30 December 2016

Splash - December 2016

The splash photo for December 2016 was not as Christmas-y as I wanted it to be, but, it perfectly captures the togetherness of these five amazing people.  As I've said many times before on this blog, they may all have come from the same gene pool, but, boy are they different people.  Rachel is fiercely independent, but, will be at my side to help with whatever I need.  Samantha is a homebody but is coming to grips with the fact that she will soon be out on her own.  Charlotte is full of bravado and is fearless, but, is so very sensitive for the feelings of others, so much so that she tries to be everyone's champion.  Josephine is curious and is always into making the next project or experiment.  She is determined and thinks the world is her playground.  JMichael is the clown of the BallTeam.  He is sweet and playful and he has all four of his ladies eating out of his hand, even though they don't see it.

Separately they are incredible personalities, all making their way.  Together, they are loud and busy and sometimes laughing, sometimes screaming.  Pictured here they are wrapped in the quilt my mom made James and me for Christmas a few years back.  If only we could keep them cozy and together and smiling, always wrapped up by the protection and warmth of their loving folks.  That, for me, would bring me great tidings of comfort and joy.

another shot from that day - my BallTeam, December 2016.

27 December 2016

Christmas 2016

First, a few pictures......

On Christmas Eve, Charlotte and Josephine made the 'snowman' donut treats to bag up and deliver to our friends.
My job was to make the banana bread - well, it was Rachel's job, but, she was working, so, literally as I was gathering ingredients and reading a recipe to make banana bread (which I have never made), I hear a knock on our door.  It's our Sister Missionaries!  Sister Galloway, pictured above, and Sister Bottorf, pictured below!  They said, Hey Sister Ball, we were just in your neighborhood and we thought we should stop in and say hello.  I said, Come on in.  Do y'all bake?  They both were thrilled and said, I would love to make your banana bread.  They didn't need a recipe or anything.  Amazing.  It's a Christmas miracle!  Such sweet girls and I still don't know how to make banana bread.
Thank you ladies!
On Christmas, JMichael was the official gift passer-outter.
Mom made us table runners - five different ones for the changing seasons, so we can see her on our table all year long.  This is most challenging for poor Josephine, who usually has "her" table covered in some sort of project.  This poinsettia was free from WalMart - it comes with a story.  After Christmas, there was a full cart of poinsettias in the center aisle and the sign read, "Free".  Mom had come to see us for a couple days (she flew in and out of Kansas City and spent most of the time with David and his family - but, she headed south to see us, too) and of course we hit WalMart while she was here.  We saw the cart of free poinsettias and decided when we finished getting our other stuff that we would pick one up on the way to the check out.  So we gathered what all we came for and as we headed to the check out, Charlotte was disappointed to see a child (Indian, dressed in a sarong and very pretty, about 10 years old), pushing the whole cart of poinsettias with her family to the check out.  Josephine said, quietly, to Mom, hey, that Indian girl is taking our Christmas poinsettia, that's not right.  We all kinda stood in disbelief as Mom gently walked over to the little girl and said, politely, "Do you mind if my granddaughter chooses one of your free poinsettias?  We wanted to take one home, too."  The little girl obliged Charlotte chose our poinsettia.  We now have the story of the free Indian poinsettia.  A new Christmas classic!

20 December 2016

Cars! A repost - too cute.

This is the mat our kids played on.  For hours.  and hours.  and hours.  and hours.

I posted these sweet pictures way back when.
(left to right we have Josephine, Rachel, Samantha and Charlotte)

and this cutie (JMichael).  Awe!

I just wanted to post it again when I saw the picture of the mat itself.  The kids literally placed every day.  Imaginations racing.  I loved it then, and I treasure it now.

16 December 2016

Cute Kid Quotes - Josephine

Recently we've had some colds come through our family - 'tis the season, right?  Josephine was explaining to me that her head was stuffy and her nose was running.  This didn't make sense to Josephine - all logic and science - how can I feel stuffed up if my nose runs, too?  She kept asking me how to fix her problem - my standard answer to anything medical is drink some water, take a hot shower and take a nap.  That formula cures everything but heartbreak and cancer.

I gave Josephine some sudafed and vicks, which must have done the trick because she reported later that day that now only one of her noses was stuffed; the "other" nose was clear.  Wha??  :)

12 December 2016

BallTeam in pencil, about 2008?

Have I posted this picture before?  It's on the wall in our kitchen and it was "drawn" in a photo booth at a mall.  I remember stuffing all five of them in there and saying, okay, smile!  I treasure it.  On the top row in the left corner is Rachel, maybe ten years old?  Next to her is Josephine, about three.  The full face on the right is Samantha, who would be about nine.  The little half face on the left is JMichael, probably not yet one, and that full smile on the bottom middle is Charlotte, maybe four years old.  Ahh.  It makes me happy just to look at it everyday in my kitchen, and I wanted to preserve it here, 'cause you know I'm not really allowed in the kitchen.