Monday, December 14, 2009

More kids humor

I included this picture because I am not sure the last time I posted one. This is from mid-October, taken in front of my aunt's house in Waco. The conversation from our car ride today: Maggie: "Momma, what's the guy's name in the Ikea song?" Me: "What's the Ikea song?" Maggie: "You know- 'you come down for I'm going to your house today'" Me: "OH! Zacchaeus! His name was Zaccheaus, not Ikea" Maggie: "Oh" then she continues singing. Another instance: Maggie: "Happy Birthday Jesus. I'm so glad it's Christmas. All the CAMELS and bells make the holidays swell. . . " I keep telling her it is candles but she still sings camels. Caleb should not be left out of this humor. He, in the midst of a MAJOR meltdown, stops to correct me on his name. He is apparently now "Lightening McQueen" and occasionally "Thomas the Tank Engine". On Sunday he even corrected the Sunday School teachers when they said, "Caleb, your mom is here." He comes to the door and says, "no, it's not Caleb, I'm Eric". I forgot to mention Eric (from the Little Mermaid) - he also likes to play in Maggie's fantasy world with her.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Elf Yourself Merry Christmas!

I tried unsuccessfully to link my dance to my blog but for some reason couldn't do it so here is the link. If someone knows how to help me please leave a comment so I can have the video on this page.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cute things the kids said/did recently

I used to keep a journal for each of the kids, but in all of our moving, I haven't written in them for months. I am going to blog these things here to share with all of you, but also to remind me when I do get their journals back out! My little Maggie as an incredibly wild and elaborate imagination. Bless her heart, some nights she just can NOT go to sleep! I have to say I have the same problem sometime too. Last night about an hour after she was put to bed, she came out of her room saying, "mom, you know what we can make tomorrow? We can make our own mix and match book. We can print the pictures of Dorothy and cut them into to pieces and then do Glinda. . . " I cut her off and sent her to bed thinking, WOW! Tonight as I was getting her ready for bed she showed me her "shoe store" that she had created during quiet time today. She said, "this is my shoe store where I sell all these shoes for kids who don't have them." She had them lined up inside a basket and had piece of paper stuck inside each shoe that were "price tags." After she told me about her shoe store she started into a story about her new friend she met whose name was , "kind of like Cory but it was Lori and her next name was Ilesia and her second name was Malicia" and her friend's mommy had a Wizard of Oz set. She comes up with anything to keep me listening! In case you were wondering- Lori is not someone she met today although we do have a friend named Lori. Maggie has a great way of even creating names. Maybe if we ever decide to have another, we can allow her to create a name! Caleb is not to be forgotten in all this creative imagination. He takes part in her plays and has no problem being "Toto" at her direction. Neither does he have a problem with correcting me when I call her Maggie or him Caleb. He quickly says, "no, that's Dorothy!" I am having flashbacks to Maggie at his age. They are really very similar. He has also morphed into a less cooperative child at bedtime than in the past months. He stays awake longer and longer as well. Tonight I went in to check on him and he asked me to lay by him. While lying there he says, in his cutest voice, "I like your glasses Mommy. They look like Grandmama's. I miss grandmama. I miss granddaddy. I miss Nana." Then he went on to tell me how much he liked my nose, my mouth, my shirt, etc. He has learned the evasive tactics from Maggie I'm sure! He is also potty trained. I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but he has been doing great wearing his "Lightening McQueen" undies and "Thomas the tank engine" undies on a daily basis even to church, the mall, library, etc. I am very proud of him for his accomplishments. I am also humored by the fact that he still sings for himself each time he uses the potty! I will update on my first Thanksgiving soon and post pictures of our ice skating adventure but in the meantime I am going to bed! Good night!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The kids are learning the art of humor. They love nothing more than to make each other laugh. Their newest way to do this is by telling "knock, knock jokes". Maggie has been doing this since her preschool in FL. Her jokes usually go something like this, "knock knock" "who's there" "diaper" "diaper who" "dirty baby diaper- ha ha ha ha ha (hysterical laughter)." Now Caleb has joined in. He is getting very adept at following Maggie's example. He makes up his own words to songs, and says things to intentionally irritate her. Of course I would prefer he didn't do that but am amazed that he is able to "hold his own" with her verbally. So here is Caleb's knock knock joke from dinner tonight. Caleb says, to Mike, "knock knock." Mike says, "who's there?" Caleb "daddy" - "daddy who" - Caleb "daddy Michael- (ahaha hysterical laughing)." I just think that is great he was so literal but following the form of the joke so it must have been funny, right? Maggie laughed her head off with him and we endured about 15 minutes of the same knock knock jokes over and over during dinner. Good times with the Steeles!

Baylor Homecoming and Halloween

This post is a little late, but better late than never, right? We are settled in our new home now and were able to go to the 100th Homecoming celebration in Waco on October 24th. It was a lot of fun for me to show Mike and the kids around the campus and I was blown away by how much things have changed in just the 8 years since I graduated. At the same time I also felt VERY old! Maggie and Caleb enjoyed seeing the bear and the homecoming parade. They also got to visit the Cameron Park Zoo with my aunt and cousin while Mike and I went to the football game. I wish there was something good to say about the game, but unfortunately there is not. The weekend following our trip to Waco was Halloween. When Mike and I first had Maggie, he was adamant that he didn't want to "celebrate" Halloween and so we have never made an issue of buying costumes or candy or hyping it up for the kids. Sometimes kids have a way of making parents change their minds though and so we did take the kids trick or treating. I didn't buy costumes because Maggie has a whole trunk full of dress up clothes and I was able to borrow a cute little handyman apron and hard hat for Caleb. We said he was "Bob the Builder" his newest favorite character next to Lightning McQueen. The kids enjoyed the time of trick or treating with the neighbors and were super excited about all the candy. It didn't take long for them to forget about the candy though- we still have a rather large bag in the closet they have forgotten all about. I think our candy napper, daddy, is slowly making his way through it all instead. Maggie did ask,"Why does everyone want Halloween to be scary?" and wanted to know "why we celebrate Halloween- is it like Christmas?" Those were two tough questions to answer and probably the reason why we won't be making a big deal about it in the years to come. She had a pretty hard time sleeping that night and I would rather not repeat that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We're homeowners!!

It's official, we are homeowners! I am not as excited as I will be next week when I unlock the door to our home and start putting away all of our things, but I am still pretty pumped about knowing that we will now have a permanent address. The time here at my parent's this summer actually flew by for the most part. I was quite hesitant about staying for so long with my kids but the experience has been very good and I am actually a little sad to leave. The next door neighbors here have been awesome. They have a little girl, Gabby, who is 6 months younger than Maggie and I don't think a day has gone by since we've been here that they didn't play together. Maggie informed my mom that she wanted to stay here until her birthday so she "could have her birthday party with her very best friend Gabby and her cousin, Catherine." Ouch! I of course get teary eyed thinking of another departure. I tried so hard to make this just seem like vacation to the kids, but they consider it home and that makes it harder to leave. Maggie isn't the only one who loves the neighbors, Caleb has taken to the 6 year old, Colter. He loves to play baseball with him and throw the football. Colter is so good to play with him- he even joined us for a "party" last week where he was the biggest by 3 years. Caleb has started to telling me, "No, mom, I Colter!" He apparently has Maggie's imagination too! I also have come to enjoy my daily chats with their mother and even had the chance to spend an evening hanging out as adult with her. I can only pray and hope that I have neighbors this good when we move into our new house! I am reminded every time we move of how awesome God is. No matter where we land he always has the perfect people to place in our lives. The list just for this summer is amazing: Joan and Bill, The Sublett family, The Moore's and of course my parent's and their neighbors. We are never alone that is for sure! Our needs have always been met by Him and I trust that they will continue to be. It is my hope that through all of this craziness that our life has been, our children will know undoubtedly that God is their one and only provider!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blogging at Mike's request

According to Mike, he has been taking some heat about the lack of updates to our blog. I take full responsibility although he too has the ability to type just the same as I =) Right now the kids and I are with him in State College, PA. It is beautiful here! We were blessed by a wonderful family to have the opportunity for him to stay in their garage apartment. The place is small when we are all here, but more than perfect when he is alone. The kids and I have racked up well over 2500 miles in the van since mid-June but we are appreciating every second of seeing this great countryside. When we aren't in the van traveling to see daddy or other family we have been at my parent's house. Luckily, my younger brother scored a job with the Muskegon police department and moved out of my parent's house just in time for his "suite" to be cleaned, carpeted and repainted for our arrival! The kids love being there and playing with their cousin, Catherine, and the kids next door (Mike's childhood home). I can't even explain how liberating it is to have a backyard. Our whole day is spent out in the back yard playing with all the toys my mom salvaged from our childhood and her garage sale adventures. She, being the ex-preschool teacher that she is, made certain that she has one of every toy for the 3 grandchildren so to limit the arguments. Caleb's favorite thing to do is play in the little car (you know the red one with the door that opens and the yellow top). He also loves to play real or imaginary baseball with anyone who will indulge him. This is a game he does not tire from. The other night he played with my dad for an hour and 45 minutes throwing the ball to my dad who was the batter. Maggie enjoys her time with Catherine and Gabby (next door neighbor). They play house, princess, and restaurant. She also loves being "teased" (spoiled) by her grandmas. On another note, we have a contract on a home and should be closing on it the end of August. We have been wanting a house for at least 2 years and now just seemed like the right time. Mike will still be doing this job with the Pirates and traveling from March to the first week of September but we decided it was best to have a "home base." The house is in Spring, TX north of Houston. Mike already has contacts for pitching lessons in the off season and we have several friends in the area. These next 2 months (Aug and Sept) will be a huge scramble for us. Between Mike's season (ending the 6th of Sept) , closing on the house (Aug 31st), a wedding in Austin (Sept. 11), and instructional league in FL (Sept 15th) the kids and I have to pack up and move from MI (more miles in the log) and Mike has to travel to FL, load the U-Haul and move the stuff to our new home. We will need prayers for 1. a smooth closing 2. good planning 3. safe travel 4. resilient kids 5. an easy move. The list of details is overwhelming for me and I am trying to take it one day at a time. We couldn't be more excited at the notion that we will not have to move our stuff again for a long time! We will definitely be traveling a lot but it will be more fun when we know where we will land when the travel is over. P.S. we did buy a new camera and I have lots of pictures to be loaded . . another day, sorry.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Little Graduate

The first thing I did when we arrived in Bradenton was to find a program for Maggie to attend. She loved her Children's Day Out program in Illinois and I knew that she would need the socialization. We signed her up at the YMCA for a parent's morning out program. The program was for 3 hours a day 2 days a week. She was one of the youngest in her class of 10 but she held her own for the most part. They learned their alphabet, practiced writing their names and had art and music time every class. She really enjoyed herself. I had no idea until a week ago that they do a graduation for her class. She was excited for the party. It was quite informal but she wore her little graduation cap that they decorated themselves. They sung 3 songs for us and then received their certificates. After the "ceremony" we had a pizza party with cookies and brownies. I was able to video tape the whole thing for Mike and Maggie can't wait to watch herself on TV tonight.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I want to be a singer when I grow up

I always try to talk to Maggie and Caleb about the different jobs that are out there as we go throughout our days. I want them to know that everyone has a valuable position in how our community and world works. So I point out the garbage man, mail man, plumber, cashier at the store, etc. The big interest lately has been firemen and paramedics since we see and hear a lot of them where we live (by the hospital and fire station). Today while we were doing out errands, Maggie announced to me from the backseat that Caleb can be a fireman when he grows up but she wants to be a singer. She said she wants to sing about Jesus and how he died on the cross because loves us. I am not sure that she will really be a singer when she grows up but she really does love to sing. Her favorite songs are; Mighty to Save, You raise me up, and Your Name (by Hillsong). She is especially great at the crescendos but goes overboard a little and starts screaming. I do love to hear her sing though and I love to hear Caleb sing with her. The childcare workers at the Y said that they spend a large portion of their time in there singing songs together and they are always songs about Jesus! Caleb's favorite song is the "daddy song", My Wish by Rascal Flatts and "Heaven come down". He also likes Mighty to Save. We have a blast in the van singing together but they always tell me to stop- I guess I can hear why ;) P.S. As I was typing post I got interrupted by Caleb pooping on the potty!! He is doing pretty good with this potty thing. I hope it sticks even through the move and can't wait to stop buying diapers again!

Monday, May 4, 2009

First Family Movie Night

For those of you who know me very well, you know that I don't really let my children watch much TV. Last night Mike and I decided to have a movie night and I decided that Maggie is getting old enough to experience these things too. I took her to Blockbuster (which is a whole different story) and allowed her to pick from the family section. She chose Lassie. As I type she is watching the movie with Mike, in the dark. I even let her have a bedtime snack with her milk. She is eating up this special big girl time with Mommy and Daddy. We have had to skip a few parts of the movie but she doesn't even seem to notice. She is focused on the dogs and the antique cars. I think she especially likes the dog because it reminds her of McKinley!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caleb is growing up

We have had a few major "big boy" milestones this week with Caleb. The first was that on Monday night he kept saying "I don't like it" when we put him in his crib. We ignored him because we weren't really sure what he was talking about. Then at about 11pm he woke up screaming and when I went in he pointed to the big bed in his room and said "I sleep", "no like crib". Of course his language wasn't quite as clear as my typing but it was evident that he wanted to sleep in the full size bed in his room. After a few minutes of his screaming and not being consoled by anything I tried, I laid him in the bed and he rolled over and went straight to sleep! I was appalled and saddened. He is growing up too fast for me. Before Mike and I went to bed we put him back in the crib to sleep for the rest of the night and we haven't had that problem again. Thankfully he is not trying to get out of his crib yet. Maggie was in her toddler bed before she was two because she would climb in and out of her crib and the pack and play. I am just not ready for that yet with him. The second milestone is that he pooped on the potty tonight!! This is actually the second time he has done this but tonight he actually told me that he was going to do it versus the last time I could just see that he needed to by his facial expression. I am sure this will be a long process but it is a step in the right direction. He hates to have a wet diaper and always asks to have it changed at the first feeling of wetness but I am not sure how to teach a boy to do that business in the toilet without spraying it everywhere. The insert that we have for the little toilet pinches his thighs and he won't sit with it on there. So any tips in that area would help!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Unfortunately I do not have a picture to match the subject of this blog, but I am working on remembering to take one next time. Maggie is my child who refused to wear a coat in 10 degree weather and couldn't wait to move to Florida because, "you don't ever have to wear a coat in Florida" and "it is always warm in Florida." She has completely done a 180 on this subject and is now layering on the clothes in 75 degree weather and claiming that it is "chilly outside"??? The other day she had on tights, leggings, a t shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a sleeveless dress, and a sweater over the top of it all. She looked a little ridiculous but she sure was happy. I just don't understand the total change in her clothing choices. Now more often I am saying, "it's too hot for that today" instead of begging her to put on pants and socks. I promise to take a picture soon and post it for you all to see.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


We are here! I think this week marks the 4th week that we have been here, but truthfully I have lost track of time because it seems to be going so quickly. Florida is a huge change from Illinois that is for sure. So far we are enjoying ourselves. We have joined the Y and the kids are taking swimming classes and Maggie is in a ballet class. We've been able to spend a few afternoons at the beach although I have decided that I should probably think of moving that excursion to the morning hours since it has been getting so much warmer now. Mike is in the full swing of spring training now which should be a hard thing, I have heard, but I actually think this is the closest that we have ever been to a "normal" schedule with him. He would disagree because his mornings have started so early and he does have long days but he is home here by 4 usually. I have been told this will soon change as they switch gears towards the end of the month and more meetings are being held. For now I have really enjoyed having him home in the evenings to eat dinner with us and to help with the nighttime routine. This schedule should hopefully last through June when he/ we will be headed to Pennsylvania for the season until September. In the meantime we will be enjoying the sunshine, sound of the waves and the palm trees! I will try to update more often.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am blogging from my in-law's house in Georgia today. We are on our way to our new home in Florida and decided to take a break in the travel and rest for a few days. Our adventure in moving has not exactly been smooth and I can't wait for it to be over. To start with our U Haul truck was about 5 feet too short and I faced difficulty trying to decide what to dump. I think the amount of stuff that we are driving around with in our van must be illegal! We are packed in like sardines in there but at least most of it fit. Mike was a trooper and drove the U Haul truck, towing his car behind him, down last Friday and Saturday to Florida. He was able to get some help unloading everything into the storage unit and then caught a flight back to Illinois on Sunday morning. We were a little delayed on our departure due to my inability to fit everything in the van I thought we needed so we left late Sunday afternoon to drive to Kentucky. We spent the night just outside of Louisville in a hotel and Maggie was able to swim a little in the pool before we left. Now we are here in Georgia and Mike and his dad are at Sam's Club buying a new battery for the van. We have been having some issues with it but every time we had it tested they said the battery was fine. Apparently they didn't test it right- Mike's dad says that one of the cells is bad. Hopefully a new battery will fix the problem permanently so we don't have to keep jumping the car once or twice a month. We will be leaving here either tomorrow or Friday. I am excited to see our new place for the next four months. Mike was able to see it last week and he says it is nice. There is a fenced courtyard and a pool right out the back door. I cannot wait to be outside with the kids playing. I will post some pictures after we arrive.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why didn't I think of this before?

Part of the packing process included closing off the kid's bathroom to store packed boxes in there. So tonight they are taking a bath in our bathroom while I blog watching them. I used to dread bathtime because they always want to play which means I had to be sitting in the bathroom for 20-30 minutes to supervise because you can't see the tub from any other room od the house and they are too little to leave unsupervised. This works out great though. I am 15 feet away at most with a straight on look at the tub and I can blog, pay bills, check e mail, and facebook all while they bathe! I guess it is true that you learn new things each day as a mom. I wish I would have thought of this sooner! Well. . . it is time to wash them and get on with the bedtime routine.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Thank you God that you are mighty to save"- Maggie

Maggie loves music. I wish I was more musical but she doesn't seem to notice. Her favorite song for at least 4 months or so has been the worship song "Mighty to Save". I have no idea why she chose that as her favorite but she lights up everytime it comes on and is often running through the house, grocery store, mall, Target, etc singing it. Yesterday during church when we were singing that song I got all teary eyed thinking of the lyrics and feeling so blessed that these are the words that light up her face:
"Everyone needs compassion,Love that's never failing;Let mercy fall on me.
Everyone needs forgiveness,The kindness of a Saviour;The Hope of nations.
Saviour, He can move the mountains,My God is Mighty to save,He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,He rose and conquered the grave,Jesus conquered the grave.
So take me as You find me,All my fears and failures,Fill my life again.I give my life to follow Everything I believe in,Now I surrender.
Shine your light and let the whole world see,We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus"
Jesus did tell us to have a faith like a child in Matthew 18. And as I was worshipping and listening to the sermon yesterday about what it means to trust in, depend on, and surrender to the Lord I was convicted about my need to have a faith more like a child. I hope that Maggie really does get it- the Lord is Mighty to save!! I hope that as she grows older she remembers the lyrics to this song and that she is just as moved by them and that she is comforted by the truth and determined to live as it says surrendered for the glory of Christ.

Goodbye Mckinley

One of the biggest concerns for me about this move was what we were going to do with my dog, McKinley. I know that sounds crazy to those of you who don't know me all that well but he is an awesome dog that I have had since college. He is 8 1/2 years old and the best dog ever. Since I had just put one dog (Gidget) to sleep one year ago, I was dreading facing that decision with McKinley if I couldn't find a good home for him. About two months ago I was talking to a parent of one of the boys Mike does lessons with and she mentioned her older daughter and husband were looking for a dog. I mentioned McKinley and she thought it might work. It took me a while to decide that the best thing for him was a permanent placement since we really won't be in any position to care for a dog anytime soon. Yesterday we dropped him off with his new family. They have 2 teenagers and a five year old. Maggie is friends with Abby (the 5 year old) and so that helps because she knows that Abby is taking care of her dog. It was a bittersweet goodbye for me because I am really happy that he has a loving family now who is sure to give him more attention than we have been able to but it will be hard to not have him here. Getting rid of the dog is the first major step toward our life on the road. Now we will be able to move so much more easily and have much less stress knowing McKinley is being taken care of. No more dogs for us for a while! It actually felt freeing this morning to not have to stand outside in the cold waiting for him to pick a spot. I think I will be able to adjust to this new change quickly.

House of Steele

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Romeoville, IL, United States
Our lives right now are full of baseball, the library, and Starbucks. We stay busy, sometimes a little too busy, so the posts may not be as updated as you would like. Just send me a comment to remind me to get blogging and I will fill everyone in, eventually.
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