Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

2013: Belly Button Beach

"Do you wonder where they are? It's Belly Button Beach! Where tons of hippos stand around in bathing suits too little, because they hope you will admire the button on their middle."
-Sandra Boynton, The Belly Button Book

Jumping back to our Nalle family beach trip last September...

I couldn't find Graham's swim shirt when I was packing. That is, I couldn't find the navy blue one with the three surf boards on it, the one that was 18-month size. So I grabbed his other one, the one he'd worn all summer when we went to Mom's pool, the 12-month sized, powder blue one with the long navy sleeves.

There was just one problem. Graham seemed to have had some kind of growth spurt between pool time and beach time. We got to the beach, and the light blue swim shirt didn't look quite right. But it was all we had, so he wore it anyway.


Yes, that's him, there on the right.

The one with about two inches of belly hanging out?

Yes, that one.

The one with the outie?



Well, hello, Cuteness!

It didn't trouble Graham one bit that his belly hung out. He didn't mind how many people grinned at him, shook their heads, commented, or pinched his pudge. I mean, if you've got it...


...why not take it to the beach?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chocolatey Field Trip

In honor of Valentines' Day, some pictures (once again courtesy of Mrs. Apple) of a recent field trip to take the Factory Tour at SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier:

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Love the chocolate smear on Matthew's chin!

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photo 1

Happy Valentines Day and many celebrations of true, self-giving love to all of our dear ones out there--with a happy helping of chocolate on the side!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Dance Class and What the Boys Do

Apropos of nothing, I would like to begin by saying that there are times when you just pray that your toddler is teething again. Because the only other explanation you can think of is sudden insanity, and teething seems vastly the most preferable of the two.

*   *   *

My wonderful friend Christine lives just down the road from us and has become our carpool partner. Her girls and my girls both take the same dance class, so on Tuesday mornings, one of us drives the four girls to class, while the other keeps my two boys at home. Recently, Christine took some pictures of both groups of kids, which are much too cute not to share. (See? I told you she's wonderful.)

Here are the goyls, enjoying themselves at Ye Old Dance Studio. (Not its real name, by the way. That would be goofy.)




And here are the boys, very happy at "Mrs. Apple's house." (Graham refers to every member of their family as just plain "Apple.")
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Mrs. Apple has super cool toys that Graham will actually play with! (At our house he just wanders around dumping small pieces out of their containers and then ignoring them.)
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We are grateful for the opportunity to have the girls taking dance, but we're much more grateful for good friends with whom to do life!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

2013: Meggie's Birthday

Still doing a bit of catch up here...

Meg's birthday was in December. She turned eight, if you can believe such a thing. The nerve of her!

We had a small family party for her and for Nana, whose birthday Meg shares. Meg chose a favorite, Salsa Verde Chicken, for dinner, so we started our evening with a yummy meal. We had cake and ice cream, and then we opened presents...

Nana had to open her gift from Matthew first. Oh, the suspense...

It was the cutest little baby-bird-in-a-nest, crafted by Matthew out of a real egg shell. He found this project in one of his library books and decided it would make a perfect present. (Now it's sitting in the place of honor on my mom's over-the-sink windowsill.)

Meg opened her card from Papa Don and Grandma Jan...

and she opened her annual gift, a new Christmas dress...
(I love this picture of her SO much!)

and she opened her special devotional book from Aunt Lena, who sent her love (and a smashing birthday poem!) from far-away France, even though she couldn't be there personally.


Then she opened her card...

and her gift from Matthew and Esme. A coveted Lego Friends set!

The final event of the evening was the presentation of THE gift, the one Meg has waited and waited and longed and planned and hinted and hardly dared to hope for. It was an American Girl Doll--my old American Girl Doll, to be precise. My wonderful mother saved Samantha and all of the many clothes and accessories I collected for her so that I could pass them along to my own daughter. We held off and held off giving them to Meg until we were sure she was mature enough to care for such a special gift.

Meg was... well, she was shocked, and really happy.

She still is happy, I might add. And our faith in her ability to cherish and care for Samantha was not misplaced.

We can't believe how our oldest is growing up. How can it possibly be eight already?