Monday, April 29, 2013

8 Years Old!

Our little girl is growing up so fast! Olivia turned 8 last week. She is joyful and such a delight to our family. She is a wonderful big sister with a very nurturing and loving heart. She is innocent and beautiful. We are blessed parents to have her as our daughter. She loves balloons and it has become a family tradition to have balloons to wake up to. It's hard to believe how fast time flies...

Olivia was given some temporary tattoos, a badge, and a headband to identify her as the special one of the day.
It's a tradition in our home for the kids to make banners for each other on their birthday. Olivia requested hearts, flowers and other girly stuff. Ezra demanded a jet plane.

Part of her birthday celebration was going to the Airbound Trampoline Park in Winston-Salem. She brought along a few friends and had a fantastic time bouncing around for an hour or so. The place has wall-to-wall trampolines, an "under-7" bounce area, a foam pit for doing trick off the trampolines into, and a dodgeball arena. Rebecca was rather jealous that she could not bounce too, but alas...Emma and Rooney to watch and a big round belly of a baby that we want to stay in for a while longer. I had farm school and was good and didn't skip class. But I think we will all go back for some more fun another time!

Sorry about the blurry pictures. That is Olivia in the pink. The kids were moving constantly and as you can see the trampolines really had spring. They raced each other bouncing square to square down the long section of trampolines. They jumped off the walls! A kid's dream. 

Olivia, Gabe, Ezra and our friends loved taking turns bouncing  and flipping into the big foam pit. They said they couldn't touch the bottom even though they tried.

This is just a precursor to what came over the weekend... Stayed tuned for another posting on Emma's new skills/antics.  And do you see  who is in the background and what they are doing? Yes, that is Ezra climbing the rails.

Later that afternoon we headed to dinner at Red Robin per Olivia's request. We were joined by the in town family. She had also requested an angel food cake with cherries, white chocolate chips, and fondant flowers on top. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Granddad Baldwin's 85th Birthday

We went for a visit with Rebecca's family to celebrate her grandfather's 85th birthday. The kids just love visiting with them and Carlos is always finding new ways to entertain them. He's actually building a zipline in his back yard for them to come slide down!
Great Grandpa greeting the kids.
He showed them the trees in his back yard that were blooming.
Great Grandma getting a hug from Gabe.
Tossing a ball with Gabe
Emma and Great Grandma having a chat.
Great Grandpa being silly
The Baldwin Cousins (well, most of them anyway. Missed you, Hunter!)
There were silly party favors that entertained the kids to no end.

Emma just wanted the balloons
Well, she did want the candles, too...
We had a wonderful time, as we always do when visiting. Happy 85th, Great Grandpa! We pray for many more!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Beautiful Day for a Walk

On one of our beautiful spring days that we've had recently, we decided to go for a walk. We took the kids to a walking trail near some apartments that runs through the woods and along a sizeable creek. 

Gabe brought out his scooter. He wasn't the fastest kid on the block, but he kept going. 
Olivia and Emma watched the water rushing by.
Ezra enjoyed sitting still for a few moments, too
Emma found some new leaves to play with.
Mama and the kids
Gabe exploring the rocks along the creek.

Olivia and Ezra doing some exploring of their own. 
Olivia is getting rather fast on her scooter. she probably rode the trail 3 times in the time it took us to walk it. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baby Chicks No Longer

Our chicks are growing so fast! They are 7 weeks old in these pictures and are really filling out into full-blown chickens. While I usually keep them in a chicken tractor, they seem to like roaming the yard, hiding under the woodshed or the persimmon tree or in the fig tree, occasionally coming out to scratch in the garden or yard.
Interesting discovery: chickens have terrible night vision. I accidentally left them out in their chicken tractor until dark one evening, so I went to let them out and let them run back to the coop, but they all just stood there. I tried to shoo them out, but they didn't even flinch. It wasn't until I reached in and picked one up that they reacted to my presence at all. I wound up carrying them one by one back to the coop for the night.

It's funny to see them run, but they certainly can run fast!
They tend to stay in a tight group. If one gets separated, she will squawk loudly until she finds the rest of the group.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boys and Their Adventures

I was doing a heap of work in the back yard, splitting up the tree we had cut down last summer, and the boys thought that was the best place to play. They climbed all over that woodpile and made up stories and games to pass the time. Sadly, though, I had to stack it all away. but they had fun while they could.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Science Experiments - MFW

Here are a few shots from our recent science experiments

The first one was about cell structures and involved soaking an egg for a few days in white vinegar. The vinegar dissolves the calcium in the eggshell, leaving behind just the membrane under the shell. Apparently, with the right egg, you can actually see through the membrane and see the yolk, but ours didn't come out that clear. 

 The egg is now soft and spongy (and pickled) and  translucent, so you can see light through the egg.
Still a neat result, though.

Next, we learned about osmosis and how cells can pass water through the cell walls without breaking them
Firs, we cut a potato in half and scooped a "cup" in each half.
We boiled one half to kill off the cells. Once it was boiled, we set them both on shallow plates with a little water in each one.
We put a teaspoon of salt into each cup and sat back to wait.
After 20 minutes, the one we hadn't boiled had draw water up from the plate, through itself and to the cup to dissolve the salt.
The dead one just sat there and did nothing about the salt.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

32 weeks, baby #5

Here we are at 32 weeks! Baby is active, moving around all the time, usually when momma wants to sleep. :) Everything has gone well at the baby checkups. We are considering doing a water-birth this time, since Women's Hospital now offers them if you have a midwife. We are also looking at hiring a dula to help with the logistics of a waterbirth. Olivia has expressed the desire to be at the birth too so we are praying through that.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Color Me Rad 5K - A Family Event

We have all been training (I use that term very loosely when applying it to myself...) for a 5K run. Earlier this year, Groupon had a deal for entries in the Color Me Rad 5K to benefit The Special Olympics. The gimmick behind Color Me Rad is that they pelt you with dyed corn starch as you run, making you rather brightly colored by the time you finish.
They started us in waves and I took the first wave at 9:00am. Since this was my very first 5k, my goal was to finish in 30 minutes or less. I managed to do it in 29:03! I was well pleased with myself. :)

My brother, Greg, and his wife, Morgan, also ran in the race. Greg was a champ, pushing his daughter, Rooney, in her stroller the whole way. 

Rebecca and Olivia ran it together in a later wave. Here they are before the fun started. And, yes, Rebecca really is 7+ months pregnant and running a 5k... What can I say, she's one tough mama. :)

When they got done, they decided they weren't colorful enough, so they bombed each other.

That's one bright family!

It was a ton of fun and, despite my screaming calves, I am looking forward to running another one as soon as possible.