Monday, November 30, 2009

Need a giggle?



I can't help but chuckle when I see that grin and those rolls.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's gone...



...Tessa's long hair. The lengthy ponytail as in the picture above from this summer is no more.

After visits with many of our family members in the past few weeks, we hesitated. Everyone told us not to cut it. Her long hair did look nice, when it was at its best. But it was tough to keep it untangled and smooth all the time. And besides that, change is good! Tessa wanted something different...and hair grows back. So we went for it!



We told the stylist to cut Tessa's hair so that is sat on her shoulders, but she said if we were willing to go a little shorter there would be enough hair to donate to Locks of Love. Yea! We had considered that but didn't think Tessa's ponytail was quite ten inches. Apparently it was. So she bundled the hair, chopped it, and shipped it off. And left Tessa with a cute bob.



She liked it right away. I think she feels older and more sophisticated, as she sports more of a true hairstyle. I notice an extra hop in her step as she tests just how bouncy and un-weighted down her hair is now.

I am a fan of the new look as well. My hair could never do that, so I just have to live vi-hair-iously through my daughter.



Here's to tear-free hairdo sessions and simpler mornings!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grandma's touch

Tom's Grandma Hill passed away two weeks ago today. Last weekend our family was able to travel to Pocatello, Idaho for the funeral services. It was special to spend time with most of the Hill extended family--a wonderful bunch. They have certainly made me feel like I belong to them. Together we honored Beverly Hill and celebrated the good life she led.

Over the past ten years that I've known her, I've enjoyed visiting her lovely home when we were passing through her part of the country. She always had cookies and lemonade and lots of stories to share with us. My older kids looked forward to these visits with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Hill. Her Idaho pride rubbed off a little on them, because they always left there thinking Pocatello was a pretty incredible place. We will miss her.

One legacy she left was her precision quilting work. She hand-stitched many beautiful works of art that amaze and astound me. Something she loved to do was help make checkered baby blankets for each of her great-grandchildren. The binding was her specialty. When she worked on Ansley's, her hands had gotten so shaky that her sweet husband had to thread the needles for her...but she was able to do the rest. What a tender image.

I guess my kids can tell these blankets were made with an extra dose of love, because they have adored them more than any other possession. They still sleep with them every night. Here they are pictured with their beloved blankets at various ages...

Tyler and his blue blanket


Tessa and her red blanket


Eden and her pink blanket


Ansley and her green blanket


Can you guess which baby's gender was known before birth??


We are grateful to have these momentos of Great-Grandma Hill. We will treasure them even more now. They will help us to keep her in our hearts until we see her again one day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween recap

This year for Halloween I thought it would be fun for our family to dress up with a group theme. Because of a few costumes we already had, I decided on the ever-popular Wizard of Oz characters.

The first two were easy...


Eden insisted on being a princess, so we pretended she was Glinda.


It was a stretch, but I did at least attempt some bouncy curls.


Tessa was thrilled to be Dorothy and loved wearing her sparkly, twirly, gingham dress and ruby red slippers.


But this was as far as we got. I couldn't persuade Tyler to be the Tinman, even with promise of carrying an axe around all night. His mind was fixated on a different wizard--one wearing his Quidditch robes.


Tom would have made a smart-looking scarecrow, but he opted to wear his favorite old standby get-up.


But my plans for a group costume were not completely thwarted!! I realized that the two of us with Ansley made a nice trio. We were...The Lion, the Witch, and the Stylin' Wardrobe. Not bad. (although it is a little tough to tell who is the lion, with Tom in his mullet wig)

No matter what you are wearing, trick-or-treating is always the highlight. The older three had a great time, despite the chilling wind and temps.


In Des Moines, the children take part in the candy-collecting ritual on the night before Halloween. It is appropriately called, Beggar's Night. And here is the scariest part of Halloween: the large quantities of loot we end up with!


It is so easy when your kids are babies. You dress them up however you want, and they don't even complain when you put them to bed instead of letting them trick-or-treat!

Ansley was a good sport.


And for the record, much of the fluff on this girl is not her own--it came with the costume. :)


Now on to November and the next Holiday. Who doesn't love this time of year?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Official Iowans

As of today, Tom and I have both traded in our New York driver's licenses for the Iowa versions. I'm not sure if that's an upgrade or a downgrade.

I guess it's just a different grade. We are happy being Iowans, but it was a little sad to let go of that lingering piece of our NY identity. Especially since that small piece of plastic was so hard to acquire in the first place! It took several months before I could convince the state of New York to give me one. But that's another story.

Since I'm feeling nostalgic, here are pictures of our beloved home on Juno Street--in Forest Hills, Queens, New York--the last time we walked its floors, and out its door. We'll never forget it.