Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ahhh, today has been such a fun and easy day. Which is good, because we have had some doosie's lately! We have been sick,sick,sick since before Thanksgiving and it's just now letting up. The other night I ran a super high fever and woke up shaking violently. No fun. Then the next day my milk supply was pretty much nil. Thanks to pumping and nursing frequently, drinking tons of water, and taking fenugreek pills, it is coming back. So thankful for that!! Anyway, all that to say, with everyone feeling better and not so needy I hardly knew what to do with myself today! I mean besides washing clothes, caring for children, etc:)

Seriously, though, Sam and Amelia have been deep in play since they woke up this morning and are still at it. They said they only wanted to go drive thru Chik Fil A if I would move Sam's booster to the back seat with Amelia so they could keep playing!! Crazy man, and so much fun to see.

I love this picture, funny as that probably sounds. They play with these snowball makers more than almost any toy they have. For sure the most played with toy outside, no matter the season. I love seeing them muddy and happy and intensely busy with "projects".
Well, I'm finishing this post hours later. The late afternoon was not quite as easy as our earlier day. Things got harried as they often do with the baby hungry and kids not wanting to clean up and me trying to figure out how to fit in some meaningful advent readings this evening:) I was all ready with my reading material, but when I got up to the room Amelia had fallen asleep looking at books! Ah well, we will try again tomorrow. [Side note: On my way up to read our advent readings I thought, "Maybe I should grab them each a marshmallow as a bribe to listen to the whole reading. After all, it's pretty long and they are probably tired. A bribe to listen to advent readings, Jenny?! Shouldn't advent readings look like a whole family sitting down at dinner, the four candles in the middle of the table, a special lighting, maybe a Jesse tree ornament being put on a tree, reads the devotional and you all talk about it? Instead it's a harried mama grabbing marshmallows as a bribe, already two days behind, no Jesse tree, no cute advent calendar, no family dinner, no Dad home to read devotional. But seriously, isn't the real important thing that Jesus is infused into your celebrations? That He remains center? Doesn't that happen in little ways throughout the day? Grab the marshmallows Jenny. "] Then the bag of marshmallows fell out of the pantry as I put it back. I left it there on the floor. Oh my.

Still, it was a good day. There are so perfect ones are there? All for now, Jen

Saturday, November 26, 2011

If you listen...

One of the most beautiful things about having Jubilee in our family has been to watch Sam's and Amelia's love for her grow. I have thought of the song in this little slideshow so many times this past few months. It describes it perfectly. You can see in the first picture how uncomfortable Sam was, and who can blame him?! A new baby, one with iv's and all kinds of things in her, mama away at the hospital and then busy with baby at home, etc. Even Amelia, who professed her love so loudly for Jubilee, showed only a bit of interest at first. I kept reading other friend's accounts of instant sibling love and adoration, and I thought, "Well, maybe it's a twin thing. They have each other. " But then, oh then, slowly but surely their love started to grow. In their own time and in their own way. You could just see it.

Right now we are all under the weather, and you would think we were torturing Sam by telling him (again and again and again and again) not to kiss or breath in Jubilee's face. Goodness. What joy, though, to see these siblings bond. It's a gift. Here's a little look at the past (almost) three months of sibling love.

All for now,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I asked Sammy what he was thankful for today and with no hesitation he answered, " Rescue vehicles, worms, slugs, snails, and box elder bugs." Love that little guy.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh, these two...

A: "Sam, what do you fink happens if you have a cavity>"
S: " I fink you die!"
A: "Oh Sam, you don't die!"
S: "Yep, dead and buried."

This little conversation at the dentist today just cracked me up. They have so many hilarious exchanges, I wish I would record more of them! This was their second visit to the dentist and they just have such a grand ol' time. I'll hate when they have a cavity or something and their innocent, dentist loving bubble is burst. They think the flavored cleaning gel is so great, and the new toothbrush, tooth paste, floss, etc. are received with great gusto. Amelia remembered that they got to pick out a little toy and even remembered one that was in the box last time that she was interested in (six months ago!!). I love watching them at appointments together, whether it's a hair cut , doctor appt., dentist, or whatever. They are such cheerleaders for each other. Today when Sam climbed up in the chair Amelia had a burst of affection and went over and kissed his hand. Awww. I can't imagine when they play sports! I remember that with my brothers so clearly...feeling such pride watching them play and just cheering them on with everything in me. I look forward to seeing that with these two.

Anyway, as we were leaving, the dentist gave them some gloves like he had worn and they thought that was the greatest! Then the receptionist let them choose some little chap stick. We walked out the door and Sammy said, "Those guys are so special to me!" Hee hee, I love it.

Thankfully, Jubilee was snoozing in the sling the whole time:)

On a sad note, Amelia started running fever tonight (Sam was running fever over the weekend and now has no voice) and so we will probably miss their Thanksgiving feast at preschool tomorrow:/ Such a bummer. They were so looking forward to dressing up as "Nate of Camericans" :) . I am going to try and have a little feast here for them. In fact, we made cranberry sauce together today after reading a story about cranberries in our Pioneer Thanksgiving book. Still, I know they will be disappointed. Boo!

Guess that's all for now. Back to watching Sing Off online and then I'm off to bed! :) Jen

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Joel and Jubilee...

You forget a lot of things about having a new babe. Things like how fussy "fussy hours" are in the evening, how much energy it takes to feed and care for a newborn, etc, but there are wonderful things that you forget too. How it feels to have a tiny babe snuggled into your neck. What it feels like when they start to smile at you and how sweet they look right after a bath. My favorite thing that I forgot though, was how fast and hard Joel falls in love with his children. I mean, I really truly forgot. I forgot how he becomes such a papa bear immediately after they are born, so protective. In fact, while I was still in the operating room, my awesome nurse came back in and said what a papa bear Joel was. It started coming back to me. But it wasn't until I saw him with Jubilee, saying the sweetest things to her so freely and unabashedly that I truly remembered. What joy! Then when she came to stay in my room finally and he would be up there, he just wouldn't put her down. It was when he said, " I wish I would have brought the sling, I hate putting her in that plastic thing (bassinet)", that I think my heart fluttered in recognition. It was such a gift to me when the twins were born, how quickly he bonded with them even though they were so premature. He loved them in a way that took me longer to. With Jubilee, it was just a sweet sight to see. My favorite thing I forgot by far.

All for now, Jen
P.S. How about Jubilee's little elf hat my mom made? Love.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The weeks, they fly by...

One week old...
( Wow, I look rough.:) I remember this moment so clearly. It was the morning we were leaving the hospital and I was actually very happy. I also love the way she nuzzled right into my shoulder and neck all the time. )
Two weeks old...
( First day of cloth diapering:)
Three weeks old...
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( I love this outfit on her. So cozy. I also love seeing her wear outfits that I thrifted for her before she was born. It's satisfying to this thrift store loving mama:) I quickly realized that these one piece type outfits are all that I put her in pretty much. They work best with cloth diapers for sure.)
Four weeks old...
( This isn't the best picture, but the only other picture I have on her fourth week birthday is of a piece of quiche. I was still a very hungry newly nursing mama and food was very important to me and I remember thinking that quiche looked so beautiful! Ha. )
Five weeks old...
( First time in her new swing. She loves it. So we love it. I was an attachment parenting snob about swings, and now I am not.)
Six weeks old...

Seven weeks old...

Eight weeks old !
I wanted a picture like this for each week,so clear of her face and body. Obviously, that didn't happen. Maybe it will for the next eight weeks? Don't hold your breath!:) I also like this one because it shows how the kids put random toys on or next to her if she is fussing to try and help her feel better. This is Sammy's attempt with his "little boy". So sweet. Anyway, I have loads I want to write about these past eight weeks, but for now I'll just say how much we adore our little Jubilee. Joel has deemed her my "little sidekick", and it's true. Wherever mama is, there Jubilee usually is also-nursing, slinging, sleeping, etc.etc.:) Sometimes I feel like she is such an extension of me that it's hard to really see her, you know? So, at night when the kids are asleep and all is quiet, I take some time to really just soak her in. Because, these weeks, they turn into months and years and they all just fly right by.
All for now,

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have such good memories of my mom making the best scarecrows when we were growing up. After reading The Lonely Scarecrow about 15 times this fall, I really wanted her to do one this year with the kids. So, of course, even though she is working full time now and a busy beaver she made the time! Thanks mama:)

At first we had him sitting up by the front door, but it kept freaking me out when I would catch a glimpse of his hat through the front window, thinking someone was there. Then we moved him down into the front yard, where it continues to startle me when I catch a glimpse of it out the window. I guess he's just doing his job!!:)
I love me some wholesome fall fun! Jen

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Family portrait.

In the mail today we got this wonderful surprise:

Drawn by our friend Evan, with input from his wife Becky:), we will treasure it always. It will be framed pronto and hung next to our last that he drew. It is just so sweet. I am in awe of those of you who take the time and creative energy to give hand-made gifts. They are so very special.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Maybe I'm a bit sentimental...

Having a new babe in the house will do that to you I think. But, the other day as I was getting ready to run to Target with Shari I thought of a post I wrote way back when Sam and Amelia were still in the NICU. This post.
It instantly brought tears to my eyes. I thought of Sam and his love of firemen and his fireman costume that he adores. Here we are, four and a half years later with a healthy and thriving boy! How grateful is my heart when I think of that!

Then, a few days later, Amelia was getting ready to go to a party at my mom's work. She found a piece of ribbon and wanted me to tie it around her waist as a belt. She thought it looked SO beautiful. Then she went into the bathroom and came out with all of these bows decorating her belt. Oh my. It was just about the cutest thing ever. Then she went to the fridge and got this picture off that she had drawn, because she "matched the picture!"

I thought back to that post again and to my sparkle of a girl that we have now and thankfulness washed over me.
Thank you Lord for the gift of these children and that you are allowing us to experience this fun age of firefighters and fairies and creativity and princesses and make believe.
Sweet babies, growing up before our eyes! Jen

Thursday, November 03, 2011

We all love when Grandpa Jim and Grandma Shari come for a visit! The kids look so forward to it and it just gets more and more special to see their relationships grow as they get older. They are always such a help, but this time especially I felt so thankful to have them hear loving on Sam and Amelia as we all transitioned to having a new babe at home. I think it really, really helped the kids to have them here giving them lots of attention, and of course that really helped me! Anyway, we made lots of memories! So sad to see them leave today, but I know it's time for us to start finding our new rhythm at here we go! Love you Jim and Shari...thank you for every meal cooked, every broken thing mended, every snuggle to the kids and baby, every book read, walk taken, kitchen cleaned, encouraging word spoken, etc.etc.etc. You two are appreciated!

All for now,

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Giving is truly better.

To understand the significance of this story, you must understand Amelia a bit. Though she has never been one to attach much significance to things, food is another matter. Specifically "special treats". She has a sweet tooth like no other. The way to her heart is definitely through her tummy. So you can imagine how excited she has been about Halloween. Last year she was in total shock at the concept of trick or treating and she looked forward to it coming again all year long. It is her Christmas as far as gifts go!

So, last night we got home with our bounty and she gobbled up her three piece allowance (she had already eaten several pieces during the day). Then she heard that we had almost run out of candy to give trick or treaters and quickly offered to put some of her own in the bowl to give. " Are you sure?" we asked in disbelief. She was on a mission. She poured about half her candy in the bowl and then opened the door and stood out on the porch. She was in her pajamas by this time and as I peeked out the window and saw her standing there by the door, standing so tall and serious holding the bowl out just waiting for little friends to come and get it, I almost cried. What a precious, surprising sight. I said a little prayer that someone would come (it was late by this time) and sure enough a big group came and wiped her out. She was not done yet. Oh no. She came in, grabbed her basket and poured the rest into the bowl, running back outside to give the rest away, I wish you could have seen her face and heard her voice. I did cry a this point. She was joyfully giving away her fortune, and it was inspiring (and humbling, really) to watch.

She went out to the end of the driveway and stood on the sidewalk. Sam was with her at one point and was yelling "Mena has candy for you!" to anyone he saw. The whole scene was just so funny because Sam is usually our giver and he didn't even think to join in until the very end. No, this was Amelia's lesson about the joy of giving. Well, hers and all of ours who were watching, Joel and Shari were out there with her as she sang loud songs about how excited the kids would be to get candy, how she didn't want her teeth to get rotten, etc,
Finally she came in to go to bed after we promised we would come and get her if anyone rang the doorbell. She still had some left and she also had put a stack of her drawings on top of the bowl to give away. This was put carefully by the front door. She put her shoes right by her bed " so she could get to the door fast if someone came". We turned out the lights and all started getting ready for bed. It was 10pm after all! But no, there rang the doorbell. Amelia squealed in delight and came running down the stairs. She let them choose their candy, handed out her drawings, and then retired to bed once again.

Oh, somewhere in there Sam found some stickers Shari had bought for Amelia earlier that day. He said, "Look Mena! These are for you!" You would have thought someone had handed her, well, massive amounts of candy! Shari and I thought she might cry she looked so genuinely surprised and thankful! She clutched them to her chest and then buried herself into Shari's bosom. Another teary moment for mama.

Joel told Amelia that she had shown us what Jesus's love looks like. So true. You know that hymn about how His love is "vast, unmeasured, boundless and free" ? I kept thinking of that today. How God gives to us so freely so that we might give. Unmeasured. Boundless. Free. Who knew that we would see that in action through our little girl in pink pajamas, standing at the end of the driveway, giving in just that way.

She didn't seem to regret it in any way today, though she was up to her antics of talking a million miles an hour about why she should be able to eat this or that after her meal. Sigh. I can't wait until the candy is gone (Sam still has plenty and is very willing to share with his sister:)! Still, what a sweet ending to our Halloween night. And what a great reminder that giving is truly better. What joy it brings. To the giver and the receiver.

All for now,