Mae has been asking for us to take her ice skating since she was three years old, and so I finally got my act together and made her dreams come true!

Since her and I have dreamed and schemed about how to make it as magical as possible for weeks, the plan was for me to take her out on the ice. On our way to the rink, however, Zack asked if he could take her. His teaching skills are unmatched, and I really don’t wish to relive the broken bum incident of 2009, so I pushed my mother-daughter bonding fantasies aside for the good of my bum and his father-daughter bonding fantasies.

We began the evening taking her out for whatever supper her heart could dream up. McDonalds “chicken” and strawberry pie. To the moon, Mae!

I reluctantly agreed. After we finished our meal, we grabbed the girls some hot chocolate and pie for the road and headed for the rink.

I’m sure her tummy was full of butterflies!

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^ Look at that anticipation!!  Makes me so happy! ^

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The thrill of wobbling on skates for the first time, it’s up there with wobbling in toddler heels for the first time.


The ice is in her sights!!!


Two seconds on the ice later … still enthusiastic about the outcome of the evening!!

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HE DIDN’T FALL DOWN ONCE! Clearly he was the right choice.

Look how good she’s doing!

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Rae and I walked around (it was at an outside mall, and only 15ºF). She picked out her gift for Mae at the ever never annoying, Claire’s. (She chose perfectly!)

Next, we strolled back up to the rink to sit around the fire pit they had set up, but the smoke kept following Rae. I grabbed the iPad from the car, and sat down at a picnic table. Naturally in this moment she had to pee and, naturally, the bathroom was clear on the other end of the mall.

Enter, Von Maur.

I felt like Kevin McCallister as he entered the Plaza Hotel. As if they were sure to think I stole something walking into the store. But, they didn’t, and they were terrific.

Rae decided she wanted to stay in the store (who wouldn’t??) so we cautiously made our way through this Christmas wonderland of $30 socks and other various donttouchthat! items.

We went up and down (and up and down) the escalator, sat and watched the pianist as he played Christmas tunes to perfection. Then we went up the escalator, watched him from above, then back down the escalator so she could tell him, “Hi” and stare as he asked her question after question about Christmas.

By then it was time to head back to Mae. We arrived just as they were turning in their skates.

Mae was beaming! I hope she remembers that night forever.



I’ve let the blog go, once again, and now I’m playing catch up just before we begin our Christmas shtuff.

So, first things first, Penelope became a Christian last Sunday (December 4th, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. -TMI?) snuggled up on the couch with Zack and I, just after our morning devotional.

She is actually the same age Zack was when he became a Christian, and he too was at home with his momma.

She made her first (all of our first) pineapple upside down cake to celebrate the glorious occasion!

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A day of homeschooling back before Thanksgiving, documented with the intension of it being its own post. Some days are more full than others – this happened to be a full morning.

The girls did some holiday themed vocabulary, building (they could build all day) while I prepared a lesson, a lesson on music notes (via Khan Academy, which we use A LOT for all sorts of topics), an unfiltered lecture on the “why” of Thanksgiving and a painting to go along with it.

By the looks of that first photo, we also did some crocheting, ABC practice for Rae, and 10 minute math for Mae.


We spent Thanksgiving afternoon at Zack’s Aunt Teresa’s house (she’s in the back there, smooching on Gage). It was certainly an evening well spent!

We usually visit my family in Alabama of head up to my mother-in-law’s in St. Louis. It was nice to just drive up the road this year! Zack didn’t even bother brushing his hair! Ha! HE FANCY.


Observing their shadows.

Mae is  o b s e s s e d with how long her legs are.

Just wait little one. Someday skirts will fit you like a belt, and finding pants to cover your ankles will be impossible.

Her stilts are also covered in very blonde (nearly invisible) peach fuzz, which is so v. v. appealing. She thinks she is  m o m e n t s  away from the days of shaving her legs. She’ll have blonde hair foreva and never have to shave her legs (poor poor child), but will anyway, because its cool?

She thinks growing old is awesome, and I’m not about to spoil it for her.

Anyone still chasing that rabbit? No? Alright, lets move on…

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Usually, if I haven’t been out of the house by the time the sun begins to set we make a point to enjoy some fresh air – even if that just means a stroll to burn some trash or swing on the porch.

A few weeks ago, the girls and I drove up to the river for a few minutes just to stretch our legs. Mae found a leaf larger than my face immediately, so of course we had to photograph it from every angle.

There were deer grazing just to Mae’s left there, unbothered by us. I love where we live! Didn’t think you’d ever hear me complement Missouri, Zack? Me either, but there is it. Our town is superb.


^ One of many phone dump collages to come ^

Playing Uno by candlelight / Washing dishes / Selfie with Mr. G / Rae passed out after hours of shopping / People toes / Rae asked me to take her photo. She intentionally didn’t smile – why can’t my resting face be this attractive??/ Watching Daddy chop a truck full of wood / An bowl of brownie batter abandoned on the couch / Zack building a stand for the water tank, to make more room in the cellar for wood next to the furnace. (AND The Hobbit!!)


Rae, “making her bed.” Life is hard / Frost!!! / The girls insist on staring at the album covers on Spotify – even when it’s the entire Moana soundtrack and the image never changes / On our way to eat lunch we didn’t have to cook (rare!!). Pocahontas and Darth Vader tagged along / Mae waiting for everyone to get on their shoes. Once again, “Why can’t my resting face be this attractive??”

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^ Mae telling me how wonderful God’s creation is ^

A week or two ago we drove to a trail for a walk. Mae packed a picnic for everyone, and helped me push the stroller!


Mae had a tumbling camp last Sunday (same day she became a Christian). All four of us went. It was cold, damp, and windy. A forecast I’ve become very fond of (worry not, I still love blazing hot sunshine) / Rae sporting a fresh haircut, drawing an ice cream cone (Ice cream cones and whales are her favorite things to draw lately) / Our largest nest discovery to date. The girls played with it for days / A gorgeous sky. Mae often asks me to photograph the sky. My girl appreciates a good sky.

We’re giving the girls experiences instead of wrapped gifts this year. I’ll post about those as they happen – can you guess what Rae’s is??