Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Puppies & A Ferret

Yesterday the kids and I spent some time with my friend Baseeret. Here are some pictures I snapped while we were playing with her pets.
Isaiah warming up to the yorkies:

Yorkie kisses:

More yorkie kisses:

Isaiah with the sweet ferret:

It is not an accident that I have no pictures of Elijah. I assure you- he was there. My little chicken, however, spent puppy playtime standing on a chair, putting as much distance between himself and the dogs as he possibly could. He adores dogs in books, on television, and from our living room windows. But in person, 5 pound yorkshire puppies can be quite intimidating!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I remember multiple days when I only had Isaiah that I was at a loss for what else to do with him. On these days, we might have run an errand or two, read all the books he owned, played with every toy in his room, and sung every song I knew. Then I would sit there with my 8 month old looking at me, as bored as a two by four; and I would wonder what to do next.
While having three kids as opposed to one is far more work, there are some things that are easier. Adriana is never bored. Although she has "alone time" and "mommy time" almost every day, one of her favorite things to do is interact with her brothers. She also spends long amounts of time content merely watching them play. She often sits munching on a Lego (the big kind) while they build a Lego skyscraper. To her, they are the most interesting people.
The boys return the adoration. They greet her each morning or post-nap time with "Hello, Beautiful." "Hi, Gorgeous." "Mom, Pretty Girl is up!" I thought, at the beginning, that she might be a novelty that they would eventually tire of; but not so. They worry about her constantly, beg to hold her, and dote on her hourly.
I caught an example of this with Elijah. When you're the little princess, you don't even have to hold your own teething toys!:

Once, I asked Isaiah what he was going to do if some boy liked Adriana when she was older.
"We're going to make him run!" was his reply.
I truly pity the first boy to have interest in our Adriana. For his sake, I hope he's a fast runner...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Taste Testing

The boys spent some time today playing with toy airplanes while Adriana used them for taste testing:

Result: F-16 Flying Falcons are the most delectable.

Monday, January 22, 2007


We finally received our first snowfall of the year. I wasn't even sure it would come since we were experiencing 75 degree weather a few weeks ago. I had tried to prepare my boys for the fact that they might have to wait until next year to play with their sleds. But sure enough, it came.
I will make great effort in this posting to stay away from my "Virginians don't know how to handle snow" jokes (i.e. cars all over the side of the road, long lines at the grocery store to grab every last bottle of water so that we can wait out the 2 hr. snow fall well hydrated, schools shut down at the first sighting of a snowflake...) and just share some photos of my snow-frolicking children.

Isaiah was the most excited about the whole experience:

Elijah was excited until he realized that he had to bundle up like an Eskimo. My son, who'd rather run around all day in his underwear, wasn't too happy about that:

Adriana went outside with Daddy long enough for a picture commemorating her first snowfall:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


We spent this past weekend doing some work on our family room. My dad and Steven tackled the big project of putting a wall up where some (dangerous) railing had been. Adriana is starting to get up on her hands and knees and rock; so we're sure she'll be mobile soon. We wanted to put the wall up and a permanent gate for safety's sake. The boys stayed with my brothers and sisters while all this was taking place; but Adriana remained with us, helping her daddy and papa whenever she could.

How do I get this floodlight to fit in my mouth?:

How tall am I, Daddy?:

You know, Mom, this might go faster if you'd put down the camera and help!:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Four Years Old: The Follow-up

Elijah is ridiculously submissive to his big brother. He obviously took a recent teaching session with Isaiah about big and little (please refer to the "Four Years Old" post) to heart. This weekend, His Aunt Hannah was cooking a meal while babysitting him; and Elijah (who is incredibly enthusiastic about food) wanted to help. He implored his aunt:
"Aunt Nana, I wanna help cook; I wanna help cook! I'm three. Three is big... Wait. No. Three is little. But can I help?"
At least he only has seven more months until the monumental fourth birthday!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy Belated Christmas- Part 2

Here are a couple more pictures from Christmas.

Our first Christmas in our new home-Thank you God!:

The Helms/Sieb/Hawes family group photo:

The kids before the Rose Bowl:

The Michigan cheerleader:

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Truth

Before I get to the truth, I wanted to share a sweet picture of my little guy. I must say, though, this picture looks a lot sweeter than it sounds. A friend of our gave the boys a harmonic which was a hit with everyone except Mom. The "ohhh, how sweet- he can play a little tune" wore off in about 14 seconds; but it did make for a cute photo op.

Now for the truth part. Friends of mine have made uneducated comments such as "your house is always so clean" or "how do you do it?" or "you have it so together." I warn them that this is not true; I'm just pretty good at faking it. Today after I got all three of my children down for a nap at the same time (cue "Hallelujah Chorus"), I looked around and decided that it was time to destroy the myths. So here we go... this is the truth. This is a sampling of what my house looks like after the morning is over...

If you kept looking around my house, you'd find laundry in the hallway and pretty much every other room carrying more debris. And had you been here an hour ago, you would have watched the toilet flood our bathroom (courtesy of whichever boy dropped or stuffed part of a box of kleenex in the toilet bowl- I haven't managed to get a confession yet). Thank God for His daily grace! Now, I gotta' scoot...I've got a house to clean!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Four Years Old

Have you ever wondered when children cross the line from little kids to big kids? I've always thought it was subjective depending on the child's personality and environment. I found out the other day that this theory is completely false. Isaiah cleared up the misunderstanding in a teaching moment I overheard him having with his brother.

"Elijah, you are three. Three is little. I am four. Four is big."

In his mind four is very, very big. Big enough to boss your brother around; big enough to carry you baby sister across the room (until Mom catches you and flips out); big enough to question your mother; big enough to do anything that your teenage aunts and uncle can do. He was frustrated yesterday when we took a walk, and he couldn't manage to push the (very heavy) double stroller more than a few yards.

The problem is, when I try to talk with my mom about the difficulties of raising a bossy oldest and dealing with his arrogant sin issues, I get no sympathy. Hmmm... I wonder why.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy Belated Christmas

Here are some pictures of some of our Christmas celebration. We went a little overboard photographing our daughter on her first Christmas. (Oh, how cute; she's looking at a gift!" "Oh, how cute; she's raising one eyebrow as she looks at a gift." "Oh, cute; she's smiling and drooling as she looks at the gift again!") So I'll spare you the seventy-five or so pictures that we took of her and just post a portion of them. I'll even post a couple pictures of our poor photographically neglected boys.

One of our own little family traditions on Christmas Eve morning is to eat Panera Bread bagels while sitting on a picnic blanket in the living room and watching a Christmas movie:

The littlest elf:

"These are all for me...":

Having children has made Christmas more exciting:

"What are you supposed to do with this thing?":

"Oh, now I understand!":

"Grammy, no one told me that Christmas was going to be so tasty!":

The boys with one of their favorite gifts:

Making faces with Papa (in the background you can see some of the debris from exchanging gifts within a family of 14):

I'm not the only one having fun dressing Adriana:

Santa Hawes and his fiancee:

"Take me away, Rudolph!":