Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

All of our friends with newly minted five year olds seem to agree, turning five seems like kind of a big deal! I guess with all major milestones, we as parents can feel mixed emotions - elated that our little ones are growing and changing and developing before our very eyes and a tad melancholy that the days are flying by so quickly and our little ones are not really so little any more.  Well, enough of my motherhood musings...we DID have a wonderful day celebrating our dashing, fun-loving, thoughtful and silly boy who we love so very much!  Happy Birthday, Caleb!!
Trying to work strawberries into the menu wherever possible...we had strawberry milk and crepes with whipped cream and strawberries for breakfast!  (We got ourselves fully spoiled in Sicily where Caleb's birthday fell right during the peak of strawberry season...for the last 3 years we feasted on strawberry shortcake in late February because it was the right thing to do!!)

We ended up with an impromptu block party on the afternoon of Caleb's birthday since our kind neighbors all wanted to celebrate and share gifts with our guy.  We popped popcorn, sliced fruit and made a quick batch of muddy buddies so that we could party and play when all the school kids got off the bus.  Sam, the 3rd grader next door, insisted that he get a skateboard for Caleb...obviously he was thrilled!   
Since we enjoyed Caleb's requested birthday dinner of hotdogs and mac&cheese when Grammie, Granddad, and Grant were in town, we decided to try out Only Burger since the kids have been wanting to go there for ages.  
A yummy way to end the day!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The making of a birthday cake...

Ever since we turned the calendar page from January to February, Caleb has been eagerly anticipating his birthday. It was on one of those early days in February when he asked me to sit down with him and pen the recipe for his birthday cake. He's done a good bit of baking with me in the last few years, so he ended up with a pretty accurate list of must-have ingredients. He probably asked me every day for two weeks if I had the ingredients and if it was time to make the cake yet...  Then, finally, as we were preparing for our weekend visitors to arrive, it was time to bake! My two (umm, three??) little sidekicks pulled up the step stool and got to work...

We did not begin with a trifle in mind, but since I'm afraid of layer cakes AND the cake ended up a tad on the dry side we made a last minute change...thankfully, it was a crowd pleaser!

A visit from G (x 3)

Grammie, Granddad, and Grant came to visit and celebrate Caleb's birthday with us. We were so excited to have them here!  (The kids probably would have played with them for 48 straight hours if we would have let them.)  There were games, puzzles, and towers galore during our time at home and we also managed to visit a few favorite spots around town when the weather cleared up.   Thank you to our wonderful guests for spoiling us with all your attention and for your willingness to play from morning 'til night!

We were on our way to the playground when a sudden thunder storm redirected us to Foster's Market for some coffee and treats! (oh, well!)
Learning about weather at the Life and Science Center.
We finally made it to the back half of the Life and Science Center...and got to dig for fossils!

...a beautiful day for sailing

Every morning the kids came down to wake up Grant and find a dazzling new creation made from their Kapla blocks...which led to some inspired building sessions throughout the day!

Soooo big!!!

***  I should also note that last weekend we had the wonderful opportunity to host the newly married duo from DC, Hannah and Chris!  Not sure if I was self conscious about scaring off Chris with death by photo shoot or what...but someone I managed to only take one picture the whole sincere apologies for the lack of documentation.  Guess they'll have to come back again soon!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Elise:  She received a whole box of treasures from Aunt Lydia's American Girl doll collection this weekend; I just loved watching her be captivated in her own world of imaginary play. 
Caleb:  Many thanks to Uncle Grant for his behind the scenes work helping Caleb craft this bow.  He carried it around all weekend and it is currently beside him in bed.
Lucas:  This sweet boy just loves having extra playmates.  Here, he and Grant are powering one of Steve Gerberich's sculptures at the NC Museum of Life and Science.
Eden:  The beginning of an era...she has found the cabinet filled with all things plastic!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Nine months old

To say that this little lady is "into everything" may actually be an understatement! Wow, what a busy, social and curious baby she has become. Sweet Eden has perfected her royal wave (perched upon her throne...aka, my hip) and has started making all kinds of funny sounds to get our attention or "participate" in the household silliness around her. We've installed the baby gates on the stairs and are doing our best to keep the Legos and marbles away from her reach... I've also started enlisting the bigger kids as babysitters for the moments when I have to run a load of laundry upstairs or (heaven forbid) take a bathroom break!  Life seems to get more fun and more crazy each month with our favorite Little E, our mess-making bundle of joy!

Sunday, February 16, 2014



Elise:  My sweet Valentine girl.  Love her!
Caleb:  Having a blast on (yet another!) snowy day here in NC!
Lucas:  "Mom, can you please play with me?" is his most frequent request these days (Followed closely by "Can I have a piece of _____ candy?")  I'm trying to say "yes" more and "maybe later" a little less.  Had a really sweet time making this giant marble run.
Eden:  Loving her baby (Thank you, Anna!)...She's so playful and interactive these days!

A Day Out at the Greensboro Science Museum

Our dear friends, Bryan and Aida, just moved to NC and we're looking forward to many more adventures with them.  We have wonderful memories of exploring France, Switzerland and Italy with them when we all lived in Europe and now we're together again in the U.S of A!  Our combined seven young children keeps things pretty lively!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014



Elise: Look who turned 100 this week!!  We've all been enjoying Elise's February festivities at school - 100th Day, Black History Month, Valentine's, a trip to the NC Children's!
Caleb: Mr. Curious soaking in the wonderful sights at the Greensboro Science Museum
Lucas:  Quite the jokester these days - wish I could have caught his whole body in this photo - he looked exactly like Carl Fredricksen from UP 
Eden:  Yes, Mom, I would like to eat this whole tray full of Legos...

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Elise: What a sweet duo these two can be; we loved overhearing their conversations from upstairs while they listened to music, played with Legos and put puzzles together
Caleb: After a wonderful weekend with the Woj's he asked if they could live with us forever
Lucas: This dynamic (albeit sometimes disastrous) duo also had loads of fun together
Eden:  Poor baby with her first bruise - Lucas got a little overzealous with a hug