Reasons to celebrate

We've had a lot of celebrating and fellowship-ing (which apparently is not actually a word) and feasting around here lately. Presently there are 10 people under our little roof, gathering to celebrate with us...but more on that later. Here is where the party started last week. Olivia's birthday.I love it that she loves Fall as much as I do...but I guess did she have a choice really? Presents and sunflowers and pumpkins and party garland and candy corn and a birthday crown - the complete party picture at our house.
Though it is hard for the younger sibling to understand why the other one gets gifts and he doesn't...Joseph was so excited for her.
Olivia got her very own sewing box. Great Tootsie, this is what your birthday money went toward. It is a very special box because in it are some of the notions that were in Great Tootsie's sewing box that she passed down to me. Toot's the blue piece that all the triangles are sewn to on the garland is some of your old bias tape! (I don't know what you are actually supposed to use that stuff for. :) )
And here is our relationship - me trying to set the time for her and her arguing that she already knows how to set the time. She doesn't even know how to tell time for crying out loud! (And, by the way, Mother thank you for never commenting on these posts that I was the same way or now you know how it feels or something terribly un-encouraging like that. Though I know this must be de-ja review for you, thanks for not rubbing it in.)

The hat is perfect, Grandma. Thank you.
Olivia's Fall Festival birthday party. I'll have to get the picture off Mike's phone of the festival banner he drew. Definitely hidden artistic talents there. We thought up a bunch of festival games and Mike made it happen...and then the adults ending up playing the games...
...while the kids did this.
I guess that was sort of festival-like...a clown car. I just now realized Joseph is in the hood.

Check out Lou (the boy in red) cramming his face with a cupcake.
That's all folks!
(Olivia is such a gatherer. Two new neighbors in our yard for this party - for 2 1/2 hours, just hanging out! One family even came to Mike's ordination tonight!)

Learning to knit

Jaimie is already an excellent multi-tasker. Her student; however, isn't so attentive.

Olivia Frances

Today was this big girl's birthday. And this is kind of quintessential her - layers of...I'm not sure what all that was...and what she will do to a defenseless sister. She is my biggest challenge right now. Well, I take that back. My biggest challenge right now is my own selfish, impatient heart. Her biggest challenge, though she does not know it, is how my heart effects her and our relationship. We are all desperate for God's redemptive work in us all the time. Her middle name means 'free' and I have chosen to take the encouragement and reminder from that that we will all one day be fully free - "He breaks the power of reigning sin. He sets the prisoner free."Sweet exposer of my heart, you are also one of my sweetest pleasures in life.

The next Yogi Berra

Or just Stater of the Obvious? Our Joseph:

" Whoever takes it gets to have it."
"When we get there, we will be there."

And then, because he sees me writing some of his little quotes down, at the table tonight he says, "Whoever has it, gets to keep it."

And then turns to me and says, "Write that down."

Free car wash

Although it has been raining all day here, this was actually the scene in our driveway a week or two ago. Our van was nasty - in desperate need of a wash. I happened to look out the window and see our neighbor taking advantage of the free rain to wash her car. I up-ed her ante and took advantage of the rain and our children.His favorite "marching pants" are too big - so he washed with one hand and held them up with the other.

It was kind of invigorating getting all wet. But it was a lot warmer that day than today.


She's been into layering lately. She's in bed right now with 3 sets of pajamas on. Granted it is a little chilly tonight...but the day she came out in this get-up it was in the 90's.He fakes that he's not amused.

He fought the pew...

...and the pew won.
Of course it actually looked a lot worse before it got better. But who has time to remember to take photos of the whole process, right? He was a little freaked out when he woke in the night to go to the bathroom and couldn't open his eye.

Almost Camping

Some friends were beach camping a couple of weeks ago and were gracious enough to let us crash their site for an evening. I have been dying to camp lately, something about the Fall (the season, not the result of Adam's sin) I suppose. And I've never been beach camping.It was very blustery. After 103 degrees that week, this chilly night was welcome.
Everything is more exciting when you are camping...glow sticks...
...doing dishes...if they could reach the sink at home, I would capitalize on this.
She's thinking we messed up - she was supposed to be skiing, not camping.

We'll go soon, hopefully. After taking Joseph at about 6 months and him screaming through a silent camp ground in the middle of the night, I decided that wasn't good camping etiquette. She went 11-7 last night, so we might be out there sooner rather than later.

Baby's beachin'

She really enjoyed her first trip I think - though the waves were too small for surfing. She's just waiting for her Mimi for some sand dollar huntin'.


I'm not sure there are many things in this life more pleasing than a long time friendship. To be with someone who has known you through various stages in life, fashion faux pas (camp pictures), culinary home runs, parental failures, etc is comforting. To think about the fact that we have planned and dreamed about the future and now we are living it - that is fun. Now if we could just get a grip on present life, we might dream about the next future stages.Amy posted a good synopsis of our visit on her blog - you can read it there. Funny thing is, we captured about the same moments - eating, talking, and beaching. Like my mom always says when she is hanging out with one of her best buddies, "It's great having a wife!" No kidding! To have someone to remember to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and to unload the dishwasher before supper is over! (This is not a hit on Mike. He is a great partner in all these things. Like I told our friend at the coffee shop - who like most people, oddly enough, seems surprised that we would want to keep having children - we wouldn't keep having children if Mike wasn't a totally involved dad/husband.)
View from Mt. Soledad - where we were picnic-ing
This is where I found them every morning. Quite as meeces - reading and working puzzles.
I felt so energized after this visit. I have had dear friends visit at crucial times since we have moved here...all at their sacrifice - time from families and work, travel expenses, etc. I am so thankful.