Monday, August 31, 2009


Liam took a superhero class through the YMCA this month. They swam, did obstacle courses, and went rock climbing. As you can see, he had a lot of fun!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

new tricks!

Ethan has had a busy couple of weeks learning new tricks!

He learned to sit on his car and push it forward and back by himself.

Then he learned to climb on top of it and balance with no hands (couldn't quite get that shot). So now the car is in the garage so he doesn't break any bones when the car rolls out from under him.

He thinks it's hilarious to hit anything and everything (and everyone!) with the boomwhackers. It's hard to tell him no because he does it with this big smile and a low growl and then toddles off to his next victim.

He loves to sit on the bottom step. I remember all the kids loved this spot.

He climbs on the kids desk chairs to look out the window.

And makes this mess of my Real Simple magazines in about one minute flat. I picked them up once and now they're in the garage.

And the slide - the slide! He's a pro!

Ethan's doing his part to ensure that there is never a dull moment in this house!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

another sign...

...that my baby days are over. My mom gave me this stack of books back when I was pregnant with Audrey. Today I took them off my overflowing bookshelf and put them in a bag to give back to her. Sigh...

Monday, August 24, 2009

half birthdays

We do a little tiny celebration for half-birthdays (which my husband thinks is nuts, by the way!). For Liam's we made ice cream sundaes, and today for Audrey's she got to go to Haggen and pick out an ice cream snack. She thoughtfully took her brother's preferences into account when making her selection and they each picked out one of those tiny containers of Ben & Jerry's. We're walking back to the car - she's skipping along swinging her bag of goodies - and loudly exclaims, "Now let's get home and get this ice cream in our bellies and then into the toilet!"


Friday, August 21, 2009

the first week

Well - our first week of school is almost over. It's had its ups and downs and has required even more of my time than I had thought it would - but it has gone even better than I could have imagined.

There have been chaotic times. Like this morning when Ethan was crying and "hitting" me with a Boomwhacker (thanks again Courtney for these fun toys!) trying to get my attention while I'm reading to the big kids. And just for the record, reading aloud to the kids is the ONLY thing I try to accomplish while Ethan is awake. I think it's reasonable to expect him to play by himself for 20-30 minutes in the playroom while we're in there with him....just not playing with him. We'll obviously need to keep working on this one!

There have been glorious times. Like when the big kids and I spent an entire hour doing an overview of the animal kingdom and classifying various animals into their appropriate categories. Both kids were involved and enthusiastic...ahhh, beautiful. Or this morning as we all snuggled up on the playroom floor to listen to the CD version of the Story of the World history lesson we've been working on all week. Or learning about archeology and then watching a video of an actual dig online and Audrey declaring that this is what she wants to do someday. These were good times.

There have been frustrating times. Like Liam arguing with me for 10 minutes about reading ONE book. (I'm still not entirely sure how much I want to push him this year, but also don't want to set a bad precedent about who's in charge here!) He finally read the one and then he insisted on doing two more. Now repeat that same scenario 5x's and you'll have a glimpse into some of my week!

Oh - and Ethan decided this would be a good week to learn to climb. Everything! Just to add a little more fun into the mix! And we're having a few issues with our house that need resolution and have required lots of phone calls and appointments. And we have a long crazy to-do list for the weekend. And my husband has worked late most nights this week. So yes, I've had moments of feeling totally overwhelmed. But then Audrey handed me a note yesterday that read, "I love school and I love you." Ahhh - that was a gift for my weary soul!

So overall - I am feeling BLESSED. In the midst of the chaos - I'm completely sure this is exactly where God wants me to be. And it's okay to feel this tired when you're sure about that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

first day of school!

It's finally here! Our first day of school! Audrey LOVES history - her favorite so far. And Liam read me three Bob books. Way more than I expected but he just kept asking for more. We're off and running!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

heritage flight museum

We spent a fun afternoon at the Heritage Flight Museum seeing some amazing planes. Patrick and the kids even got to walk through a B17 - and then we got to watch it take off. Really makes you admire the guys who fought in those planes. Amazing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

little trooper

We found out at Liam's eye doctor appointment last week that we need to start patching him again. Two hours a day. I was a little nervous about it. We haven't had to patch since he was two. But we started today and he did great. I've got fun patches for him to pick from, and he picked a couple M&M's as a reward when his time was up. It helps that he can tell time. He can look at the clock and know how much time is left. What a little trooper!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

school preparation

We are starting school on Monday. Yep - this Monday. And we are so excited. Most of my supplies for the year were purchased locally at Launching Success, but the last few have trickled in via the mail this week and Audrey nearly jumps out of her pants each time we get something new. She cannot wait to begin. I'm very excited too. I love to PLAN - so I've had a great time getting lesson plans ready to go and requesting books from the library to go with our topics for the first few weeks. Still have a few final things to do - but otherwise we're ready to go!

I read a book this summer called The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education and it was exactly what we've been looking for with our homeschooling. It's fairly rigorous, but will be so much fun too. Audrey will have a full schedule for first grade: Grammar, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Math, Bible Study, History, Science and Art. And Liam will basically be doing kindergarten work. He'll join us for History and Science - then he requested math work and he wants to learn to read. Sounds good to me!

So we're enjoying our last few days of "summer vacation" and looking forward to a great year ahead!

Monday, August 10, 2009

big boy!

Liam is spending time away from home for THE FIRST TIME this week. He left on Saturday to go stay with Nana and Papa and will be back on Tuesday. Sounds like he's having a ball and doing great. But we miss him, of course. From time to time Audrey will say, "I wish Liam was here with us." Before he left as they were saying goodbye to one another, she took his face in her hands and said, "Now you be sure to call me every night." "Okay," he replied. Such a precious scene almost erases all the arguing I heard between them last week. Almost.

Monday, August 3, 2009

lake chelan!

We just returned from nine wonderful days in Lake Chelan. We started the week with the Dobbs Family Retreat which included boating (thanks to Kelly and Derek for bringing their boat!), ping-pong, Uncle Luke's 30th birthday, and a trip to the waterslides. We spent tons of time in Nana and Papa's pool, visited GG at the Resort, hung out with friends, and ate lots of yummy food (of course!). The last weekend was filled with activities for Patrick's 20th high school reunion. Busy, busy, busy - but oh so much fun!

Audrey and Liam at the waterslides.

Abe and Ethan having lunch together.

Picking blueberries with Papa to go with our morning cereal.

Making bead neclaces with Aunt Stefani.

Tubing on Uncle Derek and Aunt Kelly's boat.

Celebrating Uncle Luke's birthday.

Ethan's first time in the pool. He loved it!