Swim Lessons

June 30th, 2012 by Rachel

The big kids finished two weeks of swim lessons, and I am amazed at the progress they made. They each started at different places and grew in confidence and ability. Bud is still very cautious in the water, but he came a long way. Sugar likes to show off her new skills, and since grandparents don’t often get to accompany us to the pool, here is a tidbit of her swimming.

Interview with Sugar at 4

June 21st, 2012 by Rachel


What is your favorite color? purple and pink

What is your favorite food? beans and chicken

Favorite animal? monkeys

What are you really good at? singing, counting, climbing trees (for the record, she cannot climb trees on her own yet)

What are you not so good at? jump roping, sports like basketball

Who are your favorite friends? Micah, Gabriella, New Katherine

What is your favorite thing to do at school (CC)? Play

What is the best thing about having a baby brother? Playing with him, trying not to push him too fast

What is the best thing about having a big brother? not so good because they hit you. I like picking flowers with Daddy.

How are you different from Bud? I don’t want to play with him when he hits me. Nervous he might bite or hit me.

What does Bud do that makes you mad? throws mud in my face Read more »

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

June 21st, 2012 by Rachel

I got this idea from my friend Megan’s kids’ summer bucket list of activities. I gave the big kids a mission: find something in the house that starts with each letter of the alphabet and take a picture of it. Obviously, their pictures weren’t that great, but I was blown away by their creativity. You have got to check out what they picked for X. I think Sugar has a future as an actor and Bud as a director/writer.

A – (Sugar’s real name), B – Baby, C – carrots, D – diapers, E – eggs, F – flyswatter, G – games, H – high (ceiling), I – eye, J – (Bud’s real name), K – Kaley, the penguin’s name, L – legos, M – “me”, N – November, O – octopus, P – paper, Q – cute, R – racecar, S – Cinderella, T – top hat, U – up, V – vacuum, W – water, X – execute, Y – yarn, Z – zipper

Execute? Really? Bud is holding a wooden knife from our little play kitchen and took the picture. It only took them 15 minutes, but I highly recommend it as a kid’s activity.

Sugar’s Fourth Birthday Party

May 30th, 2012 by Rachel

Can you believe Sugar-girl is already four?! We celebrated on her birthday with a small party of grandparents and sweet girls around her age. These are other homeschooled friends that we enjoy playing with during the school year. When our kids are together, they always end up playing “Little House on the Prairie.” I love it!

When I asked Sugar what kind of birthday party she wanted to have, she did not hesitate to say she wanted a Rapunzel (Tangled movie) party. Tangled party ideas abound over the world wide web, so this was rather easy to plan and pull off. I had to keep things simple due to my commitments at our annual Classical Conversations Parent Practicum the week prior to the party.

I printed banners similar to the ones all over the Tangled movie and strung them through the house. I also found these purple paper lanterns at Hobby Lobby, and Sugar and Bud thought they were perfect.

The girls made some crowns like Rapunzels (did you know they make sticker jewels? I was in awe!) and sported them for the remainder of the celebration.

In Tangled, Rapunzel is trapped in her tower all day long and spends a lot of time painting the walls inside. Thomas rigged up a tower in the driveway for the girls to paint. They painted the outside and this kept them busy for quite some time.

Then we came inside and made these adorable Pascal blowers. They were a hit.

Then we had lunch and cake. In planning her party, Sugar and I looked at many, many different Tangled-themed birthday cakes in trying to decide which one she wanted. She picked the most simple one out there, and I was not about to say no. She only ate marshmallows. I think next year, I am going to make her and ice cream cake. She never eats anything but frosting anyway, and this year she didn’t even eat that!

Later, Sugar opened presents. Her grandparents were very generous. Nana made her another princess dress, and I think this was her best replica yet.

After everyone left, I suggested that I dress up with Sugar and we have a tea party (just like in “Annie and Snowball and the Teacup Club” that Bud had read to Sugar the night before). I had an old prom dress that my mom had kept, and we sipped on tea (water) and then had a dance party.

Sugar ended the day with a trip to Rosa’s and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Turning four is rough!

Sewing Projects: Dresses for Sugar

April 6th, 2012 by Rachel

I have been avoiding Pinterest lately for several reasons. Some of them include:
1) It makes me hungry for sweets that I don’t crave normally
2) I get too many ideas of things to do and I don’t have much time
3) I get really annoyed with all of those “lose all your tummy fat in 20 days with this easy workout!” pins. Come on, people!

That was a random vent because I didn’t get any of these sewing project ideas from Pinterest, but I did pin them after I found them. First, Sugar really needed some new short-sleeve shirts, but refused to part with her old ones which were stained and becoming mid-drift tops. She pledged her undying love for her shirts with such emotion that I knew I couldn’t simply take them out of her closet and hide them when she wasn’t looking. So I got creative. I bought 1/2 a yard of the “tutti-fruiti” collection fabric at Joann’s for each shirt and sewed a skirt on the bottom with elastic along the waist. Three of the four turned out really great. One was ridiculously short, though I am not sure what happened with that one. They were quick projects, each only taking about 30 minutes to finish. Her she is at the zoo in one:

While at Joann’s I scored a one yard remnant of cupcake print 75% off. I made this little dress for Sugar. She loves it. Shirring is so easy! I want to make her another one, but I don’t want to haul everyone to the fabric store again.

These were all so much fun, and she was so appreciative, that I started thinking about Sugar’s pajama situation. I loathe buying pajamas. They are so cute, but no one ever sees them and they just get covered in breakfast in the morning anyway. I saw this blog post on converting old grown-up shirts into nightgowns, and I tried it on two of my old t-shirts. They came out so cute and fit really well. I shirred the sleeves and neckline to make them more feminine for my girly-girl.

She decided afterward that girls don’t wear blue or red. (Yes, this is what we go through on a daily basis.) I had also made two out of old knit tops of mine that were in my Goodwill pile because they were so short. These are my favorites. Too bad I cleaned out most of my too-short shirts last month for our garage sale!

Sugar had enough modeling for one week, but this one she insists is too pretty for pajamas since I put two ruffles (cupcake print again) along the top.

Deep Thoughts with Sugar

March 8th, 2012 by Rachel

Sugar likes to have deep theological discussions right at bedtime as a last-ditch effort to keep me or Thomas in there for a few more minutes. A few nights ago, she was saying she was scared that bad guys might come in the house since Daddy was gone and not there to protect us. I explained that God was here with us and loves us and has good plans for us. The conversation proceeded like this:
Sugar: You mean, God is right here, in my room?!
Me: Well, yes. He promises never to leave you. You cannot see Him, but He can always see you.
Sugar: Oh, that’s right, because He is in my heart! (Gulp.) I just swallowed Jesus!
Me: Good night.
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We have been skyping with Thomas while he was away, which I think is the back story for this one. While talking with Nana on the phone today, she asked, “Nana, can you see inside my ear?”
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I was pulling weeds in the backyard grass (which is futile, it is all weeds, who am I kidding?), and Sugar said, “Now Momma, I sure love you, but these beautiful white flowers are not weeds! You do not need to pull them up.”

It cracks me up that she prefaced her reprimand by telling me she loves me.

Oh, Sugar!

February 16th, 2012 by Rachel

Sweet Sugar is cracking me up these days and driving me a bit batty at the same time. Some highlights from this week, before I forget:

1) Sugar is mildly obsessed with growing hair like Rapunzel’s in Tangled. She has two Rapunzel dolls that she dotes upon, and is frequently found brushing her own hair and telling me how much longer it is than mine, as if this was some sort of race, not my own lack of finding time to get my haircut in a year, but I digress. Two of Sugar’s favorite people are young teenage girls, who encouraged Sugar that someday she might need to trim her hair, and that trimming it actually makes it grow longer. (They honestly meant no harm in this, but had the purest of intentions in getting her to someday agree to a hair trim, if it proved necessary.) She relayed this story to me, and when I tried to explain it, she dismissed my version as falsehood, the teenagers’ as absolute truth.

Last weekend, we had friends’ visiting while home from East Asia for a few months with their four-year-old daughter, who was Sugar’s instant best friend. After dinner, the girls were playing when Bud discovered hair all in the toilet. Sugar and her pal had been trimming their hair so it would grow long like Rapunzel’s. They cut their hair in the front, like bangs. Thankfully, they did not cut them too short, and Sugar’s actually looks pretty cute if it was more even, but I would never tell her so. Her friend’s was cut less than Sugar’s, and thankfully it was not too short, either. I think she understands now and agrees to never cut her own hair again. The partners in crime:

2) Earlier this week our chiropractor asked Sugar how she was doing, to which she replied, “Not very good. Rapunzel (referring to her doll) was up all night with a tummy ache and kept waking me up. Rapunzel ate ALL the food in the fridge, made a GREAT, BIG poop, and then had a tummy ache and kept waking me up. It was baaaaad.” Our sweet chiropractor didn’t even laugh when she responded, “I am sure if anyone ate all the food in the fridge, they would make a great, big poop,” and continued adjusting Micah.

3) I was watching some of the Crossfit games on youtube for inspiration over the weekend. The kids piled up next to me and watched a bit of one of the women’s workouts. After a few minutes, Sugar said, “When I grow up, I am going to be a strong momma like these mommas!”

4) While playing Uno, I told Sugar it was her turn and she could play a red card or a seven, to which she responded, “Plusably, I will play…. this one… plusably….”

5) And more hair drama. She was washing her hands and face before bed the other night when she decided to stick her head partially under the sink, wetting part of her hair. She cried for a long time later exclaiming that her hair was ruined and now she had “boy hair!” (tears, tears, tears.) My attempts to explain that it was just wet in some strange places and made it look different now, but would be back to normal when dry were met with more tears and forlorn sighs over her perceived loss of beauty. It was soon remedied by a ponytail, but she has brought up the awful night of “boy hair” several times since then. I am a bit apprehensive of the coming years.

Silly Sugar

January 3rd, 2012 by Rachel

Sugar has been cracking us up lately. I had to post some of her funny sayings before I rogot (her way of saying forget and forgot).

During Advent, the kids memorized a lot of the Christmas story though Noel Piper’s children’s advent readings each night. One evening, Sugar recited part of it this way, “the emperor manded (commanded) them to go to their own towns (hometowns) to sign up for paying taxis (taxes).”

I overheard her talking to Josiah about who-knows-what at lunch and saying, “that is dis-sick-able and yuckable!”

Thomas took Sugar on a lunch date this week while he was off of work. As they sat down with their food at her restaurant of choice (Rosa’s), he asked her what she would like to talk about. She replied, “It is not polite to talk with our mouths full. We can talk in the car after we eat.” Nice date!

Hospital Pictures

September 11th, 2011 by Rachel

Thankfully, I grabbed the camera on our mad-dash rush to Austin before Sugar’s surgery. Here are some of my favorite pictures from that time.

This is right before her surgery on Monday midday. It was an agonizing morning of waiting for surgery to begin, and I cried a lot. I sure love this girl! (This is the last picture of me pregnant, too.)

This was on Wednesday after her surgery (no pics of Monday afternoon or Tuesday, those were rough days), and enjoying her first taste of popsicle, but she only wanted the orange and red parts.

Taking a ride in the wagon on Wednesday. Nana brought Sugar that baby with long hair and lots of outfits to change into for being so brave. It really helped! She took her first steps on Wednesday night.

Speedy was born on Thursday morning, and we were released from the hospital on Friday at one. We went to Sugar’s hospital for dinner and to celebrate my birthday with some cake. Sugar was eating pizza. Her yellow bracelet says “Fall Risk” on it. That cracked me up.

Bud getting some time with his little brother:

Protected: Sugar is 3!

June 4th, 2011 by Rachel

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