Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last month I went to this beach with the girls and Kristi and her girls. This month the girls and I got to go again and show it to Eric & Mom Hanson. It is GORGEOUS. And only minimal sunburns this time. Thank goodness!

We were standing there talking, minding our own business -- when all of the sudden this heron is standing practially RIGHT NEXT TO US. Maybe it was eavesdropping...

This is my favorite shot of the heron. I thought the heron would fly or run(?) away when it realized we were watching it and interested but it just walked away. Very slowly, and very stately. Very cool.

Esther had a blast. She really loves water & the beach although she didn't want to smile for the camera. Maybe she was wishing she had sunglasses.

This makes me want a beach house of my own along the Gulf Coast.

The beach is such a great place to appreciate nature and God's creations and feel closer to them than I can in the city. And I am continually amazed at Eric's photographer's eye. What a great shot.

What else can I say?

He even waved to us!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oma put together a real tea party for the girls when she visited and they adored it!

Look at Autumn's facial expression here. They had talked about proper etiquette at tea parties in days gone by and I think Autumn & Heidi were enthralled.

Look at this spread! Pound cake made in a mini-bundt pan, pink lemonade, cucumbers, and carrots. And notice their place-cards too. SO FUN.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Okay, I don't know if it counts to use baby pictures like these -- but they were at least old enough to be out of the "newborn" stage where babies look so different from later months.

This one works if you're looking at their face shapes.

So I haven't quite figured out who Autumn looks like now. Other than Autumn, of course!

I wouldn't be surprised if Heidi actually thought these were both HER.

I've looked through most of the pictures Mom & Dad have of me growing up, and of my three girls - Esther bears the most resemblance to me.

These are pictures I didn't take time to find matches for. If you click to see it a little closer, you'll see just how much Esther looks like me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This dresser has been in my family for EIGHTEEN years and is finally retiring.

And yes, all those scratch marks -- Rae did that. Not me.
And you laugh thinking, "Yeah, right."
But it's true.
In fact, this dresser was never mine until I left home, had kids, and it was passed it on to me.
It's amazing what you're willing to accept as "furniture" when you're in college.
It still amazes me.

So here's the replacement dresser.
This was an amazing find. I think some neighbors were throwing it out because the bottom drawer was broken (which I fixed for a total of $3.00 -- some wood glue & some nails).

Definitely an improvement, huh?

And since I'm on the subject of thriftiness, here's how I cook things when I have to use more than one large pot. Obviously, my second pot does not have a lid. I wonder if I could find one that would fit. I wonder if it'd be worth it!

In the meantime, I'll just keep chugging along doing what I can to make ends meet. :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Autumn made this in school. I think it's really cool! It's one of my favorites of all the things she's brought home.

The life cycle of a butterfly.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Heh heh. You thought I wasn't COMING BACK didn't ya? Come on, admit it!
Well, sorry to disappoint, but here I go again.
And it's funny, I didn't even have blogger's block.
I have drafts ready to go and even more stuff to unload from the camera.
I just can't get myself to sit at the computer long enough to type up a post.

Heidi loves to collect things and organize them. A girl after my own heart.
Recently I found about HALF A REAM of paper in her room, neatly stacked.
I flipped and after chewing her out for taking so much paper, she informed me that she didn't TAKE any paper. She just kept asking and asking and I kept giving it to her.

She was right.

I got a good laugh out of that one. I thought she was writing and drawing when really she was saving and hoarding paper so that she'd always have some when she needed it.

Reminds me of a certain sister (Maddie) who would get antsy that there wouldn't be enough food for her as NINE people passed around the serving dishes and she saw the food rapidly disappearing. She often wanted a second serving on her plate before her first was even done. Just so she would know it was there. :)

Heidi asked me to tuck these in so she could be like me. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Eric had a lesson to teach while Mom & Dad were visiting, so they (and Heidi) tagged along so they could see some of FSU's campus. I think Opa must've been taking the pictures (so no pictures of Opa...) and this first was actually the last in the group when Eric was done teaching.

This is one two buildings Eric lives in during the school year.
One of these days I'll get a better picture so everyone can see his goatee & mustache close-up.

At first I thought Mom was holding a butterfly in this picture but it's actually just a bottle of hand sanitizer!


So cool - Heidi got to put her feet in the fountain.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Today as I was driving past Autumn's school I noticed that their billboard said,

Our carnival was a great success
Thanks to everyone who came out

Aside from ending a sentence with a preposition (heaven forbid!) -- Everyone's "coming out" at the school carnival. Well. Must've been an interesting carnival.

Maybe it's a southern thing (the grammar usage I mean, not the coming out...).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

If you haven't already seen this at my sister's blog, go here and vote for her friend Lara's photo! She entered into a Mother's Day Photography Contest and I think her photo is THE BEST one there and PERFECTLY captures what I want to think about on Mother's Day. :) And vote soon. The contest ends on the 9th.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Two Fridays ago Esther had her speech evaluation to determine if she needs speech therapy. I am happy to report that she didn't pass! That is, she won't be needing speech therapy. She was really cute during the evaluation. Even since she was born she's been a grunter and she still does it at times. The therapists got such a kick out of her grunting when she was playing with a toy that required more effort than others. She also made it abundantly clear that she would only play with what she wanted to play with. The speech therapist (there were four different therapists there) had a bottle and a baby that she wanted Esther to pretend to feed. Esther looked at the woman and gave her the NASTIEST look EVER. We call it the "stank eye". The therapist about died laughing and said, "It's a good thing there aren't any words to go with that look yet!"

And of course, as kids are KNOWN for doing, she showed us at the evaluation that she doesn't need therapy at all by using a phrase I had never heard her utter until that moment. She couldn't get the zipper to close on the toy bag and threw her hands down saying, "I can't do it!" Uh, yeah...why are we having this evaluation again? That was only the second time I had heard her use more than one word at a time. The first time had only been the day before the evaluation. Talk about timing. Kids just seem to know when to kick it up a notch. As if to say, "What? You think I can't talk? I'll show you!"

To qualify she needed to have a 25% or greater delay. That would put her at a 16-month speaking level instead of 22-23 months. She actually came close (17 months) but we have already seen so much improvement in the last month alone (and even the past week since she had the evaluation) that we are confident she's doing just fine.

Last month she could say:
plee-plee (please)
bah (ball)

As of today, she can say:
bahl (ball)
not (which is usually combined with "No, not"...)
"peek boo"
"It won't work"
"I can't do it"
"brella" (umbrella)
"Too hard"
"Go home"
"Go in"

And most of the new ones have come in the last week.
She's just exploding with new words!

When we filled out the paperwork a month ago for her evaluation, she could say so little. In the past month she has added so many words and babbles more too. We wondered if she was simply a late bloomer and it looks like she is!

(And on a sidenote, I know that these pictures are all quite similar but they're all too cute for me to cut even one out. She was playing "Peek-a-boo" with me. She would face then wall and then quickly turn around and just beam at me! And her smile is SO much like mine was as a little girl. One of these days I'll have to put up some pictures to compare.)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's funny to look back over the years and remember all the different things I've brought to church to keep our girls occupied. I remember having a huge bag, lots of snacks, and a drink. This is what we bring now. This is it. This is all it takes to entertain Esther for sacrament meeting. (Plus a sippy with water and two snacks - and amazingly, she doesn't usually eat the snacks!)

And see how there isn't any paper to go with the Color Wonder markers? They're old & dried out and she just loves to open and close them as well as put the lids on her fingers. We put the necklaces in that container and take them back out, she puts bracelets on one of my wrists, pulls them off and puts them on the other wrist, we put pennies or nickles in the mini-tupperware key chain. We put everything in the bag and take it out again. She's so easy to entertain!

Honestly though, I think Autumn & Heidi were also this easy - I just didn't know they were! I didn't even think to try keeping them busy in these ways. So this is what we bring for Esther and then we bring paper & writing utensils for Autumn & Heidi. That's it (And no snacks for Autumn & Heidi. We've been trying a new policy. Once they're out of nursery, no snacks during sacrament meeting. We did it with Heidi and it worked out great.) And nobody gets any of their stuff until after the sacrament has been passed. It's so exciting to me that this works!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We have been having family scripture study regularly for quite some time now and it is SO CUTE to see that Esther knows the drill. She gets her scriptures, she sits down, and she starts flipping through the pages. CUTE!!!

And most nights, this is how they sit!

Tea for Two

Tea for Two
(although it's not tea, and it's for three)

The girls have had tea parties three days in a row now. Heidi anxiously awaits Autumns return from school and then they have a tea party along with their snack. It's been awhile since they've been excited about carrots but they seem to eat anything I'll give them if it's part of their tea party.
Time to go buy some more veggies.