Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Real Live Saturday!

This week we had a genuine, real live Saturday at our house!  We haven't had one of those in a while.  We spent all day together as a family and worked on projects around the house and played with the kids.  It was such a wonderful day.  Case in point--later that day Michael was talking about the upcoming deer hunting season and what would happen if he got a deer and I maintained that he would definitely take it to a butcher shop to have it processed while he argued that he could just do it himself.  This is not something I am cool with at all, but I did tell him that he could if in return every Saturday could be a real live Saturday where we do everything together.  That's how much I loved this Saturday!

We took the kids on a walk at the nature center near our house and they all had such a great time.  The boys each had a pair of binoculars and were scouring the forests for animals.  Calvin is a pretty observant, keen-eyed kid (much more so than Ryan) and saw a couple of deer right away off through the trees.  Michael and I didn't even notice them, but Calvin did, and he was very proud of himself.  It was about a million times cooler, however, when later on during our walk a doe walked right out onto the path about 15 feet in front of us to nibble on some leaves.  The kids just stared huge-eyed until she wandered off.  Then a buck came tearing through the trees right after she left, so they were pretty impressed by that, too.  They also saw squirrels and ducks, did some bird calls and had a great time finding colorful leaves and running down the paths.  It was such a great time with our family all together.  I loved it.  What a great Saturday!

Here are some pictures from our lovely outing:

A happy little Sophie girl:

Happy Calvin with his binoculars:

Calvin wandering the trails:

Michael pointing out some nature to the boys:

Love this girl.  When I ask her for a hug she makes this face and runs tome as fast as her little legs can take her.  She is so sweet:

Calvin and Sophie having some tender moments:

 Our kiddos on the trail:

Look, a deer!

 Kids on a fence:

I think this one is funny.  I like her tutu and baby legs hanging out the back:

3 rocks, 3 kids, coincidence?  I think not.

Sophie trying her best to climb a rock:

Happy little Calvin:

Sophie trying to climb on a rock again.  She purses her lips like this sometimes when she's trying really hard to do something:

Then I guess she firgured as long as her lips were that close, she might as well...

And here's my great big Ryan:

 I really got a kick out of these ones of Michael throwing the kids in the air:

Me and my girl:

It was really a wonderful day.  I wish every day could be a real live Saturday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How wiggly are kids?

We spent the afternoon at the Springbrook Nature Center. The kids had a great time, but we didn't get as many good pictures as we were hoping. Why not?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Great Summer

Well, it was indeed a great summer.   In summary, we went all over the place, did all kinds of things and had lots of fun.  More posts on that to come.  But some of my very favorite pictures from the summer are just some everyday pictures of the kids having fun together here on lazy days at home. 

Being a full-time mom is a big job.  And if you are a mom, then you are a full-time mom, whether you stay at home or work somewhere else, whether your kids are at school for most of the day or not.  You're always worrying, always wondering what the top items on your to-do list ought to be, always tired, always wanting to give more quality time to your kids and always wishing you had the time and energy to do at least one thing really well instead of everything half-way (on a good day!).  A lot of parts of the "mom job" are pretty thankless, and while some parts are wonderful, others are kind of frustrating. 

But with the right perspective (which sometimes comes right away, and sometimes comes after they have all been tucked into bed and the house is finally quiet), the frustrating moments are fleeting, and can pretty much disappear with even just one of those sweet mommy moments.  You know the ones I'm talking about, right?  Those moments that just make you happy.  Like when they say they love you for no particular reason, or show up at the back door with some dandelions that they picked just for you, or when you sneak into their rooms when they're asleep just so you can snuggle them when they will finally stay in one place (some days it's easier remember how sweet they are when they're unconscious, anyways), or when they learn something new that just makes you so proud, or you walk into a room to find them having fun in some ridiculous way that only a kid can do.  I love those moments.  My summer had oh so many, and I think that's what made it so great.  I love my sweet kids, and I truly love being their mom.  I have the best job.

Sophie loves to lounge.  She kicks backs and relaxes on just about anything.  Here she is relaxing on the bongos:

I just think she is so cute in those (very teeny tiny miniature) pigtails:

The boys making a Sophie Sandwich.  can you see her in there?  She's the slightly worried-looking one with the sippy cup.  These boys love their sister.

Sophie and Ryan invented a new game called "pass the car".  Ryan is so good at playing with Sophie.  He's a great big brother.

The kids kicking back with a movie in the basement:

I always think it's fun when I find them playing made-up games with random things from around the house.  I think they were playing house in this one:

Sophie loves keys.  We have a metal air vent cover by our front door, and if she gets ahold of a set of keys, she will go straight there and stick the keys into the slots trying to open it or something.  I think it's pretty cute.  It keeps her occupied for at least 20 minutes at a time.

I came into Sophie's room and found this.  she had woken up from a nap crabby, but when the boys heard her, they ran in and hopped in the crib with her to read her some books.  She was very pleased.

What a nut.

Our kids have all figured out earphones, even Sophie.  We have a little iPod shuffle that we don't use anymore and put a bunch of kids music on it, and they LOVE to carry it around and listen to it. And sing along, of course.

Lily teaching Sophie how to bust a move:

A very sweet hug from my great big Ryan:

The rest of sports class!

In May, Ryan, Calvin and Katie had their last couple of sports classes at the YMCA.  Boy did they ever love going to those!  The last couple were balloon volleyball and tumbling, which the kids loved, of course!  It was so much fun to watch them trying so hard to master the task at hand.  well, at least Katie and Ryan.  Calvin was kind of in his own world, but still had a great time. Here are some pictures:

Katie in her poofy skirt jumping off the spring board:

Calvin running to give me a hug because he jumped off the spring board!

Katie showing off her mad balloon bopping skills:

Calvin needing some hugs:

Ryan and Katie walking the sissy version of the tightrope:

Calvin showing me how high he can jump:

Playing with the balloons: