Monday, March 30, 2009

Fun with Auntie Birdie...

Oh Robin, how we love you and thank you and Bub for opening your home to us! We are home safe and sound, trying to unpack while the babes re explore the house and all of their toys and books and such. Oh, and it's snowing! All for now, Jen
There is so much to say as this Texas trip comes to a close. I don't even know where to begin really. I guess I'll work backwards and tell you about the party. My mama and her little helpers (aunties) dreamed up a barnyard birthday party for the babes and we celebrated on Sunday with the Hill Country family and friends. It was a day to remember for sure. We had our little farmyard faries (mom made the tutus--are they adorable or what?), hula hooping, guitar playing, the cutest little barn ever, hay for hiding eggs and play doh and bubbles for the little ones to was just really, really fun, and right up their alley I might add. Amelia literally played with the little farm animals (pictured in the wagon) for hours and hours today. HOURS AND HOURS. More on that later. For now, I'll just say thank you to my mama and everyone else who made the day so very special (I'm so sorry that I don't have pictures of all of you who celebrated with us!).

All for now but there is much more to come. Love to you, Jen

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Magic Cabin...

I just know that when Sam and Amelia get older they are going to remember my mama's cabin as a magical place. How could they not? Every corner of the places that my mom lives is filled with her quirky, unique, wonderful character. Next time I come I'll give you a video tour of her wee little home that she has made into a true haven. Until then, here are a few pictures of our afternoon in Wimberley.

Mama's Pollyanna window...

Making rock and leaf soup with another wonderful Lady of the Canyon:)

Giving the "ducks" a bath in the water.

Hill Country beauty

A little parade...

Here's to the magical places of our childhood, Jen

"Family Love..."

That's what John Mike said while sitting on the front porch swing holding Sammy while my mama held 'Melia. There is lots of it going around and we're all basking in it.

Cousin Echo playing her harmonica while the babes watch in awe:) It was really about the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

Amelia is thinking, "Every time I wake up from a nap someone else is here to see me!" She loves her Papa.

Mammy taking the cousins for a ride:)

Uncle JM wows them with a song.

Backyard fun...

Uncle Bub snuggles with Sammers...

Hope you are experiencing some family love as well! More soon,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sweet tea, lawn chairs, and barbeque for dinner..

Yep, we're in Texas! As we sat outside yesterday evening, a circle of friends and family, drinking sweet tea (look at Amelia clutching the cup with remnants of watery sweet tea!) and chatting as the sun slowly went down, it felt good and right.
The trip down went great, Sam and Amelia were both little troopers. I won't forget Sam with his little face glued to the airplane window as we taxied down the runway, watching plane after plane take off or Amelia falling asleep in her grandma's arms soon after take off , her little hand still holding onto the beloved box of animal crackers. Minus a few Sammy meltdowns, it was really a perfect trip and we were so thankful!

Our time at Bub and Robin's has been so....comfortable. I know that sounds funny, but saying "great" or "fun" just doesn't describe it. Being surrounded by our family is comforting, like snuggling up in a great big blanket. Favorite activities so far have been looking at all the "buggies!", riding in the wagon, sitting in the fire truck, running around the big back yard and playing with their uncle Bub and Dude, the dog:) We do miss Joelie so much and can't wait for him to join us. Hope you all are doing well! Jen

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Raising our voices...

One of my favorite things in the world is to be surrounded by people lifting their voices in song. At church this morning as our choir sang (such a special treat!) I thought back to times in my life where I just soaked up the voices around me. Specifically I was thinking of a time when I found myself in a National Children's Choir. I really (no, seriously) don't know how I ended up in Kansas City surrounded by all of those children with angelic voices singing in Latin and French and such. Mostly I was just standing there in rehersals terrified that the strict older lady conducting us would call my name and tell me to sing a song in a different language. I was afraid she would call my bluff. She never did though, and I was able to just soar. I always felt like my spirit was soaring when I was in a choir experience like that. It's how I feel still when I hear choirs like our little one at church, made up of people so different, so diverse and yet raising their voices as one. Last week we stayed late after church and the choir started to practice. Sam and Amelia stood in awe and so I pulled up three chairs for us and they sat and listened for a while. I couldn't help thinking while we were sitting there that I hope one of them will love to sing and, dare I say, want to be involved in a chorus. Of course I will cheer them on in whatever pursuit they decide to devote some time to, but sitting there watching them sing, seeing their little spirits soar, that would be such a joy for me:)

Anyway, not sure where that all came from, but there you go!

In other news, we are busy getting ready to head to Texas on Tuesday (Joel will join us in a bit). HIs mama is here and will help me with the trip down, thank the Lord!

Also, my computer is broken! Honestly, it is a good thing. It has finally forced me to deal with how much time I was spending on it! I have decided not to get it fixed for now and just check e-mail and write some blog posts in the evenings on Joel's computer. So, yes, that probably means you won't hear as much from me. Just know that it is a really good thing for our little family right now, and that when I get some better habits formed as far as the way I spend my time, I'll get that computer fixed and hopefully find a better balance.

So, here is a random picture for you of the little ones until next time. On to Texas we go! Jen

Eating breakfast in the sunny kitchen:)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mayhem and Magic...

So, this evening Joel was grilling outside while the babes romped around the backyard. He came inside to get something for the grill and after a minute or two had passed I walked over to the back door to check on them. What I saw made me laugh so hard that it makes me giggle even now as I write it. Joel had pulled the car up to the garage and had all of the doors open so that he could vacuum it out. Well, when I peeked out the window I saw that Amelia was sitting in the drivers seat just going to town turning the wheel back and forth while brother boo sat beside her in the passenger seat looking straight forward with a big smile on his face! I couldn't believe it! There is so much that was funny about that picture. Sam happily sitting in the passenger seat while amelia took charge, the fact that they were both sitting down and not climbing all over the place....boy it was a funny sight. I thought " Joel must have put them in there" , but apparently they were sitting on the back porch steps when he came inside! The emergency break was on and there were no keys in sight, by the way.

Anyway, it just capped off a few days full of toddler mayhem. There was the morning I walked back into the kitchen to find Amelia raking salsa through Sam's hair with a fork while Sam poured an entire box of cheerios on the floor, or when Amelia was caught chugging a diet coke that I left too close to the edge of the table! Yikes!

Amidst all of the mayhem though, there is magic to be found as well. It is a wonder watching them learn and really start to soak things in. I am really excited for this next phase of learning colors and shapes and ABCs and new independence and expanding vocabulary and more make believe and making art. I know there will be new challenges, there always are, but I'll try and focus on the magic. There is lots to be found.

I'll leave you with some random squatting pictures from today:) Stirring and eating "soup", playing with pegs, Amelia (gasp) picking up her "mess":)

Friday, March 06, 2009

In like a lion...

Oh March, you are such a tease! Skirt and sunshine weather one day and snow the next. Ah well, we leave in less than two weeks for the warmth of Texas and when we get back I know it will be lamb like weather and I can't wait. I am trying to relish these last snowflakes, but I'm not doing a very good job. The tease was just too much.

And yes, this little lion sandwich was created while talking with Jfer on the phone today as the babes napped. He turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself:) You can find this idea and many more here. As I was spreading the peanut better and jelly I was thinking of my mama and all of the special heart shaped, happy face, etc. etc. sandwiches she made us throughout the years. Thanks mama for making the ordinary so special.

Love to you guys on this snowy March day,

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sometimes life doesn't lend itself to neat and tidy blog posts. Things happen everyday that I want to remember though, that I don't want to let escape through the cracks of my memory and so I think I'll smoosh a bunch of them together and write them here.

These days are full of things like...

Amelia and Sam waking me up Tuesday morning after Joel had bathed them. They climbed onto the bed in their diapers, with combed, wet hair and smelling like Honey and Milk lotion. I just wanted to eat them up.

Joel and Sammy going up and down the escalators at the neighborhood big box book store. Meanwhile, I was watching Amelia sitting in a big chair pouring over a little National Geographic kids magazine. She looked so little in that chair and yet the moment pulled me into the future, her furrowed brow pouring some important research topic or such. Sniff,sniff.

Joel and I working on baby shower invites for Shanyn, cutting and glueing and addressing. I love when we do projects together, and what could be better than doing something to prepare for the arrival of our precious nephew!

Me feeling overwhelmed that homemaking will always be a just doesn't come naturally and yet it is something I so desire to be competent in, and so I continue to hope for growth and motivation. If I were on the MTV show MADE, I would want to be made into a confident, joyful homemaker:) Did I just write that?

More and more make believe. They have a basket of horses and cows and chickens, a lion, hippo, duck, and bird and have started playing with them a lot. They make them all eat and kiss each other and hop and swim. It's really the cutest thing ever. Amelia is especially fond of hippos these days and usually has a little wooden one that Joel brought home from Africa clutched in her hand during much of the day:)

I guess that's all for now, though I feel like there is so much more. Oh, have I told you that we are journeying to Texas in a couple of weeks? Oh yes, we are. More on that later.

All for tonight,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Monday Morning Ritual...

Rain, snow or shine we three go to the children's museum every Monday morning. When they wake, I tell them we are going to the mueseum and I hear shouts of "Water! Boat! Balls! Slide!" They know. We get dressed, fed and out the door and are there when the doors open. Those first 15 minutes or so when it is just a few of us is so much fun! Everything is in it's place, ready to be discovered. I am starting to get to know the other mamas who have this Monday morning ritual and we chat and watch our children explore with glee. After an hour we go to "music class" and I used to fret that Sam and Amelia seemed to be the only ones who weren't interested in sitting on mamas lap and singing along...but that is what is so great about rituals. Today I watched them walk into the room and walk straight to the circle rug and sit down....they are learning. We end the music class with dancing to classical music with scarves and then leave with the promise of a snack in the car. MOnday morning is one of my favorite mornings of the week....though the rest are usually pretty great too.

Tuesday mornings bring our friend Sara who comes to watch the babes so that Joel and I can have a morning out together. It's a delight all the way around.

Wednesday mornings is a play time with our friends Pace and Satya, though our families have traded off being sick so often this winter that they have been few and far between:(

Thursday we have started frequenting story time more often with Anne and Vera. How cute are they?

Fridays is mom-to-mom group at church where I have been so encouraged lately by a small group of diverse mamas who come together to talk about mothering and the Lord and, lately, how to have true and lasting heart change.

Afternoons are spent at home playing, straightening, cooking, baking, etc.

Our daily rituals, they bring a structure that is comforting. How about you? Do you find that rituals help you in your days?

Happy Monday to you, whatever you do!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Attention photo lovers....

January and February albums are up! We are welcoming March and it's warmer weather with open arms:)

Feb 2009

Jan 2009