Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summer Activities

 Summer break....ahhhhh....some days I wish it could go on forever and ever.  The kids don't have school and friends to distract them from one another.  So they actually play with each other!  Nicely, even, sometimes.  And I sit and drink it in.  They often even get bored and ask me for work to do.  Which they do gladly.  We are at that magical age where work is fun and grown up seeming to them and they will work for no pay.  Simply hearing Daddy or Mommy express pleasure in their work is enough reward.  And we are milking it!  The timing is rather perfect, as I need a lot of help these days!  
Now, I don't really consider soccer practice a "summer activity" as it usually signals the start of fall and school.   However, Caroline's practices have started earlier than Ezra's and it hasn't been too bad.  Nora and Ezra come along and have fun playing in the sand and on the playground.  And Caroline is overjoyed to be on a team with all her friends this year.  It really affects how she plays.
 Some summer days we do things like have donuts and milk at the park....for lunch!  Don't worry, I bought a carton of strawberries to eat along with the treats.  I'm  healthy like that.
 Um, son, I think those days are over!  He was trying to stage a video that could make it onto America's Funniest Home Videos.
 I LOVE this picture of my precious girlies.  Next year there might be three girlies...OR a boy up there with Ezra.  We'll soon find out!

 Caroline is quite proud of her inability to get dizzy or sick.  Ezra and I are somewhat envious since neither of us can even look at a tire swing going around without feeling as though we need to lose our lunch.

 Caroline has been cutting and drying lavender all summer to make some little drawer sachets.  We finally got around to it the other day.  A very long time ago when Maisonnette was still a fabric store we got a bunch of fabric samples from Miss Maddie when we were making curtains for the girls' room.  Those tiny little fabric scraps are perfect for a little sachet project.
 We didn't worry about perfect edges (obviously) and I let the girls pick fun stitches on the machine since they would be showing.  They stuffed in the lavender, but did not operate the machine since the sachets were so small and I was worried about fingers that close to the needle.  These are Caroline's.

 And these are Nora's. 
 And last of all....summer evenings are perfect for leisurely walks and bike rides around town.  Two nights ago was a full moon and so I thought it would be funny to get a picture of me howling at the moon--just in case I went into labor that night : )  Yes, my belly is a little bit large.  Today marks 39 weeks.  Ezra was born at 39 weeks, exactly.  Caroline was born at 40 weeks, exactly.  Nora was born at 40 weeks + 2 days.  Sometime within the next 3 weeks we should have the Baby!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Swimming Lessons

 We managed to fit in two sessions of swimming lessons this summer.  Nora was old enough to participate--and much to my relief, she agreed to get in the water on the first day!  Praise the Lord!  She got Caroline's favorite teacher from last year.  This little gal is AH-mazing with the littles.  She is patient and kind, but not afraid to push their limits and make them learn.  She had Nora floating alone, back stroking alone (for just a couple strokes) and face in the water "swimming" alone to the edge by the end of two sessions.  I feel like if Nora fell into a pool, she could float or get to the edge while waiting for help--and that was my main goal for her. 
 Caroline worked on perfecting her crawl stroke and back stroke--back stroke being her very favorite.  She swam a lot of laps and was pretty tired at the end of most days.

 And waaaaaay down at the end of the pool was my precious boy.  He worked on technique and stamina.  He also got much better at diving after about 3 weeks' worth of a very slapped up looking chest and tummy.
 After lessons, we'd head over to the kiddie pool to play for an hour or so.  I got to sit on the edge and zone out for a nice period each morning.  Most of the time I didn't even care that I should be at home finishing my chores : ) 

Swimming lessons were fun--and they got us up and going in the mornings for a good portion of the summer.  It's nice to be done with them as well, though.  Everyone's hair and skin could use a little chlorine break.  And the last few lazy mornings of summer are being wholly enjoyed before we have to start thinking about getting up and going in time for school!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cone Head Friday

No plans for your Friday night?  Might I suggest "Cone Head Night".  All you need is a friend or two and some orange traffic cones.  No more explanation necessary.  Have fun!

 Don't forget that you can use the cones as a bullhorn and broadcast to the neighborhood if you get tired of using it as a hat.

 Also, make sure to make many, many faces.  It adds to the overall delight-fulness of the event.
 And--for the ultimate good time--show your muscles. 
Enjoy your Friday night!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lake Kachess

 A couple weekends ago we headed out to Lake Kachess for the day--no camping there for us this year.  We met A & J and their boys at their campsite and enjoyed nature without having to pack up our tent this time around.  We spent most of the time down at the lake.
 I was able to buy a new camera finally--and I'm still playing with it and getting used to it.  It's not a DSLR this time around (so sad) and I'm having a lot of trouble adjusting to the slower shutter time.  Point and shoots have gotten a lot better with their shutter speed--but it's just not the same.  There are tons of bonuses though, such as the fact that it's water proof and weather proof--translating to "purse and diaper bag proof".  And it fits in my purse.  It's not an extra bag to carry with extra lenses to cart around.  In theory, I should get more pictures taken this way.  However, many of the ones from this particular day were quite blurry.  Sorrrrrrry.  I'll keep working on it.
Tadd took our blow up raft with the motor out on the lake with all three kids.  Right off the bat, he put the motor on backwards and as he was swiftly headed for shore in reverse (which he thought was drive) he had to hop out of the boat--and he fell in.  Now, I missed that actual shot, but in this one it appears as though a repeat is about to occur. 

 The kids (and a bunch of us on shore) got a really good laugh out of the event.

 Now, we may not have been camping ourselves, but that's no reason for Nora to stay clean.  Her mouth is a little example of what the rest of her looked like--covered in dirt, dust and mud!

 Paddling his own canoe.
 Yep--we let these two loose on the lake.....ALONE!  Yikes!  They had a lot of fun. 

 Except Nora was under the  impression that paddling was going to be a cinch.  And, of course, it was not.  She eventually started crying when she realized she wasn't making the boat go anywhere.  Which meant that she couldn't make it come back to shore. 
 Thankfully, Daddy could motor over and save them.

 Give a kid sand, dirt, water and buckets and he will stay happy for hours. 
 Eventually fatigue sets in, however.  And then it's time to pack up for home.  It was nice not to have to fold up a tent and roll up sleeping bags before we loaded into the van.  And it was nicer still to go home to a hot shower and a warm bed.
The next morning the kids were all ready for Sunday School early.  This is how I found them waiting on the stairs when I came out of my bedroom after finishing getting ready.  In their Sunday-go-ta-meetin' finery, quietly reading.  Made me right happy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Boy or Girl....Girl or Boy?????

 37 weeks, 6 days...that's where the pregnancy stands.  Someday in the next 2-4 weeks we should find out which outfit this Baby will be wearing home from the hospital.  The diaper bag is packed and ready to go.  My hospital bag is packed and ready to go.  Names are semi-settled on.  There is a new car seat kicking around in the back of the van.  The Moses Basket is finally dusted off and ready for use.  Burp rags, newborn diapers, onesies and blanket sleepers have been washed in Dreft and put away in the changing table.  Swaddling blankets stand at attention.
 And there are three VERY anxious siblings waiting to hold a new brother or sister.  Ezra and Caroline have both guessed "boy" and Nora has guessed "girl".  I am not sure.  When I look at that darling little hot air balloon outfit and the pretty girl blanket fabric, I think it must be a girl.  And I just love our girl name--it's pretty well set. 
But then I see this sweet little boy outfit that Daddy bought one day on his lunch break, and I think--"oh it's gotta be a boy".
This is the part I LOVE about not knowing.  The excitement builds and builds.  My anxiety over labor and delivery also builds and builds, but that's not exactly exciting.  The Lord is helping me not to be as terrified as last time (when I remember to ask Him).  But I'm still pretty scared.  My doctor says he doesn't think I'll make it to my due date, for whatever that is worth.  This time around, I wouldn't mind being a teensy bit early.  That way we have the big event over with before the kids start school.  That makes the first day a whole lot less stressful for me.  And it also gives Ezra and Caroline a chance to be home a bit with the Baby.  They have just been dying to hold him, to kiss her, to help Mommy with this new little one.  I want them to have that chance before they have to rush out the door each morning and come home exhausted each afternoon while they get used to all the energy that school takes.  And that way we could have some lazy, cuddly mornings together without the mad-rush to eat breakfast, get dressed, pack lunches, feed the baby, grab the back packs, tie the shoes, load up the kids, buckle all the car seats and get to school on time enough to not have to walk into the office and sign a tardy note. 
So Baby, we're ready when you are!