I have pictures from Easter in 2010 of Kalena dyeing Easter eggs. She would have been almost 2. Why I thought that would be a good idea I DO NOT KNOW. I don’t remember it being terrible, so it can’t have been too bad, but thinking about letting Lydia dye eggs this year makes me laugh. No. Talk to me again when she’s like 5.

It was nice this year, because Kalena and Will are old enough that I just had to set things up, and then they didn’t need help for the actual coloring. (I did have to resist boiling myself a dozen eggs to color because MAN that is fun.) I think I blogged about it, but the kids figured out the Easter bunny like a year and a half ago. That doesn’t dampen their enjoyment though, and they asked us to hide the baskets “extra hard” this year. ALSO, because Kalena is the sweet girl that she is, she made Brian and me each an Easter basket. Anyway. How about some Easter pictures?

Warm enough to dye eggs outside!


Matchy church outfits!


How most pictures of four kids actually turn out.


Impossible to find

Have you ever thought, “Oh, I’ll just run out and get [fill in the blank]” and then quickly discovered that while you THOUGHT [fill in the blank] was a basic thing and would be easy to find, it’s actually nowhere in existence? I’m having one of those experiences.

We’re going to be having Thanksgiving with a group of families here, and since the group includes 18 children (ages 8 months to 14 I think) the host asked us for ideas for activities to keep them busy. I offered to bring sugar cookies and stuff for them to decorate. Because hey! What kid doesn’t like decorating cookies, right? Totally fun. Anyway, I figured I’d be ahead of the game and make the cookies yesterday and freeze them. Except when I went to get my turkey cookie cutter I discovered that WHOOPS, I don’t actually have one. I would have SWORN I had a turkey, but no. (I even called my mom to see if I’d left any cookie cutters there. I mean, I have one of those 100 cookie cutter sets. But also no.) I have a pumpkin, and I know that’s fall-ish, but I really wanted a turkey. I figured that was no problem though, because I’d just run out and get one.

You know where this is going, right? Walmart had ZERO fall cookie cutters. No leaves. No pumpkins. And definitely no turkeys. So I thought, okay, I’ll go to Hobby Lobby. They have a whole aisle of Wilton stuff, surely a turkey cookie cutter is one of those things. But again, NOPE. And on and on. Nothing at Target. Nothing at Bed Bath & Beyond. And obviously it’s too late for me to order one online.

Fortunately, internet to the rescue anyway. My googling informs me that the Crate and Barrel closest to me has one. On clearance even, because who wants Thanksgiving stuff when it’s only a week away AMIRITE?! Anyway. Cookie decorating is saved! Good thing I was actually on top of things for once. This would have been bad if I’d waited until the night before to make them.

Baby blessing!

Way back at the beginning of June (the 8th to be exact) we blessed Lydia. It was the first time we’ve blessed a baby without family around, so trying to get a family picture after the fact was a leeeetle interesting. I mean, it’s always fun times trying to get all the kids in a good picture:




But on this occasion we also wanted a picture with me, Brian, and Lydia. Well, ideally me, Brian, and ALL the kids, but HA. No way was that happening. So we let Kalena play photographer for a couple of pictures. Mostly we got blurry or not smiling, but she did manage one good one!


Even if Lydia is a little…tilty.

This was also the day Lydia started rolling over (back to front. Front to back started a few days later.) so definitely a big day for her!


She was adorably pleased about it all.




Will the 4 year old

Hey! Back in December Will turned 4 and I never wrote about it! Originally he wanted a cake with stars (easy! I can do that.) But then he changed his mind and decided he wanted a dinosaur volcano. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to manage that, but then someone suggested starting with a bundt cake so that’s what I did. Here’s the final product:


I DID have some of those dinosaurs just standing there, but when Will saw it he insisted they ALL be dying in the lava. So. Who am I to deny the birthday boy, right?

We just did his 4 year well visit (when we did Daniel’s 2 year well visit.) He is 38 1/2 inches tall (7%) and weighs 35 lbs (45%). Hilariously this means he’s only 4 3/4 inches taller than Daniel. The pediatrician was like, “Uh, has he always been this short?” And yes. Yes he has. We also discovered at the appointment that he had an ear infection! He seemed fine, but apparently not. When we asked if his ear hurt (because he never said anything about it) he said, “No, it just hurts on the inside!” So I’m not really sure if it ACTUALLY hurt and he just didn’t say, or if he only said that because we were asking. He’s big on giving the answer he thinks you want. For instance, if you ask where Buster Bear is and he doesn’t know, he’ll still tell you somewhere. He’ll never just say he doesn’t know.

At age four: he is still obsessed with dinosaurs. He also has recently developed a love of LEGOs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He loves his siblings, especially Daniel. The other night when Brian was putting them to bed Daniel started crying when Brian left the room and I heard Will say, “It’s okay Daniel! It’s okay, I’m here with you!” Those moments are just my favorite. He likes to remind us that he is “still small” (his words.) Mostly when we are encouraging him to get himself dressed or other “big kid” things. He doesn’t drink milk (unless it’s in cereal) but loves yogurt. He still eats his weight in breakfast foods, with eggs and oatmeal being the big favorites. He’s quite chatty these days which is often very amusing. Just all around a fun guy.


Always somebody’s birthday around here

My sister and her family are here visiting for an extended weekend, and yesterday was my nephew’s birthday! The little guy is one year old now, so obviously there was celebrating to do. And by that I mean cake to make and eat. (Is there another point to birthdays?)

We opted for a dinosaur cake because the older kids all love dinosaurs, and what one year old cares what his cake looks like?



I got the instructions from the Betty Crocker website. It was actually pretty easy.

He was enthralled with his first gift, big boy sippy cups! (Obviously Kirsta was pretty thrilled too.)



In fact, he was so intent on trying to drink out of his new (empty) cups that he needed some help to open his next gift. Luckily Will jumped right in.



The cake was a hit with the birthday boy, of course.



Happy birthday Ethan!

Will’s birthday celebration

Because my parents are out of town most of this month, we did Will’s 1/2 birthday celebration a little early. His obsession with dinosaurs and crocodiles continues, so we started things off by seeing the “Super Croc” exhibit at the dinosaur museum. (Will was SO EXCITED to find out that the museum was getting this. He’s watched the Discovery channel documentaries “Super Croc” and “Ultimate Crocodile” at least 20 times each.)

Our invitation to the event preview. Because we have a membership at the museum. We went. OBVIOUSLY.




Will wouldn’t let me take a picture of him with the super croc (I’m sure I’ll get one at some other time) but I snapped this one when he wasn’t expecting it.



A crocodile cake: his only request for the birthday celebration. Turned out pretty well I think!


He got a couple awesome Imaginext dinosaurs as gifts. (He was very excited to discover that his gift was actually a toy since we wrapped it in a diaper box. He thought it might actually be diapers.)


Pleased with his presents.



Happy half birthday to Will! (Actually on the 22nd! Whatever!)

Happy birthday Daniel!

A year ago Daniel was born and we found out that he has Down syndrome. It was an overwhelming day to say the least. I wasn’t sure when things would feel “normal” again, but I was hopeful that it would be soon. Here are some of the things I wish I could go back and tell myself then.

~He’ll be an incredibly easy baby.~

Obviously there was a lot of emotion surrounding Daniel’s birth. Getting plenty of sleep and not having to deal with a fussy baby made it much easier to process all that.

~When you look at him you won’t see Down syndrome, you’ll just see Daniel.~

When he was first born I’d look at Daniel and wonder if other people could see that he has Down syndrome. There were times I’d look at him and think it was obvious and other times I’d look at him and think it wasn’t so obvious. Now I don’t think about it at all. His expressions are his own. He just looks like Daniel.

~You’ll love him so much that sometimes it will feel like your heart is going to burst.~

Everything else seems like minor details in the face of the love this boy makes me feel.



Happy birthday to our sweet little guy!