Friday, December 17, 2010

Tooth Fairy Fun

Believe it or not, Gracie LOVES her dentist! LOVES going! Good thing, because we had an appointment yesterday. =) Yeppers! The front teeth are on their way out. We lost our first tooth shortly after that dentist appointment! Look at that charming bag.  I'm surprised the tooth fairy didn't take that little cutie thing, but she's a honest girl. =) Cute little thing left pixie dust on the window sill. She thinks of everything. =) Grace was thrilled to say the least.  Did I mention how much I love baby toes? Well, they aren't so babyish anymore, but I still take a tiny bite from time to time.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Grace

Charming Gift Wrap Christmas 5x7 folded card
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View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Harvest Happenings

My Gracie Pirate Girl
Busy, busy harvest season here round this Grace FULL household including, but not limited to, harvest parties at church & school. Yes - I AM the room parent! Yeah - it was great with lots of parent help besides me. That was NICE! They kids loved the games - pumpkin cakewalk, pumpkin relay & candy cone BINGO! The relay was HILARIOUS. Originally intended to sweep the pumpkins with brooms, the brooms were forgotten by busy parents other than me. So we improvised. The teams rolled the itty bitty pumpkins with their noses. I'm talking FUNNY! 

Spider bites for treats at the 1st grade Harvest Party. Brought to you by Shorty Cakes!
1st horse ride. Oh, he's smiling here, but let me tell you...
The Harvest festival at CLC was great. We took a little friend from school. Highlight of the day, "Is that horse really REAL?" This youngster had never seen a real horse or pony in the FLESH! I managed to get him on the horse with the help of the wonderful horse people, but little N was quite fearful the entire time. Kids should definitely experience real animals as often & early as possible. Gracie was, you know she was so "I got this." lol - almost indignant about her peer's inexperience with the animals. It's not funny. I'm sorry. The screeching in the petting zoo with the cows, bunnies, goats, llamas...NOT funny. Really. giggle giggle. After we managed to get the screeching boy OUTSIDE the fence, he thought he really might want to touch the pig. Uh-uh. I don't think so. Just look from here. =) Great time indeed!  Bouncy things, face painting, coloring contests (I don't really like those, but the kids do =/), decorating cupcakes, carnival games & oh, the CANDY! Lots of CANDY!
Gracie & friend chowing on cupcakes they decorated! AND the proceeds went to dig clean water wells in Peru. How GREAT is THAT? Fun for a good cause!
If you can imagine MORE fun than that...we dropped off little N & hit the trick or treat trail sponsored by the park district. Let me tell you, we have the BEST park district EVER! This was quite fun & in such a charming setting.

Halloween actually fell on Sunday, so we worshipped at CLC. Front line privilege PLUS a special speaker was on tap so we were there for a longggggggggggg time.   Let's see. Gracie was in the kids town/Sunday School thing for 5.5 hours. 5.5 hours of singing, dancing, worshiping, & learning about Jesus. FUN & exhaustion. Plus, there were treats for every service - treats X3. SUGAR!!! Actually, I don't know what they served but we could say she was more than jazzed for Trick or Treating with Uncle BOB! That was fun, but she pooped out early. Could be because my pirate princess RAN from house to house for about three blocks. Could be, huh?

We filled her princess Easter basket now Trick or Treat pail to the brim AND all pockets AND her pirate hat. That was a ton of candy! More than enough. PLENTY! Bring on the Kit Kat bars for mama! Oh, butter..right. =)

To wrap things up, we stopped by the Deer Creek Trunk or Treat extravaganza just to bounce in the JUMBO Jet & slide down that MOUNTAIN of a parrot. Hit a few trunks on the way to our car & then to the BIRTHDAY party of our little neighbor friend. Talk about wired for sound. They had a not-so-haunted house in their basement which was still fun after 3 times. They bobbed for apples & played all sorts of fun games with CANDY prizes. YEAH CANDY. Seriously. Pizza (finally - real food =) 

To be honest, it was a great weekend. I can't believe she made it into bed by 9:00 pm. I can't believe I survived. =)

Here are some photos from other Harvest Happenings this Fall. We've been busy, but I said that already. As much as I dread Fall (because of what burr cold comes afterward), some of our favorite activities are during this time of year. =)
Pumpkin patching with good friends!

Hayride fun!

County Line Orchard fun in the hay maze

Apple Orchard fun making & EATING s'mores by the campfire


60 sticks of butt-er

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Miss you like crazy

It's been five years...some days I wonder how the time has flown by; other days it just drags. There's rarely a day goes by that something doesn't remind me of you - some fragrance or a song. Perhaps it's the way Gracie claps her hands together all excited like you used to do or it's the smell of those nut goodies. Today it was peanut butter. Crazy. I'm glad to say that finally...finally the smiles out number the tears. When things were raw & the loss was fresh, I often worried because I could only see you in those last months - the very sick you. What frailty & brokenness. But now my vision has cleared & I see you in your smiles, thoughtful ways & tenderness. I miss you still, but I'm so glad that joy is more than the sorrow. Miss you like crazy, mom. Love you always & forever; to the moon & back again. We're throwing kisses to heaven!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Snuggling with me one morning last week, Gracie told me know how lucky I am when she sleeps with me. "Well, you have me so close to snuggle AND you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to come close to me when I'm scared. I'm RIGHT here." She has a point. =) I love that girl in all her sweetness. =)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Drinking From My Saucer

The birthday was yesterday. What a great day indeed. Gracie had the perfect gift for mama. She's been itching to give this lusciously wrapped gift since returning from shopping with cousin Mimi. I had to close my eyes, hold out my hands while she crooned happy birthday in that sweet, sweet voice (vibrato & all). She grinned from ear to ear while I opened up her thoughtful gift. =) We ended the day with more cutie things crafted by her little hands -- a picture she drew of our full-of-love family, as she called it. I like the sound of that. =) I told her my best gift was Grace - she is best gift & I'm so blessed to have her every day.

So many wishes, blessings & birthday salutations came from friends & family via Facebook. Some phone calls came in from the nearest & dearest friends; they began at 6 AM but I didn't answer until 7 AM. It took me about an hour to say "thank you" to each one of those delivering birthday greetings. Saying "thank you" made me even more thankful - for so much more than a date on a calendar.

Gracie said I'm the best mom she ever had. Rhonda said I was her best childhood camping buddy. Cindy said I was one of the happiest persons she'd ever known. Pam & Sonny were wishing I'd come back out to California to visit. I'm so going once this degree is finalized! I was sent lots of love & blessings from all over the world - literally. I'm blessed to have friends near & far, some long time friends & some as new as the last 24 hours.

This morning as I enjoy the scent of cinnamon n sugar waft through my kitchen, I'm counting my blessings. I've got so much for which to be thankful. I'm getting healthier with every stick o'butter melting off my behind (three this week). My daughter is smart, healthy & loves to learn. I am loved by my family & though I miss my mom muchly on days like these, memories of her make my heart smile.

My life is full of goodness. Someone said that way before me in a near-cheesy poem that circulated years ago when forwarding bites of wisdom via email was still cool. I pulled it up to read, re-read & share because it just sums it up so nicely. I'm reaping better than I sowed. Not sure about the grammar, but is sure echos my heart today. Drinking from my saucer...


I've never made a fortune and it's probably too late now,
But I don't worry about that much I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way I'm reaping better than I sow,
I'm drinking from my saucer 'Cause my cup has overflowed.
Haven't got a lot of riches and sometimes the going's tough,
But I've got loving ones around me and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings and the mercies He's bestowed,
I'm drinking from my saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed.
O, Remember times when things went wrong
My faith wore somewhat thin,
But all at once the dark clouds broke
and sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I've hoed,
I'm drinking from my saucer "Cause my cup has overflowed"
If God gives me strength and courage
When the way grows steep and rough,
I'll not ask for other blessings I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads,
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer
"Cause my cup has overflowed."

John Paul Moore

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great Forest Park Balloon Race

Always a good time at the Great Forest Park Balloon Race! Quick trip down and back in the SAME day. Some mystery sickness was making the rounds at Aunt Tracy's house, so no fun with family outside our own full-of-love circle. Gracie is a journalistic as part of her 1st grade routine. In the picture above, you see she chronicled her Great Balloon experience.  She's dreaming of a ride in the big balloon.  That's my girl. =)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Less of Me

Started something new & needful last week. There is less of me today...24 sticks of butter LESS of me. =) Yeah! Gracie thinks there's already more room on the couch for her. hee hee! Actually, she's right. Think about how much room 6 pounds of butter takes up on the couch. Not that we allow butter on the couch. No, we don't.

I must pause to give credit to my friend, Cylinda Shirley Nickel over at Because Life is Like a Bowl of Marbles, for her "sticks 'o butter off my butt" analogy. =) Inspiring, indeed. Well, giggling does indeed add up to activity points. =)

I've got some new shoes...made for walking. Well, they are really made for running, but we are wogging (the walk-jog combo) for now. =) And I've got this great book by John Bingham, Courage to Start. I'm feeling pretty well equipped.

Not only did we buy new shoes for our wogging to running journey to Nashville, but we also invested in a blender. Yes, we are now a smoothie making family. =) Gracie is thrilled. Yes. However, I am under strict orders NOT to sneak celery in her smoothie. "OHhhhhh, that's what those stringy things were. MOM!" So now I know just not to tell her I put sweet potatoes & red pepper in yesterday's blend. Scrumptious with all those raspberries, strawberries & bananas. That's what I call "Deceptively Delicious." To be honest, that's what Jerry Seinfeld's wife calls her cookbook...I love the book, the idea & just plum plagiarized the title. Except that now I've just given her credit, so no plagiarizing going on here. Thanks to Uncle Randy & Auntie Em for the cookbook. =)

So here we go....oh, the we part. I could use some cheerleaders here & not the kind that bring cookies. =) Except I can have cookies. Just have to figure out how many points are in those Shorty Cake kind. =)

Goal for this week: journal every bite

Actually, that was my goal for my 1st week. Journal every bite = SUCCESS! Plus, I totally resisted SODA while down with the family in MO. I survived a family reunion with a 24 stick loss. I even ate the peach cobbler, roasted pork loin, potato salad and some other goodies. I did, however, spit out that bite of cinnamon chocolate roll. Not good; not good at all. =/ JOURNAL EVERY BITE!

Bis spater...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

For the Love of Reading

September is Library Card Month.  Whoo hooo! Gracie got her first library card today with her very own 5 year old signature. =) Oh, happy day! She was so proud. They took her picture and put it on the bulletin board designed to celebrate young readers.  She got busy picking out her very own books, insisting that she carry them to the desk by herself. Indeed, it was a great day for 5 year old Grace! She's growing up too fast. =)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Turkey Feet

Excited to wear her new school clothes even before school began, Gracie asked me if she could wear her "skirt with the turkey feet."

Turkey feet skirt...huh?

"You know, the one that has all the circles with turkey feet in them."

=) Still giggling.

Turkey feet be with you~
Turkey feet out~
Give turkey feet a chance...John Lennon (well, kinda)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summertime, Summertime

Great day at the beach~

“Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”

-- Michelle Held

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Double Grace

Double the fun with Grace and Grace at the Mokena Farm Festival. They enjoyed horse ride, face painting, singing, dancing, and sheep shearing fun! Ok, not so much sheep shearing fun. It looked a bit painful. Good thing sheep are docile creatures or we might not have much experience with wool. =) 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Backseat singer song writer aboard. She's working up a little ditty about burning flame love.
August 19, 2010 at 7:29pm via mobile · Privacy: ·  · 
  • Linda  likes this.
    • Menia Thats awesome.
      August 19, 2010 at 8:09pm · 
    • Amber Uh oh!
      August 19, 2010 at 9:35pm · 
    • Carmen  I know...but really it was more about the fire part than the love part. She caught a commercial for Camp Rock 2 musical bonfire song something...I tried to turn it into a passion burning for Jesus. Not sure she was going there. =)
      August 21, 2010 at 11:15am

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Looking Back

This moment brought to you by Facebook with a new feature that lets you look back at what you said last year on this same date; couple that with blogspot's feature of backdating your posts and viola~ This is what Gracie said on August 17, 2010: 

Guess what, mom. Did you know chewing gum is the most best for making your teeth get all wiggly to fall out?

    • Kelly  Awww, that's so cute!
      August 17, 2010 at 8:29pm · 

    • Carmen  She's been crunching apples like crazy since finding out another pal lost a tooth eating an apple.
      August 17, 2010 at 8:38pm · 

    • Cammy  I remember losing a tooth in Sis Gunn's kindergarten class, apple and a snickers I think. Yup, I was eating them both at the same time!
      August 17, 2010 at 10:42pm · 

    • Melanie  That girl is like a children's book come to life! Love her!!
      August 18, 2010 at 8:04am · 

    • Carmen  Yes, reminds me a bit of Junie B Jones. =)
      August 18, 2010 at 4:44pm · 

    • Renee  Dawling, she has Eloise in her! I just love, love, love her!
      August 18, 2010 at 5:47pm · 

    • Carmen  and yes, Eloise. I can see that. =)
      August 19, 2010 at 5:07pm · 

      Further discussion led to a list of methods by which her pals lost teeth:
      Caitlyn: apple
      Annie: pizza
      Hannah: wiggling
      Haddon: biscuit with peach jelly                                                   Grace: 1st tooth: rice crispy treat and wiggling it with her finger                 
      Gracie further reported the loss of her 2nd and 3rd tooth came at the end of school one day:  "I stepped into the bathroom and saw it was halfway out. I twisted out and my friends helped my find it when it fell. I lost two in one day and the tooth fairy left $9 for me." 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Change for a pie?

The computer is on vacation in Temple, Texas for repair. Gee, I miss that guy. Didn't realize how tied at the hip I am to that thing, but given I can't bill for ANY of my work without computer access...I'm hopelessly devoted~ I'm on borrowed time here. Gracie is playing over with her cutie little Sophia friend. Those girls are absolutely CRAZY together & I need to take a turn wrangling the team. Her folks are absolutely WONDER full AND they garden. Oh, yes...a lovely garden indeed. AND they share with their friends. Oh, yes they do. I feasted on some First Light tomatoes from that gorgeous Eden spot. TASTY! Borrowed time..right.

So, yesterday Grace & I went shopping for school clothes - the ALL day kind of shopping that only happens ONCE a year. Thank His holy name. =) We were at Kohls by 7:30 AM & walking out the doors at 9 AM as the crowd thickened. Famished, we stopped in Round the Clock for some breakfast. Mind you, this is no Lumes or Essenhaus by far; but we did enjoy a sit down breakfast with waffles, whipped cream & simply delicious syrup. Approaching the cash register to pay, I handed Grace a five, asking her to get change so I could leave a tip. "Please ask for change for a five." We paid the bill & began our retreat to the car for more adventures in spending when Grace inquisitively asked, "Where's the pie? You forgot the pie." Huh? "Mom, you told me to get change for a pie. Where's our tasty pie?" hee hee...well, the girl wasn't laughing when I told her there was no tasty pie, I wanted change for a five. =) I'm still laughing~ STILL. She is STILL not laughing. Guess my articulation was not as crisp as it should have been. =)

AND before I close (I am on borrowed time, remember?). This Grace FULL moment to share: Climbing in the car this afternoon, Grace was singing a little tune with all the Mary Poppins' British-ness she could muster. "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...the medicine go down...the medicine go down." I love a British accent. Ahh, who am I kidding...I swoon at any accent. =) Happy day, friends!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Families that Stick: DO: Engage, don't entertain

Hey, you know I always say "Joy shared is twice as nice." Well, some wonder FULL folks I know are doing a blog right over at Families that Stick! Check it out at the link below & tell Kristen I sent you!

Families that Stick: DO: Engage, don't entertain

THIS I just had to share, borrowing it right from fresh pages over at Families that Stick:

For a few ideas on simple play, the ABC's by Jill Rigby:
(hint: these are ideas for YOU to do with your kids)
A - Always smile
B - Blow bubbles
C - Color in a coloring book
D - Draw a self-portrait
E - Eat a PB & J
F - Finger paint
G - Goofy faces
H - Hide and seek (surprise your kids by asking them first!)
I - Ice cream cones
J - Jump rope
K- Kick the can (down the street)
L - Look up and watch the stars or the clouds
M - Musical chairs after supper
N - NO TV - please.
O - Old-fashioned hopscotch
P - Paper airplanes
Q - Questions - ask silly, silly ones
R - Race around the block
S - Scissors, paper, rock
T - Take your family for a walk (no phones allowed!)
U - Uncontrollable laughter
V - Ventriloquism
W - Walk barefoot in the grass
X - Xylophone
Y - Yodel
Z - Zoo animal sounds

Enjoy some play'll do YOU good too!
Super Sleuths, Grace & Haddon, at the STL Science Center
Gracie putting out fires for CPD at Chicago Children's Museum
Mac & Cheese climbing at Navy Pier
Loving her Mac & Cheese
BBQ sweet treat we took to the big BBQ at Annie's house
BBQ friends: Annie, Grace & more Grace
Summer Shine
Ice cream anyone??
Gracie making her own whale song at the Children's Museum