Sunday, April 26, 2015


My youngest child went to Junior Prom last night.

I had hopes for lovely pictures of the couple.
A few pictures of him in his tux.
Nice pictures of the corsage.
(we had the little puzzle piece she used to answer his prom invite put into her corsage...such a cute idea, I hope she liked it)

Instead of getting a good picture of the corsage, I snapped one when Carter wasn't looking.
I didn't even open the case.
See the cute puzzle piece in there?

This particular kid hates having his picture taken more than my other kids.
So, I am hoping other parents got some picture that they will share with me.

The cute couple!
It just isn't worth the struggle and pain to get him to stand for a picture for me.

Frank and I went to the location where they were planning to take pictures of the whole group.
I didn't see any other parents
(maybe they came later?)
and no one seemed to want to pose or get a group shot.
I am not pushy, generally, so I didn't force myself on anyone...even though I wanted pictures
of this event.

My youngest child going to Prom.

I cut off their feet! oy

I took a few (not very good) shots of Carter and his date.
I took a few shots of their group standing around talking.
He's smiling at least.
My standards are not very high for pictures of this kid.

(Not much hope of good photos when you just try to be unobtrusive and shoot them wherever they happen to be standing.)

And I left.

I haven't heard how Prom went yet, it's Sunday morning and everyone else is still asleep.

We'll see how many, if any, details I get.

4 kids and I still don't have this teenager thing figured out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Things I do with Isabelle

I have a few things I like to do with Isabelle.
Someday I might forget so I'm writing them down.
I will try to get pictures eventually but mostly I try to be phone-less when I'm with her so that's why I don't have any now.

1-kitchen fun
I like to let Isabelle sit on the counter when I'm in the kitchen
and I give her my basket of measuring spoons and cups.
She measures water
and takes sips out of the measuring spoons.

Today she did this for a good, long time while I made cookies.

She likes to pick up the apples in my fruit bowl
and I count them as she does.

If she finds a tomato on my counter she always wants to feed it to the chickens next door.
If its getting old...we do.

We sit together at the island
and play kid games on the iPad
or share a snack.
She likes to pick the marshmallows out of a handful of Lucky Charms
and she feeds me the cereal parts.
It cracks me up!

Isabelle showed a natural fear of bugs when she was really small.
She would seem somewhat interested unless you  brought one close to her and then she'd freak out.
So I decided to try to help her see bugs as cute...rather than scary.

When we go on walks, I point out little, harmless bugs to her.
this other red bug that we have a lot of on the sidewalks here

At first she would look but keep her distance.
Then she started looking, acting interested (almost like she was doing it to please me) but then she would stand perfectly still... afraid to move until they were far away or until I picked her up.
Now she will notice bugs on her own as we walk...she will point at them, crouch down to look at them, cover her mouth and giggle 
(this is a new thing she's been doing lately and it's adorable)
She still tends to wait for them to walk away before continuing our walks...
(and she never tries to actually touch them)
but she will sometimes get up and continue walking while giving them a wide berth.
I think she is still nervous of bugs but not terrified anymore.

I do this with my boys as well, but its more fulfilling with Isabelle.
(since she's still young and willing to listen to me)
I like to point out things that are beautiful as we go on walks.
I point to flowers and say how pretty they are.
She will often walk up to them to sniff them or touch them gently.
We reach up and touch the leaves or flowers on the trees.
We point at clouds.
We blow dandelion seeds.
We say 'hi' to the chickens.
I hope its helping her learn to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.

I would often point out mushrooms if we found them in our yard over the fall and winter.
We would pick them and I would show her how soft they were on the underside.
There was a particular spot in our yard next to a stump that had a bunch of mushrooms.
One day we sat down and picked them one by one.
That was last fall...
the other day as we finished our walk she pointed to the stump, so we went over there.
She immediately started looking for mushrooms.
I love that she remembered that!

We only found one and it was old and hard.
But we each held it and looked at it.
and then we drummed on the stump for a bit...because hitting things with sticks is always fun.

4- walks
We like to walk around the block.
We find interesting things as we go.
bugs and mushrooms and flowers, as I mentioned.
Pine cones.
One day we found sidewalk chalk that had been left out so we sat and drew for a minute.
sprinklers that get our feet wet as we walk by.

About a week ago, I grabbed a stick as we walked
and I ran it along a chain link fence to make noise.
I tried to get Isabelle interested but she didn't really care...
she had noticed something else.
That was fine.  
We moved on.

Then a couple of days ago we went walking and when we came to that fence
she picked up a stick and ran it along the fence.

I love it when she remembers something we did before
or learns a new thing.
It's so fun to watch her little mind work.

Our last outing ended with her tripping on the sidewalk,
falling to her knees (scrape!)
stopping herself with her hands (scrape!)
and then the momentum sent her right over onto her face (scrape!)

She had a bloody mouth
and was crying like mad.

I took these pictures a couple of hours later...

(It was incredibly hard to get a picture of her fat lip.
She kept sucking it in and licking it and hiding.)

She is healing fine, though she still has a bit of a fat lip...
and I feel so bad! 
I hate that she was damaged while she was with me.
Even though, logically, I know that it wasn't my fault and that kids get hurt like this sometimes.

I just hope that when we go on our next little outing
she doesn't remember it
but instead remembers bugs, flowers, sticks and mushrooms.

Band concerts

Last night was a percussion concert for the local Junior High and High School.
I really love percussion and was glad when Carter started playing.

It was a fun and very impressive night.
lots of talent

The problem with having a kid in percussion is that they are always in the back.
When there is a band concert, you can never see your kid.

So imagine my happiness when I see Carter setting up his drum right at the front of the stage.
They had quite a few ensemble performances so it was great!

I took a video of his ensemble piece but now I can't find it on my computer.
(I'm a computer genius, obviously.)

Later there was a bigger group piece and, of course, Carter was in the back.
He was playing Toms, tamborine and a big gong 
(from what I could tell)

That's another thing I love about percussion is that they learn so many things
and can play a variety of instruments.

I love watching them move around during the song to play all the various parts.

Plus it sounds amazing.

It wasn't until I was seated in the auditorium that I even thought of inviting my family.
So I did call my parents to invite them...
but with no notice, they weren't able to come.
I'm not used to living near family and it never entered my mind to tell them about it.

side note:
There was a full band concert last week.
Didn't invite anyone.
Didn't even take a single picture.

So lame.

Also, so sad, because I'm pretty sure it was the last concert of the year.
And he doesn't plan to do it next year.

The birthday party

I never posted about the girls' birthday party.
Kaylee turned 1
Isabelle turned 2

We had a church activity earlier in the year
where they played music
and occasional games
(think the limbo, hokey pokey etc)
and everyone just had snacks and danced

the girls loved it!
1st-its fun to dance
2nd-its fun to see adults (your parents and grandparents) dancing

So after that night, Amber decided to throw the same kind of party for their birthdays
since its something they would enjoy as well as the adults present.

She held it in our local church so there would be plenty of dancing space.

She had a Safari theme.
and it was 

She spent time during naps for the weeks previous to the party
(not sure exactly how long it took her)
to make great decorations from cardboard.

Safari hat and binoculars.

I loved this sign!
She had placed small plastic animals all around the room for the kids to find and collect
as their goody bag.

It was so cute!

The food table:

The kids table
(with homemade safari jeep...wish I had a close up of that!)

We made t-shirts for the girls with their ages appliqu├ęd on the front.

the dancing began even before the party got going

Mom and Dad came and danced up a storm too.

The teenageer.
Trying to ignore the mom.

Amber's sister made the cake and cupcakes.
They looked (and tasted) great!

When it was time for the smash cake, Kaylee wasn't sure what to think.
She stuck her fingers in but just couldn't get excited about the icing on her hands.

Isabelle decided, once Kaylee was done, that she should give it a go.
But she didn't like the frosting on her hands either so she just fed small bits to dad.

Present opening, though.
That was something Isabelle could understand!

Kaylee was kind of tuckered out at this point but she enjoyed her gifts from the relaxation of the stroller

I gave the girls the quiet books I had made.

And we danced!
Kids, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents --all having a great time on the dance floor!

Isabelle danced and also spent some time enjoying the new gifts!

 It was a partaaay!

I wish I'd gotten a picture of the 20 somethings dancing.
They were impressively energetic.
The DJ said afterwards that what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality!