Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits...

For those of you who use this blog to stay informed on our lives since I don't write e-mail as much anymore...well, here's what's going on:

*Sarah is off to Padilla Bay in Skagit County for a field trip. Thankfully she feels well enough - she's been fighting the sore throat/cough/cold/sinus headache thing for over a week now.

*Bethany is VIP in her class this week! I'm trying to convince her to play her violin for her class. She's just not sure.

*Becca had a dentist appointment yesterday and did GREAT! Her adult teeth are moving in like crazy - she just lost her first baby tooth and there are 3 more slightly loose ones. Looks like "two front teeth" will be on her birthday list!

*Elise also had a dentist appointment yesterday - her first! She followed her big sister's example and did a really good job. But now...she is sick. Cough, fever, a other stuff you don't really want to know about...

*My parents are off to Grand Rapids this weekend to visit my brother & sister-in-law and their new baby Elias. That means I teach for my mom on Friday & Monday! Should be fun...but I really hope none of my girls are still sick on Friday. Ed does not want to take a sick day to take care of them! I'm jealous of my folks going to visit R&J&E...but it'll be so nice for them to have some time to focus on Randy & Jen and Elias and for Randy & Jen to let Mom & Dad help them out for a few days. Plus, I have so much GEMS stuff right now that I can't imagine being gone for a few days...

*Ed's having fun at work right now - new project that he's working on with Bradley. He always loves to have something stimulating to work on and someone to work on it with. I always forget what a "creative" job he has...sure, it uses a technical computer language, but they have to be very creative to think of new things that a computer program can do and figure out how to make it do that without frustrating the user. Amazing.

And because a post without pictures is boring...

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Love Fall!

Okay, I know that a lot of people don't like fall for many reasons...mainly because it leads into winter...but I am NOT one of those people! Fall is definitely my favorite season. Maybe it's the back to school thing...I've always been a sucker for new crayons and pens. Maybe it's the warm sweaters and good smells. It's DEFINITELY that a white chocolate brown sugar cinnamon mocha from Woods tastes doubly good on a rainy morning as I have coffee with a friend. Fall means Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, which mean lots of family time, and hopefully games of Settlers. Fall is just GOOD. We've been having some beautiful fall weather the last few days...cool, crisp mornings with a bit of fog, giving way to the warmth of the sun in the afternoon...a chance for the colors of fall to show off the glory of their Creator.

Some of my favorites from our "young" yard are:

Every day, find the beauty in the season around you, even when the rain, wind, and cold arrives.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Two sides to every coin

Yesterday was kind of a crazy day. My friend Dee & I had coffee after dropping off our two preschoolers. Then I had to get going to run some errands for my GEMS Counselor Retreat tonight. She offered to take Elise with her, but I said that she could better help by picking up Becca from preschool so that I could have an extra half hour running errands. Thankfully that worked with her and I got all my important Bellingham errands done. Elise had about 16 tantrums while we were running errands (though not the throw-myself-on-the-floor kind as in the previous post), but I had to forgive her later on in the afternoon. She's beginning to not need naps every day, but was watching a movie for some quiet time...and fell asleep on the couch.

Is this pure sweetness or what?

All curled up like a little cuddle bug on the pillow.

I just couldn't resist snapping lots of pictures of that precious face!

All those tantrums must have really worn her out...

More craziness continued through the afternoon as we picked up Bethany, picked up Becca, ran an errand, brought Bethany to music, got groceries, picked up Bethany, met Sarah at home after art class, made dinner, helped everyone with homework and piano and violin and flute and baths, cleaned up dinner and the house, and prepared more for my GEMS retreat tonight. But hey - everyone sleeps well!
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

If a two-year-old lives at your house...

If a two-year-old lives at your house, you might eventually have to tell her "No".

And if you tell a two-year-old "no", she's probably going to throw a temper tantrum.

And if she throws a temper tantrum, her parents will typically ignore her.

Except for sometimes when the tantrum is just soooo outrageously FAKE, then her parents might laugh and take pictures instead.

If her parents take pictures, that two-year-old just might stop the tantrum to find out what is going on.

And if she stops the tantrum,

...then the noise is gone!

If the noise and the tantrum are gone, the two-year-old is probably going to demand to have her picture taken "AGAIN" so she can "SEE IT" on the screen on the digitial camera.

And after she sees the pictures of herself having a tantrum on the camera, she just might go try to renact the tantrum again...

And you know what happens when a two-year-old has a fake tantrum....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Thirty-four years ago today, at 4:19 pm, I was born. My mom had a starring role in that event, so I suppose it isn't too surprising that I’ve been thinking about her more than usual today.

Thanks for giving birth to me, Mom. And for taking such great care of me. I love you and miss you.

(It’s subtle, so I should clarify – this post was written by Ed, the guy of five girls. Maybe I’ll continue to pipe in from time to time; you can always check who it was “Posted by” to be sure. Thanks for sharing your blog with me, honey!)

A Lost Tooth!

Rebecca Lily Ball lost her very first baby tooth last night (Sept. 22)!!! It has been loose for quite a while, and the grown-up tooth was coming in *behind* it, which was pretty painful for a while. The dentist says that the grown-up tooth should move forward gradually, so we'll hope it does.

When I came home from GEMS last night, she was STILL AWAKE because her loose tooth was bothering her so much. I was tucking her into bed, trying to calm her down, and asked her if she'd like me to try to pull it out. She asked "How do you do that?" and I told her I'd get a cold, wet washcloth and grab the tooth with that around my fingers and just pull. She looked like she was pondering that for a minute, then stuck her tongue through her lips, reached up with her fingers, and calmly took her tooth out of her mouth! She pushed and pulled it right out herself!
It was perfect timing since today was a preschool day and she could show off her "window" to all her friends and teacher at preschool. She even got a dollar bill from the tooth fairy that she could bring for show & tell, which worked out wonderfully since the assignment was to bring something shaped like a rectangle. I wonder how the tooth fairy knew that?

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Becca the Soccer Star!

Becca was supposed to do a soccer camp through the YMCA in August before school started. But it was cancelled...not enough kids! Go figure. It was good, though, because it poured down rain that entire week, anyway. But, she was very disappointed, so we found this Rookie Soccer Skills Clinic that the Y was doing for 4-5 year olds on Monday & Wednesday afternoons for two weeks. I figured I could handle 4 days of soccer amidst the busyness of the school year. She is LOVING it so far. And she's not bad, either! She tends to kick mostly with her right leg - still has a weaker left leg from the juvenile arthritis - but she runs like crazy! It just feels so good to watch her out there running and not be in pain - what a difference from last year! We're so thankful for her improved health.

Here is her class doing stretches at the beginning.

Coach Erika giving instructions

Mass chaos

The goal here is to get the ball close to the cone, kick the ball, and knock the cone over. Becca loves this game!

This is Becca with her friend Emma, who was in her preschool class last year and is again this year!


Go Becca!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grandpa Freeman's visit

This past weekend Ed's step-dad Erik was here for a visit. We loved having him and the girls LOVED hanging out with Grandpa Freeman! He left yesterday, but we can now all enjoy looking at the pictures of all the fun we had together. If you'd like to read more about the trip and look at pictures, click here and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fun in the Sun!

We've been having this incredibly gorgeous weather here in Western Washington for the last couple of weeks. The little girls have been outside continually and the big girls have been out there whenever school/homework/music permits. Here are some pictures of Elise & Becca hanging out on the swings together. I just couldn't resist taking the photos since they were being so sweet to each other. I have a video of them hanging on to each other's swings and giggling like crazy, but Ed has to do some magic to it in order for it to fit here on my blog...then hopefully I'll get around to posting it. :)

And yes, that's a ballerina outfit Elise is wearing...they were playing dress-up and then suddenly, they were outside and the little leotard and tutu stayed on and Miss Elise of course wanted them to stay on indefinitely.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our finished walkway!

With Erik here visiting (more details and photos on that later) we were able to do a project that we had been wanting to do, but hadn't really known how to get started...putting in pavers on the walkway underneath our beautiful arbor! On Friday we picked out pavers (which was itself a project) and figured out the pattern of the pavers and bought the pavers. On Saturday Erik dug out sod and everyone helped put river sand into buckets, which Erik & Ed carried back from the river. Ed & Erik worked on leveling and putting in the wood on the sides. Today I laid out the pattern for the pavers and helped Erik lay them in. It was a challenge getting the gate not to drag, so Erik had to raise it up a bit and bang on the pavers to get it all square and tight and level, but it turned out great! Then Erik put on sand and watered it down a few times to set the pavers and fill in the cracks. And now it is done!!! Well, we have to do sand and water again in a couple days after it settles, but it is functional and beautiful! Thanks for your help, Erik!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Hike

On Labor Day we headed up to Mt. Baker, to walk around the Bagley Lakes area and also to go to Artist Point. Despite the somewhat cool wind and partly cloudy skies, we made the drive up into the hills with my parents right after lunch. When we arrived it was pretty chilly, but once we got moving on our hike, everyone was fine. We even had a respite when the sun came out and warmed us all while we messed around on the rocks by the creek near the Bagley Lakes and the Fire & Ice Interpretive Trail. By the time we headed up to Artist Point, however, everything was pretty socked in and there was no viewing of Mt. Baker or Mt. Shuksan. Too bad. Ed was happy though, because his main goal was to walk on the trail down by the creeks and lake again and that was lots of fun! View pictures here.
P.S. Notice that Picasa web albums have been updated - for those of you who use it. Looks like there are some new and powerful features to try out! :)