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Archive for the ‘Exquisite Moments’ Category

My youngest turned 4 in January and I usually try to do my kids’ birthday photos as close to their birthday as possible but I was sick of all of her photos being indoors or in snow so I waited until there was a bit of color in our world.

I also try to make sure that their pictures reflect them and what they love and are into.  Since she started ballet this year I asked her if maybe she’d like to do her pictures this year in one of her ballet tutus.  To this I received an excited “YES!” followed by, “Can I wear my orange and pink tutu?!”

How could I say no?

Thankfully my orange and pink lovin’ ballerina happened to get a pink and orange umbrella for her birthday this year, because it was a rainy day and the umbrella made for some cute pictures!

Luckily there was a break in the rain and we were able to wrap the umbrella up…

… and trade the rain boots in for her ballet slippers!

Dressed in her favorite tutu and ballet slippers she played and giggled and I captured what is the pure blissfulness and adorableness of my little ballerina at play…

I love her little foot kicked up in this picture!

A successful play time and some great photos of my little ballerina!

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My son has been planning his 6th birthday party since August when preseason football started and the Greenbay Packers hit the field.  I’m pretty sure you can guess he planned a…

A GREENBAY PACKERS BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!

My son wanted his Packer party to be a Packer vs. Viking party because his daddy is a Viking fan and he wanted the Packers to beat the Vikings.  Something I had no problem with:-)

I set to work transforming one of our dinning room walls into Lambeau Field’s scoreboard.

I hung 2 yellow table cloths from the ceiling and strung green and yellow balloons across the top.  My scoreboard is 2 pieces of black tagboard taped together and enhanced with pictures from Packer/Vikings games and the score reflected here is the score from the last game the Packers and Vikings played together (Wild card Packers vs. Vikings 2013).  I also made sure that the scoreboard proudley announced “Lambeau Field Home Of The Greenbay Packers” and their 13 World Championship Titles!!!

The table is set with a field goal post made from PVC and some of my Packer’s memorabilia, except the Packer helmet and that nifty Vikings’ hat with the Packer emblem, those are the birthday boys!

Featured on the left side of the cake table is an official NFL football, that awesome Vikings’ hat that just needed a Packer’s emblem, a copy of my Packers Stock Certificate, a sign I got while at my first Packer game at Lambeau Field and some cute little cupcakes with cake balls on top in the shape of footballs!

Better image of the cupcakes…

On the right side of the table is my Packer flag from when they won Superbowl XLV, my son’s Packer helmet, some Packer Yearbooks, Sports Illustrated, etc.  Also the passes from the tours my husband and I took of Lambeau Stadium and the invite for my son’s party lean against the soda bottle!

A close up of the invitation to the big event!  I made his invitations look like a ticket to a football game!

And the cake…

I should have taken a picture of all of the food but I didn’t and for that I apologize, but we celebrated football style and served up all sorts of football/appetizer type of foods.  Some of them I’ve blogged about in the past like jalapeno popper dip & layered taco dip.  In addition to these we had plain (for the kids) and BBQ cocktail weenies, fruit salad, chicen nuggets and lots of chips.  We also had green punch for the Greenbay Packers!

We were supposed to go outdoors and play a game of football but the day was cold and rainy so we didn’t get to and I had no back up plans as far as games go for this party but we had a lot of fun without games just hanging out with each other!

A few more fun pictures from his friend and family party, where he hit everyone up for money in hopes of getting a Kindle Fire…

His actual birthday when he got a big boy bike without training wheels, a bat for t-ball and some other small gifts, some play time at the park and then Dairy Queen!

And, yes, he got his Kindle Fire!!!

Happy Birthday, Pierce!  We love you so much!!!

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Yesterday’s weather was B-E-A-utiful! My family spent an EXQUISITE morning outside full of sledding, snowball fights, fort building and more!!!

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It was the perfect way to kick off this week.  A week we, as a family, are spending electronic free!  Yes, that’s right, no electronics at all!  I know, it seems almost impossible in this day and age, but we’re doing it.  Our kids were so desperate for electronics yesterday that they were making snow or ice cell phones, kindles, and tv’s…haha:-)

My husband and I have done this in the past but due to how often we were seeing our little brood glued to their Leapster Explorers, DSi’s, Playsation’s, Kindle’s, phones, television, you name it, we decided to make it a family affair.  For one week this family will be free of all electronics except our cell phones, but only for phone calls (we dont’ have a land line)…we aren’t even texting…gasp! (And for you literal people who think as my husband and a few of my close friends do, this only includes gaming/media type devices, we will still have electricity.  I had to throw that in their for a few of my friends…yes, I know how you think;-))

We are going to spend this week the old fashioned way…playing board games or cards with each other, reading books, playing outdoors, etc.  It was really fun to see our kids spending time with each other in a different way than usual.  Instead of playing a game on the Playstation together they played board games or four corners or used their imaginations as they played charades!  I normally have to force them to do this.   I’m really looking forward to what other ways we’ll spend this week together!

My family tried to take my camera away from me, to which I gave a great big, “NO WAY!”  Yes, I know it’s basically an electronic but it doesn’t count.  Too many EXQUISITE moments could be lost in this week where my kids are forced to play with each other or actually use their imaginations!

Also, I’m kind of breaking the “no electronics” rule right now by being on here.   Yes, sadly I will be gone for a week:-(  I wont even be on for WIWW, nor doing my “Exquisite Moments Of The Day” on FB.  But I’ll be back next Monday and I’ll fill you in on my favorite EXQUISITE moments from this week!  Until then…

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I love photography!  LOVE IT!  It’s a field I’ve considered going into since I was in high school and think maybe someday I’ll  become a professional but for now I just take pictures of my family!  I wanted to share my daughter’s 3rd year pictures I took last week, then thought I should share all of my kids most recent birthday pictures.  These aren’t pictures of their parties they are the pictures commemorating them turning another year older!  

Each year in their pictures I try to capture who they are, what things they are currently into and what they enjoy. I let them have a say in their outfit, though I also help to make sure it’s something I’d like them photographed in, and I let them help choose what props they might like to use in their pictures.  I want their birthday pictures to truly capture who they are!

It was really hard to do but I narrowed it down to just 5 of each of them!  

Gabrielle, my artistic 10 year old who loves reading, animal prints and having fun!

(She actually turns 11 in March so I’m going to have to do these again soon. Though I’ll probably wait ’til spring.)

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My sweet, girly, Miranda who loves to dress up, sing and dance, just turned 8 in November!

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My reptilian, amphibian loving little 5 year old being him silly self!  Pierce had to make sure his frog was in some photos too!

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The baby of our family, Elizabeth, was the most recent to be photographed!  She and her best friend, Bear-Bear, whom she received the day of her birth, just celebrated there 3rd birthday!

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This is what makes my life EXQUISITE, these four little cuties and, of course, my hubby!

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I feel so very blessed to have this family and a great camera (and it’s tripod friend) to capture life’s EXQUISITE moments!!!

P1200009My goal is to have a monthly post, that shows off some of that months favorite pictures!  I’m even thinking of creating a photography inlinkz party, so that some of you can show off your love of photography and share your EXQUISITE moments too!  I just have to figure out how to set up inlinkz…

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Why is that putting a child to bed, on some nights, can bring you near to madness and other nights, it can be one of the most wonderful moments you share with your child?  Some nights it’s a battle to get my children in their beds and we say our prayers in a hurried fashion, as we want it over with as soon as possible due to our annoyance with one another.  Then there are nights like tonight…

I lay her in her little pint-sized toddler bed then lay her three snugglies with her.  Ellie and Baby each take up a side and her favorite, Bear Bear, is snuggled tightly in her arms.  I lay the baby quilt I made her on top of her and follow it by her bed quilt.  We say our prayers, her repeating after me, and as I go to kiss her she giggles.

This, of course, means she’s not quite ready for me to kiss her goodnight so I oblige her giggles and begin to tickle her little neck.  The giggles turn into belly laughter, which only encourages more tickling from me and the belly laughter continues and I hear my laughter echoing her joy.

I love the sound of her belly laugh!  Such a hard, happy laugh that comes deep from within and rings happily with an occasional squeal of delight.

When our play is through I go into my sons room, where he is sitting on his top bunk awaiting for my arrival and his turn to be tucked in.

“What were you and Elizabeth laughing about?” he asks.

“Nothing,” I slyly smile at him as I crawl up to join him in his bunk, “I was only doing this to her,” and I attack him with the tickle bug and his belly laugh rings throughout the room.  A different laugh than that of his baby sisters, but just as wonderful.  It’s more deep, boyish, and the harder he laughs the quieter his laughter becomes until all you hear is a clicking sound in his throat, accompanied by an occasional laugh-sigh type thing.  And I smile because this is my laugh.  Eventually he’s had enough and through his laughter says, “Please, stop, I’ll pee.”

Not wanting an accident or mess to clean up, the tickle bug relinquishes its assault and we say our bed time prayers and kiss good-night.

Normally their older sisters stay up later but since we’ve had a busy weekend of camping and late nights they are ready to turn in early.  This being the case, I go from my sons room directly to my second oldest daughter’s room.  She’s smiling and I can tell she’s already anticipating a visit from the tickle bug too.  So, of course, the tickle bug obliges and her laughter, more a hard giggle and very feminine fills the room and I love her laugher as much as her younger siblings.  When the laughter subsides we pray together, kiss good night and I go to my oldest daughter’s room.

I know she’s told me before that at the great old age of 10 she’s too old for tickling but I refuse to let her be too old for anything so I tickle her too and enjoy the sound of her laugh, that sounds so much like her Daddy’s.  Restrained at first, but then bursts forth with such force and mirth, you can’t help but join along.  The tickling stops, laughter subsides and we snuggle next to each other in her bed (Thank God, she’s not too old for that.) and pray together.

As I descend the stairs to do a little cleaning before bed I reflect on tonight’s bedtime and the sound of their laughter.  It truly is one of my absolute favorite sounds!  Not one is better than the other, but each so exquisite in its own way!

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Yesterday was the first day of school for my oldest daughters!

Miranda started 2nd grade…

…and Gabrielle started 5th grade!  I cannot believe I have a middle schooler now!

As is true for every first day of school, I was very emotional, but I held myself in check and didn’t cry once yesterday.  Honestly.  I was about to but a good swift punch to the shoulder and talk with a friend (You know who you are;-)) came at just the right moment and I was able to ward off the tears.

Today, however, was the kicker.  Ever since school started last year I’ve been dreading today.  The day when my son would go off to kindergarten.  The first day of kindergarten has been difficult with all of my children.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I cried the first two weeks of my oldest daughter’s kindergarten year.  My second daughter’s kindergarten year wasn’t as bad, I only cried for a week.  I guess I was getting more use to a child going to school every day by then.  (I cannot imagine what I’ll be like when they go off to college.  Yikes!)

I wasn’t sure how I’d do today for my son’s first day.  As I said I’ve been slightly dreading it since last year.  He’s such a mama’s boy, so sweet, snuggly, silly and he makes me feel just plain wonderful.  He’s been so excited about going but has also said, “I want you to go with me.”  wich made me unsure of how he’d do.  As school got closer he was growing more nervous and even said a couple of times that he didn’t want to go anymore.  Wich, of course, made it even harder for me to let him go.

Last night as I tucked him in bed we read the book his teacher gave him at open house, “The Night Before Kindergarten” and a book I bought for him called The Kissing Hand.  We prayed for his first day of school, a calm spirit for him and that he would feel Christ near him.  When we were done praying he took my hand, as Chester Racoon did to his mommy, and kissed my palm saying, “Kiss that a lot tomorrow okay, Mommy.” I had planned on kissing his little hand in the morning at school but decided not to wait.  I felt that was the perfect moment, so I took his little hand, that was already open in anticipation of my kiss, and kissed his palm.  Immediately he held it to his cheek, smiled and sighed a sweet little sigh.  I had to fight back tears as I kissed him goodnight, but they welled up and spilled forth as soon as I was out of his room.

This morning dawned cool and gray and I allowed myself more tears as I was getting ready.  I was determined not to let him see me sad so that it didn’t make this day harder for him, so felt the need to get it out before he was awake.  I was completely put together, no signs of tears, by the time my little kindergartener arose bright and early.  The first thing out of his mouth was an excited, “Do I get to go to school today?!”.  His excitement was so high that he got ready in record time this morning and we were able to get his first day of kindergarten pictures taken while his sisters finished getting ready.

(I got the idea for the board from Pinterest.  unfortunately I don’t have a small chalk board (Note to self, need small chalk board.) but our white board worked great!  I added the grade they were entering and had them write their name so that we can see how their writing changes over the years!)

After everyone was ready to go he grabbed his favorite snuggly and we headed out the door.  As we usually do on our way into school, we said our prayers for that day asking for special blessings and good friendships for Pierce.  The nerves were starting to hit him again and he kept asking me to stay with him in his class today.  I wanted to say, “Yes, of course, I’ll stay with you all day.  I’ll sit right next to you so that you don’t feel sad or lonely or miss Mommy, Daddy or home at all,” but I couldn’t say that.  Instead I assured him that I would walk him to class and help him get settled but that I would then have to leave so that he could have time to get to know his teacher and classmates.  The girls sensed his nervousness and assured him he would have a ton of fun at school and shared with him all their favorite things about kindergarten and school.

By the time we got to school he was excited again and ran off ahead of the rest of us, in the sprinkling cool rain, towards the school doors…

He remembered where his classroom was from the open house last week and quickly located his coat and backpack hooks.  He was pretty shy around his classmates, hardly even looking at them but was extremely interested in the toys.

Once he and his teacher, Mrs. Piskie, started talking I could tell he was doing better and it was time for me to say my good-bye’s.  So with a kiss and hug from my handsome little man I left him in his class room and walked to my van, clenching the hand he’d kissed the night before like I was afraid I’d drop his kiss.

I had done it!  I held myself together the entire morning, around him at least.  Even better, he never cried!  For as many tears as I shed, not one of my kids has ever cried when they went off to school. I feel really blessed by this, because if they were crying I probably wouldn’t be able to leave them.  I would probably tell the teacher, “You know what, we’ll try this again tomorrow or next year.” as I would cling to them carrying them out the classroom door.  So I believe it is for my sake that God gives my children an eagerness to start school and that they don’t cry when we say goodbye.

However, my friend that had ebbed the tears of yesterday was not there this morning and as I drove my minivan out of the school parking lot, with three empty seats, the emotions hit hard and I cried the entire way home.  (I confess I’m crying now as I type this.)

It’s so hard to let them go and grow up.  Maybe if it happened a little more slowly, if each day didn’t pass by faster than the one before it, it wouldn’t be quite as hard.  But the fact of the matter is that time does pass us by quickly, they do grow up, way too fast, and eventually they have to leave the nest.  I’m just so thankful that it’s not college yet and that they’ll fly back to the nest at the end of each school day.

I’m also thankful that I still have this little cutie to keep me company…

When we got home from dropping her siblings off at school I asked her what she wanted to do today and she said, “Pajamas and popcorn!”  Sounded like an excellent idea to me so we changed into pjs, had a tea party, played games, wrestled, tickled, ate popcorn, drank chocolate milk and watched Pooh’s Hefelump Movie.  And, yes, we had to get dressed back into our clothes to go pick up my school aged children, but the pjs were fun while we wore them!

 

I also wanted to add that I did as I said I would in Whats In Your Lunch Box and made my kiddos all these for their first day’s of school!  They were a huge hit!  The “Love You To Pieces” note unfolds and they each had the normal first day of school note from Mommy.

Thus commences another bittersweet and exceptionally EXQUISITE day in the Schroeder home!

Now for some snuggle time, late night snack and football with the hubs!  The only thing that could make this day better was if the Packers were playing.

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(Dress – Francesca’s Similar, Belt – Gift, Shoes – Maurices, Jewelry – Claire’s)

I love it when my children get in on my photo shoots.  Originally my son was standing in the background spitting water off of the porch…

…(hence the little drip on his cheek that looks like a tear), but eventually he got bored with watering the lawn and decided standing in front of me making goofy faces and acting like a monkey was more fun.  I enjoyed his monkey play.

It was love at first sight when I saw this blue crocheted dress in Francesca’s.  The moment I took it off the rack I knew I’d be pairing it with the owl belt my wonderful friend, Morgan (owner of The Scarlet Poppe) got for me.  I also thought I’d be wearing a pair of boots with it but the brown of my belt didn’t match the brown of my knee-high brown boots so it was the perfect excuse to buy the penny loafer heels I’d been eyeing up at Maurices.  I can find an excuse to purchase pretty much anything as long as it fits into my budget!

I’ve had this dress since the beginning of August but was saving it for my cousins reception (My cousin who’s wedding I posted about here.) where I had a wonderful time with some of my favorite family and friends…

I always laugh so much when I’m with these people. With them I have some of my favorite memories!

More of my favorite people!

My grandpa and grandma cuttin’ a rug. As you can see nobody even bothers dancing when they are on the floor because our dancing fails to compare.

My narcissistic companions and I. (Right to left) My cousin, Becky, my sister, Karlee and I (we’re missing my cousins Cindy and Julie).  We’re always joking around about how we’re the life of the party, everyone wants to be with us, etc.  Don’t worry we aren’t really that incredibly vain, it’s all in good fun!  

It was such a fun night and decided it needs to fit into my Exquisite Moments!  I feel so blessed to be part of the best family in the world.  Love you all so much!

*Outfit Info. – Highlighted link means it is linked to the exact item.  Highlighted link with the word similar means I could no longer find the item but found something similar.  If the store name is not highlighted I could not find the item or a similar one.

*Linking up with 

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