Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ella is 7 Months Old

Ella was 7 months old in February and she has taken off with new things in the last month. She has started saying momma, bubba (usually a term used for any sibling) and abba (we are just claiming she speaks Greek). She can officialy sit up on her own and has mastered leaning over into the military crawl to get anywhere she wants in the house. In the past few days, she found her knees and can now get up and rock on all fours and pull up on stuff.

She loves her food. She eats anything I put in front of her and does really well with small pieces of food. At Disney World, she had her first banana, which I just gave to her and let her hold and she did great. Since then she's had homemade baby food green beans and carrots along with a regular supply of snack-like puffs, toast and frozen waffles.

She still has just two teeth and her hair seems to be getting lighter. She's the first of our babies to lose any hair, so her dark hair seems to be disappearing and the blonde hair is growing in.

Enjoy the pics.
The mom.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Harbin is SIX

Harbin turned SIX on February 15th. It doesn't seem possible that he could be getting so old. We're only a few months away from him finishing Kindergarten and even though we homeschool (and technically we are doing 1st grade work), it still seems like a huge next step!

Harbin has been growing a lot over the last year. He's reading at an incredible level for his age and he enjoys all kinds of books, especially informational ones. In addition to his normal coursework, we've begun an online typing class and he does a great job keeping his fingers on the home keys and typing with ease. He's not super quick about I am sure in time he will get faster. Sometimes I feel like I don't need to school him since he seems to pick up on everything without me really teaching it. He's already finished his year long workbook in math, pretty much on his own, and his spelling almost never fails.

In addition to school, he is playing spring soccer for the first time this year. He is super excited about the season and I think a little nervous about how he'll do. At the homeschool co-op he enjoys PE a lot and loves getting to run around with all the boys. Singing in the choir has been a new thing that Harbin loves. All his friends from church sing with him and he is learning a lot about music as well as getting to perform with some of his buddies.

Harbin stil proves to be a very sweet and caring young boy. He is wonderful at helping his sisters in school and helping around the house. He can now vaccuum, put his dishes away and help out fixing breakfast items like cereal and waffles. Ella adores her big brother and he is very good at gently moving her from one room to the other.

Enjoy the slideshow of Harbin's 5-year-old days and stay tuned for some 6-year old happenings!
The mom.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Don't worry...I promise we're still alive here at the Tinney House!! I know it's been a month or more since I've updated the blog and you were probably thinking to yourself "wow, I should call and check on them...I hope they are ok... I miss hearing about their every move." Haha- ok, well maybe you weren't thinking exactly those things, but hopefully you've not missed us too badly.

I must admit my reason for not posting is that I have been hung up on writing this Disney World post. See, the short, quick posts are easiest for me. I hate trying to sum up 6 awesome days at Disney into something that is not so long you fall asleep while reading it.

So, without further ado, here is a "quick" recap of our Disney trip. Don't forget to chcek out the pics on the right labeled Disney World- I have tried to label them with captions which probably does a better job telling the story of our trip!

We decided to take a family trip to Disney World this year in lieu of doing a party for Harbin and Catherine's birthday. February is the "off-peak" season for Disney, so we thought we could get good deals on lodging and not have to wait in many lines at the parks. Plus, it's a whole lot cooler in February than in the summer in Florida.

On our way down to Orlando we stopped to see Ma and Da at the campgrounds they've been staying at a few months each year. The kids enjoyed getting to see their grandparents and we were able to show them how Ella "crawls". Thanks for letting us stay in the camper, Ma and Da!!

We arrived in Orlando about lunch time and headed straight to Sea World. For years now, Sea World and Busch Gardens have been honoring those who serve our country by offering free admission for the military member and up to 3 dependents. That worked perfect for us since Lydia and Ella were free anyhow!! We paid a small parking fee and were able to enjoy Sea World very inexpensively! We raced in to see the Killer Whale show "Believe" and of course we sat in the "Soak Zone". The show was very cool, but I think the kids were a bit disappointed we didn't get soaked, just a little wet (I was secretly very happy that I didn't have to walk around in soppy, squishy shoes for the rest of the day). We were able to catch a few more shows, go through the shark tunnel and even touch the sting rays. Most of the roller coasters were too big for our kiddos, so we skipped out on those and will save them for another year! After a fun time at Sea World, we got tired and hungry and decided to go check in to the hotel.

We were fortunate to find great and inexpensive lodging at the military resort, Shades of Green, which is located right on the Disney property just across from the Polynesian. We were able to quickly walk from our hotel to the Polynesian or the Transportation and Ticketing center and catch the monorail most everywhere. For the times we needed to take a shuttle, Shades of Green had their very own shuttle system that took us anywhere we wanted to go on the Disney grounds. Our room was wonderful and very spacious. We had two queen beds and a flip over couch that made into a twin. They also provided us with a pack-n-play for Ella, so we were quite comfy at night. We had a mini-fridge in our room and a microwave in the guest laundry area which was perfect for keeping and reheating snacks and drinks. The resort had multiple pools and arcade rooms which we didn't take advantage of on this trip, but maybe next time.

Scott's parents, sister, brother-in-law and youngest brother all met us for dinner that evening at our hotel. They had a buffet that ended up costing us less than we could have paid at a restaurant at home and the food was great. They even had a cute kiddie-bar that was just the right height for the kids to be able to serve themselves. We purchased our tickets for the next few days and headed to see Lolli and Pop's camper at Fort Wilderness, and then back to the hotel for some rest before the Magic Kingdom.

Over the course of the next few days we visited the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywookd Studios. We enjoyed eating out at many nice restaurants and the kids loved the character visits while we ate. Lydia was hilarious about touching all the characters and just seemed enthralled by them. The older three kids enjoyed joining in on the parades and dancing, while Ella just loved getting to eat some real food. She had her first banana and tomato at a Disney World restaurant.

The kids really enjoyed everything about the trip and Scott and I thought it was great too! It was wonderful to have the help of Scott's family and it allowed us to ride some rides with the kids while Ella (and sometimes Lydia) slept in the stroller. Harbin's first roller coaster was Space Mountain and he wasn't a huge fan, probably because it's so jerky. He did, however, say that Mount Everest was his all-time favorite ride. After many attempts at making the height requirement, we found the perfect combination of socks stuffed in her boots that allowed Catherine to ride on Splash Mountain which was by far her favorite ride. Lydia wasn't quite tall enough to ride the roller coasters, but she did enjoy getting to do rides like Dumbo and Peter Pan. Her favorite thing, though, was meeting Belle. She has an obsession with the Belle princess and when we got to meet the princesses, you would have thought she was going to pass out. She proudly wore her Belle dress all day and even wore her princess high heels while walking around Toon Town.

Well, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. I will do my best to have captions on most of them to explain what we were doing. And, now that this post is out of the way, be prepared for a lot more posts so I can start catching up!!

The mom.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Marriage Prom

Our church hosted its 2nd Annual Marriage Prom on February 5th this year. Scott and I had the pleasure of attending with about 40 other couples. I got a new dress ($38 at the consignment store!!!) and Scott got to wear his new bowtie (that he actually tied). He bought me a beautiful corsage, we had mom come over to watch the kids and we headed to the high school cafeteria to PARTY!!! We danced, ate refreshments and had a wonderful night out. For ayone interested in finding about more about your church hosting a marriage prom, feel free to check out the website at http://www.themarriageprom.com/

Thanks to Amy for doing my hair, Kevin for watching the kiddos while she did it, and for mom who watched them late into the night!

Enjoy the pics.
The For-one-night-not-the-mom.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daddy's Girl is 4 Year's Old

Catherine turned 4 years old on February 5th and she got to celebrate by going with Daddy to Chick-Fil-A's Daddy Daughter Date Night. She got to pick out a new dress from the store, we wrapped her hair so it would be curly and Daddy even bought her a wrist corsage...oh and the best part, they got to ride in Daddy's Jeep! Chick-Fil-A did a wonderful job making the night special for all the Daddy-Daughter duos. They seated them, brought them a real menu and took pictures of them. Catherine seemed to have a great time and enjoyed feeling so special on her birthday. However, in typical Catherine-style, she insisted on buying candy for Harbin and Lydia when they stopped by CVS on the way home- she definitely has a generous heart!

Wow, what to say about the last year...Catherine has grown up so much. She has changed from a toddler to a little girl and her personality just keeps blooming. She is super kind-hearted and very tender. She throws everything she has into everything she does, but that also leaves her vulnerable and subject to getting her feelings hurt on occasion. She shares toys, food, candy and pretty much anything without batting an eye, and she always thinks about including her brother and sisters. I took her out once for a smoothie- just her- and all she wanted to do was bring some home to Harbin and Lydia... as we were leaving she said "next time maybe the whole family can come."

Her artistic ability has really shown through and she enjoys coloring, painting, cutting and gluing and pretty much any craft. Her handwriting is amazing and before she even knew all her letter names, she could write them. Over the last few months she has perfected writing her name, which is no small feat as long as it is! She sees pictures in everything, like a tortilla chip that looks like a skirt. We went and painted a few months ago and honestly it's hard to tell which painting is hers or mine!

She competed in her first running race last year and her soft side magically disappeared and the tough came out. During the Chickamauga Chase, she tripped and skinned her knees, but that didn't slow her down and she just kept running until she finished! She was swimming by the end of the summer, almost always with her goggles on (which was cute because they don't really keep the water out).

Music making is a new found passion of hers and she sings all the time. Sometimes her songs are ones that she picks up off the Christian radio station and sometimes they're just made up- either way they are almost always LOUD! Her favorite song to sing while I fix her hair is "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong and the cutest part is when the song says "author of salvation" and she says something that is definitely NOT that. Whatever it is, she says it with confidence!

Gymnastics was so fun for her last Spring and she is hoping to start back again this spring. Her teacher told her she had natural talent and she seemed confident on equipment. She also looked darn cute in her leotard!!

Well, that's a recap of Catherine at 3 years old! We've told her 4 is it, no more getting older, but I'm sad to say I don't think she agrees. Enjoy the year-in-review pictures and stay tuned for more posts this week!

The mom.