Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Daddy and his girl: so sweet and so blessed

Pslams 103:13 As a father has compassion on his
children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

*Lily Grace has spent the afternoon cooking Matt an afternoon Father's Day treat.  She tackled Chocolate Souffles.  This is the first time she's made soufflés.  This recipe involved separating eggs, whipping egg whites into peaks, creating a sauce on the stove and watching for "the rise."  She did all of it completely by herself.  Her daddy woke from a quick nap to the wonderful smell of chocolate and cinnamon.  Lily Grace did an amazing job!!!!!!!  The soufflés rose beautifully and tasted delicious.  She was quite proud of herself.  Her daddy was very proud of her too, but more touched than anything that she worked so hard just for him.  
Happy Father's Day!

They enjoyed their soufflés topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberries.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cooking up Some Summer Yum!

Lily Grace loves to help out in the kitchen.  Lately, I've tried to let her take on more responsibility in there when she cooks along side of me.  Now that school is out, she loves being in the kitchen even more.  
For her first time out on her own, she made cheese toast.  That may not sound like a big deal but it is. She used a knife and conquered her fear of being burned while taking things out of the oven. 
Feeling more confident, she tackled her first recipe completely solo.  She made brownies from scratch, not a box mix.  She did everything as Matt and I sat back and left her to it.  She gathered ingredients,  measured, cracked eggs, mixed, followed the recipe, timed her brownies, took them out of the hot oven and served them up.  She was too cute as we could hear her in there talking herself.  She was so excited and very PROUD of herself.  She certainly should be.  She did a great job and they were quite good.  
She's decided to try new recipes and skills regularly this summer.  What a great skill to practice and build upon.  Who knows- maybe by the end of the summer, she can cook dinner. ha! ha!
Great job my little cook.  I love sharing the kitchen with you!
As I type, she is back in the kitchen for the not so fun part of cooking- the clean up! I will end with what I just heard, "Whew!  Done for the day!"  Funny! Those are often my sentiments exactly!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Chicago Concert

Lily Grace has been playing the violin for almost three years now.  She is quite good and has even started working on her vibrato.  
Her music teacher, Mr. Caleb introduced her to Lindsey Stirling several months ago.  Some may remember Lindsey from America's Got Talent years ago.  Apparently, she was on the show and that along with her You Tube videos became quite popular.  She now tours the world playing sold out concerts. Lindsey is unique in that she not only plays the violin, but she also dances while doing so.  Now I am not a violinist but from what I know after watching Gracie, it's not easy.  She is quite entertaining and along with her fun and colorful style, she is "amazing" according to Lily Grace. 
When we found out that Lindsey would be coming to Chicago for a concert, we knew it was the perfect way to end the school year. Not to mention, we love going to Chicago and any reason sounds good to us.  (Even though our trip started with a cloudy high of 60, which made it quite chilly and a low of 49 in June, Chicago was and is tons of fun!) Oh this midwest living!
Lily Grace was beside herself with excitement. She'd been counting down the days and constantly humming/playing every Lindsey Stirling tune.  She finished school on Thursday and we left on Friday morning for the concert Friday evening. 
Lily Grace had one big goal in mind.  She wanted desperately to get close to Lindsey Stirling and get her autograph.  
Matt and I agreed that hanging out in the back of the Chicago Theater after the concert wasn't a good idea with a nine year old just to try and get an autograph.  So, we splurged in an effort to make her first concert a special one and upgraded two of the tickets to Vip status.  Lily Grace and I arrived three hours early for a special Q&A with Lindsey and soundcheck.  Gracie with that little hand diligently in the air, was called on and what do you think she asked, "May I have your autograph please?"  I am happy relieved to report, she got it!!!  She was so excited and wore the biggest smile.  The keyboard player even commented on how much he liked her fashion glasses and well.....night made!
I must admit, it was a really good concert and lived up completely to Gracie's expectations.  Matt and I loved watching her get so excited and trying to predict which song Lindsey would do next.  
We didn't get out of the concert until almost 11:00 p.m.  We walked back to the hotel and enjoyed a very late dinner at Michael Jordan's.  Lily Grace was so tired (I think the pure excitement wore her out.) she could barely keep her eyes open at dinner.  Needless to say, partying like a rock star may not be her cup of tea. ha! ha!  We all collapsed back in our room around 1:00 a.m. when we finally said goodnight.  
We woke this morning (definitely not early or by alarm) and enjoyed breakfast at one of our favorite spots in Chicago.  We couldn't leave without the homemade donut holes and caramel sauce or stopping by American Girl.  
Gracie Cakes, we hope that your first concert was as memorable for you as it was for us.    Daddy and I had an amazing time with you.  

LG had this outfit planned out for months.  She requested a curled side ponytail.
Too cute!  Right down to the glitter wristlet

Loved our special VIP time together Gracie!
Lindsey gave a special acoustic performance at the VIP event.
The Chicago Theater is beautiful.  Lily Grace's favorite was the large chandeliers with the changing ceiling color. 
A freezing cold selfie before the show
Lindsey's opening

She is famous for doing a to the floor back bend while playing and Lily Grace thinks it's the coolest.
So excited to have her autograph

Yummy goodness!!!!
Trying out Julie's egg chair at American Girl

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Awards Day

We are down to the last two days of school.  Today is field day, dress down day and it all started off with the school awards ceremony. 
Lily Grace was recognized for Choir and  Excellent Attendance as well as Excellence in Music and Excellence in Language Arts.  She was also the overall 3rd grade winner in points for Accelerated Reader.  
Lily Grace absolutely loves school and learning.  
We are so proud of you Gracie!  Daddy and I hope that your love for learning grows with you all throughout your life. 

Monday, June 1, 2015


Matt and I have always enjoyed fly fishing.  Matt also enjoys tying flies.  This summer, we will even tick an item off our bucket list- fly fishing the Madison River in MT.  
I have a feeling this trip will be even more special with the addition of our little fly fisherman.  In preparation for the trip, Matt got Lily Grace her own fly rod and waders, both pink of course.  
He has also introduced her to fly tying and I have to say, forgive the pun but the girl is completely hooked.  She loves it.
She can sometimes be found reading Matt's fly tying books before bed and asking all sorts of questions about technique and materials.  It is too cute.  One night she even yelled downstairs to Matt, "goodnight fly tying buddy!"  Melt his heart!!!!!!
Her casting is really coming along.  If you have never fly fished, it's not like simply casting out and reeling in.  It involves a lot more line and a little more grace and technique.  
Lily Grace still strives to be fashionable while fly fishing.  Oh the outfits! 
I can't wait to see these two in MT.  They've been busy tying flies and getting in some casting practice at one of the ponds in our neighborhood.  And all the while, Matt has been getting in a lifetime of memories.  Who knows how long her interest will hold, hopefully it will last, but her daddy is enjoying it here and now all that he can.  

One very proud daddy

Her first catch all by herself
This was their second day down at the pond when Gracie landed this bass by herself.  And yes, she is wearing a leotard, fashion glasses, leotard and scarf around her neck and hat.  She learned that bugs love it near the water and this was her fashionable way of combatting them.  HA!  I love it!  This fish was also caught on a fly (woolly-bugger) that she tied herself.

All ready to tie flies as soon as they both got home

She can now tie these completely by herself.  Keep in mind, her color patterns may be a little nontraditional, but according to her some fancy fish will appreciate it.