Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Miss B!

Miss Brooklyn is 2! We started her day with our traditional candles-in-the-breakfast!

Made a trip to the swings...

Posing with her silly brothers:

Opened some birthday mail from a church friend:

And we ended the day with more candles. 
And cake. Every birthday needs cake!
(I love Daniel's amused look.)

Then came party day! We started with presents. Wouldn't you??

New outfit:

Modeling her princess slippers.

Another outfit:


A couple of her favorites.  Daniel loves the baby doll stroller as much as she does.
She does not love Daniel loving the baby doll stroller.

Marshmallow cupcake sucker:

Cake time!  Brooklyn loves flowers, so we made them this year's party theme.

The whole party gang.

Miss Princess insisted on a spoon, not a fork, to eat her cake.

And politely wiped her mouth when she was done. :)

We followed all that with a birthday photoshoot with Mimi!
You can see more of the shoot here, and be sure and 'Like' the Simple Journeys Photography page while you are there! :)

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A (Wednes)day in the life..

Wednesdays are our new Library storytime days (instead of Tuesdays like they were before we moved).  Going out always means gearing everything in that direction, with that end in mind.

The kids all slept late this morning, which is no surprise, seeing as how almost every night is like a slumber party for them.  We can hear them in their room laughing and talking sometimes up to an hour after we've said our 'goodnights' and shut the door.  As long as they aren't too loud we generally leave them alone.  

Anyway, since they are shaving an hour off their sleep time at the beginning of the night sometimes they gain it back in the mornings.  And then some of them don't exactly come bounding out of bed in the mornings anyway.  But then, neither do I. :)

All that to say...the kids slept late this morning.  For several mornings in a a row I had people clamoring for breakfast by 7:30, so I adjusted my routine and started having it ready by then.  At 7:30 this morning I had a plate of pancakes on the table and not a kid in sight!

After breakfast we got the dishes washed and the little ones dressed, then began gathering our library books and our accessories, since the theme for storytime today was Crazy Hat Day.

Alan spent a while the night before working on a fancy/crazy crown:

Dale and I were both greatly amused by his use of a tiny souvenir baseball cap:

But then he changed at the last minute when I found a forgotten cap from his old Mario costume.

We went with the obvious choice for Miss B:

Tyler balked on all the options we had laid out for him and went hatless.  He seemed quite comfortable with that choice (I had his hat in my purse the whole time, and he knew it), but he was happy to wear the crazy visor he made as a craft afterward.  Go figure.

We go home and dove into school and getting ready for lunch (cheesy spaghetti - yay!).  Just for fun I made a microwave peach cobbler.  It turned out pretty good.  I also used this time to crank out a couple of loads of laundry.

Brooklyn went down for her nap right after lunch.  She was ready!
Me: It's naptime for you, girly!
Brooklyn, all smiles: I know!
Then, climbing onto the rail of her crib: Need blanket!
I tossed her in and gave her a blanket: Night, night!
Brooklyn, still all smiles, popped her thumb in her mouth, flopped over onto her side: 'Night night!! 

I don't know when I've ever seen her so happy to go to bed.  But, come to think of it, she was in a great mood a lot today, so maybe that had something to do with it.

After getting Miss B all tucked in, I had a nice phone chat with my sister while I nursed Daniel and the big boys played.  He doesn't nurse himself to sleep very often, so today I just enjoyed holding him for a while, taking in his sweet baby face.

I finally laid him down with at least half a dozen things on my "should do" list, but I sat and just enjoyed the quiet and some internet for a while.  I gathered the big boys to finish their school.  Whether out of laziness or to save my own sanity (there's a thin line there, I think) I didn't bother trying to make Tyler nap today.  I decided he might as well tag along for afternoon school with Alan, which consists of a quick Bible reading, some science and some History.  It's pretty light, and pretty fun.

I love that "school" can happen anywhere.  Today we all ended up piled on my bed (a first for us, I'm pretty sure) learning about Columbus and classifying African animals.

Pretty soon the babies were up and we all snacked, and before I knew it it was 4:00.  I had to get supper made and the kitchen clean and everyone ready to go out the door in just over two hours.

Long story short: we made it.  Instead of our usual Wednesday night classes, Greg was the guest devotion-giver at a nursing home service.  We decided earlier this week to take the whole family along.  Greg played his guitar and the big boys stood by him and sang a few hymns.  I sat nearby and sang along, bouncing Daniel in my lap and watching Brooklyn fidget around and flirt with the nearest old lady.  I don't know if they heard a word of Greg's devotion, but the residents were more than thrilled with our passel o'kiddos.  

We had time for a quick walmart run on the way home.  

With fresh bananas, a bag of fritos and a can of raisins, all's right in our world again. ;)

Pj's, a snack, and everyone hustled off to bed for another slumber party.  Life's good. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sprinkler Frisbee

Tyler started it.

During Brooklyn's nap one afternoon (when he probably should have been napping, too), he held up a shiny new red frisbee and asked with those big blue eyes just a-sparkling, "Will you go outside and throw this with me?"

And so, I scooped Daniel into a stroller and off we went.

I was happy to find that Tyler has a pretty good throw for a 3-almost-4 year old!

Soon, Alan joined us.  We made up rules about where to stand and who to throw to. But they were bendy, just-for-fun rules.

Before long, Dale poked his head to ask a question about his school work and his brothers invited him in too.

And then somebody said, "Let's turn the sprinkler on!"

And so we did.  

That, of course, meant changing the rules.  The best rule was

~ If you catch the frisbee, we trade places with the person across from us.~

This rule meant running across the circle.  The circle in the middle of which sat the sprinkler.

Pretty good fun for a weekday afternoon!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


An "odd" day. Ha. Sorry to make light of such a serious day. But you have to admit 9/11/13 is a pretty cool date.

Today was our first storytime at our new library.  It was their first one (back from summer break, I presume), so we got in on the beginning.  Because it was 9/11, they planned a special patriotic theme and balloon release.

I knew ahead of time this would be the theme.  I didn't know exactly how they would address it, so I thought I'd prep the boys ahead of time.  

Dale has heard the basics of what happened that day, but Alan never had.  So as we finished up breakfast yesterday (the 10th) I told them I had a story to tell them.

"One fall morning, right about this time of year, people all over the country were busy going to work and going to school.  It was a pretty fall morning, and almost this very time of the morning...."

I proceeded to tell the story, in my own words, and with only as much detail as they asked for what happened on that day 12 years ago.  Much to my surprise I found myself with tears in my eyes and an occasional break in my voice.  The memory of the emotion came back so easily.  Not only that, but (and I remember feeling the exact same way when I told Dale about 9/11), I felt there is a bit of a loss of innocence for them to know that such evil is alive and well in today's world.  But along with the evil there is goodness and kindness.  There is courage.  And there are heroes.  That is what I remember so much about 9/11.  

Without the evil would the heroism mean as much?

As it turned out, the librarians weren't anybody's fools, and the preschool program was all about the good ol' U.S.of A. - red, white, and blue, the founding fathers, and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Balloons for everyone.  There was no mention of plane crashes or falling buildings or terror.  Or even heroes, for that matter.  

Still, it was a nice program, and we're glad to be out making new library friends.  And now, for one more of my children, September 11 is a part of their world, just like it is for all of us who remember that day, and always will.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Brooklyn, the same Brooklyn I spent months worrying about because she wasn't talking, has become quite quotable.

Before I forget them, a few to share with you:

Me: I love you, Brooklyn!
Brooklyn: I love Daddy!

Me: Daniel is so cute! Brooklyn, isn't Daniel cute?
Brooklyn: Me cute!
Tonight at supper all the boys were enjoying passing a can of parmesan cheese for their pasta.  Brooklyn didn't want to be left out of the cheese action.  She waved at the can and pointed at her plate. "Powder, Daddy! Powder!"  
A couple of weeks ago we got to spend a weekend with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, Logan.  Brooklyn and Logan have a mostly Instagram relationship.  They each love to see the other on their Mama's phone, and they were each happy to actually see each other in person!  But all that happiness only goes so far.  Once during the weekend Brooklyn came up to me, clearly upset, and saying, "My legs! My legs!"  I thought maybe she was hurt or something, but as I let Logan slide from my lap to the floor so I could check on her she began to pat my now empty lap and repeat, "MY legs! MY legs!"  So I see how it is.  She can share Mama's lap with a baby brother but a girl's got to draw the line somewhere.