Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Great Spring Fake-out of 2017

Hi Friends!

Life at the Yousef house has been full of energy and noisy kids in the past few months!  We had some amazing February weather, hitting a high of about 75*.  It was amazing!  We walked the zoo in short-sleeves, played in the yard, rode our bikes, only to wake up with snow on the ground the next morning!  I guess that's just the mid-west's way of saying "Spring Is Here!!! Oh wait....I think another round of winter would be more fun!"  Ha!

We have been busy with our little clan in the past few months, celebrating a few birthdays this winter, and anticipating our biggest birthday of the year in about a week!  I'll leave that celebration for another post!

Jonas has two very wiggly teeth that are the talk of the day.  He is eagerly anticipating when they will finally fall out!  He is continuing to amaze us, as he is learning Piano in the past few months!  My Christmas present this year was a Beautiful electric Casio Piano, and what an amazing gift it has been!  So far, he has learned (by ear) lots of little songs, including "Happy Birthday", "Row, Row, Row your Boat", and "Twinkle, Twinkle, little star".  But what really blew us away is how he picked up on the melody line of some of the more advanced songs that I have been practicing, particularly "Fur Elise" and "the Entertainer".  He definitely has a good ear for music, and we hope to get him into lessons sometime soon to help develop this new-found love!  Steve and I have tried a few times to help him learn to read music, but I think our patience and ability to sit and really help him develop a musical talent are lacking.  Regardless, It's been really fun to watch him learn!

Joelle has begun to show her little mini-mom side so much more!  She adores her little brother, and is constantly nearby him!  Sometimes, I can hardly get him to nurse because she wants to stand right by me.  She is just so sweet with him, though, and we love to watch her care for him and love on him!  She has really taken to putting together Lego sets, and enjoys the tiny detailed pieces.  She has been insisting for the past few months that she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up, and I just love watching her twirl and spin to music!  It's kinda embarrassing to say, but my 4 year old has better dance skills than me!

Jaina is still our little spit-fire of a child.  She has quite a flare of drama in her, and she brings so much laughter to our family!  Her silly faces and sayings just make our day! The most recent obsession is singing "Let It Go" at the top of her lungs whenever she picks up an Elsa doll.  She started singing the song before she ever watched Frozen!  And now she continues, because she knows it will make us all laugh!  She is quite a sweetie, though, and loves to give hugs and kisses.  Bedtime is full of choosing her favorite animal to sleep with, and most days Steve and I just let her sleep with the fifteen quadrillion animals that she wants in her bed with her!  It is so sweet, though, to walk in when she is asleep, and barely being able to see her underneath all of the animals!

Jaiden is our little adventurer who has recently discovered the amazing power of crawling!  He is everywhere now, and is so darn proud of himself!  I hear pretty consistently that he has great lung capacity, and our ears would agree!  But there is only so much that a 9 1/2 month old can understand about the word "no".  Usually when he screams and breaks the sound barrier, we tell him "no" and he giggles and smiles and thinks its a game.  We are eager for him to learn words and begin communicating more effectively with us!  He is quite a little sweetie, though, and loves to give hugs and kisses.  He is eating lots of new foods these days, and the recent favorites are cheese and fruit!  Jaiden has lots of new teeth, and I'm glad that teething seems to be temporarily over!  I can hardly believe that soon he will be a year old already!

Steve and I have been doing really well and are so thankful for a mild winter (even though the kids would disagree!).  Steve has started a few projects around the house, one of the bigger ones that we are really excited for is the water softener that he is going to add to our garage!  He is doing an excellent job, and we will be so glad when it is complete!  Hopefully we will also be able to add a fence to our summer projects!  It's so fun to have a home that we can work on together and projects that we can plan and organize and see from start to finish.  This summer will be the 3 yr mark of living in our home, and it is starting to finally feel like home!  I have worked on a few painting projects for the kids, and some photo projects for our home.  It's fun to start getting the kids rooms decorated!  My next project that I will hopefully be able to do sometime in the next year or so is the kid's bathroom!  It's completely a blank canvas, so I'm excited to get to put some paint on the walls and maybe some other fun things too!

Here are some updated pictures of the kids.  Life has been busy with 4 (as you can imagine!) and I am not able to post as often as I was before, but I will continue to try to keep you all updated on our little family!