Wednesday, July 28, 2010


early morning was the perfect time to spend some time with this three year old.

isn't she a treasure. i sure think so...especially with her sleepyhead hair, cow jammies, and trusty blankie.

we spent a half an hour this morning getting our toesies covered in grass clippings (since i finally mowed our jungle yesterday!) while tending to our garden. she loves to run around the garden oohing and aahing over all the veggies hanging on the vines grow, grow, growing...especially the butternut squash (which we have LOTS of...just waiting for the fall!)

wanna see our bounty?

yum! four tomatoes (with lots more still hanging on the vines ALMOST red enough!--and, oh my, miss kate really wanted to pick every last one of them), a zuchinni (to add to our collection...though most of them have already found the freezer), two cucumbers, lots of okra, four green peppers, and some green beans. (all laid out on one very special seabrook tea towel!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

lots o' smiles tuesday

hello poor little neglected blog....oh my, it has been too long. i have lots of post rattling around in my head...but i think what i'll end up posting is a random hodge-podge of our past two weeks. i've got pizza dough rising in the oven for mini strombolis (to "feed" my freezer!), so while it rises, here i go!

-a sweet friday with sweet friends. my friend julie (from high school) and her two little girls came down to visit lora and me. we did lots of chatting, a mass lunch at costco (i know...i know, fine dining, right!?), and then some fun time at the splash park. elizabeth quickly become buddies with julie's oldest daughter, kayla. hannah was there too...but she spent the whole time sleeping away in her stroller! :)

-a fun (always fun!) sunday game night with friends...and the tastiest southwestern chicken salad...yum! :)

-you know it is summer-time when you have BLTs for dinner (with garden tomatoes...can you tell that i am loving our garden!) and then walk to dairy queen for dessert. even better, the girls cones were free as a summer reading prize!

jilly likes ice cream! i love that kate wanted to share with jilly...without prompting! :)

-meeting grandma and grandpa f. at the children's museum.

doing a science "lab"

what is the most fun part of the museum? the dryers in the bathroom, of course!

walking to acapulco joe's with grandpa

-jilly had her first grilled cheese sandwich (definitely a note-worthy moment, right!?). she enjoyed it! :)

you can't see well...but those cabinets behind jilly are our new cabinets...they are installed! since this picture mike has also put the white "backer" board on over the brown part. now for painting the rest of the cabinets white and installing the new countertops...but we are making progress, little by little! go hubby!

-pizza and a movie night. we made homemade tomato and basil pizza (with fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden!) and watched benji. kate especially loved benji...mostly because there was a lot of music...and lots of music means lots of crazy dancing around the room. i wish i had captured it on video...because, seriously, she is the funniest dancer ever...lots of skipping and arm fluttering. love her (and the pizza was tasty too!).

-and, really, doesn't this beauty just make you grin?

-it was county fair, in spite of the HOT and humid weather, we ventured out!

we saw the animals...this miniature pony was the ONLY animal either girl would get remotely close to...maybe next year we'll be more into the animals.

we enjoyed some fair food...jilly especially loved the elephant ear the five of us split. love kate's cheesy bloomin' tater face. :) honestly, food was just about all kate enjoyed about the fair, i think....she was having a rough night!

some tractor "riding"...of course...what else would you do at the county fair in indiana?!

a few rides. check out elizabeth's expression in the first one...she was NOT impressed by the boat-ride...actually, she was quite upset that kate wouldn't ride with her...kate would get so excited about the idea of riding something...then when we tried to put her on the ride, she would kick and scream and i said, NOT a good evening for kater gator!

the onlookers as elizabeth "takes flight"!

-fresh from the farmer watermelon

-indoor swimming anyone? okay, really i just love the expression....could this peanut get any cuter? though i don't have any photographic proof, she is also get braver and more balanced every day. standing up all by herself in the middle of the room is one of her favorite hobbies...then she smiles this incredibly proud little smile, giggles, and balances before refusing to take a step, and eventually gently lowering herself back onto her cushy little behind. i'm fairly certain walking is right around the corner, and since she already has the balance thing down, i think its going to come quickly!

-we've been playing a "borrowed-from-ellie" dorothy dress and slippers. seriously, there was a magic transformation in the past couple of weeks. elizabeth has never been into dressing up...we'd go to friends' houses, and all the other girls would dress up, and elizabeth, well, she preferred to remain in her own clothing. but in the past few weeks that has we are looking to add to our dress-up clothing stash!

-kate and i went on a shopping spree at kohl's the other day...30% off coupon in hand, hitting just the clearance racks, looking for goodies to stash away for next summers' wardrobes for the girls. and, oh my, did we ever hit the jackpot! bermuda shorts and lots of matching t-shirts clearanced for 80% off, plus our additional! next summer the three girlies will have a few matchy-matchy outfits, and, well, you know that makes me smile...gotta enjoy it before they get too old for matching to be "cute"!

-long phone calls with precious (too far away) friends!

-cooler enough that i finally tackled our jungle this morning...mowing the lawn is so satisfying (mostly because it stays "done" for a few opposed to a few minutes!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

my seaside baby....a few months back. (she was just over 6 months old here...and now, oh my, she is just shy of 11 (how can it be!!!!) months).

these images were captured by the beautiful and talented leslie. you can see more of her photography here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ten smile tuesday

tuesday again. here are some smiles from the past week! i would share some smiles from wednesday and thursday, but seriously (and i am being dead serious!), i can't remember wednesday and all. so anyway...i'm sure we enjoyed something those days...just don't have any clue what!

1-3. friday we had a fabulous least 3 smiles wrapped up in, but in reality about a million! since daddy works halfdays on fridays, the girls and i spent the morning making cow costumes. then when mike got home at lunchtime we all headed to the pizza hut lunch buffet to support a fundraiser for his co-worker's daughter. then we dropped jilly off to hang with friends while mommy and daddy took libbers and katers to see their first ever movie in the theater....toy story 3. we had free tickets from promos, which was awesome...and we splurged on a large popcorn to split....a large popcorn that kate ate over half of single-handedly! the girls enjoyed the movie and their new "jessie" dolls i picked up for almost free with awesome kellogg coupons. after the movie we picked up jilly, headed home for a grand total of maybe 20 minutes, dressed in our "cow"stumes and headed to chick-fil-a for customer appreciation meals for the entire family! :) what a whirlwind of a day!

*trying* to get the girls to smile and show me their jessie dolls...this is the best i could get!

love my husband...what a good sport to dress like a our little calf too. mike did wear the ears too...just long enough to get the food for free and get it to our table! :)

"moo"lizabeth....and proof that i was there as well....see my white spot...i too wore ears just long enough to score the free food and sit down at the table! :)

and kater cow...the full costume was it didn't last long either!

this video is dedicated to aunt shell, but i suppose you all can enjoy it as well! :)

4. spending some quality time with my libber girl saturday morning...incidentally we went to walk around and browse some neighborhood garage sales....and managed to score this chicco clip-on chair, something we had been wanting to purchase but weren't willing to pay full price for! :) jilly loves it!

5. incidentally, jilly loves food too. seriously, this girlie can eat (and eat and eat and eat)...anything and everything you put in front of her. her lack of pickiness (at least so far!) is a it is one less dinner table battle!

6. oh wait...i remembered a snippet from wednesday! :) i had the blessing of meeting my sweet, dear friend jill for dinner (as in dinner...just us...not at little ones interrupting (don't get me wrong, we love those littles...but they sure do make it hard to have a coherent conversation sometimes!)...and then, as if that wasn't enough, enjoying a dessert and fellowship time with the discussion group leaders for our MOPS group next year. so excited to be leading the DGLs next year...and eager to see what God has in store for our MOPS year!

7. the delicious aroma of chicken chimi filling...i am working on restocking our freezer a little bit at a time. today's task is chicken chimis....lots of them...and the filling smells amazing! on the docket for tomorrow and thursday, pigs in a blanket, mini strombolis, and blueberry waffles.

8. garden fresh veggies...zuchinni fries, sauteed zuchinni with parmesan, zuchinni bread (are you seeing a trend!)...still dreaming of andi mae's zuchinni muffins! we also have enjoyed tasty green beans, cucumbers and sugar snap peas, and we have at least 10 green peppers on our pepper plants...and i am eagerly waiting for the plethora of green tomatoes on our tomato plants to turn red! as soon as that happens we'll be eating a margherita pizza with the tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden! :) we have little butternut squashes coming out our ears...can wait to harvest those eventually and have a freezer full of butternut squash!

9. my three girls playing together. lately the girls have been playing "together" (as together as you can when one child is 10 months old!) more and more. elizabeth and kate are definitely growing in their friendship and making up crazy games and scenarios...and jilly, well, she is always right there with them. kate loves to "help" her play, help her walk, help her bathe, help her, help, help...sometimes i'm not sure jilly appreciates the help, but she mostly tolerates it! :)

10. a last minute trip to the zoo this morning with sweet friends...thanks for the invite kim! :) i also clinched my "mother of the day" title by stopping by sonic on the way home for happy hour and letting the girls each get their OWN small watermelon slushie....sometimes it is the little things in life. and even though you don't actually SEE any animals in the pictures below, i promise, we did see at least a few animals at the zoo...but lets be honest, my kids are as excited about the zoo playground as they are about the animals some days!

love that the three girls decided of their own accord to all hold hands (ellie, in the middle, is one of elizabeth's favorite EVER it was especially thrilling to hang out with her this morning)

the kids on a rock...well, 6/8 of the kids...breanna and jilly were in their strollers...kate was SO eager to get on the rock with the big kiddos, but once standing there she wasn't so sure!

...and while i mentioned that ellie is elizabeth's favorite friend...ironically enough kate might just have enjoyed ellie the most today! they held hands on the playground, giggled, laughed, and slid down the slide together over and over. ellie definitely brought out the best in kate...and even though kate just might be "bigger" in size than ellie (who is a year and a half older than kate), i think ellie liked having someone "smaller" to play mommy too!

and here is libbers...she had just as much fun...but in true elizabeth fashion, she mostly wanted to do her own thing. love the bravery though...yesterday i could barely talk her into sliding down our little backyard playset slide headfirst on her tummy, today she repeatedly zoomed down the twirly slide in that fashion!

*and a bonus 11th smile! i have been wearing my hair au stylist showed me how to tame the natural curl, and i am enjoying sporting the curls...much easier in the mornings and kind of a fun, easy style! this is by no means the best picture ever...but here i am!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ten smile tuesday

the past few weeks have so many things i could share with you. i could tell you about how proud i am of elizabeth who is reading all by herself (as long as we're talking phonetically normal 3 and 4 letter words!--but we do have several books and readers she can do!). i could tell you about the 1/4 cow we now have in our freezer or the crazy 3 hour+ , detour through the country roadtrip i made with the girls to pick it up from the meat processor. i could tell you about the great all day MOPS steering team retreat last saturday or our fun evening at the zoo with mike's family. i could tell you about the emotional ups and downs and highs and lows of the past two weeks of being a stay-at-home-mommy to my three girls (and there are highs and lows, for sure). i could tell you about the almost date night mike and i enjoyed at the indian's game or all the fun we've had swimming at pools with friends in the past weeks. but, instead, i am just going to pick up with what is fresh and recent...our fourth of july weekend at the lake. and, as you can see, there are more than 10 smiles to go around!

1. perfect weather upon our arrival....perfect for porch sitting, ice cream eating, toe in the water dipping smiley fun. i mean, seriously, mid-70s and no humidity is almost unheard of on july 1 in indiana!

2. i did it! i ran the Loon Lake 5.5K (approx. 3.4 miles)...and finished...and i wasn't the last one! :) i think i mentioned it, but i started running again in the middle of may, and on memorial day weekend i decided running the race would be motivating....and it was! it feels great to be running and getting more active again....even if i did manage to take a spill wednesday morning, resulting in some seriously scraped up legs and arms...and i do mean, nasty scrapes. i am so thankful i was still able to run the race....but i am guessing the scrapes are going to take quite awhile to heal!

3. breakfast on the boat. we enjoyed the annual boat-in pancake breakfast. :)

poppy's co-pilot....and jilly and grandmommy while we wait in line for our pancakes
jilly's first boat-in breakfast experience

libbers and kate enjoy their pancakes and sausage

4. slip-n-sliding....forget about the fact that there is a whole lake just yards away, the girls were perfectly content with the slip-n-slide for awhile...but they did get brave (with the help of "uncle" matt), and they went out to the buoy with us to watch the boat parade in the afternoon.

5. roasting s'mores with daddy

6. ....and eating them. this was GG's first ever s'more!

7. getting to see both of their great grandmothers...what a gift and blessing!

8. MASSIVE strides in the swimming department. my girls love the "idea" of the water...and last year they were huge fans of the sand, but they both have struggled with some amount of fear when it comes to actually getting in and swimming. they did a fabulous job this weekend. elizabeth even did some kicking and floating around on her own (well...with her floatie vest and kickboard...but still, if you'd have seen this girl a month ago you would know that is nothing short of a-ma-zing!). they both particularly liked poppy and grandmommy's spring floats.

"i think i can, i think i can"....she actually never made it into the water with this ensemble...but it is pretty cute!

family swim time...

"i'm doing it!" thanks poppy!

9. lots of hanging out and giggling and playing.

10. an evening boat PJs... :)

10. this delectable salad from pioneer woman (i first had it at my MOPS retreat last weekend, and it was so good i couldn't resist making it for the weekend at the lake!). you MUST try it!

11. a little jilly who seems to be growing in leaps and bounds each day. in the past week she has gained two more teeth (with another two "right" there!), figured out how to stand up all by herself in the middle of the room (or a towel!), and push things around the room. where did my baby go?! another month and a half and we'll be celebrating her first birthday!