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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alden is Super 4!

Alden is 4! But before I dive into the festivities of his celebration, I have to take joy in the fact that God has blessed Wally and me with 11 years of marriage, and we are still loving it! Of course, we get grumpy (enter me) or irritated or impatient or need space or need lovin' and affection (enter Wally), but I thank God for His faithfulness to us and for Wally's faithfulness and love toward me. To think that Christ's love is bigger and better is really overwhelming. If only I could live like I believed that!

Celebrating at an insanely expensive Japanese restaurant that was probably one of the top dining experiences we've ever had. I no longer feel sorry for people whose diets consist of mostly fish. It was eye-opening and mouth-watering.

So back to my 4 year old guy.

He felt very loved and celebrated. You can tell by his face how excited he was! He asked for a superhero birthday party, and he was not disappointed.

Rhianwen picked out the Spiderman action figure for him. That was one of his requests for his birthday. I'm thankful she had that job, b/c there are way to many Spiderman toys out there for me to decide.

Here's Corwin taking it all in. He also is acting innocent as he holds the gift from Uncle Robeson, Aunt Natalie, and Benjamin.

Yum. Cupcakes.

Rhianwen wanted to make a "fancy" drink for Alden's b-day. So she made "orange fizzeroo" from Fancy Nancy's tea-party book. We all enjoyed it!

The next day was his superhero party (see more here for decorations etc.). His friends and he designed their own superheros.

Here are some of their finished projects.

I also printed out some pictures of various superheros doing feats of daring, and showed pictures of Jesus, doing similar things. He has many superhero traits and powers, but best of all, He is real and more powerful! This was fun!

Then it was outside for treasure reconnaissance. The evil Lizard from Spiderman had stolen their treasure, and we were calling all superheros to help us recover it. First they had to use a web to tangle up some evil fiends left by lizard to slow them down:

Then they had to scale walls and slide down into the swamp and destroy the water bombs left by the Lizard:

Next they swung over a pit on a web:

Captain America loaned his shield for them to toss into the sand trap (good target practice):

Superman had to try too.

Next Thor's hammer was used to destroy more water bombs:

The superheros had to get creative as evil thugs came pouring down from the sky:

At the end of the carnage, all of the bad-guys were reduced to bits and pieces all over the lawn.

Lastly was a face-off with the Lizard, himself. He was no match for the zapper (aka silly string can with spray-paint attachment). This worked really well, especially the balloon figure b/c it moved and recoiled from the attack:

All in a day's work for a superhero. No need to look excited:

Alden asked for a Lizard cake. I guess it wasn't enough to just zap the Lizard, they also felt the need to devour him.

Thankful for superheros!

A new take on the Super-Nanny.

We were happy to have my family come to help celebrate! Here they are after the adrenaline is wearing off.

My first boy. This year he has learned all of his alphabet, has started on blends, mostly can say his L's (instead of making them w's), has taught himself to write, learned how to swim, and found a comrade in Corwin...someone who will wrestle, slap, run, laugh without all of the orchestration that Alden's older sibling requires. In Corwin's eyes, he is a superhero! Whatever Alden does, Corwin mimics. I pray that the Lord will give Alden a vision of Christ, a powerful steadfast heart for Him, and determination and perseverance to fight the good fight and finish the race...to be a real hero...to imitate the real Hero.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I never remember how busy summer can be! In my imaginings, summer is full of hazy lazy days spent reading, swimming, and running around in the backyard. That is how I remember my childhood. I don't think I ever realized until now that even that takes work for a mommy (thanks mom, for some of my favorite summer memories.)

Off to swim lessons. Alden was horrid for the first 3 days, then all of a sudden after throwing the ultimate tantrum of his life, he did it without flinching. I had hoped if I let him just lose it, then he'd be over it, and it worked! He can float on his back and kick to the ladder under the water without floaties. Rhianwen relearned how to swim and is doing great. We ended up joining a pool that is 2 minutes from us, so I hope they will retain what they have learned.

The way we celebrated of the completion of swim lessons.

Worth it?

Oh yeah.

We've been trekking in the car a lot. I'm not sure where we've been going, I guess swim lessons and Vacation Bible School mostly, but suffice it to say, we have listened to the entire audio books of Anne of Green Gables, The Trumpeter Swan, Little House in the Big Woods, and are now working on Alice in Wonderland. These stories are certainly a highlight of our wanderings in the car. After listening to Anne of Green Gables, we watched the movie with the kids. ALL of them loved it even Corwin! We worked at each most days during lunch, and he would eagerly get up in his chair to watch it. Little House in the Big Woods was certainly eye-opening for them. I got a lot of questions about the black panthers described in the book, and sadly, I could not find out much about them! Apparently, there are no black panthers in, possibly, the world. It seems it's a misnomer for other species like leopards, jaguars, cougars, etc. Anyway, that made it hard to tell them exactly what Laura's Pa was describing. I guess I think it must have been a black cougar, but they say they are so rare, that it is unlikely that you'd have many sightings. However, in the story they are highlighted at least twice and seen by 3 different families. Strange.

Here is Alden's rendition of a black panther.

And here is Rhianwen's.

Rhianwen has been copying artwork out of the library books we have gotten. Here is her rendition of M.C. Escher's House of Stairs. So cute!

Other joys:

Blackberry picking, Corwin loved them...warm purply-pink juice all over his face and hands by the end.

Painting on the back deck on a cooler day.

Canoeing to a swimming hole on the Eno.

Daddy's birthday celebration.

I won't tell you how old he is....

Croquet is quite challenging with a toddler who loves to play with balls.

Did you know most men prefer pie over cake??? I never knew it until this year, and heard it solemnly exegeted at church on 2 different occasions! This one is peach, oh scrumdiddlyumptuous.

Our beans grew over the teepee, hooray! We picked them, and then they burned away in this hot still barely can breathe heat we are having.

Corwin's gotten excited about playing dress-up. He especially likes masks.

Rhianwen has been whistling for a year, but she is finally able to whistle a real tune! If you listen carefully, you can tell she's whistling Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (although I guess this tune goes to more songs than just that one.)

Having fun with the pattern blocks, who needs formal education ;0) The longer the summer progresses, the more I'm beginning to think I will have nothing to teach Rhianwen if I stick to Kindergarten level, but we're just going to proceed as planned anyway. I've learned not to push her past what her level is supposed to be. It's ugly if I do.

We've completed our memory work of the "Romans Road". Here's our little art project that went along with it. We added to it every time we added a Bible verse.

Alden's been practicing his Spidey-web-shooting technique. We gave him a crash course by showing him some Spiderman clips of web-slinging. I also made him a new apron. I don't know why I brought him to the fabric store to pick out material. I knew he'd pick out the Spiderman one.

Independence Day toes.

I couldn't help it. They are adorable.

Although you can't tell it, this cd was chosen for it's Patriotic Songs. It had a mix. If you wonder what my 2 older children are doing staring into seeming space, they are watching their reflections in the fireplace glass as they dance. Notice Corwin is JUMPING now!

At the pool, in this heat, there aren't many other good options.

Making a flag cake.

Success. And, it was delicious. Cream-cheese frosting with strawberries....yum.

Celebrating the 4th with friends. Here they are awaiting cake.

Corwin's first sparkler.

Trying a simultaneous lighting. Those Walmart sparklers are not quality...surprise surprise...so it didn't work too well.

It looks like he's expecting it to turn into a dragon or something.

Corwin went to his first real fireworks show. He seemed slightly underwhelmed as the night progressed, but he certainly was not afraid.

And, yes, this is how he smiles for the camera now. "The occasional chocolate chip cookie", as Uncle Christopher's book says, is worth a smile.

Rhianwen and Alden often practice their knock knock jokes at the dinner table. Here is a funny interaction that happened the other day:

Alden to Rhianwen: Knock Knock.
Rhianwen: Who's there?
Alden: Ach.
Rhianwen: Ach who?
Alden: ...
Rhianwen: You're supposed to say, "Bless you, do you need a kleenex?".
Alden: (Sniff, sniff) Yes.

No, I don't remember the rules about quotation marks, and, yes, we've been fighting terrible summer colds.

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