Monday, July 11, 2011

Puppy Love

As of late June, the Harrmanns have a new member of the family.
Lucca, a chihuahua, fell into our lives out of the blue. A friend of ours got a puppy, and upon seeing him, we found out his litter mate was still up for adoption, and even better, a FREE adoption. Roxy hadn't done so well when we tried to adopt a bigger puppy several months ago, but we decided to give it another go.
And I must say, Roxy has done SO well with Lucca! I think maybe she doesn't realize he's a dog, because he's so small. But we've even caught them playing together out in the yard on several occasions. This was shocking to me ... and great to see! The kids love him too, and Lucca is never in need of a lap to sit on or someone to give him smooches.:)

Playing with Roxy, who ... although she looks unwilling here ... actually enjoys the little nipper.

Napping with Nathan, who really likes the little guy.

Napping with me in his favorite spot, curled up under my neck or on my shoulder. He likes to be as close as possible and greets us every morning with numerous licks and nips to the ears and neck.

Gabe sits by his new little buddy after baseball practice one afternoon in June.

We named him after one of our favorite towns in Tuscany, Lucca, which we visited on our 5th wedding anniversary. It was a very quick stop, during which we climbed to the top of a crumbling stone tower, out of which grew a magnificent, HUGE tree. After that, we darted into a cafe to grab an espresso, but then had to literally run through the ancient town to make it back to our bus in time. I suppose there's no reason to tie a dog to these memories, but they were great memories and we liked how the name "Lucca" rolled off the tongue. :)

With his new tiger toy that looks like Mizzou's tiger ... very appropriate! It's so hard to find toys little enough for him!!

There's never a shortage of kisses for Lucca!

Roxy watches with interest on the day we brought Lucca home.

Again, in his favorite spot, behind the neck. Chi's love to burrow, so they love any enclosed space that makes them feel warm and snug.

Rhy has a different idea of "warm and snug" that includes Lucca playing baby in her stroller. I love the look on his face here ... "HELP ME!"

Pretty girl, all dressed up, with her furry baby!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Stawberry Fields Forever

Nate took a week of vacation in mid June and we spent most of it doing fun things around home. One afternoon, we decided to go pick strawberries, since it's that time of year again, and make strawberry jam. We had such a blast, even though it was nearly 100 degrees! And we got an entire flat of strawberries for only $16!

Big Girl Bike!

On June 17, at age 3, Rhy had her first try on a BIG GIRL bike! Her old toddler bike broke, so we let her try out her bigger bike, which we scored at a police bike sale for $10. Soon enough, she was peddling after her brothers and chanting "I'm a BIG girl!" as she rode in circles on the driveway! Way to go baby girl!

On the Farm

Early Summer on the farm is a lovely place to be. We took a wandering walk through Uncle Carl's property in early June and shot some photos of the kids and the flowers.

Sweet Rhy with a bunch of rye. Ironic, yes? :)

I couldn't get over all the wildflowers -- so much yellow and purple, like an explosion of tiny, colorful stars all over the grass.

All my kids picking rye from the vineyard. They were determined to go home, pound it out and make bread. That didn't happen, but it was still fun to watch them.

The very last of the spring asparagus was still shooting through the ground in early June. It's sooooo good to just pick it right out of the ground and crunch into it. So sweet!

A birdhouse my grandfather built that still hangs in my great-grandfather's (now belonging to my great uncle) farm.

So many flowers to pick, so little time!

Trying Something New

I've been playing around with paint this summer. I expressed a wish, a few years ago, to someday take a painting class. This summer, the Krasl art center in town was offering a class. I thought it was too decadent to sign up for, but Nate, being such an awesome guy, signed me up for it without telling me. So for Wednesdays in June, I enjoyed two hours in the evening playing around with paint. Here are a few of the creations I came up with.

This is Tosi's, the coffee shop my family loves to visit.

This is the Dairy Korner, another landmark that the Harrmanns love -- Cheap ice cream cones and just a short walk from our house, you can't beat that!

Finally ,this is a blurry shot of Lake Michigan just off the shore of Silver Beach last 4th of July. I love how the lake looks like a sea of floating lights and the lighthouse glimmers ... I just HAD to try and paint it!

Random Cuteness

Here are some random photos from this summer, where my kiddos were being especially sweet and photogenic. :)

My cuties downtown St. Joe, enjoying the new farm animal statues that the city put on every corner.

Rhy plays with her best buddy Abby. Their favorite game is dress-up of course!

I caught Ash and Rhy watching TV like this the other day. I thought it was just so sweet!!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Last Day of School

Here are my kiddos on Gabe's last day of school. Next year, Asher will be in Kindergarten and Gabe will be a FOURTH grader! I can hardly believe it. And yes, my baby girl is tattooed in the first photo. But they are just temporary tattoos. :)