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Still getting caught up and spending time getting things reloaded and organized on the computer, so this is a little late in posting. The week’s highlight was our town’s annual parade in which my oldest, Brandon, played in the marching band. Here he is:


Here are some more highlights from the parade:



I also have to report that at the first home football game (which incidentally was the first game ever played at this new school) Brandon had a solo during the half time show. I was sorry I had to miss it, but his Dad and little sister were there to cheer him on.

The week also included:

Ellie’s first dance class of the year:


and a trip to the Zoo for Jeff, Ellie and me:



This blog was interrupted for the past few weeks by a hard drive failure on my desktop computer. Praise God that no data was lost as I have been very good at backing up things! Got the computer back middle of last week with an all new even bigger hard drive and have been spending time re-loading all the important stuff. So there is much to catch up on.

Week 36 encompassed labor day weekend and the start of school for my kids. My nephews, Justin and Reed spent the holiday with us so their parents could spend some time packing up their house. They move in two weeks. They were super little gentlemen and we enjoyed having them.

On one of the mornings I fixed french toast. Reed looking skeptially at me asked, “Are these as good as Grammie’s?” (He had been recently spoiled at Grammie’s house.). I told him, “Well, Grammie is the one who taught me how to cook.”. His big brother, Justin, told him “Then they should be good.” Reed took his first bite, got a big grin on his face and pronounced that my french toast was as good as Grammie’s! Now that’s a compliment! 

All four of my kids started a new school year. Brandon in 11th grade at the new high school, Austin in 8th, Anna in 6th, and Ellie in K. I am doing Ellie’s Kindergarten year in two ways: homeschooling a few days a week and also a few days a week in a PreK program at the same daycare that she has attended since she was two. So this was the first year Ellie got ready for her first day of school.

The week’s photo is a collage that includes the kid’s over the holiday weekend and also the girl’s first day of school:


fiveIt had to happen sooner or later and I guess it did take five years. Five years of amazement at the things that she is learning, five years of caring and loving, five years of being a mom to my second little girl. Just this morning she drew a picture of what she looked like when she was a baby–she got it pretty close I think.

newbornellie copy

One week ago my baby turned 5. She started the morning with a special “princess” birthday balloon by her bedside. For breakfast Ellie and Daddy made pancakes with both white chocolate Christmas chips and chocolate chips. They were yummy. After breakfast Anna and I set up a birthday spa and treated Ellie to a manicure, foot massage, hair style and makeover. She loved the special treatment. Lunch was her choice at Culvers. Before heading home we checked out Beadville and bought some beads to make a birthday necklace which we did together. Later in the afternoon Grammie arrived. This is the first time Grammie has been in town for Ellie’s birthday. Grammie and Ellie worked on decorating the cake with lots and lots of sprinkles. Grammie made Ellie the most adorable “spinning” dress. Here are highlights from her birthday day:


Her big party was on Saturday. Besides Grammie being in town, her Papa Lee and Grandma Jolene made it too! It was their first time at a birthday party too. Of course, Grandma Penny and Grandpa Earl were there–they haven’t missed one yet. Ellie had requested a “rainbow” cake, which I made using jelly beans. Daddy arranged a number of games for the kids to play in the backyard and even managed to get the teens involved in a few of them. The aunts, uncles and cousins helped to celebrate the day.


And here is Ellie with her cake:


Finally, since Ellie’s birthday was the highlight of the week, a birthday photo deserved to be my photo of the week: