Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Who made it?"

This is the question Amelia asked as she tried on a new hat I bought today. "Ummm, looks like someone in Peru made it", I answered while thinking what a surprising question that was. Then I smiled as I thought about it and realized that so many things that are special to her were hand-made by people in our family. Their barn and several chairs and trucks and other toys were made by their Grandpa Jim, Grandma Shari embroidered a special pillow case for Amelia and shirt for Sam, she cuddles with a blanket made by her Mammy, her Auntie Tara has made them all kinds of goodness...the list goes on (but does not include their mama--boo!). Anyway, it makes me happy to think that in her mind, "things" are made by people she knows and loves. It's something I hope to keep as a reality as much as possible. Not only with "stuff", but with food as well. Because really, it's a question we should all ask, isn't it?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

For these three blessings...

and many others, I am truly, daily thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to you! Jen

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shhhhhh, don't tell Sammy...

but he is getting a train set from his great granny and papa for Christmas! Do you think he's gonna love it?

I can't get enough of that little voice saying, "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mama said there'd be days like this...

It started with Sammy figuring out how to peel a banana, and peeling about eight of them and smushing them into carpet, hiding them, eating parts of them and leaving other parts elsewhere...all before mama and daddy even woke up!

Then nap time. Let me back up and say we are trying something new at nap and bedtime. No more rocking:( It was taking hours, Sammy started waiting until Amelia fell asleep and then wanting to be rocked but would not fall asleep...uggg. It was frustrating us all, and yet was so sweet at times and I already miss it:( So, I went Supernanny on Amelia last night and took her back to her bed about 50 times before she finally fell asleep around 11:30pm snuggled up next to Sam.

So, nap time today. At the end of two hours in their room, I thought they were so quiet they must have finally fallen asleep. Nope. They were playing with poop. I won't go into details, but it was not for the faint of heart. When I saw the crime scene I burst into tears. It was a bit melodramatic, but what can I say, I was really tired. I shoo them downstairs while I start cleaning their room.

They are really quiet for a while. I get scared. I go downstairs to find them COVERED in chocolate milk powder. It is all over the kitchen floor, cabinet, and themselves. Chocolate is smeared all over their faces. I laugh, because they do look really cute and guilty and what else can I do? Then I see Amelia's feet. They have poop all over them:( I took her upstairs and stripped her down and she immediatley peed on my sweater (that I had ripped off b/c my body heat went way up when I saw poop all over their room).

We get out of the house. We drive to the airport to watch the planes. We laugh and talk and start to feel better. We come home and I write this cathartic post while they stick sticky notes all over the fridge and color pumpkins with markers.

I look forward to an early bedtime so that I can work on a talk about hospitality I am supposed to give on Friday. Our house smells like cat food (?!) and poop and really doesn't feel like an inspiring place to think about hospitality, but beyond the smell there is laughter and there is forgiveness (on their end and mine) and there is hope for better days, and I think that is what home is all about.

Thanks for being a listening ear on this craaaazy day:) Jen

Though this picture is obviously "old", I feel exactly like this right now:)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moments of wonder...

The other day it was snowing pretty heavily when Amelia came downstairs from her nap. She excitedly exclaimed about the snow and snuggled up next to me on the couch to watch it. I started singing a song and she asked me to sing a different song, "bout snow". All I could think of was "White Christmas" and so I started singing it. I looked over at her a minute later and she was looking up at me with the cutest expression of wonder I have ever seen. Her eyebrows were arched, her eyes were wide and she was trying not to show the smile waiting to burst forth. It was a look that said, " Why have I never heard this incredible song before?!" Even now, thinking back I get tears in my eyes. It was just so sweet and so magical, and it is those moments that make all of the mundane, frustrating, tedious moments (and there are many) of mothering fade away.

All for now,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Becoming a home...

Little by little, our new house is becoming our home. Ryhthems are being established, play spaces created, new friends made, old friends joining in. I still feel like there is a long way to go before it feels like our "nest", but I am trying to relax and create as I have the time, energy, and inspiration. Here are some pictures of a (unfinished) space I created during nap time...I think they approved:)

By the way, the dollhouse was supposed to be our Christmas present for Amelia, but it was found this morning (Merry Christmas in November, sweet girl!). I happened upon it at a children's consignment shop on Saturday and almost died. It is made by the same company (Elves and Angels) that created one of the barns Grandpa Jim based his design off of to make the babes' barn. The dollhouse was a fraction of the price that the company sells it for and came with tons of furniture. I felt like I had found a secret treasure. If they don't spend lots of time playing with it, I will.

We also opened up the dress-up suitcase yesterday. Amelia insisted on wearing her heels all day today:)

In fact, she wore them this morning as we walked to McDonalds to get "ice cream" (fruit and yogurt parfaits). While we were ordering Amelia said, "Melia would like live here." " Melia have fun live here." Hee hee. I couldn't believe it. It doesn't even have a playground and she doesn't know what Happy Meal toys are and so I don't know what she thinks would be so much fun about it:) She got several smiles as she click clacked around in her fancy heels!

One of the things I am working on is trying to create little times of individual nurturing for them. Sam's is walking to the train tracks every day and sitting next to each other talking about the trains. (Amelia is there, but not really into it:) She is quite the baker and I have been trying to bake with her when she wakes up from naps as Sam always sleeps longer.

So, slowly, slowly we settle in. There are good days and challenging ones, just like in every home I guess, but as we feel settled I feel our good days becoming more frequent and for that I am very, very thankful.

All for now,

Sunday, November 08, 2009

He said, She said.

Sam: Look Mena, there's a plane.
Amelia: Where the plane?
S: I don't know plane is.
A: Where?
S: I don't know plane is Mena.
A: Where?
S: I don't know Mena. (This sequence times ten at least--finally they moved on:)
A: Where Becky? (We drove by friend's house and they weren't there)
S: I don't know Becky is, Mena. At gardens.
A: No, not at gardens.
S. In Texas.
A: No, not in Texas.
S: There a building.
A: That's true. There's a storm plane (?)
S: That's right Mena. There's a storm plane.
A: Where's God?
S: I don't know Mena. We're goin down, down, down (we were driving down a hill)
A: That's true Sambo.

Joel and I sat as quiet as little mice in the front seat just dying with how adorable their little conversation was and not wanting it to end. Their little voices, hearing them figure out how to construct sentences, their affirmations to each precious.

Other funny conversations:
At breakfast:
Sam: This is old (granola).
Amelia: No, not old, just crunchy!
Sam: No, not crunchy. It's old.
Amelia: That's crazy!

In the car on the way to the "Forrest" (park w/ woods):
Sam: Sambo wants to go to the forrest. Sambo wants to go to the forrest. Sambo wants to go to the forrest. Sambo wants to go ....
Amelia: Alright, Alright!!

That's all I can think of for now. Just had to record these while they were fresh on my mind! Jen

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A mama's thoughts as her children play...

I walked in their room the other night before story time and prayers to find Sammy, once again, heaping blankets and toys and dolls on top of Amelia while she quietly accepted his offerings. I can tell it is his way of saying that he loves her every good thing in the room--even his favorite blankets. As I sat in the rocker and watched them, it brought to my mind so many things. When Amelia would snub one of his gifts or snuggles, I thought of how heartbreaking it will be to see him snubbed in the future by girls or friends who he gives his heart to. I thought of Amelia and how she will probably get used to having an adoring brother who heaps praise on her (I know there will also be valleys where affection is not so apparent...we have them daily:) and how she will expect the winner of her affections to follow suit. I thought of Sammy's big, giving, sensitive heart and asked God to give Joel and I wisdom on how to guard and encourage that in him and yet also help him to be assertive when he needs to be (ahem, when Amelia falls to the floor in rejection b/c she wants something of his and he gives in immediately) . So many thoughts and hopes and prayers for these little ones are lifted up as I watch them play, as I rock them to sleep, as I cry tears of frustration when the days are long and my patience has faded. Grow us up Lord, together. Give us grace and wisdom each day.

All for now,

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween/Harvest Day 2009

For us it looked like a long afternoon walk with their daddy, then home to dress up as a beagle and a lion and wait for kids to come so we could give them treats! We did walk over to our next door neighbors to let them say "Trick or Treat please!" (that is what came out of Sammy's mouth--so cute!) . Seriously, they ate two pieces of candy from that house, a bag of fruit snacks from our loot and they were still wired! Ugggg, still not a big fan of Halloween, but they did look pretty cute:)

All for now, Jen

Sunday, November 01, 2009

"They must be let alone, left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of earth and heavens."

*Quote by Charlotte Mason

If you have read about Charlotte Mason and her philosophy, you know she is not advocating neglecting your kids, or even ignoring them. No, she advocates for giving them the freedom to explore, to observe, to learn, without a parent or teacher constantly butting in with our knowledge, our questions, etc. It's hard sometimes to be near them, but to be quiet. Dads seem to be more eqipped at this:) In fact, these pictures were taken by Joel on the babes afternoon walk. I asked him to take the camera with him to get some pictures of the new neighborhood (to share with you, of course:). He took the best photos, I can't wait to share them bit by bit. This one reminded me that though I fret sometimes that we can no longer reasonably walk to parks with ponds and geese and beautiful scenery, the babes find beauty to observe everywhere. They will stay like this on the sidewalk forever watching a little bug pass by, if I give them the time and space and freedom and don't try to rush them along to see what I think is a better view right up the way. That, I think, is a good lesson for us all:)