Christmas Day

Christmas suspense was building. This little watcher kept a tree-side vigil patiently:


Well, mostly patiently.


We enjoyed Christmas music from family musicians old:

and new:


One of the best parts of the day was a father-son Jingle Bells duet. Alexander has been taking clarinet lessons for about three months.


Keeping time:img_1981

Little brothers-my favorite.

Daniel and Dominic sweethearts. Joseph is not amused.



Grandparents visited:


Dominic and Claire love to play ‘puppysitting’


Landon won the originality award for wrapping presents for himself:img_6610

Merry Christmas!


Christmas Snapshots

A gate guarded the gifts while they were displayed for a short time before we opened them:


Claire learned very quickly how to open presents…

…and was on to the next one.



The whole family caught the stomach bug right before Christmas. Landon was the last, and he was still recovering until the day after Christmas.


Note that our family is growing-a little brother coming in May. I cannot wait to hold a little newborn again. Luckily, I’m so busy with school it seems like this pregnancy is passing by more quickly than any of the others. I think it will be spring before I know it.


These pictures are from the Fourth of July (was that almost a month ago already?). I’ve never been able to take pictures in such dim light before, so I was really excited about the way these turned out. The camera is a little tricky to manage at an aperture this wide open, so some of them are a bit out of focus, but the moment is captured nevertheless.  Here, Dominic gets help from John to hold a flaming fire sword.





This one of Joseph is the best photo only lit by a sparkler: IMG_3064


Daniel also loved waving around fire at the end of the stick:IMG_3024


Odds and Ends

Hello, everyone!  Monday I had my wisdom teeth taken out, and the surgery went really well, but recuperation has felt really slow.  I’ve been existing on a pretty much liquid diet, and I’m only just beginning to get back to regular foods. I’ve had enough milkshakes and pudding to last me a year!  Also, everyone around the house can’t wait for me to talk better again.

All that sitting around has had me searching for things to do.  I went through some recent photographs and found ones from several events from the last couple months:

Alexander and his friend from my ballet class’ recital dance at the end of May.  They danced to ‘Danse Macabre’.


May and June brings a bunch of birthdays: Claire’s first:



Daniel’s fifth:

Alexander’s tenth,


Dominic’s third,


and Joseph’s eighth.


Joseph also got to receive his First Holy Communion


Probably the first photo of our entire family together (including Claire):IMG_2114




A Better Way to Learn Ride a Bike

Young children everywhere have been cheated.

Little kids around the world have anticipated the removal of training wheels with unneeded dread and apprehension. They have unnecessarily suffered scraped knees and bruised elbows as they try to ride a big kid bike. There is a better way.

Why should we teach children on beginner bikes that they can lean left or right onto a training wheel? Will they not simply fall over the first time they mount a real bike? Wouldn’t it be better to train them to sit upright? The answer is yes, and the tiny Strider bike does this by giving children the experience of balancing on a bike without training wheels or pedals.

Daniel has been the first of the boys to use the Strider, and it didn’t take long for us to see how wonderful it was. All last year as he pushed himself forwards with his feet, he learned to balance, and soon he lifted his feet off the ground to glide short distances.

He is now too tall for the strider, so we brought him home a larger bike with pedals. He could balance on it immediately, and it only took him an hour to figure out the pedals, and he was riding all over in less than an afternoon. No falls, no injuries, no trauma. He only just turned four at the end of May, and he beat Johnathan’s record for learning to ride by almost a year. (John learned the summer he turned five.)



Now it’s time to start Dominic on the Strider! Who knows, maybe he’ll be riding a bike by the time he’s three!