Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ella!


Just in case you were wondering, this is what 6 looks like!  Our sweet, beautiful and spunky little girl arrived 6 years ago and has kept us laughing every day since!


Ella is all the best things in life rolled into one little pint sized body.  She loves glitter and glam and fancy shoes.  She loves digging in the dirt, adventuring in the woods, and rolling in the yard with the dogs.  She loves snuggling in bed, reading books, and coloring the most amazing pictures.

But by far the best thing about Ella is she LOVES!  She loves everyone without fail and everyone she meets loves her; but no one loves her as much as her mom and dad!


Happy Birthday, sweet princess!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Week of Firsts

IMG_7959 IMG_7961

This week has been filled with backpacks, lunch totes and nap mats.  That’s right. It’s back to school time.  Actually, it’s just school time since this week has been a week of firsts in the McCleary house.


This little doll started Kindergarten this week.  I do not think I have ever seen a little girl more excited about school.  She has bounced around all week and takes particular pride in how “big” she is now. 

One of my favorite moments this week was when she came home marveling at how you can get ice cream out of the freezer at school and there’s “no money”.   She hasn’t quite figured out that mom and dad deposit money into her lunchroom account!  I love my Ella so much and she just adores everyone and everything!


Also this week, Bryce started preschool.  He loves school and bounces into the building 3 mornings a week.  Unfortunately, he bounces through the day and is having a little difficulty sitting in his chair and walking in line.  In fact, his monkey went to “monkey jail” this week.  oops!  He assures us that next week will be better and we’re working toward a more tame Bryce.  Let us pause for a moment of prayer. :-)

It has been a great week overall but I have to admit that I miss my babies terribly.  I count down the minutes each day until I can pick them up.  Jake says this part will get better but I think it may be a little while.  However, I love watching my tired little boy who can’t manage to make it through the car rider line without a little nap.  I think I may have found a little magic in the waiting.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Cookin’ in the Kitchen

Someone has become a big helper in the kitchen lately.  I can’t stand next to the counter without hearing a chair scrape across the floor and a little voice saying “I can help you.”

It’s a precious gift for a mom to get to teach her little ones kitchen skills.  I just think we may need to work a little on the wardrobe.




Monday, July 26, 2010

Fishy, fishy swim


Today is the first day of swim lessons.  I know, the Summer has almost left us but it’s been a busy one and it’s the earliest we could fit them into the game.  The kiddos don’t mind the delay and are completely psyched and ready to go. 

They both dressed themselves.  One of them does a little better job than the other.  Someone may have his swim trunks on backward but don’t mention it.  I mean, really don’t waste your breathe.  He’s dressed, he’s ready to swim and they both look perfect!



Friday, July 23, 2010

Dance Little Doll

Ella christened the Summer with her first dance recital at Steps of Faith Performing Arts Center. She was a delight to watch but the real fun was backstage.  She twisted and twirled and marveled at her hair and make-up and costumes.  It was all Ella in her purest form!


Don’t get me wrong.  She took her job seriously and practiced her poses with her carefully perfected ballerina face and posture.


Until she realized that she was dressed and fluffed and needed to go potty.  Go figure!  It turns out that I peeled her out of her three layers of costume for a false alarm.  Good grief!  It’s good that I love this one so much!


After her beautiful ballet performance, we moved onto the exciting 10 Commandment Boogie tap.  This dance was made for my girl and she felt it the instant she put on her costume.  Her energy was contagious and I couldn’t help but laugh!  Just look at my girl!



After my darling’s performances we marveled at how she sang along with each song.  She quickly informed us that she was reciting her moves (shuffle, shuffle, step…).  Serious I say!

She was over the moon at the receipt of her medal and flowers


Ella considers herself a professional dancer, now.  In fact, she watched a group break dancing in the park last week and has been practicing ever since.  I’m a little concerned about her neck! Dance classes can’t start back soon enough.



Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father’s Day!

This guy is the best father I know.


Here are a few reasons why:

1.  He’s the calm in the storm.  Jake has a  patience that brings a relaxed atmosphere to our home.  Those tasks that make me crazy, like dressing an unwilling 3 year old for church, appear easy when he does them. 


2. He’s a natural adventurer.  Drop by anytime and you may find a reptile in a box, a water park in the front yard or a hotdog roast by the creek.   He’s instilled this spirit in our children and he helps me to let go and live.


3.He can grow a crazy good beard and he knows when the beard has outgrown its welcome!

4.  He loves us all in spite of ourselves and he is never surprised when he comes home and finds this


or this


or this


5. He’s good with tools!  Seriously, he can build and/or fix anything.  It’s almost ridiculous!


Best of all he’s ours! Happy Father’s Day, Love!



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Batten down the hatches…

We’ve had a bit of an accident around here.  I’ve felt the necessity to write about it but just have not been able to bring myself to relive the events. 

The result of the accident is this…


But relax, he’s still Bryce.


A couple of weeks ago my little monkey attempted to climb his chest of drawers to find his favorite pair of pajamas.  While climbing, his chest fell upon him and when I found him he was completely pinned underneath it.  I was there within seconds and adrenaline allowed me to lift it off him before Jake arrived and turned it back upright.  An immediate assessment told us that we were ER bound.  Bryce had a gaping wound on his forehead and cuts around his right eye.

By the time we arrived at the emergency room, Bryce’s face had swollen considerably and he was completely calm. It was bedtime and all the excitement had made him sleepy but it sure didn’t help his mommy’s heart. 

Bryce ultimately received a CT scan because they suspected he may have broken some bones around his eye.  The scan came back clear.  Praise the Lord!  Bryce was the (unwilling) recipient of 8 stitches in his forehead.  It took 4 of us to hold him down and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the screaming.  My little guy has a big vocabulary and he used every word he knew.  Phrases included:

“Stop doctoring me, doctor”

“Don’t you do that again, doctor”

“You are scratching my eyes out.  Stop it!” (because his eyes were draped and he’s a little bit dramatic)

In hindsight, I’m proud of his spunk!  I have no doubt that this strength aided him in this ordeal.  In fact, I have thanked God everyday since that my sweet hard headed boy never lost consciousness, a fact that seemed to amaze the doctors and nurses.  I know that God took care of my baby that night.

Things could have been much worse.  The seriousness of Bryce’s accident has changed a few things in our home.  We’ve strapped large furniture to the walls and screwed it directly into the studs.  If you’ve got a little monkey in your home,  I encourage you to do the same.  I can tell you that there are worse things than a few holes in your sheet rock.

On a lighter note, my little man is recovering well


and things are pretty much back to normal.




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A moment in time

At least once a week I think to myself that I would like to freeze my kids in time and remember them at this exact moment.  On the other hand, at least 20 times a week I say I prayer that I’ll survive this exact moment.


Today I’d like to remember my sweet Ella’s gappy smile.  She loves to tell me that people think she “loosed” a tooth but she didn’t really “loosed” a tooth, yet.  Someday that gap will be replaced by big girl teeth and I’ll be a little sad.   

I also love that I can’t take a picture of her without her holding her arms in the air in a dramatic pose.  That’s my free spirited, happy go lucky girl!


This is the look that is so purely 3 year old Bryce.  In fact, he has given me a version of this look since he was a little baby and will probably continue through adulthood. 

Bryce is my quiet thinker with an energy level as high as his hair. He is moody and wild and steals everyone’s hearts.

Today’s a fantastic day for sunshine and smiles and good memories.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter in our house

I love my children.  They are spunky, creative, and independent thinkers.  There are a few times in life that I would like to reign these qualities in a notch, family Easter pictures being high on the list.

Each year I set of goal of capturing that perfect shot of the whole family in their Easter best and, while the photographs are being taken, I actually convince myself that it went well.  However, upon closer review, I realize that our Easter portraits, although not perfect, exemplify our lives.




We did manage to capture a couple of lovely moments, but that family photo still eludes us.





Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Budding Artist

My sweet Ella loves to draw.  She can color for hours and loves to find new ways to express her inner creativity.  I'm her biggest fan.  I encourage her to express herself.  Unfortunately, yesterday’s medium took the Ra out of my cheer!

I heard giggling.  This is easily one of the best sounds God ever made.  I then heard my sweet baby boy say, “Ella made me silly.”

As I rounded the corner, here’s the view I encountered.


That’s dry erase marker and an elephant on my little man’s cheek.  Brilliant, huh?


Someday this will be the head shot she’ll use in her artwork portfolio.

Bryce felt pretty bad about the whole ordeal.  Can’t you tell?




Wednesday, March 10, 2010

He’s Growing Up


He’s big enough for a moustache but

too little to outrun Mr. Nap.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Ella’s school celebrated this special week with a week full of crazy days!  My little girl lives for an excuse to “dress the part” and typically reinvents her look 6 or 7 times a day.  This week was made for her.

We started each day with a short photo shoot.  The results make me laugh because they are so genuinely Ella!


CraZy sock day:

crazysocks crazysocks2


CraZy hair day:

crazy hair1 

crazy hair2


CraZy Pajama day: