Monday, February 27, 2012

Four Years Old!

Hard to believe our Anna Louise is Four Years Old! Why does four sounds so much older than three?! I am just dying that I only have a year and half left with her at home with me before kindergarten 5 days a week! Not ready for that!
Anna is such a joy to our family! She is smart, funny, sweet, driven, inquisitive, cuddly and an amazing big sister! Lots of family and some friends still call you Anna Lou. Our immediate family calls you Lou Lou. At school you are just "Anna." She enjoys school, outside play, dolls, soccer in the hallway, helping in the kitchen, playing pretend and crafts!
Anna's Favorite Foods: FRUIT, cheese, pbj, turkey sandwich, chick fil-a, pizza, carrots and hummus, desserts, juice and milk!
Anna's Favorite Toys: Barbies, babies, doll house, snap dolls, kitchen, soccer ball, bouncy balls, puzzles, memory games.
Anna has a shy side but once she warms up or if she knows you, she is quite the character. She loves playing with friends and her brother, but also enjoys independent play. Her teacher says the same thing.
Anna has such a girly side, but also a very tom-boy, competive side. She does not like to lose at a board game or soccer, but she is understanding more that it is ok to lose sometimes. She loves her gymnastics class and maybe in a year we will try soccer. She loves playing outside with balls, bats, her scooter, her bike and on the swing set.
Anna asks a lot of questions and is eager to learn! She remembers EVERYTHING! We passed a restaurant we ate at a year and half ago and she remembered going there with a friend. She comes home from school and tells me lots of things. "We don't need our jackets today, it's almost March and it's almost Spring." She loves school! She had made lots of sweet little friends and loves her teacher and of course, her Honey!
Anna is the most wonderful big sister we could ask for!! She isn't perfect and we have to correct some bossiness every once in a while, but she is Graham's biggest fan! When we are in a new place or Graham is a little unsure, she often puts her hand on his back, telling him what we are going to do and reassuring him she is going to take care of him. She gets so excited and uses this "mommy" high voice telling him "Good Job, Graham," "Did you make that at school?," "Graham, you look handsome!" I guess she is imitating me and she thinks I have a very high voice. We crack up every time! Just the other day, Graham was reaching for me and asking me to pick him up (which I cannot do so well these days) and she says "Graham, you are TWO now, Mommy can't pick you up because Baby Boone is coming!" As I write this, she coaching Graham up on how to finish his Cocoa Puffs cereal so he can drink the chocolate milk in the bowl. I just heard "Drink it Graham, drink it! Don't you like it?!" (again in the very high voice)
Anna has a few favorite tv shows: Cailou, Bubble Guppies and Team Umizoomi.
Anna sleeps: about 11-12 hours at night and everyday except school days, takes about a 2 hour nap. Anna loves to sing and dance! She sings in the car a lot! Anna has tender side to her personality. Physical touch might be her love language right now which has changed since she was a baby and toddler. She loves to sit very close on the couch, have her arms, back or legs scratched and we get lots of spontaneous hugs, kisses and "I love you's." She also loves to hear about when she was a baby and last night wanted to really remember what it was like to be a baby. At bedtime, she was peeking in Graham's room when I was rocking him and singing a song. I put him in bed and walked out of his room and she said "why do you rock Graham?" I told her he was still kind of little and sometimes likes me to rock him. She asked if she could be rocked too. I normally just tuck her in and sing a song or two and scratch her back, head, arms, etc. So we made it work. Holding her, while sitting of course, she sat in my lap and laid her head on my shoulder while a sang her songs. It was so funny and kinda awkward since she is getting so big. But it made me realize she still really wants to be my baby. She thought that was the best thing! And I kind of did too!
What a blessing the past 4 years have been! Having Anna as our first and as our only girl has been perfect for our family. She has such a sweet spirit and a little sass to go with it. I have no doubt she will love having another little brother and is going to be Mommy's biggest ally at home. She is so excited for our baby to come! She is a natural nurturer and takes her role very seriously as a big sis. We love her spunky spirit and her contagious laugh. Thank you Lord for our precious joy, Anna Louise, and we pray we continue to raise her with your help and guidance.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Marathon for Daddy!

Dave finished his third marathon, the Cowtown Marathon, this morning in Fort Worth. He hurt his back earlier in the week working out, but was determined to go ahead and race. I wasn't sure if that was such a good idea but no sense trying to talk him out of it. His back was fine and everything hurts by the time you finish 26.2 miles, so the back seemed like nothing. Papa went with me and the kids to support Dave.

Waiting and watching for Daddy!

G loved this police motorcycle that drove by several times.
Here He Comes!!!

Hi Fives and Kisses!

We are so proud of him for working so hard for months to train!
Kids thought they needed some nourishment too after the race.
So thankful Papa was there to help and so proud of Daddy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Anna's Tea Party!!!!

Our Anna Louise turned four this past weekend and we partied it up with her best little girlfriends, their baby dolls, lots of dressing up, tea cups, fancy food, nail polish, and a little make-up. This was the most fun I have had in planning a birthday for one of my kids! I do believe it gets more and more fun the older they get! I gave Anna few options for party ideas and she chose this one and stuck to it even when I threw out new ones along the way. She loves babies, dress-up and playing pre-tend. She was determined to have her"Mommy Party" as she called it! It was so fun planning and decorating and letting her have a big part in it. We rented dress up clothes, jewelry, shoes, hats and tons of accessories from a place near by. The rest of the decor mainly came from my mom's china cabinet and some of my wedding gifts that needed to break out of my china cabinet for an event:). Mimi brought lots of antique dolls to help me decorate and I made the rest of the paper decorations with a borrowed Cricut machine. It was also one of the most inexpensive parties we have done. I got some cute ideas from Shannon and Katy who did similar parties for their girls a few years ago.

Warning- there might be 200 pics on the post!! My dear friends Amanda took them all!!!! So thankful she did such an awesome job!!!

The little girls used my grandmothers antique teacups and saucers and not one cup was dropped!

Party favors were baby bottles with candy, pretend diamond rings and lip gloss.

The girls all brought their favorite baby doll and stroller.

When the girls first got there, they picked out a dress, shoes, hat and accessories.

Then we dolled them up with a little make-up.

This was also the first party where only the girls were invited. No parents! ha! The girls all did great and it turned out to be perfect! I recruited the most wonderful helpers- Mimi, Honey, Mrs. Ross and two sweet friends, Julie and Amanda who were the mamas of the littlest guests.

We then split the girls into two groups. One group took the babies to story time (by Honey) and got them ready for bed. They sang and rocked their babies to sleep.

The other girls headed to the nail salon!
Letting those nails get nice and dry!

Then it was time for the Tea Party. The girls dined on flower-shaped pbj, fruit, cheese cubes, mini muffins and tea (raspberry lemonade).

Anna was ringing the bell in this pic, which is what they did when they needed more tea. I had no idea this would be so fun for them! They guzzled the tea just to ring the bell again.

The girls were all so sweet and polite! I am sure much more calm then the all-boy parties that are also in my future!

A specific request of the birthday girl was a piƱata, which she always says with a little Spanish twist. :) Is it a bowling pin, no a bottle of nail polish, duh?!

Faith drilled it!
Me and my belly dumping out the candy. You know it's a good friend that takes a decent pic of your prego belly! Lord knows there are some not so pretty angles!

Please note our lovely dead grass, it had rained all night and was just a yucky day outside! But that didn't stop us!

By then, their babies were waking up from their naps and it was time to take them on a walk.

The two sweet little ones loved following the big girls!
Attempt at a group pic, Olivia Kate had to leave a little early.

Time to have a dance party!

Lots of twirling was going on!
Honey finished things off with a Fancy Nancy.

The moms all came back to have cupcakes and sing "Happy Birthday" with us.

Anna with one of her besties, Harper enjoying their treats.
It was such a fun day and could not have been done with out the wonderful ladies that helped me dress-up, doll-up and serve these cute little ladies!! I wish I had a pic of just my helpers but they were so busy running around, keeping the party going!

This is a memory Anna Louise and I will cherish for a long time!