The one where Mimi came to visit

It started with a little party in the park! Frank and Irma's grand daugther (the one just behind Minnie) has a little girl, Lulu. And Lulu is 2! Or she was a couple of weeks ago when Mimi came.Quirkle Cubes. It's serious. Don't play if you don't mean it. Mimi means it.

We always get rain when my family comes across the entire country to visit. My brother and sister-in-law got 5 days straight of it. Mimi got enough for a gigantic, double, complete rainbow!
Our 3rd Annual Pie Stop By!! Always kicked off by Frank and Irma (see Irma...look close, she is a great grandmother if you can believe it). Mimi worked hard for the (no) money that night!

The monk. Mimi mistook a hand-me-down fleece vest from Kate V for Olivia as a sleeper sack for baby G.
And that is what it has become, permanently.

Loves us some Mimi!
And Suz! Traveling pals. We hope they do it again soon!

Year to year

Pals - Lilly and Greta (and me and Robin)

The man can sew!! (and the one when the kids went trick or treating)

He might deny it, but it was witnessed by me and my mother! Mike was certainly the Halloween hero this year. Olivia's request about a month ago was to be a frog for Halloween. Not sure where the idea struck...but then her request last year was to be a macaw and the year before, a zebra. So, we were not surprised. Naively we waited for the change of mind. The preference for a princess. But, like previous years, it never came and we were, once again, in Wal-Mart on Halloween afternoon. One of only about two or three times in the year that we patron Wal-Mart.A willing model.
The feet
The eyes
The lily pad. Granted, tree frogs aren't typically found on lily pads, but we started with the lily pad idea but ended up with tree frog there you are...a tree frog on a lily pad.
A bee
You can see the lily pad had a special feature of folding up on the sides to allow for tight spaces on porches. Unfortunately, at one house it did not fold up slim enough and an entire stair case of children had to be evacuated in order to allow the frog down from the porch. Children were crying, "But I haven't gotten my candy yet." Parents were responding, "Calm down! We just have to let the frog out."
Joseph was supposed to be the hand-me-down macaw, but last minute said he wanted to be a ghost (probably because he heard August was going to be a ghost). I was the genius of that costume. Two carefully placed holes and a TN hat on backwards to hold the sheet in place. Mike says he looks like it ought to be in a Charlie Brown cartoon.
Sweet Irma. Everybody else who came to her house got one piece of candy. Our kids (even Greta) and August got a whole zip lock full of the good stuff...with their names on it so Olivia didn't get one with nuts. LOVE our neighbors.
Receiving the masses. Irma counted over 500!
And thus closes another home-made Halloween. It will be a sad day when our kids refuse to wear our creations...well, I guess by then they will be too old to trick-or-treat anyway.

New and old

We're going on 5 years with the birthday crown. Every kid was supposed to have their own, but as you can see from past pictures every kid gets this one. The past two birthdays have both come on Sundays and they have really been quite relaxing and enjoyable. I like Sunday birthdays.One of the party goers.
One of the few movies Olivia has actually seen - Tangled. I am actually secretly in love with this move. One of the few Disney has not managed to screw up. Lovely telling of the story. no weird New Age or environmental undertones. Fun music. Actually funny. Sweet ending. Highly recommend it for your next movie night.
Carrying on the tradition of Raggedy's. And while I am recommending - the Raggedy books (the original ones by Gruelle) are fantastic. Most books/movies feel the need to portray children's naturally tendencies toward sin - selfishness, whinny-ness, argumentativeness, etc. Gruelle chose to portray in the Raggedy's the good. Not the good that we are capable in our own strength, but the good that God works in us as we submit to his molding - my conclusion, not Gruelle's. I don't know what his motivation was. But it is nice to read books with my kids that reinforce joy for others even if you lose, sorrow for bad decisions, patience with others short comings, etc.

Flowers from Joseph
The new traditional birthday sweet roll.

Celebrating Six

It started here - with a box of leaves. For three autumns running, friends and family have been faithful to send us (sometimes in generous response to a shameless request) leaves!It continued in the backyard with some fall festival-ish games...bean bag toss, whiffle ball toss, balance beam...

water gun/ping pong ball shoot out...
...truck rides with preschoolers...
and general crawling about.

Ended with one happy chick (and some great chocolate cupcakes thanks to Sarah Clark!!).
Six is going to be fun!

Apples and pumpkins

...and goats because they can't just have a pumpkin field or apple orchard...there have to be "attractions."