Sunday, December 28, 2008

check out the window

Miss Delaney wiggled and wiggled this tooth non-stop yesterday until it finally gave up and fell out! She's got quite a window into her mouth now. Too late to sing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

from our family to yours. . .

Wii wish you a Merry Christmas!!!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Yesterday, Elliott received a birthday package in the mail from Auntie Ria and family. We've been talking up his birthday for some time now, practicing making '2' with his fingers, discussing what kind of cake he would like (Diego Dinosaur cake!), etc. He was excited to have a present and wanted to open it 'white now!' So we did - and inside was a framed picture of him in his '2 shirt', a monkey towel (he loves his monkey stuffed buddy named Joe) and a Safari Rescue Diego! Well, Diego was never far from Elliott yesterday - taking a nap with him, resting beside him at meals, snuggled up watching Diego on the sofa, and of course playing Diego and Dora with his sisters.

On to today, when I woke Elliott up with my off-key Happy Birthday song to a very grumpy 'no mommy, no sing.' (Thanks buddy, love you too.) He scooped up Diego along with his 'B' and I scooped him up for a warm cuddle. After breakfast and getting ready for the day, we settled in to play on the floor with none other than new Diego. All of the sudden Elliott says "mommy, Diego go potty!" Um, okay, I'll play along - "Diego has to go potty?" At which point, Elliott gets up and heads for the stairs.

Flash back to yesterday afternoon -- Jillian yelled down from upstairs "mom, Elliott's new Diego is all wet!" to which I replied, "get a towel and dry him off honey!" thinking that Elliott gave him a bath in the sink. AH-HA!!! Not the sink - the potty!

Diego just got his bath with those handy Clorox disinfecting wipes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

snow fun

It might have been freezing outside, but that didn't stop us from enjoying a little fun in the snow. Daddy helped the girls build a fantastic snowfort, complete with a door, a window and chairs inside! I spent more time getting them dressed to go out and undressed after coming in than the few minutes outside taking photos.

After watching the girls from the window, Elliott may have thought that this was going to be much more fun than it was. Wet and cold, he did spend a few minutes in the snow. He yelled "too fast" the entire way down the hill.

But our Delaney could go up and down that hill all day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I'm going through ALL my pictures, to see what I have and see what I've lost from the Great Computer Crash of '08. I have to admit that I'm enjoying looking back on the milestones of the kids, as well as the everyday moments I managed to capture with my lens. My wish is that I were a better photographer, as well as more motivated to complete the scrapbooks I have started for the girls. Yes, the girls - meaning that poor Elliott doesn't have one yet. It has been purchased and is waiting for me to find the time to begin documenting his life. But that is not the purpose of this reminiscing.

This is Jillian on her 2nd birthday -- a milestone which is coming up quickly for our little guy. Look past all that blonde hair and see how much Elliott resembles his big sister Jillian! He's also inherited some of her spunky personality.
Delaney and Jillian have always loved school. Maybe it started at ECFE - see them at a class they took together. Again, I'm struck but how much Elliott looks like Jillian. And Delaney's blonde hair -- where did that go???

Delaney used to enjoy posing for mom - now, she'll do her best to not look at the camera (not even for her autie Ria). In this picture, she's just over 3 - I think she and Elliott have the same eyes.

We had lots of fun at the Helmke Girls' and Kids Weekend - thanks for the memories Grandma, Cyndi, Michele, Jess & Cain, Amanda & Chloe, and Chey, Brendan and Leia! Swimming 3 times in a 24 hour period, the kids had a blast. Elliott was an expert swimmer (with water wings) and wouldn't let anyone help him!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

sick day

Big E isn't feeling quite so well today. I knew something was up when he didn't even lift his head off my shoulder this morning. Poor little guy wants nothing to do with food or drink, and fell asleep watching Diego -- his favorite, which means he really isn't feeling well at all! He was able to sleep peacefully snuggled up on the couch, until Miss Jillian bounced in the door announcing "da-da-da-DA! SOMETHING IN MY BACK PACK . . . SOMETHING IN MY BACKPACK!" She's making up for waking him by snuggling up with him and watching Diego together.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

the witch

the princess kitty

. . . and tigger

bad mommy

Breakfast on Halloween morning . . .
I never would have allowed Delaney or Jillian to have a tootsie pop for breakfast, not even on Halloween! He appeared, sucker in hand asking "mommy open please?" with that sweet face -- how could I resist?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daddy Time

While I was away for a girls' weekend in Chicago, Ryan spent some quality time with the kids. I was impressed when I saw these photos of their golf outing. He's a wonderful father who puts his kids first. Thanks honey for building this family with me and making me proud to be your wife!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hot "B"

This summer, Elliott's blanket (or "B" as he calls it) was often left in the car as we went about whatever it was we were doing. Back in the car and buckled in, Elliott would hold out his blanket to me and yell "mama, hot B!" So I'd take it from him and hold it in front of the vent to cool off in the air conditioning. After I tossed it back to my little guy, he'd snuggle it, smile and mummur "cold B. . . "

Imagine my surprise when he brought be his blanket this morning, still in jammies and watching cartoons at home. "Hot B mama." What to do? The air blowing out of the vents is a steady 68 degrees. Solution - tuck it in the freezer for 30 seconds and return it to one happy boy - "ahhh, cold B."

Friday, October 24, 2008


Happy Birthday to our little peanut! Can you believe she is seven??? Mommy brought back this American Girl Doll from Chicago - and Mia was quickly introduced to Julie - BFF's FOREVER! Delaney celebrated her birthday all day long - it was announced over the loudspeaker in the morning at school, her class sang Happy Birthday to her during morning meeting, mom and Jillian delivered cupcakes and juice boxes to the 1st graders after lunch, Delaney was spun in circles at Cheerleading and shared cookies and cream sandwiches with her class, and finally we took her out to Applebee's for a birthday dinner complete with the staff singing to her and of course, an ice cream sundae! Whew! The only reason she survived that craziness was that she was on a sugar high for the entire day. Happy Birthday sweetheart - you are truly beautiful inside and out!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Everybody study

Miss Delaney brings a homework packet home every Monday, and insists on completing it all at once -- "it's fun!" Not to be left out, Jillian works on her Faithweaver Friends lesson for church and Elliott just does his own thing!
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Thursday, October 2, 2008


Today Elliott had his usual breakfast -- yogurt with Fruit Loops. Auntie Ria showed him how yummy it was to put his "loop loops" into his yogurt and he's eaten them that way ever since. There was even more to the method today. I dropped a couple of colorful o's into his yogurt only to be immediately reprimanded from my almost 2 year old. "No mommy! No yellow, no red - GREEN!" He plucked those maverick o's out and replaced them with green ones. Yes, my little boy needed to eat his fruit loops by color - green first, followed by blue, then red, then orange and finally yellow. Hoping this is just a phase . . . although I think daddy was a little proud at hearing this as it reflected a bit of himself in his little boy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Their Words!

I've been unable to post for some time due to computer issues! While my old harddrive remains in limbo, I've gotten a new computer and am in the process of getting it up and running. So just a quick catch up today on life from the girls' point of view.

Last Wednesday:

Delaney came home from school and informed me that she had made a new friend. I asked if this friend was in her class or someone she met on the playground.

"He's in my class mom. He said I was pretty."

"Aw, honey, you are pretty!"

To which Delaney simply replied, "I know!"

Sunday morning:

While getting ready for church, the girls were at the sink brushing their teeth and I was working around them, combing their hair, washing their faces, etc. Well, I must have been concentrating because Jillian pointed to my forhead and said something about all my lines! She's been fascinated with them for some time, jealous of them because she can't make them on her little forhead. I've always told her that she's too young, too fresh to have lines.

She leaned in closely to the mirror and raised her eyebrows as high as she could (I was afraid her eyeballs were actually going to pop right out from all the effort). And very, very faintly the slightest hint of a line appeared across the top of her forhead, to which Jillian joyfully exclaimed "Hey mom, I'm not fresh anymore!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Check it out

I have suggested this blog to many of my friends and am posting it for all to have to opportunity to visit. Fair warning -- it is addicting! This amazing mother of 4 is on a spiritual journey with her equally amazing husband and children. She is an inspiration to me to be a better wife and mother, as well as a better friend. Her faith in the Lord at every turn in her journey is unwavering -- a true light for Christ in this world. Be sure to click on the left side to start from the beginning to get the entire story!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Fuzzy

Jillian has a new pet -- a brown fuzzy caterpillar! She spied him on our walk down the path after Kindergarten today. I'm quite surprised she found it, as we we're hustling as fast a we could through the hundreds of grasshoppers that have taken over our overgrown neighborhood (but that's another story). We tried to get it to climb on a stick, but instead it curled up tight into a ball. So we marked the spot and ran back to the house for a jar (um, huffin' and puffin' -- I gotta get to the gym!). Now Fuzzy, or Gabrielle as Jillian wants to call her(?) has a cozy home complete with a stick and leaves. Of course, she isn't getting any peace and quiet in there as Jillian just can't leave her alone. Now I've got to figure out a way to keep this thing alive so I don't have a sad girl. Anyone experienced in the capture and care of fuzzy caterpillars?
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Be Here

One of my personal goals is to be more real, to show my true self. It is one of our goals as leadership in MOPS this year, to be real and authentic in order to encourage our moms to get to know one another and develop meaningful relationships. My intent for this blog was to enable family and friends that live far away to keep up with my ever growing, ever changing kids. And I'm sure that is the motivation for you to check the blog on a regular, or not so regular basis -- to see what cute pictures are posted and to hear about funny things the kids did or said or see their accomplishments big and small. Well, now you will occasionally have to suffer through my thoughts . . . sorry! I am also trying to be more purposeful in the interactions and time I spend with my kids. Rather than trying to keep them busy while I clean, cook, organize, etc. I am simply trying to "be here" with them while I have them at home.

As I watched the girls this morning while they were waiting for the bus, I thought how great it is to just be a kid. They were cold waiting outside in the wind, and so took cover in the garage. This immediately turned into a ballet class. Now, neither of my girls has ever taken ballet, and from the looks of things their friend Reese hasn't either! It was fun to watch them take turns giving instructions -- the steps and moves they created were, well, let's say inventive (as opposed to graceful, which I think ballet is supposed to be). Then the bus rounded the corner and they scrambled to get their backpacks on and race the bus to the corner, giggling all the way. And I thought, wow, I wish my days were like that -- filled with anticipation, fun, laughter, friends, security . . .

Yesterday -

- On the way to swimming lessons, Delaney informed me that "mom, when I'm older, I'll likely settle around these parts." Around these parts??? Where in the world did she pick up that phrase?

- I was actually excited when Elliott ate an entire chicken mcnugget at McDonald's for dinner last night. Does that make me a bad mom? Those of you that know him well, know that Big E doesn't eat much more than fruit and breakfast food (yogurt, cereal, pancakes, bagels). So I was thrilled when he ate something that resembled meat and might have had a trace amount of protein. Lord help me, but Delaney, Jillian and I all celebrated his "sucess" with cheers and applause!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A lesson for mommy

Not that I need any more, but this is just another reason that I love my Jillybean! Okay, I know I'm a bad mom -- today I was racing to get home from our morning errands, and knew I was barely going to beat the bus to our house. Well, the bus beat me and because I wasn't home, took Jillian along for the remainder of the route. I called the bus company just to check in, and the nice lady on the phone radioed to the driver. "Auntie Sheila" was enjoying Jillian's company and would drop her off on her way back in -- about 45 minutes later than Jillian usually gets home. Feeling terrible and worrying how this would affect Jillian's feelings about riding the bus from now on, I busied myself with putting away the groceries and playing every kind of ball he could dig out of the garage with Elliott. Finally, after what seemed to me like forever, the bus pulled up to the driveway. Expecting to see tears and hear "mommy where were you?" I walked down the driveway to meet my princess, who came bounding down the steps of the bus and skipping across the street. As she flung herself into my waiting arms, Jillian joyfully told me "mommy, I got to see where all my friends live!!!"
I'll be thinking of this the next time things don't go my way.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School girls

1st Grader - Delaney

Kindergarten - Jillian

Off to the bus they go - umbrellas up and ready for the rain!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On his own . . .

Elliott was missing his sisters this morning. It is unusual for him to be home with just mommy, so he had to find ways to keep himself entertained. My personal favorite? Tucking his sippy cup under a couch pillow, covering his eyes and counting to 3 and exclaiming "ready or not here I come!" Seriously -- he did this three or four times and it was laugh-out-loud funny every time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday . . .

to my one and only!
And Happy Anniversary, too -- 10 years!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My girls

When I returned home from a retreat on Sunday, my girls greeted me with oodles of pictures drawn just for me. This is quite common, their way of expressing just how much they missed me. Here is a picture from each one. Take a close look and tell me what you think they might mean . . .
This one I get. Home . . . hearts. . . the message isn't lost on me!
It's beautiful, Delaney.

Okay, do I need to work on my hairstyle? Not quite sure what's going on with it here -- look a little like a giant helmet. And I'm definitely not that blessed, but thanks for making a mommy feel good Jillian!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Soccer Sisters

It was a hot, but fun season of soccer this summer. We were surprised to discover our Jillian's dedication to playing goalie - she was fierce! Delaney was determined to earn a trip to Dairy Queen after every game and often did so by playing with intensity and scoring a goal. The last play of their last game of the season -- and Miss Jillian earned us that treat by scoring her very first goal ever! Here are some shots of them giving it their all!