Friday, February 26, 2010


Sam and Amelia were having fun with this toy dinosaur they named Rexy at the cabin. They didn't know that you could turn the dinosaur on and so while they were eating lunch I decided to start it and watch their reactions. It was soooo funny! First they were in awe...
Then they warmed up to it and decided to try and touch it...
Hmmm, not so sure!

Sam would just freeze when it got close. Amelia shoved it across the table when it got close to her:) 
"Can I get some help, daddy?!" 

Soon enough, the moving Rexy was a good friend who was fed cheerios and allowed to get close to everyone:)
All for now, Jen

Monday, February 22, 2010

Scenes from the cabin...

Snow cave.

Hill sliding. 


What a fun adventure this has been! Indoors and outdoors both we have all had such a wonderful time. Joel and I just keep looking at each other and saying, "Can you believe we get to do this?!" Thankful for friends who are willing to share their wonderful getaway with so many people! All for now, Jen

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Now that was fun!

We came to stay at our friend's cabin again this weekend...ready for another family adventure and thankful for a (free!) place to getaway. Though the cabin is definitely not roughing it, getting here was quite a little hike! The snow is such that you have to park your car about a mile a way and walk or snow mobile your way up to it. We chose to walk. With two two year olds. Coo coo I tell you! I had my doubts as we drove into the mountains with the snow swirling all around us. 

I was wrong. They were such little adventurers and we all had so much fun. Joel pulled all of our food in on a sled and we each carried a back pack. Even when the snow got deep, the babes were so brave and tried their hardest until their "big daddy came and picked us up and helped us" (says Amelia). 

Truly, we were amazed and very thankful that it wasn't a disastrous attempt at hiking with toddlers! :) 

They are now tucked in deep under flannel sheets and a down comforter and I am about to join Joelie by the fire to dive back into a book series I am reading. So, hope you guys are enjoying your weekend and maybe get in a little adventuring yourself! Jen

Friday, February 19, 2010

Muffins and books make the gray go away....

On a dreary, wet day there are two things that are a good bet for cheering us up--yummy muffins and story after story. Here is our latest and greatest muffin recipe:)

Bran Flax Muffins (lots more delicious than they sound!)
1 1/2 cup Unbleached white flour
3/4 cup Flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oatbran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrot
2 peeled and shredded apples
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

all dry ingredients. Stir in Carrots, Apples, Raisins, and Nuts. Combine milk, beaten eggs and vanilla and pour into dry ingredients. Stir. Bake at 350 foe 15-20 minutes. Makes 15 muffins (mine made 20).

Let's see, some of our favorite stories lately have been Annie and the wild animals, Winter Days in the Big Woods, Thomas gets a snow plow, Jamberry, We're going on a Bear Hunt,  Mole and the Baby Bird and I am a Bunny . 

What about you? Any yummy goodness or fun favorite stories you've been enjoying? Do share! 

All for now as a little girl in a polka dot dress just woke up from her short nap and is ready to play, Jen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh how they play, they play every day...

Oh, these almost three year olds! They are amazing us with their imaginative and independent play. Even in beautiful weather they have been wanting to stay inside and play and this marks a huge shift in our little world! 

Sam plus trains equals love. He plays and plays with his trains and train tracks. He is so dramatic that his cries for "HELP!!!" often bring me running, only to find that a train is "stuck in the mud" or "his wheels won't turn":) He gets much inspiration from his beloved Thomas books and movies and yesterday his play included lots of chastising for the naughty freight cars. 

Sammy is also really into cooking in their little kitchen, playing with Leap Frog letter magnets, playing with play doh, playing chase and building nests with Amelia.  

Amelia  is still taking her animals and babies on trips of all kinds in card board box trains or their wooden boat, making many nests around the house, and spends much time pretending to eat and trying to find "special treats". She also loves play doh, painting, helping mama in the kitchen, playing in the tub, and playing chase with Sam. 

Anyway, we are just loving and so thankful for the chance to watch these two little ones grow and change every day.
All for now,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For the birds...

We have had a wonderful amount of sunshine lately and with it comes the chirping of birds all around. So, one day last week we plopped down in the back yard with our neighbor friends and made some pinecone bird feeders. It was a fun little project--though it cracks me up how much time it takes to prepare a kid-friendly project and how little time they actually spend doing it:) Ah well, it's worth the effort!  I hope the birdies enjoyed their treats.

For some more cute pictures of little friends, see Anne's recent post here. And I'll leave you with one of Amelia and her beloved friend, "baby Lily" :)

All for now, Jen

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We don't have TV and you can't watch American Idol online, but I found this clip on another blog and was so excited to see it! Barbara Curtis wrote some of my favorite books about incorporating Montessori methods into mothering and she is also an adoptive mama of several children with Downs. Anyway, this is her daughter's audition! So great...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"The best things in life are nearest:

Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet,
duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest thing in life.
" Robert Louis Stevenson

I don't know why it is that I sometimes think I cannot live the life my heart craves. Simple things like baking bread and growing food and nature walks and a rhythmic week and a hand craft skill. I think I get caught in the thinking trap of "because I haven't before, I cannot now" and it just isn't true. So, I take a little step. I bake bread--with my children (and friends:). Our first try was yesterday and I loved it. I loved the smell and bubbles of the yeast, I loved seeing the ingredients slowly form into dough and I loved the feel of my hands shaping it. I rejoiced as I gave each child a little ball of dough to play with and watched as they mimicked my clumsy attempts at kneading the dough. Such a small moment, but a moment that was meaningful to me. Meaningful in my quest to be "certain that daily tasks and daily bread are the sweetest things in life." It's sometimes hard in this busy, stimulating culture to see the worth of the work of our hands and yet I so often find that as my heart and my home move slower, my thoughts turn to our God. To ask Him for energy and willing hands, to ask for a thankful heart and contentment in my daily work. And really, drawing nearer to God really is the sweetest thing. It is what my soul cries out
for most. So I thank Him again now, for teaching and growing me in this season as a mama, as a wife, as a teacher, as a keeper of my home--teaching me that fulfillment can come through things as simple as making a meal, wiping off the dust, kissing the hurt, celebrating a birthday, making bread, praying with our children, singing as we work, giving grace and receiving it, running in the backyard sunshine, forgiving and being forgiven. It is all near and it is all sacred.

All for now,

Thursday, February 04, 2010

All aboard!

I brought the babes rocking boat inside for the first time in a while. They have had so much fun fishing, going on trips, etc.

Sammy's imagination is really starting to blossom lately and it is so much fun to see and hear! For example, he is constantly seeing an octopus any time there is water. He and I can really start going, running and screaming as an octopus chases us around the house and giggling about it all the while. Amelia gets this half scared/half amused smile on her face and says, "Just pretend.....right?!" Poor thing, I should probably knock it down a notch. The other day we were at the playground and Sam said he saw one under her swing in a puddle and at first she looked scared and then she said, "It's okay, it's a grandma octopus and she's really nice." She then closed her hand as if she had caught her and carried her all around the playground talking about how nice the grandma octopus was!

Anyway, I am just fascinated by how different their play is. Amelia's play usually revolves around her babies or animals and involves stuffing them into things. If she is playing w/ her dollhouse she tries to stuff all the dollhouse dolls into a bowl or something. She always has dolls stuffed down her shirt eating or sleeping. When she is playing with play doh even she is usually folding one of her animals into the play doh like it is a blanket or making a nest or just buries the things underneath. Maybe you just have to see it to understand but I guess the bottom line is that her play is either relational, nurturing, and/or stuffing. Sam is imagining, building, or moving.

Here is Amelia taking all her babes for a ride in the boat. When I asked her where they were going she said, "A island to see Vera and Anne and Sasa:)" When she got out to go get some more dolls she said, "Don't worry mama, it won't float away." :) ;)

All for now,

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Standing at the kitchen sink, hands hot as I scrub pots and pans and such. The sunshine shining in the window above the sink and I take a moment to thank the Lord for the warmth. For the sun. For the many,many little blessings that He gives throughout the days. My mind floods with thoughts as I turn to Him, thoughts of joys and of little sorrows. So intermingled as they always seem to be. I think of Joelie and how a few months ago he said to me that these past 8 months or so have been "the brightest days of our marriage." I thank the Lord for His grace in our marriage. That though Joel and I hurt each others feelings and say things we regret often, we have grown and are growing and love each other with true and rich love. I think of the dust on the living room side tables and how "dailyness" so often creeps up on me and I just can't seem to keep up with it. I ask for true wisdom as I grow in my role as keeper of this home. I thank Him for ways I have seen Him already give me so many resources from people and books and His word, on how to create this sacred space that I so desire. I think of our adoption. My hearts sighs and grows heavy. I know that the same feelings that I felt with infertility are creeping back in. Questioning why part of my journey seems to be strongly desiring children and yet having to seemingly wait and wait and wait for them. I want to trust. I want to have open hands and surrender the process to Him...He can see the big picture. I realize that the water is too hot. I turn it off and go to check on the sleeping babes. I pass the "Millet bars" on the counter and smile at these interesting and not very tasty snacks I made for them this morning. I smile because I remember the satisfaction of finally remembering to get "millet" at the store in my quest to try new grains. The first attempt failed and yet every day is new. Every day is new. Now that is indeed a joy.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Little friends, growing up...


One year old...

2 years old...

Closing in on three years old...

Oh, these little ones! They are just too much with their little conversations and holding hands and, you know, being little kids together. So adorable. Just feeling thankful for friends today, especially Anne and Vera, who have been by our sides through so many of our days and made them brighter. She wrote a little post about them today too:) All for now, Jen