Thursday, July 12, 2012


Are you on Instagram yet?
I just got the app on my iPhone and am having fun with it!

 Avery on the 4th of July ~ don't you love her patriot eye lashes?

 At the beach, Andrew found a shell shaped like a shark tooth!

I love this beach shot of Aria and Aislynn.

Instagram, for those who don't know, is a fun way to share the photos you take on your phone.  You can crop your photos, and you can even edit them with different tints and hues; there are many effects you can choose from.   You can turn a relatively simple and plain photo into something beautiful and interesting!

Avery took this picture of herself with my phone, and I put it on Instagram,
 cropped it and changed it to black and white.

And here are some random Instagram pictures of Aria, each in a different effect.

*if anyone wants to follow me on Instagram, my user name is mamakat9


Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
click this link once a day to vote - thank you so much!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

yes days

Since school let out on June 21st,  we have been to the beach 4 times and to the pool at least 6 times.  And today I took the kids to the beach and the pool,  because half of them wanted the beach and half of them wanted the pool, so I just did both because I woke up with the decision that today was going to be a YES DAY.   

A YES DAY is a day when I pause before responding to a question, take a moment to think about it, and then if it's not a dangerous request or anything like that, I answer with a YES.   The kids just love my YES DAYS.

Today it was....
YES for the beach.  
YES for the pool.  
YES for Dairy Queen ice cream after dinner. 
YES to having a friend sleep over. 
YES to the "can I sleep in your bed tonight?"  question from four of the kids  (I'll be sleeping on the couch tonight)

Even though today was a YES DAY, I did say NO once today.  Boo!  I know.  But hear me out.  A couple of the kids asked if they could bring a friend to the beach with us,  and while normally I would say yes to the can-I-bring-a-friend question,  today I said, "No, not today."  because I really wanted my kids to play with each other and enjoy each other's company  without any distraction from friends.  

And when I saw this....

and this

and this
I knew I made the right decision about the no-friends-today thing, because it was so nice watching A.J. and Alex together.

They hung out together the entire time.
I just love it.

Andrew and Aria played nicely together, too.  Here is Andrew doing a little negotiating with Aria about who should get which shell in the collection.

They decided to divide them up evenly.  Good choice.

And of course Audriana and Aria had their special time.
Aria sure loves her biggest sister!

It was a perfect day at the beach today;
the sun was out, the temperature warm, the kids played well together....

and I got to kick my shoes off and relax a little, which is always a nice thing.

Considering that it's only the second week in July and school doesn't start up until the second week in September, I'd say we are off to a great start to our summer with 4 beach days and 6 pool days already behind us.   And there is plenty more to come!

And to end this post, here is a 5 minute photo/video music montage of our day at the beach.

song credits:  
Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys 
Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
click this link once a day to vote - thank you so much!

Monday, July 9, 2012

don't look now

Don't look now but
it looks like someone is almost
 too big to ride
 in the
You know your child is too big for the baby swing
 when she can STAND UP while sitting IN the baby swing. 

Yep, I think little Aria's baby swing'n days are almost over.
She will be FOUR at the end of this month!
Time for the Big Kid Swing, baby girl.  

Yep, she's ready for it!

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
click this link once a day to vote - thank you so much!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

the graduate

 She graduated!!!
I am so proud of her!

As she walked across that stage, all I could think about was all that she had been through to get to this day. 

She had to learn to walk and talk again to get to this day.
She had to learn to write with her left hand to get to this day.
She had to endure years of physical therapy to get to this day.  
She tripped and fell many, many times to get to this day.
She had years of vision therapy so that she could see well enough to get to this day.  

There's just so much that went into getting her to this day, and I can't possibly name everything. 

I'm so proud of her!  

She might not have had all A's and B's on her report cards, but she always passed her classes.  She set her mind to passing the High School Exit Exam, and it took her a few tries to pass it, but she passed it!

I am so proud of her!

Here she is walking up the ramp to get her diploma.
She was so worried that she would trip and fall up on stage, you know, because of her limp.  But I wasn't worried about that.  I knew God wouldn't allow that to happen on this special day.  And I was right!  She walked up onto that stage and looked beautifully graceful while doing it.

And here she is accepting her high school diploma!

Older brother and younger sister are proud of her!

In the car on the ride home, messy cap hair, but so happy it's over!  Time to celebrate!

Back home we have decorations, and the cake that I made her.
Audriana and her best friend, looking pretty sharp in their cap and gown!

Now that her primary school days are behind her, I don't quite know how to feel.  Of course I'm proud of her accomplishment, but I'm also sad that her childhood is over.   Due to the car accident and her brain injury, it certainly wasn't the childhood that I had planned for her.  It went a totally different direction, and sometimes I just want to request a DO OVER so that she can have the childhood she deserves instead of one filled with so many struggles and years and years of therapy.  

But, we cannot go back.  Only forward.

She says she wants to work with children with disabilities, that she wants to be a special education teacher or perhaps a special education aide that works in the classroom.  To accomplish this goal she must continue her education in college.  Of course her ambitions make me proud of her, but they also concern me. Due to her various learning disabilities, college will be a huge challenge for her.  She knows this and plans to take only a couple classes per semester so that she won't get overwhelmed.   It might take her a bit longer to get her degree, but just like passing that High School Exit Exam, if she puts her mind to it, she will do it!

I'm so proud of her!   I just can't seem to say that enough :)