Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation - Part 1

Since I was kind of silent all summer I thought I would go over 
some of the awesome things we did to keep busy for the 
Summer of 2015!!

We really were VERY busy!  Even though we didn't go on any trips out of town, we still did sooo much!

We ended our school year on May 15th!  We celebrated the end of the school year by getting up really early and heading to the donut shop!

Mackenzie got up extra early in order to make Mommy's coffee 
and also Vanilla Steamers for everyone!

By this time in May, Katy had already begun rehearsals for Theater In The Park's production of THE WIZ!  She was really excited to be in this and was rehearsing Sundays through Thursdays in a local church basement!  They took Memorial Day weekend off, but then returned for Tech week out at the park!  They missed the last dress rehearsal, which was cancelled due to a Tornado Watch!

But Opening night on June 5th was awesome!

Dropping Katy off for opening night!

Dancing as one of the Corn!
She was also part of the Tornado, a Jitterbug, a Poppy, and one of Evilene's Slaves!

The show ran for 2 weeks, only missing one night due to weather!  One of the nights I was there, we had a really severe Thunderstorm Warning.  It looked like they would call the show at any moment!!  In the beginning of the show one of the characters says "Looks like a storm is coming."  And that night after he said his line the audience roared with laughter!  But in the end the clouds parted and by the time they sang, "Do You Feel A Brand New Day" you could actually see the moon and there was a beautiful breeze blowing!!  Katy said she could feel the audience energy up on the stage!!

   It was a really fun experience, but we were kind of glad to have our evenings back!  The next week we started what we now refer to as VBS: Times Two!  I had signed Madyson and Ava Marie up for VBS at our local church Harvest Bible Chapel which was Monday through Thursday from 9am to 12noon.  And it just so happened that my BFF Autumn had invited us to the VBS at her church which met Monday through Thursday from 6pm to 9pm....the same week!!  

   So the girls got up early each day and headed to VBS at Harvest, came home for lunch, went swimming, ate dinner, and then headed up to VBS at Legacy Church!  It was busy, but they had sooo much fun!!

First day of VBS Harvest was Crazy Sock Day!

Second day was Crazy Hair Day!
Mackenzie was too old to attend as a camper, but she volunteered to help!

I don't have pictures of any of the other days, but they had a great time!!

Week 2 and 3 of June Madyson and Ava Marie had swim lessons through the Olathe Parks and Rec Center.  We have been going to their swimming lessons for over five years!  Katy and Mackenzie finished a few years ago.  I like the girls to go through Level 5.  That really teaches a lot of strokes, diving and underwater swimming!  Level 6 starts into Junior Lifesaving Techniques.

Madyson is in Level 5.

I love that she can do the Butterfly so well!
She is so awesome in the water!

Ava Marie is in Level 4.

Love this girls sweet smile!

The last week of June Ava Marie attended a Princess Camp at Trilogy Cultural Arts.  She loved the singing and dancing and especially dressing up in her Elsa costume!

Obviously that was a popular choice!

She had three solos and really enjoyed holding that microphone!

My beautiful little actress!

Well, that's it for Part One!  Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Multiples Monday #3 - Twins 3rd Birthday!

September 2nd was Hudson & Beckham's 3rd birthday!  They attended Pre-school in the morning and got to bring Homemade Blueberry Muffins to share with their friends.  Then we picked them up and had lunch at a nearby park and played for a little while, then home to take a short nap!

Later on Randy came over and Miss Karla too, to enjoy a fun birthday dinner and cake!

Everyone was home for our fun family celebration of Hudson & Beckham's 3rd Birthday!

We decorated for dinner with a fun sports theme!  The boys picked the menu: Hot Dogs on Buns, Cooked Baby Carrots, Hot Artichoke Dip with Corn Chips, Grapes & Sprite!

Mackenzie & Katy made the cake to look like a baseball!  So cute!

The boys are so ready to blow out the candles!  
This is because we had kept them waiting so we could 
sing Happy Birthday to both of them separately!

Forks...I don't need no forks!


These two love anything to do with Firefighters!!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my little men
Hudson & Beckham!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

It's Time For Fall Soups!

I just love Fall!  Pumpkins, golden leaves, crisp air and delicious Apple anythings!  But my most favorite part of Fall are the Soups we get to prepare and eat!  Our family is always on the go, so we use our Crockpot a bunch!  We make Chili, Stew and Soup!  And our favorite soup is a really wonderful, spicy soup that is just too easy!

I also take every opportunity to show my girls how to prepare and cook meals so they will be set to take care of their own families one day.  And so far, they all love to plan and cook meals!

So Madyson Claire recently put together our families Favorite Soup:

Mexican Minestrone Soup

Yes, this is really all of the ingredients!  Except the garnishments!
It is really the easiest soup you will ever make!

2 cans of Black Beans, Rinse and drain.

2 cans Green Beans, Liquid too.

2 cans Whole Kernel Corn, Liquid too.

2 cans Diced Tomatoes. 

1 cup Salsa.

2 Potatoes, Peeled and diced.

Salt & Pepper to taste.

That's it!  If you think you need a little more water to cover everything, then you can add that. 
Cook on High for 4 to 6 hours! 

Sorry for the fuzzy picture!  Madyson loves to put this together on her own!

Everything in and ready to go!  I love how colorful it is!

I always serve it with sour cream and corn chips!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Happy Sweet Sixteen!

On July 23rd my beautiful daughter Kathryn Suzanne turned 16 years old!  Wow!  What a milestone!
So of course, we had to have a party!!  Her sisters and I organized a Ladies Tea Party!  We invited 50 of her friends and their Moms and other ladies who had made a wonderful impression on Katy as she has been growing up!

We used this beautiful picture of her for her invitation!

Mackenzie helped me make all the food.

I just love that bouquet of flowers we picked up from Costco!

Everyone was excited to have a houseful of guests! 
(Though Beckham looks a little nervous!)
(So hard to get a good picture with everyone's eyes open!)

Sweet friends from church.

Some of Katy's friends from her Dance Studio.

Katy has known these sweet girls since Kindergarten!

Wonderful neighbors!

One of my best friends, and also a truly Godly influence on all of my girls!
We are so blessed to know so many lovely ladies!!
(Mackenzie was our photographer for the day, and she did a spectacular job!)

We were so blessed to have Katy & Madyson's Birth Mom join us for this monumental day!  She is a loving and wonderful woman who chose to put her children first!  I admire her so much!

More of Katy's birth family!  Her Aunt and cousins.  And the handsome young man in the burgandy shirt is Katy's younger brother.  He spends a lot of time with us and they have a great relationship!

The house was packed!  It was a very hot day and we could not really use the porch or the back patio!

But everyone seemed fine, these young ladies made a picnic on the floor!

One of the Mammas who attended said to me, "Wow!  Katy's friends are all so pretty!"  I agree!  And even more so on the inside!  Each one of them are the type of young women I am be proud to call my daughter's friend!  Katy is such a special girl.  She has such a big heart and is always so kind and upbeat!  She really does attract nice, sweet friends.

One thing about Katy, she doesn't really like cake!  Especially she doesn't like anything Chocolate!  She wanted an ice cream cake, but I knew it would be too hot for that.  So she told me to order whatever I wanted, so i ordered the most delicious Lemon Cake!!  Oh my!  

Before we cut the cake we said a prayer, thanking the Lord for our beautiful girl!
All of the ladies brought a Scripture verse for Katy and included them in their cards!
We are going to paint a big tree on the wall of her room and put the cards with the verses on her tree for encouragement in the years to come!

I just love this girl so much!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Multiples Monday #2

Let's face it, twins are fun!

They are kinda adorable, no matter what they are getting into!

They keep each other company.

They aren't always happy to share...but they seem to get over it pretty fast!

I think Hudson and Beckham are so lucky to have each other!

But as a parent of multiples, besides being excited to have them and getting to dress them in cute matching clothes!  (Which I know will not last forever!)

I also have to watch for their own personalities to develop.  I have to encourage independence and unity at the same time.  Just as I would if they were brothers born a year apart.

Hudson is a very strong personality.  He is extremely vocal if something is not going his way and will be a little forceful with his brother and the rest of us, if we have something that he wants!  I love his BIG personality!  I love that he says what he is thinking and is so excited by the world around him!  He tends to be the leader, and knows what he wants!

Beckham is soooo sweet!  He pays attention to everything!  He will notice what color you are wearing and even how many grapes you put on his plate! (As opposed to how many his brother has...must be equal!)  He is also the brother that will back down when Hudson wants to do something differently than Beckham does.  I have to watch carefully and use those moments as teaching moments for both of them.  It is fine to be a compliant person, the peacemaker.  But I do want Beckham to learn to stand up for himself, not by force, but by compromise.

The most fun thing about having twins is that there is just so much love between them and for the rest of us!!  When I tuck them in at night, I get 2 big hugs and kisses!
In the morning, you just can't miss those sweet little feet coming down the hall...especially the sound of 4 of them!!  It sometimes sounds like a herd of elephants heading down the hall towards my room!

I thank God every day for the opportunity to parent these two beautiful boys!