Friday, December 18, 2009

This sewing machine...

...has been running nonstop these days.

And Mitch has taken over all household tasks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Like Father Like Daughter

This morning Mitch spent some time cleaning his bike and doing some work on it before he took off on a bike ride this afternoon. After she watched him leave Anna wanted to go for her own bike ride around our building, but first she had to clean her bike: And Ruthie watched, from behind the safety of our 'baby gate':

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


by Mitch
All of the semesters since I have been back in school have been tough, but this one topped them all. Now it is finished! That is definitely reason to celebrate in our household. There were times when we were not quite sure how we would make it to the end of this semester, but now we have made it. I'm not sure who is more relieved, me or Katie.

Katie likes to post pictures of different projects she is working on from time to time, so I have to post my own version of my projects. This is basically what the largest portion of the semester distilled down to, construction drawings for our Senior Design Project:

Okay, I know Katie's projects are probably of a lot more interest to most people who read this blog regularly except for Hashim, but this project has consumed so much of the last three months that it seemed like it had to make its way into the blog somehow. And yes, the design project entailed a lot more than just those two drawings, but I figured I might be pushing it a bit already. (Sorry, Hashim, the structural drawings didn't make it in. I am a hydraulics guy afterall.)
The last final was over at 10:30 last night. So now how to celebrate?

First, just relaxing.

This picture is actually from last Tuesday. Hashim is reading to Ruthie while we were relaxing after our final Senior Design presentation.

Then today I got to spend the entire morning with Anna, Josie and Ruthie just playing and going for a walk/bike ride (Anna on the bike). Katie actually had a chance to work on some of her projects and have some time alone.

Later during nap time it was a chance to get out on the road again and get a nice thirty miles in.

Tonight it will be a chance to get together with some fellow students to celebrate the end of the semester together over dinner.
The part of celebrating that Katie and I are looking forward to the most, though, is just having some evenings together for a few weeks where I don't have to do schoolwork, and we can just sit and talk.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A High of 13?

That's not a high. 13 degrees is pretty darn low in my book, and that was the high today, if it even got that high. Right now the thermometer is reading 1 degree, and it feels about like that inside. What do you do with three active little girls when the high is 13 degrees? Yesterday we went sledding. The only people on the hill. Was that because it was a weekday and everyone else was at school or work, or because it was so darn cold out? I don't know, but we had fun. Didn't take the camera, but you can picture us: Pushing off from the top of the hill, Anna first on the sled, on her tummy, legs in the air, going down the hill head first. Behind her on the sled was Mommy holding little Ruthie, whose grin got bigger the faster we went. In her own separate little blue sled attached to the back of the big one was Eskimo Josie. Their favorite part? Later they told Daddy "We even went over the jump, Dad! I was going head first, so fast!"

Yeah, I think we're crazy. But Anna had been begging me to go sledding at Scott Carpenter Park for a while now, and we'd been housebound for too long with this crazy cold weather. My favorite part? (Besides the fact that we got outside for a while and watching the girls laughing down the hill) Mocha afterwards. I love how special occasions have their own special food that go with them. Hot cocoa and a mocha for Mom that we made when we got home after a cold morning sledding. There's so much comfort in food.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Did the Grinch Come?

Only a few books left on the once full toy shelves?
Where have all the toys gone?
No, it was not a visit by the Grinch, even though it may look like it. Rather, it was an idea fully initiated by my eldest daughter, all of 4 years old, and supported with equal excitement by her 2 year old sister. I don't get it. I don't think I would have been excited about this when I was 4 or 2, or if you did it to me at 32 with the stuff that I like. But the other night Anna told me "Laura and Mary's house wasn't like our house, was it, Mom?" (This is Laura and Mary of the Little House Series of books, as in Laura Ingalls Wilder, in case you were wondering.) I replied "Nope," wondering where this train of thought was going. You never know when it is a 4 year old making the statement. "Our house is not like Laura and Mary's house because they didn't have any toys, and we have lots of toys. I don't want to have any toys, either, Mom. I want our house to be like Laura and Mary's house." Okay! Not exactly what I was expecting. I think I was expecting something about the size or construction or location of our house. But to Anna it all had to do with the toys. Anyway, the long and short of it is that I spent the rest of the evening putting all their toys up high in their closet in boxes. (No, I couldn't quite bring myself to actually get rid of it all. Maybe I will next week.) They were so excited! And still are! This happened a few days ago and they haven't missed a beat. They have kept playing normally, just using whatever objects they do find around them in their play, like blankets and pillows off the beds or pots and pans out of the cupboards. I must say, bedtime has been easier without the hassle of cleaning up the toys. The house is easier to move through and feels more peaceful and big and open without the clutter of all the toys. Life is so much simpler without all the stuff we like to hold onto. I could learn a few things from my girls. We did keep down one doll and the 3 handmade stuffed animals that they have, along with the books you saw in the picture, but other than that all their toys are where they can't get them. Makes me wonder what stuff of mine I need to get out of my life. Stuff I want but would be better off without.
What would it be for you?
I don't know if I have the strength to do it, but I'm going to think about it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We Have a One Year Old in the House!

She was read her favorite stories (by Anna, here):

Given pictures that have been drawn for her for weeks in preparation for this special day to celebrate our special girl:

Loved the banging game when we got out a bunch of metal bowls and pots and wooden spoons and mimicked everything that she did:

Liked that frosting! (Cute dress by Mema!)

Ate up her carrot cake:

Opened her gifts (this is a bag of rocks that her sisters collected and washed for her, all large enough that she can't choke on them):

The birthday queen, banging her rocks together:

You are one very much loved and celebrated little girl, Ruthie. Thank you for all the laughter and love that you add to our little family.
I love watching you crawl/walk as fast as you can to your Daddy'O when he comes home each evening and your laughter as he swoops you high into the air.
I love how your face breaks into the biggest grin and you laugh with your whole body when you see either of your sisters coming towards you.
I love your hugs when you wrap your arms and legs around me as if you'll never let go.