Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Playing the Comparison Game.

And what fun it is!  Seriously, I totally missed out when I didn’t tell people about Orrin.  You see, my little wee sister Lindsay is due six days after me, and she just posted pictures of her belly on her blog (you can see them here).  So of course, that made me want to take pictures so we can all compare.  I think we’re actually pretty close, with me leaning towards being bigger, but then again, she’s only on her second, and I’m on my sixth—that buys me a little, no LOT, of slack.  If she were on her first pregnancy, I would not be playing this game.  :)

Oh, and I promise the only reason I did my hair was BECAUSE I was going to take pictures.  In fact, on Lindsay’s post I commented that “Do you think I don't know how to do hair anymore because I haven't for so long that I have lost the skill? Or is it that I never had the skill to begin with, but at least before I occasionally tried and so sometimes got lucky by accident? hmmm.”  So I actually feel pretty good right now, because now that I’ve done my hair nicely, I can go for another six-seven-eight months or so without doing it again.  :)


By the way, these pictures were taken with my awesome home photography studio setup, meaning I precariously stacked a chair on top of another chair, and then an overturned toy box, and then set the camera on it and told Talmage to click the button.  He did great.  Unfortunately, I’m annoyed how our window makes it so that the sun comes in bright, but only to a certain height, and then it’s quite a lot darker—thereby making my white shirt really bright while my head is dark.  Oh well.  Also, I should get rid of our dead tree.  The things one notices in pictures that one has stopped noticing in real life.

Cutest little boy!!  And look, he’s actually smiling and not glaring a menacing glare!  (See Ans, it does happen!)


I have a rule only to kiss very handsome men.

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Mom-that is ENOUGH kissing!!

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Okay, I know that was already about a million too many pictures of myself, I have to show one more to point out how much the angle really matters in these how-big-is-your-belly pictures.  According to this one, my belly is huge! :


And here’s Hazel this morning before school.  It was really dark (and raining torrents) so I was trying to use the flash and bounce it off the ceiling.  It didn’t work the first few tries.


She’s so cute.  I think I’m going to cut a few inches off her hair soon.


And I made some playdough for these two and they had a super time playing with it and then throwing it everywhere.  And it smelled really wonderful because I used this special ‘Cinnamon Spice Playdough.’

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Two Talmage funnies:

Talmage and I were kissing Orrin (much to his chagrin) and Talmage said, "I just love him! Because he's sooo wimpy!" I think he meant soft, or snuggly, or some other adjective for cute babies, but wimpy works.

Tonight at dinner Talmage was quite full and didn’t want to finish everything on his plate (which is actually quite unusual, he’s a really good eater), and he said, “I’m completely out of hungry!”

And that’s it.

Sunday in Mont Vully.

So Sunday morning Ethne threw up a little, so Brett stayed home with her since I was giving Sharing Time.  And Orrin stayed home too because, he’s 1 and a half and prefers napping to church.  By the way, church with three semi-older kids WITHOUT the little 21-month-old is SOOOO easy.  Usually church makes me so tired I feel like I’ve been doing a workout for 3 hours, but not so much without Orrin.  :)

Anyway, when we came home we decided to go on a walk.  I had read a bit about some caves made during WWI that are by Murtensee, which isn’t far from our house, so off we went.  First we made a quick stop and looked for a geocache, which was right off the road and Hazel found it in about 1 minute.  Then we continued on to a parking spot by this nice viewing area of the lake.  It was a very popular spot, at least on Sunday afternoon, with lots of people picnicking and grilling.  We took in the view, and walked on the trail for a little ways.


We never found anything like caves, so I stopped two old ladies walking by, and asked them if they were familiar with the area and if they could tell us where the caves were.  Which they were and did.  They were very nice and loved that we had five kids and chatted about where we were from and where Brett worked, etc.  So then we drove to the restaurant and walked down the short trail to the caves.  Then we got out our lights and explored them.  This is what I read about the caves online:  “It’s a World War 1 military defensive position carved into a sandstone deposit on the hills overlooking the lake.. This is a fairly extensive network of carved out tunnels and rooms established as a machine gun position that was a part of the Swiss defensive posture of the central Plateau.”  There was a board with info, but it was in German and French.


Why does Orrin always make this face? 


We got this jelaba jacket thingee for Talmage from Morocco.  I don’t think we ever showed pictures of it before.


Right after I took these pictures of Ethne she slipped and slid all the way down, but she was fine.


It’s so pretty over in that region—Brett and both said it almost looks like a different country with all the vineyards and everything.


Then we went home and made a pizza in record time because everyone was starving.  It was delicious, and we ate every last crumb.

What a wonderful weekend.  My favorite kind.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Saturday in Beatenberg.

So on Friday I made sure ALL the housework was done so that we could play on Saturday.  In fact, I’m pretty, actually really, impressed with my list of of chores I crossed off.  All the laundry, the dishes, vacuumed the whole house (actually Hazel and Jethro did that, but I had to get them to do it), cleaned the bathroom, swept and mopped the kitchen, cleaned out the fridge super well, Ethne dusted the front room, cleaned off the kitchen countertop completely, and did cobwebs.  Woohoo.

Then Saturday was quite overcast and cold in the morning, which means I was grumpy and put-out.  Brett went mountain biking, and I decided while he was gone to make tin foil dinners because even if it was overcast and coldish all day, at least we could go in the woods by our house to cook them and eat them.

When Brett got home I told him to find some place we could go to cook our tin foil dinners, even better if we could do a hike first.  So he drove us to Beatenberg because we had been there before and knew for sure there was a good fire pit.  Somehow I didn’t realize he was planning to go to the exact same trail we went on with the Nicks before.  I wasn’t a fan of the idea of going to the exact place we had already been to, but it all worked out very nicely because we went up the trail a little ways and then took an offshoot up a different way.  Voila- everyone was happy.  But that’s why some of the pictures look like ones you’ve already seen.  And it was a beautiful day even!  The clouds went away and it was just perfect.


Orrin is so good at making hilarious faces.  It’s a skill.

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The cool ship.

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The kids all had their backpack on with a rain jacket and their dinner.  (And I’ve got to find someplace that has whistles, so I can get everyone one.)

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So, right by this curve of road with the cows on it was the great fire spot with some picnic tables and wood and a grill and an ax and some tongs and a paring knife—pretty much everything you could want.  So, we thought we would just leave our dinners there while we went farther up the trail.  Unfortunately, upon taking out our dinners, we found that of the 5 backpacks carrying the dinners, four of them had had hamburger juice leaked into them.  The problems being that we had given the kids a plastic bag to put their dinners in, but not supervised the actual operation to be sure they were twisted and knotted securely.  So of course they weren’t.  And then in the one that had Brett’s and mine and Baby’s, the forks had poked holes in the bag.  That was annoying, but we took out all the dinners and washed the backpacks and rainjackets in the creek, and then left mostly everything there in the sun while we went on.

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So it was a pretty neat trail, up through the woods, with lots of stairs carved out for us.

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The kids stopped here to rest, so I told everyone to get ready for a picture, and I climbed down near the edge of the cliff to set the camera on a rock so I could use the timer, and Brett said, “Be careful on those rocks!”  and I said, “I’m fine, don’t worry,”  and he said, “Not you, the camera!”  :)

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We actually didn’t make it quite to the top—even though I think we were realllllly close, but the kids were starving (so they told us) and some really dark clouds were moving in.  So we turned around.  It was a bit of a shame.  Can you spy Brett and the kids in the picture below?


When we were still near the top, Orrin started crying and crying so finally Brett took him out of the baby carrier and just held him for a while, but then he demanded to be set down.  Now, the way was still really steep, but Brett just held on to him, and he walked/fell (probably mostly fell) the whole rest of the way down.  It was so funny. 


Once we got down here, he refused to even hold Brett’s hand.  And he’s down.


And up again.


And down.



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Crazy kid.  :)

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So.  We made it back to our dinner spot in a really short time.  The kids played in the creek while Brett made the fire.

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Ethne in her new hiking shoes (new from Landi, nothing high-end here but they seemed to do the trick).

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So, the lighter that we brought had gotten wet when we washed all the bags out, so it wasn’t lighting at all, so Brett was taking it apart to see if he could get it to work (I was already thinking of if I could go back to the milking barn we had passed where the farmer was milking, to ask if he had some matches), and then he dropped a little piece into the fireplace, and felt around to pick it up, and found a hot coal.  So he picked it up and blew on it, and started the fire!  And, being Brett, he wouldn’t even use any of the newspaper that was there.  :)

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The girls and Orrin and I went for a little walk along the road.  It was a beautiful time of day, with the sun slanting down all golden.  Mmmm.  It was so beautiful.


Just looking at this picture makes me hungry.

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They were perfect.  Nothing was undercooked, nothing was burned, and we were just the right amount of starving to appreciate them to the fullest!  I LOVE tin foil dinners!  (p.s. Brett’s face is really weird/scary in this picture because he had just put a bite in his mouth and it was hot so he was blowing it.  Ha ha weirdo.)  Every kid ate up every last bit.  Hazel was wishing we had brought a tent because she was “ready to curl up in a nice warm tent and go to bed.”  :)

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The view of the mountains on the way home was wonderful.

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