Reveling in the glory and beauty of everyday life... all the mess and chaos of raising five little girls!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three Sisters in Yellowstone

Last Saturday, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to drive to Yellowstone.  We have often camped or stayed in one of the lodges for a fun overnight trip in May, but this year that wasn't feasible.  So, we just got up at the crack of dawn, loaded sleepy and very excited kiddos in their carseats, and headed north for a one-day adventure.   Our car was loaded with a cookstove and kit, some rather random items of food :), and warm clothes. 

 It was a bit chilly - in the high 40s and low 50s with some scattered hail and snow.  But every once in a while, we hit a patch of warm sunshine - just in time for ice cream at Old Faithful and a walk at Grand Prismatic Spring, two of our favorite spots.  

At Canyon Falls, early in the day
Looking a little tired.  I needed a cup of tea. :)
We stopped to scramble eggs in a pull out, then rested in the back of the Suburban while Daddy used his binoculars to glass for bear in the Hayden Valley.

Holding hands as they ambled along the path at Midway Geyser Basin

Dad and his little girls

It took a lot of tries to capture all three girls with eyes on the camera. This pool was called Turquoise Pool.

Watching Old Faithful erupt.
And, more importantly, eating mango sorbet on the deck of Old Faithful Inn. We also saw a choir perform a "random act of music" inside the lobby -- all of the singers placed on various levels of the balcony.

Zonked out at 7:30 after eating nuggets and carrot sticks in the Old Faithful Lodge cafeteria.

 We are thankful to live so close to these natural wonders, and have kids who are flexible and easy-going when it comes to travel and exploration! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Teacher and the Principal

In a public school, you have teachers, and you have a principal, right?  The principal supervises, trains, encourages and supports the teachers.  If a teacher needs help, she or he can turn to the principal.  Well, we decided early on that we needed that system here in our school, too.  We haven't yet named our little educational haven -- but we do have a supervisory system in place. :) 

Daddy's job is to support, encourage, and provide back-up discipline when it is needed.  Now, I have to admit: I was a nerdy, people-pleasing, peace-keeping, straight-A sort of bookworm.  The only time I got sent to the principal's office was my senior year of high school, and it was so the principal could congratulate me on being the first student in school history to score a 100% on one of Mr. Meacham's Calculus tests.  (To be fair, I scored a 76% on the next one, and ended the class with an average in the mid-80s.  The 100% was a bit of a fluke.  Calculus is really hard!)  

My little star pupil gets sent to her principal's office with a bit more frequency.   My tender-hearted little nurturer is also hard-headed and a bit willful, and there are sometimes battles I have to put on pause until Daddy gets home.   There have been a few times when a poor attitude has led to Elisa not finishing an assignment (like a math test!) in a timely manner.  I struggle to know how to discipline for balking at or refusing to do work -- so, we have simply set the test or page aside, moved on to the next subject, and waited for the principal. (Dum, du-dum du-dum!)  

One Friday night, Elisa finished a math test in her room while the rest of us watched The Sound of Music and ate popcorn. One day this week,  she was really struggling with having a defiant attitude and disrespectful speech.   While I disciplined her throughout the day, I also reminded her that the principal would receive a report at the end of the day.   It happened to be small group night, so I didn't give my report until after our guests were gone and the kids were in bed.  Erik woke her up to talk her.  The next day he called at lunchtime and made her give him a report of her attitude. She was surprisingly honest. :) 

Today, she gets to show him a 100% math test and tell him about how she measured the length of a dinosaur in the backyard and danced with silk scarves to classical music.  She can fill him in on how Louis' dad stole the trumpet in Trumpet of the Swan and tell him how she scrawled spelling words while sitting outside by the pond.  

Having a principal is a good thing.  Having a wonderful, loving, supportive daddy and husband is even better.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Three or four weeks ago, we purchased a set of used bunk-beds from our Habitat store.  They were in good condition, but needed to be either refinished or painted.  We opted for painting.  It took a few late night sessions and a couple of good nap-times for Erik and I to finish the task. He did the bulk of the work, while I did the finishing touches this week while he traveled for work.  This morning, we finally set them up!  Oh, the excitement!  We also found some clearance bedding from Target and purchased four sets - thinking ahead to another little one needing to match her sisters in a couple of years. :)  

Elisa has the top perch. It is really high, and she loves it!
Elisa's old bed (which was mine growing up) will become Raina's once we decide to move Raina into the big girl bedroom.  We think we'll hold off until Baby Girl is out of the bassinet at three months or so.  She still goes to sleep a bit earlier than the other girls, so it is nice for her to be in her own room.  Erik did actually take the side rail off her crib today because she has started climbing out.  I wasn't quite ready for that, but I also don't want her to crash (or break the railing, which already has a crack in it!)
I freehand painted a few flowers on the side rails, just for fun.
And, painted the "ladder" in colors of their choice.  The drawers below Sadie are also painted blue, pink and purple. 

Friday, May 11, 2012


Sometimes, on a grayish May morning, when your nose is running and you haven't had enough sleep, and you just feel snuggly....   you just need to climb in your sleeping bag for school! 

Notice the missing front tooth!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Signs of Spring

 Sitting in the wheelbarrow
 Bare toes warm in sunshine
 Dandelions! Time for the weedkiller!
 Buds on the willows
 Shoots of new life bursting up in perennial beds
 Ducks swimming on our pond
 Blowing bubbles, peanut butter faces
Buckets and shovels

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweet Sadie-isms

Have I ever mentioned that my Sadie is poetic and fanciful? This is a funny - and perhaps slightly rude :) - Sadie-ism that had all of us (even Raina) in stitches at the dinner table. 

A loud "toot" erupted from the end of the table.  Elisa said, "Who tooted?" Sadie looked up innocently from her plate of pasta and said. "I don't know. But that toot didn't vibrate my bottom, so I don't think it was me!"  I just cracked up.

I don't know. Maybe you had to be there.