May 12, 2012

 Well, after many months, I hope to get back on track with the blog. I certainly have plenty of pictures to share. I blame Facebook for one, because it's so easy to post a few pictures there and feel like you've shared something. Also, blogger is a bit different and I was reluctant to relearn writing a post. Turns out it's actually easier. In any case, here we go. I just thought this picture was cute- Colin pretending to take a nap in the tunnel, sucking his thumb.

 Pinterest has been really valuable for me. I've used so many ideas from my bulletin boards with the kids. Here, I've frozen some of their farm animals in ice. They get butter knives and spoons to try and chop/ carve them out. This really occupies them and they learn. I've heard them talking strategy. It also involves a lot of pretend play because once they "rescue" the animals, they usually get to swim in the newly formed pool and have a party.

 Grandma and Papaw came to visit for Hannah's birthday party. This always involves a bit of light reading.

 We went to the park for some physical activity. It's awfully easy to vegetate in front of the tv and eat the weekend away, but it's more fun to be outdoors.

 A game of horse. I remember hours and hours of me and my sisters playing Horse, Pig, and Around the World, and most importantly ridiculous scrimmaging with lots of goofy moves.

 It looks like I have no idea how to play basketball, but I'm really trying to get the ball unstuck, which it did in every shot. It was between that and the other goal which had no net.

 It's party day, so lots of poses.

 One of my favorites.

 These sisters are very much opposites but also good friends. They play all day together and my favorite thing to do is listen to their conversations when they are playing alone. They are like mini-adults.

 Hannah had an art party this year!! Paint palette cupcakes.

 Rainbow goldfish, and rainbow fruit kabobs not pictured : )

 Mess-free finger painting- my favorite.

 Papaw worked on a special project.

 Monster sculptures!

 Pancake style.

 People collages.

 I love how Hannah opens presents. She's very quiet about it and really observes each one. Now if we can get her to look up and realize there's an audience!

 She had a little rainbow cake, too.
Happy Birthday, Hannah!!! We can't believe we have a 5 year old!

Nana's birthday was only a few days later!

 I told the girls I had a fun surprise for them. Grandma had brought me my wedding dress, so I got it out for the girls to see. They've seen the pictures for years, so I thought they would be thrilled to see and touch the fancy dress up close. They were semi-interested and Chloe was willing to try on the veil. Hannah revealed that she had thought the surprise would be a game, and so was disappointed in general. : )

 I was digging up plants in the front flower bed, which can only be done when Colin takes a nap. Sometimes the girls are a little helpful, but it's most helpful when they have their own project going on. Here they both have a pair of scissors and are trying to chop down the tress. I love Chloe's concentration here. I wonder if in their little minds they thought this to be a real possibility. They were at it for quite awhile.

 Hannah's developing her art skills a little more. And since this was a few months ago, I see even more development now. This was a dinosaur scaring some people of very particular ages.

 Little Man, as we frequently call him, got his first haircut! It's pretty much grown back now, but it was sweet to see him sit in the little airplane chair wondering what in the world was going to happen.
He's also called Little Buddy. When he wakes up from his nap and knocks on the door (usually in a terrible mood like his mom awoken from a nap) the girls always say, "I hear a Little Buuuuuddy!"

 This became the norm when I cooked dinner or did pretty much anything in the kitchen. Questions galore and fingers on everything.

 Dax was honored at a work banquet for being a 5 year employee. It was neat to see the veterans of NCTC and how long people have been dedicated to the college. It seemed like a great group of people. Dax is waiting to go on stage here :)

 As you can see two pictures above, our tv is mounted on the wall with nothing much around it. We have separate bookshelves and computer desk also in the den and it's just all too much for me. I want everything consolidated and much prettier. Occasionally I go to Ikea for a little time to myself and sigh at all their comfortable rooms. This is exactly what I want for our den. Everything in one place and yet bright and airy. Too bad it would take forever to save up for this, especially when there are 10 other things to save up for that are more necessary. Dax and I have contemplated building something ourselves. My dad made several built-ins when I was growing up, but Dax and I don't really have skills in that area. Perhaps there's hope, though.

 As most people know, our Orthodox Easter rarely lines up with everyone else's Easter. So when I took the kids to the mall to play one day, I forgot all together the Easter Bunny would be there. The kids went and said hello and got some bunny ears, which they were thrilled with.

 I remember Hannah kept asking me to read the ad on the floor. I kept saying "Claritin" and she kept saying, "What?'

 Here's another day at the same mall. We were meeting our friend Nancy J. for lunch. I love the three different expressions. It's a pretty accurate impression of our daily lives. One or two are happy, one or two aren't quite so happy- unless you're passing out chocolate, then it's unanimously happy.

 Easter egg dying moved outdoors this year into the pretty weather. This was Colin's first time
and he loved it.

 This is usually what happens when one of us actually sits at our house. Get ready for some company!

 On Holy Friday, the church usually gathers together for a work day to decorate the church and tomb, and for the kids to stuff eggs.

 We planned on taking everyone to the midnight service this year and braving it out, but the stomach bug came to visit so I stayed home. The next day we gave the kids their baskets. This year, I kept out most of the candy and I've been in a purging mood, so I gave them only things they would really keep and enjoy. So each one got a chocolate marshmallow bunny, a huge spiral sucker (because those are exciting but they can't possibly finish them) little motor boats for the tub, pencils, and garden gnomes for the backyard.

 A few minutes later, the kids reminded me that I have some nail holes to fill.

 We headed to church for a Vespers service, picnic, and egg hunt.

 We played Simon Says with the kids while the teens hid the eggs. We also sang songs. Hannah leads everyone in Twinkle Twinkle. I was impressed with the older boys actually singing along! Our entertainment went on and on until we wondered what the heck was going on outside. Turns out they were finished long ago, but no one remembered to come and tell us- haha

 Hannah on the hunt!

 Best family picture we could get : )

 Now it's Daddy's birthday! We're covering a lot of ground. Dax picked out a few different gifts for himself this year and it was a pretty busy time, so we didn't do much other than have ice cream cake after dinner. I've told him we've got to do better than that next year. And now I have to retract my statement that everyone is happy if we pass out chocolate. Apparently there are some things chocolate just can't fix.

 Hannah's spring program was really cute. They all wore rain hats and sang short little songs about spring. Hannah is in the middle with a pink hat and navy blue shirt.

 We took a hallway tour of the art gallery- all the classes posted artwork around the school.

 Hannah with her teacher, Mrs. Weber, who has been so kind, loving, and attentive this year.
We couldn't ask for a better 1st teacher for Hannah.

 With Hannah in school, Chloe, Colin and I sometimes stay out and have a little fun. This day we grabbed some Wendy's and ate lunch at some fountains. I had told them they couldn't walk in the water but they could go watch. I love that they carefully sat down together in this position. They are getting so close in size. I'm often asked if they're twins.

 The vegetable garden has really come along! In fact, the plants are almost twice as big now as they
are in this picture. So far we harvested two tiny strawberries, and 3 head of broccoli. I waited too long on the romaine lettuce, so it was too bitter. I've also struggled with garden pests, so I'm worried about all the wonderful tomatoes we're growing. The ones I've picked so far have been burrowed out. We also have carrots, peppers, and green beans on the way! I've really enjoyed growing food and hope to learn enough to make it more economically beneficial next time.

 The kids and I spend a ton of time in the backyard. I feel it has so much potential and have so many visions for improving the property. I tried building this little child sized bed for the kids to play in so they'll not dig in other places. So far they've not touched it of course!  But I still enjoy the flowers.

 We had a special visit the week after Pascha by our Metropolitan Jonah.
Well, I'll leave it here for now, but I've got many more pictures ready to go!

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