Wednesday, August 31, 2011


So while Emmy and I worked on her birthday cake, Ben took the boys bike riding (Lucy was napping). There is some little spot in town with little dirt hills - the perfect place for little boys! They had such a great time:

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little update on our Little Farmlet

Here's our garden. I think it looks like a pretty sea of green. It looks waaaay better than what it's producing - not sure why? But we have gotten stuff and we'll see what we end up with. There is a rather large pumpkin growing - in addition to smaller ones. Miles has 3 spaghetti squash. Today the kids discovered a quite large green gourd - what do you do with a gourd? Strictly for decoration? Zucchinis are finally arriving. Tomatoes are finally ripening. So we aren't getting a bounty of stuff, but I guess at least we are getting stuff.

We got eggs! - (please say this to the tune of "We got Annie!") So exciting. Miles (or someone else, but usually Miles) checks every morning for eggs. Then this afternoon Miles was checking again and viola! eggs! There were 2 rather smallish eggs (blue in color), and so I hard-boiled them and we ate them with our dinner. Yummy fun!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emmy's 4th Birthday

Well Emmy got to have a "friend" party this year. I had a friend tell me of the "every 4 year" plan for birthday parties - so kids can have friends on their 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th birthdays. Sounds perfect to me! And lucky for Emmy.

I was a little worried as to what to do since we've never really done a "friend party" and the friends that Emmy had wanted varied in ages: one girl is almost 5, another is 7, and the other 8. They are all neighbor girls and Emmy really loves them - especially the older girls. They are all so sweet and adorable. But I just planned some really low-key things and it all worked out. They pretty much just played for the first 45 minutes, then the next 45 minutes we did some of the activities I had planned: bead necklaces and painting nails. After that the rest of the friends' families came over - which included the parents and 2 brothers. Everyone played some more, then we ate cake and ice cream, opened a couple presents, played some more, then everyone left. The party started at 1pm - a perfect time I thought. A perfect time for Emmy would have been 7:15am. But it all worked out. Our kids all got to watch a movie in the late afternoon, then we had dinner, then Emmy opened her family presents.

A fun and exhausting day - for parents and birthday-girl alike. :)

Ahhh she's 4! And in curlers for her special day. :)

Birthday morning! Pink cereal and opening her morning present - sparkly sandals!

Her birthday cake. Not perfect, but pretty enough. (A big thanks to Ben for helping me create the right shape after the cake didn't rise as much as I had hoped. . .) (Oh, I also haven't broken the news to Emmy that Belle is now a one-legged amputee. . . whoops)

Here is the birthday girl waiting ever-so-patiently for her friends to come over. I made the tissue-paper pom-poms the night before and loved them (thanks to Deb for the tissue-paper!).

Here are the party girls working hard on their pop-on bead necklaces. They were big hits - especially with the older 2 girls.

Finally, cake time! Here is Emmy blowing out her candles. I told her to make a wish. She told me she couldn't. :)

The adorable girls having fun in the sandbox. (Oh I just love this picture!)

Oh man was Emmy so funny opening presents! She just opened one, hardly glanced at what it was, then went on to the next. It wasn't that she was being ungrateful, she just wanted to open, open, open the presents. It was quite ridiculous. And cute. After they were all opened, then she went back and inspected them all and played with the toys. Funny girl. (notice how the picture shows how uninterested she is in the newly opened toy and how she's already moving out to open the next one?)

A princess-in-training perhaps?

My dressed-up, spaghetti-stained Girl. Love her.

Sweet dreams birthday girl. (Classic: sleeping with her new Tangled doll, naked of course.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dear Emmy,

Well Happy Birthday little princess. Looking at the above picture will probably help me write this letter in a more kindly manner, seeing as ahem I had a really, really rotten day with you today (sure that's not nice to say on your birthday - but I am writing this 2 days earlier so hopefully you're better on your birthday - but it's also the truth.) The song-line, "You shake my nerves and you rattle my brains," comes to my mind this evening.

But I'll just keep referring to that adorable picture of an adorable little girl and try my darnedest to have happy thoughts. Here we go. . .

If there is any one word that defines you, it would simply be "girl." You are such a girl: princesses, pink, squeals, kisses, brushing hair, and ballet are all very much a part of you.

You adore all things princess-y. When we go to the library you always make sure I have some princess books - or Fancy Nancy (who I much, much perfer. . .). You love looking at their pictures and studying their ways. We had "Christmas in Fall" when we got an amazing package from Ben's sister that contained oodles and oodles of princess dresses, shoes, purses, gloves, etc. Amazing. You were, of course, a princess for Halloween. Now I think both me and your dad always vowed we would never dress up our girl as a princess for Halloween. I mean, come on? But when talk of costumes began and there was only one thing on your mind, it made total sense to have you be Belle for Halloween. Indeed, the name fits you well, too.

Pink. You love pink. It is your favorite color. Whenever you see pink, you always exclaim, "oooohhhh." You're not always having to wear pink, but if something has pink in it, it certainly endears you to it. When asked what your favorite ice cream is, you simply say "pink." YUM.

You get giddy and excited just like a stereotypical girl. You squeal, squeech, and come and hug whoever is closest. It's simply adorable. You also love to kiss me and your dad. It's funny, and totally cute. I'm not much of a lip-kisser (except for a certain man you call your father) and it kind of makes me cringe when you kiss me on the lips (I'm cringing right now. . .) but I'll take whatever sweet affections you want to send my way.

Ohhhh do you like to brush hair! I love when you brush my hair - it's lovely. :) You do like to brush your own hair, too. You used to try and brush your brothers' hair, but they would just run from you and so now you don't even try. You brush unbrushable doll's hairs. You brush Lucy's hair (she loves it!). You have also been in to having me do things to your hair - pony-tails, braids, and even curlers. You are a curler champ - you'll sleep all night in them with no complaints. And you are oh-so-adorable with curly hair.

We've started a little bit of ballet and you simply make a beautiful ballerina. Pink leotard and skirt and tights and shoes. Haired pulled back. Stunning. You try really hard to listen well and watch how to do the positions and other moves. You are especially fond of curtsying. And you often will tell your brothers that they bow and girls curtsy.

You still remain a good big and little sister. The boys like you. . . for the most part. And you like them. . . for the most part. Lucy just idolizes you Emmy. She adores you. You come in to the room and Lucy becomes the giddy one. Sometimes you can play with her positively perfectly and I just stare as Lucy is completely enthralled with you. She likes to be in your room, play with your toys, climb on your bed. And. . . for the most part. . . you let her.

You became a Sunbeam this past year in church. And you love it. Lately you've become an interesting little singer in primary: you'll sing out - very loudly mind you - a word here and there that you catch others singing. Unfortunately, it sounds like you'll be taking after my singing abilities, as opposed to your father's. But I love it nonetheless. You love to sing your made-up songs while being pushed on the swing. You sing about everything from princesses to Jesus. It's one of my favorite things to hear: Emmy singing while swinging. It always brightens my day.

You love wearing skirts, trying on multiple outfits every day, putting on lip-gloss, having your nails painted, eating candy, riding your princess bike with your princess helmet.

You Love Being a Girl.

And I love you. Through thick and thin. Through screams and giggles.


Monday, August 22, 2011

My BOYS' First Day of School, 2011

Miles started his first day of 2nd grade. He was excited. When I told him last Monday that in one week he'd be going to school, he replied, "Oh, I wish it was today." I'm so glad he likes school! He has the same teacher as last year - which he (and we) was super happy about. We dropped him off at his "old" classroom and he was ready and anxious for it all. So glad.

And Jonas. Sniff, sniff. When I told him he couldn't possibly be starting school because he's my baby boy, he replied, "Well I am 5 and I have a backpack." So true, Jonas! He did great today. I had to count today as his "first" since it was for Miles. But it was kind of an "intro, find out what they know" type of day. He went from 8:30 - 11 (he'll be doing 8-11 normally). Then he's done for the rest of the week. Silly!
The cute bunch getting ready to head out in the morning.

He's so big. . . yet so little. :)

He LOVES his backpack - and, thus, I do too. It's a definite "Jonas backpack." Cooool.

My 2nd grader!

Cutest 2 brothers, I think. :)

Another one. Sorry, I just can't help posting tons of pictures.

We had to wait about 30 minutes in between dropping Miles off and then Jonas off. So we played at the playground. Fun times for everyone!

He melts my heart. The first thing he said when I picked him up, "I had fun!" Oh isn't that the best??? He has since told me about 2 friends he made - both girls. He made them laugh a lot he told me. They like to speak a lot of spanish I was also told by him. But he doesn't know their names. But he does know he wants to marry one of them. :) So I would say his "first" day was a flying success. . .

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some things never change. . .

like what's fun for kids to do around the house. . .
Here's Lucy living it up in the fridge.

And here's Lucy's Grandpa Max living it up in the fridge as well - 64 years ago.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

End of Summer odd 'n ends

Our basil did so fantastic! Wahoo. Over 50 cups worth. (We're proud of our basil because it's pretty much all we can be proud of. . .except for Miles' spaghetti squash. But we're still holding out hope. . .)

Such cute sisters! Emmy requested that Ben take a picture and I just adore it.

The backyard camp-out that was and wasn't. I had decided it would be fun for the boys to have a "before-school" camp-out in the backyard. They were all for it (and Emmy was bummed, of course. But in a year or 2 she'll have her turn as well)! Here is there cozy little area in the back.

However, by about 10pm the lightning was crazy - huge blankets of lightning, plus streaks. So that was a little concerning to me. Also, it started raining - and Ben knew they couldn't be wet all night. . . so we moved them back inside. But they boys had already fallen asleep - so, really, they got to enjoy everything but waking up outside. So they still had a great time, I think. Ben was a little bummed to have to come inside - but there's always next weekend. . .

Ridgway 2011

So we are trying to get in a few last summery things before school starts on Monday. So last Monday we all went to Ridgway. It's the first time I've been all summer and of course I left wondering why we didn't go more often. But I don't want to go by myself with 4 kids - all of who can't swim. But anyways, we did have some great fun:
So I'm definitely partial, but what a cute bunch! :)

Lucy pretty much loved every minute of it. She'd crawl right into the water, play in the sand, etc., etc. I think she's the only one that did mind the cold water (including Ben and me:).

Our very own little beach crab.

Ben helping her get in and play.

Miles liked playing in the sand just as much as the water (or more?) - it was definitely warmer than the water. Ha.

Jonas making some splash!

Emmy just loved, loved, loved floating like this. It was so fun for her.

Silly, but cute, girl!

The water aged Lucy greatly.

We also played at the park there. Jonas is really into swinging. He loves it!

Crunch-time on Merit Badges

Well summer is quickly coming to an end. But, I guess technically speaking, we still have a month. I think the boys will earn them all, but we shall see. . .

Here are some of the things we worked on this past week:
One of the cooking requirement was to create and make ice cream. Well we made ice milk instead, but oh well. Also, we didn't necessarily mean to, but the flavor the boys created turned out to be "hot chocolate." More precisely, "hot chocolate with marshmallows." Every one but me seemed to really enjoy it. Miles thinks it's the best thing ever.

We also worked on the literary requirement of writing a book and illustrating it. That kind of became too much - for me, really. So I saw this on www.makeandtakes.com and thought we could do that instead. So I made a few squiggly notecards, had the boys color them however they saw them, and then we wrote a story on the back of each one:

This is Jonas' works of art. My favorite one is definitely the "man yelling." Would have never seen that one! Awesome.

These are Miles'. I like the whale - it's chasing after a pirate ship that was about to attack that man on the island yelling, "help." Awesome.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lucy's 1st BirthDAY

Well the day has come and gone. I miss it already. It wasn't particularly amazing, just sweet and fun. We had somewhat of a busy morning. There was a primary prez. meeting at my home from about 8:30-10am, then we went downtown to meet up with some of our friends and play at the plaza. By the time we got back it was lunch, then down for naps. Luckily both my girls napped and so I was able to clean up the kitchen a bit and get Lucy's cake finished. After nap we just played and waited for my parents to arrive. They arrived just about the exact time that I couldn't take "When will they be here!?" anymore from my kids. :) Ben got home from work a little while later and then we had dinner, did presents, and ate cake. Here are the pictures:
Good morning Sunshine and a Happy Birthday to ya!

The birthday-traditional crepe paper on the door was a little daunting to Lucy. :)

Miles had made Lucy 1/2 a dozen "gifts." Here she is opening one of them.

Miles sewed this "rattle." He had some plastic thing that he filled with buttons. Then put it in the fabric and stuffed it with batting. Then stitched it all up. How awesomely cute and wonderfully thoughtful.

Here's her sweet cake. I liked how it turned out. And it was yummy too - fresh strawberries in the cake and frosting. YUM.

We played up in Emmy's room for about a 1/2 hour - Lucy was practicing her standing. It's all she did. She'd put her hands on someone's tummy, stand up for .5-15 seconds (sometimes clapping while standing), plop down on her bum, then do it all over again. It was so fun - for all of us!

Here she is opening her presents after dinner. Oh the joy.

Classic picture of a baby - with siblings - opening presents, right!? The other kids have played with the gifts just as much as Lucy has the past 2 days!

I had to show this picture because 1. it's cute having Lucy's face framed in her present and 2. I had to show one with my mother in it.

Lucy's few gifts were practically perfect for her. She loves them.

Birthday cake time! She was a little unsure of sitting on the table, I think.

A little unsure at first. . .

A little more enticed. . .

Enjoying it. She didn't go crazy, but I think she definitely enjoyed it.

We all thought Lucy could tell it was "her" day and that the new toys were "hers" and that the cake was something neat and exciting.

Most of all, I think and hope she just felt extra-special on her day!