Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some more camping pics

Some more pictures from our camping adventure. As you can see the temperatures fluctuated a bit....the kids wanted to be in shorts as it was a bit warmer but it was still too cool to to just be in shorts. However, the afternoon of the 31st, the winds really picked up and it was going to be down to 31 degrees....a bit too cold for me and baby Andrew. So John's mom and I ended up heading out and headed back home. Julia joined me as well as she was "too cold". She and I had a nice evening watching a movie and bringing the new year in at 1030pm.... We were too tired to stay up any later.

You will also notice Sterling's little friend "Shell" the turtle. He LOVED this turtle and wanted to keep him and bring him home. We played with him but let him go back to his mom. Sterling shed some pretty big fat tears.

Monday, December 29, 2008


John has wanted to go camping with the kids ever since we moved here. I guess since it has almost been 3 years...I finally gave in. We have camped on numerous occassions in the backyard...we all start out in the tent but mom comes back in to sleep in her own bed. There is usually one of the kids that comes in during the night. To me, I love this kind of camping...we build a fire in the back, roast some hot dogs and marshmallows and cook eggs in the morning over the stove. I love this version because I get to sleep in my own bed, have my own shower, and there is no major mess to clean up.

These are a few of the pictures that were taken on our camping trip. John's parents and their dog Coco joined us. While we were camping, there were also some really nice trails we walked on.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Anybody need a shave?

John is always so busy from about October until Christmas. Every year after Christmas he usually takes at least a week off. This year we were able to enjoy daddy being around the house for almost 2 weeks. When he is home for that length of time, he is often found unshaven...not that I agree. Not only was he unshaven but so was Sterling.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

In my house growing up, we always had the tradition of going from youngest to oldest....meaning on Christmas Eve, the kids come in youngest to oldest to hang their stockings and to be "interviewed" by dad. This is a tradition that I always enjoyed and thus we have carried on in our family. The same happens Christmas morning. This was not what John's family did as they all just took a nose dive into the gifts that Santa left. Christmas morning, the kids come in youngest to oldest to see what Santa left in their stockings. As you can see from one of the pictures, the older children are always peeking around the corner. The pictures didn't post in the order that I desired, but you get the picture.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Misc pics

For Christmas Eve we decided that we would spend the night with John's parents....yes it might have been easier to have them come than to wrap presents and take them there. However, going to John's mom's house is like going on vacation. So we grabbed a quick picture of John's mom and dad. The other two pictures are of creations that Sterling made with his friends and his castle. The other one is of Caroline's little stuffed friends.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Putting up the tree

What is the weather like in Florida when it is time to put up the Christmas tree? According to Sterling it is short weather! Sterling is in his all time FAVORITE has been his favorite outfit now for about 2 was one of those clearance items I grabbed out of necessity at one point and it was definitely worth its weight in gold....EXCEPT when he wants to put it on in the mornings before church. This does happen on occasion. We move to 9 o'clock church at the start of the year so hopefully, those fights will no longer occur!

We put up our Christmas tree about a week or so ago. Putting up the tree has always been a memorable experience for me. One of my dad's cousins has given me my own ornaments each year. So when it came time to put up our tree when I was growing up, I was always unwrap the memories of Christmases from years past.

This dear and wonderful cousin has continued this tradition with my children and my nieces and nephews. Each year the kids eagerly anticipate "the Cousin Carrie" box full of ornaments. As soon as I brought the tub of ornaments out, each of them started commenting on ....I can't wait to find my snowman...I can't wait to find my ballerina or my porcelin doll...

As you can see the kids are all enjoying themselves and Andrew is growing like a weed. . . we went to see the Dr on Fri and he weighed in at 16lbs....and he was just 3 months on Friday.

Thank you Cousin Carrie for ALL of the WONDERFUL Christmas memories throughout the year!

Piano Recital 12 08

Ever wonder how to keep a 5 year old BOY entertained during a piano recital?? Bring along one Grandma DaDa!! Sorry Donna for the post but I had to share the fun! I didn't even realize this was happening as I was peaceful sitting in front of them rocking Andrew! So I was surprised to find the pictures when I downloaded them.

Caroline and Julia have an AWESOME music teacher. She has received all kind of district and state wide recognition for her efforts. She has a piano lab in her room with 20 pianos, has 20 or so violins, chimes, and quite a few guitars. She teaches these instruments to the students during the day. However, after school she stays a few days of the week until 5 teaching piano lessons. The lessons are at cost but any of the money that she receives for the lessons, she puts back into the program ... paying for the violins, pianos etc...she does not pocket the money for herself.

The girls have taken lessons for the past year and a half. The girls have loved it and continue to progress nicely. Hopefully, Sterling will join them....however, from this picture, Ms. Downs may say NO! :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reindeer Run 08

Thought I would post pictures from the Reindeer Run this morning. First of all, I can't figure out where to get rid if the underline part so forgive me! I guess the Reindeer Run has become a bit of a tradition for us least for a few in our family. This morning Julia, Caroline, Sterling, and I ran the race. Caroline joined me for the 5K. This was her very first 5K and we did only ONE practice run a week ago!! Not good preparation on my part. She told me throughout the race that she thought she was going to throw up! She didn't but she did finish it in decent time. She ran it in 31:24....I ran the race with her. Originally, I wanted to do the 10K but Caroline wanted to run so I ran it with her. Boy am I glad we only did the 5K. I have only been managing about one run a week if that lately! Needless to say, I was not too pleased with my time as I ran it last year in 24:16...Drastic difference...guess having a new baby will do that to you. Julia and Sterling joined us for the fun run mile run. Julia improved her time from last year by 30 seconds. She ran her mile in 10:07 this year. I was very proud of her. Last year, Sterling chose to just cheer the girls on but ran his mile this year in 11:25 which is a vast improvement from the Spring run fun run that he did in April...he made that mile in 16:24. Overall, we had a great time. We just wish that daddy could join us! As most of you know, this is his VERY busy time of year...And a big THANKS to John's mom as she helped out with Baby Big which made it all possible.

The other picture is of John's mom in action. Last week we were just going to loan our van to use in the parade to throw donuts. When we showed up to drop the van off, we found out that she was left with no help. So we quickly helped bag over 400 donuts and rode in the parade. John's parents also came to the rescue and helped us pass out the donuts. The kids LOVED passing out donuts. Julia told me, "Mom the hardest part is trying to decide who to throw them to because everyone wants one!"

I will see if I can find the pictures from last year's Reindeer run to post.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The crew

This is the Sanders crew plus one of my cousins. As you can see the boys were tired of taking pictures and were ready to get back to grandma's. I don't know how many times we managed to wrangle Sterling out of the gym and put his sweater and tie back on! My cousin Jack is stationed at an air force base just about 40 minutes away. We were able to have him join us for the occassion. It was nice to have my side of the family represented! Thanks Jack... It was nice to have John's parents with us as they were on there mission when we blessed sweet baby Kathryn. We missed having my family with us as most of them were in Missouri with mom.

Andrew McKay's blessing

On November 30th we had the opportunity to bless Andrew at church. As you can see, the girls are more than excited to hold him and get their picture taken with the big ole boy.... or "baby Big" as John's mom calls him.

John's brother Cary and his family live in New Orleans so they came to join us for the Thanksgiving week. Little Lucy Adeline who is two weeks older than Andrew was also blessed on the same Sunday.

Sterling's picture was obviously taken after church. In fact, we had to convince Sterling to put
his white shirt BACK on to get a picture taken with Andrew. Sterling is basically stripping at the door if he has made it that far with his clothes on when we are coming home from church.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Everyone loves to hold a baby!

These are a few random pics taken recently. EVERYONE always is asking to hold Andrew! As you can see, he doesn't seem to mind the attention. The girls LOVE to rock Andrew after school. They often use this time to be able to get their reading done while rocking Andrew. I love it because it helps me in the busy time of my day after school and they get their reading done.

Sterling loves to help with Andrew. Andrew occassionally gets a bottle and everyone loves to help him drink it. We are amazed at what he can consume.

I was talking to someone the other day and mentioned how Andrew reminds me of Clifford the Big Red dog. You may ask me why? Because if you remember the story, Clifford starts off as a small little puppy but because of all of the love that he receives he grow and grows! I think this is true of Andrew...although he didn't start off as a small little pup...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Birthday Fun

Many of you may recognize the famous red wig... it has been around for quite some time. Katie (my younger sister) was Rainbow Bright one year for Halloween. This is the wig that she wore! Most of us have used it from time to time and ALL of the grandkids have had fun with it. This picture was taken at my mom's house about a year and a half ago when Mary Caroline graduated.

One of Sterling's best buddies throughout the years has been Curious George....

The other pics are from his birthday. All Sterling wanted for his birthday was a set of Hulk gloves and a "blue light saber with a spring" .... so what did he get? Not one but TWO sets of Hulk hands - one pair from his daddy and the other pair from his Papa! Secretly, I know that John and Don wanted them so they could get in on the fun. And of course, the girls wanted to get in on it as well.

Boy toys are pretty cool... The girls have now asked for their own light sabers after Sterling got his new "blue one with a spring!"

Happy 5th Birthday Sterling John!

Happy 5th Birthday Sterling John! How quickly the years have flown. I share with you some of our favorite pictures (there are many) of Sterling since we have moved to Florida. If you notice in two of the pictures, he is wearing the same swim shirt. This swim shirt was worn almost daily for about 2 years.

For about 6 months we had John's parents dog Cocoa while they were on their mission. Sterling LOVES Cocoa and he is so glad that she is just down the street.

The picture of Sterling in the stroller is with his good buddy Drew. Drew and Sterling are cousins and are only 9 weeks apart. They are two peas in a pod. Whenever we get together, they pick up right where they were before! This picture was taken at Universal Studios. Drew's family came to Florida 9/06...just about 5 months after we moved to Florida. We crashed Stephanie's family vacation for a few days. We were grateful that her extended family did not mind that we joined them for a few days of fun.

The most recent picture was taken about a week ago. The girls spent a day hiking with John's parents. When they got back to their house, they were cleaning out the pool and found a little snake. Of course, Papa saw it as a great teaching opportunity and my kids saw it as great opportunity to have a pet! With the snake being nonpoisonous, we agreed to let it come home with the kids as long as it stayed in the back yard. The picture of Sterling was taken last Sunday morning. He woke up immediately, put some clothes on and headed out to play with his snake until it was time to get ready for church...