Friday, September 14, 2012

All About Ella

This Is Just A Test

I was just checking my blog, to see if I even remembered my password. I did! Here are some blasts from the past-in pictures! The baby is Sophia! Amelia really looks a lot like her. The top pic is Hannah at 6 yrs old...she just turned 11 last week! Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Five


Hannah loves nature...she can sit for very long amounts of time just observing. One night this week, observing from afar wasn't cutting it. She put on her best swamp man costume (OK, it's something her dad uses for hunting), had her sisters sprinkle her with birdseed, and waited patiently for a bird to land. Unfortunately, those birds were smart. They came very close, but never landed on her.


2 weeks of tennis lessons are done. The girls enjoyed it a lot.
We'll probably do some more lessons before the summer is through. We even got some good family practice in the drive-way on a couple of evenings.


Our family adopted a flower bed in one of our city parks (actually it's 3 circles around a stone structure). We get to pick the flowers we want and a local greenhouse donates them. We have to take care of it throughout the summer. It's been fun, the girls did a lot of the work. Plus they are really proud of the sign:

It's in Bandshell Park for all you locals!


The nights this past week have been great...long walks (mom/dad) bikes for the girls. Jacob and Uncle Dan took the girls fishing one night to a pond in our neighborhood...and we finished the night with the first official smores of summer.
Last night, when we were having the girls clean up their messes from the day, Jacob mentioned a trip to Dairy Queen. Those girls have never cleaned up so fast! At about 9:00 pm we rolled into DQ. On our way home we saw our first fireflies...although there was only one to catch in our yard. Windows stayed open for sleep...with the girls complaining that the croaking frog outside was keeping them awake!

Today is our 11th Wedding Anniversary!
Grateful for those years and excited for the years ahead!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

California-Day One

I have been trying unsuccessfully to upload an entire days worth of pictures...for some reason, blogger doesn't like that, so here is the beginning of Day 1.

We left Des Moines Wednesday afternoon, changed planes in Phoenix, and then landed in Santa Barbara around supper time.

It is a breathtaking part of the country, and our 2 hour drive from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles did not disappoint.

Thursday morning we decided to head back to the coast (1/2 hour drive from where we were staying). Here's the views we got to enjoy:

This farm girl felt right at home with views of cows happily grazing the hills.

(I was thinking of you dad, of course!)

We decided to head to Piedras Blancas, which was just 5 miles north of our destination of Hearst Castle (on Highway 1), where all these elephant seals call home:

Sophia's 4th Birthday

We celebrated as a family on her birthday.

With ice cream cake:

And some new wheels:

Later, we invited some friends over for a ballerina birthday party!

More cake

We even had some "real" ballerinas on hand to help out!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Fun Photo

Click here to see a great photo that was taken on our "Whale Watching Cruise" in Santa Barbara, CA. If you're curious we went with Condor Express for our tour, and would go with them again. The boat had lots of vantage points, there was indoor dining (which is a must on a 4.5 hour trip) lots of bathrooms, and the captain was very knowledgeable.
In the picture, Jacob is wearing a grey and black fleece. Hannah is next to him in a light blue fleece, but you can only see her elbow.

Oh, here's a link to the captains log of that day. That's no typo...1500 common dolphins! It was spectacular...and all the more so for my 9 year old dolphin lover. As we floated through that pod, she laid down on the front of the boat and commented that she "felt like she was swimming with them!" Awesome indeed!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Quick 5

I set a goal today to write this post...however short and without pictures it might it goes!


Every Monday we watch a sweet little baby girl (born in December) from 7:30-4:30. She fits in great and the girls LOVE to help with her. I knew I had to have lower expectations for what I could get done on Monday with the return of a baby to the house. The to do list of my Monday looks more like this:

Clothed and fed children (and self)



Anything else that gets accomplished is just bonus!

We're planning on doing this through the end of the summer.


Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week I attended a Classical Conversations Practicum.

{Monday I had the extra babe in tow!}

There are "Camps" provided on site for the kids to attend while the parents are in their trainings.

Sophia attended "Play Camp"

Ella attended "Geo Draw Camp". She worked on drawing a map of the United States.

Hannah attended "Trig Camp" Yeah, that's short for trigonometry...It was hard, but she picked some good stuff up!

I came away feeling:

A- Super excited for the upcoming school year, with plans on how I can use what we do in Classical Conversations as an outline for our school year outside of our CC day.

We'll be learning US history starting with Christopher Columbus up to September 11th, 2001.

States and capitals and important mountains and rivers in the US.

Human anatomy and elements.

Latin and some of the Great Artists.

Memorizing the presidents.

Lots of skip counting and math law memorization.

Lots more...

B- Realizing I need to have a heart change about writing. In a word, I strongly dislike to write. Hannah is going to be in an afternoon program through CC next year called Essentials (Essentials of the English Language to be exact.) I will be attending the program with her and helping her plug through it at home. I know she will pick up on whatever attitude I "put on" to this work.


Thursday held a birthday party with friends for Sophia....her birthday was 2 weeks prior, but we were busy preparing for a large going away party we hosted for some dear friends. We celebrated family style on her actual birthday with cake and a new bike!


Today has held a lot of hanging out around the house.

We've had Hannah's best friend over here since this morning...she moves to Texas in a we are getting our fill now. They live around the corner and will be so missed by so many people.

I've been doing some school year planning and some summer activity registering.

Ella and Hannah are going to try tennis.

Of course swimming lessons and VBS.

Piano lessons will continue through the summer for Hannah.

Dance and gymnastics are on the schedule too.

Sophia wants to try soccer...I think she would be really good at it...she's pretty fierce (in a good way)


Ah...Friday night....I love you!

Pizza and sleeping downstairs in the living room.

Just the way to end a busy week!

Enjoy the weekend!