Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas PJ's!

Hadley could be Gymboree's new model - sporting the new E.T. line. She's actually frowning because the neck was so tight she couldn't get her new PJ's off her head.

Isn't my baby girl beautiful?

Brianna is growing up so fast. She had to have a nightgown vs. pj's so that she could spin and the pj's would spin with her. Elise wised up and got her some with sleeves. The Royal's summer nightgown that I got her a year ago (with no sleeves) goes down to her, oh, mid-calf. It was time.

Mia insists on wearing short-sleeved pj's and shorts (and she insists on sleeping with the ceiling fan on full blast and often goes without covers). And, if left to her own devices, she'd sleep in her soccer uniform every night. So Elise had a great idea and sent me to the Kansas Sampler to get her an over-sized soccer shirt (Go 'Sporting KC!') that could serve as her own nightgown of sorts. It was a brilliant move and Mia LOVES it!

They're ready! They've been counting the days for weeks now. They've also been counting and comparing gifts among the sisters. This has tempered the euphoria and anticipation with some despair. Elise said it best last night as she was putting more gifts under the tree: "I'm sure we'll wake up to some excited squeals when they see these and, of course, some intense bawling."

We can't wait.
Merry Christmas to you all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Girl's First Movie

The girls went to their first movie theater movie. Heartland treated the staff and their families to the Muppets. We of course were the last ones to make it into the theater and therefore had to sit on the second row.

Hadley was terrified during the previews. She hugged me tight with eyes closed and I covered her ears. She kept asking me to take her home. I kept assuring her that the actual movie wouldn't be scary. Dan was pea green with envy that I was getting the precious hugs.

But the girls had a blast. Both Mia and Brianna ate a bag of popcorn each and downed one HUGE Slurpee. Hadley also loved the popcorn but was not a fan of the Slurpee. And they got to sit by one of the coolest PK's they idolize, Clara. Afterall, she is 5 and her dad is the fun guy. The bar has been set high for expensive movie goers.

Thank you Heartland for a fun event.

Cheers to Eggnog

The girl's first taste of eggnog. The all LOVE IT. I (Elise) detest the stuff.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baby (and Guinea) in the Manger

Oh my creative girls. This was Hadley and Mia's creation. Not sure which one came up with it. I think it was Hadley. She told me that the baby and Bobo were in the manger. Too cute!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas - A New Day

Today's Mess

Brianna's Stash

Hadley's Stash

So the other night after the girls had been asking for days, I finally sat down (late at night) and wrapped some presents. As I was wrapping I said to Dan. I wonder if this will be the year that there are tears over who got more gifts. The problem was that Brianna has a big gift that won't go out until Christmas eve and her other gifts had not yet arrived in the mail. Dan said "Nah, and we don't really want to start playing that game."

The next morning the delighted squeal out of each of the girls when they saw the gifts under the tree was awesome. Then they started pulling each of the gifts out and checking to see which one was for who. Well Mommy called it. We instantly had tears when Brianna realized she only had 2 gifts at the time under the tree. Dan said "well, you called it". Bri is our drama queen.

Daily I have to spend time in the evening putting the presents back under the tree. They all get pulled out and grouped into piles or just scattered to see if there is anything new.

Oh the excitement and joy of being a child at Christmas. Don't get me wrong. I am excited about my gift that is under the tree that I also wrapped. I am only pouting a little bit that Dan is making me wait until Christmas. :)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cruisin Cousins...

The girls loved to climb into Poppy's car over Thanksgiving and go for a ride. For whatever reason, I love the first shot where you see B's hand on the steering wheel - the picture won't win any awards but it just seems like B was really driving that thing (in fact, she knew how to operate every single feature in the car - seat warmers to boot).

This says it all...

This is a typical scene around the Deeble household - my little robed foreman getting ready to knock out another wall...

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I (Dan) See In...My Bride!

As you may have noticed, Elise has not been blogging as of late and this is because she's been on an internet fast. She decided to do this because our whole church has been fasting to celebrate our 25th Anniversary since the day 23 folks started our community in a house basement.

So I've been taking her faithful work of restraint as an opportunity to sneak on to post a few. I must confess, it's been kinda fun. Kinda like comin' home. I used to be the main blogger in our home - to the point of near obsession. Not too long ago, Elise reminded me that the reason I don't remember much about Hadley's birth is because I spent most of my time blogging in the corner of our hospitable room. I beg to differ. It was not a corner.

So I've backed off and she's taken over.

But since her fast breaks on Thanksgiving Day, I want to make sure that I say a thing or two about her. So I'd like to post the top ten things I love about my wife. This, I know, will make her blush and furious all at once - which is exactly my intention.
  1. She's gotten extremely crafty. Her next project is to make a craft table in our office. It's making me a bit nervous. I married a corporate raider, not a Hobby Lobbyist.
  2. She's a vivid dreamer. Three nights ago, she dreamed that there were snakes in our bed. I had to physically restrain her for a full minute.
  3. She works really hard at encouragement and I'd like to encourage her about that.
  4. She has a beautiful voice. If you could hear her sing. Ask her some time.
  5. She has the best laugh. I love nothing more than to laugh together.
  6. She is wise. Except for when it comes to creative endeavors related to my sermons, she is generally always right.
  7. She's becoming more adventurous. One of my nicknames for her is "Safety Director" because she's a bit of a rule follower. But in the last 6 months, I've seen a wild streak come out (if you will). For example, she was the one who pushed to get all our girls up on water skiis this summer. Yahooo!
  8. She has such a tender heart. One of my favorite parts of my day is when she comes down the stairs in the early morning and sits across from me to share what she's learning about the Lord.
  9. She's a walker. Again. My wife now gets up at 5:30 3 times a week to walk with the neighborhood gals. This is one little sign of how we're slowly coming up out of our first 4 years of parenting that we affectionately call "middle earth."
  10. She's competitive. You all know about her passion to create a loving, nurturing, and aesthetically pleasing home. But perhaps you didn't know that she has a drive to create the BEST home on the block. Two days ago, I mentioned to her that the neighbors remarked on our Christmas lights in the front yard. She said, "Oh yeah, what did they say?" I said, "Well...they tried to say something nice but their voices kind of trailed off." She said, "They don't like it?!" I said, "No, they said they DID like it but they weren't that convincing." She replied, "We should turn them off then. And, you watch the girls, I'm going to Home Depot, then to Michaels, then to Hobby Lobby..." It's 8:00 am right now on a 38-degree Wednesday morning and my wife is in our front yard - bundled up in puffy coat and winter's cap - hammering wreaths, running strings of lights, and creating the best damn Christmas scene this neighborhood has ever seen.
Bonus: She's beautiful. Simply gorgeous.
and finally: She's mine.


Mia's First Trip to the 'K'...

Mia chanted, "I DON'T want to leave. I DON'T want to leave. I DON'T want to leave!"

Music to my ears. Over and over, as I carried her from the stadium to the car - racing to get back for a church meeting, my sweet Mia protested against our haste. Surely, I thought, 3 hours at the ballpark would've been enough for my four-year old. But, much to my delight, it was NOT! After all, it was only the seventh inning...

This summer, Mia and I caught an afternoon ballgame between the upstart Royals and the back-slidden Minnesota Twins. We first went to Guest Services and received her "First Game Certificate", then to the gift shop for her royals mini-bat, then (FINALLY!) - courtesy of a friend, we were treated to great seats under some coveted shade. We lasted about three innings - or as long as it took to finish her cotton candy. The usher was kind enough to help me with the clean-up.


It was off to center field where the true action is. We played wiffle ball, we threw fastballs off a mound, Mia raced to first base, rode the carousel, played on the jungle gym, and ate some chicken fingers. We had SUCH an amazing time together - just her and me. For a dad, to spend time with your oldest daughter, sharing in America's past-time and one of my four loves is a dream come true.

But now for the highlight: we waited in a long line to hit some balls on the wiffle ball field (called "The Little K"). Kid after kid got up to the plate and - mostly - floundered around (if I may say). But then Mia got up there, assumed the stance, and whacked ball after ball. The 'crowd' was stunned, Papa was proud, and Mia was nonplussed. As she rounded the bases, I think I heard her say "Just another day at the ballpark."

My only regret is that I couldn't get my
Canon camera to work in time and had to use my lame-circa-2010-cell-phone-video-camera-that-actually-needs-cables-and-can't-connect-directly-to-this-thing-called-the-world-wide-web-and-even-still-can-no-longer-sync-to-my-computer-and-therefore-can't-upload-it-for-the-masses-to-appreciate-if-not-marvel-at-the-sheer-athletic-prowess-of-my-oldest-daughter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I (Daddy) See In...Hadley

It truly is amazing to see traits in your daughters that continue from nearly the day they were born. Hadley, for example, is so affectionate. Touch is truly her love language. We learned this just two days after she was born. Butde (grandma) was trying to calm (and shush) her in the living room of our old house when she started to rub her feet. Instantly, the girl started to purr.

This is still the same to this day (and, yes, I do realize she's only three). Just a few nights ago, she was crying in the middle of the night and I went to calm (and shush) her. I walked in her room - slightly fearful of her often-menacing-midnight-demeanor. Okay, a lot afraid.

I approached her bed and said, "Hadley, what do you want, Pumpkin?"
"No!" She shouted at me and kicked her legs up and down in protest. Clearly, words of encouragement are not her deal.
"Sweetie, are you cold? Do you need water?"
"Get away from me!" she screamed, jerking her head away as if I had bad breath. Strike acts of service from the list.
"Would you like me to hold you?"
"No! Mommy!" she shouted, denouncing my offer of some quality time.
"Would you like a back rub?" I asked. Instantly, she rolled over and turned her back to me. "Okay," she said.

There are other traits that we spotted early on as well (like head-banging) but nothing like her love for touch. I call her my 'cuddle bunny, my koala bear, my sea anemone' and I pray that she seeks and receives this form of love in ways that grow her heart and protect her beauty.

What I (Daddy) See In...Brianna

Brianna has such an interest in the Lord. A ND, she has this beautiful theological mind.
Yesterday I took a moment to log some of this interest:
  • Every time we read the Bible together, she wants to read about Jesus dying on the cross. To round out her theological spectrum, we try and include the resurrection, ascension, and return as well.
  • When we do, she makes us wait so that she can go to her room and get a little cross that she can hold up as if on a crusade (hmmm...might she have a liturgical leaning?). She also took her cross to preschool for 'show 'n' tell.'
  • Another time we were reading about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and she asked, "Why did He do that? Why did Jesus pray to God if He is God?"
  • Another time: "Why did Judas betray Jesus if he was His disciple?"
  • A follow-up question: "Is it Judas in us that makes us do bad things?"
  • Clarifying question: "Or is that the sneaky snake?"
  • A statement - as we were driving in the back of the van: "Last night I prayed that Jesus would help me not be afraid in the dark. It didn't work."
  • A praise: "I'm thankful for Jesus and Barbie."
Just yesterday, I was struck by how unique and special this is about her. Something for us to pray into and nurture.

'Let the children come to me.'

Things (Daddy) I See In....Mia

I'm a bit astonished by how Mia is growing up. I was speaking to her on the phone earlier today and it was such an adult conversation. She wanted to know how I was, what I was doing, where I was, if I traveled there safely (her words exactly), and that she misses me. She's articulate, delightful and - most peculiarly - interested in me. Most four year-old's I've ever known want you to know about them. But for Mia, it's all about you.

This is such a beautiful quality that I see in my daughter and hope it rubs off on me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finger Twins

My cell phone rang just minutes after I had arrived at work. It was the house line. I had a bad feeling about it and stepped out of my meeting. Having missed the call, I dialed her back and - given my unsettled feeling - grabbed my car key and assumed the athletic position. Sure enough. Elise picked up and I could hear crying in the background and her all-too-familiar shaky voice. I thought, "Children's Mercy here we come."

Mia had hurt her finger playing in the family room. Apparently she was playing with wood blocks and Brianna tripped and fell on top of her, smashing her finger between the blocks.

After a doctor's visit, a splint, a trip to an X-Ray imaging center, and 3 hours later she was cleared of anything broken. We were happy and she was happy - 2 suckers for her troubles and a splint just like Daddy's!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mia's Highs and Lows

Our dinner time routine is to go around the table and say our "high" and "low" for the day. Wednesday is what we call daddy's long day. He leaves a little before 9am but then doesn't usually get home until after 10pm. Our precious Mia marks her calendar by daddy's long day and daddy's day off. Her bond with her daddy is like no other I have ever seen. As hard as it was not to go to China with Dan(pic above), I would not change that decision for the world.

Wednesday Daddy rearranged his morning and came to Hadley's Halloween Parade at Preschool. Mia's class also came into the church sanctuary to watch. Last night (Wednesday) when I asked Mia what her "High" and her "Low" were for the day here was her answer: "my high was getting to see daddy this morning and my low is that it is daddy's long day". My precious, precious baby girl. She is a sweet, sweet delight to our souls.

Hadley's Preschool Halloween Party

Hadley was way too cute as a fairy. Her preschool does a Halloween parade through the church sanctuary. So parents drop them off in the car line as usual and then go park and sit in the church sanctuary.

Dan was not planning to go but at breakfast Hadley turned to Dan and in the sweetest voice said "Daddy are you going to be there?" Dan visibly melted right before my eyes and said "yes I will be there". That man is putty in his girls' hands. I think he also wanted to see if he could check out the boy that has apparently been holding his daughter's hand at recess. Paxton!

Wednesday night Hadley said her high for the day was holding Paxton's hand at recess. Heaven help us!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Their First Concert

Monday night the girls spent almost an hour setting up the audience for a "concert". It was an elaborate logistics project that required items to be transported from all over the house. I was honestly awed by the creativity and care with which the audience was positioned. Here are just a few pics. The pictures do not do it justice at all.

Barbie's riding horses and doggies

Mommy and Daddy Patches (the beloved Guineas)

And my all time favorite. "Fearless" also called ""BoBo"" and "Patches"

A New Day

Since the girls decided to give up napping, we decided that it was time that they start doing some chores and earning an allowance. So I of course hit the internet to find out a good way to track and monitor chores. I was about to order some fridge chore charts when I came across the cutest idea with detailed instructions from this site:

So I hit the garage that afternoon and began creating my own. Well, I have a whole new appreciation for artists and people that do crafts. Drilling the holes in the wood was right up my ally but the rest, well the rest, was a stretch to my patience and skill. It took me three days and hours upon hours of cutting, gluing, sanding and staining. When I first started the project I thought oh this is going to be my new gift to all of my firends but now "NO WAY".

But here is my final product:

The cutest part to all of this is that the girls LOVE doing their chores. The minute I told them they they were going to start earning money they all three ran up the stairs. I asked them where they were going and they said "to make our beds". If only I could capture this enthusiasm and bottle it to be opened in say 10 years.

And I finally found a solution to staying on top of the laundry. BRIANNA. She daily hounds me to do laundry. She is my chief laundry helper. She loves sorting, folding, loading and moving the laundry. I asked her why she loves it and she said so she can have clean underwear. Pretty bad when your 4 year old tells you that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Sad Day

Well, one of my dreaded days is here. The day that they ALL decide to mutiny and NOT nap. Brianna hasn't napped since she turned three but I could always count on Mia and Hadley.

Well Mia's soccer was during naptime on Saturdays this fall and I flippantly said this better not make her give up her nap. Soccer is over and I think she only napped once last week! And Hadley, like Bri, turned three and suddenly thinks she doesn't need to sleep.

Trying to enforce the "naptime is not over yet" with one child was exhausting, but now with three it is downright difficult to do anything. I might have to invest in two "Tell Me Time" children alarm clocks. Mia can already do a pretty good job of telling time so I am hoping she won't be jealous.

Meanwhile I am mourning the loss of a few moments to myself in the middle of a loud and crazy day.

7 Girls! Last Friday Night We Had 7 Girls! CRAZY!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hadley and the Mud

Part 1

Part 2

Hadley's Thank You

The Sweet Life

This is what our life looked like when Dan got home after work 3 years ago.

We dreamed of the day when we could do this - just sit and watch the girls play while having adult conversation. We didn't necessarily dream it would be on my(Elise) grossest nightmare (the McDonalds playland). But we will take it. We will take it.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

Bye Bye terrible twos! Our baby girl turned 3 yesterday. We had a small birthday dinner at McDonalds with our best friends the Gazaways then went to worship and communion at church as a family. Hadley got to pick one present to open on her birthday. The other presents have to wait until we celebrate this weekend with her cousins, aunties and grandparents.

She picked her gift from Butde and Papa to open. Wow, is she now a happy girl. She has her very own Barbies. She no longer has to beg Brianna to let her play with hers.

Happy Birthday, baby girl. We love you. We love your fire, determination, cuddles and sweet heart. We are so thankful for our biggest surprise.