About Me

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I am 36 years old and a mother of two beautiful little girls. Kevin and I have been married for 11 years. He is a stay-at-home dad who runs his own business from our home. I am a part-time 3rd grade teacher and have been teaching for 15 years. I live no more than 10 minutes away from my parents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, newest nephew, grandparents, aunts, and uncles... I wouldn't want it any other way!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Dresses 2008

The Jack family has a tradition of always dressing the cousins alike for the holidays. Here they are in their 2008 Christmas outfits...

Emily - 2, Kennedy - 2, Ethan - 5 Months, Nana, Papa, Reagan - 3
Caleigh - 6, and Katelyn - 5

For those of you who know my brother and sisters, you may be wondering who each of the kids belong to. Well, Katelyn and Kennedy belong to Kevin and me. My brother, Kevin, does not have any children yet. Mindy and Tom have Emily and Ethan. Tiffany and her fiance Bobby have Reagan and Caleigh.

I thought these next two pictures were just candid and cute. They were the last pictures we took before dinner. Emily had already had enough and decided not to be in this picture. Ethan was trying to wiggle out of Katelyn's arms.

We had such a wonderful Christmas being together. We are a family that is truly blessed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Can You Read This?

Can you read this...well, if you are a kindergarten or 1st grade teacher, I bet you can. This is what Katelyn wrote in her diary...all by herself!

jmqwes is the best
y B cus you can in jmqwes do brs and you can do poo ofrs.

Translation for you non primary teachers:
GymQuest is the best. Why? Because in GymQuest you can do bars and you can do pullovers.

Here are some more diary entries:
O Hi it is me.

This is me and my sir Kennedy. (translation...This is me and my sister Kennedy)

I Love you Kennedy

I was pretty impressed with the spaces between her words and the periods at the end. I was loving the high frequency words and invented spellings too!

Here is her Christmas list for Santa that she did at school:
1. Bndris (Bendaroos)
2. Litipesh (Littlest Pet Shop) Did you notice the sh! This is big for invented spellings. She actually uses "sh" a lot in her writing, and always correctly.
3. Srpis (Surprises)
4. Gif for Kennedy (Gifts for Kennedy)

How stinkin sweet...gifts for Kennedy on Katelyn's Christmas list. She just might be the sweetest, smartest kid I know...I'm not biased of course:).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brunch with Santa

Here are some fun pictures from the annual Santa Brunch at CCN.

All four of us

Santa visited us at our table

Time to decorate some yummy cupcakes

Of course, the girls had a chance to sit on Santa's lap

Santa gave the girls little stockings filled with candy

Singing Jingle Bells with Santa - and jingling Santa's real bell

We had a family photo taken of the four of us along with Gre, Papoo, and Santa. But, the club took the picture with their camera instead of ours. I am hoping to get a copy of that picture since it showed all six of us together with Santa.

The girls also enjoyed face painting, balloon artists, crafts, and a huge bouncer to jump in.
It was a great afternoon of family fun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Memory of our Beloved Gunther

Gunther...Kevin's beloved dog for 15 1/2 years
Gunther...Kevin's best friend since college (besides me of course)
Gunther...the spastic dog who jumped 15 feet off a bridge at Cornell and nearly gave Kevin a heart attack
Gunther...a spirited black lab who was always gentle and kind with children
Gunther...Katelyn's dog for 5 1/2 years
Gunther...Kennedy's dog for 2 1/2 years
Gunther...my first (and possibly only) pet
Gunther...the dog that could bark for hours on end just to show me how mad he was that Kevin wasn't home
Gunther...the ferocious looking dog that Michael had to hold back so he wouldn't knock me over the first time I went to Kevin's parents' house
Gunther...the wet dog who intruded on our anniversary canoe trip and drove Kevin and me crazy
Gunther...the dog who helped Kevin and his dad sell Christmas trees for so many years
Gunther...the dog who was so dearly loved
Gunther...the dog who was always happy to see you
Gunther...an important member of our family that we miss terribly
Gunther...a special dog that will always be remembered and loved
Gunther...the dog who will rest eternally at his favorite place on earth...the farm

Gunther...our beloved dog

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some Christmas Cheer

Here is a short video of Katelyn and Kennedy performing a Christmas cheer that they made up. It is very adorable to hear the words that they are saying as they sing about loving
God and Jesus.

They also sang Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which were just as sweet and slightly less high-pitched:) Some day I'll look back and wonder where
the days have gone...the days of my girls dancing around the house. This video will always bring me a little Christmas cheer.

Some of The Girls' Saying That I Don't Want to Forget

Kennedy - Poogah

Kennedy - Daddy, eat...cancakes and waffles. Me weawwy weawwy hungwy

Katelyn - Ch-ch-chia! - said this as she was going around to us while riding on a carnival ride at Woodland lights 2008. She loves infomercials, but we had never heard her mention the chia pet before. She has been very excited about some current infomercial items bendaroos and snuggly (a blanket that wraps your whole body...and guess what she tells us...you get two for the price of one!
Katelyn - may i please be mc-cused? octurnal/nocturnal hannah ontana

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

We had a weekend of Christmas activities. First of all, we spent Saturday afternoon making a lot of yummy Christmas candy and listening to Christmas carols. The Christmas music was just the right touch to get us in the mood for the evening activities ahead.

Then, we spent Saturday evening at Woodland Lights. The girls enjoyed getting their faces painted, seeing the live reindeer, carnival rides, a horse drawn carriage ride, the 55-gallon drum annual train ride (honest, it is a must-do every year), and of course... a chance to sit on Santa's lap for some good conversation and gift requests. I love how Santa really engaged the girls in genuine conversation before even getting to the gift requests. Katelyn simply asked to be surprised and Kennedy only asked for a dog (toy dog, not a real one). Santa had a request of his own, that we please leave him some cookies and milk on Christmas eve.

Finally, the girls decorated a gingerbread house, another annual tradition. It was so much fun watching their little engineering minds thinking through every detail and candy placement.

Our stockings are hung, the tree is decorated, and most of our gifts have been bought.

We have three lighted reindeer in the front yard

We also have two white-light Christmas trees and a wreath at our front door
and miniature white-light Christmas trees lining our walkway.

Bring on the holidays...we are officially ready!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kennedy Elizabeth - From Baby to Little Girl

I do not even know where to start explaining the many ways Kennedy has changed since she was born 2 1/2 years ago. First of all, she was born 5 weeks prematurely. She was a teeny-tiny little 5 lb baby with no body fat, dark blue/gray eyes, and dark brown/black hair. She actually looked at lot like Katelyn at birth. For the first several months, Kennedy stayed very little. She only made it to about 5% or slightly less on the weight chart. I was alarmed because even though Katelyn started out just as tiny as Kennedy, Katelyn had grown to the 25% in weight within the first few months. Our pediatrician said that there was no reason to be concerned, that Kennedy was just going to be our petite one. I nursed her on demand, like every two hours or even more often than that. Well, I went back to work when Kennedy was 6 months old. I tried pumping, but it was just too hard to find the time and a private location during the teaching day. So, I put Kennedy on formula. Formula agreed with Kennedy to say the least. Oh my, that baby girl started to grow. She got downright chubby by the time she was 7-8 months old. Then, being the worrying type that I am, I started to worry that she might have to struggle with her weight when she gets bigger. I was worried for her because Katelyn is so skinny and I didn't want Kennedy to feel bad about her body if she couldn't be as thin as her sister. (I know, I was worrying for no reason and I was worrying about something that "might" happen when she becomes a teenager, not right away.)

As most babies do, Kennedy lost her baby chub. As a matter of fact, she is a skinny little thing. There is nothing to her little legs and bottom. She has the same body proportions as Katelyn...25% taller than her weight, proportionally speaking.

I haven't even mentioned her hair yet. She started out with dark brown/black hair at birth. At her first birthday, she had a medium brown hair color. But, shortly after her 1st birthday, her hair started turning blond. By the time she was 15 months old, she was a full fledged blond! Considering that Kevin, Katelyn, and I all have dark brown hair, her blond hair was a nice surprise...she takes after her Nana and uncle Mike.

Both of my girls had blue eyes until after their 2nd birthdays. Then, the eyes began to change into the color that Kevin and I have in common~a greenish-bluish color. All four of us have the exact same eye color.

So, let's take a look at how my precious baby Kennedy has changed and grown over the last 2 and a half years...

March 10, 2006...The happiest day of my life
(if you are a mother of more than one child, then you will understand how you can have a tie for the happiest day of your life)

sweet baby feet

Look at this dark hair!

Oh my goodness, I just want to squeeze her!

Kevin and I laugh out loud every time we look at this picture. She is going to be so mad at me for posting this one day. See what I mean about the formula agreeing with her? It doesn't even look like the same baby! Luckily, it was just a short-lived phase while her body adjusted to the formula. It didn't help that she was losing her hair at the same time.

By December, her chub had started evening out.

Look who's one!

Kevin and I call this the "Whatcha talkin 'bout Willis?" picture.
Did you notice her hair color? This was just two months after her 1st birthday.

The beginning of pig tails!

Love when a baby falls asleep eating.

My coppertone girl

Gymnastics and pig tails, oh my I do love little girls!

I love how much the girls look alike while they are sleeping. I love that this picture was taken in my bed. Snuggling with these girls is a great way to wake up.

Exploring at the museum

A day at the spa with the girls

The 1st day of 2 year-old preschool...
My current favorite picture of my beautiful girl!

Oh how I love you little bear. If God lined up all of the two year-old little girls in the whole wide world and told me to pick...I'd choose you!