Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas from our fam. to yours! :)

Had high hopes of posting this pic on Christmas from FL, but that never happened. Hope ya'll had a great one! :)

Off we go!


Well, folks, just wanted to take a quick second to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We are off to FL today (actually GA first) and will be gone the next couple weeks. And you know me and blogging...I'm a slacker as it is, but definitely when I'm on vacation! So, there will most likely be no Christmas and New Year's hellos from us. But, be rest assured we'll be living it up in the sunny, warm south as we enjoy Ft. Laud. with my family next week and the Orlando area with Kev's fam. the week after. Can't wait!!! Hope ya'll have a great holiday and we'll talk to you in 2010! Adois!

P.S. I realize I never got a chance to post Nutcracker pics...but if you wanted to see some semi-professional ones of Hailey on stage check this out. I believe she's on pages 7-9. I love the one of her alone on stage waving :)
http://www.shutterfly.com/pro/002075396135/iubtnutcracker09


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Few Fun Pics :)




A few quick pics to pass the time (well, actually time is passing too quickly lately...so maybe these pics will slow it down...I have WAY too much to do before we leave for FL this weekend and before Christmas arrives!) Anyway....above are a few, fun pics from Nina's visit. I LOVE the first one of Nina and her Fav. IN grandkids! It's a great pic of her...and especially great considering she had just recovered from her nasty GI bug. I'm so glad she came to see Santa with us...cuz I think it calmed Ash down after her scary encounter with the white-bearded man :) And the next few pics are of our first snow last week. It's a pretty "sad" first snow since we only got an inch or two...but actually I was happy about that. I don't miss the nasty blizzards of mile high snow that our friends up north in MI got as an early Christmas gift :) The kids saw the lil' snow we had and were VERY excited, and as soon as Shelby got home from Kindergarten they made (or rather mommy made) them two matching snowmen...a boy and a girl (for Shelby and Dylan). They turned out pretty good considering I am not an expert in snow art thanks to my warm FL heritage. Notice Ash and Nina enjoyed the winter activities from INside the house (very smart of them!) :) Though Ash did finally make her way out the door to check things out. Fun times! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas "Joy" :)

Someone was NOT feeling the "Santa Love" yesterday at the mall :) Can you guess who? LOL! :) The white-bearded sweet old man scared the socks off our baby girl this year...poor thing :(

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Joy of Professional Photos :)

It's been a long time since we've ventured out to get the kiddos professional pics taken....but as with every Christmas I try to get their pics taken at Penneys in their Christmas outfits. I'm not perfectly pleased with the outcome, but at least there was no crying involved and the kids cooperated for the most part, which was good considering I didn't feel great all day. I'm ashamed to say I am almost 3 mos overdue in getting Ashley's 12 month/1 year pic taken....but I guess better late than never....anyway...here's the results....enjoy :)


https://www.smilesbywire.com/home.asp?AC=LTPP0194124981JCP


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ginger Smiles :)


As you can see I'm pathetically behind on blogging, but that's only cuz we're astoundingly busy in all areas of life right now. Exhaustion is just the tip of it. So, in the midst of the jolly holiday season I just wanted to bop over to blog-land and post this cutesy pics of the Nutcracker Mother Ginger group taken last Monday at their first dress rehearsal (that I helped with). MANY more pics to come when/if I have time. We've been having a fabulous time with Nina here except she arrived here sick (upper resp) and as of last night now has a nasty stomach virus and has been puking the last 12 hours. So, if you could say a quick prayer for her and also for her germs to magically disinigrate so we stay well...that be great. We really need to be well for our long jaunt to FL next weekend (for 2 weeks) where we'll see both Steg and Gritz families and make yet another magical trip to Disney World. More to come.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nutcracker FYI

I realized last night that I failed to mention that Hailey is the 4th child (and final girl) out from under the big skirt. She is on the right hand side of the stage as you watch (and in the back to begin with). I know it's hard to see very much from the live feed as it's far away...but just remember she's the last one off the stage too...the one who pretends to giggle and wants to stay :)

Gotta go...last performance in 45 minutes. It's been a CRAZY weekend, but so much fun and Hailey's done great. More details and pics to come about all the good times and all the snafoos :) Thanks to all who are thinking of us and who have come to watch Hailey and who have watched from afar via the internet!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Nutcracker Weekend!!!

Well, as you can probably tell by my lack of blogging lately this has been one CRAZY week! Between Hailey's 3-4 hour practices each day/night and being out til about 10pm (or later) every night thanks to those practices (plus our normal, busy schedule), we are all exhausted. Actually I think Kev and I are more exhausted than the ballerina of the house. But, no complaints here...all the hard work, late nights and busy rehearsal scheduling are this opportunity of a lifetime for our Hailey and I'm so excited to see her debut tonight as a Mother Ginger's Child :) I started a post on Tuesday about the adventure of being a backstage mom on Monday night (including pics)....but I have had zero time to finish it and might not til this weekend or next week. Things are just nuts. But, the good thing is Nina G. is here (as of yesterday) and the lil' kids are happier having some more down time (i.e. not being dragged to big sis' rehearsals :)). Anyway....so that's what we've been up to!

For all those interested and who are near a computer this weekend....here is the link for the live feed that will be showing all the Nutcracker performances (hopefully, it'll work this year).....

http://music.indiana.edu/iumusiclive/streaming/

It shows tonight at 8pm EST
tomorrow at 2pm and 8pm EST
and Sunday at 2pm EST

I estimate she will be on stage around 9:15pm on the evening performances and 3:30pm on the matinees. I'm not 100% on that. But, look for the BIG skirt and she'll be under it! :) And also in the finale.

YAY! Nina, Shelby and I are going to see it live tonight! Can't wait! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cuteness!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this baby girl! How can you not with a smile like this? Can you tell she LOVES her baths! And check out her twin teeth. I think she was trying to tell me that she had a new one too! Mommy hadn't checked for awhile and apparently there was a BIG new pearly white up top finally. Golly, I love my kids...and it's smiles like this that remind me of how blessed I am!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mother Ginger Girl in Costume (sorta) :)

Wanted to take a quick moment and show off our fav. Mother Ginger Girl in her cute little costume. She had her fitting last week and it was so fun to see her face light up when she put on her cute lil' ginger dress. I just love it. Much better than the tight white pants and white wigs the boy gingers have to wear (poor things :)). Anyway....so here's half the costume...minus the very cute cap and her hair in pin curls (which I need to practice this weekend). In just a short week's time our ginger with be scurrying out from beneath that Mother Ginger's big skirt. We're sooooo excited for next Friday to be here. We've also gotten news that for half the performances (matinee's) her teacher, Ben, will be "Mother" Ginger. That's sure to be a laugh :)
Here's the tie-up back of the outfit...and below is Hailey talking to her fellow friend, Olivia (from her class)...who is a Ginger boy and small soldier.
And so it begins....Dress rehearsals start on Monday (and I get to be backstage that night...yay!). It will be an exhausting week of dancing from 7-10pm every night M-Th. and then performing F-Sun. Can't wait! Oh, and it will be on live-feed via internet again...so I'll make sure to post that url as the time approaches! :)

Happy Black Friday to all those crazies out there who shopped. We three stayed trapped in our home and didn't brave the crowds. Nina Stegs took the oldest three and shopped. Have I mentioned what a brave Nina she is! :) Adios til next time....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

A festive Gobble, Gobble from our gang to yours on this Happy Thanksgiving Day! Hope you all are basking in thankfulness and good food surrounded by family and friends. I know I'm grateful beyond words for the many blessings the good Lord has given me. Tis a day to be thankful for everything :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Autumn Fun!

Check this out! Last month (a couple days after returning from the Caribbean!)...we took a fun, but too-short, jaunt to Spring Mill State Park with our wonderful neighbor friends, Jill, Maddie and Jacob. Jill was kind enough to share her camera, photography skills, patience and sense of humor as we attempted to get pics of all 6 of our kiddos in the beautiful park setting surrounded by the lovely leaves. As you can see we had a few snafoos...namely my 4 didn't cooperate and then it started to rain....but Jill persevered (the awesome photographer that she is!) and this is the outcome. Some GREAT pics! Not to mention she let her personality shine through with some hilarious comments about the ever-changing expressions of our crazy Steg kids. I just love this...check it out.....(sorry it's just a link...I have yet to learn how to put the actual video on the blog).

http://secure.smilebox.com/ecom/openTheBox?sendevent=4d5449314f5445794e5464384d6a51774e7a51354e44593d0d0a&sb=1

Thanks, Jill...for all of this! You are a dear friend for going through all this trouble...and for giving me an extra smile today! We love you, Hootie Gang! :)

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! :)

Beach Bums :)

Just a few more pre-cruise FL pics from last month :) If there's one thing I LOVE about my hometown it's the beach! Well, I really don't like the sand, but I love the ocean and the scenery and the beauty that comes with all that. So, once again we took our quick jaunt to Ft. Laud. beach (actually it might have been Pompano)....but either way it was fun, especially for Ash!!! We always do a "name in the sand pic". I could hardly snap a pic fast enough this year...all she wanted to do was RUN....
compare this to her first trip to the beach on 1/1/09 (she was only 3+ mos old)...my, how time flies!
Here we are actually arriving...for Ash's 2nd time at the beach....she had no clue what fun was in store! :)
First she took a sniff of the fresh beachy air :) (this is one of my fav Ash faces...with her crinkled up nose :))
Then she and daddy dug for buried treasure....they didn't get far before daddy broke his shovel. I guess he wouldn't make a very good pirate. Arrrrgh! :)
Then she spotted the seagulls.....
...and was off to chase them! (pointing at them the whole time and yelling at them) :)...didn't take long for them to take flight!
Then she realized there was water at the beach...and had NO fear of going right on in! She was knocked over by the waves immediately....thankfully daddy saved the day!
from then on she stuck close to daddy....
...but she kept going right back in....
proof of her dare-devil ways :) She loves the water...even the rough ocean waves....I think the lifeguard close by thought we were crazy to let our 1-yr-old run around in the water so freely :)
Here she goes again....back to the water...
more falls....
another daddy rescue :)
I love this shot....wish all our kids were in it....but it's sweet of daddy and his baby girl taking a beach walk
leave it up to Ash to find a random ball rolling around the beach....she claimed it right away as her own! She was mighty proud of herself!
Then she found some seaweed....she thought this was cool too.
The ball kept her busy for quite a long time...it was windy as usual and the ball rolled all over the place and she just chased it...cheap entertainment, I guess :)
Mama and her girl...
handing daddy the gift of seaweed :)
inspecting the seaweed
giving daddy more seaweed :)
more ocean time :)
lots of smiles :)
even giddy smiles :) :) And then the best family shot I could get on a windy day with no tripod :)
Gotta love the beach! And I can't wait to go for another quick jaunt in one month when we're down for Christmas. It'll be our first Christmas away from home and spent in FL. I'm kind of excited for a change of scenery! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1st B-day Fun in FL! :)

Well, as you can see I'm as far behind as ever on posting pics :) Here my baby is already 14 mos and I'm STILL talking about her 1st b-day! LOL! But, since it was a belated b-day party in FL last month I guess it's ok :) And by posting these pics you can guess I might be finally getting around to showing off our AWESOME cruise pics!! :) But, first....our lil' Gritz family b-day get-together at Nina and Pops in FL. I saw this cute "party hat baby" on the Wilton site months ago and thought it'd be an easy cake for FL where I knew I wouldn't want to be knee deep in cake decorating. Little did we know that it'd take half the day to make the precious pink-hatted baby. But, she was still cute and yummy :)
Here's our birthday girl! Pops always gets the BEST pics of her...I stole this from him :) She loves, loves, loves to smile for him (or is she sticking out her tongue at him)! :) Either way, she likes him! :)
This was early morning...to once again show off the joint "labor of love" that mama and dada put forth for their sweet baby Ash's cake :) Nina actually baked the cakes, daddy made the fondant and mama decorated. We should all go into business...what do you think?? :) It was the fondant that took so darn long this time. It was a funny bronze color and then it wasn't stretching correctly and it was all a big pain in the rear to be honest! I think Nina and Pops thought we were crazy for putting forth all the effort...but oh well. You know me and my cakes...once I get an idea in my head we CANNOT quit! :) Thank goodness daddy is a good sport and rarely complains about the cake drama I put him through! :)
Here we are with our splotchy baby cake (aka "the labor of love") :) It was my fault that the fondant "skin" got spotchy. I dabbed too much with the wet paper towel. Poor baby with an acne face :(
Ash gets her first look at her cake (thanks to Auntie Mary) :) She's probably thinking..."Is that splotchy baby supposed to look like me??" :)
Opening some gifts with mama :)
Aunt Mary helps open the gifts too. Ash is clueless about wrapping paper....we made the mistake of wrapping all her actual 1st b-day gifts in bags back in Sept...poor girl! So, all the family had to help her in FL with the real paper! She got the hang of it quickly.
Ash is trying to get some wrapping assistance from great-grandma G. :)
She even talked Nina into unwrapping her goodies :) This ball thing was a BIG hit. We actually had it when Shelby was a baby, but it broke so Ash got a new one. She (and big bro Dylan) love it!
And books...we LOVE books in the Steg family. Here's a neat "baby Bible" for Ash from Auntie Mary and Great-Grandma. She loves paging through books and pointing at things in them.

Like father like daughter! Every girl needs her own pink laptop! :)
Cousin Celyn even helped open some gifts :)
Ok, check out Celyn's tongue. I guess that trait (tongue hanging out) is apparently not only on the Steg side :)
Then it was time for dinner...Ashley's fav--Pizza! :)
And apparently the pizza didn't fill her up...she had a little booger dessert as she waited for cake :)
Somehow great-grandma scared her....or maybe she interrupted her boogar-picking session? Either way Ash was not happy :)
But, then she saw her cake again....she was very inquisitive
until mama put that darn hat on her head....why would mama do that again? Hadn't we gone through all this in Sept?
Then she warmed up to great-grandma again...and great-grandma showed her how fun it is to wear a b-day hat :)
then she decided she wanted to try it on herself.....
so she did (and she smiled!) :)
and then she picked another winner as she waited for cake!

Finally Celyn came around singing with that lit up cake! Ash was super excited!
I love this pic. I think Nina took it? It looks like she's sniffing the candles! Or maybe she's thinking about picking her nose again!? LOL! :)
And a few cake eating shots....gotta love those....esp. with the tongue hanging out.

stuffing our face...a common daily occurence for Ash! The girl loves to eat.
She didn't much like the cake this night....but she definitely liked the big ball of vanilla ice cream on her plate!

A shot of the Gritz/Steg gang trying to fight their way into the kitchen to get cake and ice cream! :) ...and below is where Ash lost it. It was late and she was tired and dirty and wanted to go to bed...she was DONE with cake.
Celyn helped clean her up...and then Ash showed Celyn "shredding paper towel" trick :)
And Nina gave her a nice warm bubbly tubby bath :) I love this shot (though I can't get it to post the normal way!)....Ash just leaned in and snuggled with Nina. She loves her so much :)
And then she snuggled with mama :) Can't get enough of that!
Look at that happy girl. Again, Pops always gets her to smile! (he took these last two pics)
We came out of the bathtub to find this on the ceiling. I'm not sure who the culprit was? Pops or Eric? Gotta love static electricity! Ash was fascinated by it and REALLY wanted her balloon. She just stood there and pointed at it...daddy didn't seem to notice...
thankfully Celyn did and helped her up!
After that Ash decided she wanted to go home with Aunt Terri and family. And before the night was done we saw (skyped) the rest of our gang back in IN. The party just wasn't the same w/o them there. We missed our other 3! :)
So, there's a few FL pics to tide ya' over. More to come and hopefully cruise pics by next week. I need to reminisce of those warm Caribbean times as I'm stuck in this frigid weather!

Anyway...thanks again to Nina and Pops in FL for hosting the party and to all the fam. who joined us and celebrated Ashley's big 1 one last time! :) Before we know it she'll be 2. Golly, time goes by too quickly!