Monday, March 30, 2009

A "Smile" a Minute

We didn't get the first "real" one until she was about 4 weeks old, but since then, Ellis has been brightening our days with her smile almost continuously. She is such a fun, vibrant and happy soul. We just can't get enough of this girl!

Spaghetti Smile

Sly Smile

Peek-a-Boo Smile

Swimming Smile

Crazy Woman Smile
Look at that hair!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Until next year . . .

Brandon and I got a night out last night to go watch the Jayhawks. Unfortunately, the game didn't turn out the way it was supposed to. :(
27-8. Big 12 Championship. Sweet 16. Not bad for a bunch of young guys.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Let it Snow!

Yesterday, March 26th, we got our biggest snow of the year. We've gotten almost no snow this year, so we were SO ready to get out and play in it. It started about 6:00 in the morning. They had already cancelled school because of the forecast. By 2:00 we had over a foot of snow and it was still snowing. It was FREEZING but we couldn't keep the girls inside any longer, so we went out and played for just a little while. School was cancelled again today making for a LONG spring break, which wasn't supposed to start until next week so we took advantage of the sun and went sledding with Jill, the boys, Steve, Gabe and Bailey. It was beautiful, sunny and almost felt warm. Brandon and Steve built a big jump for the kids and adults to sled over. It's amazing we all came home is one piece! We were wiped out by the time we got home. Hope was the only one that didn't take a nap this afternoon!

Ellis REALLY wanted to go outside!

Hope jumping off our front porch into the snow.

Still snowing and VERY cold!

Brandon "catching some air".

Hope's turn!


Daddy and EJ - down the hill! She wasn't overly excited about sledding.

Here comes Hope!

Hope and Bailey

What fun! Now I'm ready to have our spring weather back!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lost and Found

Every year Hopes' school hosts what they call an "Oral Interpretation Festival", in which kids can choose a poem to memorize and perform. Here is a video of Hope's poem, "Lost and Found", from the school assembly. She did a great job! The parent performance was supposed to be tonight, but it was cancelled because today was a snow day! Hopefully they'll reschedule it, but I'm glad I made it to the school performance and got a video.

I'll post snow pics soon!

Friday, March 20, 2009



Brandon and Hope went to Girl Scout Night at the Rage tonight. The Rocky Mountain Rage are our local minor league I guess that's what they call it hockey team. The girl scouts got free jerseys, got to take a tour of the whole place, go on the ice, and sit on the Rage bench before the game I guess this was too far away to get a picture, so I just had to hear the story. From their stories and the pictures, I can tell it was a super fun night!


Hope in her Rage jersey

Hope with her friend, Bailey. I think the people in the background were thrilled to be sitting behind the Girl Scouts!

On their way home, Hope made up a rap that had something to do with bedtimes. She's beyond tired at this point!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leprechaun Hamburgers

Last month, during one of Hope's "booth sales", at which we stand outside (or inside if it's too windy) a grocery store and sell Girl Scout cookies, someone gave us a great idea! Thin Mints, he said, are great for making Leprechaun Hamburgers. My friend, Kristen, and I listened intently and, last night, made the cutest St. Patrick's Day treats for our kids' classes.

Here's the recipe:
Nilla Wafers (bun)
white Frosting (mayo) on the bottom bun
Thin Mint (burger) on top of the mayo
coconut tinited w/green food coloring (lettuce) - put on top of thin mint
red and yellow icing (ketchup and mustard) - squeeze both around edge of top nilla wafer, put on top! (you can also use sugar water and stick sesame seeds on top - we weren't that ambitious!)

The guy at the grocery store was probably in his early 20s. I have no idea why he knows how to make Leprechaun Hamburgers, but, I appreciate the idea!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Our articulate 6 year-old, usually very precise and purposeful with her words, sometimes cracks us up with the things she says. Here are a few examples from the last couple of weeks.

While I was helping her clean her desk, trying to get her to throw some old papers away:
Hope: "I have to keep that. Those are the notes for the first non-fiction story I ever wrote in 1st grade"
Me: (teasing) "Oh, you need to keep it for posterity?"
Hope: (rolling her eyes) "I don't even like asparagus."

Just after getting all of the furniture set-up in her dollhouse:
"Now it's time to 'install' the people!" I guess it's a computer driven culture :)

Talking about the beta fish that are in her classroom for a science unit:
Me: "What are you all doing with the fish?
Hope: "Right now we're just 'observationing' them.

Laying in bed last week:
Hope: "This week is a drug.
Me: "A drug?"
Hope: "Yeah, a drug."
Me: "What does that mean?"
Hope: "It's taking a long time to get to the end."
Me: "Oh, the week feels like it's just dragging by?"
Hope:" That's what I just said." It had been a long week!

Talking about what we could do with Sam's ashes:
Me: "We should take them to a place where she really liked to be and spread them there."
Hope: "Like on the carpet where we come in the door?"

These everyday exchanges are so easily forgotten. I'll have to keep using this space to record those I remember. I'll do it for asparagus, uh, I mean posterity. It will be fun to look back at them one day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Brandon, Hope, Mom, and I went skiing/snowboarding yesterday. The snow was NOT good and we had to deal with cold, blowing snow all afternoon. Still, we had so much fun! Hope was a rock star on the slopes and the rest of us did pretty well too! She kept asking to go on a "black" run while she did very well, she was definitely not ready for that and wanted to ski the trees. The toughest run we did was a blue, but Hope did get to ski the trees. Okay, she skied toward the trees, fell, and slid down about 15 feet through the trees. I told her that counted.

Thanks to Aunt Jill for keeping Ellis all day so we could enjoy the day and not have to worry about her one bit!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sammy Girl

Last night we had to say goodbye to our sweet, sweet dog. She collapsed at home yesterday afternoon, and couldn't get up. Brandon and I spent a couple of hours at the vet with her while they tried to stablize her, not knowing what was wrong. Her heart rate and pulsox levels kept going up and down, almost like she was having little fainting spells. When the vet was closing at 7:00, she seemed fairly stable and she was transferred to Northside Emergency Vet Hospital to be "monitored through the night". The girls were at home with my mom, so Brandon went there to get the girls to bed while I went with Sam to get her checked in for the night. As soon as we got there, the doctor did an ultrasound on Sam's heart and we found out she had a pericardial effusion - the sac around her heart was filled with blood, making it nearly impossible for her heart to pump the way it needed to. This is usually caused by a cancerous tumor on the heart. C0nsidering Sam's age (10) and her condition, there wasn't much else we could do but put her down. I called Brandon so he and the girls could come up and tell her goodbye. I sat and snuggled with Sam while we waited for them to arrive. Minutes after they got there and we all said our goodbyes, Sam looked at Hope and took her last breath. She just passed on her own, without the doctor having to put her down. I know she was just holding on until everyone could get there and tell her goodbye. We got to spend some time with her afterward and give her some last hugs and kisses. Hope provided some comic relief as she couldn't control her "gas" -something we usually expected from Sam!
To us, Sam was the best dog in the world. Just like most dogs, she was a member of the family. I know it will be a long time before we stop expecting her to greet us at the door when we come in. Or come lean on our legs as we sit on the couch. Or lie on her bed, stinking up the place with her terrible breath and gassy tummy.
As I looked through pictures to post, it was hard to narrow it down to even this many. Even in the pictures that Sam was not really a "subject", she was usually in the background. Sam was always where the people were. We couldn't leave a room without her getting up and following us. We sure are going to miss this stinky girl!
Sam as a puppy - it doesn't get any cuter than that!

Best buds - from the day Hope came home from the hospital (top right picture), Sam and Hope were such good buddies. When I left to take Sam to the vet and Hope and Brandon were waiting for my mom to come over she told him, "Sam can't die. She's my dog. And I'm just a kid." She's having a tough time and keeps saying that she doesn't want Sam to be in heaven. She wants her to be right here beside her. As you can see, that was one of Sam's favorite places.

We love you Sammy girl!