Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The girl certainly loves to dance

Before bed lately, the kids have started having a little jam session.... and no one gets more into it than Rayna!  (Strider hid himself off-screen for this taping.)  Even though I can't say that I agree with the premise of this song, the lyrics "inright, outright, upright, downright" are bound to make any tune fun I guess.

So here are a couple of the kids in their crazy pj's, right after storytime with Daddy (Rayna didn't even take the time to put the book down):

Saturday, May 28, 2011


There seems to be a common gene thread running through most of my children.... Let's just say Pete's genes seem to be VERY dominant.

The apples did not fall far from the tree....
 ....this one being the "tree":

But Colsen seems to have some additional DNA in him that has given him a slightly unique look in our family. One of our friends has commented that from the shape of his eyes one might think he has some Asian blood in him.  And his cousin Sammy DOES look a little like him I think...

Recently, though, Mor-Mor brought us some old photos, and I was putting one of me on the computer, Miles pointed and said he thought it was Colsen!
There does appear to be a few of MY genes in Colsen after all!

Me:                                                                                                 Cole:

(Uncle Gary, I know you're pleased about the shirt!)

I also think there are some Josh Groban genes in Colsen, too  (I know that's not actually possible, but I still think I see they have something in common -- minus the curly hair).
The one on the left is JG as a boy!

Or maybe he'll end up looking like our favorite coach, Eric Taylor ("Friday Night Lights")!

Asian or not, I sure love the shape of those eyes.  I can't wait to see what Cole looks like all grown up.  Well, I kind of CAN wait... I don't want him to grow up too soon!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

These are the kinds of things I most want to remember

Colsen has always had a soft and sweet heart, but lately I've enjoyed hearing his thoughts more than ever.

The other day I was reading a book to the kids and he kept trying to turn my face a different direction.  I started to get frustrated because I couldn't see the page I was reading, until he explained, "I just wanted to see your face.  I love your beautiful face."  It made my whole day -- or maybe my whole year.

This morning I was in a bad mood, and as we were driving in the car, he blurted out, "Mom, I love you."  I told him I loved him, too.  Then he repeated, "Mom, I love you AGAIN!"  I told him I loved him again, too.  He was quiet for a few seconds and then he said, "I just can only keep thinking that I love you again and again!"

Is there anything sweeter than a 4-year old boy??

Well, maybe this...

Strider, Colsen and I went to a little book sale this afternoon and Colsen wanted to pick out something to buy with his own money.  He settled on buying a fuzzy pencil, and then decided he wanted to get one for Rayna, too.  When we got home, he ran right in to tell her....

Cole:  Rayna!!  I got you something!!
Rayna, running into the room:  What?!?!  You got me something?!
Cole:  See!  Here! This pencil!

She wanted to hug him right away, and then show the rest of us her new treasure.  You woulda thought she had been given a brand new car.

I love how those 2 love each other.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting ready for Moldova?

Apparently the kids have seen some of the images of Moldovans, such as this one, because Milo came downstairs like this recently:

Sunday, May 22, 2011


My sister just sent me this picture of Colsen and Branson:

I guess she had tickets for the gun show!

Look out world....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Field Trippin' again

In school the kids have been learning about American Indians and stars/constellations, so I figured this was the perfect time to visit our old favorite, the Schiele Museum and Planetarium.  Plus, this is the year we have a family pass to all the zoos and museums, so we have to pack in as many visits as we can!   Plus, we only have one more week of school, and the kids (and I) have been losing momentum.... so it was time to spice things up again.

 The Native Americans exhibit was of particular interest this time, and the kids got up-close and personal with some of them!

Then, after "doing some texting" as Rayna called this activity:
 ... we went outside, where Colsen was finally able to see more live animals.

Then we went exploring down the wooded path...

 ... and the kids were able to play in the water near an old Grist Mill.  Pretty cool.  And pretty!
 Finally, we wrapped up the afternoon with a planetarium show.  I realized none of the kids had ever experienced one before (how is that possible??).  They all thought it was cool....
 .... and I did, too, until 4 minutes into it when Colsen told me he needed to go to the bathroom -- even though he had just gone 10 minutes before.  He continued to ask me if he could go at 5-minute intervals throughout the rest of the show.  
Other than that, it was fascinating.

Another great field trip for Poplar Streams Academy!  (Right, Cole??)

Empty nest

Not MY nest, thankfully, but the one in our backyard is now vacant.  We've enjoyed following the family life of a couple of Eastern Bluebirds who decided to start their family in this little wooden house.

For days we watched the pretty mom and dad fly in and out of the little hole, and a few days later we discovered there were about 5 little blue eggs in there!

On Easter morning the first little one hatched... and after being tended to by a few other random birds (still a mystery to me), the little baby was joined, not only by his parents, by also by a couple of other siblings.

We've all enjoyed watching the little guys grow....  but while we were at the beach, the time must have come for them to stretch their wings, and the kids (and I) were sad to find that they were gone when we got home.

Now we're keeping our eyes out for some teen-age-looking bluebirds partying around the yard, texting on their little birdphones.  It will be fun to spot bluebirds in the future and wonder if they were our little babies!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Zoo stop

On our way home from the beach, we took a little break (from the very long trip) by going to the zoo!  We met the Meades there (Pete used to live with Sean and his wife before we were married) and it was fun to see all the kids interact a bit, and get a chance to catch up.  As Sean predicted, I took pictures so I could post them here!  So here they are, Sean...

All of our kids thought the animals were fascinating...

...except maybe Strider, who thinks he might be getting a little old for this...

Not all the creatures were caged, though....

It's always nice to go to the zoo, and when there are friends there as well, it's a double blessing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some final beach shots

We went down to the beach one evening to try and get some family pics....

Since I had learned from earlier in the day that trying to get everyone looking at the camera happily is a joke...

...we went with some non-forward-facing shots.  :)

Meanwhile, James was trying to get his family back under control:

Then we got all the crazy kids together...

What a family!