Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, Maybe?

I'm starting this post on Mother's Day, anyway-- we'll have to see if I have the energy to finish it on Mother's Day! It's been a busy month, and even though I was horrible about taking pictures, it still turns out that I have over a hundred pictures I want to post! I wish I could find someway to streamline the whole picture process. I often have 15 minutes during the day I would like to pop some pictures up and write something quick, but downloading the pictures from the camera and saving them in the correct size takes a bit of time. I need to train Cheyenne in the whole process-- she'd be a handy secretary/office assistant!

Bethaney brought the kids down for a bit at the end of March. It wasn't quite Easter yet, but we had fun dying eggs anyway!

Elliott in his John Deere apron from Katie!

Lily "No-Skirt" Cotten is surveying the table.

Rilla got up from her nap half-way through-- she was a little out of it!

Cheyenne arranging eggs.

Orianna's smile!

After egg dying, we needed to eat chocolate bunnies! I asked the kids to show me their half-eaten bunnies about 30 seconds into the chocolate fest! Orianna has devoured the ears...

Rilla is still holding the untouched bunny...

Elliott's about halfway...

Lily is chilling with a half-eaten bunny...

And Cheyenne already has the whole thing in her mouth! It was very strictly arranged by age-- the older the kid, the faster they gobbled the bunny!

And, for a prettier picture than Cheyenne's mouth of chocolate... dying eggs is so satisfying-- pretty easy, and they're such gorgeous colors.

We dyed a lot of eggs!

Some pictures of my primula. Bethaney had bought them to take home, but they looked so at home in my planter, I just paid her for them and kept them! Now they're still sitting in my planter, half-dead, waiting for my to get my act together and plant them. They're a perennial, so I need to get them in the ground-- I love plants that come up with no effort on my part!

Then, since Aunt Bet the Ambitious was here, the kids started decorating a bunny house!

Rilla and Lily were bored with the first steps, so they played kitchen/dollhouse games.

Of course, all the kids wanted to help decorate with the candy!

Pretty spiffy!

Way spiffier with the view of chubby toes in the background.

This was supper one night-- spinach salad, roasted asparagus, some sort of crab salad, and something else I forget... I do remember that we were trying four new recipes, two of them from Noble Pig. Bethaney and I feed each other's trying-new-recipes obsession. The kitchen is usually a wreck by the time we're done, but lots of yummy food gets made!

Aunt Bet did Rilla's hair in a French braid for the first time. It lasted about half an hour before the curls came sproinging out, but it was cute!

Of course, she is cute!

We had some friends from Alaska stop by for the afternoon on their way up to Mom and Dad's-- Lois and Merle Snavely, and their daughter, Jeanette. It was great to see them, even if it did make me long for a trip to AK!

This was the start of two weeks of company, but, of course, this was the only picture I got out of all the people that passed through! We had lots of visitors on special meeting rounds, and Olivia and Tori spent their spring break down here, being helpful aunties. There was one stretch where the guest room was occupied for eight nights in a row! Thankfully, Olivia and Tori aren't fussy guests, and they scrunched in Cheyenne and Elliott's room with the kids.

The kids were sure glad when it started being nice enough to play outside a lot!

We got this bike free from a neighbor last year. It is really too big for Cheyenne, but Evan added training wheels so she would feel a little more comfortable.

And Evan got to celebrate the start of spring by doing lots of projects outside! Here, he is digging a ditch to tie our gutter system into the ditch. Lots of manual labor!

Elliott, embracing his carpenter inclinations while also indulging in the wonderfulness of wearing pink princess shoes from Breanna!

Then the Cottens were back! Evan bought this kids' card table a while back, and it's always a big hit when they get to eat on it. It's quite the eclectic wardrobe selection for this breakfast-- fuzzy pajamas to a princess dress! (The package from the AK Vaughans was obviously a hit!)

Since Olivia and Tori, babysitters extraordinaire, were here, we had Kimmy come over to help out, and we all went out to eat, (almost) childless! Little Gilbert can't be away from Mommy too long, so he came with us. Despite an hour wait to get into the steakhouse, it was great fun to eat without cutting meat up for five kids!

Rilla the Bear after her bath.

Evan and Justin went down to Poughkeepsie for a job for a week. Since it was Cheyenne's spring break, I hied myself up to the farm for the week-- why stay at home in suburbia when we could be where the action (and aunts and uncles!) were?

The first day we were up there, Aunt Ashley found a box turtle (I think that's what kind it was, anyway!)

Running away from the kid attention.

"Ignore me! I'm a rock!"

Ashley is brave, so held it up for the kids to see!

Cheyenne poking a piece of grass at him to see if it would like to eat.

He wasn't very interested in the grass, but at least all the kids got to touch it-- some more tentatively than others!

Cheyenne, heading back into the house after bottle-feeding a lamb.

Grandpa, the Pied Piper, with the rest of the kids. Anytime an adult went to the barn, they were sure to attract a parade of children!

Elliott on a bike. Again, the pink is not a problem!

Bethaney and Ashley were starting a garden. Today was potato-planting day!

That's quite the hairdo for a farm-girl!

Rilla was a little more interested in the baby than the dirt...

But Orianna and Elliott LOVED the dirt!

He's wearing an appropriate shirt for the day-- "Farmer in Training!"

Again with the pink!

Really working the dirt!

This was a very sickly lamb-- despite careful bottle-feeding, he wasn't able to stand up. He had lots of concerned attendants, though!

And, this is the one pathetic picture I have that proved that Dale and Laura White and their kids came for the weekend. I can't believe how little pictures I took that week!

Someone else was there that week-- Cody! We hadn't seen him since September, so the kids were ecstatic to see him! Between him and Owen, they got lots of uncle time!

Elliott, barefoot boy on a tricycle.

My big girls, sleeping together.

Sweetest little faces EVER!

Then, back to Central Square, since Daddy was coming home! YAY!

Grandpa Dana holding Rilla while...

Daddy showed Elliott his new bike! I wish I could have got a picture of Elliott's face the first second he saw it!

"It's a COOL bike!"

And he was off and racing around on it!

Rilla used the opportunity to drive Elliott's old car.

See that big pile of pea gravel? There was a minimum order-- and Evan needed SOME for his drainage ditch. After doing that, and using it anywhere we could possibly think of a use for it, we still had a HUGE pile! Not that the kids minded-- they loved playing in it-- and scattering it all over the driveway!

Then, when Cheyenne got home from school...

She got to see her new bike-- one that fit her a bit better!

Elliott playing on the gravel while Cheyenne inspects the bike.

Definitely a more cautious biker than Elliott!

A dirty little girl running through the grass!

This is the shed in our backyard-- it's tiny, and completely rotten.

SO... Evan starts another project! This is the beginning of our new shed!

Elliott is in his element, getting to help Daddy build!

And get wheelbarrow rides! That was about the 100th trip Evan made, as he made a small dent in the pea gravel pile by spreading the gravel under the floor of the new shed.

All the kids enjoyed helping!

Cheyenne has grown a LOT! That was the last day for that shirt! And she's cool because she's wearing jeans! She had one pair, but they were sitting in the mending pile needing a button. I finally dug them out and fixed them, hoping that the extra protection on the legs might help her feel more comfortable riding her bike. It has helped, and it makes her feel very business-like when she helps Daddy!

Marilla is ALMOST cute enough to make me root for RPI hockey. Almost...

Elliott in his hat! We were trying to protect the kids from the sun a bit, so they all grabbed a hat from Daddy's stash. Weirdly enough, considering his extremely fair skin, Elliott doesn't sunburn at all-- just gets a couple of adorable freckles on his little face.

Elliott getting goofy for the camera-- not that there's much of a stretch to get him to act goofy at any time!

Rilla chilling on the chair on our porch!

Then, since it was a pretty spring day one Sunday morning, we had to take pictures! And once Baby Brother joins the family, I probably won't have time to do Cheyenne's hair in two braids for quite some time!

Goofy little kids!

Yup, getting large!

See all the woebegone faces? Mommy had just told them they couldn't play in the dirt right by the road.

A little girl peeking around the tree, to see if Mommy was still standing there with a camera. Yup, Mommy was!

Like those ringlets? That's what happens when you twist her hair up in a bun while it is wet!

Getting much better on her bike (as she navigates around the gravel pile, which Evan has since at least moved to the backyard so we could have our driveway back!)

"Take a picture of me, Mommy!"

Elliott enjoying his bike-- and there's a view of some our garage-- maybe you can understand why we REALLY need this new shed! Putting the kids bikes away involves balancing them on top of lawn mowers and snow blowers and various tools!

Love this girl!

Bike kids!

Auntie got to come stay a night with us this weekend, and she got some pictures of the kids!

Elliott with Evan's calculator-- he loves calculators. Actually, he's like his daddy, and loves anything electronic! Evan won an iPod Touch at a building show last month, so now Elliott has an iTouch-- an old cell phone from Uncle Leon!

Inside the walls of the shed!

Auntie was brave, letting Elliott ride by the car!

Hmm, we might have a problem here!

Waving dandelions.

Waiting for a push.

We went to the mall all together-- we don't often do that, so Daddy treated the kids to a ride on the carousel.

Enjoying Auntie!

Here, Rilla presents her enormous chocolate chip cookie for inspection.

Auntie also got this video of Rilla giggling on the swings!

And now, today!

Mother's Day morning with my little squidlets! Baby #4 is taking up quite a bit of space at this point, but at least he doesn't require an arm to hold him! My lap could get REALLY crowded soon!

There's so many cute things I mean to write on here about what my kids are doing/saying, but by the time a month has gone by between posts, there is lots I've forgotten. In a nutshell, my kids are brilliant and cute! Cheyenne is really reading now-- it's hard to stump her with a word, and I spend breakfast time saying, "Cheyenne! Keep that book out of the milk!" It's awesome watching her read to Marilla and Elliott.

Elliott is able to read quite a few words, himself, and is doing much better at writing letters. I'm still not sure about how kindergarten will go next year, but he definitely is right on track as far as reading/writing abilities. One new wrinkle he has introduced is his friend, Mary. Mary is a very versatile person, ranging in age from 0 to 87, possessing 8 kids or none at all. Mary gets introduced into most conversations. I'm kind of a slow mom, it took me a while to figure out this Mary was an imaginary friend. I was running through all the kids he had played with, trying to figure out whose name he had butchered. I finally realized that Mary was someone I will never see, but who is very much a part of our family! Lately, for some reason, I'm struck often by how close we were to never knowing Elliott, and I am just so thankful for that quirky little boy that I want to squeeze him for hours at end. That would never fly, though-- he's a busy little boy who only has time for quick hugs!

Marilla is growing like crazy, too. Her vocabulary and sentence-forming ability have exploded, and it's hilarious to hear all the inflections in her speech. And, (drum roll, please!) she has actually started trying new foods! We haven't pushed it too much, hoping she would grow out of her firm adherence to about four specific foods, and it looks like she finally is expanding her horizons! In this last week, she has not only tried, but ate a decent portion of, four new foods-- scrambled eggs, Kraft Dinner (hey, it may not be gourmet, but at least it's a different food!), potatoes, and strawberries!

I'm now 36 weeks along in my pregnancy-- just a few more days, and the baby will be full-term! So exciting to get to these milestones! I'm feeling fine, just a bit whale-like. This little guy is extremely active, so I spend lots of time feeling him stretch and shimmy. Anytime I want to sit down, I have to push a little foot out from under my ribs to manage! I'm in no hurry to have him come out any time, soon, though-- there's still lots I want to get squared away before we have another baby! For some reason, it seems like a long time since we've had one of them in the house!

Whew, I exhaust myself with my blather-- congratulations to anyone who made it this far! :-) Now I'm off to bed before I plant my face on the keyboard and fall asleep right here!


Cecil and Amy said...

Cute cute kids! Thanks for sharing the fun pictures!

Becky Gonce said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE The update!!! Love the photos of the girls sleeping.. they are so precious when they sleep! You have inspired me to update my blog.... =-)

Becky Gonce said...

well, maybe's bed time!