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A Year In Review

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S: Giese Family 2011



5: We rang in the new year at our house with some new and old friends. | "The friends we meet on the path of life make the trip worth while."


7: { | { | LOVE

9: We missed 4 days of school due to a record ice storm this year!

12: Build-A-Bear Workshop! | Allison's 5th Birthday | party at


15: Allison!

16: April 6th... a BIG day! | learning the way... through a kindergarten day! | Allison's 6th birthday was an extra special day. She celebrated with her friends at preschool, and they took a filed trip to Hilltop Elementary school. They got a tour and learned about the rules at their soon to be new school1 From silly to serious, it was a BIG day, and Allison proved she was ready!

18: EASTER | Throughout the family Easter service, all of the kids could hardly wait until the egg hunt afterward. The Giese girls held back tears as the hunt ended and they left empty handed... so we headed straight to the store for egg coloring supplies and got to work...

19: The girls left a note for the Easter Bunny, then left their baskets by the back door and went to bed. The next morning, they were greeted with Easter goodies | and had their own egg hunt... complete with golden eggs | ALL SMILES | !!

21: EASTER | happy | After the Easter Sunday church service, we took a moment to enjoy the new baby ducks in the pond behind our house.

22: On May 7th, we had the honor of attending Tracy and Randy Stephens' oceanside wedding and reception at the Secrets Sanctuary resort in the beautiful Dominican Republic. We made the trip an anniversary celebration of our own as well- blessed for nine years!

23: The Dominican Republic

27: Happy Father's Day


29: Kimberly!

30: WINKIDS! | Kimberly's 7th Birthday party at

32: Perdido Key, Florida

33: at the | In July, we took a family beach vacation to Perdido Key, Florida. The weather was beautiful, and we had such a great time playing on the white sand beaches. We had six days of uninterrupted quality family time, and we loved every minute of it (once we got there)! We will definitely go back!

34: "We had such a great vacation! The drive was long, but full of fun while we played the license plate game (which the girls enjoyed for about 20 minutes), watched movies, sang songs, and guessed what other family members were thinking of. Considering the length of the drive, there wasn't much complaining. Although, at one of our few stops, Allison told me, "if you were a kid and had to sit in a car seat it would be awful! They make your legs have bumps and it feels like carpet!" Interesting! We stayed the first night at a hotel in Baton Rouge. We had a room with two double beds, so I slept with Allison and Chad slept with Kimberly. Allison and I were not a good match since she flips around like a fish out of water and just about anything wakes me up. After she fell off the bed once, I put a pillow between her and the edge of the bed, but every time she knocked it off (at least 5 times), I'd wake up thinking she hit the floor again. She also likes to kick off all the blankets and sleep on top of them, while I like to cover from head to toe. I finally laid her on the floor and surrounded her with pillows to keep her from rolling under a bed. At the condo we made a similar pallet on the floor beside "her bed". She reminded us of last year's vacation when she fell out of bed and got a huge bruise on her forehead! No wonder she wants to sleep on the floor at home! The condo was wonderful! We stayed on the first floor right on the beach. I enjoyed eating breakfast on our patio with the beautiful view of white sand, the ocean waves, and the dolphins swimming by in the distance. We had access to 3 different pools, which we alternated between, and had a blast doing cannon balls, racing, flipping, practicing swimming techniques, and hiding a McDonald's happy meal toy we got on the drive. We forgot our diving rings, but this fish toy worked well! I always enjoy searching for seashells and building sand castles and other sculptures on the beach. We found a few other things too! Allison happened upon a small section on the beach where we uncovered 22 sand dollars. I've searched for these since I was a little girl, and don't recall having ever found one in one piece, so this amazed me. She picked up the first one and showed me, not knowing what it was. They were still brown with fuzz. Kimberly and I spent a lot of time finding a hiding place where they wouldn't smell up our condo, but wouldn't blow away! We also saw a dead fish that washed up on the last day. It lingered around for a few minutes while Kimberly stared, saying "Eww!" Finally some kids next to us saw it. A little boy picked it up and put it in his bucket, claiming it was a baby shark. Then a little girl took it out and chased one of the adults in their group around. I found this funny mostly because my family wasn't involved! We made many great memories on this trip, and I sure laughed a lot! - Tara

35: "My favorite part was when we went to the beach and I found my first seashell. I also loved it when I got my stuffed flamingo with the $10 cash I found. I liked it when we got the GoGurt. It was so good we ate it all. I liked it when Kimberly woke me up with a surprise rice krispie treat on a spoon. I liked the jellyfish we found underwater and digging that big hole. I liked getting my "moon" necklace. When it's green, it means I'm really calm, black means stressed, blue means lovable, light purple means doubtful, yellow means imaginative, and when I laugh it turns purple. At our condo there was a pillow that had fish, sea horses, sea weed and sea shells on it." - Allison | "My favorite part was when I found the jellyfish in the water and the two crabs, all the seashells and sand dollars we found, and when we dug a big hole. Then a little boy came and played in it. I wrote "welcome...for kids" in the sand around it. I liked swimming in the pool, and I did my first front flip underwater. I love my new mood necklace. I like both places we stayed. The pillows on the couch were all very pretty. I liked it when we saw the dolphins, and the color of the ocean, the white sand and all the palm trees. I got to dress my build-a-bear to go to the beach. I liked the TV in our room and sleeping in the room with Allison. What I don't like is the drive home. - Kimberly | "I liked staying at the hotel on the way and swimming in the pool, and "Mom's" story about sleeping with Allison that first night. I liked digging the big hole, and when we all swam out to the sand bar." - Chad

39: Perdido Key

40: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. ~Cathy Allen

42: Hawaiian Falls opened in Roanoke this year. The Slaton and Giese girls went for an afternoon to celebrate all the summer birthdays! We had so much fun!

43: This day, we had an impromptu play date making art with sidewalk chalk and experimenting with colored bubbles!!

44: Jay threw a huge party to welcome home Hannah after she served 9 months in Afghanistan.



50: 2011

51: Allison starts Kindergarten!

53: Kimberly and Sophie Slaton

55: It's The Little Things In Life That Matter

56: HAPPY HALLOWEEN | Girls Night In!

57: The Giese Girls shared this night of a few of our favorite things.. We made popcorn, watched movies, soaked our feet, used the paraffin bath, painted nails... now this is what life is about.. and Life is GOOD!

58: The Pumpkin Patch!

59: We love the pumpkin patch...pumpkins, hay mazes, jump houses, fun!

60: Trick or Treat | Happy Halloween! Once again, we hit the streets to trick or treat with our neighbor friends the Slatons.

65: A Day to Give Thanks

67: J O Y

68: Merry Christmas

69: From: The Giese Girls

71: J O Y

72: school

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  • Title: A Year In Review
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