Thursday, September 27, 2012


We have had a few firsts this week: 
Molly is participating in her first trike-a-thon Oct 12 so we have actually been working on riding around the circle.
Riley had her first fort named after her!  After bible study on Tuesday we had a picnic lunch with some friends and the kids played for over 2 hours and with all the pine straw the big kids decided to make a fort to contain the mover and shaker.  They named it Camp Riley and showed me the cubby they made, toys (pine cones and sticks) and high walls.  She loved playing in there - who would have thought!
Kelly ate her first round of cereal - after a week of waking up every 2 hours at night instead of sleeping through the night like she used to I had to do something.  This however is not considered her first real food - she won't be eating anything with taste until after she has had cotton candy like her sisters!  Molly's first taste of food was cotton candy at the AK state fair, Riley's was at an Astro's game last year in TX and Kelly will not be left out of the tradition.  Now to find a place worthy of buying cotton candy for her first taste of the good stuff!!
I needed a break after a few laps, Molly is inspecting my tires.
Kelly and Riley love being in the trailer

Camp Riley with 2 feet of pinestraw for walls

FEED ME! She loves food.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

All About Molly - Preschool Open House

This past week Molly's preschool had open house.  For open house we got to meet her teacher, learn about an upcoming trike-a-thon and eat pizza.  Molly was so excited to have us all coming to her school that she could not walk only jump along.  When jumping into school Molly pointed out where she waits for me in line at the end of the day and how she opens the door to walk to class. Walking into class Molly had an all about Molly book.  Ms. Jodi her teacher helped her demonstrate how she sits and works on her morning activity, circle time and getting her job for the day.  Afterwards we learned about all the fun after school activities she could do like Spanish club and music club.  The school had a pizza dinner fundraiser - I think Molly and Riley loved getting to eat in school.
What I learned about my child from her book about her:
(the underlined part is what she wrote as her answer)
My name is Molly
I have brown hair
I have brown eyes
My favorite color is purple
My favorite toy is foam (which she translated to me as hand sanitizer)
My best fried is my baby sisters
I don't like when mommy spanks me (my thought is what about daddy??)
She has 11 fingers on each hand
She has lots of them toes on each foot
My birthday is on Friday
Welcome to Reilly Road Presbyterian Christian Church Preschool

Molly sitting on her honeycomb

Pizza and capri-sun at school!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Battle of the Millennium

After many weeks without a date and a few nights where we alternated having things we decided it was time for some fun as a couple.  I asked Jon on Wednesday if we could play a game, any game Thursday night instead of our normal rut of talking about our day and then watching an episode of either Top Gear or Burn Notice before going to bed.  He agreed but little did I know that a simple game would be turned into the Battle of the Millennium by the next morning.  As I sat in PWOC getting ready to pray with my group I received a call from Jon - which never happens - so I thought it was something important.  He was calling to talk smack and ask if I had read him game list for the night - after gently letting him go I could not wait for the meeting to be over so I could see the rules for the night.   Our games where - with the names he gave them (winner):
Spoon me up some Egg - obstacle course with an egg on a spoon (ASHLEY)
Croquet Horseshoe - using a croquet ball who could get closet to the stake (JON)
Target Practice - water balloons and the pool in the middle of the street (JON)
Sudanese Taxi Ride - a short ride around the block (ASHLEY)
Who Wants to be a winner?  - bible trivia book (ASHLEY)
So you think you can dance? - X-box highest score wins in Dance Revolution (JON)
Farkle - first to 10,000 (ASHLEY)
Monopoly Deal - first with 3 properties (JON)
Carcasonne - highest score (JON)
As you can tell the first 4 games were made up by Jon and the girls got to participate with us.  A few neighbor kids were curious so we let them in on the fun too.  Eggs and kids don't mix!!  After baths were completed a kids put to bed we continued the game night with the final 5 games. We were tied at the half but I was sure I would be able to take Jon in the final 3 games because I never lose them but last night was not my night.  I take pleasure in knowing I beat him in a foot race (with eggs) and in the bike race though. 
Spoon Me Up Some Egg

This is about where Molly lost her egg

They decided to just hold the cracked eggs in their hands and finish the course.
Had to hurry and wash hand for the thumb sucker in the family!!

Croquet Horseshoe

Target Practice

Sudanese Taxi Ride

Last few minutes of fun in the obstacle course before bedtime

Watch out some awesome dance moves

Seriously I scored 1/4 of Jon's score - I didn't think I was that bad
The card games and trivia were not as exciting to get pictures of - sorry just imagine us sitting around playing games and me getting frustrated as I saw victory slip through my fingers!

I am so thankful for a husband who takes my simple idea of a game night and turns it into a family affair that ends as an awesome date for us and is FUN!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Kelly has finally got enough neck strength to hold her neck up so at the park today I let her swing.  I love being outside and today was a perfect day for a picnic lunch so as I headed out the door to get Molly from preschool I grabbed a few lunchables from the fridge.  Maybe one day I will be the mom that can get a lunch packed and prepared and be ready to go but for now who can be 75 cents for the meal?  And the girls think it is such a treat that they do a happy dance when they get a lunchable.  The big two played for awhile and the they wanted to swing so I thought I would see how Kelly did so I could get them in and push them and she LOVED it.  She even threw herself backward and forward to swing herself and giggled and laughed with the big ones.  We swung for 20 minutes and I think everyone got their fill!!

Naptime Confessionals

Naptime is one of my favorite times of the day.  Rarely are all 3 girls sleeping so I get a little bit of one on one time with someone until I coax them that sleep really is much more fun than hanging out with me. 
Last night as I was hanging out with Kelly at 3am feeding her and explaining to her the merits of sleeping until at least 6am I heard some noises coming from the other room.  Kelly and I listened carefully and realized it was Scout - Riley's dog and he was singing and talking and well being played with by one silly little girl.  I have always thought Riley had some tendencies from my family like sleeping anywhere at anytime and I am beginning to realize that she is able to do that because sometimes early in the morning she is up playing and waiting to be released from her room.  So many she is more like Jon and is a light sleeper and hears Kelly but knows she is not allowed to get up so she might as well play with Scout her only nighttime companion.  Whatever the case I love that when you catch her all you have to say is put your thumb in your mouth and close your eyes and she starts her nap!!  She is the easiest to get a nap from but that could be the lack of sleep.
Molly, well her nap times consist of counting lipsticks and hand sanitizers instead of sheep to fall asleep.  If she didn't look like Jon and I and would seriously wonder she got traded at birth.  God could not have given me a more girly girl but I am hoping by letting her earn lipsticks and sanitizers now she will grow out of this stage soon - one can only hope and pray.
Finally Kelly - I don't think she naps as much stays quiet in her bed so that her sisters forget about her and don't attack.  She is one smart girl because any peep coming out of her makes the hounds go crazy and bark up the tree - whoops I mean sisters come to the crib wanting to make things better. 
When I take naps it is usually just to not have to clean up or do any more cooking and it is really the only way to be quiet. 
Well with one crying, one standing on  a chair and another screaming CHEESE I guess I better go encourage them all to rest so that they can be ready to attack daddy when he gets home!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Best thing that happened to dinner time

Post it notes!!
That is right a post it note is the best thing that has happened to my dinner time in forever.  Once a week I sit down look at what we have in the fridge and think of what I would like to cook and write up our "menu" for the next few days for my next shopping trip.  I see all the awesome dinner menu plans written on calendars and cool boards and always want to try that but then remember I am dealing with me and I hate the regimented feel of having to eat a certain meal on a given night.  So that is where the post it comes in I write down a few things and can pick and choose in the morning what I want to get out to defrost of know how much time I need to allot at naptime for dinner prep.   I am not a chef so most of meals take less than 30 minutes prep and cooking time.  Also, I have 3 active little girls  who are either crying, trying to help me or wanting to play outside while they wait for daddy to come home and eat. 
Post it note on the fridge

Outside - where we are normally most afternoons
This is were you can find us most afternoons after naptime - playing in the street or yard.  I love that the girls play outside and that many of our neighbors join us many days.  Now to get back to dinner prep - oh wait it is done just waiting for Jon!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

This time last year

Hard to believe this time last year Molly was in the midst of potty training, Riley was starting to sit up and I had found out I was pregnant.  Now Molly is going to the bathroom without being asked and sometimes even holds it if I need her to, Riley is running and climbing on the toilet (but I refuse to entertain the thoughts of potty training an 18mth) and has a personality, and Kelly smiles when she is not crying or spitting up. 
As Jon and I have been discussing the future it amazes me to think of how fast our three girls really will grow up. 
While on our ATS outreach 9 years ago Jon felt God call him to the Army chaplaincy - lets just say it took me a little longer but I am so thankful that Jon did not give into my whining and anger at the time.  I thought we would be missionaries with AMI and I had my mind set on that - nothing else.  God had different plans - the Army.  It took 3 years of seminary, a few marriage counseling sessions and summers apart but once we got in I couldn't see us doing anything else.  The Army is a great place to share the gospel and show the love of God.  While serving their country families are told to move all over the world, some having never left their state before joining and they find themselves in an unfamiliar land with no extended family or friends.  Throw in the fact that soldiers are constantly training or leaving for deployments and that leaves some frazzled wives and kids.  And that is where I get to see God move through coffee groups, FRG and PWOC.  Yes those are lots of acronyms but basically the Army has support groups set up and I get to interact with tons of ladies and their kids.  I have the chance to point them to God when they think life is hard and they can't handle all the pressures of life.  I get to hear them out and know how to pray for them.  I get to be in community with these ladies - not quite what I thought life would look like 9 years ago but so much better. 
It will be amazing to see where God has us in 9 years.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kelly has a stalker

Definition of a stalker (as found on
stalk·er - noun 
1. a person who pursues game, prey, or a person stealthily.
2. a person who harasses another person, as a former lover, a famous person, etc., in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner: Hollywood stars often have security guards to keep dangerous stalkers at bay.
That is totally what Riley does to Kelly.  Above is a photo taken just minutes ago, Riley is so happy because she broke my barrier to Kelly and got to give her a hug.  I am glad that the girls love each other but poor Kelly is getting a nervous twitch!  Her reactions to her sisters crack Jon and I up.  When she sees Molly coming towards her she smiles and starts kicking and is happy to see her.  Just the sight of Riley and she makes a distressed looking face and when she is within 5 feet Kelly starts screaming like MOM SAVE ME! Each morning when the big two wake up they start searching the house for Kelly, if for some reason her room gets opened Riley makes a dash to the crib and starts shoving her hands in the rails until she gets ahold of the poor baby. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Different ways of crying

Who would have thought there would be so many different ways to cry and the responses are just as varied.  Between the three girls I witness at least 5 every day.
Molly gets upset when people touch her lipstick which brings different tears from when she just loses her lipstick.  The thought of not getting a piece of gum is more of a whimper but can bring hysterics when not allowed to buy a pack in the store.  I think the best part about her is she cries more over accessories in life than the 5,000 bumps and bruises she gets on a monthly basis.  The first day of preschool she fell coming out to the car and skinned up her knee but got back up and kept running with no tears, all the teachers were surprised but it made me just a little happy since we have been working on controlling our emotions.  Molly is by far the most sensitive in the family and wants to make sure everyone is taken care of.
Riley on the other hand usually only cries when told to get off Kelly, standing at her chair wanting someone to give her food and of course when Molly tries to get back the lipstick that Riley has stolen just to make her sister mad.  Riley's sad face is a lowered lip and can be changed into a smile with a quick hug or piece food.   Riley unlike Molly is a little less sensitive and more apt to laugh at you when you are in distress. 
Kelly well she will cry for anything and everything especially if she thinks it involves getting in her carseat for a trip.  Tears are brought about when Riley bites her, which happens more than I ever thought was possible.  She also cries when the girls come at her in tag team style to "love" on her.  Just like her sisters though all it takes is a hug and a smile and then the cries stop and giggling starts right up. 

Love these girls and all the emotions that come along with them but we really are going to work on controlling our emotions because well otherwise in a few years Jon and I might just go crazy!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

9 states in 4 weeks

It has been quite a world wind trip these past few weeks.  Kelly has officially spent 1/3 of her life on the road and visited 9 of the 50 states.  The girls and I took a road trip with the McPherson's and it was a blast.  It is so nice to have in-laws that will take the girls and I even without Jon.  We flew from DC to Chicago spent the night at Aunt Linda's and hit the road to drive to Iowa.  Kelly by the way HATES car rides she screamed 2 1/2 hours non-stop even with NeNe loving on her and talking to her.  We were in Iowa for Jon's cousin Carol who was getting married.  The girls loved seeing all the family, dancing and hanging out.  Anne Marie - since I know you are reading this Molly and Riley say hiya!!  We loved getting to stay with you all and play with Lauren and her mom Lisa's horse!!
After our Chicago trip we went over to my parents and took a flight to FL to have a mini family reunion with my brothers and their families.  We went beach, had tea parties, played games, swam, golfed and in general partied with all 17 of us!!
I would never have been able to take these trips without great support from family since Jon wasn't able to go with us.  Papa and BertBurt got to be Molly's buddy while Nene and Granny couldn't have torn Riley away if they tried and Kelly was my buddy during our travels - thank you grandparents for you love and patience with me and girls while we were with you each!!
Molly started preschool and Riley got to join for one day for mother's day out.  More posts coming with details but I think this is long enough for now!
Aunt Linda's playground

Riley's first flight

Kelly's first flight

Aunt Lisa actually has a horse at her house
No need for a girl to wish for a pony there!

No good shots because Molly couldn't stop moving to the music!
Thanks Aunt Jenn and NeNe for helping

Going to the chapel and watch a wedding

Celebrating my birthday with the my monkeys

Family dinner!

Granny with the girls

Tea parties during rain storms

she was under par
Granny and BertBurt white
Brian and Paige in blue
Brad and Meredith in red
Me and the girls yellow
The Head family reunion in FL

Family bike ride at the beach during Jon's strong bond retreat
Kelly is in a sling on my shoulder - don't worry she is there

Helping Jon prepare for his retreat with single soldiers

Molly's first day of school was rough on everyone

Love that smile

First day of preschool

Kelly has not figured out she is allowed to actually swallow
there is a lot of drool!!

PWOC kickoff
over 200 ladies and 160 kids
love being apart of an amazing group of ladies who love JESUS!

not sure how but Kelly has managed to survive 3 months with
these two sisters who want to love on her

Riley's first day of the mom's program

By the way did I mention Kelly HATES car rides I think she screamed at least 40 hours during our travels.  She stops the second you take her out of her car seat and then starts smiling at you like nothing was bothering her at all.  I love that girl but am glad we didn't have to a trip across America in the car with her.