Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mailee's Joyful Celebration

click on picture to see the album of party photos!!

Birthdays are such a great time to reflect on a person and what they mean to you! Today was Mailee's 7th birthday. We had a big All American Cheerleader party for her. She was completely in her element cheering away with a smile from ear to ear. It got me thinking how appropriate that party theme was for her and also how well her middle name (Joy) describes her. Mailee is the cheerleader in our crew. She is happy and cheerful and encouraging. She is always excited for others and she bounds through life feeling glad!

When Mailee was opening her gifts, it struck me that she has a thankful heart as she was genuinely thrilled with each gift and took the time to stop and thank each friend before she moved on to the next gift. She spent minutes just reading the cards, she savors every moment in life!

I am so proud of the sweet and precious girl that Mailee has grown into. Three years ago at Mailee's 4th birthday, she barely spoke two words the entire day! She was so painfully shy. She has grown into a social girl and has chosen some really sweet friends. I love my little Mailee Mai so much. She is such a gift of JOY!

Here's a video of Mailee and her friends performing a cheer!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Few Randoms

I stole this photos off of my sister's Facebook album to share with all of you :) I guess that kind of makes me like Robin Hood, stealing something just to share it....although that would have to mean that you, the readers, are lacking photographs to look at...ha ha, there goes that analogy!

How sweet!

Wow, big family!

This is the day after Mailee's eye got "bonked" on the's not too bad at this point...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

For the last two weekends we have enjoyed the fun at a farm about 45 minutes out of town. It was so great last weekend, we came back for more! The weather was so beautiful today.
Check out that sky!!
Here are some highlights...
An update on Mailee's eye: here she is today, happy as ever. Her eye keeps changing colors! She has gotten a lot of attention! Next weekend is her birthday. I have a feeling she will not be 100% free of the black eye by then...

Mikayla and me enjoying a very cool place!

Caleb...digging. Some things never change :) I really like this picture!

Auntie Terri suggested that they make silly cute! Terri took lots of photos with her awesome camera, can't wait to see them!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Shiner!

Mikayla and Mailee collided on the trampoline on Thanksgiving...I'd say Mailee took the brunt of it, what do you think?

Oops! Sorry little sister!

My little Mai Mai has the best attitude! Even with her big black eye she is Smiley Mailee!

She now holds the tiltles of "kid with the worst chicken pox" in our family AND "first kid to get a shiner". She's on a roll!!

Check out all those amazing colors!!

I got Mailee a new water bottle for her birthday but I felt so bad for her, i gave it to her early:) Tonight we "bedazzled" it!!

A is for Apple Brown Betty

So we had a really busy weekend and somehow my camera was absent for most of the fun...Not lost, just not with me :) I know my sisters took some great shots so perhaps eventually I'll get a few of those but for now a run-down will have to do!

Here in Canada it was Thanksgiving so we celebrated that which was a major pleasure as the Banman Family makes a mean Thanksgiving spread! Not to mention the company is top notch!

For Thanksgiving I always make the "sides" many of whcih my Grandma taught me how to make when Iwould go to her house the day before Thanksgiving and help with the preparations. I am glad we shared those moments together, it is so fun to have those memories come flooding back every year!! This year Maddie was my kitchen buddy. We made cranberry sauce and cranberry waldorf salad and broccoli salad and applesauce and for dessert, we did an Apple Brown Betty which is my other Grandma's specialty!

It was thrilling to make the apple dish with all of the amazing apples that have been grown locally in the Okanagan! Check out this one Caleb is's mammoth!

And below is the finished Betty, which Caleb managed to step on in the van. (it was covered with foil) I had no pie plate so I used a cake pan...had lots of those:)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Hilarious 2 1/2 Year Old

Today Caleb pulled out some more hilarious lines. We were talking about the new baby and he had a mouthfull to say on that topic.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quote Of The Day

Overheard from the middle row of the van on the drive home from school this afternoon...

"me hate me new car seat"

This little sentance came out of nowhere. Perhaps he was referring to the fact that in his previous carseat, he had figured out how to houdini himself out and roam freely about the cabin. This "new carseat" is much more secure. He ain't roaming anywhere anymore!!

Props to Caleb for stringing together 6 words in a clever little sentence. No props to the person (I am assuming the culprit is a child in my household) whom he learned the word "hate" from.

I managed to keep a serious face and inform him that hate is not a nice word...and take a photo of the scowl-ish pouty face he was making (yes Mom, while driving but I was on our street going 4 MPH)

Awesome News!!

I have great news to share!
My best friend Gretchen is pregnant too!!

I know a lot of people have best friends but this girl is more than that,

we have known each other since we were born...

we have a photo of us as 4 year olds wearing sundresses standing in front of our very pregnant mommies...

Gretch is the girl right next to me in every one of my birthday pictures and I am there in all of hers...

we dressed in matching outfits for weeks at a time at camp every year...

we cheered together...

we've called each other every Christmas morning since we were tiny to discuss the "haul"...

we stood next to each other at our weddings...

when Mike and I moved to the Bay Area, Gretch did too...

The only thing we have not done together is be pregnant at the same time. Gretch is "Auntie Gretch" to all my kids, she sat in the waiting room while I delivered Mikayla, she popped in from across the street when Mailee was born in the Bay Area...she had a corner of her house that was dedicated the "play area" for my kiddos.

When I called Gretch to tell her my baby news, she repeated the same news to me...right down to the month. Her baby is due May 15, ours is early May!!

I must be honest, I was questioning God's timing with this whole 5th baby thing. I felt quite overwhelmed at the prospect! Hearing Gretchen's news and enjoying the daily bliss of discussing pregnancy issues and comparing how we feel has been such a blessing! God's timing is perfect, He knits babies together in their mother's wombs and divinely connects people with each other. He connected our parents 30 years ago and I am thrilled that He has blessed us with the opportunity to share this experience and maybe, just maybe create a 3rd generation of great friends!
There I am at Gretch's side for her5th birthday.

I sat in the front seat every year on the bus ride up to Hume Lake because Gretch needed to "watch the road" and I wouldn't dream of sitting by anyone else.

Junior high twins, we were cool!

Super Auntie!!

credits: I was able to post most of these awesome pictures because Gretch went photo-scanning crazy a few months ago and she has all her old photos on her computer now- so awesome!!...thanks Gretch!

I wish I had that one with our pregnant you??

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Erin!

Once again I am a few days late on my birthday wishes, Erin's 30th birthday was October 2!

Anyways, Erin has been an awesome friend since 7th grade. We sang in her Mom's wedding together(no, I can't sing), we've walked through the streets of Fresno at 3am during a sleepover when our parents thought we were sleeping(making a parental mental note about sleepovers for my kids in the future..), we've thrown bridal showers and baby showers for each other and now our kids play together when I come to town.

I have had the privilege of being encouraged and blessed by Erin's faith, honesty and creativity. I love you Erin! Happy 30th!

At the Cheesecake Factory for our 30th birthday party in the spring holding cute party favors from Court!

The next generation of special friends...Maddie and Kirra

We go to the Cheesecake factory a lot, hey? Mmmm...those taquitos!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Unexpected Blessing...

Mike, Colleen, Mikayla, Mailee, Madison and Caleb
have BIG NEWS...
Baby #5 is going to be joining our family in May '09!!

Each one of our children has enriched our lives and completed our family in their own unique way. We are excited to meet this new precious baby!

Mikayla Grace

Mailee Joy

Madison Faith

Caleb Michael

Start thinking of those "M" and "C" names...

we may need some help!!