Monday, June 20, 2011

Irish Adventures

At the end of May (yes I know, nearly a month ago now) Jesse and I took our longest vacation (kid-free) in over 6 years, a lovely little jaunt across the Atlantic to Ireland.

Accompanying us were Kate and Huck, Carl and Katherin, and Justin who has been stationed there since March. In our 9 days, we saw beautiful scenery, ate delicious food, and had a rollicking good time with some of our best friends... in short, it was an amazing trip. I highly recommend Ireland as a trip destination if you haven't been there...
and if you have, then you know what I'm talking about!

Here's the link to Jesse's Picasa album of our adventures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Claire's Spring Dance Recital

Claire has been really into dancing since we started her in fun classes with Ms Jennifer last fall. Last week she had her second-ever recital which was hilarious and adorable to watch. Here's a few cute shots (we're experiencing technical difficulties with uploading the video), which were hard to catch with 20 little girls on the stage all waving to their mamas! Luckily Claire wanted to stand right smack dab in the middle of the stage so she's easy to find in a sea of pink tights and leotards!

Here are the links to the video & photos from the recital day. Gabe was sitting right next to Jesse while he was doing the videography, so you can hear him singing along with the music and offering commentary.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mini Chefs

The kids are really into cooking right now (I wonder where they get that from?!?).
They love their play kitchen and Melissa & Doug foodstuffs, but they are starting to take it up a notch -- Gabe has been browsing recipes on the PBS kids website to cook at Grandma's house, and Claire gets out her special kid-knife from pampered chef anytime I'm making dinner because she wants to cut cheese or onions or fruit.
The other day they saw a cartoon snippet where they were making fruit salad, and Gabe asked if we could do that for snack. So he and Claire made a list of the fruits in the recipe, and we did the shopping together, and then after i washed the fruit they did all the prep (other than me cutting the cores out of the apple and pear.) They were so proud of themselves! And it was delicious too - they even shared with me (a little).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Claire's First Snowman

Claire typically has to be coaxed into doing anything outdoors when it's wintertime. For some reason snow and Claire do not mix. However, it was too beautiful out today to stay inside, so I talked her into her snowpants and we went out to enjoy the 16 inches of new snow. Because it's sunny we were able to build a snowman - her first one without the help of Gabe. We had a minor catastophe during the building when she leaned onto it and the head fell off. She started to cry and said "I was hugging him betauz just love him so much!" Once we fixed the damage and got the adornments on she was all smiles again. Here she is, giving a gentle hug to the snowman while she munches on a carrot (she wanted one because the snowman got to have one.) Then when we came in for lunch, she said "I hope it starts to dance when it's dark outside" (like in the story "The Snowman" by Raymond Briggs)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Monkey Turns 5!

Gabe is very proud to be celebrating his fifth (!!) birthday today, and we've done a bunch of fun things to commemorate the milestone. For some reason 5 seems like a bigger deal than being 4 - even though four was a great year for him with lots of wonderful changes, like learning to ride a bike, starting school, and being able to write his letters and numbers. We had a chinese-dragon-themed party with our friends on Sunday, where 55 cupcakes became a long "dragon" down the center of our table.

After the party, we had these left, which became snack for his preschool class today and a few more to enjoy with Nani and Baaa tonight at dinner. He was so excited for his turn to bring in snack at preschool because that means he also gets to be the "leader" in line to go outside for recess, his favorite part of the school day.

This morning we all woke up a bit early to have birthday banana pancakes and for him to open his gifts from us. Don't you wish you woke up this sunny every day? Even Claire was in a good mood, (which is a real rarity in the morning!)

Gabe was really pumped to get a Lego Combine, which we spent more than two hours building this morning. Boy, is it cool. And big! Money well spent. Once it was constructed he put it right to work harvesting the yellow square lego "bales" all through the living room and loading them into the little red Lego tractor he already has. Even more fun is in store when Nani and Baa come to bestow their birthday blessings on him tonight, and later this week we'll celebrate with the Heckers and Gilles's.

I can't wait to see how he continues to evolve as an intelligent, fun, lovable 5-year-old. The last 5 years has been amazing and I know he will continue to blow us away with his magical, infectious personality through the next five.
Gabe, when you someday are able to read this blog (maybe even as early as later this year, the way your computer and language skills are progressing!), I hope you know how much I love you. To the moon and back...

PS - After dinner with Nani and Baaa last night he got to open his gifts from them, including a new scooter "just like Ben's (Enwald)". This pic was too priceless to keep to myself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gabe's Self Portrait

I painted our mudroom door with chalkboard paint, which apparently is a big hit. Gabe took the opportunity to draw a life-size self portrait, which of course makes the artist in me very proud.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back in the Studio

Ann's studio, that is... We got our annual pictures taken a week or so ago, this time with Kate and T-bear in tow, but no daddies. The kids were quite squirrely, but luckily Ann is a quick shot and she got some really fun images of the three of them. Check it out if you want to see:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

School and other stuff

Gabe took another step toward big-kid-dom with the start of preschool Sept 1. He is adjusting well and seems to really love it. Here's a shot of him on the first day -- doesn't he look old?!?!

Since Gabe gets to do something new and fun, I thought Claire should have something special to look forward to as well, so we signed her up for her first dance class. She loves to put on her special "dancy skirt" and twirl around with her friends Sylvia and Phoenix who are also in her class. In this picture she is showing me "passe" while eating a breadstick.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trey's birthday!

Little Mister T-Bear turned One this week! The Traynors and Heckers (plus a few other special peeps) got together at Kate and Huck's new house to celebrate the big milestone on Sunday.

I had the honor of making his first cake, which I made as a banana-flavored monkey cake for the littlest monkey in the crew. He got lots of new clothes and a big fun truck that the other kids all wanted to take away from him. I don't think Gabe and Claire or Morgan and Sydney think Trey is big enough to be playing with toys that they themselves like!

It was a lot of fun, even when Trey took a nap in the middle of the party to recharge. You can view more here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busier than Bees

Boy, has the last month flown by. We've been up to all sorts of stuff, which is best described by the photos Jilly has posted of our adventures:

* July brought us on a road trip (no kids) with Ian and Monika to Toronto and Niagara Falls, Canada. More fun than one would think possible in just 4 short days. Photos Here:

* Then two weekends later Erin and Adam
were home for a couples' shower, 'Sconnie-style. (Think lots of relatives at an outdoor picnic with yard games, followed by the first 4-wheeler ride for the boy from Cali! (In this photo I think Hucky is giving Adam tips on living with a Traynor...)

Two weeks after that was the big event of the summer, our trip to Colorado for Erin & Adam's beautiful mountaintop wedding. It was sooo gorgeous and so much fun to be part of! They are truly blessed to be loved by so many amazing people. I already can't wait till their next major life milestone to hang out with all their loved ones again. Our batch of the photos are here, with lots more found elsewhere (like on my facebook page):

* And just last weekend we had some fun at the County Fair:

Luckily, we plan to spend the remainder of the summer enjoying some much-needed R&R within our own backyard (or the near vicinity at least!)