Friday, December 28, 2012

A Fresh {Re}Start

After a 6-month unintended hiatus, I hope to get back to regular blogging this year. I have missed it. I love writing and I love sharing sweet and funny photos and stories about my family. Even more, I love occasionally going back and reading my old posts, looking at photos of my little munchkins when it was still okay to call them "little munchkins" and reminiscing.

It was a great Christmas for the Lingg family this year. The anticipation and excitement from both of the girls filled the house!

All of December was pretty busy for us actually with various school and church Christmas activities. There was never a dull moment - or free weekend!!

 WFUMC Children's Choir Cantata "The Christmas Cupcake" - Gabrielle is the 2nd from the left on the front row (the little girl who desperately needed a bang trim!!)
 Gabrielle and her kindergarten class for the LOMES Holiday Family Night. We got there too late and got a terrible seat so no good pics.
 Samantha and her preschool class. They entered the church sanctuary with sunglasses and jingle bells waving to all the parents and families as the song "Jingle Bell Rock" played. It was absolutely precious!

Gabrielle also had a little Christmas program on her last day of school. Mine and Ed's favorite song they sang was "Don't Eat a Poinsettia". It was hilarious!!

I took Gabrielle to see "The Nutcracker." My original plan was to take her to see the big Carolina Ballet performance in downtown Raleigh but instead bought tickets for a student performance. The show was very cute. I think this worked out better since after about an hour of sitting Gabrielle was starting to get antsy. Assuming she continues to love dancing then we'll go see the "big" performance in a couple of years.

 I love the look on the girls' faces on the photos above. I think these particular pictures do a good job summing up the entire morning. And for some reason, somehow, going against all traditions as far back as Ed and mine childhoods, they started with the stockings! The stockings are always last ~ until this year.
 Samantha with her first Belle baby on the left which Santa brought her the Christmas after she turned one and her new Belle baby on the right which she has looked at in Target every single time we have been to Target for the past year. I'm not kidding. Or exaggerating. She really wanted a new Belle baby and she really looked for her and held her in the store every single time.

 I had to include the photo of above. This was taken on Christmas Eve at our church after the children's service (which was really sweet and cute by the way). I love the look Samantha is giving me. Just.Too.Sweet.
Merry Christmas to all!! And may you carry the love and feeling of Christmas with you each and every day of the new year!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Summer {in Photos}

Today is Labor Day - the unofficial end of summer. Tomorrow starts a whole new adventure for us - kindergarten!! Wednesday is Samantha's first day of preschool. And to top it all off, on Monday I will be returning to the office and slightly increasing my work schedule after working from home part time for the past six years. This fall will be all about adjusting and new schedules and routines for us.
A lot of schools in our area are year around schools. The new school years begins in July for these schools. While I can certainly understand the advantages of this type of schedule I am glad our school is a traditional calendar school. I am happy to have had almost 3-1/2 months of summer with my girls. I would not have been ready to send Gabrielle off to kindergarten 2 months ago (she was ready to start kindergarten the day after her last day of preschool however). I am not sure I am completely ready to send her off even tomorrow! But tomorrow will come and I will have to accept it.
I decided to put together several photo collages of some of our summer memories and adventures. Enjoy!!
Released a few more butterflies...
Gabrielle's preschool summer camp - "God's Garden"

Lake time with friends!

Our trip to the American Girl store & restaurant. The girls and I LOVED it!

Trip to NCSU campus, a nearby park and the Rose Garden.

WFUMC Father Daughter dance - "Hoedown Throwdown"

Summer is never complete without a trip or two to Meemaw's, the aquarium & the beach.

Mommy & Gabby Day - painting pottery, lunch, & mani/pedi's.

Family trips & bowling for the first time.

More aquarium pics.

Just a bunch of cuteness!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A New Fave

I heard this song on the radio this morning and just fell in love with it. I love the sound and after listening to it a dozen times, I fell in love with the words too. I just had to share...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

From Caterpillars to Chrysalis to Butterflies!

For Easter this year we gave the girls something I have been wanting to get them for a couple of years now - a butterfly habitat! 

We sent off for our caterpillars on Easter night. After what felt like forever, our caterpillars arrived on May 23rd. There was a little note inside the package telling us our three tiny caterpillars were born on May 14th. To give you some idea of scale, the plastic cup in which our caterpillars (with their food included) arrived were probably around 4 oz. in size. 
Caterpillar May 23rd

We watched them everyday eat and crawl, eat and crawl - and grow and grow at what I found to be a freakishly fast rate. We would take a peak at them in the morning while eating breakfast and by the time we checked on them again around dinnertime, we could actually see a difference in their size. It was really beginning to weird me out.
Caterpillar on May 29th
Caterpillar just 2 days later!! On May 31st

Our directions informed us that in about two weeks our caterpillars would form their chrysalis. On June 3rd when we checked our caterpillars, we were so surprised to find a chrysalis hanging from the lid of the cup. Within a couple of days, a second caterpillar was hanging from the lid in the shape of a "j" and by the afternoon we had watched the caterpillar form its chrysalis. It was very cool! Our 3rd little caterpillar, who had been on the slow side with his growth, was a bit behind the other two with his chrysalis too. Finally, just a week ago, on June 12th, he formed his chrysalis.
Our first chrysalis and our second caterpillar, about to be in "j" formation!
Our second caterpillar, in "j" formation. This photo was taken in the morning.

The same caterpillar from above, just a few hours later that day. Incredible!

I was getting anxious about this last little caterpillar for a couple of reasons. For one, our directions told us to remove the paper liner from the cup on which the chrysalis were hanging on the 3rd day (they are really fragile the first couple of days) and to pin the paper to the inside of the butterfly habitat. The butterflies typically break free from their chrysalis within a week so by the time the last caterpillar had changed, it was time for our first butterfly to emerge. I flipped out slightly on last Tuesday when I went to remove the paper liner with three chrysalis to find a butterfly inside the cup!!
Our Painted Lady butterfly!

Butterfly wings need a day to dry completely before they can fly so fortunately I was able to get the new butterfly, as well as the paper liner with remaining two chrysalis into the butterfly habitat without incident. It was stressful though!
The larger butterfly was the first caterpillar to transform. This is the day of release for butterfly #1!

On the day our 2nd butterfly emerged we set free the first butterfly. The girls and I really got excited to watch our butterfly flutter away. Yesterday we set free our second butterfly and now we are just waiting for this last little guy to make his way out, which should be in the next couple of days.
Just waiting on our last little guy.

This little project has really been a crazy and cool experience. To watch our little caterpillars grow and grow and then transform into something so different and so beautiful - well it has actually given me a new appreciation for nature (and for the "Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar" book by Eric Carle!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Haircuts

A month or so ago when I took the girls for haircuts I had decided it was time to get more than just a little trim for Samantha. Her baby fine hair was getting pretty long and difficult to style.

Before (curled with a curling iron for ballet pictures)...
and after...
Definitely a big improvement. What is amazing to me is that now a month later, I have kept her hair short but it appears to be so much fuller and thicker.

At the time we just trimmed Gabrielle's hair. I knew she wanted to be able to put her hair in a bun for her dance recital so I had to keep some length on it. She was disappointed and really wanted her hair short like Samantha's (I typically cut Gabrielle's hair shorter for the summer anyway. She has so much hair and it gets tangled so easily!)

Gabrielle with her trim...
This week I took her back to get the short cut she wanted...
Very cute I think!

When I was expecting each of my girls I had really hoped one of them would get curly hair from me. Neither of them did. Samantha's hair has the slightest little bit of body when it dries on its own but for the most part, they both have pretty straight hair. Now they are older and I have to wash, brush and style it everyday I am really happy they didn't get curly hair! I think curls on little girls are just beautiful but I also know how aggravated I get with my hair and how when I was growing up - and even many days now - I would have loved to have wash and go hair, straight, smooth and shiny, not this frizzy coarse hair I have now. God knew what He was doing when He chose to not grant me my request of little girls with curls. I wouldn't want them to be any other way than they are - my beautiful little girls!

More Lake Photos

All of the photos from my previous lake post were taken on my phone. I realized yesterday I still had photos from our lake trip on my regular digital camera.

The sleeping arrangements for the kids - or at least the arrangements we attempted. On our second night the mattresses were moved in front of a television so they could lay down while we were cooking dinner and they were never moved back. Some of the kids got up in the middle of the night and ended up in various places.

 Gus has an inflatable "jet ski." It is really cute and goes extremely slow - so that no one can escape I suppose. This little captain was begging all of the girls to go for a ride. Finally at the end of the day the two little ones, the three year olds decided to give it a go. Gus was taking them on a ferry ride. He went out a little further than he had been going on his own which made me a little nervous. But boy were they cute. And Gus really was such a good little captain, making sure his passengers were okay.

Little Miss Bridgette meanwhile was doing what every beginner walker does - toddling from here and there, climbing in the chair, and out, back in the chair and out again.

This is the night the mattresses got moved to the tv area. The kids had played so hard all day. This is the night Samantha fell asleep at 5:30 before she could even eat dinner. She rolled off the mattress onto the floor in a crack between two mattresses. I put her back on her bed and when I checked on her a little later she had rolled off the other side of the mattress back onto the floor! I moved her once again and there she stayed until 6:00 the next morning.