Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Guess what Libby did yesterday?!
Call me for a detailed conversation about this accomplishment, but here's the gist of it. As Brittany and I chatted, Libby took a crayon and some paper that had been provided to her. I requested that she write the letter "L" on the paper and went about my business. She has proven to me before that she can do that. She's also shown me that she can write an "i". But when she announced, "mama look, I wrote my name!" I didn't really expect to see what I saw. The kitchen was filled with excitement as we examined her penmanship. I must say, I am impressed. She has since duplicated the feat, and once for us on video.

Libby has been very excited about letters and reading and writing lately. She's always been interested in letters, and has lately begun to recite letters she sees in sequence "c-h-e-e-r-i-o-s!" and two night we taught her to read her first word, "feet." It was Dr. Seuss's "The Foot Book" and we sounded it out and she learned to find and read the frequently repeated word. Tonight she sounded out "foot" and "book". It is certainly fun to see her enjoy learning this new set of skills! Anyway, here's a photo of the first time she wrote her name (she later scribbled over the Y) and then a video of her showing us how she does it.


The pictures and video below are a hodgepodge from the past couple of weeks. I put them in no particular order. Enjoy!

Easter Sunday we went to Grandma Anna and Grandpa Larry's to celebrate with many from our family and some friends of the family. Grandpa hid eggs and Libby and Aunt Em got to search them out. Libby was very excited to find that they had candy in them!!!

X has a problem with something Aunt Sarah just said.

This is the only picture I ended up taking of my 2 kids together... bummer.

Xander is now doing what I'm going to label crawling. He is not making fluid movements on all 4s. However, he's getting up on hands and knees and then using his muscles to scoot himself forward, flop on his belly, roll a bit, push up and scoot some more, etc. I left him on the gymini in the foreground and returned from a moment in Libby's room. It took me some time to find him among the toy clutter, but there he was. He's making serious ground these days.

One evening last week we stayed up too late decorating eggs. Can you tell? Well, what you might not be able to tell from this picture is that we had a lot of fun and they turned out beautifully.

While strolling I let Libby take pictures of things she saw so we could show daddy later. I deleted most of them, to be honest, but this one I kept around. I like it. I'm calling it
"more to life than snacks."

Libby asked me to take this picture of her with her babies. Count them, there are 4. In pink.

when does washing dishes cease to be fun?
for some, it never does. :) for me, it was long ago.

We had Tylor and Aunt Brett with us for St. Patrick's Day. Here we are, sporting our green. Below, it's just the 4 of us. (Yes, I know you can tell that.) On Tuesday, Libby was getting dressed and announced, "today's a pink day!" (Monday had been "a green day!")

This is serious business. Xander just loves to suck his toes almost as much as his thumb. He gets after it almost every diaper change, and certainly after a bath.

Spring Sprung and we took our first walk through our neighborhood this season. That's a complicated sentence because we have walked through our neighborhood before, and we've actually even walked this season, just not through our neighborhood this season until that particular day. The day before, we walked through Brittany's neighborhood (with her and her kiddos), but I neglected to snap a picture...

I call this video "Barns....".
Let me tell you, taking video of Xander is not an easy task. As you can see, he has two competitors for facetime...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

To The Zoo!

We had the pleasure of hosting Aunt Brett and Tylor during T's spring break and B's vacation days, and we had a great time. We did some shopping and plenty of eating, made sure to wear our green and enjoyed the 60 degree weather at the zoo.

Now, Libby had been asking if we could see the baby alligators at the zoo and I had been hesitant. It seemed to me that real life alligators were not as cute and adorable as the ones she plays with in her imagination, and certainly not as cuddly as Petito, the baby alligator Aunt Lucy sent. Add to that, the alligators are located in what is called "The Kingdom of Darkness", and is quite literally underground. I tried not to instill a fear in her, if she had none that would be fine, but did warn her that the alligators are kept in a dark room, and it's completely dark down there but for a couple of night-lights. (this is totally true, if you haven't been, take my word for it, it's dark and creepy down there. i heard kids complaining about how "creeped out" they were, and i personally found myself in slight panic when i literally could not see libby because of the darkness all around.) She still thought she wanted to go. Well, we got down to the kingdom of darkness and walked quickly by the tanks of snakes and paused to look at the owls and bats (so far owls are the only creatures of darkness i have any interest at all in seeing) and into the swampland we go, walking on a plank bridge around the kingdom, trying to see where we're going and keeping our eye out for gators. Boy did we see gators. I should have tried to count, but all in all we probably saw 50. Libby's first comment was, "are they free?" Yes and no, I reassured her. They are free to move about in the swamp but they are not free to come up here and get us. I kid you not, we were no more than 5 feet above them, if that. Other zoo-goers, you know what I'm talking about. This answer totally satisfied her. Below you can see the pictures that we took. I altered the lighting and contrast in a couple of them so you could see the alligator and the baby alligator behind the smiling (or trying to smile) girl. I asked her halfway through, "honey, do you like it down here or do you not like it down here very much?" (thinking I'd give her an easy out if she was looking for one, she was totally silent most of the time, but totally brave at a time that I was quite nervous. I mean, what's keeping those gators from leaping up and snapping at us as we pass by? Why are they staring at me like I'm delicious, and boy did the Lord do a great job of creating them to camouflage in their environments. Tylor kept saying, "there's one" and I remained shocked at how I had missed it.) Anyway, "I like it down here, I'm just a little bit sweaty" was Libby's response. SO, we continued through the kingdom of darkness, then got out of there to enjoy the monkeys, who gave us quite a show.

(those are watchful gator eyes peeking up out of the water at us.)

The silliness of the apes was a welcome relief in my book. Plus, the light of day was a bonus. Anyway, the pictures below show you the mama, who was busying herself by hanging from the grating and moving pieces of cardboard from one spot to another. It was pretty amazing to see her hard at work at that, and wonder just what she was doing, and why... anyway, as we all looked up, up, up at the mama the baby sneaked up on us! Right before Libby's very face was a little guy, and he took a liking to her.

He immediately came up to her and started kissing the glass. He's looking right at Libby, who is a bit overwhelmed, but she warmed up to him right away.

He's decided to lick the glass...

Libby "connects" with him.

She shows him what she can do with her tongue. She was very careful, under strict instruction from mama, to not let that tongue touch the glass.

Well, the two of them were so cute together that they began to draw a crowd. So, we kindly departed and let others have their fun with this little guy, and we headed to the penguins, who were pretty stoic, but beautiful as they stood and let the snow fall upon their heads. That's all of the zoo for this day! Surely more to come in the coming months...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Impromptu Shoot

After a bath session the other morning I couldn't resist putting the space heater on the floor and the kiddos on a blanket for some photos. I just marvel at them, Libby and Xander. They are just such precious little creations, and I am so thankful to get to spend my days with them, teaching them and training them up. Hopefully I'm training them up for righteousness... not modeling. (Not the the two have to be mutually exclusive...)

Our Budding Artist

I don't know that I've mentioned it on the blog, but many of you already know: Libby loves photography. Maybe I have mentioned that before. Well, that's neither here nor there. She loves it and is crazy about taking pictures. It's a frequent request, and one that I have a difficult time turning down. And, if you've seen any of her previous work you'll agree, she's getting better!

I don't know that I've mentioned it on the blog, but many of you already know: Libby loves photography. Maybe I have mentioned that before. Well, that's neither here nor there. She loves it and is crazy about taking pictures. It's a frequent request, and one that I have a difficult time turning down. And, if you've seen any of her previous work you'll agree, she's getting better!