Jun 15, 2011


Happy 1st Birthday!!!!!

We visited the Bentons on Colin's birthday. They were sweet enough to have mini-cupcakes.

I'm not sure why he looks so guilty. He's finally allowed to eat cake!

Unsure of what his responsibility is here.
The Bentons gave him a little glow-worm. It was really cute to look in the van mirror
on the way home and see him playing with it and looking at its face.

We had a tasty lunch outside and let the older kids swim. Good news is that
we get to head over there every Thursday for the summer.

Back at home, Nana came over for dinner and Colin unwrapped his gifts from us.

The girls helped us pick out this little racetrack. It's fun to see them all playing together.

I've tried to put my fingers in that same position and it's painful! haha

Congratulations, Colin, on being such a great addition to our family. : )

The next day, we were invited on a park playdate (kites, picnic, and nature hunt) with some church friends.

Our kite did really well!

Soon, it was just me flying the kite. I only managed to get it stuck in a tree twice.

Madeline and Chloe having a wordless 2 yr. old bonding moment.

Working on our nature journals.

Yep, I'm back with the dollhouse. So I drove the girls around to a couple of garage sales the other day and saw a plain little dollhouse. The tag said $20- no way! But the lady saw me looking and said it was $10. She also said she would give me a discount because the girls were so cute. Tempting, but we just got a wonderful dollhouse. So we went home. And I could not get that house out of my head! The girls had ended up with so much furniture, the nice dollhouse was a cluttered mess. Some of the furniture was too nice to toss, though. Having a second one could accommodate all the doll family members as well as the extra furniture. Also, the girls could each play with one.. you can see I developed crazy brain. So at about 1pm, knowing the sale was probably over, the house was probably sold, I drove the kids back over there. I could see it from the end of the street! It was still there! (as you guessed from the picture) She gave me the house and a couple of bags of even more furniture for $15. I'm no haggler. So I gleefully drove it home and proceeded to set up all the rooms. Next is wallpaper and flooring, but I have about 100 other things ahead of that on the list right now- including this blog.

Little man at church in his birthday shirt from Grandma.

Sunday afternoon, we held a going-away party with the choir for one of our longtime church members, Ben, who is moving to San Antonio. Apparently Mike is cracking everyone up- even his wife next to him- now that's an accomplishment!

These guys found one of Colin's toys and played with for about half an hour-seriously.
The food was great!! Dax smoked a brisket and 2 beer chickens. Other folks brought great dishes, too, including my favorite salads- caprese and potato.

Reader Benjamin's last Sunday Liturgy at St. Maximus.

Have you heard of the little 4 year old girl whose oil paintings are sold for thousands? There's some controversy surrounding the legitimacy of it, but after watching a video of her, I really felt she had something different going on from most young kids. She had a certain focus and creativity in what she painted. Sure, she would throw around the paint, smear colors together, etc. but there was a balance between intent and letting the paint land. All in all, I think her creations are beautiful. Here is the video I watched. Aelita Andre
Here is one of her paintings I like. She gets the most attention for her use of color.

So as with most things I'm interested in, I try to do it myself. The girls watched the video twice and loved it! We got our gel paints, a tarp, and got to work. I was also curious to see if they would adapt some of the techniques Aelita used.

And they actually did! They sprayed water on the paint and watched it spread, they decided to clap paint onto the paper like she did, and they poured straight out of the bottles just like her.

Hannah tried a new technique.

At some point, they turned to monster imitations.

We've had the same muted landscape paintings in our den for awhile, so we put our new creations in those frames. These two turned out the best.

Today was the first of our Summer Playgroup. Each mom takes turns hosting each week and decides what we all do. I've recruited Megan to help me run a music-related day (of course). Lindsey hosted today and we visited a great water park. I've lived here for 10 years and still am amazed at what is just around the corner or down the street. I was nervous at first. Watching 3 little kids in water? With a bunch of other kids running around?

Thankfully the larger pool was closed so all the younger kids could play freely. It was still hard to keep track visually, but we had a group of 8 moms watching our kids, so that was nice.

Colin explored the splash pad. At first he wasn't quite sure, but he got excited about it.

Lunchtime! As much work as having 3 little munchkins is, there's nothing that
can replace watching them all sit together and do day-to-day things as siblings.

Colin likes whole apples. The other day I was very proud about that and texted Dax. By the time I was done with the text, I turned around and the apple had been replaced by a fistful of crayons.

Hannah did a great job swimming on her belly. She was in the water almost the whole time.

Jun 3, 2011

Family Fun

Waking up to crazy things the kids have done does not count as fun now, but I'm sure I'll remember it as such later. : ) Chloe and Hannah were covered in green marker one morning- and they have been really responsible with them until now. Then I saw Colin had marker behind his right ear, too! So no more markers for awhile, especially when I'm sleeping.

Again, not family fun, but family time nonetheless. With tornadoes dropping all over the place last week, we ended up in the tub as a family twice one night. It was extremely uncomfortable since we don't have a garden tub! In the meantime, Hannah got an education about storms and sirens since ours is two doors down. I told her not to worry. Only "special storms" have tornadoes, and those don't come very often. My mistake, because then she was very concerned with "special storms" for a couple of days. It turned out all the sirens weren't for nothing. Dax knew a few people who saw a tornado. A family from church saw the same one. And one of my students watched one from her back yard. Thankfully, we were all safe, and there were some beautiful clouds left over.

Another morning, Hannah brought this to me while I was still asleep. She was laughing and laughing. Her Cinderella doll donated her dress to the stuffed lamb, and Hannah was pretty inventive with how to put it on.

"Little man" or otherwise known around here as "No sir!" is moving all over the place, getting into everything. He's using everything he can find as a prop to stand. No letting go yet.

One of his favorite toys.

Dax surprised the kids with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese the other night. Chloe has been talking about it ever since the party. The other day she said, "Hannah says Chuck E. Cheese is a rat! But he's not. He's a mouse!" She said this with a pouty little face and furrowed brow.

We had a great time and tried to earn lots of tickets. We had one token left, and I thought I would really rack up on tickets by returning to the basketball hoop since I had done well a few minutes earlier. I missed almost every shot! We ended up with a few little toys the girls picked out.

It's birthday season! We seem to have a lot of friends with birthdays around this time of year. Lillian and Mikey always throw a great party : ) As people were arriving, Jess turned on her teacher mode and read some educational books.

While Colin poked all the kids from behind.

The first swim of the season! Chloe was so excited for the swim portion of the party.

Lots of choices here!

Colin's first time in a pool.

And the monster slide was on the other side of the yard. I didn't bring a suit since I didn't know that would be there. Most of the dads jumped right in and didn't care to get wet, so Hannah hitched several rides!

One dad takes his daughter down in a fun way.

I was finally convinced to go ahead and get wet once Chloe asked with a sweet face!

Jessica and I go together.

Maybe not the best idea since I slammed into with my bony knees!

When we returned home, there was a great surprise for the girls!! I was noticing the slow disintegration of the cardboard dollhouse we made. It was sagging, bent over, and I had never really papered the other walls like I promised. It was also taking up a ton of space in their room. So I asked a friend from church who sometimes watches the girls if she had any dollhouse plans with which I could put something together from real wood. She's a huge miniature collector- her whole house is full! She said she had something in mind. But then a friend of hers let her know about a house for sale. She knew it was too much for us to purchase, and the friend just decided to donate it to the girls!! Long story, I know, but this was so generous. And it is the exact type of dollhouse I was thinking about. And it came with lots of furniture!

Colin is very interested as usual.

Anyway, I have great plans to decorate this house for them, but I'm so concerned about doing it well, I haven't started. Hmm- seems to be the trend for me.

On Memorial Day we attended the annual church picnic. They had a little corner set up for the little ones.

Butterfly face paint. Later she was very upset when it washed away. "My butterfly!!!" she cried.

We convinced Hannah ahead of time that a strawberry would be a good idea. Otherwise I knew should would choose the whole face paint idea, and we had somewhere else to go that day!

That's a bounce house smile.

She was so bounced out, she fell asleep in the swing in the middle of the teen hangout! There were a lot more around her. It was pretty funny.

We spent the rest of the day at the Finley household, so more swimming and more great food.

For the next couple of days, we stayed home and were a bit under the weather. Thursday came our monthly potluck dinner with the Long and Dykes families. We were in charge of dessert, but as I couldn't breathe and therefore couldn't taste, it didn't turn out too well.. so we made a last minute run to the store. We always have a great time at the potlucks and I keep forgetting my camera. The girls headed straight for the dress up bin, and hopefully someone else got a good picture, but Hannah came out in the craziest outfit yet! Cowgirl hat, shirtless with a few feather boas, and a glittery red tutu- sans pants, and high heels. After burgers, Gary and little Isaia played us a song on guitar and baby drum set. Isaia was amazing with the beat, inserting little solos, and the works! None of us could believe it!! He's just turning 3. We promoted putting him on YouTube where maybe Ellen could spot him for her show. Then the guys settled down to watch the Mavs game and us women played charades, which I had actually never played while the husbands fed us movie titles. The best one was "The Eggplant Who Ate Chicago" at least I think that was it. Anyway, I hope a few pictures float my way because they were really great.

And to close it all off, another shot of our mischievous boy taking after his Aunt Melody.

After he was reprimanded (and he definitely knows the word "no" because he always gives us a certain fake sad face) he kept checking on me as I cleaned the kitchen. I would see a little hand reach out and then pull back.

I know a few posts ago, I said I included videos, but they didn't post for some reason. Well, I still have those clips and more, as well as several kid quotes, which have mostly been posted on Facebook already, but I hope to repost all of that soon. Until next time!