Friday, January 22, 2016

Elise is 4

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, of course!

She's four.  Why does four seem so much older than three?  She is one unique, spirited, fun four year old that we love so much.  Justus spent some time with friends while Dane and I took her on a date.  Pizza at her request and a ride to the top of the Bass Pro Shop elevator (a dream of hers for the past 6 months).  Then, because she was having trouble picking what kind of cake she wanted, we went to the cupcake shop for her to pick six different flavors.  She rarely chooses favorites of anything.  Her response is usually "they're ALL my favorite!"

She loves books and crafts and coloring.  She has a big imagination in which she usually ends up being the mommy, queen or princess.  She is all girl.  Dressing up in her princess dresses is an almost daily occurrence.  She loves babies.  She is a first born in that she likes to tell others how things are, or how they should be, or what they should be doing.  She is very attentive to detail and likes to do things neatly.  She's a great big sister.  She likes to help cook (especially when it comes to licking out a tasty bowl).  She is always up for an adventure.  She's an independent one!  She loves to laugh and to make others laugh.  Such a complex little soul is hard to describe.  We're proud of who she is and who she is becoming.  We're praying most of all that this girl continues to grow up to love Jesus.

Concentrating hard.  Notice the tongue?

Downtown Memphis

On the trolley

Top of the world!

Peering down 283 feet!

She's still so small!

She has a very unique fashion sense!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

We celebrated our final day of the Christmas Season on January 6th - Three Kings Day/Epiphany.  We always make a cake and hide a little king inside and whoever finds the king gets to wear the crown.  Elise made our crown this year.

Justus found the king!

I'm including some pictures from Christmas at the cabin.  We were with the Forlines side of the family this year.  We all (Gran, Grandpa, and all of the aunts, uncles and cousins) went to a cabin in Kentucky.  It was so much fun.  The weather was unseasonably warm so there were plenty of opportunities to get out and go hiking.  And then, of course, lots of games, and talks, and eating and all the other stuff that you come up with when you're at a cabin in the woods.  Due to the lack of cold we felt the need to create our own winter wonderland for Christmas day.  We'll have lots of special memories from this Christmas!

The Family

The Winter Wonderland

Bek's free craiglist Christmas tree!

Elise's favorite present

New toy!

Matching new toys!

Elise's favorite activity at the cabin

Kids dancing to Christmas tunes by Brad

The boys relaxing

Ready for Christmas Brunch

Squishy ride in the truck with my favorite kids

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year (with Merry Christmas pictures yet to come)

After 10 days away from home as a family and then 2 more for me, it was nice to be home the past couple of days.  Nothing fancy, except maybe a bit of laziness on my part!  We spent the day at home yesterday except for a quick grocery run and then spent some time with friends last night.  We were home well before midnight and Dane and I were able to reflect a bit on the past year before I sent out a few Christmas cards.  I know...I guess they were more like Happy New Year cards that just appear exactly like Christmas cards.  They were delivered much later than I had anticipated!

Today we went out once as a family for our First Day Hike.  We kept the hike very easy and short so the kids would enjoy it and we ended at a playground.  It was a bit of a struggle to get everyone bundled up and out of the house without many meltdowns, but I'm glad we did.  Just being outside in the woods and nature settles my heart and makes me happy.

Happy New Year.  May this next year be full of joy and peace and growth and adventure and so much more for you!