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Okay…..so my three daughters are playing in their room with the door locked….suddenly it gets very, very, very quiet. Curiousity gets the best of me so I knock on the door and here’s what I found….

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Celebration time!

In honor of Lydia’s one year anniversary spent with us….we all went to celebrate by watching the circus last night and eating at Red Lobster.  Jeff’s birthday is this week, too, so the Red Lobster request was from him🙂

Lydia loves animals and she particularly enjoyed the elephants, tigers, and horses.  In fact when the tigers left the ring, she said, “Tiger, bye bye….” then had a cute little pout on her face!

Here are some pics….

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Here is another one of my favorite pictures of Lydia I took just the other day…..

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It’s already been one year since we first got to hold our sweet little Lydia!  Today is the official anniversary of our “Gotcha day” and we’ve never been the same since🙂 I think about those first few days of when I was wondering if she was autistic because she was so quiet and scared and did not say a single peep.  Wow….now she babbles all day long and recently has started saying lots of words.  She always makes us laugh because she loves imitating the last word of our sentences.  So when we say, “Lydia, are you a parrot?”  She’ll say, “Parrot….parrot…parrot.”  Cracks us up every time!  I remember her twisting off child-proof medicine caps with ease when she was barely over a year old.  I remember the look of delight when she first tasted a banana.  I am not for sure that she even chewed it up on the way down!  Then she started crying because I wouldn’t let her eat the peel!

Now she’s running, jumping, and doing sommersaults on the floor.  She loves playing “lion and tiger” with Nathan.  And then there’s hide and seek.  She just covers her eyes and thinks no one else can “find” her.

One of our favorite times with Lydia is when we pray before dinner.  She prays with one eye open and one eye shut.  We didn’t realize that when we were praying, we were all looking at her with one  eye open just to see what she was doing.  So now, she thinks that when we pray, you always keep one eye open.  It’s absolutely hilarious🙂

Here are some of our favorite pics of her!

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Lauren's classmates whom all ADORE Lydia :)

Lauren's classmates whom all ADORE Lydia🙂

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Here are some pics from our recent trip to Montana!  We had no access to cell phones, internet, TV, and even local phones!!!  Now I call that a vacation!

First stop was Chimney Rock, NE to check out this famous Oregon Trail site….

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

Then, of course, we had to see for ourselves how deep those wagon ruts were, along with the carvings on the rock made by the pioneers….

Wagon Ruts

Wagon Ruts

Pioneer names...

Pioneer names...

We have a hunch that the above autograph might be one of our relatives – wouldn’t that be cool???!!!  That is exactly how the Carsons signed their names – with that beautiful “C”!

Two tuckered kiddos!!!!!

Two tuckered kiddos!!!!!

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Did I mention that we DROVE over 5,000 miles on this trip???  It was a tiny bit squished with all of us plus my mom, but we all got along just fine🙂

We stopped at Great Falls, MT to see an amazing museum about Lewis and Clark, and also tried to imagine them portaging their canoes along the falls.  In that area is the world’s smallest river, the Roe River.  It flows 200 feet between Great Springs and the MO River.  It’s really neat.  Mom just HAD to get a little sample of that river for my brother, Dave…..do you think it’s legal???  We teased her about it all the time!

Lewis and Clark Museum in Great Falls, MT

Lewis and Clark Museum in Great Falls, MT

The lengths my mom will go to.... :)

The lengths my mom will go to....🙂

World's Smallest River

World's Smallest River

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Probably one of the highlights of the trip, believe it or not, was watching this snake devour a fish!!!!  We watched it for about a half hour – great entertainment, eh???  I think the fish looks a little stressed…..

Our next stop was Choteau, MT, where I ran in the Grizzly Marathon.  It was a great little town – beautiful scenery with tons of ranch land to run through.  Just a slight problem….it was 24 miles of GRAVEL!

Scenery along the route of the marathon

Scenery along the route of the marathon

More scenery along the marathon route....BEAUTIFUL!

More scenery along the marathon route....BEAUTIFUL!

Lydia running to greet me at the finish line!

Lydia running to greet me at the finish line!

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As we left Chouteau and headed to Glacier National Park, Lydia fell asleep with some gummy bears in her mouth.  I had no idea how many she’d stuffed into her mouth until they started coming out one by one.  We all laughed until we cried as they continued to emerge from the depths of her mouth🙂
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We went with some friends of ours, the Hales, to Glacier National Park and here are some things we did there!  I am ready to MOVE there asap!!!!!!!!

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Nathan actually went swimming in this 40 degree water!

Lydia and Grammy skipping rocks in the stream

Lydia and Grammy skipping rocks in the stream

So did Rebekah!

Rebekah decided to take a dip, too!

Lauren enjoyed collecting rocks and making channels for the water to flow!

Lauren enjoyed collecting rocks and making channels for the water to flow!

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We all hiked about five miles total to see this beautiful lake and the surrounding waterfalls!

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Then a few of us made the ten mile trek over the Siyeh pass in Glacier, which included a 2000 foot climb.  It was an absolutely  stunning view at the top!  Along the way, we saw marmots, big horn sheep, mountain goats, SNOW, innumerable varieties of wildflowers, but unfortunately no bears😦

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Finally at the top!

Finally at the top!

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We also rode horses and went white water rafting in Glacier…..then begrudgingly, we all had to head home :(  We stopped by Buffalo Jump State Park and the Headwaters of the Missouri River near Three Forks, MT , too.

Buffalo Jump State Park

Buffalo Jump State Park

Headwaters of the MO River

Headwaters of the MO River

On the way home, Lydia developed what we affectionately call ACSSS – Acute Car Seat Stress Syndrome.  This syndrome made her scream at the top of her lungs for, sometimes, hours at a time.  So we ended up stopping by a Walgreens and buying some hot orange colored ear plugs!  That made her more mad because I think she thought it was candy since it was so brightly colored and she didn’t get any!  Anyhow….I’ll choose to end with this picture of the vacation instead of Lydia crying🙂

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, whaddya know?  Miss Twinkle toes made it into the pool this week – hurray!!!   Now she cries when we leave!  She is really enjoying playing in the kiddie pool and even “tries” to swim like Nathan, Lauren, and Rebekah since she watches them on the swim team.   I finally did have some batteries in the camera – so here they are!

Lydia's pool debut!

Lydia's pool debut!

Getting braver!!!

Getting braver!!!

Lydia had to cross many "sprinklers" to get to this point!

Lydia had to cross many "sprinklers" to get to this point!

In other news,  Nathan did really well at the State Track Meet in Hutchinson, KS.  He placed third in the softball throw, tenth in the long jump, and third in the 4X100 relay.  Here are a few pics from that meet:

Lauren at a recent swim meet

Lauren at a recent swim meet

New words :)

I was encouraged by my friend, Ruth’s, suggestion of letting this blog be a scrapbook of sorts for Lydia.  In spite of my best efforts to scrapbook my children’s every moment, it has just not happened!   I started out well, but have not scrapbooked in about 2 years🙂

So….I thought I’d write out all of Lydia’s words she’s learned and can say fairly well:  bubble and Momma (by far her best two!),  dajie (Chinese for older sister), gege (Chinese for older brother), yes and no (oh great……).  Of course she can’t reproduce them on command.  Everything is only on her schedule and when it suits her best….

She loves to spin and twirl to any type of music but Toby Mac is one of her favorites.  I think we’ve influenced her a tad, though!

Nathan won a spot to compete in the baseball throw at the Kansas State Track meet next Saturday.  So he has been practicing a lot outside on our street.  Almost every day, he draws a chalk line and throws about 15 throws.  Then we measure to see how far he’s thrown.  Lydia watches us all the time.  After observing for several days, she decided to go and get the ball for herself.   She went to the chalk line, did the same windup Nathan does, then threw the ball all of about two inches.  Nathan and I laughed until we sobbed!!!  She’s such an observant little gal!

Twinkle Toes

Well, little Miss Twinkle Toes went swimming today for the first time.   The most she did was stick her big toe into the water and fountains.   Any splashes of water on the face was greeted with a frown or scowl.  She hung onto my finger until it practically turned blue :-)  But I know that by summer’s end, she’ll be jumping in like everyone else!  And wouldn’t you know….my camera batteries were shot and I didn’t get any pictures!  I’ll take some next time and post them.