Friday, January 1, 2010

Meeting Baby Sadie

The kids got to go to the hospital today to see Sadie. Connor was a little nervous, but he held her for a few minutes. Ella wanted to hold her immediately and couldn't stop patting, rubbing, and kissing her. This is the first time she's been around a baby. We're definitely going to have to run interference with her or she's going to be in Sadie's face constantly...that is until Sadie can retaliate by grabbing a handful of hair!

Go GATORS?!?! Where did we go wrong....?

Here are my children watching the Sugar Bowl. Connor is a big Florida fan, and apparently Ella is going right along with him. All I can say is, "Wow!" I can honestly say I never thought I would see my children dressed this least Ella has on her Auburn Cheerleading outfit!
I had to include this pic as well. Ella loves to pick out her own outfits and this is a typical example of've got to love the daisy knee socks with her dance tap shoes...I think it totally completes the look! Don't miss the fact she's on her "cell phone."

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome Baby Sadie!!!

My beautiful niece was born today! Mom, Dad, and baby are all doing great...just really tired. It was a long night for all of them last night. Hopefully Miss Sadie will sleep tonight so they can all get some rest!

Sadie Alexis Gwin was born at 10:44 this morning and weighed 8 lbs 13 oz and is 21 1/2 inches long. She has the cutest little turned up nose and fat cheeks...she is beautiful!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Christmas morning was as wild as usual...a flurry of ripped paper and excited squeals (from Ella that is...Connor is too cool to 'squeal' but he did use the word 'cool' a lot!). Connor got lots of Florida Gators stuff (I know, I know) as well as a few xbox games and an ipod touch. Ella got a new bicycle, a tv/dvd player for her playhouse under her princess bed, and lots of zhu zhu pets. They got way too much, as usual, and moved from one thing to the next all day long.
We enjoyed seeing both sides of the family during the week of Christmas...lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents. Ella had fun putting makeup on everyone...Danielle and my Granny don't normally wear bright blue and green eyeshadow...that was Ella's doing!!! Connor got several iTunes gift cards which he was extremely happy to have after opening his new iPod!
Someone got a bumpit while playing dirty santa and Jordie played hairdresser and gave everyone a new 'do'. She even got Andrew to do it...he sported the bumpit for bangs...Ella said he looked like Otis (aka Elvis).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why do we BUY toys?!

Laptop Computer $350
Digital Camera $175
Nintendo Dsi $150
X-box 360 & Wii + games $$$$$
Watching your son play with a PAPER football & CARDBOARD goal post instead of playing above electronics.....PRICELESS

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MEGAPOST: September, October, November...

It's been a LONG time since I've had time to's been a really busy fall! This post is long, but I'm hoping I can get everything caught up.


We went to my Aunt Jamie's for Thanksgiving. Everyone was actually there this year!! We had a great time visiting and eating...the older kids rode around on Clara's golf cart and Ella had fun letting Paige and Clara put makeup on her...she took over after a while and the result is the picture above.


Ella wanted to 'help' her daddy rake the leaves in the yard. The result was her jumping and scattering the leaves everywhere while David kept trying to keep them in somewhat of a pile. She had a blast running down the hill and jumping in them...I love the picture of her jumping with her ponytail flying up above her head.


Halloween was pretty low key this year. Clara came to Trick-or-Treat with Connor and Camryn came over to go with Ella. They all had a lot of fun! Connor was "Facebook," Ella was a 'fancy' witch, Camryn was Minnie Mouse, and Clara was a "Granny." Clara's costume was definitely the funniest! About halfway through the night she dropped the walker because it was slowing down her ability to get candy as fast as the others!


In mid-October my aunt Jamie and I went to Townsend, Tennesse to attend a Photography Workshop. I learned a TON about how to use my camera!!! I loved it and hope to be able to go back every year. They have a Spring and Fall workshop, but I doubt I will be able to get away to go to both every year. The pictures above are a few of the good shots I got.


David's Dad and his wife, Pat, came down from Montana to go to the beach with us for Labor Day. We rented a house right on the beach that had it's own pool. It was great to have our own pool right on the beach! We had a great trip with all the grandparents and my brother, Keith, and sister-in-law, Lisa, came with us as well. Connor and Keith did a bit of fishing and actually caught a good many fish right off the beach. Connor even caught a flounder! He was pretty excited about that! I love the pics above where Connor is making fun of Ella 'posing' for the camera. Every time you tell her to pose, she puts her hands on her hips and kicks her hip out to the side and makes a goofy looking "model" face. Connor put on her pink goggles and pink cowgirl hat (with a made on tiara) and posed like was pretty funny! (I did get his permission before I posted this picture!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Lazy Afternoon at Tannehill

Sunday afternoon we all went to Tannehill State Park to spend the afternoon. It was such a beautiful day...the temperature was in the low 80s and there was next to no humidity which is unheard of for August in the South! The kids had a great time feeding the ducks, throwing rocks into the stream and walking through the water. We had a great time watching them play! We're not getting a lot of family time together with Connor playing football, so we made the most of the afternoon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

You want me to block WHO?!?!?!?!

Connor is playing football this year for the first time. The season doesn't actually start until next week, but we've had a couple of scrimmage games. Our team has a weight limit of 125lbs and an age limit of 12. The teams we've played so far have no weight limits. Now, keep in mind that although Connor is playing on the 125lb team, he only weighs 80lbs (soaking wet and fully clothed...on a good day). One of the guys he was lined up against today looked to be around 5'10" and weighed about 140lbs. The second guy he lined up against weighed 180!!!!! Yes, he outweighed Connor by 100 pounds! This kid was bigger than David. I was a nervous wreck, but he made it through the entire game. All I can say is "Good For Him!" I would have been scared to death.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Tuesday was Ella's first day of 4 year old preschool. She was excited to start back and see all her friends again. She was a little sad when she realized she wasn't going to have the same teacher she had last year, but after the first day she loves her new teacher as much as she loved Mrs. Nancy. We had to make a life size self portrait to hang on the wall outside her room. We were given the cutout and had to make it look like Ella. We cut yarn for the hair, and used felt to make her an outfit and shoes. Since I'm not very artistic, we decided to take a picture and blow it up for her face instead of attempting to draw it on. It turned out really cute! The head ended up a little big, but Ella thought it was funny!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Birthday Girls - Pampering and Ear Piercing

Crystall and I had promised the girls that we would take them to get their fingernails and toenails painted for their birthday. Camryn's birthday is the first of June and Ella's is at the end of June, although Ella is a year older. So...we finally managed to get around to taking them to Sweet & Sassy in late July...better late than never!!! They both thought they were really big and sat together and grinned the whole time. While we were there Ella decided to get her ears pierced. We finally got the green light from Daddy about 2 months ago, but she had decided against doing it as soon as we told her she could (imagine that!). However, once she saw the 'throne' you get to sit on to get them pierced she started to talk about it and once she took a look at all the sparkling earrings, she was sold! We should probably be concerned that it was the "bling" that convinced her... She got a little scared while they were marking her ears and Camryn kept telling her "It's ok, Ella! It's ok!" (Camryn had hers done last year). Once the initial shock was over they handed her a mirror and she was all smiles...not a tear shed! It was a fun day for both of them and hopefully we'll be able to make it a tradition. BTW, yes they are dressed alike....and no, it was not intentional. They both happen to have the same outfit and we didn't know we had dressed them alike until we were both on our did make for some cute pictures though!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ella's Princess Castle Bed

My dad made Ella a new bed that is made to look like a castle. It is a loft bed with a little playhouse area underneath. He made it out of glass bricks and it really turned out beautiful. We put Ella's chair and all of her Bitty Baby furniture inside the playhouse. She didn't see it (or even know about it) until it was all set up. When she saw it she said, "Oh, Wow!" She went in and out of the door and up and down the ladder over and over again. She kept giggling and was grinning from ear to ear. It's the perfect bed for a princess! :-) Thanks Two-Daddy!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Connor & Clara - Then (2001) & Now (2009)

A Week at the Beach - Dauphin Island

Last week the kids and I went and spent the week on Dauphin Island with my Aunt Jamie and Clara. It was a nice relaxed week. The kids had fun swimming in the ocean and riding the waves. Ella learned to swim while we were there (there is a video below) and Connor and Clara caught about 300 fish with their nets. We went down to the west end of the island to their public beach one day so Connor and Clara could use their boogie boards and hit the waves...Ella picked that day to have a complete meltdown on the beach and ended up falling asleep in the sand...she layed there for almost an hour and a half and slept. Thankfully the nap did a great deal to improve her mood.

The last day we were there we went to the Estuarium. Connor took a field trip there last October and he wanted to go back. He's been to Sea World and the Atlanta aquarium in the past year and he likes the Dauphin Island Estuarium the best...go figure. At least it's closer and cheaper ($3.00!) than the other two.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Look who can swim!!!

Last week we went to the beach with my Aunt Jamie. Ella saw me dive in the pool one day and told me she wanted to jump in like that too. I showed her how and she kept doing it over and over. A little while later I asked her if she wanted to jump in without her swimmy...she jumped right in and started swimming (dog paddling). I couldn't believe it!!! We've spent who knows how much money for swim lessons (with little to no results) and after 4 straight days in the ocean and pool she just took off! The first video is of her diving...the second is of her swimming. Please forgive my obnoxious, little kid voice, hick-sounding may want to turn the sound down! :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!!

David got a new toy for his father's day present...a new motorcycle!!! He loves it, but unfortunately it's so blasted hot down here this summer he hasn't had a lot of opportunities to ride it without it being miserable. We Love You Daddy! Be Careful!!!
I haven't posted since Memorial Day, so there are several new posts below this one!

Happy Birthday Ella!!!

We had Ella's 4th birthday party this past weekend. She won't be 4 until the end of the month, but we decided to party early this year. She had a Little Mermaid party and got lots of great gifts. Her "best friend" Camryn came to help her celebrate along with all the family. She had a blast! Her favorite gift was the roller skates she got from her Nana. She hasn't taken them off for the past 24 hours...I think she would have slept in them if I had let her! It was also my grandmother's (Ella's Great-Grandmother) birthday. Ella was celebrating 4 and Granny was celebrating 74! I got a picture of the oldest and youngest members of our family together...Ella got her love of shoes & clothes from Granny! :-)

Ella's 4 Year Old Pictures

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baseball Champions

Connor's baseball team won the league championship for the second year in a row! We had a great year and now get to rest for a few weeks before football practice starts! This was Connor's 7th year for baseball and he only has one year of park ball left. Congratulations Yellow Jackets!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The tonsils are out!

The first couple of weeks of summer were filled will surgery for the kids. Ella had her tonsils out at the end of May and Connor had to have oral surgery for his braces the first of June. Ella was very brave and very giggly after they gave her the medicine to "relax." Every time someone said something to her she would giggle uncontrollably. Connor wouldn't let me take any pictures of him while he was having his procedure done, but he was pretty funny too. He kept looking at everybody like they were nuts when we talked to him after they gave him his happy medicine. You could tell he was trying to process what we were saying to him, but he couldn't manage to do it. It was pretty funny.
They both recovered quickly and the hardest part of it all was trying to keep Ella "quiet" for two weeks. One of the things we did during those two weeks was make a cake with fondant icing. WOW!!! What a mess! Just let me say that it is worth every penny to PAY someone else to do this type of cake. We made the fondant from scratch and the entire ordeal took us about 5 hours. Ella had a lot of fun, and the cake turned out O.K., but I wouldn't do it again!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ella's Idea Of Fun - Kitty's...Not So Much

I am now convinced that we have the most patient cat on earth. Kitty (yes, our cat's name is Kitty) has been through a lot over the past 4 years "growing" up with Ella...he's had bows put on his head, been taken for rides in strollers, had his "hair" brushed, worn hats, and even been 'forcibly coerced' into her puppy carrier for her stuffed puppy (which, btw, is roughly half the size of Kitty). Throughout all these experiences Kitty has escaped from Ella's clutches as soon as he could make a break for it (with surprisingly minimal bodily harm done to his torturer). However, this past Sunday night we watched as he sat perfectly still for about 10 minutes while Ella wrapped her purple boa around and around him until she had it "perfect." He looked completely mortified (yes, cat's can actually look mortified...if you don't believe me just look again at the pictures) but he sat and endured for as long as he could. I guess he's finally taken up the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The Easter Bunny must have been running late this year because he didn't come to our house until after we were at church. When we got home there were eggs everywhere for Ella to find (Connor elected not to participate this year). We quickly looked through baskets, hunted eggs and headed to Aunt Jamie's for a great Easter dinner with family.
I haven't posted in a LONG TIME, so there are several new posts below this one!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ella's Easter Egg Hunt at School

Batter Up! It's Baseball Time!!!

It's that time of year again and Connor's 7th baseball season is in full swing. He's playing in the 11 & 12 year old league this year and it is "real" special rules...real baseball. It's always an adjustment the year we move up, but he's done well in the field and is working on his batting. I wouldn't want to stand there and let some of those kids pitch to me...several of them are David's size and they're only 12!!! So far we are undefeated...I'll post more as the season goes on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crazy Sleeper

I swear this kid can sleep anywhere, anytime, and apparently any way. Here is yet another picture of Ella passed out on the couch in a crazy position...I guess she was so tired from playing that she couldn't get her whole body on the couch before falling asleep. She stayed that way for 45 minutes and got mad at me when I finally moved her completely onto the couch.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

From snow to summer in 1 week!!!

Last Sunday afternoon we were playing in the snow and this Sunday afternoon we are enjoying 80 degrees worth of sunshine!!! What a difference a week makes. Ella took advantage of the nice weather and drove her "stang" up and down the driveway about 100 times...Connor got to enjoy an afternoon of baseball practice...I think Ella got the better end of that deal!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5th Grade Trip to Camp Cosby

All the 5th Grade classes from Connor's school went to Camp Cosby for 3 days. We had so much fun!!! We stayed in cabins and took LOTS of hikes (all uphill!!!), fished, canoed, made candles (pioneer style), played games and had a campfire. All the kids had a blast and the grown ups did too. David and I were both able to go with him, so that made it even better (for us at least)!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Last night we got between 2-4 inches of snow (which is a lot for Alabama!)...the kids had a ball playing in it and making a snow man and snow angels. They made a really big was the perfect for snow for making one. It snowed all morning and it was so pretty, but now the sun is out and it's almost all melted. This was the most snow we've had down here since we moved back from was fun getting out and playing in it with the kids.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Science Olympiad State Competition

Connor was on his school's Science Olympiad team this year. The state competition was this past weekend and Connor placed third in the state in one sub-division and fourth in the state in another. He and his friend Blair placed 4th in Propeller Propulsion where they had to build and fly an airplane (with some help from Blair's dad :-)). He placed 3rd, along with his teammates in the pentathlon where they had to answer science questions as they completed an obstacle course working together. He also won second place in Propeller Propulsion and Write It, Do It in the regional competition.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ella loves Cheernastics...the only problem is she is the "wild child" in class (imagine that!). Trying to get her to sit and wait her turn doesn't work very well...she would rather run and jump on the mats. She always looks forward to Thursdays because she knows that's Cheernastics day and she gets to see Mrs. Vicky and Miss Natalie. Unfortunately, both Natalie and Vickie have taught Ella to say "Roll Tide" when they build a's going to take me all summer to de-program her from saying that...Ella thinks it's funny, so of course she says it every week and looks right at me when she says it. Connor has tried bribing her to try and get her to say 'War Eagle", but so far it hasn't worked! :-) The picture on the bottom right is of her saying it...notice the big grin on Natalie's face...Ella's looking straight at Connor.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Connor!!!

Today Connor turns 11! That's really hard for me to doesn't seem possible that he could be that old already. We had a family party for him last night and he is going to have his annual spend the night party at Tannehill once it warms up a little. He got money from almost everyone for his birthday and used it to buy himself a laptop and a new digital camera. He's definitely a techno-kid and loves his gadgets. :-) Happy Birthday! We love you Buddy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Motorcycle Riding

Connor and David found a new jump in the field out behind our house and wanted Ella and me to come and watch them...I was really surprised to see how high they were jumping. For those of you that don't ride it may not seem very high...but just getting your wheels off the ground (which I try never to do) is really scary! They both jumped for a while and then David took Ella for a more laid back ride on his motorcycle. She was so worn out from playing and riding that she fell asleep on the couch with my helmet on and David's gloves...she looks like someone shot her! :-)

Braces for Connor

Before / After

Unfortunately for Connor his New Year's 'present' was braces. He was really dreading getting them, but has since decided they aren't too bad...that is after the first couple of days.