Friday, October 5, 2012

A much needed update!!!!

OK, Sorry for not keeping up with this blog thing.  I honestly thought that by doing one post a month I could actually keep on top of it, but apparently "I was way off."

AUGUST
We were able to travel to Idaho to celebrate some momentous occasions.  Jenna was baptized the first day we were there.  It was so wonderful to be there with all of the cousins on that side of the family.  What a wonderful example you are to the Holloway grand kids, Jenna.
 This is Lita and Papa with all of their grandchildren.  It's fun to see all the personalities in one place.  
 Coralee was loving Tia.  I just love the smiles on both of their faces.
 Kamela and Cailyn were Twinkies.  Too cute!
 Mark and Cassie took us all to one of their favorite sites for 4 wheeling and a cook-out.  It was fun to be there in nature and enjoy each others company.  Oh, and thank for taking all our kids to the cave! I really would have gone with y'all, I was just not paying attention.  Sorry!
 Brady and Tia were having a blast playing "Harry Potter" with the kids in the back yard.  
 Look at all those handsome guys.  
 They belong to these beauties!
 Lita and Coralee loving on each other.  Coralee is soaking it in!
 Cailyn was pretty good on the lily pads.  I was horrible, but she did great!  Gavin did too.  Such coordination and balance.  I was impressed!
 Another shot of the grand-kids with Lita and Papa, on the staircase at the Black's.
 Sparklers in the back yard.  Uncle Mark sure knows how to keep the kids happy.  I think that at least 7 kids touched the end of the sparkler.  Even after watching others get burned, they touched it.  Crazy kiddos!
 I LOVE the look on Bethany's face.  She is so excited to be jumping with the big girls.  Don't you just want to love on her.

We had such a good time.  There is always craziness when family(especially a large one) gets together, but I would have it no other way.  The main reason we traveled up was for Tyler and Tessa's wedding/sealing.  We managed to not get any pictures(or course), but it was a beautiful day and a fantastic ending to our trip.  We attending the sealing, stayed for a few pictures, but had to leave that morning to head home.  So, we missed the reception.  I know it was wonderful and am excited to see some pictures.  

I couldn't ask for a better, more loving family to be a part of.  Thank you for accepting me and always making us feel loved.  We can't wait to see everyone again. 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
So, one day it was raining and the kids decided to "paint" the front porch with sidewalk chalk.  This is apparently David's idea of the sidewalk.  It was too cute though!  Sure love this crazy, messy boy! 

 Here are our first day of school pictures.  
Last year Cailyn was nervous to tears.  This year was just the opposite.  Confident and ready to tackle 2nd grade.
 Jessica insisted that we braid her hair the night before so her hair could be "curly" for school.  She was adorable.  I love how Jessica never seems to be nervous.  She just goes with the flow and conquers the world.  Watch out Kindergarten!  Jessica is on the way!
 Our little beauties headed to the car for their first day of school 2012-2013.
 After school pick up.  I would say it was a good day.  I don't think they could have been quiet if I asked them.  Just chatted and talked about everything at the same time all the way home.  I LOVE IT!  I hope they will always want to tell me about their day.  Hey, a girl can hope.
 Don't you just love the toothless smile?
 I won't give an update on Jason's races.  If you are interested you can visit his running blog.  Holloway Running.  I am just going to show you a glimpse of what I see while he is out running.  Do you think we dominated the swing set that morning or what?

SEPTEMBER

For FHE one Monday we made ghosts.  They sit over our solar lights in the front yard.  The kids love them. I am actually ready to throw them away, but they trump me because they made them.  It is fun to create things with the kids though.  I love to see how proud they are of themselves.  


My sister, Lynnae and I did a 5K in Bryan one Saturday.  I was fun to run with her.  I hope she keeps it up so we can do more races together.  I love you, Lynnae.  I am so happy that we are such good friends.  
 That night we took my sister-in-law, Andrea, to a restaurant for her birthday.  She of course got to wear a sombrero.  Isn't she too cute.  I love her smile.  That was an awesome day!

 The next weekend was a pretty big race for Jason.  It was an 8-hour race, which you can read his take on it at Holloway Running.  This is what I think about that day.  

#1 Jason is a good runner.  It suits him well.  It makes him happy and I am proud of him for all his hard work to achieve the goals he sets.  I love to watch him and help him along the way. Plus, he is cute!
 #2 It rained. . . ALL DAY!  I didn't mind letting the kids play in the rain.  I failed to bring extra clothes for them and they got cold and fussy. 8 hours is a long time to keep kids entertained, especially in the same small space. 
 #3 I have awesome kids.  They kept coming up with new things to do to stay happy.  Cailyn at one point had a push-up competition with a high school kid.  I think they decided it was a draw.  
 David, of course, was a ninja.
 Coralee was into EVERYTHING.  I guess the snacks we brought weren't what she wanted because at some point she decided to start eating the mud(which was more like wet gravel).  She did remarkably well considering she didn't get a nap that day(well she got a little one that morning).  
 Jessica didn't want pictures taken, but she is a great little cheerleader.  At one point about 6 hours into the race she called out to Jason as he ran by, "Daddy, you're cool!"  It was too cute and all the high school kids(the lap counters) said,"awe!"  
 So, this is what we saw about every 8-10 minutes: Jason running in. . . . 
 and running out.
 It was a very L.O.N.G day,  but in the end I was glad we did it.  We originally had plans to see people from  our old Branch, but it didn't work out, so we just stayed there, ALL DAY.  

#4  I will say this though, Travis and Jenny came in the night before.  We all went out to eat and all stayed at the same hotel.  The next morning, Travis ran with Jason for a while and Jenny, the kids and I all stayed at the hotel for the kids to keep dry(and babies to nap).  It was really nice to see them and to know that they made the effort to stop in Mineral Wells on their way down to Temple.  I know it was an added expense and time to their trip, but it made a HUGE difference on that day for me and I know for Jason as well.  It would have been a completely unbearable day had it not been for their presence.  Thank you so much for that y'all.

OCTOBER

Coralee is 1 year old.  I just can't wrap my head around it.  Wow, that went fast.  She is walking and has 5 teeth.  Up until now she really has been more content just to watch people and not get too involved.  However, her little personality is poking out.  She is becoming more possessive of her toys, giggling when someone does something silly, and tries to copy the big kids.  We are all loving this new Coralee.   
 David helped me decorate the cake and cupcakes.  
 We had a fun little birthday party for her on October 4th.  The older kids all made sure she had a gift from them.  David picked out a new toy for her..  She loves it, but so do all the other kids.  So, she will have to fight for it I am sure.  
 Jessica made her this little mobile which is now hanging over her crib and waves every time the fan blows it.  
 My good friend Joyce and her kids came over as well. It was so nice to have other kids to play with and party with.  And we are happy to have bath toys again.  
 Cailyn made Coralee a rattle and drew her many pictures.  She put it in a princess bag.  *I was so proud of my girls for taking the time to make gifts.  They had been working on them for a couple of weeks and were so excited to give them to her.  hint: One of the tricks to everyone having a good day on someone else's birthday!
 She got some new clothes and LOVED the little kitten on the front of this shirt.  Thank you Joe and Carol.  It is perfect!
 We want you to know, Coralee, that we love you and are so happy to have you in our family. 

 Do you think she likes the cake? 


video

 Doesn't she look like royalty making commands.  Too cute!  

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY, CORALEE!!!!!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Hey June!

With summer beginning I knew we needed a plan to keep a regular schedule and fun activities executed.  I am not usually the fun creative mommy so this took some stretching of my abilities.  We decided to make a daily schedule that included chores and our fun stuff, but we also made a weekly schedule.  Here is how it is laid out.

Magic Mondays
(this is really not magic, but science.  However, science sometimes looks like magic 
so I used the term loosely).
Tasty Tuesdays
Water Wednesdays
Thoughtful Thursdays
(service and what not)
Fun/Friend Fridays

Our first Magic Monday was these "Fizzy Balloons"
 We got everything ready and David of course couldn't/wouldn't wait for us to do it with him. He loved it though.
I love Jessica's reaction.  Too cute!
video

 So far I haven't gotten a picture of our Tasty Tuesdays.  Apparently we have enjoyed them so much they are gone before we document.  We have just done some simple treats.

This year the kids gave Jason a picture of them for Father's Day.  I am not a photographer, but I am very happy with how this one turned out.  They sure love their Daddy!

 Our lively and expressive Jessica turned 5 in June.  It is sometimes hard to believe that she is already 5.  She is always so fun, independent and passionate about everything.  We had a friend party this year.  She invited 3 friend from her class.  Jason couldn't be there so I was completely relieved when one of the moms stayed to help.  We had 8 kids total and there was never a dull moment.  We started with popping marshmallows in the front yard.
 Coralee loved this part.

  Trampoline + Water + Friends = FUN!!!!!
 Then we made some cornstarch goo(because this was a Magic Monday).  This was sooooo easy and sooooo fun.  I could play with this stuff for a LONG time.  The kids liked it too!  What kid doesn't like to make a big mess? (although it was easy to clean up as well)

What are they all waiting for you say?

 The soda geyser of course.  Jason was home by then and he did the honors of putting the mentos into the diet soda.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  Do men ever really grow up?
We let the kids make their own pizzas and then we had a picnic in the living room to watch a movie.  Then of course. . . Cake and ice cream!

 Our beautiful Jessica in the light of the flames.
 We love you Jess!  Happy 5th Birthday!

 Later that week Cailyn had her first piano recital.  She had been practicing and practicing and she performed wonderfully!

 Here she is with her piano teacher in the front and all the other students who performed that night.



 David is apparently so excited about our trip he decided to sleep with the suitcase.  Silly boy!
 We left right after Cailyn's recital for the Gropp Family Reunion.  Jason couldn't go with us because of work and we were sad he couldn't join in the fun.  And we did have fun!
This is a view from the cabin in western Colorado.
 This is the cabin. It was a bit small for all of us, but we made it work and had a great time together.
 Here is Da taking some of the little ones for a little adventure walk to the creek/river.
 We got to see some wildlife, both animal and plant.



 Later David, Coralee and I went on a hike with Andrea, Emma, Collin, Kyle, Da, Jessica, and Maycie.


 Coralee and Collin got tired, so Andrea and I had to take them back to the cabin before we actually got to see the geyser springs.  However, Emma and David were troopers and walked all the way up.  Apparently David was a little chatter box, telling on me all the way up the mountain.  Uncle Kyle and Da found it to be hilarious.
 But, our little camping trip in the mountains wore them out.  Aren't they precious.
 Coralee enjoying some snacks on the way home.  She was LOVING it!
 Julie took some amazing family pictures while we were there and I will posts those separately.  Thank you Julie!
Other things we did for the reunion was go to the pool(which had an awesome water slide and lazy river), have a picnic, some went to the movies, watched a movie projected on the side of the cabin while eating popcorn and chocolate, and made plans for future years.  I have truly learned to love each of my siblings for their unique personalities and friendships we share.  I wish we all lived closer to spend more time together.  Thank you for such a wonderful time!

Our next Magic Monday was "Tie Dye Milk"  This was fun too, and so simple.  We did many plates of designs.