Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas tree

Cuddle buddies

Our missional community group is reading this book right now:
The other day, Cora was studying the book, then went and got a piece of paper and a pencil, came back and copied the word "God" from the book onto her paper (3 letters on the right).  It was so cute.  I've been really surprised by her level of interest and desire to learn since I've started schooling Miriam a little bit.

Magic House Homeschool Day

We're really enjoying all that St Louis has to offer for homeschool families, including special days at The Magic House!
Walker looks like the grandson of a couple grain farmers!

Lest I forget...

I took all three kids to the pediatrician for their annual "well-child visits" a week and a half ago.  Good times.  I have to document the trip for my own sake, if not for anyone else's.  As soon as we arrived, two or three of us needed to go potty (of course), so I asked the nurse if we could go back and use the restroom before we sat down in the waiting room.  She informed me that they wanted urine specimens from the girls; Walker wasn't old enough for that yet (although he probably would have been the easiest one to get to pee in a cup).  We get to the bathroom and Miriam decides to go first because Cora is insisting that she will NOT go potty in the cup.  Miriam sits on the toilet for a L-O-N-G time... seemed like at least 5 minutes, and just could not go.  Like most public restrooms, this one has a door with the lever-type handle as opposed to a knob and those things are just fascinating for 2-year-olds.  Walker is trying to open the door and escape, so I have to put one foot in front of the door and basically do the splits (with my 27-week-pregnant belly to aid in my balancing) so that I can also reach across the bathroom to catch the girls' urine while they're sitting on the toilet.  Miriam finally gives up and decides to try again later and Cora has miraculously decided that she's willing to give it a go.  She sits up on the toilet and provides me with a generous sample immediately.  We wash up and exit the bathroom and of course by this time, there's no need for us to wait in the waiting room because we've killed PLENTY of time in the bathroom.  We go over to measure everyone's height and weight which was [relatively speaking] uneventful.  Then the nurse asks Miriam to do a basic sight test and she very definitively refuses.  We finally give up, go into our exam room, go through all the pediatrician's questions, he takes a look at everybody, we decide which shots they need, etc.  Other than the climbing all over everything (floor, table, chairs) and the girls not really being willing to answer the doctor's questions, this part went pretty well.  Then, once he went out to let the nurse know who needed which shots, Miriam decided that she was now ready to go potty.  We all head back to the bathroom and Mim is successful.  In the meantime, Walker completely loses it because he is the only one who has NOT gotten to pee in a cup.  Seriously...  We go back across the hall to wait for shots and the nasal mist flu vaccine and when the nurse comes in, Cora is beside herself because she's the only one who does NOT get a shot... and you know how it works - at the pediatrician's office, shots mean cool bandaids!  I finally sheepishly asked the nurse if we could just have a bandaid for Cora even though she didn't need one and the nurse graciously complied.  We get everyone appropriately vaccinated and they get their stickers and bandaids and all and on the way out, the kids go to make a routine stop at the candy bowl (this seems like a necessary evil to me... candy from the doctor...?!?).  Anyway, there was no candy that day.  That may have been our first visit ever where there was no candy, which I was actually quite pleased by, but again, Cora came unglued.  We managed to get out of there, got buckled into the car and came straight home.  Thank goodness we had stopped by the store on the way TO the doctor instead of needing to on the way FROM the doctor!
I love that their three birthdays are so close together that we can do all their checkups at once.  As challenging   as it is to take them all at the same time, I figure we're reducing our germ-exposure, right?!?  I'm so thankful to have three healthy, passionate, wonderful children and can't wait to see what #4 is like!

Walker's 2nd Birthday - November 5, 2011

Another note about cake... Walker's big sisters had decided that his cake should have red frosting and even though we used every drop of red food coloring we had in the house, we still couldn't really get it to be red.  The "W2" was their idea, too.  :)

Miriam's 5th birthday - October 13, 2011

(A little note about the cake... after I had added the requested elements to the frosting, Miriam decided that it also needed a flower, so she added that flower herself... in about 15 seconds.  Her artistic talent is just amazing to Joel and I - something that both of us lack.  The only reason there's a little extra glob on part of the flower is because of an air bubble in the tube of food coloring gel.  She's such a great artist - praise the Lord for His gifts!!!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cardinals game

A couple weeks ago, we left Walker with some friends and took the girls to a Cardinals game.
Tickets: $0.47
Hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn and ice cream: $30
Memories: priceless!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ukrainian Red Borscht Soup

This little guy just finished eating this (minus the sausage (didn't want to include) and cabbage (didn't have on hand)).  He couldn't get enough of it!  He had three helpings for supper two nights in a row and then finished off the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Mommy and Daddy thought it was really delicious too!  Thank you to Uncle Micah and Aunt Jamie for sharing their beets.  Today we made some yummy chocolate cupcakes with beets in them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sharing summer sweets

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Peach picking

Aunt Ali came to stay with us for a week back in early August and we went peach picking at Eckerts!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Three cute farmgirls

Taking a little break on the Gator from feeding calves with Aunt Ali on Memorial Day weekend

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Backblogged: Cora's 3rd birthday - December 18, 2010

You may notice a theme.
Yellow miniature roses
[Yellow] Pumpkin soup
 Homemade dinner rolls made with lard (one of Cora's favorites)
 Yellow cake with yellow frosting and homemade yellow ice cream
 The birthday girl in a yellow shirt with a yellow ponytail holder...
 ...(who does NOT like to be the center of attention)...
 ...but with a little help from her older (but not bigger) sister, she was able to get the candles blown out.

 Hiding behind a pile of yellow presents, which included...
 a yellow Funshine Care Bear costume...
 yellow tennis shoes (because she still insisted on wearing only her yellow crocs)...
 yellow memo pads and colored pencils... among other things.
 [I adore this hair, these eyelashes, cheeks and lips.]
 ...all followed by a nap with Grandma Gwennie.  Sounds like a pretty fun third birthday!
And I just had to capture this on video.  I think that by "at" Miriam actually meant "for"  :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A first...

I painted our girls' toenails for the first time today.  Cousin Naomi had her toenails painted when we were all together a week ago and Cora has been asking me to paint hers ever since.  As you'll see from the picture, there was obviously no pedicure involved... we actually painted their nails at the playground so Walker was adequately entertained.  The pretty toenails quickly got scuffed up and the feet got dirty, but that's perfectly okay with this mommy!

And here's this guy just because he's cute.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Who says we have a sinful nature?

This evening our whole family was just sitting around the living room hanging out. The girls were on the couch reading a book and Walker was next to them playing with a balloon. After a while, Walker made his way to Miriam and leaned in to bite Miriam's leg, but Steph scolded him before he could complete the task. Even though she never got bit, Miriam attempted to retaliate. Here's how that went:

Steph to Miriam: Miriam! Don't bite Walker!
Miriam: I wasn't. I was just closing my mouth and Walker's arm got in the way.

That. Is. Classic.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New kitchen table

We had a local cabinet maker build us a table and bench recently to match some chairs we already had. Here is the finished product.  

Table for five outside, please

We've been blessed to have had several opportunities to eat outside on our patio this "spring".  It's nice because don't have to vacuum under the table after mealtime.  And we don't yell at our kids to keep their dirty hands off the furniture as much either.  They think we eat outside to enjoy the weather.  I think we do it so that our sinful nature isn't AS obvious.

Walker's new fort

Walker has a new place to get away from the daily abuse the girls impose on him.  He thinks it is pretty sweet until he latches the door which only opens from the outside.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And the favorite color is...

Back in August (before we were sure the favorite color would really stick), we got Cora a pair of yellow crocs.  As is evidenced below, she was elated.  The problem then became that the weather got colder and she wouldn't wear anything else on her feet.  We fixed that at her birthday... but that wasn't until mid-December.

She insisted on wearing the new crocs to bed that first night, so here she is (probably dreaming of yellow).

An explanation

You see... the reason I don't get more blogging done is because I am constantly monitoring absolutely every action of each of my three children... as is evidenced by the photo below.
I also want to draw the attention to the fact that there are multiple colors present.  This was not a single incident.  We all learn slowly; maybe the initial punishment wasn't severe enough.  :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Backblogged: Miriam's 4th birthday

For those of you still gracious enough to be checking our blog, thank you and I'm sorry.  I feel like I'm always apologizing about being behind.  But even if no one ever looks at this, I want to have this record of what has been going on in our lives at this stage.  Thanks to the encouragement of a sweet friend who is catching up her blog, I am less embarrassed about how far behind I really am here.  Anyway... I wanted to document and share a few things about Miriam's 4th birthday back on October 13, 2010.
Miriam picked a treat from our Fairies Cookbook (Thank you Aunt Hannah):
Marshmallow Pops 
(I intentionally left out the additional fairy-esque part of the name)
 Those of you who know me well know that I have basically NO creative ability or artistic tendencies, so this was a big leap for me.  I was really pleased with how they turned out.  While I was making them (during naptime, of course!), God gently reminded me of how when I was pregnant with Miriam I didn't feel like I knew how to be a mommy to a girl.  For some reason, I'd always pictured myself as a mommy of boys.  So, as God always does in his perfect wisdom, he blessed me with two girls before I became a mommy of a boy. And then He showed me that even I - in my uncreativeness and unartisticness - can make Fairy Princess Marshmallow Pops for a 4th birthday party.
Then we used a pie pumpkin from our CSA as a base for four pops holding one candle each.
 Isn't she precious!

 Boring presents from Mommy and Daddy... clothes and shoes!  ;)
The next day, Miriam received a special delivery from Grandma and Grandpa - 4 big pink roses complete with a pink polka dot ribbon!

That weekend, Grandma and Grandpa Steele came for a visit and we had a real birthday cake to celebrate.  Those are the birthday girl's four little fingers in the picture - totally by accident!