Muckenfuss Family

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Marcia, Chris, and the kids came up Friday to see baby Max for the first time. On Sunday we were all at mama's for lunch and I shot some images of them holding Max. I even made them pose for a family shot. It was great to have all of them here for the weekend!!!

Rosie's First Game

Another ballgame, but this one so much more exciting because Rosie cheered her first game. She was so cute and hit every thing so sharp and just right. She is on team with some really sweet girls. They danced at half time and Rosie tumbled at the end. They tied and went into overtime where the other team scored first. This game was only a scrimmage and will not count. We had a great night and loved watching Rosie!!!

Scott's 47th BD

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday was a full and fun day. We invited our family over for lunch to celebrate Scott's birthday. Amy's sister and boyfriend were in town as well as my sister, Marcia and her family. Savannah and Josh were home for the weekend too! We miss having Savannah here on a daily basis now so it was the thrill of the week to see her pulling in on Friday afternoon!!! Baby Max was the highlight of the party and we all wanted a turn to hold him. Everyone enjoyed lunch, ice cream cake, a volleyball game, and swimming. Praying for many more birthday parties for Scotty in the coming years.


Friday, August 29, 2008

This morning I was getting ready to go for our walk and noticed EllaKate sitting at the door waiting on me with a stack of books. I stopped to watch her and was thrilled to hear her 'reading' a book we have read together so many times. This time she was reading it all by herself! I asked her if she would let me video her. She LOVED watching herself when I loaded it onto my computer. For all you kindergarten teachers out there, this is what I noticed her doing:
*Knows the front of the book from the back
*Knows to read the title first
*Knows to begin reading on first page and continue one page at a time
*Self corrects when she realizes she made a mistake
*Enjoys reading
*Waits for approval from her teacher (mom)
I'd say she has some pretty important reading strategies already in her grasp! I love sitting with her each day doing school, but this was all on her own and I am so proud of her!!!

ps. I know she is reading memorized text but this is a child's first way of reading. :)


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today the girls have been in school for 4 weeks- time is already flying! Our first high school football game is tonight @ home against Greater Atlanta Christian- Go Bulldogs!!! Amelia wore her spirit wear and Rosemary wore her cheerleading uniform for pictures and spirit day for their first game tomorrow night. We are all so excited to get this weekend kicked off. Savannah comes home after class today, Josh will drive up tonight after work, and my sister and her children are coming up to see Max. We will cheer on the Bulldogs tonight. Scott will turn 47 tomorrow- boy does that seem young now and we will celebrate at lunch because Rosemary will cheer at her game tomorrow evening. We plan to spend a lot of time around the pool hanging out with family and friends all weekend.

First visit to Aunt Shay's

I wanted to make dinner for Amy, Jason, and her parents before they head back to Michigan this weekend. I took a pic of them as soon as they walked in the door and I shot pics of the grandmas holding their babies. EllaKate still adores Max. Mama and EllaKate's conversation:

Mama: Max is coming over to play at your house.
EllaKate: Did he grow?
She keeps asking me when he will be big enough to play. I know they will have lots of fun together!!!

Chinese Play Group

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here are pictures of the upstairs bedrooms as you head up the stairs. Amelia chose Dancing Green for her room and bath. Rosemary chose Spa blue and we painted her bath to blend with the hall since it is technically the guest bath as well. The guest room is yellow and awaits any friends who would like to come for a visit! That completes the tour but I will update when my window treatments come in and have been hung!!!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is there anyone out there going through Olympics withdrawal like me? I feel like I did when we returned home from China- so sad to not be there anymore. These past weeks I have felt like I was back in China each night as we sat and watched the various events. I LOVED seeing all the places we visited in Beijing and I LOVED seeing the people of China (EllaKate's birth country). EllaKate loved watching it too. If we turned on the tv and the Olympics were on, EllaKate would say, "China is on. I was a baby in China." Because of all the times I have shown her our albums from China, she often called out the places she recognized- very often she made me gasp that she would know a place. Watching each night gave us many opportunities to talk about China and how we came to get her. We have talked about her getting a mommy and a daddy, about the nannies that took care of her until we got there, about the orphanage where she lived, and why she wasn't in certain pictures- she would say, "I'm not in that one; you hadn't got me yet." Out of the mouths of babes. Conversation is good and has really opened up the channels of communication on EllaKate's adoption and how she came to be my precious little baby girl!!! What a complete blessing she is to each of our lives!!!

Playing the Rain

Sunday, August 24, 2008

When we walked this am, we felt a few sprinkles so EllaKate went right in to get her 'ambrella'. It never rained again until we were on the way home from the grocery store and when we got home, EK wanted to go out. It wasn't storming so while she played I shot about 75 pics (that is crazzy)!!! She started out in her flip flops and before you know it...

She had gone into the garage to get her rainboots. By this time, the rain was coming down pretty hard and there were lots of puddles just right for jumping. It lasted about 15 minutes and she was soaked by the time I MADE her come in for a nap. She went to sleep hoping it would still be raining when she awoke-not gonna happen- the sun in back out. Hopefully we will have lots of rain over the next few days!!!

Happy Savannah

On Sunday we met Savannah and Josh @ Blackshear Place Baptist for church, ate Mexican for lunch, and went to Dahlonega to see Savannah's apartment now that it is finished somewhat. I don't think a 'girls' place is ever finished... Anyway, it was so cute and we spent time with Kristen and Caitlin too- Andrea, we missed you!!! It is such a great feeling to know the girls are all settled in, ready to study:)!!! and love living together!!! What a precious group! We loved spending time with Josh too- what a funny guy and fun to hang out with. Savannah, we pray you have a very blessed year at school and enjoy every minute!!!

What is Corn Hole?

Friday, August 22, 2008

On Saturday we invited up two of Scott's very good friends (Don and Mike) from work and their families. It was a beautiful day with lots to do. Everyone arrived around noon, and after first intros and a look around, we all had lunch. Then out for a swim and a game of 'Corn Hole'.

Doesn't it sound like a game from Hartwell- not Atlanta- nevertheless, Mike and Don's families were very excited about introducing this amazing new 'Olympic' game:) to our family. Two teams were formed= Mike/Don against Scott/Amelia. What do you know- beginner's luck I guess- Scott and Amelia were the Corn Hole champs!!! What is corn hole? Two slanted boards with a hole that you throw bean(corn)bags toward in hopes it goes in the hole. 3 pts for in, 2 pts for hanging on side of hole, 1 pt for on board (cow paddy) with winner first to 21 playing best 2 out of 3. You can see the pic of Corn Hole champs.

We hung outside almost all day and enjoyed a great dinner @ my friend, Cyrise's restaurant Sibling's- Delicious!!! If you are ever in Hartwell, you HAVE to eat there!!! Then home for homemade ice cream, a visit to the farm, and then goodbyes were said. We sat on the sofa that evening, so happy to have had our home once again filled with good friends and new memories.

Max Thomas Martin

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today was one of the best days our family has had in a long time! We celebrated the birth of our sweet baby Max Thomas Martin, born @ 10:44am: 8.3 lbs and 21 inches. We all arrived at the hospital about 10 and expected to hear something pretty soon but Jason didn't come into the nursery with Max until about 11. When we saw he and Max, we were all in tears of happiness. What a miracle. We watched every move he made and watched Jason fall in love with his precious son. Amy did great during delivery and waited patiently while the nurses got Max ready to be moved to her room. We were all able to go back and spend time with them and I even got to hold him. EllaKate watched me so closely... she was pretty happy when Max went back to Jason and I took her back into my arms.

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb."
Psalm 139:13

I think some of the sweetest times today were when EllaKate would say things like... "I had a little head like that when I was a baby in China." and "I was a sweet baby when I was in China."- My mom and I talked today about when EllaKate was a baby and the difficult choice her birth mother made to let her go on her fourth day. My heart breaks for her but in the same breath I'm so thankful that she gave me the gift of the my precious China baby. I think EllaKate is already in love with little Max- I also think they will be the best of friends- she wanted me to tell her a story about she and Max tonight before she went to bed. I'm sure she is dreaming all about her new cousin!

Mom and I waited until the girls got out of school today to go to Athens. Amelia and Rosemary really wanted to see their new baby cousin! Is it possible for him to be cuter today than yesterday??? YES, he was adorable!!! He was laying in Jason's lap sound asleep.

Amy and Jason had a great day. Amy is starting to get her strength back and was up walking today. Jason is becoming a master at diaper changing, and Max is getting the hang of life as the baby of the family- sorry Jason- someone has taken your place. No more baby Jason, now baby Max!!! :)

We were all able to hold our precious baby today- even EllaKate- she was completely mesmerized by him! I think they will be very close!!!

Back to College

Friday was a huge day for us because me sister was here to help get ready for Amy and Jason's shower on Saturday and Savannah was moving into her on campus apartment. We left about 8am and drove up to D. It was a beautiful drive and yes I did shoot that picture of Savannah's car when we were entering town. Her favorite thing about D. is the view when you top the mountain on the way in - breathtaking. We unloaded her belongings, checked in, and borrowed a Walmart cart to take it all up to the 4th floor. We made it in 2 loads and began organizing and decorating. We were pretty much done when her room mates started arriving. Each of Savannah's roommates are so sweet. Kristen is her roommate from last year and a good friend from high school. Caitlin is a friend she made in the dorm last year and she is from Canton. Andrea is a friend from high school and the dorm last year. They all moved into a campus apartment dorm where each girl has their own bedroom with two girls sharing a bathroom. They have a living room and kitchen. It is really nice and I think they will love living together! I thought this year would be a little easier to leave her but today I have a big lump in my throat and tears stinging the back of my eyes- it's ok to write all this because when she called last night, she said she missed me more this year than last. We became really close this summer because she was home working and came home for lunch everyday. EllaKate is missing her too- everytime she cried she begs for her 'nana'!!! We hope to go visit on Sunday!!!

Back to the Tour

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to the tour... I am finishing up the downstairs today. EllaKate has her own bathroom that is right by her room. We used the same shower curtain here that we had at our other house I think it turned out good- I want to put a window treatment in there later.

Next is EllaKate's room. This room was orginally designed to be a sitting area off the master bedroom but we wanted EllaKate and later on Shaylee to be near us. We painted her room the same beautiful green from the kitchen and it is precious. She loves her room- we put her dolls, tent, books, and dress-up clothes in there so she spends a lot of time in there.

There is a short hallway down to the master bedroom. Next we come to the master bath and closet. We love the big shower and tub plus all the storage in the closet!

And here is our room- a wonderful get away from a busy day. We have a porch off our room that still needs furniture for us to be able to enjoy the space. This is the only room we did not repaint- we love the deep green color. I spend time here in the afternoons while EllaKate naps working at my desk on the computer and sometimes I sneak a little nap...

That completes the downstairs and I will try to post the upstairs tomorrow. If you think of a decorating idea you think would help our space, please feel free to share.

A Tea Party

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

EllaKate's friend, Sydney from China, used to live in Hartwell but now lives in Atlanta (middle picture on top). She turned 5 and had a tea party @ the Skelton House on Saturday. EllaKate dressed up in a pretty dress and enjoyed drinking tea from a real tea cup and eating some delicious eats (blueberry scones with lemon curd sauce) and fruit sticks (kabobs) :-). Ella kept asking me to get her another fruit stick. We had a great time!!!

Amy's Baby Shower

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday was a wonderful day. Amy and Jason were blessed with a big crowd of family and friends at the celebration of baby Max Thomas. They were showered with many special gifts. It was really cool to have Jason here too! Amelia and Jessie served cake and Savannah poured the punch. Rosemary and Rebecca pretty much took care of EllaKate the whole time. When Amy went to the doctor last week, she was told Max had flipped and was in the breach position. She is scheduled for a C section Thursday morning @ 10am. We are all crazy with excitement as we anticipate the birth of our sweet baby Max. Jason and Amy are so busy with last minute details. Hope to have a picture for you sometime Thursday!!!

Rosie's 13th Birthday

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rosemary will be 13 on Wednesday so we had a friend party on Friday after school. My friend Kathy and I picked the girls up and brought them over. They enjoyed riding in the golf cart, swimming, and eating! I had been in Target earlier in the week trying to decide on something they would enjoy doing that would double as the party favor. Being a teacher at heart... I LOVE school supplies so that's when I saw a big stack of binders right across the aisle from the scrapbooking stuff. Well I put 2 and 2 together and decided we would decorate cool binders for school- they turned out so cute!!! I hope they are enjoying them today at school. Rosie had a great time!!! As usual, we plan to stretch her birthday out for about a week so there will be more to come.

Rosemary was born on August 13, 1995 @ 3:23pm and weighed 6.8 lbs. She was just the sweetest baby. We got out the old VHS tapes today and watched Rosie's videos from the day she was born. To watch all the girls when they were so little brought me to tears!!! Happy birthday sweet teenage girl!!!

On Wednesday evening after church, our family surprised Rosemary with her family party. We sang happy birthday, ate ice cream cake, and opened presents. I think the most precious part of the whole night was watching her baby videos from ultrasound to about 2 years old- I had to fight to hold back the tears- my whole family was there watching them too. It is amazing to watch your children when they were so young!!! What treasures and blessings!!!

A Little More of the Tour

Monday, August 4, 2008

This is the family room right off the dining room. We bought some new furniture for this room because we had had the other for so long and wanted to use it in the basement. We enjoy this room so much because it is centrally located in the house.

Off the family room is our sunroom which is divided into two living areas- one for EllaKate and one as a sitting area. I painted three shelves I had the same color as the dining room so they would blend in better and added some baskets I found @ Walmart for all of EllaKate's toys. I also put out all the children's books I had been saving for EllaKate, so she loves to sit at her table and read books from her 'library'. I didn't have any furniture to put in the sunroom but found some @ Pier 1 so we can to sit and enjoy looking out on the back yard and pool. I like sitting out there in the mornings to have my coffee and quiet time- very calming with the sun just coming up.

Probably my favorite room in the house is my kitchen! It is Wheat Grass with a brick wall and granite counter tops. The cabinets are dark wood and really looked brand new when everything came together. I love my new slick top range and yes that is a built in grill although we have not used it- maybe this winter we will try it out. We have 2 more barstools coming. We love eating in the kitchen while looking out on the front yard.

Off the kitchen is my laundry room. I love it too mostly because of the color and convenience. It has two doors- one down to a brick patio and the pool and the other to the breeze way that leads to Savannah's house. It is a bright and cheerful room!
Hope to add the bedrooms and bathrooms tomorrow.

ps Today was the day EllaKate was supposed to start to preschool... guess who woke up with a sick stomach of nerves and couldn't let her go? Scott? no The girls? no... ME!!! I couldn't let her go- I need her here with me... She is why I stay home everyday... We began homeschool today and I will be her teacher... I am also going to get a playgroup started so she will have a scheduled playtime with friends! Any takers??? You can see in the picture EllaKate was perfectly fine staying home and hanging out with mom.

My dining room is to the right of the foyer and is painted Brevity Brown. I absolutely LOVE the color! I bought a mirror to go over the side board on Friday, but have yet to hang it. We love to have people over and were blessed with a big crowd of friends and family for dinner, so tonight was the first time Scott and I have eaten in there. We loved it!!!