Lucia Eating

Lucia has been eating more lately and really enjoys feeding herself. She has been demonstrating a strong propensity toward using the same tools that we do. She likes using silverware, pens and crayons – and she does so fairly well. She is also starting to mimic other things, like putting a bike helmet or Mari’s headband¬†on her head .

Lucia Eating
Lucia Eating

I Am You

Mari has been reading and writing a lot more lately. Here is a poem she wrote today:

I Am You

I am you.
You are me.
We are all one part of the world.
Even the good or the bad,
We should all love each other,
Even when we do not agree with each other.
We all love each other.

– Mari Liesland

Lucia’s First Bike Ride

Today we took Lucia for her first ride in the trailer. We started and Greenwood and just went a couple of miles to the bridge at 63rd and Grand. She did OK in the trailer and hopefully next spring rides like this will be more common and she will be more content. After the ride the kids ran and rode their bikes around the pond at Greenwood in preparation for the kids duathlon next weekend.

2013 Beggars Night

Tonight we celebrated Beggars Night, when we trick or treat here in Des Moines. Mari and Elliot went as gnomes. Andrew went as Harry Potter. They had a great time and it is nice to see them get more confident with their jokes and more aggressive with their trick or treating. Every year we make it a little bit farther in our allotted time.

Kids in Costumes
Kids in Costumes

Mari’s Soccer Party

Last night we celebrated the end of another soccer season, for Mari at least. I have been coaching her team now for several years and we are blessed to have a great group of girls and families. Following tradition we held our fall celebration at Jason’s Deli, where we are always well taken care of.

Lucia is 1!

Today Lucia turns 1! We already had her party a couple of days ago so we had a pretty relaxed day.

Lucia at 1 is still a joy. She loves people, animals, and being outside. She wakes up around 7, takes a couple of naps a day, and goes to bed around 8:30 or 9. She always goes to sleep in the Boba. She scoots around the house on her butt and army-crawls occasionally. She has been pulling up on things for a couple of weeks. She makes some sounds and sometimes we think she is making them on purpose, but it is hard to tell. She is eating some, but still gets most of her sustenance from nursing. She likes baby dolls. Whenever you hand her a doll she will squeeze it to her like she is hugging it and she will sometimes give it a kiss on the head  (or she is trying to eat it Рit is hard to tell). She also likes to look through books, only tearing out the pages occasionally.

Lucia Playing
Lucia Playing

Birthday Parties

Today we celebrated Andrew’s and Lucia’s birthdays with friends and family.

Andrew wanted to play kickball so we organized a game of kickball with some friends at Greenwood Park. After kickball there was cake and then some playing in the woods.

Andrew Blowing Out His Candles
Andrew Blowing Out His Candles
The Birthday Gang
The Birthday Gang

After the park we headed back to our house for a party for Lucia. The Liesses, Reagens, and my parents, the Hylands, joined us for dinner and cake.

Lucia and Her Cupcakes
Lucia and Her Cupcakes
Lucia in a Box
Lucia in a Box

Prairie Grass Guild

This year we are entering our third year of exploring with the Prairie Grass Guild. We meet up with other homeschool families once a month for a hike and playtime. We usually go to Jester Park, which has a lot to offer, but sometimes visit other parks as well. Our organizer has some snowshoeing in the works, so hopefully we will have a good winter!

Visiting and Playing Near and in the 'Pond'
Visiting and Playing Near and in the ‘Pond’

Andrew’s 10th Birthday

Today we celebrated Andrew’s 10th Birthday. This afternoon we went to Williamson’s Pumpkin Paradise in Ankeny and then this evening we had is made-to-order Snickers cake.

Andrew at age 10 is a boy who loves music and physical challenges. He loves climbing anything he can climb and riding anything he can ride – hence the present we got him, a unicycle. His favorite 3 songs right now are Blurred Lines, Royals, and Demons. He wants to listen to music all the time and often likes to take control of Pandora. He is doing well in school and enjoys learning anything we throw at him. He still has a strong passion for math and processes. Andrew still plays soccer, though he is considering baseball in the spring, and he takes piano lessons once per week.

Williamson's Pumpkin Paradise
Williamson’s Pumpkin Paradise
Andrew Blowing Out His Candles
Andrew Blowing Out His Candles

 

Lucia’s New Swing

Lucia has enjoyed swinging since we first let her. Yesterday Susan found a used swing for sale and Mari quickly figured out how to make it more efficient.

Tandem Swing
Tandem Swing

Whiterock Conservancy

Today we made our annual trip to the Whiterock Conservancy with the Reagens. Normally we like to go in the summer and spend a couple of days at the River Cabin, but busy summers prevented that from happening this year. We just went out for the day, but we still hiked our way into the River Cabin and had a good time!

This year we discovered a new treat at Whiterock – apples. There were a couple of apple trees along our route that were overflowing with ready-to-eat apples. The kids enjoyed the apples at the beginning of the hike and the end. There are also a couple of very fruitful buckeye trees on the grounds that the Ohio natives enjoy.

The Kids Playing on the Hill
The Kids Playing on the Hill

 

Mari and Hope Playing in the River
Mari and Hope Playing in the River
Lucia Playing with Uncle Nate
Lucia Playing with Uncle Nate
Group Shot, Minus Nate
Group Shot, Minus Nate
Heading Home
Heading Home