Wednesday, March 26, 2014

tongue window washing Ezra

After dinner one evening last week while I was washing up, I looked over and saw Ezra at the back door doing this:

I quickly dried my hands, grabbed the camera and headed outside to the other side of the glass. Ezra was glad to see me there.

And he resumed washing windows. It just gets better and better. 

Contemplative tongue. 

Combined nose and tongue smash. 

Now we're getting interesting. Falling down the window tongue? 

Screaming tongue? He could almost be calling for Samuel... or throwing up.

At any rate, Samuel came over. I hope these two get along well. If Samuel's recent behavior to Ezra is any indication of the future, then they'll be fighting before we know it! So far Ezra doesn't seem to mind though :)

Evie reads and labels

As I've mentioned before, Evie's reading book has occasional games. It's nice to break out of the mold sometimes, even if it is more work. It's fun to see her excited about it.

Last week Evie was reviewing the long-a words she has been learning. We wrote down 20 different words and after she read each one she had to place it on an item that made sense to her. A week later I still have the little labels on my oven (bake), dining room chairs (break, place), washing machine (shakes), calendar (May, nail), window screen (ray) and more!

Here she is modeling "brain," "vein," "waist," "great" on her backpack, and a "thumb" for me.

Samuel is very eager to take part as well. He likes his sister. She plays with him. Noah is much more aloof with him. Poor Samuel. I have hopes for he and Ezra.

Samuel likes baseball

Samuel loves balls. It's one of the earliest words he could say. A couple weeks ago Terry was out back teaching him how to play baseball. I think Samuel might be our little athlete.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

snowman killer 2

This last weekend I took some funny pictures of Evie outside with the remnants of a snowman. It reminded me of another snowman when she was just a little wee-thing at about 18 months... 

Terry made this snowman for Noah and Evie in Gothenburg in October of 2009. Strange to think those two punks were the only two we had. Look how cute!!

A couple weeks later our "1st snow man" had melted down to a pretty pitiful pile, with his body parts strewn around him like a backyard battlefield. I just love how she picked up his arm and poked him with it. I said, "And she kills him with his own arm." 

Fast forward four and a half years. Last weekend I looked outside to find her literally beating the brains and guts out of what was left of this snowman with a baseball bat. Look at her vindictive pleasure.

Clearly the girl does not like snowmen. Look at her face!

Ezra masters climbing

The first week of March Ezra was just starting to play on and climb up the bottom-most stair. We turned around a week later and found him nearly at the top! The force is strong with this one. That's why he's Yoda on the back of my van.

Now he requires two gates - one barring him from going/falling down and one preventing him from going up. Cute little stinker.

Ezra high centered

I'm a terrible mommy. I promise I rescued him right after I took this photo. I couldn't help but grab the camera!

Ezra begins to climb

After Ezra did this a couple weeks ago, I guess it was only a matter of time before he decided he had to try the next level. Literally. The next level of the house by way of the stairs. Our house is ALL stairs. So now we live in a gated community. All these milestones are coming too fast for me!

Snap and Ezra behind bars

"Can't a dog get a break here?! I'm just trying to eat."

And Ezra's all innocent, "What?" We used to keep Snap's food there next to the back patio door. But since Ezra is so fond of army crawling under the table, it wasn't long before he found those round and yummy new toys. After this incident and the many that preceded it, we decided to move Snap's food down to the laundry room. The little stinker.

Ezra pulling up

Two and a half weeks ago when Ezra pulled himself up on this toy box, it was new, exciting and impressive. I had to stop what I was doing to grab the camera to capture it. I'm glad I did because now it's old hat, he's doing it all the time! What happened to my little baby?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

speech therapy for Samuel

I mentioned in my last post, where I copied and pasted our 2013 Christmas letter, that I was doing so, in part, to reference an update about Samuel's speech. I'll do that now. 

In our Christmas letter I mentioned how caveman Samuel was starting to talk very slowly and did a lot of grunting. He can communicate and so it's not like he can't talk at all. In fact he does quite of a bit of jabbering, it's just that a lot of it is unintelligible. Then of course, some of it is understandable. It just depends. And we'd noticed that he was very slowly getting a little better with his words. 

At any rate, I had spoken to our doctor about this about Samuel a few months earlier but she was not concerned and said we'd reevaluate at his three year check. Well Samuel turned three on February 1st and at his checkup the doctor referred him for speech therapy. It was kind of a relief. I felt like then at least we could help him. 

So on February 18th he had a speech evaluation done by a speech therapist at Children's Care. She thought he had a lot of words and definitely wanted to communicate, but was leaving off the ends of most of his words. She also wasn't convinced that he could hear properly. I didn't think that was an issue, and neither did the doctor at his checkup (I asked especially about that), but the speech therapist  wanted to be absolutely sure. She did a hearing test that said to have him referred. 

So on February 28th Samuel saw an audiologist with the school district where he was evaluated. He did great. He sat in this sound proof little room with me and wore headphones without a single complaint and followed all of her instructions. Here he is pointing at the pictures of the words she's telling him in the earphones.

He passed the two tests she administered to him and then also passed this final test as well. I can't remember what all she tested, but it was all variety of pitches and he was in the clear. 

That was good news. So just this week (March 10th), Samuel finally began his speech therapy. It was pretty basic, a lot more simple than I thought it would be. She had him match picture shapes to a simple wooden puzzle and try to say the words of each piece - cat, dog, phone, etc. He couldn't put the piece where it went until he made a good attempt at each word. He got most of the sounds but left off the ends of words. He struggled with the "n,t and c" sound for sure, especially at the ends of words. She told me that it wasn't just laziness on his part, but a legitimate problem that lots of kids have. So then she gave Terry and I homework too - to work on really enunciating our words to Samuel and to try to get him to repeat things back to us. So we'll do that and if you see Samuel you can too. :) And hopefully all of this will help!

And yet he's been coming along on his own too. Just today he was sneaking up on me like a ferocious dog or cat and when he made a swipe at me said, "I got you." And I could totally understand him! That's progress for Samuel. 

Update complete.

2013 Christmas letter

Okay, so this post is very late. I had been meaning to post our 2013 Christmas letter before now but kept forgetting, obviously. I'm only now getting around to it so I can mention, in another post, an update about Samuel's speech. I'm sorry if you didn't receive one of these in real paper and picture form, but, yeah, you know how it goes. Stinking postage.

Merry Christmas from the Six Pack of Biers!

Our new title is all thanks to little Mr. Ezra Benjamin Biers’ timely arrival on May 31, 2013. We prayed and prayed for him to come before June 1st when our deductible reset and low and behold, God heard. We were hoping Ezra would live up to what his name means (“Helper”) and so far he does. He is a wonderful, happy baby (and also our first thumb sucker). He’s been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks and is working on sitting up. We are all crazy about him.

Samuel is two (3 on Feb. 1) and is working on potty training, very slowly. He’s also working on talking, very slowly. His new nickname (besides Destroyer Baby) is Caveman. He grunts a lot. It makes us laugh. He’s a fun, intense boy. The most memorable thing about Samuel this year was when he ran away at Canyon Lake during a party. He was found minutes later near the largest pond in the park by a stranger who disappeared (I really wonder if he was a guardian angel).

Evie is five (6 on Mar. 31) and has started Kindergarden at home with Noah and I this year. She’s doing great with her reading and math. She also started Sparks at Awana which she enjoys, mostly for the social aspects (she sure loves her friends). She very much enjoyed Homeschool Co-op for the same reason. She’s such a silly, crazy, fun little girl.

Noah is eight (9 on Apr. 19) and working on getting ahead in 2nd grade so he can join his friends in 3rd grade. Noah’s memorization skills in Truth and Training are pretty impressive. Last year he was involved in a chess class that Terry taught at an elementary school. He also completed some swimming lessons. He’s such a good boy. Seriously.

As for Terry and I, we worked hard (okay, Terry worked very hard) on finishing our basement this year. It’s wonderful to have that area available for the kids now (“Go downstairs, you’re too loud!”). He also finished a new bedroom for Noah and Samuel. Now we have some much needed space for the kids to utilize. My job is pretty straightforward - take care of the four punks. And educate them. And break up fights. I’m thankful for the respite care my folks occasionally provide - haha. 

We’ve had a lot of snow this year, which the kids and grass have loved. Thankfully our power was out only for one day during blizzard Atlas. We also had three big snow storms in the spring and somehow managed to visit my brother and his wife Ana in Watertown in between. They moved back to Rapid City this fall and it’s so great to have them here. My sister Stephanie visited from Washington in September. Terry’s sister Shari and her husband Jesse had their second child just last week - Sarah Lynn. Now Grandma and Grandpa Biers’ grandkids are evened out: 3 boys and 3 girls. No others for the Kveene side yet!

We are so thankful for the Lord’s provision this year. Terry is loving his job at Parkview E-Free and I am so happy to be able to stay home with the four punks. We wish you blessings this year and that the light of the Lord would shine on you. 

The Six Pack of Biers (

This is the photo we included with the letter.

Evie reads to Samuel

Just over a week ago, when Noah and I descended into the school room to start his table work, we found Evie and Samuel like this: 

Seriously, how cute is that?! I don't know if it was her idea or his, but she read to him of her own volition for quite a while. She is coming along with her reading, but I'm pretty sure she was just going off of what her memory of what the book said. She was right on though.

risk and zhu zhu's

During his day off on the last day of February, Terry decided to teach the kids how to play the game of Risk. It was mandatory, even though Evie whined quite a bit. I don't like the game or understand the lure of it so I understand where Evie was coming from. But Terry sure loves it. Noah likes it okay and will grow into it I think.

And this is what Ezra thinks of Risk:

He was having fun playing on the floor with the moving Zhu Zhu pet hamsters while the big kids played at the table. Notice the red rash under his lip? That's the callous he's developed from sucking his thumb! Not sure if it's from the thumb or the afghan he holds while sucking. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

mud hole adding

Just as I was finishing up my last two posts on this beautiful melting snow day, when Destroyer baby Samuel came in from outside and presented me with an adding problem to share. 

What do you get when you add this: 

...Add this mud hole: 

...together with these muddy boots? 

Answer: Muddy foot prints across the carpet! 

Yay for Norwex!

dessert for Ezra

 Ezra had sort of a slow start to eating solid foods, with us even resorting to feeding him like a calf just over a month ago. But somewhere in between, he caught on. He really horks it down now (Ratatouille anyone?). So after he's done devouring whatever we've eaten that I blended up for him, he likes to have a little dessert, especially if it's the little freeze dried yogurt bites. Look at him pulling my loaded hand into his mouth! The kids thought it was so great that they took turns feeding him. Who needs a pet when you have a baby (sorry Snap)?!

Yogurt bites? What joy! He's a salivating mess.

Yogurt bite drool... Yummy. 

Evie and Ezra and a ball

Two weeks ago (Feb. 19) while Noah and I were sitting on the couch doing his reading for school, Evie and Ezra were playing with the pink ball. She's biting it and Ezra's liking that.

"Let me in on this fun ball business. What is this stuff attached to your head Evie? Why won't it come off so I can play with it? Oh well. I guess I can still play with it while it's attached."

"Look, we can put our heads together over this ball! What would happen if I stuck my tongue out?" Just cuteness Ezra, that's all.  

And there's the money shot.  They are too cute!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Noah flying Ezra

The kids are especially fond of seeing Ezra fly, like here and here. Noah just figured out how to make it  happen without being dependent upon me. He does it himself. I had to grab the camera when he demonstrated his technique. No upper body strength? No problem. He just uses his legs. 

He sure loves his baby brother.

sewing and patching

Terry and his folks got me a sewing machine for Christmas. I've been wanting and needing one to mend various things, but mostly jeans. Prior to this I had been using my mom's sewing machine but towing along four kids and nap time schedules and school wasn't so convenient. Hence the gift!

So here's a post about patching jeans. I am so lame.

Evie's beloved skinny jeans got a hole in them.

After discovering that her jeans are too skinny to fit over my sewing arm, I took the hem out so it would fit over the arm.  

I had the idea of patching them with the back pocket of some other jeans that were beyond repair. They had really cute embroidered back pockets. 

It worked! The skinny jeans will live another three months and then be done forever. Was it worth it? I'm not sure.  

But I think it's cute.