Oh kids

8:24am: “I have the best big sister in the world.  Better than other sisters.  Her name is Nat-bug Linville.  That means she is a bug!”

8:27am: WAH!  (both kids)

 

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Getting hitched – in Alaska

Leah, my youngest sister, got married in Alaska on August 20th.  To break-up the nearly 18-hour journey to the location of the wedding, we stopped in Chicago on the way there for a couple of days.  (I think we were tied for furthest distance traveled – 4,600 miles one way – with Lee’s aunt and uncle from Maryland.)  Once we landed in Anchorage, we drove about an hour to Girdwood, which is the ski town where Leah and Lee live.  I was able to hike up the mountain with my sisters, which was great.  On the way to Seward in the Kenai peninsula, we stopped by a conservation, where we saw moose, reindeer and a bear.  Seward is a coastal town – Jordan was able to go kayaking with my cousins and aunts and uncles.  The weather in Seward is usually 55 and rainy, but Leah and Lee (who had a beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception) totally lucked out with the only day that was sunny with no rain!  Here’s a hodge podge of pictures from the trip:

WEDDING DAY

The girls getting ready before the wedding - isn't my niece Mackenzie (10 mo old) so adorable!?!  She is also wearing Natalie's dress from her first bday!  LOVE!

The girls getting ready before the wedding – isn’t my niece Mackenzie (10 mo old) so adorable!?! She is also wearing Natalie’s dress from her first bday! LOVE!

Maybe L&L's future in 6 years?!?

Maybe L&L’s future in 6 years?!?

The bride's side of the wedding party

The bride’s side of the wedding party

The under-6 wedding party - LOVE!

The under-6 wedding party – LOVE!

E-man has been on an anti-picture streak, but he did have a good time!

E-man has been on an anti-picture streak, but he did have a good time!

Isn't my mom the most fashionable Alaskan mother-of-the-bride?  Can you believe my dad helped her pick out those trendy boots?

Isn’t my mom the most fashionable Alaskan mother-of-the-bride? Can you believe my dad helped her pick out those trendy boots?

 

Here are some more pictures from the week….

Nat is such a great big cousin!

Nat is such a great big cousin!

Girdwood Mt - Mom post-hike, Kids post-tram

Girdwood Mt – Mom post-hike, Kids post-tram

Rehearsal dinner - tailgate style

Rehearsal dinner – tailgate style

Best godfather (and wife) at the tailgate rehearsal!

Best godfather (and wife) at the tailgate rehearsal!

Cousin time! (Nat = 5.5, Trev = 4.5, Elliott = 3.5)

Cousin time! (Nat = 5.5, Trev = 4.5, Elliott = 3.5)

My strong (and cute) glacier hikers!

My strong (and cute) glacier hikers!

As you can see, Alaska is a beautiful adventure!  So happy to have been able to share it with Jordan, Natalie, Elliott and our family – especially Trevor, Cameron and Mackenzie – it was so fun for the next generation of cousins to spend so much time together.  (And it sometimes gave us adults a few minutes of reprieve!)

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My Maine Squeezes

We spent the 4th of July in Maine – first in Acadia and then in Higgins Beach, ME, with two of my college roomies!  Tricia’s parents are from Maine… I first visited in 2003 and then we visited again in 2010 (with Natalie in utero).  This trip was a bit different!

Happy Birthday America... and happy 100th birthday Acadia!

Happy Birthday America… and happy 100th birthday Acadia!

 

Sea cucumber and Lobster are Natalie's!  (On a different one, Elliott had identified a chipmunk, ant and giraffe.  Can you guess which one doesn't belong?)

Sea cucumber and Lobster are Natalie’s! (On a different one, Elliott had identified a chipmunk, ant and giraffe. Can you guess which one doesn’t belong?)

 

Watch out!

Watch out!

 

 

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Ta Da - my fairy house!

Ta Da – my fairy house!

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That's my girl!! :)

That’s my girl!! :)

 

 

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Another one bites the dust…

Natalie lost two number 2, while wiggling during storytime with Elliott and me on the couch.  You can see she’s pretty proud!

2 teeth

 

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A budding author

Natalie wrote Elliott a book today!  Its about Elliott and his best buddy, RoRo (his lovey that Natalie gave him when he was born).  In the book, they have a birthday cake, swing on swings and play.  Alison found Elliott in his chair, quietly reading the book to all 3 of his loveys.  And Natalie exclaimed, “the best part is that you can change the words and nobody knows”!  Here’s the title page….

roro book

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Toothy Grin

After months of waiting….

toothy grin

… it happened!  Natalie lost her first tooth!

When: Wed, May 25th at approximate 12:45pm

Where: At preschool, just entering the classroom

How: Just a little extra wiggle with her finger

First to find out: Ms. Bree

The Big Question (at dinner)….
Natalie: Mom, is the tooth fairy real?  Or pretend?  Real or pretend?
Me: What do you think?
Natalie: It could be real.  But it could be a fairy tale.  Kinda like the Easter bunny doesn’t really hide eggs.  Its just you and Dad.
Me: So, what do you think.
Natalie: Mom, is the tooth fairy real or is it you?
Me: (quietly so Elliott wouldn’t hear) It’s me
Natalie: I thought so!
Me: But its still a fun thing to play, so let’s just play along.
Natalie:  Yay!
Me:  And don’t tell  other kids b/c they  might believe its really but we don’t want to ruin the surprise for them.
Natalie: Why did you tell me?
Me: Well I just thought it was more important to tell the truth and then we can still just play along.
Natalie: ok!

(later)

Me: So, if we cannot find your special tooth holder that we got in NY, do you want to borrow your bro’s?  I know where his is.
Natalie: Its just for pretend so we don’t need to do that.
Me: (heart sinks) But… you want a surprise under your pillow, right?
Natalie: Oh yeah, right.  Let’s use bro’s!

 

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Building bridges

bridge

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Wholesome small town fun

We had a big weekend of wholesome, small town fun.  Every Friday in the summer and one Friday a month in fall/winter/spring, our street throws a Flamingo party.  The host puts out a collection of lawn ornament flamingos and everyone gathers to kick off the weekend.  It was the kids’ first flamingo party – and we were very fortunate that this month’s hosts have 4 kids, including a 3-year-old with an amazing collection of outdoor trucks that Elliott has been lusting over every time we pass their yard on the way to church.  There’s a 4-year-old girl on the street, who Natalie likes to play with…. and some girls in middle schools who were teaching Natalie backbends and hot potatoes.  She loves them!  The night couldn’t get much better… and then the host mom brought out ice cream sundaes!  SCORE!

Erin: "Elliott, if you were in Peter Pan and needed to think of something happy to make you fly, what would you think of?" Elliott: "ICE CREAM!"

Erin: “Elliott, if you were in Peter Pan and needed to think of something happy to make you fly, what would you think of?”
Elliott: “ICE CREAM!”

 

Whoops - just a couple drips...

Whoops – just a couple drips…

On Saturday, the kids’ preschool had a Peter Pan bus (the local bus line) for the parade.  Elliott was very disappointed to see that the bus was red – not green. His plans to ride on the bus almost vanished, until I pointed out that is was a red double decker bus – like they have in London, where Wendy, John and Michael live. The preschool graduates earned the coveted seats on the top, but luckily, everyone knows Elliott is Natalie’s shadow at events like this, so he got to sneak up there too.

The bus led us to the Long Meddowe days festival (no idea why that is spelled differently), for bounce houses and train rides.  We saw at least 50% of the people we know in Longmeadow at the festival – its obviously the place to be.

Train ride.... $9 for 3 min.  At least it was for a fundraiser....

Train ride…. $9 for 3 min. At least it was for a fundraiser….

All in all, Longmeadow is proving to be a great place for our family (to our parents & grandparents – don’t worry, we still only plan on being here for a couple years).  Folks have been welcoming – many are not originally from Longmeadow so understand what its like to be the newcomer.  And the town is safe and bikeable too.

Um, Mom, why didn't you bring our double stroller?

Um, Mom, why didn’t you bring our double stroller?

 

I'm so tired Daddy

I’m so tired Daddy

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Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Natalie had her first dance recital on Saturday!  She danced to Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and a pineapple song.  (Jordan to fix this reference please!)  She seemed to be the leader of the preschool tap group – you’ll see that she does have an age advantage, but she was still the best!  (and in the middle)  These pics were from the finale during the rehearsal.

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500th post – proud of my kiddos!

(This is our 500th post!!!)

I’m so proud of my kiddos! Its amazing what they know and how smart they are and how they approach their world.  A couple things from the past 2 days that I just want to remember…

1. Jordan is going to NY for work for a couple days.  Elliott told me that he wants to go to New York with his Dad so that he could ride the trains.  Jordan suggested that he could take a video and a picture and asked Elliott, “what color train do you want me to ride – the blue line, the red line?”  Elliott looked at him dumbfounded, as if to ask “what do you mean?”  “Dad, the trains are colors – they are letters!”  (He remembered that from one train trip back in early March!)

2. When I was putting Elliott to bed two nights ago, he sang to me “Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun… You’re in Asia now”.

3. Neighbors invited us over for a cookout of (caribou) hot dogs on Sunday.  Natalie knows the two girls (ages 4, 2) whose house we went to from church and a couple play dates, but didn’t know two other girls (ages 7, 4).  When we talked in, the girls were engaged in swinging each other in this hammock.  It was a bit crowded and chaotic and Natalie wasn’t sure how she fit in.  So, after observing for a bit, she went up and said “Can I play too?”  They said, “of course!”  She was so proud and excited about this; she told me before bedtime about how she was kinda uncertain and sounded relieved at the response.  It’s not easy being new, and Natalie has just done a great job of connecting with kids and making friends.  (As for Elliott, he is happy to be by other kids  but he loves to be by Natalie the most.  On a side note, we read a customized Frozen book that Nana had gotten Natalie, where she is a character in the book and also had a friend Vivian in the book.  He said he would like a “Cars” version of that – and I asked who he would want his friend to be.  He thought about it and quietly said Drew, who is the younger brother of one of Natalie’s friends but also at least a year older than Elliott.  I then said, “you can also choose Natalie.”  He exclaimed, “yes, I want Nat-lee!”)

 

 

 

 

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