Friday, June 25, 2010

JUNE Update: Lots of FUNNY Videos!

We've been busy over the last couple weeks as the weather is finally getting nice. The day after the rain stopped, Jason wanted to put up the new tent and have a campout with Gracie and Emmett. They eventually did fall asleep and stayed out there all night - bring on the Weber Campout! :)

Gracie's Game

Playing with our neighbor Cody

Sprinkler Fun

One night before bed, Jason decided the kids needed their first lesson in tackle football. Here is Emmett running for a first down.

Second down....

Third, fourth, and fifth downs....yeah, I know, but he's only 3! I didn't get it on video, but he did eventually score (he had to get to the rose bushes - never too young to want the roses.... :-)

Gracie and Emmett just finished three weeks of swimming lessons. They were taught by the high school girls swim teams (they're certified instructors) and we lucked out with very small groups - Emmett was the only kiddo in his group this day.
Gracie showing off her back float.
Jessie enjoying her snacks and climbing on the bleachers.

Emmett on the slide.

Jumping off the diving board.

So, the day that I finally remembered to bring my camera to swim lessons, Jessie, finally decides to walk! We are almost there - yeah!

Whew! All caught up.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Discovering the Art of Mud Pie Making

The kids love that Elli's outside water dish automatically refills when emptied, hence supplying a constant pool of water for mud-making...

It was hot this afternoon so the water dish was a magnet for exploring toddlers:

Exhibit A

I just hosed her off outside and took the clothes off to let her dry before bringing her in - she loved every minute of it!

Sisters, sisters...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rockin' Robins

It all started on a VERY windy day in mid-May. Jason saw a momma robin scoping out a nest location right outside our kitchen window on top of the motion light. For two days she unsuccessfully tried to build a nest - the wind blew everything down and left a large collection of twigs on our patio.
We were thrilled to see that a robin wanted to nest there - almost any other bird would not have been welcome (too messy!). So, Jason went out and carefully attached a piece of chicken wire to the top of the light so that the nest twigs had a place to hang onto. Within 48 hours the pair had completed a nest right outside our window. We were worried that going in and out of the back door would spook her off the nest, so we trained the kids to be very quiet and not scare the momma away (turns out, she was very hard to spook).
She was finally sitting on eggs - we didn't know how many. And over Memorial Day weekend while we were gone - the babies arrived! We couldn't see them, but we saw momma bringing worms, so we knew they were up there! Finally Jason snuck-up to the nest on a ladder and took a picture - there were 3! Every time the mom or dad robin came with a worm, the kids would get excited and watch the babies stretch their necks and chirp for food - very exciting times around here! And finally yesterday, the first baby flew out of the nest. The other two left this morning. We haven't seen any of them since, but we're hoping they're running/hopping fast to keep away from the neighbors cats! Robins can have up to three clutches in a year, so maybe we'll have some more baby robins before the summer is over!

Sitting on the Eggs

New Arrivals

Feeding Time (the male and female took turns bringing food about every 3-5 minutes!)

Almost ready to leave the nest!

Last One: This one sat on the edge of the nest all morning today and kept stretching and fluffing its feathers like it was ready to go. Finally the female came to feed it and must have given it a nudge because it finally lept out!

Hopping Around: It finally made it into the boxwood shrub - not sure if it's still in there...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

We left Thursday and drove 13.5 hours to Sedro-Woolley to visit my family for the long weekend. It was raining in Great Falls when we left and rained/fogged the entire drive - it was great for driving and keeping the kiddos mellow. But, it did not stop for 3 days!! We had a 4 hour break on Sunday morning, but otherwise it rained the whole weekend. At least we weren't missing good weather back home - it rained here the entire weekend too! I could tell because my grass was 8 inches tall and the flower/vegetable gardens were mud! We made it back in 13 hours. The drive wasn't as bad as I expected so we'll probably do that again - all the way without an overnight stay. Loved seeing my parents, Grandpa Jack, and several cousins, so it really was a great trip!

Jessie, happy to be facing forward - finally!

Gracie and Emmett packed their own activity bags....Gracie can't go anywhere without her "accessories"! :-)

Emmett, chillin' in the back

We went to the beach on Saturday - it was FREEZING!

This is Pa teaching Emmett how to sink in the wet sand...

Looking for baby crab - NONE to be found! I've always found crab under the rocks - where were they?!

Happy to be in the rain-free fresh air!

Lilacs and the Last Day of School

Great Falls has a challenging climate to grow - almost everything - due to late frosts, late snowfall, and the wind. But one thing that is native here and absolutely fabulous this year were the lilacs - WOW! Almost every house in town has a lilac bush, many have hedges like this one at our church/school. Talk about intoxicating fragrance - love it! They were not this amazing last year, must have been that late super-wet snowfall(s) we got in May....

I took this picture last Wednesday - Gracie's last day of pre-school.

Gracie is Hooked!

Last week Gracie got to go fishing with Jason - right after they stocked the pond with hundreds of hungry trout! Gracie reeled in 6 fish in about 10 minutes using canned corn and worms for bait. Then she came home, cleaned the fish, Jason bbq'd them and she ate 3 of them! (They were small.) Emmett missed the outing because he was sick, but he's ready now, just waiting for Daddy to have time...