Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello, Spring!

…and thank goodness it isn’t summer yet!  We have had some rain.  We have even had some snow!?  We have had some cool days.  But we have had some PERFECT days, too.  And I am ready for a few more of those before the hot humidity of summer comes with little relief.  Saturday was pretty much perfection – sunny; not hot, but not cool; shorts if you like them, but a jacket in the evening; and only the slightest hint of a breeze.  We were outside a lot.  Jeremy biked to his parents’ house, and we met him there.  We hung out awhile before heading home for naps.  Then, in the evening we went to dig in the sand, swing, and eat fire-roasted hot dogs at my parents’ house.  To top the evening off, Jeremy and I went outside to enjoy a small fire while the little ones slept in their beds.  This week (after the rain) looks to be beautiful, too.  And I am thankful.

On some kid notes…. The other day, I went to wake Madison up from a nap (sometimes I have to do that).  When I opened the door, her light was on, she was not in her bed, and she was not playing.  Nope, this is what I saw…

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I am not sure when she went there, but she had brought all the sleeping necessities.  Sometimes, you just need a change of scenery.

Ellie practices Grandpa Yoh’s motto, “Safety First!”  at all times:

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And finally, the sisters bond at all times of the day.  This was just before baths.  Jeremy was outside working on creating a garden (yep, we are going to attempt to live off the land!).  They could see him from the window and yelled (over and over again), “Hi, Hi” –Ellie and “Hi, Daddy!” –Madison.  It was cute enough for a picture for sure!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We’ve been busy…

I suppose the nicer it gets outside, the harder it will be to blog.  I really want to just go sit on the deck and make my grocery list and read a book, but I am going to take a second to blog.  I didn’t realize that it has been almost two weeks since my last slew of posts, but time flies.  Ellie has continued to be an independent spoon eater.  Some days are better than others; in fact, she even eats cereal now!  Yogurt continues to be one of the messier, but probably because she wants every last drop!

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I had a birthday last week.  Jeremy’s parents watched the girls Sunday, so we could go out to see a movie – 42.  It was a fantastic movie; one I would highly recommend.  Then, my parents took the girls on Tuesday, so I could have a little alone time and meet Jeremy for supper.  We ate at Bravo; it was good food, too, especially the bread with dipping oil and seasonings that come out while you wait! 

Last Thursday, my older brother called – well, really, his three year old called – to invite us over to play … he intended it to be a future play date, but I said, “Hey, we are doing nothing; we’ll just come today!”  We’ve been invited over a lot for evening things that are just hard to manage because they live about 40 minutes away, but we hadn’t really been invited over for the day.  And it’s been forever since I just hung out with Nate.  I figured the girls would enjoy a change of scenery, and Madison and Megan are starting to play better together.  They had fun in the sandbox and with the swings before moving to a blanket to play with Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  Ellie had her first experience with sand this summer – and loved it!  I think we will be needing to get some sort of sand box in the near future.

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Jeremy thought we could try flying kites, and found some inexpensive ones for our first attempt.  It was super windy, and I don’t think the kites were up to the challenge, but we did manage to get them off the ground so Madison could see a kite in action. 

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While we tried to reign in the kite, Ellie sat on the grass with her baby.  She doesn’t particularly like being outside if she is expected to walk all by herself – she falls too often.  But she decided she could manage sitting there for a little bit without complaining. 

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE this weather, the green grass, and flowers.   Right now, I have one bouquet of flowers from Jeremy from my birthday.  Then, a neighbor stopped by last night with some fresh cut ones: tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.  The living room smells very fragrant from the hyacinths. 

On Saturday, I went to a women’s conference.  Oh my, how I needed that renewal.  It was a blessing to get out of the house, worship without children, be with other women, and be encouraged by the speakers.  When I got home, we had an invitation to supper at Jeremy’s aunt and uncle’s house for bbq steaks and pork chops.  It was nice to not have to cook supper, but even better to spend time with just one family from his extended family.  Usually we are a large group, and we don’t have time to just chat with a few.  So, we really appreciated the opportunity.

On Sunday, my mom, Steph, Lilli, Sam, Madison, and I went to see Peter and the Wolf performed by dancers from the Wayne Center for the Arts.  That is a favorite book over at my mom’s house, and so the kids already knew the story.  It had quite a bit of narration and costumes; the kids really enjoyed it.  The second half of the performance was just dance, no story.  I think it got a little long for them (and us), but they hung in there.  Madison danced in the aisle, and Sam and I tried to guess what color their dresses would be next.  It was a good time.  Madison stood right next to every dancer she could find when it was over.  I had to tell her to say, “You did a nice job dancing.” so it wasn’t quite so awkward.  One dancer was nice enough to get down and take a picture with Lilli and Madison.  It is a pretty good one, I think!  The girls were both in awe of the dancers…. and their dresses!

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And that is that.  We went for a couple hours this morning to play at my parents.  They have swings, and so do we.  But we don’t have a sandbox, and they do.  It was so perfect outside.  Ellie was dead asleep before we were halfway home – oh, what a little fresh air and sunshine will do.  Okay, gotta go hang some clothes and enjoy the day.  Have a good week!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Get Ready to Catch Up

So, I posted about four or so times today, so if you keep scrolling, you will find new things to read and look at.  I just like breaking things up – it is easier for me to find things later and less intimidating for you (I think!).  I also changed the background… figured we needed it a little more spring-like on here!  I apologize for the lack of blogging… I have been on the computer A LOT lately trying to get some things done for my grad class that is ending next week.  When the school work was done, I just needed a break from the screen.  I was also workign to finish Ellie’s scrapbook online, so that meant a lot of sitting in front of a screen, too.  Well, I finished the book (just got it in the mail yesterday and it is beautiful!)  and I finished my paper yesterday, so I thought I would go ahead and play catch up. 

We have enjoyed the weather every chance we could get – sometimes it was a bit chilly….

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….and sometimes it was just right!

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Some days we have played peek-a-boo in the cabinets and closets….it is an easy game, but oh so amusing!

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Jeremy and the girls worked on becoming a band the other night as I cleaned up dinner.  Yeah, I know, it was loud, but it was worth watching the girls have time to just play with their daddy. 

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Life (minus all the sickness) has been good in our house.  I am learning to just enjoy more moments than dreading them.  It just takes me awhile to get used to a new pace of life – not working out of the home and doing more work inside the home!  That being said, I have just started up the job hunt again.  There are a couple of job openings already posted… I guess I know I am always employable (at least, skill-wise) in my field.  So, I am planning on applying and see where that path leads.  It is hard to figure out what exactly to do.   Ugh.  Anyway.  I hope everyone is surviving the rain (or in some states, ice and snow!) and indulging in the weather during the beautiful glimpses of spring we have had. 

Kickin’ it with the Kimes

I have stayed in touch with Laura, who I coached volleyball with at Mapleton, over the years.  Sometimes we do things as families, and sometimes I just head over to chat (with and without the girls).  Her husband graduated with me from high school, so it makes visiting even more comfotable.  They have a little girl, Teagan, who is a little older than Madison, and a boy, Everett, who is about Madison's age.  All the kids seem to have a lot of fun when we get together, and get along well.  I took the girls up the last Friday in March to visit for the morning.  They had fun discovering new toys and rediscovering friends.  Ellie did a great job venturing away and seeking new treasures to play with.  Teagan has a vast array of fancy dress up clothes – many from Laura’s dance days as a kid.  So they are sparkly and fun.  The girls tried on all of them by the end of the day.  It was fun to watch. 

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At one point, Ellie wanted in on the fun and brought a dress over.

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Then, we had three Belles.  They were beautiful and super cute

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Everett did not really participate in dress up, but was willing to be a part of the picture.

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The girls were wore out and looked like this for most of the way home:

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It was a good day, and one we need to do more often.

Easter Day

It was a good day to be together as a family.  Although the weather didn’t allow us to be outside as we had hoped, it just allowed for more close quarters bonding.  Before leaving church, we tried to get a grandkids picture… many were distracted by one (but isn’t that usually the case?). 

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We managed a family picture:

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The girls took one with Grandma and Grandpa  (this is the best… Madison didn’t really smile in any of them):

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Then, we tried again with the grandkids and grandparents…. a little better???

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Finally, it was on to eating.  We opted for an untraditional Easter meal of haystacks (similar to taco salads, but not really)  Luke managed to fill his plate as always!

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The little kids had an Easter egg hunt before heading down for naps.  The older girls were their helpers to make sure they only picked their style/color egg and no one else’s. 

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While the little kids napped, we played a game called “Crappy Birthday.”  It reminded me a little of Apples to Apples.  It was a fun time.  We all headed home after a light supper and a little more playing, talking, and enjoying each other’s company.  The sunset was brilliant.  Jeremy almost missed it by the time he ran in to get the camera… you can still see what had been.  A good reminder of Jesus’ resurrection after the dreary day.

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Ellie Update

Ellie is a walking machine… Have I said that yet?  In the past two weeks she has started moving everywhere like it is nobody’s business.  She is even twirling when she dances with Madison.  It is super cute.  It is also really nice that she can walk on her own.  I know some people dread this phase when they no longer just sit where you plop them, but I feel like we both gain some freedom.  She toddles into different rooms, explores her toys, and the other day she crept back downstairs after retrieving her purse to play with.  I am hoping by the time summer comes, she is more sure-footed and can roam the playground by herself! 

Ellie is gaining independence in other areas of life as well.  She has always been an avid eater.  Well, she took it to a new level at the end of March.  She insists on feeding herself everything now.  And when I say everything, I mean she used to let us handle the spoon food – you know, the yogurt, the applesauce, the soup, the cereal, and the cottage cheese type of food.  Not anymore.  Meals have gotten a little messier – and a little easier.  I can now eat my own food and don’t have to worry about feeding her.  In some ways, I appreciate this.  The worst meal so far: tomato soup!  I tried to load it with crackers, so it wasn’t as bad.  The best dual purpose meal: oatmeal.  She gets a facial and a meal all in one!  (Maybe we should all try it sometime!) 

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She is also just getting over a double ear infection.  I am pretty sure someone in this house has been sick pretty much everyday since at least January.  I am done!  I will have visited the doctor at least once a week for the past four weeks, I think.  Yuck.  Anyone else ready for spring and less sickness?   Yeah, me, too.

Easter Eggs

We painted Easter eggs for the first time this year… well, I had done it before, but it was a first for Madison.  I bought a set of dye that had little paint roller brushes.  I thought this would capture her attention a little better than watching the eggs sit in a bowl. 

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Strangely, it wasn’t really her favorite thing.  I don’t think she liked the way the dye felt sticky on her fingers.  I was just glad that no one dropped eggs, spilled dye, or otherwise caused a major mess.  I will say I wasn’t extremely happy with the result of that method of dyeing eggs; the dye ran down and bled together when we set them up to dry.  I really wanted to try volcano eggs… maybe in the summer when we can go outside!

In the meantime, Ellie worked really hard on making play-doh creations.  She was impressively content for the entire time!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ellie's Scrapbook Complete

I thought I would share Ellie's First Year scrapbook.  I just finished it.  If you click on the link it takes you to the Shutterfly website.  You can click full screen to see the words better - the birth story is super wordy, but don't be intimidated.  Feel free to not look at all, or just look at pictures.  I just know that I won't see some of you in person to show you the book for quite awhile.  Enjoy!

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