January 2014

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On our way home from Christmas travels, Sam pretended that his stuffed animal needed to nurse?!

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Lego fun!

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Everyone wants to take their baby to the doc during flu season… (thankfully, it wasn’t the flu for us… just allergies)

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I think she didn’t like the hat?

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Sam is playing Upward Basketball at our church. He has started having practices. Yes, it is exactly like herding cats. It is hilarious!

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On Saturdays, he has his game. Thankfully, his games are all at 10am so then we have the rest of the day to do whatever (like take a nap!)

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Gabrielle and Evan cheered on their big brothers- who were playing each other!

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Sam and Zach eventually were matched up together.

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Snacktime was Sam’s favorite part!

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He also liked getting his stars!

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Sam and Travis went on a children’s ministry trip to Louisiana Children’s Home, Duck Dynasty, and a fun park in Monroe. They had fun and it was good for them to do something together.

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Sam thought he was cool stuff since he was tall enough to drive a go cart by himself!

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One of our friends from NOBTS, Marc Eichelberger, spoke to the children when they were at the Children’s home.

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Spiderman did laundry at our place one day!

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Travis helped Sam with a little pre-practice dribbling lessons!

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One of the verses we learned this month…

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So excited that they have “matching” baby dedication frames!!

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This cutie is starting to stand up…

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Guy time…

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I was working on laundry. G was hanging out in her bumbo chair. Sam decided to plop down and read her a book. I love these two sweet kids!

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This is G’s “angry” face (and the face she makes when the supply of food stops!)

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Dad Buddy and I took Sam to see the Globetrotters when they performed at LC. It was a fun night! I love the hilarity and good, clean fun that the Globetrotters deliver. Sam thought it was hilarious that one of the guys stood up on the rim and started acting like a baby. HA!

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Globie!!

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The kiddos got some matching PJs from my mom. We took pictures. I think Gabrielle is going to be a playful little girl!

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Another Upward game day!

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She loves sticking out her tongue!

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Another halftime devotion led by the Acteens, I’m so proud of this group of girls!

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So… CENLA got snow this month! We were quite shocked! Sam didn’t have school for 2 days. The bridges across the river were closed! It’s been crazy. It is obvious that this area isn’t used to dealing with snow. The worst morning, Travis walked to Kroger to get us more milk because our road was iced over. No one was driving around because the roads hadn’t been salted yet so it wasn’t a problem for him to cross Jackson St. It was just kind of funny that he did it.

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We took the kids to Compton Park to get some snow pictures and play. It was cold and fun! I now have pictures of both kids in Bumbos in the snow!

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We got rid of our plastic sled when we moved from NC, so we got a bit creative and brought a storage tote lid in an attempt to sled. It didn’t work but Sam had fun trying!

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Making snow angels was a bit more successful!

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My parents came up for a basketball game. After the basketball game, we drove to Monroe so we could try out Willie Robertson’s (Duck Dynasty) new restaurant- Duck Diner! The food was delicious! Afterwards, we stopped by the Duck Commander warehouse to look around and play some games.

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I made a GF King Cake for Acteens. It was not the prettiest but, I didn’t bring any home and those Louisiana girls said it was one of the best they’d ever had. I would consider that a success!

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9 month pictures!

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Where is Sam?

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Sam taking selfies with his sis

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One of our snow projects was to build the White House out of 3D puzzle pieces. It was fun but actually kind of difficult.

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So this has started happening…

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Travis and Sam love to wrestle. I don’t think Gabrielle knows what to think about it yet. Somehow, I feel like she will be getting herself involved before too long though!

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She pinned Larry!

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That’s it for January. It was a cold and busy month. We had lots of family time so I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

December 2013

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Travis always has a SACS conference the first part of December. Therefore, I had to go solo to various Christmas festivities around town. CENLA does this thing called “The 12 Nights of Christmas” and each night there is something special going on. We don’t go to all of them but we do try to visit a few. This year, the first one we visited was at the Kent House. We went to this last year and Sam got his picture taken with Papa Noel, which is the Cajun Father Christmas. It was fun and so I took the kids back this year. However, it was SUPER cold this year and Papa Noel didn’t wear the hood part of his robe so he looked a bit creepy. HA! However, Sam enjoyed the hot chocolate and the crafts. Gabrielle behaved herself and rode around in the stroller.

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I never thought we’d use the “boot” for the stroller in Louisiana!

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Gabrielle didn’t like Papa Noel. Sam didn’t like Santa his second Christmas so now we have pictures of both kiddos going nuts with Santas.

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As part of the Hanging of the Greens service, our preschool choir sung a couple of songs.

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Sam sung “Happy Birthday, Jesus” as part of a kiddie quartet. It was adorable!

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We went to Chic-Fil-A one day at lunch and I just casually asked how much the elf cows were because I thought they were cute. The cashier said he would just give Gabrielle one! So, now she has a regular cow AND an elf cow! Too cool!

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She immediately started eating it! HA!

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We are attempting to do a Jesse Tree with Sam where he colors an ornament for the day which coincides with that day’s Bible story. It is fun! However, I am not sure what we will do when we start traveling for the holidays. :(

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Another one of the nights of Christmas was to build a gingerbread house at Atwood’s Bakery. We also participated in this one last year. Sam loves decorating his house! We got here early and were able to meet up with our friends the Kitchells.

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Rebecca and I kind of tag teamed helping the kids and getting pictures. It was fun!

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Little sis pretended to be a big kid one morning!

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The filming of the church’s commercial…

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After Sam finished his commercial, we walked across the street to the Pineville Santa and got the kids’ picture made. Thankfully, G didn’t go nuts this time but, she still didn’t smile.

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G was wearing her pants that I made her. It was the first pair of pants I’ve ever made!

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My elf and I went shopping during school one day.

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Sam collects “mushed pennies” and we finally found a holder for all of them. Once it arrived in the mail, he quickly went to work putting his coins in.

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Gabrielle is a funny eater. She is very expressive!

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She is so cute!

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Selfies with Sam!

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Today, while working on the Jesse Tree ornament, Gabrielle swung in the doorway. I like our Johnny Jump-up!

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Due to the construction on the Land of the Jaguar part of the zoo, they did not do their Christmas last last year. However, this year they did and so we we made time to go! It was cold but beautiful!

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Every other year, Emmanuel Baptist (where Sam went to preK) does a program called “Journey to Bethlehem.” We went one afternoon and it was great! One of the guys that Travis works with was one of the men with speaking parts. He told Travis when he saw us, he knew to not look at us while he was speaking or he would’ve started laughing. HA HA! While you are waiting for your turn to go through Bethlehem, they have musicians sing and play various Christmas songs and read the Christmas story from the Bible.

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We did our family Christmas the night before we headed to NC/SC. Sam enjoyed getting to open his gifts early. :)

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EVERYTHING goes in her mouth!

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Gabrielle turned 8 months during December. However, we were traveling and so I didn’t get her pictures taken until we got back.

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Now they are about the same age in the comparison picture…

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December was busy but just the first half. The second half was spent with friends and family in NC and SC celebrating family Christmases.

:)
Steph

November 2013

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This month started off with G FINALLY getting her 2 bottom front teeth. While keeping close to Sam in physical growth, she has definitely been lagging in the teeth production area. However, as a nursing mom, I am not complaining.

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We found a corn maze that was about an hour away! We took a family trip there one Saturday so we could “experience” a little bit of fall tradition even in CENLA.

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I dumped my scoop of sand on Sam’s feet!

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To help us get through the corn maze, we followed a scavenger hunt of questions…

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We also did this “Farm Scene Investigation” project. When we found “crime scenes,” we had to mark off whatever weapons and animals were there to figure out who ultimately did the crime.

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After the maze, we grabbed a quick lunch and then I took a cute picture of my kiddos…

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Then we went to play on other fun things around the farm! The inflatable “pillow” was a big hit to Sam!

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Then Sam rode in the bumpy cow car ride thing…

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G enjoyed looking at the animals while brother was on the cow ride.

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Then, Sam and I played on this bouncy animal things. My legs are too long. HA!

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I knocked Sam off his horse!

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Gabrielle tried to ride a horse!

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We measured our kids!

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Knowing how hard it was for me to ride the horses, I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Travis since his legs are a lot longer than mine!

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Our church sets aside one Sunday in the fall to do community service around Pineville instead of having a worship service. We call it “Impact Sunday” and this year, our family participated. We signed up to be part of the team that repainted the crosswalks on LC’s campus. It was fun! Gabrielle rode in the Ergo and Sam stayed with Travis and helped paint. Eventually, I had to go to Travis’ office and nurse Gabrielle. However, it was almost over by the time that happened so it worked out well. The craziest thing is that it felt like the middle of winter this morning! It was SOOOO cold!

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Stewart, our Pastor, and his wife Rebecca, were part of our team. They met at LC when they were students.

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When Sam got tired of painting stripes, I took him over to the flower beds and we picked dead flowers.

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Due to a short attention span, we quickly left the flowerbeds and went into the student center and cleaned the bottom windows.

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Then he earned a break!

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When I went in to nurse Gabrielle, I was able to finally see Travis’ graduation robe. We finally ordered one and Travis chose to get one in NOBTS colors so his robe is purple instead of black. It looks awesome!

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Sam wanted to try on his tam.

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She is about to figure out how to crawl. Help us!

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Grace held a special chapel service for Veteran’s Day. Any family members that have served in any of the Armed Forces were invited to attend. My parents came up for this service. It was so sweet! Sam was so proud of his Dad Buddy!

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Sam and Connor are so sweet!

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Then at the end of the service, they had all the vets line up against the wall and the students were able to go by, shake their hands, and thank them for their service.

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(Small edit… a few months later, the man on Dad Buddy’s right (the man in the Navy sweatshirt) robbed an armored car that was picking up money at the Super Wal-Mart near our apartment. Apparently, he suffers from PTSD and had a “snap.” It was a very sad time and we have prayed for his family. He and his wife were both former faculty at LC until they opened their own private counseling business.)

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We are so proud and thankful for our veteran!

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Following chapel, we got to see Sam at PE for a bit while we were heading to the van and loading Gabrielle up. Fridays are lap days so Sam had to see how many laps he could run in a certain amount of minutes.

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While my parents were with us, we attempted to get a Christmas picture. It was highly entertaining.

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After pictures, we went to the Kent House for their “Sugar Day” festivities. There was music, animal rides, demonstrations on making syrup and corn meal, and various arts and crafts that kids could make and people could buy. It was neat. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go in the house. Boo!

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Sam made his sis a yarn baby!

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Her “wig” cracks me up and so we did a photo shoot in Sam’s room with it.

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Sam had to “hide” his turkey in a disguise for one of their Thanksgiving family projects. He decided ours would be a mailman like “Postman Pat” so this is what we came up with…

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This is what the rest of his class came up with…

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For the 50th Day of School, the Kindergarten classes threw a sock hop party and the kids dressed up in 50s garb. Sam wore a Cruisin’ for Christ shirt and rolled his jeans. HA HA! It was cute!

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It was a bit chilly when we ran errands so we both wore our hats today! G really enjoyed having her picture taken!

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G woke before I finished getting ready one morning. Sam went in to talk to her until I got in there. He was quite entertaining for her.

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Sam's Little Passport mailing was from Egypt this month. It came with a pyramid he had to chisel away at to find what was buried inside. He thought this was pretty cool.

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On "comfortable" days, I will push Gabrielle in the stroller to pick Sam up from school and we will all walk home. It is a nice change of pace for us when we get to do it.

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I tried to push them both in the "yellow car" but that was insane because I had to lift it up and down curbs. Thus, Sam has to always walk now.

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We made "Thankful Turkeys" for our table this year. We each traced our hand and then came up with something for each finger that we are thankful for and then stuck them in pinecones so it looks like a turkey. It was a fun activity. I think it might become an annual thing- as long as I can find pinecones!

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This makes my heart smile!

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The Kindergarteners had a family Thanksgiving meal at Ryan's. They all had made hats and shirts to wear for this special day. Then they sung a couple of songs for us before we all ate. I was so glad that Travis was able to come with us. It was so much fun!

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Gabrielle is 7 months!!

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We typically put our Christmas tree up on the day after Thanksgiving. However, we will be doing a bunch of traveling in December so we put it up a bit early in order to still be able to enjoy it.

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Our church hosts an International Thanksgiving dinner every year. The Acteens that I help with are in charge of coming up with a Bible activity/story/game for the kids to do while someone is speaking to the adults. It was fun! They did the story of Jonah and then played duck duck goose but called it "Jonah Jonah Whale" :)

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Sam has NEVER stuck anything up his nose... until now. He stuck a round Lego up his nose to "see what would happen." HA! Travis got it out with tweezers and I think it scared Sam enough that he will never do something like that again.

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Our firefighters...

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While I got our Thanksgiving meal ready, Sam practiced his handwriting by writing out a Bible verse about being thankful.

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Our little Thanksgiving dinner!

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Our church has put up the nativity scene as they are preparing for the Hanging of the Greens service. I love this nativity. It is so beautiful!

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We went to Grant Christmas Tree farm the Saturday after after Thanksgiving. They were having a big festival and Travis had never been. I went as a chaperone with Sam's preK class last year. We were about out of our Cane Sugar syrup so we picked up some more while we were there. It was a fun family outing.

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Sam is in a commercial for our church's Christmas schedule. We took him up to church for filming and our littlest elf fell asleep on us.

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We wore Sam out!! He fell asleep watching TV when we got home- this almost never happens!

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His Daddy loves him!

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Now to get ready for December!!!!

:)
Steph

October 2013

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While Mum Gail and Pop Pop were visiting, we celebrated Pop Pop’s 66th birthday! I made cupcakes and then realized I had to get creative on the numbers because I didn’t have two “6” candles. The cupcakes were delicious and we love Pop Pop oodles!

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Sam wanted to show Mum Gail and Pop Pop the new part of our zoo. So, one day after school we took them. It was kind of cloudy but we didn’t think anything of it. However, almost immediately after we got into the zoo, the bottom dropped out and it poured rain! Sam thought it was great! We attempted to stay dry under a bamboo awning but, the rain still managed to drip through. Once it finally stopped, we were able to finish our tour of the new zoo part though.

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For Sam’s homework, he had to draw and label something that starts with G. Therefore, he picked his sissy! HA!

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I think she might have been grumpy when he was completing this since she is frowning in the picture.

We have someone who is starting to eat solids!! So far, it has gone well. We are doing things a bit differently with Gabrielle than we did with Sam due to my celiac diagnosis. She isn’t having any grains or rice until she turns one. Even then, we will do it super slow since celiac is genetic, we want to make sure she is OK before jumping in. Therefore, all she is getting are fruits and veggies. I am making them and it has been super easy. I did a gigantic batch of various fall veggies (sweet potatoes, different squashes, beans) and so she has been eating thawed cubes of those.

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She likes two help hold the spoon. I think she will be an independent little girl!

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We’ve been struggling and praying about homeschooling Sam after Kindergarten. We have some friends who homeschool via “Classical Conversations” which is a classical approach, which we like, but they get together once a week to introduce the “new” material that the kids will be memorizing that week so it kind of serves as a co-op/fellowship opportunity as well. We took Sam to one of their meetings and let him participate. He really LOVED it and is still singing some of the songs they learned.

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We are going to order the CDs and Foundations Guide so that we can casually do some of this this year. I think it will be a great method of teaching Sam because he memorizes so quickly and loves to learn. That way, he will learn some new things this year since Kindergarten seems to be very easy and redundant for him. Then we will do CC 100% for 1st grade.

Speaking of the easiness of Kindergarten, he also received his first report card this month!

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We need to work on the talking issue but, that doesn’t surprise us that it is his problem area. :)

One afternoon, Sam decided that Gabrielle needed to hide out in a fort. So, he built one for her!

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I love her Halloween pillowcase dress I made! It is too cute! It is funny that I made a sleeveless dress for a fall holiday but, it is appropriate for LA weather and they are simple and quick so I can typically get one done during a nap time. :)

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I also finished her baby dedication dress. She actually got to wear it early because we went to our friend from NOBTS’ days, Phil Howard’s wedding! He was one of the ministers who performed our wedding and he is getting married in his hometown of Winnfield, LA which is just up the road from us! We are excited! We haven’t seen him since our wedding- 10 years ago!!

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I picked this fabric because it has teeny crosses and icthus drawings on it. I felt it was very appropriate for a baby dedication because we desire to show her the cross and lead her to follow Christ daily.

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I also made Sam a special Transformers bow tie to wear to the wedding. He is super excited about this!

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Trying on her dress…

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Mr. and Mrs. Phil Howard!! We are so excited for Phil and Mandy as they start this journey together!!

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The guys!

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My kids!

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Phil is the biggest LSU fan we know (and we know some huge fans,) so we were not at all surprised that his groom’s cake was LSU- themed!

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Sam went on a field trip to LC to see a group of dads from New Orleans called “Imagination Movers.” He had a blast and Mrs. Kimberly sent me a few pictures. I wish I could go on field trips with him but the sis can’t go and so that makes it difficult. Thankfully, Sam seems to totally understand and not be upset about it.

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One of the guys actually came and interacted with Sam. He thought this was the coolest part, of course! :)

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They also had fire safety day and got to tour the fire safety house which can fill up with fake smoke to demonstrate how to safely maneuver and evacuate a burning building. Sam did not want to do that part so he didn’t. However, he did get to climb on another fire truck!

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They make my heart smile.

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Just like her “Bubba” (as Sam refers to himself,) she is enamored with Praise Baby. I love them because they are soothing and since they almost constantly play, we are constantly surrounded by praise and worship music.

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We went to Cruisin’ the Coast (Cruisin’ for Christ for FBC Bay St. Louis) and this was our first overnight trip since getting Nancy, the van. I was totally shocked at how much trunk space we gained- this is our typical traveling gear and we still have the backseat up AND the stroller is down in the hole. We couldn’t have fit all of this in my beloved HHR.

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Sam was able to ride in our friend, Wayne Broadhead’s truck! He entered his truck into Cruisin and let Sam ride with him! He got to ride Friday night and then again during Cruisin’ on Saturday. This was Friday…

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Sam refers to Wayne as “Mr. Baldhead” which we all think is hilarious!

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He got to ride with him all the way to Gulfport to pick up the last of the food supplies for Cruisin’ for Christ!

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The morning of Cruisin’ we all wore our shirts!

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Sam helped serve the hot dogs.

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Gabrielle helped sell t-shirts.

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Travis and I ran errands, fetched items, and took pictures of specific cars for my dad to use in future t-shirt designs.

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Sam getting ready to ride with “Mr. Baldhead” again. This time they spun their tires in front of the church and Sam just cackled!

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I think he enjoyed it…

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That afternoon, we headed to Mandeville, LA to go to the Wooden Boat Festival. This was the first time Travis had been able to attend with us. Sam was super excited about building another boat!

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This guy dropped something in the water and Travis helped fish it out.

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Some of the people are cool with people coming aboard and looking at their boats. Most are kind of snooty about it. However, they are all open to taking pictures! :)

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The St. Tammany parish woodworking guild has a tent each year where they help kids make their own wooden boats. Sam loves this part.

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This year his boat was named “Samuel” :)

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Testing his boat to see if it floats!

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On Sundays, there is a race where groups can build a boat on site and then see whose is the fastest. We’ve never attended the race but we’ve been told it is hilarious because a lot of them sink. HA! Regardless, it is neat to be able to walk by and watch the various teams putting their boats together.

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The children’s village always has neat things for kids to do. Sam got to control a robot and try to throw an orange ball at a target.

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He also decorated a pumpkin again!

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“Celebrities” frequently attend this festival. The man with the beard is an alligator hunter from the show “Swamp People.” He is the one who hunts by himself with his dog. He also typically only wears over-alls. I can’t remember his name though.

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G was a super trooper and hardly fussed in the car. I was thankful because it was hot and we were totally messing up her naps!

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That night, she got to take a bath in the kitchen sink!

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We wore the kids out and they slept the majority of the trip back home on Sunday!

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Sam’s class had “Crazy Hat Day” and this is their class picture. Sam’s hat cracks me up because it is rudolph!!

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It was only a matter of time before she figured out how to do this…

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Sam wanted to learn to play monopoly and be the banker. One afternoon, he and Travis tried to play it. I just laughed.

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She is hard to contain these days because she will roll all over the place…

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Sam liked his Transformers bow tie so much that I made him one to match G’s baby dedication dress.

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I also found a pattern for making a “skirt” for a the Thirty-One skirt purse I have!

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Let’s go, Jaguars!!

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Mum Jubie and Dad Buddy came to visit and we had to take them to the new part of the zoo. It was nice weather this time and we didn’t get rained on.

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Travis will shoot me but, I think this picture is hilarious! Sam picks at his undies and so Travis decided to be goofy and they both “picked their wedgies.” HA!

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Some of the Boo at the Zoo decor was already out.

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It was a bit chilly as we headed out for church on Baby Dedication Sunday. Gabrielle had to wear her “wig.”

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Sam looks like he is trying to be a cool kid. :)

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He loves her…

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Our church has had a “baby boom” and so there were a bunch of babies being dedicated!! Gabrielle and one other little girl from the couple’s SS class were the oldest because they were born the weekend of/ Monday after the last baby dedication.

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Grandmama bought both kids new piggy banks.

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Gabrielle turned 6 months! I think she is happy about being 1/2 a year old!

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We took the kids to Boo at the Zoo again. Last year, we learned to get their early so you don’t have to stand in a line that is behind the baseball field! Therefore, this year, we packed snacks and snacked in the parking lot of the zoo while waiting. We hung out for awhile but, we quickly got in and out before people who arrived after us got through the line and into the zoo! We consider that a success!!

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Fireman Sam and Ladybug G…

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This year, they didn’t do a scary trail. I was thankful for that.

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Sam participated in a hay maze.

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A “noodle” car wash…

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I went up to Alexandria UMC one afternoon to attempt to take “fall pictures” with the kids. It was quite interesting because all G wanted to do was play with, and eat, the hay. The pumpkins are the ones we bought- it was a fundraiser for their youth. Sam chose the bumpy pumpkin solely because he thought the bumps were “neat.” It reminds me of God- it is an ugly pumpkin but to God, it is still beautiful because it is part of his Creation… just like us.

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Sam tried to coerce G into looking at the camera.

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Now she wants to eat the bumpy pumpkin

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They are making the same face! HA!

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He likes his pumpkin!

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G likes hers, too!

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“I wonder if anybody is watching what I’m about to do?”

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We carved Sam’s pumpkin this year. Usually, we just draw on them so we don’t have to deal with the gunk inside. However, Sam has discovered that you can carve them so that is what he wanted to do. G and I supervised while the guys did the dirty work.

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Sam figured out it was kind of gross!

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The finished product!

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We love making silly selfie pictures!

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G’s naps can be difficult to come by somedays. Therefore, if she falls asleep, I just try to let her stay wherever she is…

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This was a collage of pictures from LC’s homecoming parade. It was fun!

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Sam was a month old in his picture and G was almost 6 months old. However, you can definitely tell they are related!

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In this comparison, they are both 6 months…

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Gabrielle likes to eat books!Sam wore those rattle booties when he was 1 month old! They were a bit big for him though.

From October 2013


We had a tornado warning one day while Sam was at school. G and I hid in our downstairs bath which is under the stars. I am thankful that Sam’s school is close by in case stuff like this happens. However, I am even more thankful that we were all safe and nothing happened.

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The boys had to put together the toilet sprayer for G’s diapers. Sam was a good little helper!

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This is what Sam wore to Grace’s fall festival. HA!

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G wore her jaguar outfit and played on the steps of a jump house the entire time.

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Wow! Again, it was a blessed yet busy month!

:)
Steph

September 2013- last little bit

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Mum Gail and Pop Pop came for a visit!! While they were with us, we took them up to Monroe to tour the Duck Dynasty warehouse. It was fun!

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They are renovating the warehouse so we couldn’t go in. Instead, they had their merchandise in the tractor trailer.

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I was able to watch USA play UT on TV!! We are big time now!

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I made GF chicken and dumplings in the crock pot. It was actually pretty good!

From September 2013

September 2013- week 4

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Gabrielle is now 5 months old!! She is definitely showing a bit of personality now!

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Our zoo finally opened their new “Land of the Jaguar” exhibit! As FOTAZ members, we got to go to a sneak peek on Sunday night.It was neat!

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We now have a sloth!

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One of the new Jaguars!!

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There is now an anteater!

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I don’t remember what these were called…

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The special night ended with free cupcakes in the festival stage part of the zoo!

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For homework, Sam has been working on writing his name neatly. I love these pages.

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This is Sam at school

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Wednesday night was “crazy hair night” at church. Sam LOVES this hairstyle!

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Sam decided his RescueBots needed to supervise his homework time.

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Gabrielle has decided that toes are yummy!

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The Kindergarten classed took a field trip to the nursing home beside their school. This is the lady Sam visited with.

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I also received these pictures from his teacher this week…

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Yes, our Kindergartener reads VERY well.

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The first time I’ve seen her nap on her tummy.

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Sweet baby girl…

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Saturday was the “Grace Race” at Sam’s school. This is their annual fundraiser with a 5K and a 1 mile family fun run. We participated in the fun run and had a blast. Sam was able to walk with his buddy Carson for the whole thing.

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Silly boys!

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:)
Steph

September 2013- week 3

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G has discovered how to do fun things with her tongue!

From September 2013


I decided to try a recipe for making a GF loaf of bread in the crock pot. It wasn’t too bad. There was a small part in the middle that didn’t fully cook though. I will probably try it again after figuring out what to do about the middle.

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No words…

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The end of this week involved celebrating Sam’s 5th birthday!! I can’t believe he is 5!

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Telling us how old he is…

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G thought chewing on her hand was more fun than watching Sam open gifts.

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Playing with his bday toys.

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Sam picked our supper- hot dogs with mac and cheese. He also ate off the “Your Special Day” plate.

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Happy Birthday, Sam!!!! We love you so much!

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Today was his birthday party. We first went to the Pineville Fire Department for a tour and chance to climb on the firetrucks. Finally, we ended up at LC for cake and presents. It was so much fun and Sam definitely loved it. Heatwave, the fire truck, is one of his favorite Transformer Rescue Bots so we thought this was the perfect 5th Birthday party for him. Because we live in Louisiana, he had a dollar pinned to his outfit to signify that it was his birthday.

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My parents were at the party. It was very helpful to just give my dad the camera and have him take pictures.

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Sam and his “wife” exploring the truck.

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The daddies explored the truck as well.

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Sparky showed up!

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The kids got a behind the scenes tour of the fire house.

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Sam, Henry, and Bowden

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Brooks, Mallory, Aubree, Zach, Sam, Henry, and Bowden

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Zach, Anna, and the firefighter

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Sam tried on the oxygen mask

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This firefighter loved Gabrielle.

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Most of the kids (a few were scared of Sparky)…

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I really like that Travis was able to reserve a large room in the student center for the cake part of the party. He left the fire station a bit early so that he could go by Harlows and pick up the special cake and then get the tables and such set up. Therefore, when we got there everything was ready to go!

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We love these families and their kiddos!

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I love Ben’s face in this picture!

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Present time!

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Sam received his first Lego set from Zach! He was so excited and wanted to immediately open it! HA!

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The tissue paper was great fun!

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The fire station gave us the goodies for all the kids! It was great!

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The birthday boy decided he could push his sissy to the car when the party was over.

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Immediately upon arriving home, Sam, Travis and my dad went to work building Sam’s Lego fire truck. He loves it. I think we might have a Lego fan on our hands now! Yikes!!

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We had a blast at the fire station birthday party. I am so thankful we get to do life with the people and that our kids all get along!!

:)
Steph

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