Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So Happy Together

Time spent with Baden, Ilse, and their mommy is time well spent. It has been nearly 3 months since we last spent time with this trio but no one seemed to miss a beat. Ella and Baden are still like peas and carrots. Actually, they’re all like peas and carrots together—any way you pair them, they have a great time together. Hopefully there will be more visits like this to come over the Summer, but today’s lunch together was definitely a wonderful surprise for all of the kids. Baden is never very far from Ella’s mind.

{Ilse has such a sweet smile, and such gorgeous eyes.}

The Beetles

just thought these little guys looked cool. they are swarming our crepe myrtles.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swim Team Wrap Up

Ella’s swim team season has come to a close after 6 weeks of practices and 6 meets. We’re so proud of Ella for working hard to learn some new strokes, listening so intently to her coaches, and swimming her heart out. Here are some highlights from the last few meets.

{Ella looked so confident on the blocks. Half the time her hair or ears were sticking out of her cap or a coach would have to remind her to put her goggles on only moments before the beginning of a race.}

{The reason Jack LOVED the meets—a concession stand overflowing with candy. He would get $1 each meet and he could go to the concession stand and pick out whatever his heart desired.}

{Still need to work on that start before next season. :) All of her race start pictures show splashes on either side of a diving Ella.}

{Ella swam in a girls 8-and-under backstroke individual event. Go Ella!}

{Ella closed the season with, in addition to her ‘I Did My Best’ ribbons, three third-place ribbons and one fourth-place ribbon, all for the girls 6-and-under freestyle event. We’re so proud of her!}

Small Hands, Big Art

Ella and Jack are attending a camp during the morning hours this week at an art studio just around the corner from our house, Small Hands Big Art.  This week is a special “multi-cultural” week at camp where the kids will “travel around Latin America and learn about the culture through music, storytelling, and art projects”.  The studio is working in conjunction with a bilingual frida-kahlo-viva-la-vida-2teaching group Criss, Cross Mangosauce to enhance this cultural experience.  On Monday, the kids learned about Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and, inspired by her painting Viva la Vida, sketched a watermelon still life with oil pastels.  Today, they talked about creatures in South America (and apparently Jack was quite the wealth of knowledge on this topic—I think he picked up a lot of the info from last week’s rainforest-themed VBS) and then drew and painted in watercolor a chameleon.  I am amazed at the pieces of art that have come out of camp each day.  How did they get Jack to focus for so long and add so much detail to his pictures?  I am so impressed.  Can’t wait to see what comes out of the next few days.   

Ella’s attention to detail probably didn’t allow her to finish.  Just love her layered, light green stripes.

Jack’s is a “wow” to me.  Love the blue in his.

Ella’s chameleon—they used salt on the wet watercolors to create the dappled, spotted effect. 

Jack’s chameleon—he drew it and then traced it with a “permanent marker” before painting his picture.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brown-Eyed Girl?

can’t get enough of these silly glasses ella got from a birthday party today…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Family BBQ

The epitome of Summertime fun, we look forward to the Mitchell’s June barbecue every year. Several years ago, the barbecue was teeming with young, twenty-somethings there to drink and socialize. Ella and Jack were about the only kids there (one year, in fact, Ella almost successfully tried her first Jell-O shot—she couldn’t understand why everyone was keeping the Jell-O from her…) and the event didn’t even start until after 6pm. Finally, the hosts have a toddler of their own, and most of their friends have started families, so the party started at 4pm and, instead of twenty-somethings, the party was teeming with kids.

{the big draw of the night for the kids—logs and spray fans.}

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Inspired Art

Ella and Jack are at Vacation Bible School this week and loving it.  I looked in on Ella in her room this afternoon, after she’d been quiet for quite a while, and saw this beautiful, abstract piece of art she had created, centered around a cross.  Ella is excited to bring her artwork in to VBS tomorrow to show to her teachers.

{unfortunately, my scanner cut off some of the edges.  she had a uniform border around her abstract piece of art.  love how she signed it without any prompting.  a true artiste.}

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father’s Day

After a nice breakfast and some Father’s Day presents (including Ella’s Lego diorama of “Mommy, Jack, and Me Watching You Mow”), we headed out to celebrate this special day with some family excursions. We checked out some trails we’d heard of in a corporate park (there’s a little oasis, and some bull statues, situated amongst office buildings), ate lunch at Jonathan’s favorite “biker bar” Mac’s (which apparently has family day on Sundays—there was barely a bike or biker in sight, all urbanites today), and then back to a cool building for a quick (and ill-prepared) family photo. Happy Father’s Day, indeed.

{eagle scout dad taught the kids some “survival skills” on the trail—getting the juice from a honeysuckle flower and eating wild blackberries. great, encourage them to eat plants they find in the woods… :) }

{shade seekers beneath the bulls. i don’t know why i love this picture of ella so much. she’s so silly and cute…but don’t tell her that—i get the “angry” face whenever i say that and “i don’t want to be cute/silly!”}

{this time he actually is being zen-ful. no reason for time out. who knows what he’s pondering…“just who IS darth sidius?”}