Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wrapping it up

Our year has been another great one. According to Ben it was our best year yet! Here's what the girls have been up to lately.

Kara finished up second grade and began third. She is doing great at school, and attends the 4th grade math class. I always worry she'll fall behind, but she amazes me with her ability to understand and keep up. She wants to start attending an after school chess class that begins mid January. She also tested into the gifted art program at CCL, and is very excited to begin that class when school resumes next week. Kara started learning Tae Kwon Do this year, and has earned her orange belt. She works very hard and likes to practice. She is also on a basketball team through the school district, which she is enjoying. She is in her second year of Brownies and loving it. She likes having a little more independence as she gets older, and particularly enjoys when I drop her off to activities, and don't stick around. It's hard to let go, but I don't what to smother her. She has been learning to cook, and has become a tremendous help at dinner time. Kara loves animals, and always wants to watch documentaries or read books about them. She is rarely seen in anything but a cat shirt. Sometimes she'll sport another animal instead, but I think I've counted 17 cat shirts in her closet, and about 6 leopard prints, which are second in her heart. She also enjoys sporting cat socks, and leggings, which look kinda crazy, but make her happy. She would love to be a cat owner again, but Ben is too attached to his allergy free lifestyle at this point. I guess we'll have to see what the future holds. Ben is convinced she'll grow to be a crazy cat lady later in life. She really enjoyed visiting Yellowstone this summer, and was very intrigued by the interesting things to be seen there. She also loved visiting with family and their pets. She says she would like to grow up to be like Aunt Jackie (because she can beat up boys) or Taylor Swift (because she's a beautiful singer). She hopes to be a "pop star" or if that doesn't work out, a makeup artist. Karalee is now 53 1/2" and weighs 56.8lbs.
Here is her updated list of favorite things!

Color: sky blue
Animal: domestic cat
Food: cupcakes she has baked herself
Song: Shake it Off
Game: Loaded Questions
Movie: The Parent Trap
TV show: The Secret Lives of Cats
Best Friend: Addison
Favorite playtime activity: video games
Toy: glitzy globes
Non-play activity: making jewelry
Anyone she would choose to see at this moment: Taylor Swift
Favorite outdoor activity: riding her electric scooter
Outfit: leopard print peace sign shirt from Katie
Favorite thing to do with Mom: play board games
Favorite thing to do with Dad: play video games
Food she doesn't like: spinach
One thing she dislikes: Elmo


My sweet Kiersten is such a happy and nice girl. She loves her friends, family, and teachers. She would hug everyone if she could. She graduated from Kindergarten and started first grade. She just loves being able to be at school all day instead of half days. She adores her teacher, and ranks her the best in the world. She is doing great at CCL, and just finished up a project on mammals. She studied gibbons for her report, and could probably tell you anything about them. She also did a unit on germs, which has improved her hand washing skills. She refuses to wash for less than the time it takes her to sing a verse of "Twinkle Little Star". She is having a blast in her second year as a Daisy scout, and loves all of her little troop-mates. She loved the soccer camp she attended over the summer, and playing on her team this fall. She is very anxious for spring season to begin. By the end of this past season she had started playing goalie, and really loves that position. She is thinking of taking Tae Kwon Do with Kara, but might decide on dance instead. She is also excited to get started again with swimming next month. She told me that this year she is not going to get any DQs. Time will tell. She has come so far with her reading, and spelling, and I couldn't be more proud. She has also become quite the football fan, and loves cheering on the Chiefs every chance she gets. She probably knows more of the players than I do. I had her dressed cute for a picture this morning, but she put on her Chiefs sweatshirt over the top. She says it shows her personality the best. Kiersten is such a sensitive little soul, and doesn't like to see anyone else feeling sad or hurting. We really have to be careful about what we say sometimes. The other day Evie asked what happened to Humpty Dumpty if he couldn't get put back together. I answered, "I guess he died." Which was a fine answer for Evie, but then Kiersten came slowly up to me, blinking away tears, and asked, "did he really die, Mommy?" I also learned my lesson about letting her watch YouTube music videos for any sad song. She just has the biggest heart, and it's interesting for me to see things from her perspective. I think she's softened me a bit too. She says she'd like to grow up to be like Daddy and Papa, because they are strong and cool. She would like to be a rock star, and as a backup plan, she'd like to be a teacher or soccer coach. Kiersten now measures 49", and weighs in at 47.8lbs. Here are her faves.

Color: pink
Animal: giraffe
Food: cherries and gyozas
Song: Call Me Maybe
Game: Eye Found It
Movie: The Little Mermaid (I will be sad the day this changes)
TV show: Paw Patrol
Best Friend: Teagan
Favorite playtime activity: Riding bikes
Toy: Purple Bear and Pomma the Panda
Non-playtime activity: writing
Anyone she would choose to see at this moment: Dustin Colquitt (A football player for the KC Chiefs)
Favorite outdoor activity: Soccer
Favorite Outfit: Christmas tree dress
Favorite thing to do with Mom: crochet
Favorite thing to do with Dad: Go on Daddy-Daughter dates
Food she doesn't like: mac and cheese if Kara makes it
One thing she dislikes: fighting

Evie has really changed a lot this year. She graduated from the 3's class, and started her last year of preschool. She has the same teacher that Kiersten had, and loves to rub it in, as they both love her to death! She is still working on getting all of her letters down, and has made some progress with reading, though we're still in more of the memorization phase than actual reading. I'm sure she'll get there this coming year. She is a leader at school and I always hear stories from the teacher of her settling disputes, helping other kids, and generally solving problems for the other kids. She is one of the youngest, but just has such a strong personality. She is a lot less bossy now than she was at the beginning of the year, so that's a good thing for her. She loves to be helpful, and gets upset if her sisters are helping me instead of her. She particularly likes folding up socks, which at this point, is as much control as I'm willing to give up in my laundry folding. She learned to swim this year, and is very proud of her accomplishment. She hopes to make the swim team, so we'll see if she's ready. If not this year, then I'm sure she'll be great for the following season. She loves taking care of her pet fish, Lemon, and is always asking me if I remembered to feed him. She is my little chatterbox. I've never met anyone who talks as much as her. She just goes on and on, and if you don't follow her train of thought, it's easy to get confused, which she doesn't like. She will roll her eyes and keep repeating herself until she's sure you understand what she's talking about. Sometimes she says really crazy things that catch us off guard. Lately she has been saying, "Awkward..." whenever there is a lull in conversation. I can only imagine how many times she's probably done that at school too. A few weeks ago she asked me if I was going to die on Christmas. I assured her I wouldn't, thinking the poor thing was concerned about my safety, but her response was, "well, if you do, can I have you presents?" She has gotten more artistic this year, and is finally more interested in drawing her own pictures instead of just doing coloring pages. She does still like to color pages at the gym babysitter, and likes to get those stapled together like a book. She's become more interested in music this year, and is super cute singing along with her sisters in the car. She's very possessive over certain songs that she considers "hers" and will get upset if everyone else is singing along too. She has only gone to the ER once this year, just 2 days ago. We almost made it the whole year without going. She lost balance while twirling, and hit the edge of the wall. She ended up with 4 stitches through her eyebrow, which is why she's tilting her head that way in the photo. She did not want those stitches to be seen in the picture. She fell in love with the ocean on vacation this year, and says that's her favorite place to go now. Evie wants to grow up to be like Aunt Katie, except for the getting married. She has decided never to marry. But she says she wants to be pretty and nice like Katie. She'd also like to be like me, since I'm such a great cook. (HA!) She hopes to be a painter when she grows up. She will paint pictures, not a house, cause that's too hard. She has grown to a whopping 43 1/2", and weighs 39lbs. Her favorite things include:
Color: red
Animal: kitty- the real kind
Food: mac and cheese
Song: I Love you like a Love Song
Game: hide and seek
Movie: Cinderella
TV show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Best Friend: Colbie
Favorite playtime activity: playing house with Kara and Kiersten
Toy: Pumpkin the dog
Non-playtime activity: taking naps
Anyone she would choose to see at this moment: Jesus
Favorite outdoor activity: jet ski
Outfit: candy cane shirt with red tutu
Favorite thing to do with Mom: watch a movie and eat popcorn
Favorite thing to do with Dad: snuggle
Food she doesn't like: spinach
One thing she dislikes: heights and dogs putting their teeth on her
Hope everyone has a wonderful 2015! This year will be hard to beat :) And I have to shout out to Ben for losing almost 50lbs this year. He's looking smokin' hot these days!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas morning in Ballwin

Santa definitely visited our house last night!
Evie has been asking for a singing Elsa doll, and was apparently good enough this year to get her wish.
Kiersten saw this "journey girl" in the Toys R Us ad. She went back and forth between wanting the bunk bed and the wardrobe, but ended up asking Santa for the bed.
Kara asked for a zoomer dog, and said she didn't care which color. I think Santa picked out the perfect one for her.
Their stockings are always full of fun goodies.
Kara had such a good time training her dog today. It was funny to hear her commanding him. She seems to think that saying the commands really loud is important. At one point she was shouting, "I love you!" to try to get him to bark back with a response. It was funny to hear it from the other room.
She did have some candy coal in her stocking, which we are taking as a subtle warning to be a little nicer to her sisters next year.
Santa spoiled Kara and Kiersten with little cans of Dr Pepper, which they always want, but never get. Sweet Kiersten even offered one of her cans to me, but I made sure she got to enjoy it herself.
She's pretty excited about her new doll, and had a great time decorating the bed with stickers.
Papa and Grams were on facetime, and the girls enjoyed getting to show off all of their fun gifts. Kiersten was super excited to show Papa the little guitar Kara gave her the night before. She says she can't wait to play together with him.
I think Evie is the only one that isn't a little tired of hearing Elsa sing today. She even sang in Spanish a few times before we got her on the proper setting.

Katie and Ben watching the girls open their gifts after breakfast.

I'm always excited when my sister Chris has me for Christmas gift exchanging. She makes awesome gifts!
I got this fabulous cross stitch framed picture of Christ. It looks like a painting, unless you look close, and can see the stitching. She is truly amazing! Now the difficult task of deciding where to hang it.

Evie got a gift that was wrapped in a triscuit box. She loudly said, "SERIOUSLY?!?", and was angrily tying to set it down. It took us a minute to get her to actually look in the box. She was glad to find a frozen purse inside the box.
One of Ben's favorite gifts was from his Mom. He's excited to use it this weekend when he goes to the game with his friends.
It was so fun to see Evie open her big gift from us. She was just overjoyed about this dog.
And Kiersten got the baby panda she's been dying for. I don't know why she wanted another panda, but she likes what she likes, and this one does do a lot of cute things, where her others are just stuffed animals. She named her Pomma. (The box called her Pom Pom.)
Kara wanted an electric scooter, and even asked if that's what it was when she saw the gift behind the tree. I said no, but it turns out I was a liar. It had to charge for 12 hours,  (which I should have figured out ahead of time), but she's pumped to try it out tomorrow.
My little nurturer took care of her baby all day. She even went around the house telling everyone when it said, "Mama". She was proud of her baby's milestone.
Evie had a great time dancing around with her puppy, Pumpkin. This dog even talks for some reason. Kinda weird, but I actually prefer it's talking to Kara's dog's barking.
Evie got everything she wanted and more. She couldn't come up with anything that would make her day better. She just had a wonderful day.
My sweet heart spent most of the day taking care of the Panda, and decorating the doll furniture. She got some fun crafts, and I'm sure she'll get to those soon enough. She'll have to give the panda a break at some point. I had fun playing her new look and find game with her.
Kara couldn't have been happier with her haul. She even got an iTunes card, and Katie got her the perfect shirt, which she is just thrilled about. I think she's already done all but one of her crafts. We played blokus a bunch of times, and the rest of the day she spent training her zoomer dog.
Kiersten gave her a snow globe making kit. It's pretty cute, and has a few extra spots, so she can get more of the little snow globes to add to the stand. She's also in love with her cat-wearing-a-santa-hat earrings.
Kiersten did do the bobble-head puppy craft that Evie gave her. She got to paint 3 little puppies, and accessorize them. I'll have to take a picture of them all finished, they are the epitome of girlyness, and oh so Kiersten.
Evie got a lot of new little people, so she brought her castle up for them to play in. The princess ones all work with the castle, so that's nice.
Kara wasn't too sure about the coal, but she didn't waste much time eating ALL of it.
Merry Christmas! I hope all days were as magical as ours.

It was Christmas Eve!

I wanted to make the girls something fun to wear this week. Evie's dress was made the day before the other two, but she wasn't willing to wait to wear it. So she got to be special on Monday in her new dress.
I really wish I'd used a different ribbon, but too late now. She still likes it even with this sad looking ribbon in back. 
I had the other girls' outfits ready for Tuesday. Kiersten is in love with this dress. I have lots of the fabric left over because the lady at JoAnns sold me the last of the bolt for half price, so I went ahead and got all of it. So I can probably make a few more things to match.
I am not happy with the way Kara's skirt turned out, but I can probably make a few changes to make it better.
They did a fun craft while I was working on some housework. They each made a Santa, Rudolph, and Bumble.
Turned out pretty cute if you ask me.
Then we made some Christmas candy, which is always fun, and time consuming.
I didn't give them very many color options this time, but they got tons made. I think this is the first time that I didn't make any with them. But the dishes aren't going to do themselves, so I did that instead.
On Christmas Eve, they got to wear their fancy dresses again. Since we didn't have a bow that matched Kiersten's dress, she asked me to make her one. I think it turned out cute, and she liked it.
Evie had to have a new bow as well. We had one that looked cute with her dress, but she wanted me to make her something.
Kara said she didn't need a bow, but I ended up making her a small one as well. She was very sweet, and wore it all night.
Ben came home from work early since it was Christmas Eve. He made the girls a yummy lunch, and they got to have sprite with a maraschino cherry, so that was fun for them.
Kara helped me bake some cookies for Santa. I told her to hold still for this picture real quick, and after, she said her hands were burning hot. Whoops...
My little Christmas loves.
They are always happy to get extra daddy time.
After dinner they decorated Santa's cookies. Then we drove around delivering treats to the neighbors. They like to ring the doorbell and run away before they can be seen, so it's a pretty lively endeavor.
Me and my matchy-buddy.
Kara wrote this note for Santa.
After we watched Muppets Christmas Carol and had some popcorn, the girls got to open their new jammies.

We also let them exchange their gifts for each other. They all did a great job of picking things their sisters loved.

All ready for bed!
Setting out the milk and cookies for the big guy.
Evie and Kiersten went to bed fairly early, but Kara got to stay up and watch Gremlins with Ben. She told me it wasn't that scary, but Ben said at one point she asked to go up to bed because she was so scared. She went to bed around midnight, but fell asleep fast.