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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Alden!

We had a birthday festival, as Wally's family would say. Beware the many pictures.

Rhianwen made a card with fireworks for Alden.

We've been asking Alden recently, "Are you a baby or a big boy?", and Alden very matter of factually replies, "I Alden." I don't think he wants to decide :) Sometimes I don't want to decide myself. He's my cuddly little guy to whom I can still talk baby talk and who still wants his paci. Yet, he's singing, conversing, sharing, interacting, and running and jumping better than Rhianwen was at this age! He can even count to 7. I'm sure having a big sister is a good motivator for those things. We had a fun time celebrating the life God has given him with family and friends.

Reading The Birthday Box with Grandaddy. Alden loves this book. It's really cute. Grandaddy and Grandmama even gave him a big box to go along with it which he also loves.

Playing in the awesome sprinkler Uncle Brooks and Aunt Clara made!

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores with Brooks, Clara, and Uncle Averett.

First (possibly only) pets...2 fishies for 2 years old.

Singing "Happy birthday" to our 2 year old.

Not sure about the limbo game yet; he warmed up to it later.

A socca ball! Yay!

Enjoying the fun fire truck from Rhianwen.

The only good reason to have a paci out of his mouth.

Digging in.

Yes, we celebrated over the course of a week. We like to have a celebration on the day of their actual birthday. Then we had a party with friends later.

Sponge relay (pool to buckets). Alden LOVED this game and didn't want to stop.

Waiting for a fishy?

Enjoying the treasure at the end of their treasure hunt. Notice the bubble between Alden's hands. (Good photography, mom!).

Poking at the birthday cake Rhianwen helped make. (Mommy is just so awesome, don't you think?)

Enjoying a...moment...after the hubbub of the party.

This poor butterfly is clueless.

I love God's little gifts.

If you read this before 11am tomorrow (7/28), please pray for the nursing home visit!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can You Say Arimiah?

Already creating her own style. I let her wear some mild style choices out (like that headband was around her waist at church Sunday). Someday she'll probably look back on pictures and ask me "why on earth did you let me go out in that?!".

Rhianwen says she's a "little adult" now. I'm not seeing much of a difference in behavior other than that she likes to "teach" Alden. I overheard her saying to him in a lecturing type of voice, "Thomas had a school called Arimiah. Alden, can you say Arimiah?" and Alden's voice piped up, "Awimiah." Quite a lesson in fictional history. Nanny Kim will be very joyful to know that Rhi's begun fully dressing her baby dolls. She's also doing a great job reading although sentences are still challenging. Putting the words all together in a flowing way is hard. It's very exciting to see her working on it though.

We were blessed to have a nice visit from Grandmama for a couple of days. What a sweet time! She brings much joy, calm, and capability to our house. She ironed my enormous mountain of ironing, mended everything, organized my tupperware, brought lots of wonderful food, cooked dinner for us, and gave the kids lots of loving. I was able to sand and prime Rhianwen's loft while she was there. I'm almost done painting it, but it'll take longer b/c I can only do it at night now. It's a good thing she doesn't live next door b/c I would be tempted to use her as a doula. Actually, I find it sad that we, in the US, no longer live in community with family.

For the 4th, we enjoyed a little family day at our local shopping center. Alden got to see lots of classic cars.

Notice the huge sock monkey and fuzzy dice. Fuzzy dice brings back memories of careening haphazardly in Wally's old VW bug around Clemson. Glad we had those days, but glad they are over :)

Jumping. Alden needed help staying on his feet with all of the bouncing kids bouncing the whole thing. He generally is a very good jumper and can even spin in the air and land back on his feet.

Eating pineapple Italian ice. It was out of this world. We also had strawberry. It was made from real fruit. Amazingly good!

Rhianwen insisted she wanted to see real fireworks this year and that she wouldn't be scared. So we took her up on it and went to a small show at the shopping center.

Wearing "friendship bracelets". I don't know how she heard of them or what she thinks they are, but she said, "Alden is my friend, and he can have some of my bracelets." She did love the fireworks.

Alden on the other hand...

Still serious about those sparklers but not terrified.

More his cup of tea.

Blackberry cobbler. Of course, he mostly ate the icecream.

Another first for us was that Rhi and Alden went to a movie theater to see Charlotte's Web. They did great and really enjoyed it. (It was free, so there was no pressure to stay, but we saw the entire thing). Daddy felt left out and decided to do a family night at Chuck E. Cheese's. Talk about nasty pizza. But the kids had fun, although didn't quite know what to make of it. I don't like what those places do to me. I feel like a hoarder, trying to guard my precious tokens from any would-be kid thieves, and ripping any extra tickets I can find from anywhere. All for a cheap prize that I would never buy in the store. I'd hate to see what I'd be like in Vegas and for that reason (as well as a slew of others) never intend to go. At the end Rhianwen chose a wiggly spider prize over stickers or fancy jewelry. Her decision confused me until we were back in the car and she named her spider Charlotte.

Alden's probably wondering what on earth his parents are thinking.

Back home, we settled into domesticity. This video is of Alden singing. The first part is what he does when he doesn't know what to sing. It's the same tune every time. Notice how he pats/pokes the baby doll on the face. A sign of things to come no doubt.

Other Alden developments: he knows many colors and loves to eat cucumbers. His birthday is in 7 days. Time's a ticking. July is speeding by, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Anniversary (our 9th!!!), b-day, Dr. appointments, and a nursing home visit. Please pray for the nursing home especially b/c there is a new activities director who didn't seem thrilled with the prospect of having a bunch of preschoolers invade for an hour. I'm feeling very intimidated and have contemplated quitting. But then I think of that verse about perfect love casting out fear. It really is a good thing we are doing. So much joy happens for the residents and the kids and the moms and the workers. Everyone leaves smiling. Please pray it will be so this next time!

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