Monday, August 31, 2015


We had some silly fun with leftover balloons from Lauren's party.

Lauren was all about throwing hers.

Collin learned to blow up his!

Lauren's 2nd Birthday Party

We celebrated Lauren Kate's 2nd birthday on Sunday, August 30th with a party at the park.

I made the usual party stuff - gift bags for friends, a happy birthday banner, and a photo timeline.

We had the most amazing spread of food, courtesy of Papa and Grandma.  We were joined by family and a few of Lauren's little friends, and it was a precious night.

Lauren had a blast running around and giggling with the kids!

I'd like to get better about taking pictures of the party-goers and the celebrating, but at least I captured the birthday girl eating her cupcake!

(fabulously delicious cupcakes courtesy of Grandma Lee)

Lauren ended the evening climbing and sliding with her two BFFs, Tikka and Eva.

'Twas a lovely day!

silly kids

Collin was trying to get Lauren to pretend she was asleep, but she couldn't stop laughing long enough to keep a straight face. :-)

Ever the planner and instigator, Collin convinced the three girls to jump into the gator so he could take them for a ride.

"I'm pretending Tikka is my wife, and Oreyna and Lauren are our daughters!"

Friday, August 28, 2015

a Collin concert

Collin loves to sing and perform!

I wish I could make a list of all the lyrics he sings, but it is just the cutest thing.

"No matter what you say, no matter what you, I'm always with you..."

"Our God is awesome and powerful!"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lauren Kate :: 2 years old!

Our precious Lauren Kate is 2 years old today!  The time has passed so quickly, and our baby girl is becoming a big girl in what feels like the blink of an eye.  She's happy and silly, smart and entertaining, and a beautiful ray of sunshine in our family.

Big girl is 34" tall and weighs 28 pounds.  She wears 2t clothes and size 5 shoes.  She loves wearing her rain boots, no matter the weather, and she likes to pick out her own clothes too.  Lauren can get dressed almost completely on her own - just ask her!  She says "my!" to indicate that she wants to do it on her own.


Lauren Kate is a mama at the core.  She loves babies and it is precious to watch her be so sweet and gentle.  Caretaking is her thing.  She's quick to point out owies, pat a person on the arm, and "shhhh" to offer comfort.

In addition to babies, Lauren also really loves books and music.  She loves to have a few books in her crib to read before she falls asleep at naptime, and it's cute to listen to her sing with the books she knows are songs.  Lauren loves to turn up the music and dance, and she insists everyone join her when she's having a dance party.

Lauren is adding new words to her vocabulary every day, and she's putting ideas together into 2-word sentences.  She repeats a lot, wanting to be sure she has been heard.  New words this month include boots; book; bubba (brother); yes; tree; happy; poopy; ere moon (there's the moon); hey, my (hey, that's mine); fork; spoon; plate; bowl; blue; purple; and her favorite, hey you!  She says, "hey you!" whenever she greets a person, and it's hilarious to hear her say "hey you!" to people when we're out and about.

Whispering is a skill Lauren learned this month.  She'll whisper the response if we whisper a question, and she thinks secrets are funny.  Also this month Lauren learned that she loves songs with actions, such as Itsy Bitsy Spider and Five Little Monkeys.  She says "more more" because she wants to hear songs over and over again.

A task-oriented girl, Lauren is a great helper and really enjoys having a job to do.  She likes toys that have a task to complete, especially puzzles, and she's quite obedient when we ask for her help.  She likes to put a new trash bag into the can, let the puppies in or out, throw items away, and wash dishes.  Carrying things is also fun for her, and it's pretty cute to listen to her "ohhh" as she carries a "heavy" load.

Lauren loves to play and get dirty, but when she's done with dirty, she's done!  If we're outside working in the yard and I offer her my muddy hand to hold, she'll look at it, say "dirty," and refuse to hold my hand.  When we finish a construction job for the day, she says "dirty!" as she picks debris off us.  She loves to play and get grimy, but she also appreciates cleanliness.

True to toddler form, Lauren has many opinions and likes to get her way.  She wants to do everything by herself, yet she also loves to snuggle and have help so she doesn't have to do all the work.  Her will is strong, but her heart is sensitive and eager to please.

Ever an entertainer, we get to see Lauren's silliness as she works to make people laugh.  If she gets a laugh by falling on the floor once, she'll repeat the trick several more times to get a few more laughs.  She's very fun!

Lauren is really coordinated, able to imitate many of the physical feats she sees Collin do.  She jumps of one or two feet, she jumps off steps, she can climb almost anything, and her balance is great.  She has a crazy-strong arm for throwing, and she's pretty fast.  She likes to play hide&seek and peekaboo, and she's crazy brave - willing to jump into my arms in the pool even if I'm 2 feet away from the edge.

We are so very grateful for our precious Lauren Kate, and we are beyond excited to watch her grow into the mighty girl God made her to be.  Happy birthday, cupcake!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

she dresses herself

This sweet girl!  She dresses herself and picks out most of her own clothes, as evidenced by the denim shorts + tutu + rainboots combination seen here...

two peas in a pod

 It's not true to say they're best friends every moment of every day, but Collin and Lauren are developing a precious friendship that is so fun to watch!

Lauren loves to copy everything Collin does, and he's good about teaching her.

They like to hold hands in the vehicle.

Collin drives Lauren wherever she needs to go.

Sometimes they even like to snuggle!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Collin runs the excavator

I tell you what, Collin Cooper is unlike any other 4-year-old we know.  Have you ever known a 4-year-old who can operate an excavator?!

we're funny

These two goofballs crack each other up!