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Yesterday Callen sat down and wrote his name all by himself, without any help, for the first time!  He is pretty proud of himself, and we are too!




Santa and Mrs. Claus! Callen didn’t tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. He was too busy eyeballing the candy that Mrs. Claus had. Carina reported that she wants a Barbie playhouse and makeup! Not sure what to do about that.


Lately Callen has started to show a greater interest in music. And more of an opinion. Recently we were out to eat when a Sarah McLaughlin song came on. Five seconds into the song, Callen said he didn’t like the song. When I asked him why, he said, “because it’s sad.” I thought that was pretty intuitive, even if Sarah is one of my favorite artists.

Leaving Branson after a weekend visit, we were hoping the kids would sleep most of the way home since they are exhausted. We turned on some soothing Hayley Westenra music, specifically a track we used in our wedding. Callen immediately started yelling from the back seat, “turn this off! I don’t wike this! I don’t want to hear this!”

I was surprised, since I was fairly sure he had never heard the song before. “Why don’t you like this, Callen?”

“Because it’s TEWABLE!”

We’ve never heard him use the word terrible before, so we were dually impressed and amused.

On a side note, we’re now nearly home, and no one has done any sleeping.

It always surprises me how certain pieces of new knowledge continually surface in the kids’ minds (especially when it relates to our own anatomy).

A few weeks ago, between bath time and pajamas, Callen pointed to the berries part of his twig and berries and said, “Dad, what’s this?”

“Those are your nuts,” said Craig.

Callen looked at him slyly and said, “Oh, Daddy, we don’t eat these!”


A few days later-

Callen:  Dad, I’m hungry.

Craig:  Ok, we’ll get a snack.

Callen: (pointing to his berries) What are these again?

Craig: Nuts.

Callen:  I’m so hungry my nuts hurt.


More recently –

I’m sitting in the front seat of the truck, and I hear Callen behind me in the back seat chewing and crunching on something quite noisily.

Me:  Callen, what are you eating?

Callen:  NUTS!!! Bwahahahaha!!!!!


And finally, last night –

30 minutes after Craig had put the kids to bed, we are lounging in the living room.  From the bottom of the stairs:

Carina:  Mom, I forgot to tell you and Dad something.

Me:  Yes, Carina?

Carina:  I love you all the way to the moon and back down to our house, and into my room, and up to the kitchen, and all the way into my heart.  I will never stop loving you!  (This is Carina’s new thing – she likes to tell us how much she loves us by stretching her love out over long distances)

Craig:  That’s very nice Carina.  Thank You.  We love you very much too.  Goodnight!

Me:  Goodnight Carina!  I looooovvveee you!

Callen:  Yeah, um, and I love you from the moon down to the earf (earth) and into my nuts and up to the ceiling and…

Carina: (in a surprised and correctional LOUD whisper)  Callen!  You don’t have any nuts!

Callen:  Yes I do. They’re right under my P. (P is his word for penis)…and into my room, and down the stairs, and into my heart.

Craig and I: (stifling laughter)  We love you too!  Goodnight children!

…Bear?  This statue is outside of an investment firm near our house (that is now out of business).  We drive past it all the time, with the kids often commenting, “I see a bear!”  I always think to myself, we should stop in there sometime so the kids can get an up close look, but I never pull in.  Now that the craziness of the first part of the summer is over, I really am trying to slow down and enjoy the world around us.  The long, hot, midsouth days nearly require it.  This summer, it’s the little things that matter, because in the fall, some big things are happening!  (And that’s no bull.)

Sorry.  I couldn’t help it.





The kids’ school had a mothers day tea today. It was fun to visit their classrooms and see what they had made for me.

We had a fantastic mini-session with Jennifer McHam Photography, her paddle of ducks, and one brave little chick!  Still deciding which to print…

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Tonight’s dinner discussion started when Carina asked if she was a monkey after the dinosaurs “got extinct”. Not sure how to fully explain that in four year old terms, so I turned to google images for the classic rising monkey montage picture. And then Callen wrapped it up by singing his ABCs, ending with, “now I know my ABCs, thank you God for feeding me.” We are well rounded around here, I tell ya.

For the first time since, well, ever, we stayed home for Christmas.  One of our main reasons for doing this was because we felt like the kids are getting old enough to start to appreciate holiday traditions, and we wanted to establish those traditions in our own home.  We started the kids off with one of the most common family traditions – putting up the tree.

Carina said she wanted to add some wood to make a bigger base for the tree, after hearing about how her friend Amelie’s tree tipped over in the middle of the night.

Callen really enjoyed figuring out what order the three pieces of our tree went in.  “Like that big snowman I made last year!” he says.

Wasn’t it great of the kids to take pictures of one another while they worked?  They sent Craig and I out to get some extra lights.  “You can never have too many bulbs on a 12 footer!” said Carina.

Luckily we got back from the blinkin’ light store just in time to help the kids with the ornaments.  It wouldn’t be a family tradition if we didn’t all contribute!

The kids really love this holiday tradition thing, and so do Craig and I.  Putting up the tree has never been as enjoyable as it was this year.

Santa came to see everyone at Asbury UMC, where we go to preschool. In addition to lots of fun games and crafts we also got to sing and dance along with OUR FAVORITE – Brian and Terry Kinder.

Can you find Carina and Callen in the crowd?

Decorating Cookies

Then, we had to wait in line for quite a while to see Santa, but it was worth it!  We told him what we wanted (a princess castle and a dolphin for Carina, an airplane for Callen), gave him some cuddles, and had our picture taken.  That Santa is a pretty cool guy!

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June 2018
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