Thursday, December 30, 2010


The girls were introduced to hot cocoa during Alex's mom's visit. They are big fans! Even cuter is they refuse to call it hot chocolate, preferring the British/Zimbabwean pronunciation of hot cocoa.

This month we also helped the girls' beloved godfather, Dan, celebrate his 60th birthday. They helped arrange the candles on the cake!

Stella's first mobile Christmas has resulted in lots of opportunity for learning self-control! There were so many temptations - this one being the most enticing, esp. since she can climb up on the fireplace bench all by herself!

And a rare moment worth documenting, Addie sleeping the longest at nap time one afternoon this December. This NEVER happens. She is first to rise on all occasions and eager to wake everyone else up. This has resulted in creative sleeping arrangements that are ever in flux!


My sister-in-law drove from Austin, Texas to Springfield, MO by herself with a two-year-old and nearly-one-year old twins!!! Now that is super woman status if I've ever see it. My brother didn't get same amount of time off work, so he flew in a few days later. They all stayed at our house which made for a fun flurry of activity while we did our best to keep six little bodies occupied and entertained!

Here's the mass of them watching cartoons with Uncle Andrew early in the morning!

We also braved the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day in spite of the 20 degree temps and icy drizzle. Everyone did well until about the last 10 minutes of the run/walk when there was unrelenting screaming from the Texas boys who had had enough of the frigid weather. Thankfully, donuts, bananas, and water were awaiting us in warm Expo center. Stella was semi-ticked herself and won't even look at the camera! : )

This was also the month were Stella finally found her walking legs. Miraculously one night after dinner, she got a glint in her eye and started circling the kitchen with a giggle - round and around in a loop until her bedtime. The next morning she briefly forgot her new found skill, but remember again at dinner time and the laps began! Alex has some great video of her looking so proud of herself.


We had a party to celebrate Alex's newly minted citizenship. It was wonderful to have our house filled with friends and family! The guests were invited to bring Alex a gift under the theme, "something every American should have". There were many hilarious entries - including Spaghettio's, pork rinds, "Born in America" CD & record, etc.! In the picture Alex is cutting into a delicious apple pie our friend Danae gave Alex....yummm can still taste it now months later! We are saving a very special bottle of wine from my Aunt Mary for an occasion worthy of it's opening.

The new botanical gardens opened and is very near our house. I can see many future bike trips up the bike trail to circle the gardens and the lake nearby.

My little mouse - part of the Cinderella theme for Halloween.

Gogo - Alex's mom came for a month long visit at the end of October. It was so nice to have her to ourselves for weeks. She fits into the fabric of our day to day life seamlessly. We were are more than a little sad when she had to return to her "real-life" back home in Zimbabwe!

Stella's super cute little friend, Owen....Homecoming King and Queen of 2027? : )


This girl can turn her charm on anywhere - even at the bottom of a closet wedged up against a bag of dirty laundry!

I came outside to check on the girls and I see Addie stretched out on the turtle sandbox like a model sunbathing - silly girl!! It was a beautiful fall day - not to hot and not to cold! Stella loves sliding down the plastic kiddie pool even without water. I'm guessing this is mostly because it is just the right size for her.

My friend Shannon and I took our oldest kiddos to Mount Vernon's Apple Butter Makin' Days. It was great day to be outside - cool with warm sun! The kids enjoyed hanging out together and enjoyed "fair food" - really who doesn't?!

Alex had a week long work trip in LA in mid-October. At the end of the week, I flew out (first time on an airplane in a LONG time) to meet him. We had a lovely weekend just wandering around and sleeping in! The girls were kept busy by grandparents, godparents, and a favorite babysitter.

Stella Stella Stella...broke her arm when she flew off the top of her sisters' bunk beds. No she can't climb up there, yes her mother put her up there to play (but thought the tent over the top would keep her contained), no the tent did not stay put as Stella stood up and started banging on it, yes her mother was supervising - a foot away changing her crib her mother has not put her up there again! : ) She was a remarkable trooper through the whole thing - I only figured out it was broken when she won't pick up her sippy cup to drink at lunch time. She only had the cast on for two weeks since she is so little apparently her bones grow quickly.


Zimbo no more - Alex became a US citizen in September. We drove up to Kansas City for his official swearing in. It was fun to see our driveway lined with flags in celebration upon our arrival!

Another hit this month was the discovery of S'mores. The girls loved this special treat thought up by Alex. We couldn't help but snicker when they started screaming because their marshmallows caught on fire! I guess they haven't developed a taste for a chargrilled marshmallow!!

Mina is always asking me to take her picture - perhaps it is because I was such a camera hound when she was a baby!

The girls now dress themselves with complete independence. There are many colorful and interesting results! Here is one particularly humorous example.


Stella is determined to do everything the "big girls" do - even if it isn't completely age appropriate. It is amazing how less concerned you are the second time around about things like...say...your child eating paint! You can see the evidence all over her face! She thought she was such big stuff hanging with Addie and Mina creating artist masterpieces.

Here's a sweet moment after Saturday morning breakfast. Alex always makes pancakes, french toast, or some other deviation from our weekday norm of oatmeal/cereal. The girls love having something special...okay me too!

We frequent many outdoor festivals - always fun to see all the crafts, food, and music. This year's Cider Days was particularly HOT! Everyone was sweaty and a bit cranky. We did our best to distract with cotton candy and bounce houses...and beer for some! : )

Having a delicious cupcake before we hit the road home helped everyone brighten up a bit...that and sitting in the shade for a half hour.

Playing Catch Up - September

Over Labor Day weekend, we drove the LONG drive to Austin, Texas to visit my brother and his family. We had a great time - the kids are really starting to "discover" their cousins. So many fun times together ahead of them!

My brother took me for a tour around the block in the kiddie's bike trailer - all my part to be supportive of his 30 day's of biking. Plus - the rear view photo makes a great image on my phone - cheerfully popping up every time he calls! : )

Sarah and I took the oldest three to petting zoo, where the animals terrified the kids and they found more amusement in the makeshift instruments and playground!

Here are my three sweeties in their summer dresses. They LOVE dresses and have lived in them all summer long. It made it very easy for them to dress themselves!

Stella is growing and changing so quickly. She is quickly leaving her babyhood behind and working hard to keep up with her sisters! She has learned that her flashy grin gets quite the response - therefore we see it frequently!

Just like her big sisters, Stella LOVES to swing. She could spend hours being pushed to and fro. Her sisters have figured out how to swing themselves and often let themselves into the backyard to do just that. This results in much protest from Stella since she is dependent on me to swing her and I'm not as available as she'd like!! : )

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Catch-Up

It seems with all the activities of summer, it is so hard to keep up on the blog so here's a montage of the last few months. Above we are eating with our friends at Purple Burrito - a great cheap Mexican restaurant after church a few Sundays ago. Yummy fish tacos!!!

The fact that Andy's Frozen Custard is less than 1 minute from our house, definitely increases our frequency of eating custard! The girls LOVE it and beg to sit under this particular tree when they eat their custard. Ah sweet traditions!

Stella has a new love of sitting on furniture - it must make her feel like a "big girl". The problem, however, lies in the fact that she needs a chaperon while she is on furniture because she is likely to catapult herself off at any moment!

The girls also had a FABULOUS time going to a princess birthday party this summer. They got to wear their princess dresses and shoes, eat cake, wear crowns, and otherwise be treated by royalty. Who won't like that!

Stella has discovered pulling up and can't help herself. She's pulling up on furniture, people, pets, and even bathtubs. However, she gets a big talking to about pulling up in the bath. She has already once up ended herself and spent a few seconds unexpectedly submerged!!! She did not like it - but hasn't learned her lesson yet either!

This is what it looks like when we all get loaded in the car to go somewhere. This day we were going swimming. The girls were so excited - they LOVE swimming and insist on having floaties (the round donut ones) to splash around in. Loading them in the car is quite the undertaking, and I usually get pretty steamed up by the time everyone is buckled. The girls have taken to the habit of asking me, "Mommy, are you happy?" when they sense I'm about to blow. Which is then quickly followed by, "Do you need a hug and kiss...?" Ah sweet know me a little too well!!!

The girls have started role-playing with their babies a bit more. The was one particularly cute moment where they were all dining together at the kiddie table. So sweet. And of course, ladies of high fashion always feed their babies while wearing their swimsuits...didn't you know?

Here the girls are wearing dresses sent by their Auntie Hayley. They love these dresses and wear them ASAP when they come out of the laundry. I had to make a rule that they could only be worn to church or parties since they were being worn 24/7 and Addie even wanted to make mud pies in them...

Lastly, Auntie Claudia & Uncle Jason came for the 4th of July. Stella and Zara got a chance to meet each other and share some slobber on some toys! : ) Stella was most interested in touching Zara's face. Zara was understandably concerned about Stella's curiosity and affectionate ways!

The Day Has Finally Arrived!

The girls started preschool last Thursday - can we have a collective YEAHHHH! They have been asking to go to Papa's school since they could talk and the big day finally arrived. In some ways it feels like it took forever to arrive, and in other ways I can't believe they are old enough to go!

They were so excited for weeks, but as the day drew closer Addie started saying things like, "I don't like Papa's school, I don't want to go, I don't like my teacher, etc." She was definitely more unsure about this big event and took some additional coaxing, which is so funny because she is always the one to do something physically daring first - like soar off the top of the couch.

Mina, the social butterfly, was SUPER excited and ready to meet new friends and do new things! Stella was relieved to see she was not being left at school with the other two, and has reveled in all of the alone time. I thought she'd miss her sisters more - but she has adjusted just fine! We have quite a few sweet moments playing just the two of us.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time Away

Alex and I celebrated our birthdays in June with a trip to K.C. It was a short getaway - but it was fun to hang out with our good friends, Geoff and Danae. We rode rollercoasters at Worlds of Fun, stayed on the Plaza, ate at Lydia's (incredible food - a fave of G&D), and slept in!

I'm guessing Alex and Geoff's favorite part of the trip was the time we spent on the roof top of O'douds Irish Pub in the afternoon. It was such a treat to sit and relax and let time pass!

Danae and I snuck in some shopping before we met the guys on the rooftop.

Later that month, I went to Dallas with another girlfriend, Tina. We were so excited to leaving town without children we left Springfield at 6:00 am! Too bad we got a bit turned around and lost some time finding our final destination... : ) Above I'm eating Dallas' top rated hamburger and Kenny's Bar & Grill.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The things that are bound to happen when a spouse travels...

At some stage during just about every trip that I go on for work, I get a call from Miriam telling me how much she hates it when I travel, most likely due to an unfortunate string of events that would probably not happen if we were both home. I guess this morning was payback time (Miriam is on a girl's trip in Dallas):

The morning thus far:
5:40am: Tinsley barking relentlessly to be let outside. Get up and let the dog out. Bring her back in 5 minutes later thinking all necessary bodily functions have been achieved...
6:30am: Tell two little mischievous girls to go back to bed since it's not yet 7:00am. They grudgingly comply. While making sure they do so, notice toothpaste on clothing but decide to ignore it...
7:25am: After a surprisingly long lie in, the twins finally get up and force me to do so as well. Walking past the bathroom, notice the particularly strong odor of dog that little white dog!! Continue on to girls' bedroom only to discover that the entire tube of Princess toothpaste (purchased last night) as well as the (not so cheap) organic hand soap are now resident in the potty/all over the counter. Hmmm, what a fun morning...
7:30am: Decide to tackle the doggy guessed it diarrhea!!
8:00am: After much cleaning, the girls disappear only to come back fully dressed in matching outfits...clever sausages!! Who could possibly stay mad at them?!!

8:08am: While writing this post, it got very quiet...the girls had found a pack of post-it notes which ended up pasted all over their bunk bed...Wow, dare I ask what next??!!
8:50am: Breakfast was relatively uneventful...until Mina squished Addie's fingers in the door while I was trying to get the dogs fed. While tending to injuries and disciplining, I notice Tinsley eating Belle's food...fortunately for her I only had a dish towel in my hand...

Got this picture during breakfast. I turn around from making tea to find Mina lounging and snacking on her toast...she is so her mother's daughter!

The question I take this show on the road and go to church???

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Home - Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at our new home. It has been a decorating, organizing, and unpacking whirlwind around here. Things are falling into place - but we still have a few large projects to tackle before I'll let you see the whole house! Here are some vignettes to give you a taste. The above picture is my side of the double sink bathroom. Hallelujah - I've never been so happy to have my own sink and medicine cabinet!

A portion of our living room - Stella frequents the lower shelf and promptly removes all books from the shelf and spreads them about the house. It's a charming phase....really...

The view above the loo

The first thing you see when you are standing at our front door!

Next weekend, I'm off to Dallas to pick-up some of the remaining pieces of furniture for our new place. I've purchased things off Craigslist and Ebay and have the sellers holding them for me. Some Bertoia chairs (I can't wait! I think they are the most beautiful chair!) and an Eames era patio sofa for the sun porch. A girlfriend and I are making a girls weekend out of the trip and are going to shop and relax! I can't wait!!!