Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to our Lilyann Jade

Lilyann is 2 yrs old today!!

♫Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Hap-p-p-py Birthday dear Lily Lu, Happy Birthday to you!♫

Today, November 30, is Lily's birthday...We celebrated her party yesterday with family. Lily did great! She LOVED her cake...maybe a little too much, she kept grabbing fingerfuls (is that a word?) of icing. She ate her cake like a big girl and loved getting to drink some soda from a big girl's cup. Now, the blowing out of candles and the present opening are definitely things to work on. She knows how to blow bubbles, but can't seem to get the blowing a candle out. She kept blowing her bangs up in the air instead of blowing out the candles. We got a video of it...I will post it once I get it loaded. So, check back soon!

Those who have followed from the beginning know that each birthday we count our blessings. Lily's 1st birthday was a big milestone for us.

Lilyann Jade
~November 30, 2007~

Lilyann with Mommy and Daddy
~April 15, 2008~

Lilyann and Daddy in Florida
~June 2008~

Lilyann's 1st birthday
~Thanksgiving Day 2008~

Because at 7 weeks old, Lilyann was diagnosed with a heart murmur. She had a hole in her heart. She had a medium to large Ventricular Septal Defect. We were devastated. She wasn't gaining weight, she was so tiny...and not eating very well or at all on some days.
At 4 1/2 months (after a 2 week hospital stay and an NG tube for her feedings), Lilyann had open heart surgery to repair her VSD. She did great!! After her surgery, she was growing by leaps and bounds. She is still on the small side...but her heart is perfect. All fixed.

Seeing how Lily started out makes each birthday that much sweeter!!

She's our Little Amazer....fighting from the beginning and still fighting (with her brother) today.

Lilyann with Daddy
~November 29, 2009~

Wearing her party hat for all of 2 seconds

Helping herself to some of her birthday cake
~made by Grandma

So, what makes your Monday??? Mine is the Miracle of Life!
♥Happy Birthday, Lilyann Jade♥

Joining Cheryl today for Makes My Monday at Twinfatuation.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Thanksgiving 2009


Thanksgiving 2009 was spent in Stamps, Arkansas. We packed up early Thursday morning and headed to Gilmer to meet up with Boo, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Samantha, and the girls...and then the trip started for Arkansas. It didn't take very long...about 2 1/2 hours and we were there.

We were at the Burke Farmhouse...very nice!! Great Uncle Millard and Great Aunt Sue live there. We got there just in time to take a walk around the yard, see Sugar and Dolly (horse and cat)...and get some football throwing in.

The Burke Siblings: Leonard, Patria, Gloria, and Millard

Lilyann and Kota at the kids' table..with their cool plates

Kota sitting up on Sugar..with the help of Uncle Jerry

♥Lilyann and Katie

There was quite a bunch there at Aunt Sue's house....Let's see if I can remember everyone: Great Uncle Millard, Great Aunt Sue, Great Aunt Gloria, Great Uncle Wayne, Clayton (Gloria and Wayne's grandson), Great Uncle Leonard, Great Aunt Georgia, Boo, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Samantha, Jerilyn, Katie, Brooke, Jed, myself, Dakota, and Lilyann. And all the food was...
♥Oh! so yummy!!♥

The one moment that always has me in awe is that moment of silence..when everyone is stuffing their faces.

After dinner, we took a walk down the road...very pretty area. The kids fed Sugar carrots and apples...and some hay. Then they were able to climb up in the loft of the barn. Lots of fun.

Kota playing with the leaves

Aunt Sue helping Lily feed Sugar

Jed and the kids up in the loft

We headed back inside and found a few Burkes sleeping..It's common to find a Burke sleeping..especially after a big dinner. So, we found the other Burkes and got them to pose with Great Uncle Leonard. Nothing like creating some sweet memories...Too bad Great Uncle Alfred couldn't make it to join in.

The Sleeping Burkes

Thanksgiving was a great time spent with family.

Brooke and Lily out on the porch swing

Thanks to Great Uncle Millard and Great Aunt Sue for hosting a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twas the night before Thanksgiving

Twas the night before Thanksgiving
...when all through the house...
No children were stirring,
just the parents enjoying the quietness.
The casserole was made and all ready for our trip to Arkansas.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of turkeys and family danced in their heads.
And Daddy in his pajamas playing Madden '08, and I at the computer
...posting a blog for all to read.

Just wanted to run with what I had bouncing around in my head the last few days...

Twas the night before

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Way Back When-esday: Siblings

Dakota and LeLe
Picture taken...the last week of December 2007

Dakota loved his little LeLe. That is what Dakota called Lily when she was first born. He couldn't really say her name...he was almost 2 yrs old in this picture and Lily was 4 weeks old.

Kota has added more names for Lily....There is Pretty Girl, Lu, Lily Lu, LuLu, and Lilyann Smif (he is trying to say Smith).

Dakota reading to his LeLe...she wasn't too happy about it..but he continued on

Wanna share a way back when photo or check our some other way back when photos? then stop on by Cheryl's blog, Twinfatuation.

ToTaLly RanDoM TuEsDaY!!

I'm still up..I was thinking of doing a Makes My Monday post..but knew that I would not complete it in the next 12 minutes before we rolled over to Tuesday, November 24.
I can't believe we are a month and 6 days shy of ringing in the new year...2010!!! Where has time gone??? The last decade must have flown by...because it seemed like I was just graduating high school. Yes! I graduated high 2000!! I was so worried that mytassel would have 2 big zeros on it. My brother teased me that it meant I was a double goose egg...haha. But no, my tassel came and it read Class of 2000!! Hip hip hooray!!

Yes...random facts about me....very random...But when I can't sleep, I think. goes for ToTaLly RanDoM TuEsDaY!!! 8 minutes into the next day already.

And today (well, yesterday, really) know what I was thinking about???

I think the neatest job ever would to be a garbage truck driver. Now, how random was that???
Just think of all the cool stuff you would find...other people's junk is somebody's treasure!! Now, don't worry, I'm not a pack rat or anything like that. But I have found some pretty cool stuff in the trash..or just sitting on the side of the road. My finds : an exersaucer (still being used to this day..might I add...thanks to Grandma for purchasing the spring to make it bounce right), a double stroller (sold that in a garage sale), a trike (the kids road the life out of that), a littletikes water table ( also, sold in a garage sale)....and the list could go forever.

Now, some things about the kids....Dakota has changed his coined phrase "all the day long" to "all the year long". I don't know what triggered it...but he that is what he is saying.
Lily is still using her "not know" phrase when you ask her where anything is...or about anything. Tonight I asked her, "What is your name, Lily?" and she responds with shoulder's shrugged and hands out, "not know". So...I'm thinking now, we need to teach her a new phrase.

We are getting ready for the holidays here...Dakota thinks that Santa is called anytime he sees anything Santa..."there's Christmas, Mom". This Christmas should be a hoot!!

Thanksgiving is just a stone's throw away....I am ready for a just sit and eat...and that is what we plan on doing on Thursday...sitting for our drive to Great Uncle Millard and Great Aunt Sue's. And then eating all the yummy foods.

And I think...I might venture out with my sister and join all the crazies early Friday morning...I don't know if I am really ready to do that..but I am going to jump in with both feet!!

Lots of randomness from's your random..and Leave a comment...even if it is a "Have a wonderful Holiday!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Way Back When-esday: Larger than Life

Dateline: January 25, 2007
Kota's age: almost 1 yr old (his birthday is January 28)

I was sitting here thinking ...I know...shocking!?!

Trying to decide on what picture to use for Way Back I pulled out the Cd's from Kota's 1st year. And I selected the picture above. This was taken a few days before Kota's 1st birthday. We were playing outside in the backyard and I was trying to get pictures of Kota in the tall grass which I was later told were Lilies. I think I have pictures with each child at different times in this patch of grass...but this one stood out most!!! Kota is larger than life...taller than the house.

Would you like to see some way back when photos or share your own??
Stop on by Cheryl's blog, Twinfatuation, and play along!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Makes My Monday: Deals, Buzz Buzz, Bubbles

I have a lot that Makes My Monday...but only a bit captured on camera.

Thanks to Grandma....she helped with alot of Making our Monday...Grandma called me early Saturday morning and asked me if I wanted to go shopping with her... Definitely makes my Monday. But before this, My sister had called EARLY (for the weekend, that is) to tell me that Toys 'R Us had an in-store coupon for bikes! At first, I was like "okay, whatever"...then I got Grandma's I printed off the coupon. So, thanks to my sister...and Grandma...we got Kota's Christmas present $30 off!!! (sorry, no pictures until Christmas morning for this one!)

Our shopping trip with Grandma gave Jed time to replace the radiator on our van with no distractions. It was a success...the shopping trip and the radiator replacement!! Definitely a Monday maker.

Saturday night...Kota was going to get a "buzz buzz" no matter what!! We were all geared up and ready for it. Last time, we ended up "promising him the moon" to get his hair cut...which meant holding him down and cutting his hair and then the joy later of having a a new Thomas the train.
So, you can imagine how we all were when we knew it was time for another "buzz buzz." Our Monday maker here was Alexis, Kota's cousin and best friend. We told Kota he couldn't play his Star Wars game until he got his buzz buzz. So, we wasn't too happy...then Alexis told him that she would hold his hand...and Kota was all for it. He sat in the chair holding Alexis' hand getting a buzz buzz like a big boy. It was the whole family's Monday maker. Who knew that a simple hand holding would win over a new toy??!!?? Now, we just need to coincide Dakota's buzz buzz's with Alexis' trip to town.

Alexis holding Dakota's hand

And again

After the buzz buzz, Dakota played his game and Alexis and Lily had a bubble bath. Grandma said they were snow princess...which bubble crowns.


Lilyann and Alexis...bubble bath time!
I don't know what is up with Lily's look!

AND......Lily said a new word/phrase. Lily loves Grandma's puzzle and I was asking Lily where the elephant was...and she said...."I not know"...just as clear as day! Lily is getting better with her speech!

Wanna tell me all about what Makes your Monday and read what are other's Monday Makers? Well, stop on by Cheryl's blot at Twinfatuation and share yours. Don't forget to comment on other Monday makers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gorgeous Blogger Award

I won an award!!
Annie from Santiago Twin Girls presented me with this award and I would like to thank her! Thanks, Annie!

Here are the rules:

By accepting this award, I am required to tell you 6 things about myself that you don't know and then present 6 other gorgeous bloggers this award.

1. I record shows so that I can watch them once the kids are in bed with no commercials. Thank God for the DVR.

2. I can't do paper and scissors scrap booking...but give me some digital scrap booking and I am all over it.

3. I play the piano and the flute...and I wish my house was big enough to have a place for a piano.

4. I am #7 of 8 siblings...all from the same mom and dad.

5. I LOVE pickled okra.

6. I can't sleep with socks on my feet.

And now to award 6 other Gorgeous Bloggers....

*Christina from Pooh's Corner
*Heather from 3 under 3
*Missy from Two Little Monkeys
*Cheryl from Twinfatuation
*Christina from It's A Corny Life
*Jenna from ~~Lily's Angel Heart~

Congratulations to these wonderful ladies with excellent blogs. Check them out sometime and leave them a comment!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Collage of Lilyann

Today, I was thinking about things that I am thankful for. No matter how your day is can ALWAYS find something to be thankful for. It is all in how you look at life!

I am Thankful....
~for a sink full of dishes to wash...because it means that we haven't gone hungry.

~for toddlers that don't take naps....because then I can hear Lily trying to talk to get my attention.

~a screaming Lily...because it reminds me her lungs are functioning properly and I still have my hearing.

~for Dakota's new found love of Straw cups...because I can finally throw away all the baby cups!!

~for that extra spare tire I carry around on my body...because it gives me reason and motivation to go to the gym...resulting in some quiet time for me!

So what are you thankful for today??? How do you look at things that happen in your everyday life?

Collage of Dakota

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Way Back When-esday: American Pride

"Uncle Matt"

The Duckett Family (Mrs. Duckett, Matt, Amy, John, and Emily)
November 11, 2005

These way back when photos are perfect for today. These are not immediate family but some of our closest friends. Dakota calls Matt, Uncle Matt. Matt is my husband's best friend. They have known each other since they were little. Jed and Matt grew up together, went to school together, graduated together...and are still close friends.

These pictures were taken on Veteran's Day 2005. Matt played Taps that year in honor of his dad, Paul Duckett. Mr. Paul Duckett was the music director at our church and always took his trumpet and played the taps for our City's Veteran's Day Ceremony. In September of this same year, Paul Duckett went home to be with the Lord. It was such an emotional time for us all...but I imagine even more so for Matt. But he stood tall and honored his dad by honoring the Veterans and playing Taps that year.

Each Veterans day since, I can't but think of Paul Duckett on this special day.
Thanks to all those who have served our country and are currently serving our country.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.

And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

~God Bless The USA~

by Lee Greenwood

Monday, November 9, 2009

....46 shopping days til Christmas....

~On our Afternoon walk~

I can't believe that the holidays are upon us!! Spring flew by, Summer breezed by, and Fall is happening as we speak...

I woke up this morning and looked out the window and there are pretty leaves all over the if Mother Nature had all the little fairies come through overnight and change the decor from Summer to Fall. (can you tell that I watch a little too much Tinkerbell?)

I think it hit me harder that the holidays are upon us...when Grandma talks about what to get the kids for Christmas...and then when we went to Toys 'R Us with the kids on Saturday night...yes!! The holidays are staring me in the face. But thanks to our trip to the "giraffe store", we now know what size bike to get for Dakota. He tried out a lot of bikes. Lily on the other hand...made our gift selecting a bit harder. Everything was "neat" to her. Even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys. She would pick up everything she saw and touch everything with buttons. She did like the Furr Real Pets.

And the hard part is...
she has a birthday in 21 days!!
But at least, she is content with whatever.

Though last week was quite a stressful one, the calmer weekend helps to make the start of this week a bit easier. We spent the weekend at home..the kids playing outside and then we headed out to the park. From the park, we ventured to the video store to rent a game for Dakota to play on Grandma's Wii. Lego Star Wars. Saturday evening, Grandma watched the kids for Jed and I. And we headed out to get some sanity time...meaning time to hear ourselves think. We went out to eat. We went to a local Hamburger place..and realized that we were the youngest people there besides the baby at the table next to us. The food was wonderful. And the quiet dinner was even better. And then we finished up the evening, walking through the mall thinking of ideas for Christmas gifts.
We ventured back to Grandma's, picked up the kids and went to Toys 'R Us to see what the kids gravitated to...definitely helps in the gift giving area.

Kota running with the football

Daddy caught up with him..and knocked the football out of his hands

Miss Lily...playing at the park

Have some time with my family and then alone time with my husband definitely makes my Monday.

What makes yours??
Link up to Cheryl's BLOG and share all about what Makes your Monday.

Lily riding in the down...we were acting like we were on a rollercoaster

Friday, November 6, 2009

Makes me think....what does it do for you?

Alexis, Dakota, and Grace...walking hand-in-hand through the zoo

Wow! what is up with this crazy world we live in?

What is going through these people's minds? How can you pledge your life to us one minute and then take the lives of your fellow countrymen later? It just blows my mind.

I was at the gym yesterday when I looked up and saw the TVs all showing Breaking News...Deadly shooting, Ft. Hood Shootings, etc. And all I could think about was my friend, Jenn. We met each other online back when Dakota was about 6 months old. Her daughter and My Dakota are about a month apart in age. Jenn lives near Ft. Hood, Texas. Her husband, Matt, is deployed right now. I can only wonder what is going through his mind when he heard the news. He is overseas fighting to keep his family safe, and then this happens. Lots of emotions.
Thankfully, I finally received a text back from Jenn to let me know that she was okay...she was just worried about her friends that were on base when it all happened. And how it is affecting all the soldiers and their families. It has to be so hard for the community. Because in the military, you are all one big family unit. You take care of each other as if they are your own flesh and blood. Jenn is one of the strongest Women I know. And I am honored for her friendship.

Jenn and her girls, Grace and Liv...It was a hot day at the zoo...we were inside the aquarium cooling off

Myself and Jenn...after our day at the zoo...August 2009

Events like this affect everyone. Not just the people who are injured, but also the whole country. It makes me take a different look at life. Makes me thankful for my family and for the soldiers who risk their lives to keep us safe.

“Sorrow makes us all children again – destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing. ” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I took this from a friend's blog. I have posted this before...It is a reminder to pray. Pray for our children, for our service men and women, for our President, for all those affected by this tragedy.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray..."
~II Chronicles 7:14a~

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Way Back When-esday

Date: December 3, 2005

Here I am pregnant with Dakota....a little under 2 months before delivery. I was working at Super 1 Foods as the assistant Deli Manager. My friend and co-worker, Hilda, took this picture for me.

I had Dakota on January 28, 2006...4 weeks early.

Dakota Wyatt
~November 3, 2009~
almost 4 years old

If you would like to play along...and share some snapshots from way back when....stop on by Cheryl's BLOG and link up. Then read about other Way back when's ...and don't forget to comment.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Silly Faces

This is Lily's new silly face pose. I don't know where she learned it, but she sure is proud of it!!

This is Lily's Sour Patch face...She wanted the candy...and I gave it to her...with camera ready!

And Lastly...Dakota with his "scary" teeth. He got these in a treat bag for Halloween and he LOVES them. Even took them to church with him on Sunday. Today, we were at the store and we went down the Halloween Clearance aisle..and got him a pack of "scary" teeth. Fun!

Makes My Monday: It's over

Lilyann..all wiped out from trick or treating I was trying to figure out what makes my Monday....and I think I have it!

It makes my Monday, that Halloween is in the past...just a sweet candy-filled memory.
Out of sight, out of mind is working beautifully **knock on wood** (now, that I have said something about it, the kids will start whining for it...) I separated all the candy...chocolate for mommy and daddy (makes me LOVE Halloween) and the rest for the kids. Lily loves Lollipops and Tootsie Rolls. After finding open candy throughout the house, I have realized that Kota seems to love opening the candy..but not really finishing it.

Kota at the trunk or treat

Lilyann saying "bye" to Miss Heather

Kota running up to Uncle Matt's house

Since I am not a seasoned Trick or Treater, we took the kids to the houses of our friends..and to one of our friend's churches. They had a "trunk or treat" for the kids. The kids really cleaned up the candy from each place. We visited our friends, Dave and Liz's church. And then headed on to Miss Heather's house...a friend from church, and then on to Uncle Matt and Aunt Sara's house.
I'm surprised at how much candy the kids got. Dakota got a few dozen powdered donuts from his best pal, Dave. Kota loves Mrs. Baird's Powdered Donuts...even more than candy. And Dave works for Mrs. Baird's. Kota was in Donut Heaven this weekend....which provided me the opportunity to stash the candy out of sight.

Lily with Daddy...she was all sticky from sampling her treats

Lily on the other hand got her fill of candy. Every time someone would give her candy, she would hand 1 piece back to them and say, "peese." She wanted the candy opened to eat right away. And as she left, she would blow them kisses.

Trick or treating really wore out Miss Lily

What makes your Monday? Link up to Cheryl's BLOG and tell all about what makes your Monday.