Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our February Vacation, Thus Far

So we have had a lovely February break, although we didn't go to Florida this year. I've been to Florida since I've been to Dana and Marilyn's place, though, so it was wonderful to have several days there.

All spiffied upon on Sunday. Elliott is trying to roll his eyes out of his head, and Rilla is looking on, concerned.

Hey, everyone's actually looking at the camera and smiling!! Too bad we hadn't fussed much with the backdrop, but it's a little "slice of life" picture, I guess. Elliott was so happy to find his sock monkey's brother this week, he had fun dragging the brown monkey on the floor around.

I have no idea why my camera was caught so off-guard by the bright snow, but I haven't been able to make these pictures look anything but washed out. The kids were sure having fun in the the snow, though, so I'll put the pictures up anyway!

The pretty view in the background. It's such a pretty place there.

Sledding between Daddy's legs.

The goal was to make it to the (very untraveled side) road.

My happy little snow boy.

Even though Lincoln and I didn't go sledding, we partook of the fresh air and sunshine.

I think my son is going to have a large diastema!

He is a fun little bundle!

Evan playing "Going on a Bear Hunt" with Lincoln.

Lincoln liked hunting bears.

Grandma and the kids "opening the gate" on their bear hunt.

Swishing through the grass.

Dana watching from his Chair O' Sickness.

Elliott playing with Uncle Tyler's old village.

See, it's a helicopter!

Cheyenne stole the camera and did some portraits. Here's photographic proof that... Marilla is still cute and curly-headed.

I really like this picture she took of Marilyn.

Here is Lincoln, a little bit sad and sleepy-eyed in the morning.

Then, the vacation was over. We left there Wednesday morning and came home to a fairly messy house, and somehow managed to whip it into shape for our Wednesday night meeting! I still haven't unpacked the suitcase of dirty clothes (or the suitcase of clean clothes, for that matter), but at least I kept the house reasonably clean today. We had a extra person in our van on the trip back-- Mammy hitched a ride here enroute to Aunt Sally's house. She kept the kids entertained Wednesday afternoon while I cleaned. I was glad the kids had a chance to get to know her, and they sure enjoyed her stories (and all the books she read them!)

Aunt Sally and Uncle Leon came to pick Mammy up this morning, so we had to get a picture of Elliott in his "Uncle Leon shirt"-- with Uncle Leon!

Marilla was not impressed that the camera was not pointed at her.

"Ahh, pointed at me... That's more like it!"

I think her eyes have sort of settled into a green classification. They are sparkly and beautiful, no matter their technical color.

Elliott exhibiting his favorite activity-- running up to a piece of furniture and somersaulting into an upside-down position.

Marilla wanted a picture to prove that she could "show my belly!" too.

Cheyenne had a rough day, snuggled up with a book, blanket and baby. This child needs four or five books a day to keep her satisfied.

These are our Valentine roses. They are starting to decay, which only makes them richer and more beautiful.

One withered little drooping head.

I was trying to get a picture of their current deep purple color, but this came out way more red.

Poor focusing, but maybe a little more true to the color.

We've had sad news of about the health of several different people lately. My dad is currently in Pennsylvania with our cousin, Billy Schweighofer, who isn't doing well. I've been so thankful that my cousins have kept us up-to-date by posting news on Facebook, I even check when I wake up in the night to feed Lincoln! Thinking of wonderful older folks getting ready to face eternity has both sobered and enriched our thoughts lately. Thankful for all those who go before us!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Everyday Things

Yeah, this has been an empty post for a few days, but I'm finally getting to it! I started the post Thursday night, and it accidentally published right after I typed in the title. Then, I didn't delete it because I was going to put some pictures up quickly and be done. But Lincoln had other plans for the evening. And then I got rather busy for the last couple of days! We had been planning on coming to Dana and Marilyn's Saturday morning, but about 8:00 Friday evening I took a look at the weather forecast for Saturday morning, and realized that if we didn't leave that evening, we would be snowed in for a bit! Evan and I ran around like headless chickens for a few hours and we got on the road about 9:45. Didn't get here until 1:15, but at least the kids slept in this morning.


We have had a lovely day, though, of library visits, grocery shopping, sledding, abidalies, pot roast, and listening to Grandpa Dana hack his lungs out. He's recovering from a nasty case of pneumonia, so we came to add to the quiet atmosphere necessary for recovery.


Marilla and I in our matching aprons from Aunt Hopie. Marilla gets irritated when I say they're matching, since they are different colors. They are both Japanese prints, though, so we complement each other nicely. We have to cook a lot together, since we look so cute together.

Poor little Lincoln had pink-eye this week. He looked extremely pathetic, but he still smiled.

Lincoln is extremely impressed with standing.

He is very proud of pulling himself up.

VERY proud.

Lincoln still likes falling asleep in Daddy's arms. I think Daddy likes it, too.

Cheyenne is still very much The Big Sister.

She is also entranced with being a waitress. She has waited on us at supper every night, and made up menus. I don't know how long the spirit of service will last, but we're enjoying it!

Rilla and Elliott, enjoying their new book from Grandma Jill: In the Town, All Year 'Round. Rilla literally spends at least an hour a day reading this book. It's a mostly wordless book that follows a cast of characters through their day in the town, all through the four seasons. If anyone needs to buy a present for a three year-old anytime soon, this is a winner!

Judging by her mustache, Rilla also enjoyed the Double Stuff Oreos Evan bought for Valentine's Day.
Here is the latest status report on the bathroom, in the words of Cheyenne. "A nice bathroom that my dad built. We will never forget it and we will never forget how we made it."

Rilla, crouching on the vanity.

She likes getting things out of the medicine cabinet.

My incredibly talented husband built this cherry vanity. I am wildly impressed.

I took these pictures the other day, and since then, Evan has completely finished all the trim, hung up all the towel rods, put knobs on the vanity drawers and doors, put grab bars in the bath, and generally FINISHED the bathroom! So exciting. After we get home from our visit out here, I can't wait to organize everything in the drawers. We have such a glamorous bathroom, my marrying a computer programmer turned carpenter has proven to be a good choice! (There's a few other reasons besides his mad carpenter skillz, but the carpenter skillz are uppermost right now.)

Time to braid Cheyenne's hair after her bath, and get these squirts in their beds! Bathtime and bed are always more exciting at Grandma and Grandpa's house!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lily's Birthday, 5 Months Later

This post has pictures from way back in September. I've always meant to put them up sometime, but it acquired a sense of urgency the other day. Bethaney called me up to tell me she had just received the beautiful Shutterfly photo book she had put together of 2010. It was utterly beautiful-- except Bethaney realized there wasn't a single picture of Lily's birthday. Which is kind of funny, because Lily had the biggest birthday party of any of the kids this year! I have lived with a middle child (Evan Joe) long enough to envision Lily, twenty years down the road, telling everyone, "Oh, yeah, there were pictures of the baby's birthday, and picture's of my big sister's birthday... but NOOOO pictures of my birthday." So, Lillian Nora, you get your own blog post. I hope that helps avert the therapy bills.

It's a good thing she's so stinkin' cute, so it won't be hard to put up lots of pictures.

The OLDEST kid's pretty cute, too.

This picture of Elliott with a crew cut looks funny, now that we're deep into his long-haired winter look.

Olivia wandered around with my camera, taking pictures of pastoral scenes.

Grass growing through the bridge.

The bridge over the fence, with background cows.

Isn't that elm tree beautiful? It's one of the few elms around that wasn't devastated by Dutch Elm disease. The ice storm in 1998 gave it a hard time for a while, but it's still alive.

The geese winging south. How I wish they would wing north again, and bring some spring!

And... a fall leaf.

Old school chair.

Cool picture, and it's interesting how this was constructed.

Pretty flower-whose-name-completely-escapes-me.

Starting the Epic Cake production for Lily's birthday.

It's a fairly faithful replica of the Candyland board. Or maybe completely faithful replica. I avoid Candyland like the plague, so I really couldn't tell you.

This is pretty impressive looking, I admit!

These are the cutest little castles (I think?). Frosting in mini ice cream cones.

Sparkles on the frosting.

Lily is duly impressed. And very conscious of the dignity necessary for a girl in her position.

Tori and Cheyenne are finding something funny.

Blowing out the candle in a jar. I'm not sure if it was because A.) No one remembered to buy candles B.) Candles would have melted the beautiful cake or C.) All of the above.

Singing with vigor! Since this was after Lily blew out the candles, maybe we were serenading Dad?

More celebrants. (Is that the correct use of the word?)

Owen belting it out.

Rilla's trademark pout.

I'm probably about to bite and/or kiss that amazingly soft neck/cheek.

The addition of a vintage Polly Pocket Cinderella really kicked the cake up a notch.

Gilbert explored frosting-in-a-cone.

THREE cakes! Because one was mostly for looks, one was because it's not a birthday without vinegar cake, and the other one was for chocolate haters or something. Not that there are many chocolate haters, but Bethaney hates getting chocolate stains out of kids' clothes.

Me with my sparkly girl.

Evan and Elliott. Observe Elliott's very buttoned-up look.

So, yeah, we're not torturing him here. Just trying to unbutton the top button on the shirt of a very ticklish little boy.

Lily enjoying the fuzzy feel of the dry-erase board eraser.

With her new art easel.

Aunt Ashley.

Cheyenne, joining in the artiness.

Apparently, the chocolate carnage evident on her face wasn't enough, since she is now trying to eat the bus.

Pretty candle picture.

Evan with his buddy, Lincoln.

Witnessing Lincoln's first big raspberry!

The kid is Ta-Lent-Ed!

It's a shame we don't like this baby.

As befitting a princess, there were shiny tiaras. Which was co-opted by Elliott.

Yup, Lily carries the look off well.

But it's really Mrs. Potato Head that was properly accessorized for the tiara. Look at how the My Little Ponies stand in awe.

Lily, looking proud of her block tower.

Rilla made sure the very old Little People garage didn't feel left out.

This was probably one of the times we told Cheyenne to stop being bossy. Not that that has to happen with any regularity, or anything.

Orianna, showing off her mother's mad braiding skillz.

I stole these pictures off Bethaney's camera the other day-- still September! The girls helping Justin paint some furniture.

Careful painter.

She is SOO cute!


Little paint-stained toes. Swoon.

Olivia, and her summer-freckled nose, holding Gilbert. Speaking of cuteness-- GILBERT!

I realized I never put up more than a few cursory pictures from Christmas, and I have some recent pictures to put up. My goal this week, though, is to make it to bed by 10:00, at least once. And since I never remembered Cheyenne's class valentines until 6:00 p.m., and then the blasted printer was out of ink (I download valentines from Secret Agent Josephine), Evan had to run to Wal-Mart for ink (and roses and PB M&Ms, isn't he the greatest!) and now I have to get Cheyenne up in time to address all the valentines. Which causes enough drama on the best of days, let alone when we're under deadline. I don't think I'm going to win the coveted Mom of the Year award from the PTA. But I have PB M&Ms, and several unread novels, so I'm not sure I care...