Wednesday, December 31, 2008
So, I'm getting ready for Daniel to come home from his second job so we can ring in the new year - I told him we could stay up till midnight folding laundry ;-)
Today I've been trying to clean the house and now I remember why I dislike doing it so much. It's because I'd like to do it all in one day which is impossible because the kids are constantly interrupting me. The one thing that I really got clean and has stayed perfectly clean is the microwave. sigh. Well, it really needed it! I love those really clean spots in my house that I'm able to get every once in a while that show up how totally messy every other spot in the house is and I (oddly enough) find it very inspiring.
Ugh, the kiddos are still not asleep. Bye!
P.S. Here's another resuolution: stop whining!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
No, really, I do enjoy my kids and I'm happy to be spending so much time with them again it's just harder to enjoy them in the post-Christmas mess and while Josiah is teething a molar. He's had a low grade fever and the works with this one. We went to the Library all together, which was fun. It's definitely easier to go with the big kids. They picked out knock-knock joke books so that's been interesting to say the least.
Daniel's 30th birthday is on Friday so I'm trying to plan something special for him that he'll enjoy. I'll be making my traditional birthday fudge for him in a day or two. Hopefully this year will be the best ever. I've never made fudge as good as the stuff I made in Montana. I'm thinking maybe the difference in humdity is what affects it so much? Then our wedding anniversary is later this month - so this is a pretty busy month for us.
I finally uploaded some pics from Xmas - here's the link
Friday, December 26, 2008
This Christmas has been one of our best Christmases ever. Did I ever mention that I have super well-behaved kids? I usually don't notice. I notice the fighting and the whining a lot more, but this Christmas I've enjoyed how gloriously sweet and generous my little ones are. I watched them play with their new toys and share with each other and I feel really proud of them. Not that there weren't moments when I wanted to pull my hair out too, but there were just more moments of joy and calm this year than not.
Christmas Eve morning Daniel was up early in the morning throwing up etc. etc. and was warmed-over dead all day long. Josiah was up at around 6am and wanted to be held all day long so instead of fighting it I just embraced it and sat with Josiah in my lap all morning long. Emma & Katie-Abigail would come for visits and sit on my lap and pet Josiah and give him kisses. It was really nice, actually, just to sit and enjoy the kids and being with them and the Christmas lights and not worry about the mess or the things to do.
I took the kids to a Christmas Eve service at a local church and it was everything you could hope for in an alternative-style service. Worship music instead of carols, an awesome video presentation and a lot of free coffee. This is the biggest cafe church I've ever been too. I love cafe-style churches - the ones where you come in your jeans with your coffee and the band plays Chris Tomlin and David Crowder and it's all about worship and being transformed and not about how you look or being put together.
So then Christmas day Daniel was feeling well enough to go nap on his mother's couch and the kids had so much fun! They got amazing gifts from aunts and uncles and of course Grammy! Notable mentions: a tea set on a cart, a train that sings animal songs a small digital camera for Beth and a five foot tall Dora playhouse that pops up! I haven't opened it yet the living room is still crowded with toys etc. Once we get it cleared out then we'll work on getting the Dora house up. We also made cameo appearances at my older sister's and parent's houses (and just like I said they would my parents said absolutely nothing about the nose ring.) I did all the driving but I enjoyed the drive home the best. Daniel bought me the soundtrack to August Rush. (love it!) So I listened to that while I was driving through Atlanta.
I love driving through Atlanta at night. I go strait through town whenever I have the opportunity. It's quicker to go via 285 around the city but then you miss a lot of the tall buildings and the lights. I love it. It seems like we did it a lot when I was a kid. I loved the way the street lamps looked at night and wished I could paint it. Now I wish I could photograph it. Maybe one day I will.
Then I stayed up late watching Planet in Peril. Wow. That was awesome yet sobering. So today I spent pretty much all day doing nothing. Daniel is feeling mostly better, though he's weak and somewhat dizzy. We watched WallE and High School Musical2 and I held Josiah the entire length of both movies. It was the only way he would sleep. (this too shall pass, this too shall pas.) It was fun in the morning but tiring in the afternoon. Oh and I played Candy Land with Emma & Beth for the first time ever. I loved going over to my friend's house and playing it with her when I was like six years old. It's a great game. A little young for them. Katie-Abigail should enjoy it a lot. It's more on her level. I'll post some photos soon. Here's someone elses Christmas photo that you should totally check out. love it!
The oldest two are spending the weekend at Grammy's so maybe I'll post some more soon :-)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Every year, or I should say every year recently or like at least the last couple of years, every year it's the same. Around October, or even as early as August, I start to dream about Christmas. Usually it's somewhat elaborate and completely unattainable for me. I think about the Christmas portrait (which ends up being a snapshot of the fam on my MIL's couch) I think about the homemade Christmas cards I'm really really going to made and send out this year (we have never actually ever sent out Christmas cards ever as a married couple) and the homemade cookies and I dream about having a real live Christmas tree this year(which would most likely get completely destroyed by my very active one year old boy) and I start on the home-made Christmas gifts. I also say, over and over to myself, this year I'm going to keep it simple. But my husband doesn't really start thinking about Christmas until about two weeks beforehand. So this is what happens - I have this idea of getting one maybe two gifts for each of the children and then Daniel starts shopping and I have a huge pile of presents to wrap. sigh. Maybe next year Daniel and I will do our Christmas shopping together - that might be nice. The scarves are nearly done though! yay! I also bought some board games for the kids "Candy Land" and "Chutes and Ladders" I enjoyed playing Candy Land with my best friend as a little girl and I think it'll be really great, especially during the Christmas break where you tend to hear "I'm bored!" like every ten minutes that the TV is off.
To tell you the truth I'm really ready for Christmas to be over now. I want it to be the New Year! I'm already working on my list of resolutions for the new year. Daniel doesn't do that kind of thing but I love it. One of my resolutions is to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal. My kids love fruit and I usually end up eating a quarter of an apple and a couple of grapes here or there. Recently I've been tragically behind in the fruit/veggie department - something I want to make right. I might to the green smoothie thing again - that was fun. The other day I was cutting up oranges for the little kiddos at lunch time and it hit me just how much I love the smell of oranges. I love the smell they leave on my hands. I'm not usually a citrus-y kind of gal. I go for floral nine times out of time (except for the Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon soap!) So it kind of surprised me.
Another thing I want to work at it is ORGANIZATION. Organization is, for me, what dieting is for other women. I try hard, for like a week, and then fall off the wagon. I am so bad at maintaining a routine that will keep everything tidy. For as long as I've been blogging I've been whining about this! My house is just about 100% disorganized at the moment. I did tackle the girl's rooms and got their toys all organized. But then the weekend happened and I think we're going to have to do it all over again on Monday! At least we purged some of the broken and cheap toys that never get played with. We also filled a bin with "toys on vacation" that's what my mom called the toys that got put away for awhile and would come out in a few months. I only let them keep one big stuffed animal and one doll and only enough little toys to fill one tote that they got at a cousin's birthday party and has their names on them. That helps a little anyway.
Oh and my nose piercing is super infected. I had to cut up a bandaid to just to keep the stud from going back into my nose. eeeeew!! I can't wait for it do be fully healed and fabulous again. I feel so self-conscious with it all red and gross and I look at my face in the mirror and fuss at my nose saying "this was supposed to make me feel more beautiful! not ugly!"But that's another story :-) I wonder what my parents are going to say when I see them this week? hmmm. Probably nothing! Okay. I guess I've eaten way too many Christmas chocolates now. ha!
Friday, December 19, 2008
(This is Katie-Abigail in the lion costume)
Today has been one of those lay around in your pajama days. Forget about the chaos in the kitchen, lay aside the never-ending to-do's of the Holidays and just sit and be with my kids. (My two littlest managed to spill my coffee on me like four times - ick!) It's on these days that I remember how much I love my life. I love staying at home with my babies - I would do it all my life if I could. I'd snuggle down in my little nest pull the covers over our heads and live in a little bubble of cuddles and hot cocoa. But anyway I just wanted to say I LOVE MY LIFE!! I love hearng Josiah say new words and watching Katie-Abigail learning and communicating more and more. Today I gave Katie-Abigail her vitamin and she skipped around a bit saying "it's pink! it's pink!" and I thought "I tought her that!" just by telling her what color her vitamin is nearly every time I give it to her. Josiah is now, every once in a while, calling me Mama instead of Daddy - I've been working relelntlessly on that! I love watching how affectionate Josiah has become - he hugs little babies everywhere - it just warms my heart! In the middle of the mundane and seemingly pointless and repetitive activities there is a strand of pearls being strung that will outlast me. So give someone near you a kiss and a hug and hang in there a little while longer!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm sitting here drinking re-heated coffee and a brown sugar & cinnamon pop tart (I know, it's not really food. I bought a box of whole grain ones for the kids 'cause I had a coupon and it was thanksgiving break and D bought a box of regular ones - I tried one and now I'm hooked.) and I thought I'd share a little bit of life with you while Daniel is out.
I put up some Christmas lights. Oooh - they are so wonderful! I love the soft glow of them in the evening. I sort of just swagged them across the windows and hung some mini-ornaments in between the lights. It does not look wonderful but it is more Christmas-y than I thought I'd get too this year so I'm happy and the kids are happy and Daniel's not opposed to the idea so we're all good.
Katie-Abigail has been saying the most hilarious things recently. We were walking through the Wal-Mart parking lot one day and she suddenly said "I just smelled that car's breath. It smells gross!" and then today when we were at Old Navy the manager said to her "If anything goes wrong while I'm gone - you're in charge" Well Katie-Abigail did not like that one bit and she kept saying "That bad man said that I'm in charge. I'm going to throw my gum wrapper at him and call him cookie nuts." Cookie nuts is her newest thing. She is the only one allowed to say it, if one of us says it she gets mad. She uses it in all sorts of odd circumstances she'll say "oh cookie nuts." or "she's such a cookie nut" so, anyway - as always very funtertaining.
Josiah is starting to talk a little, he is also signing a few basic signs (finally!) like please & eat. He calls both Daniel & I "Daddy" (sniff sniff). He is a babbler, which is awfully cute. I really need to take a little video of him so I won't forget. Josiah got his first (of what I'm sure will be many) bloody noses. He & Katie-Abigail totally collided. They were jumping off of the laundry baskets so they totally had it coming. I dabbed it a little and then took a picture.
Emma is little miss popularity at school. She has boyfriend already - named Austen, who she thinks is so handsome. (sigh.) While were on the subject of boys - Beth told me that she is in a club at school called "The Love Club" and they sit around and talk about which boys they like. Oh, I am so not ready for this! I am constantly aware with those two that I have totally no clue what I'm doing and I have to desperately seek God for wisdom! Today Beth told me that sometime she wants to Celebrate Hanukkah. I thought that was a really cool thing for her to want to do. Maybe she just liked the idea of eight days of presents!
So, I love this time of year! The scented candles and the wrapping paper and giving gifts and the music. My Christian radio station has gone berserk playing 30s Christmas stuff - as if there's not plenty of Christian Christmas radio to fill the hours! I just can't stand it. So I've discovered Pandora's holiday stations. It's totally awesome!! I'm listening to "Casting Crowns (Holiday)" and loving it!!! It's the best internet radio ever. I heard the song "Virgin's Lullaby" the music to this song is incredible - I especially love the first chorus with (I assume) Natalie Grant it's so beautiful!!
I've been thinking about watching Christmas movies and which ones I like (and not). My favorites aren't so much Christmas movies as movies that have a little bit of Christmas in them - like "While You Were Sleeping" and to a lesser extent "Little Women". I also like "The Bishop's Wife" (old B&W movie - updated as "The Preacher's Wife") and "All I Want for Christmas" is one that I enjoyed when I was younger, I don't know if I'd still enjoy it. "You've Got Mail" has a little bit of Christmas in it. Oh but I think my favorite classic Christmas movie is "A Christmas Carol" though I can't tell you which version I like best - I haven't seen that in forever. Yes, I've seen "It's a Wonderful Life" several times. I also love love love "Family Man" one of my faves. I saw it right around the time that Daniel and I got married.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
See more by clicking here!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Today I also went to see the movie "Bolt". It was awesome! A lot like "Meet the Robinsons" but funnier. The hamster totally made the movie for me. Daniel & I dropped the littlest two off at my mom's house and went to see the movie with the oldest two plus Daniel's mom, sister & niece. So it was fun. Beth sang along with the ending song - it was so cute! It was so much fun to go see a movie as a family. Daniel & I used to go out to movies all of the time - up until Katie-Abigail was born - so it was fun to do that again.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Today I am thankful for my family, most of all. I am thankful for my husband who has been faithful to me through a truly crappy year. I am thankful for each of my children. Emma told me today "I need both of my sisters to be happy" I feel like that about each of them. They are growing up so fast! Beth read her birthday cards today herself. She read her card from her Aunt "To my Great Nice" ha! Emma acted like such a big girl as she got into her Grammy's car. She had packed her bag and got herself all ready to go. Katie-Abigail looked taller to me today than ever before and Josiah's very life and presence in this family is a miracle. This afternoon while I was waiting for bread dough to rise I took a walk with just Josiah and I felt the miracle of his life and am so grateful.
I am thankful for my God who has been immeasurable faithful to me. Who has lifted me out of my pit of despair and placed my feet on high places where the grass is a bit greener and the air is a bit sweeter and I laugh and play like a child again. It's been such a long year of grief and I am so glad that God has heard my cry and restored my joy. That he is always with me, leading me on this incredible journey.
I am thankful for beauty. I am thankful for my home - with central heat and air (woohoo!) I am thankful for Mrs. Sue who has become like a second grandmother to my kids and a dear friend to me. I'm thankful for my friends and my church. I'm thankful for my kid's awesome school, and for the peace I've experienced as I've shared that load. (This week we did "Morning Work" every morning and it made me even more thankful that they go to school!)
Well, the coffee is done, though I'm sure I could write more but I'm going to go and sit with Daniel for a bit. Later!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This couple was so sweet. They seemed like they would have let me take pictures of them all night! I've never worked with anyone who was willing to spend so much time taking pictures. During the ceremony they played Keith Urban song "Making Memories of Us" it was so beautiful. There was a lot of love and laughter, they cared for each other's children as if they were thier own.
I'm still in the middle of going through them but here are some of my favorites that I've processed so far.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Beth had her first ever field trip on... well, it was a couple days ago, sorry I'm having a Mommy moment and can't realy remember the specifics of what day that was, so anyway... Beth had her first ever field trip and it was to the Zoo which was very cool. We went there once this year, Beth seemed to really enjoy her field trip. With all that time on the bus etc. she spent the whole day wiggling her loose tooth (that's been loose for like six months) The other day I noticed it was finally getting good and "woggly" and Daniel said "How about I pull it for you?" Beth said "How about on the 17th?" HA! Daniel and I got a laugh out of that. But when Beth came home with that super-wiggly tooth Daniel said "Okay, it's time to take it out." He got out his big pliers (which totally frieked Beth out) and tried to pull it out. He tried pulling it out with his fingers, but they were too big to really fit in her mouth well. So he and Beth gave up on it for awhile. That night just before bedtime I said "Let me take another look at your super-wiggly tooth" and she said "sure" and I said "let's see how far this baby tooth will wiggle up" and it wiggled super-far up and I said "let's see hoe far this baby tooth will wiggle down" and I wiggled it down and heard that little sound of roots breaking (or whatever) Beth said "let me try that!" so she wiggled her tooth some more, it hurt a little and she stopped wiggling so I said "let me see one more time" so Beth said "sure!" and I wiggled it up and wiggled it down and felt a little pop. I said "wiggle it one more time" she opened her mouth and the tooth fell right out! Emma said "oooh Beth, you look so scary now, like a pirate!" ha! Katie-Abigail said what she's been saying for months now "See Mommy I lost a toos" (she's only three and has not yet even had a loose tooth yet, but she wants to be big like Beth so pretend that she's lost a tooth too).
In other news, my GED books came today. I literally jumped around the room giggling. I had no idea I'd be as ecstatic about it as I am. It's been a loooooong time since I've done anything like this!! I sat right down and tore through the first five chapters in the shorter one! Woohoo!
Also I have my second ever wedding photo-shoot coming up on Saturday. It sounds like it is going to be completely different from the last wedding but still quite small. The bride told me today that some of her friends are expecting me to take family portraits while I am there doing the reception photos. (Be still my beating heart!) No, seriously, I'm excited about the opportunity to get some more experience not to mention make some extra money!
Friday, November 7, 2008
So, they put the Christmas tree up at Wal-Mart the other day and my first reaction was to panic - having no idea whatsoever as to what I'll do for my children in the way of Christmas presents. This is always a tricky spot for me. Last year Daniel and I divided our Christmas money and came up with a ridiculous amount of cheap presents. I took a picture of the heap of presents and promised myself that next year would be different. I am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to Christmas, I want to give my child the gift that will be their favorite present of the season, one that they will cherish for a lifetime. The reality however is that there is absolutely no way to compete with the grandparents. So this year I've decided to just crochet them each a scarf. I get my sewing bag out, the one that my mom made for me when I was still a teen and that I will cherish forever, at night, usually while Daniel is watching some news. I finished Katie-Abigail's already and tried it out on her this morning while Beth & Emma were getting ready for School. That was totally the right move (sweet!) Beth and Emma were all over it saying "will you make one for me too? what color yarn did you buy for me? can you make mine really long?" I showed them the yarn but the rest is going to be a surprise. It was very satisfying to see them excited about their scarves.
In other news, Josiah is getting to be more of a handful every day! His new favorite thing is to climb into the kitchen cupboards!! Usually while I'm cooking or washing dishes. He also tries to climb into the dishwasher regardless of if the dishes in it are clean or dirty.
Another favorite trick of his is to take the toilet paper and bring it into the kitchen, wasting a ton of it. So we keep a lot of doors closed now and the trash cans up high. Josiah was constantly knocking them over and scattering their contents all over the room. He also had started reaching into the kitchen trash can to grab scraps of food. Is that totally gross or what?! Josiah has finally started signing (yay!) he can sign eat, more, please and all-done. I'm super proud of him. I've been working with him pretty much since he was six months old with very little response. He's very verbal and is close to saying every word he can sign. He also loves to shriek. Especially in the car. Especially when we're in the car and I'm on the phone. You can forget about having a conversation at that point. He's an adorable and sweet little guy but super-stubborn he'll do the same thing over and over, even if he's being disciplined for it. I just keep reminding myself that this season is short and I try to treasure the baby-ness in him. He's still nursing, mostly just at naptime and bedtime. I still love those moments. He's such a joy!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Personally, it means that I will be working to get me Teachers Certificate so that I can become a teacher in the public school system. I have a ton of work to do, I don't even have my GED! Obama said that if he became President he would recruit new teachers and work on the failing school system. I believe that the transformation of our school system is possible through the involvement of parents and the excellence of teachers and I would really like to be a part of it. I ordered my test-prep books today and I am so excited. I hope to be ready to teach around the time Josiah is ready for first grade or so. We'll see!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
In case you haven't seen this yet here are some links to some videos you might want to watch:
Barak Obama at Rick Warren's Saddleback Civil Forum
Evangelical Student Supports Barak Obama
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Meet Beth she's almost 7! I think she looks a lot like me (but with blue eyes) and has a personality like her Daddy. She is very creative & artistic but she is her daddy's little girl all the way! She likes school, and she is a really responsible little girl and a big help to me. She likes to dance, take photos, read, draw and ride her bike!
Emma is five and is 18 months younger than Beth. She is my most passive-agressive child. She is quiet at school but one-on-one she is very talkative. She reminds me a lot of my younger sister! She is very affectionate, she loves to dress like a princess and is my most picky child. She loves to dance, cuddle and play dress-up
And this is my husband Daniel (with Josiah a while ago). He is my number one fan and I love him dearly.
So there you have it! You can see more photos of the fam on my Flickr site a lot of my photos are only viewable if you are listed as a friend or family in my contacts so please feel free to ask me to add you as a contact (you'll need a free Flickr account) so that you can see more photos!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Tonight my kiddos and I took a walk around the subdivision and we were choosing new names for ourselves - it was so much fun. During the course of the walk of course my girls changed their minds a couple of times (we are girls after all!) Katie-Abigail was, well it's taught to spell the name she came up with. It's a shortened version of her middle name "Elise" without the "eh" at the beginning, well say "Lisse" that was when Emma wanted to be called by her middle name "Alyssa" but then Emma changed her mind and wanted to be called "Belle" (sigh) at which point Katie-Abigail decided that her name should be "Cinderella". It was so silly! I'm saying "Belle don't walk so far ahead" and "Cinderella, get out of the middle of the street!" ha! I, of course, was "Ann" that's my middle name and a name I identify with much more than my first name and my rather boring name of choice for any occasion with the girls when my real name simply won't do. Then Beth decided, after a long and heated debate with Mommy, that she would be "Betsy". She was so thrilled with her new pretend name. That lead us to a discussion of Betsy Ross and when we got home we looked up the Betsy Ross flag on the Internet. So that was cool. It was fun calling each other by our "new" names and laughing and being silly. These kinds of walks don't happen very often so I treasure them (and write blog posts about them!) when they do.
I have started saving for our very first trip to Michigan. I told the girls about it this evening, how I'm planing for us to drive to my Great-Grandparent's little cottage on the lake and we'll swim every day in the lake. I was expecting them to be excited but they actually both cried! It's going to be our very first real trip since Emma has been born so it was just too unknown of an idea for them, I guess. They asked a hundred questions like will I be able to watch kid shown on their TV and will there be strangers living in the house and will we fly in an airplane and will I be able to bring stuffed toys and blankies and how will I get dressed and how long will it take to Michigan? Days and days? I'm excited about this and I really really hope it works out for this summer.
I got my hair cut. I like it. Though I'm glad that my hair grows quickly. It says to me that I can be myself. I don't have to style myself like something off of TV or a magazine, I don't have to have long hair just because Daniel likes long hair, for crying out loud! Daniel took this photo of me and I did the post-processing/touchup on it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
It turned out there were a lot of hand-me-down clothse that were for next year in the pile, but still that was a lot to sort through!
It seems like a pretty normal part of life now that there are these days when the entire house - every square inch of it - is messy. I used to feel like some sort of loser-mom for allowing my house to tumble into such disrepair but now I'm getting used to it and realizing that pretty much all of my friends experience the same thing from time to time.
This morning I had my big long list of things to do today and I was all ready to start on my list when Katie-Abigail says "Mommy, I want waffles for breakfast" and I thought "why not?" so Katie-Abigail and I made pancakes this morning and I felt like I had finally taken another step in the direction of maturity. When Beth was her age we never made pancakes together, I found the whole experience too exasperating! But we Katie-Abigail and I some kick-ass pancakes together this morning. Yay!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Katie-Abigail had the hiccups today for the first time in forever. She was so funny! She thought she was going to throw up at first but then she got a little more used to the sensation and started to giggle we put together a puzzle to get her mind off of her hiccups - it was an amazing little moment.
Later we (Katie-Abigail, Josiah & I) played in the living room with balls and listened to music. I was trying to get laundry done but as Katie-Abigail said "dance with me" I couldn't resist. So we danced and we wrestled and we rolled balls around and I just sat there on the floor thinking "this is all I can do" for now anyway.
See, exhaustion is just a part of every day these days. Life is very busy and very full and I never ever get even half of the things I would like to do done in any given day but when I stop thinking about everything I think I should be doing and just concentrate on what I am doing I find my boundaries more quickly. I find myself saying "this is just all I can do" and being content with that. In that place of peace within myself I find the strength to do those extra things that we all dreamed about as our bellies started to swell and we felt new life growing inside of us. You know, dancing with little feet, baking cookies with little hands, drinking in the little laughs and wondering at the miracle of their little lives. I treasure my two little ones so much remembering how quickly their big sisters grew out of their littleness. I don't want to waste these precious days beating myself up about what I can't do, so "this is all I can do" has become my little mantra to remind myself that I'm not super-woman.
I think I tend to (in my mind) hold myself to super-high standards. Sometimes I feel like I need to treat each child as if they were an only child, care for my husband and my home as if we didn't have any children at all and keep up my appearance as if I were single. That is totally impossible when I've got four little kids! It was impossible when I had two little kids!