Every once in a while in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale...

The wolf asked her where she was going. Little Red Riding Hood, who did not know that it was dangerous to stay and talk to a wolf, said to him, "I am going to see my grandmother and carry her a cake and a little pot of butter from my mother." "Does she live far off?" asked the wolf. "Oh I say," answered Little Red Riding Hood; "it is beyond that mill you see there, at the first house in the village." "Well," said the wolf, "and I'll go and see her too. I'll go this way and go you that, and we shall see who will be there first."

 There was once a hunter who often used to spend the whole night

stalking deer or setting traps for game. Now it happened one night that he was watching in a clump of bushes near the lake for some wild ducks that he wished to trap. Suddenly he heard, high up in the air, a whirring of wings and thought the ducks were coming; and he strung his bow and got ready his arrows.

But instead of ducks there appeared seven maidens all clad in robes made of feathers, and they alighted on the banks of the lake, and taking off their robes plunged into the waters and bathed and sported in the lake. They were all beautiful, but of them all the youngest and smallest pleased most the hunter's eye, and he crept forward from the bushes and seized her dress of plumage and took it back with him into the bushes.

After the swan maidens had bathed and sported to their heart's delight, they came back to the bank wishing to put on their feather robes again; and the six eldest found theirs, but the youngest could not find hers. They searched and they searched until at last the dawn began to appear, and the six sisters called out to her, "We must away; 'tis the dawn; you meet your fate whatever it be." And with that they donned their robes and flew away, and away, and away.

When the hunter saw them fly away he came forward with the feather robe in his hand; and the swan maiden begged and begged that he would give her back her robe. He gave her his cloak but would not give her her robe, feeling that she would fly away. And he made her promise to marry him, and took her home, and hid her feather robe where she could not find it. So they were married and lived happily together and had two fine children, a boy and a girl, who grew up strong and beautiful; and their mother loved them with all her heart. Yet there came a day when the maiden found her feathered robe and flew away and so begins the fairy tale of the Swan Maiden...

We're so excited that we get to have Skylar for an entire week.  She is such a good baby, sleeps well, eats well, is happy all the time, and we're just smitten.  When I learned she was going to be coming our way, the wheels began to turn and I thought it would be a neat idea to put together a book of fairy tales with pictures of Skylar as the main characters.  I found a few cute dresses at Janie and Jack, Gapkids, and Target, and then made the two cloaks.  We took some shots for Little Red Riding Hood and the Swan Maiden today.  I also hoped to do Princess and the Pea, Goldilocks, and Alice, among others.  Unfotunately, we're just going to run out of time.  We were on the road a ton this week as Anna was in Camp Music Circus and Lauren was in Zoo Camp, both camps were in Sacramento.  This meant we were in the car for  almost 2 hours every morning and almost 3 every afternoon.  This weekend was the first time that we had a moment to play around with my idea.  We headed out to Bridgeport and after the photos all of the kids played in the river for a bit.  It was a beautiful day and we had a great time although Lauren got bitten by a squirrel.  She lured it in with a chip and then tried to grab it (she insists she was only attempting to pet it but it looked an awful lot like a grab to me). Haha!  I actually got a picture of it that I'll have to share.  All of the fairy tale excerpts are from SurLaLune.


Family Pictures

It was so nice to finally get to meet Zac and Skylar and to see our beautiful Alaina again.  They were in California for a month in May but have now moved on to Texas.  While they were here I was lucky enough to get to snap a few photos of them.  They're a beautiful family!  I'm super excited because Skylar will soon be back in California with us for almost a week.  We cannot wait!!  Please be sure to click "Read More" at the bottom to see all of the pictures...


School Recap 2

Open House
I always look forward to Open House at the end of the year.  I love seeing what the kids have worked on and created throughout  the year.  I always get a kick out of their descriptions of themselves, especially what they'll be like when they're 100 years old.  Too funny!
Lauren's work:

School Recap 1

The upcoming posts may be a little long but as I've been so far behind on the blog, I needed to get caught up.  As you know this blog isn't only for our family to keep up with us but also a record of our year.  Having it all written down with pictures posted makes the creation of our family album at the end of the year much, much easier to accomplish.  So, although it may seem strange that I'm posting about what happened in April and May, it help me keep track and keeps me sane at the end of the year!

Roseville Utility Exploration Center
I was so happy I was picked as a chaperone for Lauren's field trip to the Roseville Utility Exploration Center.  Anna had been there on a field trip in years past but to be honest whenever I heard the name "Utility Exploration", it sounded a bit boring.  Was I ever wrong!  Not only was it educational but It was also a lot of fun!  If you're looking for an activity this summer, this is a good one.  There is a great playground in the back and the Center shares the space with the Martha Riley Community Library.


Anna's Butterfly Ball

When we were living in England, Doug and I had a favorite little out of the way antique store where we bought several fabulous books. One of my favorites was a small book called The Butterfly's Ball and The Grasshopper's Feast written by a Mr.  Roscoe.  I have loved the story and the illustrations for years now and thought it would be the perfect theme for Anna's 9th birthday party.  I meant to do so much more but just ran out of time.  I had a ton of help from Doug, my mom and stepdad, and our friend Amanda.  Anna had a great time at her ball and we loved celebrating her special day with friends and family.
(Following excerpts are from the story...)

Come take up your Hats and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gad-fly, has summon'd the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.

Doug's 50th Birthday

Doug isn't much for big celebrations but as he was turning 50 I felt we should do something special.  He didn't really want any bells or whistles though and so we agreed on a nice dinner at Tower Cafe and cake afterwards. 

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