Wednesday, April 28, 2010


...while I was running I was hit by the most glorious wave of honey suckle saturated air I have every smelled. It was heavenly.

...I had it on good authority that, and I quote, "Adrienne crushed a lady bug with her bare hands!" Maybe it was the first, maybe not. Hard to know about that sort of thing.

...I got on my parents' new trampoline for the first time. The kids have been jumping NON-STOP for the past week, but it wasn't until yesterday that I ventured up there with Marianna. I laid flat on my back and closed my eyes while she bounced in circles around me. It was almost like getting a massage.

...we had vegetarian burrito casserole for dinner, and it was delicious!

...I finished the invitations to Adrienne's second birthday party. In less than two weeks, she is going to be two. Oh my goodness.

...I ate some of the homemade strawberry jam that Marianna and I made after our two strawberry picking adventures last week. I could have eaten it by the spoonful. opportunity presented itself for me to think long and hard about how to truly "shepherd my child's heart." I want so badly to guide my girls through life in a loving and biblically sound way, but sometimes it's difficult in the middle of the situation to be 100% positive exactly what to do. I was reassured (for the zillionth time) that parenting is something that must be done by looking to God constantly for the wisdom and strength needed to be the mom He has called me to be.

...after watching American Idol, it was confirmed that I really don't care who wins this year. I hardly even have a favorite.

...I went to bed before 10:00. Can't remember the last time I did that, but boy, do I feel rested this morning.

Friday, April 16, 2010

five things Friday

1. The Craig's List couch that I bought two weeks ago has been been promoted out of the garage and into our living room! I wouldn't say that it is smell-free, but I would say it is smoke-free. That was good enough for me, and I'm loving it.

2. Nathan, my sister and her husband, my dad, and several others were able to construct a magnificent new play set over the course of three days. They finished on Tuesday, and already it has been a huge hit!! I'm so excited about the many, many hours of playing that will be done on it over the next 10 years.

3. Marianna makes almost every decision right now according to eenie-meenie-minne-mo. Does every kid go through this phase, or is this her own little pecularity?

4. I really want to go on a family camping trip sometime soon, but it looks like April and May are out because of Marianna's Saturday morning soccer games. Do you think it's too hot for a camp fire once we hit June? I just can't imagine going unless there's a fire, so I wonder if we'll need to wait until October.

5. I've been thinking about home schooling more and more lately. I don't have anything against putting Marianna, and later Adrienne, in a public school, but I also love teaching and I think it might be a great fit for us. According to her birthday, Marianna doesn't start Kindergarten for another year and a half, but I'm throwing around the idea of going ahead and starting in the fall at home. We will see.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's started

I just had one of those conversations with Marianna that I used to have with my parents and grandparents growing up. I'm sure it will be one of many more to come. It went something like this:

(I'm getting a movie ready for Marianna to watch; it's a VHS she borrowed from my parents. I am fast forwarding through the previews)

Marianna: Stop doing that, Mom. Just skip it.

Me: I can't skip it; it's a VHS not a DVD.

Marianna: It can't skip? Why not?

Me: That's just how VHS works. Did you know this is all I had when I was a little girl? There were no DVDs.

Marianna: No DVDs?! Aren't you glad you've come to the better life where DVDs are all we have? (this is said with mellow-drama and hands thrown up in the air) Mom, were you sad when you were growing up that you wanted to skip but couldn't?

Me: Can you believe I didn't even know the difference? I didn't know what skipping was.

This is where the conversation ended. Evidently we had ventured into waters Marianna couldn't even fathom. But the whole thing made me laugh because I realized how old I'm starting to sound. VHS? I might as well have been from another century instead of a decade as far as Marianna was concerned. So it has definitely started. I'm afraid my age is showing and there is no going back.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Communication: Words aren't everything

Adrienne is a girl with a passion for communication. When she has a point to make, she likes to make it loud and clear. She has a vocabulary of about 50 words, but she has not quite ventured into stringing any of those words together to make sentences, and because of that, the spoken word is not always her primary method of communication. But don't let that fool you into thinking she can't deliver a message, because let me tell you, she can.

I witnessed a prime example of this communication prowess a few days ago. I had dropped by my mom's house one afternoon so that Marianna could begin making her "egg museum" with my sister, Breanna. (For those who are curious, an egg museum consists of plastic easter eggs that have been decorated with googly eyes, easter grass for hair, and lots of marker for all other adornment). Breanna and my mom weren't home, but Andrew, my 14 year old brother, was. While I was doing something in another part of the house, Adrienne settled in with Andrew on the couch. After a few minutes, I came in to collect her and said, "Adrienne, come on. It's time to go."

She looked back at me, eyes narrowed with determination, and said, "No. Andoo." in her most emphatic voice. One second later, her disposition changed into one of airy cheerfulness, as she looked at me and smiled, lifted her hand to wave and proclaimed, "Bye, bye! Bye, bye!" She then turned around, scooted closer to Andrew, and pretended as if I was no longer there. Point made. I was being dismissed, and she was spending the afternoon with Andrew and his bag of pretzels. This routine was repeated a second time, and maybe even a third, getting more dramatic with each rendition. Andrew and I were rolling with laughter by the time I reached down and grabbed the little goose, who smiled before giving in and telling Andrew, "Bye, bye."

You can gather from this that Adrienne has already learned one of the fundamental keys of self-expression: words are only a small part of the pie where communication is concerned. Tone of voice, body language, and eye contact are the things of which she has mastered, making her one of the finest limited-verbal commuincators I have ever seen. She is proficient at order giving, using the word "sit" along with her military-grade sterness, a dramatically pointed finger, and an eyebrows drawn together look, to add weight to the single word order. She is the best at letting people know they are loved, knowing that big smiles, bigger hugs, and shouts of "yay!" mean just as much as "I love you." She tells us what she wants to do, what she wants to eat, where she wants to go, and what she wants us doing while she is doing those things, and she does so with less words than you would think possible.

Of course her vocabulary will increase and she will start using more and more words in her messages, and from what I've seen so far, those words will just help her increase her natural talent. She is a girl who likes to be heard, and being a kindred spirt, I can understand.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

diamond in the rough

Isn't she a beauty? She gleams, just like the hidden treasure she is. So where did I find this leather couch to which I am assigning all of these jewel-like attributes? Craigslist.

Craigslist can be overwhelming and a waste of time, but it can also be amazing. Let me give you the history behind the couch, and you will see what I mean. I've been looking on and off for a new couch for a while. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a new one because I know that having young children isn't good for the life span of furniture. That's why I've been checking Craigslist. I've been hoping to find a good deal on a used couch, but I saw that it was like looking for a needle in a haystack: junk is everywhere. But on Monday I saw an add that caught my eye. The couch looked kind of terrible, but I loved the shape. I thought, maybe it's just a really bad picture and the couch isn't as banged up as it looks. So I wrote the guy and asked. I told him I really wasn't interested in driving to where he was, 45 minutes away, if it wasn't in good condition. I also asked if he could tell me how old it was and where he got it. He had to do a little research because he had bought it from a friend, but he found out it was 2 years old from William Sonoma Home.

Honestly, I didn't even know William Sonoma had a Home section. I had never seen there stuff or been to their website, so I checked it out. Then I fell out of my seat. Their leather couches run anywhere from $5,000-$6,000! I didn't even know couches came that expensive =). But evidently they do, and this guy was telling me he had one sitting in his garage, collecting dust.

So we jumped in my parents' mini-van and headed over to see it in person. Nathan gave me the speech about keeping my game face on so that we could see if he would take less. I gave him all of my assurances about keeping the enthusiasm down, trying not to look sold on it immediately, etc, etc. And then we pulled in, I saw that it was perfect and beautiful and exactly what I was looking for, and I could wait all of 60 seconds before blurting out, "I love it! Let's get it!" I don't think that's exactly what Nathan had in mind when he had told me about that game face, but I could hardly help it. I kept thinking he was going to change his mind. So we threw bartering out the window, bought the couch, just barely fit it in the van, and headed back.

I got the first little prick in my bubble when my dad helped Nathan get it out of the van and he told him it smelled like smoke. Nathan and I have had terrible sinus trouble for the past week, and consequently, we can't smell a thing. So that explains why the couch is currently sitting in our garage. It's fumugating.

I'm really not discouraged. I have every hope that we can get the smell out with a little work and time. So far, I have saturated all non-leather parts with Febreeze, rubbed the leather with a special leather cleaner, and opened the garage during the day for the breeze to help it air out. Any other suggestions? I'd love to hear them, because I am eagerly looking forward to the day (hopefully soon) when the couch makes its residence inside the living room!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Girls with freshly dyed Easter eggs...

Adrienne's blonde bangs and sweet heart smile...

Marianna's no teeth showing grin and big blue eyes...

Easter bunny cakes...

These things all bring a lot of joy to my heart!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 Things Thursday

1. You know how people forget the pain of childbirth after the baby is born because the baby is so wonderful they can't think about anything else? I think there is a similar correlation between spring and sinus colds. I love spring so much, I forget each year about the sinus pressure and headaches that go hand in hand. I wouldn't trade the weather for anything, but at the same time, breathing out of my right nostril again wouldn't be half bad either.

2. I think resurrection eggs are a great idea! I have never seen them before this year, but I used them recently to tell the Easter story and I loved it.

3. March Madness is heavenly to me. There is no sporting event that can hold a candle to it. Brackets, back-to-back games, upsets and Cinderella stories... I love it.

4. We play volleyball with our Sunday School class at church, and tonight we kissed our undefeated season goodbye. I hate to lose, but we're still holding out hope for winning the overall championship.

5. I just ordered two new books, one on marriage and one on parenting. I was given advice recently to read as many on both subjects as I could, and I realized that it had been years since I had read a book on either one. The marriage book is called Love and War and the parenting book is Shepherding a Child's Heart. I'll let you know what I learn!

6. Marianna has her first soccer game on Saturday. It feels so momentous: the first sporting event of what will surely be hundreds to come. Marianna may not know much about the rules just yet, but she does have the gear: pink socks, pink shorts, pink and black cleats, and a soccer ball with pink markings. To her, what else matters?

7. We were talking the other day about her first game, and Marianna asked, "Mom, what happens if I fall down and the grass gets me? Do I still keep playing?" Her tone indicated she didn't see how that could be possible. I realized this might be an interesting season.

8. I love that Adrienne is a hugger. She'll give a hug to anyone she meets, and if you don't see her coming, it's more like a tackle.

9. It was with a lot of joy that I packed away all of the girls' winter clothes this week.

10. That being said, I am fully prepared to go through a cold snap or two between now and permanently warm weather. But that's just life. We'll slap on some Springy white sweaters with our summer dresses, and we'll deal it. There's no turning back now. Spring is here!