Monday, September 29, 2008

a few of Ava's favorite things (part two)

6. "Shake." That is what we call it when we put spinach, water, frozen berries and orange juice in a blender. Ava loves this drink and always has.

7. Reading books. As you can see, she is an advanced reader, Tolkien upside down takes savvy!

8. And Ava loves her new baby.
Ava also loves to give kisses.

9. EATING!!! This girl can pack away the groceries! Here is something she loves a lot: yogurt and berries.

10. Being outside with her brothers! And they are so cute with her.

A few more things that do not fit neatly in the top ten and of which I do not have current pictures include: 1) her bed! She has always been perfectly happy at bedtime and nap time and spends a bit of time in there after sleeping just "hanging out." Many times when I go to get Ava out of bed, she wants to stay in (but have me "hang out" too). 2) Sunday School! Mike and I are teaching the toddler class this year and Ava is such a little helper. The other toddlers are still warming up to the idea and Ava loves to pass out everything (shakers, snack, papers etc.), clean up everything, and tell the others what to do. It is really cute. 3) Me! I think I (momma) am her favorite :).

a few of Ava's favorite things (part one)

Here are some of Ava's current favs in random order:

1. This toy is one of Ava's favorites. I have lots of pictures of her enjoying this toy. It is a bit of a novelty for me to have a child who plays with toys!
Here she is enjoying the same toy with Adia. I could not believe that they played with the same toy for so long together. They are so advanced! :)
And because I didn't get both of their faces in one shot, here is another, with our beautiful friend.

2. Ava loves her older girlfriend Ella who has known Ava since she was a bump in my womb and her younger one Adelia who Ava has known since she was brand new!

3. The swings! We have big windows in our living room and dining room from which a view of the swings can be seen. Several times a day Ava looks out and asks to go swing, no matter the weather.

4. This is obvious, but her nigh-nigh has to be mentioned. She will read this someday!

5. Expressing how she feels...
More Ava favs to come in part two.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

he can bake too!

Luke made cookies all by himself this week.

He used this recipe.

Luke is a good cook. He followed the directions perfectly.

Luke is very diligent at everything he does, careful to get it right.

And get it right he did! They were delicious! Good job Luke!

I would be remiss to not point out that he did have one “helper” who was really not that helpful.

But super cute!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

our daddy, the genius

Every one is so excited that it is difficult to get a good picture.
We are excited because our daddy is so smart! We have been having a problem with our chicken feeder. For some reason our foolish chickens perch on the feeder and allow certain byproducts (not eggs) fall into their food! Gross! Enter Mike's killer invention.
He cut off the bottom of a plastic bird bath we had in a pile to take to the dump and after drilling holes in it, attached it to the top of the feeder. Now if a particularly ridiculous chicken decides to perch and release, the "stuff" will clear the food tray and fall to the ground!

Yay Daddy! You are so smart and we are so thankful for all your hard work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

a first for Luke

I am so proud of Luke. He is doing fabulously with his schoolwork this year.
We recently finished reading The Boxcar Children together and he loved every moment of it. I don't know what it is exactly about this book, but Luke liked it above and beyond other read alouds that we have enjoyed together.
Today, I asked him to narrate the story back to me. Not every detail or part, but to give me an idea of what happens in the beginning, the middle and the end of the book in his own words. After speedily narrating this to me, we wrote it on little "boxcar paper," cut it out, and put it together to form a little book.
Luke is quite proud of the end result and I am really proud of him too. I really enjoyed finding out which parts of the book especially stood out to him (several days after finishing it) and seeing how he put it into words. Here is his narration (completely in his own words) for posterity.

The Boxcar Children is a great story. It is really fun. In the beginning of the boxcar children, they are looking at a bakery window. They go in and Henry, is the oldest and he bought some loaves of bread. There’s four children and their mother and father died so they have to buy lots of loafs of bread to survive. They are in a boxcar because they have no where else to live and if they live in a house, they don’t know where things were. And they found a dump for treasure. And they look for stuff like dishes, pots and Violet found a kettle. At the end of the book there was their grandpa and Henry run a race that had a golden cup with diamonds on it and a thousand dollars. It was a foot race, but he didn’t care he just wanted to run it because it was fun. When he got home Violet decided that Jessie was sick. In the very end, their grandpa came and said he had a surprise and it was very heavy. And it was the boxcar! He put it between two fountains and there was a bunch of flowers by the fountains and there was the shelves and the pot and the broom and Benny’s pink cup. And that is the end.

Monday, September 22, 2008

more about E-Bo

The meaning of the name Ethan is firm; strong. The meaning of the name Boaz is strength. Rather than coming out looking strong, Ethan entered this world looking as sweet and soft as can be.

But now that we know him better, we can not believe how true to character are these powerful names of his. Ethan is a strong leader. He is willing to tell anyone what to do (and this gets him into to trouble often).
E-Bo is strong in confidence too. Here he is on the merry-go-round at the fair.
We almost didn’t get this picture taken. Right as we were finding the line for the merry-go-round, Mike and I realized we had lost Luke (a terrible moment, but not the subject of this post). As Mike and I figured out how to find Luke and I ran around (in tears) looking, Ethan got right into line, paid his ticket and climbed into the saddle of his horse all by himself. Thankfully, I found Luke and Mike was able to take this picture of Ethan all alone on the ride (is this normal for 3 year olds?).

Ethan enjoys all aspects of life and I see this as a strength in character. Here he is enjoying God’s creation. He is so delighted by the small things (like dandelion seeds that he calls “blowers” when they are still on the stem.)
He is physically strong too, not afraid of a challenge over his head.
Ethan is a lot like his daddy growing strong in every way,
and also like his daddy, Ethan is strongly affectionate as well!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

sharing the load

As much as we are blessed by our four (so far, Lord willing) children, sometimes I marvel at how much their little lives are enriched by each other. Whether playing or working, they always can find at least one partner.

I'm not exactly sure what particular role Ava filled in shucking this corn, but I know that Luke appreciated her company. It's always more fun to do work like this with a friend.

Thanks to Luke's efforts, we enjoyed yummy corn on the cob for dinner. I think Luke enjoyed the work more than the fruits (vegetable? grain?) of his labor. But little moments like this are building what will, Lord willing, be a lifelong friendship for these two.

What a privilege it is to watch these bonds form!

Friday, September 19, 2008

a few quotes from my Aidan James

While at church enjoying a sermon on Romans 12:3-8, Aidan hears Pastor Efflandt’s encouragement to use our gifts to serve others. Aidan leans over to me and whispers, “Momma, Pastor Efflandt asked us what our gifts are and I think I know what mine is!” I tell him this is wonderful and ask him what it is. “Confidence!” He replies.

And recently at the table:
“I just love to hear her tender little laugh.” Aidan sighs as Ava giggles at something someone did.

We have been learning about the four different types of sentences this week. As I read to Aidan about the fourth type, exclamations, Aidan interrupts to exclaim, “Momma, I think that of all the sentences I use, exclamations are about… (He thinks for a minute) 90% of them!” We then read that it is an exclamation if it is said with great passion and I realize just how accurate is 90%.

(I took these pictures this morning while Aidan was working on his math. You may notice that he is in his football attire. Wearing his glove so that he is ready for that winning pass at any time. He did explain to me that it would not get in the way of his schoolwork because it is worn on his left hand!).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

luke, imitating his Father

Our Lukers loves to create.

He makes many beautiful things.

With all sorts of mediums.

Lately, Luke has been taping his pictures up on this wall for us all to enjoy.

We are so blessed to have such a creative guy around!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

this girl

My Ava Ruth. She delights me to no end.

So thankful.