Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Family Birthday Dinner

I thought I took more pictures of our dinner with my family...but I didn't. So, here are a few more. We had a great time hanging out! Madelyn spent the night with us. We had fun!

Before everyone came over, I took a few pics of Makenzie wearing her Birthday Girl tshirt. :-) It is so cute. I have one for Amara, too, when it's her bday! :-)
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How cute...sporting her "edge" bracelet from the waterpark...she wanted to leave it on for a few days. :-)
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Amara, Carson & Madden...the three little rascals. :-)
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I love how Madden got right in there to help her blow out her candles! :-)
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Madden sneaking a finger lick of frosting. Gotta love homemade cake! It's our favorite!!!
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Birthday Fun...

Makenzie's bday has come and gone, but I finally uploaded some pictures from her special week long celebration! Her school district had their spring break during the week of her bday, so we spent the night at a hotel and then celebrated her real bday on the 5th and then had family over for pizza, cake & ice cream the next night. All of her cousins are in a different school district so they all had school during the week...

We went to the Edge Waterpark for a little celebration. http://www.duluthwaterpark.com/ We allowed her to choose one friend to bring along overnight, so she chose her friend from church, Kendalyn. The girls had a great time as did Amara & Madden...and us. It was actually really nice to do something more simple and not have a big party. :-) It was a great place. It's an indoor waterpark which features a lazy river, a water playground, an area of water activities, a hot tub, a whirly pool, a large arcade room & 2 waterslides (which Tim went down with Madden...it is pitch black inside. The one they went on...you have to use a tube...he came out looking a little scared, but said he loved it!) It's a great place to have around here because of the cold winters! Here are a few pics from the Edge...I will upload the ones from the family day later. :-)

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Eating some cheeseballs...yummy!
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Nana & Amara...Amara is still more interested in her cheesballs than smiling for me...lol.
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The boys...
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These were like these monkey bar ropes and the girls spent a ton of time here!
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This was a pool that was strictly a whirlpool...it went around and around...Madden & Amara's favorite!
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Madden loved the little slides!
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And he loved the fountain sprays!
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A little chilly...taking a break.
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The girls in the lazy river...
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The boys in the lazy river...going under the water sprays...
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This is a huge bucket that gets filled up and dumps all over the play area every 10 minutes or so. Amara was a little afraid of it and the water dumping, but by the morning, she was sitting on the side of the pool area watching and getting "misted" on. :-) Here are Tim & Madden...
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I love this one because you can see it coming, they can hear it...but it hasn't reached them yet!!
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So fun!!!
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Soaking wet!!!
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Little tootsies...
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A well-worn wrist bracelet pass...Amara loved it!
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Opening Kendalyn's gift...
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Singing to the birthday girl...
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Amara enjoying her cupcake!
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Happy Birthday, Makenzie!!!
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Easier said than done, correct???

Just a little political FYI. Both parties are guilty (especially presidential candidates) of promising many things based on what the people want to hear and then not being able to deliver on those promises. Therefore, it is probably a good rule of thumb to be careful what we promise...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just a bad day...or is it?

Ugh. It's really one of those days. You know...the kind of day where the sun is shining, you've gotten a lot of work done, ran a few errands...but yet, this black cloud seems to hovering over the top of my head...or is it?

Sometimes I feel like there is a black cloud overhead: I'm cranky, testy and feel like locking myself in my room by myself! Sometimes I keep thinking of more things that are annoying me and in turn, I feel even more crabby! And then, lo & behold, God reminds me that no one or no situation is making this black cloud hover. I am. It's usually a very quiet reminder because the crabby thoughts and wrong thinking are usually really loud. You see, every day is a new day...filled with people, circumstances, struggles and good stuff, too! But, it's how I choose to think and how I choose to view those issues that will determine if I have a black cloud over me or a big, white puffy cloud up there. :-) I have to admit...it's not always easy to choose to think positively. It's not always easy to choose good thoughts. Sometimes we just want to throw ourselves a pity party or have a complaining session. Guilty...right here...yes, me...I'm pointing at myself right now.

Overcoming difficulties in our lives no matter how little or how big they are require action that many times begins with simply "thinking" the right things and thinking more positively. I don't mean to use the word "simply" so matter of fact, because I know very well that our bad thinking can sometimes be our worst enemy! But, all things are possible with God. And sometimes I just have to tell God..."Yes, I'm crabby. Yes, I'm complaining. Yes, I'm having a pity party. But, God, can you just help me to think about what I am thinking about? Can you please help me to appreciate and be thankful for all that I have in my life? Can you please help me to be thankful for the lessons you are teaching me and the ways you are changing my attitude? Can you forgive me for allowing myself to think negatively? I need your help, God. Big time!" Sometimes I have to pray this and many prayers like this ALL day. And sometimes I make myself even more annoyed because I know I shouldn't be thinking negatively and then THAT annoys me! But, I am so grateful for a God that doesn't expect us to have it all figured out. I am grateful for a God that loves me so much that he helps me to realize when my attitude is out of line. I am grateful for a God that gives me second and third and many more chances because he knows that it is through our mistakes that we really learn how to live.

And in consideration of emotional women everywhere...enjoy the comic. :-) LOL!
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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Good old days...

Yes, that's me in my blog header pic. :-) With my first doggy. :-) We had a little celebration for Makenzie the other night & we were all looking at old pics of all of us growing up. Since I'm the picture fiend, I have all of our family childhood photos & beyond. I have them all organized in a really large photo box. I remember when I organized them...it took me FOREVER...but I am so glad I did it a few years ago...because it's great to just pull out the big box and be able to go to a section of family photos and look at them! Maybe some day I'd like to get them into an album...but for now...they are safe in an archival photo box. :-) I have a few good ones on my facebook, too. Awww...the good old days. :-)

P.S. I know you all love my adorable outfit complete with my shrine circus hat. The red knit shorts pulled up to my neck really do wonders for me. haha.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Knock, Knock Jokes...

Amara is always coming up with silly things. She is so funny! And she repeats many things that the older kids say...but sometimes re-arranges them to suit her little understanding.

This morning as she was sitting on the potty, she says to me:

"Knock, knock." I say: "Who's there?" She says: "Orange" so I say, "Orange, who?" And she gives me this huge grin and says..."Banana".

She almost understands the joke...remember...you say banana several times THEN you say "Orange you glad I didn't say banana again??" Ha-ha.

She is the silliest little girl and she's such a little peanut. She truly adds more silliness and fun to our family...if you can imagine we need any more. haha. We have quite the line up of comedians. :-)

Just a cute pic of Amara...I honestly never tire of taking pictures of my children. I could do a photo session a week if I had the time! :-)
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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Happy Birthday, Makenzie!!!

Just a quick shout out to our girl, Makenzie! She turned 7 today! Where does the time go? We can hardly believe how grown she is already!

Makenzie is on spring break this week from school...so she was lucky to have a few celebrations! Today, we just spent a relaxing day at home & hit up the library this afternoon & stopped to pick up some cupcakes & ice cream. Makenzie chose to have Tacos for dinner...so we got all the fixins' for those, too. She was so excited & got some great gifts from Nana & Mom-mom & Pop-pop. Webkinz, Littlest Pet Shop playsets, books, etc. She loves her goodies!

I just went back through my blog & grabbed a few photos from age 3 & up...So, with no further a do...Happy Birthday, Makenzie!!!

Makenzie :: Age 3
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Makenzie :: 4th Birthday
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Makenzie :: 5th Birthday
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Makenzie :: 6th Birthday
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Makenzie :: Now!!!
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This is the big, happy smile we adore!!! We love you, Makenzie!!!
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Name Your Dream Assignment!!!

I have entered a contest called "Name Your Dream Assignment"! Although, there are many, many entries...I'd love your help to vote for me! Below, is a description of my "Dream Assignment". If you like it...on the side of my blog or at the bottom of this post...you can click "pic it". :-) Let's go team Landis! haha. You do have to register to vote once you click (to prevent multiple votes from the same person)...I know...that really stinks. But, please do vote! My entry is below:

Future Generations

I would love to photograph children all over the U.S. being who they are. Beautiful, Simple, Silly, Crazy...just being kids. What a joy to show the world a very visible reason to keep our heads up during these difficult days in our country. We aren't just parents. We are role models, financial advisors, educators and heroes to the future generations.

I would love to see beautiful photos of children from every walk of life living out their exhuberance and innocence. In their schools, in their homes, in our parks...anywhere, really. I would love to start a campaign of large billboards with children's photos on them and simple childhood phrases on them. Some that may be familiar to us...things our parents may have told us. Sayings that are true, innocent, yet wise. Portraying to this country and to our world that our children; the future generations will have to live here when we're gone.

Let's show them how to care for our world. Let's show them how to care for others. Let's show them values, strength and respect. And most importantly, let's help them see that each one of them is unique. Each one of them is beautiful. Each one of them is special. Each one of them CAN make a difference.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

No Robbers. :-)

We spent the evening last night at an awesome hotel (which I will blog sooon!) for Makenzie's birthday. While we were packing up yesterday morning, Madden had his back pack all packed up with Transformers, etc. For some reason, he realized we were actually sleeping over at the hotel and started stuffing tons of toys in his back pack in a frenzy! I asked him what he was doing and he said with tears coming down his face and those sad, sad eyes..."I have to take all my stuff with me. The robbers might come and steal it!" I quickly put two and two together...Madden saw Home Alone over the holidays and loved it. But, realized that we were going away on a little "vacation/sleep over" and started thinking that robbers were going to come in like on Home Alone. After about 20 minutes of explaining & him asking questions that Home Alone is a story...and even though, yes, sometimes robbers can try to get into our houses, our house will be safe tonight.

It kind of made me realize that I can "say" that...but robbers could really break in! But, he was finally convinced we could leave his toys and all his "stuff" after we prayed and asked God to protect our belongings. :-) And also, that the police drive around and keep an eye on our houses. Oh my.

We made it home today and THANK GOD...NO ROBBERS. How in the world would I explain that one??? LOL!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Words from a 2 year old...

Okay, us moms...we ALL have days when we feel like there is childhood turmoil at every turn! Screaming, crying, whining, whining and whining. Sometimes, I let out an occasional..."You kids are driving me nuts!!!". (yes, guilty as charged!) Well, today, I was having one of those mornings. I'm trying to get laundry done, bags packed up for an overnight hotel stay, kids all ready, myself all ready...when I was finally was at the top of my patience level for the day and had a moment of being driven nuts...and said, "You kids are driving me nuts!!!" I was quickly confronted by an adorable, naked toddler, who happened to be eating a pop tart and had crumbs all over her face as well as a big red ring of the inside of a pop tart all around her mouth.

She looked at me and said, "I'm not a nut. You're a nut. And I'm going to eat you."

She sure told me. And, boy is she wise beyond her whole 2 years of age. :-)

Below is a picture I took of a picture I saw once. It looks much like me on many days...haha. But, in all my teasing...I wouldn't trade any of it for anything! :-)
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