A Fantastic Fourth

Yet another fantastic 4th of July celebration in Quechee, with lots of family present and kids who are so big that they were able to just go along with their cousins and check in now and then.  A whole new world–I guess this really is a day of independence!

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That is, until Em wanted to stand in line for a half hour to get a balloon animal and her face painted.  Big cousins aren’t waiting around for that!  So I waited in the never-ending face painting line while she stood in the balloon animal line and got herself a giraffe, Little H a dog, and big brother a balloon sword.

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We still had a while to wait, but it was worth it.  The make-up artist was so impressed with Em and her ability to sit still.  Little did she know my girl takes make-up very seriously.

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We played games, stood in more lines, won prizes, had a few drinks, ate ice cream, had lots of laughs and waited for the sun to go down.

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All three of our kids loved the fireworks.  Little H kept pointing to the sky and saying, “Pop!” and signing “more!”  One of my favorite summer memories every year.

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Such a fantastic 4th of July celebration!  My favorite since moving here!

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Em The Engineer

One of our family’s favorite books is Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, which tells the story of a smart little girl who loves to create and build, turning the ideas in her mind into a reality.  It’s a wonderful book for the little girl in your life, who may have had her fill of princesses.  My little girl resembles Rosie in more way than one, although she is still a princess through and through.

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Em has always been very visual-spatial, loving puzzles and creating castles and creations out of blocks of all sizes.  On this day, I loved watching her build a tower as high as she could reach, and when it fell over, she just plopped down on the ground and began building something else.

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Who needs a prince when you can build a castle of your own?

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The Sweetness of Summer

Father’s Day weekend has been one of my favorite of the summer thus far: family visiting from out of town, tons of glorious sunshine, cousins playing contentedly, and a hot air balloon festival to top it all off.  Add a cocktail or two, showering Daddy in as much love as we could muster, plus delicious homemade ice cream, and you have a quick overview of a very wonderful weekend.

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On the last evening, when Nana arrived home from California and we had already tucked Little H into bed, the wind that had been plaguing us all weekend died down and the hot air balloons finally launched!  So I ran upstairs, grabbed the baby and we all went out on the porch to watch them sail serenely by.

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It was totally worth it.

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What a wonderful weekend, and a fantastic way to celebrate the men that we love!  A blessed, happy Father’s Day!

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Splish Splash

Every summer, my kids spend a ton of time in the water, but I rarely have a chance to photograph it.  Most often because to put my eye to the camera means that I have one eye off my kids, which could spell imminent disaster if I am the sole adult in charge.  So I take a lot of mental and cell photo pictures of our time spent pool or lakeside, and leave it at that.  That is, unless I am at the pool at my parents’ apartment complex–then I take advantage of the aunts, uncles, and grandparents to capture my kids in their summertime glory.

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Little H is exploring every aspect of this new, warm world and things like patio umbrellas and water bottles can be infinitely entertaining.  Love those eyes and smiles.

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Jax and Em were introduced to the wide world of water goggles, which was exciting enough to create a whole side story about some kind of alien robots that rule the world or something?  I don’t know what they were doing; I left it all to Uncle Chris and enjoyed it from afar.

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Happiness for mama is having a chance to watch and enjoy my kids explore everything summer has to offer.  Getting a chance to photograph it is just an extra bonus.

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Smiles Beget Smiles

My kind of parenting is treading water, making messes, reading stories and lots of hugs.  My favorite kind of parenting is having the presence of mind to realize when my kids are having a perfect moment, with all the stars aligned into quiet joy and happiness all around, especially for me.  When all that good stuff comes together just right, I take a moment, savor it, then try to capture it if I can.  I store it in my mind for another day when things gets tough and I need to remember how very good this life is.

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Smiles beget smiles.  So do crayons.

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And toes.

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Savoring like crazy over here.

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Pipe Cleaner Fireworks

Just in time for the 4th of July!  Get in the spirit with some messy fun!  Pipe Cleaner Fireworks!

Pipe Cleaner Fireworks @ Rub Some Dirt On It

For every participant, put four pipe cleaners together and then fold them in half.  Twist the bottom half together and then splay the top into a star shape (directions originally found here).

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Then let your kids dip the star side into the paint, dipping, stamping, and swirling.  We added a little bit of glittery confetti left over from Em’s Frozen birthday party for pizzazz.

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Jax was more into twisting his designs into swirls, and Em preferred to make a big mess and then stamp over it.  The creative process is half the fun!  Let the kids experiment to determine which technique is more successful.

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So pleased with the final products, and psyched for the 4th of July!

Pipe Cleaner Fireworks! @ Rub Some Dirt On It

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Lovely Ladies

What a wonderful opportunity I had to photograph these beautiful sisters on a gorgeous June day.

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They have such beautiful personalities and are so fun to be around, best friends for sure.

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Such lovely little ladies!

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