Wednesday, April 27, 2011

~ A quick Easter recap~

I'm playing catch up again:)

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday filled with church, a delicious Easter dinner, and Easter egg hunts. Here are a few of the pictures I captured on Easter Sunday....

The first one is the yummy fruit pizza we had for dessert after our Easter dinner. SO good!

The girls hunting for Easter eggs in the pasture near our house.

Bella was quite content to chew on her Easter eggs.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Sweet 6th Birthday!!

In honor of Mary Kathryn's 6th birthday, here are a few pictures from the past 6 years. Wow, 6 years old! And it seems she was just Bella's size. There goes the time again...just flying by.

These next pictures are from Mary Kathryn's actual birthday, April 25th. On her special day I took her to get her first mani-pedi and then we went on a family picnic and finally home to open her Our Generation doll( Target version of American Girl) which she has been wanting forever. She was super excited!!

(Notice the pretty manicured nails!)

And lastly are the pictures from Mary Kathryn's birthday party. She invited a few of her little girl friends from school and church and they all had a blast painting their own jewelry boxes, butterfly masks, jumping on the trampoline and blowing bubbles. And of course there were lots and lots of yummy treats to eat! We were very blessed with beautiful weather on the party day and she later told me it was "The best birthday ever!".

These strawberry chocolate covered marshmallow pops were super yummy and easy to make...

Happy 6th Birthday to our sweet Mary Kathryn!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Easter Story

This year before going to bed the night before Easter, the girls and I read this version of the Easter Story. I found it on a Children's ministry site that has tons of bible stories written for children. Hailey and Mary Kathryn so enjoyed reading this together, that I thought I would share for others to enjoy!

The Easter Story~ Children's version written by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
Easter Cross Pictures, Images and Photos

~What an awfully sad day it had been for the friends of Jesus! They had stood watching sorrowfully, as Jesus hung on the cross dying. They didn't fully understand why it had to happen.

They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and they remembered how He had healed the sick and made blind people see. They remembered how He had fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish. They even remembered how He had caused dead people to come back to life. He was such a good, kind man; why did He have to die?

Just before the sun was beginning to sink into the west, Joseph, one of Jesus' friends, noticed that Jesus was no longer breathing. He hurriedly went to ask Pilate if he could have the body of Jesus so he could bury Him. When Pilate agreed, Joseph and Nicodemus (another friend) carefully wrapped Jesus' body in clean cloths. Then they took Him to a tomb to bury Him.

The next day, the Pharisees started thinking about Jesus. They were the people that had wanted to kill Jesus. They remembered how He had taught them, saying that He would rise again after three days. They were worried that it might be true! They also thought that Jesus' disciples would remember and might try to steal the body from the tomb just so they could say that Jesus rose again. They went to Pilate, suggesting that the tomb be closed up with a huge stone and that guards be placed all around the tomb.

Just before daylight the next day, the most amazing thing happened! There was a GREAT EARTHQUAKE! An ANGEL from the Lord came down from heaven, moved the gigantic stone away from the door of the tomb and sat on it. The guards began to shake with fear! They fell down to the ground as if they were dead!

Mary and some other women had decided to get up very early in the morning and go to visit the tomb where Jesus was placed. While walking down the road, they were discussing how they were going to get inside the tomb. They had brought along some spices and perfume that they wanted to place on Jesus' body. They knew the huge stone had been placed in the doorway and they had no idea how they were going to move it.

What a SURPRISE they found when they reached the tomb! The stone had already been moved! And . . . there was an ANGEL sitting on the stone! The women were quite afraid, but the angel spoke gently to them:

"Don't be afraid. I know that you have come to see Jesus. He is not here; for he is risen just as he said. Come inside and see the place where he lay."

The women went inside the tomb and found it empty, just as the angel had told them.

The angel spoke to the women one more time:

"Go quickly and tell the other disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead; and he is going into Galilee where you will see him."

The women did just as the angel had told them. They ran quickly from the tomb, with fear and great joy, to tell the good news to the other disciples. But . . . when the women found Peter and their other friends and tried to tell them the good news, . . . no one believed them!

When the women persisted, Peter decided that he needed to find out for himself.

He ran all the way to the tomb.

He went inside.

He saw the cloths that had been wrapped around Jesus, but the body was not there.

He wondered if it could possibly be true. Did Jesus really raise from the dead? Was Jesus really alive?

Two of Jesus' other friends were going on a journey to a village called Emmaus. As they walked and talked, they discussed all the things that had happened over the past few days. A man came along and joined the group. He walked along with them and wanted to join their discussion. Cleopas began telling the man about how Jesus was crucified on the cross. They talked about how the women found the empty tomb.

As they continued their journey, they invited the man to come in with them and have dinner. When they sat down to eat their meal, the man picked up a loaf of bread and broke it in pieces. Then he prayed for the meal and gave the bread to the men. At that very moment they realized that the man was JESUS! They had been talking to Jesus the whole time and didn't even know it!

Then . . . ANOTHER strange thing happened. As soon as they realized who it really was that sat at the table with them . . . Jesus disappeared! They talked about the wonderful time they had talking with Jesus down the road, and they just couldn't help talking about his strange disappearance. They got up from their meal and returned to Jerusalem where they told all the other disciples the good news that Jesus REALLY DID raise from the dead and had talked with them.

As they were talking, Jesus again appeared to them. They were afraid and thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus told them not to be afraid. He showed them His hands and feet where He had been nailed to the cross, so they would believe that it was really Him.

When they saw the nail holes in His hands and feet, they finally believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, just like He said He would. They were soooo happy and joyful to have their friend with them again. They were soooo excited that they had to tell EVERYBODY the good news that JESUS IS ALIVE!~


Why were Jesus' friends so sad?
Why were guards placed around the tomb?
What caused the huge stone to be moved?
Who was the first to look inside the tomb?
Why was Jesus' body not in the tomb?
What did the angel say to Mary and the women with her?


Jesus Is Alive!


"He is not here, but is risen" (Luke 24:6).

Easter Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bella is 9 months!! Really!?

Oh, how the months have flown by!! Nine LONG months of carrying her and such a short nine months since!! But time flies when you're having fun (and when your really busy caring for baby!). Let the 9 month update begin!!!

Feedings~ Bella is nursing every 3 to 4 hours approximately 4-5 ounces per feeding. She also eats one jar of baby food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and loves to eat Gerber yogurt melts and fruit puffs for snack twice a day. Her favorite baby foods are Beechnut yogurt banana apple, and Beechnut good morning cinnamon raison granola, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. We also offer a couple of ounces of juice or water once a day but she really isn't interested just yet.

Sleep~ For the most part, Bella is waking around 11pm and between 5 and 6am to eat. Occasionally she sleeps through the 11pm feeding and wakes at 3:30am. I try to give her the paci and hope she will sleep until morning, but sometimes I go on and feed her and then let her sleep in. Of course some nights are better than others!! Bella is still a tummy sleeper and prefers to sleep in her own crib. She does not sleep well in our bed or her playpen at all, which is a good thing I guess! She now naps 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. But this is at our house only. The couple of days a week that she is at the sitters she doesn't nap as well. She just can't sleep with all the other children around and not being in her crib. On those days she is ready to go to bed by 5:30-6:00pm and I let her if we are at home!

Play~ Bella loves to explore the house and look for anything and everything to get into. She thinks real people items are just so much more fun to play with than her toys! I have started giving her bowls, pans, cooking utensils, empty shampoo bottles ect, to play with and they will keep her occupied much longer than her baby toys will. Oh, and she LOVES the channel changer. We finally took the batteries out of one and gave it to her:)

Sunny Day?...Bella's prepared!!

Development~ Bella is crawling well and pulling up on everything!! She responds to her name. She also understands words such as "no-no" and "bye-bye." In fact, she has started to say "no, no, no, no, no" and wave her hand in front of her face if she is done eating or doesn't want you to wash her face. She even started trying to hit us in the face while saying "no,no". Needless, to say we were quick to correct that and she doesn't do that anymore! She loves to say "dada" or "mama" and I think she is beginning to know who is who. Banging two objects together is definitely entertaining to her right now, as well as playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. Her pincer grasp is very good and she can easily pick up the tee-tiniest little things off the floor. I don't care how much I vaccuum she will find some little thing on the carpet and try to eat it!!

Favorite things this month~ Giving BIG hugs and big SLOPPY kisses!! Crawling, pulling up, and exploring! And Bella absolutely positively loves to dance. Just give her a beat, any beat, and she starts dancing. It is SO cute but I have yet to get it on camera. I am determined though and there will def be a post of that coming soon!!Feeding herself her snacks and as always....Playing with her sissies!!:)

We love you Bella~Bee!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


With three small children, work, and all our activities, I find being organized is essential to running our household smoothly. One way that I have found to stay within our budget, provide healthy meals for our children, and save time, is to do three very important things. Plan a menu, make a grocery list, and place my grocery order online. Sounds really simple but it does wonders in making dinner time SO much less stressful. Once a week I sit down and plan a menu. I type it out on the computer and save it so that I can reuse it on another week later. I get online and find lots of easy recipes and also visit friend's blogs to try their recipes. I have found some of the best recipes on friend's blogs. I try to choose crockpot recipes for days that I work, so that I can throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and eat without prep when we get home. I have found almost anything can be made in the crockpot from spaghetti to chicken enchiladas. Just about anything! Next, I type out my grocery list and make sure to include EVERYTHING I'll need to make each recipe as well as all our other household needs. Then I print it out and visit the Lowe's Foods website to place my order online. This is great because I do it while the kids are at school and the baby is napping and I can sit in my own livingroom and take the time to really shop the store and find the best deals. I usually do this on Tuesdays and put my pickup time for after Hailey and Mary Kathryn's cheer/tumble class. After class is over I just swing by Lowe's Foods press the pickup button, tell them my name and they bring the grocerys right out to my car and load them for me. It literally takes less than 15 minutes. And the best part of all is that all my kids remain snuggly belted in the car! No crying baby in the grocery car or countless "May I please have this or that" questions. Saves so much time and stress. Here is an example of this weeks menu. It starts on Wednesday because I shop on Tuesdays:

Wednesday- BBQ chicken (crockpot), mac & cheese, greenbeans
Thursday- BBQ ribs (crockpot), baked sliced potatoes & ranch, corn
Friday- Homemade pizza & cookies
Saturday- Sloppy joes & baked fries
Sunday- Pork tenderloin (crockpot), rice, peas
Monday- Mexican soup w/ tortilla chips (crockpot).
Tuesday Grocery day/ eat out

Most of all it feels so nice to just come home and know exactly what's for dinner. It takes all the guess work out and I always know I have the ingredients for everything I am making. Of course, even with all this planning I forget things every now and then and have to make a quick grocery run but for the most part it works out great for our family. I hope if you do not already have a grocery routine that this helps! Happy Eating!!:)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baltimore Baby!

Okay, though overall we had a great time in Baltimore and Hailey and her teamates did awesome, I am so overjoyed to be done with traveling for a while! Above is a picture of Hailey and Mary Kathryn near our hotel in Baltimore. Below is a picture we took while waiting to visit the aquarium. We had such a great time just exploring the 3 story Barnes and Nobles bookstore while waiting!

And here is what I thought was a great action shot of competition day 2 in Baltimore...

Last but not least is the video of their day 2 performance. Would you believe the baby slept through all the loud music and yelling during this performance?