Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Day with sisters" ...

Yesterday, I had the day out with my sister-in-laws!  We have lots of April birthdays with Mom, Anna Ruth & Linda being some of them.  Lena planned a lunch outing for all of us and it was fun!  Even though it rained and rained all day long, we made the best of it and still went from store to store after lunch with our umbrellas assisting us.  :)

We ate at a place called "Cosi".  I never heard of the place before but I really liked it!!!  They make their flat breads right there in a fire oven.  I ordered a flat bread sandwich and a side salad.  Both were very tasty!!!  I also got a raspberry, lime, lemonade drink.  From there we went to Old Navy & Home Goods.  I was pleased with my buys!  :)  Linda had to leave a little earlier to get Celine at school so that left me with the rest of the ladies to take home.  Rosie and Bobo live nearby the restaurant so they went on their merry way as the rest of us drove home in the pouring rain.  It was good to be back home and out of the rain.  My feet were wet and I was so into spending the night inside or cozy home!

Mike got home from work and we enjoyed some subs and hot potato soup!  Soup just seems to be a must on such a rainy day!  :)  The kids looked at books, had some electronic time and then we again watched some of the life of Jesus.  With Easter being right around the corner, reading and watching about the life of Jesus is perfect!  When we were ready to tuck the kids into bed, Mike looked outside and it was snowing!!!  Huge, big flakes!  The weather turned really cold too.  I hope the flowers that I planted this week are OK?  The greenhouses say geranium and petunias can take the cold!!!  My spinach seeds may have floated to a different part of my garden too?  So much rain yesterday! 

This was our back yard and my flowers after the small snow shower last night.

I called and ordered our mulch the other day and it arrived today!  In March, I was so ready for Spring and I just itching to get my outside work done!  Now with all the rain and windy days and this cold spurt, I can't believe it's time to mulch already!  I have a busy next couple of days so the mulching work might have to wait till next week!?!  My flower beds will look so much better because they beg for a fresh coat of mulch every Spring.  The grass is getting green and thick and the little bit of snow in the back yard needs to melt before I take the mower over it again!  :)))  Unbelievable!  It reminds me this morning of the manna God provided for the children of Israel.  They prayed for that supply of food and He provided for them.  However, I did not pray for this little snow shower but I'll take it as a blessing.  :) 

Sunday evening the kids were into something quick and fast to eat.  It so happened that I had four hot dogs in the fridge still from the other weekend grilling.  I saw in an old food magazine of this fun food creation.  Hadassah helped me assemble these cute "butterflies".  All you need is hot dogs and crescent rolls.  Unroll the crescent rolls and divide them into the cut out triangles.  Then divide each triangle into two giving you a total of 16 small pieces.  Make small balls out of each piece.  Split the tops of each hot dog and place on a baking sheet.  Put four small roll balls around the hot dog to make it look like a butterfly and then flatten the balls just a bit.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes (or until brown).  Dab on some "eyes" with ketchup and enjoy!  Yield:  4

We have this robin bird that sits in our front tree every morning.  I see it when I open up the window blinds.  I think it was cold this morning and I wonder if it is impressed with the snow?  :)

Even though we had snow last night ... Spring is still here.  I hope the warmer tempts find us really soon again!!! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Digging in the dirt ...

The weather today was warmer but windy.  We are really enjoying the warmer days and going outside without jackets and bare feet are becoming a normal.  I am trying to get determined about my running again.  Thankfully our weather is cooperating!  We love it that way!!! 

We had a busy weekend!  Friday night we picked Mike up at the shop because he worked a bit later because of Customer Appreciation Days at the shop.  Usually we get something to eat in town when Mike has this event.  The kids cheered for Chinese and although I frowned, we went with the idea.  We ate at a Chinese Buffet and after seeing our bill and not being very impressed with the food, we concluded that we don't need to go back there again.  :/  We came home and all relaxed together as we watched some parts of Rio and The Ten Commandments movie of Moses life.  The life of Moses and seeing all the plagues and the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, was amazing.  Sometimes we read these stories as if they are just stories.  It was good to be reminded of all these amazing events that were actually "real life" back then!!!  I love it that their awesome God is still our awesome God today!!!  We were are intrigued by the movie and Matthew really liked it.  Because the whole thing was three hours long, we only got to watch a small part.  Maybe sometime we can watch the entire story!!!

Saturday was a busy day for all of us!  We were out of the house by 8 AM and went for a few more food items and then to the shop to help serve food for our Customer Appreciation Days!  Mom and I took charge of the food and so we cooked hot dogs and kraut, popped popcorn, had fresh homemade donut holes, chips and drinks!  The day was gorgeous and the children took along balls to bounce around.  The day went well but we were all ready to be home to refresh before heading off to Mike's parents for the evening to relax!  Ervin's joined us and we ladies got swooped in six handed Rook.  Sigh.

Sunday was a spiritual refreshment!  We went to church and heard a lot about creation and how creative our God is!  Making all the many different kinds of animals, speaking the planets and stars into existence and then creating man is something only a living God can do!!!  Then we heard about some of the old testament characters!  We were also reminded to enjoy 'today'.  Have joy in 'today'.  Take in the moments of life and let our children be children.  Let them 'play in the mud' and join the fun!!!  Life is serious but to always be serious and never have pure joy and laughter is not good.  Laugh a whole lot.  "This is the day that the Lord has made!!!"  Knowing that this was "Palm Sunday" I read about Jesus riding through Jerusalem on a donkey.  Such a celebration for our King!!!  I can only imagine how excited the children and people were to see 'their king' ride through town.  The excitement only lasted for a short time though.  The Pharisees and corrupt men soon sought to kill Jesus.  This is the start of the Easter Story.  (To be continued.)

Now because today was another warmer day, it was time to visit a greenhouse!!  Acutally, two greenhouses!  I bought the first set of my flowers!!!  Petunias (lots of the bubble gum kind), other variety of petunias, some collies and geraniums.  Mom, Jody and Mommy D. went along too.  We packed the Yukon full of pretty flowers and I couldn't wait to get them planted!  On the way home, Ashlyn and I stopped for groceries and there was another small greenhouse right beside the grocery store.  I couldn't help but take a peak!  :)  I grabbed four tomato plants and two Easter lilies for my mom/mother-in-law!  After the groceries were all put away, I went outside to start my digging!  I planted my many petunias in the ground.  I planted the red geraniums.  I put together a big pot of more petunias, collies, and verbena.  (I will need to keep this inside a bit longer though because we are supposed to have some cold nights yet this week.)  With some flowers now in the ground, I am ready for our mulch that is so arrive on Wednesday!!!  I love Spring!  :)  Mike also filled my box in the garden with more dirt and now my spinach and cut lettuce is planted!!!  I'm so happy to see the radishes and sugar peas peaking through the garden dirt!  Matthew and Mike hit lots of balls in the back yard tonight.  Hadassah studied for her science test and bounced the basketball around.  Matthew filled the basketball net stand with sand and now hopefully, it will not keep falling over!  Ashlyn trooped around the house and rode her new bike she got from John Mike and Mim for her birthday.  Firing up the grill tonight and grilling fresh fish from Florida was a treat!  We are so blessed!

It's now time to get to bed because we are planning to get up tonight at 2 AM to see the eclipse in the sky!

Cheers to the warmer weather!  Double cheers to have flowers planted and I am looking forwards to their display of beauty all summer long!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Life with children!!!

I would never, never, EVER want to live without children!!!  Especially ours!!!  They are sweet.  Innocent.  Cute.  Full of energy!!!  Live for the moment.  They never fear what might happen tomorrow with our nation.  They have faith that every single prayer will be answered because they know that God does really answer prayer!  They say 'how it is'.  Sometimes bluntly.  Their laughter and joy is what us adults need from them!!!

Yesterday, my day was surrounded with all this energy and chatter!  Sister Jody's twins came for the day while she cropped.  (I was a bit jealous because scrap booking is something I didn't get much done this winter.  Sigh.)  They played and played with Ashlyn.  We picked up Shakia too while her momma took care of newborn Shaelyn and herself.  The girls were so pumped as we picked up Kia and brought them all home to play all day together!  They piled blankets and pillows in the living room and jumped around.  They sat around the table eating cheese curls and string cheese.  Then lolly pops.  They played with the tinker toys and kitchen set.  Because it was so nice outside they drew all over the driveway with the sidewalk chalk.  They rode the trikes inside and outside.  Their energy just kept going and going.  I realized I was out of milk, so we made a quick stop at Lapp Valley before the school children came home.  I picked up Jody's older kids and brought them home just before Hadassah and Matthew got dropped off.  This was a circus for a little bit.  Everyone wanted a snack.  Cereal.  Good thing I went for milk!  But I don't have many cereal options right now (not that I'm apologizing though).  Some settled for the little bit of fruit loops that we had and others went with rice krispies.  I cut up an apple and set peanut butter on the table.  Things got devoured.

My Spring flowers are popping!  And smelling so good!

 I thought it was so cute that these two grabbed their swimming goggles for eye safety!
They always have fun together ...
Then the kids went bouncing outside to enjoy the sunshine.  Matthew was so excited to show the boys his new air soft gun.  He's been saving up for this for months and on Monday night, Matthew and Mike went to Cabela's to get his buy.  Boys and their guns ... I'm not always sure about it???  Safety first.  Always!!!

With all these children in the house it reminds me of how important it is for us parents to be good trainers.  I said to myself the other day that I will be veerrrry patient (especially with our toddler) and not put on "my angry eyes".  Ashlyn keeps mentioning about "angry eyes" when we talk stern or when she needs reprimanded.  Having obedient children is rewarding but it comes with so much patience and training!  We seem to have to go through this same routine every morning when it's time to comb Ashlyn's hair.  She hates when I brush out her hair.  But I need to, right?  I said that "yes" I am going to brush out your pretty, blond hair.  I tell her that little children need to listen on their parents.  In fact big kids needs to listen too!!!  :)  I went through this toddler stage before but many times I feel like it's my first time.  Live and learn.  Learn again and again.  The older kids are being reminded these past few days that the balls now need to stay outdoors.  With the warmer tempts outside, the soccer, basketball and tennis balls all belong outside!!!  The other day I was cooking supper in the kitchen and suddenly heard a bunch of glass breaking.  Matthew threw a tennis ball against the garage door and broke a window.  Nothing that can't be replaced ... again.  :)

We had a good day with all the extra little girls in the house yesterday but be sure of one thing, it meant lots of caring and sharing!  Ashlyn brings so much spice into our lives and when I came home the other night, after having coffee and girl time with some of my bestest girlfriends, she was so full of hugs and kisses.  She came running up to me and said over and over, "Hi, Mom!!!"  Like she didn't see me all day.  :)  I love her so much!!!

This girl loves, loves to paint her nails!


On a different note now, baseball season has begun!!!  Mike had his first game on Wednesday night.  He is helping a team made up of many guys he played ball with for years.  Matthew went with him to the game while the girls and I snuck out for some girl shopping!  Hadassah thought that if Matthew had a night out with his daddy at Cabela's on Monday, then we should do a night with just us girls.  I was into the idea!  We all met at the ball park later that night.  The first few weeks of ball are usually chilly, so we were ready to head home to our warm house!  I look forward to many more summer nights watching ballgames!

The other night with girlfriends.  It's by far not the best picture (using my phone always results in poor pics!!!) but it's proof we were together!  It was a birthday gathering to surprise Ruthie!  Always good chatter with these ladies!!!  :)

I also did some Spring outside work this week!  I raked out from under the pines and got so many little twigs out!  I trimmed the rest of our rose bushes.  I even mowed the yard!!!  It looks really nice and turning into a gorgeous green!!!  Mowing the first time is always all about picking up any winter dirt or small leaves or twigs that get laid here and there in the grass.  Not so much cutting of the grass.  I know that mowing will soon become a weekly task.  I love it!  I still need to edge and then order our mulch!  I hope to visit greenhouses next week!  I am so excited that it's soon time to get flowers planted and watch the colors explode!!!  My spinach needs planted yet too.  I can't wait to harvest my fresh grown greens!!! 

I love spring and summer time!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

NY City Tourist ...

We toured the city of NY this past weekend!  What a blast! 

Mike and Dave wanted to go see the Mercantile Exchange together and so after some careful planning, they got it all lined up.  Suz and I were invited along (thank you guys!!!) and we made a two day trip out of it.  We left early Friday morning, picking up Dave's at 6 AM.  We drove to New York City and got there in time yet for some breakfast.  We sat at this small diner and all ate some egg dishes.  It was enough to fuel us for our first day in the city.  We went to our first destination and that was meeting a man that works for a trading company.  We got to go into the building and right up into the offices where many, many office people were busy doing their job.  Computers everywhere.  We were given a small walk around and the guys talked 'stocks'.  From there, we went to the  New York Mercantile Exchange.  Again, Dave had lined up for us to see someone on the trading floor.  The guys were really hoping to actually go on the trading floor but because they were in jeans and not dress pants, we had to look through a window.  All the talk about stocks and then actually seeing some trading going on in real life was interesting.  The guys really liked this!!!  We made a stop at Whole Foods Market.  From there we got checked into our motel and relaxed.  It was a chilly, rainy day so walking the streets didn't seem real appealing!  That night, we asked for a sushi restaurant suggestion and for the first time ... I ordered sushi.  I went with the cooked meat though and I did enjoy it.  We ended the meal with a waffle cone with ice cream from down the street.

Saturday morning we all decided to go for a run to start the day.  I have no idea why we thought that was a good idea other than wanting to get some 'EXTRA' exercise.  I have not been doing a whole lot of running yet this spring, so I knew the others would blow me away.  I went two miles and then turned around and walked back.  The others met up and we all went to get refreshed and ready for our day of touring the city.  We grabbed some breakfast at this packed out, wooden floors, city restaurant.  We tried some fresh juices and ate a hearty breakfast. 

We went back to check out of our hotel and they held our luggage for us there while we ventured out into the city life.  We purchased tickets to go on a bus tour of the city.  It was a hop on and off type of tour.  The sun was shining but it was still chilly.  Riding on the double decker bus was windy but we really got to see so much.  We went to Wall Street.  The guys took pictures by "the bull".  We took a ride on a boat to see the Statue of Liberty.  We walked miles and miles!!!  We ended up in Times Square in the evening.  Seeing the city streets packed full of people was crazy!  So many people and lights everywhere.  Sky scrappers with huge screens.  We went in and out of some shops.  We went to the Empire State Building and did a tour/ride there.  Sipping on Starbucks coffee and tea kept us warm.  We asked for another sushi suggestion and when we walked into the restaurant, we were exhausted and hungry.  Dave and Mike ordered a big platter of different sushi rolls.  I was a bit nervous because eating raw fish is not my style.  Suz ordered a roll that she thought I would like.  It had cooked shrimp in it and I did enjoy the food.  We decided to make the most of seeing the city in the night and so from there we went to the 47th floor restaurant where the entire floor slowly revolves ... giving you a view of the city up high while you eat.  We wanted a coffee and a small dessert but after realizing that the dessert was only a buffet for $$$ a piece, we went down to the eighth floor and got some cheesecake.  We chatted and enjoyed our time together.  We were not in a hurry because we had decided to then stay the night.  We grabbed a taxi to take us back to our hotel.  When we asked to book a room for the night, they were full.  What???  By now it was 10:30 PM.  We were so tired.  So ready for sleep.  For showers.  Rest for our weary feet.  We did have another option of staying at another motel, but Mike was not into trying to find parking, etc..  We all grabbed our bags and headed for back home.  At 11 PM.  From NY City.

Dave did a good job at keeping Mike awake.  Suz and I were in the back seat of the truck sleeping.  We got home safe and sound by 2 AM Sunday morning.  Mike and I were so tired and our bed felt marvelous!!!  It seemed so weird waking up without the kids being home.  They were spending their weekend with my parents at the cabin.  Mike and I had some quiet time here at home together.  We napped.  When I woke up Sunday morning, I didn't feel so good.  Indigestion???  Upper back pain?  Sore and tight muscles.  What was this?  Am I really that out of shape that with all that city walking would make me feel like this???  It wasn't real long after I was awake that I realized it was more than just sore walking muscles.  I think the sushi/food I ate Saturday night was giving me a reaction!!!  I ate something that was not agreeing with me and my body was breaking out in all these little pimples.  My knees hurt.  My face was even a bit puffy. 

Mike decided to go for a bike ride later that afternoon and then we grilled burgers at our house with John's and Matt Lapp's.  By now my chest/back felt a bit better but my skin felt terrible and was not looking good.  The kids got dropped off around 9 PM and we were happy to have them back in the house!!!  They had so much fun and many, many thanks to dad's for caring for them!!!  They made lots of fun memories!!! 


Today was a day of lots of laundry and housework.  My knees and legs are still sore and stiff from this reaction to my sushi foods and my face still looks nasty.  I have little pimples all over my body making me feel like a teenager with acne problems!!!  :/  I hope it's only a matter of time before it all clears up and back to normal.  I guess eating sushi is a thing of the past for me.  Break outs is no fun and sticking to all 'cooked' foods sounds like a winner to me!!!

I am so glad to be back in the country scene and out of the city!  Being surrounded by beautiful farm land and seeing our lawn turn green is a blessing!!! 

I love and prefer the country life!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Life ...

Some days go by so fast.  Others seem to linger on and then end with a sigh.  I'm not sure what makes the difference?  Today was a great day with our toddler!!!  She seemed to be so sweet all day.  After being so tired last night from her not taking a nap yesterday, I was happy to have a better day today.  Yesterday was a day that I felt like she was trying me out.  Like when I caught her eating Gingers food.  She knows better and I can't see how it even tasted well.  She kept shutting the door in front of Hunter (I was babysitting him yesterday) and saying that there are alligators in the room.  Hunter didn't appreciate being in the room all by himself with these pretend alligators.  Can't say I blame him.  She didn't have a nap either and so her mood was not the best. 

Now today was one of those days that I knew to keep stepping and get all I could get done in fast work.  It went really well with a better tempered toddler too!  :)

Mike was off to work at his normal time.  I love how our winter mornings together on the couch reading our devotions together before he leaves is still in process!!!  When he leaves earlier during the busy times of the business, that doesn't always happen.  So, I am enjoying these moments together!  It gives us the time to sit quietly.  Read.  Think.  Pray.  Sometimes even laugh or cry.  Life can be so fun and then sometimes so hard.  I am very thankful for a man that loves the Lord and seeks for wisdom from God!!!  I then brew up a cup of coffee for him, kiss him off to work and wave to him by front window.  I think being in love with this man is a touch of heaven!!!

By this time, it's time to get the kids up for school.  For some reason waking them this morning went extra well.  While I made Matthew a piece of French toast, he got dressed.  Normally, he lays on the couch till it's ready and then eats and then gets dressed.  I think his earlier to bed last night really does make a difference!?!  Then I woke up Hadassah.  She is growing up in so many areas of life right now.  I am amazed.  She really wants to please God.  She wakes up and goes right to her bible and devotional book that lays beside her bed.  She reads and prays.  Then she gets dressed for school and finally makes her way to the kitchen for a bite to eat.  After they both brush their teeth and comb their hair and say a prayer for their day, they are ready for another day at school.  Most times Ashlyn is now awake.  With Hadassah in and out of the bedroom, it doesn't always stay so quiet.  Ashlyn loves to watch the bus come and waves to them!  She says almost everyday that she wants to go to school too.  I think she will like school!!!  :)

Normally, Thursdays are my cleaning day here at home but because we have weekend plans, I did that yesterday.  It was my week to clean my dad's shop though, so after Ashlyn and I had breakfast, we were off to clean.  She stays with sister Jody while I clean.  Then the next week, Jody cleans and I watch the twins.  It works pretty good!  I got the shop cleaned in good time and decided to make a quick stop to get my feet soaked!  They needed it so bad and Jody was fine with watching Ashlyn a bit longer!  Thanks!!! 

Mom and Dad gave us more beef meat as a Christmas gift.  Dad raises his own beef and the past few years they also paid for the butchering as a gift!  I love this so much because it makes the best steaks and hamburgers for all our summer grilling!!!  The meat was butchered and ready for pick up today, so on the way home from cleaning, Ashlyn and I swung by to get it.  Now our freezer is stocked with fresh beef!!!  Thanks so much Mom and Dad!!!  We love you!!!

I stuck to my daily tasks and baked a large pan of crunch bars for a marriage retreat at the Haft.  We were asked to help with the cooking but since we already had other weekend plans, I decided to at least send something along up to help Rosa!  The bars turned out looking amazing and I hope they will all blessed by eating them this weekend!

By now, it was time to pick up the school children.  Ashlyn was on the brink of needing a nap and so the short drive was perfect for her to fall asleep.  We stopped for soft pretzels (because the kids are always to hungry right after school) before heading straight to the dentist.  Hadassah and Matthew both needed to get cavities filled.  Matthew went first.  After he was finished, I took him to the shop to hang out with his daddy while Hadassah finished up her time on the dentist chair.  She had two fillings and one tooth pulled that had partly fallen out already.  Ashlyn slept almost the entire time we were at the dentist.  So relaxing that way!

I put sausage in the oven before heading off to the dentist but the kids wanted some mashed potatoes yet to go with their sleeping teeth.  I whipped some together and we were finally eating supper at 6:15.  Mike wished he wouldn't have to be rushed but he had a school board meeting to head off to.  The kids studied their verses and words and then did piano.  Their bags are packed for a fun weekend with family.  The dishwasher is still running.  The washer and dryer are finishing up laundry that I wanted done before leaving for a fun weekend getaway tomorrow morning.

My day went well.  I think I mentally checked off all I need done.  (Well, Ginger needs to go to Sadie's yet tonight, but I might wait till Mike gets back home to do that?)

I am feeling blessed tonight to have good health and energy.  My Vertigo is still getting better.  I have my moments of dizziness but they are very mild.  Mostly when I wake up and lie down.  No complaints!  Mike and I have a fun weekend planned together and so it's now time for bed and get some rest!!!  Morning will be here earlier than usual.

Have a wonderful weekend and be a shining light to all those hurting around you.  A smile can brighten a day!  A thank you can make some one's day.  A hug and kiss will always make the heart feel much better!  The other day I heard this on the radio ... "Signing off but still pressing on."

Good night.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring has sprung!!!

It's April already and Spring is starting to show it's signs!!!  That's exciting to me!  I love to see the new life starting to bud on the trees, roses, flowers and the grass turning a slight tint of green! 

We've had a rainy weekend, so when the sun came up bright and the rain showers passed yesterday ... and the tempts were in the 60's ... I got really ready to plant some garden!!!  I went to Mike's mom and asked if I could use their tiller?  We loaded it on the truck and I was heading back home!  I needed Mike's help to get the tiller off the truck but I figured I could still work up the garden ground with my hoe.  I started to hoe and seen lots of earthworms squiggling all through the dirt!  Ashlyn gets the biggest kick out of holding a worm.  As I started to hoe, I thought that maybe this would be good enough and that maybe I won't really need the tiller after all???  Ashlyn was out with me as we dug in the dirt and finally I couldn't stop myself and I went inside for my seeds!!!  We started to plant the garden!!!  The garden tiller will be returned without even needing to use it.  :)

I had my gardening gloves on.  Ashlyn had hers.  I had a hoe and shovel.  Ashlyn had the same!  I made a straight line and opened up the sugar pea bag.  We together placed the seeds in the ground and covered them slightly with dirt.  Two rows got planted!  Then we moved right beside those rows and made another straight line for our radish seeds.  Then we planted the butter crunch lettuce and covered them with hot covers.  Candy onions were next.  I have my spinach and cut lettuce to plant yet but I got this old big wooden box from dad and would like to maybe plant these in that box???  With all the rain, the dirt that was shoveled in the box settled a lot and so I figure we should add more dirt to it before the seeds get planted.  That may have to wait till week.  We found the garden signs in the barn and hammered them in the garden!!!  Our garden of seeds have been planted and now we wait for more sunshine, more rain and then eat some good fresh veggies!!!  I can't wait!!!

Holding earthworms in her hands ...

Another fun thing that I had happen yesterday is seeing the kids come home from school, drop off their backpacks inside and head right back outside to play!  Matthew went for his bucket of balls and was showing Ashlyn how to hit!!!  So cute!  Hadassah grabbed the basketball and soccer and played around the driveway just being her happy self bouncing balls! 

I thought about firing up the grill for supper because it seemed to be the right weather for grilling, but instead kept it fairly simple around the kitchen stove to make our supper.  With the extra outdoor play, the kids were hungry for a good meal!

The pansies are in planters and now sitting on the back porch!!!  Happy Spring to you all!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ashlyn turns three!!!

Our toddler turned three and what a blessings she's been to us!!!  Through the easy and tough training times her turning three gives a sense of relief.  Maybe the "terrible two's" will now calm down a bit???!!!  :)  Even though she can be our drama queen, we could never imagine our family without her!!!  We love her so much and she does bring such joy and life into our family!!!

She woke up wiping her eyes adorable blue eyes.  We were all loving on her immediately (that is always how it is if she allows it)!  She got the message loud and clear that it was "her birthday".  We showed her how to show it with her fingers!  We played the song "happy birthday to you" from you tube really loud!  She danced and took in the moment!  Watching her twirl around the living room floor and her long, blond pony tails swirling through each motion, is just way too cute!!!  Sometimes I really do just sit and adore her!!!

She loved all the birthday gifts that she got, especially these dress up shoes that sister Jody gave to her.  She clops all around the house.  Thanks to everyone!
Ashlyn loves to look at books.  We go through different stages and right now its a Dora book where you find pictures on the page.  We must have looked at it dozens and dozens of times.  She also loves, loves the "Captain Naaman/Little Maid" Bible story too.  I often read it to her after she's tucked in bed at night.  She loves to listen to it with CD too.  Puzzles is something she took interest in awhile ago and her collection has gotten bigger over the last few months.  She loves to put the same ones together over and over again.  I love that she does this because I think it's so good for her learning mind.  Her latest is playing memory.  She is actually good at it too!  She watches carefully and remembers.  Her young mind is growing!!!  Playing doll with baby Kate and Anna is a daily task!  Her kitchen foods and play sink is always rearranged!  She even started to set our dinner table by putting our spoons, forks and knives by each plate.  She feels important and likes to know she's helping too.  She likes to watch Peter Rabbit.  She knows it's a privilege when she gets to watch it!  She is still our veggie lover and has taken a big liking to apples recently!  She will push meat aside any day if there is corn or peas or cucumbers or string beans or apple slices available!

Turning three means that her independence is still growing.  She likes to do a lot of things by her self.  Sometimes it requires such patience and then other times it's kinda nice.  She loves to dress herself after a bath.  She does not like to have her long, blond hair combed out.  She lets her daddy comb it out for her Sunday mornings and he seems to have her calmed down by the time it's time to get a band in her hair.  I do that!  :)

I had good intentions on having a small party for her.  We bought the party plates and cups.  I did some very last minute inviting but it turned out that we celebrated just as a family.  She didn't mind really.  Maybe we will get to use her plates later this week as a surprise!

We love this girl so much!!!  We are blessed to have her in our family!!! 

Happy Birthday, Ashlyn!!! 

(PS ... I should add here that she did get dressed up real pretty for church and her hair combed so cute.  These 'real life' moments are so precious even if she's still in her pj's!!!)