Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ava the Dancing Queen

Ava started a dance class on Friday afternoons at our church in early February. The classes are put on by a Christian organization that teaches young children about prayer and worship and how they can praise The Lord through dance and music. Ava LOVED going to her weekly class (it didn't hurt that her best friend Sydney was in the class!) and looked forward to the performance that they would do at the end of the 12 weeks. Every week they practiced their big dance number.

On May 2 the Summitview Church auditorium was packed with adoring fans and parents. Ava's class of three year kids went about halfway through the whole show and they did quite well. 

Ava knew her dance so well!  She loves to do it at home for us. Here is a video from her big performance. She is a little hard to pick out, but she is in the back row, second from the right. Partway through she comes up to front center before they all go to the back of the stage. Then at the end she is the first one to throw up her arms. :)

We were so proud of our little dancer!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Road Tripping

We did a big long road trip in early October and it was lots of fun and BEAUTIFUL!  We weren't sure if we would see many fall colors or not . . . boy did we see a lot of fall colors!  First we drove over to Loma, CO (near Grand Junction - where Tim's Grandpa's farm is) for a quick visit.  Tim's cousin, Austin, got married and we didn't want to miss the festivities!  We stayed at Tim's Grandpa's for a couple of nights and spent some good time with the Harper family.  The wedding was very nice (although a little chilly) but, sadly, I didn't get any pictures!  Not sure what I was thinking, but apparently I didn't take any pictures the whole time we were in Loma.  Lame.

Here are a couple pictures of the drive over the mountain to Loma.  It's hard to get decent pictures out a car window, so just bear with me.  None of these pictures really do justice to the beauty that we saw!  Hopefully you'll get the idea, though.

We hit a little bit of snow on the way over, but overall it was a good, uneventful drive.

After our stay in Loma we hit the road on our two-day trip up to Billings, MT.  We had reservations at a hotel in Jackson, WY, and had originally intended to drive through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks on our way to Billings.  Unfortunately, due to the federal government shut-down, the parks were closed and we had to take an alternate route.  The fun side of that was that we drove through bits of Utah and Idaho, meaning that our trip extended over 5 states:  Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana!  Kind of fun.

Overall the girls did really well on the trip.  Thank goodness for our DVD player!

Junie still doesn't do so well with the headphones,
which means sometimes Mom and Dad have to listen
to the movie, too.

Leaving Loma.  It was beautiful!

We stopped for a potty break in Dinosaur, CO.
Ava made a friend!

On our way to Jackson we drove through some beautiful country that I had never seen before, including Flaming Gorge, which is partly in Utah and partly in Wyoming.  We stopped for lunch at a small quiet cafe near the Gorge in Utah.

Coming up on the dam.

Looking back at the Flaming Gorge dam.
It was such a beautiful day!

Junie taking a snooze after lunch.

It was a long day of driving, but we made it to Jackson in time for dinner.  Our hotel was very nice.  We had the upper room of a little cabin.  The whole resort was nestled up under the mountains and the trees were beautiful.

June lounging in a chair on our deck at the hotel.
She was not too happy when we made her
come inside.

We had a yummy dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the downtown area of Jackson.  After dinner we walked around the shops a little bit and picked up some souvenirs.  It was chilly and dark but very fun.  We wished we could have spent a little more time in Jackson; maybe we'll go back some day.

Little cuties in Jackson, WY.

Out front at the Rustic Inn Resort.
Ava didn't want her picture taken and ran away screaming.

Our hotel had a great continental breakfast, so we got our day started out with full tummies and then hit the road again!  This part of the trek required going through some pretty remote areas of Idaho and lots of tiny little farm towns.  It was kind of fun.  This was Tim's first experience with Idaho.

Leaving Jackson.

It was another pretty long day of driving.  We stopped for lunch in West Yellowstone, MT, and then drove through Bozeman on our way to Billings.  The girls (and maybe me, too) were starting to get a little cranky.  We were all ready to be out of the car by the time we made it to Nana and Papa's!

We got to spend about 5 days in Billings, which was very nice.  Lots of time to relax and just be together.  My sister and her family arrived late the next night after we got there.  Ava and June always have  lot of fun with their crazy boy cousins.  ;)

The original reason for the visit to Montana was a big party that Nana and Papa threw at their house.  The reason for the party was double-fold:  we celebrated my Grandma's 80th birthday, which will be in December, and we celebrated my Aunt and Uncle's 40th wedding anniversary, which was in October.  My Grandma lives in Billings, but my Aunt and Uncle live in Arizona, so it is always nice to see them.  I didn't get any pictures from the party (apparently when I get into party mode I forget all about photography), but it was a big hit!

Look at that giant pumpkin Junie was carrying around!
She's so strong (just kidding, it's decorative and very
light)!  She loved it for some reason.

Refried bean coma.  

The cousins watching cartoons in their jammies!

Who knew a bag full of plastic plates and
sippy cups could be so fun?!

Manicures at Nana's house!  Ava got a manicure
and a pedicure.  Lucky girl.

Junie with Aunt Jess and Uncle Brandon.
"Aunt Jess lets me play with her iPad!!"

Twins!!!  Now you know where June gets her looks!

Bedtime story with Nana.

The other big event of the week was Cameron and Everett's baptisms.  They were baptized at St. Bernard's, the church that my dad attended for years and years.  Jess and I pretty much grew up in that church.  It was home to my dad and so it meant a lot for the boys to be baptized there.

All pewed up for Mass!

Pictures with our Godsons!

With Father David.

Such a good-looking family!

It was a great trip.  It is always fun to spend time with family.  It is nice to see the girls becoming more and more comfortable with family and in the homes of our family.  It was easy to see that Ava remembered Grandpa Harper's house (and all the fun she had there) and she definitely knows and remembers Nana and Papa's house now.

I will leave you with a picture of:

Shrek Junie!!
She wore those necklaces ALL THE TIME
while we were there.  Sadly only two made it home
undamaged and only one remains today.

The Finished Product

My quilt for Little Man is finished!  I'm not going to lie . . . I'm pretty proud of it!  It turned out pretty well, especially for my first quilt.  Granted, I did make the easiest quilt possible.  :)  I can't believe I finished it in two weeks!  I'm almost a little sad . . . my fun project has already ended.  I hope he likes it!

Here are some pictures of the process:

After my trip to the fabric store.

So grateful for all the great quilting tools that I have
thanks to Chrisann!

All the squares are cut!

Pinned with the batting and ready to be sewed.

Let the sewing begin!

Squares all sewed and laid out, ready
to be sewed together!  Laying it out was
kind of a tricky process.  The trickiest part was
then getting the girls and the cats to leave
it alone!

First row sewed together.

It went a lot faster than I thought it would!

First two rows sewed together.

All put together and ready to be snipped!

The backside looks like a regular quilt.

All snipped up and ready to be washed.
I think that was the longest part of the whole process.
My fingers are still sore!

Ta da!  Washed, dried and finished.  Now it just has to wait for Baby!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Little Man

In case you missed the news, we had our mid-pregnancy ultrasound last week and discovered that Baby Kelleher #3 is a BOY!!!  Here are just a couple pictures from the ultrasound (pay no attention to the fact that they scanned in crookedly).

Thumbs up!  I guess he's telling us he's okay.

Can you see his face on the right?
It's easiest to make out the nose and little lips.

Oddly, this baby was faced out for the whole ultrasound.  Both of our girls were faced up, so it was easy to get profile pictures of them.  We couldn't get a profile picture of this guy!  Typically ultrasound techs aren't supposed to reveal the gender of the baby or really anything of what they see.  This one told us immediately that he was a boy.  She found him and right away said, "There's the gender, right there."  She asked Tim what he thought he saw and he said "Girl."  She answered, "Nope.  It's a boy!" and then pointed out his little boy parts.  I couldn't see it at that point, but we have a printed picture from later during the ultrasound in which his boy-ness is very evident.  I'm thankful that it was so obvious!  I didn't want an "iffy" answer on the gender.  :)

But the best news of all:  he's healthy!  All his measurements were within normal ranges, so he looks healthy and normal so far.  Praise God!!  Is it possible that we could have three healthy normal babies?!  It seems like such a miracle, knowing that there are so many different things that could go wrong.

We are very excited about adding a boy to our family.  Obviously a third girl would have been fun, too, and a lot easier in some ways.  We already have tons of baby girl stuff.  We're going to have to start over a bit now that there's a boy on the way!  Fortunately we have consistently gone gender-neutral with big tickets items.  And the nursery is green.

I think it will be so fun to have both genders.  It should add some fun new dynamics (and possibly challenges) to our family.  Tim is very excited, too.  He wasn't really allowing himself to imagine having a boy; I think he had already resigned himself to a third girl!  But now that he knows there's a boy coming, he's realizing more and more of what that means, and getting more and more excited.  The other day he said to me, "Now I'll have someone to leave my tools to!"  :)  I guess that's important.  I just keep reminding him that all of those things that he is excited to do with a son, he can also do with his daughters.  I know, I know.  I'm sure it's different somehow.  All I know is my sister and I became pretty proficient at being the sons our dad never had.  :)

Thank you, Lord, for our little man!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Camping 2013

One of our goals at the beginning of the summer was to make it out on a couple family camping trips.  Well . . . between projects around the house, birthday parties, an unexpected pregnancy and the usual summer busyness . . . that proved harder to achieve than we expected.  We finally made it out for one trip toward the end of August.

We were a little apprehensive about going camping with the girls.  Mostly we just knew it was going to take a lot more work and planning than when it was just the two of us.  It turned out to be a very successful trip.  Tim and I agreed that camping with the girls is a lot of work . . . but then, life in general is a lot of work with two small children.  What's the difference?  :)

We ended up going to Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming.  Tim left work a little early on Friday afternoon and we headed up.  It was just a short drive from Cheyenne, so altogether under an hour to drive there from our house.  The convenience was nice, but we probably won't go back.  We had reserved a campsite, not really knowing how busy the park would be.  Our reserved campsite was nothing to write home about.  We were perched up on top of a hill--a perfect target for the incessant wind--with no trees or shade around.  I have never cared for camp sites where you are out in the open for everyone to see exactly what you're doing all the time.  But we were determined to make the best of it.  At least without trees around there wasn't anywhere for Ava to hide.

Right away when we got there a thunderstorm started rolling in.  We set up our tent quickly and got busy cooking dinner.  We ate quickly and ducked in our tent for the night just before the weather got bad.  It was SOOOO windy all night up on our little hill.  Our tent shook like crazy and we worried that our stakes were going to come up.  It rained a couple of times, too.  But we made it through.  Once the girls got to sleep they slept soundly . . . Ava on the ground in a sleeping bag and June in her pack'n'play.  It was chilly at night, but we bundled them up with fleecy "footie" pajamas and big blankets.

Saturday was fun, but long.  It's hard when you can't get out of the wind or the sun for a whole day.  We went for a little walk around the reservoir and Tim and Ava did some fishing while June tried to take a nap in the tent in the baking hot sun.  Her nap didn't last long.  We were all starting to get tired and hot and grumpy so we finally piled in the car and drove around the park a bit.  The air conditioning felt nice.  :)  Tim says we're getting too soft.  Maybe so, but I'm used to having a least a little bit of shade in my campground.  We hoped the girls would fall asleep in the car, but no such luck.  Afterward we all went in the tent for a bit and lounged about and the girls played with some toys.  It was hot in there, but not windy, at least.  Tim and Ava went and did a little more fishing with absolutely no luck.

Finally about the time we were ready to cook dinner the sun started to set and the wind died down.  Then we had a lovely evening.  We had brauts and baked beans for dinner and afterwards introduced Ava to the art of roasting marshmallows.  Once the girls were in bed (it took them forever to go to sleep - too busy playing and giggling!) Tim and I sat under the stars and by the fire for a bit before retiring.  The girls slept well again but were up early Sunday morning.  We had a quick breakfast and packed up camp.  We were home around 11am.

All in all it was fun.  It was a good test run.  Now we know we and the girls can handle it.  Hopefully next year we'll find a better camping spot . . . or maybe we'll just rent a camper since we'll have a baby along, too.  ;)

I'll let the pictures fill in the details of our trip:

This thing brings back so many memories.  The Old Man would
be glad to see so much of his gear back in use!

All loaded up and ready to go!

Of course she was more interested in sitting in Mom
or Dad's chair than in her own.

Daddy cooking our sandwiches over the fire.

The new tent's maiden voyage!

Storm clouds rolling in.

Good morning, little camper!

Having some hot chocolate in the morning while
'Mom and Dad make breakfast.

I cooked us up some pancakes and Little Smokies.
It was delicious.  Everything tastes better when you're camping!

We did have a nice view at least.

Ava couldn't wait to use her new fishing rod.

Loving the "footie" pajamas and tennis shoes look!

Ready to go for a little walk!

She took a little snooze on Daddy's back, which is what
we were hoping for.

Ava found lots of wildflowers and weeds to pick!

Throwing rocks in the water.

"I'm hot and I'm tired.  Just give me my lunch!"

Trying to hide in the little bit of shade next to the truck!

Little campers.

Dinner time!

"What?  Do I have something on my face?"

Junie's first marsmallow (not roasted)!  She LOVED them.
Ava's first smore!
Nom nom nom.

Between beans, dirt and marshmallows, June won the
Grubbiest Camper Award!  They went right in the
bathtub when we got home.