Monday, November 30, 2009

Sprucing Up the Place

Updated the blog to match the season...not happy with this template.  I need to create my own to make this place pretty.

Christmas Time Already!

I can not believe it is here.  Thanksgiving is a blur.  I am still trying to sort pictures from our Thanksgiving in Denver and am posting Christmas pictures in the meantime.  Esme will be four months soon.  What?!  I need to rewind; I am missing pictures of her newborn hands and feet. She is cooing and laughing...Stella is counting to twelve-teen and singing her ABC's straight through without any mistakes (did I remember to record that?), and Ben needs a haircut again?!  As I catch up to the time that has already passed me, here are a few pictures to help get you in the Christmas spirit. 

*This is Stella's tree in the play room...she did not help much more after this, however every morning as she comes down the stairs, she points and says, "Stella's Tree!"  It was well worth decorating.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk...

Go KU!

Sadly, this little cutie in her gear was not enough to win the game.  We'll get 'em next year! 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Visit with Grammie!

Grammie visits about once a month.  I love that Stella is prepared to read all of her books upon her arrival.  She can sit and read with her Grammie for probably over half an hour.  Hey, that is some impressive attention span for a very very two year old.

One on one with Esme. know how to make a girl smile Grammie!

Great visit Grammie!  We had fun visiting the shops, reading books, watching Polar Express and worshiping with you.  We are excited for when you come visit next.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Typical Thursday

Every Thursday evening, we see this Stella:

Oh the drama.
What happens every Thursday?  She spends the day with her YaYa (Grandma Ball) and sometimes K-K (Aunt Kelsey) and sometimes PaPa (Grandpa Ball).   The poor girl, I say that lightly, has so much fun with her YaYa and PaPa that she comes home to an unsatifying reality in the evening.  She plays so hard during the day (YaYa is the best gym, horse, tea party guest, reader, art teacher etc.) that she is exhausted by the time she comes home.  I should mention, that we usually get a sneak preview when we are trying to leave to head home, and have taken to bribing her with a piece of candy (hey, it works and it is just one piece; better than a toy). Although we become frustrated with Stella's short fuse from exhaustion and exaggerated tantrums every Thursday, we wouldn't change it for the world.  This face that we see also accompanies some of the best conversations (her vocabulary doubles) and we can visibly see her imagination grow as well as her bond with YaYa, PaPa and K-K strengthen.  And although it frustrates the poor girl even more, we usually can help but laugh.  I will say, she also sleeps better this night than any other.
Thank You YaYa, PaPa and K-K!   

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I am seeing a glimpse of a finished bathroom.  It is getting very close.  I see glimpses all over the house, of what things will look like once we are finished with all our projects, finished making it "ours."  Our master bathroom is the most recent transformation.  With the help of my Dad, the big wall to wall box that once housed flourescent lights was taken down and Ben recently put up new fixtures (sounds easier than what it was - my Dad had to replace dry wall, move electrical wires, boxes, a cable etc).  The two of them also completed the tile on the floor (originally carpet, then sub floor, now tile).  Although, there is still work to be done...need to finish the paint, take care of the pink tile (yes I said pink) in shower and tub and put up the wainscoting. BUT, I can see a glimpse of the finished product.  It is a very beautiful glimpse. 

Before and After pictures will hopefully be available soon! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sick Mommy

It is hard to be a good Mommy when one is sick.  It is hard to be a good wife when one is sick.  Less Patience, more irritability.  More TV, less play.  Oh the guilt as Stella looks at me and smiles, "I love you Mommy."  Okay, find the energy, fight through the sinus headache, let's draw, play with babies, build towers with blocks, try. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cold, Rainy, and Perfect

My favorite time of year is Fall.  This weekend was the perfect "end of Fall" weather.  It was cold, rainy, and dark enough that the leaves left on the trees were a bright contrast against the gray clouds.  We baked, watched some PIXAR, burnt "fall" scented candles, watched the Chiefs...wait for it...WIN a game, and   listened to the Sound of Music Soundtrack (Stella twirled so much you would have thought she was Julie Andrews on the Mountain).  Ok, so I was able to do all this, Ben was busy most of the weekend working on our bathroom and "fixing Stella's house."  But don't worry, he still took some breaks to take in some of the perfect fall weekend and play with the babies.

Stella helping with making Pumpkin Bread. She could advertise for Libby's.

Esme in her Bouncer chair while I cleaned Stella up.  "Silly Sister!"

Not the perfect weekend for Callie; she doesn't like the rain.

Oh, tummy time is so rough on a girl.

Homemade Apple crisp, while the girls are napping.

Yea!  A break for Daddy to watch the Chiefs game.

Happy Birthday Dad/Papa!

We hope you are having a nice, relaxing, enjoyable day! 
Thank you for helping "fix our house!"  We know that there are so many other things that you could be using your talents for, but you give us your time and hard work instead.  Thank you for teaching.  Thank you for caring.  Thank you for playing make believe.  Thank you for bass and baby beans

We love you.  Happy Birthday!  

This is MY PAPA!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Phone is Ringing

Anyone familiar with Wonder Pets?  It is a children's cartoon on Nick Jr.  The intro song will get stuck in your head for days.  Stella's favorite line in the song is "the phone is ringing!"
Tonight, she was painting at the table when a rip, roaring "too-too," (or flartie) sounded from her chair.  She looked up at me with wide eyes and sang, "The phone is ringing!" 
Hmmm...not quite "excuse me" but much funnier!


About twice a year Ben and I stroll down the same conversation path regarding the pronunciation of MUSEUM.  Not kidding folks, we have the SAME conversation, exchanging the same thoughts, always ending with silence and then laughter.  Somehow, Ben finds a way to pronounce "museum" with sounding only two syllables. 
Then I say, "MU-ZEEE-UM!"
Tonight we laughed, then went back and forth a couple times.  I put in the last word, with the most serious face I could muster, "Hun, Please don't teach our children to say 'musum.'"

Reading to the Girls

Such a good Daddy...he reads to them every day.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Raking Leaves only fun the first few minutes.  I can honestly say I truly enjoy raking leaves every year (for a short time).  I fall in love with Autumn every year and the nostalgia around raking the dead, colorful leaves the have fallen from trees that reside  in our neighbors' yards.  I put all my energy into making the best pile, then take a look at the remainder of the yard and realize that a blister will soon arise on my thumb and my arm and back will begin to ache from making the "rake" motion.  Thankfully, Ben took on most of the yard this year - someone had to strap a baby on and take pictures, right? The excitement lasted a bit longer watching Stella play.   All by herself, she figured out to jump and crawl in the piles.  Ben followed behind her trying to keep the leaves from scattering from the neat piles he prepared to be bagged.  Funny.  I look forward to next year when we will watch Stella show Esme how it is done.

She wanted to help too...

 "this heffy mama!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Fell Too Fast

On the way home, from getting the girls tonight, I talked with Stella about the trees as she observed the darkness as a result of daylight savings time.

Stella: It daak outside Mama.
Me: Yes it is Stella.
S: The trees empy. The leaves falls down.
M: Yes they did Stella, the leaves fell down too fast.

I will miss our conversations about the colors of the trees. Stella would say they were "orange-y, red-y, purple-y, and yellow-y," while picking up many of the leaves to stash in the trunk of her bicycle.

Here are a few snapshots of our fall festivities with the new addition of Esme this year. 

Deanna Rose Apple Fest with YaYa & PaPa

the final scene following any festival we attend...

Lenexa Spinach Festival

Deanna Rose Farmstead - Pumpkin Hollow with Grammy

Kirby Pumpkin Patch Halloween Morning

Not sure if you can tell, but Stella is RUNNING after the tractor, yelling "WAIT!"  

Halloween Night - Stella's first time Trick or Treating (she LOVED it!). I will try to get video up later.  
This was towards the end of the night, poor girl couldn't wait any longer.  She had been carrying around a pumpkin of candy and had not had one piece.  "Suckee!"

She is a dragon - even has a tail that wags behind her.  I put a pink bow on the hat to show that Stella was a girl - she called it a "pincess jagon"  
 our little pink skeleton

To see more you can view our Picasa album.  Poor Esme is usually bundled up in the sling or stroller at these things, so not a visibly in the spotlight.