Photo Friday

{Cousins - Jack, Sean and Malayna at mom-mom's and pop-pop's house.
They all wanted to hold Davyn.}

{Making funny faces.}

{Old dude Luco hanging out on the porch.}

{Malayna and Aidan tree-climbing.}

{Haircut - before.}

{Haircut - after.}

{Concentration face. Coloring at Olive Garden after the haircut.}



Anyone there? Wow, I haven't posted in a while - sorry about that!

Here are some new things going on over here:

* Malayna is now going to school four days a week at her request. Is this the same kid who cried for the first two weeks of school? Hard to believe it is! She loves school now and even said the other day, "I love school days!" We have our first conference on Wednesday morning. The teachers will let us know how she's doing socially and academically (in preschool?!). She is definitely a rule-follower and has told me that she has never had time-out in school (we don't do time-outs at home). She tells me (daily) who has had time-outs, and it's never the girls. Wonder why not?

{Malayna's first tap class. This is the school we didn't sign up with.}

* Malayna has started taking dance classes. We tried out two "schools", and the difference was like night and day. I knew when I spoke on the phone with each director which school I would like better. The first place was very structured, with the kids just practicing steps and not having any fun. I wasn't crazy about the instructor - it seemed like she was barking orders at the kids and by the end of the class she was impatient with them. The school we signed up with seemed like lots of fun, with singing and dancing and practicing a routine. She'll have a recital in June - a show on stage requiring tickets and a fancy costume. I participated in dance (tap, ballet, jazz and gymnastics) for years when I was a kid, so I'm pretty familiar with the torture of sitting through a three-hour dance recital.

* I've recently gotten back in touch with lots of old friends from grade school through Facebook. We've met up a few times, have an outing planned for March and a reunion in June. It's so great to talk with friends who have known you since you were five. If it weren't for Facebook, I don't know if we would've been back in touch. Yay for Facebook!

{Yay for sunny, warm February days at the park!}

* We've had some really nice days here lately, with temperatures up near 70! Of course we took full advantage of those days and played outside (even if it was extremely muddy). I can't wait for summer to get here - I miss the sunshine!

* We've been avoiding artificial colors in Malayna's diet for about 6 months now. It's really easier than you might think. It does require reading packages, but after a while you kind of get a feeling for which things are going to be artificially-colored. Did you know that vanilla icing (Malayna's favorite) has color in it? A lot of people that I've talked to about this assume that if something doesn't have a color then it's not artificially-colored. Not true. For instance, most Ranch dressings don't have color, but the light or fat-free versions do. Weird, huh?

There have been a few times when we've fallen off the wagon and given her something with color. I think we kind of forget how horrible her behavior can be, and figure we'll let her slide just this once. Ha! What a big mistake. We're reminded all over again how awful artificial color is for her. Take this weekend, for instance. She had a lollipop at her Valentine's Day party in school on Thursday and I said to Jimmy, "We're going to be paying for this around Sunday." Boy was I right. There were other circumstances that contributed to her behavior, but if she hadn't had color last week her meltdown would've been less dramatic. Let's just say that she had to be carried out of my parents' house kicking and screaming. Not fun.

So we're reminded once again that even a little bit of color is not good for Malayna (or anyone who happens to be around her about four days afterwards). Anyone know where I can get lollipops without artificial color? I'm thinking maybe Whole Foods, or even Trader Joes. I think I'll take a few things to school for those days when the kids get special treats. I don't want Malayna to be singled out because she can't have something all the other kids have, but on the other hand, I don't want her to feel like she did yesterday. (And I don't want to deal with that behavior again!) It's a small price to pay.

{Happy belated Valentine's Day!}


Happy birthday, dad!

Happy birthday dad/pop-pop!

Malayna drew this picture for him for Christmas. {And, no, he's not a bear.} My very favorite part of this drawing are the little tufts of hair on either side of his head. Not sure why his nose is so big or why his mouth is like that…



{I LOVE my new camera!}

{Luco making snow angels today. He got stuck like that!}

We got about 4 inches of snow here last night. Malayna was so excited about it yesterday that when Jimmy got home from work they rushed outside to shovel and play in the snow.

Our old, 13-year-old dog Luco is like a puppy in the snow. It's so great to see him with so much energy, sticking his nose in the snow and then looking up with a face full of it. Today was supposed to be kindergarten registration day, but since our district has a two-hour delay, I'm not sure what's going on. Wouldn't you think the school district would put an announcement on their website? They're going to be getting lots of phone calls today…

{Malayna, Jimmy and Luco in the yard last night.}

Malayna and I went thrift-shopping yesterday. We got a low buffet/cabinet thingy to hold art supplies - they're overflowing! My plan was to paint it and get it organized today, so we'll see how that goes. One bad thing about living in a 100+-year-old house is that there are almost no closets. We have one downstairs for coats. We're constantly trying to think of new ways to store and organize things. With two collectors in the house, that's proving to be more and more difficult…


Check out Scoutie Girl today!


Surface designs

More new surface designs! I'm working on a few more as we speak. I'm finding inspiration everywhere these days - went to a Valentine card-making party yesterday with some friends I haven't seen in a long time, and found myself studying the lace tablecloth. I brought home a little drawing that will become a pattern this week.

Which of these is your favorite? I love the black backgrounds. Can you tell?