A Night with Grandpa Hill...

I am pretty sure this will go down in history as one of my most favorite memories of Grandpa Hill.  It was Veterans Day and my kids didn't really understand the meaning of why we "celebrate" that day.  It bugged me that I had not taught them well as their mother so I decided to make a night of it and visit a veteran, Grandpa Hill.  He was very kind to grant my very last minute request and talked for a full 30 minutes to my kids about his time in the military.  He shared stories, showed picture, and talked about patriotism.  It was a priceless night filled with great teaching for my kids and ending with these precious pictures of my kids with their Grandpa.  I hope that the will look back on these pictures some day with fond memories of Grandpa Hill and know what he stood for.  He is a wonderful man full of conviction and testimony and I am grateful that my kids have grown up knowing who he is and feeling of his Spirit.

Kylee the Baller...

It is fun to see your kids learn, grow, and develop.  Basketball has been especially fun for Kylee this year. She has taken a sudden turn and has become really good.  She is more often than not the "high scorer" on her team and is really learning to love the sport. It also helps that she is surrounded by some of her best friends.  Abby, Ellie, Ryllie, Sydney and Ashley.  Cousin Haley drives down every once in awhile to play as well which is always


I have not been very good about keeping up on the blog - I blame it on the fact that my "camera" is on my phone and does not take good pictures.  I need to get back in the habit of taking my REAL camera along with me.  Thank goodness my mom is almost always around to snap great shots of my children as they continue to grow.

Emma turned 2 last month - crazy how time flies!  Here are a few snapshots of her that I found on my computer.  I have not been good about documenting her life to this point.  Right now she is incredibly FUN.  Like REALLY fun.  Here are a few things we LOVE about our Emma right now...

She LOVES her daddy - like LOVES.  Her second choice is always Kylee, and I take third.  My feelings aren't hurt though...it is super helpful to have her excited to hang out with other people!

She DOES NOT EAT.  I am not joking either.  She loves to drink milk and juice and pretty much picks at everything else.  She has a major sweet tooth and will find candy anywhere.  Her latest addiction is gum, which she finds, chews, and swallows before moving on to another piece.  It is not abnormal for her to consume and entire pack.  While chewing, her favorite thing to say is "it's spicy".  It is actually pretty cute.

She is TALKING.  Like full sentence talking.  Totally easy to comprehend talking.  There are times she says things and I double take because I can't believe that she is actually forming sentences.  She loves to "parrot" what she hears....like when Summer calls me a "bum bum" Emma will do the same thing.  Awesome, right?

She has definite favorites in the extended family...Kelsey and Wes (a.k.a "Wessy") are her number ones.  She LOVES them - especially Wes.  Whatever store we walk in she will always ask if Kelsey is there.  If I say no, she moves on to ask if Wessy is there.  She is always on the look out for them which is why I don't hesitate a bit to leave her with them...EVER.  She is kind to all other Grandma's, Grandpa's, Aunt and Uncles but those two have for sure captured her little heart.

She thinks she does gymnastics and it is about the cutest thing I have ever seen. She puts her hands up next to her ears, lunges, and does a roll.  She loves spinning and dancing to music with her sisters.  I love that they are so good to each other and I love watching her move and groove.  Emma and Kylee have a special "dance" they do together that she has totally memorized and she will do it on command.

She has kept the Holland tradition of being a crappy sleeper.  She loves to be rocked and cuddled at night (usually by daddy or Kylee) and only lasts 4 - 5 hours in her own bed before making her way to my arms where we spend the rest of the night cuddling.  I know I should break this bad habit, but I just can't.  I enjoy my cuddle time with her just a little too much!

That's my Emma in a nutshell.  Pure joy in our family.  Absolute blessing from heaven for me as my final baby.  We love her dearly!

Jammies 2013

My favorite tradition at Christmas time is matching jammies.  It is one of my fondest memories of my childhood and one that I look forward to every year.  This year I got on the ball early, which is not like me, and love what I picked up!  My girls love the "fuzzy and warm" jammies as Summer would say, and you can't go wrong with the sports theme for the boys.  I hope this is a tradition that my kids enjoy and will pass on to their own families someday.

Silly Miss Emma

I could just eat this little one up.  She is growing up way too fast and is learning new tricks daily.  She loves to be the center of attention...my mom captured these adorable shots as she was showing us that she discovered she could scale the outside of the railing.  I love this little bug!

Nick is #10

 This picture captures his personality perfectly.  Handsome and silly.  I love this boy.  He is so full of energy and life and brings nothing but joy (except for when he is really stubborn) to our family.  He is a fierce competitor and loves playing ball.  He has a smile and laugh that lights up any room and a nose full of freckles that someday some lucky lady is going to love.  Nick is a kid for of testimony and strength and I know he will grow up to do awesome things!  Happy big 10 Nick Holland!

Life is STILL happening...

Yes, we are still alive and life is still happening.  We went from Kindergarten Graduation to the First Day of School - I am terrible, I know!  Oh well.  At least my little ones are documented, right?  Here they all are on the first day of school.  Happy, great teachers, awesome friends!  We really are in a groove around here right now.  Most days I think I might actually be doing okay as their mother.  Emma and I are pals three afternoons a week which is nice.  They are growing up and becoming independent.  What's a mother to do?  I'll admit a few tears have been shed in the last few weeks.  I feel like we are doing okay, but are we really doing okay?  All we can do is give our best as parents and hope that they take it all in, apply it, and turn out as decent human beings.  I think we are on the right track.  One thing is for sure...I love each of them to the moon and back.  Their personalities are SO DIFFERENT yet they all make me smile in their own unique way.  So, here are the classic first day of school pictures!  Enjoy...