Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I don't know how it is at your house...

but at mine, the ornaments are always jumping off the tree and congregating elsewhere while my back is turned.

Shopping Cart Fun

The doll's nearly as big as she is, but how she loves being the Momma!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's Under My Christmas Tree This Year

Bags packed and ready to go. Tickets for four for a flight to California.
Child making faces is an added bonus.

After a two and a half year absence (the longest of my life) I get to go home for Christmas! Isn't my man wonderful!?!

Hannah will finally get to meet her Aunts, Uncles and cousins, and we will all get to be together for two whole weeks.

Now I just have to wait for Monday to come.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Heidi's Prayers Answered

Due to a recent letter from Aunt Summer (currently serving as a missionary in Ethiopia):

"Momma, Aunt Summer knows some people who don't know Jesus, that very sad."

"Yes, Heidi, that is sad."

"Let's pray about that, okay Momma?"

And so we do. I love that she is learning where to take all of her sorrows and concerns as well as her thanks and praise. A lesson I continue to learn.

And when we're done praying:

"I know Momma! Aunt Summer knows Jesus! Aunt Summer can teach those people about Him!"

"Yes, Aunt Summer is doing her best to teach people who don't know Jesus all about Him."

"God said YES Momma, He answered my prayer!!!!"

Isn't it wonderful that we serve a God who knows what we need even before we ask and puts into place that which is needed in His perfect timing!?!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

She Speaks in Sentences

Hannah communicates very well. Oh, she may not have many words, but she lets us know what she does - or doesn't - want very clearly. Her comprehension is incredible, she can obey three and four step commands. She just hasn't seen a need to expand her vocabulary too quickly. She often mimics sounds tonally rather than articulately. Therefore, she'll say whole phrases, but they come out sounding like, "Da da da da dada". Imagine my surprise, then, yesterday, when I noticed Heidi carrying something she shouldn't, said, "Heidi, please put that down." and heard parroted VERY clearly from the lips of Hannah, "Heidi, put it down!"
Her first sentence and it's a command to her sister. Hmm, how does that bode for the future?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tim and Zack Earning Their Keep

We have a new way of clearing the driveway this year.

It's a lot more quiet, and way more picturesque than the tractor.

I'm liking it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

O Christmas Tree!

Delight. Giggles. Shouts of admiration. Oohs and ahhs. Contented babble and coos. Wonder.

All this and more I would have missed had I gone the easy route, had I listened to the part of me that said, "It's just too much work if we're not even going to be here".
I'm so glad I caved. Glad that nostalgia (and Heidi's persistence) won and we put the tree up in spite of the fact that we'll be in California for Christmas. Glad that I get this front row seat to watching Hannah's reactions to the first Christmas tree she's truly noticing. Glad that I get to continue to make memories with Heidi, be amazed by what she remembers from last year and realize that tradition is already taking root. I'm so glad I get to be a part of them.

Heidi and Goliath

Heidi's been a bit obsessed with the story of David and Goliath lately. I'm hearing it told, retold, and acted out many times a day. Only instead of David, there's often a heroine named Heidi that I don't recall being in the original version. Everything is measured by its imagined relationship to the size of Goliath. ("Wow, that tree's as big as Goliath!!!" and so on.) And she wants a sling shot. An orange one. This does not surprise me.
What did surprise me was the request she came to me with a couple days ago.

"Momma, I would like a Goliath"
"You would like what?"
"A Goliath. You know, like David had. I will put a rock in my sling, my orange sling, and spin it around and around and around and I will trust God, I will believe Him when no one else does and I will kill Goliath!"
Does she realize what she's asking for? Oppression, killing, war? Not things I would wish for my little girl.
"Well, Heidi, I think there was only one Goliath and he died a long time ago."
"Why? I want one, I want to use my sling just like David"
"You could trust God just like David did."
"I know, Momma, we could pray about that!"
So she does, she asks God to send her a Goliath, and when she's done,
"Did He say yes, Momma? Will God give me a Goliath?"

I remind her that God always hears our prayers. That sometimes He says yes, sometimes He says no, sometimes He says wait, and sometimes... sometimes He answers our prayers in ways we could never fathom at the time that we prayed. His ways are above our ways and His answers often exceed our expectations. I'm sure that in a way He will send her a Goliath. Just as He sends each of us a Goliath (or a hundred depending on how quickly we learn or not). He will allow that in her life which will test her faith, which will let her choose to courageously believe that what God says is true despite all appearances to the contrary, or choose to cower in disbelief with the masses. I pray that the day she does face her Goliath that her choice will place her in the good company of those in faith's hall of fame. Those of whom the world was not worthy. Those who were sure of what they hoped for and certain of what they did not see (Hebrews11). May my Heidi choose to trust her God.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Daddy Daughter Dish Duty

Realizing that I wasn't up to the task this past week, Mr. Wonderful and our little princess stepped in and did the dishes. How blessed am I!

It Must Be December

I woke up to a winter wonderland today and an ecstatic little girl.
She's been waiting for this

since spring when the last of last winter's snow melted.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And Again

Hannah's been having fun pretending to drive Daddy's seeder.

Waiting for rain?

Top two priorities early in the morning: snuggle a teddy bear and read a good book.

Pictures Again

My wonderfully generous friend Tanya lent me a camera so I could continue to provide some eye candy for Grandma and Aunties. Sadly, I am VERY technically illiterate and it's taken me awhile to figure out how to make the camera and computer talk to each other. I finally broke down and asked Karl (I've thought he was a computer guru since the day in Bible school when I told him my monitor was wonky and he told me to whack it on the side and it was fixed!).

I brought the girls' play table downstairs last week for a bit of a change and it's been a big hit. I'm getting near constant requests to eat there, and every so often I oblige.
Sometimes for breakfast...

and sometimes for supper when Daddy's at work.

It's such fun to turn an ordinary meal into an event to remember with my princesses!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Karl Said Thank You

My husband said "thank you" to me today. He says it often, but today he went out of his way to let me know he appreciates "all" I do to keep our home going. I often let those words of gratitude slide, knowing I'm not deserving of them all, but today, today they went deep. Today they came on the heels of five weeks of illness for me with a new bout of sore throat and fever coming on last night. Today they came on the heels of two months of trying to clean and de-mousify (If I can use that as a word) our house and realizing just how little I can accomplish in a day and how woefully inadequate I am for the tasks of wife, mother, homemaker. Today he choose to look past my failings and thank me for trying. It went deep. It rejuvenated me. It reminded me why I do the endless laundry and dishes and cleaning and diaper changes and bed changes when there's an accident in the middle of the night. I do it because I love him, and he loves me, and we love our girls, and we all love our Lord, and as we work together through the mundane tasks of life, we can glorify Him. As we do things as unto Him, the mundane becomes glorious and our inadequacies cease to matter. It also made me ponder, how often do I thank Karl? If one thank you from him can bring about such a renewal of purpose in me, why do I so often neglect to show the appreciation I feel for all Karl does for us? I think I'll try to express my gratitude more often.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update on: I'm NOT pregnant, but...

Heidi has now decided we're having a little boy baby. I'm not sure what changed her mind, but she has it all planned out:

"We can have a little boy baby and he will be my brother". So far so good.
"And I will love him and take good care of him". Still good.
"And I will grow older and older, and he will grow older and older". Still tracking with her.
"And when we both are all grown up, WE WILL GET MARRIED! And it will be sooooooo wonderful." Um, maybe we need to have a little talk about that one.

Heidi's been dressing herself lately

She insists upon both choosing and putting on her outfits all by herself. Most of the time this means I have a princess running about the house, complete with gown, crown, and dress up shoes... or yellow rubber boots. When we go for walks, however, I insist upon pants and a long sleeved shirt to ward off chills. This is where it gets interesting. Imagine with me if you will. Pants of bright orange, red, cream and turquoise in stripes of varying size paired with a (backwards of course) shirt of striped rainbow pastels. Add to this a black sweater with brightly colored polka dots, and top it all off with a large-striped hat in yet another set of hues, oh, and striped mitts. Whew! I don't claim to be overly fashion conscious myself, but even I could tell there was something amiss there! Then tonight, backwards shirt, and backwards, inside out overalls. We were going out and I gently pointed out that they were on a bit wrong and she may want to change. She looked herself over, gave me a crooked grin and said, "It okay, Momma, I like 'em like that." And so, I let her go. And smiled all night at the pockets flopping behind her as she ran. I think I'll miss this stage when it's gone.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Splendid Plan

Heidi is feeding her Beta fish named "Word" (actually Word the Second as the first Word was... um... flushed).
"Mom", she asks me, "does Word have eyes?"
"Yes, Heidi, you just can't see them very well, look close they blend in with his blue."
"Oh, yes." She says, "We need an orange fish, then I could see his eyes"
"Oh? You think so?"
"Yes. If Word was orange I could see his eyes."
She then puts her arm around me, looks adoringly into my eyes and says the words every mom longs to hear. Or not.

"Mom, we should paint Word."

Desperately trying to choke back the guffaw that's threatening, I manage to squeak out, "Paint Word?!?"
"Yes, Mom," She patiently explains, "then he could be orange and I could see his eyes."
"Oh, well God made Word blue, and I don't think paint is very good for fish"
"It's okay, Momma, we could go to the paint store and buy a special kind of paint"
"You think so?"
"Yes, but maybe Word won't hold still for us."
"No, probably not."
"Well, then we would have to punish him, and then he would hold still and I could paint him orange."

There's no changing course once that girl has made up her mind. I'm sincerely hoping the fish store is out of special paint.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Playing In The Harvest

The Day The Camera Broke

November has been glorious! We've had some unseasonably warm weather and have been soaking it in - well, as much as possible with all the cleaning I have going on. The day the camera broke, we were even able to go out without all our winter gear. Without any jackets at all, in fact! How I love spending time outside with my girls!

I even managed to sneak in a couple hundred pictures before the camera broke.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Have you ever played Hucklebucklebeanstalk? It's a game that was first introduced to me by my Aunt Vicki in homeschool co-op many years ago. One person "hides" an object in plain sight while all the others are out of the room. When they return, they look for the object, saying "hucklebucklebeanstalk" when they find it, and sitting down until all have located the item. Heidi and I have an ongoing game of this sort with our bear "Huckle". I'm not sure where he came from, but he's tiny and has magnets in his paws, making hime ideal for the game. He can wrap around things, hang off of metal objects and show up just about anywhere. She and I are always finding and hiding him again. I love her cry of delight when it's been a few days since her last find and she finally spots him. Coming across him in a hiding place of hers always puts a smile on my face. Hucklebucklebeanstalk!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Heidi's Room" is now "Heidi and Hannah's"

Last night was the big night. And I have no pictures to share. The long awaited move out of our bedroom and into Heidi's room took place for Hannah last night. Heidi was ecstatic, she's been looking forward to this day since she found out she had a sister. Hannah herself seemed non-impressed, simply went along with it as if it were where she had always been. Karl enjoyed talking to me without fear of waking Baby in the bedroom. And I? I was a little emotional. I didn't realize it would be hard on me at all, so it took me by surprise a bit when it was. I love that my little ones are growing and becoming who God created them to be, but this time of them being little is, oh, so precious, and much too fleeting in my opinion. Seeing my little girl move into her big girl bedroom was new evidence of that, and a reminder to use every moment to share with them the wonders of the God who made them.

I feel as though an appendage has been severed

I broke my camera. You know, that thing which is attached to me at all times because I know this time with my children is fleeting and need to capture every moment before it's gone. I feel lost without it. Look, Hannah's doing something new, I need a picture. Wait, it's broken. Heidi, did you really climb that all by yourself???? Let me grab the camera so we can show Daddy. Oh yeah, it broke. The kitchen is amazingly clean, I need to document this. What do you mean the camera's broken??? Karl will never believe me without photographic evidence (by the time he gets home, it'll be a mess again). Lost, really lost.
How did it break you ask? I can't blame it on anyone but myself. I was feeding the horses their grain, carrying the oat bucket in one hand and Hannah and the camera in the other. (If you're asking why I was carrying Hannah and the camera while feeding the horses, then you obviously aren't a mother of small children, and obviously have no idea how fanatical I am about taking pictures of them). Somehow, I dropped the camera. No big deal, I'll just pick it up again. As I went to do so, Hannah lurched and I almost dropped her. In an effort to hold on to her, I took a step - and came down right on the camera. No good. Some parts still work, others don't. I'm hoping I can figure out how to make it limp along as there's no room in the budget for a new one at the moment. And I feel lost without it. I have a few more pictures to share, but then I might have to actually begin to blog with words for awhile. We'll have to see how that goes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Glorious Day For a Three Year Old

First: make cookies with Mommy.
Second: Have a tea party with Mommy while little sister is napping, securing her undivided attention.

Third: Invite your stuffed friends to share your tea.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hannah The Comedian

I think every stage my girls go through is my favorite. I'm certainly loving the one Hannah is in right now. She was such a serious baby you could work with all your might and hardly get her to crack a smile. Suddenly she's become a happy, smiling, giggling, fun loving little girl. She delights us all with her ready smile and obvious attempts to make us laugh (success there is not too difficult). Sometimes I think she was just taking it all in for the first twelve months of her life, figuring out what was funny, and now is putting all she learned into practice. What a joy and privilege to be her Mommy!

Archer Heidi - The Small and Brave

I love my Heidi. She is such a feminine little girl in her insistence on wearing "wedding dresses" everywhere, which must "touch the floor", her desire to wear lip gloss and nail polish, her love for all things sparkly and pretty, her compassion for the sick and hurting, her love for her dolls and stuffed animals. She is such a tomboy in her love for mud, dirt, sand, running, jumping, climbing, animals, bugs, vehicles ("Momma, I love the sound Daddy's truck makes when it's running and he goes really fast"), weapons. Weapons??? Yes, my little girl loves weapons. I don't think she realizes yet that they can hurt people, but she thinks she needs them all. I took her to the dollar store last time we were in the city and told her she could pick a toy. She momentarily glanced at the dolls and tea sets and moved on. The tools, hammers, saws and such held her attention a little longer. Then she saw them, what every girl must have, the weapons. She oohed and awed, she contemplated and debated, she spent much time making a wise choice. "I need the swords, they would be great for slashing duels" "Or maybe the guns in case there's a bad wolf, but I won't point it at people, Momma, just at the wolf". Finally she decided on the bow and arrows. They had targets too, "So I can practice very well".

And practice she has. To my amazement, she's actually become a fairly good shot - despite her hilarious stance. Beware, oh bad wolves and other frightful intruders, if you choose this house to prey upon you just may end up with a suction cup stuck to your forehead!