Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ants marching

Breck got an ant farm for his birthday from Grandma Kris.  Now, I have to say that I had small apprehensions about inviting ants into my house, let alone a whole farm full.  But now that they are here, I can see how they may easily become a permanent fixture in our home.  Watching these ants do their thing is fascinating. 

I had every intention that this little farm would live in the kids room.  However, they seem to have taken up permanent residence in the kitchen just because I want to be able to check in on them regularly throughout the day - see what new tunnels they are working on, watch them bury their dead, see them cleaning themselves, bringing food down into the tunnels to share with others - it is all captivating.

As long as they stay in the farm (and it seems to be very secure), I think the ants are here to stay.  Or at least they will fill the void in my little boy's heart until we can have a "real" pet, as he says.  (He has been missing Aslan so much lately).

The world we live in is truly an awesome place and creation is just beyond words in how amazing and complex it is.  And I am grateful for the ants living on my counter to remind me of that fact.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

summer lovin'

I don't think my kids are ready for what summer in the US will mean for us.  Their endurance is low at this point, very low.  In Ecuador, since we enjoyed spring-like weather the whole year round, there was never quite the same urgency to get outside.  Don't get me wrong, we loved to be outside and tried to be outside as much as we could.  But if you didn't get out to enjoy the sun, no worries, cause it will be sunny the next day and the next and the next.  Or maybe from time to time it would be rainy and cold...but the longest I think we ever had to wait to get a day that was a great day to play outside was about 2 weeks.

 I feel like part of what makes summer so great here is that you know it won't last forever. You have to take advantage of every bit of sunshine and warmth. Every day there is a yearning to get out and feel the green grass under your feet and enjoy the shade that giant trees offer - because you know in only a matter of months the air will turn crisp again, daylight will fade and more and more time will be spent within the walls of our homes.

And I think my kids are not yet seasoned to this intense play that the summer months demand of us here where our life is set to rhythm by four seasons.  Granted, Elsa hasn't had enough life yet to be seasoned to much of anything, but for Breck this is a whole new ball game.  I think he will adjust, but for now it is taking it's toll.  He has gone back to taking a nap almost everyday (no complaining here!) and Elsa is back to two naps a day.  They play hard in the hot sun and we stay outside too late into the afternoon, thus pushing dinner time back.  Almost always this results in a pre-dinner meltdown because they are so exhausted and hungry.  But isn't it worth it?

Here's to hoping that our house becomes a glorious mess this summer only because we chose to get out into the great outdoors every second we can, instead of worrying that that there are dishes piled up in the kitchen sink.

 Love that these 4 little rascals all live under one roof!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

schools out for the summer!

ok...maybe not quite as Chris only has a week of semi-freedom (because he will be spending a lot of time reading) and then jumps into his first intensive class of the summer next Monday.  But the semester is over!  Whoa, crazy whoa.  And what a great semester it was.  I'm continually grateful for the smooth transition it has been coming back to Chicago, this time with 2 kids in tow.  It's sometimes very hard to believe that we were living in Quito less then a year ago and now our life is worlds away.  

To celebrate, we headed to the beach with our friends Kyle and Jenny and their lovely little daughter, Charlotte for a picnic.  We enjoyed the beautiful weather and the kids barely ate, pulled away by the joy that only a sandy beach can bring to little hands with a shovel and bucket.

We do have our doubts about if they will actually let these 2 graduate in a few years...but we will just keep plowing ahead.

Yay for new friends!  
God is so good.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

i like to move it, move it

Last Saturday we had a few friends over for the long anticipated birthday dance party.  And dance and party we did!  Here are just a few gems from the day.

Is this not the most awkward picture of my children?  Ha!  I love it.

Party ready apartment

Grandma Kris came into town for the big event.  They enjoyed a slow dance together before things got crazy.

Fueling up

Elsa ate her entire weight in popcorn during the 2 hours.  She was never seen farther then an arms length away from her popcorn cup.

I was slightly nervous that none of these kids would dance at this party and would just stand in the corners looking at one another as if they were at a junior high dance.  Luckily, that was not the case.  Although the moves were often brief and we never had everyone dancing at the same time, every little body in the joint participated.

And then Mr. Kyle helped introduce them all to the wonders of birthday streamer attire.

Breck got a little shy when the birthday song was coming his way.  Although he often thrives with being the center of attention, I guess all eyes on him and a song in his honor took it to a whole new level he didn't know how to deal with.

So he avoided all eye contact.

And the avoiding eye contact continued when it was just our family singing to him on the actual day of his birth.

I just think it is the greatest that Breck wanted a dance party birthday - and that it was all his idea.
Love this kid!

And Elsa is all partied out.