Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coop and Chloe's Birthday

We had the joint birthday party for Cooper and Chloe last night. It was a great time with our family & friends and of course there's a lot of photos. It was hard, but I think I narrowed it down to a handful (large handful) of photos to share. And thanks to everyone for coming & for the gifts! You all made the party special for our birthday kids!

We started the party with food. Here's the guests of honor eating.

Cooper blowing out the candles on his construction-themed cake.

Chloe eating her Care Bears cake. Yummm!

Rita walking with Chloe. The Grandmas.

Here's Gabe entertaining Chloe before we open presents.

Chloe (& Dad) with her presents.

Cooper with his presents.

Both Cooper & Chloe got sunglasses, thanks to Grandpa.
Aren't they cute!

When asked what he wanted for his birthday, Cooper told Grandma he wanted pickles. So, he got pickles!

Cooper's silly face!

Chloe playing with her new toy today, with Gabe's help of course!

Monday, May 26, 2008

One Year in the Life of Chloe

Today Chloe turns one! I have been thinking about the past year and how fast it has gone by. I remember being in the hospital and Chloe being born just like it was yesterday! The shock of finding out that the baby I was sure would be a boy was actually a girl. The excitement of first thinking about all of the mother/daughter events in life we could share together, just as I had shared with my own mother. The joy of seeing Gabe & Cooper love their little sister from the moment they first saw her. These memories are as fresh in my mind as the day they happened!
She was such a beautiful baby, and so loud! I remember one of the nurses commenting on how she is definitely one of the loudest newborns she's ever heard.
And what a beautiful and joyful little girl she has grown to be! I am so thankful for Chloe and for our wonderful family!
I thought that I would share some photos of Chloe from the past year in honor of her one year birthday!

Chloe's first photo

Chloe's first bath...she hated it!

Chloe with mom & dad. I love this photo. Look at Jason admiring his little girl...how sweet!

Chloe's first day at home, being held by her big brothers.

Chloe at 3 weeks.

Chloe at 6 weeks. This was her first smile captured in a photo.

Chloe's first hayrack ride. Yes, this was Cooper's idea, to have dad put Chloe on his toy hayrack.

Chloe at 5 months.

Chloe at 7 months. This is one of my favorite photos, with her big smile. I think she looks like a china doll.

Chloe at 11 months, with milk drool on her face.

Chloe with her favorite chicken book.

Chloe in her pretty red cherry dress.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Last night I was home alone. Well, not exactly alone. The kids were in their beds fast asleep and Jason was gone meeting his cousin Jeremy & fiance Kaely in Iowa City about their wedding next weekend, so that left me to fend for myself when we had an intruder.
When I first saw him, I screamed and froze in terror. I feared for my life and the lives of my children. When I composed myself a bit, I grabbed a shoe. Not just any shoe, I chose Jason's big size 14 shoe thinking a blow from a shoe that size would surely kill him. But I couldn't bring myself close enough to be in striking range. So I decided to put down the shoe and get my camera so that I could zoom in on our intruder and have proof of his break-in.
Here's the evidence:

Yes, it was a spider. But not just any spider, it was a HUGE SPIDER!
And yes, I've been known to overreact to spiders before. There was the time in fourth grade when I was in the shower and saw a huge spider on the shower curtain, was frozen in fear for about 20 minutes trying to think of how I could get out of that situation alive, and then finally called my mom at work and had her come home just to kill the thing. Then there was that time after Jason and I were first married and we had our first apartment and again, there was a spider, and again, I was home alone, and again, I called my brave mom to come over and kill the spider for me. So yes, I suppose you could say that I have a bit of a fear of spiders.
But look at this photo! It was a huge, hairy spider with long outstretched legs just plotting his takeover of my home! I just know his many friends are soon to follow with summer not even upon us.
Needless to say, my fear takes over all rational thinking when I see a spider and I literally break down. Jason came home to find me shaking, holding his shoe, and watching this spider like a hawk to make sure he didn't get away.
I'm surely not the only one who lives in fear of these ugly, menacing pests, am I ???

Friday, May 23, 2008

Preschool Graduation

Today was Gabe's first graduation ceremony. Yes, some of you (Jason) may think it's silly, but Gabe did have a graduation ceremony for his preschool class. He's taking the big step from preschool to Kindergarten, and they commemorated this with a parent's day today, complete with cap & gown.
The day consisted of Gabe's teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, starting the morning with the students the same way they always start...calender, days of the week, months of the year, pledge of allegiance, etc. Then the class showed off some of the skills they learned this year, including all their letters & sounds, shapes, etc.
The class then performed a skit based on the Eric Carle book, 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See,' which is one of our family favorites. Gabe was the green frog.
Finally, the kids sang songs they've learned throughout the school year. The last song was a song with words like, 'I'm no longer a preschooler, I'm ready for kindergarten,' which of course made me think about my little boy going off to school all day in the fall and, of course, I cried. For those of you who know me well, this is no surprise! I pretty much cry about anything at all sentimental!
I thought I'd share some photos from Gabe's big day. I can't believe my baby is already finished with preschool!

Gabe's Class with Mrs. Ferguson

Gabe with Mrs. Ferguson. She's such a wonderful teacher and Gabe learned so much from her this year. Mrs. Ferguson will be Cooper's preschool teacher next year, and he's very excited!

Gabe with the green frog during the skit.

Gabe showing off his letters book with his homework from the school year.

Cooper eating graduation cake.

Gabe with his best buddy Brayden.

Chloe with Grandpa & Grandma

The boys talking to Grandma

Jason with the boys

Chloe with Grandma

Mrs. Ahlemeyer & Gabe

Gabe with his diploma!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More from Gabe the photographer

So it's not just a fluke! I seriously think that Gabe has some real natural talent for photography. (I don't think it's just because I'm his mom and I'm biased :) Every photo is framed just right, no cropping necessary. If you know the rule of thirds, then you'll see what I mean! And the way he gives direction! He gets the best photos. Today it was Chloe & I that were the focus of his photo session. Let me know what ya think! Should I enroll Gabe in some sort of photography school or what!?!?!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gabe the Photographer

So today Gabe wanted to try his hand at photography. I was trying to get some photos of Gabe on the trampoline and he says to me, "I'll take your picture mom." I laughed and thought, 'Why not,' and handed him the camera. After a quick lesson on where to press the button, he started shooting away. I have to tell ya, I was shocked when I saw what he had done. Keep in mind, he's only five! I'm thinking he may have a future behind the camera! You be the judge:

After this one, he looked at the digital screen and said, "Wow, that one was really pretty mom, but give me just a little more smilie," So I started laughing of course, and Gabe responded, "that's great, perfect mom!" He's even a natural at giving direction...what a professional!

Jason came over to see what was going on and Gabe took our picture together:

To book a session with Gabe, just give us a call or e-mail and we'll set up an appointment :)

Our Garden

Today was a first for the Sanders Family...our first garden! It may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but to us, it was huge! When we lived in town, we could never spare the yard space to have a garden. But now that we have our own acreage, we have more than enough room on our 27 acres of land for an ample garden. After planting our garden today, we even wonder if we might have gone a little overboard, but I guess we'll live and learn!
We started out this morning by going to Theissens for seed. I have to admit, I think I'm more excited about the flower seeds I picked out than the veggies. I know you can't eat em', but they're so pretty. I especially love daises and sunflowers, and we got both, including the giant sunflowers that are just about bigger than the size of your head! I'm so excited for them to bloom, or as Gabe would say, 'I'm so exciting!'
We then set out to plant. The boys were great help, and my job was mostly organizing what we would plant where and marking the rows. We all did our part and got it done. It was a good day!

The boys were fascinated by watching Jason till the soil.

Gabe & Jason preparing the soil.

Our seed packets.

Me modeling the seed packet...Jason's thinking we should send this cheesy shot into the seed company & make some money.

Cooper was running to make sure dad didn't run out of seed to plant.

Here I am with the easy job of writing on stakes to mark the rows. I did do some planting too, but of course, there's no pictures of that.

Jason gives the boys a lesson on planting.

Gabe & Cooper's turn to plant!