Monday, December 24, 2012

Twelve (count them, twelve!) Months Old!

Check out this BIG GIRL with Pooh!  She's certainly not a little baby anymore.  This month has been full of travels and fun for her and she's taken it in stride.  She still loves to eat, climb, and play.  She can spot another baby a mile away and laughs like crazy if she sees one in person or on a screen.  She cuddles up to her Eeyores at bedtime and snoozes away and then wakes us up with their jingles.  Sweet as can be.  We have a million more things to say about her and her birthday and everything else from this past year but wanted to make sure this gets posted before Christmas.  We can hardly remember what life was like a year ago before she was such a part of our family--and we like it that way!
See ya, Pooh!  Laney's got better things to do!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Five on Friday

1) What. A. Week.  The girls' school program was on Tuesday and I have pictures and video to post from that.  It was a sweet musical performance and we were all looking forward to the cookie walk afterwards.  Until Delaney threw up EVERYWHERE in the school hallway.  We made it home before another attack hit.  Thankfully, it appears to be the end of it.

2)  The next morning, I sent Amalia and Brinnly on the bus as usual, excited for their school parties that day.  A few minutes later, I heard my voice mail beep that I had missed a call on my cell.  My heart dropped when I heard a message from the director of transportation from our school district.  Their bus had been hit by a car a few miles past our house.  Everyone was fine, and not even very startled.  I was impressed by the coordinaion of the driver, police, and district officials.  They sent another bus to pick up the kids and finish the route but I drove to the scene anyway just to hug them myself.

3)  The girls were pretty unfazed by the whole experience.  The first thing Mali said to me was "Good news, Mom!  Our teacher gifts are fine!".  She assured me she checked the status of the breads we had baked for the staff right away. Brinnly's main report was the a woman from the bus garage wore great high heels.

4)  We'll save you the details but in the midst of all this, there was a HUGE repair on the water line for our (rental) house.  Our garage wall and back patio are also in the middle of being updated. We often joke that our live resemble a Richard Scarry book with all of the chaos, but on this day, we weren't exaggerating.

5)  I am so very blessed to start my 35th birthday with my five favorite people this morning. (After my sweet husband watched the kids so I could get a run in). Birthstone earrings were the figurative icing on the cake.  Can't wait to see even more of our friends and family very soon!

Surprise Trip to Phipps!

It has been a WHIRLWIND of activity around here lately (more on that soon!) so I wanted to get these pictures posted before I forgot what a fun morning we had yesterday.  It was the girls' first vacation day from school so I surprised them with a trip to Phipps Conservatory.  We hadn't been since Mali and Brinn were babies, so really, it was new to all of us.  The girls loved it, although comparisons to Meijer Gardens were inevitable.  This wreath room was one of their favorites and they started requesting pictures here.
One of the nice aspects was the map they provided for children which allowed them to collect stamps throughout the gardens.  If you notice Brinn's blue nose, that's why.

Lane saw MANY good opportunities for climbing and wasn't too thrilled to be told no.
Who needs Santa?  Laney and her bud Caleb are much cuter in his chair.

The India room was a huge hit.  We're all pretty much experts on India now, after reading a Magic Tree House book about the Taj Mahal and seeing pictures of Mike Ryan's trip there.

I'm noticiing there are a lot of Mali pictures.  It was a nice change to have her with us all day long.

We were all impressed with the poinsettia display.  We came home and read The Legend of The Poinsettia, a story I don't remember hearing growing up. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That same day...

I guess she had a craving for shredded wheat.  Enough to open the pantry and help herself while none of the rest of our were around.  Keep in mind she only has one tooth.


Really, Laney.  We know you are a big girl just like your sisters, but a wide-tooth comb is a bit much.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Secret Santas

This week was the girls' annual Christmas Shop at school where lovely volunteers help them shop in "secret" for their families with each item costing a grand total of $1.50.  They had big plans of buying their daddy a sharp knife, a Kindle Fire, and and earring.  Unfortunately, their school does not usually stock those items (nor does Jonathan have any need for an earring) so they had to settle for more modest gifts.  I can't wait to see what they came up with.

Also in keeping with the Secret Santa tradition, we did our annual reading of "Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells Batman Smells, P.S. so does May".  I do not claim to know the little girls so regularly shouting that song these days. (For the record, that story is one of the best examples of peace, goodwill, and the concept of a conscience in kiddie lit).

Friday, December 07, 2012

Eleven Months Old


Since we are once again way behind the actual day of the 22nd for this big girl, here are a collection of Laney + Pooh pictures.  Obviously, she's way too busy these days just to pose and smile.  She can walk holding on to our hands but hasn't ventured on her own yet.  Her appetite is still huge with favorites of fruit, rice chex, and meat.  She still nurses about five times a day but takes a bottle of whole milk pretty easily too.  Sometimes even in a sippy cup.  She's pretty excited to be around other little ones, especially my students in the Moms & Toddler class and her partner Opal in the Ryan clan.  Her vocabulary is now up to "Mama", "Dada", "Hi/Hey", and "Yay".  One of her big talents is brushing her own hair or teeth--not that she has too much of either! Of course, nothing is more enticing than a flight of stairs or a bunk bed ladder.  She's a daredevil, that one.  Thankfully, her hugs and kisses keep getting sweeter and sweeter.  We can't believe we only have a month left of "Baby" Delaney.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

Let's wrap the month by appreciating both PNC Bank and Redeemer Lutheran School and the employment they provide our families. Both Jonathan and I are blessed with work that we enjoy and supportive co-workers.  We've been through unemployment and underemployment so are well aware that this is no small thing.

And speaking of work--we're done for the week.  We're pretty thankful for the weekend too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

We're in danger of falling way behind here!  So, in the interest of catching up, here's a quick list of some little things we're been thankful for lately.  In no particular order--Stash Double Bergamont Earl Gray Tea, Amazon Prime, text-messaging, Karianne's chicken enchilada recipe, and Magic Erasers.  Those things can make a mommy or daddy's day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

"I'm thankful for pencils so that we can write"--Brinnly, while wearing a size 10 dress-up dress from her cousin Lauren, while helping her sister color dresses for a fashion show for their new stuffed puppies. That's our life around here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

Today we're all thankful for reading in all forms.  We love our read-aloud time to the girls, family audiobooks, grown-up books, our Kindles  (one of our best purchases ever!), and listening to the girls begin to sound words our independently.  My monthly book club has introduced me to new authors and has been a staple in my mommy-out-of-the-house time.  The girls have their favorites to listen to with each grandma.  Certain daughters of ours would probably choose a screen as her favorite entertainment time, hands-down, but hopefully we are encouraging life-long habits of reading at least as a close second.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

Days like yesterday are perfect examples that we have the most loving, thoughtful, generous families--on both sides of the family treee.  Once again, my parents opened up their house to host everyone and because the grandpa of the family is still recovering from surgery, my sweet in-laws provided the entire meal.  It was a lovely day by all accounts.

(And Jonathan would like to make it known that he is thankful for our Honda Odyssey.  Love that thing!)

(And to some Black Friday shopping!  Even more thankfulness!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

Today we are thankful for houseguests.  We actually have friends on their way right now to spend the night enroute to their Thanksgiving festivities. There is nothing like the rush of "redding up" the house, as Pittsburghers say.  Kids tucked into bed at night for "sleepovers", grown-ups actually enjoying uninterrupted conversation, and yummy company breakfasts.  Good stuff! We have lived in so many different places but have always been blessed to have friends and family come visit us.  It's one of our the things that makes each house a "home" to us.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days

"I'm thankful that God gave me my baby dolls"--Brinnly

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thirty Thankful Days (Weekend Update)

This weekend we are thankful for our church's annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner.  It is a wonderful tradition to share such a meal together, especially as many of our international students and friends join us for the first time then. This year we topped off the night with our friend Jesse on his guitar leading us in song.  That was in place of our monthly Family Bible Study night, another tradition we gleaned from our season at Our Savior, Grand Rapids.

We are also thankful for beautiful running weather on Sundays and science kits that can be ordered off of Amazon.  Not to mention that Thanksgiving is almost here!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Zookeeper of the week!

 Need to know anything about peacocks?  Then Amalia Ward is the girl to ask!
Safari Prep

First Clue

Picture Op

Up the hill

Swinging on vines

It is important to look in all directions

True scientists hunt until late at night (with bare legs, I guess)

Top of the hill, with safari bag

Found--one peacock feather!  (Yes, she hid it herself for she and her sisters to find later, but that's besides the point).