Time for Christmas Cookies

We spent more than a couple of days at G&G Scellick's house last week.  One of the highlights was Grandma having the whole time off, which meant a lot of quality time with the girls.  Grandma had Christmas tree cookies all cut out & baked, frosting ready to go, and lots of cookie sprinkles.  Veronica took her job seriously, avoided temptation of eating the yummy elements & was the cookie decorator workhorse of the two girls.  And then there was Tayers...

Notice the bowl full of M&M's when the video starts and how it ends...

The infamous cookie

An artist at work

It wouldn't be quite done without sprinkles

Trusty ole' Veronica working hard at finishing making the rest of the cookies.  She did a great job (and so did little sis').




Gingerbread Houses

A couple evenings back we put together gingerbread (graham cracker) houses. As you will see, this was all girl decorated, which makes for a better house. Before actually putting the houses together, the girls had put the candies into various bowls. Veronica had picked out some gummy butterflies for her house, which butterflies are all the rave for her right now. One morning, she took one gummy butterfly out of the bowl; however, not to eat, but to use as a play toy. She put it behind her back saying, "Oh look at my butterfly wings!" as she pretended to fly through the house. Imagination sure isn't lacking in this house.

Cadence's finished house

Veronica's finished house

Here's a little video of Cadence helping put candy in the bowls.


What a Daddy!

It must be said that I married one of the best men out there. I know, you're thinking, "well, my husband is the best," and I guess we can agree to disagree (but that's a good thing). I saw this picture and realized I didn't post it. It was from the first snow in B'ham. Afterward, Veronica thought it a good idea to get warm & cozy by the fire. So daddy sat down (after being outside with the girls playing in the snow) to read some books with them.

I love this man so much. He is truly that person who everyone loves when they meet him. Incredibly congenial, very diplomatic, harmonious, has such high integrity & work ethic, adds humor to life, tirelessly serves his family of girls, and treats me SO very well. He's a gracious individual and I am constantly impressed with how loving he is to any & all he meets.

His name at Camp Berachah (where we met) was G-Bear. It was decided that he was like the character Gentle Ben, who was a Bear; hence, he was Gentle Bear. There's a picture hanging in our home of a little girl walking along a river holding onto a bear. It's very fairytale-esque. When Ben and I saw it in an art shop many years ago, we both loved it. Without saying a word why I loved it, I asked him why first. He said, "well, it reminds me of...us! Like I'm the bear & you're the little girl." That's what I thought. The bear was gentle & safe enough to walk alongside. And that's Ben. He's gentle, gracious & loving. The girls know this too. So when he barks--it comes as a surprise (right!), because it's so rare.

When I was a freshman in college, I dreamed of having my own family and allowing God to come in to redeem my past. I never thought I would have this wonderful:)


Our Christmas Tree

The girls and I each got an ornament yesterday. When we got home, Veronica said, "I need to put my ornament on the tree!" Unfortunately, we didn't have a tree yet (and I told her this). She said, "Well, we need to get a tree!" I informed her that we needed to wait until daddy came home. She then asked when daddy would be home...(in my head I'm thinking, "umm, well, we haven't eaten lunch and then you need to have a rest time. Then, daddy will get home as he does everyday). So, of course we needed to get a tree that night, even if it wasn't the most ideal time of day, because an almost four year old needed to put her new beautiful, sparkly gold butterfly ornament on the tree. I think Cadence enjoyed her ornament too--or I think they enjoyed ALL the ornaments, not just the ones they received that day.

Here is the "cheese" you can see


A First Day

One thing I love about being a mother is how well I know my girls. I know what is going to upset them, or how certain tones or words either bring comfort or ruffle their feathers. At the end of the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment. But then there are those moments when your brain comes to a screeching halt, and you wonder who's child this is...and when did they become so BIG?

Yesterday was Veronica's first day of preschool. It was a bit surreal. I knew it was coming and I was getting excited for her. We met at the school Monday to finalize her IEP, which is her educational plan of goals to achieve within the next year. After we finished up, we enjoyed our last day before school. I asked her if she was looking forward to school--she was. I occasionally talked about riding the bus (since her school is part of the public schools, they must offer transportation for the kids). The plan was mama would take her to school for the first couple days until she built up enough confidence to ride the bus.

She said she was interested in riding the bus, but I know that she says things like that and it's more of the "idea" of doing something; rather, than actually doing it. So I'm thinking in my head, "I will drop her off and Ben will pick her up." Here's our conversation:

Me: Veronica, so daddy is going to pick you up from school in the green car. And I'm going to drop you off. Then, maybe you can ride the bus tomorrow or the next day...to see how you feel about it (insert: how I'm confident in my knowledge of what my child is thinking).

Veronica: I want to ride the bus! I don't want daddy to get me.

Me (a bit baffled): You DO? You want to ride the bus home? You DON'T want daddy to pick you up? Is that right?

Veronica: Yeah! I want to ride the bus.
~insert: I kept repeating and asking to make sure she knew what she was asking...she did~

Me: Okay, well. I'll take you to school and you can ride the bus home. You want me to take you right?
Veronica: I want to ride the bus to school, too.

Me: Are you sure you want to ride the bus?

Veronica: Yes!

Me: Veronica, if you ride the bus, Mama is NOT going to ride the bus with you. I would take you to the bus, you would get on the bus and I would stay on the sidewalk and wave to you 'goodbye!' Is that what you want?

Veronica: Yes!
~insert: I kept asking her to make sure she knew what she was requesting---she did~

Me: Well, would you like to ride the bus and I will drive the van behind the bus to the school?
Veronica: Yeah!

It was in that moment (and when she arrived home on the bus) that I realized that this little person still has some surprises up her sleeve. She was confident, brave, and exhibited such grace in approaching her first day. Me on the other hand...a complete, dramatic wreck. After I put her on the bus and went back to the van, I cried (Cadence was crying too, but only because she wanted to ride the bus too).

Cadence and I arrived at the school waiting for her bus. When she got there she had managed to empty the contents of her backpack, but all with a smile on her face. She was excited to have her own backpack, snack (of cheese & raisins), a special book & Strawberry Shortcake figurines for the ride and an extra change of clothes. She went into the school and it was time for me to leave. I cried a bit more (and a little bit more after that).

School is for 2 1/2 hours four days a week, which is a long time in my mind. But with the bus ride, well, it's even longer. Yesterday from the time she got on the bus to the time she got home it was a total of four hours. She was the first one to be picked up and the last one to be dropped off. I was standing on the corner in the dark waiting for the bus to turn the corner. I was told she would be dropped off between 4:00-4:30, but it wasn't until 4:45. Ben and I don't like how late it is and we're thinking we will have her ride only two days a week.

She told me her favorite part of the day was snack time and playing ball outside. As for anything else that happened...I have no clue. She told Ben last night that she wanted Cadence to ride the bus with her today and go to school with her. I'm guessing that in a couple days the novelty of going to school might wear off, but she has surprised me in the past. As I sat there crying after seeing her go into the school I thought, "Oh Lord, this is just one of many moments when I'm going to cry about situations in my girls lives." I don't think I ever prayed so fervently than yesterday--I think Jesus is going to be hearing from me a lot more....and Cadence of course said with a sad voice, "I want to go to school!" Good grief!