Happy 5th Birthday, Beautiful Girl!

We had so much fun at the zoo on the Saturday before your birthday.  You were careful to point out that you weren’t five yet, but that we were just celebrating your birthday on that day so everyone could come.  We met everyone outside and then you got to parade in as the line-leader.  You got to pet a tortoise and a ferret and because the zoo was already geared up for Boo at the Zoo, the carousel went around backwards!

On Wednesday, your real birthday, you helped Mommy make your birthday cake.  It was a chocolate Hello Kitty cake with a blue eyes and a blue bow.  We had several little gifts for you but by far the hit was the airplane with real bullets.  🙂

You’ve grown to be such an inquisitive and intelligent little girl.  Mommy and I are so very proud of you.

Happy Birthday Ellie!

How time flies!
I took Ellie to the doctor today for a check up, and she’s doing great! She still has a slight murmur, from the ASD. We go back to the cardiologist in December for a check up. (We last went when she was 6 months old.) Otherwise, she’s a regular long, tall Sally in her stats.
We took her to the mall for lunch and to Build-a-Bear afterwards. She was so happy looking and picking out animals. (And I think her favorite color might be purple from all the purple things she picked out.) We were going to go all out and stuff an animal, but decided to get a smaller one that was already stuffed. It’s a purple giraffe. Neato.


Happy 4th Birthday, Chloe!

Lots of cool things happened on January 11.  Here’s some.

  • Alabama seceded from the union in 1861.
  • Amelia Earhart flies solo from Hawaii to California in 1935.
  • Los Angeles’ first snowfall ever recorded in 1949.
  • Chloe Mauter born in 2008.

We hope you have a great birthday and eat lots of cake.

Love, Uncle Brian, Aunt Janie, Samantha and Ellie

Party at the Lake

My granddad’s 80th birthday party was at the Lake this year.  It was lots of food, family, and great weather.  Even though the day started out with a major mishap involving a blueberry pie, I think all the evidence has been cleaned up by now.

And check out this great picture from Lizzie’s blog.  Boy, Sam sure does love pumpkins.  I guess it’s good that she’s an October baby.


Samantha’s 4th Birthday

Can you believe it?  Samantha turned 4 on Monday.  We had an easy party at the park with friends, family, and shade.  What a great day!

We started out by playing hard, so after a while, we had to take a break.


Then, Batman showed up.  Seriously, Samantha asked me later “Why did Batman come to my party?”


We enjoyed pizza and fruit.  (Easy, right?)


Ellie even played hard!


After a while, we sang “Happy Birthday.”  Later, Samantha told me that she didn’t sing for her birthday song.  But she could sing for my granddad’s birthday song the next day.  (How did she know not to sing for her own song?)  She was so sweet while we were singing.  I wish everybody could have seen her face.  Nana put it best when she said, “It was like Samantha really knew that everyone was singing for her and that this was a very special occasion!”


Enjoying some great gifts!


(Sorry about the picnic table, Hallie!  I should have been holding it so it wouldn’t have crashed down on you!)


And of course, the hopper.  After she opened her gifts, she carried around the hopper box for the rest of the time.  She literally walked over to some rocks near by, but away from everyone else, so she could sit with her hopper box.  It reminded me of the ukelele incident from last year!  Here’s the hopper once we got home and got it blown up.


For her actual birthday, I went to school to have lunch with her.  It was nice to see her in that environment.  And now I can understand more about what she tells me when she comes home!

I had promised her that she wouldn’t have to take a nap when she turned 4, because she hasn’t taken one in a while.  These days, she’s usually not a basket case by bedtime, so I reluctantly caved.  However, I still make her go upstairs so I can have some “mommy time.”  She has to play in her room, quietly, so she doesn’t wake up Ellie.


We had dinner on the porch, one of Samantha’s favorite things to do.  And she got to eat on her new picnic table.  Then she opened up her present from us.  Rollerskates!  I have no idea where the idea came from, but she was adamant that she wanted rollerskates for her birthday.


Samantha is doing well in school.  I’m amazed at how quickly she’s learning.  She can write her whole name, say the “Hail Mary,” knows about weekdays (5 days) and weekends (2 days) and much more.  She’s creative, thoughtful, funny, outgoing, and becoming such a big girl!