow up." I've been trying to decide what I would go back to school for once all the kids are in school and since I don't need a career, I'd like to do something fun for me. I'm thinking culinary arts is in order. Allan is totally behind me on this and has suggested it to me for a long time. It just took me a while to be settled in the idea that what I'm really doing here as a Mommy is the most important and Blessed thing I could possibly be doing! I've always loved cooking and presentation, so I think it'll be a great thing.


As for Allan and Gracie...

Check out my rocker babies!
So I've told everyone about Pampered Chef and about Violet's obsession with her Beatrice Bunny, (found at the checkout counter at Central Market), and her thumb. What I've failed to mention in a while is Allan and GraceAnne.

Allan got done with school on the 5th. For the last two days he visited a prothetics shop in Irving, (near DFW airport), and made me bring him his laptop so I could see the place. It was immaculate. In case any of you has never been in a prosthetics lab, allow me to paint a picture. Imagine the messiest garage you've ever seen in your life. Now picture it lit well with fluorescent bulbs, tape on the floor in random spots and plaster smeared EVERYWHERE. Allan usually complains that he spends most of his time looking for a darned tool instead of actually doing his job. He's been fitted at, volunteered at and now done rotations at several facilities, so he knows this is a common theme with these shops. This place he was at in Irving was amazing. Each station was color coded with its own tools and had pegboard for the tools to stay organized at said station. The floors were so clean they could probably be eaten off of. Allan has found his dream and I asked him if he'd consider doing his residency there, to which he said no. Why? Because they only do upper extremity orthotics & prosthetics. :( Hopefully he can inject a little organization into whatever shop he ends up doing his residency in and then whichever facility he ends up working in. I know how clutter drives him mad.

He's been very busy during his off time. We decided we'd stop feeling sorry for ourselves about the house not getting done, (will they EVER FREAKIN BE HERE???), and work on someone else's house. A couple we are friends with from church hate their house--very long story as to why they live there and coming from a woman's point-of-view, I understand. The livingroom was done in paneling, (not the nice historic stuff, but the nasty Irish immigrant 1970's crap), and was very dark and uninviting. The husband works a lot and very hard and doesn't have a lot of time to do things around the house, (although he's quite good at them! He put in a beautiful tile floor that will make this room look GORGEOUS!) Allan has spent the better part of the last week ripping down popcorn ceiling, (double ick), and pulling down the paneling and re-mudding and taping the sheetrock beneath. Today he's priming everything and tomorrow they will be painting a lovely pale yellow with a brick red accent wall that our friends picked. They have been such troopers letting us into their home to rip it up, create dust and we are so much better for the whole process. We love them to pieces and I truly hope they're thrilled with the new livingroom. It looks so different already!

GraceAnne has been getting back to her old self since Rhiya left. It's the strangest thing to watch her go from being the oldest to being the middle. In some ways it's wonderful and in other ways it's very frustrating. She basically turned into a tiny monster over the summer and got in trouble A LOT. Now we're readjusting to her being a big girl and having some responsibility again. I know the emotions run high for the kids, (all of them!), with the changes that happen. She's feeling better now, but she really misses her sister. I feel so sad for her. But! She's starting school again on the 2nd of Sept. and she's thrilled! I'll be glad to have her around some kids her own age again and I've heard VERY good things about this pre-K program. It's only 2 days per week again, but that should be okay. I'd like to get her into dance classes this fall as well. We'll see.

I'm not sure how much I'll be updating this for a while. The month of September will be just crazy with Pampered Chef stuff and getting back into the swing of school things. Allan's fall semester will be easy-as-pie and he'll be home most of the time, so I'm sure we'll be on-the-go a lot. (WOOHOO!) But I will update as frequently as possible, if for nothing else but to post pictures!


A Better Week

Well, Allan and I went on our first totally sans babies date in a REALLY long time last night. We went to RuthsChris...YUUUUUUUUUUM!!! I must encourage everyone to go if ever given the opportunity. It was fabulous! On the way home, however, we decided we cannot go without Vi for a few months yet. She was less than ecstatic about her milk bar leaving and fussed most of the evening. Poor baby! I am so grateful, though, that we have friends who will deal with that for us so we can get a few hours away. We are so Blessed!
We did find a car...it's not a Maverick, but it's still pretty darned sweet! It's a 1966 Ford Falcon. It drove us home from Fort Worth and it's in really good shape. It's enough of a project to make Allan happy, but not so much of a project that he can't drive it to school when the weather is too crappy for the scooter. THAT makes ME happy. It has a little 289 in it, (read: V8), so I have grand dreams of tearing off the line at a stoplight and making everyone's jaws drop. Allan said it can be that way someday because the engine is just that good. YAY! Most awesome thing about this car?? It was only $1300, leaving enough money leftover from our savings for the car to get a new stove for me. Since I'm going to be hosting a million Pampered Chef parties soon, (we hope and pray!), we decided I should have a slightly better kitchen. For anyone who has not seen my gorgeous stove...it's a 1984 beauty with burners that heat extra hot on one side and not so hot on the other, giving me even cooking and an oven that makes quick work of any pizza crust while leaving the top gooey and raw. About the only good thing about that stove is that it has a "double" oven...there's a small oven on top...so it works out great at Thanksgiving.
Violet got a new friend. Her name is Beatrice. Beatrice will be the equivalent of Foo-Foo. If you haven't met the Foofinator, he is GraceAnne's best friend. He's a white bunny that Allan's cousins gave to her when she was 6 weeks old. She has been obsessed with him ever since. We attached him to her on purpose and he has done his job well over the years, comforting her. We now have THREE Foo-Foos and she still likes to snuggle all of them. There is a pretty funny story with why we have "all dem Foo-Foos," but that can wait for another blog. Or I'll probably forget. Whichever! At any rate, Violet loves Beatrice and I'm going to have to find another. If anyone happens to be cruising Central Market and sees a Beatrice Bunny, please pick her up. I'd be eternally grateful! I didn't see anymore of them at ours.Violet has also discovered her thumb. Just within the last week she has decided it is her buddy. At first I was upset about this, but it is so stinking cute and makes her so happy that I have decided I don't care. My thoughts on it are this: She won't go to college sucking her thumb, (hopefully not even Kindergarten!), and since she's my kid she'll likely need braces anyways, so I'm at peace with it. Besides, it's attached to her. Unless I want to hover over her all day and constantly replace her thumb with a binky and listen to her wail over the whole ordeal, I'm just going to have to give in.

I'll update about Allan and GraceAnne soon. Big things going on around here...busy things! Love and miss you all!


Is it over yet?

The summer, I mean. I love the warm weather, I really do. I'm a sun baby and I think I was always meant to live someplace warm, but this is beyond warm. This is ridiculous. It's been over 100 degrees for weeks now and we've had no rain. Last year was so cool and rainy until July and we never really got above 90. This year is insane. We can't even go outside to play in the water and cool off, because there is no relief. The water is hot and you get fried to a crisp the second you set foot out there. We've broken the record for hot weather in this area. I can't wait for it to cool down!!

Then I talked to Morris, (the guy working on working on our house), and he was a little elusive as to what is going on with the house re-building process. Well, I talked to our Vet Rep, Tamara, who hooked us up with these guys in the first place, because if she harrasses them she doesn't sound like an ungrateful punk...she said they are having trouble raising the money because it's a very *expensive* project. I wish they could keep us in the know with these things. At least now we know specifically what to pray for. I'd just really like them to have this stuff *started* by the time Violet is crawling. It's a hazard for a baby. There is not one room she can play in safely.

Then we saw this SWEET red Maverick. It is SO BEAUTIFUL. We're looking for a "backup" car for when the weather is too bad for Allan to ride his scooter. We had set aside 2k for the thing. The Maverick is one of my dream cars...so sweet! Anyway, it's 3k and I scratched around and pecked and we can manage 2606.00, but that's not enough. The guy said he was "pretty" firm on the 3k, but would go down a little. But not $400. Yeah--I'm so pathetic I even considered selling some of my diapers to get the money for this car. (No, I won't do that. I'm not *really* dumb, I just think like a dumb person sometimes!)

Plus Rhiya is gone and it feels so WRONG to drive to the airport with 3 kids and drive home with 2. The babies are even sad about it. Even if she gets on my nerves sometimes, (which of my kids doesn't??), I miss her like crazy and I hate saying goodbye. What I hate more than that is trying to explain to a 4-year-old why she can't have her sister. "Her mommy misses her" doesn't cut it anymore. She told me two visits ago, "Well, I miss her, too, can't WE keep her?" :(

My real issue isn't what we can't do or what we don't have, my issue is that I'm having a stupid pity-party and can't seem to shake it. We started reading The Purpose Driven Life, so maybe that will help. I need to get out of this little funk.

A good friend of mine made that wonderful picture at the top for me. She's so fabulous with that sort of thing. She also made Vi's birth announcements. I keep telling her she should charge, because she's REALLY good at it and enjoys doing it. I know she could use the extra money. So Ginger...MAKE IT A BUSINESS, because you're just that good and I totally would do it for money if I had half your talent! ;)


My Monkey Babies

Hahahaha! My kids have my husband's ears!! Aren't they hilarious? Since they're girls you can't really tell until they have their hair up or you see an ear peeking out from behind the tresses. It's so cute, though. And they like to show them off, as you can see!
Rhiya leaves tomorrow and we'll all be so sad. :( She's been such a help with Violet and while it's frustrating to raise 3 kids, it's been a fantastic experience for all of us this summer. We're learning some better ways to exert our boundaries and better ways to deal with each other. Those are definitely lessons we needed to learn. GraceAnne is getting better at being calm about situations instead of screaming or melting down, Rhiya is learning to trust us when we tell her something and I'm realizing more and more the tone of my voice. It's been a lot calmer this last week, after being HECTIC for the last 3. As usual, just when we settle into a good routine, it ends. :( I know there will be tears tommorrow.
Look at this big girl!! She's jumping in her excersaucer already. I can't believe how much she's grown in the last few months. It'll only be a few more months before she's terrorizing my floors, (oh dear, I'd better start mopping now!!), and talking to us in more than just baby babbles.

Allan is doing his last day of class for the summer semester as I type! I'm so glad to get to keep him for 20 days! Last year his break was only 10 days and it wasn't enough. His fall semester will be exceedingly easy, (spoiling me again!), because he doesn't have rotation. This means he'll only be gone 3 days per week. WOOHOO!! We've been so Blessed in that he gets to really be involved with the kids while they're small. When GraceAnne was born he was between the Army and school, so he got to stay with us for 3 months and now we get to keep him fairly frequently, too. I'm soaking it up, because I know the next one won't get that luxury. I don't know what I'll do when Allan actually has a 9-5 schedule all the time!

I actually have an update, too! I'm going to start selling Pampered Chef. I'm really excited about this. I started looking into it because the September host special is 60% off the pots and pans which I've been DROOLING over for a long time now. When I got to looking at the catalogue, I saw that the consultant kit is really cheap for a lot of the stuff I really want. When I met with the consultant I've been talking to about the party, I realized that this is right up my alley. I'm always looking for excuses to get together with people, meet new people and cook! This will be fantastic! So anyone who wants to buy some Pampered Chef, let me know in September. I need to get my sales to $1250 in Sept. to become "qualified" and get my website and wedding registry priveleges. Then you can all order online through me anytime and I'll get the credit :) I'm really looking forward to this, please wish me luck and pray for me!

Hope all is well with everyone...we love and miss you all!


3 Months Old!

WOW! Miss Violet is 3 months old today. On one hand it seems like it's all going so fast, (did we REALLY get our positive pregnancy test one year ago this month!?!), and on the other it feels like she's always been here, and joining us in May was just exactly what she's been waiting to do forever.

She's been such a Blessing to us, (as are all our children!), and had brought us so much joy! Violet is very calm, sweet and smiley. She is already giggling and "talking" to us. She mimics our actions, (she loves to play the "tongue" game and also smacks her thigh in response if we do the same), and our sounds. I think she will be very intelligent. She's also very strong! She rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time yesterday and can sit for a couple seconds at a time by herself. Of course, she's the cutest little thing and could win any beauty contest! Not as if I'm biased or anything!!

Violet is so loving, too! She's so different from her sisters in that she's cuddly and lovey and doesn't cry much. She's a lover, not a fighter. I think I will have to watch out for this one, because where GraceAnne wears her heart on her sleeve, Violet will be able to get away with anything with her hugs and love. Yes, I'm a sucker already! She makes me want to have more babies, and that scares me, because I've heard a million people say, "if you'd had your last one first, you'd have never had any more!"

I'll leave you with a video...sorry it's dark.