26 July 2010

Water, Sand, and Towels, Oh My!

I feel like all I've been doing lately is washing, folding, and dragging these everywhere (and repeat):

We've been to so many pools, beaches, lakes, and our own hot tub that it's no wonder my kids look like they have permanent swim suits on. Like this:

And of course the summer is nowhere near over. We still have lots of water activities planned and I'm sure ones will come up that we didn't have planned. But this is what summer is all about, right?

25 July 2010

Stick in the eye

Collette, while playing outside yesterday, got a stick in her eye. I don't really know how it happened, but found her curled up on the couch upset from the experience.

She seemed to regain her cheerful attitude soon thereafter. But, she's left with the mark in her eye. Bummer.

21 July 2010

Gizdich Ranch

Last Saturday we went down to Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville with our family. The kids had so much fun and Joel and I enjoyed watching the kids have so much fun! We also enjoyed a tasty berry pie at the end of the day, too! But I just learned how to make jam (sorry Mom if you think you've ever taught me previously and I'm saying that I *just* learned but.... really I just learned) and I wanted some fruit to use that isn't going to kill me in price at the grocery store. Plus, I don't ever recall seeing Olallieberries in the grocery store anytime recently! Anyway, here are some pics of our day down there. I want to go back in the fall and pick apples!

20 July 2010

What else is there?

Isn't this picture the point of summer?? Eating dinner outside with family and after enjoying some ice cream cones while playing? These cousins had a good time tonight!

08 July 2010

The Zoo

I haven't been to the Oakland Zoo in like 10 years or so but I want to take advantage of the fact that we now live a little closer to it and it's half off with our Happy Hollow membership. So we met up with my sister in law and her two kids one day to spend some time running after four kids, counting heads, dashing off to bathrooms, constantly putting hand sanitizer on, counting heads, making up reasons why God made giraffs so tall, stepping on poop in the petting zoo area, counting heads, and all the while reminding them how much fun we're having. Oh, and trying to take some amount of half decent photos. I apologize now for not one time (in the massive lot of 3 photos) getting Lily, a darling little cousin to my kids, in a picture. We do love you, Lily.

Yes, yes... we are in front of the bathrooms- not a great landscape picture but cute enough to make it into the blog :) Lily was in the bathroom and didn't make the shot

Kinda obvious what we're doing here. I have no idea why Lily didn't make this shot...

My kids were amazed by the GINORMOUS bats in the background. A little disappointing for them to learn they are fruit bats and don't suck people's blood late into the night when the moon is full.

07 July 2010

A glimpse into the future

Sometimes Ben doesn't nap until late in the day. And as many of you parents have experienced, there's always a struggle of either letting them nap late, and then being up late into that coveted time you have without children, or pushing them to stay awake and having a terrorizing child on your hands for a few hours at the end of the day. Neither are great choices or usually great outcomes but it's what happens while they are trying to outgrow naps.

The other day, I opted for the late nap and prepared myself for a late night of Ben awake with Joel and me. Around the time I found fitting for Ben to wake up (he will easily still sleep 3 hours so I try to stop him around 2) I opened up the door to his room and started to vacuum in the kitchen hoping it would help rouse him. When I opened the door, I saw him there sleeping sweetly and felt a tinge of guilt but was not too deterred. I left to vacuum. I returned when I was done and didn't see Ben anymore. See exhibit A:

Then I realized (after looking around the house a bit) that there was a tiny bit of head showing through. So I came in for a closer look and sure enough, I found this:

Yes! My son is there! Buzz lightyear and all!

It just made me laugh and think about the future. How he'll be as a teenager when I say it's time to get up for seminary-- if he's already this good at burying down in the covers when sounds that should arose him, but really just allow for deeper sleep farther under the covers.

06 July 2010

3 years down!

May and June are busy months for us. Three of our four children have birthdays and so it's a lot of parties and of lot of blog posts :) But then we've got a five month break before Joel and Abigail have theirs.

So I'm here to rejoice in our son Benjamin, who at the end of June, turned 3. Ben is amazing. He's the one man show at our house so much of the time. He gets out of trouble a lot of times because of his charming smile. However he gets in his fair share of trouble--- the time out chair is no stranger to him. He rivals Gene Simmons with his long tongue. And he is growing so much since his surgery last November. He puts himself to bed almost every nap and bedtime. He loves his sleep. I cannot imagine our lives without Ben (well, maybe when he's throwing a tantrum in Target the thought *might* have crossed my mind).

Enjoy some pictures of Ben over the last three years:

While not my biggest weighing baby, Ben wins for length. He was 22in at birth.

Collette has always taken good care of her baby brothers, even when she was so little herself.

Yes, his eyes have always been that big!! (and there's a hint of him from the beginning always sticking out his tongue)

Such a happy kid

Even though Ben doesn't look like he eats a lot, he does love food

Here's Ben at his second birthday (it was very very small...I had just come home from having Gabriel 3 days before)

Secure in his manhood, Ben has no problems playing with the girls (it doesn't help that he is completely surrounded by girls...hopefully Gabriel won't have these pictures to embarrass him someday)

Just because I had one just like this for Gabriel, I thought I would do the same for Ben--playing with Dad

Happy 3rd Birthday Ben!!! (enjoying chocolate cake with his good friend, Macie)

01 July 2010

Gabriel turns 1

Warning: photo heavy...but for good reason :)

Our baby boy Gabriel has lasted through this family for a whole year so far. We love this little boy who is generally so happy and tries so hard to be big like the other kids. He thinks life is funniest when pestering his brothers and sisters. He loves to refuse to eat in his chair and would rather be outside eating dirt while I'm watering the garden. Here is a look back at his first year.

Here's me waiting for Gabriel to make is debut

And here's what I was waiting on...all 9lbs and 5.2 ounces

Here he is about 8 weeks old in his first photo shoot.

A little later in the summer (maybe around 3 months) he's waiting patiently in his car seat while the big kids swim in a pool

He's got skills...sitting up like a champ--around the end of his 5th month

He's playing with Daddy here around 8 months

I had a good time playing with his hair one day.

He tried to rival Abigail in his walking skills. He took his first steps just days after his 9 month mark. Though he loved to hold onto Mom until about a month ago

While fully walking, without even wanting assitance by this point (11 months,) this is the fate of much of Gabriel's life, to be in the loving arms of his sister.

Here he is at his first birthday party...pretty unaware of why all the people were at the house but happy to play with friends.