Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends far and near! We are excitedly anticipating all of the celebrations surrounding this joyous time of year when we remember the miracle of our Savior's birth! We are enjoying making memories with our kids and family and friends and hope this letter finds you well and doing the same!


Oliver turned 8 years old this month and is in 2nd grade. He loves school and excels in all he does there. He adores his teacher Mrs. Wright and his fun friends. He is always interested in a play date with neighbors and is all about knowing what comes next on the schedule. I routinely find him on my computer checking my Google Calendar to see what is coming up! He loves all things Wii and recently got a game that Daddy plays almost as much as he does - The Legend of Zelda. Wii is even better when playing with a friend... or mommy, or daddy, or uncle, or whoever he can talk in to playing with him! We are so pleased with his improvements in his math knowledge, reading ability and especially his handwriting this school year! Way to go buddy! We are so thankful for him! He is a fun kid to be around and it's been delightful discovering all the fun things about having an 8 year-old.


Gabriella started Kindergarten this year and is 6 years old. She loves school and misses her teacher, Ms. Dunn, on the weekends. She's been known to ask me to send an email to her teacher over school holidays just to say "hello!" :) She's made some sweet friends at school and is often the teacher's helper (no surprise there). She is still as social and outgoing as ever and is a fun girl to be around. She is a caring and thoughtful friend which is fun to watch. Gabby LOVES to be around people and to have fun. You can often find her signing at the top of her lungs, coloring, or making sweet notes for people. I usually get an, "I love you mommy" drawing from her everyday - but I'm not complaining! 
She's got an infectious smile, a great sense of humor, and a sensitive heart. What a blessing from the Lord she is to our family.


Our little firecracker Melia is 3 years old this year and has quite the little personality. She's already a comedian and definitely knows what she does and doesn't want in life. We love the cute sayings that she comes up with and marvel at how old a 3 year old can act! I guess that comes from being the 3rd child and having many older examples. We love her closed-lip camera smile, her snort/giggle, and her pretending voice which is 4 octaves higher than her normal voice. She loves being outside and generally has no fear! She enjoys preschool and Bible Study Fellowing (BSF) mornings with Granna, but also loves being at home. She's been my constant and only companion most days now that the bigger 2 are in school all day and I've enjoyed spending my days with her as my sidekick!

Matt is still a Software Engineer at Corepoint Health where he's been since we moved back to Texas 6 1/2 years ago. He's prospering there and is a valued member of the company. He is considered a senior member now as the company has nearly doubled in size since he started there. He enjoys the work and his days spent coding. The company is based in Frisco which is only a 20 minute drive from our house and we enjoy that he is able to be home with us every evening for dinner. We are proud of his success there! The kids especially look forward to "Tickle Tackle Tuesday" every Tuesday night after dinner with their fun Daddy!

I am still busy in my full-time job as "Mom" and am happy to spend my days playing with Melia, volunteering at the Elementary school and more recently launching my new online decorative sign business Got Paper Designs. That keeps me busy during the times when all of the kids are gone and has been a very rewarding venture for me! I love my family and appreciate that I have the flexibility to support them wherever they need me. 

Merry Christmas to you all! May this Christmas season bring you great joy as you celebrate the birth of the giver of all true joy - Jesus Christ our Lord!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Oliver

We now have an EIGHT year old in the house! That's right... our first born Oliver turned 8 this month! We are so thankful for this sweet boy and enjoy all the fun that having an 8 year old brings. Great conversations. Playing games together. Pretending together. And (don't tell his friends) but he still likes to cuddle!

To celebrate this awesome boy, we had planned a Wii party. Friends would race against each other in two brackets and the winners of those races got to play the master... Oliver himself. He even got some of the adults to participate... Granna and Papa too!

Unfortunately, the day before his party a massive ice storm hit the Dallas area making most of the roads very difficult to navigate. Some of our friends coasted to a stop on the ice as they parked in front of our house! But most of his sweet friends and their families came anyway to celebrate with us as well as Granna and Papa. Some even hiked from their house to avoid the slippery neighborhood roads! We were so thankful for their support. Oliver had a great time (except when he lost a race against his friends)!

 The huddle of boys... where they stayed for most of the party

His friends from school and church came!

 Matt showing his Dad how it works...

 Happy Birthday to YOU!


We are so thankful for you Oliver - you make our lives much more fun! We love watching you learn and grow and interact with the world around you. We are proud of the many good choices you make and appreciate the respect you show to others.

Happy Birthday Oliver!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Well really it was... ICE!!!!!!

... but these kids didn't care! They loved it anyway!! Two days off of school for bad roads = lots of fun for the Dillard kids! Gabriella had been asking me WHEN it would snow for weeks now! And Melia had already been practicing her snow angels in doors... although she was convinced that you made then while laying face down. I got a number of good laughs out of watching that! Even big brother joined in the fun and added some imagination to the mix and invented a game that they played together for a long time. Precious memories!!