Sunday, March 14, 2010

Caroline Fike's Chair

Our three-year old Caroline Virginia Fike was given this chair by her grandmother Caroline Viola Fike. It is an amazing story, well told in the card that accompanied the chair. In case it's hard to read small, I'm going to reprint it here. The card in the last two pictures says:
Dear Caroline, When I was your age, three years old, my Mom and Dad gave me this little chair for my birthday. This picture is of me with the very same little chair. I'm playing with my dolls on the porch of our house. That was 70 years ago! The chair stayed at my Mom and Dad's house and dairy farm in Porterville, California most of those years. This is where I grew up with my older sister Patricia and my older brother Fred. A few years ago Grandpa Chuck brought the chair to our house in Grass Valley. He has been waiting for just the right time to restore it for someone very special; that special someone is you: Caroline Virginia Fike.
We are honored to own this chair.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Caroline's Third Birthday!

Our little girl is three! This is a whole series of pictures of Caroline's birthday party. The fact that it was her birthday all day was a hard concept for a three-year-old. When she woke up in the morning and I told her "Happy Birthday," she responded: but nobody is here yet. She repeated that line all day. To her a birthday is all about the party, and her party didn't start until 5pm. It was a perfect time, especially since both kids had at least an hour nap beforehand. She loved her party, and she was so excited about all her friends being there, and opening presents (she loves gifts: she's always wrapping things up and giving them to people).
This first picture is from the night before, working on her cake together. Then we move to the party pictures. Here she's looking quite excited about this big gift from Grandma Caroline and Grandpa Chuck. She was also excited when her friends Elizabeth and Marilyn arrived, and she opened her gift from Elizabeth (neither of them could wait:)): food for her new kitchen. Trace spent the afternoon and evening preparing a sumptuous feast for everyone: yum! We had delicious tacos, with a choice of mild chicken, spicy chicken, or medium beef. Something for every taste! The most amazing Aunt Becky made Caroline a bunny for her birthday, and they had a special time opening it together. Caroline was Becky's shadow when everyone first arrived: all the people were a little overwhelming for a few minutes. Lindsey and her son Graham, so sweet. Caroline wearing the Clement's special birthday crown. Aunt Katie loaned it to us via Grandma Jo for Caroline's birthday. Thanks for sharing! Sitting in her new chair from Grandma Caroline. I'll do an entire blog post on that later. It was very special. Opening Dave's gift with him. Lindsey and Betsy with their two boys visiting. Trystan, Marilyn, and Caroline playing with Caroline's pretend cookie set--perfect for her new toy kitchen. The Beltrans, who kindly brought a gift for Jackson too. Singing happy birthday: time for cake!
Caroline blowing out her candles. Sitting on Dave's lap putting on her purple goggles from Tracie. The three roomies. Beautiful Betsy and her son Andrew. Aunt Heide and Caroline. Finishing the night dancing for Mike and Ellen. We're glad you're three Caroline. You are a treasured part of our family. You keep us all laughing, and melt our hearts with your smiles and cuddle times. I'm excited to see you grow in the years to come. I love you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Jumping on/off the porch

A lot of my pictures of my kids are taken at their request: take my picture Mom. Last weekend Caroline wanted me to take a picture of her jumping ON the deck: down the stairs, actually. I think this might have been in response to the fact that Jack was jumping OFF the deck, and his impressive jump was getting a lot of attention. So here are my pictures of Caroline jumping down the steps, and then the ones of Mr. Jackson jumping off the front deck. I know, I didn't really get any of Caroline in the air, but it's hard when the jump is so short. I suppose I should have used the continuous shot mode. Actually, Caroline's jumping has improved just in the last week. Tonight I saw her jump off the coffee table (about a foot high) for the first time ever. She even landed on her feet!
This cute boy, on the other hand, has been jumping off the coffee table for at least three years now. He might live to jump. Our front deck is about seven feet off the ground, and he has to jump out about four feet to land on the lawn instead of the bark directly below. Proportionate to his three foot height, I would have to jump off the roof to match his jump!
This time he landed on his feet, but he did this probably ten times in a row, and he usually ended up rolling in the grass as his motion kept moving him forward. I love the shots of him mid-air. Here he looks like he's just stepping off the deck, but he always had plenty of propulsion to land on the lawn.
Hands up for balance!
We ended this evening with marshmallows around a fire in the backyard. Jack asked if we could have a burn pile in the back, and I looked out at the soggy yard and the empty fire pit, and told him that if he picked up enough sticks for a fire, Dad would light it later. He was industrious! He is all boy, and he loves to watch a fire. He gathered enough very wet sticks to have a fire, so later we did, although Trace had to work hard to get it going, and it required a fireplace log to have enough flame for marshmallows! Both kids loved the marshmallows, but Caroline kept her distance from the fire. She thought the swing was a nice seat. Here's the man who actually did the work: And a final shot of the boy who brought the fire into being. This week the backyard is covered in snow again, so no more fires for a while, but it was a nice way to end a Sunday!