Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Amber's 30th

Today is Amber's 30th Birthday!
Amber was our very first grandchild.
She is a very important part of this large family,
and this smaller but still large family,
of course this even smaller but still large family,
and this core family.
I wrote about Amber on her birthday last year and clicking that link will take you to links to all her previous posts with many pictures and stories about her life 'through the years' so I'll just post a few pictures here

and talk about what's been going on in her life during the previous year.  Mostly it's this:
which is a pretty all-consuming job and it's one she loves and excels at.  When I think of Amber and her kids, I think of unbounded joy and patience and so much love as the following sequence will show.  All Knox wanted was to pull her hair...

And this is how she interacts with all her kids.  Of course, they wouldn't be the wonderful children they are without the necessary discipline but even in those circumstances, they know they are loved beyond measure because she and Chris are wonderful, loving  parents.  And speaking of Chris, he and Amber recently celebrated their 10th anniversary!
So the past year has been filled with school, babies, and some traveling.  Over the holidays they went to Gulf Shores with Amber's large extended family where there were pictures on the beach,
restaurant dinners, parties, and even alligators.
Also they recently went 'up north' with Chris' mom and stepdad where they did some fishing among other things and Amber had some real success with Northern Pikes.

and there was the annual sojourn to Splash Universe in April where everyone enjoys the water even though it's cold outside.

So it's been a very busy year for Amber and being so busy might help explain this.  The left side was taken in early 2016 and the right side just recently.
In her Facebook post about her big change, Amber wrote, "Left is 2016, right is a couple days ago. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Over 100 lbs down and no longer diabetic! I have so much more energy and I finally feel good about myself! It’s not just about looking better, it’s about being healthy and being around longer for my family! It’s been a lifestyle change that’s well worth it! Pretty dang proud of myself".  And proud of herself she should be!  We're proud of her too!  AND, not only does she feel better, I think she looks about ten years younger!  No wonder she got carded the other night when we went out for her birthday!
There's so much to say about her that I'm almost at a loss for words.  She so much fun and so cheerful and so loving.  At any gathering you can bet just about anything that she'll look like this at some point during the evening.  
And in closing, I'm going to include an excerpt from the birthday card I wrote for her because it truly describes the person she is!

We were blessed beyond measure the day you arrived
with your evolved little nature and all-knowing eyes
You're a wonderful girl, so clever and pretty
and hardworking and sweet and wonderfully witty,
a wonderful mom and a wonderful wife
a wonderful person who lights up our lives!

So, Amber, Happy Birthday!  Thanks for the being the blessing that you are!  We're hoping your day is wonderful and the coming year is even better - but only half as great as the many more to come!  We could not love you more or be more proud of you!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Emma's 3rd

Today is Emma's 3rd birthday!

Emma is a very important part of this very large family,
a very important part of this smaller but still large family,
and, of course, a very important part of this beautiful family!
Emma was our 5th great grandchild and our second great granddaughter.
I wrote about Emma last year in this post and following that link will take you to links to all her previous posts.  Those posts will tell a lot about her and the pictures will show how she's changed 'through the years' even though there are only 3 of them.  LOL
So I'll just post a few pictures here of how she's changed

 and talk about what's been going on in her life during the past year.  She's continued to be a great talker and she's started sharing a room with her best friend/sister, Aubrey.
She's a good eater and gets along well with her siblings (almost always.  lol)  Here she is sharing a treat with Wade even though he was very difficult to get to.
This year they acquired a new family member, a kitten named Odin and Emma loves him
but that doesn't mean she's forgotten her old friend, Floki.  She loves him too.
and she finally got to meet her new second cousin, Sarah Jane.  This picture doesn't show Sarah Jane but it shows how intently Emma watched her all the time.
This year she and her family visited Gulf Shores over the holidays where she held an alligator for the first time
and the family visited Splash Universe in April which was perfect for her because she's become very comfortable with the water which makes her mom a little uncomfortable.
And she and her family have gone 'up north' with her paternal grandparents, Angie and Brian, and where Emma enjoys playing on the shore, boat rides and practicing her fishing skills.

Last August they visited her maternal grandparents, Tracy and Amy, at their campground.  There she was ready to challenge anybody to a game of jarts,
and thought it was pretty funny when everybody was intimated by her fiercely competitive face.
and there was a concert in the park with dancing on the grass and, believe me, Emma had all the moves.

and she was very pleased with herself because she knew she had smoked ALL the competition.
And apparently at some point during the past year, she helped out at her dad's construction site.

She's had a very busy year and a busy day.  Tonight there were presents to open,
a family swim,
and then birthday cake (baked and decorated by her dad and Wade).
So Emma's had a great birthday and a great year but of course I have to add a few more things about her.  She's quirky,
and oh so loving.
and she's just about the greatest great granddaughter anybody could ask for.  We love her so much and we're hoping her birthday was her best one yet but only half as great as the many more to come!  Happy Birthday, Emma!