Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Number Nine!

Wow - another birthday!  Yesterday Naomi turned 9!  She has grown up so much this past year, and yet still loves to play and enjoy being a kid.  We love both sides of her!  Naomi has been sick quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, and I've enjoyed having her home with me and had some opportunities for extra one-on-one time.  We did puzzles, read, cooked, knit and chatted... it's so fun to see her grow up.

Here are a few pictures from her birthday yesterday:

Early morning birthday celebration:

 A new birthday shirt:

It's hard to see her face in these pictures because of the hat, but if you look closely, you can see a huge smile... she was pretty excited to get this Lego set!

She got it all built after school, and her and Petra got busy playing:

Happy birthday, Naomi!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Happenings

Just a big about what we've been up to here...

We've been sleepy and sick:
Naomi has been out with a mild case of pneumonia for the last couple of weeks.  She spent lots of time at home - lots of resting on the couch, reading books and doing puzzles.

 Who doesn't love a good Sunday afternoon nap?  Steve was enjoying his on the couch a couple of weeks ago, and Elijah was in the living room playing trains.  He looked up, saw Steve sleeping, climbed on top and joined him.

Oh, the time change... kids up super early, then tired by supper time.  Rachel fell asleep a couple of times as we read the Bible.  It took almost two weeks to get adjusted!

We had Vintage Day at school.  Rachel and I both went circa 1812, with dresses that I made for the Spencerville Heritage Fair.

Naomi dressed as someone from the 1860's, her favourite time period.

 Petra went back further in history, dressing up as Rachel from the Bible.

Our little Elijah is growing up so much.  He says so many words now, and puts them together to let us know what he wants.  This picture was taken after we spent some time trying on winter gear.  He was so excited to find blue boots, snow pants, hats, mitts and scarf.

This week we took down the crib ("Broke it" as Elijah said), and put together the toddler bed.  He loves his new bed, and has done pretty well at staying in it.

Rachel and Elijah wanted to be close together, so the bed got moved across the room.

Elijah has also been spending some time on the potty, with some success.  It's great to have the girls help by reading with him.  They've been enjoying it, too, especially since they get treats too if he goes.

And a few other shots:
Petra and Elijah looking for Goldbug in the Richard Scary book.  They all love this one!

Naomi has been enjoying helping me in the kitchen lately.  Here she is adding a "dash" or worchestershire sauce to our cheese fondue... mmmm....

Today Oma and Opa came over to celebrate Naomi's birthday, which is coming up in two days!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What's in a Name?

When we named our kids, we thought long and hard about the names we chose - how they sounded, what they meant, how popular or not popular they were.  But although we never really thought about how easy they were to say or to learn to say, I have enjoyed watching the kids learn to say their own name, and the names of their siblings.

Naomi was pretty young when she started calling herself "Mimi," then "Omi," then "Nomi," and finally Naomi.  There was one weekend where Mika came to visit us and he was calling himself "Pika" and Naomi was calling herself "Mimi."  (As an aside, for a while I had this dream to write a kids book... and I was thinking about "The Adventures of Mimi and Pika.")

Petra started to speak a little later than Naomi, and she didn't say her name till she was about 2 1/2.  But when she finally did, it came out perfectly.  I remember being shocked in the fabric store when the owner asked her name, and she nicely answered, "Petra."  Still today, she likes to know that she can get something right before she tries it.  When she was learning to write, she would get frustrated because her P wouldn't look exactly like the P that I had written.  

I don't really remember Rachel learning to say her own name or Naomi's, but for the last two years, she has called Petra "Trepa."  Although we continued to say Petra's name correctly, I enjoyed hearing Rachel's mispronunciation.  We tried a few times to correct her, but it never took until this fall, when she learned the letter P sound at school.  One day she was sitting at the table, eating her snack, and saying "Puh, puh, puh," to herself.  Then she stopped and thought and said, "Puh, puh, puh, Petra!"  Like she had just realized that it started with a P!  Now it's Petra all the time.  (Makes me a little sad...)

Elijah is learning so many new words lately, and has developed names for himself and his sisters.  He calls himself "Jah-jah," which the girls often call him now too.  Naomi is Noni, Petra is Peppy and Rachel is Ray-ray.  The other day we tried to get Elijah to say Petra and he came up with "Peppy-tra," although that didn't stick and he went back to Peppy.

Love all these names and stages - it's so fun to watch kids learn to talk!

Saturday, September 28, 2013


September is almost over already!  Here are some highlights:

 First day of school - getting ready to get in the van!
 Rachel - excited for her first day of JK.
 Naomi - looking so grown up as she heads off to Grade 4.
 Petra - ready to take on full time school as she starts Grade 1.

Our raspberry bushed started producing pretty well, and we've also gotten a lot from my parents.  We've made several batches of jam. I've been making the no-cook kind, so the kids can do all the work. :)

 This was an accident waiting to happen:
 When the kids to all the work, I get a little more clean up:
 We took a trip to the apple orchard a couple of weeks ago.  Rachel and Ezra were more interested in eating than posing:
 Elijah has been fighting his naps... but there are days when he definitely needs one, and falls asleep on my lap.  Here had fallen asleep on me and I put him on the couch.  I love his flushed cheeks and sweaty hair... so sweet.

 We had some backyard entertainment this week... combine time.  The kids sat down to watch:

 ... and picked leftover beans from the field:

More raspberries to pick, although they are slowing down.  Elijah loves to come out, although the pail doesn't get as full when he's out there with me.

 On Friday, I went with Naomi's class to visit a pond for their science unit.  We had lots of fun tromping through the mud and catching tadpoles, frogs and bugs.

A busy and fun month!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birthday Boy!

Our little man turned 2 today!
The party started yesterday evening, when Grandma and Grandpa and Oma and Opa came over for supper.  He was excited to see them, and enjoyed getting new cars and trucks and bulldozers:

He was mesmerized by the sparkler!

This morning, he woke up to hugs and kisses and presents from his sisters.  Those girls sure love their little brother!  Naomi and Petra had each made him something, and they were pretty excited to see him open his presents.  Below is the pillowcase that Naomi made for Elijah out of a dog print fabric:

And here he's opening up the shorts Petra made with this banana material.  She chose it herself and helped to cut, iron and sew it, and they turned out pretty well.  You'll see him sporting the shorts in a later picture... he pulls off banana shorts with style!

And his number 2 tractor shirt:  No pictures of him wearing it, since it got dirty so quickly!

In the afternoon, we did what every two year old boy dreams of - riding a train!  Great Grandma VanGilst came along for the ride.  Below they are walking to the train station:

All aboard!

Hooray for trains!

Feeding the fish after the train ride:

The party continued when we got home.  Tractor cake!  A pretty intense stare from Elijah as he tries to blow out those two candles:

And finally, more presents and playtime with Daddy - a perfect way to end the day!

Happy Birthday, Elijah!  We love you!