I wonder...

...what this pair will be like in another 5 years.

Addin' tricks to the bag

Another 3rd annual

The Manthei egg hunt!  Some how we have managed to worm our way into the family next door.  I remember Irma telling me back in March that Frank said it was time to start getting the Easter baskets ready.  He puts together anywhere from 7-12 of them depending on who all is in town and our kids and August are always included.  They are so sweet to us.

 I look like a Stepford wife in that apron.  But isn't the apron cute?  Thanks, Veerman.

 He doesn't want any attention, but he wants to give them out - handed to each kid, their name on the basket.  Always no nuts for Olivia.

 Not to pumped about the confetti egg.
 Look who sat up at Easter.  Thanks again, Veerman - the outfit is super cute on him.

Happy Easter!

Third Annual Egg Hunt

Look who came!  Engine 11!  They did not actually come for the egg hunt, but they run their workouts through our neighborhood now and happened to be parked by us for the morning.  We are actually getting to know these guys pretty well.  One of them has visited the church and ever since he honks whenever he drives past our house.  Makes the kids feel pretty special.  Well, let's be honest - I think it is pretty cool myself.  We got to see them in action a couple of weeks ago when August's house caught fire.  It was the real deal - 8 trucks, 6 police cars, axes into the side of the house, etc.  Everyone is okay and our kids slept through it, but it was scary for a minute.  We do love Engine 11.
 On to the egg hunt...the talent.  Johnny plays for the church and teaches the kids piano.  He is the guy in the bowler (boller?, boler?) hat.  Crazy talented and a dear friend.  Ilan, on cello, is our next door neighbor.  He plays for us on occasion on Sunday mornings too.  The guitarist is a friend of Johnny's.
 That's Matteo.  He's just opened up a pizzeria around the corner from us.  It is the real deal - gigantic wood fire pizza oven shipped from Italy and everything.  They have kids the same ages as Greta and Henry.  You are looking at all 3 year repeats in this picture.  So fun to have neighbors say, "Oh I was hopping you were doing the egg hunt again this year!" when you give them the invite.
 Sarah, he, he :)
 Oliver and Greta playing the balloon toss.  Possibly the cutest thing of the morning.

 Kaitlan and Yerkes.  Church planting power houses.
 You've seen this family before.  We met them at the dog park just after we moved here.  Sherry was pregnant with Zoe.  Now they have 2 kids and both parents have been deployed for about 9 months each.  I have such admiration for military families.
 ...resulted in this (but only because he got a good shot in first).
 But at least August got it too...and so did his dad but we didn't get a picture.
 Isn't that the cutest?!  Irma tossing water balloons.  She was cuttin' a rug too when Johnny started playing some flamenco.

 She dressed herself - wanted to wear the dress she could "fin" in.  Don't know why she chose the valentine socks and the shoes two sizes too big.

 This happens every year...after the hunt all the little families sit about and look through their eggs.
Again this year I didn't get a single picture of Olivia.  This girl works the crowd.  I saw her when we loaded the van and again when we got home.  She is in her element at these events.

Mother and daughter wrapping up another year at the hunt!  

Front yard excavation

According to the archeologists, we've got some coal, new pottery, and 
(potentially legit) really old pottery.

Thankful we have laid back land lords.

Look to the animals

I remember going to the San Diego Zoo (this is the Wild Animal Park) for the first time and watching a  baby gorilla crawl all over his mama and thinking to myself, "I know exactly what she is thinking."  It was pretty cute how he confidently climbed over her head and back.  She would lovingly swat him away, but he would just roll over and climb right back.  I am always surprised by how much of human family life seems to be played out in the animal world.  There as here the kids seem to sass their parents, give funny looks, express independence, but still confidently express need (confident that the need will be met).

 Should we start  him on solids?

 Of course we had to get bird shots in.

 Dressing herself!

 Greta is funny.  The older two would never have dreamed of speaking up in a crowd.  They barely sang at story time.  They were/are observers.  Greta engages.  Here she was talking to the keeper giving a talk on centipedes...which are enormous, by the way.  Greta just assumes that you care about whatever she has to say, in fact she assumes everyone cares.