Saturday, January 5, 2013

miss manke

 november was also micah's beloved teacher, miss manke's birthday. it was a much anticipated birthday by my son. one that was planned for and thought about for quite some time. he made her a card and we talked about how to make her feel special on her day. the room moms for micah's class are amazing and very thoughtful and they threw her a wonderful party. one parent even donated pizza for the whole class. 
we went along to help out and also to get in on singing to miss manke. 
seriously though, she really is amazing and we are extremely thankful for the year micah has had. he loves second grade and is so happy with all of the science experiments they do. she is very good at making each one of the kids feel so special and loved. it was nice to be able to do that very thing for her on her birthday. 

voting day

i have a brilliant idea. people would make a fortune if on voting day you offered an area to watch kids for parents who are going in to vote. it would work much the same as church nursery. you leave your information or take a pager (if you happen to be old school) and you go in and vote in peace and then come back out and claim your children with a nice tip for the person watching them. brilliant, right? 

well, until something like that happens, matt and i woke up at 6:15 and got the kids ready, except for penelope and then we drove to our voting area and waited in line for it to open for 20 minutes. we talked to many nice people in line. we even met a few from michigan. but by the time we actually got inside, our window for keeping the peace had vanished. thankfully we had filled out our practice ballots so the actual voting took us each 5 minutes tops. 
 matt told bea she had to keep her hand in his pocket. ha! 

 i love that the kids got to watch an amazing freedom taking place and we were able to answer many of their questions as they were observing what was taking place. we talked about options, and differences and being informed and above all voting because it is important to never take that gift for granted. 
plus they got cool stickers out of it too. 
overall a pretty great morning. 
{yes, i changed her clothes mid wait in line. :) }

mrs. mickel's birthday

another special lady had a birthday in november. our own grandma mickel. she treats matt like a son and loves on the kids like they are her own grand kids.  this year we decided to do something special for her and took her some flowers and i had the kids make her a card. they definitely made her day!

"here husband will you take a picture of me with the girls?"
{extreme close up!}
  it was a little chilly on this day and so i took the opportunity to get out this hat from when micah was a baby. it was so cute i had to take a couple of pictures! 
yeah, we don't get much of a chance to wear winter hats around these parts. 

one hundred

early in november a lovely lady at our church turned 100. 
i. can't. even. imagine. 
a friend of mine made her a gorgeous cake and our church had a special birthday luncheon for her after church. her family had done a collage of pictures from her life and i was struck how in each picture she was smiling. big. i mean really big. and her eyes were smiling too. she just looked like she adored being alive! what happiness and joy. i'm sure she had some tough times. losses, fights with her husband, worried filled nights in regards to her children, but she looked happy. 
 just a cute picture of the girls. their hair...and their profiles...
i never want to forget these little things about their faces and their perfect little heads. 
 i took a lot of nice and sweet pictures of all the church kids with miss wilma, but this one below cracks me up. beatrix's face is classic! miss wilma grabbed a hold of her and didn't let go until the kids sat down. it was so cute and funny. it was a good reminder that life won't always be about babies and sleepless nights and poop, and discipline and baseball games and hearing complaints about what's for dinner. there are seasons waiting out in front of matt and i that will have nothing to do with babies. and we will miss it, of that i am sure. 

gumbo limbo and my beautiful daughters

 this post is especially picture heavy and i think it's why i am soooo behind in my blogging. it starts with beatrix's birthday. the need i have to slow down time. it's one thing after the other from october 20th through christmas. every event seems monumental and important and large. i don't want to miss anything. so i snap away, then i download them all, and they just pile up on me. taunting me to edit them and do something with them. but i don't. and so they pile up more. but then there are mornings like january 5th, where it seems like with waking early, a new desire stirs to get caught up. clean up.
and so i post in 2013 about october and november and december of the year before. 

on this day early in november, a friend of mine and her 4 kids invited us to go to a nature park called gumbo limbo that also has a turtle sanctuary and a few aquariums. it was a gorgeous day and my daughters were looking especially lovely and so i bring you a picture heavy post. 
a beautiful butterfly garden greets you when you first enter the park.

we meandered down to the intercostal for a little rock throwing and wading. 

 these life size turtle sculptures are also at the entrance. 
my turtle lover was in heaven.

  penelope was just starting to stand at this time and take tiny steps. she thought the sea creatures were pretty great and i am pretty sure she would have been happy standing right in that spot for a while. 

 one of the two huge aquariums that had all kinds of fish, lobsters, sting rays and even baby sharks in them. we got there just in time for feeding. 
  after looking at everything the kids were starting to get hungry so we took a walk through the woods to a pavilion where we ate our lunches we brought. i stopped to take some pictures of this web. i thought it was so beautiful with the way the sun was shining right on it. 
  by the time we reached the pavilion penelope had had enough. she wanted out of her stoller.
 there were two men fishing where we were sitting and they caught several fish while the kids were eating. they even caught a porcupine fish, which is in the puffer fish family!
 after eating the girls ran over to this little "hill" and started playing with grass and laughing. 

  i decided to capture a few pictures of beatrix at four. since her birthday had just been the weekend before. i love when i do her hair like this. and she put her outfit together. 

 i walked back to where gemma was sitting with penelope and they were both having a nice time. gemma was enjoying just sitting and squeezing some baby chub, which is THE BEST and penelope was enjoying gumming a water bottle.  

  after we packed up and got the kids all rounded up again, we headed back to the nature reserve. on the way we stopped at a giant structure that had stairs going up to a platform. i stayed down below to nurse penelope who was getting very cranky and beatrix nervously went up with gemma and her kids. when she came back down i asked her if she loved it, she looked a little frightened. but when i got home gemma had emailed me this picture below and it brought tears to my eyes.
she looks beautiful above the tree tops with the ocean, blue in the distance.