Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Visit with Santa

I cannot believe a year has passed since last holiday season. And what a year it's been. If you recall, Maddie got her prosthesis last year just before Thanksgiving, and she was just learning how to manuever on two legs. Now, she's four inches taller and already on her second "special" leg. She can walk across a balance beam at gymnastics with very little assistance. She can tap dance, and she worked very, very hard to learn position one in easy task when you have one artificial leg. Besides dance and gymnasatics, Maddie loves to sing. She knows lots of song by heart from "Amazing Grace" to the Black Eyed Peas. Her favorite birthday present, which has been getting lots and lots of use, is a kids' MP3 player with an attached microphone. We were able to load it up with all of her favorite songs, and she can often be heard singing her little heart out, mike in hand. Maddie's English continues to flourish. At her recent parent/teacher conference, her teacher told us that Maddie speaks far better than many of her classmates, all of whom have spoken English all of their lives. We are also pleased that Maddie has developed into a very caring, emphathetic child. Just last night, I was talking to my mom on the phone who has been suffering from a nasty cold. Maddie came into the room and asked, "How is Grandma's cold? Is she feeling better?" And she is so polite. We hardly ever have to remind her to say please, thank you, you're welcome, or excuse me. She loves school. She loves Sunday school. She continues to love dresses and dressing up. She is a happy, smart, funny, talented, amazing kid. We are so lucky to have her as a part of our family. I cannot imagine life without her.

Miss Ibby is the most affectionate human being I have ever known. I cannot count how many hugs and kisses I receive throughout the day or how many times I hear, "I love you, Mom." "You're my best friend, Mom." And talk about happy! It is very rare to see her without a smile on her face. She loves puzzles and coloring and painting. Her teacher says she excels in the visual/spatial/mathematical areas. A budding architect, perhaps? She's such a little peanut...we like to use the term "petite"...that she looks younger than she is. It's so funny to hear big vocabulary words like "ridiculous" or "frustrated" in her adorable little voice. Isabel is a cuddler, and if she's not hugging a family member, she can be seen clutching one of her many stuffed animals, all of which must go to bed with her. There is hardly enough room in bed for the girl! Isabel is a sensitive soul...a little scared by the intense moments in films (she and I had to leave "Tangled" for a few moments near the end when things got a little pun intended), heartbroken if she's ever scolded, and so in tune with the feelings and moods of others. She loves her sister and her friends. She delights in school and Sunday school. Independent, smart, funny and athletic are all good words to describe her. She loves to run, ride bike, hold hands, sing, dance, "read" books to herself and others, and tell stories. She is full of love and laughter, curiousity and kindness. We are so proud of the person she has sweet, so caring, so polite, so loving. She brings great "joie" to our lives. (Her middle name is certainly fitting.) She makes us better people, better parents, and our lives are immeasurably better because she is our daughter. She is a wondrous, wonderful girl.

As many of you know, I love the holiday season, always have. These days, the holidays are brighter and merrier than I could have ever imagined. I am blessed. I am blessed. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dance School

Isabel and Maddie started taking dance lessons in early September. No surprise. They LOVE it. After each Thursday evening class, they will ask if they can go again tomorrow. An entire week seems like an interminable wait to two excited three year olds. It is amazing to me how intently they listen to their teachers Miss Tara and Miss Eileen and how quickly they caught on to some of the moves even though this is their first formal experience with dance. Oh, we do a lot of dancing around here...especially on Mondays when "Dancing with the Stars" is on. The girls dance right along with the celebrities, wearing tutus and tiaras, sometimes partnering up, often trying to imitate the moves on the screen, and frequently commenting on the stars' wardrobes. Sometimes Daddy is called in for dips. Anyhow, back to dance school. In an effort to get the girls used to performing in front of an audience, there will be several mini recitals during the year, leading up to the BIG recital in June, 2011. On Thursday, they performed for the first time in front of parents and a few grandparents. They wore their Halloween costumes and showed us a few tap and ballet numbers. It was by far one of the cutest things I have ever seen. We didn't get a lot of great photos...they were constantly on the move...but here are a few highlights of the evening.

The Dance Company

Striking a Pose

A Few Ballet Moves

Around and Around

Little Red Riding Hood and Tinkerbell

The Cowgirl and the Princess

It's Fun to See Myself in the Mirror

And Even More Fun to Slam those Tap Shoes into the Floor

Just Checking to See if Mom and Dad are Watching

Monday, October 4, 2010

Philosophical Discussion

Tonight at bedtime, the girls and I were discussing just what their nightly prayer means. "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep." I reminded them that the Lord is God, and God lives in heaven.

"Grandpa is in heaven," said Isabel.
"That's right. Grandpa is in heaven," I replied.
"He's not sick anymore," said Maddie.
"No, he's not sick anymore. He's with God."
"In heaven?" questioned Maddie.
"Yes, honey, in heaven."
"By the clouds," said Ibby.
"And the moon," added Maddie. "Is God the moon?"
"No, God is not the moon."
"Is God a boy or girl?" asked Maddie.
"Well, God is a boy."
"Like Daddy is a boy?" said Isabel.
"Yes, like Daddy."
"I can't play on the moon because the moon is too far away," surmised Maddie
"That's right, honey,"
"We could ride in an airplane like Daddy," suggested Isabel. "It goes up, like this, and then lands, like this."
"That's what a plane does, but a regular plane won't get us to the moon."
"We could ride in a rocket ship like Caillou." Maddie loves Caillou.
"I'll get the lipstick [lip balm]," said Ibby.
And off to bed.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Busy Weekend

Saturday included soccer and swimming lessons. Sunday brought the first ever session of Sunday school. Oh, and there was a little tv watching in between.

On our way to soccer

On the field

Two Little Mermaids

We Love "Super Why"

Off to Sunday School

Thursday, September 9, 2010

State Fair and Dancing Pics

Beautiful Dancers

School Today

Like the Antlers ?

Chillin with Corn Dogs

Moo Isabel, Moo................
Do I have to wear gloves mom ?
Gloves Mom, Gloves !

Little Farm Hands

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of School

Today, Madeleine and Isabel started their second year at St. David's, a wonderful preschool located just minutes from our home. Last year, they were in the toddler room, and they had a fabulous experience. I cannot believe how much they grew and learned and developed over the course of nine months. Last fall, they were just babies, and now they are definitely big girls with big ideas, big vocabularies, and big opinions. We love it! This year they have graduated to the three-year-old room, and we are looking forward to another great year.

Maddie and Ibby will be attending three mornings a week, up from two days last year. Here are a few pictures of them before we left for school this morning.

Maddie has grown three inches since last fall...Ibby not so much!

Maddie doing the happy dance for school...Ibby just being happy as usual!

Excited, excited, excited for a brand new year, new room, and new teachers!

Bye bye, Daddy!

And we're off! Here's looking forward to the 2010-2011 school year!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Summer Fun

Getting the Hang of T-Ball

Bowling at the Company Picnic

Hanging with Grandpa Dennis in the Arcade

The Divine Miss M at her First Public Singing Performance

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Highlights of Summer

Summer is far from over. Well, according to yesterday's paper, there are only 44 days left, which isn't nearly enough in my opinion, but right now it feels like we still have a lot of time left before the snow flies. Before too much more of it gets away from us, I thought I should post just a few pictures of some of the things we've been up to thus far.

Hanging out in the pool

Hanging out at the beach

4th of July



Hanging out at home...working on our computers