Thursday, May 31, 2012

Georgia Graduates!

Georgia's preschool, Small Blessings, "graduates" their PreK-4 class- I always remember graduations being for Kindergarten, but do schools even do Kindergarten Graduation anymore?? Well, maybe we'll get to do this again next year, but this year was really great, and our first Hipp Family graduation. The two PreK-4 classes sang several sweet songs, with awesome hand motions- Georgia's class did a great performance of "The Florida Alphabet"... "Ah Ah Alligator, Ba Ba Boat, Ca Ca Conch shell- they don't float!" The whole thing was so cute! I've been hearing her practice it at home for weeks, so it was great to hear it "performed"! They also did an impressive song with handheld bells- I was amazed Ms Annette could get 32 4-&-5-year olds to play the bells! Georgia got her Diploma, and we enjoyed dessert in the banquet hall, while admiring some of her art work from the year. We'll have to have a Hipp Hall Art Show to showcase some of her great pieces! We are so proud of all she has learned and accomplished this year, and so grateful to Small Blessings, Ms Annette & Ms Shannon for her awesome education and with striving to fill her little heart with the joy of the Lord! We are excited for Lincoln to be there next year!
Singing Graduates- Georgia is in the back row, middle of this pic, in the blue dress... (sorry these are blurry! I was holding the baby and trying to zoom and get a few shots- not a great photography technique!)
Even while being adorable and happy for their Big Sis, little brother and sister did not get much out of the ceremony- they acted like we had never asked them to sit still for a minute (or an hour!) their whole lives! But at least there were treats after!
I didn't realize till the end of the ceremony that the gentleman behind Lincoln is the Head Pastor! Oops- hope he didn't mind those shoes on his pew cushions!

Great family picture, though I wish I'd remembered to untuck my hair from behind my ear. And Rosemary is holding breath mints- not bc of her stinky baby breath, but bc I had been emptying my purse trying to keep her occupied!
(Thanks for my cute dress, aunt Janet! ;)
Sweet friends and classmates: Caroline, Grace & Georgia
Georgia's life-sized self-portrait :)

Georgia's last day of school was a pajama day- so her last day pics are in pj's! I was going to have her change into school clothes for one picture, but, truth is, we were already running late. And since I actually got some smiling faces in these ones, I wasn't going to redo them! Of course Rosemary has grown this year, but it's amazing to see how much the other two have grown!!
Georgia's first day of PreK4!
Georgia's last day of PreK4!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trifecta 2012

Recently we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary, Mother's Day, and my 32nd birthday- another exciting Trifecta! And in the middle of three busy kids, a busted hot water heater, replacing a hazardous clothes dryer, long work hours and 16 hours of class- my husband still managed to spoil me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012
The "traditional" gift for the 9th anniversary is ceramics- Larry got me two beautiful pots to go by the front door with gardenias in them- "First Love" gardenias to be exact! I don't know if that was intentional, but he is certainly my first and only Love! :) And gardenias are one of my favorite plants- I've really been wanting some. We've already gotten two flowers and they are heavenly to smell! Grammie babysat that night so we  could go out to dinner and see a movie- The Avengers, in Imax 3D. Seeing super-hero movies is kind of a tradition for us- we saw XMen the day after we got married on our "Day-Moon"! My gift to Larry was not "traditional"- mainly because I couldn't see him loving a "paint your own pottery" class, or wearing leather pants (the "modern" gift for 9) and those were my only ideas... I got him, or us, rather, a paddle board lesson! We go this Saturday and we're both excited- he especially has really been wanting to try it!

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Next up was Mother's Day- a day I love because I really love being a Mother! And I love that I get a day to celebrate that amazing blessing with my family! Poor Larry had graduate school classes all day that day- he only has class on Sunday the first weekend of the semester, and it happened to be on Mother's Day this time. I really felt bad for any mother's in his class! But he did manage to share some gifts with me before he left- it was the Day of Dresses! I love that my husband can shop for me. We talked about that with the whole clan later at dinner, and, I think, determined that Larry is the only husband that successfully shops for his wife. Not that that means anything bad about other guys; I'm just thankful and proud that he gets out there and tries- and does a great job! I like everything he got me, but, even though he got everything the same size, not everything fit. Which is ok too, because then I get some shopping time to exchange things! :) The dress I'm wearing below is one of my gifts- cute and comfy! We had dinner at Mom and Dad's that night with a large crew, and it was great! One of my Mother's Day gifts every year that I try to insist on is simply a picture with all of my babies- not always an easy task... I had no idea Rosemary was chewing on that thing the whole time till afterward. Oh well- the Mother's Day she was teething!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Last but not least- my 32nd Birthday! It was pretty much a normal day at home- take Georgia to school, Rosemary nap, lunch, pick Georgia up... The big kids had a dentist appointment, so Grandad watched Rosemary while I did that. Georgia does NOT like the dentist, by the way. Not even on Mommy's birthday. Not even with the promise of cake later. Sigh. But that night Grandad, Wes and Jen joined us for pizza (yea- no cooking!) and mint chocolate chip ice cream cake- YUM!! It had little green-icing flowers and oreo cookies on top and Lincoln said- "hmmm, broccoli and cookie cake. That's weird." But he was licking his plate later, so I guess weird isn't always bad! Ice cream cake always makes getting older seem better! :)
(No pictures- just trust me- or Trust YOU, as Georgia's been saying- she can't seem to get that right!- it was a fun birthday! :)

Another successful Trifecta! Thank you, my "First Love" :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Take me out to the Ballgame

We took the kids to a Tampa Yankees game recently- the minor league for the Yankees. It was Family Night, and if you got there an hour early, the kids got to run the bases. Georgia and Lincoln were the first ones out there, and I think they ran the bases 5-6 times total! They finally came off the field with beet-red cheeks and sweaty heads! I was hot just from watching them. But- then we still had 45 minutes to wait till the game started! We jumped in the bouncy house, got our hot dogs and chips, and even got to meet and get autographs from two under-enthusiastic players. We found our seats, got our hot dogs out, got everyone some more water, took turns eating and holding a wiggly Rosemary- and finally the game started!
Two innings later, Lincoln asked to go home. And Georgia was hot and didn't want her hot dog. And they wanted to stand- which really meant run up and down the aisle. And Rosemary wanted to stand- which really meant eat gross stuff off the ground. (And the game really wasn't very exciting- the Yanks weren't playing very well.)
We moved seats further back so the kids could have a little room to move without disturbing anyone, and lasted another inning. Then we called it- and headed out to get ice cream before going back home!

The kids liked running the bases- but are not quite ready for spectator sports!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rosemary Videos: Dada, Wud Do

Rosemary eagerly awaits Dada coming home in the evening. This night she thought she could make him come home sooner by calling for him by the front door!

Rosemary is getting good at coping sounds- the beginning of talking! Ignore the sweet potato beard, and wait for her profession of love at the end!

Video: Rosemary Walking & Little Tongue

Rosemary shows off some WALKING!! I finally got some video of her as she walks across the kitchen- no help, please!

Rosemary's Little Tongue! The big kids were showing what color their tongues were after their lollipops, and Rosemary wanted to join in! She was cracking us up!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rosemary- 10.5 months

Dear Rosemary,
It's been a crazy month once again. But I don't want to totally skip this update, so lets get some highlights out there before you turn 11 months!

~The most exciting development is- You're Walking! About a month ago you started taking one to two little practice steps, very tentatively. Then it was three and four. You've slowly gotten braver and more steady on your feet. In the last week you've decided you've got it! Now you're walking across the room in your sweet little waddle! It's so amazing to see you just walking by! Such a BIG GIRL!! (Video coming soon- didn't want to overload this post)
You've only worn shoes about a total of 3 times- in your life! Barefoot baby!
~You are learning how to express yourself- You are an expert at waving, you clap a lot (but you hold one hand upside down!), you are getting better at signing "more" and "all done" at mealtime. You are also turning into a little mockingbird (or maybe Mockingjay! ;)... you love to copy sounds- the kids had you saying "whoaaaa" in the car one day! You'll also copy the beat of a song, a funny laugh, or the tempo of words- "uh do" is "love you"!! :)
My pretty little pink Easter eggs! 
~ You continue to be in LOVE with dada- you make sure he says goodbye in the morning- crawling to the doorway and waving till he shuts the front door, and crawls as fast as you can to greet him when he comes home! And if he's trying to put down the mail or drop his bag, or anything besides pick you up for kisses, you sits at his feet complaining till he does. You'll say "Hey dada" and he'll say "hey Rosemary"and it makes you happy! You just love to get attention from him!
You love Little Hippo- sweet dreams!
~Your big brother and sister continue to be in love with you too, and have been excited to watch you learn to walk. Georgia grabs your hands and tries to help you along; Lincoln just grabs you and often pulls you to the ground... you may have learned to walk just so you can stand on your own two feet and get away from them! You will wrestle Linc- roll right over him and grab him! He loves it when you "attack" him! And there have been many nights lately where we've had to come into your and Georgia's room and tell you both again to stop giggling and lay down! I think it's their greatest joy to make you laugh!
Life is definitely good! Playing at the beach in Pensacola.
~ We finally seem to have figured out an eating compromise- it's not a lot, but I'll take whatever you offer! If I get a bottle to you right when you wake up in the morning, after am nap, and after pm nap- literally right when you wake, before diaper changes or you even come out of your room- then you will eat it. You're only taking 3 7-8oz bottles per day. I tried to give you a bedtime bottle around 7:45, but you continually were not interested so I gave up. You eat baby food, oatmeal, puffs and cheerios- you turn your nose up at anything else, though I keep trying different finger foods. You have an incredibly sensitive gag reflux, and if you don't like it, it's too thick, or you just get mad enough- you throw everything up. Not just spit up- throw up. I've had to give you and the highchair extra baths twice this last week. Yuck. So I'm trying to be patient with your picky eating!
We see this little nose scrunch a lot- it's becoming your signature "look"!
~ Your last Doc checkup was at 9.5 months- I waited to do it with Georgia's 5-year checkup (4/2/12). BIG mistake! Or maybe the big mistake was making our appt at 2pm- nap time! I think you screamed the whole time! And your brother and sister were crazy people... the doc and I could barely hear each other, let alone go over any questions I might have had. You both got shots, you both screamed about your shots, they gave us stickers and got us out of there! But I do have some stats for you: Height 29.5 inches (94%), Weight 18.06 lbs (30%)- so similar to your big sis's stats at this age- and still! I guess I'll have some tall, lean girls!
We finally moved you out of the pumpkin seat- looking like such a big girl in Lincoln's former seat! And he feels like a big kid in Georgia's old seat!
You continue to amaze and entertain us, all the while filling our hearts with such joy and love! You are so precious to us, Rosemary Rae, and we love you so much! Where does the time go.....
love, Mommy

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wait- Grandma lived by the BEACH???

So, my family has been visiting my Grandmother's house in Holley, FL (just across the bridge from Pensacola) my whole life. There is a beautiful bay in her front yard, and we spent many hours splashing in the water, digging in the muck and boating. But it was not until this last visit up there for her memorial that my brother and I realized- Grandma lives by the beach.
What?? How did we never know that? Why were we never playing in the sand and surf on our trips up there? Did you, mom and dad, know there was a beach just 15 minutes down the road? Really- beautiful white, Emerald Coast shorefront just 15 minutes away...
We just never went. Wes and I are convinced the beach must be new. Part of the revitalization efforts from the oil spill. No way that beautiful beach was there all along and we never went...

But we did get to take the kids down there to run out some energy on this last visit! My kids won't grow up in ignorance! Friday afternoon was sunny, warm and perfect. Aunt Jen got in the water with Georgia and we had to pull them both out for a rest, they were having so much fun. A pod of dolphins was fishing and leaping right in front of us. (And Rosemary was back at the house napping! Thanks Grammie! ;)

Saturday was windy, cloudy and sprinkling rain. We could see the big storm on the horizon that later dumped buckets and buckets on all of us as we tried to get to the Memorial service on time. But it made the water very green, and we still had to pull Jen out of the waves- I think she's part mermaid! She and her niece will have many happy hours splashing in the sea!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weekend at the Love Shack

 I know it's been almost two weeks since we headed up to Pensacola for my grandmother's memorial service, but it's taken us that long to get back in the swing of things. I guess the more kids you have, the longer it takes! But it was a great weekend. The kids did as well as they could on the 18 hours in the car (roundtrip)... well, the littlest one got a bit cranky a few times! We all piled into "The Love Shack"- my grandmother's little house on the water that she and my grandfather cleaned up, aptly named and lived many happy years in, and then she lived many peaceful years in alone. She always valued that independence, and kept her "Love Shack" in tip-top order.
Did I mention it's tiny? For my Grandma, who topped out at 4 feet 8 inches (I may be being generous!), a little house suited her. But pile 6 adults, 3 busy kids, a dog and many other family members, friends and well-wishers into the 2-bedroom, 1 bath cottage and it got "cozy" real quick! And did I mention the plumbing was being iffy? We just played off the port-a-potty in the yard as paying homage to the old days of outhouses like Grandma grew up with. But Grandma would have loved it- all that love under one roof. Except for the dirt on the floor. (And maybe the "outhouse!") She never woulda gone one day without sweeping and vacuuming that floor- but Dad promised to get it back in tip-top shape before he left, Grandma!
A wonderful memorial service was held for Grandma at her other long-time home, Good Shepherd Lutheran church, with the rest of her family- the sweet congregation there and the many precious people that cared for her. It was very moving to see so many people come out (in the pouring rain!) to honor her memory and share their kind words about her. My dad and my cousin Anna shared their own wonderful words during the service, and the Pastor gave a wonderful service, sharing her love of music and clearly sharing about the Savior Grandma loved. I only wish my wiggly, noisy children would have let me fully hear everything that was said... ah well. I suppose that's one way to lighten the mood- spend the whole time whispering threats to your children!
Thank you to all for your kind words, cards and shared memories. Grandma was well loved and leaves a special legacy with us all!
"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." John 14:2

And now maybe I'll be spurred back into action with this here blog- I know I totally missed Rosemary's 10 month update, which fell the day after Grandma passed. I have plans for a 10.5 month update, with great milestones- she's fully mobile!! How's that for a teaser! (And maybe I'll be pressured enough to deliver soon! ;)