Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cousins, Birthdays, Weird Animals & A Surfeit of Pictures

As a disclaimer, I uploaded a ridiculous number of pictures to this post, but couldn't edit it down. Skim it or Skip it!

We've had a great September. Cheyenne is an excellent school girl! I thought she'd be bored with reading and writing after doing it for a couple of hours at school, but that only whets her appetite. She comes home and spends hours writing and drawing. She also plays school, so I get to hear whatever was said at school that day! :-) This week she had her Special Day-- when they get to bring in snack, be the line leader, do the calendar that day, etc. As I watched her straight little back march off down the hall at the head of the line, I realized I was seeing Cheyenne in her element-- Being Important and In Charge. She is VERY good at it! (Evan has several snarky comments about where she might have inherited that, but we ignore him!)

Cheyenne waiting for the muse to strike. She has played outside so great lately. We don't have to have the A/C or the heat on, so the screen doors are all that stand between the kids and the great outdoors. Now, though, we're getting lots of yucky cold rain, announcing it really is thinking about fall.
Dana and Marilyn stopped here on their way west. Cheyenne and Elliott like coloring with Grandma!
Bethaney came down for several days a couple of weeks ago. We had a great time walking Cheyenne to school and letting the kids play together. We also got apples!
Lillian had great fun with some water and apples! We were making applesauce, so we didn't care if they got a little bruised.

Bethaney and I had picked apples last fall (while she was heavily pregnant with Miss Lillian) but we wimped out this year when we pulled into the orchard with four small children. So we bought the pre-picked apples-- still very yummy, and made great applesauce!
Marilla participates in the outdoor life by crawling on the deck. She's crawling great now, able to get anywhere she wants to! She also pulls herself to standing on anything she can, but that leads to problems, since she then doesn't know how to sit down! So lot of bumps and spills.

The kids color after a hard day of playing. Elliott and Orianna are suddenly old enough to play great together. Now Lillian and Marilla are butting heads-- literally! Lily loved patting Marilla's head, but there was often a hard toy in the same hand, so Marilla wasn't impressed!
Cheyenne is a very sleepy little girl by the end of the day. School is hard work!
Last weekend we went up to Mom and Dad's for the weekend. Owen and Ashley were home for a visit, and it was Lily's first birthday! The drive down to Bet's for the party was full of color. What a beautiful place the Adirondacks are!
Nathan was one of the many kids there. He was showing off his walking skills!
Elliott glommed onto Orianna's scooter. It's been a favorite of his since last summer when we first met Orianna in Alaska!

Mr. Cool graced us with his presence.
Cheyenne leaning on the railing of Bet and Justin's amazingly huge porch/balcony. It was a beautiful day, the kids had a great time running around.
Bethaney did NOT hire clowns for Lily's birthday, but she did have the foresight to invite Adrian and Matt-- Traveling Fork Tricksters.
The newlyweds.

I'm not sure how Cody was authorized to wear this shirt...

Dad and Jeff-- I'm sure politics never entered into their discussions.
Lily's not sure what's going on... Lots of people singing!
Lots of kids there! They'll have fun together as they grow up.
Miss Orianna with her party hat.
"Hmm... cake!"

Bethaney had thoughtfully made a seperate, small cake specifically for candle-lighting and frosting-swiping.

Both Katherine...
and Elliott were willing to share, though!
Demonstrating the wonders of the gift bag before getting down to opening presents!
Ashley's birthday is this week, so we had to have a cake for her, too, on Sunday. (She's 22, but we only had one candle in the house!)

Cheyenne begged permission Sunday to "go see how deep the puddles are". I agreed on the condition that she put her pajamas on-- easier to wash than a Sunday dress!
They look clean from this vantage point...
but the legs are a different story!
Grandpa in his glory, with Lily and Elliot.
Owen, happy to be back on the farm for a weekend.

"Okay, Evan, how many pictures are you going to take?"
I think the hood of the truck was a little chilly... or Elliott was just enjoying yelling.
A pretty aunt Tori holding Rilla.
Chubby cheeks!
Ditto, but not quite so adorable.

Cody's latest acquisition, doing battle with Justin's leg. I believe it is the world's smelliest, stupidest billy goat.
It has been known to attack Cody's motorcycle and push it over. In all fairness to Cody, the goat was advertised as a pygmy goat. Cody's had them in the past, and they're great little animals. This goat, however, makes me swear off goat cheese for life.
Another wildlife oddity is this moose calf, just a few miles from Mom and Dad's. It spends lots of time hanging out with Herefords! I guess the moose population really is expanding up north!
Rilla tucking into some whole-grain rice cereal. She is eating pretty well now-- another milestone! Not that it is helping her sleep, though. She is a terrible little baby at night, waking up to eat and fuss pretty frequently. Well worth it, of course, but the money I would be prepared to spend to have an uninterrupted night is climbing steadily!

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