Monday, January 31, 2011

My Kinda Weekend

Oh yes, it was my kinda weekend!  With a bit of this...


and a lot of scrubbing power from Scott (he wouldn't let me take pictues of him), and our huge wet/dry vac all of our stair carpets are squeeky clean!  Been meaning to do this for so long.  We're so glad we did.  Can you tell me how they can get so dirty when we don't wear shoes in the house?  Beats me!  Two days later and the stairs still make me smile.

I remember reading a Christian Marrigae book together (before kids... lots of time) and it was on the Five Love Languages.  Mine has always been and will always be "acts of service".  I'm much happier with scrubbed carpets than shiny jewlery.  I say he's lucky!

Anna had her first sleepover with her best friend. 



They all look so tired, it was way late!  Not a great picture but I don't care.  I love the look on Anna's face.  Pure contentment.  She looks happy, safe, and loved.  Oh how we have to work on that with her every day. 


Abigail was pretty smitten with the idea of her sleeping over too!  She insisted on pouring a glass of water and leaving it for them on Anna's dresser before she went to bed. 



A bit of chocolate cake, great dinner at my parents, busy but fun!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just a Glimpse

Abigail has Eosinoshilic Esophogitis.  We are so thankful for her amazing doctor and her wonderful progress.  Although her diet is very restricted and she is still supplemented by formula she doesn't have to have a feeding tube.  This is not Abigail in it, but it's just a glimpse. 

Just a Glimpse  (just click on the link, volume on) *make sure you scroll down to the bottom of my blog and pause the blog music so that you can hear the video

 Still sleeping after her last endoscopy.

Another, again

Next week Anna's going to wake up and say to me, "mommy, isn't it a snow day?  We haven't had one in a 3 days!"
I know we'll be going to school in July or something but for now I'll take the slow mornings of a snow day and just playing inside.


Knowing there might be a snow day coming we fit in a play date with Anna's best bus stop friend!  (Who is so photogenic, the camera begs to come out of the bag when she comes over.  This is the only ok one of Anna, her friend was smashing in every single one!)



Snuggling on a snow day morning. 


Taking advantage of a lot of extra time on a snow day. 
Don't you wish that they made a purple fleece dress in you size? 
It's her favorite and so snugly... 


I adore how little she looks here.  I'm so glad I took the time to capture the last of toddlerhood... little feet, constant movement, and soft cheeks.





Happy Friday everyone! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letting them be who they are

I heard a quote the other day.  Something about "children are puzzles.  They are all so different." 
It got me thinking about my mothering.  I want to mother deliberately.  I refuse to get lost in the chaos of it all.
Yes, there is chaos.  There will always be.  But I want to figure out who these little girls are.
Who God created them to be.
I want to help them to be themselves not who I thought they would be or wanted them to be.


I do believe that it was the first lesson I learned as a mother.  And quite ironically I seemed to have faced that truth that they are their own little person with my biological daughter.  One would have thought that with my adopted daughter that truth would have rung free but it wasn't until the first minutes with Abigail that I knew that she was her own person.


I can remember as clear as day holding her still in the delivery room sobbing (that's a whole different post) and staring into her sweet face.  She was her own little person. God had made her, not me.  I was just the one blessed enough to carry her and to mother her for as many days as I'm alive.  Although she looked so familiar and I fell deeply in love with her the moment I touched her and saw her face.  I knew that Abigail was her own person. 


(I do have pictures of Abigail just born with me in that moment, but I thought some cleaned up pictures would be better)


Beautiful.


With Anna, that lesson I learned very slowly as the past 6 years have gone by.  With Anna I knew her sweet face before I could touch her.  I slept with her picture under my pillow at night and dreamed of holding her.  With Anna I propped up her picture on the table when we at out.  I had every little nook and cranny memorized before she was mine.  (and for a different post, she almost wasn't mine when we got to China)


(First glimpse of Anna.  6 pictures were given to us but this was the first face I saw)

And then slowly, very slowly I learned about Anna.  I had chosen her name but god had created her.  She was carried by a Chinese woman and not me.  And although I'd be the first to tell you that that doesn't matter in being someones mother, it holds so many different lessons. 


I always wanted to be a mother.  I was the little girl that was a little girl way to long. I would have pushed my doll pram well into middle school if I could.  I was young. 

I dreamed of being a mother and I knew just what it would be about and what my children would be like.  Well, not to mention that for one I had to fly across the world to bring her home, that was just the start. 


I guess the point I'm trying to remind myself is that Anna is Anna and Abigail is Abigail.  They are not mine.  They are their own person and I need to embrace who THEY are and not who I think they should be.

Oh man, how I love my little girls, how they came into my life, and who they are becoming. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A snowy morning and a Cousin playdate

We woke up to more snow today.  It was tough getting up and going.  There have been so many snowdays and delays this winter that I think it's got to be a blizzard before they cancel school again!  It's hard to imagine I'll one day be sitting at this bistro table and enjoying the warm sunshine.  For now we are just buried in pretty snow.


This past weekend Anna had a fun playdate with her cousin.  We celebrated her birthday with a Pinkalicious cake and a pink doll tent.  It sure was a fun afternoon! 










Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quotable Sunday

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
- Theodore Hesburgh

Healthy Chocolate Pudding

I wish I had a picture but by the time I thought of it the bowls were gone.  This is supposed to serve 8 to 10 but in our house it only serves 3 (daddy doesn't really like chocolate).  This is from Deceptively Delicious: simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Foods

You'll need:
1/4 cup trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
1 cup avocado puree (1 avocado) Make sure it's ripe.  Peel, put in blender or food processor until creamy
1 cup (maybe a little more) confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (baking aisle)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornstarch

Do this:

In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat.  Stir in the avocado puree, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Cook mashing well with a silicone spatula to smooth out any lumps of avocado, until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.  (low heat)  Off the heat, gradually stir in the cornstarch.  Serve warm. 

It doesn't save well.  Gets weird in the refrig, so make it when your plan on serving it all at once.  I could eat the whole batch myself.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another

Another snow day... I love them!  Love them, love them, love them!  And here's my positive view on tired of winter.  Can you believe that I like this weather better than April?  Another crazy thing about me!  Here's why.  Can't believe I'm saying this.... snow is white.  There, I said it.  Spring is muddy.  Yes, I like the sunshine too.  But sure to love the cozy winter.  Yummy food, bulky sweaters to hide the yummy food.  Long nights.  No yard work.  And clean, white snow.  Crazy, I know! 

Here's how we spent some of our snow day today. 






Poor McDuff.  He never even gets a nap in during the day!  He's going to be so tired when he finally goes home.  He's going to enjoy retirement after a month with us!





Happiness on the winter playscape.  My girls only go on their playscape in the late fall and all winter.  They are creeped out by the spiders during the summer.  It does seem to be a happy home for tons of spiders.  So they avoid it all summer.  Crazy again!  I have to climb up in use a broom to get all of the cobwebs to even stand a chance for them to go up there in the summer. 

The best fun of all is happening right now without my camera.  I just feel lazy.  They've made a tent in the living room and have "moved in".  They are now roasting pretend marshmellows in their tent.  Santa could have just brought a sheet and some clips to hang it!  I'll tell him next year!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snapshot 2011

Life sure does whirl around us so quickly.  I'm so happy to be in the "thick of it" and not distracted by teaching right now.  But even in the business there are still some things that I want to remember about our life.  I love the way Shawni records her snapshot here. 

Here are some things I want to remember today:

Scott always comes to the back door tired from his day but with excitement and energy for all three of his girls.

Abigail asks every day, when is daddy coming home?

Abgial's eating is a bit better but she still has a long way to go before she is eating a normal amount of food.

Anna is Abigil's best cheerleader with eating, well, with everything.  She is Abigai's whole world.  And I love that they are so very close.

Anna is doing well in second grade.

Anna is reading so much more this year.  It's a joy to see her devour books on her own.  Something certainly clicked with her this year.  She's a reader.

Scott and I love our "date nights" at home.  We're not big on going out.  We love our cozy home.  We love to cook something special for just us and eat when the girls are in bed.

On the other hand, we love family dinners.  The loud, rowdy, family dinners.  Every night.

I cook a lot.  And I do like it (most of the time).  One of the greatest blessing that came from Abigail's EE is that she can't eat out.  At all.  So I cook everything.  I never knew that I could. 

Abigails says over and over each day (in the evening) in the sweetest voice, "now we're finally together!"

Anna sleeps with 9 soft weebie dolls.  She has to have all of them lined up in her bed a certain way to be able to go to sleep.  We're often searching for one of them at bedtime.  Scott is much more patient with that than I am.  Let's see if I can remember their names:  weebie, Taylor, butterfly, purple weebie, dollie

Abigail still sleeps with "bear"  We have 7 of them but she only needs one each night.  She puts him in her mouth so bear goes right in the laundry after one night.  But she doesn't need to have him with her unless she's sleeping.  Thank goodness.

Abigail is still in her crib.  Yes, you read that right.  But she still naps and it's so easy.  And she's so little for her age.  And part of it is the process of finding a bed, buying a mattress, taking down the crib, etc.  It all makes me tired just thinking about it.

Anna is a busy second grader but she finds safety in all of her activities.  She plays viola twice a week.  She takes art lessons, and does ballet.  And there is also church school.  Busy little girl. 

Scott is super amazing at his job.  I'm in awe of all he does all day.  He's devoted to public education and putting children first. 

Scott is super amazing at home.  Sometimes I wonder how he does all he does at night.  Just last night he came home, played with the girls, had family dinner, cleaned up his inlaws dogs throw up without complaining, fixed a broken stool, played a game with the girls, cleaned up the kitchen, worked out, and still had time to talk with me.

I'm loving learning all I can about photography.  I've got more than a long way to go but I get goosebumps when I take out me camera.  I love to capture those moments. 

I've got a crazy thing about laundry an sheets.  I change sheets a lot, and I iron them.  Crazy waste of time but I like a crisp bed.  Crazy.

If there was one thing I could change about me it would be bedtime.  To be more disciplined with it.  I go to bed way too late.  But isn't the house so yummy when it's so quiet?

Anna loves being dropped off at school with her fiend that we pick up, Juliannah but she takes the bus home. 

Homework takes too long.  Yuck! 

I think too much about the future and what it holds.  I know the One who holds in all in His hands.  I know I don't need to worry.  I've got to work on that. 

I love my little family.  I love my bigger family.  I love Scott's family.  Life sure is good!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Mothers Book, Books on Tape, Special Cupcakes, and a Blast form the Past

Sometimes I wonder 'why' as I walk past the amazing presents Santa brought when Abigail is so very happy with books on tape.  From my days of teaching I have over a hundred books with matching tapes.  I try to remember to take them out seasonally because they love them.  they love the headphones, the tape player and the books.  Tapes date me for sure but they sure do love them!



A book I love each morning.  A one sentence reading to think about from scripture, one sentence to pray about, one sentence idea to try out.  Three sentences I can easily fit into my morning.



And since we have to go to a birthday party today Abigail took a trip to a dairy and gluten free bakery.  She's tickled pink that everything in the bakery she can eat.  She asks me a dozen times while we're in there, "am I allergic to these things?"  I love taking her there.  It's expensive as you could imagine but their cupcakes are so much prettier than the ones I usually make for her.  I love watching her pick them out in the window. 


And the cute girl behind the counter is my blast from the past.  "Mrs. Baker," she said in her sweet voice.  Little Lindsey that I had in my third grade class 15 (yes 15) years ago!  She was just as sweet as ever.  It was wonderful to see her.  Just graduated in May with a Masters in English; so smart even way back then.  Sure made me smile and feel a bit old.  That young teacher from years ago it's nice to remember. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bread

Some simple recipies that are healthy and easy to make.

1.  Spinach/Cranberry bread

You'll need:
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
3 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oi
13/4 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup fresh cranberries, sliced

Do this:
Beat eggs in mixing bowl.  Add oil, sugar, and other dry ingredients, than spinach and cranberries.  Mix well.  Pour into 2 or 3 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2.  Carrot Lemon Bread

You'll need this:
1/2 medium lemon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded carrots
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
13/4 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Do this:

Grind lemon(peel and pulp) in food processor or blender.  Beat eggs in mixing bowl.  Add oil and sugar.  mix well.  Add carrots and lemon and blend.  Sift together dry ingredients; add to liquid ingredients and mix until blended.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for about 1 hour.




Enjoy!

How to Make the Perfect Snow Angel

1.  Have your daddy lift you up by your snowsuit high above the snow.


2.  Giggle and smile.  Pretend you're scared when you're really not!



3.  Go sailing through the air.



4.  Land "boof" (that's Abigail's word for it) in the soft snow!  Laugh hysterically!


5.  Move your arms up and down in the snow.



6.  A few more times



7.  Wala... the perfect 3 and a half year old snow angel!

8.  Beg for daddy to do it again and again until it's dark!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quoteable Sunday

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land,
or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."
Helen Keller

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Yesterday when I posted and still had a few pictures to upload I got a yucky message that said, I've run out of room and had to buy more.  Buy more? Really?  Scott says that I didn't condense my pictures as I uploaded them since I started blogging.  Oops, makes sense.  I guess I'll have to figure this out but then I'll be back!  I sure hope I don't have to take all of the pictures off and then reload them condensed.  I have so much to learn!  Enjoy your day everyone! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

22 inches the news said

So the news said that we got 22 inches.  I got a wonderful Snow Day with me whole family.  Even Scott didn't have to go in today.  Slept in, ate pancakes, read books, did puzzles, went for little walks with McDuff in the snow. It was such a peaceful day.  I wish it had fallen on a crazy Thursday since that's our busiest day.  I soaked it all in. 







Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She thinks she lives in Hawaii

My orchard (Abigail tells me it's a girl one) thinks she lives in Hawaii.  I have it on a little table by a reading chair in my bedroom.  Sounds fancy but it's not.  I got the chair at ikea.  Doesn't really match the other furniture in the room but it does the job.  So the orchard ($7.99 from Trader Joes) is placed right at the sunny window, up against the radiator, and next to the huge humidifier.  Sunny, humid, and warm just like Hawaii.  Little does she know that a foot and a half of snow will be coming down tonight.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Look what we have

Well only for January.  We're dog sitting for my parents while they're on vacation.  The girls love him.  What you can't see from the pictures are Abigails watery eyes and sneezes, could she be allergic?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quoteable Sunday

"Exhaust the little moment,
Soon it dies.  And be it
Gash or Gold,
It will not come Again in this disguise."  Gwendolyn Brooks
(Sometimes I think of this when dinnertime seems like chaos.  Yes, even that I will one day miss.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas with Scott's family

Since Scott's family went to the beach for Christmas we had an after Christmas lunch party last week.  Girls had so much fun opening more of course! 


Anna was shocked that Grandma B and Aunt Cindy new she needed to have more parts to her new castle.





The light was just right when we left so I was able to get some good ones outside




Anna with her cousin Emily




Friday, January 7, 2011

So Sweet

So I had a birthday yesterday and it was so sweet.  I don't really like them.  It's not the age going up that bothers me.  It's just that I'm more of a quiet person and hate the attention thing.  I only do the whole sing Happy Birthday song for my girls.  Anyway, it was a such a special day.  I woke up to a beautiful letter from Scott.  Sometimes we're so busy with life that we forget what our journey means and what we mean to each other.  He reminded me.  He always has a gentle way to point me to the One the holds our hearts, our dreams, our lives.  He is one beautiful man of faith.  And then the song, "dancing".  I had never heard it but at the bottom of the letter it said to press play.  Oh, it was like the song was written for us. I sat at my computer when it was still dark in the morning and the girls were still sleeping and he had left for work, crying at my desk.  He found it, held on to it and kept it as a surprise for my birthday.  What a sweet way to start my day.  I love when he reminds me of how much God loves me. 

Today I'll figure out how to put music on this blog... maybe.

Sweet hugs and kisses from my girls all day long.

Sweet dinner with Mom and Dad in the evening.

Sweet email from my Mom after she got home that said that she remembered feeling when I was born that it was a special extra Christmas present. 

Sweet card from my Aunt and Uncle in California when I didn't even know they knew my birthday. 

Sweet call from my Mother in law to wish me a happy day

Sweet little voices on the phone from my neice and nephew singing to me. 

Sweet txt from my sister in law.

Sweet call from a friend who made me smile the next day. 

Sweet day for sure.


"Mom's loving care necklace:  Your family of bunnies necklace adorably represents Mama bunny with her baby bunnies.  Sweet and simple, your bunnies necklace allows you to keep your baby bunnies close to your heart."  Sweet for sure.

Thanks for letting me share. 
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