Tell me what it is you want to do with your one wild and precious life? -mary oliver

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ladybug Lovliness

Tonight was Trick or Treat and Sarah had no idea what was going on.  She knew Grandpa showed up with his camera and I frantically changed her from the tutu she wore to school into Ladybug Lovliness, complete with adorning footwear.

Austin, the superhero, and Addy as Dorothy completed our trio of Trick or Treaters.

Sarah's cheesing it up for Grandpa.  This year was Andy's turn to walk them around and it was COLD!  We packed Sarah up in the wagon, complete with a blanket and the big kids wore numerous layers underneath.

Sarah was a hit everywhere she went and landed more candy than the average Trick or Treater.  She has that way of melting your heart, as she walks up to the door, excited to pick her next big treasure out of the dish.

Andy got his exercise, taking her in and out of the wagon!
 Many candies were tasted early, wrapper and all!!!

And friends, big and small, always stopped to share a kind word with our Sarah.  She has that way:)  Mostly, I love how our friends have embraced Sarah, celebrated Sarah, and love her.  We are blessed.

Another happy note: after trick and treating, we were sitting around the table eating dinner LATE.  Sarah noticed my coffee mug with the kids' pictures on it.  She said, "Austin," for the very first time.  She can say her name, but this was the first she said one of the kids' names.  He was proud as a peacock, strutting his stuff around the house.  What a family moment!

And so another first for Sarah has come to an end, as she quickly fell asleep once her head hit the pillow.  We love you, sweet girl.

Monday, October 24, 2011


    Respect, distinction, and high regard are all used to define the word Honor.  Mostly, I prefer the word respect.  It's a complex word, difficult for an 8, 7, and 4 year old to understand.  But, I want my children to grow up showing respect and honor to those who have served our country.  Saturday evening, our family had the most awesome opportunity to pay respect to veterans and servicemen, and our grandfather was among them. is a non-profit organization that honors our veterans by flying them to Washington D.C for the day to visit the memorials celebrating their service and flies them home.  It's a long day, but a once  in a lifetime opportunity.  Andy's family learned of this organization, applied for his 89 year-old grandfather to take part in this honor, and Saturday was his day.
He left the airport around 5:30am, and was due back around 9:15pm.  While this was beyond bedtime, it was important for our children to honor and respect those who served, to see those who have made a difference in our lives, our families' lives, and our country.  When we arrived, hundreds had already gathered to salute those coming home.
Bagpipes were practicing, hand-made signs were displayed, and EVERYONE was waving the red, white, and blue flag in honor of this great country. 

Grandpa was entertaining the kids, while sitting on the luggage terminal.  Andy and Austin had one of the greatest honor to hold the American Flag as the veterans walked by from the Cub Scout packs.
This mama was so proud of her men, honoring in their Cub Scout way.
Soon, the crowds mulitplied, chants of USA boomed in the terminal, and the moment arrived.  The veterans walked proudly with their Buddy down the aisle, shaking hands and were given hugs for their great service.  Grandpa Stirn walked proudly down the aisle and his face glowed as we celebrated his moment in time, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We had to get a group photo of all his family and friends, and then of his daughters.

At the end, the bagpipes played and soon it was still.  As the accapella voices rang out and everyone chimed in singing, "God Bless America."  And my children were enveloped in their grandparents arms as we celebrated and honored and respected what we witnessed on this late Saturday evening.

What a wild, precious amazing life I've been given.  There is so much good happening around us.  It's time to seek it out, look for it, embrace it, and celebrate.  Thank you to everyone in the Honor Flight organization.  What an amazing difference you made in those 80 men on that Saturday evening.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Little Light

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path 
without brightening our own.  
Ben Sweetland

Last Friday, I came down with the flu and when I finally was able to go to school, I had parent conferences and then proceeded to lose my voice for the rest of the week.  So, this is my first chance to share a miraculous day today with my friends.

Today, we celebrated the day Sarah was born.  It's actually next week, but a family wedding preempted her party to this weekend.  Her grandparents, great-grandparents, and cousins arrived to share in her first ever birthday party, a party for her.  Some drove down for the weekend and my parents took off for their Florida stay as soon as the party was over.  Everyone knew this occasion is a special one.   She didn't understand why everyone was here, but became completely consumed with unwrapping and opening each present before her.  

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After each treasure, she would prance around the room, sharing her delight and enthusiasm with everyone around her.

Even extended "relatives" provided something special for my little girl, in case she ever wants to dress up like a cowgirl.
 As with every child, it's the small things that get their attention.  Tissue paper and lollipops.

Every day, I count my blessings and say thanks for the joy and excitement she brings us, with her hugs and kisses.  She went around sharing her thanks in her very own special way.
Then, it was time for cake.  Now, sister LOVES cake.  Vegetables, not so much, but the sweets she's all about.  So it was cake and I wasn't sure how she would do with the candles.  When I sat her in her seat, she dug both hands into the cake before I could catch her.

With the help of Mama, she was able to blow out her candles.  I know her wish is to be thankful for the family she's been given.

Before everyone left, we had to get the obligatory child photo.  Notice her new shirt?  Cake and ice cream everywhere, and no photoshop editing program is THAT good. 

The one below is my FAVORITE...look how she is holding her sister and brother's hands in unadulterated joy.
The Great-Grandparents were able to spend some time showing her how the Fridge Phonics works.  She LOVES music!!

  And then, I remembered to give Owen and Meghan their hats we brought back from Ukraine. 
And so the day closed with Miss Sarah conked out for from the celebration.

What a beautiful day and thank you to our family and friends for always sharing Sarah's light with us . Filled with Gratitude,