Wednesday, July 30, 2014


This week we are doing Family Camp at Mt. Hermon. Well, technically the girls are, as we haven't listened into any of the teachings this week... all are on the Reformation. Which we don't really give a fig about, being Orthodox. So I've gotten lots of errand running done as the girls have fun in their different class programs. Eliana learned a verse and made some friends, Adessa's made some friends and learned 400 new songs she wants to sing in their entirety at inopportune times, and Annea has felt like a big girl getting to go to "Playschool" and be dropped off. "Drop me off, Mommy?" she asks. So cute.

Eliana wearing "camp clothes", ready for her day of hiking with her class.
Adessa hanging out before her program started.

Doing a week of camp means we get to take advantage of many wonderful opportunities that Mt. Hermon offers its campers. Yesterday, Adessa and I participated in the kids' ropes course. She did great, it was just the right age (Eliana was nervous and opted out), and we challenged ourselves and pretended we were on "America Ninja Warrior". Fun!

Then, today (Wednesday) was train day. With discounted tickets, a sack lunch and food vouchers, we road from Redwood Camp down to the Boardwalk. The girls have rarely (one other time) ridden the train, so it was high adventure to be riding the rails. And then, even more fun, the beach and the Boardwalk.

Waving to anyone and everyone.


So excited for their first ever chocolate dipped cones. We tried to eat them before getting back on the train, but that wasn't going to happen.

We ended up with ice cream all over ourselves and the train car, but the girls loved their treats.

Riding home. Fun!! Thank you, Mt. Hermon!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Adessa: Had a birthday, took some swimming lessons, finished her fabulous year of first grade, and I'm sure there's more. I'll add to the pictures, need to get off the computer!

Birthday Tea Party!

School friends, with and without teeth.

Posing at the creek.

Last day of school, also Adessa's birthday. All students are holding the treats we brought, applesauce cupcakes again.

Memorial Day parade, we always end with the Larsons!

Posing, posing, posing.

Swimming Lessons!


May 5th was Eliana's birthday, her golden birthday (five on the fifth), a day on which she was crowned at preschool and got her ears pierced! May 10th was her fancy dress up tea party.

Eliana is five. I just looked back at old blog entries from when Adessa was five, as I wanted to be sure Adessa at five was just as... ornery. And she was. Eliana has a sweet, gentle spirit, and a abrasive, loud, endless wail. So there's that. She cries frequently, when she doesn't get her way, when she gets the tiniest owie, when Annea has something of hers, etc. It's hard to talk to her about it, because she wails so loudly, and it's hard for her to stop. So. There's that.

She just got to a place in swimming lessons (the second to last day!) where she will put her face in the water. She is now hanging out under water searching for rings, blowing bubbles, very exciting!

Her birthday was great. A few friends came over for a tea party. Aunt Deborah and Uncle Mike came, too.

Aftermath of earrings!

Birthday party!

Eliana's friend Avery pictured on the left, got dropped off for the party and later gave us a little scare. The party was lots of fun: we ate finger sandwiches and fruit, drank pink lemonade, no tea, we played Pass the Parcel, and then, in the middle of the party, the girls played hide and seek. I called for the game to stop for cake time, so we sang "Happy Birthday" and had cake, and then Eliana asked: "Where's Avery?" Oh my goodness. We searched around and Laurel found her still hiding! Laurel thought fast and cheered for Avery, telling her that she won the game of Hide and Seek. Avery was totally fine, thankfully, not at all phased by the fact that she'd been hiding about ten minutes by herself after the game had ended. She got a piece of cake after it all, and rejoined the party without a hitch. But oh my, maybe don't drop your kids off at our parties.
Dads of girls, need I say more!?

Roller skating! As per her normal MO, Eliana did want to go roller skating up until we got to the rink. Then she became shy and reluctant, and wouldn't put her skates on. I knew she wanted to, so talked her into just trying, reminding her that she would probably be really sad if she went home without skating. And... she loved it!

Last day of Playschool, hugging her teachers.

Posing at the creek.

Swimming Lessons!


Annea is two! (Now a bit older than that, I'm way behind in posting). She potty trained in two days right at two, and has been doing great in that department ever since-- sometimes dry at night, too.

She is funny! She loves to sing LOUDLY. "Holy God" (Trisagion Hymn), "Let it Go" (Frozen), "The Wheels on the Bus", "That Girl is on Fire" (Alicia Keys!) are some of her favorites. She belts it out, louder is better. She talks like crazy, in her own little cadence. We have all picked up on Annea-speak, gems such as: "I lak et" (I like it), "I heuh it" (I hear it), "Look. MY nails." (Look at my fingernails. Which weeks ago had nail polish on them.) She is very sweet and funny, and loves our adoration and attention--which the big girls are so happy to give.

We just finished a session of swim lessons, the Mommy-and-me class, which she loved. She eagerly wore her "wim su" everywhere. Funnily enough, Annea hates to be wet. She now knows to tell us not to get her all wet when we wash her hands or face, and if a drop of water gets onto her, she wants to change her clothes. We had to convince her while playing in our backyard little pool, that she didn't have to change swim suits every time one got wet. She is enthusiastic about kicking and will blow bubbles, but her favorite part of swimming lessons were wearing the swimsuit and the songs.

Her second birthday was super fun, her last big party, perhaps, for a while? The Lewis family's last big one for a while, I think. We decided to downsize the effort and scope of birthdays to make them a bit more manageable and less stressful. We found ourselves feeding the same people pizza over and over, in April-May- June, and decided to switch things up and pare down. So in closing our era of over-the-top seeming birthdays, we had one final fiesta. And Snow White showed up! Melissa, Laurel's faithful friend had a few glasses of wine and borrowed her cousin's costume and was the belle of the ball. So fun! It made a fun theme.

The Party:

Swimming Lessons. (Here Annea's listening to the safety talk before her lesson. I can't take pictures because I'm in the water with her. She's cute in her suit!)

Yay for Undies!!

Fun in our little pool.


Fun with friends from church.