Monday, June 28, 2010

June Update

We went strawberry picking last week, and Lucy helped mash the berries to make jam.

We must have made something with eggs, and Gene got more practice cracking them. Lucy wants to learn now, too.

On cleaning day, Jane wiped her chair. It doesn't get as dirty as it did when she was a baby, but still...

Lucy has learned to use a knife and fork to cut up various things on her plate, and likes to get them all by herself when she thinks it's necessary.

And then one day she wanted to help me cut a fallen tree branch with a funny saw/knife.... (don't know the real name for it). If she had the muscle for it, she would have gotten it!

Jane was sick with a fever for a couple days, but didn't mind lying on the couch and receiving toast and applesauce whenever she wanted.

Gene's morning job for the month of June is to sweep the sticks and leaves off part of the patio. His sweeping skills have finally begun to actually get things clean, though he still requires frequent "breaks" and "rests" during the process... (in other words, it's not a favorite activity of his).

Lucy wrote a list of books for me to look for at the library...books about "moths, spiders, beetles, and mushrooms". This girl isn't into princesses and fluff.

She also helped clean the grill one day before dinner. She doesn't mind doing dirty fact, she was begging to do it.

Gene spent some allowance on an ice cream bar from the ice cream truck. The first time it's ever come to our neighborhood since we've had a child old enough to know what it is. Luckily he had some money!

Swimming at Grandma Hendricks' pool...all the kids love it. And the parents. And the grandparents. Jane loves her "yellow floaty ring" and scoots around the pool now all on her own.

Gene is a regular fish, and as long as he has goggles can do all the fun things I remember doing as a kid in a pool...diving board (learning to dive!), slide, handstands and somersaults (working on them).

Lucy is also becoming a fish, and can paddle around the pool on her own, with no flotation device. She is very confident of her abilities, but continues to look as if she is drowning...I'm never quite sure. She experiments in the water, and comes up with her own tricks. Like her "seahorse kick" which consists of doing a bicycle kick while bobbing up and down in the deep end. She is the hardest one to get out of the pool at the end of the day. She also likes to be thrown up in the air, and doesn't mind how high she flies as long as she lands in the water.

The Mitzel's came over to swim one day as well, and most of the kids helped to scrub the's been getting black marks on any kid who jumps...we'll see the next time we try it how well they cleaned it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Florida! (and the pictures resume...)

I have borrowed a camera for the time being, so I have to update a little beginning with the pictures my mom took from Florida in May. There were something like 200 pictures, so this is the quick version...

Everyone wore sunhats and lots of sunscreen every time we stepped outside. Needless to say, we did not get burned even one iota. That only happened the day we returned to Michigan and decided it was silly to spend all that time slathering on the sunscreen...I got burned the worst!

The kids were all excited to wear sunglasses, though they didn't actually wear them most of the time. Mostly squabbled about whose were who.

A family picture, minus only a couple sisters and a husband. Wish you all could have come, too:) Lucy and Jane had trouble looking into the sun. Actually, Lucy had trouble with pictures all weekend. She squirmed and fussed and never would look at the camera...

Upon entering our massive mansion of a rental home, we would often see a head peeking above the railing of the second floor. I don't think I am explaining that right (I'm really tired right now!)...anyway, there was a kitchen on the second floor, and from the sitting area next to the kitchen, one could look over the railing...

And a certain threesome often did.

So, we spent the majority of the week either in the pool or at the beach. There was a pool in the backyard, and a path to the beach just beyond. The kids were in the water almost non-stop, and Lucy learned to back float in the ocean with whoever would help her (my dad in this picture).

We watched the sunset every night from the screened-in back porch. And took lots of pictures of the sunset. The pictures definitely do not do it justice. Just had to be there. The kids stayed up late one night and got to see it, and we had a good discussion about whether it was rising in China at that exact moment...

One day we drove to the Everglades (not far from Naples, where we were staying), and took an airboat ride around the alligator hideouts. It was kind of loud, since we were powered by a massive fan, the only means of scooting a boat through water a foot deep.

Everyone had to wear headphones. Most people didn't mind.

One person did.

She actually didn't mind the headphones as much as the wind. We were moving pretty fast, fast enough to make a person kind of squint their eyes against the wind. And fast enough to blow a hat off a person's head (it almost happened a couple times). Jane wanted me to cover her eyes with my hand, and actually pressed it tighter against her face a couple times. When we slowed down she would peek out...

We did actually see some alligators.

And after the ride I got to hold one (notice my sister Bekah isn't actually touching it!)

But the kids did touch it, for a second. I only did it because no one else was volunteering, and I didn't want the kids to think we were all a bunch of wusses. I didn't REALLY want to hold it. But it was kind of cool...

More beach pictures:

Bubbles with Aunt Bekah...

And back to the pool. Gene learned how to do a handstand/flip thingie. You tell me what you would call that. He loved being underwater, that's for sure!

Lucy motored around in her floaty ring, and had a grand old time as well. Her favorite trick was being thrown (or jumping in by herself) so that she landed and went under the water (even with the ring on).

And that's all, folks. It was a fun vacation. The last time I was in Florida, Jane was a baby. And that was fun, too. But this time was little more relaxing:)