Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Flower's Birthday

Our little Flower has turned one. (yes it was awhile ago...but I am taking the time now that I didn't have just then, to update here for posterity's sake....some day she might read this and I want her to know how special and adored she is by us!)
Opening presents with Papa.  (who is apparently always eating an apple)
You were so excited when you opened your little wooden grocery cart!  Oh my goodness was it adorable!  You knew just what to do with it.

Your smile is the best thing in my day.  You are such a bundle of energy!  Mastering walking just a week or so after your birthday, and climbing everything you can find!  You are funny and sweet.  Cuddly.  Kind.  You love your doggie, Millie. (especially sneaking food to her from your chair)  You love baths.  You adore your brothers.  Love sitting in laps for stories.  You light up when Papa comes home from work and are his special little sweetheart. 

Your spunk is contagious!  I am so blessed to have you in my life.  So grateful to be your Mama.  I love you more than I can express.  My sweet girl.  My Flower. (named so, here on the blog, because she loves flowers like her mama and picks them whenever she can. oi!)
 Our little dear.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Little Owl Turns 7!

Seven years ago, with long braids in my hair, J by my side, and our dear midwife cheering me on, I gave birth to this beautiful boy.  He was such a gorgeous baby.  He has had those dark lashes, you know, the ones you notice first thing when you met him, since he was born.  They placed him on my chest and I was in love.  I remember he immediately started scooting (all 23 inches of him!) towards my breast.  He was determined from birth!

Now...he is still the most beautiful little boy.  His determination is of the quiet sort.  He has big feelings.  If he shares them with you, I hope you realize how special that is, because he chooses these things carefully.  He has a truly soft heart and is quite clever.  (his smarts are tucked away too....so it's not the first thing you notice)  He reminds me so much of J.  His personality.  Yet, people who knew me as a girl say he is the spitting image of me.

 Little Owl, we love you just the way you are!  You are so special to us!  And I'm so glad we get to be on this adventure with you.  I'm so glad you share your heart with me. 

 His thoughtful look.....

 His "smile for the camera" smile.....
 He was so excited for his birthday!  I actually got a photo with his true smile for a change! Voila!

 Owl is such an awesome brother.  He is fun to be around.  He is loyal.  Spunky.  Funny.  He lets Hen wrestle him.  He loves to build with his big brothers.  He loves one on one time with J or me, which he spends chatting to us about anything and everything.  He loves little A, and I think, is really quite fond of being a big brother to a little girl.  She adores him, so it makes it easier!

 His cake request this year...."Mom, I want a zebra cake!" Um...okay!  This one was made out of a giant sheet cake pan which was cut in half and stacked to make a chocolate layer cake with raspberry filling.  (well...if you're going to make cake....you might as well make it worth the effort, right?)

 Happy Birthday my boy!  We love you ever so much!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cricket is Nine!

 Our boy just turned nine!  NINE! Can you believe it?  It was strange enough to have the eldest turn ten, but now that Cricket is nine I am kind of freaked out.  It is going so fast! 

We started the weekend (yes weekend!) of celebration with going out for breakfast.  His choice was to go to the little cafe up the street for homemade donuts.  Good choice, huh? 

 His other idea for the day was unfortunately unobtainable because the weather just did not cooperate with us.  He wanted to go hiking....but we went bowling instead.  It was fun!  Sorry no pictures though.  I was too busy holding our little girl who wanted to crawl all over the bowling alley.  We ended the day with a cookout, despite the cold weather, and had a cozy supper together.

 Owl wanted to be sure I took a picture of baby A too, and wanted to pose with her.  Umm, okay, cutie!  J tucked them all into bed, so I could make the birthday cake.  Cricket wanted a giant German Chocolate Cake.  (with as many layers as you can make mom, okay?) 

The next day we had J's mom and dad over to celebrate.  Cricket and Grandpa actually share a birthday so it's extra fun!
 Just after he blew out the candles.  I tried to get an action shot, but he was too fast for me!
 Badger made Grandpa one of his famous pop-up cards.  I love it that he loves to make cards.
 And here is my brilliant boy, patiently enduring the challenge of being watched while he tries to read his birthday card.  I won't say more about that right now, except that I am constantly amazed with how this boy deals with challenges.  He amazes me.  He always gives the other person the benefit of the doubt, he is forgiving.  He loves to play!  And is happy and busy and just fun to be around!  He also is amazingly smart and has a soft heart.  I couldn't be prouder of him.  I am so blessed to be his mama.  I can see his little new baby face the day that he was born forever in my memory like it was yesterday.  And although he's growing up faster than I ever imagined I am so excited to see what God has in store for him!  I love you my son.  (And papa does too.  So much!) 
Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Being Creative

 If you could take a snapshot of us these days it would be an action shot.  It'd be of two or more of us gathered together making something.  Faces smiling.  Right in the midst of a creative project.  Undoubtedly the background would be messy, because who can keep up with all the chores when there is glorious creativity happening!  We've been doing a lot of this....

 Actually J and I have been playing music together at our church.  It's been really great to do it together and we enjoy making music together so very much!  The little lady is totally into the guitar, and in love with her papa, so sitting in his lap with the guitar is the best thing ever as far as she's concerned.
 We've also been trying new things.  This year for Easter we dyed our eggs with onion skins.  It was really easy.  We decided to just put the onion skins (that we had been saving for a few weeks) into the pot with the eggs while they were boiling.  We drew on them first with white crayons to make some designs.  When they were done cooking they were a lovely shade of orange.
 What?  You think that doesn't look like eggs in the pot?  Well...that's because I just couldn't throw that beautiful orange water away so I added some vinegar and some yarn!  Then I let it dry and now it's a lovely shade of orange too.
 We've been making lots of sentences.  Lots.  And you can't tell in the photo but he actually thinks it's really fun.  Tons of words on cards, one sunny, soft spot on the rug and one happy boy making sentences with crazy words.  He usually makes them nonsensical because he can.  And it's fun.
 As it warms up outside I am feeling the rush of "hurry up and finish knitting everything you want to" because soon it will be planting season.  Followed by weeding season.  And then if we're lucky harvest season.  I finished making baby A some little ruffled diaper covers.  Here's one in cream wool.

 Can you see how she stands on her tippy toes?
 No, I haven't cut her hair yet.  That's just how it is.

I also finished making another bookmark.  This one is a Scottish Thistle!  For a friend of mine who is getting ready to move to Scotland.
And all of this creating leaves us feeling pretty much like this... Happy.  Filled up.  Together.

Monday, April 1, 2013

This Last Week....

Life just keeps going, doesn't it?  We have had a busy week, but it's been fun!  And maybe even a little productive too. :)  Here's what we've been up to.....
 Badger and The Little Lady are the best of friends.  He is the first one she looks for in the morning.  She says his name!  And he is so patient and good with her.  He loves to make her giggle and I think he is enjoying his first experience with a little girl adoring him.  It's really fun to see their sibling relationship develop.  I'm loving it.

 She is all cuteness....

 She has the sweetest expressions....

 And she has started eating Cheerios. Which is so fun.  She loves to eat and is super sensory with touching and mouthing everything.  I literally save her from certain death several times a day, because she puts everything in her mouth.  And though I watch her without leaving her at all, it is really hard to keep all the little pieces out of reach with four big brothers.  Today I found a teeny, tiny rock in her mouth!  And I had just vacuumed!  Anyway....she is my little monkey.... I am smitten.
 And I'm not sure if you can see it in this picture, but she just got her one top tooth! 

Also this week....we made spring cutout cookies.  It's getting more fun as the boys are more able in the kitchen.  I mixed up the dough while they did school and then let them have at it.  They rolled the dough and cut it mostly by themselves.  Then the next day I frosted while they decorated. 
 Look at those goofy smiles.  We were having a fun time.  And I didn't think of it until I saw this picture, but Badger was reading an encyclopedia about the Revolutionary War (i think it was volume 4)  while decorating cookies.  That's normal right?  This kid still plows through books faster than I can provide them. 
 Also this week, the boys had their first sleepover.  Well, first "friend" sleepover.  (we get to have our cousins usually once a summer!)  It was just two extra boys, but super fun for them.  And as you can see although it's supposed to be Spring already, we still have snow!  That didn't stop them though from playing out in the sun.  They were playing "The Battle of Bunker Hill".  And all I have to say about that is, it's really, really good to have other homeschooled boys to be our best buddies. 
 One of the highlights of my week was one morning when I got a bit of alone time with my boy.  This one just can't get enough of the outdoors.  So while the baby napped, I bribed the eldest boy with a new book to watch her so I could get outside too.  We chipped away at the thick ice that still haunts our front yard. 
 We drank some warmth together.  This boy loves coffee.  (don't worry I only let him have a sip)
 We chatted while he lay in the hammock and I pulled ice off the sprouts from the bulbs that are desperately trying to come up through the cold.  He told me about his hopes for the Summer and how much he loves his brother.  What he wants for his birthday.  How he loves that his Papa has been going for long walks with him.  This kid is such a dreamer and has such a soft, wistful heart.  Of course he is also the one who gets into the most trouble sometimes!  But oh how he has my heart!

 And over the week the ice slowly melted away.......
 ......enough so that we could clear off the little side porch and pull out the red chairs.  In the morning it's the best spot to grab a little sunshine and some attention from a brother.
 And lastly....I just had to include these pictures of the littlest three playing together.  The little girl just has to be right where they are.  Notice the boy's hand trying to keep the Legos away.  They are so patient with her and she so persistent!
 Look at how big they are compared to her.  That is boy #3 and boy #4.
 My little punkin.....