Natalie’s 4th Birthday Party

March 14th, 2011 by Mollie

This post is going to be heavy on the pictures, because they really do speak for themselves. We celebrated Natalie’s real birthday on March 1, but couldn’t schedule her party with friends until March 11. This is very confusing for a 4 year old! She very anxiously awaited the day of her party.

Andy took the kids to run errands in the morning so I could finish the cake…

6 layers of chocolate cake, with toasted marshmallow in between, and chocolate malt frosting on the outside.  I always have a stash of recipes I want to make on special occasions, and this is the one Natalie chose.

Natalie has been blessed with so many sweet friends (who also have awesome mommies… bonus!).

I think it took Ben a full 24 hours to come down from his sugar/party high! He was pretty wound up!

After the party, with the Curtis kids… these 4 spend a LOT of time together and always play so nicely!

I think you can tell by Natalie’s face that her party was a success!





Kids On Bikes

March 5th, 2011 by Toad

For her fourth birthday, Natalie got a bicycle.  It has “manes” (so she calls them)  and flowers and is otherwise very girly, and she has named the bicycle Daisy.  When she is tired, it might be because Daisy needs to go eat some grass.

I took the kids out to the front yard, where they can ride in circles around our landlord’s roundabout driveway, and this picture is typical of how I typically saw her:

Natalie on bike

She loves her bicycle!  She has trouble riding it up the steeper part of the driveway, and hasn’t quite got the hang of either set of brakes (the hand brakes are too big for her little fingers, anyway), but she has a great time.

When we unveiled the bicycle, Benjamin was quite distressed that there was not a matching vehicle for him.  Since then, though, he’s relented, and is content to stomp around on the old Bigwheels trike:


His feet don’t reach the pedals and the noisemakers don’t work anymore, but he doesn’t know the difference and had a grand time!

Lest you think our lives some idyllic paradise, however, I submit exhibit C:

kids on elephant stump

Long ago, Natalie decided this bit of wood was an “elephant”, and it has been called the elephant rock or stump ever since.

The real joy of the excursion, though, was how nicely the kids played together, and how happy Benjamin was to see Natalie enjoying her bike!  He was only too happy to help her out when she needed it. I wasn’t planning to video anything when we went out (because I am a lamo), so this is just a cellphone shot. It comes to you, nevertheless, in enhanced definition:

EDIT: As a quick caption, at the end of the video Ben is saying, “Good job, Nata! Good job, Nata!” I sometimes forget that not everyone speaks his particular brand of toddlish.

As always, if you would like a copy of the non-youtube’d video, feel free to ask.

More Joy of Love

February 16th, 2011 by Mollie

Oh boy! I am so behind on this project.  I have given up on keeping up with daily assignments, let alone blogging them!  It will certainly extend into March for me but that’s OK. 🙂  I will pick and choose a few each week to share with you guys.

{Love to hate}

In this assignment I was supposed to photograph something a loved one does that drives me NUTS, but life wouldn’t be the same without it… so I caught Andy using his Droid at the dinner table.  When a question comes up in conversation that no one can answer, he loves to whip out Wikipedia, find the answer, and educate everyone around him.  Smart phones at the table are a pet peeve of mine… but on the other hand, I do learn a lot of interesting information about volcanoes and the British government this way!

{What they wear}

This is a typical outfit that Natalie would choose to wear on any given day.  The pink ruffled dress (which is getting too small) is a favorite.  She always comes up with great outfits, there really should be a weekly “What I Wore” feature on this blog!

{the eyes}

I have found that my covered porch in the morning light is the spot to get a good picture of the eyes.  Benjamin got to be my main subject for this because, oddly enough, he is the only one who will sit still and make eye contact with the camera! I couldn’t decide which one I liked better.

Here’s the best I could do with Natalie; not as clear, but still cute.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 15th, 2011 by Mollie

Since we couldn’t send everyone a Valentine this year… here are some moments from our Valentine’s Day yesterday. 🙂

The Joy of LOVE {Day 3}

February 5th, 2011 by Mollie

{Day 3: Then and Now}

For Thursday’s “then and now” assignment, I wanted to document Natalie’s hair growth over the past two years.   (Bonus: you can also see my photography skills improve!)  Her hair has basically been awesome since birth, when she arrived with a full head of hair, complete with frosted blonde tips.  It quickly turned red… then strawberry blonde and CURLY!   It is now extremely long, having never been cut.  She loves it, but lately she’s been begging for a haircut.  Seeing as  long curly hair is really high maintenance… I think she will be getting a trip to mommy’s salon for her 4th birthday!  It will definitely be harder on me than on her!