Wednesday, June 23, 2010

spunky diva

i think the title of this post says it all. this is SO kate!

and for those die-hard kate fans...or those who just want to hear me "sing"...

kate was just sitting in the front room, playing with her trains and singing her little heart out, so i had to capture it on video. of course, in true 2-almost 3 year old fashion, she stopped as soon as i got the camera, so i had to prompt her a bit. and yes...for the record we did play trains together for quite some time after the videos! :)


four is the official tooth count for miss jillian claire...two of them arriving in the past week and a half (one on the top and one on the bottom)...bringing the count to 3 bottom teeth and 1 top tooth. she has three more top teeth right there, threatening to break through on the top...and plaguing the poor little trooper. i suspect another bottom one will pop through soon as well, since the third bottom one caught me by surprise!). she is still a little delight...until after dinner, which seems to be when the teething pain hits her the hardest, and she just wants to be held (and even then is quite cranky and not at all her typical joyful self). but seriously...isn't that the cutest toothy grin EVER!

splashing with daddy

i know, father's day came and father's day went....and i never posted anything about how much i love and appreciate the fathers in my life. i them and appreciate them. God blessed me with an incredible who got down to my level and did life with me...i vividly remember playing catch in the backyard and all the years he coached my softball teams. i remember the day he taught me to drive a stick shift...i remember always knowing without a doubt that he loved me and was proud of me. now it is a privilege to watch him with my girls...his tenderness and delight in them, his silliness and his getting down on their level to play with them...they are blessed to call him their poppy. i love you dad!

and then there is my husband, the father of my three daughters...he is kind and tender. he loves them fiercely. he wrestles and tickles and reads stories. he pushes them on swings. he teaches them. he is amazing. he takes them on dates and is already teaching them diligently that they deserve to be treated with love and respect, as princesses...God's princesses...he is setting an example for them of what they someday should look for in a husband. never did he imagine that he would have three girls (or all the squealing, chattering, and noise that comes with girls!), and yet, God knew what He was doing, and michael is so incredibly soaking it all in and rolling with it! i can safely say that he would be the first to volunteer all the blessings and privileges of being called "daddy" by three little princesses. and i am blessed to be his be encouraged and challenged by him, to walk by his side, to laugh with him. he is pretty incredible, and i am blessed. we have our "moments", but truly it has been an incredible six years and three children!

anyway...kudos if you are still reading...for father's day mike had only one request, that we go to a park. since it was in the high 80s i requested that that park have water. we invited our dear friends and their two boys to join us and had a blast splashing and picnicking and chatting the evening away!

both girls were drenched from head to toe within two minutes of being set free in the sprayers!

kate looks like she is ready to plunge into a deep pool...nope...just a few inches in the "creek"!

even jilly got in on the action!

this moment is priceless...not just because it is sisters enjoying the moment (and one another). you see, all the blue swings were full, and kate was quite upset to not have a blue elizabeth, bless her heart, scooted over and said, "here sissy, there's room for you" and shared the swing. priceless! and, oh my, if you could have heard the giggling and shrieking!

kate and brennan...swinging buddies!

while the big girls are away...

libs and kate are having a fabulous time at preschool day camp this week (and jilly naps for 2 1/2 of the hours they are in camp!) what have i been doing? painting, finally! i spent monday and tuesday priming (painting over a dark red wall is a bit tedious!) and painting the kitchen and living room. the walls are now a bright and cheery yellow..."sunrise beach" to be specific. in the next month or so mike will be doing the cabinets and countertops (painting the cabinets white and replacing the countertops with new butcher block countertops). actually, he has already started the tedious painting process...he finished painting our new cabinets we'll be adding to create a "peninsula" off our current cabinets...more cupboard and drawer space AND more counter space! i am eager to see the finished product...but with a full-time job for mike and three actives girlies progress can be a bit slow...but it will definitely be worth the wait!

and...since i finished the painting during the first two days of camp, i'm able to enjoy some mommy time the rest of the week...lunch and hanging out time with two sweet friends today, some "me" time tomorrow, and another "date" with a friend friday (and then a lunch date with my hubby before their camp "program"....and, might i add that my daughters are being fabulously secretive. when i ask them what they did at camp elizabeth keeps telling me that i will get to see it in the "show" on friday...he he! AND, though they often like to bicker at home (or ALL the way to camp in the car this morning!), miss charlotte tells me that they are getting along famously while at camp. no, honestly, they do fairly well at home MOST of the time and are growing better and better each day...but we definitely have LOTS of selfish moments and arguments...but i am SO thankful they do truly love one another and delight in giggling and playing and enjoying each other. (and i am being thankful for their good behavior outside of our house!)

garden update

i,m already plotting and scheming and thinking about adding more to our garden next year...or perhaps adding another garden plot. that, my friends, is how much we are enjoying this growing our own veggies thing!

and, because i just know (insert sarcasm!) you've been dying for an update (well, actually because its my blog, and i can post multiple pictures of my garden if i want to!) it is....lots of GREEN!

the whole garden...i just planted some cilantro, parsley, oregano, and basil in those "front" empty plots...and in the next week or so the girls and i will be planting some mini watermelons...yum! i also just did a second planting of green beans toward the back.

we have fruit...TONS of litle green tomatoes sprouted in the past few days!

green peppers...we have two green pepper plants, and they both have several pepper on them!

sugar snap peas...which are delish!

a snapshot of dinner the other night...fresh from the garden broccoli (the last of our broccoli harvest since it is SO stinkin' hot already!), sugar snap peas, and green beans...tasty!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ten smile tuesday

i'm going to get to my ten smile ON is going to happen this week! i have all kinds of blog-post rolling around in my brain, but first to share smiles.

1. friends. we are blessed beyond belief in the friend department...and we've had lots of time in the past couple of weeks to enjoy those friends. seriously, when i hear other moms talk about feeling isolated, i have to take a moment and doubly praise God for the rich blessing of friendships....friends who are doing life with similar values...friends who have bunches of kiddos...friends who just have one kiddo...friends who don't have any kiddos....friends who serve us and encourage us...friends who take joy in our children, laughing and playing with them...and on and on. i think "friends" is a big theme of my ten smiles this week.

2. last week i had the chance to get together with two friends from high school, and we had a blast. they came to my house, and we just sat and chatted and played with kiddos...and ate lunch too. so much fun!

3. the children's museum...last week we also headed to the museum with some friends...and it was so fun. the kiddos had a blast...the mommies got to chat (in between keeping up with the seven kiddos)...

peek-a-boo! despite much trying jilly never gave in and fell asleep while at the museum...instead she enjoyed LOTS of peek-a-boo (and a long nap once we got home!)

this is always a favorite of the girls at the's even MORE fun to give rides!

a true indicator of personality...elizabeth could have spent hours at the tracing light table...kate, on the other hand, could have spent hours chatting on the barbie phone! (pretending to talk on the phone is hands down one of her favorite things to do right now...especially with the old battery-less cell phone i passed along to her...the most frequent people she "calls"--grandmommy and poppy...)

4. my singing kate. seriously...kate loves to sing, and she has been singing LOTS lately. her favorite is a song about only God making butterflies that she learned at church. often she will just be sitting, playing, and humming or it!

5. those moments when you realize your kids really are "getting it"...even if they act like they aren't a lot of the time. elizabeth doesn't like to pray outloud at dinner (or any time really); she always says, "i don't know how to pray" matter how much we encourage or what a blessing to our hearts that several times in the past week she has come up to us talking about praying about something. the sweetest was the other night at our friends' house. a big storm had just moved through, and she was upstairs playing with the other kids. she came to their loft when the storm stopped and said, "mommy look! i prayed that Jesus would make the storm stop so we could travel home safely. and He DID!"...and then yesterday at the beginning of rest time a huge storm rolled in, she came downstairs and told me she was praying that God would keep daddy safe since he wasn't at home with us. so...she still doesn't like praying outloud, but at least i know she is getting the importance of seeking Jesus with the concerns of our hearts.

6. my helpful little jilly. i know, i know...i shared a dishwasher pic of jilly with the lake post...but seriously, this girl is so into any time the dishwasher is open. i also just happen to love the look on her sweet little face in this one...she is such a joy and delight to our hearts...a joy and delight who is cruising all over...climbing...and getting into just about anything she can reach!

7. those nights when not having a plan totally works in your favor! friday night i was horribly unprepared for dinner time, and while we were sitting around discussing what to do the phone friends asking us if we'd be up for impromptu little caesars and games. good times! we typically would have already been sitting down and eating by the time they called (or at least well into dinner prep...) so it was great to be unprepared!

8. running. i've been getting back into the habit of running in the morning before mike leaves for work. it means i have to be up and out the door by 5:30, but it is well worth it. i'm on my fourth week and i'm feeling great (but i'm not gonna lie...week 1 and 2 were rough...and i still struggle to get past the mental barriers and keep was so much easier when i was running with others!)! on 4th of july weekend i am doing the 5.5K at the lake...a great motivator!

9. saturday evening we decided we needed to get out of the house...and that resulted in our weekly costco shopping and a costco dinner (because who can resist feeding the whole family for less than $6...the girls split a hotdog and mike and i split a turkey wrap). afterward we headed up to a nearby park where mike and the big girls had some playground time while i headed out with jilly in the stroller for a brisk walk. after walking i told the girls they could play in the sprayers and water stuff even though we didn't have swimsuit...and, oh my! the giggles and laughter and fun were priceless...we had two totally (and i mean totally!) drenched, happily exhausted girls by the time we left. we only had one change of kate got to wear sissy's spring jacket and just her "nundies" home...but well worth it! looking forward to many more of those kind of evenings this summer.

10. and finally...we went to the zoo this morning...totally last minute, but my sweet friend geneva (who is moving in just a couple :( ) and lauren and carter were game for meeting us. it was overcast, which kept the crowds away, and we had a blast! kate's favorite part was the dolphin show...she danced to the music, clapped like crazy, oohed and ahhed and was transfixed...but i don't have any pictures of that.

why is it that they are never into the idea of a "sister" picture except when it is taken by the zoo photographers at the know, the one you pay six arms and five legs for....yep, that one. they all looked and smiled for that one...but the one i tried to take...not so much!

checking out the new cheetah exhibit

my monkey hanging with the zoo monkeys

geneva feeding the giraffe...both kate and lauren wanted to feed the giraffe...well, until the giraffe stooped down and stuck out his tongue, at which point both girls responded by chucking their sweet potato and backing up....too precious!

Monday, June 14, 2010

great giveaway

BabyBeBlessed is giving away a gift certificate...if you don't know about them, they have the most amazing dolls! :) check it out!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the lake...belated!

oh my goodness...i am sooo behind on blogging. hopefully i can get caught up a bit in the next couple of days. here are some snippets from last weekend at the lake. my sister and brother-in-law were up from NC, so it was extra special to spend some time with them.

while at the lake mike and i celebrated our 6th anniversary...we even got out for a few hours for a date. we headed up to winona lake to walk, eat ice cream, chat, and simply enjoy being together. apparently spending our anniversary up there is becoming a tradition, as that is exactly what we did last year. it is nearly impossible to think it has been 6 years since our wedding...amazing! i suppose that deserves a post all its own!

jilly-girl and i enjoying some sunshine!

climbing up mommy...can you see how strawberry-ish her hair color is getting!

checking out uncle richard...might i mention that all three of the girls fell more than slightly in love with uncle richard and aunt shell. on our first night there we took an evening boat cruise, and elizabeth couldn't take her eyes off of uncle richard. she soaked in every word he had to say, looking up at him with the most enamored look in her eyes. she also colored countless pictures with him and was thrilled beyond belief when he helped her construct her very own "double wide on wheels" with the legos! :) kate also got her very own house...with landscape from uncle richard the horticulturist.

kate shows aunt shell her treasures (!)

...and then talks uncle richard into helping her find more (right after he helped get rid of the "worm" (which was really just a girls are a bit dramatic and squeamish, especially when anything remotely looking like a bug or worm is involved!))

elizabeth wasn't really into the water this time around...however, she thoroughly enjoyed building with grandmommy and poppy's legos. this was her very own creation...built while the rest of us did some splashing in the water. unfortunately i missed out on getting a picture of the really impressive creation she built with uncle richard. but seriously, libber girl is becoming quite the builder...well, really she excels at anything that involves focus!

kate, oh spunky monkey she is licking the spatula after i frosted poppy's carrot birthday cake.

and jilly is a big fan of helping...especially with the dishwasher!

we bought my dad ladderball for his birthday...and had quite a bit of fun...although, none of us were really all that fabulous...but we improved throughout the weekend. kate was quite the bola fetcher with her system of draping them over her arms and passing them out.

while swimming wasn't libs preferred activity, she did enjoy taking a special fishing boat ride with poppy....she was so proud and excited to be perched up there in the front seat!

...and we caught some fish. mike pulled this bass out while fishing from the shore...

kate was somewhat interested in the fish...well, until it jumped from mike's hands and started flopping all around on the grass (which happen seconds after this picture was taken). poor girl was terrified!

saturday morning was the fishing derby...while the girls were a bit squeamish anytime we actually caught a fish, they did a pretty good job. elizabeth did eventually get past her squirrely-ness enough to reel in a few all by herself.

...and kate was quite thrilled to win her own tinkerbell pole as a door prize...she spent LOTS of time practicing casting (ie...dropping) her practice weight out and reeling it back in.

she also quite enjoyed making a gooey sticky yummy mess with a fudgsicle

with aunt shell and uncle richard (jilly was sleeping at this point...hence her absence)

kate and clover...the girls were big fans of aunt shell and uncle richard's big dogs (ie...their furry cousins)...elizabeth especially enjoyed clover.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


have i mention that as novice gardeners we weren't sure we would be able to grow anything?? to compensate we planted a lot...and i do mean A LOT!
well, apparently, novice or not (and despite the fact that a lot of people said we would have no success from seeds!) our garden is a' growin'...really growin'!

today was a cool, overcast afternoon, and i spent the girls' rest/naptime in the afternoon weeding, planting some herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley, and oregano) and sunflower seeds (those are in the empty-ish spaces in the foreground of the top picture), and harvesting some of our mesclun greens, spinach, and a big ol' crown of broccoli (and oh my...that made my sweet libber girl SO beyond excited...that girl thinks broccoli is the best food ever!). tonight we enjoyed the bounty of our harvest. i sauteed the broccoli in some garlic and olive oil and then added whole wheat penne pasta and some diced rotisserie chicken we had in our fridge. then we had a side salad with the the greens. it was delightfully fresh and tasty, and there is definitely incredible enjoyment to eating something you have planted and harvested yourself!

our harvest...the broccoli crown looks pretty small, but it actually wasn't...rather the leaves on the broccoli plant are HUGE! once i harvested the crown i was happy to see LOTS more little baby crowns starting to sprout as well!

our ginormous zucchini bush (the spiky grasslike stuff next to it is a leek plant)...and can you find it in the second picture, the little sprouting baby zuke! we actually have several of those zucchinis sprouting.

see our tiny budding baby green pepper!

and sugar snap peas...oh, i can hardly wait to pop one of those in my mouth!

and lettuce...funny story about the lettuce...apparently i should have harvested some lettuce this afternoon as well...but, well, i actually thought the lettuce was an okra plant...i was mixed up in looking at my planting chart. and, well, since i'm a novice i had no idea what okra was supposed to look like, and i just assumed! i thought it looked more like lettuce, and apparently i was right...we'll be enjoying some yummy lettuce tomorrow!

we also have two tomato plants, a couple cucumber plants, a few butternut squash bushes (which are starting to sprout little teeny tiny squashes!), and LOADS of green beans. the final thing we plan to plant are some mini seedless watermelons once the weather gets consistently warm. i can't wait!

i also have a huge post and loads of pictures to post from last weekend at the lake....but that was far more overwhelming than the garden eventually i will get to it, just not tonight!