Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Isabel 10

 Here is Isabel on her 10th bday.  She got to celebrate with 3 of her closest friends: Dora, Sarah and Isabella.  They had an ice cream cake, grabbed candy from a broken pinata, hung out at the house for a bit and then I drove them all to play mini golf in Tyler. (Isabel's gift from Grandma Beth.) I have some great shots and video of the girls playing mini golf but they are all on my iphone. 
 Above is Isabel with her friends that she goes to school with.  (Anna, Isabella and Sarah)  They were gathered for Open House.

The other morning before heading to school I found these two out on the front porch admiring the beautiful early morning fog and sunrise.  It was a sweet moment.

And lastly we have a picture of Isabel just after a soccer game with her two littlest sisters.

Isabel is a very tender hearted girl.  She is also a wonderful student and works very hard to get good grades.  She is simply fun and a joy to be around.  She likes to get a bit crazy sometimes....wrestling or going outside to play in the rain.  She is also a great cook!  One of her specialties is making pancakes from scratch for the family.

Aubrey 12


The first two pictures were taken during Aubrey's 12th bday party. She had a few friends over for a sleepover in her new tent from Grandma Jeani. Here cake of choice (not pictured) was a Swedish dessert called Snooda.  Think chocolate, mocha and coconut.  Think tastey goodness.

The next picture is of Aubrey, Isabel and Aubrey's best CA friend, Adia.  Adia and her family came for a visit shortly before Aubrey's bday. The tent that Aubrey received sure came in handy when Adia and her family were here.  We had the girls sleep outside several times simply because we were all *squished* in our 4 bedroom house! We had 4 adults, 8 girls and one boy under the roof! Ah, but we had so much fun catching up with the Hoyle family!

And lastly another pirate picture just to show Aubrey's fun loving side.

Aubrey is incredibly smart, loves to read and relax, enjoys hanging out with friends & playing games with the family, is a great tree climber, such a detail girl, and very artistic. She also loves to organize things yet continually has a messy room....kind of like me!

Christian 14

I sure wish I took more pictures of this amazing guy with his family.  And better pics of him playing sports too.
Words cannot express how proud we are of Christian.  He's an incredible son, brother, friend, athlete and possibly...future Marine.

Lucy's 5th Birthday

In March Lucy had her 5th bday!
To the right we have Lucy with some of her friends.  They came to play a few games, do the Hokey Pokey, eat cake and celebrate Lucy!

 This picture is not from her bday, but I thought the flowers were pretty neat.  They remind me of flowers that one might see in a Dr. Seuss book.

Lucy with Grandma Beth and the gift she received from Grandma.

 And here she is with her cake...she must have helped with the cake because she's got her apron on.

Shane's mom, Grandma Jeani, sent Lucy some gifts and here is one of them...matching dresses for Lucy and her doll. So cute!

My Pirate-y Children

Above we have Aubrey, Isabel and Anna.  I have no idea what spurred this on when my 3 oldest girls did this a few months ago, but it sure was silly.  And the best part of it all for me was how much Shane enjoyed their silliness when he got home from work.  Making each other laugh is one of the best parts of being a family.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rainbow Rice in a Jar

   Hi, there.
   Summer break comes early for our family. School is already out for my four oldest children!
   It was a little chilly yesterday to go swimming like we had planned, so I decided it would be a good day to do a craft that I saw at a blog called Good To Be Crazy.  That blog will be going private soon so I will give you the instructions on how to make this craft in case you decide that your kids would like to have some fun coloring rice too. Here is a look at the finished craft:

First thing we did was put 3 cups of rice in a zip lock bag.  Then we added about 4-5 Tablespoons of water with several drops of food coloring in it.  Make sure that bag is sealed and then let the kids squish it around.  These girls are multi-taskers. They watched a movie while they squished the rice.

I forgot to warn you.  It was a messy hair day at our house yesterday.  I didn't brush the little girls' hair until right before Shane got home from work!  The only child with non-messy hair in the picture is Sarah, one of Isabel's best friends...Sarah's mom makes sure that she brushes her hair.  Hmm, maybe I should take some tips from her. 

After smushing the color into the rice, I put it into pie pans and let the rice dry a bit.

We selected some jars from my jar stash, I spray painted the lids to cover things like "Great Value" and then the girls went to town filling up the jars.  We could only find one funnel (out of a set of like 6) so we used paper to make funnels if needed for the jars with skinny necks.  I didn't get a picture of the girls doing this step.

So,here is the final product:


PS Grandma Jeani, I know you don't care for dreadlocks.  I promise Anna does not have them. It's just a bunch of braids!  :)

The End. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Family Photos by A Little Bit of Joy Photography

A few days ago I finally got around to changing out the pictures on my wall.  I wasn't quite ready to change the whole arrangement of the display because I had only put up fall 2010 pictures of the kids in October (or something like that). The photos that had been in the frames were color and were taken in the fall.  They looked good with the gold mirror in the middle, but now that I have black and white pictures in the frames I think something else needs to go in the middle or I need to paint the mirror.   I'm thinking black or red.
I must add at this point that changing out the pictures was much easier with my friend, Sabra.  I basically asked her if she wanted to help me with a little project and then I had her do the whole think!  Okay not really, but she did help me a lot.  I dusted the frames and cleaned the glass and she put in the new pictures. 
Sabra thinks I should put up the 6 pictures in two rows of 3.  What do you think?  Do you have any great suggestions for my wall gallery?

Here is a closer look of those pictures:

                       This may not be the perfect pose, but this truly captures Anna's personality!






And there are more!  Here is what I did with a few of my other favorites:

Closer look....

There is one more picture on the mantel that I can't locate at the moment on my computer.  It is a black and white of all of the kids sitting on the back of our truck.  I love it.

And the last photo I'll share with you is one of our two family photos that I have been printing and passing / mailing out.  (I had great intentions of sending them out for Christmas...and then for New Year's.  You know how that goes, don't you?)

Oh, I can't leave without showing you this one too....

They are SO outnumbered!

All pictures were taken by a Amanda Joy Henninger who is the owner/photographer at A Little Bit of Joy Photography.  Please visit her facebook page if you are interested in hiring her.  Our whole family really enjoyed Amanda's personality and disposition.  Even my son who REALLY hates doing the whole family picture thing had a good time.  That's saying a lot for Amanda isn't it?

 I really like our pictures! Thank you so much, Amanda!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Conned by my 2 year old

Cute, right?  Yes, very cute and she can be very sweet.  This little one has plenty of spunk and energy and joy.  In fact, her name is Ellie JOY.

Now, Ellie has hit a bit of a rough patch.  Actually, I should rephrase that because to say that she has hit a rough patch would insinuate that she has a problem and, well, that just wouldn't be accurate. I'm the one with the problem.  I'm the one that needs to be on high alert with this little girl lately.

Shane and I have always trained our babies to sleep through the night in their own beds and later to take naps in their big kid beds without getting up.  Ellie has not been an exception.  But, lately, she has been getting out of bed.  What?  One of MY kids getting out of bed during nap time?  Yes, one of them.  The littlest...the baby of the family. The one that my son warns me will be a brat if I don't give her more discipline (okay, you caught me....he really used the word "spankings").

Ellie has been tearing up her (shared) bedroom while she should be napping and sadly that's not the worst of it.  She also got into one of her older sister's markers and drew on books, on herself and on her clothes. She also got into that sister's water colors and got that all over her. Then, most recently she got into the same sister's school valentines and took red heart suckers off of the valentines and ate them.  (At first we thought the count was 7 but later realized it was "only" 3.)  And I promise you I did not just put her in her bed,say good night and shut the door. I checked on her to make sure she wasn't getting into stuff.  Any time she had something I would take it away from her and put her back in her bed.  But this one...oh, she is quick!

After all this we really buckled down and got firm with Miss Ellie.  So, yesterday and today she stayed in bed during nap time.  She didn't ever fall asleep today but she still stayed in bed.  Ahh, progress.  (But is it really progress if we are having to re-train her?)

So, now we get to the part where she cons me.  Yep, my own child, whom I love conned me.  When it was bedtime for the littlest girls I thought Ellie would fall right to sleep because of the fact that she didn't fall asleep at nap time.  But, instead she told me, after I put her jammies on her, that her legs hurt.  She was very serious and pathetic sounding and she repeated it over and over and over again.  I put more Aquaphor on her legs (she has eczema) but she still insisted that her legs hurt.  I prayed for her legs.  Still hurt.  I let her take off her jammy pants.  Still hurt.  I rubbed her legs.  Still hurt.  I offered to go get her medicine.

And I tell you the truth....when I left the room to get the medicine she had great fun in the room with her sister, Lucy.  It was like a two minute fiesta. But, as soon as I came back in with the medicine she was telling me again, over and over AND over, how much her legs hurt.

Now, can you believe that?  I'm having a hard time with this.

I mean I can remember my other kids doing stuff that was far from perfect at very young ages. I remember one had tantrums, one hit a Sunday school teacher, one was extremely stubborn, one just loved dirt and being filthy (who am I kidding.....she still does!).

But, I honestly can't recall being conned before.  Shane says I'm just forgetting.  He's probably right....

Presently, Ellie is sleeping peacefully.  How did she get over her hurt legs you may ask?  Well, Shane had gone in to say goodnight to her and Lucy.  Ellie gave Shane the same story about her hurt legs and Shane asked her, "You know what helps? Going to sleep helps."  Ellie then laid down and went to sleep.

Oh how I love this little one.  She is wearing me out like none other and honestly, lately I have felt angry with her, but I am thankful for her and I love her dearly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lucy's First Sewing Project

This morning I thought it would be fun to sew something.  I've been interested in sewing, but have very little talent in this department.  I sat at the computer and typed in something like "simple hand sewn projects" and up came this:


Well, even though it was geared for young children I was drawn to it because...well, I have two little ones at home and even some of my "olders" would enjoy a couple of the projects posted on the site.
So, here is what we came up with for Lucy's first ever sewing project:

 I traced the fabric and cut two sides of the triangles, leaving Lucy to cut one side of each triangle.  She arranged them in the pattern she wanted and then sewed from corner to corner, with me right there helping her to keep the triangles from bunching up.  She did great!

 Here is Lucy with 3 of her most recent projects : the banner (bunting?), around her neck is a bead necklace she made yesterday and on the wall is her flower toilet paper roll art.

                 And here is Ellie!  She is getting over being sick....you don't even wanna know.

 Another pic of Lucy with bead necklace.  For some reason she really wanted that jewelry box in the the picture as well.

Do any of you have a recommendation for fun hand sewn projects for children or a beginner (adult) sewer?