There were shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night…

~My three cuties~

There is a wonderfully brave woman, Melissa, that goes to our church who volunteered to lead a Christmas play for the children of our parish. The age range was supposed to be from pre-k to 6th grade. I am assuming that she was hoping (probably praying!) for more kids in the 5th -6th grade range, but she ended up with a group of kids who averaged kindergarten age instead. What they lacked in maturity they more than made up for in complete and utter cuteness! Isaac was given the role of shepherd (the only one until the night of the play!). Hannah and Gianna were made angels along with about 5 other little girls. There were of course Mary and Joseph. Joseph was played by my good friend Becky’s little boy Jarret. Let me just tell you that kid can beg for a room! One of Becky’s other sons, Kyle was given the role of innkeeper and Isaiah. Unfortunately Kyle came down with strep throat and ended up missing the play. Thankfully at the last minute Becky’s oldest son Adam offered to step in and play the role of another shepherd. It definitely put Isaac’s nerves at ease. The final character was the narrator, Melissa’s son Carmen. He did a great job. The kids, particularly Hannah, were a little bit tentative when it came to saying their lines. I knew that she knew them because we had been practicing them for a week, but she froze. That is, she froze until they brought out the cordless microphone! Talk about a change! All of the kids did great then. They all wanted to have a chance to talk into the mic. It definitely helped. The kids did great. The angels looked very angelic. Mary and Joseph made a perfectly Holy Family and the shepherds looked…well…. very shepherding…or at least very cute! There were many relieved and proud parents at the end of the play. It was precious!

Right when the angels walked out Gianna’s halo fell off and Hannah had to help her get it back on.

My two little angel girls

Isaac, the shepherd

Gianna…notice the slightly crooked halo!

The whole fabulous group! Well done kids!

Here is a link to my facebook album with a few more pictures….enjoy!

The final piece to the Birthday weekend…the party!

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear, Dj and Coley and Noah! happy Birthday to you!

The twins at 6 months. How completely adorable are they? Noah at 4 weeks, my sweet little boy before he become a wild toddler.

After some discussion, Brian and I decided to combine DJ, Coley and Noah’s family birthday parties together. Some of you might be asking, why? It was just way easier, and all of the family was here. It just made sense. Besides, Noah doesn’t know that his birthday isn’t until December 27th! He totally got into the whole present thing. Christmas should be alot of fun this year!

Coley and Dj’s birthday cake

Noah’s little personal Bear Cake. It was so cute!

Ready… Set… Blow!
After cake and ice cream, it was tie to open the presents. These kids are spoiled! Umm, I mean well loved…Yeah that’s it! Noah was thrilled to open his gifts. He recieved alot of “guys.” He loves his little action figures. He is always carrying around one or two or ten of them! Needless to say he was very happy with all of his gifts.

Coley was thrilled to get lots of money and gift cards. I could see her spending it as she sat there. She also recieved a neat bag and some cool makeup. There were also clothes and jewelry, not to mention the beautiful dress that Brian’s mom got for her to wear to the Christmas dance.

DJ was very excited to get tons of money and gift cards as well as a few Wii games and some clothes. The twins were both very happy with all of their gifts, especially the pre-paid cell phones that Brian and I got for them. It was a pretty good birthday for everyone!

Some pictures of the family at the party.

It’s her birthday, she can dance if she wants to!

Eight years ago when Brian and I got married, as I watched my sweet little redhaired daughter walk down the aisle carrying flowers, I never imagined that she would grow up so quickly. Last week as I helped her get ready for her first real dance, I was taken aback by what a beautiful young lady she is becoming. Since she is only 13 (gulp! I’m still not used to that!) and in seventh grade, she was not allowed to go with a boy. Instead she opted to go with a group of her girlfriends. The evening was made a little bit more special because her Nana Rose and Grandpa Rose, Aunt Raeleen and cousin Sarah had come in for the weekend from Michigan. Since they live so far away, they miss out on alot of these “milestones” in the kids lives. I know that it meant alot for Coley to have them there while she got ready to go.

Miss Lovely all dressed up before the dance

DJ and Coley, the birthday twins!

Grandpa Rose and Nana Rose with Coley
As I said before, Coley’s “dates” for the evening were Hannah and Anna. The three had planned to meet at Anna’s house for pictures before hand.

Coley, Anna and Hannah

Charlie’s Angels

Since it was Coley’s birthday, the girls made her a gorgeous “Birthday Princess” crown, that she had to wear at the dance! Here they were bowing down to birthday royalty! These girls crack me up!

She had a great time at the dance. There was much dancing and laughing that night. West Shamokin High School will never be the same!

DJ’s Bowling party

As I said in the blog before, we decided to treat the twins to a special “friend” party to celebrate their thirteenth birthdays. While Coley opted for a makeover party, DJ decided on a bowling party. It was scheduled for Sunday at Kings Lanes at 4:30. Well, we had a major issue because the party was set for the same time as the Steeler game!! Oh My Goodness! How did that happen?! Don’t worry, there were TV’s in bowling alley, so my husband didn’t melt into a puddle! He was able to catch the whole game. Thank heavens!

Brian and Vince watching the Steeler’s game.

The Birthday boy, DJ bowling

The boys had a great time bowling and carrying on. While I think that it is safe to say that there were no future professional bowlers at the party, they seemed to enjoy themselves. We decided for pizza for the boys. I headed to Fox’s to pick up two Big Daddy pizzas and an order of bread sticks. I set the pizzas down on the counter and jumped back to get out of the way. Those boys attacked the pizza like a group of pirhannas. Within 10 minutes, there was one lone piece of pizza left. There was still plenty of time for some more bowling. Another successful birthday party, woohoo!

The attack! FOOOOOOOOOD!

The more “mature” seventh grade table. Brock, Brandon, DJ, Ryan and Ben

Jake and Landon, the sixth graders of the crew had their own table.

Coley’s makeover birthday party

We have officially made the transition from Tweens to Teens. My babies have turned 13! I know, I know…you are thinking, “How in the world is she old enough to have teenagers!?” Trust me…I am. We normally don’t have “friend parties” for the kids, simply because our family is so big that we just can’t do it all. But given the magnitude of the thirteenth birthday, Brian and I thought that it would be nice to do something a little bit special to mark the occasion for DJ and Coley. I had mentioned to Brian that Coley could have a sleepover with some of her friends. I saw the immediate look of terror in his eyes. “Uhhh…a sleepover?” I told him that unless he could come up with something better, that’s what it was going to be. Well, back a guy into a corner like that and you can just see the wheels start turning. He came through in a big way. He had the fantastic idea of a makeover party for Coley and some of her friends at the local beauty school! Needless to say Coley was thrilled with the idea and Brian was thrilled that we weren’t going to have a houseful of 13 year old girls squealing and giggling all night long!
We planned for the party to be the Monday after Thanksgiving because there was no school. Jake and Isaac stayed at home to have a “man day.” DJ was out hunting for the first day of buck with my dad and brother. Hannah, Gianna and Noah happily went to our friends, Bob and Peggy’s house. Peggy very kindly offered to keep them for the day so that I could shuttle the girls around. We picked the Dayton girls up and stopped to grab Aislinn. We headed to the Skamai house to drop off the little kids and pick up Anna and Hannah. And then we were off for a day of fun!!!
We arrived at Kittanning Beauty School at 11:00 after a very, very noisy car ride into town. We walked in and I just kept thinking… I hope you guys are ready for this! The manager took us back to a little room with desks that was our designated hang out spot for our time there. I snapped a few “before” shots and then the makeovers began!

Kym, Coley, Anna and Hannah are anxiously awaiting the beginning of their beauty day.

The “Before” shot of the whole gang: Aislinn, Kym, Anna, Ashley, Kelly, Coley and Hannah. Not that they needed makeovers. They are all natural beauties!

The makeovers consisted of manicures, hair styles and makeup. They took a couple of girls at a time for the hair and nail stations and rotated everyone through until they were all done and then they had their makeup done. Their was a lot of laughing and giggling and joking around. I felt like I was thirteen again! They are just a great group of girls and it was a pleasure to spend the afternoon with them.

The birthday girl getting her hair done.

Oooooooooo, the finished product!

Here is Miss Hannah getting her nails done.

Here are Kym and Hannah waiting for their makeup.

Anna and Coley are waiting for their makeup too. Love the hair girls!

Aislinn had her entourage taking care of her…hair and makeup at the same time!

Kelly was a little bit apprehensive about getting her nails done, but she was a good sport!

Ashley getting her makeup done.

The “After” shot! Aren’t they gorgeous!!!!

After everyone was finished getting gorgeous, we headed to Mell’s Pizzeria for lunch. Since it was a Monday afternoon we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves, which was a good thing! We were still a pretty noisy energetic bunch! The only “quiet” time was when the food started to come. Let me tell you something. those girls might be tiny, but they can sure pack away the food. They managed to consume 2 1/2 extra-large pizzas, two large orders of fries and nachos with cheese! No small feat! Coley opened her gifts and the girls chatted for a little bit. We packed up the leftover pizza and headed for home!
The girls enjoying their lunch.
I took the Dayton girls home first, followed by Aislinn and Hannah and then finally back to Bob and Peggy’s to drop off Anna and retrieve Hannah, Gia and Noah. I figured after a long day of being there they would be glad to see me. Ummm, yeah, not so much. I walked in the front door and Noah took one look at me and headed up the stairs yelling, “Hide! Hide!” And he went and hid in their hamper! So much for missing good ole’ mom! The girls were equally unhappy to see me. Gianna threw herself on the steps screaming, “I AM NOT GOING HOME!!!” Finally after about 40 minutes of asking, followed by yelling and finally begging I managed to get them to leave with me, but not before promising to return for more fun on the following Sunday. All in all it was a great day. The girls seemed to have fun, Isaac and Jake loved their “Man Day” The little ones obviously had a great time at the Skamai’s. Dj had an unlucky day of hunting, but enjoyed himself nonetheless. I happily closed out my day with a snuggly blanket and a huge cup of tea!

For these things I am truly Thankful

I realize that Thanksgiving has already come and gone, but I wanted to take a minute and talk about the things that I am thankful for. I have been blessed so much with so many wonderful friends and a family that I can always count on. I am thankful for a husband who helps me with the laundry everyday. I am thankful for a husband who is kind and understanding. I am thankful for a husband who loves his kids and takes time to really be with them.

I am thankful for my children and all of their differences and unique little quirks that makes them who they are. I am thankful for DJ and his kind heart. I am thankful for a son who is patient with his little brothers and sisters, and I am thankful for a son who can make me laugh with the lamest jokes.

I am thankful for Coley, a daughter who is beautiful not just on the outside but more importantly on the inside, a daughter who never hesitates to help out when we need her to, a daughter who is growing into a very lovely young woman.

I am thankful for Jake who is intense in all that he does from sports to helping me around the house. I am thankful for a son who always has time to spend with his little brothers and sisters. I am thankful for a son who is as stubborn as I am who can make me smile.

I am thankful for Isaac, a son who has grown right before my eyes from a toothless chubby baby into a toothless kindergartener. I am thankful to have a son who happily gets ready everyday to go to school and learn. I am thankful for a son who as he struggles to grow up still loves to snuggle up with me on the couch.

I am thankful for Hannah and her big beautiful blue eyes that study everything around her. I am thankful for a daughter that is convinved that she is a princess and insists on being treated as one. I am thankful for a little girl who loves bubble baths and nail polish and drawing pictures of angels.

I am thankful for Gianna, our beautiful girl. I am thankful for a daughter who is filled with spunk and attitude (a trait that I am sure will come in handy as an adult!). I am thankful for a little girl who always has her lamby in her hand and her thumb in her mouth despite her newly painted manicure.

I am thankful for Noah, a son who has morphed from a little baby into a wild toddler before my very eyes. I am thankful for a son who loves to play with his “guys” fighting and punching, and then give his “bear-bear” a kiss and put him into bed for a nap. I am thankful for a healthy son who climbs and rolls, runs and giggles.

And finally I am thankful for the soft bumps and kicks that I can feel coming from inside of me as our littlest blessing continues to grow and prepare to join us. I am thankful for the reassuring thumping that is his heartbeat that I get to hear once a month at the doctor’s office. And I am thankful for the news that this little one is in fact another little boy, full of promise and excitement.

Thanksgiving 2008

These are the things for which I am thankful…truly thankful.