Greta has been looking forward to her birthday for a LONG time. She has also been planning all that needs to go on. We are having her first friend birthday party this weekend at a little gymnastics place. Let’s look back at our little girl.




swan dive













Happy Birthday Greta! We love you and can’t believe how big you are.

bench treasure

So you know how we love to pick up other people’s trash and reuse it, right? Well, one night on a walk around the neighborhood I noticed a nice rocking bench at one of the local trash pickers houses (I think he picks up stuff for flea markets or scrap metal or something), but it was on the side of his house, not out for the trash man. I was frustrated that he got it and I couldn’t have it, because I had been wanting a bench, but hadn’t found any that were the right look or the right price. Because I can’t leave things alone, I drove by the next morning just in case he happened to put it out for the trash man. He did! I didn’t have time to stop and pick it up right then, but hoped the trash man wouldn’t come until I got back. After we were done with our morning activities I loaded up the kids and hoped it would still be there and I would be able to fit it in the back of the van.

Luckily the house is just around the corner because it really wouldn’t fit very well in the trunk. I used some rope to kind of tie it into the trunk and to pull the hatch down most of the way and headed home.

Yesterday Matt made my dreams come true, by sanding it down, priming and painting it turquoise. Now we have a lovely new bench for our front porch in the color I wanted, all for about $30 and a day’s worth of work.


dance woes

We found what we thought was a great little small dance studio for Greta to take dance at this year. We have liked it for the most part. They have fun and the teacher really gears the class to the younger kids, by including stuffed animals and such. But as we get closer and closer to the recital, we are definitely having second and third thoughts. Upon closer look at some of the other places around here, it seems they all have similar ‘problems’.

First of all, let me thank my cousin for getting married on the day of the recital, so we don’t actually have to go to it this year! You see, in addition to the $90 costume for my 4 year old (almost 5 year old), you have to buy tickets to the recital at $25 a pop. Yep, you read that correctly. So for us to see our child preform we not only had to pay for the really expensive costume (I’m still waiting to see it), but then we have to pay $75 for me, her father, and sisters to see it (thankfully B is free until she is 3). Not to mention if we want her grandparents to come or we want to buy her flowers or whatever.

Oh and we just got an email about some more things to buy! woo! A t-shirt with her name on it ($15), a participation trophy ($10) and the right tights for the recital ($11). Plus I would need to go buy makeup for her to wear for the recital and we don’t know how much the group picture is just yet. And while I expected some of these expenses when we signed her up, I certainly didn’t expect them all. Do we all really need trophies for participating? Why? I just don’t get it. Isn’t performing in the recital the trophy? I really have never understood all the participation trophies. I think I have one trophy from my childhood, a trophy I got for dancing at the same place for TEN years. And it is a small trophy, nothing big, for TEN years. Some of the places I looked at specified the exact color of lipstick, blush, etc. that the girls needed and while I understand this for more serious dancers, I can’t grasp it for the 3 – 5 year old class. I’m not sure what the video rules are for our dance studio, but I know for some you cannot record even at the rehearsal and must purchase the video if you want your other relatives to be able to see your child dance.

And unlike some of the kids in her class, SHE is the one who wants to take dance. While I’m happy that she wants to do dance since I did when I was growing up, there was absolutely no pressure and she looks so forward to going every week.

So what do I want? I want a high school or college girl to teach them in our church gym. Nothing big, just fun, pure fun. No trophy, just a small little recital for the families (that would be FREE, obviously) and maybe a costume that doesn’t cost $90. So who’s in? Where can I find this girl to teach?

edited: Well I actually read all the recital info and hoo boy am I glad we aren’t attending. Not only would we have to buy $25 tickets for Matt, Eloise, and me, but Greta would need one as well if she stayed to watch the rest of the show. Oh, and the theater is not air conditioned! and is the first week in June, because that is usually a cool time of year. And we do have specific makeup to wear for the picture and recital. And yep, we are not allowed to record, instead we get to buy a DVD for $25. So really where can I find a high school or college girl to start a little class?


Has the weather been glorious at your house? The past few weeks have been filled with beautiful days, lots of sun, highs upper 60s and low 70s. Just fantastic. We have been trying to get out and do some fun stuff. We’ve gone to the zoo, a wildflower preserve, a nature preserve, and a sculpture garden, plus a trip or three to the Delaware Canal for both walking and fishing. Here are some pictures from the various outings. Often Beatrice is on my back in the carrier, either asleep or awake, so there aren’t nearly as many pictures of her. Also, prepare to see lots of purple sunhats 🙂

Local wildflower preserve to see the Virginia Bluebells (even though we don’t live in Virginia).








Local Nature Preserve.













Sculpture garden.











Delaware Canal.





The only thing they have caught so far (they are out fishing as I’m writing this, so maybe they caught something better today, although I don’t think they have the camera, so there won’t be any pictures anyway).