Thursday, April 29, 2010

Days when I just want to kiss their faces a million times.

Days that aren't even expected to be good. Joel is gone until Sunday and 4 1/2 days alone with the littles can be challenging, and mentally I was just feeling low last night. Then we woke up to snow this morning! Oh great, no outside time. Even better. Despite my sour attitude, we had a fabulous day. A day where I just wanted to kiss their faces a million times.

When we were at story time at the library and they were so enthusiastic and funny and engaged, my heart just burst with love.

When we went to Whole Foods so I could splurge on some ready made salads for my dinner tonight (mmmm, "super foods salad with acai dressing" and "Wheatberry Quinoa waldorf salad" with a big chunk of bread to go with it). Sammy was in the main part of the cart, slouched back and leaning his head on a gallon of milk. His red, knitted elf hat perched on his head. Content as could be, eating animal crackers and singing with Melia. Oh the cuteness.

Giggling and giggling as they jumped and splashed in the puddles left by the rain/snow.

A picnic with potato heads and trains. Three year old magic at its finest.

Even now as they are outside playing in the sand box. I can hear their little voices deep in conversation --playing with their animals, of course.

So, I end this afternoon on a thankful note. Thankful for days when I see their beauty and the beauty of our life, instead of the neediness or challenges. I much prefer to engage in the beauty.

All for now, Jen

P.S. I always feel the need to give a disclaimer after writing a lovey-dovey post. I don't know, I just never want to seem like "Oh everything is all happy all the time" kinda person, you know? Because we all know that no one has an "all happy all the time "life. There are days where I feel exhausted just at the thought of a day with two little ones and then I think that that is ridiculous and beat myself up because people do it with 19 kids and seem to have energy to spare! There are days when I think I just can't handle the neediness of two 3 year olds again, and there are days when I beat myself up for not doing something different so that they aren't so needy! Then there are days where I say things like, "Sam, I think you came out of the womb fussing and just never stopped, " or "Amelia, you are really acting like a b... a rat right now. "(I'm not a rat! she indignantly replies) Okay, disclaimer over and love fest continues.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yesterday, dutifully wiping down the walls while mama made strawberry bread. "I'll make it clean for you mama!"

Today, watching Blue Planet which is his favorite show EVER, even over Thomas.

The same cute boy, just now with his first "big boy" haircut. Sniff,sniff. I told the man to "significantly trim it", but he had other ideas I guess and truthfully I like it. I love getting to see that little face better. Those poochy lips and round cheeks and sweet eyes. I know I will love not having to comb out the tangles!

We love you sweet Sammy. Long hair or short we think you are just the cutest little boy ever! Mama

P.S. Amelia, all the way to the haircut place, " I don't want to get a hair cut, but I do want to get a special treat after. I do also want a special treat like Sam, but I don't want a hair cut. Sam will get a special treat and a haircut but I will only get a special treat. She was cracking me up with the many ways she came up with to make her point very clear:)

Monday, April 26, 2010

A simple, good day.

That was today. Errand running this morning where we laughed and had fun and whining and fussing was at a minimum, and then home for the rest of the day. The babes literally played in the yard for almost 3 hours! They just played and played and played--again, with minimal whining, fussing, or fighting! They played with the new water table (yard sale--fifteen bucks--woo hoo!), the sand box, sat around a bush and dug for buggies, in the tunnel, in the grass, with their was just fabulous. Mama was inside cleaning the kitchen, making dinner (it still takes me a long time to cook and so it was perfect:), folding clothes, and catching up on phone calls. Then they came inside and took a long bath and then played and played some more! I cannot tell you the happiness it brings me to watch my children play peacefully together, using their imaginations and simple toys and things of the earth.
They did have a hard time winding down at bed time, but overall the day just rang with joy! Thank you Lord for the gift of children and family and home. It is so good.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring has sprung, it's all begun...

Well, I think my "post-parting depression" (as my clever friend Cheryl called it) has lifted and I am back in the swing of Spring and ready to soak it up! We do miss you grandparents though, and eagerly await summer visits from both my mama and the Hunts! Here are a few pics of spring thus far. Lots of time outside, looking for bugs and playing with sand and water and rocks and dirt. Loving our neighborhood as we all emerge from our "caves" to watch the world thaw out around us. It's just a grand time of year. Hope you are enjoying it as well!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A few things about Amelia:

While these things are fresh on my mind I want to write them here. So many things are forgotten every day (cute things they say and do) and it drives me nutso! So here is a little Amelianess for you.

This is her at the Grand Hotel gardens. She carried her "baby black" in her sling all day long. She would NOT take it off and told her grandma Shari that Baby Black "is safe in the arms of her mama". Oh my. By the way, we have no idea why this baby is named Baby Black. She is not black, nor does she have black hair. It was named before we told them that their baby brother would be from Africa and would have black we just don't know what her little mind was thinking but that is her name and she is sticking with it:) She goes in and out of phases of playing with dolls. Mostly it is stuffed animals or her Schleich animals that she is attached to and cares for, but occasionally she goes through a few days of taking her doll everywhere, feeding her "mama's milk" etc.

Here she is eating her dessert. Anyone who has spent time with Amelia knows she has a sweet tooth like no other! She lives for the hope that sweets might come her way. Every day she'll say something like, "Can we have a cupcake today? Weeeeeee'll see!" She does NOT like to hear "no" but is okay as long as you say, "We'll see." :) :) She is also forever trying to steal sips of my diet cokes. The other day she said, "Mama, will you go upstairs and check your e-mail so that I can hide and drink your diet coke?" !!!! She definitely can't hide her sin yet:)

She loves, loves, loves people and gets very offended if people do not say a friendly hello to her when passing by. "They didn't say hello! It's NOT kind!" Here she is with a little boy she met at Red Butte Garden. I think she would have followed he and his family home without a thought. She is a "love em and leave em" type for now though and has no problems saying adios when the time comes. She is the perfect child to live in a neighborhood I think. As we were out walking this morning and saw some Ethiopian friends she was so quick to say hi and smile and probably would have run over and given them big hugs if she wasn't in the stroller. "She's our little ambassador of love" I thought to myself. So, while I still dream of open fields and farmhouses I am thankful Amelia will have a chance to love on this neighborhood. She and Joelie will lead the way.

While it's true that upon turning three she has become a bit more "contrary" , she still just makes my heart glad everyday. I am so thankful for you my Amelia girl. You bring lots and lots of joy to our home and hearts!

All for now,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A date.

Ahhhh, some time alone with my Joelie. We had a wonderful meal and such fun conversation, a little thrift shopping, a little bookstore time and a lot of laughing--he still makes me laugh like almost no one else can (only my mama and his sister come close:) . So thankful that after almost eleven years of marriage I still find him to be so handsome, so interesting, so funny, so full of life and hope. Marriage is not easy, not always fun, not simple--but I am so thankful to be on this life journey with Joel and wouldn't trade it for anything.
All for now,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The party.

I thought and thought about their party this year. Red Butte Gardens? Wheeler Farm? Just a family party? I finally decided on something that I thought would include most all of their favorite things. A party that started at home with their friends with fresh batches of play-doh, a train table, a dress up station (mostly for their friend Vera who loves to dress up:) , their boat and fishing poles, and cup cakes (the essential for Amelia) and then moved on to a train ride on the FrontRunner (mostly for Sam:).

It was so much fun to have all of our friends over at one time. Amelia relished in it and I think their little friends had fun. Sam, however, was pretty overwhelmed with everyone and pretty much melted down the entire time. Poor buddy. Poor mama. Poor little friends who attempted to play with his trains. Next year we may have to have a split party or something as I just hate to see him so obviously overwhelmed.

Overall, though, I think it was really fun:) And can I just say that without my mom-in-love it would not have happened--at least not at all like I pictured it!

Part two was great and Sam had so much fun riding the train and playing underneath a big old railroad car while the rest of us picnicked. The sweetest moment with him was when I went to check on him under there and saw all of his little trains lined up and he was just talking away with them, so content.

So, that was it--their three year old party! We sure missed our friends and family in Texas but are so thankful for our wonderful friends here!!! Jen

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Sam and Amelia!

Here is a little slideshow with a picture from each month of your life.

All my love,

P.S. Be assured that there are more birthday posts to come:)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Lately, in pictures.

Grandpa Jim and Grandma Shari are here!

We celebrated Resurrection Day! There was church and lunch with lots of friends, and hunting for eggs, and Joelie planted some flowers and a tree in our front yard. We even tried to take a family picture. This is as close as we got:)

Then the weather got confused and started to snow. A lot. So, Grandpa Jim took the babes out and made four big snowmen!

Then the weather got straightened out and it is back to Spring again and so we have been spending lots of time outside!

More soon about these birthday babes turning THREE!!! Jen

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A swing and a miss...

Months ago I used an amazon gift card to purchase some beautiful roving wool. I had dreams of making my children and nieces and nephew some felted eggs and wrapping them in spring colored play silks. Ahem. I did manage to dye some play silks a while back but they weren't very springy. Then I was waiting for a night when Joel could make the eggs with me. My reason for this was that he is usually more competent with hand crafts and so I wanted his help. However, the weeks went by and I finally decided it wasn't going to happen to send them to my nieces and nephew (sorry guys, I know you are sorely disapointed:). But, when a dinner date w/ friends fell through this evening and it was snowy and cold outside, I declared it family craft night!!! Maybe Sam and Amelia might at least get a few wool eggs. I ran up stairs to gather the materials, grabbing my camera on the way down to capture this sweet, waldorfy craft time. I was greeted by this happy camper wailing about daddy taking her tape or something....

Things got a bit better from there and there were some brief, sweet moments like these...

But then our computer, which is where we were getting our instructions, died. Joel declared that he just wasn't passionate about felting and therefore wasn't really into it, nothing was looking right and the babes started splashing in the water. So, Joel took them into the kitchen to eat pizza and strawberries and I tried to finish a few eggs while throwing out helpful comments like, " That wasn't really how I envisioned this evening looking." :) :)
The eggs didn't turn out great. At all. They are fuzzy and will probably unravel, just like the felt balls I tried to make for their first birthday. Sigh. Is anybody out there a pro felter that can give me some tips for goodness sake?
Ah well, you win some and lose some. Here are the finished products on the festivity stand.

The roving wool looks pretty at least. And I'm glad we tried. And really, working with warm sudsy water and wool while it snowed outside and Sam and Amelia chased each other around giggling and Joel made pizza and then worked on his composting bin...well, that makes me think the process truly is often worth more than the end result and not a miss after all.
I'll leave you with a recipe I am making on Sunday, which will hopefully turn out better than tonight's experiment:) It is from Simply in Season:
Spring Quiche (serves 4-6)
3 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBLS fresh rosemary (chopped or 1 tsp dried)
Beat together and set aside

1-1 1/2 cups asparagus (cooked and chopped)
1 cup swiss cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup bacon (fried, crumbled)
1/4 cup green onion or onion (chopped)
MIx together and pour into 9 in pie crust, topped by egg-milk mixture. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.
Baked in preheated oven at 425 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 350 and bake until browned on top and set in middle, another 25-30 min. Allow to cool for 10-15 min before cutting and serving.

All for now,