Thursday, December 30, 2010


The girls were introduced to hot cocoa during Alex's mom's visit. They are big fans! Even cuter is they refuse to call it hot chocolate, preferring the British/Zimbabwean pronunciation of hot cocoa.

This month we also helped the girls' beloved godfather, Dan, celebrate his 60th birthday. They helped arrange the candles on the cake!

Stella's first mobile Christmas has resulted in lots of opportunity for learning self-control! There were so many temptations - this one being the most enticing, esp. since she can climb up on the fireplace bench all by herself!

And a rare moment worth documenting, Addie sleeping the longest at nap time one afternoon this December. This NEVER happens. She is first to rise on all occasions and eager to wake everyone else up. This has resulted in creative sleeping arrangements that are ever in flux!


My sister-in-law drove from Austin, Texas to Springfield, MO by herself with a two-year-old and nearly-one-year old twins!!! Now that is super woman status if I've ever see it. My brother didn't get same amount of time off work, so he flew in a few days later. They all stayed at our house which made for a fun flurry of activity while we did our best to keep six little bodies occupied and entertained!

Here's the mass of them watching cartoons with Uncle Andrew early in the morning!

We also braved the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day in spite of the 20 degree temps and icy drizzle. Everyone did well until about the last 10 minutes of the run/walk when there was unrelenting screaming from the Texas boys who had had enough of the frigid weather. Thankfully, donuts, bananas, and water were awaiting us in warm Expo center. Stella was semi-ticked herself and won't even look at the camera! : )

This was also the month were Stella finally found her walking legs. Miraculously one night after dinner, she got a glint in her eye and started circling the kitchen with a giggle - round and around in a loop until her bedtime. The next morning she briefly forgot her new found skill, but remember again at dinner time and the laps began! Alex has some great video of her looking so proud of herself.


We had a party to celebrate Alex's newly minted citizenship. It was wonderful to have our house filled with friends and family! The guests were invited to bring Alex a gift under the theme, "something every American should have". There were many hilarious entries - including Spaghettio's, pork rinds, "Born in America" CD & record, etc.! In the picture Alex is cutting into a delicious apple pie our friend Danae gave Alex....yummm can still taste it now months later! We are saving a very special bottle of wine from my Aunt Mary for an occasion worthy of it's opening.

The new botanical gardens opened and is very near our house. I can see many future bike trips up the bike trail to circle the gardens and the lake nearby.

My little mouse - part of the Cinderella theme for Halloween.

Gogo - Alex's mom came for a month long visit at the end of October. It was so nice to have her to ourselves for weeks. She fits into the fabric of our day to day life seamlessly. We were are more than a little sad when she had to return to her "real-life" back home in Zimbabwe!

Stella's super cute little friend, Owen....Homecoming King and Queen of 2027? : )


This girl can turn her charm on anywhere - even at the bottom of a closet wedged up against a bag of dirty laundry!

I came outside to check on the girls and I see Addie stretched out on the turtle sandbox like a model sunbathing - silly girl!! It was a beautiful fall day - not to hot and not to cold! Stella loves sliding down the plastic kiddie pool even without water. I'm guessing this is mostly because it is just the right size for her.

My friend Shannon and I took our oldest kiddos to Mount Vernon's Apple Butter Makin' Days. It was great day to be outside - cool with warm sun! The kids enjoyed hanging out together and enjoyed "fair food" - really who doesn't?!

Alex had a week long work trip in LA in mid-October. At the end of the week, I flew out (first time on an airplane in a LONG time) to meet him. We had a lovely weekend just wandering around and sleeping in! The girls were kept busy by grandparents, godparents, and a favorite babysitter.

Stella Stella Stella...broke her arm when she flew off the top of her sisters' bunk beds. No she can't climb up there, yes her mother put her up there to play (but thought the tent over the top would keep her contained), no the tent did not stay put as Stella stood up and started banging on it, yes her mother was supervising - a foot away changing her crib her mother has not put her up there again! : ) She was a remarkable trooper through the whole thing - I only figured out it was broken when she won't pick up her sippy cup to drink at lunch time. She only had the cast on for two weeks since she is so little apparently her bones grow quickly.


Zimbo no more - Alex became a US citizen in September. We drove up to Kansas City for his official swearing in. It was fun to see our driveway lined with flags in celebration upon our arrival!

Another hit this month was the discovery of S'mores. The girls loved this special treat thought up by Alex. We couldn't help but snicker when they started screaming because their marshmallows caught on fire! I guess they haven't developed a taste for a chargrilled marshmallow!!

Mina is always asking me to take her picture - perhaps it is because I was such a camera hound when she was a baby!

The girls now dress themselves with complete independence. There are many colorful and interesting results! Here is one particularly humorous example.


Stella is determined to do everything the "big girls" do - even if it isn't completely age appropriate. It is amazing how less concerned you are the second time around about things like...say...your child eating paint! You can see the evidence all over her face! She thought she was such big stuff hanging with Addie and Mina creating artist masterpieces.

Here's a sweet moment after Saturday morning breakfast. Alex always makes pancakes, french toast, or some other deviation from our weekday norm of oatmeal/cereal. The girls love having something special...okay me too!

We frequent many outdoor festivals - always fun to see all the crafts, food, and music. This year's Cider Days was particularly HOT! Everyone was sweaty and a bit cranky. We did our best to distract with cotton candy and bounce houses...and beer for some! : )

Having a delicious cupcake before we hit the road home helped everyone brighten up a bit...that and sitting in the shade for a half hour.

Playing Catch Up - September

Over Labor Day weekend, we drove the LONG drive to Austin, Texas to visit my brother and his family. We had a great time - the kids are really starting to "discover" their cousins. So many fun times together ahead of them!

My brother took me for a tour around the block in the kiddie's bike trailer - all my part to be supportive of his 30 day's of biking. Plus - the rear view photo makes a great image on my phone - cheerfully popping up every time he calls! : )

Sarah and I took the oldest three to petting zoo, where the animals terrified the kids and they found more amusement in the makeshift instruments and playground!

Here are my three sweeties in their summer dresses. They LOVE dresses and have lived in them all summer long. It made it very easy for them to dress themselves!

Stella is growing and changing so quickly. She is quickly leaving her babyhood behind and working hard to keep up with her sisters! She has learned that her flashy grin gets quite the response - therefore we see it frequently!

Just like her big sisters, Stella LOVES to swing. She could spend hours being pushed to and fro. Her sisters have figured out how to swing themselves and often let themselves into the backyard to do just that. This results in much protest from Stella since she is dependent on me to swing her and I'm not as available as she'd like!! : )