Sunday, December 21, 2014

oh wait! thanksgiving!

before i go on to record Christmas 2014, i don't want to forget about our amazing thanksgiving. we had one of our FAVORITE aunt & uncle pair come in to town from d.c. and cousins from indy & rhode island. it was so fun having them here. my cousin joan, an amazing artist, helped me set the table. everyone brought something to the feast and the weather was so nice we were able to sit outside & eat.

L made an apple pie & a chocolate mississippi mud pie all by herself.

the kids had so much fun having their cousin here. they played and played and played all day. R was especially glad to have another boy around.

 baby J was all tuckered out after his big turkey din din.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas rush

i must be getting old. i can totally say that i have been stressed, over-indulged (on everything), experienced heartburn, insomnia, shopped, baked, been irritated, addressed what seemed like a million Christmas cards, waited in line at the post office for the perfect stamps, oversaw 3 advent calendars, looked up advent wreath readings, listened to Christmas music, searched relentlessly for a must have/not necessary gift, hosted parties, attended parties, & participated in the holiday madness during this Christmas season so far. whew. most of it has been fun, except for the heartburn.

my goal is to be mindful and present and enjoy each moment. but even in moments when i am just experiencing/watching, i worry about making sure i remember. i can't get out of my head sometimes. it's ok though, i'm not freaking out too much. in the busy-ness of it all, i want to keep in mind the reason for the season & just enjoy the overall peace that can/comes with this time of year.

i'll hopefully collect some pics from over the season, but for now i will end with the series of welter kid pics from this year, in which we had 20 minutes & baby J cried in every single one.

except for this one. praise the Lord.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

eight is great

my baby girl turned 8 on Sunday. she wanted to have some friends over. she planned the whole thing. we made some continuous line art (the idea we got from a friend who got it from this colorful & creative blog) & had cake. short and sweet. then we had the family over. it was a full day of celebration. she was so lit up all day, belly laughing and running around. it is great to be eight.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

my boy

i  so enjoy my conversations and time with this guy. i find his mind so fascinating, the things he thinks and talks about. so different than the girls at this age. we were driving home from preschool today and he said he couldn't wait to grow up so he can drive a car. I asked what kind of car he would get. he answered, " an electric car. a red one."
so matter of fact. I asked why an electric car? he said so he wouldn't have to stop and get gas so much & he could just charge it in his garage.

Friday, October 31, 2014

san francisco: guest author!!!!!

i have made a tradition of taking each child on a trip just by themselves. it started with L going to nyc, then big S going to boston, then little S got a trip to the LA american girl store…

and this time it was D's turn. and we chose san francisco.

she (and i) documented the trip and wrote a story about it.

so here is the trip from her perspective and in her 9 year old words…


My mom and I went to San Francisco in October 2014. All of my siblings have taken a trip just with my mom  as a special tradition. We flew out late at night and arrived in Oakland to visit our friend Liz. She has 2 kids, Dominik 3, and Maksim who is almost three weeks old. I love little kids so I played with them all day. I also held the baby. I played the piano, it was special because it is a Steinway baby grand piano. Then we went to the pumpkin patch. It was unique because there was a corn pit. Also there was a giant hay stack that had a tall tunnel in it. I couldn’t believe how many different kinds of pumpkins I saw!                                         
The next day we drove into the city and went to Fisherman’s Wharf and we saw and smelled Crabs then I had to go on a boat to use the restroom. The boat’s name is S.S. Jeremiah O’ Brian boat. They had the real boat to remind us of all the soldiers that died. 
Next we went to Pier 39. We saw some seals. We went to a candy store that had salt water taffy. YUM!! Then we walked to a merry go round. It went way too slow. We stopped at a magic show. The magician kept calling me “child.” It was still fun. We went to our hotel. It was fancy but a little old. It was cool. We had our own beds. Then we headed out for some night activities. 
We bought tickets for the cable cars, they are also called trolleys. They ride on cables up and down the hills. There are no windows just poles, you can hang on them its real fun! We got off the cable car on Lombard Street, which is known as the most crooked street ever. We walked 3 steep blocks in order to get there. From there we walked to Fisherman’s Wharf again to get some fresh sea food.  I got fish and chips and my mom got clam chowder in a bread bowl.We walked to Ghiradelli square and watched them make chocolate.  I got a mango soda since I can not have dairy, my mom got a mint chocolate hot fudge sundae. We got back on the trolly car and I kind of wanted to go to China Town, but we were too late. It was night all the stores were closed and it was very desolate. We got a cab right away and we went straight to bed!
We woke up and had a delicious breakfast at Dottie’s, I had a cinnamon roll and pancakes. My mom had the same - actually we shared. Then we went to Golden Gate Park. It was funny because we did not bring the right amount of money so the bus guy let us go for free. We went to the Japanese tea garden, it smelled good. There was a bridge it was called a drum bridge it was very round. There were lots of fish and stepping stones and a cool statue of buddha. Then we walked with squirrels to a dahlia garden, there were hundred of different kinds of them. Then we got a cab to Crissy Field.
Crissy Field is right by the golden gate bridge we were so close. We walked down to a pier and saw some fisherman catching crabs and we saw a giant sea lion. We learned that The Golden Gate Bridge is red to stand out from fog. We got cold water and a donut to prepare for a long walk to the palace of fine arts. We saw lots of dogs on the way and a great view of Alcatraz. We finally  arrived at the palace,  it was beautiful. It had lots of columns and pretty birds. We thought we saw swans but they might have been geese. We waited forever to get a cab, then went straight to the hotel because it was time to go home. We rode a train that went under the ocean and got to the bus that took us to the airport.  I was so glad to go to San Francisco with my mom but I was ready see my brothers and sisters, mostly my baby brother. 

The end!!!!!!!

fall break 2014

this was one of my most favorite fall breaks ever. the whole week was very spontaneous but relaxed at the same time. my favorite combo.

we started the week off with a cousin slumber party and then lunch with noni at the farm. it was a beautiful day minus the mosquitos.

we decided on a quick last minute deal for a beach trip with friends. Paul found a house available right across from our friends and the guy made us a deal we couldn't refuse. it ended up being so so so fun. we were so relaxed and removed from daily life, it was amazing. we were totally unplugged. i only had my phone by the beach 1 day, so i didn't get very many photos.

this was the kid crew….

there was a kayak at the house we rented so P & S decided to take it out to fish. it was ridiculous watching them trying to get out over the waves. S dropped back and P finally made it out. however returned quickly after realizing he could see straight down thru the clear water 30 ft or so. clear enough to see whatever could be down there. so he rode the waves back in, almost taking a lady out with him. luckily he rolled over & didn't hit anyone.

 mermaid sighting…

 my little S loves drawing… she was busy the whole drive home.

and to top it all off, we went to a star wars activity day at the phoenix library. R was in heaven. 

then returned quickly to the daily grind monday morning.