Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grammy Turns 29 Again!

My mom's birthday always seems to sneak up on us . . . less than a week after Christmas . . . and it never really feels like the real celebration it should be. This year we were lucky enough to have Nate & April and their kids in town, so it felt more like a party! All we did was spend time together, which was memorable and made all of us feel happy.

We roasted marshmallows in the fireplace.

We sat and talked.

We climbed on Nate.

We made new buddies.

We showed off our utter cuteness.

We told fish stories. (His was THIS BIG, I'm sure.)

We cuddled with the birthday girl.

We told more fish stories.

And more.

And we got to sing to and eat pumpkin spice cake with this beautiful lady!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cabin Fever

I've been caught lately in what Madeline's TAG teacher from last year calls "the nap trap." Baby #1 takes her morning nap, then she wakes up and it is time for Baby #2 to take her nap, and then when she wakes up, it is time for Baby #1 to take her second nap of the day. Then when Baby #1 wakes up from her second nap, Older Sisters #1 and #2 race inside the house tired, hungry, and scared of the neighbor's dog chasing them all the way up to the front door. (Hey, I'm scared, too.)

Let's just say that this cabin fever this week has been making me a little bit of a monster. I wish I were in the tropics, maybe lying on the beach wearing an outfit like this . . .

. . . catching up on a good Junie B. Jones book like Madeline is. (Or maybe she could wear this outfit as she gets off the bus. That'll really scare the dog!)
We have been holding mandatory exercise sessions for the girls each day to give them (and me) some much-needed energy expenditure. Monday night, though, they just about did me in, and all I wanted to do was sit on the recliner and tell everyone to stay away and not bother me. But . . . it was FHE, so I had to interact. ha ha! This is a funny post. But it's the truth. You are supposed to interact with your family on FHE night. And . . . I wasn't in the mood. But I participated.

I finally cracked a smile when this action started going on:

It usually goes down like this: the girls line up in the kitchen back by the table, they run full-force to the couch, and when they reach the arm of the couch, they jump up and flip over, landing on the cushions. Then they run around the kitchen island back to their place in line.

Choobies always bonks against the arm of the couch and is stuck in mid-air, never quite flipping over the top because she is too short to make it over. She always laughs, looks at Dallas and me with an expression of, "How did that happen again?" and then she runs back for more of the same thing.

Madeline always splats on top of the arm because she isn't a natural flipper. She gets her face stuck in the cushions mid-splat and never makes it over either. She'll kind of roll off sideways if she makes it over at all and then looks at us with an expression of, "Oh well. I'll go back and try again," and then she repeats the same move every time. Run, run, run, run, half-flip, bonk, splat, r-o-l-l off, run, run, run. It's hilarious.

Madeline's moves would make the grouchiest mom crack a smile.

Now Raleigh is in an element all her own. She has enough creative and physical and mental energy to make your hair stand on end. Which ours sometimes does when we are with her, but we love our little firecracker girl. She runs and runs and runs and does a beautiful flip or some other athletic move with grace and agility. And most of it is an "accident." A "did you see what I just did - I didn't even mean to!" kind-of-a-move. It's all so very entertaining.

Enjoy the blurriness of it all:

It lasted for 20 minutes. We timed them to see how long they could go. It was very impressive.
And thank you, Georgia, for the 60-degree weather this weekend. I really needed that.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 Catch - Up: Raleigh's 9th Birthday

Raleigh's biggest wish for her birthday was to wake up in the morning and come down the stairs to a party all ready and waiting for her.

We made her stay upstairs until about 10 am when we were finally finished making the pancakes from scratch, etc., etc.! She wanted a "rock climbing" theme for her party, so we turned it into a "Raleigh Rocks" party. We even played games with rocks. A little bit goes a long way, and she loved it.

Here is the party in pictures:

We had her cake later in the day, and Grandpa Bear showed up without even knowing it was her birthday! He came right in time for yumminess.

She loved her new bike and her new boots! And we sure love Raleigh. She spices up our lives with her creative energy and pizazz and her fun sense of humor. We love receiving her special notes and watching her grow. She has a great and active mind, and she'll do much good in the world. Happy Birthday, Raleigh!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy 2012!

This year we celebrated the New Year with the Kunz family. They have kids that are all just about our kids' same ages, and Dallas and Brandon share a similar love for running and biking. So we were excited to join them for New Year's Eve for appetizers and fireworks.

I'm not sure which was better, the appetizers or the fireworks . . . and both were great! We ate those awesome teriyaki meatballs from Costco, spinach 'n artichoke dip, sausage dip, strawberries, homemade bread and jam, and more that I loved but can't remember right now.

We went outside for fireworks around 8:45 pm, and their next-door neighbors were W-A-Y into it. Even more than the Purdy's get into it. They had some serious homemade fireworks - even some that we all had to take cover for! (Now that's a party!) Madeline, who is wary of fire, even tried a sparkler.

We called it quits about 10:00 pm, and rang in the New Year in our snuggly beds . . .

. . . except for Raleigh, who woke us all up at 7:00 am banging pots and pans in the kitchen because she had missed out on it the night before.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 20, 2012

One of Our Best Family Days of 2011 - Part Deux

After leaving the Folk life Festival on Labor Day, we drove up into the mountains to Anna Ruby Falls. We felt refreshed in our air-conditioned car, drinking our ice water, and sitting down. And when we got out of the car in the mountains, we felt ready for adventure!

What is fun to me about being a parent is watching our children experience adventure. And all of the beautiful scenery was brand-new to Emery. Each of the girls were animated and excited, and I couldn't take enough pictures.

I could kiss those squishy cheeks all day.

Aren't these two getting big? I think they'll both be taller than me.

And there's a handsome chap!

Precious big sister!

They love taking care of Emery.

And posing for pictures.

I think we're beginning to look like each other.

We almost had a family picture!

Downhill is always fun!

A few more poses.

I was this close to capturing a timeless pose from Dallas. He's probably glad I didn't! But this is what was left of it.

We drove down to Helen, ate a few burgers, and headed home! Such a great family day.