Friday, January 30, 2009

Whirly Twirly Friday

Dance was cancelled on Wednesday due to weather, so we had a make-up class Friday

Avery and I...her adoring fans

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just the Girls

Yesterday we stayed in because of the weather...snow, sleet, thunder & lightning. I love to go days and days without leaving the house. Especially in the summer when we can walk to do errands, Shaun and I joke that if it weren't for church on Sundays, the car might never leave the driveway.

Shaun's been working 12-hour days at H & R Block, so its just been us girls hanging out. Thankfully its only this intense for a few weeks, so we don't mind too much.

Here I am entertaining the girls while they eat lunch. The goofier I was, the harder they laughed. I'll be so sad when I get an "Oh, Ma-mmmm!" instead of a silly giggle or a hearty belly laugh.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 365, Week 4

January 18
After a breakfast date, Shaun and I spent the majority of the afternoon painting a vacant apartment. January 19
More snow, but with the bright sunshine it was just beautiful!

January 20
Inauguration Day...I almost forgot to turn the tv on until the girls randomly started singing God Bless America as we were sitting down to lunch. So, I missed Warren's prayer but saw everything after 12:04. I cried through much of it, feeling totally blessed to live in America where we have peaceful and fair elections and a beautiful and peaceful transfer of power. America is unique for that and I thought about all the people that have gone before to make that possible for me and my children.

No matter what side of the political fence you are on, you have to be thankful and proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

(This sign was proudly displayed on our neighbor's front law for the occasion).
January 22
Our regular visit to the nursing home. Although she doesn't remember us from one week to the next, this woman is one of our favorites. She and Amanda were chatting it up for quite a while and she was asking everyone who walked by her, "Did you drink your mama's milk when you were a baby?" It was particularly entertaining to watch the 50 year-old maintenance guy react and respond to the question...funny stuff.

January 23
This is Amanda first thing in the morning. I accidentally deleted the picture I actually wanted to use for this day. You see, later on Amanda and Riley were in this corner of the kitchen with a brand-new bag of dog food. They were happily playing the "one-for-you, one-for-me" game.

January 23
My sister's brother-in-law plays for the New Jersey Devils farm team and they were playing locally, so we went to catch the game. As you can see, we were right near the action. The girls had a blast because most of their cousins were there, too.

On the way home, for 45+ solid minutes, they were rapid-fire questions about the the four fights that occurred during the game. I explained as best I could and tried to weave in several lessons, but my head was spinning the whole time (at 11:00 at night!) Forty-five minutes of discussion with a 2 and 3 year old about hockey fights.

Shaun had to work, so when we got home, they raced in to see him and were excitedly stuttering trying to tell him about the game....that we saw Jonathan, that the men were fitting, that Chuck E. Cheese was there (the wolf mascot was mistaken for CEC by Amanda). Fun times!

January 24
I was taking a couple pictures for Shaun for work and when we were done Avery wanted to pose with him. I love the special smile and eye-twinkle that Shaun has just for his girls. It's really beyond his control and it melts my heart.

Thanks to Sara and Kimberly for hosting.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tying up Loose Ends

I was tagged by Lady Dunbar for a picture post. You are supposed to take the four picture from the fourth folder on your computer. This is Avery about two years ago and I'm wondering if Shaun took it because its so high up. I was tempted to edit out the scattered toys and ashes and bark from the woodstove, but I left it as-is. Hey, at least she was dressed and her hair was done! :)

Also, Rachel at In His Hands awarded me The Great Attitude/Spirit of Gratitude Award. I have worked to make gratitude and contentment a way of life...I really believe its the only way to live. Its very sweet that someone can see that in my blog.

Both these blogs are worth checking out. Thanks, ladies for thinking of me! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

Quick story with this last picture. One of the girls tripped and fell flat on her face. Amanda went running over when she heard the crying and as she watched one of the moms said, "Amanda looks like she's about ready to cry." and she was. She has a huge heart and often cries along with Avery when she's upset...very empathetic.

The little girl went and sat with her dad and Amanda talked to the teacher a while about the incident until she was convinced it was under control and the girl would live. Shortly after, I saw her dancing around holding this girl's hand, just GRINNING from ear to ear. I overheard her giddily say, "You not fall on you nose!" She thought that she was preventing her new friend from falling by holding her hand. My momma heart swelled! Bless her little 25 month-old heart.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scripture Memory #1

This is something new I am so excited about. Scripture memorization was on my "new year" list so when I saw my friend Deidre talking about what she was doing, I got excited. I did some exploring and it is explained here on Beth Moore's blog. (I am a huge fan! I listen to her online once a week during my quiet time and am never disappointed). If you have time, its also worth it to see her Scripture Memory Mini-Tutorial.

She talks about how so much of our thought life is destructive, idle and really meaningless. Memorizing scripture and meditating on it allows our minds to be held captive to the knowledge of Christ. Sounds good to me! Since I was planning on doing this anyway, I'm especially thankful for the little extra push that doing it with at least 4000 others will give me.

This technically started on January 1, so this is another example of me jumping into something, even though its not at the very beginning. I'm growing! The goal is to memorize 24 verses this year, one on the 1st and one on the 15th of every month.

This is my "15th-of-the-month" verse:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22,23

I'm excited to do this and I know my girls will like being involved as much as possible, too. What better way to spend your time and your thought-life? Join in when you can!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love Dare in Action

Yesterday the girls were at my sister's, so I had my day all planned out and a hefty "to-do" list made. I cherish these days that come so infrequently. So when Shaun came into the office and asked if I was interested in joining him in a painting party at one of our vacant apartments, my initial answer was "no thanks (thinking, why would you even ask that??)".

I saw his shoulders slump just a little so I asked if it really meant a lot to him. I could tell it did but he was hesitant to ask me and interfere with my day and plans (he knows best of anyone how well I handle it when my plans and my agenda get changed or interrupted...ugly). Very quickly I remembered the day's Love Dare that had popped into my inbox first thing that morning:

Love Dare - Day 14
Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse.
Ecclesiastes 9:9
So, I quickly changed my clothes and joined him. He trimmed while I rolled and we got to be in the same room and talk and just be together. We got quite a bit done and both really enjoyed our time. I don't always get it right, but on this day, I'm so thankful I heeded God's voice.

My to-do list? Yeah, its still sitting there, but I'm so glad I didn't miss that time with my husband! And only a few minor mishaps, the most major being when my roller, thick with paint, came flying off the extension handle mid motion high on the wall. It bounced a couple times across the hardwood floor Shaun just re-finished. Oops!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Project 365, Week 3

January 11
The girls spent the night at Pop and Kiki's house, went to church with them and then went sledding and drank hot chocolate. The girls love sleepovers at their house!

January 12
This is my boss and brother-in-law, Colombo. We met to do my annual review...and I still have a job! :) (I'm still learning how to use my new lense...obviously I failed here and I think my "fix" only made it worse.)

January 13
I've been having Avery make her own bed everyday...she does a really good job with it, and with a happy heart

January 14
Shaun took the girls to the grocery store and then spent the next several hours making a pie for my birthday. It was gone by the end of the next day. (Ditto on the lense...I'll get it though)

January 15
Special delivery for my birthday

January 16
All the CT cousins had a sleepover at our house. There were eight kids total but everyone was great and played well together. Here are Avery, Nathanael and Allison playing Candyland before bed.
And the big kids killing brain cells, one game at a time. Colombo, Juliet, Madison

January 17
Shaun and I had a date! We lingered over dinner, complete with dessert and coffee then went home to a rented movie and snuggled on the couch. So, so nice!

There's more Project 365's here and here

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One Year Older, One Year...

Today was my birthday and it was a special day. Last night my dad and his wife came over to drop off a present and my dad told Shaun and I the story surrounding my birth, some I'd heard, but it'd been a long time and other pieces I couldn't recall ever hearing. I'll share the highlights...the most unbelievable parts (to me) so I don't forget again.

My parents were poor bible school students who had taken precautions to not get pregnant, but it happened. When the time came, they had decided to deliver at a medical clinic 90 miles from the bible school because the doctor serviced the students at no charge (since we are still paying off Amanda, I can totally relate to their decision!).

My mom's water broke on Sunday, so Monday they called and made the trek to the clinic (North Dakota had just been under blizzard conditions for three days). No contractions happened for days and my parents slept in makeshift beds and ate almonds and formula that the doctor provided them.

THREE days after her water broke, the doctor finally gave my mom something to get contractions going. I was born quickly after that and a little over an hour after I was born, my parents bundled me up, got in the car and drove the 90 miles back home.

They admit the guy was a quack and they were very close to going to their local hospital, but stuck it out. Unreal, isn't it?

Anyway, my birthday was very special. The night before, Shaun and the girls made me an apple pie completely from scratch. I'm not a big cake person, but I do love apple pie. This was definitely a labor of love...I think the whole process took about five hours. It was a yummy breakfast!

They gave me cards and hugs and sang to me and later when Shaun got home from work he took us out to dinner. I received phone calls from all my family (including my mom who called from her cruise ship in St. Thomas!) emails and lots of Facebook well-wishes. I ended the day with my feet up and a coffee in one hand and a book in the other. Oh, and I'm 34 for those who must know such things! So nice to feel loved.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

We were back at it today and Amanda could not have seemed any bigger, although she is still the youngest in her class of two and three year-olds (only now she is legal!) Her big sister graciously agreed to share her new Christmas leotard.