Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Play, Shop, Celebrate

I got to spend the morning with these three; they are out of "school" for Christmas break. Ellie is full of imagination and excitement these days. She takes her role of big sister very seriously and spent some time showing Mack the photo book of family members I made for him and telling him stories about his family. She told him about the day he was born and how she and Emma met him at the hospital. She also shared happenings with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin Bo (and lots more!). Emma's vocabulary is expanding so much and it's great fun to finally have conversations with her. She is still such a cuddlebug and is just loving life (and Minnie Mouse). Mack was happy the entire time, although I did have to convince him that the bottle was as good as it was going to get as far as a snack was concerned! He has a ready smile and is fascinated by the whirlwind (read sisters) around him. 

When I left their house, I went to Hobby Lobby to buy some Rub 'n Buff for a future project and fell down the 80% off Christmas hole. I didn't buy a lot, just some things to use for gift wrap next year. Still, I spent a lot of time looking!

Now we're getting ready for our usual low-key Bowers/Collins/Willis New Year's Eve. It's been a good end to 2013.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day

There was So Much Confusion but grandchildren confusion is pretty wonderful. Here's the complete lineup: Mama has been here since Monday. Worth, Ashley, and their three arrived around eleven. It wasn't long before Sa and Gramps got here, followed by Kate, Jay, and Bo. The day was precious but definitely bittersweet; daddy would have loved seeing all of his great-grandchildren.

E.W. and Mack

Grannie (since Grandmama Cavaleri is entirely too much for the girls
to say) with her youngest great-grandson and only grandson.

These girls own us.

Helping with dinner by smashing topping for the broccoli casserole.

Gramps and Sa admire the newest Bowers.

Bo gets a sweet hello from Cousin Emma.
Sweet, right?

Wait, mama. I thought I was your baby.
Why are you holding Cousin Mack and not me?

Mama and Gramps

Ellie gives Bo and Emma a lesson on the stacking Santas.

Worth and Jay

The girls are fascinated by Bo's new tricycle.

Bo looks concerned.

Cousin action.

Last year it was Bo, now it's Mack's turn to wear the hat and amuse us.

Emma helps Bo open a gift.

The Head Elf

Emma's going to be a much better elf when she learns to read. She
was enthusiastic about handing out gifts but didn't quite have the concept
that they go to a specific person. It was  just a big chaotic (and hilarious).

Emma takes a turn with the hat, or at least tries.

Then she tries it out on Bo. He's not having it.

Sweet cousins!

Christmas night, after bathtime, we couldn't resist just one more try with the hat. Then we pushed our luck with the sleigh and how about the fact that Kate actually got this shot? So funny.

Bo, the hat, and the sleigh.

Before mama went to bed, I told her the day was just about perfect, referring to something the chaplain said at daddy's service. It was a good moment. I'm grateful for that and for everything else about this day full of love, laughter, and blessings beyond measure.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Kate's Girls: 2013

Last night was the 2013 edition of the high school girls' Christmas dinner party. This has been going on for 13 years now and as a mama, it does my heart so much good to see (and hear the laughter of) these sweet girls. Just wish some of them weren't too far-flung to get here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cousins at Four Months

These boys are eight months apart and we are thinking they are going to get into some big mischief when they're a bit older. In the meantime, here's a side-by-side at four months. We've got some adorable grandsons!

Bo in April                                        Mack now 
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Thanks to social media, it is easier than ever to keep up with family and friends. Still, there is something special about a Christmas card, something that speaks of the joy of the season and of hope for the coming year.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Christmas Came Early

This is a BIG step up from my Canon Power Shot.  E.W. gave it to me early so I could practice before Christmas Day, although I have a feeling it's going to be well into 2014 before I learn anything about manual settings.  Even so, fair warning to family and friends: be ready to say CHEESE!

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa Babies

(photos stolen from their mamas)

Friday, December 13, 2013


Here's video proof (told you there would be) of how focused Bo was on his cake. You might want to lower the volume; there are some shrieking adults laughing at the poor baby! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bo's First Birthday!

A year ago, THIS was the scene as we arrived to welcome our grandson. Last Sunday, we celebrated his first birthday! The house was full of family and friends, but you know where I had the camera focused!

What's a birthday without a cake?

E.W. chalked the sign for the front porch.

Wait. A party? For me?

Bo checks out the banner on his chair...

...and approves.

Mama pulled it all together.

Bo doesn't quite understand what mama and daddy are telling him.


What now?

A tentative start.

Still unsure.

A quick learner.

Once he got started, Bo did not move away from the gnawing-on-the-cake position for the longest. He didn't even get any on his shirt because he was leaned into that cake (and hugging it at one point). There will be video evidence!

After demolishing one side with his face in the cake,
he decided to try another method. 

Please note how much is missing from the side he attacked first.

Woo hoo! Birthdays are awesome!  

Oh, did y'all want some?
If you DO want to see some pictures that actually show some of the others there, HERE you go.
Click HERE to jump to the most recent post!