The livin’ is easy

Thank goodness Angie uploads her photos like a responsible parent. Here are some photos from their trip to Utah, and there are a few in there of Nora and Hazel in Spring City, visiting the chickens and playing in the kiddie pool.

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Chapter Books

Guys, Nora loves to read so much. I didn’t think she was ready for chapter books yet, but Jeannie’s birthday gifts (the first of the Junie B. Jones and Secrets of Droon series) got devoured so quickly that we had to start going to the library every week for new volumes of both of those as well as Judy Moody, Amelia Bedelia, and anything by Roald Dahl. At parent teacher conferences, Miss Stacey told us Nora’s reading at DRA level 24, which I think is somewhere around third-grade level. If she’s putting up a stink about going somewhere, all we have to do is offer to let her bring a chapter book, and she’s sold. My heart is bursting for my little smarty-pants reader-girl, and I’m so proud of her. I love hearing her laugh out loud at something she’s just read, and I can’t wait for her to start reading books that take her to exciting, mysterious places, or that challenge and broaden her worldview, or that warm her heart with their tenderness.

But…take it from me, Nora Bean, you can probably wait a few years before reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Lisa: friendship is magic

Thank goodness Dawn, Ian, Jillian, and Andrea answered my call for photos from Nora’s My Little Pony birthday party, since I didn’t get my camera out even once. I do wish we had a photo of the great pony cake Jen made, topped with clouds of cotton candy and silver-sprayed horses. The biggest hit was the real, live pony, Annie–a surprise for Nora. Pony Haven dropped her off for three hours, and we got to lead her around, give all the kids rides, and feed her anything we wanted. She was great. We also let all the kids paint Nora’s tattoo parlor, Valori did some amazing pony-themed face-painting, and my mom and Dawn brought some delicious food. Maureen and Jennilyn helped me put up all the decorations, and everyone brought Nora such fun gifts. Thank you, everybody!!

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Here are two of my favorite photos, which show the Rainbow Dash and Apple Jack costumes a little bit better. Nora’s birthday wish was that she and Alex could have homemade pony costumes to wear at the party, so I put those together (and now she has some awesome pony dress-ups to play with any time). I wish you could see the cutie marks and other details better.

Zoe leads Annie for Alex

Apple Jack rides a pony

The Teenager Room

Nora loves the “teenager room” at Grandma’am’s new library. Especially the chairs.

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Rocky Shores

We ventured out to Hogle Zoo today to see the new Rocky Shores exhibit with Jami and Alex. Alex brought all his bears to meet Rizzo.

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New candidate for Toddler Animal Prom? I believe so.

Grandparents are the best

Nora and Hazel love Dawn and Bill so much.

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Hazel’s three S’s

Here’s what Hazel is best at right now: sitting, spitting, and smiling. These pictures fortunately captured all three.

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When I took these photos of Hazel this afternoon, I couldn’t help but think of this set of Nora. They’re about the same age, and in the same spot in our backyard. How did I get so lucky to have two such amazing girls?

Star of the Week

This year, Nora’s preschool teacher, Miss Terry, focused on one kid per week, helping the class learn all about that child’s favorite things. On the last day of the week, everybody comes prepared to say something they like about him or her, family is invited to come and do the same, and it all gets written on a big poster. It’s adorable and silly and touching, and there are pictures of me crying to prove it.

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Here are the details from Nora’s poster.

Favorite number: 1000
Favorite shape: triangle
Favorite planet: Saturn
Favorite color: black
Favorite animal: zebra
Favorite movie: My Little Pony
Favorite book: In a Dark, Dark Room
Favorite activity at school: markers
Favorite treat: bubble gum
Favorite place: home
Favorite season: winter
What she wants to be when she grows up: ballerina, astronaut, and chef

Nora: I like how I play with my sister Hazel.
Piper: I like Nora because she’s so silly!
Hendrix: I like Nora because she’s very smart. I like to play animals with her.
Andrew: I like Nora because she is gentle and plays nicely.
Elise: I like that Nora is truthful.
Charlie: I like Nora because she’s kind and smart.
Beka: I like how she paints. I like how smart she is.
Ruby: She’s always ready to play when I ask.
Kai: I like Nora because she is friendly and I had a campfire with her.
Alex: Nora is one of my best friends. She shares her toys with me. I like getting slurpees with Nora. Sometimes we get angry and fight, but we are still always friends.
Zoe: I like Nora because she can be really fun. I like that Nora keeps her chair quiet during snack. I like Nora because she has the best imagination!

Grandsir: I like Nora because she is good at tricking. We like to play tricks on each other. I love Nora’s imagination!
Grandma Alison: I love how funny Nora can be. She is so good at making me laugh. She is hilarious when she does her belly roll!
Dad: Nora is my best friend. I love to play with her and I love the things that she says to me. The other day at McDonalds she was explaining to another child that she couldn’t go really fast down the slide because there was too much friction!
Mom: I love how Nora likes to figure out really big, long, new words to use. I love how big her vocabulary is. I also love that she is very tenderhearted. She’s like me in that way, especially toward her little sister Hazel! I love how sometimes she will cry at the end of a movie because it has a happy ending!
Teacher Terry: I love how Nora thinks outside of the box. She is always thinking of different ways to see things! She makes me laugh with all the cool words she uses.


After a few years of wanting to be a princess with long, flowing hair, Nora had had enough of brushing and decided to go back to a short haircut. She wanted to get a bowl cut like Alex‘s, but I talked her into a still-short but girlier bob just in time.

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Zoo Lights

We wanted to go to Zoo Lights with Sarah before she moved, so to Zoo Lights we went–coldest night of the year be damned! Valori met us for a little of what she does best–Hazel wrangling. Luckily the temperature only added to Nora’s natural ferocity.

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