Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good Bye 2015

Our girls enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

And Audra turned 13 months old!

I must say, though filled with many moments of joy, 
2015 was not a good year for me.  
For us.  
I am looking forward to seeing it go - and moving onto 2016! 

Happy New Year!
May it be full of Blessings!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas!

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  John 1:4

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crisis Averted!!

Yesterday, while Audra and Dinah were taking a nice afternoon nap, Eloise and I finished up her schooling and decided to surprise everyone by making homemade graham crackers. She was at the mixer and I turned and stepped a couple of feet away to grab the last ingredient to pour in... we were chatting and apparently she'd turned to talk to me. When I looked up, her eyes got HUGE! 

 Her little curly ponytail had caught in the mixer and was winding around and around! I bolted to turn the mixer off (it's amazing how easily you forget which side the on/off switch is on when you're in a panic!). I could feel myself start shaking as I looked at her precious, wild hair wound up in the mixer. I didn't want to call and concern Cory (who would, without a doubt, panic worse than me)... so I did what any daughter does if she is able... well, first, I took a picture (of course)... then I called my mom. She got a little chuckle in and then asked if I'd tried taking the beater off. (*FACE PALM!*) Thank the Good Lord above... it worked! Very little hair was lost in the process... Eloise was very upset and didn't want to continue or get anywhere near the mixer. I hugged her, put her hair up in a bun and assured her that it wouldn't happen again (I hope!) and we decided that we'd go ahead and finish making the graham crackers. And while rolling them out we only found one hair! Haha!! (Thanks Mom!!!)

Poor Eloise is still pretty traumatized by it! She keeps apologizing! I tell her that it was just an accident. I didn't give it a thought to step away to the other part of the counter for 5 seconds since she knows better than to stick her fingers in the mixer! Never did I think in a million years that her pony tail would get caught!  Lesson learned!  And if you have daughters with long hair... take note!!!

A Snoopy Party

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we hosted a small gathering to celebrate Audra's first birthday.  
If you visit my sister's blog, you may have already seen her post about it.  
I am going to share some pictures from the evening!  
It was a nice, simple party - homemade decorations, a few gifts, 
a yummy meal and some super-yummy cupcakes!  
Best of all, great company!
And a very special Birthday Girl!

Happy Birthday Audra!!

Audra Turns ONE!

I have been so busy lately that I haven't had a chance 
until now to do a post about Audra's birthday!  
I can't believe my baby turned one on Thanksgiving!  

She has been such a joy!  

A feisty and quick little snap, she has quite the mind of her own.  
She knows what she wants and she does whatever she can to get it.  
Climbing on anything and everything she can manage.  
Pushing and pulling things to make her way around if she can't climb over.  

She is quite the mama's girl and likes to be held.  

Though there is a hitch to that.  
She likes to be held while walking around.  
The minute I try to sit and hold her, she will have none of it!  
We're working on that!  


Her favorite toy is her Mr. Bunny that she chews on, 
sleeps with and carries around during the day. 

She loves books, mostly to jabber at the pictures.  
If you sing a little diddy or turn on music, she immediately stops 
whatever she is doing to dance.  She is ALWAYS on the move.  
I mean, wow.  She is just one. busy. girl.!  

We love her fiercely and are so thankful for her sweet presence in our crazy lives!

Friday, November 13, 2015


Please check out my Shoepiddy Doo Blog for a giveaway!  
I recently did a review of an item from a work-at-home mom and I am 
trying to get the word out about her product!
She is trying to weigh whether or not her item would generate a demand, 
so I'd like to get her idea out there and see what others think!
The winner will receive a custom pair of Baby/Toddler Soft Shoes!
(Handmade by Moi!)
Great to check off your Christmas list if you have a little one to buy for!

Thanks so much!


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Mermaid Princesses and a Gumball Machine!

Friday, October 30, 2015

11 Months... and More!

This little gal turned 11 months old!!  Already!

I hate to admit, I didn't really think much about it until it was time for bed.  
It was a bit of a hectic day!  So we took a few pictures before bed 
and then took a couple the next day.

(Mr. Monkey doesn't stand a chance anymore!)

She currently is sleeping through the night (finalllllly!!).
She still nurses about 5x a day, but I plan to slowly back 
off once she turns 1 and we introduce her to milk products.  
Her favorite thing is a little white blanket with a bunny head... 
also known as "Mr. Bunny".  We even have a special Mr. Bunny Song 
that we sing when we're looking for him among the 
toys before bed and nap times.  If you start singing it, she
will drop what she is doing and go look for Mr. Bunny!

(She loves looking out the window!)

She loves real food (as opposed to pureed baby food) and likes a 
variety of fruits, veggies, meats and grains.  Bananas are probably her favorite! 

Audra has always been a clingy baby... and it seems like she is 
even more so lately.  I have to admit, it's draining!  
Hoping it's just a phase!

She gives hugs, if you ask.  
But only to baby dolls at this point!
Still working on "kisses".

She says, "Night, Night" and "Dinah" and likes to wave Hi!

Hard to believe she'll be 1 in less than a month!
Invitations are out for her birthday party.
We only do a small party with some immediate family and friends
(who are like family to us) due to our house being so small!
I'll share more about it after it happens!

On another note (I think I say that in almost every post! Ha!):
We were told that there were no other treatment options for my Father in Law's cancer. 
 However, one of his doctors sent his file to a doctor at the 
Cleveland Clinic and they were able to perform Neuro Surgery this past week.  
They believe it was successful, however he may have another surgery in the future.  
At this point he is going to be working on relearning how to walk 
(the tumors they "zapped" were on the part of the brain that control his leg function).  
We are hopeful that he will learn quickly and get back home soon!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Ummm... whoops.  It's been over a month since I last posted.  
I know I'm not consistent, but even THAT surprised me!  
A lot has been going on.  I guess blogging has been put on the back burner a bit.

So, for a quick recap of the past month.... let me start with....

Audra is now 10 months old!!  She is walking, running and trying to 
keep up with her sisters around every turn!  She babbles incoherently, 
however she repeats the same things and it makes me wonder if she 
really IS trying to say something!  Who knows!  

She started getting all 4 top teeth over the past week and a half or so!  
It has NOT been a pleasant experience for her.  They say it's not true 
that babies get runny noses when they teethe.... but she has literally had a 
runny nose the whole time.  And the rest of us have not gotten sick.  Sooooo... I 
have no clue.  All I know is that I hope she cuts the last 2 pretty soon.  She has been 
quite the cranky pants!  HOWEVER, I am SOOO thankful that she has been 
sleeping through the night for the past week and a half or so also!  This past 
week has been the first time in over a year (the last couple months of my 
pregnancy were not pleasant) that I have gotten 8 hours of sleep without multiple 
interruptions.  I can't tell you how nice that is!  Granted, I am sleeping on an air 
mattress in the living room (Cory claimed the couch!), but I'LL TAKE IT!  
It seems as if Audra wakes up and wants me more when she knows 
I'm in the room.  "Mamamamamamamaaaa!" was a constant at 
11PM, 1AM, 3AM, 5AM and so on.  Not anymore!  Of course, it could 
just be that I don't hear her now!  Ha!

(Not a fan of the crunchy leaves!)

In other "news"... if you have followed along with my posts about 
my Father-in-Law's battle with cancer, I have an update.  Unfortunately, 
it's not a good update.  He had a scan this past Monday that showed three 
of the tumors on his brain that they've been watching are starting to re-grow.  
His last scan was clear in May.  He says that he's not ready to give up yet!  
However, they've exhausted all treatment options up to this point.  We are hopeful 
that perhaps he can get into some sort of clinical trial, so Cory is researching to see 
if he would qualify for any in the near future.  I must say though, we have been 
blessed.  When he was first diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2011, we were 
told that he had 6 months to live.  Here we are 4.5 years later.  It's been a rough road.  
A REALLY rough road, especially for him, my Mother-in-Law and Cory.  But 
through it all, my Father-in-Law has gotten to see two more granddaughters be 
born and bring joy to our lives.  That is so much more than a lot of cancer 
patients can say... and I know that he does not take it for granted!  We would 
appreciate your prayers in his continued battle.  He's not done yet!  
On a side note... his mother (Cory's gram) passed away yesterday morning.  
Prayers for peace and comfort would also be appreciated as we have her 
Memorial and Burial over the next several days.

Eloise and Dinah are doing well!  They enjoy playing... and playing... and playing.  
Eloise has been doing well with her schooling.  We've gotten into a rhythm 
and it's been fun at times, trying at times and even a learning experience for me!

(Sitting on our neighbor's tractor!)

We went to a Fall Festival last weekend for a couple of hours and 
the girls enjoyed seeing friends and family.  I snapped this picture of 
them as "pumpkin heads".  (Maybe you remember me painting it
couple years ago...?  Fun!).  

Poor Audra didn't enjoy her first Fall Festival due to teething and a runny nose!

In closing, though I'm sure I could go on and on and on about life, 
I would just like to say that I have been dealing with some health issues myself.  
I have some tests coming up and would appreciate prayers of peace and 
encouragement... not only for myself but for Cory, who inevitably 
worries about me! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Summer is Winding Down!

We've started to wear sweatshirts when we go out at night!  Hard to believe that summer is almost over!  We went from a drenched June... to a Hot, Dry July... to an Autumn-like August... and onward we go!  I have to admit, I am kind of looking forward to the changing leaves, crisp air and pumpkin decor!  Though that does mean we're moving closer to my baby's first birthday.... yikes!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Her First Hair Cut!

Oh, the craziness that has been Eloise's hair!  

She was born with practically NONE.  

 Then it started growing in around her first birthday... very, very slowly.  

By the time she was 2, and Dinah had arrived, it was filling in down the middle... 

Gradually over the next 6 months she ended up with a faux hawk!  

And finally, we've ended up with this crazy mass of uneven 
curls that you can't brush without making it ten times more crazy!

Never in my wildest imagination would I have expected to have a child 
with such crazy hair!  BUT... I have to admit, I am so thankful to have a 
little girl (and now 3!) with hair to comb, brush, play with and put clippies in!

So, let me tell you a little story.
Over the past several months I have been constantly thinking about needing to cut my hair.  I decided that I'd like to take Eloise along for a trim to even hers out... and hopefully make it less crazy.  For the majority of my life, except for maybe TWICE, I have gone to my Aunt to get my hair cut.  Since she retired a year or two ago (I can't keep track!), I have put it off.  I *did* go to Holiday Hair one time, for lack of knowing where else to go, and got a teeny tiny bit trimmed off.  For the price they charged (I went with a wet head, they didn't even do anything but barely trim!), I vowed never to go back there!  So I set out to find a hairdresser in the area.  I asked around to my mother-in-law, neighbor and a great aunt.  No one really had any suggestions as they all kind of go "here and there" depending on what they want done.  Of course, I'm sure my aunt would have done it, had I begged her!  Haha!  But I know she is busy, and honestly we don't get to my hometown much these days, so it would be crazy trying to set a time/day.  

This picture was taken the other day.  
You see how long my hair is?  


Yeah, that did it for me.  I love long hair, but upon seeing that picture, I knew I needed to make an appointment.  So my husband told me about a shop he'd heard good reviews about from people at his work.  So I called.  I had to leave a message.... and she called me back a couple of hours later (she was out of town).  I have to admit, her phone manner put me off a little, as did her price!  But I thought Heck With It!  I would just go and if it didn't go well, we wouldn't have to go back!  So we set a date and time.  Meanwhile Cory and I had been trying to "talk up" the soon-to-be hair cutting experience to a nervous Eloise.  She honestly didn't know what to expect.  She'd never had her hair cut.  Never seen me get mine cut, or anyone else for that matter.  I showed her a YouTube video just to kind of give her a clue.  She would waver between being OK and being nervous.  Couldn't blame her, really. 

So the day came (that was her nervous mug shot above in the pink striped shirt!), and I was texting my aunt asking if I should leave a tip and all of that rot.  Like I said, I never really went anywhere else... and I heard you aren't supposed to tip a person who runs their own shop??  I didn't want to do the wrong thing!  My neighbor came and watched the two younger ones and Eloise and I left with time to spare.  Thank goodness.  As I drove by the person's place, there were only TWO parking spots.  Both of which were filled!  So I drove around and around, not sure where to go, hoping one of the two vehicles would leave by the next time I looped around.  Finally, I HAD to park because I didn't want to be late.  I called Cory and he told me to go up a couple of streets where you could park on the road... so that's what we did.  And we walked to the shop.  Thankfully it was a gorgeous day, and hey, I won't complain about getting to hold El's hand! :)

She was nervous.  I was nervous.  But we walked in and had a seat.  There was a gentleman there getting his hair trimmed and another lady under the dryer.  When it was El's turn, I picked her up and sat her on the seat... and she just gave me a look.

Yep.  That look.

And... then there was that.

But after a couple of minutes, she realized it was OK
.  She liked watching in the mirror and said that she was happy with the results!  

Look!  A smile! 

The hair stylist was nice enough and I was pleased so far... except for her putting "product" in El's hair.  We are very much conscious of the beauty products we use and try to follow the EWG Skindeep site to find less toxic products.  But I know that one time won't hurt!

Anyway... while I was getting my hair cut, the hairdresser and I were chatting... the topic of school came up, where I explained we are homeschooling... which brought up El's severe food allergies and talk about that type of stuff.  Then, moving on... the woman started telling me about her low blood sugar.  She doesn't have diabetes, but her doctor recommends eating protein filled snacks.  And since she works off a room of her home, she says she is more of a snacker than a meal eater.  I can understand.  When you're in between clients, it's probably easier to just grab something real quick than prepare a meal.  However... then she proceeds to tell me how she eats peanuts all the time.  Keep in mind, we had JUST had a conversation 2 minutes beforehand about how Eloise has a LIFE THREATENING FOOD ALLERGY TO PEANUTS.  I could feel my heart rate go up.  I kept glancing at Eloise just to watch her for a reaction.  I know it may sound ridiculous... but if that woman would've gone in and grabbed a handful of peanuts before she saw us, then handled Eloise's hair... then Eloise ran her hands through her hair after getting it cut (there was no washing involved, just spritzing of a water bottle)... we could be in for a serious reaction.  I know I can't live in constant fear of the unknown... but there I was, having just told her...and she started going on about how she eats peanuts and candy coated peanuts all the time.  I couldn't get out of there fast enough!!  I was actually pleased with the results of our hair (sorry, no "after" picture for me!)... but I just don't know if I can go back.  The panic and fear I would feel knowing that she is a regular eater of peanuts, it's just too much.  Granted, there are TONS of people we encounter who eat peanut products on a regular basis, I'm sure.... but when I can control a situation, I will.  So I don't know that we'll be going back there.... But on the positive side, Eloise didn't come in contact with peanuts.  AND... we had a good experience.  I even saved some curls!

Me and My girls!