Monday, September 12, 2016

Alice Turns 4!

First birthday:

Second birthday:

Third birthday:

Fourth birthday:

Seriously!  How did this happen?!  There is a reason why everyone says "they grow up so fast!".

Alice at age 4:

She's 39.5 inches tall (2 inches taller than last year) and 32 pounds.

She is still a super girly-girl.

She loves tutus, sparkles and princess anything.

She still choses dresses (tutu dresses especially) to wear everyday.

She still naps most afternoons.

She loves books.

She is starting to be a better eater and actually likes some vegetables.

She LOVES Jane and is a great big sister.

She loves our cat Tiger Lily who she likes to carry around.

Her favorite show is Stella and Sam.

She put on this cute outfit the other day so we went into the backyard and took pictures.

This pose was all her.

So was this:

We had a little party for her at the park.

I seriously reigned in my Martha Stewart monster this time, which was necessary but leaves me a little unsatisfied with the end result, but she had fun which is all that really counts.

Singing "Happy Birthday!"

On her actual birthday, we had planned to go to the zoo.

Unfortunately, Alice woke up at 2am throwing up and continued to throw up repeatedly for the next few hours.

I felt so bad for her but she was a trooper.

She didn't cry and was her usual happy self in-between throwing up.

She finally stopped throwing up around 6 and slept till 7:30 and woke up and said "I'm not sick anymore!"

And she was totally fine after that but I didn't think walking around the zoo in the heat would be a good idea so we just stayed home and she watched Sleeping Beauty in her new Aurora dress and with new her Aurora doll.

Then we dropped Jane off at a friend's house and took Alice out to lunch.

She go lots of attention in her dress.

(And in case you are wondering, my pulled pork sandwich was amazing!)

Then we went to the Birth Center for our ultrasound appointment.

We had been telling Alice that she would get to see the baby and find out if she was having a brother or sister.

She was very excited.

She liked seeing the ultrasound and seemed a little unsure when it was announced that the baby is a boy.

She seems to be uncertain on what all having a boy entails (I've been feeling that way too!).

I love how she says his name, she says "Ruff-i-ford".

Early in my pregnancy with Jane, when we decided on Rutherford as our boy name, we tried to get Alice to say "Rutherford" and she said "Frudered".

So she still says that sometimes.

He is one lucky little boy to have such a great big sister.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Baby #3 is a...

I was really surprised.  I thought for sure it was another girl!

We are very excited, especially Stephen :)

Here is his profile, that is his toes up by his forehead.

His hands and forearms in front of his face.

Giving us a thumbs up.

So the name...

We had a really hard time coming up with a boy name we liked but we found one we love when I was pregnant with Jane.

It's a very rare name but it fits perfectly.

His name is Rutherford James Wolfe.

I asked Stephen to write about why we chose that name so here it is:

"Why name our son Rutherford:

Samuel Rutherford was a Scottish pastor, theologian, and political theorist from the 1600s. In an age of theological error and political absolutism, Rutherford stood firm in his support for theological truth and true liberty. He did not compromise when ordered to preach in conformity to the doctrine of James VI, king of Scotland. He did not permit political absolutism to go unchallenged. In his most famous work, Lex Rex, he argued for the right of resistance in times of tyranny and for political legitimacy only by the voluntary consent of the people. A couple decades later the authorities had the book publicly burned and he was put under house arrest. In 1661, he was charged with treason and summoned to appear in trial. Already on this deathbed, he wrote back the following: “Tell them I have got a summons already before a superior judge and judicatory, and I behoove to answer my first summons; and ere your day arrive, I will be where few kings and great folks come.”

We live in a time of theological compromise and have lost the manly, moral, regulated liberty that formed and invigorated Western civilization. I pray that our son will remember those faithful and virtuous men who stood firm in the face of error and tyranny, and, by doing so, stand firm for civilization and the kingship of Christ to the glory of God."

So yeah, what he said :)

Bring on the blue!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Preschool At Home

We decided long before we had kids that we would homeschool.

I was homeschooled from 3rd grade on and really saw the benefits of it.

Also, we think the public school system sucks, and they teach a worldview contrary to our Christian worldview.

We also didn't like the idea of our children spending so much of their lives being influenced by other people and other kids.

We want to be the main influence in their lives.

So theory met practice today when I started preschool with Alice.

The first thing I looked at when planning preschool was Montessori.

I liked a lot of the Montessori principles but it really isn't a good fit for homeschooling, at least not for us.

Then I started reading some Charlotte Mason stuff and LOVE it.

I wont try and explain it here, but her theory of education fits very well with our views and with homeschooling.

Now I can't say that Alice's preschool is very "Charlotte Mason" since I put most of it together before reading any Mason but oh well.

I made a list of preschool goals for Alice like knowing the sounds of all the letters and understanding concepts like rhyming and the calendar and planned her "curriculum" around those goals.

I plan on doing about 45 minutes a day of "school".

There are always lots of opportunities during real life for her to learn and I don't think its necessary to do lots of formal schooling at this age.

So I decided the best way to start a fun school routine would be a "circle time" board.

This is what ours looks like.

We start with singing "Good Morning God".

Then I am teaching her the Lord's Prayer.

Then we go over the things on the board.

What month, what day of the week, what day of the month etc.

Also we do what season and what the weather is.

Then I have a list of fun songs like "If you're happy and you know it" or "Where is thumbkin?" and we do 2 of them.

We have a weekly memory verse that we will work on.

I also have started printing and laminating famous works of art (you can get them free from the MET website) that I will display on the board as sort of "art appreciation" if you will.

Then we have the letter of the week.

I have this tool storage cabinet that I got from Amazon and following an idea I saw from another blog designated each drawer to a different letter and put things that start with that letter in it.  Some of the drawers are much easier to fill then others obviously.  Not a lot of things start with X.  But I found a lot of little things around the house to put in most of them.

Here is my B drawer.

Alice has been very excited to get into these and we took out the A drawer today.

I let her take out each thing one-by-one and talked about how it starts with the A sound.

I laminated a tracing sheet for each of the letters so she can practice writing.

I printed out various worksheet/activities that cover letters, numbers, counting, sorting etc.

Thankfully there are tons of free print outs online.

Today I just picked out a couple things I thought she would find fun like a Dot-it find the letter "A", a color sorting game and some practice cutting.

Then we were done and went to the park.

All day I have heard her saying the 3 sounds that "A" makes.

So the first day was a success!

I expect it to evolve and change some as I find what works best for her but I am glad we have had a good start!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Big Sister School



That's right, Wolfe cub #3 is on the way!

We are SO excited!

It took 2 years to get pregnant with Alice, 6 months to get pregnant with Jane and with this one.. very first cycle since Jane was born and our first try!

I can't believe how blessed I am.

Six years ago we were facing the knowledge that we may never have (biological) children and now we are having our 3rd!

God has been so good.

I got to surprise Stephen with the news.  He had been at a conference for a few days and when he left I was sure I was not pregnant.  I didn't have any symptoms and, really, with my record, it wasn't going to happen on the 1st try.

But while he was gone I started getting some hints that I might be pregnant and I took a test and much to my surprise and joy it was positive!

I ran out and bought Jane a shirt that says "Big Sister" (the one in the pictures that is unfortunately super hard to read).

When Stephen came home that evening I put the shirt on Jane and said "Stephen, what do you think of Jane's new shirt?"  Now I know Stephen well and knowing that he is not a very outwardly emotional person I had very low expectations in terms of what his response would be.  I was surprised therefore when Stephen responded with extreme surprise, disbelief and excitement.  It was a sweet moment.

This happened the day before we left for California.

So when we visited my parents we did the same thing.  Put Jane in the "Big Sister" shirt and asked "What do you think of Jane's new shirt?"  My mom's response was priceless.

She looked confused and said "Is it a hand-me-down?"

Me: "Nope."

Then the light bulb went off and they were so excited.

Then we did it to Stephen's family which was a lot of fun too.

Everyone was super excited but Stephen's dad took the longest to get it and then said "Oh, Stephen knocked you up again!" and then said the same thing as my mom, "I thought it was a hand-me-down."

In their defense it is too big on her, the smallest size was a 2T.

Jane will be 1 month shy of 2 years old when the baby is born.

It would be fun to have a boy for a change but I kinda want it to be another girl  :)

I love my sweet girls, and I think 3 girls and then 2 boys would be perfect.

But whatever God gives us will be best!

A Week in Carmel

We recently spent a week in California visiting Stephen's family.

We spent most of the trip in a beautiful house in Carmel, just 2 blocks from the beach.

The house belongs to my brother-in-law's family.

Before we headed to Carmel we did a quick run to Napa.

We saw Stephen's Grandma.

Then spent a few hours with my parents.

The next day we spent a couple hours at the pool in Brentwood.

Alice liked it but Jane did not like the cold water.

Then we drove to Carmel, about 2.5 hours.

I vaguely recall having gone to Carmel once as a kid but I didn't remember anything about it.

So when we drove down the main street and then through the neighborhood of houses I about died from the cuteness.

Such a cute place filled with houses that look like they are from a storybook.

I loved it.

When the cousins arrived, the first thing Alice wanted to do is dance with her ballerina cousin Avila.

She had been talking about it for days.

The two of them were pretty inseparable during the trip.

It was kinda chilly the whole time we were there.  It was in the 60s.

But that didn't stop us from enjoying the beach that was just 2 blocks away.

Avila pretty much "babysat" Jane for a lot of the trip.  It was great.

We celebrated Grandma Patti's birthday one night.

She is always a favorite reader :)

The whole week was really laid back and relaxing.  We mostly just hung out at the house or the beach or walked around looking at houses.

Our one big outing was to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I had been a few times as a kid and always loved it and was really excited for Alice to experience it.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a pretty bad day for Alice.

Lately she has been more emotional and meltdowns have become more frequent and then add on traveling, missed naps and LOTS of stimulus and it accumulated into a day of meltdowns.

The entire time at the aquarium was an emotional roller coaster.

She would be running around happy and excited one minute and then completely meltdown over the tiniest thing (for example, putting a sticker on her shirt).

It was bad.

But the aquarium was still really cool.

An up moment on the roller coaster.

The Edwards.  Such a cute family, right?!

I hear the Jaws music, do you?  :)

The whole time Alice was looking for Dory and Nemo and was very excited when we found them.

Jane loved this one that was just her height and just stared at it for forever.

When we got back to the house, daddy and Alice took a much needed nap.

One of the days, when the girls were napping, Stephen and I walked around the main street of Carmel.

We came across a store dedicated to Alice in Wonderland.

And just around the corner was this Jane Austen store:

It was a funny coincidence (Alice was named after Alice in Wonderland and Jane was named after Jane Austen, in case you didn't know :)

More beach fun.

Jane LOVED playing in the sand but she did NOT like the cold water.

Caught this cute picture where Alice ran up to hold Papa's hand while on a walk.

He really won her over with his magic light-up finger trick.

She thought it was amazing.

Hanging out with Papa Grande.

Hanging out with Grandma.

Jane fast asleep during a walk with Nana.  She was her usual easy going self the whole trip.

Tide pool explorers.

We came across an artist painting and the girls were fascinated.

Auntie Michelle entertaining the kids with home videos.  She was in her element with 6 little ones around her :)

It was a really great trip.  I hope we get to do it again!