"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 on Tuesday!

This is my first "10 on Tuesday" blog post. There are other similar formats (Wordless Wednesday, 5 on Friday...) that I'll probably try soon as well. It's a little more formatted than I like to be, but the reality is that we have so much going on right now that I'm just not taking the time to blog at all, and that makes me sad! I write this blog partly just as a fun outlet for myself because I enjoy this form of self expression, but also as a bit of a catch-all alternative to baby books for the girls -- documenting what's going on in our lives, the cute things they say and do, milestones they're hitting. There are several awesome websites that will turn your blog into a book, and doing that has been on my list for at least a year (don't judge me!), so eventually I picture having this cute row of "blog books" on the bookshelf. Then when my girls are teenagers, they will love to curl up on a rainy day and pour over the books, with frequent exclamations of, "Mum, you are such a beautiful, accomplished, intelligent woman, and I can see that you were in your mid-twenties as well! And you gave me such a wonderful childhood! And you are such a good writer! And thank you from the bottom of my heart for cultivating my deep appreciation for the wonders of coffee!" Yes...it will be a beautiful thing. ;-)

Anyway, it's more important to me to write about all the amazing moments these girls create in our lives before I forget about the moments altogether, than to do so in whatever free-spirited format I prefer, so 10 on Tuesday it is for now.

1) We did family pictures this evening with my friend Holly, who also happens to be my very favorite photographer! Bethany lost it partway through (it's her tradition -- lovely tradition, right?), but got herself collected again, and the whole thing went way better than last year, I thought. It helps that the girls love their Auntie Holly and definitely listen and cooperate pretty well with her. She had all sorts of fun poses and ideas for us, and I can't wait to see every single one, and I just love this one she put up already tonight as a mini sneak peek for us...
2) Here's a sign of how much our busy-ness has had me slacking on blogging lately -- Ashley and Hannah started dance lessons two weeks ago and I haven't even mentioned it on here! Tomorrow will be their third class, and they are both just loving it. They started out in the same class, but Ashley was moved up last week (cue proud mummy moment -- my child was advanced!) to the harder class right after Hannah's. So now we are there for an hour and a half instead of 45 minutes, and Bethany seriously deserves a cookie or something for being completely sweet about it. (Except I don't have any cookies, so don't tell her I said that.)

3) Speaking of Bethany, she's been getting creative with her prayers at bedtime lately, and I love it so much. Tonight it was, "Thank you God for yummy food, and a nice day, and chalk, and Mummy, and making me, and for beautiful butterflies." Pretty much every time I look at that girl I want to just grab her up and squeeze her and never let go.

4) This morning the girls spent over an hour drawing each other "treasure maps", which inevitably required a LOT of decoding, which usually devolved into fits of giggles as they tried to explain what they had drawn. Some of their destinations included a children's museum, an alligator house (don't ask, I have no idea), Grandma's house, and a forest that seemed to be populated by very loud, growling bears. When I asked what the treasure was, they said that it was invisible and I couldn't see it because I'm not a little girl anymore. (Thanks for rubbing it in, girls!)

5) Snippet from last night's dinner conversation... Hannah: "Mummy, what is 'fortitude'?" Bethany: "I have fortitude!"

6) If you are friends with me on facebook, then you might know that I'm currently rehearsing with the fabulous cast of a fabulous play that is opening in less than two weeks -- eek! It's been a last minute, whirlwind thing, very draining for my incredibly patient husband and girlies, but so very much fun for me. The play is a murder mystery farce, absolutely hilarious, and I am just loving it. This week it is completely taking over our lives, with five rehearsals in seven days -- thankfully we are almost there. I'll probably throw some better pictures up here in the next few weeks, but here's one from rehearsal last week -- can you see in our eyes that we are freaking out because we're not allowed to have our scripts on stage anymore and we don't know all of our lines yet?!?! Ahem.

7) Lamont is downstairs playing beautiful music while I type (practicing for his band and also for a youth rally he's playing for next month). I used to think, when I was a teenager, that I would definitely marry someone who would sing with me and to me all the time...but marrying a man who lives and breathes beautiful music on so many different instruments, and always makes it seem so effortless...that's working out pretty well for me!

8) If anyone has zucchini taking over their lives, I would be happy to take some off your hands! It's funny, usually it seems like at this time of year there are dozens of people we all know who are begging people to take zucchinis from them, but this year not so much -- I'm a shameless mooch and I want your zucchinis, people. ;-)

9) In a similar vein, next week will hopefully hold some serious fruit dehydrating and applesauce making for me and the girls. The girls are looking forward to it...I'm just kind of looking forward to it being done!

10) I'm back "in school" -- taking another online class. Hopefully an easy one, just a humanities course. I'm still working on pre-reqs and sometimes it feels like I'll be doing it forever. Ashley is endlessly amused by the fact that I do school just like she does! (Which reminds me that there are all kinds of things about their school this year that I want to write about, but since this is number 10, and my husband and Law and Order: SVU are waiting for me, that will have to wait!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hungry goats!

There is a flurry of whispers in the backseat, and suddenly a peal of giggles. I glance into the rearview mirror and watch three sets of sparkling eyes turn toward me as a cacophony of loud, excited moo-ing begins....

Me: Girls, what are you doing??

Ashley: You have to guess what animal we are!

Me: Ah...you must be cows.

Hannah: Yes, now guess this one! *oink oink*

Me: A pig...

Bethany: Sssssssssssssss! I'm a snake that's tiny like me!

Ashley: Try this one. *cue bizarre strangling type noise*

Me: Oh my goodness, I don't know, what is that one?!

Ashley, patiently: It's a goat eating, of course...


And in other news...LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And then we bathed in paint...

Happy September! So a couple of days ago we were in the throws of weather so hot that the girls and I had to slip off to the park at 8 am, right after breakfast, in order to play for a couple of hours before it hit 90 degrees. And today...today fall was in the air. We had an awesome thunderstorm last night, and I guess it blew in some changes. It was really chilly as the girls and I headed out for a playdate this morning, and as we stopped at Starbucks on our way (hey, we were going to see my friend Holly, whose name means "coffee"...or, well, it should!), it felt like we should be picking up pumpkin spice lattes and going to take autumn pictures of our five kids jumping around in piles of crunchy fallen leaves. I'm still hoping for more lovely summer days before fall is really truly here, but the momentary glimpse into the coming crisp fall mornings was kind of fun.

And this afternoon, my mom superpowers were feeling strong, so I decided we should make a giant mess. Funny, the paints looked so innocent right before we got started...

I'm not sure that Bethany looks one little tiny bit innocent here though!

Here is a beautiful flower, by Ashley:

And pumpkin #1, by Bethany:

Followed by pumpkin #2, by Hannah (see, fall was on everyone's mind today!):

And Ashley's artistic interpretation of the birthday cake she hopes I'll make for her next month:

The finished paint-laden masterpieces!

And I really, really wish I could show you a picture of how equally paint-laden my children were at the end of all this, but they were (thankfully!) not dressed, so the picture stays offline. But...there was a lot of soap and water involved in the clean up process. A LOT of soap and water. ;-)