Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Days

The girls spend almost all day everyday outside now that the weather has warmed up and it's not raining so much here. Josie has been riding her 'special brand new bike from Papa' every day (that's what she calls it every time she mentions it) and is getting stronger as she goes. Her latest thing has been to attach the bike cart to her bike so she can ride Tigger around. It's pretty heavy for her to pull and she gets stuck sometimes but she loves it. In this picture she's actually pulling her friend Nam, but she needed help on the uphill because she's not really strong enough to pull another kid. She's so proud, though, and so am I. That's my girl:

Yesterday while her sisters slept Anna got out her bird puzzle from Nona and Grandpa and we had fun putting it together. She needed some hints as we went but I was impressed how much of it she could do herself now:

"Yay! I did it! It's all finished, Mommy!"

And yes, we do have a new dining room table! I love it. We can all sit around a table to eat now! I have the girl's chairs against the wall and we keep the table pushed up against the wall when we're not using it to conserve space. It feels like we doubled our countertop and work space overnight.
Don't ask me why, but the girls really wanted to wear life jackets in the sprinkler yesterday. They laughed the whole time, and so did I:

Anna is wearing Mitch's grandfather's hat in these pictures. I love that it fits her and she likes it. Here the two girls are at a full sprint going through together giggling the whole time:

They were both soaking wet by the end, truly really, really wet :). This is not the normal Family Housing sprinklers when they water the grass around here that jet the water out hard to reach all the way across the lawns, this is just our own personal hose and sprinkler that I have turned on low. I think it's gentle enough that even Josie likes it. What would you say?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pots & Pans

I forgot how much fun a 6 month old can have in the pots and pans cupboard and how easy cooking becomes when there is a whole cupboard full of entertainment and various odds and ends to explore right next to mom.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do You Do A Didgeridoo?

We have a children's book by that title and now we can reply with a resounding: "Yes! Mitch does a Didgeridoo! One that blows a low wahoo..." Did you know you can practice Didgeridoo while doing dishes or folding laundry? At least the circular breathing part. A lot of funny sounds emanate from our house at random times from random places these days and it always makes the girls laugh. Mitch practicing circular breathing, or blowing air from his mouth continually while breathing in and out. Here's a video that I found quite impressive. Watch how long he is able to keep going and getting some sort of sound out of the Didgeridoo.

Josie didn't want to be left out of the musical fun and fetched her drum to play along with Daddy. She got quite into her playing and I was able to capture her drumming spirit on this next video in particular:

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Brought you some flowers, Mommy

Little girls are so sweet, even when their Mommies aren't. We've been having a rough day around here. I wouldn't say that I've exactly been acting like a mature adult. It seems more like there are 4 little girls around here today, just one of them can produce milk for the baby to drink and is strong enough to push the stroller. Ruthie is the only one taking naps today, don't ask me why. I feel like I've had girls crying more today than they haven't been crying. I guess some days are just like that. Even in Australia.
But then Anna just came in from outside, where she and Josie are finally playing happily together in the water in the birdbath, and brought me these:

Thank you, Anna. You are a kindhearted little girl. You bring sunshine and beauty into every one's life that you touch. I am a lucky Mama.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

We had a wonderful Father's Day celebrating Mitch. Thanks, Mitch, for being such an amazing Father to our three girls.
I hope your Father's Day was as blessed as ours, a day dedicated to showing the Fathers in your life how much you love them and value them in as many ways possible. We had a full but relaxing day filled with all the things Mitch loves most:

-6 a.m. bike ride up to the top of Flagstaff Mt. by Mitch

-Sprinkler time for two girls and their Dad.

-Time spent in the garden both as a family and Mitch by himself so he could actually work in peace. Can you think of anything Mitch would rather do with a day?

-Red wine and dark chocolate while the girls napped (does that count as a real date?!):

-A nap for Daddy'O! Now that's what I call one relaxing day:

-fresh blueberries for a snack:

-A 'potluck' for dinner (the words potluck and picnic are interchangeable in our house these days). Mitch said he wanted beans or lentils for dinner, so I made Huevos Rancheros. You can't beat freshly harvested lettuce, green onions and cilantro topping it all off! And a family picture to boot:

-Tandem triking (did you know such a thing existed?):

-And cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries for dessert shared with all our neighborhood friends that were outside playing with us in the evening:

-But the best surprise of all was what Anna and Josie wanted to give Daddy as a present for Father's Day: a Didgeridoo. He can actually get sound out of the thing! He has yet to master circular breathing which would allow you to play continually, but that will come with practice. If you've never heard an actual Didgeridoo played, now you can! But note that it was just received today and future videos of Didgeridoo playing will have many more hours of practice behind them:

Happy Father's Day, Mitch. We love you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Anna Ballerina

Anna, like most 3 year old little girls, I assume, is fascinated with ballet. Any dancing, really. I took this little video today of her doing ballet dancing, 'real ballet,' she says. She's pretty cute. She says she's jumping really high and doing all sorts of fancy moves.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Out of the mouth of babes...

Today Josie had the Bible open and was 'reading' it. She told me "It says 'God will put a bandaid on my bloody owie.'"
How true. In more ways than one. Thank you, Josie, for the reminder.

Monday, June 15, 2009

That Time of Year

Many of you who read this blog know that about this time for the last few years we have sent out an email telling people that we are changing addresses again. Well, it's about that time of year again, so we wanted to write to say. . .


That's right. For the first time in six years we will actually have the same address for more than twelve months. By September it will be the longest we have lived at a single address since we have been married.

A toast to our cozy first floor apartment in Athens Court.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Papa's Visit

My Dad was here visiting this weekend and we had a great visit with him. The girls thoroughly enjoyed playing with their Papa. We went for a hike on Saturday with him up Green Mountain, a mountain just outside of Boulder and visible from our house. We were able to drive up quite a ways to a trailhead fairly close to the top of the mountain and then our hike was about 3 miles round trip to get up to the top and back. Here's some great pictures we took along the way.

Anna enjoying some of the wildflowers along the way:

Anna and Mommy hiking along:
Self portrait of me with Ruthie on my back:Here's the trooper! She's one amazing three year old! Anna hiked the whole way up and almost the entire way down. Josie rode on Daddy's back most of the way and got her nap in on the way up:At a view point along the way:This is one of my favorites, Anna hiking with her Papa:Anna may have been quite the hiker, but what she really wanted to do the whole way up and back was find big rocks she could go bouldering on and scramble up to the top of. Here she is bouldering with Mama spotting:At the top! We made it! We had an amazing view of the mountains to the west and Boulder and the plains extending out to the east of us. This picture is actually facing south so you can't tell. We didn't spend too much time on top because a thunderstorm was moving in and the top of a mountain is not the place you want to be in a thunderstorm. But we did get in one triumphant picture of all of us before heading back down:Anna found some purple pine cones on this fir tree on the way back down and was quite excited to show all of us and you: Just in case you were wondering, purple is her favorite color. Dark purple. Here are the fir cones up a little closer so you can see what she got so excited about: By the end Anna was ready for her nap and Josie was antsy to get out of the pack so Josie had her own turn hiking. Here she is hiking along:Josie getting carried by Mom some more. This is what I look like most of the time when we go hiking on Thursdays with our friends. I end up carrying two kiddos most of the way. This was a much easier hike for me with Mitch and my Dad around to carry kids and hold hands and carry water, food and jackets :) Ruthie thought it was great to have her sister right there to laugh at:And another one of my favorites, Papa carrying Josie:We're almost back to the van and Josie's hiking again:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ruthie's First Teeth

Yup! They're in there! You might have to take my word for it if you can't see them in this picture, but Ruthie has two bottom teeth now, the cutie. She sure can grin. We are one blessed family to have this little one around. She has quite the pleasant demeanor and certainly enjoys life. If you've never heard her cry, though, don't worry, she does. Mostly if she's hungry and Mommy is not feeding her right now! Or if she's tired and I'm slow getting her down. (I promise, Ruthie, you don't want to fall asleep in a poopy diaper.)
She's getting to be such a big girl now! I'm sure one day I'll look back at this post and laugh to think that I called her a big girl at 6 months, but it sure seems like it to me. The last 6 months have flown by! Here's a picture of my big girl sitting up:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On To Bigger and Better

Josie decided enough with the little trike! Thanks to Nikki, Doug and Isaac last night (who watched the two older girls while Mitch and I went on a date! Wahooooo! Thanks guys!) who put Josie on Isaac's bike to ride, Josie found out she can ride a bike if it's small enough. So first thing this morning she went around and tried all the bikes in the courtyard to see which ones she could ride and which one she could ride the best. I think she does a better job on the bike than on the trike. She's a natural! Now she doesn't need to beg Anna to take her for a ride in the bike cart.

Summer is definitely going full swing around here now, even if the weather refuses to acknowledge that it is June and it continues to be grey and cool. Lots of outdoor gatherings and activities and I'm loving it. We have started hiking every Thursday with friends. On our hike last Thursday we went 3 miles, yes, 3 miles! Quite impressive, really. Anna hiked the whole thing. Did she have a choice, really? At least she didn't complain but seemed to be enjoying herself. We did bring up the rear of the group the whole time and by the end there was one other mom and myself and 8 kids and a dog between us hiking down the trail. We made it out with no catastrophes and enjoyed an amazing panorama of mountains in the background and tons of wildflowers up close around us. It's good to get out hiking again. Sorry, no pictures, I think I had my hands full. Maybe next time.

On the Ruthie front, she got her first tooth in the last week, is about to get another, and is starting to crawl. I'll show you a video of that soon. She's quite a determined, active little girl.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Family Photo

A family photo from when we were visiting Bill and Judy on the farm:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Anna Visits the ER

Yes, that was the excitement of our day, a trip to the ER! It was a rainy day here today so we were playing inside all morning. As Anna says it: "I was playing around with a blanket on my head that I couldn't see through and I fell. My head hit the blanket chest (right on the corner) and it was bleeding. I cleaned it and cleaned it and cleaned it (she held a towel on it while I called the doctor). And then I went to the hospital. At the hospital they put stitches in it. First I put my head on a washcloth, like a little one (that was their first step to clean it). They opened the stitches up and then they put them in my head. I liked it. I liked every part. You know what my faaaavorite part was? I liked being close to you! (I held her while they did it)." Yup, cracked her noggin open. And she didn't even cry! Not when she did it, not when they cleaned it or numbed it or stitched it. "Not anything!"-says Anna. Now she's telling me "Numbing was my favorite part!" (That was the part that actually did hurt). Crazy brave kiddo! She really was fine and did great through it all. Mitch came home from work and went with us, I can't imagine trying to go to the ER with all three kiddos by myself, plus he had the car. Here's a picture Anna drew of her day:It's "Anna at the Hospital." The squiggly lines going up from the bottom she said were the doors, one to the hospital and one to the room we were in. The littler circle in the middle is the bed we laid on while they stitched her up.

We also wanted to say:

And Anna also wants to tell you 'we like this drum' (the djembe drum we have).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Berry Smoothie

What happens when you have a very tactile two year old eating a smoothie at the table and a six month old who must be put down for a nap right now? You come back to this:

She sure knows how to have fun. With anything. Josie has been experimenting with various forms of sunscreen lately. Her favorite is SPF yogurt, but today berry smoothie sufficed. I was quite proud of my smoothie. The girls loved it! I put blueberries, raspberries, peanut butter and kale in it. Does that sound yummy to you? I wasn't sure, but they went for it.

In case you have been wondering, yes, I did cut Josie's mullet off finally. But if you talk to Josie about it I just "took some hair away with scissors and put it in a bag."