Sunday, March 28, 2010

Something clicked in her brain...

...and now Anna can do puzzles, just like that! She's never done them all by herself before and even putting two pieces together seemed like it took a lot of prodding and hinting by me. We've done puzzles, they were just very much a 'we' effort. But this week I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden she realized she could do it! She could recognize the pieces of the picture that looked similar, she could see how the shapes might go together, and she has spent a lot of time putting this hundred piece puzzle together a couple of times, all by herself.
She's quite proud of her new skill!

Look who joined the drawing table!

Little miss Ruthie! Don't leave me out of anything my sisters are doing!
I have to tape her paper down to the table, but then she just goes to town. She knows where the crayons are kept and will go get them, or anytime she finds a pencil or pen lying around she wants to use it. I just have to be vigilant in making sure that she also has a piece of paper in her hands if she finds a drawing utensil or I will have some walls to scrub.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chocolate Cookies

Gathering ingredients:

Mixing up the cookie dough:

Putting them on the cookie sheet:
Chocolate cookies for Ruthie to eat! (Seriously, you have to watch this girl, 'cause she will eat those cookies!)
The funniest part to me was the fact that we made real brownies the day before and said we were eating mud.

I just don't understand why the piles of laundry seem to grow exponentially in the spring time.

And another fun shot of Anna in her fancy dress, spinning in a puddle:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stone Soup

The girls have been helping me put together my dinner menu each week and for tonight's meal Anna wanted to make Stone Soup.

They gathered some stones:
Washed their stones:

Chopped the potatoes, carrots and celery (I chopped the garlic & onion):

Held their chopping knives very carefully with both hands:
And helped me put the stones into the pot:
Besides the ingredients listed above, I threw in some lentils, sauteed all those ingredients in olive oil, added chicken broth and cooked the soup until everything was tender. Then I blended it all in the blender and added some cream and broccoli. Mmm mmm mmm! It turned out very good. I think the blender step helps a soup like this be more kid friendly (except for the fact that my girls hate the sound of the blender and Ruthie cried the whole time).

Anna helped mix up biscuits to go with the soup:

Which I finished while sitting in the doorway watching them play:
A dinner of Stone Soup and biscuits! Anna is pretending to eat one of the stones, even though we said they were just for flavoring:
The girls loved their soup, and they loved making it. We read the story of Stone Soup while we ate. Have you ever made Stone Soup as a community meal with each person/family contributing an ingredient? The cookbook we used for this soup comes from one of the preschools in our area that makes it in that way, each kid brings a soup ingredient on the designated day and as a class they make soup out of whatever is brought. Someday you'll have to join us for Stone Soup and bring whatever soup ingredient strikes your fancy. Mushrooms? Noodles? Barley? Kale? The possibilities are endless.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Family Bike Ride

I don't know if you all keep up on the weather in Colorado, but after a cold, blustery, snowy, temperatures in the teens sort of weekend, we were happy to see the sun and feel its warmth on our backs again. The snow's all melted except for in the shade now and we spun out for a family bike ride, our second in a week! Usually, Josie's in the bike seat and Anna and Ruthie hang out in the bike cart. But since I gave Anna a little treat on our last ride while she was in the bike cart, today Josie decided she wanted to ride in the bike cart so she could have a little treat, too. Mitch got to pull a few extra pounds around and I got to ride with a grinning, laughing Ruthie who fell asleep before we had gone very far, her second nap of the day.
The Clements do like to ride.
The girls like the change of scenery and watching the praire dogs, dogs, walkers, the creek, and other bikers go by. They will enjoy it for over an hour before they start to complain, and that's enough for Mitch and I to get a pretty good ride in and for our bodies to get a good workout if you factor in the extra weight we're each carrying on our bikes. Brings back lots of good memories of other fun bike rides.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lying In the Grass

Isn't she a cutie pie?

What mom can lie in the grass and not have a little one sitting on her, grinning and bouncing up and down? Can you see little Ruthie back there?

Enjoying the warm sun, the green grass, the blue sky, the smiles of little ones, and my new earrings.

P.S. My new earrings were made by Jillian Lukiwski of The Noisy Plume. You can read her blog here and visit her etsy shop here for more fabulous jewelry. I love them!

Anna's Artwork

Anna spent quite a long time today finishing up this picture that she started coloring last night. She wanted me to post it on the blog so "everyone in the whole wide world can see it!"

Here it is!
Anna's artwork, carefully and meticulously done. (It's a prefab picture, obviously, that she colored in. No, she can't draw quite that good!)
She told me she drew it for her Daddy'O.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Did I ever tell you...

...that I love things that are lots of different bright colors?

Isn't that a beautiful sight?

Sunny, warm, happy and peaceful. Flapping in the breeze.
Puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
Here's to hoping you can enjoy plenty of sunshine today.

Ice Cream and Popsicles

On the warm porch in the sun. Yes.

Loving life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Black Boots

They may not be quite as stylish as my sister's new black boots that she got for Christmas, of the sleek, high-heeled variety, but they sure are fun for puddle-stomping in the spring rains that are headed our way!Four pairs of puddle-stomping boots on four sets of feet, headed out to find the deepest puddles around.

As you can see by the wool mittens on those hands, the first of the spring rains are definitely not as warm as the barefoot ones to come. But they are a sure sign that spring has arrived! It was rain, after all, not snow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

More Snapshots of a Birthday

Making cupcakes the night before:
Beautiful excited girl:

I'm three today!

Reading "Puff the Magic Dragon" from Grandma Jo:

Right after swim lessons:

Playing baseball with Daddy'O with a new bat from Nona and Grandpa:

Making pizza for lunch:

And at the party!

The scavenger hunt:
Each picture clue that was found had to be opened by Josie and she had to wait until everyone was there to open it- this brought the group back together at each clue and the younger kiddos could participate.

Another clue:

Running for the next clue (I'm trying to get there before they do because the cupcakes are waiting in this next spot):

Eating cupcakes outside-Josie requested white chocolate chip cupcakes with white frosting and gummi bears and chocolate chips to put on top of it all:

Anna and Sophie-June having fun at the party:

Playing more baseball to relax after the party:
Check out that cute skirt! That's what I made Josie for her birthday. It's a full skirt, lots of fun to twirl in! I can't tell you how much spinning has been happening in our house and everywhere we go these days! It's puts a smile on everyone's face to watch her. I love that after each spin she always sits down hard with her skirt spread out in a circle around her (on accident or on purpose I'm not sure) and then looks up at you with a huge grin on her face. We'll have to try to get a good video of that to post sometime soon.

Josie turns...


Josie, my sweet three year old little girl. I hope you felt celebrated and loved on your birthday. I hope you know how special you are. One of a kind. Spunky and caring, feisty and independent, thoughtful and sincere, daring and adventurous, social and with a smile that lights up any room you are in.
Three years ago you entered into this world, into my arms, into my care. My world will never be the same again. What a responsibility, to nurture your spirit, guide you into what is right, encourage your individuality, show you each and every day that you are loved for exactly who you are. What a joy to be the recipient of your smiles and your hugs, your joy and your laughter, your trust, your serious dialogues, your thoughtful, caring actions.
Thank you for being you.

Here's a little video Grandma Jo took from Josie's birthday party of everybody singing 'Happy Birthday' and then Josie blowing out her candles.

We had a lot of fun celebrating you, Josie! Music and instuments, charades, a scavenger hunt to find the cupcakes, good times with good neighbors, lots of laughter and energy and fun had by all.