Friday, January 29, 2010

Pink playdough in Heaven

Ashley asked me today after lunch, "Mommy, does God have pink playdough in Heaven?" I reassured her that if he did not have it, he could probably make it for her. She replied, "Yeah, he'd probably have the recipe and he could make pink playdough and purple playdough and blue playdough and red playdough and orange playdough." What more could a person ask for?


So, does anyone out there have any really great, simple, yet adequate, ways to explain the menstrual cycle to a 2 1/2 year old? We have discussed that it is not painful, only women get it (as opposed to men and children) and it is blood. I wonder what she's going to tell her Sunday school teachers this week? Or better yet, what is she going to mention to Grandpa and Grandma at the family gathering this weekend. Oh gosh! How funny!

He can crawl...

Jacob is officially 7 months old today and as of today, he can crawl...backwards. I don't have any crawling pics yet because pictures do not really do justice to the evidence of his mobility. We are beginning to find him backed up into some really unusual places that no mother would set her child down. I'm sure I'll have some interesting portraits over the next few weeks as he gets his directions and coordination all figured out.

This silly sister, Ashley, said some funnies yesterday. My favorite was her statement in Brookshires, our local grocery store, while she was sitting on the toilet. "Mommy, my bottom is empty." Last night she told me that her bottom was empty again but it would be full in the morning. Good to know, right?

Ashley also started making marked progress in her ability to write letters this week. We are super excited for her. She recognizes most letters, knows all their sounds, and is not on the concept of trying to write them. We practice some simple words with her, but she does not seem quite ready to read yet. That's okay, the little lady is only 2 and 3/4 years old.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

I can do it!

I ran across these pictures from before Christmas when Ashley decided upon her wardrobe of the day and fully dressed herself, all by herself. Didn't she do a splendid job?


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our front yard friends today

This morning, we were pleasantly surprised by four deer, 3 of which were distinctly bucks, munching on treats in our front lawn (hopefully more acorns than bulbs today). This afternoon, we were greeted by 6 cows who had escaped the typical always-in-need-of-repair farm fencing and came to snack on our greener grass.

It was a beautiful day here in Texas, so we skipped naps too and herded cows, picked up pecans and swung instead. That's kinda like having ice cream when you're sick.

Go make your bed

So, yesterday morning Ashley was spying in my closet and finding all the things I try to keep hidden from her to pull out for random surprises/occassions. She found that I had some pom poms up there and she was determiend to play with them. So, I told her that if she went and made her bed, I'd let her play with them. She quickly said "okay" and off she ran. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as this was the first time I've ever asked her to make her bed. For a first time attempt, she did pretty well. Here are the results:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Potty Party

I know this sounds crazy by American standards, but we've started putting Jacob on the potty chair this week and he's been pooping and peeing in it nearly every time we sit him there. The boy is not quite seven months yet, but it is almost as if he knows what to do. Maybe it is just a fluke, but he has been doing very well for the past few days. I figure it is at least a few less poopy cloth diapers to spray out and wash. Yeah!

My theory with the whole potty training thing is that we should teach the child before they learn any differently. By this I mean that if we just make that the natural next transition (kind-of like from nursing alone to nursing and eating some rice cereal) they'll never know any different and you don't have to get into the battle of wills over the use of a stinkin (and I mean this literally) toilet. We did that approach with Ashley and it seemed to have worked pretty well. Now, I may have to eat my words in 2 or 3 years if Jacob is still not potty trained, but hey, it is at least a start.

On a different note, but still regarding Jacob, this little guy is so funny. His giggle just absolutely melts my heart and makes me laugh. I think there will be a day when he'll probably be able to use his charm to crack a sour moment I may be experiencing. How fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Be kind...

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

I read this quote today and I just love it, as it really puts in words my feelings about life and those we are fortunate to encounter. I remember when I worked at SEP (the youth camp in Orr, Minnesota) and one of my area directors said of one of the student workers one day, "He just needs a hug." Well, I can tell you that a hug is not what first came to my mind as being the "thing" he needed, but my area director was right. This guy really did just need a hug-at least metaphorically speaking. He needed someone to stop, help him to slow down and be reminded of what is important. He needed to be cared for and listened to. He needed to be understood.

I think of every person we encounter on the everyday level. You know, the person you sit near at church each week, but you've never exchanged more than a simple greeting; the person at the grocery store who is mean to the clerk; the mean clerk; the person at the grocery store parking lot who does not put their cart in the cart stall; the person driving past us giving us a gesture; "that co-worker"; the neighbor frustrated with "those neighbors"; "those neighbors"; your spouse's ex...well, you get the point. We're all facing battles on some level. May this simple quote serve as a reminder to us to treat everyone with more gentleness and kindness than our instincts initiate and dare to give people the benefit of the doubt. And, consider even slowing down enough to ask someone how they are really doing. We just never know how close to losing it many people are. The kindness we extend might just be enough to be the tool that turns their life around. Dare to make a difference.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clothing Swap

So last Sunday I participated in one of the coolest things ever-a Clothing Swap. It is so neat-you go through your closet and pull out all the clothes/shoes/jewlrey/bags/purses/hair products/etc. that you normally would take to a second hand store or put in your garage sale. You invite your friends to do the same and then you all bring your items together for the Swap. You make different piles around the room for the different items (i.e. shirts, blouses, jeans, dress pants, skirts, sweaters, workout clothes, etc.) Make sure to have a room or two where people can try on the different items, etc. Give everyone a labeling mechanism (we used different colored sticky notes). Let everyone puruse the items, try them on, etc. and then if they like/want something, they label it with their identifying mechanism and stick it out in a designated area in the middle of the room. These items can also be tried on and marked by others interested. At the end of the time, the organizers distribute to the new owners all the singlely marked items. They then put the names in a hat to draw for the items desired by multiple attendees. It is great, as you go home with some fun new things for your wardrobe and you get to clean out your closet. All the remaining items that nobody was interested in are then taken to be donated at the location of your choice.

I had a great time and really enjoyed just having some fun with the other ladies there. I am still pondering, however, the reality that we all seemed to experience when we were there. We all had this unusual emotional attachment to our clothing items. There were many items there that we could tell a story about where we wore it/how we got it, etc. It was so interesting. Why do we attach so much to something so simple as our clothes. Is that really an identifying point for us or do we just connect memories to all the different sensory aspects of the event? Hmmm...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today Ashley and Jacob built a block tower "together." I am really looking forward to them growing as playmates and friends. Ashley was so excited to tell Joe tonight that they played legos together while I was in the other room.

Now, if we can just keep Ash from snatching all the other things that interest Jacob from his hands. Hmmm...

Oh, and just so you know...having a child put their nose against the wall as a method of discipline/refocusing does seem to work. Our elementary school teachers were on the right track indeed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Word to the Daddy's out there

So, you know that feeling when things are unusually quiet around your house? Well, this morning Jacob was down for a nap, I was baking in the kitchen and Ashley had disappeared. After not hearing of/from her for a few minutes, I got that feeling-the one when you know your kiddo is up to no good. I hear the water running in our master bathroom. Hmmm...I think to myself. I know Ashley can wash her hands by her self in there, but my suspicion is that something else must be going on. When I turn the corner and see her, there she is. Standing on the toilet, leaning her tummy over the counter to the sink, the water running and...Daddy's razor up to her face. She was shaving her face! Gulp...but then I noticed that she luckily had the blades turned away from her face versus against it. I am praying that if she had made multiple strokes upon her face, that they were all with the razor the opposite direction. I guess I let you know in a week or two if she develops any five o'clock shadows. I really hope not though.

So, Daddys out there-remember to put your razor back in the vanity each morning-not just because your wife nags at you to clean off the counter, but because who wants their precious little girl to look like a "Pat" and who wants their little boy to look pubescent when he shows up for preschool?

Jacob and Ashley have been coordinating their afternoon naps this week which has been a complete blessing! Thank you Lord! We are working on trying to get Jacob to sleep through the night without any nighttime feedings. Last night it took a healthy 2 hours of crying, checking in on him and patting his back every 15 minutes. Argh! He is a determined little guy. Maybe tonight I won't be up for this fun session from 2am-4am. Pray for him...and us :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We've been replaced

Ashley informed us today that she has another mommy and daddy in addition to Joe and I. Apparently her new daddy's name is "Alti" (my friend Shannon suggested that perhaps that is short for "alternative") and he is cute and looks like a princess with long hair. He drives a small, new blue truck with a red top and some green on it. Her new mommy's name is just mommy. She also looks like a princess and wears a princess dress. My understanding is that her other princess dress got ruined. They live near by enough that we can drive there in the Highlander. We told her to go ahead and pack up her things so she can go stay with them, but she said she's not "ready yet."

So, perhaps she'll be the child with the imaginary friends...and now imaginary parents too. They don't seem to be nicer than us or less nice than us, so at least they're taking good care of her too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let the dreams begin

So, apparently Ashley is creative like Joe in her "dream life." Now I never really knew that people had very random, magical dreams until I met Joe. I always had the boring, but scary ones where I was walking to school without any clothes on and trying to stop myself or I was panicking because I had forgotten I had registered for a class in college but forgot to ever attend and take the tests. Joe has dreams about making creative inventions that solve major world problems (or at least they seem to have that ability in the dream).

Last night, Ashley came stumbling out into the living room around 11pm and said, "something is biting me." We stripped her pants off to try to figure out if there was some sort of bug or spider in there. We found nothing. We then thought maybe her pull ups were scratching her. Not those either. Then she begins to tell us that a dog bit her. She said there were two dogs and one was white, red, black and brown and that the little dog was nice and cute but the big dog bit her. There were also multiple cats there. Hmmm...We suggested to her that she might be dreaming and she demanded that she was not dreaming and that the dog was really there biting her. "Oh, okay," we said and we put her back to bed and to told her we'd bring Sugar in so Sugar could make sure no other dogs come to bite her again. Thankfully, we did not hear from her again last night, but she was very, very tired acting today, so who knows what other "dogs" kept her up last night.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My heavy heart...

As we start this new year, my heart is burdened for the marriages of the people in our lives. It seems that this past year has been a difficult one for the marriages of many of our friends. As we set out on the year ahead, my prayer is that we can reach out in transparency and support of one another as we all journey life together. May no one feel isolated and alone in their hardships nor trapped by the fear of what others may think.

It seems that in those places we allow ourselves to hide or remain in secret, it is there that Satan defiles our thinking and pollutes our mind with ideas, thoughts and motivations we had never before considered options. My prayer is that we can all seek the Lord with feverence, and that through such, we will find ourselves also closer to one another.

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12

Happy Birthday Jesus

So, today, yes January 1, 2010, Ashley brought a folded piece of paper up to me and said, "This is a Happy Birthday Card for Jesus." Later she told me the same and said, "can you please mail it to Him?"

How sweet is that? I told her I was so thankful that she was being thoughtful and rewarded her with a mini-marshmallow. She was thrilled.

I've been amazed at how interested in Jesus, God, Moses, David, Goliath and other Bible characters she has been lately. At one nativity scene in Dufur, she said, "there's baby Jesus, but where are the wise men Mommy?" Last night, Ashley was full of questions about God, Jesus, heaven, the Garden of Eden, the mean snake, etc. Bedtime stories with Daddy took forever because she had so many questions about everything. Where do you start, where do you end, and how do you explain the concepts of God and our need for a saviour in two and a half year old mentality? Praise Him that she is asking...we pray that our children will grow to know and love Jesus and his ways, and that they will accept the forgiveness and freedom only He can bring to our lives.