Feb 19, 2011

Fantastic February

Hannah got a ball and bat for Christmas. We had such beautiful weather, she and Dax
played ball. I have videos of myself at this age playing ball and I kept adjusting my shorts. Hannah looks so similar hitching up her pants every 2 seconds. Guess it's time to look for the belt.

Look at that form! Home run!

Look at that intense concentration!

Happy Valentine's Day! Dax and I don't tend to celebrate Valentine's Day too much together, usually because something comes up or groceries take precedent over a dinner out : ) This year we were able to get out together.

We went to a wonderful concert held at Highland Park Presbyterian in Dallas. Metropolitan Hilarion of Russia composed a St. Matthew's Passion using the layout of the original composer, Bach, as an inspiration. Hilarion's was certainly not in the Baroque style, but it was very moving and very well played/sung! I really, really enjoyed it, and think it's one of the best concerts I've ever heard. This was the 2nd performance of the piece in the United States and our own Metropolitan Jonah was in attendance, too. Imagine having the man overseeing all of Russia's churches and the man overseeing all North America's Orthodox churches in one room.
Here is a small clip of the 2 hour piece- St. Matthew's Passion The chorus comes in about halfway through after the fugue.
After that, Dax and I pulled out our ancient GPS to get to the Cheesecake Factory for a delicious meal together.

The kids got cards and gifts from their grandparents. I love this shirt for Colin.

Our family spent actual Valentine's Day in an impromptu trip to the lake.

I had taken a book there recently and noticed a family luring some ducks over with some bread. Then they were bombarded by tons of water birds. It looked pretty fun to me, so we did the same thing. The girls loved it, while Dax remained a safe distance away : )

A perfect opportunity to get a nice picture of all three. Hannah had a different opinion.

A little better- 2 out of 3 are smiling.

We're back to no kids smiling...and we're done.

We enjoyed dinner with a view.

And then flew our little kites. Chloe was really interested this time, and with a little assistance from Dax, she got it up in the air!

Who doesn't love a playground?

Hannah's new pose for pictures is positioning her hands in interesting ways.

She got brave and climbed a pretty high rope.

Yeehaw! If you can say that while riding a dolphin.

Balance beam.

Suspicious looks.

Some days, Chloe looks so grown up to me!

She's still a funny girl with lots of enthusiasm. Lately she likes to sing Happy Birthday, interrupting it with an order to "Blow!!!!" She's also working on her letters. I used to sit and work with Hannah on hers, and now that there are 3 kids, you know how that goes, so Chloe gets taught letters through play or whenever we happen to see one. She does a pretty good job on her own, though. When I asked her to tell me all the letters the other day, she knew many I had never introduced. She's still working on M. She sees it and throws up her hands, shaking her head- haha.

Here we go with the poses again. This is what I got when I said, "Smile pretty!"
Hannah also will talk your ear off. I'm trying to get her to understand she can just talk to me without every sentence beginning with "Mommy? Mommy?" or "Excuse me.." It's so nice that she does say excuse me when trying to get attention, but it can be kind of aggressive, too, so I'm trying to teach her about tone of voice. Phew! It's tough. She did ask me something funny the other day.
H- "Can I play upstairs?"
Me- "Um we don't have any stairs."
H- "Can I still play upstairs?"
Me- "Sure, I guess."
H- "Yaaaaaay! Hey Chloe, Mommy's going to build you a purple bed!"

Wait a minute...I don't remember agreeing to that.

We had made Valentine's cards at Lillian's house a few days before, which I forgot to bring my camera for. Then we played over there on a wonderful sunny day, which I brought my camera for but forgot to take pictures. They have a playset in their backyard and Hannah asked, "Can I play in their park?" Then on Thursday, we decided to hang out again at the lake spot. We fed the birds, had lunch, and the kids had a great time jumping in leaves.

Enjoying the sunny day. I didn't realize how sunny it had been until I woke up from a nap later and Dax pointed out my red nose. Then I saw Colin had a little red nose of his own.

We are a little early for St. Patrick's Day.

Here are some videos! Just various ones to enjoy, but one is especially for Melody : )

Feb 10, 2011

Let's Make Stuff!

This boy is 8 months old!

With plenty of teeth to go around.

Well it's been a couple of weeks, so I'll start 2 weeks ago. A lady from our church has opened up her home for crochet classes for women of the parish. Her mother, Galina, is our instructor, and other than Megan, her creations can't be beat. We have a few of her blankets, and if you see any children from our church with shawls, etc. they have been made by her. We used to have women's gatherings at church as well, but we've grown so much, it really hasn't happened in quite awhile. So this was a great opportunity to learn something new and spend some time together. There was lots of laughter as all of us beginners tried our best. Galina groaned with a smile when she realized a left-hander (me) had joined the ranks, but the next time another one came so I actually was able to be a helper.

After many, many tries, I finally got far enough to complete a scarf for Hannah. She was excited to hear I had started one, but when I presented her with my creation, she wasn't interested!

Another group of friends, entirely! I was invited to participate in a scrap for Jessica's new baby- due in March. Now I'm no scrapbooker. I've tried it before, but just didn't get into it. Also, compared to the masterpieces these ladies create, my stuff was pretty sad. I wasn't sure about this day, but I was determined to watch and learn in order to contribute! We had a really great time and ate tasty food, always a plus. Most of the people are in my book club and I just look at them all and smile. Such really wonderful people whom I care about so much. I just wish I could see them more than once a month.

So here's the final product. Each person signed up for a month and I thought January seemed fun. Once I found some sparkly paper, I was ready to go. The snow drifts and snowflakes are all 3-D! Overall I think it will fit in the book fine and there is room for more fun stuff if she wants to add it later.

Back at home, I wanted to find something Colin could snack on at his age. While browsing at the store, another lady suggested Mum-Mums and said her 6 month old loved them and they never made a mess...

Apparently Colin didn't get that memo. Look at his poor little face. He definitely enjoyed the crackers but that was when he was getting a terrible cold. He had red, droopy eyes for days along with all the other symptoms. And then the rest of us got it.

His first bath in the big tub! The girls were excited to have him in there. Still droopy, though : )

Then the ice storm hit! Dax was really excited to be off work.

Chloe a few seconds before she's had enough of the cold.
Notice these pictures are taken from the warmth of the house.

Hannah and I perused a baking cookbook. I told her she could pick anything she wanted and we'd make it. I guess I was in a really good mood because we all know that probably wasn't a good idea! She picked out these tasty-looking dinosaur cookies....but they are shaped like dinosaurs! I told her when I went grocery shopping I would look for a dinosaur cookie-cutter, knowing I was unlikely to find anything close. As I was wandering Walmart, they had no such thing. Then I went down an aisle I usually don't go in, and on the side were dinosaur sandwich cutters- the kind that cut off the crust. I had that moment where you glow and you hear voices singing from above. Haha. Of course when I proudly brought that home, I felt like a hero and Hannah simply felt I did what I said I would. ; )

The girls enjoyed the frenzy of M&Ms.

And then the heater broke again! We could have braved it out, but it was in the middle of an ice storm with 3 sick kids. The house temp was in the low 50's and falling, so having Anna in town was a huge help for the millionth time.

We basically moved in for several days. Anna made us some delicious meals, the kids were all happy surrounded by toys and plenty of movies. We watched tons of food network, which we don't get at home, and I stayed up way too late checking out the OWN network. : )
When we got home, I was a little sad when I woke up. I was really enjoying all the family time and the atmosphere of such a cozy place. Thanks a million to Nana!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes Hannah and I have a special treat and mother daughter conversation when the others are napping. She loved her blue tongue from the surprise sucker I gave her.

We read a book about a fairy living in a dollhouse and decided to create our own. I used to have a beautiful dollhouse made by my mom, but we could never move it to Texas, and eventually it passed on to a little girl. I still have all the furniture, but will wait until the girls are much, much older before that comes out. So we found some diaper boxes and some tape and came up with this!

It even folds away for storage. Who am I kidding? It still takes up a lot of space, but I liked the folding element.

They gathered all their size-appropriate toys and played away.

The My Little Ponies enjoy the rooftop Build-A-Bear retreat.
Other inhabitants included Littlest Pet Shop, Cinderella and Tinkerbell, and you know who.

Back from his summer cabin, Beethoven was on the lookout for a new place.
It wasn't long before Hannah began asking for dolls. I agreed we needed dolls for that particular house. Well we had a package of popsicle sticks and boxes of fabric scraps, so we came up with these guys!

It's a whole brood! We made African looking dresses, pajamas, work wear, vacation wear, etc. Chloe picked out fabric for a monkey shirt, and we had a great time putting them together. In fact I got so interested in hot gluing all these scraps I just kept going after they lost interest. The only thing stopping me was that we ran out of glue : )

The "silly dolls" check out their digs and fraternize on the balcony. The girls played with the dolls all day. If they stay interested, perhaps we'll make the dollhouse more permanent and try to paper over all the tape, put up some drapes, see how it goes : )

On another random snow day this week, Dax got to stay home, so we fulfilled my vision of rearranging the furniture yet again. I always feel like our setup is disjunct, and the fireplace always seems to cause the problem. That and we have tons of furniture. But I really, really like the new arrangement. There is an office space no longer in the doorway, a living space, a play space...

...and a music space complete with the return of our favorite mirror to reflect a little more sunlight into the room and my lovely horn guy. Well, that completes this lengthy post, and hopefully it won't be another 2 weeks before you see me again!