Monday, July 31, 2017

Nature Summer Camp

 July has been crazy for us. First we had vacation bible school for a week, then the very next week we had Summer Nature Camp. I was actually one of the teachers at Nature Camp this year, which was a lot of fun but also a lot of work.

Here are some pictures from Nature Camp... but as one of the teachers I can't post pictures of the kids at camp... other than my own of course.

Margaret was technically too young for nature camp so we had a few teens and preteens around to help with her.  However, Little Miss really does think she's one of the big kids are was right there with all the other kids participating and keeping up. She was amazing all week... She also really really loves painting. (we painted rocks)

This was also the hottest week of the entire summer. It was really hot... and since it's nature camp we were outside all day. But with lots of shade and water play time we managed to stay safe and cool.

One of the favorite things the kids love to do is walk in the field and garden and cute flowers for our vases.

 The play ground was where we spent most of our time because it was the most shaded. But this isn't a standard playgound. It has a boat and a tree to climb. A platform under a tree. A bucket and pully, and hills to play on... also a sand box.

The boat is always a favorite.

Obi loved the play ground... he was very proud that he was able to climb the tree by himself.
Which is the point of nature camp, to help them build confidence in themselves and in nature.

The MOST favorite part of nature camp was the outdoor kitchen. We had a rain barrel filled with water and the kids spend all day making mud pies and goop soup.
This was the most wonderful thing.

I brought streamers to camp and the kids decorated the trees and sticks and made wands with them. 
It was a lot of beautiful fun.

We played with clay.
The kids were SO creative making things and decorating with things they found on our nature walks.

With yarn, flowers from home, and sticks we collected, one the little 4 year olds made this as her fairy wand. I was so impressed with all the creativity. 

On the last day one of the moms found this turtle in the middle of the street. He hung out with us for a while and then we took him to the forest on a nature walk to find a new home.

Tree climbing was a major part of nature camp.

On the last day, after cleaning up, the other teacher and I (and our kids) went out to celebrate with some dinner and margaritas. 

Our silly kids were wonderful and so helpful all week long. It's not easy being the teachers kids but these kids were the best!

Friday, July 14, 2017


Rosie turned 7 almost a year ago. We are currently in the process of planning her next birthday. She's having trouble settling on a theme. So far our options are My Little Pony, Chickens, or Star Wars.
Rosie is very eclectic.

But for her birthday last year the theme was Unicorns and Horses.
Here she is opening her still favorite book Phoebe and Her Unicorn, which is a comic book style book about a girl and her friend unicorn that is very silly.

Rosie's other favorite birthday gift was her kids garman. She loves counting her steps and she getting her exercise notifications.

For her 7th birthday Rosie wanted a cupcake unicorn cake.
She designed it herself.

Obi found these unicorn themed balloons at the store. 

 Instead of having a party Rosie wanted to go to the mall for her birthday. 
She wanted to have lunch at Wholefoods. 

We had hotdogs with gluten free buns for lunch,
 with gluten free donuts for dessert. It was a perfect lunch.

 I can't believe how big my little baby is getting.

From Whole foods we went to the mall and spend the day at Build a Bear.

This was our first time at Build a Bear 

Rosie wanted everyone to get a special stuffed animal for her birthday. 
Usually we have the birthday person pick out gifts for their siblings, but this year Rosie just wanted everyone to build their own cuddle buddy. 

It was a very fun experience for everyone.
(we even went back a week later with birthday money each kid had saved and got little gifts for their cuddle buddies)

Afterwards we played in the mall kids play place. 

Rosie and I went to Starbucks (mama needed some coffee) and while we were in there we met a lady who also had her birthday that day. She was very happy to meet Rosie and bough Rosie a birthday drink. It was very sweet.

Margaret got a pink princess bear that she's very proud of.

The next day (we always spread out the birthday gifts and celebrations) we went to our local book store where there was a gift waiting for Rosie.

She was very happy to get more Pinkalicous books... one of her favorite series of books.

It was a bit of a non conventional birthday. Daddy took work off that day and we spent the day at the mall. But that's what made it perfect for our little Rosie, our non conventional princess. 

(She loves being like her mama and nana and counting her steps)

I can't believes she's seven already and I'm not ready for her to be eight. Where did my little 6lb 13oz baby go?!
She's always been my little panda.

 Rosie loves horses and unicorns. She's a dreamer and very practical at the same time. She loves science, especially nature science.  She's particularly interested in learning how to make teas with plants she finds outside.
She also loves rocks. She has several rock collections around the yard.

Rosie loves fairies and we are slowly working on building our own fairy garden.  She loves books about fairies and unicorns.
Rosie loves to read. She loves to be read to. She could sit all day and listen to me read to her and she's very good at understanding complicated stories.
We just finished reading Centar Rising by Jane Yolen.

Rosie is also very good at drawing. She makes up wonderful stories to go with her drawings. She also  keeps a nature journal where she records things she see outside at Nature School.

Rosie LOVES her cuddle buddies. She has several favorites besides her all time favorite, Dancing Bear, and she had a large duffle bag full of stuffed animals that she carries everywhere with her.

Rosie's favorite color is pink. She also loves flowers. Pink flowers are especially her favorite.

She's a huge help around the house and regularly puts the silverware away and sweeps the kitchen. She's also very good at making snacks for her brother and sister when they want one.

Rosie says she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up.  She enjoys putting together outfits and she's very particular about fabrics.

She also loves animals and knows a lot about many different kinds of animals. She loves to  collect animals facts and has the best memory.

Her favorite TV show is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
In fact a My Little Pony movie is coming out in October and Rosie and I already have plans to dress up and go see it in a fancy theater.

Rosie's Favorite books is Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson.

Rosie is very interested in the world and loves to hear about China, where she was born. She says she wants to study Chinese in school this year. She wants to go back and visit China someday.

Rosie is very opinionated and likes things to go her way.  She's curious and adventurous and it's always fun to see the world through her eyes.

Honestly, I'm just in awe of her right now. She's growing up and changing so much.
She's such a big girl now and doing so many things on her own.  I learn so much from  her and I love hearing how she sees the world. She's articulate and passionate and very serious about being silly.
She will always be my amazing quirky little girl that changed my world completely and continues to rock my world every day.

(The is a picture of Rosie wearing a shirt that *I* wore in 2008 before I was pregnant with her.)

Monday, July 10, 2017


So I went back and looked at my blog. Wow. I had not realized I pretty much stopped blogging when Margaret was born (except for Christmas of course).

I never even posted anything about Margaret's First Birthday!
So here are a couple pictures from her very first birthday for comparison. She's grown and changed so much but she's still my silly little stinker.

Margaret is my biggest helper. She loves helping and taking care of people... mostly other babies. She loves when she gets her own cart at the grocery store and she loves cooking in the kitchen. She can pretty much make scrambled eggs by her self now... except for the turning on the stove part.

Margaret LOVES owls.
At any given moment in the day she'll walk up and say 
"Mama, I like Who Who"

So for her second birthday we had an owl themed party.
And she got her very own bike.

She also loves Minnie Mouse so she was especially excited about her Minnie Mouse helmet.

Rosie got Margaret a stuffed owl.

Margaret opened all of her gifts sitting on that bike. She was so proud and so happy.

We had cupcakes for breakfast of course.

 That year William took off work on everyone's birthday so we had a fun day playing on the farm together.
After morning cupcakes we all piled in the truck and and drove up the the barn to take care of the injured donkey we had at the time.

 Margaret wore her helmet all day long.

 Margaret has always been my little meat eater, so for dinner we had duck!
November is really the only time of year you can find duck in the grocery store so we were all pretty excited about it.

 Margaret was especially pleased.

 She took a break from eating dinner to doctor Daddy.

 "Who Who cake!"

Margaret also loves chocolate very very much. So naturally it was a chocolate cake with chocolate chips.

She also loves sharing with her brother and feeding other people.

Little Miss Margaret had a long and wonderful day on the second birthday.
She passed out and slept almost through the night.

 The next day more presents arrived! 

 Margaret loves to play tea and kitchen and cooking.

 Our little Miss Margaret is our biggest handful. She's wild and opinionated and loves being the center of attention. She's my best eater in that she will eat a wide variety of things but she will only eat little bits here and there... for that reason it seems like I'm feeding her every 20 minutes.

When Margaret was born my life turned upside down. I thought I had a handle on things and could joggle my life and social life relatively well. But baby number 3 was very hard to get used to. I'm still not sure I'm used it!

But as much as life seemed more out of control and hectic after baby number three it sure has been fun.

Margaret has so much personality.  She's feisty and she has a hilarious sense of humor for a baby! She's imaginative and plays well by herself for a little bit. Mostly she likes to play with her brother and sister. She loves following them around and doing everything they do. She does her best to keep up with them and she's a very fast runner for such a small kid.

Margaret loves to play "mommy". I will often hear my name called by the other kids only to find out that they were talking to her. She's always the mommy and they are usually the kids or babies. Except when Obi is the daddy.

Margaret still loves owls and squeals with joy when I find a show about owls on TV (thank you PBS!). She also loves Minnie Mouse and has a pair of "MeeMow" ears she loves to wear.

Her favorite shirts to wear are her "MeeMow" shirts.

Margaret loves to wrestle! She's my biggest wrestler and is always jumping on people!
She loves animals and all animals really love her.

She loves playing in the dirt and sand. She loves making mud pies. When she's outside she says "I like mud, Mama."

She's a rough and tumble kid and tough as nails. But she's also my little cuddle bug.  She's my best cuddler and always falls asleep in my arms.  She's also still nursing. Yes still.
I went away for a weekend in February and again in May and both times the first thing she said to me when I walked in the door was "booboo mommy."

Her favorite food is Chocolate in any form. She also loves chicken and duck.

She's my tiniest kid. She's the only of my kids in clothes actually made for her age group.

Did I mention she loves to help! She's currently with William taking the trash to the dump. She will try to carry anything you ask her to and if the laundry stays in the baskets too long she'll empty them for you.
She loves putting her laundry away and she loves to wash the dishes.
When she sees a baby she says "bee bee mama" and will try to take care of them.

Her favorite show is Little Bear and Wonder Pets at the moment.  She loves animals.

She's a sweet caretaker and I'm pretty sure she thinks she's a big kid.

She's also home from the dump now so I better go down and make her something to eat.