Thursday, September 23, 2010

Life in Pictures

Here is an update on our life recently - and thankfully, with my awesome camera, there are always pictures!

We got to take a trip out to Longview, TX to visit Matt's grandmother. The kids had a great time at Grandmama's house and she enjoyed getting to meet Melia Rose for the first time. Grandmama's name is Virginia Rose Burt and was the inspiration for Melia's middle name! We got to go out to lunch to celebrate Matt's birthday, show Grandmama some pictures of some places from her past using Google Earth, and she even used an iPad for the first time to read some of this blog! What a happenin' 91 year old!

Checking out that new baby!

Exercising with Granna!

Virginia Rose and Melia Rose

Papa and his grand-daughters

The girls

The boys

Melia continues to be COMPLETELY loved by her big brother and sister. Here she is feeling the love once again with the beloved puppy and bunny loaned to her by her siblings!

They also took some time to load her up with some toys to keep her entertained!

I have slowly been feeling the crafty vibe again. The approaching fall usually does that to me. I feel the need to make some pumpkin decor... but for now, here is my latest creation. The project was copied off a blog I read (of course), but still made me proud nonetheless. Below is an "apple for the teacher!" - gifts my kids took to their preschool teachers to start off the new year!

A fun heart ramekin filled with apple flavored jelly beans, a ribbon leaf and a sour straw stem!

And last but not least, our most recently family photo. And our only posed/studio picture with Melia in our midst. This is the picture that will be seen in our church's photo directory. So those of you at our church are getting a sneak peek at the Dillard Family's rendition of "church directory photo."

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I find genetics fascinating. The nature v. nurture discussion is always an interesting one to me. I think it's neat when siblings sound alike on the phone. It's cool to see children who have the same personalities as their parents. And I really love to see family resemblances! Here are some pictures of two of my babies that I think look a lot alike. Melia is in pink and Oliver is the baby I'm comparing her with! I see the resemblance a lot in the chins and eyes.

I can't wait to see what Melia is going to look like when she gets older.

Off to school

Our preschool recently started up again and the kids were ready to go! Gabriella was VERY excited as this is her first year in preschool and she has been dying to start! She was especially excited that "Mommy would go bye-bye." She is a very independent little girl. She would cry and get mad when I would stay with her during the "Mommy and Me" classes we took this summer saying, "LEAVE!" I told her I would leave her when she started school this fall. It is so funny to me to have a child like this because when Oliver started school, he cried every time I dropped him off for a while!

Walking into school

Gabriella in her pink, sparkle shoes

Oliver is in the Cookie Monsters class this year which is the oldest class at the preschool. Yes, I know what that means. I know it means Kindergarten is the next step. I just choose not to think about that. His teachers are Ms. Harrison and Ms. Hegwood and I think he is going to learn a lot this year especially about getting ready for Kindergarten. He gets to stay for lunch this year which is new to him but yet another way I am trying to prepare him for Kindergarten next year. He wasn't too nervous, but did have his usual quietness when entering a new situation. But I was proud of him for marching right in. It doesn't hurt that he knows a number of the other kids in there already!

Putting his lunch in the lunch bin

Ms. Harrison and Ms. Hegwood

Gabriella is so proud to be in the Gingerbreads class. She was beaming when we got the call from her teacher inviting us to "Meet The Teacher" day before school started. Her teacher had left a message on the answering machine and we had to listen to it twice because she was so excited! She also gets to stay for lunch since picking the kids up at two different times so close together didn't make much sense.

Putting her stuff down under the red "Gabriella" star!

Giving her friend Olivia a hug hello.

With Ms. Marlene

...and Ms. Cheryl

They are just going one day a week to preschool with other activities throughout the week as well. So we are busy and working on transitioning into our new fall schedule. Getting all 3 kids and myself ready and out the door on time is definitely a challenge. But with Daddy's help, we think we've stumbled upon a procedure that will work. We are looking forward to our fall activities and I am happy to have some time during the week while they are playing at school to get somethings done and get some one-on-one time with my sweet baby (pictured below just because she is cute).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I love my family!

Over Labor Day weekend we got to visit my family in Utah. We flew up there with all 3 kids - woo hoo! Actually, they all did really well traveling. They are at good ages for that. The big kids were excited to go on an airplane and see their family. Excitement helps their behavior! And the promise of Toy Story 3 fruit snacks on the airplane didn't hurt either! And Melia just slept the whole time. Score.

We were so thankful for the help both of our parents provided - both in dropping us off at the airport in Dallas and picking us up at the airport in Salt Lake. Priceless! The hardest part is getting from the car to check-in with all 3 kids and all the luggage - and 3 car seats! So the curbside service was a lifesaver! I was able to cram the clothes for all 5 of us into one suitcase and save $50 in luggage fees since we didn't have to check two suitcases. It was a heavy suitcase - but came in at 2 pounds below the 50 pound limit! I love saving money!

The thing I was most excited about this trip was getting the see my sister Megan's new baby McKinley! I was dying to see her and was so glad to get to see her when she was only 1 week and 3 days old (yes, I was counting down the days)! She was so adorable, looks just like her Daddy Travis, and was awake and alert a lot of the time which was so fun to see!

McKinley and Megan

Us with our new babies

The big kids were excited to meet her as well - especially since they now have a lot of experience with babies since sister Melia came along.

Oliver and Gabriella holding their newest cousin! Their first cousin on my side of the family.

We got to spend some time at my Aunt Darla and Uncle Mark's home while we were there. The kids enjoyed playing with some of my cousins kids. Oliver found a room full of bigger boy toys and he told Matt: "Hey Dad, look at all of this awesome!!!" Funny what kids say. Daddy and Uncle Travis also thought the nerf guns he found were a whole lot of awesome! Gabriella got to spend some time harvesting some vegetables from their garden. She picked some green beans off the vine and some grapes! She enjoyed her time as a "farmer" as she called it.

Gabby with her basket full of her harvest!

My parents rented a big house at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon for us all to stay in for the weekend. With 5 bedrooms, a pool table, air hockey table and an indoor half court basketball gym, there was plenty to keep everyone entertained. It was really relaxing to let the kids roam the house on their own being entertained by everything in the house as well as by all of the family staying there.

The view from the back porch of the house

We spent time celebrating Megan's 25th birthday with lunch, shopping and pedicures (one of my favorite combinations). Gabriella got to join in on the fun and had her first pedicure!

Sitting with Aunt Natty getting her pedicure!

I attempted a mini photo shoot with the two new babies wearing the matching shirts I bought them. They obliged for a little while...

But they didn't hold out for too long...

The pacifiers made it better... and they even matched too!

While we were there, we got a chance to go up to the University of Utah Medical Center to visit my cousin Dustin's family who has been up there by his bedside since Dustin was in a car accident on August 26th. Here is a link to his Caring Bridge site. He sustained severe spinal cord damage and is currently paralyzed from the chest down. Please pray for healing for his spinal cord (which thankfully was not severed, just badly damaged) - and that he will be able to walk again.

Another highlight of the trip was getting to see a lot of my Dad's side of the family who live in the area. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot! We had around 60 people over on Sunday for a family reunion. It was great to get to reconnect with a lot of family members I hadn't seen in a while and get to show off my cute kids.

My Dad's cousin is a Chiropractor and was giving free adjustments. The kids watched as Daddy got worked on.

I looked over a few minutes later and noticed that Gabriella was giving Adalie an adjustment as well. They even used Kleenex that they found to make a sanitary work surface :)

It was great to spend time with all of my family, but especially with my sisters. Love y'all!