Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Is...

Lots of playdates with new found friends.
Hammock time!
 Sunny and warm, relaxing, playing in the backyard.
Lots of home time after a busy summer.
Hiking in the mountains with friends.
Beautiful colors, glowing Aspen trees.

Pausing.  Smelling.  Looking. Touching.  Enjoying. 
Soaking in every moment, every little detail.
Watching for moose.
 How many pink hats would you expect to see on one hike?

Recording sights and sounds, thoughts and colors, animals and observations, in pictures and in words:

 And at home once more, there's always more climbing:)  Ruthie is attempting to get on the roof of the house, which, I have since found out, she can do.  I stopped her as she was starting to snake her way up onto the actual roof. 
The days of the girls in this house have been filled with sun and outdoor activity, friends new and old.
And I walk beside them, in and out of their play, guiding, directing, spotting, helping with new things, channeling the settling of disputes, watching, slowing down the pace as we slip into Fall so there is time in their lives to settle down, to feel grounded in place and time, to truly engage in the activity at hand and the people we are present with.  My own work weaves in and out of that barrage of activity as Warming Center work begins again, FEEDs in the park continue, the daily life of HOME settles around me in laundry, food, preserving the bounty of the late summer apples and grapes that fell into our hands, dishes, snuggles, biking back and forth to school, reading out loud, grounding the life of our home and attempting to remember to pause every now and then to make sure I am watching the changing of the season.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Love These Girls!

 Doesn't this picture make you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot coffee and have some fun on your computer?  That's what I thought at least.  But I love these girls!  They were so excited to ride to school in the rain today!  You can tell that doesn't happen very often around here.  As for Ruthie and I, we're enjoying an inside morning and I thought I would share a few (fairly) recent pictures with you, since I've been a little lax in that regard lately:)
First, you'd better check out these cute first day of school pictures.
Here's Josie, heading off to Kindergarten!  On the bike ride home that first day she told me fifty times if she told me once-literally- that she LOVES LOVES LOVES Kindergarten!
And Anna, all ready for first grade (which she has been absolutely loving so far, too, I might add):
Ruthie and I came with them that first day for the Opening Ceremony/Rose Ceremony.
Thank you Mema and Papa for the fun dresses, the girls love them!
 What better tradition to have than ice cream on the first day of school in the heat of August?
 Anna lost her first tooth!  Look at that great grin!
 We are enjoying our new house.  For those of you that I haven't kept in touch with very well lately, we moved into a house here in Boulder right before school began.  We are loving our backyard, back porch (we've had dinner out there every night), new climbing trees, and this Mama is especially enjoying the normal size kitchen with a dishwasher and having a washer/dryer!
Three good friends in their climbing clothes eating peaches on the back porch on a sunnier day:
 I designated some climbing clothes for them after they were destroying all their school clothes getting them covered with sap while climbing the 50 foot tall Spruce tree in our backyard.  Anybody have a remedy for sap in hair?  I've learned that the alcohol in hand sanitizer will take sap off hands beautifully (thanks Rob and Michelle!), but I've yet to find a remedy for hair. 
One of my favorite recent pics of these three sisters.  Classic.  A moment to remember and treasure.
 Friends over for dinner!  The Kennedy's came to celebrate our new house with us.  Little Ally and Ruthie are fast friends.
Anna, Isaac and Ruthie reading on the couch.  I'm loving this new step into reading with my big first grader.  Way to go, Anna!
 Anna found a way to climb onto the roof of our house.  Whose kid is this???  She was quite proud of herself.
 Ruthie and I love our mornings together while big sisters are at school.  I'm also loving all the space and light in this wonderful kitchen.  Put the two together and you can find Ruthie and Mommy working in the kitchen together on many a morning!
 Anna and Josie are wonderful kitchen helpers.  They're making Daddy's lunch in this photo.  Pancake sandwiches! (Daddy'O Update:  Mitch has 3 more weeks until he's done with his masters!!!  THEN we can truly celebrate!  But it still feels like a big push to get through these next 3 weeks.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, we need extra doses of patience and grace in this house.)
 Ruthie climbing the Russian Olive tree in our backyard while I'm hanging laundry.  It's hard to find a time when at least one of these girls is not in a tree.
 Last but not least, I thought I would share our most recent family photo.  It was actually taken in June on Father's Day. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pella Crossing Hike

It's Spring Break around here and we're making the most of our time off from classes.

We took a little hike today with our good friends Alex and Ruth O'Connor at Pella Crossing (north of Boulder, right outside of the town of Hygiene, a place I ride past a lot on my bike but had never stopped to explore).

We even drove past the buffalo farm on Nelson Rd. on our way there.

We have beautiful Spring weather around here, a perfect day for a hike.

When Ruthie lagged behind it was Alex who took her hand and hiked with her to help her keep up with the group:

I think this was the first hike in 6 years that I didn't even take the Ergo with me! Last year there were a few hikes that Ruthie did all on her own, but I at least always brought the Ergo backpack just in case. We've moved on to a new phase in the hiking world.

Anna and Josie along the trail:

Tally-ho and away we go! Pella Crossing is a series of 6 different ponds so we had fun exploring the waters edge and seeing what different birds were out at this time of year. Lots of Canadian Geese, robbins, hawks, herons, red-winged blackbirds, and wigeons. We'll have to come back later on in the Spring to see pelicans, killdeer, cranes, and all the smaller songbirds.

The girls thought being a train was the best way to hike:)

For your viewing enjoyment, the train in motion:

We found this huge cottonwood tree at the furthest out point on our hike and of course it had to be climbed before we could move on down the trail.

The wind came up and it got pretty blustery while Anna was in the tree. She didn't seem to mind, though. She looks pretty relaxed up there enjoy the view!

Four little girls taking in the vistas.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

At Long Last...

Josie's long-awaited Tea Party!!!

Two weeks later, now that our whole family is finally healthy again after a long battle with the flu, after a second round of baking of muffins, cookies and a birthday cake, after the easiest picking up of the house ever when I asked the girls to make the house look fancy, after Josie looking through all of our wardrobes and picking out our fanciest clothes and accessories for us to wear, after re-sending out invitations... Finally we were able to have our fancy tea party for Josie's 5th birthday.

When our little guests arrived first we had fun painting nails:

Then the girls decorated the sugar cookies we had baked for the tea party with different colored/flavored frosting (strawberry, blueberry, chocolate and lemon):

And then we sat down to tea. Josie had made name cards for everyone to show them where to sit and then all three girls had helped me set the table with their tea sets. Friends had loaned us fancy serving dishes, including a three-tiered serving tray.

Josie requested banana-blueberry-chocolate chip muffins, triangle egg salad sandwiches, heart shaped peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches, sugar cookies, Hershey kisses and strawberries. Mitch and I kept their little tea pots filled with tea for them to serve themselves, chamomile and peppermint with a hint of honey. We always have tea parties with either a table cloth or placemats on the table. That makes it fancier, as Josie would say, and it also immediately soaks up any inevitable spills before they run off the table and onto the floor or onto fancy dresses, as this Mommy appreciates.

There's even a little bit of sugar in the sugar pot, with a teeny-tiny spoon, and cream in the cream pot.

Triple layer lemon heart shaped cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. Mmm mmm mmm.

Josie had us sing Happy Birthday to the accompaniment of her singing card that she got from Grandpa and Nona.

Happy birthday to my special Josie Joy.

I'm glad we were finally able to celebrate you in such a fancy, Josie-style way. We wanted to show you how much we love you and your spunky spirit, your constant energy and smile, your daredevil attitude and your sweet compassionate way of interacting with those around you. Thank you for being you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Beginnings of a Celebration

We had the beginnings of a birthday celebration yesterday, but then the festivities were cut short by a sick birthday girl. Everything seemed fine in the morning (although Josie seemed a bit tired from getting up at 5:30am!) But halfway through the morning she came down with a fever and spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch. Poor Josie. After months, literally, of preparation and anticipation for her fancy tea party, we have had to postpone it.

First thing in the morning the birthday girl and her Daddy'O went on a date to go pick up donuts for breakfast. That was the special birthday breakfast treat she chose. Donuts, baby yogurt and juice, to be precise:

Ruthie ran and got her gift for Josie and it was opened at the breakfast table. A purple water bottle that matches the pink one that Ruthie got for Christmas. Ruthie knew what her sister wanted! It's fun to see Ruthie at an age that she can start to take such pride and joy in finding the perfect gift for someone she loves.

Ruthie also made a book for Josie. Here she is 'reading' it to her:

She had us all laughing with her storyline! I don't remember what it was, now, but nothing that made very much sense as she made it up as she went along:)

Josie opening her gift from Anna (a fancy dress to wear at her tea party, earrings, and a few other fancy things). I'm not sure who was more excited, Anna to give her special gift, or Josie to receive it.

Opening the books from Grandma Jo!

Butterfly finger puppet that Anna made for her:

After skyping with Grandpa and Nona Josie said she was tired crashed out on the couch. Poor thing. This is pretty much how she spent the rest of the day.

I have to say, though, that it made for a relaxing birthday for Mommy! There has to be something positive in it all, right? It was pretty special to just sit around and snuggle with Josie on her birthday, read stories, listen to music, and give her some special attention that usually feels like we are fighting to find the time for on birthdays because of all the work that needs to be done to pull off a birthday party for our special girl.

Josie does seem to be on the upswing today. We're hoping she'll be all the way better by tomorrow and we can have the much anticipated fancy tea party in the afternoon.

Our plan for the rest of today is just to rest and knit on this rainy/snowy afternoon. Soup is cooking on the stove, I'm making some rolls soon, and we're just taking it easy. One of my gifts to Josie for her birthday was some yarn and knitting needles because she has been asking me to teach her how to knit for a while now. What better day to begin knitting lessons than a chilly, wet day and a sick/recovering girl who needs some motivation to stay still on the couch!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Notice Anything?

Yup! Two little girls got their ears pierced this weekend. Pretty exciting stuff in their world. Josie has been telling us for a while now that she wanted to have her ears pierced on her 5th birthday. Anna didn't want to be left out.
We're gearing up for a fancy tea party in our household tomorrow to celebrate my favorite 5 year old birthday girl in the whole wide world. I just finished making a heart shaped triple layer lemon cake. We'll take some pictures of our day of celebration to share with you, so check back soon!