Thursday, October 30, 2008

halloween fun

we have been having lots of fun celebrating halloween. honestly, i thought halloween would not be a big deal this year because we will be in waco for baylor homecoming on halloween night, but we have found several opportunities to get dressed up and celebrate.

our first event was the mpe playgroup. these are my friends that i taught with at merriman park and we all had babies within the same year. there are a few older siblings in the bunch and we've added quite a few new siblings since our group began 3 years ago.

it's hard to see everyone but from left to right we have-- sophia the princess riding a unicorn, diego as elvis, ryan the pirate, carson the pirate, hannah as a fifties girl holding kenzie the caterpillar, lola the octopus, lilli as super lilli to the rescue, olivia the monkey holding jack the banana, emily the tootsie roll, abby as raggedy ann, and alex as a star wars character, i think he is a jedi solider (sorry i don't know my star wars)

we missed whit and henry. randall was there too but he was not into costumes or pictures this year. a big thanks to anne and randall for hosting this fun playdate.

jack and kenzie. look how cute in their coordinating baby legs.

next was the fall festival at olivia's school does. they have a dinner, games, and trunk or treating. we skipped the games and dinner but had lots of fun collecting candy at the trunk or treating. it only took us 15 minutes and we were all satisfied. ) shhh, don't tell the kids we missed anything.) we got to go to this event with our cousins so that was half the fun!!

olivia the monkey, kingsley the pretty ballerina, jack the banana, and abby as sleeping beauty

jack enjoyed the stroller ride. he was warm and cozy! i promise he was happy! :)

olivia decided that she needed a REAL banana added to her look. yummy!

we did have a few sessions of just taking pictures. i loved that olivia and jack's costumes coordinated this year so i had to make sure we got a few good pictures.

my precious little monkey...

and sweet banana!

the halloween fun is not over. we are headed to waco, but before the homecoming festivities begin we are going to go trick or treating with some friends. it has been a fun couple of weeks and olivia is already talking about what she wants to be next year. happy halloween everyone!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

jack's first photo shoot

last week jack had his first session with our family photographer, melissa miller. my friend misty discovered her when our little girls were babies. melissa has the incredible ability to capture the personality of every baby that she photographs. i love every picture she took of olivia and all her friends, so i could not wait to see what she would do with jack. the session was great! jack was so happy and smiley the entire time, so jack. melissa has posted some pictures of jack on her blog. i think they are precious so i wanted to share them with all my faithful blog readers. click here to go to her blog.

here is just one example...

melissa photographed olivia between the ages of 6-18 months. here are a few of my favorites from the first 2 sessions (i don't have any saved on my computer from 12 & 18 months, boo, they were cute too!)...

thanks misty for the terrific find. thank you melissa for photographing my kids. i know i will treasure the pictures forever. you are the best!!!

it's all about me

i have had a couple of days lately that have been mostly about me, which has been such a treat. a big thank you to CCDC, a good baby boy, and gram lois. "i crave organization!" a quote from my sweet friend misty, but it totally applies to me. last week i spent hours reorganizing several closets and drawers, rearranging things, and doing things that make me happy.

the result...

pantry #1. everything categorized and sorted onto the correct shelves and in the correct baskets. also, notice the new clear containers i recently purchased for snacks and cereal. i love them because when making my grocery list i can see how much is left of each item. love that!! :)

pantry #2. this is the "catch-all" pantry. it is filled with small kitchen appliances, large storage containers, and extra kitchen stuff that i rarely use. now it is easy to find things because once again everything is sorted and categorized.

spare bedroom closet, turned office. this project began when sarah and i started our calendar business. now that we are taking a short break from that endeavor i have rearrange and reorganized to make it my new office space.

i also rearranged and added a few new decorations to my mantle. i purchased them a while ago in canton, but just got around to making them work in the house. i am finally displaying a family picture that is almost 2 years old!! poor jack is not in it, but he is still represented.

those are just a few of the little projects that i have been up to while having a little "me" time. i did go to the doctor (yuck!) and spend a little time at northpark (fun!) in addition to the house stuff. this week is back to the normal routine. time with my kids is great too (well, most of the time) so the plans to continue to clean out and reorganize are on pause for the moment, but soon enough the rest of the closets will get some more of my attention.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

jack eats cereal!!!

the first go-round...

was a disaster!! jack was too hungry. i made the cereal too runny. and as you can see the result was not great.

since round one was not a fun experience i was hesitant to mix another bowl of tasty rice cereal, but after a couple days of jack crying after his full bottle i decided it was time to try, try again.

the second go-round...

was much, much better. jack was happier. the cereal was a little thicker. and i think some might have made it down to his little tummy.

i am happy to report that we have consistently been eating cereal for a couple of days. jack is more satisfied and getting the hang of swallowing not just pushing it all back out.

this experience has proved once again how different my children are. olivia was a little confused but LOVED her first food experience...

she is only 4 months old here. jack is 5 months old now!! i was way more on top of things with child #1.

Friday, October 17, 2008


i saw this on my friend kinsey's blog. i thought it was so fun. also, kinsey tagged me this summer and i didn't play along, so i am going to try and make up for by playing along with this little bloggin game.

1. go to your pictures on your computer
2. go to the 6th album, then to the 6th picture
3. post the picture and tell the story behind it

so here it goes...

this is olivia, she is only 7 months old here. she is "helping" bake brownies with nana, my mom. after i had olivia i went back to work full time to finish out the school year. she would go to mother's day out 2 days a week, play at b's house (mark's mom) 1 day a week, and my mom would keep her the other 2 days of the week. she and my mom would find all kinds of things to do together, here is one example. my sweet mom would take pictures so that i could see what went on during the day. i hated leaving her to go back to work, but i am so glad that she was able to bond and spend so much time with my mom and mother-in-law. she LOVES anytime she gets to be with her grandmas and i am sure spending quality time with them at an early age as something to do with that. in addition, she is rarely told "no" when with nana or b... that might have something to do with it too?

ok, so it wasn't quite as cute as kinsey's, but still fun. thanks for the fun idea kinsey. now it is someone elses turn...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

i've been tagged!!

this is not the first time, but it is the first time i am going to do it. it seems fun and i don't really have anything else to blog about these days. as you can tell by the fact that i blogged about apples the other day. i was tagged by my good friend misty.

These are the rules;
1. Link to the person who tagged you misty
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write six random thoughts about yourself
4. Tag six or so people at the end of your post
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

random thoughts about the world of stephanie....
1. i clean out the refrigerator before putting new groceries away. the thought of putting new food with old food weirds me out!
2. i never take out my contacts, yet terrified of getting lasik so that i would never have to deal with them again. my dr. is alway telling me that i am going to do more damage by never taking the contacts out than the laser would ever do, but i am still not convinced.
3. i met my wonderful husband in high school. i thought he was super annoying the first time we met, but my opinion quickly changed. :)
4. i organize our dvds in alphabetical order. this seems very logical to me, but i have mentioned to a few people and apparently is it a bit strange.
5. my favorite things in life besides god and my family are... sharpie markers, my label maker, diet coke, my iPhone, and mac book.
6. i was in choir for years, but i can't sing harmony or really at all. why didn't anyone tell me? well, my husband finally did!

now, for those I'm tagging; be careful out there because YOU'RE IT!! no seriously, you will not have bad luck for 7 years or anything, but it would be fun to hear 6 "quirky" things about you.

i'm tagging:

3. kim

"look what we started!"

that is my favorite quote from papa (mark's grandfather) this past weekend. as many of you know, mark's granny died peacefully on thursday morning. she had been sick for sometime. on thursday morning after her percious nurse, debbie, gave her a bath (only granny would want to be clean before she died. she is the cleanest person i will ever know) she finally got her wish to go to heaven. by friday evening the whole family was together. we were able go over to visit papa when we got into town. he is so sad to have lost his wife of 62 years, but knows that she is loving her new home with jesus in heaven. as i was sitting next to him talking and the living room was filled with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren he said, "look what we started! look what ollie and i did together." i just looked with him and smiled and then said, "i am just glad i get to be apart of it." it has to be an incredible feeling to be in a room and see the legacy that you have created. i am so proud to share the "bowlin" name and be apart of this amazing family.

this weekend was truly about celebrating granny's incredible life. we had a wonderful time visiting with family and telling great stories about granny. granny, ollie marie bowlin, was a sweet sister to 12 brothers and sisters, a devoted wife, loving mother to 3, a proud and supportive grandmother and great-grandmother, a precious friend, and woman of incredible faith. it seems that what everyone remembers most about granny is her quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. many tears were shed as we remembered her life and told stories about her, but they were admist laughter, lots and lots of laughter!!

i consider it a privledge to have been loved by granny. i know that in the 10 years that i have know her, i have learned so much by her example of unconditional love, loyalty, faithfulness, and committment to the lord. i will never forget her smile , her laugh, and her love.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

they're back...

honeycrisp apples!!!

yet another reason that i love fall. these perfectly crisp and super sweet apples only appear on produce shelves for a short time each fall. they are a bit more expensive then your average granny smith or red delicious, but they are totally worth it. the fact that there is a limit supply of them makes me love them more since they are not "engineered" to be produced year round. i literally let out a giddy "oh yeah!" when i saw them at central market last week. no worries, you will not have to make a trip to central market to purchase these tasty apples, soon enough they will be in a super target or grocery store near you. so in the words of one of our favorite authors, dr. suess, "try them! try them! and you may. try them and you may, i say!"

a special thanks to my sweet friend, jen, who introduced me to this healthy deliciousness!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

tiny tot tuesday...

at the dallas arboretum.

fall is my very favorite time of year. i love football, the cooler weather, fall colors, the leaves, pumpkins, and the beautiful gardens at the arboretum. today the weather was perfect- sunny, not too hot, with a nice breeze sothe kids and i loaded up this morning and arrived just as the gates to the arboretum were opening. olivia loved the all the pumpkins and flowers, but today was extra special because it was "tiny tot tuesday." one area was filled with all kinds of fun for kids. first we visited james french, the professional photographer, for a picture in the pumpkin patch. i think it turned out so cute. olivia and jack were both sitting on a little bench with pumpkins all around. mr. french got them both to smile so big. much different than last year, when olivia was terrified of the pumpkins and she was crying in the picture, as if santa claus was present. crazy i know. this year it was a pleasant experience for all so i can't wait to get it in the mail. then it was off to the big pumpkin patch to take a few more pictures, play, and climb.

there was also a petting zoo with a few goats, a sheep, horse, rabbit, and i think a chicken. olivia loved this. she would have stayed in there all day. she loved the sheep and goats.

after the petting zoo we headed over to the face painting. olivia decided she wanted to be a butterfly. look how pretty she is!!!

the sweet face painter told me she does 30-40 kids an hour!! i can't imagine. she was really great and so kind to every child.

jack and i were ready to head home, but olivia wanted to make a bear puppet. she worked very hard coloring her bear several different colors. once it was just the way she wanted it, she glued it to the stick. it is her prized possession today. no one can touch it!!

we played a bit longer and then headed home. the day was mostly about o, but jack had fun too. he liked hanging out in the stroller and watching all the action.

it was a great morning. we had so much fun. we are already planning our next visit. i just hope the weather and my kids will cooperate like they did today.