5 years old

Sigrid turned 5 today!!!

To celebrate, we went to the Syracuse Zoo (yesterday), and apple-picking AND Purity Ice Cream today.

I couldn't stop laughing at this sign explaining that colobus monkeys don't express emotions facially.
See? This monkey is actually really happy!

Leaves already falling!

With the new much-wanted brown-eyed baby.

This honeycrisp apple was nearly as large as Flora's head.

It turns out it is in fact quite easy to read emotions in a 5-year-old's facial expression.

Sigrid Sparrow, we love you endlessly.


home, school, home-school

She asked, "Why do they always show pictures of kittens in baskets?"
Maybe because it's so cute?

One of our first days doing home-school kindergarten.

Dusty discovers the wonders of the Vietnamese hat.

Head to toe in red (actually wearing two red dresses layered), holding her Baby dressed in red, carrying red Baby Elmo, in her red swing.
(At this age, Sigrid was also in love with red.)

Let's go to the Ellis Hollow Fair!

Okay! Yay!


11 years married

The kids were treated to Eckley fun while we were given a chunk of time in each other's company to celebrate our 11-year wedding anniversary. So we had dinner at Red's Place.

I said, "You know, I really haven't taken much time to reflect on the fact that it was eleven years ago today that we got married."

Phil replied, "Me neither.  Hm.  Halfway to twenty-one."

At least, my darling.

I'll take it. 

Edit: We may look awkward in the photo above because I asked the ketchup bottle to hold the camera and take our photo, instead of asking the friendly waiter. 


faces fierce and sweet

What a gorgeous week. And we got to have Gemma here the whole time, lucky US!

I didn't take enough pictures, but here are a few.

This week we visited our neighbor's stunning timber-framed treehouse, attended birthday celebrations (yes, two!), enjoyed swimming and playing with Owen friends at Greenwood Park, experienced a power outage that led to a huge ice-cream dessert trip to Berkshire, had fun at W-Kids at Wegman's, and the two big girls squished like cuddly sardines on the air mattress every night.

And more....

Collecting wild bouquets on the hill.

Fairy flower crowns.

Sidewalk chalk face-painting!



Cat chasing mouse:


Paint-by-number kits.

Do we really have to give her back?


Hickory Run, second round!

We returned to Hickory Run last weekend, and met up with Auntie Em's family.
Yay, boulders, cousins, hiking, swimming, and more!

Cupcake princess doll from Nana.

Winner of best trail name? Shades of Death.
(We almost made it to the end.)

Pet moss.

There was a really fun "Explorer Pack" program for kids - they borrowed a pack of naturalist supplies & completed various challenges and activities to earn a badge.

Ever squinty.