Friday, October 30, 2009

No Place Like Home

Throughout the year of doing Project 365, I've noticed that many of my days (and pictures) are pretty at home. As boring as it may seem to some, that is how I like it.

Back when I was a full-time career woman, my calendar was full. I worked all day, went to school at least two nights a week and the rest got filled up with other activities. I thrived on always being busy and on the go and I think I even felt important because my schedule was full.

Enter Avery May. I quit my bank job to work at home and I immediately fell in love with being home. Not just taking care of Avery but physically being in my house. I've never tested it, but I think it'd be three weeks or more before I would start to go stir crazy from not leaving home. I enjoy traveling, as in taking trips, but I dislike "running errands" for little more than an excuse to get out of the house.

That being said, Avery wakes up everyday and asks, What are we going to do today, Mom? Do, I think, why, we are going to stay here at home and enjoy the monotony that is our daily life. Somedays, like the recent one below, I give in and "plan" an outing. On this particular (beautiful) day, we walked down to Main Street and stopped in to the office where Daddy was working. Then we continued on to the park, but not before the girls got distracted at the town hall front lawn, which is not used as an entrance.

Here's a couple of pictures from our big outing. (I've been teaching myself how to do more things in Photoshop.)

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols
on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them
to your children, talking about them when you sit
at home and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates
Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Video Fun

Last night as the girls were getting ready for bed, I asked Avery to recite the chapter she's been working on, Psalm 100. Amanda's been working on it, too.

Oh, and this just cracks me up and, quite frankly, amazes me...lately Avery's been organizing this...she lays out her clothes for the following day and helps Amanda do the same. I've never once done this with her or even for myself. Gotta love those first borns! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fifteen Weeks Old

Another week has clicked by, which is simply amazing. It really feels like he's been with us forever. He's starting to smile so much now (finally!!) and that has been so much fun. He is a momma's boy and likes to be held...and paced. There are lots of times when he is happy playing on his stomach, but his default is to be held. Just this week he's gained enough control to grab at things in front of him on purpose. However, the movement is still jerky and halting and once he's got the toy in his hand, he's not quite sure what to do with it.

He follows voices pretty well and makes eye contact more quickly than ever. He still gets up at night, but I really don't mind...soon enough he won't need me.

His hair is awful right now. Nearly gone on the sides and middle of the back and a stringy, greasy mess on top. Oh, but those eyes and cheeks! Such a love....

The only big sister who was around wanted to hold "baby budder".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Project 365, Week 43

October 19
Catching up on four days worth of mail that accumulated while we were away. Normally I like to deal with the mail within approximately 10 seconds of it being delivered. Shaun makes fun of me about it.

October 20
Since Laryssa was out of town, I got to take Amanda (and Avery, and Aiden) to "mimassicks" class. This is a one-handed cell shot...Aiden did not allow me the luxury of taking pictures or even helping Amanda. It was really fun to watch her, though and she seems to really enjoy it. The teacher stayed extra close to her when she was scaling the rock wall, already knowing that she'd be all the way to the top in a flash if left alone.

October 21
Destiny African Chidren's Choir came to minister their song, dance and music at a local church. They did a great job and it is always a good reminder of how desperate the need is outside of our homes and how blessed we are to have what we have. As we were talking before bed that night, the girls had lots of questions. Amanda knew that "the bad guys" had killed some of these kids parents.
Her standard prayer, unless we help her along is, "Jesus, I pray that Daddy will be able to be with us and amen." She started off her prayer about the bad guys as, "Jesus, I pray that the bad guys will be able...", then she paused and thought about it, knowing she certainly didn't want to pray that the bad guys would be able to be with us. After thinking for a second or two she finished off with "the bad guys would be healthy and strong and amen".

October 22
Just a day at home, having fun with my camera. How does my daughter, girly Avery have such a fascination with worms? Here she is with her pet for the hour, "Squirmy Wormy". At one point she let Amanda babysit so she'd have her hands free to turn the pages of the book we were reading on the porch swing.
The girls are really good about playing in their room. Here is Amanda with "my Highness" and the prince.
Our little guy is changing so fast...I think he's starting to take on a new look.

October 23
Cousin Allie came to sleepover, making for a late night and early morning. I guess that is the nature of sleepovers.

October 24
To celebrate my mom's birthday, my sisters and I nudged her into doing her first official (or unofficial, for that matter) race. We stayed together and though no speed records were broken, we all finished!
Head over to Sara's blog to see other's weeks.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Rock

While in San Fransisco, we took a tour of Alcatraz, or "The Rock". It served as a maximum security prison from 1934-1963, holding the likes of Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly, housing an average of 220 at any one time. During those years, 36 prisoners were involved in 14 attempts. I imagine the views from their prison would have been a double-edged sword.

On one hand, you can see the main land in all directions, just 1 1/4 miles away. Even someone who is not an accomplished swimmer could do that. Escape would had to have been on their minds constantly as they looked out over the waters. SO close, but they claim the water is prohibitively cold and rough.

On the other hand, there had to be some comfort is looking out in any direction and being able to see land and a free society. On certain nights, particularly New Year's Eve, the prisoners were able to hear music and voices coming across the water. Seems like that would have served a helpful reminder that there was life after prison.

Here's where the inmates got checked in and received their Rules & Regulations handbook. I like #5 and I think I'll hang it in my house when my kids get a little seems a little harsh right now:
PRIVILEGES. You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege.

Each cell in B & C block was 5 feet by 9 feet and included a small sink with cold running water, small cot, and a toilet. Most men could extend their arms and touch each wall within their cell. The cells in D Block (segregation) were larger, but still the least popular because in D-Block, inmates were confined to their cells 24-hours per days, with the exception of one visit per week to the recreation yard, alone.

Inmates were granted one visit per month and each visitation had to be approved directly by the Warden. Inmates talked with visitors via intercom and a correctional officer monitored the conversations during each the majority of the time.

This is the warden house. Surprisingly, at any given time there were about 300 civilians living on Alcatraz...the guards and their families. They created their own mini-society, with a bowling alley and grocery store. The kids would take the ferry over and back each day for school. Can you imagine spending one night there with your kids??

There was a fabulous audio tour that individually guided us through the prison. It was interesting, informative and gave us a real sense of what life was like on the island for those 29 years.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Apple "Course'

This is my second attempt at this post, after the first one was deleted. Anyone else notice that sometimes Blogger works fine, but other times its just cranky.

Avery was calling it the apple "course" when we were discussing our plans and although I think she remembered it from last year, the only thing that really mattered was that we were going to meet Cousins there. The day started out brisk, but turned quite nice later. Of an entire field of pumpkins, both my girls picked out the green ones.

Aiden's first time at the orchard.

Best of my futile attempts at taking the kids together.

We're "only" missing five cousins in this shot.
Avery, Juliet, Aiden, Madison, Trevor, Nathanael, Allison, Amanda, Rocco, Colombo, Jared

8-weeks apart cousins and BFF's, Juliet and Madison, two of the sweetest girls there ever were...really.
"apple popsiscles" are always more fun to eat while dancing

My mom and sister met us there, though we were still greatly outnumbered.

We met up with Uncle Nathan for a little bit, too. He thinks it's his responsibility to teach the girls how to climb a tree, and he's right....we depend on him to introduce such adventurous things into their lives. There was a little tree where we'd stopped to eat our apple popsicles. Not surprisingly, Amanda thought it was a great idea...

Also not surprising was the careful consideration Avery gave it and the tight grip she held on his neck.

Uncle Nathan knows her tricks and still prods her along...

"See Avery...isn't this fun? It's great up here, right?"

Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever.
He knows all, does all:
He changes the seasons and guides history,
He raises up kings and also brings them down,
he provides both intelligence and discernment
Daniel 2:21