Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our little growing Grays

This year we are enjoying the most beautiful fall.  The weather is still warm and as winter creeps closer I think we appreciate this wonderful weather more.  We have an Arboretum membership and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thursday night we had our first official family picnic dinner there (picnic backpack with checkered napkins and all). We picked a spot on top of a hill with a view of an old, red barn in the distance and trees and rolling hills as far as we could see.  Our view was not obstructed by roads or people or buildings.  The kids were absolutely delighted with this magical, sunset picnic and Mike and I enjoyed relaxing on the hill, watching the kids run and play.

This was a big week - our baby is growing.  Not only is she potty trained but we bought her a big girl bed today.  Driving home with the mattress strapped to the roof of our car I hid tears behind my sunglasses.  Taking down the crib is kind of an end of an era.  Hadley asked me, "can I still have my paci in my big girl bed?"  I told her of course she can.

I'm a little sad but the pure excitement of Miles and Hadley put me in better spirits. When we got home she helped us make her bed with a new pillow, sheets and comforter.  Miles was so happy that he snuggled in right next to her.  They played "house" with their beds this afternoon and we heard Miles tell Hadley, "I'll be right back little sissy."

Picnic at the Arboretum

So fun to run barefoot and free

Little goofballs

At Deardorff Orchard - our annual apple picking tradition

Tractor wagon ride

Miles was the apple picker this year - he filled the whole bag while the rest of us munched apples

So big in her little crib - last time in it...

Loving her new big girl bed

Sunday, September 22, 2013

4 and 2

Do I even have to write that life with a 4 and a 2 year old is really busy and really fun? 

Miles is in a routine now with 3-day per week preschool.  He's happy there and is learning and making friends.  At home we've been working on using manners and listening ears.  This week, at the dinner table, he said "I want milk."  I asked, "what do you say?"  He replied, "your majesty." 

During nap time, which Miles has been skipping more often lately, I went out for a walk and he rode along on his bike.  It was a beautiful day and he asked me a lot of good questions like, why is God so big?  How are babies made?  Where do you buy babies?  How do we grow?  Good questions.   

Hads is our little lady.  For all intents and purposes she might as well be 4 because she keeps up with Miles pretty well.  This week she got her first bike helmet - it's pink with flowers on it - and she loves riding the tricycle around the driveway and cul-de-sac.  We've also officially made the leap and are all in with potty training.  She did great all weekend - even using the public restrooms at a restaurant and the Arboretum with no hesitation. 

We spent the weekend at home and got a lot of yard work done - including harvesting the last of the carrots.

She loves cruising and is getting good at steering

Feeling the wind whip through her hair

Sometimes they really look alike. 

We met 2 of our 4th cousins, Lea and Georges, visiting all the way from Luxembourg.  They are very nice people and it's always interesting to hear what life is like outside of the U.S.  They were kind enough to bring us a calendar with pictures from their country (yes, we want to go there now) and they gave the kids "peckvillercher."  They are handmade whistles sold only on Easter Monday there.  They make a lovely sound and we're happy to have a small piece of tradition from Luxembourg that I'm sure our ancestors enjoyed too.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grabbing every last opportunity

Darkness is coming earlier and a cool breeze is wafting through our open windows - fall is coming and we're grabbing every last opportunity that we can to enjoy summer.

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of visiting with my Great-Aunt Rita from California.  This is the first time she met the kiddos and Hadley really turned on the charm - singing, smiling and giving lots of hugs.  Rita loved it.  She's such a kind and classy lady - I hope I have a few ounces of that when I'm 90!

Hadley staring admiringly at Rita
We spent the long, Labor Day weekend at the cabin and enjoyed all sorts of sunshine and outdoor adventures.  This was the first time that the whole gang was there - all my siblings and all 6 grandchildren.  We lounged around the pool, fished, pontooned and celebrated 4 birthdays.

My brother takes everything in stride.  A dog, a two-year old, a newborn and his beer - no problem.

Grandpa's lap - the best seat in the house.

There were lots of birthday festivities including a mustached-out family photo, birthday pop culture trivia, more cake and treats than we could eat and lots of cheer.

Mike and Miles actually look pretty good with mustaches.

In fact, Miles liked his so much he wore it all afternoon.  He later added one on his forehead to look like a unibrow.

The kids table

The annual cousins cabin picture - last year there were 4 - now there are 6!

When we returned we celebrated Mike's birthday with presents and pumpkin pie.

The funnies...
A conversation during dinner
Miles:  God made me not like blueberries.
Me:  No, God made blueberries.  He wants you to eat them to grow big a strong.
Hadley:  Remember when Jesus hit me in the face?  He hit me and then had to take a break.
Tonight, Hadley cradled her dinner fork and pretended it was baby Rylan.  She told us "shhh - he's sleeping" and then proceeded to sing happy birthday to it as she patted it gently.
Miles threw a penny into a fountain at the Arboretum today then turned around and hugged me.  He said, "you know what I wished for?  That you're my friend mommy."