Friday, July 27, 2012

All Dolled Up

Oh geeez. Where do I even start. 
Margaret and I were lucky enough to be invited to see Cinderella
as a stage production by Jason's parents. I was sad, but could not go with them. 
I still don't feel like I can leave Nathan in the evenings. That would be miserable for him
and whoever was watching him.
 But there was no way Margaret was going to miss this. She was so excited! 
So we curled her hair, put on special lotion, and got all dolled up.
When I offered her some of my (meaning real) lipstick, so got the biggest eyes
stared at me and said in her most serious voice, 
"I have been waiting for this."
 What a girlie-girl. I love it. I am not quite sure where she gets it, but I love it.
She is so out-numbered here, so I guess sometimes she has to go over the
top to make up for it.
 These poses by the way are something new and all her own. 
It was all I could do to keep from giggling when she kicked 
her heal up and tossed her hair back.
Jason and I laughed out loud when I showed him these for the first time.
But I think it is wonderful that she obviously loves being
a girl. She is getting so big, so quickly. Before I blink she'll be out
the door for kindergarten.

Swim TIme

 Before we headed out the door for Oregon
we spent one more day at Nana's pool
with our Burke cousins.
Margaret decided to be brave enough to float in the deep end. 
She also started jumping off the diving board
into my arms. Then we would kick together
to the ladder. How many times have I done that
with my kids over the years. 
1-2-3, JUMP! Kick! Kick! Kick!

 Andrew going up the ladder to the slide. 
He is in the daredevil stage of things. 
Going down the slide is no longer enough. Oh no.
It now must include a trick. Like going backwards, 
on a float, while shooting a water gun.

 Tanner the fish. He still loves swimming.
 Even after hours of team practice, 
he is all for spending the day at another pool.

Especially when it means swimming with these fun kids.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Swim Meets

In years past swim meets have generally consisted of 
Tanner and I packing up and heading out, 
with drop by visits from Jason and the other kiddos. 
But this year with Andrew swimming more 
we tried to make them even more of a family affair.
 So we packed up the whole crew, cute baby boy included, 
and made the best of our time together.
 I loved rushing up to the fence 
and cheering on our swimmers. 
 We got to be up close for proud little moments, 
like when hard events were completed,  
when seconds were dropped,
or when relays did well.
(Andrew even came through and swam 
in a relay in place of a 13 year old 
who was a last minute scratch. It was so hard for him.
But he did it. I was so proud for him.)
 Margaret wasn't quite ready to 
swim on the team this season. She did however
love hanging out with these sweet girls.

Friday, July 20, 2012

4 months!

Four months old
and apparently all worn out
from our summer fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Giant City

We live so close to several state parks and a few small but gorgeous lakes. 
I always feel like we should get out and visit them more than we do. 
So we have gone more this year than ever before. 
We like to hike and can handle short trails just fine. 
We set out this week to escape the four walls of our home and have a little adventure.
 It turned out to be mid-day and blazing hot by the time we actually made it out. 
But the kids were troopers and had fun 
exploring a trail we had never gone on before.

 These are the sandstone formations that were all around us.
 They have eroded over the years to form endless cliffs and caves to explore.
 Tanner had to save the day by holding this cliff up for us while we walked under it. :)
 And so Margaret and Andrew got in on the hero action too.
 Isn't it convenient that I have such strong kids. 
I mean with all these dangerous cliffs and falling trees around, I
 could be in real trouble without them.
Even Nathan went along for the hike. 
This was at the end of the trail, and we were soaked. 
That baby carrier was covered in sweat- poor baby.  
Or from the look of things, maybe it was just drool.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We were so excited to spend extra time with our VA cousins this summer. Bradley and Lizzie got to stay at Grandma's house for an extra week after their dad flew home to be with Aunt Julia as she prepared for baby #4. Lucky us.
There was lots of time for swinging on our favorite porch swing to dry off after a swim.
 Lots of lunches on the porch and
 boy time watching big cousin Tanner on the computer.
 We took rides around the field and into the woods
 for some exploring time.
And because there can never be too many fireworks, 
we talked Uncle David into one more show.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rolling Lessons

For the past few weeks, 
Nathan has been trying to roll over non-stop. 
He has been successful several times, 
but when we see him get stuck we all want to just help him on over.
 Here is Andrew giving him a little push.
 But then he decided that wasn't quite enough.
 What Nathan really needed was an example to follow.
 This is how its done.
 Once you get good enough, you'll be able to roll
across a whole room, like this.
Practicing hard.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Daze.

Even in the summer, most mornings we are up and running. We head out for swim team at about the same time as we do for school during the rest of the year. That makes the mornings when it is too hot to go outside and we have nothing on the calendar, oh-so-special.
 I love finding the kids playing like this together. No stress. No rush. Apparently-no reason to get dressed either.
Just enjoying simple toys and each others company. This is why summer is so welcome around here. It gives us these sweet chances to relax together. 
To remember that family is what life is all about.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Look who can sit in the saucer seat.
 Nathan seemed to sense the gravity of his accomplishment when we sat him in the one-man-circus for the first time.
He was so serious as he stretched his chunky little legs down to help his toes touch the platform below. 
He just barely made it! 
Then he set out about the serious work of grasping each and every toy in sight. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Fourth of July!

We spent the Fourth in Cape with my family.
My brother Mark and his wife Daniela organized a 5K run for all of us. It was super cute (and HOT) with balloons and an official starting line. We lined up and even tagged on name and number sheets.
 And they're off. The boy cousins took the competition seriously. Tanner ran with his uncles and did a good job keeping up too. The rest of the boys rode their bikes for the race. With such high stakes (Andy's custard was the prize) there was a little tension in the air. Head starts were witnessed, bike chains came off, dads had to finish the race with toddlers in tow. All in all though it was a blast. What a great new tradition!! 

 After cooling off in the pool, we spent the evening watching fireworks. The kids lined up for turns helping David put on a show. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of times like these. Family and friends relaxing together. Watching fireworks in the backyard.
 And just like I was when I was little, my kids were in awe of the sounds, colors, and even the smoke.    It is more than a little magical to get to share all of that with each other. 
It makes me grateful more than ever for the country we live in, with our freedoms and liberties. We are blessed and may we use our blessings to reach out and help others.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Oh, don't mind me. I'll just be playing with my toes for the next 8 weeks or so.