Oh, do I have some catching up to do! Life has been moving at breakneck speed for the last few months, leaving secondary priorities (like blogging) completely sidelined. I do hope to catch up and at least blog about Eva's 5th birthday, but in the mean time here are some simple updates:
1. All of us: We love summer. We love grilling and leaving the kitchen a little less "lived in". We love eating on the patio and having some elbow room at the table. We love splashing in the kiddie pool. We love our friends, the Thompsons, who have been staying with us for the last two weeks before moving to another state. We love working in our really enormous garden plot at my parent's "homestead". We enjoy working in our small raised garden beds on our own little parcel of land. We have three or four little green Roma tomatoes and lots of blossoms on the other tomato plants! We loved our most recent field trips to Gale Woods Farm and the Children's Museum.
2. Eric: Just returned from leading a trip to the NEXT conference in Maryland. He describes it as totally awesome, transformative, and I'm sure will be a mile marker we remember when we're looking back on these years. His passion for Jesus was renewed, as well as a deeper love for serving the church and serving/loving our family.
Immediately after returning from NEXT, Eric started his new job which is really, really busy. He spends lots of extra time learning the job so he can be really, really good at it really, really quickly. Man, what a good employee!
3. Me: I am generally racing from one craziness to another. I spend my days cooking, picking up toys and personal paraphernalia, refereeing child's play, applying band-aids, answering the phone and email, chatting with neighbors, making and unmaking the guest bed, and I've just recently started drinking a half a cup of coffee with cream each morning. My, what a miracle drug!
I set a personal record by being in the grocery store with my girls at 9:20 this morning and home unloading the car by 10:00. Three cheers for coffee and for Hope, our unrelenting alarm clock.
4. Eva: Finally recovered from the extreme highs of having a birthday, she is trying to find her place in the world. Truthfully, we've been struggling a lot lately to train and discipline Eva, which can also make fun and loving times hard to come by. But, she is staying busy nonetheless, dressing up in long dresses, jumping off the picnic table into the kiddie pool, playing for hours with her friends, and giving long and detailed descriptions of her own decision making processes. Whew!
5. Hope: Currently fighting a mild cold, her two year old voice sounds extra dopey these days. She also spends hours of the day changing between ballet clothes, gymnastics leotards, prairie girl dresses, swimsuits, and sweatsuits. She hates tank tops and short sleeves and pitches enormous fits if I insist that she wear summer clothes. Her bangs are often in her eyes, but it doesn't stop her from browsing books for hours of the day. She can also be found screaming, squealing, giggling, and arguing with her live-in playmate Malachi Thompson.
Esther: Today was the crabbiest day of her life. I held her a lot and thanked God that she is not normally like this, allowing me to complete my tasks with two hands. She is not truly "mobile", but wiggles around quite a bit and has the longest reach possible. She also has a fantastic gag reflex, which enables her to never choke on or swallow the myriad of things she is able to stick in her mouth (thanks to her amazingly long reach). She started eating solids a few weeks ago and is really enthusiastic. She screeches and howls if we sit up to the table to eat and don't include her. Unlike her sisters, she pounds mashed up table foods like I've never given her an once of breast milk in her life. She is typically really happy, really excited to eat anything, completely obsessed with watching her sisters play, and passionate about biting off large chunks of paper that she reaches with her long arms.
Her bangs are never in her eyes anymore since she almost always sports a little ponytail, and she looks super cute with her four little baby teeth. Basically, I think she's adorable and tons of fun!
Alrighty, that's the to-the-minute update. Peace out!