Last of Many

Last night was Nicholas' last t-ball game. When asked how he felt that t-ball was over he said matter o factly, "Oh it's not over because I will play again next summer."

He proceeded to ask, "What did people in the crowd say when they saw my big hit?"   The "crowd"?!

After making it to first base, he yelled on base,  "Hey mom, tell Pud I hit a home run!"

Needless to say, we don't suffer from lack of confidence in the least...he purely and thouroughly loves the game.

 So here's to the last of many more!!!


Officially one of the Pack

I guess Avila thinks that since she turned 1 all of 5 days ago that she is officially part of the pack.

She entered the line up for the slide like she knew exactly what was going on...learned how to climb up and slide down in about an hour. Now, she's a pro. 

She even felt she could get in line and start pushing people around.

 Gloating over her new accomplishment. Omg and I see so much Andrew in this face!!
 After climbing up, she usually sits on top of her perch for awhile before sliding down, love love watching her.


My "Somebody"

I first saw it coming about 3 months ago...the anticipation of your 1st birthday. It is always sureal, the fact the year could pass by so fast, and blink you are 1.

How can something seem so long ago and then like yesterday at the same time? Time is fascinating and mind boggeling. This picture seems like two years ago. We were at a friend's 30th birthday party and my contractions were getting really strong so we had to leave early. Parting shot...

Exciting to get my epidural early....if only it hadn't worked only on one side! That was fun.

I never posted pictures of Avila's birth because they were "lost" until a few months ago. Thank you Anna for taking them!

Pure Joy...life passes so fast. My little Somebody...

I remember I couldn't believe you were a girl because I was convinced for 9 months you were a boy - we even called you "Little Will".  But of course, we were instantly in awe of you.

You were born on Father's Day so I let Dad pick out your name. Of course, He went with my favorite, Avila Maria.

You knew what you were doing and ate right away...haven't changed much in that regard ;)

And now look at you! At 1 year, you still don't have any teeth and took four steps on your birthday. You blow when I say "hot" and you can sign for "please" and wave "hi"...I love watching you do this!!

You learn things quickly...you know how to scale up and down the step after I howed you how just once. You love to dance and rock when someone sings.

And you are the ultimate scavenger...you found gold fish in the pool bag and helped yourself to them. The other day I found you in a bag of fresh picked apricots.

I found this pink tutu at a garage sale and added some ribbon to it and then found matching slippers for a $1. It made for a fun 1st Birthday outfit ;)

We had a pretty free week this past week so on Monday I decided it would be fun to have a party on Wednesday. Typical impromtu fashion...it was fun to have an excuse for a creative outlet.

We decided to go with a pool party and bbq.
We made party gift bags with an aqua theme: whale goldfish, aqua pals fruit snacks, and sweedish fish were some of the goodies.

Ice Cream Cone cupcakes (my favorite birthday treat I once brought my class in 4th grade- I thought you would thoroughly appreciate them ;)

          Some of your party guests....13 kids (6 were under 1) Made for a loud and crazy party :)

 We look forward to watching you grow! Happy 1st Birthday to my Avila.



 In these feet you will find traces of both you and I, 
 Footprints of eternal souls given to us in time.

With every step you guide them and watch them as they grow,
You are their father, their protector, and their hero.

They will dance on top of your shoes and follow your lead
a path of selfless sacrifice is one they will see.
Eventually they will walk miles out on their own
But for now, they run to you when you come home.
As the days go by and work begins to slowly pile
Just remember these little feet make it all worthwhile.

Happy Father's Day!



The Tale of Peter Rabbit...Almost

I often hear her saying this story to herself while she is playing, so I asked her to tell it to me...

Measuring Up

If I took take out Mary Poppins tape measure and measure Christiana it would read: Extremely Affectionate, Sometimes Stubborn, and Musically Inclined.

(If I were to do myself, I'm pretty sure Jane's "Often Inclined to Giggles, Doesn't Put Things Away" category would fit me. Shoot. At least I know myself.)

I love this age, they come into their personalities and start to discover the world.

At three and half years, she makes me remember the wonder that the world holds when she is curious about the vegetables growing in our garden, is a master rolly-polly collector, and needs to catch fireflies before she goes to bed.

Often she is found singing while she play with her toys, "Joy of Jesus", "Let's Go Fly a Kite", and "Whole New World" are top 3, but she will sing everything she hears.  Andrew and I love her very affectionate expressions, she loves hugging and snuggling and will burst out while playing, "Oh Jesus I love you!" or "Mom, are you happy to me?" if she senses otherwise.

A few nights ago, I found her trying with determination to push her tricycle wheels and ride. She sat on that driveway for 30 minutes going a backward and forward and finally got it. I love that about her, she keeps trying no matter what. I know I would have gotten mad, given up easily, and fumed away after 10 minutes, but her stubborn side has a wonderful side, and I see it in her will power.

Tonight, at 9p.m. she decided she wanted to get back into the pool, so she shucked her dress and galloped in - purple underwear on backwards and all. Then we ran races in the yard so we could view her tight little buns in running motion.

She doesn't know we love to watch her and that she is teaching me many great lessons.


Sitting Still

Trying to appreciate life in simplicity. I hear so many people complain they are just "so busy" running so and so to this camp and that camp and the other kid to this game and that camp and they are "busier than ever". One acquaintance of mine confessed she tries to fill up the days with tons of activities for her 3 year old in the two days he is not in day care so that he doesn't get bored. She doesn't know what to do at home.

I guess I was raised with a different philosophy. I remember my mom telling us it was good to be bored and she would not put us in a  million activities and run us around like maniacs...ultimately I think we learned how to be creative, to learn how to play and learn how to enjoy each other. I hope I can teach those lessons to my kids at because I believe they hold great value.

Most evenings, as the sun sets we usually sit on the front porch drinking sweet tea (or wine if it's been a long day ;) and watch the kids as they ride their bikes. It takes a hour to water our newly planted bushes and garden, so they ride while we water too.

Maybe there will be summers busier than this one someday, but I am so happy to have our days completely free, filled with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, mowing and fireflies. I'll take things easy and keep breathing in all the warm summer air and make sure I thank God daily for the gift of my home, my children, and the plan he has for our life right now.

 Andrew and I took a bike ride at 10p.m. the other night through town and then decided to race home. We both took 30 minutes to catch our breath and woke up with sore quads. Now we are contemplating running a half marathon to kick us back into shape.

You will find during our summer evenings...
Christiana riding her tricycle, she just learned how to ride it! 

Avila proudly standing by herself, almost taking steps.

Nicholas practicing or playing baseball. Shocker.


Notes with Pudding

She always has a song in her heart. This one is our newest favorite that we get a daily (or sometimes hourly) performance.

I think I should have known that her singing as a baby may lead to something. What is crazy is that both and only videos of her singing are on Memorial weekend. Odd. Coincidence? Maybe all the patriotism brings it out in her.


Animal Watching

We woke up Saturday morning to a beutiful hot summer day and decided over coffee that it was a good day for our annual trip to the zoo. It was sunny and 85 degrees when we arrived at 1p.m. (not worried about missing naps or the heat by any means). All the little people magically faired well.

This year we were lucky to have Bridget and William and Joe and Marci join us, even with such random short notice. We pickniced first and the kids were provided with theatrical entertainment by the lovely Margaret.


We did get to see some amazing animals and our annual favorites are the rhinos, giraffes, and tigers. Of course watching the little animals we happen to own and their delight and amazement is always more fun. They sqealed at the pink flamingos and ooed and awed when the kangaroos jumped. Simple. Pure. Enjoyment.
                                        (please note Margaret's pony tail sprout and her beautiful mother)

I refrained from taking pictures of all the zoo animals because after three years in a row of taking the same pictures of the same animals, the pictures always seems so droll when I get back. (like, wow, there is a picture of a tiger, um...ok... should I put this in the photo album? nah.)

Although, Joe squirted the tiger with a water bottle and it turned to hiss at us showing it's 10 inch fangs...that would have been a good picture had I been ready. So this one will have to suffice.

                I stared equally, if not more, at a little fat hobbit and her feet in the stroller.