Monday, June 20, 2011

Madeleine is 7

My baby girl is 7 years old today. Madeleine came home today from a 2 week trip with cousin Sydney and Grandma and Grandpa (my dad and stepmom) to Orlando, Florida where they visited Seaworld, Disneyworld, and Gatorland!

She had a blast and apparently did not miss us at all! As soon as Madeleine got home, I noticed that she and Everett were holding hands. We all missed her a bunch!

When she returned today another of her top teeth was loose, and since she is already missing her two front teeth it is nearly impossible for her to eat! Lee pulled her tooth out, and we celebrated her birthday as a family. Lee then took Madeleine to get a 20" bike!

Madeleine is such a blessing to our family. She talks a mile a minute, loves to learn new things, and lights up a room with her smile. When Madeleine was born I wanted to name her something original (thus the French spelling), something sort of religious (Madeleine is a derivative of Mary Magdalene who saw Jesus after his resurrection in John 20 and shared the Good News), and something feminine. Her middle name, Nicholls, is after my grandfather who was such a blessing in my life. I would go to Grandpa Nicholls' house after school, and he would make me cookies, help me with my homework, and encourage me. He had such a sweet, generous spirit and I am so thankful for his 99 1/2 years! Madeleine's cousin Sydney has the same middle name.

7 years has happened so fast, below is 7 years of birthdays in pictures.

June 20, 2004 in the early morning when you were born.

the picture from your birth announcement (you are 2 days old)

June 20, 2005 your first birthday party in Krum, Texas. You are so happy with your daddy.

June 20, 2006 a family photo at age 2 (we were moving to Dallas so your party was in July)

June 20, 2007 You are three!

June 20, 2008 Your 4th birthday party at our house in Dallas.

June 20, 2009 The birthday girl is 5 and ready for kindergarten.

June 20, 2010 You have finished kindergarten and are 6 years old!

June 20, 2011 You are 7! Reading like a champ, loving math, playing the piano, doing gymnastics, in girl scouts, playing soccer and softball, acolyte at church, and going into 2nd grade!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

When your youngest gets a big kid bike

When your youngest child gets a big kid bike, you might have two responses:

Response 1: become nostalgic for the baby that you used to have and think about having another child. But then you remember the 2 years (at least) of little sleep, the diapers, and the money it will cost to send another child to college, so instead you decide for

Response 2:
Celebrating that your youngest has a big kid bike that they can pedal all by themselves!

Here is a movie of Everett riding his bike talking all the way...

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Slumber Party

Madeleine's 7th birthday is not until June 20, but she will just be getting back from a 2 week trip to Florida with her Grandma and Grandpa and we leave that weekend for San Antonio, so Madeleine wanted to have a slumber party the day that school got out with her closest friends. I told her that there could be seven total girls (her included) since she was going to be 7. We did survive the slumber party but 7 girls is a lot of girls!

Some of the girls came home from school with Madeleine and we went to the New Room, the Lake Highlands UMC after school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays that Madeleine and Everett both enjoy. It was then time to pick up the pizza, and go back home because the rest of the girls were on their way. After eating pizza, we headed over to a wonderful neighbor's home where she had a fancy tea party for the girls. They each had their own hat, necklace, and bracelet, and many of the girls wanted refills on the tea! A huge thank you to Mrs. Lodge for hosting the wonderful tea party!

Loving Mrs. Lodge's fiesta dishes!

A huge thank you to Mrs. Lodge for hosting the wonderful tea party!

Then it was make-over time! Another wonderful neighbor came to do make-up for the girls (I painted nails). The girls each chose a theme (French, cowboy, ocean, singer, cheerleader) and tried on some of Madeleine's clothes to make the make-over complete.

Thank you Kelly!

Then it was time for birthday singing and cupcakes from Society Bakery, they were delicious! We put in a movie and it was a struggle to get the girls to go to sleep but around 11:30 pm everyone was quiet. They woke up around 7 am and were busy playing with presents (sidewalk chalk) followed by a donut and kolache breakfast.

A huge thank you to my sister who had a sleepover of her own because she took Everett to her house and he played with his cousin Austin and had a great time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#14 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Go swimming! I had a pool in my backyard from the age of 6 and when my mom sold that house I missed the pool the most. Summer in Texas is all about figuring out how to swim as often as possible.

When we moved into our current house Madeleine was 2 and both Lee and I agreed that our child was too young for us to have a pool. Since we are not going to put a pool into our backyard, we put our names on the waiting list for the KayCee Pool and after 3 years last year we were invited to pay a big chunk of money and join the pool! This is our 2nd year and we were there on opening day as soon as it opened! It has been wonderful to see the kids love to swim as much as I do. The KayCee Pool has a great slide and I am happy to report that Everett has gone by himself down the slide! I still want to be at the bottom to make sure he is okay so I have not documented it with pictures, yet. He sits in his trusty float to go down the slide, but tonight when we went to the pool Everett went down at least 15 times!

Madeleine swimming.

There is a cantina at the KayCee pool and Everett really enjoyed his fudge ice cream. I guess I should have encouraged him to take a shower and go to the bathroom to clean up, but instead I told him to jump back in the pool!

#13 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Attend the Free Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day Concert at Flagpole Hill. The concert started at 8 pm followed by fireworks at 9 and since the next day was a school day, I decreed that the children had to take a nap after the party at Launa's Little Library or else no fireworks. Amazingly, everyone fell asleep! So, around 7:45 pm we parked along White Rock Trail and carried our chairs maybe a half mile to Flagpole Hill near White Rock Lake. While the Symphony played the kids played on a playground right there and while they had fun playing, I had fun listening to the beautiful music. The large crowd stood during the Star Spangled Banner and we all oohed and aahed during the fireworks. The concert and its music was a wonderful opportunity to talk about America's Armed Forces and it was free! There was a delightful breeze and it was a great night. I hope that this will become an annual tradition for our family.

#12 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Continuing my 52 Things to do in Dallas with Kids 2011 resolution...

Launa's Little Library is a Lake Highlands gem. The librarian, Mrs. K, has a heart of gold and is incredibly patient with each of the 350 children who visit the library! Launa's Little Library was even featured in People Magazine! I first learned about LLL in September 2006 at the kick-off party for the Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA, an incredible group of parents. I got a flier for LLL, and took my daughter there when she was 2 years old. On your second visit to the library you receive a yellow book bag to store your books. You are encouraged to visit the library every 2 weeks and can check out 5 books at a time. After the children have checked out their books with Mrs. K, they pick out a sticker.

Launa's Little Library is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and I know that the life of our family is richer because of our involvement in the library.

Every Memorial Day LLL hosts a Things on Wheels Parade and this year it was amazing. Mrs. K combined the fall birthday fundraiser celebration with the Memorial Day parade and called it Marvelous Memorial Day Madness. After the parade (Madeleine rode her bike and Everett his scooter), we had caricatures drawn, names printed with letter art, faces painted, ate some hot dogs, participated in the book balancing crazy race, rode the train, tried our luck in the cake walk at least 25 times (to no avail), and bounced in the bounce houses. We love Launa's Little Library!
some of the parade

Madeleine is a pro!

Everett on his scooter.

letter art

the cake walk... the Smiths do not have good cake walk luck... Madeleine is on the square but her number was not called.

Madeleine and Sydney in the book balancing race.

4 cousins riding the train

Two happy siblings after a great party!