Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall is here!

After being stuck in the sick house for a week, we decided we needed some fresh air and bluegrass last weekend (and figured we couldn't spread our germs too bad if we were outside). We went to the North GA Folk Festival, which is held here in Athens. This was Esther and my 2nd year, Ben's first. It was a small festival with music, local crafts, and traditional craft/tool workshops. We enjoyed our picnic and boiled peanuts, and of course, the dancing. Pam Blanchard and the Sunny Side Up band played first. They are a fun, interactive children's band. They even invited the kids up on stage to sing Twinkle, Twinkle and If You're Happy and You Know It. Esther was at the front of the stage, but had a bit of stage-fright when it came to singing and moving. She did get a few 'stomp your feet's in there.

I worked the beginning of the week, so yesterday and today have been a fun Esther-Mama time. Yesterday we collected nature objects (inspired by SouleMama's book and Songbird's recent posting). Esther found a pine cone, magnolia pod, various leaves, acorns, and nandina berries.

Here, she is making the maple leaves dance, while singing a little tune.

The ragweed is getting the best of me today, so I am going to rest the remainder of nap-time. Even with the allergies, I just can't bring myself to close the windows. This fall weather is delightful!

Catching up

I know it has been a while, but we've had a house full of sickies. Ben has some sort of respiratory infection (104 temp), Esther has had a simple cold, and my allergies are driving me crazy. We are all on the up and up and getting back to normal.
A few weekends ago, Ben's brother and family came up for a visit (Brad, Courtney, and Baby Colt). As you may remember, Colt came a month early, but has been perfectly healthy after just a few days in the hospital. Esther loved giving him 'gentle' hugs and kisses. So sweet!

Watching football w/ his Daddy. They're starting him young!

Poppi is in heaven w/ both grand-babies

And could this be any sweeter? E was so excited to be able to hold baby-Colt

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Asheville Visit

We had a wonderful trip to Asheville over the weekend. We went to see my grandparents, aunts and uncles who all live in the area. We also went to the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival (LAAF), which was a blast. Esther had so much fun, as you will see in the pictures.

Family (Mother's side-Pomraning/Monroe)

Esther and my Papaw. She kept on climbing in his arms and asking to go pick apples from the trees in the yard. I think they made each other's day.

A sweet hug from Mimi on the porch
4 generations of women. The afgan on the chair was made by my great-grandmother who lived until she was 100. It is really special to have met her a few times and hear the stories of her life.


Happy drumming

You've heard of finger-painting? This was feet-painting!

Painting a truck that is later auctioned off for charity


Smoothie-lovin'. And the cute hat Papa bought E.

Ben and Justin-a long-time friend who used to live in Athens

Bicycle joysting. Esther was passed out in the stroller at this point, but Ben really enjoyed it.

More family fun
After the festival, we drove down to my Aunt's home in Balsam. She and Max cooked a delicious meal of fresh-caught fish and corn, beans, and potatoes straight from the garden. Esther enjoyed picking grapes off the vine and getting corn and heirloom tomatoes for us to bring home.

Coffee and conversation after the meal


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tinkle, Tickle

As I've mentioned, Esther is loving school (or 'cool' as she calls it). They must have a wonderful music time because E has been singing more than usual lately. Her most recent melody is a combo of Twinkle, Twinkle ('Tickle/tinkle'), Wheels on the Bus, and Happy Birthday. It goes about like this:
Tinkle, tickle, tickle, tickle...How do you do, how do you do...happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you...(continues with the happy birthday until Ben and I can't contain our laughter any longer). I love her voice and how singing brings her such joy.
She now loves Twinkle, Twinkle has her night-time song. Though I'm having a hard time breaking away from the routine songs, I have conceded. She is doing very well putting herself to sleep after a few songs and a short rock. She 'sings' and 'pats' her baby doll to sleep in her bed. It is so sweet! Here is a picture I sneaked in to take at naptime. She's cuddling with 'Ellie' instead of baby today.

And as for my favorite night-night song. I learned this at my prenatal yoga class I took while pregnant. We sang four rounds of this at the end of each class. The first time I heard it, I fought back tears of joy and the amazing miracle of the life inside me. It filled my heart and comforted me to see another soon-to-be Mama burst into tears in the coming weeks after hearing it for the first time.

Welcome to this world, dear child
Welcome to the Earth
All our love surrounds you at your birth.
Though our paths may someday part,
right now, you're too small to be alone,
so the Lord, has placed you in our home...

The tears are welling up once again.

To not leave on a teary note, here's E having a 'Flashdance' flashback. She put Ben's socks on while folding laundry. They remind me of the leg warmers I used to wear to dance.