Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hanna's Baptism

We are very blessed!

Even before Hanna was born, we made plans for her baptism. 

We were very thankful that day for many reasons.  Big Sister Bryanna was to the ER the day before with a fever, and received medicine for a sinus and ear infection.  Her fever broke, and she was able to be there for her important job....when the question was asked "What name is given this child?", it was her job to say "Hanna Lynn Mong".

We were also sad that Uncle Terry, Aunt Kathie, and Grandma Mart couldn't come to PA as planned, but so very thankful that Aunt Kathie is okay! 

We were surprised that minutes before Hanna was to be baptized, she fell asleep.  She slept through the entire service!  (you can see the bink hand off behind my wasn't needed!)

We were blessed!  Within the past few years, Papa Jack (Bryan's Dad) became an ordained minister, and we knew without question, we wanted him to be a part of Hanna's baptism.  We are thankful he made the trip to PA, was part of the service, and enjoyed the weekend with two of his Grandchildren! 

Gram and Scotty were able to share the day with us!  Amazing that my girls know their Great Gram and Great Scotty!!

We were blessed by the family support that was around us....not everyone was in the picture below.  Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Bob also shared in the day with us, as well as our friends Amy & Jarrod Kapp and Michelle Hepfl.

Most of all we are blessed as a family of four!  God is GREAT!  God has blessed us beyond what we could ever imagine.

And finally, I'm blessed by a sister who has a great eye for photography!  Thanks sistar for this picture!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bryanna's first day of KINDERGARTEN!!

Today was Bryanna's first day of Kindergarten.  Last night we painted her fingernails, laid out her dress, socks, and shoes.  We packed her backpack, and talked about what was going to go into her lunchbox.  When we tucked her into bed she said, "I have to go to sleep now...I have a BIG day tomorrow"!   

And a BIG DAY it was!!

 Can you tell she was slightly excited?!

Bryan and I were super excited for Bryanna because she was so ready to go to school.  Last year she cried when Cole caught the bus, and she stayed at sitter's.  However, it's hard to believe our little GROWING UP!  This morning when I woke her up, she gave me a huge hug and "pats".  I pray my little girl will always give me those wonderful, warm hugs!

We are very fortunate that Bryanna is catching the bus at Amy's house --- and will ride number 14 with Lexi, Cole, Logan, and Brett each day.  The 3 boys were discussing who would walk her to her class the first day, and how they would sit on the bus.  By the time the bus gets to Amy's, however, it's packed!!

Hanna stayed awake the entire time waiting for the bus....I think she's going to miss her big sister during the day!

The bus is sooo big...and she is so small!!

Here is how the kids pass the time until the school bus comes....guess it's a tradition!!

At the end of the day, I was "chop liver"....all she wanted to do was hold her little sister.  I'll play second fiddle to that relationship anyday!!

And a successful first day of school we had! 

Special Cousins

Bryanna and Hanna were able to spend lots of time with their cousins Lexi  and Cole last week because it was Horsethief Week in Knox, and also the 3 oldest Grandkids got to have a slumber party at Nana and Papa's Friday night to celebrate the start of school!  Saturday evening as we were leaving the ice cream social at the church, I turned and found this.....

As they said, they were having a big cousin hug! 

I am so thankful for the special place these 3 kiddos and now Hanna have in each other's lives.  During the time we didn't know if Bryanna would ever be able to be a "big sister", I always said that Lexi and Cole were as close to siblings as Bryanna could have, without being biological.  We are so blessed by the friendship and love these 4 kiddos share....and look forward to the tons and tons of cousin hugs they will share in the years to come!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Very Special Visitors

One night we received a surprise call from Bryan's sister Stacey in Colorado.  She said her class reunion was going to be in Ohio, and asked if we would be able to make the trip out to see them.  Without hesitation, we said yes!  Because of other plans at home, the trip was extremely short and we didn't get to see all our Ohio family, but we did to spend a wonderful evening visiting with the Mong's!

We showed up at Grandma's doorstep, and said "SURPRISE"!  Little did she know, that later that evening she would be surprised once again by Stacey and Pat!

My girls are so extremely blessed to have lots of Grandparents and even more blessed to have tons of Great Grandparents in their lives!  Below are the first snuggles Grandma Mart and Hanna shared.

Stacey came back into Bryan's life at such a perfect time, and has a very special place in our hearts.  It's sad that when we talk to Bryanna about her family in Colorado, she knows them mostly by pictures.  However, after the short time spent together this weekend, Bryanna now has some amazing memories!!  Stace and Pat opened their hearts to our little girls, which warmed Bryan and my hearts to no end.  Bryanna still carries around a small piece of paper that Aunt Stacey and Uncle Pat signed...with Uncle Pat's funny signature too.  She then will share a story from the day.  We hope that they do return next summer with their four little men, so that Bryanna and Hanna can enjoy some time with their cousins, and we can open our hearts up to their kiddos!

A wonderful group of Mong's!!

Hot Summer Days...

One really hot summer day I told Bryanna we had to do a little work --- and decided it was the day we were going to scrub the front porch.  She and I both got our swimming suits and shorts on, as I knew with the water hose out, we were sure to get wet.  I guess I never expected Bryanna to have this much fun with a bucket full of bubble water, though!  Good news, though is the porch is clean!

And while Bryanna and I worked, Hanna took a little nap!  :)

Hanna is growimg

At Hanna's 2 week appointment she weighed 6 lb, 6 oz.  At 3 weeks, she was 6 lb, 14 oz.    She's growing!

Call me slightly prejudice, but I think she is a precious little girl!

Happy 92nd Birthday Gram, and Happy 1 Month Birthday Hanna!!

Bryanna's such a HUGE helper these days!  She's now able to hold Hanna and feed her the bottles!  Amazing in my eyes how much Bryanna is growing up!!

Family Vacation to Lake Chautauqua

For the past 6 years we have packed the truck and headed to the Outer Banks for our family vacation.  This year, however, we had a very special person "expected" around that time and had to decline the invitation to the beach.  We were blessed that Bryan's boss allowed us the opportunity to escape for a bit as a new family of 4 to his lake home on Lake Chautauqua.  It is a beautiful area, and we had tons of fun!!

Bryanna was able to enjoy evening fishing with Daddy.  Bryan would cast it way out in the lake and she wouldn't catch anything.  She casted it once close to the dock, and caught a little fish....and couldn't have been prouder!

Bryanna's favorite activity of the week was tubing. 

But the paddle boat was also tons of fun!!

Bryanna stopping a bit from the fun to say hi to her baby sister and to steal a couple kisses!

Bryanna and Daddy on the jet ski.  She LOVED to go fast on the jet ski, but hated to stop.  Bryan stopped once to let a few boats pass, and the wakes sent both he and Bryanna into the water.  So...Bryanna now associates stopping with getting dumped into the water.  As with everything else that moves, the faster the better for her!

We were so extremely blessed to have Aunt Kathie and Uncle Terry join us for a few days of our vacation.  Bryanna absolutely LOVED the time spent together!!  Above we were "tubing" behind the paddle boat (poor Uncle Terry!), while Bryanna was the co-captian.  And also Aunt Kathie, Bryanna, and I went for the long paddle boat ride to the bridge and back one evening.

A beautiful sunset over the lake --- a beautiful evening!!

And a final picture of the girls with Aunt Kathie and Uncle Terry.  We created wonderful memories with two very special people!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bryanna's swimming lessons...

The timing of my maternity leave worked out perfectly, in that we could enroll Bryanna in swimming lessons at Wolf's Camping Resort.  Although she loves to "swim", she has a fear of putting her head under the water, and we hoped this would make her feel more comfortable in the water.  Here she is on the first day of classes.

She was very determined not to go under the water, but thanks to the teachers, here she is after the first "dip" under.

The goofy goggles were a necessity for swimming.  She's still not a swimmer, but the lessons were a success.  She now feels more comfortable in the water....and had fun!

And Hanna was always a good little girl, just hanging out beside the pool.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bryanna Graduates from Summer Steps!

Keystone SMILES has an amazing program and a wonderful opportunity for kids entering kindergarten!  Bryanna spent the last 3 weeks going to school!  It was a wonderful preview to what she can expect to experience this fall.  She had class in one of the kindergarten rooms, ate lunch in the cafeteria, and played on the playground.  She was able to go to the gym and the library, and learned about green, yellow, and red cards.  She learned the pledge of allegiance, improved her writing, and learned a little about playing with friends and listening to teachers.  She loved her 3 weeks of school, and now is REALLY looking forward to fall and catching that big yellow school bus!  Here are some shots from her Summer Steps Graduation Day!

Receiving her certificate from Miss Jaime and Miss Bethany.

She was so excited the first day to learn that her friend Brandon sat beside her in the classroom!! 

And Bryanna with her teacher Miss Jaime.  Bryanna talked and talked about Miss Jaime, and loved her to pieces!!

And proudly displaying her certificate!  Oh, please allow the next 13 years to slow down!!  It brings tears to my eyes thinking this will be her someday with her diploma!

A funny story from school:
One day on our way home from school Bryanna said, "Momma, I need to tell you something, but you have to pinkie promise me you won't tell Daddy".  I agreed, and reached my hand to the backseat to complete the deal.  Bryanna continued to tell me that a boy had asked her to be his girlfriend during school that day.  My heart skipped a beat --- already?!  I asked what she said, and she said, "Momma, I couldn't say anything, the teacher was talking and it's against the rules to talk when the teacher is talking!".  Ahhhh....a little girl that follows the rules!  May all the boys in her future ask her out while the teacher is talking!! 

And for the record, I continued to ask his name and other information about him. I didn't know him or his parents, so the next day I questioned Miss Jaime about him.  She said he was an excellent little guy!

Oh, and they are not a couple.  Unfortunately, he's shorter than Bryanna, and in Bryanna's little mind, the boy must be taller than the girl!  Whew!

Coming Home....

Thankfulness!  That is the one word I can use to describe the day we brought Hanna home from the hospital.  We had another healthy baby girl, and our little Mong Family was complete! 

Hanna was discharged at 5 lbs 14 oz, and looked so small in her carseat.  However, as Bryanna puts it, "SAFETY FIRST!".  Luckily, Big Sister is always right beside us as we put Hanna in the carseat saying, "Don't cry Baby Hanna, Big Sister is are alright!".

Will traveling with 2 little girls always be this easy?  :)

Backing up a bit....Last day out as a family of 3!

Bryan wanted to plan a day out and about with "his girls", saying he wanted one more fun day as a family of 3 and also to celebrate Father's Day and my Birthday.  We planned it for Sunday, June 12th, not realizing that so soon after, we'd become a family of 4!  He wanted Pittsburgh for fireworks, the zoo, and a ride on the Good Ship Lolipop ---- at almost 37 weeks pregnant, that was waaaaay over the top for me!  We compromised on Erie Zoo, and shared an amazing day!!

Bryanna's favorites at the zoo are the giraffes and the penguins.  We found both!!

And she loves to look at the animals through the binoculars --- trouble is usually she has them backwards!  :)

Daddy and Peanut shot....

Lilly pads are always a favorite!

Bryanna wanted to feed the birds...but of course, as soon as the first bird landed, Bryanna was scared!  But she soon warmed up to the "Little Birdie"...

During the day I asked Bryan what he was going to do with 3 girls in his life, and only 2 hands.  He said I'd be out of luck!  Couldn't think of any better way to have my husband's hands filled than with our 2 daughters!

And below is the final preggo picture I have --- I earned the name "Big Momma" from my wonderful family, and looking at this, I guess maybe it fit!

What a wonderful last day to celebrate being a family of 3....but now we can't ever imagine our lives without Baby Hanna!!