Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gracie and King

We went out to Poppa's farm to feed Gracie and King some carrots. The girls loved feeding them some treats, and brushing them.

Checkin' out King..

Mimi even let them sit on Gracie for a few minutes... Poppa wasn't there to put on the saddle so they didn't get to ride this visit, but they sure were excited to help take care of them!

Lila took these pictures of her new horsie friends..
Mr. King...

Gracie Girl..

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Livestock Show and Rodeo

My favorite men... Wayne and Dad!

Another fun year at the Livestock Show! Although I didn't get pictures of everything, we checked out all the animals, visited the petting farm, ate some yummy fair food and and rode lots and lots of rides on the midway!
This is the kids in front of the chuckwagon. We had an authentic cowboy meal one night, cooked on an open fire... yum!

This looks like trouble behind the wheel...

Silly Katers... She always keeps us laughing!

We had lots of corndogs and fresh squeezed lemonade...

The rides! Both of the girls chose the ferris wheel as their favorite ride... no pictures of that one... Mommy was too nervous holding on to the girls that high up... but not them... they wanted to stand up and peek over the edge... oh, boy!
Now I love a rollercaster, but for the kids, these kiddie rides were more my favorite... slow and close to the ground!

The swings were fun too... we rode this one several times!

Lila and Kate

Look close and you'll see Lila with her hands in the air! : )

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Saturday, March 20, 2010


The Gang....

And their boots!

The kiddos and Mimi..

Cute Cousins... but WHAT is Emily doing?!?! She's such a mess!

And look at that Sweet, Sweet Baby Rose!! I just want to gobble her up!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Emily's Birthday

"Look at me, me, me... I'm three, three, three.. and I'm as happy as can be, be, be... Can't you tell... can't you see.. I'm a very, very, very happy ME!"

We were at Mimi and Poppa's again this year on Emily's birthday so we had a fun family party. Maybe I was resisting the fact that my baby girl was turning THREE because it wasn't the really big bash that birthdays usually are around here... just our most favorite people in the world in attendance... Em's aunts, uncle, cousins, grandparents and great grandparents. It's always touching to me that Emily gets to share her birthday celebrations with our family... after a bit of a rough start to life it's nice to share these special milestones with the ones that have loved and supported her through it all.
It was a really laid back day. I let the kids decorate the birthday cake and didn't even take any pictures of the party... Thanks to Aunt Summer we do have a few pictures to remember this big day!

Happy, Happy Birthday Doodle! I hope all your wishes come true!


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Emily!

Emily Summer,

On the day you were born my life changed forever. On the day you were born, I became YOUR mother. Will you ever know what an incredible honor that is for me? On the day you were born the nurses handed you to Daddy so he could quickly let me see your sweet little face and kiss your tiny cheek before you were off to the NICU. It was only for a second, just so I could see with my own eyes that you were here, but in that second, I instantly knew you, instantly completely knew you.

It would be weeks until I saw that precious little face again without tubes or wires to help you breath and eat. But, that didn't keep me from memorizing every other little inch of you... I would sit by your isolet for hours and just take in the sight of you, the miracle of you. I could only touch you every four hours, (one day I opened a port hole on your isolet.. just so I could be that much closer to you... and got a stern little talk about your inability to control your body temp and blah, blah, blah... that nurse just didn't understand my need to be near you), but when I could touch, I took advantage of it... wrapping your tiny fingers around one of my own, stroking your soft delicate skin, playing with your sweet little feet (the size of my thumb they were my favorite... so tiny, yet perfect), and I would gently put my hand on your chest and feel the rise and fall of each breath. I could sit and stare at you for hours. Were YOU really MINE? How does one deserve such an extraordinary gift? And the gift of being your mother has only grown more precious right along with you. Still I ask, are YOU, MINE? Extraordinary.

On the day you were born I whispered to you of my love, of my commitment to pray for you daily. I apologized for how my body failed you and wished I could trade places with you so you wouldn't have to hurt or work so hard. I told you my hopes and dreams for you, I told you all about your beautiful big sister who didn't quite understand everything that was going on, but was very excited about her new baby. I told you how proud I was of your strength and I told you about Jesus, and how safe you would be in His arms until you could be in my own. A Mommy's heart is an amazing thing, for on the day you were born I was filled with so much love for you, more than I ever dreamed possible. I knew without a doubt there wasn't a thing I wouldn't do, not a place I wouldn't go, not a fear I couldn't find the strength to face, for you. It blows my mind to think of those feelings in relation to what God feels for us. My overwhelming love for you is just a drop in the bucket compared to His love for you and me and all those who love Him.

On the day you were born I also whispered in God's ear of my gratitude for His love and mercy. I thanked Him for miracles and marveled at His handiwork when it came to His creation of you. I promised Him I would teach you all about Him and show you how we are called to love in His name and for His glory. I asked Him for guidance and patience as I raised you and your sister to know Him. Even today, three years later, I pray the same things.

It gives me such joy to hear you talk about Jesus and see the twinkle in your eye when you sing songs about Him. It absolutely melts my heart to hear you pray and see your little head bowed, hands clapsed, and eyes closed in prayer as you praise Him and thank Him for things like monkeys and daddys,and m & m's. My prayer is that your love for Jesus continues to grow... that you will long for Him, seek Him and find Him, and keep Him in your heart always. I continue to pray for guidance as your Daddy and I raise you and teach you to feel His presence all around you. He is always with you Emily. Always. Just as I whispered of my love and promises to you on the day you were born, He whispers of His unfailing love to you all day long, just take the time to be still and listen, my little love. He is always there.

So, today on your THIRD birthday, my birthday wish is the same as always... that you will continue to Seek Him and Find Him, Love Him with all your heart, and Follow Him. Hear me when I say this, Darling... His grace is sufficient. His love enduring. And even when you mess up, which will happen, His mercies are new every morning. He is faithful and loving... your life is a testament to that! Happiest of Birthdays my sweet, sweet girl. I love you so much more than I will ever be able to tell you, or show you!


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Friday, March 12, 2010

Lila Rooney and her Nina

Lila's best friend...aside from actual people friends... is this Alaskan Husky dog she got from Gram after an Alaskan cruise last year. I don't know why she is so attached to this one dog in particular, maybe because we had just spent time with Aunt Summer's chihuahua, Nina, and Lila knows her Daddy won't let her get a real dog so Nina (not a coincidence in name)became her "dog." Sometimes Nina appears to be real according to things that Lila tells us about her, but as soon as we try to get in the game and say something Nina should do, Lila quickly points out that Nina is not real. Go figure.

Anyway, we lost Nina a few weeks ago. She went to church with Lila and Daddy and never came home. We searched, I mean, SEARCHED the church building several times and didn't find her. Maybe she got lost in the parking lot, or who knows with Daddy! We had a few sad days and many tears at night, especially at night... yikes... until Mommy got a great idea and called Aunt Summer to see if Kate was as equally attached to her Alaskan souvenir... one that looked identical to Nina. Luckily Kate knows how special certain little things can be and was happy to send Lila a new Nina. You should have seen her face when she opened that package! Priceless! But I should have known better than to try and pull one over on my four year old. Lila was quick to say this new dog did look just like her Nina, but was definitely NOT HER Nina, and she listed off many reasons why... they didn't smell the same, Nina's eye was scratched, she had a ouchie on her back foot, etc. etc. but my favorite was... "And why did Aunt Summer send her in the mail? What was Nina doing with Aunt Summer? Nina doesn't even know how to get to San Antonio by herself!!" ...UGH...

But this story still has a happy ending. After giving Lila lots of assurance that old Nina isn't scared wherever she might be, she is never alone in the dark, and someone is taking very good care of her (is it always wrong to lie to your child?)new Nina has quickly filled the void and become just, Nina. She goes everywhere and does everything... even bath time on occasion when she's dirty and gets her hair dried with the blow dryer right along side Lila. As I type, they are sleeping, arm and arm all warm and cozy under the blankets together. So I guess this post was a shout out to Nina! We sure love you girl! And a BIG THANKS to Kate and Aunt Summer for the back up!

Here are some pictures that Lila insisted we take of her and Nina a few weeks ago. She actually got out the camera, set up her chair, etc and made Daddy come take the pictures... she is too funny!

Looks like Bolt must have joined in at some point too... silly girl!

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It's hard to believe that my little Emily who entered this world at THREE pounds will be THREE years old in just THREE days!

Look how HUGE the preemie paci is compared to her teeny head.. could she even breathe with it covering her whole nose?!? Crazy!

(Excuse my looks... I was one emotional, tired Mommy!)
My birthday letter to Emily will come later... but right now I just want to close my eyes and remember this sweet, teeny tiny baby and the beautiful, rambuctious joy that she is today.

Oh, Miss Emily... you sure make us laugh!!
I will always be blown away at the power, the love, and faith that God has, and continues, to pour out over my sweet girl. We will always grace each day with thanks for our beautiful second daughter, and little spunky sister. Emily definitely makes our lives much happier! Love you Doodle... and your birthday letter from Mommy will come on your birthday... THREE! Wow!

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Monday, March 01, 2010