Friday, October 26, 2012


What can I say about our sweet Gracie?  She's 12, and with that comes moments of eye rolling, sighing, almost hidden tears, but also moments of fun independence, maturity, conversations, texts filled with things she might not say in person, and much pride in watching her grow. 

She is doing amazing in school, and we're trying to maintain that fine balance of being involved but not being too busy.  I really feel like we do a pretty good job of it (but still sometimes feel like we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off) but all in all, there are many days when we're home by 4 with nowhere else to go for the rest of the day.  I cherish those times because she can work on her homework, which has greatly increased this year, and take time to read & relax. 

I am so happy about how confident she is about various things...what she wears, how she looks, who she hangs out with or doesn't hang out with.  I am amazed and so thankful that God has blessed her with this because soooo many pre-teen girls struggle immensely with this, and she doesn't seem to.  I'm not saying not at all (she certainly gets embarrassed by us as her parents sometimes! lol) but all in all, she is happy in her own skin and doesn't seem to get her feathers too ruffled by other people being different from her as far as likes & dislikes, style of clothing, etc.

She is soooo hard on herself about her schoolwork that we rarely have to be.  I find myself consoling her and telling her it's okay and she doesn't have to be perfect because she'll express worry over a test or concern over a grade.  For example, this week, she texted me about her Science test, concerned that there was material on it she didn't think would be on there, etc.  She ended up making a 92 or 94 on that test! (I can't remember for sure which it was.) Later in the week, she told me about her Math test and how she had stayed after class to work on it and was having a hard time coming up with what she thought was the right answers and she was a bit worried about how she'd done.  Yeah...she made a 99.  We certainly don't have to "be on her" to work hard, concentrate, or take school seriously.

We are excited that she's going to get to take the SAT or ACT soon through a program Duke offers to some 7th graders who qualify.  It will be a fun opportunity to see how she does.  We were also happy to find out that one of her artwork pieces was selected to be on display in one of the admin buildings.  We still have yet to make it over there to see it.  She said she wasn't even sure which piece it was.  LOL  She auditioned for Region Orchestra last weekend but didn't make it.  She was really sad about it although she didn't say too much.  She admitted to being a bit bummed about it because she'd worked so hard.  We were just so proud of her for trying.  There were 210 violinists who auditioned, and the competition is pretty strong around here.  Her director told her her rank, and to be honest, it wasn't very close to #1, but it was a good learning experience, and I'm hoping she'll jump back in there next year.  She loves being in the orchestra; it's such a good fit for her personality, and her director is so great...very motivating & encouraging, etc. 

Gracie is also looking forward to running Track this spring; I can't wait to see how that goes, and she wants to try out for Volleyball next year.  It sounds like a lot, but Track & Volleyball aren't at the same time, and violin is only during school right now except for the occasional after school practice or event but nothing regular after school.  She is also on the Science Olympiad team, which has after school practices, but she isn't going to be in the first competition because of a youth group event she opted to participate in instead.  She may be in some of the other ones, but I can tell she's not really 'feeling this' as much as some other things she's in and hopes to be in.  In Junior High, there are so many fun things to try!

On top of doing well in school, she is just an all around wonderful daughter and Christian young lady who isn't perfect, because none of us are (and she's a PRE-TEEN!!!!) but is striving to live a life pleasing to God.  :)

This is often what pictures of her look like...trying to hide from the camera! 

 She loves her Kindle!
 Cowgirl day for Red Ribbon Week
following her 1st orchestra concert of the year with her proud sisters!

As with her sisters, we are incredibly blessed by our sweet oldest girl and treasure her as our daughter. 

Katie Boo

This represents our sweet Katie Boo.  Someone put a mustache on the stop sign near our house, and she gets such a kick out of it!

Katie is a hoot...everyday!  She is also dramatic and frustrating and beautiful, fun, funny, & full of life.  I'm so glad God made her the way He did because she is wonderful, frustrations and all.  She might not make an A on a reading test because, "oh yeah, that was that book we had to read that wasn't that interesting" or she'll get marked off for something that "she didn't hear the teacher say" to do.  I know you're not supposed to compare your kids, but I'm just saying.....our previous child to go through 3rd grade never struggled with this kind of thing.  lol  She is brilliant and creative and zany and amazing...and has still kept her A's on report cards.  She's very capable of doing this forever...I'm just not sure she's going to see the need to work that hard.  ;)  She is FUN and such a blessing to us, and we love her the way she is!  She has been so excited to start working on Bible Bowl (book of Matthew) for LTC.  This is her first year to do it, and she is loving it!

I don't even remember why she was upset here...but her Daddy was helping make it better.
 She loves a good Sonic drink.

Sharing a sweet moment with Ellie.  Not all of their moments are sweet, believe me!
She was so excited to participate in Boosterthon this year to help raise money for something at school.

They did well!
 Tired but successful! 
 She was happy to get a gift from a South Carolina BFF.

She is still into baseball and was very happy to tell me she found "Roberto & Me" (Roberto Clemente) in the library.  You'll notice the crazy socks from Crazy Sock Day for Red Ribbon Week.  The girl often has crazy socks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall is here...even if it doesn't feel like it!

Fall is here!!!!  Well, the 85 degrees may not really FEEL like Fall, but it is near the end of October, so it's here!  The highs this weekend are supposed to be in the 60's, and that thrills me!  :)

We enjoyed a trip to a local 'farm' last week with our preschool group from church.  So much fun! 

 So sweet!

Jump, Ellie, Jump!

Sweet friends!

Never fear, Ellie will lead the way!

Our beautiful girl!

"Ellie Belles"

Our sweet Ellie is growing more & more everyday.  She is expressive & talks a lot and is starting to understand more & more about letter sounds, asking what words start with, and gaining more number sense.  In a nutshell, she is on her way to being in Kinder next year!  *gulp* She loves to tell members of our family that she loves us "so much."  She loves Bible Class, although I wonder if it's more for the social aspect than the learning aspect as she will frequently ask to see her paper from class when we ask her what they if she can't remember & the paper will help jog her memory.  We'll have to work on that!  She loves "macacheese," broccoli, refried beans, Pop Tarts, bananas, milk, juice, and my Sausage-Tortellini Soup, along with many other things.  She loves to ride her bike and is working on the bars on the playground.  Her best friends right now are Jack, Lyla, Evia, & Meredith.  She's just such a joy.  

She enjoyed being silly at her Open House a few weeks ago and showing us her classroom. 

Some of her outfit choices are quite something.  She loves these boots that are too big & have been around since Gracie was around her age!
She likes to cheer, and is proud to do "Guns Up" in honor of her Daddy's team of choice....even when she's just at a Junior High football game.
She started ballet at a new ballet school and is enjoying it.  She'll have a recital in December which is exciting! 

 She sure does love to ride her bike!

After her ballet class, sometimes we just kind of throw something on for the rest of day, leaving the bun intact.  I thought this outfit either made her look like a go-go girl or Amish. lol
She likes helping take Katie to school.  Hard to believe that next year, she'll be staying over there.  Oh, be still my nerves!

 She was so excited to choose bubbles from the prize box at preschool!

Just to balance out all the cuteness, I had to include this picture of crazy hair, just woke up Ellie!
She is determined to grab hold of this bar with both hands then let go with one hand to swing it further over.  So far, this is about as far as she's gotten (of course, she fell off right after this.)  She is very determined, so I'm sure it won't be long!

She is such a precious blessing to us!  One of my favorite things is how, after Bible reading, when we're asking what it said, no matter what the passage was, she'll say something like, "Stay in the light."  :) For a 4 year old, I'm okay if that's what she's getting right now because it's a good message to get! 

Moms' Prayer Breakfast

Some ladies from church enjoyed another Moms' Prayer Breakfast at the end of August, and it was fun & yummy once again!  I look forward to having another one.....due to the floors mentioned in the previous post, it may be awhile longer before another one is scheduled, but there will be another one at some point, Lord willing.  ;)