Monday, October 31, 2011

A Full Halloween

A photo gallery of our action packed, fun filled day.
Anna's Kindergarten class went to Munson Farm Pumpkin Patch today and Josie, Ruthie and I got to tag along.
Stairstep sisters standing in the circle:
Two sisters, fast friends, running free:
Ruthie in the corn patch (she didn't like it much, she got lost in there for a bit when she couldn't see me, poor girl. Easy for the adults to see over the short stalks, but not a two year old):
Anna and Josie in the corn patch, mud about 2 inches thick on their shoes:

Ruthie found some corn!
"We have worms on our corn, Mrs. Kiley! Isn't that so cool! Mine has three worms!"
Class picture + Josie and a beautiful view of the mountains in the background. Can you beat the scenery around here? It doesn't get any better than a crisp Fall day (yes, it is Fall around here again), all the orange colors in the foreground, and the snow covered mountains rising up so close. Anna and Josie are in the middle row on the left, both in purple:
"I want this one, Mom!"
"That one's a little heavy for you, Ruthie, let me carry it"
Carving the pumpkin, cleaning out the goop inside:
Josie wanted to save and roast all the seeds for eating (anyone have a good recipe?):
The finished product, casting a ghoulish glow over our steps tonight:
Leaf pile fun this afternoon, Josie jumping in:
Anna's turn!
Bury me!
Where's Ruthie?
Anna, in her 'Nature Detective' costume complete with hiking stick, sun hat, good hiking clothes and shoes, magnifying glass, bag for treasures, creature identification booklet, bandanna turned cape that is covered in animal footprints for identification. (This Summer and Fall the girls have been earning their nature detective certificates by completing different activities at some of the Boulder Parks and Open Space areas around here. Their prizes arrived today in the mail, along with their certificate of completion saying they are officially Nature Detectives. Thus the Halloween costume featuring all the new prizes.)
Ruthie said she was a butterfly. Can you see the wings? What butterfly doesn't need a pink leotard and fuzzy purple hat?
Trick-or-treating around the courtyard! Josie was a ballerina (that was about her 5th costume of the day. The others were a Nature Detective, princess, pumpkin, and butterfly. Oh the fun of dressing up!)
Anna and Ruthie playing piano with our little friend Violet, aka Tigger the Tiger, who came over to play for a bit while the rest of her family went through a haunted house:
Stickers! What better place to put them than all over Daddy's face!
Lotsa love all around at the end of a full day.
I hope yours was packed with as much fun and lots of hugs as well!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heavy Snow

Two days ago we were all running around barefoot, the girls were playing in the creek, laughing in the sun, 80 degrees.
Today, winter arrived.
We had to find all the coats and hats and mittens and scarves in a hurry from where I had tucked them for summer storage.
So many colorful leaves are still on the trees.
We had been enjoying the crispness of Fall, a bit of change every day, something new to discover as the earth was preparing for the change of the season.
The suddenness of this storm littered the ground with branches, huge limbs, cracked trunks of trees.
These little girls noticed and continued in their play, making use of overhanging branches to hide under and make a secret house. Don't worry, I didn't let them play underneath any trees today, but the supple, heavy laden branches of the bushes in the courtyard were home and hearth.

Josie is a nonstop blur. This pretty much captures her in her snow play:
The best part of my day was biking Anna to school as she lounged in the bike cart, chattering away about all the beauty she saw and heard around her. A fresh morning, a beautiful winter wonderland so incredibly different from the world a day before.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Celebrating Mitch

We sure do love this Daddy'O of ours.Josie had been making and collecting and wrapping gifts for him for at least a month and a half:
You are one well loved father.
I love the cries of "Daddy!" when you walk through the door each evening and Ruthie running as fast as her little legs will carry her to be swooped up in a hug by her Daddy'O.
I love when we meet up with you on the creek path as you're riding between work and classes and we're on our way to or from picking Anna up at school. I love how fast Josie's legs start spinning on her bike as soon as she catches a glimpse of you through the trees.
I love the laughter that fills our house as you chase three little girls around and tickle them to cries of "Don't tickle me!...Tickle me!...Don't tickle me!...Tickle me!"

I love the smile on your face that you always have for us, no matter how stressful your day has been or how tired you are because you were up late the previous night getting work done.

Celebrating Mitch means spending a day doing what he likes best. We got serenaded in the morning with guitar music. Some of us joined in:
We went for a family bike ride, Anna in the lead, then Mitch, Josie, and Ruthie and I bringing up the rear. Yes, I am taking pictures while riding:)
Birthday dessert was my own creation of berries, peaches, and thickened, sweetened cream all baked in the oven for a while per the birthday boy's request:
We love you, Mitch, and we loved celebrating you on your birthday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anna turned 6

Another milestone marked, a pause to celebrate my special little girl. A whole day dedicated to making Anna feel special and know how much she is loved. A day to pause and reflect on the fact that another whole year has passed in our lives since Anna first joined our little family. The time really does pass so fast, and marking the passage of time helps me to pause and reflect and remember to live present and take advantage of every moment we have of childhood in this house. This is my big girl who goes off away from our family on her own everyday to kindergarten confident and secure in who she is, exploring the world around her, kindhearted and compassionate, delighting in all the little daily wonders of life, who still snuggles into my lap and grins up at me, who truly has two best friends in her younger sisters, a bond that warms this mama's heart.
We sure do love you a lot Anna.
The whole family, even Grandpa and Nona who were visiting for the day, got to come with Anna to Kindergarten for a special birthday celebration. Josie and Ruthie joined Anna for circle time and tried the motions to their songs:
Anna got to bring in one of her favorite stories, Lighthouse, for me to read and share with the class during the birthday celebration:
Her sisters picked out some special gifts for their special sister and enjoyed giving them to her. Even Ruthie kept the secret!
We gave Anna the choice of having a big party with lots of friends at home or choosing two friends and doing a fun activity for her birthday. She chose to bring her two friends, Adisyn and Olivia, and go to the local paint-your-own-pottery studio. Each of the girls decorated their own plate, which was later fired and we picked them up today. Beautiful works of original art!
After pottery time we had a fun playtime in the courtyard.
All three Clement girls playing with bubbles with Adisyn and Olivia:
More of our courtyard friends joined us for cake and ice cream. White strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting in the shape of a heart with sprinkles on top, per the birthday girls request:)
The day was made complete with dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Sombrero girl! Walking home after dinner at the end of a full day with three tired, content girls the consensus among the three of them was that "this was the best day ever!" I love those precious grins!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ruthie's Letters

Ruthie wanted to share with you some of the letters she was writing tonight:

(Sorry the video is so short. I seem to be able to upload videos of no more than 20 seconds in length. How do upload such monster long videos, Michael?)

I had no idea she could do any of that until she brought me a piece of paper yesterday that had quite a few of the letters in her name on it. The crazy thing to me is that she just grabs the pen in her fist and yet somehow still has enough control to get the actual letter onto paper. When I try to show her how to hold the pen correctly it all gets too complicated for her and she gives up. Way to go, Ruthie, in writing your letters!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Josie's Pictures

Josie has a new camera and boy oh boy has this budding photographer been enjoying her picture taking over the last few days. I wanted to share some of her photography with you. It's a fun way to walk through her day with her, see what she saw, the things that were important to her or beautiful to her today. You can literally look at the world through her eyes.
Mama with her morning coffee. (That's my favorite mug, I use it every morning.)
Ruthie, still waking up.
The slow, casual side of the morning.
Daddy 'O
Anna leaving for school:
New toys from Nona, having a 'show' with them:
More of Mama:
Outside our home:
Playing on the stoop with a neighbor, laundry basket empty of laundry that's now in the wash:
Decorating the bunk bed with pieces of colorful wrapping paper:
Beautiful Fall trees along the bike path on the way home from picking Anna up at school:
Red Virginia Creeper, also along the bike path:
We must have made twenty stops on the way home from school today on our bikes as Josie yelled "Wait! I see another one! I've got to take another picture!" And we would all stop, the camera would come out, and another beautiful Fall tree would be documented.
For every picture you see here there are ten others of a similar nature, sometimes almost exactly the same, with slight differences that maybe only Josie would notice as the world around her changed almost imperceptibly and caught her attention yet again. I loved watching her excitement today, her joy in capturing pieces of her world, her eye for detail and her own love of natural beauty.