Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kiddie Rides

We learned quickly at Idlewild this summer that Elinore wasn't afraid of riding a few rides!  In fact, she loved them.  So when the fair came around earlier this month, she was of course excited for her turn to ride too.  Caden and Caleb were AWESOME big brother helpers and took care of her.  Her first ride was with Caleb, who got her right in the front and helped buckle her in as she held onto the handles!


 
She was nervous at first, but smiling before long! 
 

 
After this ride, she was ready to go again.  Caden rode with her the second time in the back, and by the look on her face, it sure didn't look like she was as big of fan of back there.  But as soon as the ride stopped she said "I go again!" 

While she didn't get to ride the dragon again, she did ride another couple all by herself!


Her brothers tried out a few others too. 


Not the best picture, but I LOVE the smile on Caden's face here.  It's rare we capture a genuine smile from him. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Scrambler

Caden and Caleb love riding the Scrambler.  They loved it at Idlewild earlier this summer; they love it at the fair, anywhere they can ride it, they're on it. 

Keith and I watched as they waited for the ride to start.  We couldn't resist snapping a few photos of them sitting there with their legs crossed like little old men waiting on the fun to begin!



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Blue Jeans

Earlier this month, we were heading into the fairgrounds for another evening of fair fun.  I was dressing Elinore when she wanted pockets.  She has a shirt with pockets on it she really likes, but it was dirty, so I thought maybe it was time to try some of the second hand blue jeans I'd gotten her a few months back.  They fit and she was adorable in them!



She looks so grown up in them! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Candy Theif

Earlier this month, one stormy evening the boys were playing Minecraft and Elinore was running around before bedtime, I decided to try a new candy recipie I'd found.  It was simple enough, just some mixing, kneeding and rolling.  I decided to make peppermint candies, and was rolling them at the kitchen counter before pressing them with the fork on a cutting board on the kitchen table. 

I quickly learned Elinore could too easily reach the kitchen table and moved them to the counter. 

There I quickly learned she could reach the counter now too!  So I moved them to the top of some jars of spagetti sauce I'd canned and moved them back away from the edge on those. 

Elinore, she's smart.  She went and got the step stool and could still reach them!  So we headed off to bed, and while I was saying prayer with the boys, she ran out to the kitchen again to steal more!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

50 States

A few years ago I put this list together here.  I think it's time for an update!
 
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
 
Well, I could cross one more state off the list anyway.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Swinging

One morning after the boys got on the bus, Elinore ran over to the swing set to show off her newest trick again.  She can reach the handles on the moneybar swing! 

At first she couldn't reach and hold her blankie under her arm, so she had to carefully set it down on the swing next to hers. 


Then we reach the handles and tip toe back and forth with them!


 
Then her arms must have gotten tired as she moved to the big kid swing on her chest/tummy!


Then I have to chase her down to get in the car to head off for the day!

Photos from 9/3/14

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Morning Bus Routine

We have a new routine in the mornings for the bus this year.  The bus now comes from the other direction to our house, which means we can't watch for it from the family room anymore.  Before we could stand at the sliding door and watch for it to come down the street, but that is no more!  In fact, you can't see the bus coming at all from inside our house.  So we have to stand outside and wait now.  Because we live so close to the school, it's also hard to tell which bus coming down the street is going to make the turn onto our street since most of the buses go past our house!  So as long as we can stand to wait outside with the weather, and as long as I can continue to get up on time, we'll be waiting outside for the bus. 

One day the first week of school or so we watched 6 buses go by our house, but none were ours.  After waiting 10-15 minutes I took them to school and saw two more buses head past our house.  Turns out, ours was just very late and I passed it coming out of our neighborhood on the way back out of the school.  That means at least 9 buses went past our house!

As a kid I remember listening to hear the bus coming and head outside; we clearly can't do that here since SO MANY go by out house! 

We're about 2 weeks into school though and it is motivation to make sure we're out the door ON TIME.  (We have a new bus driver too, so I don't know how forgiving he is on time!)  I don't mind hanging in the driveway with the kids anyway.  It's kind of nice really.  Elinore especially likes the time running around and loves waving goodbye to her brothers!  I think her brothers like it too.  They may not be overwhelmingly excited about my goodbye hugs, especially Caleb, but they both willingly hug their sister goodbye!

If I don't catch Elinore and get her into the car quick enough after the bus goes, we'll wave the second time the bus goes by our house too on the way to the school!  Usually she's running way from me when it's time to buckle in, and I'm not so speedy on the catch with her being so little and fast!  My bending down is slowing as my stomach expands!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Roar!

Elinore has been quite interested in acting like a lion or bear or tiger (all look and sound the same depnding on the day).  She'll come at your roaring and with her hands drawn like claws! 
 

Photos from 9/3/14

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Folding Laundry

With a family of 5 I spend a lot of time folding laundry.  Elinore is usually around when I'm folding laundry too.  I usually have a basket or more needing folded in the family room, and when she asks me to sit with her I'll fold too.  She usually starts to help folding by pulling the laundry out of the basket, faster than I can fold it, and handing it to me.  She also names who the article of clothing I'm folding belongs to.  She gets the mostly all right too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Not Working

Over the last few months as Elinore leads, we've been introducing her to the concept of the potty and being a big girl using the potty.  She gets the concept and on more than one occasion will go pee pee in the pottty.  On one occasion she pooped in the potty my mom claims, but Keith or I have yet to see it happen! 

I've been trying to do a better job to encourage her more and ask her more often if she needs to use the big girl potty.  She cheers when she does go, but sometimes she doesn't.  In the cases where she doesn't she tells us "not working!"  Pee pee "not working!"  You can tell she's tried, but generally her diaper is already wet, so there really isn't much of an opportunity anyway. 

She's a smart cookie, she knows when she's going.  She's even started asking for her diaper to be changed sometimes.  We can definately tell when she's pooping, and she'll tell you too sometimes.  But if I ask her to poop in the potty, no way!  Sometimes she doesn't want you to see her pooping either.  In fact once in a restuarant she was pooping in the booth next to me wouldn't push me away if I looked at her. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

College or Farming

Caleb is convinced he doesn't want to go to college. He's been sold on this for months now.  Keith and I have talked to the boys about college, and certainly don't discourage it, we haven't said it is a requirement either.  We do stress that they have to have a plan.  There has to be something that they are going to do with themselves after high school.  Caleb's plan, he's going to be a farmer.  He's maybe going to be a babysitter on the side too, but he's really going to be a farmer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bedtime Routine

Our current bed time routine isn't always routine, but more often than not follows the pattern.  We usually start with getting the boys in bed, which some nights I think takes a good 20 minutes!  I go in and talk to them for a little bit, we pray together and I kiss them goodnight.  Caleb get just close enough I can give him a little peck before he scurries away in his bed.  Caden gets ready to give you a big hug and kiss back.  Elinore tells them goodnight and sometimes she just terrorizes their room or somewhere else in the house while this is happening.

Then it's off to put Elinore in bed.  New diaper and jammies for her followed by a drink of milk and rocky-ing.  She usually decides who's going to rocky her first, mommy or daddy.  Daddy will rocky and sing her a song he's made up from an old song he once knew that he sings about her now.  Then she insists on another rocky from mommy.  (Although sometimes it's in reverse order.  I think she decides based on what is going to keep her out of bed longer!)  Mommy will rocky and we say prayer together.  Then we sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and sometimes Jesus Loves Me too.  Then it's into bed, turn on the babies and get the two blankets just right before we're out the door with night nights, Jesus loves you, and I love yous. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tiger Out, George In

Up until the last few weeks, Elinore's favorite TV show has been Daniel Tiger.  She loves it. 

But a few weeks ago she started watching Curious George with the boys, and now she's strictly a Curious George fan! 

Caleb has really liked George for years; he's obviously shared that with Elinore now since he introduced her to it!  Caden tolerates it too, but it's not his favorite.  He's into bigger kid things. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Itsy Bitsy Spider

One of the things Elinore has been insisting on at bedtime from me is to sing the song the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  It's been going on for a few months now.  When it first started she would ask for the Bug song after prayer.  Then it became the Itsy song.  More recently it's the Itsy Spider song.  Regardless of what she calls it, she likes it and we sing it nearly every night.  Strangest lullaby I've heard!  But it makes her happy, so we will continue with it!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

End of Summer Fun

The boys started second grade on a Wednesday, so I took the Monday and Tuesday before that off to enjoy our last few days of summer.  We didn't do anything spectacular, but we spent Monday at home hanging out and Tuesday I took them out for lunch.  They picked the Green Leaf to eat. 

Then we stopped to see Grandma at work.

Then I suprirsed them with a stop at Putt 'N Stuff for a round of mini-golf.  The had been asking to play off and on over the summer, so I thought that would be a nice way to wrap up the summer, plus I had a coupon! 

I didn't anticpate how swelteringly hot it was going to be though!  Phew! 

We played Caden and Caleb style instead of trying to play for real.  They like to just down their own thing, cheat like crazy and have fun, so due to Elinore running around, the heat and me being the only adult, we played their way and had just as much fun anyway, maybe more.  Who need to know how to play mini-golf the right way anyway?

Checking out the fishies under the bridge.

Elinore's turn!

She wanted her ball to sit still on the mat to hit like it did for her brothers, but it kept rolling away because she couldn't let go enough to stand up and hit it.  Everytime it rolled, she'd shout NO! and try again until I stepped in to help. 

Where'd the ball go?

By the way, we're not very good golfers.  Caleb is searching for his ball in the weeds on a mini-golf course.
As seen in that last photo, we're not the best golfers.  We started with 4 balls, and picked up a stray ball on the course early on, yet when we returned to the station to turn our things in, we only had 2 balls left.  Some how we lost 3 balls! 

After the golf we were all very sweaty and hot, so I decided a trip to the frozen yogurt place would be a great way to wrap up the afternoon out!  And there certainly weren't any complaints from the kids there! 

We met Daddy up at home then and spent the evening outside in the shade with the kids.  We had a campfire and roasted peaches for dessert!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spray Park

Over the summer the kids and I spent an afternoon at the spray park with a friend of mine and her two young boys.  It was great to spend time with them and catch up at a free public spray park!  Especially since my kids love the water so much.  Elinore is fearless when it comes to water!






Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Petting Zoo

For Elinore's second birthday we took her to a petting zoo in Amish Country.  She loves animals, but she's not too sure about being up close to them.  She wouldn't pet them.  But she sure liked to look when she was close to mom and dad!  Daddy tried to get her to feed some large goats right away, which scared here immediately (of course, silly Daddy!) and she was done touching them. 



Her brothers took pony rides.  Elinore had the chance to as well, but cried and refused!



Elinore's favorite thing was the bunnies!  Her fascination with bunnies started when she started at her summer day care, they had a pet bunny there named Coconut.  Now, she's a big fan of bunnies!  Daddy helped her hold and pet the bunnies.



 
But after a bit she'd had enough and told Daddy to put the bunnies back as she pointed back to their cage!
 
 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Presents!

There were presents for Elinore's birthday too!

Caden and Caleb each picked something out in advance of her birthday and we orded them online.  The came and say hidden in boxes for awhile before we wrapped them the week of her birthday.  We found some plain blue paper in the closet, wrapped them and the boys along with the girls from next door went to town decorating them with stickers for Elinore!







 
Caleb gave Elinore a gas pump to go with her little tikes care she plays without outside.  Although mostly the playing with it is coloring it with sidewalk chalk!
 
Caden gave her a toy garden set that goes with her barn and doll house you can see in the background of some of the photos.
 
Mommy and Daddy gave her a doll baby stroller to push her babies around in, which she loved too.  Grape Jelly's already going for a ride in the last photo!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Elinore Turned 2!

Over two months ago now, Elinore turned 2!  (Time flies!)

We celebrated with a day off for mommy and daddy from work and a trip to Amish Country.  We went to lunch at the Der Dutchman and headed to the petting zoo at Hersbergers for the afternoon. 

We had a family movie night at home for supper with cupcakes!

 
 
 
(We have terrible lighting in our living room!)

Friday, September 05, 2014

Bubbles!

Elinore's Aunt Kate and Uncle Brent gave Elinore a bubble machine for her birthday.  All three of the kids were SO excited to get to play with it.  Sadly we quickly ran our of bubbles, but after about 2 months, I finally ordered some more, so maybe soon we'll play again!






The Best Yes

A dear friend of mine had been recommending I read The Best Yes  by Lysa Terkeurst for some time before I actually picked it up.  I was hesi...