This year I made a book for myself and the two sisters who have children. I decoupaged a picture of Santa (Grammy's was much more modern, but I couldn't find it) onto blank sketchbooks and then glued the requisite cotton ball to the front.
23 December 2009
This year I made a book for myself and the two sisters who have children. I decoupaged a picture of Santa (Grammy's was much more modern, but I couldn't find it) onto blank sketchbooks and then glued the requisite cotton ball to the front.
21 December 2009
20 December 2009
15 December 2009
14 December 2009
13 December 2009
12 December 2009
11 December 2009
09 December 2009
07 December 2009
06 December 2009
05 December 2009
04 December 2009
03 December 2009
02 December 2009
01 December 2009
If you'd like to see more photos in the December photo project, start here.
30 November 2009
29 November 2009
28 November 2009
:: Little Emmeliese learned how to crawl and Mama finally let her eat her first real food. She's also doing some dancing (shaking her head, moving her body up and down, waving arms and legs) whenever she hears any music. The other day, I walked in the dining room and my baby girl was standing by her highchair which she had used to pull herself up. And she's sleeping better -- usually waking up only once a night since we moved her into her own room (thank the Lord!) She's growing up so fast!
:: Daniel has started drawing faces and the other day he colored orange in the middle of the flame of a candle picture. I thought that was cool. He and Annalivia are sharing a room right now and he likes that. He was glad to give his room to Emmeliese. He always takes such good care of her. And he and Annalivia have been playing really well together.
:: Annalivia has been very good about sharing her room, though she'd prefer that she and Daniel have the bunk beds we'll eventually borrow from my aunt instead of beds on the floor. We took her out of preschool at the beginning of the month and she has adjusted well to being home. I like it. She's an incredible big sister most of the time to both Daniel and Emmeliese. I'm trying to be more intentional about having special time alone with her. One day this month, we got home from our church's Kids Club and decided to have an adventure. We went and got ice cream and then I showed her the Big Dipper and the Milky Way. It was really neat.
:: Dennis has been making some progress on the house and we've experienced a renewed enthusiasm for it since we became members of the Old House Society in Bloomington. They operate an architectural salvage warehouse that made both of our hearts beat faster.
:: I've been working on some Christmas presents and looking forward to another handmade Christmas with our families. I am very thankful for my family's approach to Christmas -- handmade, edible or inexpensive presents are not only appreciated but encouraged. I love that.
:: We had a great Thanksgiving with the family. We did a progressive dinner throughout the day with pate at my sisters, dinner at my mom's and pie at my grandfather's. It was lovely. The food was wonderful. I keenly missed, missed, missed my Grammy. But, in a way, those emotions made the day much more poignant and meaningful.
:: We are still loving our experiences at our new church and are so thankful that God led us there. Annalivia is having an incredible mid-week experience, the kids are both loving Sunday school and getting ready for a Christmas program this coming month, Dennis has had some really neat experiences with an active, viable, focused men's ministry, and I got to meet some neat people at the Beth Moore event and am looking forward to some women's ministry events this coming month, too. And Dennis and I love, love, LOVE our Sunday School class and the challenging, invigorating discussions we experience there.
:: I'm going to try to post more often during December. I'm ready for Advent and already anticipating Incarnation. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
09 November 2009
08 November 2009
-- I went to a Beth Moore Living Proof event this week, fully embracing the evangelical side of myself. Dang, was it good! She is such an energetic speaker and draws very cool connections. The subject of her talk was John the Baptist and it was fascinating. And it was illuminative when applied to my own life. I had heard her on the radio before, but had not seen her. She reminded me of several southern-woman friends. It was lovely. I had such an incredible experience, that I'm going to try to go back next year.
-- At the Beth Moore thing, I sat next to a woman from Chicago. She ended up being a homeschooling mother of 4 whose children have the same exact age range of mine. It was SO cool! She was my partner for a final commissioning thing that was very moving. We exchanged email address and facebook info and I think we will be spiritual friends.
-- I also got to hang out with some women from our new church and had a good time getting to know them better. It was just a lot of fun, though they were very worried about me driving down to the conference by myself, sitting by myself and rooming by myself. I explained that this sort of solitude really WAS a gift. Really. No, REALLY, chicas. Although it was just wonderful to get to know these very cool women, time alone was G-O-O-D!!
-- The weather was incredible this week. We've had so much rain this fall -- flooding and crops waterlogged in the field. This week has been so amazing -- sunny and in the high 50's, low 60's. Then this weekend it was in the mid-70's. This coming week is supposed to be beautiful, too.
-- We had a great church morning. We've been getting up early and going out to breakfast before going to church. I don't know if it's a wise thing to do that long-term, but it sure is a nice treat and a really special way to begin the morning. Lots of people were gone from church this morning, but we had a great conversation in Sunday School and the sermon was really, really good.
-- Today our yard was blitz-raked by a church youth group. We had 15 kids out there with rakes going crazy. They raked the yards of both elderly neighbors, too, and then moved on down the block, accepting no money -- just serving.
-- Since the youth group was such a help at this house, we went to our new house and raked. I tried tossing the kids into a leaf pile, but they did not appreciate the joy of such. Dennis thought my tenacity was rather remarkable since I refused to believe they were not having fun until they were both sobbing. Sometimes, I'm not the greatest mother ever. ;)
-- Tonight after dinner, we watched the end of a football game and Annalivia and Daniel did some swordfighting a la Narnia. Daniel, as King Peter, was hilariously relentless while Annalivia, as the White Witch or as Queen Susan, tried to pose her swords artistically. Emmeliese sat on the floor and bobbed up and down and watched and laughed at them encouragingly.
-- And now we're all going to bed VERY early! The house is messy, but sleep is a more important priority at this point. Hope your weekend was grand!
05 November 2009
31 October 2009
22 October 2009
20 October 2009
Later in the morning, I sent them outside to play. They had another elaborate game going involving their bikes/ trikes and several stuffed animals in the wagon. They went around to the far side of the house, however, and when I called them back, Annalivia explained that the reason they were over there was because they were discussing their child The Director. What director, I have no idea.
This afternoon, after naps, they were having a snack. I have no idea what they were talking about, but occasionally Daniel would say the word, "butt" and then they would both burst out into uncontrollable laughter. Then they'd get it together again and he'd say it again and they'd laugh hysterically. I pretended like I didn't hear for about 5 times and then came in and told them it we don't say, "butt" as per this post. I may be a hypocrite, but I have good reasons.
And lastly, tonight, after we got home, I worked on Annalivia's Halloween costume a little. I will elaborate more on its providential pieces later. I had to cut some stuff off of a long dress and Annalivia took the pieces and made a gaiter and scarf and headband out of them, told us she was on a "snow skateboard" and then ran around jumping off of things pretending to snowboard. At one point, she was talking about how she wants a snowboard, which she was still calling a "snow skateboard" and Dennis said something about he had a skateboard once. Her eyes grew really big and she looked at him like he was really cool and she said, "You did?" He replied affirmatively. Then she asked, "Is it still in your shed?" Those of you who know about the giant machine shed at his mom's house packed with everything he and his family members have ever owned will know it probably is. I just hope he doesn't have to go looking for it.
18 October 2009
17 October 2009
15 October 2009
14 October 2009
13 October 2009
07 October 2009
I only have three children, but I swear they make the noise of 30. Every thing they do is Loud.
They run Loud. They walk Loud. They sing Loud. They yell Loud. They laugh Loud. They cry Loud. Loud, Loud, LOUD!
Luckily, most of the time, Loud does not bug me much. It's when I ask Annalivia to go ask her brother who is upstairs if he wants a muffin and she stands 6 inches from me and hollers, "DANIEL! DO YOU WANT A MUFFIN?" that I get annoyed. Or when I say, "No, Annalivia, please go ask him if he wants a muffin" and she moves approximately 2 feet and yells, "DANIEL!! I SAID, 'DO YOU WANT A MUFFIN?!?'"
This house does not help. This rental is huge, has wood floors and high ceilings and the house we are redoing is huger, has wood floors, and higher ceilings. I've realized that we need to figure out the volume thing, and pronto. I've started not talking to the kids until they are in front of me. When I was in the hospital with Emmeliese, I got to see that show about the Duggars and saw that they have an intercom system in their house. When we bought the new house and started redoing it, I told Dennis that was going to be a necessary expense. We simply MUST figure out how to bring the volume down. Any ideas from you experienced moms out there?
24 September 2009
22 September 2009
Sweet story -- when I snapped this, he wasn't doing any natural smiling (i.e. he was either staring into the camera or saying "CHEEEEEESE!!"). I asked him what his favorite thing is. He looked up and smiled and said, "Obeying..." *click* :)
Anyway...two sweet things and then some photos...
Annalivia has taken to asking us questions and then prompting the answer in a stage whisper. The first time it happened, she asked me, "How did Jesus maked our food?" I had no idea what she was getting at and told her I didn't understand the question. "He SPOKE, Mommy!" she said in a loud whisper. Turns out, she was talking about Creation. Now I'm constantly quizzed on all matter of subjects but I never have to worry about supplying the answer because she always has one at the ready.
I dropped Annalivia off at my mother's house after preschool the other day for lunch with Daniel and her cousin, Lirah. Daniel was standing at the window and Annalivia shot out of the car screaming, "Hi, Daniel! I'm coming, buddy!"
13 September 2009
We had to go to a visitation up north today, so we had the older two kids stay with my Mom. As we were explaining we were going to a funeral home, Annalivia said, "So... who died today?" As though someone we know dies everyday and it's all old news. I'm going to chalk this up to the fact that we live across from a funeral home and there are always people coming and going from visitations. I hope that's it.
Sunday school today was in the new addition at church. Daniel and Annalivia were also in separate clases for the first time. We've been trying to sell Daniel on being in his "very own classroom!!!" for weeks. It worked well for Sunday School. He went right into the room and started helping the teacher. At Children's Church, he was less enthusiastic, until the teacher pointed out that they had Goldfish snacks. Then he was all about going to his room without Annalivia. (Her room had cupcakes, but we didn't find it necessary to point that out.)
On the way back from the visitation, we were winding down a country road and Dennis spotted a rear-mounted mower on the back of a little tractor about a quarter mile ahead of us. He said, "That's a Woods RM660. You can check if I'm right as I pass it." Then he talked about its 3 spindles and something or other drive shaft and something or other deck. It WAS a Woods RM660. Of course. He's so cute, especially when he knows what he's talking about.
12 September 2009
11 September 2009
Annalivia has taken to asking, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Mom?" or saying, "I think I'm thinking what you're thinking, Mommy." I don't think we've ever been thinking the same thing yet since she's usually thinking about flowers, princesses and/ or kittens.
10 September 2009
Daniel had a dirty diaper right before naps today (around 2). He said, "Don't worry. Daddy can change it!" Yeah, um... Daddy doesn't get home until 5, buddy. That's not going to work too well.
I don't think I've ever mentioned here about Annalivia's prolific drawing. The kid draws CONSTANTLY on everything and if we dare leave a pad of paper out, by the end of the day, it's mostly full of drawings. Her drawings are almost always of girls, usually with long hair, dresses and high-heeled shoes on. I should scan some in sometime. They're amazing, if I do say so myself.
For a while now, when Daniel says "whoopsie-daisy", he says, "Upsie-doozy!" Today, he was singing about the upsie-doozy spider going up the hose and the water coming out. :) He'll learn the real version soon enough.
I keep this list going through the day and keep forgetting to publish these at night. So, here is a backlog of September-remembers, all published this evening. Goodnight!
09 September 2009
Annalivia started Kids' Club tonight. It's a children's ministry program at the church we've been attending. She also started preschool at a different school than she attended last year because she gets to go in the morning. Since the preschool is part of a nursing home facility, the children visited the residents today. Annalivia was excited to tell me that she had been in the place where Grammy Adaline was before she died. Then we had a long conversation about dying and Jesus. The way her little spirit is so open and receptive right now is so amazing to me. I think I'm learning as much as she is.
08 September 2009
Emmeliese is at that delightful age where, if conditions are precisely perfect, she can stand in an exersaucer and play for about 20 minutes. It's wonderful.
Daniel's affection for Emmeliese has not lessened at all since she was born. Often he will come up to her, give her a kiss and say, "Ohhhh, she's cute!" or "She's so pretty!" Sweet boy.
07 September 2009
"I do talk to Daddy a lot," I said. "I don't get to talk to him very much and I get to talk to you two all the time. And he's my husband and I love to talk to him and..."
Annalivia cut me off with "He's your prince!"
It's true. :)
My prince and I realized that he didn't have to work today, so we threw caution to the wind and watched a movie at 10:30 last night. It was practically a date!
Annalivia has been singing "I-lee, I-lee, I-lee" lately. Finally I heard her sing, "That's for me" and it occurred to me that she was singing "The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that's the book for me..."
06 September 2009
05 September 2009
04 September 2009
Last night after we were in bed, Dennis told me very excitedly and enthusiastically about a machine that has a 550 horsepower engine that Case IH makes at the location where he works . I faked enthusiasm and he said, "You really have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?" I don't. I feel sorry for him that he married a wife who has NO CLUE about his interests. Sorry, honey. Hopefully the cooking makes up for it.
We went on a little drive tonight and found an AMAZING homemade ice cream store in a little town near us where the church we've been attending is located. I got an ice cream cone for Dennis with Moose Tracks flavor. It was THE BEST ice cream I've ever, ever had. SOOOOOO delicious and uber-cheap. Wow.
Tonight is the full Corn or Fruit Moon. It was beautiful as it rose. And no, it's not the Harvest Moon because the full moon closest to the fall equinox is the Harvest Moon. That's Oct. 4 this year.
I love fall. The way the light becomes all golden and the shadows lengthen and the mist just seems to hang in the cornfields and the kids in football jerseys marking a home-game seem to get younger and younger... it is a delightful part of life.
03 September 2009
We've been working on practicing cheerfulness instead of fussing and whining. I picked the kids up from my mom's today and Daniel got in the van, sat down and said, "I have a happy heart, Mommy!"
Annalivia and Daniel were playing with the couch cushions tonight. They were building mountains out of them and then rolling down them or jumping off the couch onto them. Then they were pretending to hide from imaginary predators behind them. At one point Annalivia said, "Oh no! Here comes a mean parent!"
02 September 2009
Annalivia after closing Dennis' laptop: "Mommy, I shut Daddy's computer so it wouldn't dry out."
And Annalivia after I told her to look at a flock of geese flying into the sunset, "Do the geese LIVE in the sunset?"
01 September 2009
It seemed like a good idea to me, but our calendar is a cheap desk calendar with pages that rip off. It's nothing I want to keep. So I thought I'd write things down here this month and see if it's a discipline I want to continue into private life.
25 August 2009
- Emmeliese is teething right now. She had her bottom two front teeth break through last week and the week before and an incisor broke through this weekend.
- For some reason, she's been sleeping ok, though. We drug her up with ibuprofen at night and, for the last few nights, she's been sleeping straight through. I love that.
- Annalivia is getting ready to go to 4-year old preschool in a couple of weeks. She was moved to an afternoon class this year and I'm feeling a little uneasy about it. We'll see how it goes.
- Daniel is coming into his late-2-year-old behavior stage and we're experiencing everything -- positive and negative-- that this stage of growth entails. There are so many things to love. And so many challenges, too...
- So, along with that, we are working on discipline at our house right now. The older kids have had too many episodes of being whiny, fussy, complaining, angry, etc. I have great hopes that things will turn around soon.
- Dennis started his new job on Monday. It sounds like it will be a real challenge (in the positive sense of the word). I think he's really looking forward to mastering new skills and learning more about this company that he's always admired.
- While Dennis was off work, he did a lot of good work on the house (it has a roof and a foundation now and is getting heating and cooling this week!) We also found a good guy who is doing tons of work for us while he is laid off from work. It is so incredibly helpful.
- We're having amazing weather lately. Highs in the 70's or low 80's. Cool nights. We had the coolest July on record, apparently. It's been a gorgeous summer.
- I got out my crochet hook this weekend for the first time since March. I need to work on those Christmas stockings I started last year. I'm confident I can figure them out without much problem. And now with the mandatory rest period, I think I'll have time to work on them! :)
- It feels like our church journey is being so richly woven into life right now. So many areas of life are interconnecting, interrelating...integrating, I suspect. It's just lovely -- and exciting -- to experience.
More later. I want to crochet a few rows before rest time is over!
20 August 2009
18 August 2009
16 August 2009
15 August 2009
14 August 2009
12 August 2009
11 August 2009
10 August 2009
09 August 2009
I thought it sounded like a very cool concept. Then the need for a Sabbath re-focus in our family hit us about mid-summer. We had a child meltdown at a church we were visiting and ended up leaving the service early. In analyzing the situation, we realized that the week before it had been completely crazy. The Saturday day preceding the meltdown had been crazy, the night before had been awful. Even Sunday morning was ridiculous. As we drove away from church that morning, we resolved to start thinking differently about our Sundays.
So, we've been trying to arrange our lives so that Sunday is the high point of the week. We're convinced that God created the Sabbath for a very good reason. Plus, we yearn for rest, for time for the family to be together, for special moments. Sabbath is just necessary.
So far, we are doing better at the practical things. We're trying to make sure that clothes are chosen, ironed and accessorized (i.e. shoes are found) before we go to bed. We pack the church bag with Bibles and diapers. And we try to make sure that breakfast is made (I've been making overnight rolls), lunch is on board and dinner is planned on Saturday evening. I've also been making a really conscious effort to discipline my thinking on Sunday morning. For some reason, I can be really grumpy and it just poisons everyone's morning. I've noticed Annalivia has a similar tendency, so we've been talking about being an influence for good. It's helped.
But if feels as though we have a long way to go in terms of how we think about Sabbath. How do we worship more fully? How do we see the day as unique in its blessing? And practically -- how do we rest? How do we capture special moments? What can we do to communicate to our children that the Sabbath really is a precious gift?
Any thoughts -- practical or cerebral/ spiritual? Anyone feel as though you do well with this in your family? I'd love to read about it!
07 August 2009
I've finally found a multi-grain bread recipe that works consistently. (The original recipe is here.) I think it's as good as the kind from Panera and costs much less. It's not a dense, chewy bread (i.e. the kind I would much rather have for toast, with soups, etc.) It makes nice, light loaves that are good for sandwiches and are easy to substitute for less healthy bread, since everyone in the family likes it, too.
3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3-5 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups assorted whole grain flours (i.e. millet, kamut, oat flour, rolled oats, wheat germ, corn, etc)
5 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
Mix yeast with water, salt and sugar and let bloom. After the yeast is bubbly, break the yolk on the egg and add it. Then add 3 cups white whole wheat flour. (I use King Arthur brand, but have had good luck with Montana Wheat Prairie Gold). Then add whatever grains you have on hand, pouring them into one-cup measures so that you have approximately two cups of grains. Add wheat gluten. Begin mixing, adding more flour, until dough sticks together well. Knead until dough bounces back when you poke it with your finger. Cover and allow to rise until double, then punch down. Form into two loaves (can be braided), or rolls, or breadsticks or whatever. Cover and allow to rise until doubled again. Then bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until crust is lovely and brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Turn out of pan and cool as long as you can stand it.
- I make this in my Kitchen Aid mixer. It takes about 5 minutes of mixing. I have no idea how long one would have to knead it.
- Depending on the humidity, I sometimes have to add a lot more flour than I expect.
- If you want a nice, soft crust on the bread, use a butter wrapper on the top after you take it out of the pan.
- This has no preservatives, so be sure to freeze or refrigerate if you are not planning to use it in a day or two.
06 August 2009