Sunday, November 30, 2008

The babes are changing. Obviously they are. But they are in one of those phases where each day I am aware that in some ways obvious and in some ways subtle, they are growing into children right before my eyes. New expressions, new depth of emotions, new words and dance moves, new abilities and desires. I just want to soak the moments up, breathe them in, digest them before they grow and change again. Alas, time doesn't often afford for a lot of reflection. So, here is a little snippet of...lately. An attempt to capture at least a few expressions, signs, dances, and moments....Jen

oh, you'll want to scroll down on the blog and pause the music on the right hand side before clicking on the video...sorry for the inconvenience.

View this montage created at One True Media
New Morning

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Picture-books in Winter"

Summer fading, winter comes—
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Truly we are....

(Thanksgiving 2007)

Tried to get a family pic for Thanksgiving 2008 and failed. So, here are a few from our Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration with the Hunts. Amelia LOVED her doll and immediately began caring for it--kisses, hugs, pats, putting it's paci in, feeding it, covering it with a play silk...:) and Sammy adored his new truck and his glow worm and pounding on the new piano from their G.G.

Hoping your day was wonderful as well and that we all live this year with a heart of gratefulness, Jen

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Grandpa Hunt's helpers...

There are lots of projects going on in this home now that the grandparents are among us. Various sounds of hammering, banging, drilling, cutting, scrubbing, chopping ,etc. can be heard throughout the day, and it's music to my ears. I'll try to get some pictures of all of the productiveness going on in the kitchen with the girls and in the house and garage with the grandpa (Joelie can even join in when he gets 5 days off this Thanksgiving--hurray!). Ahhhh, I love it when our mamas and dads come for a visit.

and, just for fun, one of my wild haired girl...

Hope you all had a great weekend. Thanks for all of your sweet comments and e-mails after my last (raw) post. I felt much better after a Sat. morning visit with two fellow mamas (cleaning out the church nursery--productive and fun!), followed by a little shopping at a favorite consignment shop (a vintage radio flyer ride on toy for $8--yay!), and then some lunch and reading time at Paradise cafe. Now, back to the beauty of the everyday. Especially beautiful with family here visiting. Love to you, Jen

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sometimes I think we make things seem so black and white. Sometimes it seems as if our culture thinks that something that isn't glamorous or easy can't also be good--good to the very core.

Confession: If you were a fly on my wall Thursday late afternoon you would have seen me lying on the kitchen floor wailing, "I'm just soooo tired. I just need Joel to be home. I. just. need. Booooo hoooo hooooo. "

It wasn't pretty, this little break down of mine. But you know how in those most broken moments, how God reaches in and teaches that broken heart things that will never leave you?

That is what has been happening in my life lately. I've been tired this past couple of weeks. Weary, really. Completely bare as I go about my days. Changing diapers. Changing clothes. Teaching little ones to share. Rescuing little ones from danger. Wiping noses. Changing diapers. Cleaning. Chopping, stirring, baking. "Stop whining Amelia." "Sam, I think you need some time on your mat." Breathe. Breathe. Clean. Kiss. Read. Cuddle. Carry. Push. Bathe. I needed a break and God brought the Hunts to our home just in time.

You know what else He brought though? Deep, to the heart's core whisperings about His purposes for me. About the sacredness of mothering and being a wife--being the keeper of my home. Whisperings about opening my heart to the needs of those around me (and not just S and A). Whisperings about finding rest and allowing people to help. About being humble in this journey of motherhood. Whisperings about remembering that I am His child first. Before being a mother, before being a wife to my Joelie...I am a child of God. He has purposes for me. Purposes that He will energize me for.

So, though a breakdown on the kitchen floor isn't glamorous, and though mothering is not always easy--being brought to a place where you are open to His whisperings is good. Good to the core. And for that I am thankful. Hope you are having a restful (at least in spirit) weekend as well, Jen

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I've been waiting for the day when Amelia and Sam were big enough to carry their "babies" in a sling. Today was the day for Amelia. I tied some play silks (the best "toys" in the world) around her and nestled one of her dolls into it.

She squeezed her and kissed her and then went about her business (which is the beauty of wearing your babe after all.).

When she picked up the broom on her own accord I almost died! Little mamacita.

After a good bit of sweeping she suddenly ripped her baby out of the sling and threw it to the ground. We'll have to work on a more graceful exit:)

Anyway, melted my heart. I'll let you know how our little papa does.

In other news, we decided to secure Joelie's blog. So, if you've enjoyed reading it and would like to have access just e-mail him at Hope you're having a great week! Jen

Friday, November 14, 2008

Celebrate Babywearing!

It was International Babywearing week this week. A good reminder to keep our babes close. Click here to get some info on the benefits of wearing your wee ones and toddlers. It has been such a joy for us. My biggest tips for new babywearers are:

1) Try until you find one that works best for youand your babe(s). . Borrow from friends, find a group that allows you to trial run several different kinds, etc. My favorites are my Maya ring sling and my Beco carrier.

2) Try, try again. It takes some time to get the right fit. Yes, they may fuss at first and I know there are some babes that just don't like being in such a cozy place. I think the majority, though, find great security in it once you get the fit right.

3) Find someone who is already doing it and can help you.

Finding these pictures of our babywearing journey was a good reminder to throw those toddlers on my back a little more often! It is still very soothing for Sam to be so near to me especially. So, get your slings out ladies (and gentlemen) and let's keep our little ones close to our hearts. It's good for us all isn't it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Love bugs....

It's been a love fest around here for the past couple of days. I don't know what is in the air but smooches and sharing and snuggling are at an all time high from the babes--and between the babes. Let me tell you, there is nothing sweeter to this mamas eyes than to see Sam and Amelia love each other. So, I am sharing with you a very, very long video. Mostly because I have a big kitchen to clean (because, if you'll remember, I cook now) and don't feel like taking the time to edit, but I also thought the grandparents would enjoy seeing the whole moment. So, here is a ten (yes 10!) minute slice of our day. With LOTS of smooches to go around. Please just ignore the dirty laundry hanging around, children eating food off of the floor, etc. That's what you get when you see the unedited version:)

P.S. I just watched the video again and realized that part of it repeats itself--sorry!
P.S.S. I wish I could have videoed Sam and Vera's very spirited marathon game of chase around the circle of the house yesterday. Oh my gosh. Seriously, they just kept running and running and running. It gave Anne and I a very big laugh:)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Another lovely trip to the farm...

It's a toddler's paradise really. Amelia walked up to every animal and said a cheery "Hiieeeee" and squealed with delight. Sam was mesmerized by the tractors of course and industriously picked up lots of sticks along our path. We steered clear of the duck pond this time and managed to come and go with no major incidents. I love that place. Jen

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Life is just so daily..."

That is what I was thinking when I put myself in time out today. Ideas are so easy. Actions are much, much harder. "I was just writing about finding the beauty in my days and look at me now!" I thought to myself as I shut my bedroom door and prayed that the babes would entertain themselves for a few minutes. I was losing the contentment battle. They had both run screaming when I held up their boots to put on so we could go outside for some much needed fresh air. They wriggled and fussed when I put their coats on and pulled their hats off. They pulled their hats off again. That is when I put myself in time out.

We did finally get outside for a few minutes before they pulled their gloves off and put their hands in freezing cold water.We came in and went downstairs for snacks and a change of scenery. I got out my new Mothering magazines and laid on the futon while Amelia picked all of the cheerios out of her snack bowl and ate all of the raisins and Sam picked all of the raisins out of his and ate the cheerios:)

Ahhhhh, sweet encouragement in the form of articles and essays and poetry about Mothering. There was an article called "Forest for a classroom" that particularly inspired me today. It had (of all things) pictures of these children in Switzerland playing and learning outside in the snow. "I can do this." I said to myself. I just need the right gear and the right attitude. It is one of the most important things to me as a mama--for Sam and Amelia to learn from nature and all of its splendor. So, tomorrow is another day and we shall try again.

I pulled myself off of the futon and moved on. I pulled out two tomato cans I had cleaned and saved for the babes, and sure enough they played with them for a long while--filling them up with wooden pegs and then pouring them out or shaking them.We read lots of books and, oh yeah, we screamed. This was probably the real turning point for the day. We ran laps and laps around the loop of our dining room/kitchen/nursery chasing and scaring each other and screaming like crazy. It got my heart pumping and got us all laughing...sometimes you just need a good scream. Because really, life is just so daily. So, here's to seeking our daily best (with a few time outs and lots of prayer and cathartic screaming), Jen

And a video for you of Sammy doing some of his favorite things: Playing hide and seek with Melia, sweeping or work of some sort, looking at books, "Tuck!Tuck!s", jumping....does his sweet voice not just make you want to smother him in kisses?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What will they look like, these snowy days?

I think of winter and immediately feel overwhelmed. Our time outdoors shrinking from hours of play a day to minutes (mittens fall off, noses get cold, babies get wet.) Putting on snowsuits and mittens and hats and boots is...not fun to say the least. Anyway, I won't go on and on. I'll just say that today was a good reminder that yes, it will be a challenge, but there will be beauty as well.

Beauty in feeling warm and cozy inside while the weather whirls and twirls outside.

Beauty in finding indoor activities that the babes like, such as smooshy homemade play-doh that smells like pumpkin spice--mmm mmm. )

Beauty in the fact that our friends come and keep us company no matter what the weather:)

Beauty in the outdoor play. Even though it was short, and there were a few falls while getting used to wearing boots, seeing them squeal and crunch through the snow was so much fun. It will be a challenge for me to stay content in this area for sure. But don't they look cute in their winter wear? :)

Beauty in a little girl staying up to see her daddy. Poor Sam, he tried so hard. He was the one crying "dada, dada" when he went to sleep but he just couldn't make himself stay awake. Amelia didn't last long once she was in her Papa bear's arms:)

And so our days will go. And I'll try and stay focused on the beauty. And I'll try to be thankful for each new day. All for tonight, Jen

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A little video of Melia giving the camera a smackeroo (she kisses EVERYTHING these days:), Sam furiously saying and signing "Papa, Papa" (meaning Auntie Tara:), and a little interview with Amelia at the end. I would try to have Sam say his new words for the camera but a) he does not like to perform and b) he thinks the video camera looks like an airplane and just signs airplane over and over again and can not be distracted! I'll have to get Joelie to do some secret footage when Sam isn't aware some day soon.

Anyhow, life is floating along. Joel started his new job last week at a homeless clinic downtown. I can't believe I haven't posted about the job switch. You may remember me saying that he'd be starting a surgery position. Well, long story short, the clinic called out of "nowhere" and asked if he would still be interested in working there as they were having a provider leave. He hated to tell the surgery group that he had to decline their offer, but the other is pretty much a dream job for him AND it has loan repayment. He is learning a ton already and you can read all about it on his new blog here. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to start from the very beginning.

All is well on the home front. Amelia continues to crack us up with her antics and affection. Sammy is starting to be quite a little worker and spends his days moving sticks from one spot in the yard to another, filling up his dump truck with rocks and then taking them all out..... so cute!

Must go for now and get lunch ready. Have I told you that I cook now? Yep, I even planned our menu for this week. How did this happen, you ask? One word: Budget. We are going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and it is whipping us into shape. We are SO thankful for it--painful as it is! So, computer time has decreased and kitchen time has increased...hopefully soon I'll be able to "do it all" and catch up with my blogging. Love, Jen