Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cows, Pigs, and Goats! Oh My!

Today we spent a few hours at the Allen County Fair where Aunt Maria, Uncle John, and some of Mommy's cousins are showing cows...or steers...or calves...or heifers? Not sure what the correct term is for all the bovine.

We got to see "cow food"! Surprisingly, no one tried to eat it.

Uncle John let us pet his littlest cow. You can see how delighted Miriam was!

Then on to the goats where we had to learn that we actually can't just crawl in every animal's pen.

This long-necked goat was very interested in the taste of Miriam's pigtails.

Love this guy's floppy ears.

And this tiny girl was the cutest! (If Miriam and Vivian are excluded from the competition, of course!)

Unfortunately, the camera battery died and we didn't get pictures of the bunnies, chickens, ducks, turkeys, horses, sheep, pigs, or lamas. Bummer.

Miriam and Vivian had so much fun petting every species of farm animal, checking out "Aunt Amia's Projects", singing, coloring, meeting an owl, and eating the annual fair apple dumpling with caramel sauce and ice cream. As you might imagine, they're taking a well-earned nap.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Breaking the silence

Been pretty quiet in our slice of blogland. Don't worry, we're alive and healthy. And not pregnant. We're getting asked a lot right now when we're going to hurry up and have number three makes us smile. Whenever God says so, we suppose.

But really, the past two weeks have been a complete blur. Good thing we take pictures or we might not actually know what we did during that time.

Aunt Sue and Kim were in town from "far, far away" (as Vivian says)...

...with their tribes...

Cousin Colin
 ...who enjoy a cuddle...
Uncle Ron and Vivian
...or two...

Cousins Hannah and Lydia
  ...or three! ;-)

Nana and Uncle Roger
Then Sarah's parents celebrated their 31st Anniversary! Aren't they cute!?!?!

Soon after, Mommy hustled the girls off to Cleveland...

Momma Megan and Miriam feed Lukas his pureed edamame.
 ...where we met HAPPY HAPPY baby Lukas (Mommy's college friends' little boy)...

...where Vivian attempted to read every book in the house. Stinker Pot.

Daddy and Mommy were ready for a little R&R... South Haven, MI.

It was great to get away and be "just a couple" again! But we missed our little girls.
We were even able to squeeze in several meals with close friends during this time! Perhaps things will slow down a bit now? 

Probably not. 

Which is fine by us! Turns out Mommy and Daddy are just as antsy as their toddlers.

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 29

Farmers markets are joyful in our house. We have a small garden, but what we don't grow, like sweet corn and beets...and muffins, we purchase at our local farmer's market. Both girls love strolling down Ninth Street on the south side of our beautiful courthouse square on Wednesday mornings. Mommy buys them a muffin sometimes before we take in the other fresh foods. Recently a lady started selling her homemade caramels. The sea salt caramel is a Mommy Treat. 

Check us out on the city website. Proof of our loyalty from last year! (If you don't see us right away, refresh the page until the picture changes.)

This weekend, Mommy and Daddy had a little getaway to South Haven, Michigan. Luckily, we were there for the weekly farmer's market. It was HUGE compared to ours. And there was a little of everything. Need a tie-dyed baby onesie?

Surely someone in this crowd did!

How about homemade soap? Pizza crust? Produce? Perennials for the flower gardens? A beautiful bird bath that looks like a leaf? Jalapeno focaccia bread? Earrings? And still more?

Whew! And then we learned that peaches are SEVENTY DOLLARS a bushel this year. Yikes! This dry weather is going to keep on hurting...

In the end, just some cinnamon swirl bread, a peach...maybe some fresh cut flowers? 

"Now how would we get those home safely?" Tim asks.

Monday, July 9, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 28

Running makes Mommy joyful. (Perhaps slow jogging would be a more appropriate description?) It's the great escape in the early hours. It keeps her sane. And occasionally she is able to run with other people. When we took our week away with the Wellman family, she got to run with her sisters. Who are all much faster, more athletic, and cuter. But they tolerate Mommy with smiles.

 Maria doesn't seem to mind Mom's pace too much.

Annette gently pushes Mommy to run faster.

Nichole and Bridget keep Mommy going up the tough, long hills with crazy games. Like the one-word-each-story game.
Nichole got that black eye when Maria accidentally kicked her in the face while tubing. YIKES.

For example:
Nichole: In
Bridget: the
Sarah: mousetrap
Nichole: a 
Bridget: Nose
Sarah: smelled
Nichole: an
Bridget: aroma.
Sarah: It
Nichole: smelled
Bridget: like
Sarah: steak.

You get the idea. But it kept us running. And laughing. And joyful, for that matter.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 27

Cousins bring us joy! Miriam and Vivian were able to spend quality time with their cousins from Indy and Phoenix. All eight Speer grandkids played in the pool for hours...

From the left: John Michael, Vivian, Andrew, Lydia, Hannah, Miriam, Sam, Colin
...this smile alone should indicate how much fun they had!

Mommy and her clone (who doesn't like to look at the camera)
Grandchildren, grandparents, and great-grandparents...that's a pretty wonderful picture!

12 People and a Boat

Wellman (and Speer) Family Vacation 2012. Prepare yourselves for quite a few pictures!  All seven siblings, Tim, the grandgirls, the grandparents, and the granddog were all able to be together for the first few days. And it was wonderful.

From the left: Tim, Stella (dog), Sarah, Vivian, Michael, Nichole, Grandma, Miriam, Maria, Grandpa, John, Bridget, Annette
We stayed in a cabin on a lake with one window air conditioner during a heat wave that brought several hundred degree days. But that heat didn't stop us from having fun! Crossword puzzles, Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase, Monopoly Deal, bike rides, walks, hikes, runs, swimming, skiing, tubing, boat rides, watching TV, family rosaries, lots of ice cream, fishing, and just relaxing...we soaked up every minute. Mommy learns more everyday the blessings of being born into a large family.

Aunt Nichole and Aunt Bridget preparing breakfast after a run.
Daddy and the messy Miriam both looking very sleepy!
Vivian takes a break with Aunt Maria on the back deck.
Uncle Michael and Vivi
Daddy gives Aunt Annette grilling lessons.
Miriam and Vivian help Grandma stir the cornbread.
Aunt Annette and Vivian
We stayed in the county that has the most covered bridges in the state. We took a little time to check them out. 

 The real star of the week was WATER. We had to stay cool! With a tub of water on the upper deck to splash in, our girls did just fine...

 ...they even kept Grandpa cool on the lower deck!

Miriam loves her spray bottle. We had to make a rule that we only spray people from the knees down because she was getting pretty carried away with her mission to keep the family cool.

Uncle John was a pretty great skier!

And he and Grandpa were able to teach Aunt Maria how to ski in about 15 minutes. She's a pro now!

Our little girls loved their boat rides and even had some fun driving the boat with Daddy.

Our cutie pies are pretty sad to say goodbye to the lake.