Monday, April 14, 2014

Gigi and Gramps' visit

We had the pleasure of hosting my parents last weekend. What fun we had. Do you want mostly stories or mostly pictures? (PICTURES!) Okay, you got it.
Soren loved having multiple people to drag outside and play ball/blow bubbles/go on walks/smile at the kitty. I loved the break/help! 
Gramps became the official games-with-Zane player and Gigi didn't disappoint in the treats department, including these Easter yummies.
Let's face it, everything was better with Gigi and Gramps around! 
The last evening of their visit, we landed at the botanical gardens around sunset for a leisurely stroll together. What a difference 10 days makes! Spring had arrived, in multiple forms. I tried to keep the posed people pictures to a minimum, so all might have the chance to enjoy the evening. It wasn't all that hard this time, with all the vegetation exploding!
I am blessed with such wonderful parents. Thank you so much for making the exodus to the east!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Twilight thoughts

I happened to walk outside the other night at twilight, to this:
Ahhhh.... and look, the moon:
I've always had a soft place in my heart for the moon.

 I love how the evening light changes things, ever so slightly; the wisdom of the completed day descends, enhancing some parts, blurring others.
More lessons to be learned from nature. 
 And of course Annie and our "family" cat, Oreo. He even made the latest family drawing, you may have noticed. Best non-pet pet ever.
Sigh. Evening.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Annie Stories

Have you noticed the pictures of Annie lately have been missing one little detail?
Here's a before picture, to give you a hint.
Oh that tooth! It hung on for days, even when one half had broken loose and we could see the top of it!
One night, she bit extra hard into a bite of dinner, and started crying. By that point, I had had it with the dang tooth--I reached in, got my thumb nail in between tooth and gum, and yanked. Victory! The tooth was finally out.
Immediately, our happy Annie returned to us. It was as if the demon of the lingering tooth who had taken up residence inside her for the few days prior had finally been ousted, once and for all.
Speaking of Annie, she's continued her beloved family drawings. Here's the latest, also missing one {small but important} detail:
 Do you need a closer look?
 Since she wanted to hang it on our mantle, for decency's sake I had to ask her: "Annie, did you forget to put pants on Pops?"
Many giggles ensued. Oops, sorry about that Pops, she said, then corrected the misstep.
Phew! Speaking of Pops, he won an outstanding teaching award at work last month. I took a sneaky picture. Glad he remembered pants!

Friday, April 4, 2014


That's the name of Zane's pinewood derby car this year. He and his pops came home from the cutting-out-the-wood night with what appeared to me to be a big whale. After a bit of a let down ("that's not what we meant for it to look like, mom!") Zane decided to add some shark's teeth from our Gainesville creek-panning and a dinosaur and voila! Extinction was born.
Bless the men in my family's hearts, they don't make the fastest derby cars. I think they both sensed the inevitable outcome (plus B was feeling guilty about most likely being out of town at a conference for the actual event), so together they decided that if Zane lost, we'd all go to Red Bowl (a yummy little Asian food place in town) to celebrate.
The night of the derby came. Brandon showed up in the nick of time (score!), but Zane still placed a solid third (dis!). As he walked past his pops after losing his elimination duel, he whispered, "Looks like we're headed to Red Bowl."
Bribery is so right sometimes.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Walking Adventures

I think spring has finally busted out here in SC, with temps jumping into the 80s this afternoon. I could not be more thrilled. The idea of not shivering whenever I step outside makes me finally want to, well, spend time outside. My older children complained about how hot it was today. But Soren's all about the outside time. He's been pushed around this neighborhood in the BOB for months now, and he's ready to explore--on foot!
 Sure, he's happy to play in the yard for awhile. But then he sneaks closer to the road and I can tell he's ready to make a move. Lately, instead of pulling him back to the safety of our driveway and yard over and over, I've just been following him up or down the street...and beyond.
 Once given the okay to explore, he RUNS.  Arms outstretched behind him like he's taking off into flight, he pitter patter pitter patters, looks back to make sure I'm still coming along, then pitter patters once again. Unless a car is coming, at which point he beelines it back to me, then waves until the car passes and all is quiet again. Then he's off and running. Today he led Annie and me down the street, through the nature path, up the big hill, and onto school property (about a half mile away), all the while grunting and pointing at important things along the journey.
Once on the path behind the school, he played his new game (chuck the hat, retrieve the hat, repeat) until we reached the playground.
Oh, the playground. The promised land.
 And that, dear readers, is when this little guy ran out of steam. Climbed and slid until it all. slowed. down. and. he. got. very. tired. 
Trying to get him to walk by himself on our way back home got harder,
 and harder,
 and harder.
I'm hopeful all this walking will finally be what gets him to sleep through the night regularly. You hope too, ok?