Friday, April 9, 2010

A walk, ride, scoot, and the ABCs

Tonight we went for a walk after dinner. I LOVE taking walks after dinner, it is my favorite time to go for a stroll. There is something peaceful, relaxing, and unifying about sharing a meal and then a little exercise.

For Christmas Frannie & Lydia got bikes. Aunt Lexi and Uncle Booie also got Frannie the perfect gift, a pink scooter! Just a few weeks ago Anthony took them each on a one-on-one date to get helmets.

The weather is finally getting warmer, so with Rourke and Lydia on their bikes and Frannie on her all to perfect scooter, the babies in our stroller, and Anthony as the bike steerer and boost provider we took a walk through our incredibly hilly neighborhood.

I've been teaching Rourke perseverance by making him ride his bike up and down the hills while I push the girls in our quad stroller. His reward for not fussing is getting to push the garage door opener button when we get home. His sisters are missing out on the treat more and more because I'm pretty sure with all of this bike riding, Rourke may be able to squat 500lbs! He is certainly getting better and growing in perseverance.

Lydia has been a natural at riding a bike. It started with a vintage red tricycle and she would ride around for hours. Her frame was so adorable as she rode. Her back would be straight up and she held firmly to the handlebars. As she petaled her tush would wiggle back and forth with her motion of her legs. The expression on her face was delight. She has eyes that smile and they, along with her cheeks, lips and teeth would be exuding joy. I miss that wiggle on the tricycle, but the smile is the same as she rides her bike. This is a picture from the day she got her helmet. She had NO problems pedaling!

When Bill & Lex drew Frannie's name for a Christmas gift exchange they called to ask what she would like. It was a hard question for me to answer because she really is unique in her interests. She is happy to join in on whatever thing her brother or sister is doing and she really enjoys it, but there isn't much that I could define as something that she just loves. I think that is because we are learning that Frannie's interests are much more abstract than the other kids'. She is incredibly compassionate and has a very tender heart. The things that bring her joy involve the enjoyment of someone else's interests. So, I told them that she might appreciate something that is different than what her brother & sisters have. They saw the scooter in the store and knew...that was perfect for Francesca Elizabeth. It's a sweet, little, spunky thing, just like her! She does really well on it and is barely tall enough to see over the handle bars. Here's a little video (sorry, it might make you sick...I'm not good at video and pushing a stroller...).

Esther and Zinnia are movers. Zinnia's walk is just about as adorable as her craw. When Zinnia first learned to crawl, she did this speed butterfly stroke thing. Quickly swinging her little arms around, grasping for the floor ahead of her. She would hold her head up, looking straight ahead and her body would remain fairly still, quietly following her arms as she would pound them down on the floor to drag herself along. When she began to use her legs to crawl, she sort of gracefully, pranced. Her motions were very up and down and quick, like she was crawling on hot coals, not wanting to let her hands or knees touch the ground for very long. Now that she is beginning to walk, she still has this little springy prance. Zinnia is really vocal and says: Hi, Bye, More, Please, Mom, Here, Moo, and she tries to say many other words. Whenever she sees Anthony, she squeals, saying, "eeeeee." She loves lights and consistently calls them, "hhhhaaaaaa" and to cuddle. She even sighs and delighted hum when you give her a hug.

Esther is still as sweet as ever. At this point, she is into throwing food off her tray, smiling, not taking naps, screeching, throwing her pacifier out of her crib, and running away from Lydia's overwhelming bodyslams...err hugs. She loves to splash in the bath (while Zinnia screams in sheer terror), swing, and just wander around. Her favorite place is still standing at the front door looking out the window on the screen door. She is a really observant baby. When she first learned to stand up against things, she would turn around and watch the craziness around her. She's been walking for at least a full month and was balanced from her first steps.

This evenings walk was a gift and a great way to kick off the weekend.

When we got home I watered the flowers the kids and I planted last fall. Hyacinths are my FAVORITE, they smell so good and are beautiful! Springtime flowers bring joy to my soul, they are such a gift from my Creator who knows that my heart rejoices in the beauty of springtime after a cold, colorless winter.

The kids picked up some sidewalk chalk as I watered. This is what Rourke did:

A through I

J (it's backwards) through T

Q through Z

Yep, folks. This is the first time he's written the entire alphabet. It was totally unprompted. I knew he knows how to write each letter, but I've never asked him to write the ABCs as a whole.

I was most impressed with his placement of the letter M. He is a SMART little guy!

K, L, M N, O


  1. Hi friend! It was great to see your adorable children and how they are growing up. Trust you are doing well. Enjoy those little ones!

  2. Sam, your family is so beautiful...and so mobile! I loved seeing the little ones walk and scoot, and I can't wait for Micah to do that too! They are growing up so big and cute. And Rourke is really smart, Sam! Just like you and Anthony. I really appreciate the detailed update and getting to know the girls' personalities!

  3. Love this post! Your kids are so precious...what a sweet glimpse into their personalities. Love you, beautiful mama!