Saturday, December 13, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We went to see the lights on the Fayetteville Square and eat at Tim's pizza (she loves meatballs, crackers and ranch) a couple of weeks ago. She kept saying, "Tree on!" when she saw the lights.

Below are two pictures from last year's trip to the square to see how she's grown!

This was from our first snow, I believe December 1st. She loved it! The snowsuit is a little big, but it kept her warm!

Thomas took some pictures for our Christmas card this year at Carnall Hall. I won't put the picture we chose here so that you all can be surprised when you get it in the mail. Any blog lurkers that I do not know will have to wait to see it posted here in a few weeks :-)
Momma, Caroline and Aunt B (and baby boy! Shofner-I don't know if they've told the name to everyone yet) in front of Mimi's Christmas tree.
Another picture from our Christmas card photo shoot. She looks like she's modeling for a catalog!

Caroline and I have had a lot of snuggle time this week as Caroline ran fever from last Sunday until Thursday! We went to the doctor on Tuesday and he said it a virus (viral pharyngitis.) She's doing so much better now and we are very thankful! She is now saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes and "I of you!" for I love you without prompting! It is so fun to see her learning and growing each day (have I mentioned that before?)
We are so excited about Christmas this year! I put out our nativity scene from Grandma Tracy and I thought I put it out of her reach until one day she was very quiet in the next room. I went to check on her and she was very carefully holding baby Jesus with both of her hands cupped around him. Just staring at him. When I asked her what she was doing she said, "Baby Jesus, night-night" Precious.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. I can't wait to write about the fun adventures we are about to have with ALL of the Culps together next week. Caroline and four cousins and too many dogs to count!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sweet Caroline

My baby continues to grow up! In the last few weeks she has been putting several words together to make sentences!! It's so amazing to be conversing with my baby! (Can I keep calling her "baby?") The other day she ate all of her applesauce by herself she looked at me from across the kitchen and said, "Mama happy!" It was so sweet, I almost cried. I told her I was happy! She then said, "Mimi happy! Dadda happy!" etc. She still says "aynk you" for Thank You almost every time without prompting and "me-me" for excuse me after burping or other "noises." She says, "mama pees!" for "Please." She can name almost all of her colors. Lakyn has been trying to teach her to sing her ABC's but she likes to sing "A,D,A,D" She can count "one, two" and sometimes "three" objects. Every morning I feel like she has changed and can do something she did not do the day before!
We have fun together every day reading dozens of books (a few we read a dozen time each!), going to the library, swinging at the park, singing "You're a Grand Ole' Flag whenever we see an American flag, and playing hide and seek in our house (the pantry is her new favorite hiding spot!) We have had time to bake together which she loves! She likes eating "balls" (meatballs) and marinara, cheese, any fruit and chick-fil-a nuggets. She loved going to the Walton Arts Center and seeing The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She laughed and clapped the whole time. Her favorite part is when the caterpillar eats too many sweets and gets a tummy ache. She kept yelling "no!" when they names each treat!
She helped put our Christmas tree up this year and as soon as we get up in the morning she says, "Tree on!" So we plug the lights on, turn on Christmas music and do what she loves the most...Dance!! She tries to sing along with Jewel's "O Holy Night."
We have so much to be thankful for this year: Caroline, our health, family, friends, our church and so many new additions on the way-Aunt B and Uncle T's baby, Canaan's little sister, Jack's little brother.
We hope you have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Shower and Surprise B-day Tara!

Here are my girls at my house! Tennille, Becky (and baby Shofner,) Tara (and Hayden,) and me. I'm really not that much shorter...they all must have tall boots on. (right??)

Tara is a special friend to me. We met when I came to the University and joined the Razorbacks for Christ. She introduced me to everyone and we made lots of fun memories while in college (Trips: skiing, Dublin TX, Cotton Bowl to name a few...) Who knew that Tara would have the perfect younger brother for my younger sister! The rest is history!
Lakyn and Caroline enjoying the yumm-o cupcakes I made for Tara. I wrote a "30" on each of them and I now have a new found appreciation for cake decorators.
Here's the adorable cake that I did not make! Hayden's cake came from "The Cake Lady." She even delivers, so e-mail me if you want her info!

Tara knew about the shower, but not about her birthday party! I realize after hosting a few events that I do not have time to take pictures and accomplish my other hostess duties! So you'll have to visit Becky's blog for more pics! It was so much fun surprising her! Jacob got her favorite barbecue from Whole Hog catered for it and we all enjoyed watching the slideshow he made for her. Happy Early Birthday, Tara!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fall Fun

We started our "fall fun" with a trip to the pumpkin patch. We went to Dickey Farm this year McGarrah is too far now :-(
I look at this picture and cannot believe that is my baby girl! She is growing so fast and is becoming more beautiful, funny, sweet and smart each day!

This was the pumpkin she chose for herself.

Halloween was a blast this year! Caroline even enjoyed wearing her ladybug costume! Luckily it was warm enough to forgo the turtleneck!

We threw a party and had a great time. Aunt B's "Kitty Litter" was a hit! (That's a real litter box and scoop--"real" meaning new from Wal-mart!)

Here's the gals! Funny group-cheerleader, Angela and Pam from The Office, Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (with the flute,) batgirl, 80s girls, pregnant chad and pregnant pause!

The guys. Prom date, two Dwights and Jim from The Office, a democrat wanting a handout, 80s guy, The Joker and John McCain.

The kiddos!

We took the kids to campus for a photo shoot (sans Thomas, which means I tried my best!)
At times like this I wish I was a real writer who can describe how beautiful the trees and leaves on the ground look at UofA. They had so much fun because it was windy and the leaves would blow all around them!

Notice our little ones at the trunk of this gorgeous tree!

They are actually holding hands. We took so many of pictures of this that Tara joked they were almost to Dickson street before we stopped them!
We are all so blessed and have so much to be thankful for this season!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Growing up!

8 Weeks

18 months
Our baby girl is growing up. I finally changed the picture at the top of our blog to a more recent photo. It made me really sentimental to have to do that! She is talking up a storm and we are even discussing the crib-to-toddler bed transition that may happen very soon! Don't get me wrong, I am loving every moment of this stage! She is saying "Hank you" (thank you) and "me-me" (excuse me) without even being asked! She is so polite.
A couple of weeks ago she pointed out an American Flag at a car dealership as we were driving on the interstate and I belted out (I am a great singer in the car with just Caroline and I...) "You're A Grand Old Flag!" She loved it so much that she now looks for the USA flag as we drive and every time she see one she shouts, "Mo!"(more!) (There are a lot of patriotic people in NW Arkansas. I never realized how many flags are flying!)
She has such a sweet, beautiful spirit.
Last night, as I was rocking her to sleep (yes, I still rock her, and I will until she tells me she does not want me to!) she sat up and said, "Bible?" So I handed her the tiny pink New Testament, She said, "Bible!" so I gave her the white tiny New Testament. She put them on my chest and laid down on top of them to go to sleep. It made me remember that I heard desperate students would put text books under their pillows hoping through osmosis or something that they would learn the content. I think, though, that she just loves her bibles and wanted them close to our hearts as she fell asleep. Have Faith like a child!
It's hard to believe your love can keep growing every day when you feel like your already overflowing with it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Catching up and Terra Studios!

Hi Everyone! I have composed so many blogs in my head, but now I am actually posting! What a few weeks we've had!

First we want to say "CONGRATULATIONS TO AUNT B AND UNCLE TRAV" for their happy news! We are so excited to have a baby cousin that lives just down the road! God is so good! I can already envision posts on our blogs with pictures of the cousins together!

Caroline is talking so much...I actually heard her first sentence (no, no one else would probably be able to understand it, but I did!) She said, "Elmo and Zoe are all wet!" It actually sounded like, "Melmowhoa-weahhwet!" I was so excited! (She was talking about her spoon and fork that are shaped like Elmo and Zoe that were in the dishwasher.)

She loves "pretty" things. She will say, "Oooh!" (rhymes with shoe and she changes pitch in the middle) at Dada's tie or mama's shirt.

Playing dress-up! Ooooh!

We had a whole week when the weather was absolutely beautiful and we went to Wilson Park everyday to play on the playground equipment and swing. She can go down the slide all by herself now!

I have stayed busy with Caroline, teaching kindergarten and first grade on Wednesday nights at church, and teaching/planning my college course for UofA. I just accepted a request from them to teach a literacy class this spring that meets the same time this fall class meets! God has been so gracious to work it out so that Tennille and I are able to switch off for the morning and afternoon watching the girls on Thursdays. It's hard to put into words how much I love Tennille (and Lakyn!) Having such an awesome, Christian friend keep Caroline is a HUGE blessing and seeing the girls play and learn from each other is such a joy.
Lakyn and Caroline calling the Hogs!

I cannot believe how much I am enjoying teaching college! I keep remembering Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I did not know what it would be like leaving teaching kindergarten that I love so much to stay home with Caroline, but God had the plan ready for me to enjoy watching Caroline grow each day, but still stay connected with teaching through the UofA. I am so thankful! Someone told me (when I wasn't sure if I should stay home or not) that there will always be kindergartners to teach, but Caroline will have only one childhood! I still feel like weeks are flying by, but I am trying to make the most of each moment.

Me-me (Caroline re-named Grammy) came up to Fayetteville to visit Terra Studios (The bluebird of happiness place!) with us last Friday. We had so much fun watching Caroline discover all of the "hidden treasures" there.

I wish every restaurant had booths like this! She was entranced by the artwork and the "village" scene inside the table!

Surrounded by bluebirds!

Making a wish in the well! She kept saying, "more!" Thanks, me-me for the pennies!

This one's for Aunt B and Robyn! "power of the babe!"


See you later!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Farmers' Market

Game day at the Fayetteville Farmers' Market! (I didn't know there was an apostrophe on "farmers'" until I went to their web site!) They have the most beautiful flowers...and the most beautiful girls! Look at "B" and Caroline!!!

Posing at Farmers' Market!
Riding around our yard before bible study started! L to R Lakyn, Jack, Sara and Caroline!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New School Year

It has been a little disorienting for me not to be stressing out at school with everyone this week! I am missing (just a little!) the excitement and nerves that go along with a fresh new school year. On the other hand, I am very much enjoying my time with Caroline. It is really fun not having a set schedule for our time together. Last year I always felt I had to rush (literally) everywhere so that I would have more time with her. My blood pressure must be better this year!We have been spending time at the Farmer's Market, Baby Bookworms at the library once or twice a week, playing outside with her house, car (thanks, Lakyn!) and slides, dressing up (thanks, Bailey!) and going to church. I can't believe she will be moving up with her Sunday School class next Sunday! She's getting so big! Here is Canaan and Caroline waiting to pat their bibles! I hope to have more pictures from their last class this weekend.

She has added to the body parts she can name. I point to them and she says, "nose, eye, ear, knee, bel-bow (elbow, obviously!,) hair, beebow (belly button, not so obvious!)" She can recognize toes, mouth etc. if I say them.

She now says, "Ewww!" when something is not to her liking.

The biggest accomplishment right now is I can hold up any two objects of different sizes and without any prompting she will point to the larger one and say "Big!" and she will point to the smaller one and say, "Little!" in a high-pitched voice! I am so proud of her.

Grammy's name has turned into "Me-me" and Grandma Tracy is "Dee-dee."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Slumber Party!

(The picture above has nothing to do with this post, but I had to post it! Thomas took this in our garden last week! I have never seen a caterpillar that big in my whole life!)
Thomas had a three day workshop that took up his days and most of his nights, so Caroline and I tagged along on his trip and was able to spend time with our dear friends Tara, Billy, Bailey (and Boss!) Tara so graciously let us stay at her beautiful home with her day and night for three days! We were able to catch up with each other and let our precious girls get to know each other!I think for the first day and a half Caroline stayed really quiet trying to take in Bailey's bubbling personality! I feel like I keep up with Bailey through her blog, but getting to hear her intelligent, creative thoughts verbalized in person was amazing! She is a very bright little girl!Bailey REALLY wanted Caroline to converse with her! She talked to Caroline like a child her own age, "Caroline, do you want to see my school?"...pause as Caroline watches Bailey..."CAROLINE, do you want to see my school?" I finally had to tell Caroline to say, "Yes!" They were adorable together. They both shared toys with each other remarkably well! Bailey would take Caroline by the hand and show her things in her house. (I also realized how difficult it is to get two little girls to pose for pictures together. The pictures do not match my captions, but they were the only ones I took!)Caroline also got to go to her first real movie! A local theater showed a Veggie Tales movie for free. She loved it! She sat in my lap and commented to me about the movie ("Moon!" "Night-night" "uh-oh!" etc.) We all four shared yummy popcorn. I was overprotective and tore off pieces just to be sure there weren't hidden kernels. It helped to slow me down from eating a whole bucket myself! We also enjoyed playing dress up, feeding ducks at a nearby pond and singing along to songs in the car. (I think Bailey knows every children's song by heart!)
One of the highlights of our trip was getting to meet Tara's amazing friends she has made through her church. They were all super nice and welcoming to Caroline and I. I loved seeing such a large group of women connected to each other through God and their children (and there were a LOT of children!)
Cooking With Caroline

Pick out your cupcake and a frying pan.

Listen to the sizzle as the icing fries.

Place cupcake in refrigerator to cool. Enjoy!