Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Time for Crunches

A few minutes ago Libby found a piece of plastic that she declared, "my tape measure!" (It was perfectly safe, so) I obliged and told her I'd mark it with inches. It is just over 9 inches long. I showed her how to measure things and we practiced with her finger, a word on a magazine, and then my finger....
L: your finger is .... 3 inches!
L: (the magazine)... it's.... about 7 inches.
L: okay mama, your tummy is... all the inches!

WELL, that's never a good feeling. so, to make myself feel a bit better I asked her,
M: and how many inches is that?
L: stretching tape measure across my waist um, 9 inches.
M: yep, that's about right!

I mean, I figure that's not all that bad. I've had 2 kids for pete's sake!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Independence Day

Here are pictures from our Independence Day. All in all, the day wasn't too eventful. This is a holiday we haven't yet established many family traditions for. It's a holiday often spent in travel and often celebrated outside in the heat of day or the dark of night, and that's always been a bit tricky for a mom protective of her kids' sanity. :) Truly, the highlight of the holiday this year, was having a 3-day weekend with daddy at home. We spent Friday together, just having fun at home and going to a fun park in the afternoon, then having the obligatory grilled dinner. That night we let Libby stay up for fireworks for the first time. Aunt Sarah and Debbie put on a great show for us (Libby loved the parachutes best) and then we hung out in the yard and watched the sky light up all around us, and the yard blink with fireflies. So, while it wasn't incredibly eventful, it was a great day enjoyed with family.

posing after "the show"

we went to the backyard and watched some neighboring fireworks from the playset. Here, Libby is driving Debbie and Aunt Sarah somewhere. . .

sparklers. fun.

I miss Xander in this picture. But I don't regret putting him to bed. :)

Keeping warm.

playtime at the lake


love this pic

happy first fourth of july smiley little man.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Prima Ballerina

As you may remember from an earlier post, over the past 5 weeks Libby has been joining some friends every Tuesday and Thursday evening for dance. She has really enjoyed it, and mama enjoyed the fellowship with the other ladies while we waited for our prima ballerinas to finish their lesson. :)

The girls received introductory instruction on ballet, jazz, and tap, and more than that they got to twirl like stars and hop like frogs and eleve like ballerinas. Unfortunately, mama didn't do a good job preparing Libby for her final dance class last Thursday evening because she didn't realize that all the parents would be coming in to watch the dancers perform. (She loved performing her VBS songs in front of the whole congregation! What was happening here?) She had a touch of stage fright and watched most of the performance from the comfort of mama's lap. But she wanted to go out, i could just tell, and with some encouragement she danced some favorite moves and then returned to her position as a wallflower. Here are a couple of pictures and videos of the evening.

After the show, Libby is all smiles with her friends Kate, Madison and Emiliana.

Summer Fun

Early last week we played with our friends and cooled ourselves with icy cold faucet water... at least, the kids did. They loved running through the sprinklers, swimming in the pool, and even being chased around and squirted with the hose. Oh childhood, it's grand.

there's nothing fabulous about this picture, so i might not have posted it, except that i think it's so funny that they have the exact same look on their faces.

xander even came out for a short bit. maren continued napping like the good girl that she is.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Last weekend, we joined some dear friends for a couple of days at the lake. We all had a really great time. It was so nice to have a mini-vacation that was kid friendly and quite enjoyable for the adults. Brittany, Jenny and Heidi headed out with our 3 toddlers and 3 infants, and waited for the guys to arrive later Friday evening. We cruised around the lake in a golf cart, drove 4-wheelers, paddle-boated, swam, played catan, ate, and fellowshipped. I took several pictures while we were there and they are posted here in reverse order. You can see from the first one that we had fun, what else could wear a little girl out to this degree?

Sitting Around

Xander is on the move. I had to take this picture of him because he managed to climb under the chair, through the bars, and was having quite the time under there. Then, as I was photographing him, Libby got interested. So, she requested that I take a picture of her too. In the end, the picture was of her asking to have a cookie. Don't think I let her sit around eating cookies all day, but if I did you should try it because look at her calves! The girl has the most defined calves I've ever seen on a 3-year-old. She takes after her Aunt B. :)

The Great Rock Wall

In the days of old, our front yard was plagued by a planting area engulfed in vines. The vines were out on control, covering the ground with their greenness, which was fine, until the greenness captured the leaves that fell from our oh-so-plentiful trees, and then the vine made the front yard look yucky and unkempt, and overgrown.

So, there was a time when we pulled that vine.

Then, in those times the planting area was mulched and the yard looked glorious in her brownness. Except when the rains or winds came. Make that sprinkles or breezes. And then the brownness spread to the sidewalks, and the leaves spread to the sidewalk, and the sidewalk was engulfed in brownness and leaves. And the brownness and leaves made their way into the house, and the whole situation was deplorable.

So, there was a time when we decided to plant bushes to catch the mulch and protect the sidewalk. BUT, one fine day, before the shovel hit the dirt, Granddad said, "what you need to do is build a retaining wall right here to hold all this dirt and mulch up off the sidewalk." And so, it was.

Daddy set to work and hoo-rah-ray the wall was built. The results? Marvelous. Stupendous. Fabulous. Extraordinary! See for yourself. (oh, and see Libby and Aunt Sarah playing "red light, green light" the evening the last brick was placed.)

Try to look past the fabulous little girl and see the ground that was covered with vines.

Day 1 of wall building, it was hard, hot, back breaking work. But it was worth it (I can say that).

When the winds and rains came and the trees came tumbling down, the rock wall stood firm.

Here's the new view from the street. Naturally we have another rock wall project ahead of us, replacing the limestone planter, but for now we're enjoying the right side of our front door. :)


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Xander's First Swim

Last weekend we took Xander out for his first swim. He LOVED it. Much like his big sister, he enjoys swimming and splashing around. As daddy or mama held him, he kicked his legs and swatted at the water, at times completely soaking his face but he never held back. It was very sweet and fun to watch, and I wish we had some pictures or video of it, but I found that photographing a swimming family is much harder with 2 kids than it is with just 1. We both had a child in our arms at all times! So, you'll have to settle for pictures from lounging on the towels during our mid-afternoon break.

(seriously, how many pictures do I have with these two making the exact same faces?)