Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Card Finalists...

Here's a few of the finalists that didn't quite make the Christmas Card cut. I always just wish I could send out a mini-album instead to tell the whole story of our year... but alas, I cannot. This family shot was taken by Oomps the Great at Angela's Grandma's house last 4th of July.
Oh, to capture them both smiling sweetly at the same moment. It seems an easy task, but for those of you who have tried to accomplish this before, you know how hard it can be:)

And this last one was taken by Uncle Chris the Great! Thanks for getting such a great shot!


I should have posted these about a month ago... but better late than never, right? Here is Ted all duded up and ready for hunting. I'm not sure if I will ever quite understand why men love to go sit out in the woods while it is freezing cold and eat dried out beef jerky, I guess it has something to do with that "Wild at Heart" stuff that God wired into them! Anyways, Ted had a great time out on his first hunt. I am guessing that my dad and the others "got him hooked" since he's already planning his next major purchase for Cabellas:) While we women folk were back at home, we were surprised with roses from Daddy/Ted! The girls were so excited that they got their own flower.Here's is Mommy's bouquet - my favorite roses are these with the yellow bodies and red on the tips. What a lucky woman I am!And here's a miscellaneous pic of Hannah dressing up in some cowboy boots. Me and my sisters used to do this with our Daddy's boots. Does this bring back memories, Nana and Oompa?

Monday, December 29, 2008

What we did on Christmas Day...

Well, we usually have many family activities planned over the holidays, but this certainly was not on the agenda. Hannah came down with Pneumonia and Daddy, Mommy, and Hannah spent Christmas day and the next day at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Hannah came down with Pneumonia also at the age of 6 months, exactly three Christmases ago. Her Mommy also had Pneumonia at 6 months of age. I guess she is trying to carry out the tradition, although I think we could come up with some more pleasurable family traditions to adopt:)
She was not very interested in her stocking, as you can see...
Hannah had been refusing to drink or eat, so needed fluids and a different medication (the first med did not work for her). Once they got some fluids in her and the meds, she was able to finally rest and get some good sleep. Mommy got the privilege of sleeping on a luxurious cot beside her bed.
The next morning we got her to eat about a half of a pancake, which was about the only food accomplishment for the day. She was offered every juice, pop and popsicle under the sun, but did not want a thing. Lunch was one bite of pizza, one bite of chocolate pudding, and that was it. Talk about stressing Daddy and Mommy out! What child won't eat a popsicle?
Big sister came for a visit and brought a sweet get well letter for little sis. (Side note - when we called Nana (Angela's mom) to give her an update on Christmas night, Nana informed us that Emelia was now coming down with a fever and coughing alot... uff dah! So, Emelia had to wear a mask when she came to visit. Daddy also came down with Hannah's cold... so nice of her to share:) And Mommy was being protected by the Lord, for she can't be sick right now! For those of you who know Emelia, even sickness does not put this girl down. She came into the hospital bouncing as usual... we could hear her before she arrived, bringing with her her always full bag of joy!
For the rest of Friday, we tried to get liquids down Hannah (and food). But, she is extremely, extremely stubborn and would not cooperate. The doctor had a really hard time deciding whether to let her go home or not, because she was doing well for everything else, but still refusal to drink the minimum for survival. Ted and I think that Dr. Dobson may have to write another revised version of the "Strong Willed Child" just for her:) As you can see above, Hannah was not happy with her nurse when she insisted that Hannah get out of her bed and go for a walk to see how she could function before deciding whether to release her or not. And she was doubly unhappy when nurse told her she had to wear a mask.
Miss Grumpy Pants in her cute hospital nightgown.
Mommy's favorite part was her back end showing out the back of the gown:) She was mildly happy when she discovered the fish tank at the end of the hallway.
Finally a smile. Hannah gets to go home. YAY! She is sooo happy! We all decided that we would hope for the best (that she would decide to drink and eat when at home) and the doctor released her. She was a bit stubborn at first, but every time we tell her now that she needs to either (a) take the medicine/drink the juice or (b) go back to the hospital, she is suddenly able to make the right choice:) Oh, one last hospital funny... when we were waiting in the emergency room the nurse came in to take Hannah's temperature, and she totally refused to cooperate. While Mommy tried to come up with some creative way to convince her, the nurse cut to the chase and said, "OK, we'll have to do it rectally." When Mommy explained to Hannah what this meant, she cried no and opened wide her mouth. Yep, given a choice, she will make the right one:) We are happy to report that she is home now, and much happier, healthier. We hope your Christmas was much more un-eventful and hopefully next year ours will be too:)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Extreme Home Makeover...

As some of you may or may not know, just a few weeks ago us three girls had the privilege of standing out in the pouring rain for a full day as we waited for the unveiling of Emelia's teacher's new home, provided by the show many of you have watched - Extreme Home Makeover! Emelia's reading/music teacher and her family were chosen by the show to have their old home torn down and and a brand new one built, all in just 7 days. The school was all abuzz with excitement during this time. As you can see, Emelia is so excited to see her teacher arrive at their new home. The students were invited to sing a song for their teacher on the front lawn after the reveal, and you may even get a chance to see Miss E on the airing of the show, which is on Sunday, December 7th at 6pm.
Move That Bus!
It was raining all day, but we all had to put umbrella's down for the taping.
(Which was a long time, since Hollywood likes to take lots of footage of any given shot!)

Hannah was not amused at the length of time we had to wait. But she was quite excited to have her very own umbrella to hold.

Here is the family, just after seeing their new home for the first time, and trying to take in all of the hundreds of people who came out to join in the celebration.

And here it is... the new home!

Anybody want to guess who this is? Yep, Ty Pennington, the host of the show. I was pretty excited to capture a real star on my very own camera. But the even more exciting thing was when we stopped at Emelia's favorite Horse and Tack store one day during this whole process, we found out that Ty and his other California buddies had just been to the store and bought several new cowboy hats. You can be sure that Emelia was excited about that!
Howdy Ya'll!

Yes, we crazy girls were out in the rain all day, but we managed just fine, since we all had our cowboy boots on to keep our feet nice and dry! We were pretty much all covered in mud head to toe since we had to walk through a muddy peat dirt field to get to the house. The girls thought I was joking when I told them to take all of their clothes off in the garage. No mud in the house! What will I do if I am ever blessed with a boy?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Interesting Developments...

Our fearless leader Ted has been enjoying some time away with the guys this week. Doing what you ask? You know, the manly stuff, being "Wild at Heart"... Deer Hunting. Us girls have been trying to survive here without him. As I was washing the dishes this evening I looked over at Ted's coffee pot and thought of the fact that coffee has not been brewed in this house for a few days now. Then I took a closer look and what did I see? Mold growing in the bottom of the pot! For those of you who really know Ted, you know how important coffee is to him. I don't think that something like this has ever happened in our whole 10 years of marriage! I am sure Ted will be simply horrified when he finds out... Sorry honey for not keeping up on the tradition. Maybe I should have left the mold in the pot for him to see when he gets home... you know, maybe he would take it as a sign from God that He wants Ted to quit drinking so much java. (HaHa!) But, for those of you who also know us well, we are extremely anti-mold people, so it just had to go. The pot is soaking in soapy water and will probably need a vinegar cleansing ceremony at some point:) Hopefully I can have the pot back up to snuff by the time he gets home! And while we wait for that happy day, us girls are praying he will find the Great Buck and bring him home to fill up the freezer!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Like Daddy...

Out little independent Hannah decided that she wants to be like Daddy when she grows up... She found Daddy's shaver laying out on the counter and decided to try to do what she saw him doing the day before (shave his face). She managed to graze her upper lip and a small cut on the bottom lip. There was quite a bit of tears and we had to call in Dora to the rescue. We tried to explain to her that only men shave their faces and she is a little girl... A few days later, she must have been thinking about this conversation because she suddenly said, "Mommy, is shaving only for big boys?" "Yes, Hannah, shaving is only for big boys and men, not little girls."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The King's Daughters

One of my favorite verses in the bible is Psalm 45:13, which says, "The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is interwoven with gold." I like to remind myself of this verse when I am getting down on myself for one thing or another that I have done wrong. It's good to remind ourselves who we belong to and how He thinks of us. We seem to be really good at having girls in our family, and I consider it an honor to have been given two princess to train up to be godly women who desire to serve their King and who know who they are as the King's daughters. Well, Princess Emelia was given this dress pattern from a friend and she began begging a few weeks ago for me to make one. Normally we just dig something out of the dress up box for the Fall Fun Fest party that a local church hosts as a Halloween alternative on October 31st, but this time I thought it would be fun to try something new for a change. Well, it was fun, except for the part about staying up until two am the night before and sewing all day up until it was time to go to the party... Oh Well! What we are willing to do for our kids! I did make them pose for me before we went to the party and here are a few of my favorites...

This one cracks me up (and probably you too)! Hannah is actually pouting because she is not happy about where I placed the rose. Apparently she had a better idea than me... hmmm does that sound like another photographer in the making?

Our New Niece - Clara Josephine

Welcome to the newest member of our family... Clara Josephine, born to Angela's sister and brother in law last Monday, October 27, 2008! She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and measured 20 inches long!First family pics... Jeremy, Cristina and Clara!Little Miss Clara gave us all a scare after she was born. She was sounding raspy and seemed to be having a lot of gunk in her throat and turning a bit blue, so she was taken to the nursery for further checking. The doctors discovered that she had Esophageal Atresia (a gap in the esophagus) and a T-E Fistula (airway-food tube connection). Big words which mean that she could not eat (food would not get down to her stomach), and air was getting into her stomach via the fistula. She was transferred to another hospital for surgery to repair these issues on Wednesday. Many people were praying for Clara and the surgery went amazingly well... which we all attribute to our Awesome God! She will now be recovering in the NICU unit for 10-14 days and then finally get to go home with mommy and daddy. Please continue to pray for quick healing and daily grace for mommy and daddy as they travel back and forth from home to hospital to be with Clara. We all cannot wait until we can hold her and snuggle her and just eat her up! Emelia and Hannah are so excited to have a new cousin! Hannah told me last night out of the blue that Clara was her "Best Friend" - so sweet. And Auntie is really excited to have a new subject for fun baby photo shoots:) As I think of all the events of the past week, I am reminded of a good ol' camp song we used to sing... "Oh praise the Lord, for another day of life, Oh praise the Lord, for His promises are bright, I will praise the Lord with heart and soul and might and give him glory, glory, glory from morn' till' night." We do praise you most worthy Lord, you are the giver and sustainer of life. May Your fame be known through out all the world!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spider Cookies...

Yesterday I was Super Mom and we made Spider Cookies after Emelia got home from school! Actually, I am not really super mom... here's how it all happened... Earlier in the day, Hannah and I went to story time at the library and Miss Patty was talking about spiders. At the end of story time, Miss Patty served spider cookies, but the frosting part was made with peanut butter. When I realized this, I grabbed Hannah's plate away from her, and of course... instant crying and howling. (She is allergic to peanuts.) Needless to say, she was not happy with me for the rest of the time and made that quite clear! During the crying and howling part I promised Hannah that we could go to the store and get the ingredients to make our own spider cookies as soon as Emelia got home from school. Miss Patty saved the day by scrounging up a pack of fruit snacks. She was moderately consoled. And, while you are thinking, well hey, she's still a super mom for taking her child to story time... well, I had actually realized that morning that we had a few books that were overdue, and was rushing over to the library to get them turned in. It wasn't until I was a block away that I realized that it was 10 minutes until story time... I guess I just got lucky! In any event, we'll let them just think I am super for now:)

Emelia thought that they looked more like cats than spiders...
Hannah was just happy to make them and eat them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Love - Part 2

This post is for my little sister and her hubby, who will be having a precious new miracle arriving any day now. It was a joy to capture this special moment in their lives and we are praying for a quick and safe delivery for baby girl. I can't wait to capture this new life on camera... watch for more adorable shots to come!

Baby Love

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Horse Whisperer

Miss Millie had the great privilege of taking horse riding lessons this summer. They ended the year with a horse show a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, we have discovered that Emelia has been gifted by God in her ability to ride and relate with this special creature. She can walk over to a group of horses and the run up to her to say "Hi" immediately. Emelia told us a few years ago that God told her in a dream that we would buy her a horse. She was totally serious and we can't wait to see How the Lord fulfills this dream! Stay tuned for more pics from the horse show!


Ted and I are constantly trying to convince each other that when one of the girls is acting feisty it is most certainly due to the other persons genes. Well, one day I (mama bear) got tired of looking at this overgrown, crooked tree in our front yard and I had to take action. I was sitting at the computer checking emails and looked at the clock when the wily idea came into my head. Hannah was asleep and 45 minutes until Emelia came home... that should be enough time. Now where are Ted's saws?
Now, doesn't that look much better? Don't get me wrong, I love trees, but it was just a bit too jungly looking for me. Ted came home and just shook his head (with a smile on his face). So, I guess I can't blame all of the girls feisty-ness on Mr. Ted! And don't worry Dad, I promise I was really careful!

Potty Princess... All By Myself

Well, you may or may not know that we have been having serious potty training troubles at the West home. Either mommy is totally deficient, totally impatient, or our little princess is very strong willed. I think it is a combination of the three. So, about two months ago I said, "forget it" and just decided to drop the whole issue. Then, our of the blue, last Monday Hannah woke up and decided to potty train herself. Yes, all by herself! I guess it makes sense since she is so extremely independent. She just hopped up on the potty and announced that she went! She has been doing this everyday for the past week. I am still in shock and thinking that she is going to change her mind again any moment. But I think that she has discovered that big girl underware are quite comfortable... a great improvement over diapers and pull ups. She gets either 3 chocolate chips or a big fluffy marshmallow as a reward each time she goes. She usually chooses the big fluffy marshmallow! She also informed me that she wanted to do a star chart. When she gets two whole weeks with dry days all day she will finally get her Dora backpack that she piked out at Wal-Mart. So, here she is with her big girl panties, hew new Dora shoes and of course her crown! Way to go Hannah!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hannah B

Here is our littlest princess, Miss B. I asked her if she wanted to take pictures on the way home from dropping Emelia off for her first day of school and she said yes! (Can you believe that?) Hannah was planning on going to preschool this fall, but stubbornly refuses to potty train. I've tried any and all ideas and schemes to convince her. I've even considered hiring someone to do the dirty job for me, but so far no takers... So, we are unofficially doing home-preschool (you can't go to preschool unless you wear big-girl underwear...). She loves to do "worksheets" at home and doesn't seem to care too much about not going to preschool. I'm not too worked up about it either since she is only three, and it also means less running for me. We discovered story time at the library last week and she had a blast. She kept turning around and saying in a loud voice to me, "Mommy, look at that girl... she has Dora shoes!" Hannah loves shoes, purses and Dora... a total girl.

Which brings me to a new thought, I just love girls and I am so blessed to have two of them. You may think I am crazy to say this, but I'd have 10 more. Yes, they are emotional, and sometimes irrational (do they get that from me?), but they are also so sweet and precious. I am reading a book right now called Captivating by John and Stasi Eldgredge. The authors are exploring the "mystery of the feminine heart". They say we have "missed the heart of a woman". Their theory is that women have three needs: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. But we have all been in some way wounded and attacked by the Enemy of our souls. We try to fill our needs through people and things. The journey we must embark on is to call out to our Creator and see how He longs to fill these desires, heal our wounds and help to free us to be the Captivating, beautiful women that He knows we are. I pray that my girls will grow up to know for themselves how captivating they are to not only us as parents, but to the Living God. And it has been good for me to work on peeling the grime of the world off of my self and throw away the lies to see that I too am precious to the Heart of God. So, if you are reading this today and are a woman, I leave you this verse in closing... "The King's daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold." Psalm 45:13. Hear these words from your Creator and know the truth that will set your feminine heart free.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

Well, here she is, Miss Emelia on her first day of school all ready to learn, learn, learn! Growing up way too fast!
Emelia was so excited to bring her new teacher an apple, and told mommy that "Everyone brings their teacher an apple on the first day of school!"
Emelia was also excited that she now has her very own desk to sit at. And mommy was very pleased to see that she was placed at the front of the class... way to go teacher! The theme for the year as you can see on the wall is - FROG - Fully Rely On God! We pray that Emelia will begin to learn what this means this year... and maybe the rest of us will learn a thing or two about that as well:)
Now that she has had 2 1/2 days of school she reports that her favorite part is reading. She also loves lunch, recess and talking with her teacher and friends! (Hmmm.... sounds like an extrovert to me!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Did It!

Well, here we go... I think I figured out how to add a picture! Here are the girls a couple weeks ago at the lake having fun! Hannah loved being on the boat and did not want to get off. Emelia loved floating in the lake and also did not want to get out. Daddy was the real star of the show skiing on a wake board and got up on his second try!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


After months of thinking of starting a blog site, I am finally getting around to taking action!  Since I am not a computer guru, my sister and brother in law have so graciously helped me to get started.  Now that I know just enough to be dangerous... watch out!  I am excited to be able to post pictures and updates of our family and what we are up to.   Currently our family consists of Ted - husband, daddy and leader of our clan, Angela - wife, mommy and all around helper, Emelia - daughter #1 and big sister, and Hannah - daughter #2 and little sister. 

There have been so many times that I take pictures of things like Emelia's first horse lesson or Hannah's first dance recital and I think, Oh I should email a picture of this to friends and family...  Hopefully this site will help us to be able to share these moments with you.  Summer is almost over as school starts in just a few short weeks.  Emelia is excited for school to start.  Hannah and I will miss her as this will be her first year of being gone every day all day...  Hannah is also supposed to be starting preschool, but as she refuses to potty train, so I think we will be doing home-preschool.  Which is fine with me because it will mean less running around...  

And that is something that has been on my mind a lot lately... too much running around.  I heard someone once say that Satan tries to distract us with busyness from the things that God wants us to be focusing on.  And I am beginning to believe that it is very true.  I made a list of priorities at the beginning of the summer of things that I think are important that I want to accomplish each day, like reading bible stories to the girls, spending time in the Word, spending time with Ted.  You would not believe all the other things that get in the way.  It amazes me how I can get to the end of a day and look at my list realizing, I did not do a single thing on my list of priorities, but yet ran around like a chicken with my head cut off all day long.  So, I am now in my 30's and still beginning to learn that I must say "No" and start doing it more often, otherwise these little angels are going to grow up and fly away to homes of their own, and I will sit here with many regrets.  So, sieze the day, I must.  

I can say that this summer has been much more enjoyable than the last... (We moved 4 times last year, 3 of which were between June and September.)  Emelia has thoroughly enjoyed her horse lessons riding on her new best friend Spirit and being in two horse shows.  She even has won 2 ribbons.  As none of us knew anything about horses, we have all been learning alot.  Ted someday dreams of being in the rodeo now (as well as Emelia), Hannah has developed a love for the horse she rides at lessons, Teddy and even Angela has taken two lessons.  Now that we have lived in the "city" for 11 months, we all wish to be back in the country with some land to ride on!  For now we will just have to dream of what the West Ranch will someday be...  

And now that it is late and it appears that I am rambling, (isn't that what these blog sites are for?) I must go to bed.   Two sweet angels will be waking up early and morning is coming fast!

about us

The West Ranch currently consists of Ted, head Rancher, Angela, Ted's right hand woman, and two busy little wranglers, Emelia and Hannah.