Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our First Soup of the Season


Oh, how I love fall, and oh, how I love to make soup! Yesterday morning it was 48° where we live, and the temps are hanging out in the 70's most daytimes this week. Perfect. Bring it on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Mommy, I have a bowf!"

I don't know if "bowf" is some confusion-born hybrid of bow and both, or if Graham just thinks that bow has an f at the end. Either way, he was very proud of his bowf.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Esme's Fifth Birthday: Home Highlights

The day after the Frozen party was Esme's actual birthday. We kept it super simple, with a Daddy/Esme date in the afternoon, Esme's choice of mac 'n' cheese for dinner, and homemade ice cream and presents before bed.

Graham understands the presents thing all too well now; he was ready and waiting to help Esme with her unwrapping. (Actually he all but unwrapped one solo before we even started.)

Matthew was our resident card-reader.

Thank you, Aunty Shanny!

Everyone very intent on the cool card from Papa Don and JanJan:

Meg and Matthew's gift was this musical, snow-globe tipped Elsa wand.

They got big hugs for that.


And her special gift from Mommy and Daddy:



Whatever it is, she likes it!

P1240420 Elsa dress!

Queen Elsa attended by her loyal handmaiden and manservant:

Happy Birthday, sweet and silly girl! You are greatly loved and cherished!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Matthew's Seventh Birthday: Lego Party

Matthew's and Esme's birthdays are just six days apart. That's why yesterday we found ourselves throwing a party for the second Sunday afternoon in a row. This one was an at-home affair, and the theme was Legos.

We set up a projector in the school room so everyone could watch The Lego Movie big screen style. We watched the first half...

...then we gathered in the living room to split into teams for our competitive Lego building game.

Dave explains the rules. (He talks with his hands.)

And they're off!

On the left, Team 1, with Matthew at the helm.

And on the right, the worthy competitors of Team 2.

The two teams worked together to build identical Lego Creator sets. Each person had 90 seconds to build as much of the set as he could, then the next person took his turn. The team to complete the set first won the round. Since the set could be built three different ways, we were able to do multiple rounds... Team 1 took the first round, and everyone was eager for more. Team 2 won the second round, by which time it was clear that the attention-span window was closing fast. So Dave declared a tie and distributed prizes to all. There were no arguments there!

Cake time! For Matthew's Lego cake, I took the plunge into the world of fondant for the first time. I didn't have the guts to cover the whole cake in fondant (and buttercream is so much tastier, honestly), but I used it for all of the decorations, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.


It's a far, far cry from some of the dazzling professional Lego cakes out there, but it's not too bad for a novice, right? Everything was edible except for the mini-figure standing on the pyramid in front. (My hat is off to anyone who does cakes for a living. My, WHAT time-consuming and painstaking work!)

I even found some Lego candles at the grocery store!

"Happy birthday, dear Matthew..."

He conquered the candles so fast we missed the shot.

Happy cake-eating peoples.

Happy jello-eating person. (#allergictoeverything)

Time for presents... Legos!!!


Our big old ugly chair actually kind of lends itself to gift-opening, doesn't it?

A thank-you hug.

Yay, more Legos!

Apparently, this one required closer inspection...

Everyone huddled around as Luke explained what he had drawn in his special birthday picture for Matthew.

I'm not sure what Graham is doing here. Maybe "I'm a Little Teapot"?

After presents, we watched the second half of the movie, and then it was time for goodbyes. Cleaning up the kitchen after everyone departed, I asked Matthew, "Did you like your party?"

"Yes," he said unhesitatingly. "I loved it. But I love Mommy more than my party." The words came unstudied and matter-of-fact, totally sincere.

And, oh my heart, what a good, good way to say hello to your eighth year, speaking those kind and loving words. Our Matthew Ian: how we love you. And don't you ever, ever forget it.