Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oh, but wait...there's more!

We were off to Mom's house after ours for a full day/night of unwrapping, laughing, catchin' up, and eating waaay too much. We all mentioned that we would have a more modest, smaller Christmas this year...ha, I don't think so!

I gave alot of handmade gifts this year...and my brother shares some of my blood! He made this incredible closet for Hannah and Lauren's American Girl stuff. So special. Love it, Steve! This will be around for generations to come.

Every year at Christmas my Dad would always wait until all the gifts were opened and surprise someone with something really big. He just loved surprises and Christmas was always so much fun for him. We want to remember and honor him every year and so this year I got butterfly wind chimes for everyone. I put a comforting poem with it and want everyone to remember him when we see it swaying beautifully in the wind. As usual, he was very missed.

Santa Claus is coming to town...

Gifts for eachother-- from Claire's of course (girly girl dreamy store!)

L gave Daddy a sleepy mask w/ a monkey saying "do not disturb"
(yes- he actually does wear these... shhhh!)

An Easy Bake...! This is all that little L wanted!!

The "spy girls" in our family loooved the spy gifts they got!


Love makes miracles happen! Steve and Heather surprised us on Christmas Eve with news that they will be expanding our family with a BABY in August 2009!!

They drove in with Heather's folks on Wednesday and we went to a very special candlelight service at church. We all came back to our place for a Christmas Eve dinner....and what do you know....a CELEBRATION of not only Christ's birthday but welcoming a new Whiting too! (They were even surprised it happened so quickly!) To tell us they had a small gift for my Mom to open before we ate. Oooooh, we had tears of happiness and joy of the circle of life continuing. We couldn't possibly be more excited!

What can I say? GOD IS SO GOOD and His timing is always PERFECT!

December dancers-

The "sugar glow" from the last day of school before Christmas break!
(the teddy's are from the teachers-- wow?!)
Lauren got to take the classroom bunny home for the holiday's- Snowflake has joined us for a couple weeks...

Hannah doing a hip-hop dance for the parents-- all slidin' and sassy!

Lauren at the "Fairy Dust" table after the pixie-dust filled camp day...

Holidays hustle & bustle happenings...

Okay--- you gotta love this from Lauren (to Mommy and Dabby)...

Let's PAR-TEY!....

~~I did an Open House Party here with 5 other creative women. I opened the doors to a holiday night of "stop and shop" for handcrafted jewelry, art, monogrammed items, handmade hairbows, pretty handmade floral arrangements, and Uppercase Living designs. We all had a ton of fun and plan on continuing to do Open Houses... one scheduled for January already!
~~Josh and I hosted the 5th annual Christmas Party (that's always a blast!) with our dear friends. Missed you Bryans and Mainords!
~~I got to know (and met!) some of the ladies in our neighborhood at a cookie exchange. Nothing like packin' on the holiday pounds a little early too!
~~Our family enjoyed a delightful Christmas party night with our church group friends families.
~~We ate great Mexican at Vila Montez with Josh's ETOX co-workers one night.
~~School Christmas parties are always sugared-up fun (and craziness)..and we were so proud watching Lauren in her little classroom Christmas play.

Other doings and happenings...
~~I started working every Thursday at a pottery place here in town-- it's been fun.
~~The girls, Nana and myself made ornaments, suckers, peanut butter pine cones (for our furry flying friends!) and I did an Advent calendar for the girls. Every day after school they peaked under the number. I wanted to emphasis this year the importance of giving (and getting). So I put things like "Write or draw a soldier a picture and send it", "Give your teacher a holiday hug today" and stuff like "Let's drive and look at Christmas lights tonight" or "Let's rent any Christmas movie you want tonight"...
The girls loved it (and it was cheap and easy to do!)
~~Lauren went to a "Fairy Day Camp" at Dance-n-Drill a bit ago. They fluttered around dancing, did scavenger huts, some sweet art and painted themselves up all glittery. I know it was a fairy fun time for her...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

And -poof!- It's Christmas...

Okay, within a 36-hour period a family reallly can transition from Fall and turkey eatin' to Winter and ornaments and angels! Yup, that's just what we did. The pumpkins in our front porch---gone within a flash. In fact Lauren asked me yesterday (amongst all the boxes and chaos on our floor) if Santa was coming TOMORROW. Oh and she said it with such bright-eyed sincerity and excitement- like it was really happening!

We were so excited to put up the Christmas tree from our dear friends who recently moved to Ecuador. (We thought about and talked about you ALL day, Bryans family!) The tree is just lovely. And big! I think a Christmas tree can never be too large. Missing you so much!

Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving day seemed to come and go quickly in our house. Josh grilled a 14-pounder and we just had a simple meal with my Mom. We decided to keep it really easy and have fun.

Traditions are so great to keep and we are intending to keep them! The girls have always had fun decorating our Thanksgiving table somehow each year. Whether its from nature or cute name signs, etc. This year we made a Thanksgiving tree (thanks to Kalen's great idea!). We cut the branch, found old special stones from the Wa. beach when we lived there, and everyone put their own gratitude on the leaves. Loved it! We ended the night with swollen bellies and some new card games to play.

Some of Lauren and Hannah's thankful leaves-
~God! (with exclamation indeed, L!!)
~sistr's (sisters)
~the erth (the earth)
~totol's (our hamster buddy Tootle's)
~flowr's (flowers)
~freedom (amen, girl!)
~peace (amen. amen.)

Some more-
~God's comfort, grace and promise
~All of you
~Memories of the past
~My four ladies (a.k.a. the girls, Stacey, my Mom)
~Joy of two beautiful daughters and 20 years with an amazing man

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We're off the see the wizard...

Every Halloween the girls always have "coordinating" costumes. In the years past they have been dressed up as the princess and the pea (when L was itty bitty!), hula girls, cheerleaders, kitty cats, and fairies. Well, this year they have watched and watched (and fascinated with) the Wizard of Oz! So- here is Dorothy and Toto!

I always had "handmade" costumes as a girl- and love that. Thank you Marla for letting us use the dress your Mom made- and thanks to Nana for the Toto costume. (You never lose your touch!) Nana made her famous Halloween chili- like she has done ever since I was a kid- and came over in a witch hat. I was going to pull out my pink puffy prom dress and be the good witch...but it is a bit hard to zip!! Anyway- we had fun going to our old neighborhood trick-or-treating. We lit our pumpkins. Oh yes you can see in the picture that Daddy got out his saw for carving! The girls spread out (and organized of course) all their goodies and they were all sugared up ready for bed!

It's such a joy that some things never change and that as parents we get the gift of re-living and reminiscing all the childhood wonders of the seasons/holiday's all over again!

A grandparents love-

Okay everybody- I am on post 4 or something. Nothing like doing the entire blog for October in one swoop! Hang in there with me! I wanted to put a couple cute pictures of the Foster's on here. They stayed with us this month and enjoyed being able to spend some time being a part of the girls days. Hannah and Lauren are spoiled rotten by them (of which they should!) and loved lunch with them at school, a movie date, G'pa's blueberry pancakes, soccer playing, smore's, puzzles, reading, lots of icecream, tubing, and just being there. I think the incredible love of a grandparent is so treasured and important. Some of my sweetest, most precious memories of my childhood were spent with my grandparents. I looove that my kids have this! Lauren has teary eyes about my Dad every other night saying "I miss Papa, Mommy". We cry together missing him often- but are always so very thankful that they have Grandma's and Grandpa in their lives to love them!

In loving remembrance

It seems beyond me that it has been a year since Dad's passing. I felt like I needed to post this picture of him and his three "butterflies" on here for October. It is the one picture that I have looked at every single day- several times a day- this past year and remembered him. I cannot even remotely begin to post all of the emotions and zig-zagged pattern of the indescribable aches, cries, questions, and wonder. But- I can look at this picture and remember all the the precious memories and amazing love that I will forever carry with me and cannot be taken away. I am so graciously thankful for all of them that I have.

I know that God will continue to heal us and be with us while we are missing Dad here. We get our strength, hope and love from the Lord in so many ways. A huge heartfelt thank you to all of you- dear family and friends- that have been there for all of us this past year. You have made all of the days a bit easier. Your prayers, tears along with us, listening ears, all the right words, or just a hug when needed have been so comforting and encouraging. The love and compassion never goes unnoticed.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our little furry friend-

The girls excitedly welcomed "Tootles" about a month ago. They finally spent some of their birthday and Christmas (I know!!!) money on her! She is this very easy to take care of little siberian dwarf hamster. She looks like a large fluffy cotton ball with a grey stripe on her back and loves her hot pink cage. She goes a mile a minute on the little wheel inside of it ALL NIGHT! The girls love something to take care of and Mommy loves not hearing "oooh, Mommy- can we get a kitty, puppy, !"

October creativity at the Foster's-

An extra special something for Daddy in our mudroom... it is so great to have a space for our "stuff", and places for sweet notes! ("Have a good day at wroke daddy!")

Here are some crazy little pumpkins we had fun with-

A few favorite art pieces from Hannah put upstairs in the art/play den!

A few creations from Lauren (oh, yes- we have alot more where these come from!)

And hey- a space on the wall to pin up Mommy's!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Co. get-away~

Just me and my forever man on a special night~

Went to a romantic fondue resturant and stuffed ourselves silly~

Off on 4-wheels...

Cooold mountain air making us a bit nutty-

Gorgeous view from our campsite in the mountains-

A Coors Brewery tour- and lovin' free cold one's at the end!

One of the beautiful parks near Denver-

My high school sweetheart and I just celebrated our special love day this Tuesday. The 23rd is when he asked me on a first date 20 years ago to a $1 movie theatre and ice cream at Burger King. This same date was our lovely wedding... and so our love story continues. We have come a long way and wanted to celebrate us and our wonderul journey together. So, after two attempts to go somewhere that fell through because of timing and just too much of a dent in our wallet....we decided on Wednesday of last week to get cheap airline tickets to Colorado. Nothin' like waiting till the last minute, huh? We were then off on a way too early morning on Friday for a few days of gettin' away that was well needed. We stayed in Steve/Heather's "suite" down below. An oasis with the coziest bed, movie theater, pool table, spa bathroom, get the idea. It was just a great time for J and I to reconnect away from schedules, kiddos, and the day stuff that can sometimes get the best of us. Above are some picture highlights of the fun~

As long as you have memories to look back on and dreams to hold onto..
As long as you have faith to guide you,
and prayers to carry you through-
As long as you have eachother and God's love in your hands,
you'll have everything you need.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First day of school...

And they're off...getting bigger as we speak. Hannah is sportin' a bit of a "Hannah Montana" look. She says "everyone calls me Hannah Montana at school mommy.." Well, she might as well look the part, eh? And my fashion conscious Lauren decided all of a sudden that she doesn't want any more bows, glitter, shine, skirts, nothing "too fancy". I'm crushed. Perhaps it's another phase, right? She has a new (somewhat plain of course) kitty t-shirt that says "Miss Adorable" on it. She picked it out at Dillards awhile back, insisted on getting it, and wants to wear it ALL the TIME. Now really, how can I resist that?

Anyway- the first two weeks have been with its joys and challenges. Mainly morning challenges- uggh. It isn't good that I'm not a pleasant morning person at the least- and that God graced me with a little one that isn't either. Aaah- what to do??
Overall they are both happy during their day- with teachers and friends- so that is what matters. As a mommy, I am loving these lil' darlings- picking them up after school, hearing all about the day and realizing there is not any better joy in the world than to see them being molded and created into the girls they are meant to be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Some Stacey news~

Hey there friends, family, and blogger buddies! I finally did another post on here- hooray!

I also wanted to let you all know of some changes to come for me and art. God has been really working on my heart in this area- and I am thrilled about a decision. You all can go ahead and take my art blog (Flutterby) out of your list of blogs. In the next few weeks, I am planning on doing something very different. This fall I am doing an e-commerce website- which is a site that will easily let someone (anyone!) purchase directly off the site. I want to be BIGGER and really have a much more professional "boutique" look for some new simple art/designs. I am planning to have "samples" online to be personalized. I will no longer put emphasis on "custom pieces". I still want to customize- but just in a different and easier way. You'll see.

Along with this website, probably the biggest news with my art is that I am planning on doing Canton Trade Days. Those of you here know...oh, yes. I am registering/getting evaluated for a booth in the we will see. If not- then Trade Centers will be a good start.
I am nervous but also feeling a fire in my belly- and prepared to work my bootie off. Soooo, God-willing...I am praying (you can too!)and hoping that this will work out for November and December.

Summary of summer!

Some have told me that once you have kiddos in grade school, the years fly by. Well, it is TRUE! It is beyond me that I will have a first and third grader this year!

Some summertime to Co., swimming/sprinkler fun, tackled a reading chart, baking some yummies, girlie sleepover, VBS, going green and started recycling, shopping, soccer camp, playing and more playing, friends & parties, tubing/lake, and just loved not being scheduled and simply hangin' out with two of my most favorite cutie's in the world---

Here's to a great, brand new 2008-2009 school year everybody...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


(check out Lauren-ha!)

(check out the pic of J I found-flexing his stuff in 5th grade...!)

Josh's mom asked me on the phone today " that all you do there in TX is PARTY?" Well, it may seem that way according to this BLOG! But really...we DO work too!!! It's just that it's not any fun to talk about that now is it?

We celebrated the birthday of the man of my life on the 9th- with a simple going out to eat and half eaten cookie cake his co-workers got him (and he brought it home!). We did although have a "cookie monster" at Cheddars- so that count too. The girls got him the Steven Curtis Chapman CD "Cinderella"(and I am sure he secretly got all teary eyed over it in the car going to work and stuff) and I splurged on some Marshalls stuff. It really is one of his favorite stores. He likes a good deal like his someone else I know!
I couldn't even begin to write about my man on here. I can say that I am still falling in love with him over and over again every single day. He's everything and I cannot wait to spend many many more birthdays celebrating him and all the incredible things that make him so INCREDIBLE! ....You make every day a joyful, priceless treat, honey. You are a gift from heaven. XO.

Okay- now the other important person in my life we celebrated this week was my Mom. Us girls went to a girly lunch and saw the cute "Kit Kittredge:The American Girl" movie with some friends. Mom has always been in love with American Girl dolls- and so it was perfect. (She even wants one of her own- and is the other grandma that supplies all the cutie-patootie outfits for Hannah and Lauren's dolls..., I gladly let them!!$$!)
I love you more than you know, Mom. I love that you are choosing to look at the "rainbows" instead of the "clouds". You and I have something so special- and I am continually proud and honored to call you not only my Mom--but also a best friend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Colorado fun...

Yup- it is July... and we were bundled around a fire to stay toasty. (nope,not in TX!!!)

We celebrated the 4th- with sparks from fireworks (and newlyweds too!)

Went to a Rockie's game! Pigged out on loaded dogs and had baseball fun- even though they lost...

Did some tubing and kayaking down the Phlatt river...just gorgeous!

Went to Pike's Peak and the views took our breath's away...ha, literally!
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