Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Great Quantifier

Watching out the window on the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty

Ellie is our numbers girl these days - she'll give a number to anything she can think of, without even noticing or knowing that it's a funny thing to do.  I just love it and want to remember, so here are a few examples from the past couple of weeks -

Just before we left on our trip to New York, we had this conversation -

Me: Oh, I'm so excited for our trip!
Ellie: Me too!, what's your number?
Me: (Hm, what's a good 'really excited number?) I think 35
Ellie: Well mine is 100!

A few days later, at the hotel in Salt Lake before our early flight to New York the next morning, I was telling Jordan about this conversation with Ellie and she added "That was just how excited I was for Salt Lake, for New York City I am one thousand excited!"


The kids got a gingerbread house kit from Grandma and Grandpa as a Twelve days of Christmas present and were all super excited to put it together. I'd kept putting them off till just a little later in the day, but was pretty sure we'd get to it at some point...

Ellie: Can we do the gingerbread house after dinner?
Me: I think we can at last!
Ellie: How much do you think, please say 95!


We were talking about something Ellie had done recently that was hard for her and I said something about her 'brave muscles' were really growing stronger, to which she answered "I think they just grew 1, but also they grew 1 when I did...(something I can't remember)."


And on a recent day (when I must have been especially nice!)

Mom I love you so much! I love you 102! And I love Porter 101, and everyone else in our family 100! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Happiness/Primary Program

The kids had their primary program this morning. Ellie practiced and practiced her part, standing on the fireplace, working on being brave. Landon folded his up in his pocket, a little nervous. Ellie bravely took her spot on the stand, and as the first speaker in the program lost her practiced braveness for her speaking part and quickly took her seat again. But then sang beautifully and happily and proudly all through the program. Landon sweetly sang and watched all the goings-on around him and sped-read his talk with reddening cheeks (he must be related to me!)  Owen joined them with the other nursery kids for the closing song "I am a Child of God", and a few tears through the closing prayer when there was no seat left for him on the stand.  And this little Porter was just cute in our arms.  :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Wednesday

We had a big package from Amazon delivered today, and Ellie immediately pulled out the yards of brown paper with "we could make capes out of this!" A few minutes later we had Super-Owen and Firestar Ellie jumping off the fireplace and off to the rescue.  Also, the firemen were at the park through the afternoon working on whatever it is they work on there - spreading out their hoses, spraying across the field, coiling up their hoses again... We went to watch and play at the round-a-bout,  and Landon and his friends were soon helping unroll and roll up the hoses. (Yay for firemen who know how to be heroes by letting little boys help!) Also today was a play date for Ellie with a fellow sunbeam Evalyn, complete with secret hideouts and jello jigglers.  I love these little adventures that make for such happy days.

Winter Preparations

emptying the trailer while Jordan fills it :)
I think because I had so fully braced myself for the coming winter last time we had a snow storm, the past few weeks have felt like this wonderful Spring-time or a second Fall. We've had such beautiful days, and I think have done a more complete raking job than any other Fall with the warm/dry days lasting so long into November. We've even had a couple of November campfires, and not even been too cold :) Saturday we spent almost the entire day outside working in the yard, with most of our neighbors doing the same - such a happy hard-working day.

Also exciting - just before Halloween I was suddenly ready and excited to make and do projects again. I cleaned my craftroom, made costumes for the kids (even a tricky princess dress that went from my imagination to Princess Ellie trick-or-treating even better than I hoped!), and now have a list constantly buzzing through my brain full of ideas and things I'd love to make and do. A craft room re-design, a Basement makeover project, a kids reading nook... I think maybe it's my way of coping with the upcoming winter - now I can get exited about spending time in our cozy warm house, just working away. (It could also be that Porter is beginning to nap out of my arms every once in a while too!)

trying out the first new cushion for the kids reading nook

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Super Helper Landon

(Unrelated - Landon getting ready to share a fancy dessert at Elements)
Landon is so great at noticing when someone is having a hard time and jumping to do whatever he can to help them. I have a precious collection of notes he's written me when I've been having a rough time.

Yesterday I was painting some shelves outside and decided to leave the paint roller out in the grass
to dry out before I took it off so it wouldn't be so messy. Unfortunately, with all the snow the paint roller didn't dry out. And Owen found it. And happily painted the back patio, the steps, white plastic chairs, and the picnic table. Landon disappeared and came back just a moment later with a heart shaped note for us "Dear Mom and Dad, please can I help you?" Oh how I love his tender heart!

Welcome November

"I was having a fun time eating the snow!"

We spent most of the day yesterday outside working, painting shelves, raking leaves, having a Monsters University movie party in Jordan's new/almost completed shed, and just enjoying such a beautiful Fall day. This morning we woke up to snow! And what a funny day it has been of back and forth from grey and wintery and snowy to blue skies and green grass and lovely.

The costumes Part 2

One cute puppy Porter 

A fearsome bat Landon

The cutest little fireman around (though maybe a tie with this one from about 5 years ago)

And a beautiful princess Ellie

One more reason to love Whole Foods/Park City trip

Park City fun - playing Agricola

With Carmelitas and Mexican wedding cakes and walnut fudge brownies and about a million other delicious desserts to choose from ... And an awesome salad bar and deli with creative quinoa concoctions for Jordan, Whole Foods has become one of our favorite spots to stop for yummy food when we're out of town. On our last trip to Park City we got dinner there 2 out of 3 nights :)

We had a great little Park City vacation as an early Anniversary celebration/Fall Break with an awesome hotel that had lots of fun activities and things to do (including outdoor hot tubs that even the kids could swim in - quite an experience with the freezing temperatures!), yummy food to eat (like Whole Foods  and the Windy Ridge Cafe), some outside time, the Alpine Slide and other fun activities, and just happy hanging out together time.

Unfortunately in the midst of all the fun,  I lost my wallet. We got home and I started calling all the places we'd visited... and wonderfully, Whole Foods had found it and even mailed it back to me. What a blessing!
tired out from all the fun (and what a big boy this Owen is becoming!)

On a bikeride/run adventure, Jordan and Landon came across the 'shoe tree' and we had to do some research to find out about this funny spot!  (image and another funny story)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Wintery Fall Day

Last week, on a Landon-directed to mission to relocate all of the leaves to the side yard one bucket-full at a time
It snowed through the morning today - big fluffy white flakes melting on our piles of leaves from yesterday's wind storm. And happily, it felt much more cozy than dreary :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Campfire at "Rainbow Camp"
We had just a sweet, happy campfire this weekend. Porter slept through it all in the van (it's amazing how with each addition to our family, going back to the previous count even for a little while suddenly feels so easy to handle, though I know that life with 3 little ones really was not easy, and neither was 2 or 1!) A simple dinner (of Panda Express - a campfire favorite when we're going for super super easy) made it extra low-key. And even though most of the leaves had fallen, making it less rainbow-y than our last visit there, it was still a beautiful spot.

Oh these have been beautiful days! I'm doing my best to enjoy the gorgeous times and not think too much about the long cold days ahead... So far, so good :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Happy Anniversary

In honor of our 9th Anniversary, I thought I'd write down 9 things that Jordan and I love to do together right now.
(in no particular order) We love to...

1. Read books together (a few favorite series: Peter and the Star Catchers, Percy Jackson, The Mysterious Benedict Society)
2. Watch White Collar (we've never been TV watchers- or had tv actually - but this one we like :)
3. Go for adventures - biking, running, walking/unicycling...
4. Work/clean - not that it's so fun cleaning, but we're a great team. Jordan is awesome at directing and  helping the kids so they'll stay focused and I'm good at cleaning quickly when I know everyone is helping.
5. Go out to eat at our favorite places (like our favorite Gaucho Grill)
6. Play with/be with/take care of our kids, talk about the great things they do
7. Shopping - even a trip to Lee's or Costco feels like a fun event when Jordan comes too. And he's the best clothes shopping partner because he picks out fun things, gives his honest opinion, and makes me feel like I'm beautiful :)
8. Play outside/work outside in the yard
9.  Campfires (even crazy ones!)

I asked Jordan for his ideas on our favorite things to do together. His list started like this: Change diapers, clean up spit up, clean the house, put the kids to bed again and again each night...

I think I may have asked him at the wrong time - he did help me brainstorm a real list too :) But really, even though those things are not actually our favorite things to do together,  they are the things we do together. I think we're pretty lucky to have so much time - with each other and with our children - doing so many of our favorite things, and so many of our not so favorite things too. All put together they make a pretty happy life. :)

From Owen

trying out the camera on my new phone (my first new phone in 9 years!)
The other day Owen said something that sounded so grown up it just caught me by surprise and made me laugh. Landon asked "Why did you laugh? He sounds like such a big boy!"  And Owen really has started talking like such a big boy. (And he's picking things up from Ellie and Landon like crazy - I'm glad mostly good! :)

Running errands this evening he spoke up with seriousness/sillyness
"I wish Daddy and Mommy could sit in the back here... and then I could be the driver!"

This sweet boy sure brings our family such happiness!

Halloween Costumes Take 1

dressing up for 'Boo at the Zoo' 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

First Smiles (and laughs!)

trying to capture a first smile :)

Whenever Porter starts to smile,  the kids immediately gather around with oohs and ah-goos to try to bring out another smile and another. What a thrill these first smiles really are - the tiny little upturned corner of his mouth with the sparkle in his eyes that spreads such happiness. And today Ellie and I got to hear Porter's first tiny little laughs - such a happy surprise!

Fall Football (?!?)

I've never been a huge fan of football. But once I had boys (built very much like football players!)  I became an avid football-avoider. My thinking went something like maybe if I pretend that football doesn't exist, they'll never discover it or never think it's some great thing and  never have any interest in playing... Try clothes shopping for little boys while avoiding anything football related - it takes a definite conscious effort, which I ridiculously have made :)

Yet somehow I heard Owen answering Ellie's request to watch her climb a tree this afternoon with this- "First I have to play football with Mommy!"  And he is one cute little football playing buddy.

I think I'm going to have to find a new keep-my-boys-football-free strategy.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Park City (written by Ellie)

Alpine Slide (a 1/2 mile slide in Park City)
We went to Park City, and we went on a giant slide. Ellie and Landon thought it was awesome! And Owen and Porter stayed with Mom at the bottom of the slide. And when we went by them, we waved. Landon rode by himself and I rode with Dad. When there was bumps I said 'bump, bump, bump!' I didn't ever to say to slow down because I loved it. Dad asked me  'do you want to go fast or slow?' and there was a person up there to help us know how to do it and I said "fast!"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why I love Logan

This weekend we took the scouts to a science presentation at the University all about the health effects of Logan's poor winter air with a take-away message something like 'run for your life!' Fortunately, right now we are at Logan's best time of year with colorful hills and beautiful trees and crisp, cool, lovely clean air :)

A few weekends ago we went on our first big bikeride  all together since Porter was born (to Kneaders for a delicious french toast breakfast!) I wasn't confident about making it up the Lee's hill to get home, so we dropped off the Subaru beforehand and  Landon and I left our bikes chained to a tree near Lee's on our way back and the two of us drove home. The next weekend when April and Nathan were visiting we decided to go for another ride down to Lee's to pick up campfire supplies. Only after we bundled up and packed up all the kids did we realize my bike and Landon's were missing... and finally remembered that we'd left them the week before.  I drove down the hill, sure to find an empty tree and brainstorming what to do about trying to replace the two bikes... but amazingly - there they were!

Exactly where we left them a week before, including helmet and headband nearby on the grass! 

(This isn't the first time our forgetfulness has made  us  grateful to live in such a safe town as Logan -- just about a week before this incident, Landon left his bike at Chick-fil-A and we went back after several days to find it still sitting in the bike rack, unlocked and untouched. Forgetfulness seems to be ours in greater measure as the parents of four!)

an April visit

Landon + campfire + hot chocolate
We had a wonderful visit this weekend with April (and Nathan too!) who came to meet little Porter and spend time with all of us. A little bit rainy but beautiful Green Canyon campfire, a bikeride to Lee's and another around the neighborhood, lots of stories read to the kids, a Great Harvest lunch, coloring time and visiting time and Owen hugs and sweet quiet help with dishes and dinner making and Porter holding and school pick-ups... and lots more fun too. A short visit but a sweet one!

Soccer Time

Backyard practice -- Ellie can tell you at the end of each game exactly how many times she kicked the ball in that game :)

Our September has been happily full of soccer practices and games for Ellie and Landon. I've never really watched soccer before, so I've been surprised at how much I've really loved watching them play. Beautiful fall evenings, walking across the street to the park, feeding little Porter and celebrating the sweet little accomplishments of our kids on the field... it has just been a delight. Ellie has gone from holding Jordan's hand while she played to just checking behind her for him standing a few feet away to finally now playing and practicing all on her own - and we're so proud of her being so brave and happy for her to be having so much fun. Landon is so much fun to watch because he alternates between super focused and intense as goalie or defender to running the field with  super sillyness like  cries of "Pow!" with a good kick or a nice play of a teammate. Owen has a great time playing with whatever ball is nearby on the sidelines or offering a "Yay! Landon! or Good job Ellie!" And especially with a new little Porter, it has just been so great to have this nice scheduled activity- what a fun way to spend our time enjoying this beautiful Fall!

Landon has been working on his drop kick, hoping to play like the 'professional soccer players'

Monday, September 30, 2013


Raspberry Picking

Our raspberries have been amazing this year.  Every few days we've been able to go out and pick at least a bowl full and sometimes two or three - the branches just hang down because they are so heavy with delicious red ripe raspberries!  These two are happy little helpers (though with very few berries ending up in the bowls :) I love this patch and always feel like it's such a treat from my sweetheart (who planted  it for me when we moved in) whenever I go out there. And it's even more fun to share such a fun treat with these cute kids. 

My keys to raspberry success this year: 
1. Forget to turn the water off each time you water and completely flood the patch once or twice a week through July  
2. Forget to water all together for the rest of the season  
3. Enjoy lots and lots of raspberries :)

A few days ago Owen watched me lay out the extra berries on a cookie sheet to put in the freezer (which just happens to be at a perfect Owen level) - later that afternoon, I was sitting in the reading room when Owen crawled around the corner of the kitchen with his mouth, shirt and fingers covered in raspberry juice and in his best lion voice growled "I'm snitching raspberries!"

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Little Porter loves a good lullaby and is great to calm down to a sweet song. This afternoon he gave me one of his best and sweetest first smiles while I wrapped him up and sang to him 'little one, when you sleep I can't help but kiss your cheek...'

So I've been thinking of lullabies and thought I'd write down a few sweet lullaby memories. 

- I just came across a little lullaby book/Father's day gift that I made for Jordan just after Ellie was born. One of the sweetest memories of our hospital stay with Ellie was Jordan sitting in the hospital rocking chair, arms stretched out in front cradling little Ellie and him singing so sweetly to calm our new baby girl. 

- When Landon was one/two, if we sang even the first few wards of "I often go walking", he immediately raced to bed or laid down where he was to rest. 

-Until Landon was about 5 or 6, he had 5 songs we'd sing in order each night at bedtime. (In the leafy treetops, Whenever I hear, I have a family (vs. 1 & 2 counted as 2 songs for some reason :) and Landon, I love you) He always called these his 'love you songs'.

- For a long time Owen and I had a tradition that each day when I woke him up from his nap, he would come and sit with me on the couch and we would sing Moon River together while he finished waking up - sadly this is fading (along with his nap taking...) but oh what a sweet time to cuddle close to my little boy and sing to him, with his little voice joining in or sometimes even singing on his own to me. 

- And, just because I know someday I will forget and want to remember all their favorites -
I love these babies!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

first month

Oh I love this little one! In just the last few days he's suddenly begun to follow me with his eyes, keeping track and making sure I'm staying close. I can tell that a lullaby while I hold him/do the dishes/make lunch is soon to be no longer enough - he wants my full attention - my eyes looking straight into his while I serenade this little boy to happiness with Capital I, Moon River, You are my Sunshine...  And oh, those bright shining eyes!

Mostly he says to me slow down. Soon I will grow. (Every day I will grow!) One day you will sleep again... Slow down for now. Hold me and feed me and wrap me and sleep with me and change me and cuddle me. Rest with me and hold me close and feel my tiny little baby breaths.  Sing to me and rock me and play a little sillyness with me.  Mostly, slow down. 

And so, slow days we will have :) I'm working (hard - oh, so hard!) to do just those things that are most important.  So we have messy bedrooms, but clean Sunday clothes. Chicken nugget dinners, but chocolate chip cookie after school snacks. Lots of sitting and holding instead of playing, but lots more story reading too. And what a treasure it is, just to sit and hold this little one. What a gift for slowing down.

Happy first month little Porter -we love you so!

Rainy Days

Enjoying today's rainy day
We've had some pretty great rainy days lately - here are a few happy things :)

1. I haven't watered my garden since Porter was born. I think that Kathie kept it alive through the end of August, and since then we've had enough rain to keep things growing despite my complete lack of attention. (And a side note, I've discovered that dinosaur chicken nuggets are a perfectly acceptable dinner, even a couple times a week when put on a sandwich with freshly picked garden tomatoes and other veggies :)

2. Landon played his first soccer game a few weeks ago in the middle of a crazy rain/wind storm. We tried to brave it out for a little while, but the kids and I soon joined the mini-van line up and watched from the car while Jordan bravely cheered from the side lines with a few other stalwart/wet parents.

Our view from the van/ a certain Landon who didn't seem to mind the rain too much :)
3. A few weeks ago we had a brief but intense downpour that brought  all of our neighbors outside for an impromptu water party. A few watched from their covered porches (like me), our teenage neighbor was quickly soaked with an umbrella-less walk around the block. Landon and Ellie jumped and splashed and danced in the huge puddles (as did our grown up next-door neighbor -- what a happy sight to see!)  Landon soon set out to follow a ball flowing through the gutters/puddles, then got sidetracked with dam building, and Jordan followed on his unicycle, an umbrella high overhead. :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday thoughts

on motherhood (beautiful artwork from here)
Last week I talked with a friend in my ward for a few minutes in the mother's room while we both nursed our babies. And all week I've thought about our conversation and how in just a regular chat about life with newborns, she was able to share her testimony and strengthen mine as well. Of how Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. How he is glad for mothers who take care His little ones. Of how important the work of being a mother is. And that I can pray for extra strength and my prayers will be answered by a loving Father in Heaven who wants me to succeed at this work and will strengthen me beyond my own capacity as I love and serve. (Thank you Catherine!)

And just a funny story from Relief Society --
A great lady, about 75 years old (though you'd guess about 20 years younger!) who is caring for her husband with Alzheimer's raised her hand to make 'an announcement' -

I told my husband that I was going to be quitting my job, and he asked what I was going to do instead. 'Well, I told him, I'm going to take care of you and you're going to take care of me and we're just going to take care of each other' to which he responded 'Well, that sounds wonderful, but if that's what we're going to be doing, don't you think we should get married?' So, after 6 children and 50 years of marriage, I've had another proposal!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And just like that, it's Fall!

My sweetly sleeping little buddy.

I've had great intentions of 'catching up' at some point here -- recounting some of our summer adventures if for nothing else just so that I can remember the vacations, wedding celebrations, new nephew celebrations, reunions, happy summer days playing with the kids, school time activities, camp fire adventures, visiting with family, playing with grandparents, keeping our garden alive, happy morning walks, waiting for baby, and the sweet birth of our little one... maybe one of these late nights when Porter wants to party my good intentions will come through,  maybe not :)

We've had some blustery/rainy/beautifully cool and Fall-feeling days. Today I had a minute with Porter happily snuggled up and sleeping in his wrap with me, so I started to clean out my closet... with the combination of being in between seasons a bit,  in-between-sized-me and a lot of laundry needing to be washed, I now have a total of 3 shirts hanging in the closet. :) But it was a sweet few minutes of packing up the old, thinking of this new season of life with another new little one. 

Somehow as I got nearer the end of this pregnancy, I could feel very much how quickly I would be on the other side of things... 3 weeks till baby would be in no time a 3 week old newborn. And we're nearly there, just as quickly as I felt it would be. And what sweet days these have been. 

So here's to another beautiful Logan fall. And great adventures to come. And slowing down. And doing hard things and loving the sweet times. And soccer games and practices and after school snacks and preschool time and sneaking in naps. Welcome Fall! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

welcome to the world

Porter Jay Brough
This little one was born last Sunday and we're so happy to have him in our family. Owen loves to give a gentle rub to his dark-haired little head with a "Can I be soft to him?" Ellie remembers always to wash her hands, then holds him for a few moments, anxious to cradle his head in just the right position in her arms.  Landon is the most eager to hold and cuddle Porter and marvels at his open eyes. "Welcome to the world, little buddy" he says.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Girls Day/ Boys Day

Our first summer travels started with a girls day for Ellie and me in Provo with Jordan, Landon and Owen joining us the following day.  Girls day included a long-awaited haircut for me, surprise birthday preparations for Jordan,  swimming at the hotel pool, and eating at a few Provo favorites (zupas for lunch w/ chocolate dipped strawberries and BYU Creamery for dinner :) A girls sleepover party was Ellie's request to end the day.  And what a sweet day with my little Ellie.

The boys headed out from home about ten that morning with Jordan running, Owen stroller-riding and Landon biking. And a successful boys day had them adventuring and adventuring until a dinner-time return home. Swimming at the aqauatic center (where Landon somewhat accidentally went down the huge steep slide... which I can't even think about without getting butterflies in my stomach!), a trip to the Logan library where Landon got to choose 10 books (instead of the usual 5 limit from mom), lunch at Pizza Pie Cafe... it was a Landon-choosing day and a happy day for all the boys.

We happily got back together again (after a long/windy/hot drive for the boys with no ac!) with some birthday celebrations for Jordan, a mom and kids day Monday, family time and family reunion time, playing with little Jayden with a visit to our favorite Orem library with Grandma Maureen... and then Jordan off on the next adventure out to New York while we made our way back home.

(And now we're off on another adventure - I'm waiting at the airport and according to Landon's latest report, Jordan and the kids and Nathan just passed through Bakers City, Oregon. :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baseball Days

Landon had his last day of baseball today - It's been a fun way to spend a few evening each week for the beginning of our summer. Landon had fun playing and Ellie and Owen had a great time running around with each other and with friends.  Just a nice calm time and some beautiful Logan evenings.  I'm excited for Ellie and Landon to both try out soccer this Fall. :)

School Time

Landon hard at work w/ Ed Emberly pics
I think that I can officially say that our 'school time' so far has been a great success. Even in our 4th week now, we had this conversation yesterday - 
me "guys, I think we need to just do short school time today so you'll still have a time for a movie before we go to the library activity..."
ellie and landon "No!!!!"
(Anything that wins over movie time must be super great!)

I did a lot of planning and thinking about what themes/topics/units we'd cover for school time this summer... but then summer came and I ended up putting most of my plans aside. Here's what we've ended up doing: 

I made a book for Landon and Ellie that we use each day to practice penmanship (a letter each day) and drawing (something that starts with that letter - I'm learning along with the kids :)   Along with these, we're reviewing/remembering all of the letters in Portuguese and learning them in sign language. Then we do some sort of fun or learning activity. 

So we review our letters and whatever else we've been working on during our activity time, then do penmanship practice (good for both Landon and Ellie), drawing, and then some kind of fun activity. It's usually an hour or so and fits in perfectly after quiet time (while Owen naps, Ellie and Landon have quiet play time on their own and I get things done and make quick plans for whatever activity we'll do that day for afternoon school time)  Owen usually wakes up from his nap as we're finishing.  An upstairs clean sweep earns the kids movie time after school time and then we're at 4:00 when Jordan is 'home from work' :)

Some of our activities are based on reading or math practice, others are just for fun (making ice cream in bags, learning about measurements and then making chocolate cookies, 4th of July bead necklaces/bracelets...) We've also done a little bit of piano intro and some arts and crafts kinds of things.

It's been such a fun part of our summer break. And since it's pretty low-key, it's something I can keep up with and jump back into between all of our summer busy-ness.

Hooray for happy school time days!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Special Breakfast Tuesdays

Special Breakfast Tuesday/ Summertime 
I can't remember how it started, but somehow about a year ago  we started a 'Special Breakfast Tuesday' tradition that has happily stuck. Every other day is oatmeal/cheerios or similar, but Tuesday's the kids love pancakes or waffles or something more interesting than oatmeal. :) With all of our chair and counter stools otherwise occupied as 'building materials',  we've been enjoying some great picnic breakfasts out in the backyard (and lunches depending on when the secret hide-out/fort dismantling happens).

(Notice Jordan's 'summer office' in the background!)

Summer Break Week 1

A new fort for each new day...

I had great plans for summer break, which were mostly in my head and waiting to be worked out in detail before Monday morning of summer break arrived. Unfortunately for my planning-plans, I got sick with a cold that mostly wiped me out so summer break began in survival mode :)

But wonderfully so!

I don't know when I've felt so grateful to have been sick as Friday afternoon looking back at our first week of summer break and what a sweet, happy week it was. The kids built forts every morning (see above) and managed to clean them all up each afternoon after a 'school time' session with Ellie and Landon while Owen napped. And we just stumbled upon a great little routine that I think is going to take us happily through the summer much better than any I could have carefully planned and scheduled.

Landon especially took over the play-time-leader role so well -- what happiness to see him 'gathering the troops' with a song of "Freedom! Freedom! I am free!" -- Owen's cue to jump in line with Landon and Ellie and march to the next destination for exploration or adventure Landon-style. With the kids doing so well (amazingly!!!) playing together in free time, plus the daily summertime to-do's w/ school time, baseball, scouts, 'super-helper jobs'... and some busy travel time ahead -- we're set for some happy days I think.

More to come on school time and our routines :)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Saturday afternoon in pictures

Playing ball

Happy watering/water shooting Landon

About her first bike riding day -- "This is the best day ever!!"
Hard worker

A bike-riding girl

From Ellie on her first bike riding adventure:

"This is so fun! This is the most fun thing in the whole world! When I try to think about what things are fun, my brain just says 'ride my bike!' lots of times!"

Later on an uphill stretch, when I checked in to see how she was doing with 'how are your legs feeling on this hill Ellie?'

"Proud!! And they're getting a lot of exercise and they're getting so strong!"

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Farmer's Market

(Upper left - I was doing a practice set up in the backyard and Jordan decided it would make a pretty good office space
Lower left - I'd stitched a little' 'Tuesday Flowers' logo months ago - this was Landon's sweet replica :)

The past two Saturdays we've spent our mornings at the Farmer's Market with our own booth (!!) Last week was crazy rainy, but still pretty successful and a memorable, keeping dry adventure. This week  Landon had a fun time shooting marshmallows and demonstrating his catapults, and sold almost 30 of them! ( We sold out after  the first couple of hours and sent Jordan home to gather our supplies to make more.) Ellie's heart crayons were a hit too and the first thing gone. Plus, I got to sell some bike ankle straps, adventure sacks, bows and clippies... And we just had a fine time with a beautiful day visiting with all of the shoppers. A successful and fun day -- And so fun to get to share all of these great things that we've loved making!