Here is our monthly portrait of the six of us (thank you, Haley)!

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This is sure going to be a fun mini book when we are done with the year...a portrait a month.

The bossy mummy yelled, "Kiss whoever you can!" My kids are smoochers. They have no choice whatsoever. We don't believe in much personal space around here. If you are my child and you have cheeks, you get kissed.

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This month Ruby finished school. Her teacher was a gem. She challenged our girl, enjoyed her personality, and put her thumb on her when the "sillies" came out too much. When we ran by after the last day of school as Ruby left her sunglasses there, her teacher threw her arms around her and said, "My Ruby!!" There's nothing, nothing like having a teacher love my kid like that. What a blessing! Rube's been enjoying sleeping in and crafting in her p.j. 's in the morning. She's been devouring a novel or two a day and is soldiering through my boxes of novels from when I taught. She also is working on her swimming at lessons, commenting that she likes the "tips" her teachers give her.

Jasper is loving his swimming lessons too. From the first day of gingerly putting his lips on top of the water to blow bubbles to dunking his head, he's making progress. He's been setting up his Little People into hilarious situations...just love listening to those conversations. He's also carefully monitoring Tymen, too, and sometimes setting him up to get in trouble, we've realized.

Tymen needs no help getting into stuff. He is just fine at that skill. Throwing bark all over my roses, windexing new photo prints that I had made, spraying my perfume "Pleasures" all over himself. His mummy does not feel much pleasure upon finding such new discoveries. The thing about Tymen, though, is he is so sweet and affectionate that I can't be steamed with him for long. Today he perched on the edge of the tub in my bathroom as I got ready and beamed at me as he said, "You my beautiful mama." I told Ben that maybe on the rough days, I should just take out some of his college money for a spa day for me...so that he can make it to college....

The baby. I just gave an update on Theo for his eight month birthday. He is just pure sugar.

Ben made a trip to Illinois this month to visit a great aunt who wanted to hand off some family knowledge and papers. He brought her flowers and came back delighted to have spent the time with her. We celebrated Father's Day, of course, though poor Ben had to share the day with his wife's birthday too :) . One of the things that I did this year was to interview the kids on video about things like Daddy's favorite food, what makes him happy, what he likes to do, etc. It was hilarious, as you would expect. I couldn't be more pleased that he is the daddy to my kids. Here are a few shots from that day with his crazies who clearly adore him.

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I've been enjoying my life. Yes, there are many days when I am glad to toss kidlets in bed at the end of a long one, but I feel like the simple pleasures of reading books together, chatting at the island while I make dinner, and laughing at silly made up jokes makes me thankful. I also feel like filling my own cup and taking time to read, perusing photo blogs, visiting with friends, having time with my husband, and taking pictures for the sheer pleasure of it just makes me happy. We are getting ready to go on holidays tomorrow and are having our kitchen redone while we are gone. Wahoooooo! I am so excited to see what it looks like at the end. It will be a huge overhaul. We are going to the beach to muck in the sand, eat crab, and read books HERE. This year we got really smart too and are bringing two super-sweet-sister-babysitter-lovely-girls with us so Ben and I can actually sit and read a book too. Oh yes, I have been boasting about it to anyone who will listen. I am so thankful they are willing to jump in the fray and grateful to their mom for letting us have them!

July is going to be good!

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