Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Eleanor is seven months old!

Happy Seven Months, sweet baby Eleanor!

You sure have grown up a lot this month. As hard as it is for me to say, your newborn days are long gone. But with their passing has come a wonderful new world of mobility, playfulness, interaction, and more joy each day.

~ You are now an expert sitter. If you start to topple over, you just reach out with one hand and steady yourself.
~ You are not officially crawling (hands and knees), but you are all over the place with your army crawl on your tummy. What I really need to do is attach a sponge to your tummy and have you slide all over and mop the floors! You are also crawling much more purposefully now; you see something that you want and nothing will stop you.
~ You really, really like food. We started feeding you table foods a few weeks ago and you haven't found anything you don't like. Your favorite is definitely avocado, but you have also eaten carrots, bananas, applesauce, green beans, and peas.
~ Just this week you learned how to clap your hands! You'll even do it on command sometimes. You usually do it when you're really excited. You put your chubby little hands together a couple of times and then stick them in your mouth!

~ Along those lines, you really love to play pat-a-cake. I help you clap your hands and pat your knees and you just giggle and giggle!
~ You are doing better about taking both of your naps in your crib instead of your swing. Occasionally, if you're having a hard time falling asleep, we'll still put you in the swing, but usually you take an hour nap in the morning and a 1.5 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon, both in the crib.
~ You usually are tired and ready for bed by about 7:30 in the evening. Sometimes you'll make it all the way until 4 or 4:30 without having to nurse again. Occasionally you're up once around midnight and then again around 5. Then you sleep until 8 or so.
~ You are quite the easygoing baby. You did fantastic for your first plane ride out to Oregon for your great-grandparents' sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. I just went prepared with three or four toys for the plane and that pretty much kept you occupied. That and one of the little plastic cups they give out for drinks!
~ You still love to be worn on mommy in the sling or the Ergo. We usually keep both of them with us at all times. You like the sling for sitting up and looking out at the world. You like the Ergo for nursing, snuggling, and sleeping.
~ You still think that your thumb is about the best thing ever. Any time you get even slightly agitated, you just stick that thumb in your mouth and all is right with the world. You always suck your right thumb. Here lately you've been using your left hand to play with your ear when you're sleepy. I bet that will remind your grandma and grandpa of someone...
~ This month was the first time that Mommy has ever left for a few hours in the evening where Daddy has had to put you to bed. You did really well both times, but pretty much refused to take a bottle, preferring instead to have your tummy filled with applesauce. You were good with just rocking and snuggling Daddy, and I guess you figured Mommy would come home eventually!
~ You've become a little more vocal this month. Your favorite sound to make is "Nah nah". It kind of sounds like you're trying to say "night night" with a southern accent! Anna Kate thinks you're trying to say "Anna". In all reality, you're probably just mimicking sounds, but who knows!

Ellie-belle, we love you and are having so much fun getting to know you this month as your personality develops. Seriously, we all argue over who gets to hold you and snuggle you and play with you throughout the day. You're just the best! Happy seven months!

One month

Two months

Three months

 Four months

Five months

Six months

Seven months

CHT - seven months

AKT - seven months

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Anna Kate is 4 1/2!

A couple of weeks ago, Anna Kate was officially four and a half, and she made sure to let everyone know! In honor of this (half) milestone, I wanted to write a few things about our big girl.

- Anna Kate loves life. She bounds out of bed precisely at seven each morning (the time we've told her she can wake up) and is ready to start her day! She always has Bible and prayer time first and then she is off to start playing.
- Some of her favorite things to play are board games (Sorry, Cootie, Chutes and Ladders) and pretend anything (doctor, school, sports teams).
- She is becoming quite the artist. She worked really hard on a picture the other day that she entitled "Horse Drinking Water." She submitted it online to a monthly children's magazine that she receives. She's pretty convinced it's going to get chosen!

- She had her first big injury this summer - a broken arm. We went to a splash pad about 45 minutes away that also has a playground. Turns out it's not a good idea to climb a rock wall soaking wet. She landed on her right arm and sustained a buckle fracture in two places. She had this big cast on for two weeks.

Then she had a smaller cast for three more weeks. She was so great about not complaining. She even learned how to eat and write and color with her left hand. 

She really enjoyed getting LOTS of signatures from everyone at church!

- She loves to read. This summer she started reading chapter books on her own. We always talk about each chapter to make sure she is comprehending what she's reading, and she's doing great. So far she's read Stuart Little, two or three of the Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood, and she's almost finished with the Trumpet of the Swan. 
- Anna Kate is quite the musician. Violin had to take a back burner over the summer while she had her broken arm, but she loves to sing and dance and make music with just about anything.
- She is a great big sister. She plays really well with Caroline, including her in all of her pretending, and she loves holding and loving on Eleanor.
- Anna Kate loves school. She goes to preschool with me on Mondays when I teach Spanish, and has a blast, and the rest of the week we do school at home. She loves anything and everything school-related. I am looking for some ways I can encourage that a little more this year.

Well, there's always more I could say, but there's a little slice of life with our sweet girl these days!

Monday, August 25, 2014


I found a picture of my 6-month-old self when Eleanor and I were in Oregon last week. I took one of Eleanor when we got home to compare them. What do you think?

I definitely see a few differences, but I can certainly tell she's mine!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A busy July

I know we're already almost a week into August, but July was a very busy month around here! I thought I would do a quick catch-up post to document what we were up to.

Actually, I'll start with the end of June. We went to a wedding of a sweet young couple in our church family. Luke took a picture of me with each of my girls!

Then there was the Fourth of July, of course!

After we took a few pictures of our patriotic girls, we headed over to Buster and Charlotte's house. They called and asked if we wanted to "pick a few blueberries." This is what we came home with! Tomatoes and potatoes galore, a few cucumbers, tons of blueberries, and even a quart of maple syrup!


They were so generous in sharing all of the fruits of their hard labor with us.

And Caroline REALLY enjoyed the picking blueberries part.

The second week of July Luke headed to NGU with the youth group for a week for Mission Fuge camp. While he was there, the girls and I went up to the mountains to visit his parents and brother. We enjoyed a fun evening in Hendersonville one night and even got some frozen yogurt (sherbet for Caroline!).

Eleanor and I also were able to spend one afternoon and evening at camp with Luke and the youth group! Here we are at the bell tower of Luke's alma mater.

When we got home I took the girls to Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A. Anything for a free dinner...especially while Luke was still away at camp!

This is where Caroline spent a couple of the nights Luke was away. Summertime thunderstorms can be pretty scary when you're two.

Also last month we did a bit of Waldo hunting in our little downtown. We have a bookstore in town that sponsors a Where's Waldo hunt all over our main street. A little 6 inch cardboard Waldo is hidden in 25 different stores/restaurants. The girls had a great time finding him and receiving some fun prizes (Caroline was just a little shy about getting her picture taken)!

We've had a few Poolside Bible Studies with the youth which have been lots of fun! The girls have really enjoyed swimming this summer!

(This picture was borrowed from my friend Renee's blog. Thanks for the sweet picture, Renee!)

And then this happened three weeks ago.

We decided to go on a fun family outing to a splash pad and playground about 45 minutes away. We had a great time...until Anna Kate fell off the rock climbing wall. Turns out it's probably not a great idea to have a playground right next to the splash pad. Rock climbing while wet is not a good combination. She fell on her right arm and had a buckle fracture in two places.

She has been so brave though and has hardly complained at all. She kept the big cast for two weeks, and then we just went back Monday to get a smaller cast that just covers her forearm. She will be so glad to get it off in a couple weeks so she can get back to eating, coloring, writing, etc. with her right hand!

Just two days after she broke her arm, we headed up on the church bus with 20 other people in our church family to Morganton, Georgia, for a family mission trip. The girls did a pretty good job of taking naps on the bus!

 (Side note here: The stuffed animal in the picture above is Caroline's beloved frog which she named "Lblblblblb". She is very consistent that this is it's name and she even came up with the spelling!)

We slept on air mattresses and cots in some empty classrooms in a church building. We spent the week doing various community ministry (food distribution, clothes closet organization, yardwork/construction, and Vacation Bible School). The girls had an absolute blast helping with many of these ministries.
 Anna Kate and Caroline helped deliver sacks of food to families in need

They also really enjoyed the time spent with our church family!

My main job for the week was leading the music for the VBS. Caroline helped each night lead the motions on stage!

Our last full day there, we did a little sightseeing. Aunt Allison also joined us for the day since she lives only an hour and a half away! We went to an apple orchard with a fun general store/restaurant first.

Then we explored the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia

After that we took a scenic train ride up to a town on the border of Georgia and Tennessee.

Here we are in both states at one time!

After a long, but fun, week of missions activities, we were all exhausted. Even Daddy fell asleep on the 7-hour bus ride home!

The only other news from the summer is that Caroline's hair is getting quite long and very curly, especially when it's hot and humid outside!

I'll just leave you with that face. What else is there to say?