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Sunday, November 30, 2008

the castle cake

Bella has been drooling over the Princess Castle cake at Publix for the past six months. Every time we are in the grocery store we have to walk by it and she reminds me that she would really like to have that cake. For the bargain price of $75 you too can have your own castle. $75 for a birthday cake?? Are you kidding me?! We have a wonderful, talented friend Miss Susan and she agreed to bake Bella's castle. On Thanksgiving, no less. Bella was so excited and drooled over that cake all day. Thank you so much Miss Susan, you are the best!!

Thanksgiving weekend

We hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving this year. We have so much to be thankful for!! Jason's mom and two of his cousins, Pam and Caitlin, came to visit us this year. We enjoyed having them and hope they had a good trip. The girls love having company and continue to ask us why everyone can't move to Alabama like us. We visited Build a Bear for birthdays, went to the light show at the Botanical Gardens (an anuual trip) and went to the Space Center. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

4 years old

Happy 4th Birthday Isabella! Daddy and I can hardly believe you are four years old. We remember the day you were born like it was yesterday and can't believe time has gone by so quickly. Everyone said it would but we did not believe them.

You are a great big sister and I admire your patience with your little siblings. Daddy and I know it is hard to share your space and your toys.
You love to sing and dance and do gymnastics.
You are stubborn and have to do things on your own time in your own way. At four it is exasperating but I know it will serve you well later in life.
You make Daddy and I laugh out loud at the things you say, I hope I will be able to remember everything.
You are smart and most important kind.

We are proud of you and thankful that God gave us you.
Happy, happy Birthday!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

whose birthday is it?

In the midst of the holiday madness it is also birthday time at our house. All three little Ross children have birthdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas and it is a very busy time of year for us. This weekend we were discussing birthdays with the girls and trying to explain when each one would have their turn. We explained that Bella's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year and Amelia's Birthday was two days after Baby Jesus' birthday. Never one to be out done by little sis, Bella replied, very seriously: "My birthday is two days after God's."

Jason and I could barely keep a straight face. I guess those pilgrims just aren't important enough.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Build A Bear

Today we had Isabella's 4th Birthday Party at Build A Bear. It was a fantastic party and everyone had a great time. The store allows them to be as loud as they want and only has one rule - no running. It was fantastic!! The party leader and all the kids sang songs and played games to keep them entertained. Bella told us it was her best birthday ever! Thank you to everyone that came and helped make her day special.
Here are some pictures.







Sunday, November 16, 2008

Will walking

Two short videos of Will walking.
video
video

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

cinderella makes house calls

It is a running joke in our house that I do the bulk of my shopping online. Maybe because ordering something online is easier than lugging three children to the store. Probably because I don't feel like driving to Nashville for a quality shopping experience. How I miss and long to have an Easton or Polaris 15 minutes away. Because I do the bulk of my shopping on-line I know the first name of both my current and previous UPS men. My first UPS man even gave me the name of an amazing and talented photographer, and I will be forever grateful. The kids have learned that in the afternoon, if our doorbell rings around 3PM it's more than likely Mr. Wade with a package.
I am almost finished with my Birthday and Christmas shopping and thankfully most of my packages have arrived inconspicuously. Yesterday a package arrived from the Disney store and had the Disney logo all over the outside of the box. Bella immediately saw it and asked me what Cinderella had sent to our house. I tried to downplay the boxes arrival and put it away quickly. Bella was insistent on opening it to see what had arrived from Cinderella's castle. I have to hand it to the marketing power at Disney. Not only do they have frequent commercials that entice children, they spend a few extra dollars to have their logos printed on the outside of their boxes. Anytime a box even arrives at your door, kids can tell where its from and if they are like mine, immediately start asking when they can go to Disney World. Genius!

Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day was not a holiday I paid much attention to growing up. We didn't get out of school for Veteran's Day and it wasn't a fun holiday like Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July or Thanksgiving. I understood it was a day to honor our Veteran's but it wasn't something we really "celebrated". The only veteran's I knew then were my grandfathers or men close to my grandfathers' age. Veterans were certainly not people I know, people that are our friends. Certainly not my brother. Definitely not my husband.

Today the word Veteran has taken on an entirely different meaning to me. Maybe because I have realized the sacrifice and selflessness it takes to be a Veteran. You put others before yourself every single day. You do what you are told without having the ability to ask questions or provide your own opinion. You leave even when you may not want to, for months at a time. Missing births, first words, first steps. Missing everything to protect our country, to defend its freedom.

The following is an excerpt from Gator Tales a monthly newsletter we receive from one of Jason's best friends in Iraq. The words are powerful and to me define a true veteran.

The value of life is never under estimated at moments like this. We know that there is no such thing as a refund, redo, or reset in our lives. Each of us is confronted daily with choices that once made, define our characters. As Americans, we choose freedom and the right to the pursuit of happiness. As Soldiers, we have chosen to shoulder the burden of defending these unalienable rights no matter the cost. In doing so our character is defined, we are protectors at the core who embody selfless service. This Global War on Terrorism seems overwhelming for some, but for our soldiers it’s another day doing our duty. From day to day none of us know if we may ultimately be called to sacrifice our lives so that others may live in freedom. Yet our soldiers stand tall and hold fast to their duty. - CPT Scott Bailey

We miss you Scott and can't wait until you are safely home. Thank you to all the Veteran's I know and those that I don't. I admire your honor and your courage. Thank you to your families. Their strength gives you strength.

Until they all come home.

Monday, November 3, 2008

bedtime conversation

Last night as we were tucking Isabella in, Jason noticed that her chapstick was not in its normal place. He asked Bella where it had gone and she said, "I threw it in the trash because it didn't work anymore."

We had a quick lesson on why we do not throw things away just because they no longer work. Things cost money and we try to fix them as best we can before we throw them away. I told Bella that this was her last free chapstick and if she threw anymore away, she would have to get a job or pay for the next one herself. I suggested she head down the street to Miss Susan's and get a job picking up rocks.

Bella got concerned at this point and asked, "Daddy why can't you just give me money because you have some? Then I don't have to work."

Jason replied, "Because sweetie we are not democrats. And in this house you work for your money it just isn't given to you."

Bella said, "I don't want to work, I just want to be a dentist's crack." Whoa, totally didn't see that one coming.

I find it ironic this conversation happened on the night before a huge election, an election that has clearly divided our country. Voting is a personal choice. You may be on a different side of the fence than I am and that's okay. People don't have to see eye to eye on everything. I just hope people have clearly thought out the consequences of their decision tomorrow. I personally don't see a tax plan that a three year old can understand as the right direction for America.

a budding picasso

This week while I was cleaning up dinner, Isabella asked if she and Amelia could color at their little table. I warily said yes and went over the rules of coloring for what seems like the one millionth time..ONLY on the paper and ONLY in the coloring books, etc. Well while I was washing some dishes, I look up and see Amelia hard at work on the walls. This isn't the first time a little artist has left their mark on my walls but it was the first time I caught them red-handed. Thankfully I stock pile Magic Erasers.

walk this way

Will has been working on walking for a few weeks now. He has not been super steady on his feet and usually reverts back to crawling..which he does at lightening speed. If we clap and make a big deal of his accomplishment, he gets embarrassed and crawls away or sits down and claps for himself. This past week he has been walking a lot and is getting better and going farther every day. I was finally camera ready and able to take a few pictures.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween


We hope everyone had a Happy Halloween. We took the kids Trunk-or-Treating on Wednesday night at our neighbors church. They received a TON of candy and had a blast. On Friday (after much debate) we decided to do something less traditional and went to a Fall Festival at Bella's pre-school. I am fighting a horrible cold and can not stop coughing. I knew walking would only aggrivate the situation and the girls are still pretty afraid of the costumes and Halloween decor. We asked the girls if they would rather go to the Festival or go trick or treating again. They chose the festival much to mom's relief. It was kind of like a mini-carnival and was all indoors. The girls played all the games several times and recieved candy and tickets at each station. At the end of the night they were able to buy prizes with their accumulated tickets. They had a blast! Now if I can only figure out what to do with all this candy!? I guess I will be sending it to work with Jason in a few days!