Logsdons Blog

Learning As We Grow

   Nov 12

Tour of the Logsdon Home

For those of you who didn’t make it to the Crieve Hall Tour of Homes (like all my sweet family living across the country), here is your mini-tour.  It’s okay – my house isn’t that big.  Thought you’d enjoy, though…

 Funny enough…I completely forgot to take pictures of our bedroom.  Oops.  Guess that means that room is just for us.  ha. 
 We’ve added a fire pit and a trampoline back in the back here…
 And a new wonderful fall garden – I’ll have to do pics of this soon!
Since the tour, we’ve had two new updates…
We’ve been needing a nicer work station since Nathan and I are both working from home, and I finally found a great deal from Costco.  Just finished setting it up, and I love it!!
The girls loved the box it came in.  By the way, it was NOT easy to put together.  Geesh.
Our “corkboard.”  I calculated it up…if each bottle of wine was a $13 bottle (nicer wines for the real corks), that’s a stinkin $1273 corkboard.  Took us a looooong time to stock up!
 And finally, Clara has a new bed!  The girls love it – the top is off-limits to Ellie, so it’s Clara’s special getaway place, and they love playing in the little tent below it.  Clara had no problems switching to the new bed -she loves it!
So…welcome to our home.  Now…come see us for real. 

   Oct 24

Happy Birthday, Sweet Ellie….

I can’t believe it.  My little girl is now two years old.  Her official birthday was yesterday, and she immediately told a stranger she was two and a half.  Seriously??
My little spunky girl is a hoot.  She keeps us laughing all the time.  Tonight she wandered out to the back yard and I found her walking around, singing, with Mr. Potato Head plastic glasses on. 
Her absolute favorite thing to do is whisper “chocolate chip cookie”.  I love it.
We have had so much going on, we did a very last minute birthday party for her this year.  This past week we had friends over for dinner Tuesday, and then Clara’s school friends over for a big potluck on Wednesday, and I had so many leftovers I figured “what the heck”…so we called the family together for birthday dinner Thursday!  Ellie, I officially apologize for not making you a cake.  We had the cutest owl cupcakes from the night before, and they were just perfect for you! 
Obviously, she enjoyed the attention:
This is definitely my favorite time of year.  We’ve gotten through the craziness of summer trips, 48 Days events, and the Tour of Homes…and now I’m looking forward to holidays and fun with family.  Here are some highlights since last time.  Eventually I’m going to get more videos on here!
We went sailing with our friends Connie and Sheila…our first time on a big sailboat- had so much fun!  Connie was the expert photographer and got these shots:
Yummy hot cocoa with homemade mini marshmallows from Amish country – makes it so much better!
We hit up Radnor Lake the other day for a beautiful fall photo opp…
Ellie ‘kickin it’ on the ride there…
Yes, this is a favorite picture of mine.  What a hoot.
So Ellie – throwing her head back and being wild…
Loving this fall weather!!

   Oct 10

Where did the Summer Go?

Wow, with our Canada trip and all the chaos building up to and catching up after, I have completely slacked in the family blog.  I’ve done this every month since before Clara was born…and this is the longest stretch without posting.  It’s high time.

It dawned on me that I’ve essentially posted a blog update every month since the month before Clara was born.  This is the girls’ baby albums, it’s all of our life updates…and yikes – how the heck am I ever going to get this off the web and into a tangible album?  I’m dreaming of having DVDs of our family videos and a photo album to go through, but man, it gets overwhelming just looking at the past four years!

A few highlights in our lives…

  • In July, Clara took her first dance class.  She made it up to the actual dance recital…and sat on the sidelines.  Ellie, however, we had to fight to keep from taking over center stage.
  • Ellie will be two at the end of October.  Over our trip, she began speaking in full sentences.  Her absolute favorite sentence?  “e’cuse me Mommy!”  She says this over and over and over and OVER again.  All. Day. Long. Other sentences/words?
    • A’ighty, see u ater!
    • Here ya go!
    • Were Cwara go?
    • I yuv you too!
    • Wha dat?
    • Watch dis!
    • Lookame!
    • I poopy dipa (yes, it’s potty training time)
    • (whispers) chocat chip cookie! (this is some funny thing Nathan taught her to do – he says “I have a secret…chocolate chip cookie.”  She loves the game and whispers it to everyone now. Hey, at least we’re teaching her to whisper. 

  • We sold our Subaru Outback (our first “parent car”) and replaced it with a huge truck.  Our first eBay purchase for a car – Nathan bought it in Florida – flew down and was able to squeeze in a mini visit to see his cousin Scott in St. Simon’s on his way back.  This is apparently a limited edition truck, and it is decked out…um…with glass packs.  Seriously – I can hear the “vroom, vroom” when he turns on our street.  Goes so well with our “hippie” lifestyle.  Definitely our biggest contradiction, but oh so fun to have a truck – the amount of crap we’ve hauled…literally.  Nathan fills up with horse manure from the ag center down the street and our garden and flowerbeds are gorgeous.
    The girls definitely dig climbing in and eating tomatoes and basil.  For a long time, about the only green things Ellie would eat were if she picked them directly from the garden.

    • We did a 2 1/2 week road trip to Canada.  ‘Nuff said, right?  Nope.  It was INCREDIBLE.  Every part of our trip.  It was more than a mere family trip, it was a pivotal moment this year, as Nathan and I talked and talked…together and with dear friends and family.  We talked about everything.  Most importantly, we looked at our lives and really examined what we like and what we’d like to change.  Many deep discussions, and ultimately, a new sense of purpose and passion as individuals and as an incredible family.  

      • We stopped in KY first to visit Nathan’s Aunt Kathy and Uncle Rodney.  Had a great visit with them, and Kathy inspired me to write this post.  Then road trip to my Aunt Vi and Uncle Nate’s house…quick recovery at an empty house, as they were gone, and then headed up to CANADA!

      • We drove up to Guelph, Ontario, to visit our new-found and very dear friends, Josh and Sarah Gordon, better known as The Nonconformist Family.  They hooked us up with some friends of theirs at Evergreen Ranch.  Dave and Cathy Loney were incredible hosts – their house was a gorgeous strawbale home with so many unique features – I took a lot of pictures of it in our album!  They were so gracious to welcome complete strangers into their home for a week, especially on the same weekend they were moving their baby out of the house on her own.  Empty nest with a whole crazy family coming in -yikes!
      • We spent plenty of time hanging with Josh and Sarah and their sweet kiddos, Piper and Vienna.  Lots of down time letting the kids play and get filthy…fully embracing kid-dom.  It was great to hang with fellow “deep thinkers” and wax philosophical and really look at all the important things in our lives together.  We visited with both of their parents as well, got to meet sibs, and really got to know the Gordon’s all around!
        They were still our friends after Ellie chucked a handful of sand in Vienna’s eyes..and Nathan captured it in a priceless picture.
      • On our treks both up to Canada and back, we made it a point to stop and play along the way…at the Longaberger Basket Factory, at the best restaurant ever in Cleveland (we’ll so go out of our way to eat here again), at “Mentor-on-the-lake” on Lake Erie (stopped there on the way up and the way back), Niagara Falls… The pit stops were splendid – we all stretched our legs, explored new places, and really embraced the journey and not just our final stops. 

      • Niagara Falls.  Incredible.  Breathtaking. The park was beautiful.  The falls were gorgeous. And then…Gatlinburg took a ton of steroids and exploded in the town.  The town of Niagara Falls is insanity – seriously, Gatlinburg on crack.  We hit up the Hershey store and then hightailed it outta there (with a 1/4 lb Reeses cup, of course). 
      • Spent some amazing quality time with Aunt Vi and Uncle Nate in Ohio – they took us to Amish farms to see all the animals, insisted we try “fry pies” (which yes, are the best things ever), took us to the creek to play, and genuinely made us feel at home – we loved spending time there – it was a perfect ending to our trip.  The highlight of our visit was going to the Yoder Amish Farm – incredible, and will be a required visit when we go back over the years for the girls to learn about their Amish history.   It wasn’t gimmicky – it was actually where you could really learn and understand how things are for the Amish – all run by Amish and Mennonites.
      • Our last stop was Xenia, Ohio, for John and Shelley’s wedding.  We played a pretty big part in it – the girls were flowergirls, I made the wedding cake, and Nathan officiated!  It was a beautiful celebration, even if it was over 100 degrees!
        Nathan, Will, John and Clay on the Bachelor party – hiking to Gregory’s Bald and camping in the Smokeys


      • There are a TON of pictures…so, here is the full album – you can look through them and read the captions instead of me posting stuff here: 

      • Nathan did his second Jailbreak Triathalon and beat his previous time by 28 minutes!  Seriously!  3.5 miles of canoeing, 8.5 mile mountain biking, and 2.5 miles trail run, and even without a relay partner, he made 8th in the relay, 3rd out of his grouping.  I was amazed – he kicked butt royally, and I think he would have dominated and won if he had competed with a teammate.  I was so, so proud of him!  

      • I also did my second 5k ever, the Tomato Art Fest 5k, and beat my time from 28 min to 26, so I was happy with that (14th in my age group). Nothing like Nathan, but hey, it’s a start!
      My running buddy Kate

      • Clara’s biggest fascination lately? The human body. She loves watching youtube videos on the skeleton, especially.  And, the digestive system.  We got a membership to the Adventure Science Center and there is a whole section on the human body – she loved it!

        • I have been a busy bee lately – we’ve had two 48 Days events since we came back from Canada, plus our house was in the Crieve Hall Tour of Homes.  I’ve painted, sewn, cooked and created all kinds of things!

        •  What have I learned from all my craftiness?  I am not a hairdresser.  Neither is Nathan.  Clara has been complaining quite a bit about hating when I comb her hair.  So, I said we should cut it.  Nathan decided to take both girls in and chop their hair in the bathtub one afternoon right before we got a home visit from the National Children’s Study.  I decided to “fix” what he did the next day, and go all out and give Clara bangs so they weren’t in her face and I didn’t have to pull her hair back every day.  Um…I didn’t do a good job.  I goofed.  I have to say, I still think she looks adorable, but yep, bangs aren’t really the way to go.  I got some cute pictures, though.  Memories, right? It’ll grow back!  (please.  soon.)
          For El, we just chopped her mullet so it’s all one length.
        • Ellie is a funny girl.  Seriously.  She’s a hoot.  As I’m writing this, shes in her crib, thirty minutes after we’ve put her to bed, singing “Twinkle, twinkle, wittle sta!” at the top of her lungs.  She loves to perform, she loves to say hi to everyone she meets, and she loves to laugh.  She lives life full throttle (and thankfully sleeps that way, too – I cannot believe she isn’t climbing out of her crib.  She’s fully capable of it, she just doesn’t care to).
        • Ellie is definitely in “monkey see, monkey do” stage, and Clara is her idol.  She will mimic anything Clara does, and now her biggest thing is, we put her to bed first, then put Clara to bed.  Then Ellie yells and yells for us to come back in simply to ask us “Is Cwara sweep (asleep) now?”

        So….that’s us in a nutshell.  I took pictures of our home for the Tour, so I’ll do another post with those soon for ya’ll to “tour” the house if you haven’t been here.  Or at least when it’s nice and clean and pretty.  

        Our summer has been absolutely splendid, and for all of you who have contributed to hosting us, whether it was for a week or merely for dinner….


          We love you all! 

               Jul 28

            Happy Birthday Time!

            Well, well, well.  With our new FamilyLifeLearners website, MamaSaysNamaste, and work, I’ve just let this go by the wayside!  I have a feeling this is going to become more and more about just posting pictures…I’ve been doing this for four years, though, and it’s essentially the girls’ baby book, so I’m afraid to drop it.  Any thoughts from the fam? 
             Here is the birthday post – there were a ton in June – mine, Nathan’s, Caroline/Grammy’s, and my nephew Caleb (the big 16!)…plus our 7-year anniversary, so June was a busy month!
            My big bday gift was a bike…so one day in wonderful 100 degree weather Nathan surprises me with his parents coming over in the middle of the day to watch the kids so we could go on a bike ride with my brand new birthday bike.  
            We had a blast, and during the ride I was thinking how I should get his family to bring the kayak we got Nathan for his birthday over to our house, so I’m trying to secretly text them so there would be a surprise waiting for Nathan when we got home.
            Well…there was a surprise.  When we arrived back, dripping in sweat but in great spirits, I saw some feet behind the curtains on our back porch.  Of course, I’m thinking the Logsdon fam is standing there with the kayak to surprise Nathan!  
            I walk to the gate and..what the…?  There is a stinkin surprise party for ME there!! 

            My wonderful hubby (along with our parents and the help of my best friend Melissa), completely and utterly surprised me.  I had no idea.  And, he got me back – last year, for his 30th, he came back from a day-long surprise fishing trip to find a party waiting.  So he got me back on the sweaty birthday appearance.  
            We had a great time, though, and I was just blown away by the sweetness of all of it. 
            My big 3-0 cake/cupcakes.  And nope, didn’t realize it was a “3-0” till I saw this picture – thought it was a snake!
            I was able to sneak in a surprise on Nathan as well – his brothers ran and brought in his kayak, which I had been telling Nathan we absolutely did NOT need and he was NOT getting.  
            Clara and Nathan were so excited about the kayak…they were ready to go right away!
            Some of my b-day goodies – I wouldn’t let myself get any running gear until I was sure I was committed.  After over a month of running seriously and one 5k, I was ready!  Got a running outfit from Melissa and an iPhone holder from Clay….SO NICE to have!

            Little Ellie was ready to ride!
            Got a great child carrier from Grammy/Papa D…
            This took some major coaxing for Clara to get on the ride-along bike.  I found this for $5 at a yard sale, and it has been awesome!  After a battle and a half, I put my foot down and made her take a “no-thank-you” ride.  After literally 2 seconds of screaming, she was laughing and loving it.  This is one of her favorite things to do now – go riding with Daddy.
            My fun cruiser bike complete with rockin’ basket from Will…it even comes off so I can carry into a store – how cool is that?
            We had to test the kayak out right away, and Clara did so well on it, that Nathan and Clara went on a half-day adventure down the Harpeth.  And boy, was it ever an adventure!  It involved rolling the kayak under a huge tree trunk covered in “question” (caution) tape, with both of them going under.  Clara popped up screaming her head off (it would have freaked me out, too) and thankfully, the only casualty was my fishing pole.  Nathan handled it amazingly – what could have been a horribly traumatic experience for Clara ended up becoming a really fun story to tell, where she acts out how she was swimming underwater and pops up, and she loves to tell everyone about it with no traces of fear!

            Ellie and I got to chill by the waterside while Clara and Nathan took their first jaunt.
            At the end of the month, it was Grammy’s birthday.  We had just come back from an incredible trip to Roan Mountain – pictures will be in a post to follow.  We had a great family meal complete with a low-country boil and fruit pizza that Clara and I made – yum!

            So, quick synopsis of the birthday month…more posts to come!

               Jun 18

            Berries, Berries!

            ‘Tis the season for berries, and we’ve had so much fun! We went strawberry pickin’ with Grammy and hit the last of the strawberry season.

            Yes, this is an awesome slide. I mean awesome.

            I’m not sure how many strawberries Ellie actually put IN the basket…

            Seriously, does every picture show El putting a strawberry in her mouth?

            YiaYia and Papa’s property has a tree just busting at the seams with mulberries, so we proceeded to pick away, and then attempt mulberry and strawberry jellies, cobbler, and even mulberry fudge.
            Let’s just say not everyone was a fan (thanks, cuckoo bill!) 🙂 I’d say I can be queen of the cobbler, but fudge and jam still escapes me. I’m determined, though – I’ll make it perfect one day!

            At least it looks pretty in pictures. The jam is a good sauce.
            Mulberry Cobbler = YUM
            Mulberry stains definitely stick to blistered hands well.
            So I’m going in reverse order, but wow–check out these mulberries – we simply laid out sheets and shook the tree branches and they rained down on us. They are so good – not seedy like blackberries, and you can eat them as-is – stem and all!
            Here’s the mulberry tree on my parent’s property:

            Ellie seemed to think it was perfectly normal to have it rain mulberries.

            Clara found a froggy friend

            After mulberry pickin, we had ourselves a delicious feast!

            Secret ingredient to the best fruit salad ever? Mint. (also good on fruit pizza. Mint + fruit always = a good time.)

            Even Grammy and Papa D joined in the fun. And by the way, this is love: allowing a completely butt-naked 4-year-old to ride on your shoulders. Grammy, you’re awesome!

               Jun 18

            Returning to my roots…

            A few weeks ago, the Miller family was contacted by some distant relatives of ours. The Yoders lived in Cumberland Furnace TN, and since they had talked about water-skiing, I naively assumed these were pretty liberal Mennonites and I figured we’d just visit and play with people pretty similar to us.  As we drove out to visit on Mother’s Day weekend with them, and as we pulled up and I saw little girls with cape dresses on, I realized I was waaaaay off!

            The family we visited made incredible barns, playhouses and playsets, and gazebos.

            Mary Yoder was a niece of my grandmother Clara, so she was my dad’s first cousin, which made her whole clan second and third cousins of mine.  They had family in from all around the country, so it was a large family reunion.  Some of the families were more conservative Mennonite than others, but it was clear that everyone just loved being together regardless of how everyone chose to live.
            They all headed out to the baseball field for a game that lasted through the evening while we all socialized and played.  Nathan even went out and played ball with them!
             The kids were adorable.  These two girls were little mother hens and took care of all the kiddos.  The youngest was especially fascinated by my clothes and that I wore earrings!
            They all gathered around and read Mom’s books “I Wanna Be Me” and “When I Am Quiet.” 
            Let me just tell you, the warmth of this family was obvious as soon as we drove up.  They greeted us with hugs and love and included us in as if we’d always known them.  I had a lot of fun talking with them and learning about the similarities in how we parent, in education, and fun with canning!  
            On the way home Clara had to try out YiaYia’s glasses…
            Here is what MY glasses look like.  Thank you, Ellie.

               Jun 11

            Birthdays, Birthdays…

            Clara is now at the birthday stage – the wonderful world of birthday party extravaganzas.  The girls in her Mother’s Day Out program are pretty close, especially Clara and her two blonde besties, Ella and Maren.  They both had birthday parties recently and I got some adorable shots of them all!
            Her best friend Ella had a fun outdoor hula-hoop party…
            Clara, Ella and Maren
            Doing their hula hoop thing….
            Ellie loves the little cars…
            And hats….
            This is a line-up of all the little girls in Clara’s class at Judson where she goes to school.  It was such a great class this year, and Clara really loved it!
            Speaking of her school, Clara is officially finished with her first year of preschool!  They had a big parent’s luncheon that was so cute – we got to see her room and all the fun stuff she did over the year, and then we all went to the sanctuary for a performance where they sang, and then a luncheon…with Chick-Fil-A.  Unfortunately about the only fast-food restaurant that offers absolutely nothing for vegetarians.  Nathan had two chicken sandwiches and six chicken nuggets.  He OD’d on chicken. 
            I love the little hot-air balloons…people flew to “DisneyWorld” and “California” as some top ones, and Clara chose “Grammy and Poppa D’s!”  The really funny thing is that her best friend Ella chose “Applebees.”  Ella, however, has never been to Applebees, and her parents had no idea how she knew about it.  Clara, coincidentally, went for the first time about two weeks before and was obsessed with talking about it.  Apparently Ella wanted to check out what was so cool about it.  I, for the life of me have no idea why Clara thought it was grand.  I thought the food was actually pretty bad there!
            This is Mrs. Holly, who was the greatest teacher ever.  Clara loved her and is not to thrilled about not being able to go back to her next year.  She is so thoughtful and sweet to the kids!

            Clara’s other dear friend from school, Maren, had her birthday party at Divas & Dudes. It was too stinkin’ cute – they got their hair and makeup done, nails painted, picked out fairy dresses and wings, learned a dance, did a conga line, and did a runway show. 
            Clara was a little cautious at first.  And kept her red dress on underneath…
            But started getting into it with Maren on the stage
             Yes, she’s lifting her princess dress to show off her skull and crossbones tattoo…
            Clara and Maren
            This is the greatest–they polled the girls on what they liked.  Apparently Clara likes “cats & treats”.  Go figure.
            Dresses came off for birthday cake, and the girls definitely got their sugar high.
            It’s so fun watching Clara forming friendships and playing with other girls her age – four is so fun.  I think from 18months – 3 1/2 it’s pretty uphill with lots of development and lots of trials…but if you can clear 3 1/2 you’re on the home stretch for a lot of fun and laughter!

               Jun 02

            My kids are adorable, what can I say.

            I have an assortment of pictures from the last few months that don’t fall into any grouping other than just flat “cuteness.”  I know I’m biased, but geesh, I love my girls.  Here are just some precious photo opps:

             Yes, this is Clara running through YiaYia’s yard with her typical birthday suit on.  Thankfully she opted for an apron, at least:

            Again, at YiaYia’s/Papa’s, Clara is forever finding frogs, turtles, cicadas, and other animals to play with.  This was a cute little tree frog she found…

             And a cicada…

            Speaking of cicadas, Clara is quite infatuated.  She collects them by the dozens, plays with them, hugs and kisses them, and has even been known to put them in her pocket and let them climb up in her shirt.  Yep, gives me the willies just thinking about it.  I’m so skittish with the sound of cicadas now because I have no idea where they may come crawling out on her!

            After much discussion, Clara and I went and got our hair chopped.  After watching Tangled, it was not the easiest to convince her to get her hair cut!  Clara’s looks awesome.  I’m not so thrilled with mine, but I’m giving it time–I’m tempted to chop it shorter.  Speaking of Tangled, the haircut at the end is pretty stinkin cute….

             Clara and Ellie love our hammock swing.  This is a heavy-duty swing – the rope is about 30 feet up in air, so we literally swing them up over our heads.  They are so spoiled with what a “real swing” is.  I’ll post some video of this monster soon – it’s awesome!

            Love Ellie’s face here…

            The cute little mohawk chica.  In all honesty, she has a little “party in the back” and that’s about it.  I’m still holding out for a little curl in her hair…please, oh please….

             Clara has a full Indian get-up…the shirt was something special of Nathan’s when he was a little boy…and he got her the necklace and headband to make together for her birthday. She loved it.

            At the movie theater, they were sold out of the movie we wanted to see (good thing, too- heard that African Cats was a little too spooky for Clara), but they did have Pirates of the Caribbean tattoos.  So not friendly kid tattoos, but the girls were pumped:
            We had to at least draw angel wings on their backs…

             I love the “cheese” faces…

            We visited with Grandma Polly a bit on Mother’s Day, and got a few good shots in….

             This is so Ellie.

             Four generations here…

            I ran my first ever 5k to benefit “Girls on the Run” .  This is such a great cause, and goes well with the blog I just posted HERE.   We did the run as a family, with Nathan pushing the double stroller (he’s such a stud).  Actually made pretty good time, with about an 8-minute mile.  We want to push a little harder next time, as we started at the back of the line behind a ton of middle school kiddos that ran/walked, so a lot of weaving a big stroller through. 

            Nathan doesn’t hesitate to get  “in the zone” with playtime at the house.  And yes, that is Obama on his African apron.  Thank you Angazas

             And….on to the cutest pictures ever of my most favorite little girls.  Everybody, feel free to insert “awwwww” after every picture.  I know you want to. 

            Only four more updates to go before I’m caught up.  Geesh.  Loving grouping them like this, though…hopefully it’ll make for more frequent (and fun) posts!

               May 30

            Zoo days, Friesemas, and more!

            It seems that most of our adventures end up at the Nashville Zoo.  We love love love this place and make good use of our membership.  If you live here, you’ve probably gone with us.  If you don’t live here, you’ve probably visited with us.  It’s that cool.  So, here are all the zoo pics from the last two months!
            We went to the zoo with YiaYia and Papa…
             Love this picture!
            On another day, we went to the zoo with Holly and her boys…they all posed for a picture together in front of the flamingos…
              I have to post this pic (Holly don’t kill me) of sweet Garrett and Clara.  Completely innocent, but seriously–check out his face and her face.  This is such a frat boy shot for college years.  So funny. 

            One day Nathan was on-duty with Clara so I could get some work done during Ellie’s nap, so he took her to the zoo for a photography lesson.  It was so cute–she had her camera and a tripod and set up all kinds of photo shots both of the animals, and of course the star of the show:
            Our latest trip to the zoo was extra special.  I need to premise this by introducing an incredible family we met this past month – the Freisema family.  We met Jason and Trish (and grandma Jean) first with their 10-year-old son, Noah.  They were here under scary circumstances, as they had just discovered the week before that Noah had a very serious and aggressive tumor growing in his head, filling up his nasal cavity and really overtaking any cavity it could.  Just in the time he was here we watched as his eye started protruding out, his speech was more difficult to understand, and they questioned whether he would lose vision in one eye.  In a nutshell, this family went through a lot in a short amount of time.  They discovered the tumor, immediately flew from their home in Colorado to come to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, had the beauty of some incredible surgeons not only being willing to operate, but re-arranging their schedules, including vacations, to do so.  They did such an amazing job that in less than two weeks, they were back home.  We’re talking major surgery here– eight hours of it in one day!  You can read the full story and the updates on him here.  This is a straight-up miracle boy, and it was a joy to meet the whole fam!
            Noah doted on the girls–they would both light up and run to him.
            So back to the zoo…before the surgery, we were doing anything we could to keep Noah’s spirits high and get his mind off the impending surgery.  The zoo definitely helped us out – we were able to get an exclusive “behind the scenes” visit to see the Clouded Leopards up close, and feed baby camels! 
             Clara was explaining how crazy it was that we were in the back of the zoo!
             Noah was a camel-feeding champ.
             The night we went was member night and the grand opening of the new zoo train.  We waited and waited in line for it and thank God it was free.  WOW.  Talk about a lotta buildup!  It was, unfortunately, the lamest train ride in history.  The amount of time it takes you to read this and look at this one picture is about the length of the ride.  So not looking forward to Clara wanting to do it again for $3 a ticket!

            Noah’s sister Kezia joined them later on, and Clara and Kezi loved riding on the tractor:

            We even all got to eat at our favorite little sushi place.  We had a blast getting to know this family.  Although the circumstances for meeting were not something I would wish on anyone, Noah did amazing and we loved meeting and spending time with everyone!

            Clara and Ellie’s school pictures…Ellie oh-so-conveniently was a substitute kid in class that day! 
             Clara got her face painted at a kids event we went to and it looked stinkin’ amazing.  Just had to share.
            So many more pictures to go through, but so much easier grouping them like this–hope you like them all!

               May 30

            Easter Goodness

            Alrighty, on to the Easter pics.  With Easter being the same weekend as Clara’s birthday, we are talking candy overload.
            Starting things off, we joined the HipMamas of Brentwood for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the park.  We make flower cookie-pops…one of Clara’s favorites.  What makes any food better?  Put it on a stick!

            Fun times at the park, and so, so glad that Nathan gets to join the fam on these types of outings now!
            It’s not every day you get to ride on a dinosaur…
            Clara and Ellie already debating who is going to eat what egg…
            On to the Scrip family Easter egg hunt!  We went to Scott and Melissa’s for a fun afternoon/evening of egg hunt goodness.  Clara and El kicked it off with a rendition of the latest “American Idol.”
            (just kidding.  We haven’t watched it in ages.  We have our own show with little Ellie here)
            The mug-shot lineup of all the little cuties….
            She found an egg!
             I love the “no trespassing” sign all of the kids are running toward here…
            Ellie kept thinking there were a few eggs we missed outside.
            Although Clara had tons of sweets in her basket…
            When we got home, she actually requested cauliflower.  She actually ate about half a head of it on her own.  Good grief.

            Easter Sunday we were at Christ Church promoting a 48 Days Workshop.  I love these shots of Ellie in the car on the way there:
            Next up was Grammy and Poppa D’s house.  The Texas Folger family was visiting as well, and extended Clara’s birthday on to Easter with some fun girly-girl hair and makeup toys, and the fun Sing-a-ma-jig.  I think I have more fun with that than anyone.  They are so cute. 
             That’s Easter in a nutshell – hope everyone else had as fun of an Easter as we did!
            Side note:  Yesterday we were at Oscar’s Taco with the girls and Clara saw her bean burrito and said “Man, this place must have learned how to make burritos from Taco Bell!”  That, by the way, is a very, very large compliment to Oscar’s Taco.