Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Maxwell at the Beach

Along with just being downright cute in the sand in his swim trunks...

Max did a whole lot of MeToo-ing on our recent lake beach trip. He did the sandcastle with Kane and buried Bella in the sand with Papa. He also had to be buried in the sand just like his big brother. That is a kind of trend for him.

He also had to do the crocodile walk just like Bella, which made for some cute pictures.

The rest of his time was spent just being two and having fun in the sand. Fortunately for me, his swim trunks are a tad on the loose side, which made for some great half-mast pictures.

Unfortunately for him, he will have to live with these for the rest of his life, including having them passed on to future wife and kids, hopefully. But, that's a right of passage that most of us have, the embarrassing pictures revealed...

The car ride home left him too tired to last, and chewing on his BiBi was enough repetitive motion to seal the deal and make those droopy eyelids give up the fight.

All in all, it was a successfully exhausting day for him. Nothing beats a sandy, sleepy little boy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kane at the Beach

Kane's recipe for a fun day at our local lake beach is simple. Start with toe digging. There's nothing much better than for a boy to dig his toes in the sand on a hot summer day.

Spend plenty of time working on a sand castle. Sand castle architecture is an important skill to develop. Study this picture closely for the proper face to make when building a sand castle. I believe all three are showing the proper pursing of the lips and furrowing of the brow.
And of course, one must get buried in the sand at least up to the knees.

Now, once buried in the sand, one must lean as far back as one can for full effect.

Next, lean forward as far as you can, being careful not to fall on your face. This could result in hysterical laughter, so be ware.

Finally, wrap up in your towel, eat and relax, lounging on your Papa's legs.

This recipe is sure to bring relaxed happiness and lead to early bedtime and a good night's sleep. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bella at the Beach

We try to spend our weekends around here living life to the fullest. The last few weekends have been packed full of summer fun. Two weeks ago, Adam decided, as the rain storms were coming to the end in the evening, that we should spend what was left of the day at the Wolf Run State Park lake beach. Sounded good to me, so I threw together some beans and taco sauce, put some chips in a bag, and we put the kids and our makeshift dinner in the car. It was a wonderfully exhausting evening. The rain was just stopping as we arrived, but if it hadn't been it wouldn't have stopped us. The only difference would have been that I wouldn't have captured such great images. With the luck I've had lately with my lenses (my 28-135 dropped and returned fixed only to bust my wonderful 50mm), I definitely would NOT have taken it out in the rain. I have so many great images that I'm breaking this fun weekend down into posts per child.

Bella had fun in the water and in the sand. She made some new friends and was off immediately, but eventually we coaxed her back for time with the family. She had some things to say about that...

But once I got her posing for some pics she was fine.

She's my long and lanky girl, all sprawling arms and legs, just like I was as a girl.

She practiced her "diving" skills.

And she got buried in the sand, which was so totally fun.
The escape is half of that fun, though.

The older she gets, the harder it will be to coax her into spending time with us. She always wants to go off and make new friends, to find someone new and more fun than us. But I know that with all of that time spent looking away from us for fun, there will come a day when she will want to come home, because we take times like these to make her stick around and strengthen those family bonds that will forever tie her to us. That's what a family is for.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Mom

My Mom turns ** today. In those ** years, she has done so much for so many people. (Get your tissues ready, Mom) But for me... She has nurtured me, fed me, taught me, loved me, held me, rocked me to sleep until I was too big to carry back to bed, and kissed too many boo-boos to imagine. She has stuck up for me, protected me, believed in me, let me err, and in so many ways molded me into the woman I am today. When people find out about the rebel I was as a teen, they ask how that turned into the well-rounded mother I am today. My answer to that is my beautiful mother, who taught me what it was to love and be loved. Thank you, Mom, for all those times I didn't realize what it was you were giving me, and for all you had to put up with from me. I love you. Have a happy birthday, and do a little something for yourself today. You deserve it and so much more.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Scream, You Scream...

They all screamed for ice cream sundays on the deck! And since they are so good, I gave it to them!
There was loads of finger licking.

And wrist licking. To be honest, there was knee licking, too, but I missed that pic, and Max is now refusing to redo so I can take a picture of what I miss. Bummer.

Yum, yum, yummy.

Pap's strawberries were thawed as an addition to the Pamela's chocolate chip cookies to make a true ice cream sunday, and Kane found a nice big chunk.

Bella made sure she got every last drop.

Max, well, he was Max, and he stuck his hand down in the sticky, melted ice cream and ate it off of his fingers. While naked, or course, with a face covered in marker. That's my boy.

And Laini hung out being cute.
That is her job, after all, because it makes us all happy.

Summer Thunderstorms

I absolutely love thunderstorms. As a child, I used to sit on our back porch swing and watch the thunderstorms roll in with my mom and dad. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories. So this time of year is extra dear to me, because I love a good summer thunderstorm. There is one heading our way right now. As I type I can see the lightning lighting up the sky out of my back doors. Who needs a white noise machine when you can fall asleep to the sound of rolling thunder and falling rain? Summer naps during an afternoon thunderstorm just can't be beat. 

My kids are not afraid of thunderstorms. Sometimes they are intimidated if the thunder is really loud, but we love to sit and watch the rain and count the seconds between lightning and thunder to tell how far away the lightning is. This summer, one of our favorite parts about afternoon thunderstorms is playing in the water in our backyard before it soaks into the ground. We stick on our boots and head out for a quick inspection of the garden, because that wonderful rain is doing so much for it.

Then we head behind the garden in the back of our yard, which is where the water all collects and slowly but surely runs out of the drainage pipe. Not before we get a good bit of running and kicking in, though.

Of course, eventually the boots come off, because they are absolutely filled with water.

On this particular day, before the rain water drained away, the kids decided they would be rice farmers, and got out their rakes and hoes to take care of their rice paddy. If only we could put in a rice paddy in the backyard. Rice being the only grain Bella can have, we go through enough.

They worked diligently to remove all of the weeds from their rice paddy. And I enjoyed some time in amazement at my childrens' imaginations. Now these will be some of my fondest memories of thunderstorms when I'm old. And hopefully they'll sit around reminiscing about when Mama let them play in the rain water after thunderstorms, telling their kids as they count seconds between lightning and thunder and get their rain boots ready for some summer fun.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sweet Restoration

We spent a wonderful Sunday last weekend with some friends at their beautifully secluded house in West Virginia. The kids had so much fun playing in the creek that runs by the house.

Okay, we ALL had fun, not just the kids. But the kids are the only ones that I have pictures of having fun. Max threw a LOT of rocks.

And did a lot of playing with Spencer, our host.

Kane tried to catch fish.

He also did a lot of running with Spencer.

Helena even cooled her feet off. She was happily entranced by the water.

She also met a new friend, Riley.

Bella, along with all the playing, spent some time relaxing with Laini.

At the end of the day, Spencer was kind enough to share his tractor with Maxwell.

And I couldn't think of a better end to a wonderful day than a relaxing nurse in the hammock.

It was our kind of restorative, wet and dirty, country day.