Tuesday, June 30, 2015


In the last couple of weeks we have been studying landforms with Canaan. We've been reading books we discovered at the library and doing a few hands-on activities to help him learn the major ones.

We split landforms into two sections - landforms that are land-based, and those that are water-related.

For the land-based landforms, he first created little versions of them with air-dry clay, then painted them.

Later, we used photographs of these landforms as a match-up game with his clay versions, and then he "taught" them to Ezra.

I thought his mountain was pretty good!

We also created a poster board together with our water-based landforms, and did a similar game matching photographs with the labels on the poster. We've got it as part of our geography board ready to continue practicing over the next month or so.

This Boy

We have this... boy. And he is all. boy! He is silly and wild and wiggly, and just the sweetest little person. He is so unbelievably cuddly and affectionate - always asking to hold my hand, to sit next to me, for one more hug. "I want to hug you my Mommy!" Or out of the blue he'll snuggle up and say, "I wuv you my little Mommy."

He's also a total people person. We have to work a little on "stranger awareness" because to him, everyone is a new friend.

When we went recently to watch Canaan's last swim practice, we climbed the steps to the balcony to watch his big brother from above. He jumped up and down with excitement when he saw Canaan below and with a fist pumping in the air shouted, "YOU CAN DO IT, CANAAN!! YOU! CAN! DO IT!!". As lots of faces turned at this to smile and giggle at his adorable enthusiasm for his big brother, he noticed for the first time all of the other moms and dads and kids around him. He asked me, "I go say hi to my new friends, okay?!" He stayed close, but ran by every single person up there, waved, and said excitedly, "Hi! I Eswa!".

I mean, who wouldn't want to be his new friend. We think he's pretty awesome!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Baby Duckies

This weekend was full of fun, especially for Canaan who got to experience his first day of camp (day camp for kindergartners), as well as his first ever sleepover with his buddy Jackson!

Then today we visited our sweet friends who have (eek!) baby ducks! Seriously, so so cute.

The duck eggs they gave us - they are so pretty and HUGE (except for the mystery tiny one)! Gotta admit - I'm pretty tempted to do the whole duck thing!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Zoo, Take 2

The last time I took the kids to the zoo, it did not go well. At all. It was exhausting, there were many tantrums, and my patience was held together with a very thin string. I think we saw two animals.

Thankfully, today BJ was able to get the day off of work. So he joined us, which provided a happier kid-to-parent ratio that made the visit much more enjoyable!

And after the zoo we got really brave - taking ALL THREE to the movies. I had almost no confidence that we would make it to the end of the show ("Inside-Out"), but the heavens opened up and granted us a peaceful and happy hour and a half - during naptime. Miracles, I tell you! Such a sweet day with our littles!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reading on the Go

Straight out of the car from the library, this one's immediately immersed in another "Flat Stanley".

Little Reader

Canaan has been loving reading this summer. It's awesome because, though he can read fairly well, he didn't have much interest there for a while. I found a couple things helped to turn this around, and now the boy spends a good part of each day reading.

First, we started regular trips to the library (bringing home books that are "new" to him and "chapter books" he could feel excited about finishing). The biggest hits so far have been "Fly Guy", "Flat Stanley", and "Nate the Great".

Second, I started placing a selection of our library books "on display" each night on our kitchen table. Each morning he comes down to see some "new" books and he drawn to them immediately and starts reading.

Figuring out a way to better read one line at a time. 

Forts and Berries

This morning before it got too hot we set out to the "back 40" (aka, the back 1) to explore and string a fort together. We were pretty excited to discover a TON of blackberries (or black raspberries, there's been some debate) about ready to become a pie in my kitchen. There were enough little suckers ready now so the kids got an unexpected treat.

Ripen quickly little berries!  Also - in case you haven't noticed - this girl of mine is gorgeous
(and this is her favorite shirt). 

Getting down to business

Sweet little hands helping

Hiding in his new fort

This boy has the best little messy-faced grin!

Crossing the threshold

Counting rings

This tree (we decided) was 65 years old!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cheap Labor

A water balloon fight (that left this Momma soaked) transitioned tonight into van-washing time. Pretty adorable helpers, if I do say!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy Father's Day

This guy, I've got to say, is pretty great. I am a serious homebody and he get us all out and doing new things. I love how he balances me out and bring so much life (and great music) to our life. He loves us all so well, and we are so thankful for him!

Happy Father's Day, BJ!

Grandma "Shew" & "W"

My parents have been living from house to house for the last few weeks, waiting for their summer rental home to open up. So, this weekend we were excited for our turn to spend the weekend with them. They came to visit and of course, I forgot to break out my camera until the last day.

These kids of mine love their Grandma "Shew" (Sue) and Papa John.

When I laid Lainey down for her lap on Saturday she kept crying and saying, "I wan (want) W." Ooookay? I finally figured it out later when she saw my Dad and with a smile shouted, "Hi W!". For some reason she thought "W" was a better name for him.

Lainey and "W"

This boy is a lesson in bravery for his Mommy!

Stricker's Grove

Just a couple of weeks after bringing Lainey home last year, our church had it's first annual amusement park night at a local place called Stricker's Grove. We weren't quite sure how Lainey might do in that environment with lots of people, so we were ready to make a quick exit if need be. But, instead, she did so so awesome - even going on some rides with a HUGE grin and showing us the first glimpse of her adventurous spirit.

Last night we went back again for year 2 and again had the best time.

I did this side-by-side of Lainey then and now where it nearly looks as though she is standing next to herself. It is completely blowing my mind how much she has grown in the past year.

Lainey on the ferris wheel with Mommy. This girl has NO fear!

Brave little feet

Canaan telling me about going on the big rollercoaster

Proving to me he's big enough
How this boy lives nearly every second