Happy Pukesgiving

Catchy title, huh?

The Buster woke up about 3:30 this morning with the same sort of mystery pukes that struck Yessa last Sunday. Bit of a long incubation period, so I’m still inclined to think it is food choices, but regardless, he’s miserable.

When Buds came in to ask him how he was this morning he responded, “Fine, but a little more skeletal.”

We’ll have a quiet day at home, and be thankful that we had Todd and Gina and Crew earlier this week. I’m sad we’re missing out on our first Thanksgiving Dinner at the new church, and we had plans to have our first Nashville buddies over for a bonfire and s’mores afterward, but we’ll do these things another day.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for being part of our lives.

More Birthday for Yessa

Thanks to an incorrect address, Yessa’s birthday bouquet from Grandma Iowa arrived a couple days late, but that worked out perfectly by making her birthday love last even longer.

Not only was the bouquet beautiful, but these pictures give an inkling of the older Yessa that lurks behind the little girl face.

Reading the card.

Reading the card.

Purple, purple everywhere.

Purple, purple everywhere.

Thanks, Grandma.

Final Hours

As is always the case, our time with our VA friends came to an end much too quickly. The entire trip had talk of “when you come down the next time,” and, “let’s be sure we do this on your next trip.”

For our final evening, Louisa and I settled in by the fire pit with drinks and s’mores for hours of conversation, laughter, and comfortable silence. The girls would pop out to roast a ‘mallow, then head back in for the warmth. We could see them through the French doors, and they could see us, so we still felt connected, and it was so lovely to just bond with Louisa in the crisp cold, wrapped in blankets, playing with the fire.

Final fire

Final fire

Last morning snuggles

Last morning snuggles

One of the things I love about our friendship with this family is that all the girls will play with all the girls. It makes it more comfortable for everyone.

Final video viewing

Final video viewing

Cupcake Creators

Cupcake Creators

Cupcake creations

Cupcake creations

For our final outing, we headed to the Nature Center and hiked the Storybook Trail. A few final pictures in the giant chair, hugs, and our delightful visit was at an end.

Cupcakery

Cupcakery

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Thanks for the good times!

The Frist With Friends

Exploring The Frist is excellent, exploring it with friends, and making new friends while we’re there was even better.

Ready to head in to create.

Ready to head in to create.

Water color creations

Water color creations

Such beautiful colors and images they create.

Such beautiful colors and images they create.

Rubbings

Rubbings

Printmaking-Step 1

Printmaking-Step 1

Printmaking-Step 2

Printmaking-Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Etching deeply

Etching deeply

Step 3

Step 3

The two younger girls spent 30 minutes shooting 16-frame films. It was fascinating to watch them, the way they planned out what they wanted to do, realizing how limiting only 16 frames can be. I was grateful that it wasn’t a busy day so they could take their time and enjoy the creation process, as frustrating as it might be.

Shooting a film

Shooting a film

Shutter by Shutter

Shutter by Shutter

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Creation in a box

Creation in a box

Fiber creations

Fiber creations

Framed cat

Framed cat

Digital creation

Digital creation

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Magnetic blocks

Magnetic blocks

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I was struck by the brilliance of the Frist in having the magnetic blocks by the entrance to the ArtQuest area, and putting benches for the parents right by them. Another mom and I had a 20 minute conversation while our group of 5 girls created and built and laughed together. The blocks are entrancing for all ages, and they serve as a gentle entrance to the creation area, if your children notice them at the beginning. Or, for us, they served as a gentle exit as the girls fashioned one last structure, then we headed out into the waning light.

On our way home

On our way home

Friend Time

Louisa and Crew made the very long drive to visit last week, and we all had such a fantastic time. The timing was perfect because with Buds and Buster out of town, we loved the extra company, plus we had an extra bed upstairs so it was one big slumber party.

Besides being comfortable house guests, they have a similar balance with ours to together time and time to go out for adventures. We had lots of visiting at home, but headed out to explore and enjoy our new town each day.

Adventures in pictures:

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Waiting, waiting, waiting…

Our first night, we had Krystal.

Our first night, we had Krystal.

Louisa has long family ties to Nashville, and she convinced us that Krystal was a good idea.

Louisa has long family ties to Nashville, and she convinced us that Krystal was a good idea.

In reality, she just wanted to build a Krystal tower. (The food was good, too. Okay, it was okay.)

In reality, she just wanted to build a Krystal tower. (The food was good, too. Okay, it was okay.)

Going to sleep and waking up with friends in the house is awesome.

Going to sleep and waking up with friends in the house is awesome.

The birthday blanket got so much use.

The birthday blanket got so much use.

Crafting and creating together.

Crafting and creating together.

Friend “P” came over for some play time in the morning, and she fit right in with the rest of the crew. Big girls headed off to the skate park, and you can learn about that awesomeness here.

Younger girls and I headed to the playground to enjoy the crisp Fall day.

I was freezing, they were in short pants and sleeveless. Young blood.

I was freezing, they were in short pants and sleeveless. Young blood.

Swingin' to the oldies.

Swingin’ to the oldies.

Playground with friends while the big girls were at the skate park.

Playground with friends while the big girls were at the skate park.

Classic moment in the car, hearing “P” ask the other girls for their music preferences. P’s parents are musicians, and love ’80s rock. I had a huge smile when P asked the girls with great excitement in her voice, “Do you know Cyndi Lauper? She’s great.” It was such a lovely reminder to me of the many things we teach our children by how we act and what we love. And the other girls DID like Cyndi Lauper, after they heard her…as do I.

On one of our days together, we headed to the Adventure Science Center, which has brought our family so many hours of pleasure. We even discovered a whole new area of the museum that we had never checked out before. It was so fun to explore it with friends.

Bless Louisa’s heart, she loves coffee, too. A stop at Crema was required before “adventuring.”

Yum, Cuban!

Yum, Cuban!

Hanging at Crema.

Hanging at Crema.

The bee exhibit.

The bee exhibit.

Mission Successful.

Mission Successful.

Playing with the heat-o-vision.

Playing with the heat-o-vision.

Being astronauts.

Being astronauts.

Astronaut or Peter Pan...can't really tell.

Astronaut or Peter Pan…can’t really tell.

In the puke-a-lator at the Science Center.

In the puke-a-lator at the Science Center.

Interesting note about the puke-a-lator above. The ASC was not very busy, and our big girls were able to ride two times in a row since no one was waiting. The machine operator gave them the chance for a “secret” ride for their second trip since they had already done the roller coaster. She said she wasn’t supposed to use that one (Louisa guessed because it seemed longer.), but she wanted them to enjoy doing something different.

It was a little thing, but kind and thoughtful for her to do. I continue to find many moments of this sort in Nashville. It’s one of the many reasons it has come to feel so much like home so quickly.

After the ASC, and a couple hours hanging out at home, we headed to Loveless for dinner.

Waiting at Loveless.

Waiting at Loveless.

We took along a basket of markers and pens and pictures and paper for coloring in case we had to wait at Loveless, which we did. We had a 30-minute wait, and the girls all handled themselves beautifully. When we were leaving, one of the hostesses held me back to compliment me on how lovely all the girls had been. It was so kind of her to take the time to say that, and also a reminder to me that for most adults, children who are quiet and not a nuisance are generally seen as “good.” God save me from that short-sighted a perspective.

The leftovers breakfast you can have after eating dinner at Loveless.

The leftovers breakfast you can have after eating dinner at Loveless.

Another day we trekked over to the house Louisa would come stay in when she’d visit her grandparents. That was really cool.

Visiting Louisa's Grandma's old house.

Visiting Louisa’s Grandma’s old house.

She remembers a picture of her little self and her dad sitting on this very wall. I love those sorts of connections. I was also glad her aunt and uncle, who live down here, were away the weekend they visited so we didn’t have to share them. Selfish, but honest.

More to come in the next post.

Yessa’s Birthday

Since Buddie and Buster were leaving on a trip before Yessa’s birthday, we started the celebration early.

That's a big present!

That’s a big present!

Needs a little help to get it opened.

Needs a little help to get it opened.

Oh, WOW!

Oh, WOW!

It's so soft!

It’s so soft!

On to the next gift.

On to the next gift.

Purple bubbles!

Purple bubbles!

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What could this be?!

What could this be?!

A rainbow set of permanent markers!

A rainbow set of permanent markers!

Cool.

Cool.

In the bag, ready to write on anything that will stand still.

In the bag, ready to write on anything that will stand still.

The pillowcase works perfectly for the dolls.

The pillowcase works perfectly for the dolls.

Shortly after the menfolk left, our good friends from VA arrived, so we filled the house back up. (Longer posts about their visit to come soon.)

The birthday blanket snuggled many girls throughout the weekend.

The birthday blanket snuggled many girls throughout the weekend.

Making the cake.

Making the cake.

The moms also toasted Yessa!

The moms also toasted Yessa!

Cousins and Aunt A came over to join in for the evening celebration of dinner, cake, and a movie night.

Snuggled in for a movie.

Snuggled in for a movie.

Movie of choice: The Aristocats.

Movie of choice: The Aristocats.

Sprinkly, sprinkles.

Sprinkly, sprinkles.

I put 6 candles on the cake, and Louisa had to say, “She’s turning 7, isn’t she?”

Oops.

The final product.

The final product.

Blowing out one candle...lighting the cake.

Blowing out one candle…lighting the cake.

Get ready!

Get ready!

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She gets embarrassed when we sing "Happy Birthday."

She gets embarrassed when we sing “Happy Birthday.”

Can she do it?

Can she do it?

One left.

One left.

Dish it up...

Dish it up…

And dig in.

And dig in.

I never remember to get ice cream to have with the cake, but no one seemed to mind.

It was a relaxed, wonderful day, and even though Buds and Buster were missed, we had a grand time celebrating Sweet Yessa.

Universally Approved

The Buds and Buster are back from Universal, and it got a thumbs up from both of them. Buds may do a more complete post later, but I wanted to get some pictures posted and write up the story of The Buster and The Wand.

"Strike a pose," Dad said.

“Strike a pose,” Dad said.

Waiting to ride the Pteradon.

Waiting to ride the Pteradon.

Splash!

Splash!

Maybe a little wet.

Maybe a little wet.

Wand at the ready.

Wand at the ready.

Final allowance purchase.

Final allowance purchase.

Concerning the shirt in the last picture, Buds sent me this email:

Yes. The sweet boy was in the shop and he had $28 left. He wanted that shirt (which was $28) but he was very concerned about looking for something for Yessa too.

“I want her to get something that comes from me.”

I told him, “It’s okay, we’re getting her the wand, and she’ll love that.”

“But I want her to know that I was thinking about her.”

“Buddy, we can say that the wand came from you. You put so much thought into making sure she got the right one.” (It was his idea to take and send the video) (Ed. note: They sent us a video so Yessa could pick her favorite wand from all the options.) “If you want the shirt, you can just get it”.

Sly/shy smile and he gets the shirt.

They came home with many stories, a Hufflepuff hat for Monkey that she’s only taken off to sleep, a wand for Yessa, and a wand and shirt for The Buster. And they came home safe and happy, which was my present.

I haven’t talked to the cousin for whom this trip was a part of his birthday celebration, but I’m hopeful he had as much fun as Buster.

Finally, a little video reminder of their splashing good time.

Splash