Ashlyn's vocabulary is slowly but surely increasing. She's starting to say more words, but not very many consistently. She can say "thank you", "doggie", "ball", "outside", "Isaac", "I love you", and a few others that she randomly pulls out of the blue. She, of course, says "Mommy" and "Daddy", but no word is more beloved than "Shoe!" After "Mommy" and "Daddy", it was her first word and is definitely her passion. She loves trying on everyone's shoes and had the time of her life when I took her shoe shopping. It makes me want to buy her a whole closet full because she LOVES them all so much! Alas, since she can't even walk yet, I'll resist, but who knows what she'll be like as a teenager!
Eric took the boys to their first day of swimming lessons and had only been out the door for a second when he ran back in to get the camera because it's Carter's first year. I was excited to see what he had taken, but when I looked on the camera, this picture was it. He SOOOO can't give me a hard time any more! He'll give you his excuses, but don't believe him! The little boy over Ashlyn's shoulder in the orange shorts is Carter, so I guess he did get in the picture! Carter is a little afraid of the water, but he has used that to his advantage and manipulates his instructor. He had her begging for him to do things, and would only cooperate when she offered bigger and better rewards. We'll have a little talk in the morning before lessons and see if we can't remedy that!
Nana and Papa bought a new horse "Deucy" (soon to be renamed), so we headed out this last weekend to meet her. Nana just wanted to take carrots to feed her, but the boys absolutely insisted that she have an apple. She was awfully slobbery, but she took it down quick. The boys were so excited and can't wait to ride her when we get back from AZ. One of the boy's favorite things at Nana and Papa's is their garden. They help to plant some of it, and then one of the first things they want to do when we get there is to see what there is to pick. We got a great haul that we brought home and it fed us for Father's Day! The mash potatoes, baked squash with onion, and fried okra all came from the garden (and the hamburger for the meatballs came from their freezer :)) It was delicious and there's just something about eating your own (somewhat) produce. I can't wait to have my own garden. I brought home a bunch of jalapenos, also, that I'm going to pickle. We did some last year, and my jar lasted two days.
This is Isaac's prize winning cucumber. It's probably too big and seedy to be any good, but he is VERY proud of it. I can't cut it up until he shows all of his friends and I took this picture so that Grandma and Grandpa could see it too.
My ward is doing a cooking class for kids this summer. Because we went out to the farm, we missed the first meeting where they were decorating aprons, so we did it while we were there. Ashlyn just painted paper, but had a great time until she started eating it. Now I just have to sew up the boys'!
Carter was more concerned with making the biggest mess possible instead of painting his apron, but at least he was having fun?
"Please, no more. Let an Artist work..."
Isaac really took his time and had fun painting a scene with a big red bird. I'm sure I'll take and post pictures of them at the cooking class, so you can see the final products then!
We were headed out to the library, and I thought Ashlyn was looking so stinkin' cute, I had to stop for a photo shoot in my fancy studio! "Isaac, please get her fingers out of her mouth so I can take her picture!"
...and on and on and on...you get the idea! The Ant Wars of '08 are in full swing and we are right in the thick of it. I HATE ants! We were invaded last year, but this year seems to be a whole lot worse. I keep trying to send a message by leaving crumpled and broken ant bodies around, but they just keep on sending more troops. They are in the kitchen, living room, hall, both bathrooms, my room, the boys' room, and Ashlyn's room. Yep, the whole house. And what's worse...they bite! I was bathing Carter and he has several ant bites on him and not in the usual "I was out playing on the playground" places. I think Isaac is the only one of us who is still unscathed. The exterminator is coming again tomorrow, so hopefully that will be the end of it. The tides seem to be turning, but last time I thought that, I came home from church and started to make lunch, when I opened my cupboard for a plate and the whole thing was swarming. What do they want with dishes? Even though my sanity is wavering, they still haven't beaten me. Wish me luck!
Eric is officially in his fourth and final year of medical school! Hooray! His last day of third year was Friday, and he's already into his second day of fourth year. Luckily it's just an easy class with lots of time to study for his boards coming up at the end of this month. We have several good friends in our med school class, so we all headed over to our friend's, the Hadleys, for icecream and games. We got wild and crazy and actually stayed out until 10pm, babies and all! Hold on!
Time is flying. By this time next year we should not only know where we're going for the next five years, but hopefully moving into our first home. Exciting times ahead! Cross your fingers!
It's finally summer break! I've LOVED having Isaac home this last week and am already dreading for school to start again. Isaac wasn't too sad to leave school. Who knew kindergarteners got spring fever? He finished off the school year with an awards ceremony. They only gave out kindergarten certification, good behavior, and attendance awards and Isaac scored two out of three. He passed kindergarten and was always (almost) on his best behavior - or at least had good behavior! My friend, Kassie, taught me how to make fruit bouquets (I still need a little practice) and I thought it would be fun to make one for Ms. Reedy, Isaac's teacher, as a thank you and goodbye. She was a great teacher and she's moving this summer.
With all of Isaac's end of the year hoopla, Carter realized that he never had an awards ceremony for preschool, so we threw an impromptu one together. Here he is with most of his class. Jay Hobbs had already moved.
Taylin, Cohen (honorary member), Carter, Matthew
I took really cute pictures of each of the kids with their certificates and mom's, but when it finally came our turn, guess who wouldn't cooperate! I took what I could get!
Ashlyn has discovered her position in the family and has decided that mealtime is her prime entertaining time. It doesn't take much more than holding a sippy cup with her teeth to get her brothers (and maybe her mom) rolling. She thinks, no knows, that she's SOOOO funny these days.
Isaac's big school fieldtrip was to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco. I have wonderful friends who were willing to watch Carter and Ashlyn, so I got to go along as a chaperone. Ms. Reedy, Isaac's teacher, gave each of us a few students and then we were free to roam the zoo at our own pace. I had Audrey, Isaac, and Katherine. The wolves were in a hyper mood and they had quite a few kids screaming. It was funny watching them jump and run!
My beautiful butterfly!
We teamed up with another group halfway through. It's a good thing Isaac likes hanging out with girls!
(Katherine, Audrey, Isaac, DeLisa, Akira, and Kaylee)
We had a great time and it was a nice finish towards the end of the year. The kids were pretty tuckered out and most of them fell asleep on the bus on the way home. It gave me the perfect time to finish my book!
Carter has been begging to go to the zoo for a while now and he was pretty sad when Isaac and I got to go and he had to stay home, so we headed out to the zoo again two days later. Our good friends Kassie, Matthew and Ryan went with us. The first thing we saw were sleeping monkeys, but below them was a pond with a "sick" fish floating on top. The boys were very concerned about it. After watching it for a few minutes, a turtle came up and starting pushing the fish. Carter, quite excited and relieved, exclaimed "Look mom! The turtle is taking the sick fish to the Dr. fish!" Whoo! Good thing! We were finally able to move on to the tigers.
The giraffes are always Carter's favorite. You can't hardly see it, but it's there!
It was a good day for the animals. We got really good views of the crocodiles and bears. I don't have any pictures of the bears, but they were swimming circles right in front of the glass and pressing their faces up to it. Ashlyn wasn't sure what to think, but the crocodile wasn't too intimidating for her!
Ashlyn's favorite animal...
There were fish behind that glass, but I'm not sure that she ever saw them!
We spent part of Memorial Weekend in Lexington at my in-laws. With gas prices and busy schedules, we hadn't been there for a couple of months. It was nice to get back out on the farm. The kids had a great time, with the highlight being the "first swim" of the season. It's amazing how such a small pool can entertain them for so long! It was nice to know that they were safe and sound with our attentive life guards - way over in the shade! It took Ashlyn a minute to warm up, but finally she started to enjoy the water as well.
Isaac and his wonderful poses. I spared you all the rest of them!
Sometimes grass is better than swimming pools.
Ashlyn's famous elephant walk...apparently she's more in tune with her animal side than her people side...at 15 months old!
Famous cooking pictures with Nana. She STILL has patience to let the babies cook with her. I think I lost mine way back with Isaac!
Monday morning we were out supervising the men while they were repairing the barn. I got this picture with most of us, but all of the rest are of Ashlyn. I only posted a small sampling. When Eric was looking at the pictures, his comment was "Really? All of these of Ashlyn and you didn't even get one of the barn?" She's cuter than two sweaty old men! :)
It was really nice being out there. As Eric was fixing the barn and I was mowing the lawn (I can't hardly pass up an opportunity to drive the tractor) I was fantasizing about us fixing up our own place someday. It's just around the corner and down the street!
Ashlyn finally decided to carry on a few Chapman traditions. Isaac began the "under the couch" move when he first learned to roll over. We had left the room and could hear him crying, but when we went to get him, we couldn't find him. Following the cry, we finally found him completely under the couch. Carter followed in his footsteps, also upset about his couch misfortune. It took Ashlyn a little longer, but she just had to be like her brothers! She took it more in stride, though. Probably because I have the couches so loaded underneath with stuff she couldn't get all the way under! The next big Chapman move is the arm over eyes while sleeping. Isaac did it most while he was eating, but also did while he was asleep. Carter did it all the time while sleeping. Once again, it took Ashlyn a little longer, but she caught up! Apparently Ashlyn decided she didn't want to wear her pajamas. We're still trying to convince Carter that he can take his own shirt off and Ashlyn is stripping in bed! I've never had one who sheds clothing. I guess she decided it was time for her to pave her own way...
Carter was walking around the house the other day with a pencil behind his ear. He was cracking me up, so I finally asked him where he even learned that from. He proudly responded, "I just taught myself!". He was SOOO proud that that is what he decided to take for show and tell at preschool that day. I knew he thought he was something pretty special when I asked if I could take his picture and he readily agreed!