Saturday, April 30, 2011


Yup, Ruthie.

That's Ruthie riding a bike-with training wheels, mind you- but pushing those pedals around nonetheless.

I'm proud of my not-so-little girl. She worked hard to figure that one out. She is not going to be left behind by her big sisters. Her feet can barely reach all the way around the rotation of the pedals, I don't think she can do it barefoot, only with shoes that have a good thick sole on them. It took some determination and desire to keep getting back on that bike until she figured it out. Now we just have to work on teaching her how to brake on purpose.

P.S. I was finally able to upload this video today. I don't know why I haven't been able to upload any videos lately, but that definitely puts a damper on wanting to blog when half the stuff I want to show you has been in video form. Sorry about the technical difficulties, hopefully I have the issue resolved.

Was It Really THAT Warm Out?

Absolutely NOT.

These girls are crazy.

First Ruthie wanted to get naked and climb into the birdbath we have on the south side of our house. Sorry Ruthie, house rules, you can't be naked outside. At least a swim suit is in order. Of course, once one puts a swim suit on, the others follow suit. Three crazy young girls running around outside in their bathing suits and one Mama in long pants, long sleeve shirt and a lined sweatshirt who still felt chilly. Then Ruthie did try to climb in the birdbath and broke it. That's when Mama caved in and set out the pool. Hot tub, actually. That hose is hooked up to the laundry room sink and warm water is pouring out.
Sophie joined them:

Let the jumping begin!

I love Ruthie's method:) I don't think she actually cleared the side with her feet, but water is a soft landing, luckily. I love how she squinches her eyes shut in preparation.

I promise Anna didn't actually land on Sophie.

Synchronized jumping.

There you have it, the favorite chilly day hot tubbing methods of 4 little girls.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Girls

Beautiful smiles.

and kisses. Lots of love.
Playing the piano:

Thank you, Mema, for beautiful Easter dresses. It's so fun to watch little girls when they feel so loved, so fancy, so special on a special day in special clothes.

Easter Twirl:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Would you like to come see a production of the NOtKRAKR? This was the ticket, at least the ticket that let everyone in our family in (or out, since the production was outside).The other side of the ticket:

And the production itself:

Josie was a Sugar Plum Fairy, Anna was Claire and had a pretend Nutcracker, and Ruthie was the live music in the pit.

The end of the show, curtsying:

Spring Fun

Everything is so new and fresh in the Springtime. The games the girls played last summer have been forgotten and are being newly discovered all over again by girls just a little older and just a little more mature. It warms a Mama's heart to see how the games change as my girls change, to watch Ruthie joining in the games in a way that she couldn't last year, to see her making up her own mind about how and what she wants to do, what she wants to wear, where she wants to go, the games changing as the other two make a space for her to be included.

Chalk play mixed with water play gives brilliant colors for sidewalk art.
Tree climbing has begun again in earnest around here. Anna climbing just a little bit higher than last year. Ruthie climbing for the first time on her own.

The colors of Spring, the smells of Spring, fill the air as the girls climb.

Simply glorious. Who wouldn't want to climb that tree with those incredible pink blossoms?!

Even in the garden Spring has begun. The greens are starting to poke up their little heads. This year Josie has a spot in the garden all her own. She's planting carrots, eggplant and strawberries, by her own choosing.

She and her Daddy'O carefully place the strawberries in the ground:

Even the finches are back, sitting on their eggs in their same spot right outside our door. The Daddy finch loves to sit on our bedroom windowsill and sing. It reminds me to soak in the moment of today, it will be gone all too soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dance Recital II

Sorry to those of you grandparents and cousin who have been waiting all day for me to post this video:) I have been trying, but it was too big. I never could get it to upload to the blog, and I don't have any video editing software on my computer that I could find to make it smaller. Instead, you get a link to Anna's dance, Twilight Hush. I ended up posting it on YouTube. I'm definitely not a professional videographer, but it turned out all right for me. There's a bit of dark at the beginning before they turn the stage lights on and the dance starts, but I didn't want to miss the beginning so I had already started taping, and, like I said, I don't have any video editing capabilities, so you get to watch that, too. Anna is the first one out on stage, leading the class. She was so excited about the whole thing, not a bit nervous even in front of all those people. It was so fun to watch our little girl up there, self-confident and enjoying herself. We were very proud of you, Anna Clement!

I took this picture is in the dressing room right before the show. Standing with her classmates ready to go out on stage:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dance Recital

The BIG DAY is coming that Anna has been looking forward to for about a year now. This little girl loves to dance, and this Sunday is the culmination of her dance class, her first big concert up on stage.

The following pictures were taken last night at the dress rehearsal. We'll post more of the real thing on Sunday.

Getting ready in the dressing room:

Tucking in her laces, making sure everything is ready:
Makeup! Quite a stressful thing for this Mama to figure out what to buy and how to put it on my little dancer. She soaked up every minute of it. You know you're helping your child follow their own heart, their own dreams, staying true to who they are, when their choice is not what you would choose for yourself. This is what Anna loves.
There she goes, all grown up.
Taking pictures. Dancing is serious business:

Her dance is called Twilight Hush, thus the moon pillow as a prop. Stay posted for the big day on Sunday, I'll post a video of her dance then.


We've had lots of fun friend time in the last couple of days and the girls have been in heaven.

Yesterday our friends CJ and Miriam came over for a while in the morning. I think CJ and Miriam were overwhelmed at first by the excitement of my three girls:) Anna, Josie and Ruthie kept showing them one toy after the other, calling their name to come play first one thing and then another and were so in their face in their excitement that I think it was a little much. But after a few stories on the couch everyone was able to settle into a rhythm of play and had a great time.

This was my favorite, three girls playing songs on the piano and singing along to their music:That was Miriam in the green sweatshirt, CJ in the purple leotard, and then Anna on the right.

I love this shot of Miriam: Her Daddy is a musician, the worship pastor at our church. I think you've got a girl after your own heart, Greg!

Who could resist snapping a few shots of these smiling faces covered in spaghetti sauce?! Smiley Miriam: Anna and CJ kept making faces at each other and had fun together the whole morning. They were inseparable, those two:

Josie knows how to find downtime in the midst of chaos. She spent quite a while coloring this picture in her book. I was quite impressed with all the detail, and she wanted to share it with you:
Today Violet came to play in the morning while her mom, April, and I had fun making things out of yarn. Violet, also, gets too much attention from the girls, especially at first, and at 6 months isn't hardly able to defend herself against Ruthie's hugs or wrestling moves. Sorry April.
Isn't she a cutie pie with those big beautiful eyes looking at you?!

Tonight our neighbors Tristan and Sophie came over for dinner while their parents went out on a date. We've been swapping childcare so we each get a date night ever other week. We love having Tristan and Sophie over. Part of the evening always involves getting pajamas on and bathrobes on for warmth so everyone is ready for bed when parents get back. Then tonight it was Peppa Pig time (a fun little movie for preschoolers, it had them laughing for quite a while until it got closer to bedtime and they all zoned out):

Our home feels blessed by the presence of these friends and all the smiles and laughter that come along with them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Picture of the Day


We got a fun package in the mail today! It said it was from Miss Caroline Fike. Anna smelled it and told me there was coffee in it, so I assured the girls that it must just be for Daddy and me and the two of us would open it later. They didn't quite buy it:) They know their Caroline cousin!Thank you for the rings and necklaces, Caroline! Can you see the silver necklaces and red rings we are all wearing in these two pictures? Uncle Mitch is wearing his ring right now, too, and says to tell you thank you.

Truth be told, though, Mitch and I were even more excited about the contents of the rest of the package:

Smells don't lie. Anna was right. And this is THE BEST coffee, let me tell you. If you haven't tried Caroline's Coffee yet then you've got to soon. Come on over to our house and give it a test! We've got a pound each of Nicaraguan and Sumatran waiting for you, take your pick. This is your official invitation for some good conversation over a cup of freshly roasted coffee. But be warned! This coffee is not just any coffee. Once you have tried a cup of Carolines coffee you may not be able to live with just any coffee. Roasted in the heart of the California gold country in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (my home sweet home!), the art of coffee roasting has been perfected at Caroline's Coffee. They have been roasting and selling only the finest coffee in this three generation family business since 1988, and it just can't get any better than what you drink at Carolines. You can even order it online here. Check it out!