Friday, January 21, 2011

I. am. the. mother. of. a. teenager...

and I couldn't be more excited. I seriously have the greatest teen girl to have walked the planet - well, at least as far as I'm concerned. :)

Her big birthday treat was a trip to the salon. Anything she wanted I said. Hot pink highlight? You betcha.

Doesn't she look fabulous. Coolest homeschooled girl I know. :)

Because one of her bestest buddies was going to be in Tulsa on Madison's birthday, I took her and her two special friends out for dessert on Tuesday night. Now, if you have a 13 year old daughter who has horrible friends, then you should stop reading right now or might just become overwhelmed with envy. These girls are amazing. The love each other and their families and the Lord so very much. They truly sharpen each other as well as having so much goofy fun. I am so very thankful for the role they have had in my daughter's life.

On Thursday morning I took Madi took a local hair design school to get her hair done. This picture is so precious to me.. my little girl getting punk rock pink in her hair while she reads the biography of  Adoniram Judson.I am telling you - this girl has my heart!!

We spent the morning of her birthday with our co-op. We met at our church gym and talked about the cardiovascular system and spend some time jumping rope and playing basketball.

We had a little friend staying with us too and Madison loved getting to take care of her...

I brought cupcakes again - Boom Boom Pow cupcakes to be exact. A local cupcake place makes these fantastic treats with yellow cake, chocolate frosting, caramel and sea salt. The call them Boom Boom Pow. :)I have been known to duplicate them and they were Madison's special request.

Jason took Madison out to her most favorite restaurant.. The Olive Garden... for dinner (3 cheers for a gift card!)

After dinner they spent the evening at Barnes & Noble and she spent a little of her birthday money on a book learning to use a flower loom. She can't wait to spend the rest on yarn.

She is just as precious as can be. Learning more and more of the world every day and desiring to grow up in a way the honors the Lord. She still wants more than anything to be a missionary to Zimbabwe. She recently learned of a group there that she might want to investigate called Hands of Mercy. I love her dedication to this desire if hers. She is constantly reading biographies of great missionaries and sitting in with me while I listen to Piper sermons. She is growing in the Lord and I am so thankful to see His hand in her. She is quick to apologize when she is wrong and often very broken by her sin. If you want to ask me for parenting tips on how to get a daughter like this just forget it. This must be the work of the Lord. Besides, wait till get to the twins birthday and I write about them - you'll be sending parenting tips to me! :)

Happy birthday my darling girl.

Happy Birthday Sweet Peach.

I am telling you that there isn't a sweeter 10 year old girl in the world and boy am I nuts about her.

 We spent the day at the science museum with our co-op. It was very fun as it was our first time back together since Christmas break. The kids played and explored and got to eat food that had been frozen in liquid nitrogen. We brought cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing withe Reese's cups crumbled on top - per Ally's request).

We passed on a birthday party for the girls this year. Instead we did some special things. The Lee kids came home with us from the science museum to play for the day.

I took Ally to get her hair cut (a treat for my kids) in the afternoon. And let me just mention here that the salon would let you pay with a debit/credit card but you could only tip with cash or check! Weird. And a really bad policy. I was a little embarrassed to tip with $4 worth of quarters! But not as much as I would have been if we walked out of there without tipping.

After Jason got home we took her (just her - the only time Jason and I have have together been with just one child except for ER trips!) to the mall to get her ears pierced.
 She had done this once before but the holes closed up. She was nervous because she remembered that it hurt. But she was brave...

 Riding the escalator, which is my kids' favorite part of the mall. Since we RARELY, RARELY go I figured she could take a whirl or two...
 Then we took her our for dinner. We had such a special time. We tried to remember what we had done for every birthday she has had. We got stuck on a few. It was a fun time with just our little Peach, who normally gladly steps out of the lime light.
 Back at home we had birthday cake (Eclair cake actually - her favorite) with the Lees.

She got the pillow pet she had been wanting (which settles the score even further between me and my husband who thought our kids would never want something so stupid. I knew they would love them and now all but one of them own one).
I love how selfless and loving Allyson is. She is tenderhearted and comforting and nurturing. She will make a fantastic mother some day. Just recently she has wondered if maybe the Lord would have her be a missionary in Asia. Oh that He would hold her heart!!

New Year's Eve

We were so excited to the hourly bags we did last year. I must admit, even I was really looking forward to it - and for someone who cherishes the quiet time at night when all 7 kids are in bed - that's saying something. This year we celebrated with the Lees which made it even more fun.

 5:00 - plates, napkins and streamers to decorate for our pizza dinner...

 puzzle challenge - twins vs. kids vs. adults - but the puzzles were so hard that no one finished. SO we all helped the twins complete theirs as the hour ended.

 Family worship  - we all filled out papers identifying how we wanted to be more Christ-like in the upcoming year and a Scripture to memorize to help us. Then we sang worship songs together.

 game time! This is a fun fun game... charades on crack...

 This was a Christmas gift and if you have little signers then I highly recommend it. I think it has been on in our house every single day since Christmas.

 Get comfy and watch a movie.

 Pause the movie and have ice cream sundaes.

 All you need to celebrate the new year.
 Here in the middle of the country we have to record the ball dropping at 11:00 and then watch it at midnight. SO, disregard the word "LIVE" on the screen - but the kids don't know the difference. :)

And once we rang in the new year of our sweet guests had to hightail it to the bathroom to "toss her cookies." Poor baby. All I can say is we sure do know how to par-tay. I mean, is a celebration really complete if it doesn't include cleaning up vomit at the end? Oh well, so not the highlight of the night. But OTHER than that - it was a blast. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! 2010

I really enjoyed Christmas morning 2010. We woke up singing Good Christian Men Rejoice, like usual. The rest of the morning just seems more joyful and relaxed.
 The kids seemed to do a great job of waiting patiently for their next gift and enjoying watching one another open their own. They all seemed excited for their siblings and thankful for their gifts. (Totally not trying to brag - normally I feel like sending everyone back to bed moments after we have begun!)

 Tyson got the kid's camera he had wanted so badly. By evening he had taken over 1000 pictures and drained the batteries. Here he is taking a picture of his camera taking a picture...
 We had Papa's famous pancakes for breakfast (the very best).
The Lees joined us for our Christmas lunch/dinner meal.

Later, the Markmillers joined us for dessert and games. We just love all these families and think having newly adopted, Lauren, as part of the crew is a real treat!
And then they were all ready for bed. Piper has new friends to cuddle with...