What EVERY mom wants to hear

Yesterday, when picking Elle up from the nursery at church I got two of the BEST compliments EVER!
1) It was something along the lines of, "You are always such a beautiful woman." Very rarely do I get a chance to do my hair and even more so my make up anymore. I don't usually have the opportunity to think about what I'm putting on to wear in public. I think a lot of mom's have this same stance. It's not that we don't care...we DO! It's just that most of us are so busy getting the kids together, and sometimes the husband, to get out the door ON TIME and making sure the house isn't in complete shambles as we leave. To get a compliment from another woman too is so amazing! Unfortunately too often we are so petty and don't share those nice little things to build each other up.
So, needless to say, THAT in and of itself made my day, but then...
as this wonderful woman (she means a lot to me whether she knows it or not despite our minimal contact) gives me a hug after the astounding compliment she says (this is #2 is you're counting), "Thank you for bringing your child to daycare, she is so well behaved." In my head I'm thinking, "What?! Do you have the right child/mother pair up?! Not my kid." Sure enough she meant my little Elle Belle. Apparently when mom and dad aren't around she says things like, "please" and "thank you" and my personal favorite "May I be excused please?" with out being prompted! I'm pretty sure I had to pick my jaw up from off the floor! I love my little Elle Belle very much but she sure likes to challenge Kyle and Me so I was COMPLETELY caught off guard by this double whammy compliment coming my way.
So...Moms...heck women in general, are the not two of THE BEST compliments ever!?!
And if I haven't told you so lately, all the women in my life are beautiful, inside and out, and if you're a mom, more than likely I think you do a heck of a job since we're still friends with kids. ;)


Odd Christmas

Well this Christmas was...odd.

I think the majority of it had to do with the attitude of the little ones.  When my two (almost three year-old) starts throwing tantrums and won't eat a bite of her dinner, it makes Christmas Eve a little difficult to enjoy.  Attempting to put her to bed and hearing her scream from the bedroom doesn't help either.  Elle eventually snapped out of it and we had an okay rest of Christmas Eve.  We went on hoping Christmas Day would be better.  Of course knowing Kyle had to be at work to plow snow at 4 AM didn't help start the day.

Kyle left Ryan's at 3 AM (we stayed at Ryan's to spend more time with my family) with the plan to return around 8:30 AM.  So when I woke up at 8 and saw two calls and a text from Kyle saying he was there all with a time stamp BEFORE 7! I felt HORRIBLE!  Kyle was in our car in Ryan's driveway waiting for some one to let him in.  Poor guy!  Good it didn't take him as long to clear the snow but not good he was stuck outside in the car.  Anyway, moving forward.

We "opened" the kids' stockings.  That was good.  Had some breakfast and Kyle went to go take a nap for a bit.  I attempted to get the kids ready.  It seemed that every road block and stall I could encounter happened.  some how over an hour passed and we had made no progress despite MULTIPLE attempts.  I decided I would not look nearly as nice as I wanted to Christmas Day since I had no more time and had to get the car packed and the kids together.  And don't forget Kyle again! :)

We were suppose to be at Kyle's Grandma's at 12:00 but I don't think we got there until 1 or shortly after.  Oops!

Okay.  So the kids were up late Christmas Eve.  Sort of slept in Christmas Day.  They slept til just before 8.  Usually they nap from 12-2 or 3 but that CLEARLY wasn't going to happen today.  So tired and hungry we tried to manage through.  Gabe is a pretty whinny kid anyway so he was TOTALLY milking it with family ALL day Christmas Day.  He is really good at producing tears which most people think means he's really sad.  He's just a player and playing the majority of our family.  Makes it tough to break him of that habit.  Anyway, the kids in their tired state (no longer hungry since we ate) continued to get coddled.

So, we dragged them home and I did what I could with them.  They pretty much refused to nap.  Seeing as how it was almost 4 I understood.  Kyle had to go back to work to take care of the snow...again.  So the kids were in their room for awhile just being lazy.  I eventually let them out since I could see there was no hope of naps.  Made them dinner (PB & J-I was so far gone).  Put them to bed.  Gabe went down at 7 with very little complaining.  Elle went down a little after 8.  I got a text from Kyle just before 8 saying he was FINALLY on his way home.  I immediately thought oh no! I have none of our stuff from the last two days put away!  Miraculously I began flying around the house while also trying to put Elle to bed.  Some how I managed to complete most of it JUST as he was walking in the door.

We finally got to say "hi" to each other and I could immediately see the weight lifted off his shoulders.  I apologized for still putting things away and shared how I wanted to have it all taken care of for him.  He looked at my like I was crazy when I realized it doesn't affect him at all but that's what I would want! I'm so silly.  I can guarantee that if there was laundry on his side of the bed he wouldn't have felt the same. :)

So yeah,  Christmas was weird.  Maybe we were putting too much into the kids thinking it would be SO much fun because of their ages.  Maybe Kyle having to worry about the snow was overshadowing.  Maybe we are just too exhausted period and having to go through all the festivities was too much.

I don't mean to be Debbie Downer.  We are still very grateful for the Christmas we were able to have.  There was great food and company.  We were able to be together and really that's all we want.

Merry Christmas!!  Happy Birthday Jesus!


Merry Christmas 2009

If I failed to get a Christmas card to you this year consider it delivered now. :)

2009 has been a year filled with adventure for us.
Gabe joined us just over a year ago.  As fast as time went with Elle, we find it hard to believe that it went ever faster with Gabe.  Kyle frequently refers to Gabe as our little MacGyver.  The kid gets in to everything and seems to create things from nothing.  Overall he’s a very happy child but is definitely a momma’s boy.  He’s showing signs of walking and occasionally says some words.  We’re loving having a little boy around the house and Gabe enjoys providing the chaos for our house as well.  He’s been struggling with a double ear infection and a small case of pneumonia for Christmas, but he’s having no problems keeping up with Elle.  Gabe has been a God-send amidst the chaos he provides.  There is something in his spirit that reminds us that God is watching over us and loves us.  Luke 1:19 “…I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and tell you this good news.”
Elle continues to amaze us with stories of dinosaurs and crocodiles and buses.  If you attempt to make conversation with her, be sure to allow plenty of time.  She amazes us every day with her observations.  We have no doubt she will cause lots of trouble…but in a good way.  We can hardly believe she is going to be three in a month and a half.  She is growing so fast and she’s so tall!  Elle loves spending time at daycare with all her friends and couldn’t be happier that her little brother is there with her.  She loves watching old movies (Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Singing In The Rain and of course Shirley Temple movies) which Mom and Dad love!  The girl’s got a style all her own and that is exactly what we love about her.  We are thoroughly enjoying watching her grow in to this little girl and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.  Proverbs 31:25 & 26 “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
Eryn continues to work at Cigna and still enjoys the company.  She went back to school at Capella University this summer working towards a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.  She started off part-time and then plunged in full-time a month or two later.  Eryn continues to dance with an adult company group at the Dance Xchange dancing hip-hop and jazz.  She is very grateful to be able to participate with this amazing group of ladies.
Kyle still works at New Concepts as an on-site property manager 10 minutes from home.  He participated in the fall football league with Bethany Church and came home sore and muddy many nights, but it was fun!  He continues to have an interest in Community Theater and is just waiting for the right show to steal him away from his family.  We of course, can’t wait to see him on stage again!
We FINALLY became members of Bethany Church after attending for almost FIVE YEARS!  We love Bethany and have no idea why it took so long for us to join.  Bethany is one of the few things keeping us here in Minnesota.  The weather is what makes us want to leave. J  In addition to becoming members we have started with the 3:14 group at Bethany.  The basis for 3:14 is Mark 3:14-15, “He appointed twelve-designating them apostles-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”  It’s a study that shows us the heart of Christ and what it means to be completely reliant on him.  Jesus is our Savior and we love pressing in to him more and more each day. 
We also found out that a family member was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.  We ask that you pray for her and the family.  In honor of her diagnosis, Eryn will be walking in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day walk in August 2010.  Your support would be greatly appreciated.
We are thankful for the reminders this time of year brings.  Reminders of a baby that came to give us life and reminders of family and friends that we hold dear.  We pray this Christmas season finds you in Christ’s hands and are so thankful to have you as part of our lives.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Kyle           Eryn            Elle 
     &     Gabe


The Things Elle Sees

Due to traffic we occasionally take different routes home.  Normally we take 35W ->94 -> Riverside.  But if 94 is backed up with stay on 35W and exit on Washington Ave. 

So picture the exit, if you can remember. 

As we drive up to the stop light on the exit ramp Elle says, "I see God!"

Not even thinking about where we were I got a little scared ("Is Elle sick and God is coming for her?")

I look to my right and...it's the mural of Jesus along that whole side of the building.

I LOST IT! I was laughing the whole rest of the way home.

"Yes Elle.  That's Jesus."

Love that girl!


What Motherhood means

At 2:16 this morning Elle walked into our room and whispered...

"Mom, my book is broken."
Me:"Elle, why are you awake."
Elle: "My book is broken."
Me:"Go back to sleep."
Elle starting to cry:"But my book is broken."

I stumbled out of bed to walk Elle back to her room and tried to tuck her in again and said goodnight.

Elle:"But Mom, my book is broken."
Me: "How?"
Elle:"It's broken. See."

One page at a time Elle continues to search through her book to find where it is broken.

Me:"Okay. Let me see."

About 10 pages from the back of her book is a ripped page (its her princess Bible so over 100 pages-can you imagine how long that would have taken one page at a time!).

Me:"Is this where it is broken Elle?"
Me:"Mommy will tape it in the morning."
Elle:"But its broken and you need to fix it."
Me:"And then you'll go back to sleep?"

I wander back into our black bedroom fishing for the tape. I Wander into the kitchen to tape the book (a 3 inch tear) and slowly move back into her room to hand her the book.

Me:"You'll go back to sleep now?"
Elle (inspecting the page) nods.
Me:"Okay, goodnight."

As I walk out of her bedroom she is paging through her princess Bible "reading."

Two things.

1) I know she can't really ready and probably doesn't even know what the book is and what it teaches. But I found it ridiculous and excellent that she felt the need to read her Bible at 2:16 in the morning. I wish I had the energy to press in to God at 2:16 in the morning.

2) This is the epitome of motherhood. Thank you to all the moms who stumble out of bed at 2:16 in the morning (an all other time as well) to perform all manner of tasks (potty, vomit, broken books, etc.) for their children! Those moments are paid for when w see our children reading their Bible at 2:16 in the morning. :)

Thanks Mom(s)!



Elle spent the entire morning the other morning singing everything.  That's 20-30 minutes of singing only from the girl.  I was surprised it lasted that long. I love that girl.

Gabe has started to take some steps.  Slowly but surely.  I'm not so sure I'm ready to chase HIM around though.  He already gets around fast and is a trouble maker, this won't help the situation.

It is so adorable to see the two of them cuddle though.  Gabe crawls all over Elle like a puppy settling in and then will just collapse on her.  She loves it.  Makes her giggle every time.

Kyle and I recently noticed how RED Gabe's cheeks get.  Check it out.

How cute are those cheeks!?

Did you laugh when you saw this? I know I did!

Elle requests that we listen to Veggietales WHENEVER we're in the car.  I'm fine with it but oddly enough, the other night Kyle and I got in the car to go somewhere by ourselves and Veggietales was still playing which isn't abnormal.  What is though, is the fact that "If You're Happy and You Know It" came on and I instinctively clapped my hands.  Kyle and I LOST IT!  No kids in the car.  I was apparently just really happy and wanted to show it!

Elle is very much into princesses right now and fell in love with this dress (Do you recognize it?).

Cute huh?

Yes the shoes are on the wrong feet but that's what makes it fun!

Anyway, looking forward to Christmas.  Elle helped me make cookies.  She was my cookie kisser when making the peanut butter cookies with the kisses in them.  She did a good job.  We still have sugar cookies to decorate though.  Soon they'll be on their way!

Merry Christmas.


Superhero Birthday Party

Alright, time for a play-by-play of GaberBaby’s Superhero/Hero Birthday Bash.

First, I have to precede this with the fact that I had so much more in mind than what we were able to do. I determined while I love being a mom AND a party planner, I cannot rob my children and myself from experiencing that day.  Conflict of interests I guess. :) It was fun but not exactly what I wanted.

Anyway, we sent out regular e-vites and Batman invitiations from Party City.

The “blurb” on all the invites said this:

Extra Extra! Read all about it.  Superhero madness in wake of 1 year birthday!  Superheroos from around the world unite to celebrate the birthday of Superman (Gaber Baby)!

Those hosting wish all those attending to be their superhero-selves or applicable villians(wear your superhero garb).

When you RSVP please comment what hero/superhero/villian you are. :)

See link below for ideas of Superheroes or come as your favorite non-super (Indiana Jones, Captain Jack Sparrow, Jason Bourne, etc.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superheroes (copy and paste link).”

“Yes” was “On My Honor”, “No” was “Crime doesn’t take nights off”, and “Maybe” was “I’ll have to check with my side-kick”.  We had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spiderman, cowboys/girls, one of the Boondock Saints, Supergirl (young and older), a superpup, a firefighter, a military officer, and Tomb Raider among others.

We had three games.  A Superhero Jumble (can you get them all):

A “Wall of Weird” (if you’re a Smallville fan then you get this).  Gabe’s guests had to guess the age he was in each of the photos (can you guess?):
a b
e f

And a mask making/costume contest which was titled Edna Mold’s Super-suit stop (The Incredibles).  Kyle’s sister won.  She MADE her SuperGirl Costume.  Everyone agreed she had the best!

We had snack-style food since it was Halloween and shortly before dinner.  We had meatballs which were “Meteors” and blue, red and white chips (very Superman), and guacamole (green kryptonite), salsa (read kryptonite), and queso (strength from the yellow sun) for the chips.  We also had  puppychow (Underdogs Puppy Chow) some fruit and of course some candy.

I also made my first attempt at using fondant to create a Dialy Planet cake.

We had bunches of balloons; one with Spiderman, one with Batman, and one with Optimus Prime.  We had pictures of superheroes hanging from the lights and some standing on the tables (put cardboard on the back of the picture and taped a second piece to stabilize it).

The Thank You’s are the BEST though.  Kyle DREW a mini comic just for GaberBaby!!


So that was his party.  It went well but it could have gone better.  Not that he’ll know the difference and aren’t the first birthdays really more for us than them?

Gabe, the morning of his birthday.

Gabe at his party, playing with his presents.

The best part.

Just missing Elle.

Really, all that's left to say is "Thank You" to everyone that came and helped make the day special.  So from Spiderman (Kyle), Tomb Raider (me), Young Super Girl (Elle),

& Superman/GaberBaby...

Thank you!!!!


Happy Hour Mom

Be sure to check this out Happy Hour Mom Give Away!  So cute!  Wouldn't you feel beautiful wearing one of these even when you don't have time to put make-up on in the morning?  :)


Oh Elle!

We recently purchased a new Veggietales CD with the song "The Wheels On The Bus" and a song that Junior's mom sings. Yesterday, I think, we were on our way home and Elle said, "I think I like the song that Junior's mom sings." I know it's no big deal but the thought went through my head, "My 2 1/2 year old just constructed a sentence using 10 words and it made sense!" I was absolutely blown away. She is so FREAKING smart! Too smart in fact. A little later "The Wheels On The Bus" came on and when it got to the part about the baby saying "wah, wah, wah" she said, "Gabe is on the bus." I LOST it I was laughing so hard. It's true that Gabe cries about anything and everything. We don't have any cute names for him like 'Cryin' Ryan' :) but this is where his nickname 'Bug' came from. Destiny Childs 'Bug-a-boo' song. I occasionally call Gabe my Bug-a-boo because he's constantly "buggin'" me. I think Cryin' Ryan is cuter. :)

Anyway, there's your 'Amazing Elle' and humor from my kids for now.


Prayer Needed

I can't go in to specifics too much, but our family, Ceasses and Stenneses alike, could use a washing of prayer.

Yesterday seemed to be an active day in the spiritual realm.  Remind me to go into it another time.  We also heard some news about some one that isn't bad but not too good either.  I'll go into detail once I have their permission (sorry to be so secretive.  I can't stand it when people do it to me).  We just really need prayers of peace, healing, and a guiding hand.


And sorry it's been so long. :) As a thank you for prayers, patience in waiting for a new blog, and dealing with my lack of info, here are some ADORABLE pictures of Elle from this weekend.  There are too many cute ones so be prepared to be over loaded with cuteness. :)

She wanted to play with the puppy, Daisy.

Isn't she beautiful...

And then so silly.

Working hard.

Making a big pile.

"Mom, can I jump NOW?!"

"Oh this is so much fun! We MUST do this more often."

I love fall.

Thanks again!