The World Through Annie's Eyes

Take a mental picture...Annie, who is 2, was watching me brush Sarah's hair this morning, and Sarah was cringing, as she normally does, trying not to whine. Then Annie says, "Mommy, Sarah pooping." Annie, it might be time for potty training...

Stephanie on Princesses

Stephanie was getting dressed for church a few weeks ago, and we had a conversation that went something like this...

Mom: "Stephanie, put pants on it is freezing outside."
Stephanie: "But Mommy, I want to be a princess."
Mom: "Princesses don't always have to wear dresses."
Stephanie: "But how do they find their Prince if they are wearing pants?"
Mom thinking: We are definitely not watching Enchanted again for a long time.
Mom says: "But Stephanie, I met Daddy, my Prince, and I wasn't wearing a dress."
Stephanie: Looking at me like I have no idea what I is saying, and trying not to laugh, then finally, "No, Mommy."

The concept was too much for her to handle. She is all girl, and will eventually become our own fashion police. It is a good thing my sister Meagan lives in Dallas, so we actually have a vacancy for the fashion police position.

Annie's Swimsuit Fetish

Annie's favorite clothing item for the months of November and December...swimsuits. The last picture shows the 4 inches of show outside, and if you look very carefully you can see the icicles on the inside of the door (which is hopefully going to be replaced very soon). The first picture is probably of Annie running away from Daddy who is telling her to get some clothes on. She is such a funny little girl. The second pic is a very typical "I know I am cute and I am trying not to smile," Annie face. So funny. She is 2 1/2 now. I am hoping that her fascination with swimsuits doesn't last 2 more years like Stephanie's dress/princess fetish.

I wish I could go to school Mom...

...so I didn't have to go to school today.

I love Sarah's logic. It is a snow day here, and she wishes that she got off school as well. It doesn't matter that on Friday we will take the whole day off to go and watch a play and spend the afternoon at Crown Center, or that she gets a whole week off at Thanksgiving, and 2 at Christmas...the prospect of other kids not going to school while she does is disappointing. So maybe I am a mean Mom, but she is inside doing school work, hurrying to beat the sun...the goal, of course, to make it outside to play before the snow melts. Poor Sarah.

Thanksgiving Thought

A friend of mine posted this on his blog, and I had to share.

Tagged and Thankful

I was tagged this week by Coffee Mom, and my friend Megan has inspired me to make a list of things I am thankful for. So, I am going to combine the two.

1. God never changes, and He loves me more than I can imagine.

2. My husband, who loves me and is very patient with me, especially when I take time to dream of the future (about every 15 minutes).

3. Sarah, who is very giving, and loves to be able to help anyone in need.

4. Hannah, who is a very loyal friend, and deeply cares about others.

5. Stephanie, who is a beam of sunshine, always ready to entertain others (of course I am only looking at the positive).

6. Annie, who is still a constant source of comic relief and cuteness.

7. I have a warm house that has plenty of space, hardwood floors, and costs almost nothing.

8. I have neighbors that take the time to talk to me and each other.

9. The ladies in the bible study at Sherwood, who encourage me to grow.

10. Our Life-Group at Gateway church, which is constantly stretching me, in a good way.

Well, that wasn't even difficult, I will have to continue on to a hundred in my journal. I hoped you learned something new, and your are also encouraged on to thankfulness. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. Please share what you are thankful for!

Stephanie Singing at Church

Stephanie is the one next to the end on the left, wearing the denim jumper. I didn't have enough space on the memory card, so it cut the last bit of the song...sorry.

Springfield Visit

We visited Dave's Grandma in Springfield this weekend, and took a side trip to Mansfield, Missouri to visit the Little House on Rocky Ridge. Sarah is reading this book for school right now, so it was perfect timing. She is also reading Little House in the Big Woods on her own, so she knew a bit of Laura's childhood as well. This will be a great place to visit in a few years when we have completed the series, and all the girls can enjoy it. The white house is Little House on Rocky Ridge, and the stone house was a modern house given to Laura and Almanzo Wilder as a gift from their daughter. They lived in it 8 years before returning to the original house. We couldn't take pictures inside either of the houses, but the original house was wonderful. Everything was completely customized to Laura, and it really spoke volumes of their passions. I really enjoyed it.



Believing God

I am doing this Beth Moore study right now with a group from my church. I have read a few Beth Moore books which were good, but I had never heard her speak before. I am probably in the minority here, but if you do get a chance, this study (the video teaching part especially) is excellent. It is very basic, but then the last few weeks especially have really challenged me to become an extraordinary woman of God. I remember Howard Hendricks saying once that the best book was the one read at the right time. That has got to be true of this Bible Study for me.

Roller Skating

We went roller skating today with some other Homeschoolers. We go on the first Thursday of every month, and my girls enjoy it so much that they start talking about it a week before the long awaited date. I love to roller skate, so I am always very excited too. But it is funny that I am one of the only moms that skates. I remember going to skating parties at school, and parents didn't skate. But I am wondering why. Is rollerskating not as much fun to the rest of the world as it is to the female portion of my family, or do the other moms look and me and think I am a fool for skating. I am not sure why, but I just finished skating, and I find myself looking forward to next month. It should be for the conversation or so my girls can skate, but really it is because I love to rollerskate.

Oh, and I should have taken some pictures, but I was too busy enjoying myself.

Halloween

My girls, dressed up for Halloween...
Hannah as a black cat (which is a great color for her).
Annie as a flamenco dancer (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa).
Stephanie as a ballerina.
Sarah as Felicity, the American Girl. She has my favorite costume because it took the longest to make. It does look pretty cute, I have to admit.
They had a great time trick-or-treating with Dad and Papa. Mom had to work, and Ouma was in South Africa, so the guys got to have all the fun.










Deanna Rose Farmstead

This is one of the really cool free places in KC.


The Branson Family Blog

It's basically about these 4 girls, but every once in a while, it is also about Dave and I (Katie). And sometimes you get to hear rants, but mostly I reserve that for my other blog. If you are here reading about us, you probably already know us, so I won't do a whole bio or anything. It is just a blog about our life with these 4 girls God has blessed us with.

Prayer Jog

In March of 07', I began running for the first time in a few years. It started out as a group effort with some of my friends, but soon I was running by myself again, mostly because my friends and I were all at different levels. I enjoy running, it is good exercise, but my main reason soon became to look better. I wanted to be thinner and more toned. It is no wonder that my efforts quickly turned to vanity, and although I did look a little better, my heart looked worse. I write this because I have begun running again this month, and this time my goal is higher. I have taken the opportunity to pray for my neighborhood while I run. I have felt a real sense of purpose since we moved here 4 months ago, and as I pray about that calling, I feel prompted to pray more. I have also been spurred on by my friends in Stolkholm who are a constant encouragement to me. I would love it if you would pray with me for the community I live in and my willingness to be used by God. I hope that this post will also be an encouragement to someone.

Kudos to the US Government

With all the negativity, I thought I would try and add something positive. Isn't it great that our Country is not entirely dependent on who becomes president. This is a great comfort to me lately. I am really glad someone thought to set things up that way. And that is my attempt at being positive.

Stephanie's Haircut

My beautiful 4 year old, Stephanie, got her first real haircut on Wednesday. Here is the before and after pics (I didn't take official before pics).

A Hundred Roses

Thought I would add a picture of the roses in bloom (about 2 months late).

Dave sent me a hundred roses for my birthday yesterday. They were spray roses, so they actually fit in a vase. they are even fuller today. It was a wonderful surprise. Thanks Dave. (Oh, and for the record, I am 29, not 30.) So all old comments will have to be put off for another year.

Glubble

Ironically I am posting this on the day after google launched their new web browser "Chrome." But if any of you use Mozilla's Firefox, I have just found the most amazing add on. Glubble. It is a parent filter. It comes already loaded with a bunch of kid friendly stuff, and some stuff I decided to disable. Each person gets their own user name and favorite sites. I am lazy so this is the extent of my review. But you should check it out, we are really loving it.

Sarah's Outfit

Sarah insisted I post this for Aunt Meagan, as we went to buy these shoes with her. Unfortunately, She didn't get to show Meagan the cute outfit she dreamed up to go with them, so here is the pic.

A Quick Funny Story

My sister, Meagan, was in town a couple of weeks ago. She works at Starbucks, so one of our first stops in the morning is to go and get her usual Starbucks. I like coffee too, but my order is pretty simple...coffee black. Her order is something that includes about 2 minutes of specific directions. So we order, and as we are pulling up to the window to get the coffee, Sarah asks, "What language do they speak at Starbucks?"

Tick Bite Trail

If you ever run across a trail in the woods called Tick Bite Trail, you should take it as advice. It was named that for a reason. Of Course, I didn't, and encouraged the whole family onto the trail this weekend. I have had a few ticks before, and although they are no fun, I didn't figure a that we would be in any more danger there, than on any other trail in Missouri. I was, of course, wrong. I have now pulled out at least 200 ticks. It is not an exaggeration. I wish it was. Most of them were the size of a poppy seed, with about 10 of them actually big enough to see clearly. Had the 10 big ones not been there, I might not of known what the others were, but now that I am thinking about it, I definitely should have saved one to look at under a magnifying glass for educational purposes. Here is the approximate tally.

Annie-2 (only one to start with until she put the skirt on that Stephanie had just taken off)
Stephanie-80 at least
Hannah-40
Sarah-30
Dave-20
Me-lots, but I got most of them off on their way up my legs.

Other than this unfortunate event, we had a good weekend, and I will post pictures in a bit (not of the ticks).

Harry Potter

Thanks Megan, for spurring me on to write this. I didn't read Harry Potter for a long time, partly because of controversy, and partly because I lacked the time. Why, though, is there any controversy over these books. We must be talking serious fundamentalist that began all this criticism. I just have to say that if you will read Lord of he Rings, then you should not condemn this book. It is not the same, but there is Magic in Tolkien's stuff, and that could be your only possible issue in my opinion. Or the fact that no God is mentioned or referred to, but that is not any different than Lord of the Rings. These are seriously great books. They encourage seriously great character traits, and they are very fun to read. Unless you are afraid of your child thinking that Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and the like are real places (you got problems already, then), then I can't understand what the fuss is about. If I wanted to practice magic, I would get absolutely no help from these books! It is not about that, it is fictional! I don't recommend that you read the later books to young children, obviously, because they are a little scary. But I also don't recommend reading parts of the Bible to young children for the same reason. So I think this had no flow or structure, and can officially be considered a purely emotional post. Read the books. They are great!

Another Birthday for Harry


Well, I should be posting Sarah's party pics, but I was a really bad mom, and didn't bring extra batteries, and I only have a handful of pretty bad pics that I could post, but I will just let you know that we had an outdoor party at a local park at the coldest day I have ever experienced in May (plus it was sprinkling). It was fun for Sarah and the kids, but only because they are kids and they like being with each other. So no pics from Sarah's party, but we did have one more Birthday Party this summer for Harry Potter.

Happy Birthday Harry!

We had the Leaky Cauldron's Pea Soup with Pumpkin Juice (lemonade with food coloring).

The candles on the cake were in the formation of a lightning bolt for his scar. We had a trivia game that was pretty funny.

Dave was giving away silver sickles (york pepperment patties) for correct answers, and Annie was going around to everyone begging. Well eventually Annie figured out that if she answered the question right then that person would get candy, so she started repeating answers, and then holding out her had for candy. It was pretty cute.

Then they got to go shopping in Diagon Alley for wands and a magical creature.

It was a lot of fun. Dave just finished reading them the first book a week before the party.

Stephanie's 4th Birthday










We had Stephanie's party at this fun little park with some fountains to run through. It was a princess party, and Steph was really excited about the princess barbie. She is my girly, girl. We are not sure where she gets it from, but the more pink and frilly it is, the more Stephanie loves it. She is also the most sensitive of the girls (aka...the biggest drama queen). But as far as I can remember, we had a great party, and she loved having her family and friends there to celebrate with her.

Annie's Birthday




So, in my absence I have missed a few birthdays, so in reverse order, Annie's turned 2 in July! Happy Birthday Annie!
Don't tell me if you can't tell who is on the cake, Annie knew, and that is enough for me.
She got a Dora doll that she loves, and a sleeping bag that we are going to get to use this weekend.

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