Monday, April 25, 2011

Amber approved hunting

A catch

A Kill

A carry

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Easter Sunday

Ok, instead of trying to rearrange all of these pictures, I'll just spend the time journaling. 6am Sunday morning Brigham is coughing like a seal bark. I woke up knowing immediately that I wouldn't be heading to church. I got him settled back in for morning and began thinking. I realized that I was kind of glad to be able to stay home and get our Easter celebrations in order since we'd been out way too late the night before.

Brig's puddle jumper.Alena's princess dress. I put it on her and she immediately felt regal. Sigh(she does lots of sighing when she's feeling regal)"Now I just need some stuff on my lips and some rosy cheek make-up and some long white gloves and a crown." more sighing.

Me: Staring and speechless. Finally, "No make-up Alena. you look pretty just the way you are." more staring, speechlessness.

I got lots of plants from all my little gardners.

This is the light meal I had waiting for all my church-goers. Dried figs, apricots and dates with goat cheese, walnuts, olive, gourmet Robin's Eggs, charoset, yogurt, un-levened NAAN. That along with their candy made them all happy and quickly sink into sugar comas. Very relaxing:)

Here are their goods which is all new tradition for the Stechers who are used to Gram Stecher providing all the Easter Sunday loot. I usually go for new church clothes. Gram actually funded a lot of this loot. It was so much fun to put it all together and they were as excited as I thought they would be. Pool and sand toys for the new house, Lindt bunnies, bugs and carrots. Reese's Eggs, Peeps and Cadbury Eggs. Alena got a little different fare since she couldn't eat the chocolate, she got these adorable Beatrix Potter jellies and a Pez.

Here are my church goers.

And, lest you think that we forgot the reason for the season, we spent the early evening with Veggie Tales(Matt's babysitting tool while I took a short nappish thing)and then 'The Lamb of God', 'The Testament' and the Easter clip from the church. The kids really enjoyed it all. I have a hard time watching the violence against the Savior but Matt was in charge so that's what we did. It really was all I could've asked for. I loved it. We didn't revive all of our traditions this year but enough that it felt like a Stecherbush Easter.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Good Friday

Friday early release. Brazos Bend State Park.

"I forgot to bring my shoes." Sammy

"Do we have to keep walking?" everyone except Matt.

"Don't you guys want to see more gators?" Matt

"Who had a good time?"matt

And the answer is-EVERYONE!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Remember this?

Our true love. Well . . .

We inspected her today. I think she's going to be ours.

(Hopefully, no boing included.)

You can see that there's a lot of updating to do. It feels overwhelming until . . .

I walk outside and see the courtyard and the pool, the side yard, front yard, trees, landscaping. Ok, yes, that actually feels overwhelming too but it's also beautiful and exciting.

So, get all your ideas ready, I need lots and lots of advice. I have yucky paint stuff, wall paper, old doorknobs, spotty mirrors and never-mind, I think being up since 3am had addled my brain so I'll just put this away until tomorrow. Night.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Big Foot Brig 18 mos.

Officially 3 ft tall, and a size 10, he's going to outgrow his sister in no time. Actually, they wear the same size shoe. Thankfully her feet are long and slender and his are almost as wide as they are long. Honkin' big feet. On his feet are his "oofs".

Me today: Brigham, would you like to put on some pants?

Brigham: Moe, ooofs (no, shoes)

Me: Brigham, we aren't going anywhere, how about we put on your shirt and pants.

Brigham: MOE! OOOFS! (NO! SHOES!)

And he wins. No shirt, no shorts only oooofs. He let us know when he's ready for bed. "Bobble, bobble, bobble. . ." until somebody answers, "You want a bottle?" Then "Owl, owl, owl . . ." until somebody says, "You want a bottle and your owl blanket?". Lastly "biper, biper, biper . . ." and we say "Yes, Brigham, you want your bottle, you owl and your diaper changed so you can go to bed." Brigham then smiles and begins his farewells. "Booop. Booop! Die, die" until Luke answers and bids farewell and good night. Then "Tis'ter, Tister" "Nanny", "I" and so on until everyone has wished Brigham a nice nap. Then there's the whole daddy worship side. I'm just not used to this. Mommy holds nothing in Daddy's shadow. Oh how I adore that very insane child who incedentally drown, several pair of clothes, a Netflix DVD and the envelop and a remote control in his sisters bath tonight while I was making dinner. He is at the moment consoling his sister because she can't have a banana before dinner. Here sister, lay your head down on my lap while I stroke your hair.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sammy, Mommy and Alena Time

My sleepless nights of late have lead me on a quest to find answers to difficult problems in my life. One such problem is the behavior and troubles of my 4 and 6 yr olds. Alena hates-passionately hates-sleeping alone. The party across the hall is lemon juice in her injury. It's is lemon-juice in my wound as well trying to get that room full of boys to stop teasing and sleep!. Sammy vehemently refuses to sleep w/o Eli and Luke. He desperately needs more sleep than they do but morpheus cannot penetrate stubborn Samuel Stecher.

Our new house will be set up with Alena having the smaller private bathroom bedroom and the boys sharing the bedrooms connected by jack and jill. I coated the separation of Samuel from E & L with descriptions of "boys quarters" and "you're the big brother of Brigham, he'll need you to teach him . . .". But, seeing Alena so lonely is really making me sad. Samuel wouldn't tolerate being in a cute pinky room, yet they all want their dreamed up for two years bedrooms. What to do. Well, inspiration came and I will make a trundle bed for Alena in Samuel's room so she can join the party and be tired too:) No, really it will be good. I told them it would be her secret bed and when they can't go to sleep I'll have a room to escort her to where her feminine side can dream in sweet surroundings.

Another problem I chewed in the darkest hours was how to fit in reading etc with Samuel and Alena. I am glad that I got an answer but it is a bit painful. The 2 hrs I cling to to regain sanity and mental processees aka "quiet time" is something I fight tooth and nail for. It's the only break I get from being dragged in 7 different directions all day long. But I decided to give some of it away to

'Sammy, Mommy and Alena Time".

This is what we did today. Ok so it's actually at the top and I have to cut this short. We read that fun book you see called 'Four Fat Frogs and other Nonsense Numbers and Alphabets.' Then they painted pictures that had something to do with numbers and alphabets. Alena of course chose her own proud A and 4. She does such happy artwork-all on her own. Samuel chose to copy his favorite page in the book about 9 Newts being Nudged. He only got the background done but it's quite nice.

My personal favorite was '7 Smart Salmon Snapping Silly Shrimp'. So cute when I noticed that the shrimp were making silly faces and being snapped by old-fashioned cameras! I am thinking of framing those for our Family Room in our new house. What do you think?

PS, Sammy's watercolor accidentally got photographed upside down. It does make more sense right-side up. I'll be sure to post his finished masterpiece.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What do you think the 'Paint Monster' looks like?

I walk in on Sammy slapping cards down from different piles and I ask "whatcha up to Sammy?" "I'm playing War with The Paint Monster" he replies. mmmmmm. Alena: I'm going outside to play resturant with the paint monster! Evidently there's an imaginary paint monster I can't see that keeps my kids company when they need a partner or a companion. I wonder if the paint monster is who wins at tic-tac-toe in a tie?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The older boys have friends which they are enjoying SO MUCH. Playdates, birthday parties, swimming, scouting and NERF WARS are great parts of their life right now. This is our mid-Conference Nerf War.(Won't Alena drool someday when I show her this picture)And family since I know you'll all feel badly for her know that I played in the sand with her the whole time and fed her vegan cookies that were positively AMAZING. Eli has been working on this and many other projects. Things he thinks up in his head and designs-birds, planes, you name it. I've finally gotten into the more fun parts of schooling that have been way too overwhelming over the past 2 yrs-that's ridiculous but c'est la vie. A little planning ahead and a bit of money and Fridays we make things like this Chinese vase by Eli.We all made them but out of Alena, Luke, Samuel, Eli, AND MYSELF. Eli and Samuel took great honors. Luke's is terrific too but he had to go at it a second time. Eli and Samuel just whipped them right out. Actually Samuel's was done in a matter of minutes, smoothed and decorated while we all worked and tried in vain. We have done some cool Astronomy projects like a baloon solar system to scale, melting chocolate with magnifying glasses, burning leaves with magnifying glasses, and a pinhole sun viewing box which was too short and didn't work. Oh and the kids loved pretending to be in the industrial age making assembly line cookies. Of course they only asked me ever 35 sec if they could sit down so I doubt they really want to work in a cookie factory but for the afternoon it was pretty fun.