Saturday, October 24, 2009


Today we celebrate 2 very special birthdays! Emma and my brother Craig share October 24th as their special day and I wanted to share some special memories about each of them.

Emma was born on October 24th 2002 in Topeka, Kansas at 12:30am. When we saw our little girl for the first time we feel in love. She was perfect! 7 pounds 6 ounces, 19 inches long, 10 fingers and 10 toes and LOTS of dark hair! She had lots of visitors who fell in love with her little cherub face instantly... I am amazed at a mother's love. I didn't think I could love her more than when she was first born but that love has grown as I watch her grow and become who she is meant to be. Emma loves music... she sings all the time! She has since she was a little baby. She loves first grade and is learning how to read and be a good friend. I can't believe she is 7 today. How time flies!

Forever our little princess...

Emma can light any room with her smile

Our sweet angel

Emma is such a great big sister to John and Grace. She loves her family and takes care of everyone she knows, treating them with kindness. Here she is with the Alston family.

Happy 7th Birthday Emma Kay! We sure love you!

Today I also celebrate my brother, Craig's birthday. He was such a sweet son, brother, cousin and friend. It was so fun to call him on his birthday in 2002 and tell him that he shared his birthday with Emma. I asked him if it was OK and he said it was cool to share it with his niece. Here are some of my favorite pictures of Craiger- McGregor througout his life.

He was a precious toe-headed little imp! He loved to play "Rambo" in the woods and master the universe with his swords. We, his sisters, would be off playing house and he would be tackling the bad guys in the pine forest that was our backyard.

Since Craig's birthday was always around Halloween we would put together a haunted house in our basement for his party. The neighbors would get invloved and we would all get dressed up in costumes and create what was sure to be the scariest, funnest haunted house ever! We had so much fun. One year, Craig was into Ghost Busters. My Mom had a friend drive an old ambulance over to our house to be the Ghost Buster car and we all got a ride in it. Here Craig is with all his friends in front of the car.

Here Craig and I are dancing at a wedding. I tried to make him dance with the other girls but he just wanted to dance with me. It made me feel so special! He was such a great brother always taking care of all us. His sweet disposition and kindness was felt by so many people througout his life.

Craig was the BEST uncle to his nieces: Emma and Grace and Nephews: John and Mason. Here he is with Emma at the cottage. He loved playing games with Emma and she adored him.

This is our family picture from my Mom and Gary Clark's wedding in July 2005. I am so grateful for our family.

In January 2009 our sweet Craiger McGregor passed away. But today I think of him on his birthday and feel him near me, giving me a thumbs-up that he is OK and that he is happy. I am grateful for my brother. I love him and I will always remember his caring, loving personality. I know that it is no coincidence that Emma and Craig share a birthday and I am so grateful we have something to celebrate on his birthday. Happy Birthday Craiger McGregor, we sure love you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


We went to Grama Kay and Papa's home in New York last week! It was so fun... and soooooooo cold! With the 40 degree temps every day we went out for a little and then came back in to sit by the fire and get warm. That didn't stop the fun though!

Johnny stayed behind to work and I traveled to Buffalo with the 3 kiddos. Here we are on our flight from Phoenix to Buffalo. The kids did great on the 4 hour plane ride. They made friends with the little boy sitting behind us and Gracie took a little nap. They were chanting "Grama, Grama..." as we landed.

Grama Kay, the kids and I went to Power's Market with my sisters- Ashley and Kari and Kari's son Mason. It was such a pretty, sunny fall day. Here the kids are in front of the massive tee-pees they set up every year. They are huge structures with dried corn husks on them to make them dark inside. When you go in the first tee-pee there are carved, lit pumpkins all the way up to the top. Then you go through a little tunnel to the second room where there are skeletons and spiders and cob-webs hanging down from the ceiling. There are even owls with lit eyes peering out of the walls and when you make loud noises they move and "whoo". The kids thought this was hillarious and screamed and yelled to get the owls to make noise. I remember going here as a kid with my Mom. It was so fun to take my kids here and make more memories.

Here are John, Mason, Emma and Gracie after going through the tee-pees for the 20th time!

John-John, Grama Kay, Emma, Gracie and Mason

John loved the tractor pulled the trailor for the hayrides. He wanted to drive it! Here he is in the pumpkin patch as the tractor passed by.

Gracie and her crazy-Gracie smile sitting in the pumpkin patch!

OK... so there are these chickens in a pen and they are so cute and fluffy! The funny thing is they are colored! It's cute when you see the black and gray ones... then the blue and pink ones?! Gracie thought they were hillarious and giggled and pointed at them!

The crazy chickens up close!

Here's our pretty Emma.

The kids had fun feeding the deer grain at the petting zoo.

Grace was so funny when she fed the deer! You lay your hand flat and they lick the grain off. Grace did it and cracked up laughing!

Emma with the witch in the store at Power's Market. This witch was there when I was little!!!

Yummy home made donuts completed our day at Power's Market!


Hi Guys!

Me and my beautiful sisters: Ashley and Kari

Grama Kay with her grandkids

The whole group: Kari and Mason; Jamie, Emma, John and Gracie; Grama Kay and Aunt Ashley

The boys loved swimming in the hot tub at Grama Kay's house. It was 40 degrees outside but 100 in the tub! They loved it!

Emma and Grace made iced pumpkin cookies with Grama Kay. Here's Gracie covered in icing smiling her crazy-Gracie smile!

Icing yummy cookies

John-John helped make the fire with Papa so we could all warm up after a long day. Here he is in the living room at their home.

We stopped and bought some pumpkins to carve at a cute little wagon parked by the roadside. Doesn't it look cold out?!

John with his pirate pumpkin. ARRRRG!!!

Yucky! What a mess!!!

The pirate...

Helping get the "guts" out

Playing with the "guts"!

Here's Grace's baby pumpkin.

Riding the tractor at Mamma and Grandpa Fred's house

We put Emma's pumpkin by my brother, Craig's grave. It was a sweet moment. I haven't been there since the funeral in July. We carved a peace sign in the pumpkin for him and smiled knowing he would have liked it!

The kids and Grama Kay with the pumpkin for Craiger.

Here are the kids at Chase Farms. This is a great farm just 2 minutes away from my Mom's house. They have the best produce ever!!! We got raspberries and went in the corn maze, saw a huge pumpkin and played until we were too cold!

Looking at the horses at Chase Farms

The sisters in the little corn maze

John and Emma find their way out of the maze!

Driving the tractor

What a HUGE pumpkin! We had so much fun at Grama Kay's.