Happy 5th Birthday, Daphne Jane!

Gasp.  Does that say 5th?  Ummm,  I think she was just born – there is no way that was 5 years ago!IMG_8451

Here is the link to my first post of Daphne.  Here is the link to one of my first posts about life with 3 kids.  Looking back at some of these posts is cracking me up!  I do NOT remember those first few weeks of have 3 kids!IMG_0730

We have watched Daphne grow up over the last year.  She is definitely queen of her own little world.  She loves all things princess and mermaid – typically, pretending to be one or the other (or both) most days.   Specifically, right now she is a little obsessed with Ariel and Elsa.  She is trying to mold those 2 princesses into 1 so she can be a mermaid and an ice princess.  Ha!  She is the most creative in her play and actually loves to play by herself.  She will gladly play with her sisters or friends, but she doesn’t need others to stay entertained.  She loves to sing, dance, and dress-up!  She rarely wears normal clothes – unless we are leaving the house, she is almost always wearing dress-up clothes.

She is still a mama’s girl and tends to be hesitant in new situations.  She is still pretty quiet at Mom’s Day Out, dance, Sunday school, etc, but at home, she rarely stops talking.  She has lots of questions about things going on around her and she is definitely thinking abouthow things work.  

Finally, after about 3 years of not sleeping well, she is back into a good habit.  I thought for sure when we broke her of her finger sucking habit, that we would be back to not sleeping well.  Thankfully, that is not the case.  She is usually super snuggly in the mornings and likes to have a little bit of time alone with one parent or the other before her sisters wake up for the day.

Here is a photo dump of pics from the last year!!!  Enjoy!

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Rainbow Birthday Party!!

While the girls don’t have friend birthday parties every year – we always have birthday parties with our families.  As the first born, Norah has had several but (other than first birthdays) she is the only one.  Lucy has been asking to have a party for several months now, so we decided to have a birthday party for her this year.  I threw out some theme ideas – tea party, Pinkalicious, camping, etc.  She didn’t like any of those ideas – I should have known she already had her own idea.  Lucy wanted a rainbow party.  At first I wasn’t sure how I would make that work – but after some encouragement from facebook friends and some ideas on Pinterest, I knew a rainbow party could be really fun.  The only problem – I couldn’t do all the cute ideas – which ones do I try to recreate.  I started by asking my friend, Sara, to do the birthday invitation.  She did a great job!!  (Seriously, people, if you need birthday invites, Christmas cards, birth announcements, etc, check out her great designs!!!)

The Balloon Garland came from here.

I saw this ribbon decoration here.  I loved it and knew Lucy would too!

The rainbow cupcakes came from here.  I was just experimenting when I made the frosting.  I prefer the cupcakes with more white icing and just a little bit of color, but as I got to the end of my bag of frosting, the color came out thicker.  

I debated over drinks for the girls.  I saw several ideas about getting different colored drinks, but with only 12 girls, I didn’t want all the sugary drink leftover.  I ended up buying sugar free packets of kool-aid.  I mixed up each color and poured them in ice cube trays.  I made lemonade, too.  I thought is was really fun to see the girls faces light up when they saw the colored ice cubes – and as their lemonade changed colors.

Here’s the birthday girl!!  I can’t believe she is going to be 6 this week!!!!  AHHH!  

While this week was CRAZY with soccer and Boot Camp Challenge and this weekend is CRAZY with more soccer and more Boot Camp Challenge, I knew today was the best day to fit in her party.  The girls seemed to enjoy themselves and Lucy was THRILLED to finally have a friend party!!  Her actual birthday is Tuesday – I will post more about Lucy then!!

Museum Of Transportation

Several months ago, we bought a groupon to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. It was about to expire (March 26th, I think) so we decided to use it on Norah’s birthday. Kevin took the afternoon off and we met him there after a quick lunch at home.

The weather wasn’t great, but it only actually rained for a couple of minutes while we were there. The rain/hail basically held off until we were on our way home. Then is just down poured. I have never seen so much hail in my life. It was like driving through snow – and the roads were slick!! Daphne slept through the whole thing – which I can’t believe because it was so loud!!

Happy 8th Birthday, Norah!

From this:

to this:

(photo courtesy of Dorinda Peyton Photography)
Eight really seems grown up. . .too grown up sometimes. Six years old to seven was a rough year at our house. Thankfully, seven to eight was significantly better! I is enjoyable to watch Norah make the right decisions based on something else she was already taught. While she certainly gets a kick out of loving on her sisters until they scream, she is also incredible helpful. She is usually very willing to help Daphne with something or teach Lucy something new.
Norah’s favorite thing to do right now is read. She ALWAYS has a book in hand. . . and she can’t hear or see anything going on around her when her nose is in a book. Certain school things are so much easier now that she can read directions to herself!!
We are so thankful for Norah and are excited to see what God has in store for her over the next year!!

An Early Birthday Celebration

My sweet little niece turns 4 in early August. Because of the chaos of everyone’s summer schedules, the best date to celebrate with her (with ALL the cousins) was early July. So my niece and nephews, my mom, my grandma, my sil, and my sister all came to our house for a little party. It is hard to believe that she is turning 4 – seems like she was just born. She is a doll and we loved celebrating with her!!!

The glasses are courtesy of my grandma.

Happy 5th Birthday, Lucy!

We pulled into our driveway early, early Sunday morning – Lucy’s birthday. She slept in a little but was awake and ready for donuts by 8:00.

Lucy has a sweet and funny personality. She wants to make people laugh but she is really subtle about it. She is happy 98% of the time – and rarely cries about anything.
She is a little tease – must be the middle child syndrome. She is constantly teasing Daphne and Norah. She is teaching Daphne to be a tease as well. She makes us laugh but also gets herself in trouble easily!!
I think the biggest change from last year is that Lucy has actually become more reserved in public than she used to be. She is quiet, hangs at my side and takes quite a while to warm up in a new situation. Mother’s Day Out was hard for her this year. While she has a great time once she is there, she gets nervous every week. She also really doesn’t like to do new things. She gets a stomachache whenever we are about to do something new or meet new friends. It has been interesting to watch this change. She is more than confident at home but just not so much out in public.
I am excited to teach Lucy next year. She isn’t as serious or focused as Norah, so we will be going about things differently but I think we will have fun. We just tend to do things bigger or in a more active way.
We are so thankful for all of our girls, but every year on Lucy’s birthday we spend a little extra time thanking God for breathing life into her when we didn’t know if He would. I will NEVER forget those moments – wondering if she would make it and not really knowing what was going on. Thankfully, she is healthy and happy!!

Lucy wanted to have a tea party for her birthday but since we knew we would be on vacation up until her birthday we decided not to have a big party. However, we did have a little tea party – just the 5 of us.


As many of you may recall, last year my mom had her mastectomy on her 58th birthday. Obviously, a lot has happened over the last year so Alison, Denise and I wanted to do something extra special this year for mom’s birthday. We decided to have a surprise brunch with a number of her close friends. Now, let me just say that surprising MY mom is NOT an easy task. She likes to know exactly what is going on and continues to question and question until she knows all the details (I can say this – because I am just like her! Ha!).
The girls and I headed up on Tuesday to spend the week with her. My sister came up on Thursday – but mom didn’t know anything about that. We just told mom we would have lunch somewhere on Friday but she could decide where. She decided she wanted to stay in Morton so my dad and maybe my uncle Mike could join us. All week long she was asking me and Denise (my sil) if we would rather eat at Basta’s or Ruby Tuesdays. I think she asked us multiple times a day – and we didn’t care because we knew we weren’t actually going there.
We were having the brunch at my grandma’s house so my sister was going to head straight there on Thursday to get started on preparations. However, my mom made plans for us (the girls, me, Max, Denise, Contessa, Alex, my dad, my grandma, my uncle and herself) to eat Monical’s pizza at my grandma’s house on Thursday evening. Obviously, this totally threw things off because we could start setting up and we didn’t want mom to see Alison. So here are the rest of us eating yummy pizza together and Alison just ran some errands and then hung out alone at Max and Denise’s house until we were done.
Then on Friday after everything was ready, I ran to mom and dad’s (I stayed at my grandma’s with Daphne while the big girls stayed with my parents) to get my mom and Norah, Lucy and Contessa. I had dropped Daphne off at a friend of Denise’s – and just told mom that Abby said I could drop her off early. The plan was that I was going to tell mom that Grandma wanted to ride with us to lunch but she wasn’t quite ready so we needed to go back by her house to get her. Norah wanted to see the “Surprise” so she was going to just out of the car with my mom and run up to the door with her. That was the plan. When I got to my mom’s, she had just gotten a phone call that her car – which was being worked on – was ready and mom wanted me to run her to get her car and then she wanted to meet us at the restaurant. Now my grandma lives about 4 blocks from my mom so I tried to convince her that we should get grandma first. Since I was driving, we just went there, but my mom was not overly happy with that because she thought grandma still wouldn’t be ready. I told her to run in and get grandma. She headed to the garage instead of the front door so I had to shout something like, “Mom, I think I forgot to lock the front door. Can you just go in that door and check?” I am pretty sure she rolled her eyes at me – but she did. Thank goodness because everyone was standing right inside the front door!
Waiting to get the party started!

Grandma set and decorated the table.

Finishing touches

. . . and the “surprise!”
Mom and my Aunt Kathy – mom kept referring to her as her private duty nurse. Kathy spent many nights at the hospital with mom so dad could go home to get some sleep. Kathy went to many appointments with mom and really took care of her as mom tried to gain strength and do normal daily activities.
Waiting for mom to come in the door
Party guests
Singing “happy birthday” and opening presents
Dad stopped by on his lunch to check in on the party. The grand-daughters were obviously excited to see him!!

5 of the 7 grandkids (Ryan and Will couldn’t be there)
Lucy, Norah, Daphne, Contessa and Alex