When love grows...

This is how it started out...with a first look at a new cousin...not sure what to think but totally intrigued!

To Owen wanting to help with everything...and being so attentive!

To Will giving "Baby Emma Gwace" (As Will always says) some sweet sugars.

To Clay asking "Aunt Allie, can I hold her??" When Emma was one day old, the boys were taking turns holding Emma. She got a bit fussy in Owen's arms, but then when Clay had his turn, Emma quieted right down. SO...he always reminds us that "she no cries for me!"

Owen always wants to know if there are "new" Emma stories, he loves to hear what she is doing and always gets so tickled at her "new tricks".
Will on the other hand, always wants to know where Baby Emma Gwace is. It doesn't matter where we go, he will always ask me if she is coming. So precious.
Clay is so tender and loving with her. When I got to looking at pictures, I was so touched by ALL the pictures I have of Clay and Emma. He takes in every little detail of her. Helps get her bow on straight for the pictures. Gets right in her face and talks very gently to her and gives her kisses, and lets her sit with him while he watches Monster Trucks! Here are just a few of many pictures I have of just how sweet he is with her.

My heart is so full of love for these four little ones. They are all so different and each day I see their little personalities blossoming! God has been so faithful to us and has blessed us beyond measure with these four. I pray that I can be a "Honey" to them that will show God's love in all that I do, teach them in my words and actions about God and his amazing plan for our lives.


Where's Emma??

Emma is into playing peek-a-boo these days and I LOVE how she does it! She puts those chunky little hands or arms over her eyes in the cutest fashion! Then she will begin to lower her hand or arm and you will see this little slit of an eye...before the big reveal! It is so cute. We were recently driving to Lucy's for lunch and I was sitting in the back with her so I caught it with my camera!

Another sweet thing she does, that I want to journal so I will remember is when she gets sleepy and she isn't where they can put her in her bed, she will cover her face with a blanket...and go to sleep! It is so sweet! So again, I caught the action in the car. So precious!
Those those eyelashes!!


A very fun...but very busy weekend!

As I mentioned in my last entry, Zach and Meg celebrated their 10th anniversary! To celebrate, they took an overnight trip to Fort Worth to just get away and have some quiet time as a couple! Lord knows they need that every now and then...because those boys keep you hopping and it is my guess it is very difficult to finish a thought...or a conversation! I remember...we have been there before!

So, on Friday morning, they dropped three precious little guys off at our house and headed out of town! It was so cute, because the boys could not get them back in the car quick enough. Zach said when Owen got up on Friday morning and started saying his goodbyes! When Clay went to bed on Thursday night, he announced it was "Only One More Sleep before the boys go to Bud and Honey's" AND "Mom and Dad aren't invited!!" :) Oh I remember it so well, the kids and I would run by my Mom's house to visit and Zach would tell me to "go somewhere...go run some errands". Nothing like feeling the love! :)

So, we quickly gave them their Anniversary Gift, take a few quick pictures and they headed out.

The anniversary couple!

What the the couple has been up to the last 10 years! :)

We decided to just stay home and let the boys play! Larry had some work related errands to run, so Will wanted to go along. Clay and Owen and I sat in the floor for the first two hours playing Lego's. Then we put up their water slide and filled up the pool, ate some lunch and then let the boys play in the water for about an hour before we dried off, came in and rested for a bit. After their naps, we went back outside to play in the water and help Bud in the shop until supper time! It was Pizza night! After dinner we played several board games before picking out books to read. That is a tradition. We all pile up on our bed and read books. We tucked them into beds...and didn't hear a word! They were pooped!

Saturday morning, they were up by 6:30, so the fun started early! :) Larry watched a cartoon with them while I cooked up some breakfast. After breakfast, we all got our "work clothes" on and went outside to help Bud do some clean up in the shop. The boys LOVE working in the shop with Larry! Owen and Clay both made snowboards! Yes, I realize it isn't the season for a snowboard, but Owen had seen a video about snowboarding recently and has been dying to make one! So, he went right to work on one and then of course Clay wanted one as well. They are so creative!! They wanted to paint them and so several hours later, they were strapped to their boards hopping around the backyard, so proud of their latest inventions! I think if it were winter and they had some snow...they probably would have figured out a way to make those things work! By that time, we were all hot and so they changed into their swimsuits and hit the slide and pool once again.
Two hours later, I brought out lunch for them and after lunch we stripped them down and they took a quick bath in their pool! Lets just say...boys will be boys!

We went inside for rest time and then got them dressed to go out to Larry's parents house for a cook-out. Zach showed up to pick the boys out and we all drove out to Hawley. It was a good weekend, though we were reminded why God gives children to young people! :) I had some really cute videos I had planned to post, but I can't get it to work, so this may be it for today!

Snowbird Designs...check it out!

I am so proud of my daughter!
She is so talented.
She is using her God-given talents to open a little business.
Take a minute and check her new website out. Here.
It is so fun to see her having this little outlet to use her creativity and I so appreciate her desire to help contribute a little cash to their budget! We are so thankful that David is working hard, so that she can be a stay-at-home Mom. Thank you David!
It is pure joy to watch your kids grow up.
We are blessed. Zach works so hard running and growing his company...so that Meg can stay home with their three boys! Thank you both for giving your kids their moms at home! We love you and pray for success on both businesses!!!


10 years!

10 years ago today, we witnessed you two make a vow to one another to love each other through the good days and the bad days, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. Your wedding day was so beautiful. Meg was glowing, Zach couldn't quit smiling and the wedding...every single detail at the wedding and the reception was perfect and reflected who the two of you were! We have been so blessed to watch you in your marriage walk. We have witnessed you as you two moved to College Station so that Zach could finish school, were thrilled when ya'll made the decision to make Abilene your home, to watching as you became parents to Owen, then Clay and then Will. What a fun ride it has been so far! We are so proud of the lives you lead. The way you have gotten involved in church and in the community. The way you love each other and love your boys. You two make us very proud and we are thankful EVERY single day that you are committed to one another! It is hard to believe it has been 10 years but we just want you to know how very proud we are of the two of you and ever thankful for all you do to make our lives so much richer! Love you more than words can express- Mom and Dad


What the Knights have been doing lately!

As you all know, Larry and Zach run a company call So Simple. It takes care of 4 local churches plus a smaller business maintenance and janitorial needs PLUS they also run a construction company. In April, Hillcrest Church of Christ hired us to remodel their church kitchen. It was a big undertaking. It was taking EVERYTHING out, even the slab in areas to get to some HUGE plumbing issues and then putting it all back together again. I helped a few other ladies organize the move out (boxing up ALL the stuff) and then helped move it back in. One thing that I love to do is organize, I love to figure out where is the best thing place for things, to make the flow of a working space...well work! I also LOVE to decorate. I was able to help in the selection of all the colors and materials used. What fun. It has been a huge project and Larry and Zach did an amazing job but I think it goes without saying...The Knights are very thrilled it is almost finished. We are down to a very small list of "to-dos" before we can hand it over to them. This week, several volunteers at the church helped to put things back in the cabinets then the rest of the week has been spent "tweaking" where things were put and decorating. This is a commercial kitchen so decorations were kept to a few things...but there isn't any reason a commercial kitchen can't have style!! :)
Here is the kitchen before: (sorry I don't have another picture from that exact angle!)

Here is the kitchen now:
This is one of my favorite things...we put up Wall Words on this wall. This is the wall you see when you enter the kitchen from the main hallway of the church! Love it!

The countertops are granite. The lower cabinets are black distressed cabinets. I think the distressed is an EXCELLENT idea when you know the kitchen cabinets will take a "beating" when there are lots of people in their working. If they get a little nick...then just added a little more distressing! :)

I am so proud of Larry and Zach. They have worked long and hard hours but the finished product is simple beautiful! Good job guys!


Family Fun on July 4th Weekend

Our favorite sparklers...Owen, Emma, Clay and Will

July 4th has always been a fun holiday for this family. When our kids were little, my Mom would always have a get together at their house. They lived in the country with lots of room to play! One activity we had was the "annual" parade of bicycles, wagons or basically anything on wheels. The kids would decorate their choice of transportation and drive around while we would wave and cheer! It was our little parade! Then we would eat and watch the Abilene fireworks. I have such sweet memories of homemade ice cream, watermelon slices and ALWAYS my Mom's good cooking! She would always have either sparklers or poppers for the kids! It is my desire to also give my grandkids sweet memories of such an important holiday! After all, we should daily celebrate the country we live in...is it perfect...by no means but I often take for granted our freedom! I am so very thankful for all the men and women who serve us daily so that we may enjoy this freedom!

Our neighborhood has been having a parade for over 10 year. Once we had grands we began to participate. Actually, before we had grands, Ashley was asked to walk in the parade dressed in her AHS Champ outfit. Fun times! The parade has become quite the event for Owen, Clay and Will. You would think it was the Macy's parade, it is serious business! I love it! They plan out how they will decorate their bikes and this year, they are decorated the wagon for Emma's mode of transportation. I love how the neighborhood is so supportive and it is really for the kids! Here are some pictures of our boys and girl!Will and Emma sweetly waiting for the fun to begin!
Sweet Clay is ready for this parade to start!
Owen and his new bike
Zach, Meg and the 4 excited little ones
David, Ashley and the 4 cousins

Saturday morning, EARLY, Meg ran a 1/2 marathon around ACU, so we went up and encouraged her and even took turns running with her on her last lap or two. It was so fun to see her reach a goal she has been working long and hard for. She did great and we are super proud of her!

We also had a family cook-out on Saturday evening at the house. We tried to have lots of activities for the little ones as well as the big ones! We had lots of good food and the backyard all decorated! The kids did get to play for about an hour in the pools and slide but right as we were saying our prayer to eat...the thunder and rain came! We all quickly ran inside and grabbed what we could! Thankfully the food was set up in the kitchen, so we just quickly set some tables and we were back in business! We had a full house but lots of fun! I could not have done it without my sweet families help this year! Thank you all from the bottom from my heart for helping in the kitchen!

The only downside of the night was my sweet sister in law, fell as she was leaving and really suffered a severe ankle sprain. We were thankful that after a trip to the ER it was determined it wasn't broken! We love you Carolyn and hope you heal quickly!!

Sunday was another full day of fun. We of course enjoyed having David, Ashley and Emma with us at church. Afterwards, we met up with Zach, Meg, Owen, Clay and Will at Perini's for lunch! Yummy! It was really a late Father's Day lunch, it was so fun and the food was great...thanks kids!! Sunday afternoon, we took it easy, did a lot of playing with Emma and just vegging. Then Sunday night, Zach and his family joined us for Brisket sandwiches and more fun family times! Zach and his crew headed to a local firework show later in the evening while David and Ashley headed out for a "movie date" while Bud and Honey kept little Emma! We had a good time watching her enjoy her bath time and enjoyed some bedtime books before tucking her into bed. She is so good about going to bed!

We were so glad that David had off on Monday, so they were able to stay until after lunch! The last treat of the weekend, was a trip to Tuscola to Lucy's for a yummy burger! This place has become one of this families favorite little burger joints! It was the prefect little meal to top off a perfect weekend! We of course loved all the family time! It is so fun to watch these little ones growing up and oh my, they are growing too fast! Okay, so to end, I will just share a few of hundreds of pictures we snapped this weekend! What can I say, we love these kids!!


A very busy week...

We arrived home from Oregon on Sunday night, June 20th, as always, we had lots of things that needed our attention so Monday morning we started bright and early getting back to work! However, a very good thing that happened on Monday, Ashley and Emma came in! Yahoo. We were so excited to see ALL our kids and grandkids so this day was filled with many wonderful hugs and kisses from all the crew! Ashley and Emma came on Monday because Zach and Meg were having Clay's 4th birthday party...at our house that evening. Ashley was a huge help to me during the day and also in getting things ready for the party! Zach and Meg came in the afternoon while the boys were napping at home with Dawna and Gibby watching over them and we begin to set up the yard for the party. It was a Pirate themed party so there were water elements plus buried treasures in the sandbox. As always, Meg did a great job on all the decorations and it was tons of fun. There were 13 kids plus 16 adults! Meg really does have a knack for making everything look so cute. Here is one of the elements I thought was so adorable! I am afraid I was so busy that I got very few pictures but here are a couple of the kids enjoying the water slid and pools.

We set up one pool for the two babies...Emma and Jolee Kate Watson, they were so cute and had such fun splashing and watching the big kids!

Tuesday, Ashley, Emma and I enjoyed a couple of hours here at home to visit and let Emma get a good morning nap before going to watch Owen and Clay at their swimming lessons. They are doing such a great job and Lynn and Sherri Luttrell are amazing teachers! That make being in the water so fun and relaxed! Everyone came back to the house and we fixed lunch and visited. The afternoon was full of playing and then Ashley, Emma and I took Larry to Lucy's for a late Father's Day supper. YUMMY! It was Ashley's first taste of a Lucy's burger...I see more in her future! :)
Wednesday: Ashley, Emma and I ran a few errands before picking up lunch for Meg, the boys and us and meeting at my dear friend, Karen, lovely pool for an afternoon of swimming fun! It was so cute to see the boys swim and Emma already LOVES the water. Karen was so very sweet to open up her yard to us and it was such a huge summer treat! (You will have to check Ashley's blog as I never got my camera out of my bag! :)
We went to church that evening and a dear friend, Carol, presented Emma and Ashley with a quilt she made for Emma. It is adorable pink, green, black and white! So cute Carol, thank you so much!! and even had time for a Cajun Cone! (I admit, I fed Emma a tiny bit...and I think she approved!!!)

Thursday: Ashley, Emma and I left early this morning for Fort Worth for a very exciting day! We are going to meet Emmett, Emily's new baby boy...well he is 5 months old...but our first time to touch and see him! We have waited for this day and it was such a fun day!! The Trice family are very dear to us! Emily and Emmett came to town while Dave is out of the country on a business trip. We spent the day oohhing and aahhing over Emmett and Emma. Emily saw Emma when she was about 1 month old so of course she has changed a little as well! It was fun for Pam and I to watch our two daughters as mothers. Motherhood has brought the two of them to a new place in their "sisterhood". It is so wonderful to know that Emily and Ashley have such a special relationship and will have children the same age. The day flew by and we said our goodbyes around suppertime. We drove home and Emma's daddy was anxiously awaiting to see his two girls! Once again, I do not have pictures...I was snapping them with all day, but I was using Ashley's camera! So, I will try to update this as soon as I get my hands on some!

Friday: Ashley, Emma and I hung around the house during the morning and then we got out around lunch and ran to a few stores that had opened in downtown Mansfield. Then home for Emma to get a nap before we drove to Fort Worth to meet up with the Trices, Emily, Emmett and Larry! After supper and goodbyes, we drove back to Ashley and David's and spent the night with them. We enjoyed playing with Emma before bedtime and then again on Saturday morning. She is delightful! We enjoyed a tasty breakfast at a local diner before heading out. We have several stops to make and just took our time shopping and stopped for a early supper before heading home. It was a nice drive, lots of quiet time to catch up on thoughts of the trip and all the activities that are coming up in the next few weeks around here! This has been such a busy summer so far! But we are loving all the sweet times we have been so blessed to have! I will leave you a few pictures of Emma, it was fun to just lay on the blanket and play with her! I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of those thighs! She fills her little leggings quite well!

Check out those eyelashes!!!