Search This Blog

Pageviews past week

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Here's a binky, Momma.

Here's a binky, Momma., originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

Will DOES NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT like a binky, never has, never will. His sister is trying to calm him down by giving him one she took from her bedroom. He does not like it and is giving it back.

The playhouse

1799, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

The final resting place for the playhouse. As is tradition around our house, the 4th of July weekend entails us doing a semi-large yard project. Two years ago we started the play area, today we expanded it to fit the new playhouse. It is going to be so sweet - Erik set it up a little higher than the play area and is going to put in stone steps and next year, I'll transplant day lilies and daisies around the house to make it even more quaint. I'll post more pictures of the play area as we finish it in the coming weeks.

1801, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

In this picture, I can see Will as a "big" boy. This is an expression I have seen many many times in his brother. I often wonder how much they will look alike since they are spitting images as babies.

1880, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

Will did not like the feel of the grass on his knees so he crawled around on his hands and feet. Too cute.


1876, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

I always admire this oak tree that sits in the middle of the field across the street from us. Tonight, while I was taking pictures at the family reunion, I took some shots of the tree at sunset. I just love it. I imagine I will be taking many more pictures of this tree at sunset. There is just something about it I love.

Happy Independence Day!

1752, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

We spent our Independence day at the Fowler's. We had a delightful time and the children had so much fun. They had an adorable little play house with these sweet adirondak chairs fit just for the small folk. I couldn't resist posing Maggie May & Willie J for a picture.

1785, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

Maggie also gets to help make ice cream at the Fowler's on the 4th of July.

1791, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

Walker helps make ice cream in a coffee can.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We had a really nice day today. According to weather reports today was supposed to be the nicest day we'll have until next week, so Erik decided to play hookie and play with us today. We mowed grass in the morning and discovered the Mulberry tree - see photo for a funny story - and then this afternoon we went to the local pool to swim. I am so impressed with Maggie & Walker. Walker has been swimming like a fish for a few years now, but he is doing even better - getting brave and swimming underwater and jumping in without his arm bands. He even went down the twisty turney water slide at the pool today.

Little miss Maggie is no less brave. She crawled around the kiddie area on her belly - putting her face in and having fun. Then she wanted to go to the "deeper" area - like Brubby, so she started jumping in and going under water. She never once fussed - I was so impressed and amazed - I thought the first time she got water up her nose she'd cry and fuss, but she would just push her hair up off her face and say, "More time, Momma!" Which in Maggiespeak means "again please!"

Will loved the water too and laughed and splashed - watching everyone and everything at the pool. He never once fussed either.

Blue lips and shivering, we had to force the children to leave the pool they had such a fun time.

Literal translation

Literal translation, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

Our mulberry tree is producing mulberries and they are getting ripe. We found a branch laden with the berries today and decided to try some. I told Maggie we had to wash them before we could eat them. She took my words literally for when I went upstairs to the bathroom later in the day, I found a stray mulberry and the soap in the wet sink. No wonder she told me the berries were ca-ca. They probably tasted like soap!

Walker great-grandchildren

The Chester & Billie (Helen) Walker great grandchildren were all present yesterday ! What a crew! The boys out number the girls, but the girl power rules!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Walker wins a blue ribbon

I took this picture of Walker today at the Big Butler Fair - we went to watch the goat judging and they had a "junior showmanship" class. A very nice girl allowed Walker to lead her goat around the ring a few times with the other two girls. He was so proud to win a blue ribbon. We hooked it to his belt loop and he would show it to people saying, "See my tag? I won it at the goat show." He was so sweet. He liked showing the goat so we are going to start working with a few of our goats for him to enter in the junior class at the Butler Farm Show. Guess I've got a busy month ahead of me helping him prepare. I've got to teach him how to lead the goat, etc. I'm really putting that Master's degree to use now! Maybe I should have studied animal psychology!

Pot of gold

Pot of gold, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

This is my grandparents house. My sister took this with her camera phone and I enhanced it a little with Photoshop. It is so beautiful and holds so many precious memories for us. I'm so glad she got this shot! It will be cherished by us all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

This is one of my first "professional" pictures that I did for a friend - and it ended up getting used on the cover of a Catholic products catalog for their spring 2008 issue. I had been contacted by someone who had seen the picture on Flickr but I never thought it would actually be used. Then about a month ago, she emailed me about the catalog and I got 3 copies of it in the US mail. I didn't make any money on it, but it was really cool to see the picture on the cover and my name on the back - Photo: Jennifer Schwalm. Way cool!

Time flies

I can't believe how fast the last 10 days have gone! I'm honestly not even sure what all we've been busy doing, but we've been keeping busy. When we got back home after our trip to my mom's last week, Erik had cleaned the house for me! It was wonderful - so I spent the week trying to stay away from the house so it would stay clean for my book club get together on Friday. We played outside a lot, but we had to fight rain. Monday was a weird day here - it started off sunny and we ended up having three thunderstorms that day. Once, a bolt of lightning hit and the thunder was so loud - we thought for sure something outside had been hit. Nothing was that we could find, but it was so close I felt the hair on my arms raise. None of the kids were scared by it at all. Erik laughs at me, but I have this irrational fear occasionally during thunderstorms that a tree near our house will be hit and fall over on one of the children's rooms - he always says to me, "Those trees are so big that they would hit our room too so we would all be killed." That' s not quite the reassurance I'm looking for, but he seems to think it will comfort me. Thankfully the storms were only during the day and we all slept restfully.

Will has been crawling all around the house and is pulling himself up on the furniture and is even starting to climb the stairs. I had to dig out the old baby gate for across the stairs. Will's favorite thing to do now is to blow raspberries on our skin. Walker & Maggie laugh and giggle when he does this to them. I worry about it a bit b/c I'm afraid he will give them a big bite - with eight teeth, a bite really hurts! Will just loves chasing Maggie & Walker around the house now that he is crawling.

Maggie & Walker have taken to playing hide and seek. Walker has a bit of an unfair advantage as he can convince Maggie to be the "seeker" every time. Maggie is so cute counting, "One, two, sixteen, eighteen!" Then she hollers, "Me find you Walkie." She runs around the house twice then comes tome, "Where Walkie, Momma. He hidin." If we cannot find something in the house, Maggie always tells me, "It hidin' Momma." Maggie is talking so much more and is so funny when she talks. I can't believe her logic already. We still allow her to have her binky (pacifier) when she naps and goes to sleep. It is usually for bed only, but on days like today where I knew we would be gone all day and she would need some comforting, I smuggle one with us. We had gone to the fair, then to the Deli for the Cruise A Palooza downtown, and on our way home from the cruise, she cried and cried for her binky. I kept telling her, "No." and this is the conversation that transpired
"Binky, Momma?"
"No, Maggie. Binky is for bedtime and nap time only. You already took a nap and it isn't bed time yet."
"Binky, Momma. Me ti-red. Go seep now."
"No, Maggie, it is not time to go to sleep now."
"Binky Momma, me head hurt."
"No, Maggie, I don't think your head hurts."

Now what 27 month old do you know that has the ability to come up with all these reasons why I should give her a binky? Erik and I joke that we are in so much trouble when she gets older - I don't think I'll make it to her 5th year! Oh, and I've never had so much trouble convincing a child to wear clothing! When we got home tonight, after we ate supper, Maggie followed me upstairs and wanted to get ready for bed. She tried to put her own diaper on (she is completely potty trained except for night - and that is only because I am not ready to get up in the middle of the night to help her go potty). She somehow then decided she wasn't ready for bed, so put her panties back on and came downstairs. I was pleased that she at least had on panties and wasn't totally naked. She then saw Shelly come down the driveway and as Shelly turned around at the garage, Maggie managed to put on a pair of plaid espadrille sandals and Erik's ball cap and was planning on going outside to "see Mimi, Momma!" She was so funny. I'm telling you - her sense of fashion is a force to be reckoned with and I'm afraid as the years go by, I will lose that battle. I will have to enforce a strict uniform for her daily life. She is nothing like what I am used to, that's for sure. But she's also so sweet and cute. We were at a picnic yesterday and someone there told me she looked like a real-life baby doll.

Walker has been so tired lately that the evenings have been somewhat difficult. Tonight was especially bad - he was jumping on the furniture and flipping around. When he gets like this he gets a little dangerous around the little kids. Erik & his mom took them up to bed tonight b/c Shelly was visiting after dropping off some auction finds for us. He had such a hard time falling asleep so I went up to tuck him back in and he got all teary eyed and said, "I sure wish I could stay up and watch TV with you, Momma." So sweet - I know that part of it is a ploy to get me to give in (which I didn't) but I left the room wondering how many more times he will want to be with me and will say such sweet things to me. He's growing up so fast and as he approaches 4 1/2 years old, it just doesn't seem real that he could be that old already! I keep thinking next year at this time we will be preparing him to go to Kindergarten. I promised Walker that we would pick a day this week and he and I would stay up "really, really late" and watch a movie. He giggled so excitedly over that promise.

Well, I better head up to bed. We are going to go to the fair tomorrow to watch the goat judging. We're studying it now so in 3 (gulp) years when Walker is old enough to participate in 4-H, we know what we are doing!

Oh, and as always, don't forget to look at pictures on my flickr page. See the link to the left!

Walker meets the birds

Walker meets the birds, originally uploaded by Jenniferschwalm.

We were at the Big Butler Fair today and Walker got to hold these parakeets. The one on top of his head is named "Maggie." The guy who hosts the show has over 90 birds that he cares for - he rescued all of them from abusive or neglegent homes. Amazing!