Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanks Auntie Sarah

My sister Sarah came last week bearing gifts for all. Ava got a cool bug catcher (and Sarah even helped her catch the bugs - major event for Sarah who is not a fan of bugs), Nathan got a bell to summon me from his bedside (and he's giving one of his famous looks), and Lias got a cool blanket to keep him cozy (which was loads of work on Sarah's part). They are all well loved and Sarah just may be winning the Coolest-Aunt-In-the-Eyes-Of-Ava-and-Nathan Award. That, or the one they've seen the most recently.

And now we're off to repay the favor. We're headed to my sister Laurel's for 2 days in West Virginia, then to Sarah's for 2 days in Pennsylvania. We're ditching John so he can finally get a night sleep and maybe some work done. Hopefully we all make it back alive. Wish me luck!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Westward Ho!!

Who: 175 youth and 50 adults descending on the farm

What: Fredericksburg Stake Youth Conference - Recreating the Mormon Pioneer's handcart trek out west

When: This Thursday-Saturday

Where: Eldon Farms (the far end of the farm)

How: Your guess is as good as mine.....

Look for more pictures next week. That is, if I get any while holding Elias and the infamous Carlos (for a demonstration of draft animals). Wahoo!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Swingin' and Swimmin'

Last week were we treated to a little time with one of our best friends from when we were in Ithaca. Becky and I were office mates when I was pregnant with Ava and amazingly, she's still thinks we're cool enough to visit. She's listened to me whine and complain through each of my pregnancies. She's even dealt with the morning sickness and cravings for hot dogs and dough nuts I went through with Ava. And although she's a high powered PhD-DVM professional career oriented woman, she's cool enough to come play with my kids. And they can't get enough of her, as evidenced through the pictures.

She was in town (DC) for 2 weeks for a seminar to get ready to head to Botswana for a year. She's been picked to do research on the epidemiology of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. How cool is that? She'll be blogging her adventures so make sure to check it out occasionally.

She came down to our farm for a half a day and we spent a muggy Sunday morning swinging and rolling in the grass. John showed off his garden, Ava and Nathan ate up the attention and Baby Lias enjoyed the extra arms to hold him. For a career woman, Becky is amazingly patient and sweet with babies and kids, which is probably why we are still such great friends.

Since we had such a great time with her on Sunday, we decided to crash her hotel on Tuesday night too. We spent a awesome night at her penthouse pool, while she and John played with the kids in the water and I nursed Lias. Then we headed home with 3 worn out kids. It was great.

Hurry back from Africa Becky-
Ava and Nathan and Elias are counting down the days!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Faces of a Four Year Old

Anyone remember my sweet little chubby baby that looked like this?

Ava - 2 months

Or this??

Ava - 4 months

Or this chunky, drooly, curly, girly toddling thing??

Ava - 13 months

Well, as of July 1st, 2008, I have a big 4 year old that looks like this:

And can dance like this:

And be impish like this:

Wow, how do they grow up so fast? I don't know exactly, but they do and now she's way into dinosaurs, dirt and drama.

Ava's Cake - Take 1 (family party)

Preschool Present (Upside down)

For months she's been obsessed with anything dinosaur - books, songs, drawings, toys - and, although I'm not sure I won't burn out from too much dinosaur things with 2 more boys coming, I've tried to support her in her habit. We now know the difference between tyrannosaurus, stegosaurus and brontosaurus, can quote many lines from "The Land Before Time" and even Nathan knows that there are such things as duckbilled dinosaurs that had funny diets of pine needles. Who knew a 4 yr old could impart such wisdom?

Needless to say, we had a dinosaur party for her birthday complete with digging dinosaurs from the creek:

Off to the digging site

Finding dinosaurs stuck in the mud

Future Paleontologists

dinosaur races to see who was the fastest and:

Which dinosaurs float and which sink?

dinosaur cake made out of marshmallow and sugar fondant (a concoction only 4 yr olds would eat).

She loved it all. Maybe a little too much since for the whole week before and after all we heard was "Is it my birthday today? Are we having a party for me today? Who's coming today?" etc. She obviously felt like she was the most important person in the world for a few weeks, but isn't that what we all want?

Of course, being a 4 yr old's party, there was a little drama but what else would you expect? Short little legs don't mix well with trying to run very fast....

It's my party and I'll cry if I want too.....or because I skinned my knees

Luckily, Dada's can still make everything all right.

Happy Birthday until next year Ava Mava.