Sunday, June 21, 2009

Excitement-Filled Week!

One of the biggest excitements this week was that Livie was here! Unfortunately, since she co-opted my camera for many of these pictures, I don't have any pictures of her. She took lots of pictures, though.

Kimmy and her phone came for the night, and a "fun" day of shopping. I'd normally rather have a root canal than go shopping, but Olivia needed a bathing suit and hadn't had any luck up north. So we ALL went shopping-- Olivia, Kim, the three kids and I. Throw in a rainy day and over-tired children, and it was great fun! Actually, with Olivia and Kim both being helpful with the kids, it wasn't that bad!

Cheyenne in the dress Olivia made for her.

Rilla stealing her brother's page of stickers with unholy glee.

Elliott chilling with Kim.

Curly-headed polka dot girl!

Olivia made spaghetti alla pesto one night for supper-- she'd enjoyed it in Italy, so we had fun making it here!

Then, on Friday, it was Cheyenne's UPK graduation! Bethaney made a heroic effort to be here-- she packed the kids into the car at 5:00 a.m., as Lily's eyes can attest to in this picture!

Rilla celebrated the imminent graduation by climbing in the fridge and dumping the container of play food all over herself.

Bet and the girls, and Tori, who came down with her.

What a big girl in her pigtails!
Wriggly Lily! Graduation was a photographic nightmare-- it was too dark to shoot without a flash, but there sure were a lot of red eyes! I spent quite a bit of time this evening with the red-eye tool in my photo program.

Us Whites, plus the tip of Livie's nose.

Cheyenne walking across the stage with poise and gravity. It didn't even cross my mind that I'd be crying at a preschool graduation, but I got pretty teary when they started walking in!

Smiling for Mommy and Daddy once she'd found her seat!

Alex, her buddy. He was a ham up there on stage.

Reciting the school promise.

Orianna, drinking it all in.

Singing songs!

You could hear Cheyenne's voice above everyone else-- she was the one actually carrying the tune!

Every kid received an award-- Cheyenne's was for "Most Creative"! She certainly didn't get that from her mother!

And sitting down again, while her friend Paige stood up.

They were presented with bags full of summer activities. Don't those bags look familiar? They're the one we (i.e., Evan and Marilyn) made out of pillowcases. The kids all put their handprints on them-- a neat way to remember all the names!

Getting hugs from Elliott and Mommy afterwards.

Me with my grown-up girl (and the flower they presented each of the mothers).

And we're finally outside, with better light and cute kids!

Rilla, helped along in her happiness with a sizable oatmeal cookie off the refreshment table!

One of my pretty sisters.

This raincoat was one of the purchases on our shopping expedition. I tried it on Rilla in T.J. Maxx, and it stayed on. When we got up to the register to check out, I attempted to take the coat of so the clerk could ring it up-- no go! The clerk quickly suggested he just hand-key the code in when he heard the ear-splitting shrieks! So the coat was worn through a few more stores, and a car ride home that turned into a nap! Then, on Friday, we had to put it on again so the cousins could see how cool it was.

Self-satisfied raincoat girl.

The cousins had an awesome time together. They play together so much better than they did last summer-- Orianna and Elliott are just that much older. Play ice-cream cones were one of the cool things...

Lily tried to eat one...

And so did Elliott!

The Roxaboxen blocks were back out in full force! Tori built all sorts of things with them...

and the edges were great swords/baseball bats.

Marilla and Lily hung out in the sand box.

Rilla's actually showing some teeth!

Tori with two of her girls.

Cheesy grin...

and cheesy grin! Think they're related?

Lily tried on the graduation paraphenalia.

Then, a hamburger picnic!

Rilla doesn't eat hamburgers, but she sure liked sitting at the table with the big kids!

Tori graciously sat with them, so us big people could have a quieter dinner inside!

Elliott is fascinated with twirling the umbrella over the table.

Girls with messy hair from a busy day also enjoyed their hamburgers!

Bet left Saturday afternoon so they would be home for Father's Day. We made Father's Day cards right before they left. I think I need to get a better idea for a craft table-- the bottom of the laundry basket got pretty crowded! Of course, we could have used our coffee table, but Evan was in the living room, and, of course, had NO idea about the secret card making in the family room! And hey, here's an actual picture of Olivia from this week!

It was so fun to see all the aunts and cousins enjoying each other. We're up for another busy couple of weeks. Evan will be working out towards Glens Falls for a few weeks, so we'll be going up to the farm a bit. We'll miss daddy, but now that it's summer, at least we won't be tied to school! Cheyenne (despite being an official graduate) has three more days of school. Can't wait for summer vacation!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Childless Day!

I love being a mother, and if I was separated from my children for very long I would be highly distraught. But for 36 hours? It was wonderful! My husband and in-laws gave me a great gift these last two days and watched my kids so I could run up north. Although Bet and Justin bought a house a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't yet been up to see it. This little trip up there was just long enough to see my family, explore Owen and Ashley's house (very cool old house they're renting!), help Pregnant-Belly Bethaney scrub her tub, and kidnap Olivia for a week at my house. I enjoyed myself immensely!

Orianna and Lily were so excited to see me, I felt famous. They loved showing me all the cool parts of their new house. (Why is it that Ashley and Bet both have ginormous amounts of cabinet space in their kitchens? I'm the one who's been collecting kitchen stuff the longest!)

They played so great together all day, while I helped Bet unpack a little more. Their Polly Pocket dolls see a lot of action.

Thankfully, I was able to go up Sunday evening, so I didn't feel compelled to be useful the whole time. There was lots of time for Wordthief.

I got to see Mom's official diploma! Yay for Mom!

I don't know which is cuter, the front or back of Lily.

We had to have a picture of all our cool Crocs. (The other sisters missed out, but there was Crocs in abundance.)

This morning, I watched the Amish bring their milk to Dad's bulk tank. The milk truck will only pick up milk from a bulk tank with refrigeration, so the Amish milk the cows and put it in big milk pails, then transport it over to Dad's milk tank until the milk truck comes to pick it up every other day.

And one of the best parts of this trip? The actual drive up and back. No one dropped their pacifier. No one argued over who got more fries. No one asked, "How much longer?". Instead, I bought a soda with caffeine and just drove! On the way home, Olivia was with me, and that was even better. Since this is the closest I'll get to a road trip for several years, we maximized the road trip moments.

Self-portrait taken of the road trippers. Check. (Additional note-- this is MUCH trickier with an SLR than a point-and-shoot!)

Pictures with signs. Check. Soda. Check. Singing along at the top of our lungs. Check. Nutritionally suspect foods. Check. What a trip.

Mother Nature cooperated nicely with lovely weather. I hate to tie myself to one favorite month, but June in the North Country has got to be the most beautiful time of year. I'm so glad I was able to go enjoy it for a bit-- and now I'm glad to be home with my squidlets!