Monday, October 24, 2011

Isabelle Rose

Time goes, you say?  Ah no! Alas, Time stays, we go.
~Henry Austin Dobson

I can hardly believe it has been ten years since I brought my first child home from the hospital. TEN years!?

Dale and I had been married for a little over two years when God began to grow our family. I recall we were young and had just bought our first home. Dale owned a very successful business and life was full of joy and expectation. I can boldly say that nothing equals the joy of becoming a parent. It's indescribable. The anticipation, excitement, and preparation of God's most wondrous gift is incomparable.

"Every good and perfect gift comes from above." James 1:17

This year was a milestone birthday year for Belle, she turned double digits. A milestone year means a  milestone party. The decorations, games, and guest list are quite a bit more elaborate than the typical birthday. Come take a peak at her Cowgirl theme party...

The Invitation

The Decorations
My "Bandana Banner" idea I had at 3am the night before...;-)

The "Chuck Wagon" just waiting for the chuck...

Raspberry, Peach Iced Tea, Lemon Iced Tea, and Fruit Punch powders were ready to add a little flavor to the water at the "Waterin' Hole"

WANTED posters, specific to each party guest, were posted on the trees. Richard's was my favorite. He was wanted for "public urination". The boy can't seem to help himself.

You're not much of a cowboy/girl if you don't have your hat!
The Games
Treasure Hunt: find the snakes, frogs and gems in the grass....

My lil' cowboy

Galloping Horse Sack Race...
LOVE Juliette's wild and crazy hair in this pic! LOL
Galloping Gracie takes the lead and wins by a horse!
Cute little buddies

Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Horse Shoes, Pinata...
Lauren gets a few spins before she makes her way to the poster
The boys cheer on Lauren and Molly as they compete in a game of horse shoes.
Take him down, Belle!

Silly String Shoot Out...

The Farmer in the Dell Is-a-Belle...

Giddy-Up Cowpoke!!

It's time for presents!!

Fire Roasted Chili Dogs
Baked Beans
Corn Bread

Evening hayride through the fields and woods...

 A special thanks to Nana for making the beautiful peanut butter birthday cake...
Make a wish!

My 10 year old girl, always my baby

A Mother's Prayer

I pray you'll be my eyes
And watch her where she goes
And help her to be wise
Help me to let go

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

I pray she finds your light
And holds it in her heart
As darkness falls each night
Remind her where you are

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Need to find a place
Guide her with your grace
Give her faith so she'll be safe

Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

Celine Dion

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Savored Summer Memories

"Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day."
-   John Donne, 1620

There are many things that could be said about our summer of, but it could never be said that it was dull or uneventful. There were countless times I planned to blog about our weekly adventures only to find that I lacked the time or energy because another adventure had already begun. So here I sit, determined to make note of the last three months of my life before I begin a single blog about the much anticipated days of Fall.
Because I cannot remember when things happened or in what order, you're about to experience a random collection of my favorite memories captured in my favorite photos. Go ahead and get comfortable. Unlike the lazy days of summer, you might be here awhile.
Camping and Swimming at the Lake
 Ready, set, JUMP!!

Juliette, Lauren, Olivia, Belle
  Dinner at The Blue Pig...

Richard and Livy...Buddies one minute, mortal enemies the next...
Good times!

My Daddy's First Visit to MO....
The Arch

A proud Grandpa moment....
Enjoying the view together....

 Outdoor favorite!  Disclaimer: My children were not drinking alcohol...I promise!

Taking a break from swimming at the lake with friends...

Belle and Grace waiting for 4th of July fireworks to start...

The Birthday Girl

 Picnic lunch at one of our family's favorite state parks...

Hiking along the lush, scenic trails...

 A rainbow of color....

An evening at Grandpa and Nana's Farm
I bet that brought back happy memories...

One of Belle's favorite pastimes...holding baby goats.

Would a child's birthday be complete without cake?
 Would the 4th be complete without sparklers?

Quiet breakfast with Dad at my favorite restaurant.

Break from Juliette's birthday shopping spree.

Nice sticker, Grandpa. ;-)

Shopping in Historic St. Charles. I think everyone is excited except Richard.
 So the girls and boys split up....
Sugar scrub spa treatment. Our hands were soooo soft that day.

Outside one of their Mom's favorite stores.

Extra bunny ears for the bunny. Cute Belle.
More camping...

Dawn gives me tips on how to do a serious, sexy pose with a fake gun. LOL! Okay, this one would need lots of practice.
After a long day of swimming and playing in the hot sun, our kiddos are plum tuckered out.

Our niece, Amie, and her delightful family visit from MD...

Finally....a cute pose of them all together.
Spirit, spunk, smarts, stunning.....Samantha. What a cutie!
Richard and Josh play peek-a-boo with Amie...
 Richard's first T-ball game...
So grown up...

This is Richard watching the hitter. This is as serious as it gets for this boy.
I think he enjoyed having a cheering section. ;-)

Random Summer Joy...
My baby boy; Milo James
Just look at that face...and those paws...
Juliette and Richard playing house...
My poor tortured there any hope for him?
An exquisite yard sale find. Paid $6, worth $200. A child's tea set; perfect for our Mother and Daughter Tea Parties.
As you can see, it's not just my son that is tortured.
One of those precious moments in life....
Someone needs to get that pig a napkin!
The largest rainbow I've ever seen. You could see it's beginning and it's end.

 A Leisurely Sunday Afternoon...
Lunch next to a peaceful dam...
  Meandering trails lead to a natural spring...
A beautiful lagoon in the middle of nowhere
Year-round, 54 degree water has Juliette on the shore as quickly as possible. 
Meanwhile, Belle can't pass up a deal with her Daddy

Dale says he'll go under if she goes under. Bet he regretted making that deal!

 Sunday Dinner at Dad and Leslie's
Dr. Pepper Ribs, Smokey Baked Beans, Homemade "KFC" Coleslaw

And to top it all off.....Blackberry Cobbler with Blue Bunny Vanilla Ice Cream
Thank you Lord, for summer's bounty and blessings that are too numerous to count.
 Our 12 Year Anniversary
A GREAT movie!
An interesting restaurant.

An amazing menu selection.
Outstanding Paninis! I'm not exaggerating. Wow!
A relaxing float trip.

A beautiful, scenic sunset.
A cozy cottage restaurant.

All shared with my best friend. Life couldn't get any better.
And to finish the summer off....

you guessed it! Another camping trip. LOL!

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Goodbye summer! You'll be missed.