A taste of June (2015)


So – it’s hard to organize a family.  Especially a family with many little children.  I’m trying to figure out something that will actually work for us, but for now it definitely feels more like herding cats than the ideal picture of ducklings following their mother, all in a line.  Yeah, no line here.  Just scattering.  And crawling all over me.  That happens too.  :)

But amid the natural chaos, there is plenty to enjoy.  For one, I love the creativity of my children.  I almost never hear them say they are bored – because they always have something in mind to do!  Maybe not what I had in mind, but definitely always something.  :D

IMG_4860For instance, Kathryn deciding to teach Abigail how to play this homemade card game, using coupons that  Kathryn meticulously cut out.  These two actually have a fairly rocky relationship, often getting on each others’ nerves, so this was such a beautiful moment, seeing them happily (and quietly!) playing together.  :)


Here’s Abigail, playing dress up.  Well, more like pretend, I guess.

IMG_4863She is pretending to be a mommy.  A pregnant mommy (no, this is not a sly announcement).  She stuffed her baby doll into her sleeper.  :)  It doesn’t look too unusual from the front, but from the side – IMG_4864

It was very cute.  :)


Aaron started giving cheesy smiles.  Funny how hard it was to actually get a picture of one though!  Something about not wanting to stay still…  :)

This is the closest I could get catching his cheesy smile – blurry, but you can still get the feel for it. :)

IMG_4869He was in a silly mood and gave me a crazy “I’m going to eat you” smile along with the cheesy one.  :)



Kathryn has been showing a lot of creativity lately.  Her favorite thing is to disappear into another room with paper, pens, scissors, and tape.  She doesn’t ask for input, just makes something.  A crown, a fan… this time it was a costume.  I was working in my room and she came up to me to show off her outfit (including the black clothing, chosen for the part).   IMG_4879 IMG_4878I’ll be honest, the thought of that much tape on my face make me cringe.  But it was quite a good idea for her!


Aaron is strong.  He keeps picking up things that look way too heavy for him – my scriptures, Bryan’s workout drink cooler – it’s impressive, really, especially given his size.

Last month, he discovered he was strong enough to move the filing cabinet.  It has about an inch separation from the computer desk (due to the decoration on the bottom of the desk).  He put his hands in and pushed – and completely turned it to the side.  Yes, it’s on a wooden floor so it does move more easily than if it were on carpet.  But it’s also fairly well filled with papers.  Not to mention the computer on top.

IMG_4880This is both amusing and frightening.  Suddenly that computer does not seem as “safe” as it once did…

The funniest part was when Abby came up and decided to fix it.  She pushed and pushed and couldn’t even get it to budge!  And yet (after I fixed it) Aaron had no problems moving it back again.  :D


Kathryn gave Aaron her old baby doll.  She was given a new one in the hospital and decided she no longer needed her old one.  Perfect timing, as he’d just developed an interest in dolls.  He loves hugging them – he even pats them on the back, like I do to him.  It’s so adorable!  :)



And Bryan and I finished a long-waiting project!  The 2nd story window in our foyer has plagued us ever since we moved in.  It is the only window in our home without blinds – which makes sense because, really, how would we open or close them?  But it also happens to be right in front of the upstairs bathroom and the hallway connecting all the bedrooms.  This makes my children’s modestly memory lapses even more problematic.  Especially since the window also lines up pretty well  with our neighbor across the street’s window, the same type of situation.

This wasn’t quite as bad when we first moved in, as the neighbors had a large tree in their front yard that shielded the view for most of the year.  That still left winter, but at least the branches were in the way… until the tree was cut down last year, leaving both of us with an uncannily clear view into each others’ homes.

Long story short(er), we found a pretty window film that lets in light but blurs images enough to allow a good amount of privacy.   With the help of some rented scaffolding, we finally put it up last month.  We didn’t think to get a picture of the scaffolding all up but did get one while we were dismantling it.  I am not a fan of heights so I feel quite proud of myself for climbing up to do this!


And here is the finished product (at night) – you can see how you can still see some very general colors, but everything is very hazy.  It works the same way the other direction (I checked!).  It’s sooo nice to have that up!



And finally – Jonathan had another birthday.  Crazy.  This tiny boy is not so tiny anymore!  He has already hit 5’1″ and is quickly narrowing the gap between his height and mine.

Rather than inviting friends over, he planned out activities for us to do as a family – he and Bryan went to IHOP in the morning, then picked up his sisters to go see Inside Out in the theater.  Then it was Chick-fil-A for lunch and a Harry Potter movie for those who didn’t nap.  Then pizza for dinner, and cake and ice cream.  Add in finishing up a number of Webelos activity badges just in time – yeah, it was a full day!


He looks like he’s in a trance…

We did two candles – one for a decade, the other for the year – his choice.  His sisters took care of the cake decorating.  :)


This captures his personality quite well. :)


A sweet story to go with the birthday – Emma wanted to get Jonathan a gift but ended up not earning enough money.  Jonathan knew  and didn’t want her to feel bad so he came up with a plan – he hid a favorite stuffed animal and created “missing/reward” signs for it, posting them through the house.  Then he told Kathryn where it was, with the plan that she would secretly help Emma “find” it and plant the idea that Emma could use that as a gift.

IMG_4882Jonathan shared that with me the next day, but then admitted that he felt a little bad about it for some reason and he wasn’t sure what to do.  I was impressed that Jonathan had the emotional insight to realize Emma may feel sad for not having a present to give and then the compassion to create a plan to help her.    I think the only issue was that the plan involved deceiving her, which is why I think he was feeling bad about it.

I didn’t tell Emma about the plan but did check in with her about her previous idea to get him something.  She quietly told me it was OK – she knew she wouldn’t be able to buy something so she’d made something!  She opened an empty drawer in our guest room and showed me the card, paper doll (Jonathan with a Harry Potter mark on his forehead), some animal pictures, and 10 “free massage” coupons she made.  Wow!  IMG_4884
I told Jonathan not to worry about the stuffed animal plan – Emma had her own ideas.  He was relieved.  :)  Until he went to find his stuffed animal and take down the signs – it wasn’t where he’d hidden it.  Now it really *was* lost!  (Based on where it was ultimately found, I think Aaron or Abby moved it.)
Fast forward a day or two to Jonathan’s birthday.  As he opened presents, he was presented with two from Emma and one from himself.
Yes, he made his own present.
Yes, that seemed rather odd.
But back to Emma’s – the first he opened ended up being the stuffed animal!  Emma really had found it and gave it to him – basically just as he’d planned even though the plans had gotten away from him.  :)  The second present included all of the things she’d made for him.  :)
And then he opened his own present – and brought out an envelope with his name in the upper left corner and addressed to “everyone.”  Inside was a card he’d made that thanked everyone by name, and with individual details for each, for our part in making his birthday a good one. 
It’s experiences like that that make the craziness and natural chaos so worth it.  :)

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