Thursday, March 27, 2014

The swing off

There are some people that are having WAY more fun at the gym than me.

Anna and her frenemy, Holly.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Great Snow Goose Migration

As was perhaps expected, it only took me eight months to post these pictures for you to see, Mom!

The Great Snow Goose Migration at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Preserve in Missouri.

It's really hard to see how many birds there really were in the photos.

But, to be honest, we were just so glad that the six geese we saw on a grassy knoll were not all there was to see....cuz for awhile there, that is exactly what it seemed we had driven 2 hours to see!

Imagine our joy when we rounded the corner and the geese were there!


We also saw a bonus Bald Eagle on our way out of the park.

Ethan was pretty content with life after that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We feel the dirt....

It's a small miracle, but the snow has finally, FINALLY stopped falling for a few minutes and the gardens are ready to start growing the spring veggies.

The onions, peas, lettuce, spinach, radishes and beets are in!

And best of all... our fingernails are super dirty.

Things to come

It really isn't that warm, but the sun is out and we are wishing that school was too.

So we are pushing our toes into the only patch of sand we can find and pretending we have 3 more months before we have to head back to class.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two Wheels

We purchased a balance bike for Laney not long ago. It's a little bike that has no pedals and the idea behind it is that the child naturally learns to balance as she pushes herself around and gets more and more comfortable coasting along. They aren't afraid because they are lower to the ground and can easily catch themselves with their feet if they feel nervous. It's pretty ingenious.

Once Laney mastered the balance bike, I figured we would move on to her regular bike sans the training wheels. 

I figured wrong. 

She was NOT excited about the idea. 

I had to bribe her and challenge her to get her to even do a couple laps around the cul de sac.  

I bartered for extra time on the computer and even promised to make her treats if she would give me just one more lap. 

She would usually say, "I am NOT doing that."

And if by some miracle I managed to get her on the bike an down the street, invariably she would dissolve into tears midway and refuse to ride home.

Finally I ended up bringing her bike to the school and showed up with my bike to pick her up. She had no choice. There was only one way to get home and by the time we made it there, she had worked out most of the kinks and had gained her confidence.

Now she's a two-wheeler!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Laney turns six! tiny baby Laney has turned six. 

She is a BIG KID.

And she values a large light-up birthday button and an even larger birthday crown.

Birthday spaghetti!

Dad pulls a face for the camera.....TRADITION!

This year she went for a simple, feminine design. I like to call it "The Laverne".

One of the best things about siblings is that they fill in all the gaps where parents fall short. I admit I never once thought of playing "Happy Birthday" for her on the trombone.

I love the happiness that is shining right out of that smile. It's a great day to be the center of attention!

One of her favorite gifts this year....when she opened it, she was so sweet and happily took a tissue and blew her nose with it. I'm sure she was thinking, "A box of tissues? I don't remember double starring that on my list."

We encouraged her to take a couple more tissues...

And the fun began.

Twenty bucks is really long when taped end to end.

Mathew assisted her in the counting.

She also kept up her eternal promise to promote the "As Seen on TV" industry with yet another soft cuddly version of the pillow pet. This one is for the seatbelt.....a Seat Pet.

She is a true and loyal customer as well as a fantastic, lively, imaginative, animated, engaged, energetic and compassionate soul.

I love you dearly, Laneybug.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

And we bowl

There's always that day in the late winter/early spring when staying home for the evening seems like the most depressing thing on earth.

That's when we head to the bowling alley.

Ethan bowls quite well in the beginning and you can see it on his face. If this were a video, you'd be watching him strut back to his seat after his second strike.

Meg was feeling anxiety over aging out of the bumper set. But after a few lessons on the granny technique and enjoying a hot bowling alley pretzel with an unidentified cheese dipping sauce, she's feeling a little better.

How can a sauce be clear and orange at the same time?

Anna would roll that ball and it would ever so slowly make its way towards the pins.

Often, when you were sure it was about to hit one of the bumpers, it would just magically change direction and start heading over to the other side. Perhaps it was feeling the pull of the tides.

Mark wore his best bowling alley attire. He felt many kindred spirits nearby.

We decided against revealing its status as a joke shirt. It isn't smart to anger the locals.