Thursday, May 28, 2009

Graduation and various celebrations!

It's the night before we celbrate Elizabeth's birthday, so I have to get this post out before our pictures get way out of hand. If our lives continue to be this eventful, I'm going to have to choose a different way to post all of my pictures! Or, I'm going to have to be more punctual with posting, but that doesn't seem to likely!

We met at Dean's parents house to catch up with Dean and his family and our friends Vanessa, Jeff, and Samantha.

Vanessa brought some headbands from Easter time. I love that this picture exposes my habit of opening my mouth and opening my eyes wider and wider to elicit a smile from Elizabeth. Jeff's expression to elicit a smile is much more normal! Um... Elizabeth's still not sure about those ears though. :)

Our Vanessa pretty much attached herself to Dean the whole time!

Samantha, could I ask you to be just a little less cute when my child is in the room too?

Vanessa got a real thrill from feeding Victor, Dean's turtle.

Elizabeth liked the turtle too, and had a very nice time with everyone. She did need a mommy hug though, which suited me just fine.

This is a great reading chair, a great story, and a wonderful narrator. Vanessa really is spoiled sometimes.

Elizabeth managed to get a few stories read to her too. Thanks Jeff!

Dean's Dad made Elizabeth quite content by reading her the Foolish Tortoise again.

Elizabeth seemed like she liked being a sunflower a little better than being a bunny!

Vanessa and Daddy had a great time being bunnies though!

Elizabeth plays with the two Vanessas! We had such a great visit with Vanessa and Dean and their families. Can't wait to see everyone again!

In between weekends, we've had some opportunities to get outside just around our house. The carport makes a nice shady spot to make some chalk drawings. Elizabeth likes drawing with chalk just like she loves to draw with markers and everything else!

Then off to Williamsburg to visit with Brian and Joanna during their graduation weekend. We decided not to try to actually see the graduation with two girls in tow, but we got to do lots of playing with relatives! Elizabeth loved romping around on the soft carpet, especially when Nana chased her!

Vanessa loves her Uncle Brian! Congratulations on graduating, Brian and Joanna!

I love when the girls pile around Daddy for a story. So cute!

Vanessa helped Nana make some special cupcakes to help celebrate graduation.

Elizabeth learned how to throw a ball (sort of). She seemed to like to play fetch with herself!

Here's Elizabeth with her great grandmother, Lou. Elizabeth doesn't go to just anyone... so sweet. :)

Vanessa and her great grandfather, Phil, watch Finding Nemo together. Not sure who liked it more, haha!

Grandpa Phil sure knows how to make a baby smile!

The great-grandparents, the great-grandkids, and Nana!

It's a special time for great-grandparents in our girls' lives! We just received a package from their great-grandmother Dee (thank-you card to come, I promise)! Oh, my goodness, what a fun afternoon we had when we opened it! Elizabeth loves dress-up, and Vanessa loves to dress-up, especially when that's what Elizabeth is doing! Grammy Dee sent the most gorgeous scarves.

Did I mention that Elizabeth had fun with the scarves?

And, oh, what a doll she sent! I named her Dee-Dee, after her artistic creator Grammy Dee. Elizabeth LOVES Dee-Dee, and squashes the doll regularly with hugs.

This gave Vanessa a good excuse to get out her matching doll, Miss Dee. And we've been dressing and undressing Miss Dee, and generally playing with her more than ever lately.

I actually just love this scarf that Grammy Dee sent for me! But I guess I'll share it with Vanessa from time to time, since she likes it so much too.

Here's a picture of James and Elizabeth checking out the garden. The garden is doing just great. We have lots of fresh lettuce, which entices me to eat salad almost every day now. James is standing near the cabbages. You can just see the potatoes spilling out of their raised bed to the left, and the peas are overtaking our fence to the right.

How excited we were to host a party with long-time friends of ours, Greg and Christina, and their kids Nathan and Cora. I also got to meet a friend that James and Greg knew from middle school, Carissa, and her kids. I love this picture of Greg having a story hour with Vanessa, Nathan, and Elizabeth. It's so funny, Vanessa became fast friends with Nathan, and played with him just like she does her female friends. It seems a little different to us grown-ups that it's a boy though... kind of like a little puppy love story!

Playing music on the piano together!

Hiding in the tent together...

Wrestling on the bed together...

Um... should we draw the line somewhere? Haha! When the other kids wandered into Vanessa's room, I overheard Nathan say, "Vanessa, let's go someplace else." Sigh. Only two years old. :)

Here are most of the grown-ups and kids at the party. Carissa's kids Ian and Megan were so sweet, and mature for their age, I think! Ian is just a couple of months older than Vanessa.

They were even sharing without conflict. Cool.

Elizabeth, besides things like dressing up and playing with dolls, LOVES cars, dinosaurs, and especially sharks.

And golf? I know a certain Nana who may or may not have taught our youngest to tap a ball with a golf club...

We visited a festival in Falls Church on Memorial Day. The firetrucks were definitely a highlight of our visit.

Vanessa tries out the driver's seat of the fire truck.

At the festival, there was a bubble blower, a moon bounce, and pony rides. Vanessa was in heaven! Elizabeth loved the bubbles, but we decided she was too little for those other things. But Elizabeth had the most fun just walking up and down a little shady brick path later in the afternoon. I think she just like the freedom of walking around outside without a stroller, a privilege she doesn't often get!

Here's Vanessa riding on the biggest horse there was -- a real horse, not just a pony! I told her to smile, and she usually gives me a fabricated smile when I ask her to smile on cue, but this time it was oh so genuine!

Elizabeth has a secret... there's a parade coming! Vanessa's and Elizabeth's very first parade!

With real fire trucks! Elizabeth and Vanessa clapped along with the crowd.

Genuine smiles all around!

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