Thursday, February 25, 2010

"And Heidi Wins FIRST PRIZE!!!"

Last night was our AWANA pinewood derby Grand Prix. For the past couple of weeks as she's been building and playing with her car, Heidi's imagination has been active. She's been busy announcing the races:
"On your mark, get set, GO!... And they're off...and Heidi's in first place, her bus is the fastest! Heidi is winning!... And Heidi wins FIRST PRIZE!!!"
I've been cautioning that she might not win, that the fun is in the participation, not just getting first place. I guess all my advice wasn't really necessary, see: As someone else laughingly commented, "The shortest person in AWANA won the biggest trophy."! I could hardly believe it when her car kept winning race after race. She, on the other hand, acted as though she expected it all along, which, I suppose, she had. She did get caught up in the excitement and thrill of it all (the expressions she had were priceless, but my camera batteries were dying and I couldn't seem to capture any of them) and informed us afterward, "I LIKE to race!"
Heidi built her car almost entirely by herself. Karl saw it as a good opportunity to introduce her to some tools, so she got to try her hand at operating a hand saw, vice, rasp and drill. Not bad for a three year old girl! (Yes, she is in her pajamas, some things are just too exciting to waste time getting dressed for).
All Daddy did was the paint (she insisted on red and we only had that in spray), the weights underneath and the wheels and axles. She tried putting those in, but wasn't strong enough.
No, that's not her car. Daddy fulfilled a dream and built one of his own. He says it'll keep him satisfied until we can afford to build a real one.
Heidi wanted a RED (her favorite color has shifted slightly) bus, and that's what she built. Oh, and it has three number threes on it because she's three years old, of course.
Heidi and Hannah had fun checking out all the competitors before things got started.
Then it was time to race. Heidi wasn't tall enough, so Daddy had to lift her to put her car on the track.
At first she was a little intense with watching the races, by the end, every race was watched with a huge smile.
And what was Hannah doing while big sister was racing her way to glory? Why riding a rocking horse of course!

Heidi's buddy won second, and she was thrilled to have him on stage with her, but couldn't quite take her eyes off the trophy.
The true realization of glory occurred when I told her she got to take it home with her. What bliss!
She very willingly showed the trophy to her friends, and even posed for pictures - a rarity for her.
Karl holding one very tired and one very exuberant girl at the end of the night.

What a blessing to hear him talking to Heidi on our ride home about Paul (someone she's been very interested in lately). How he described living his life as a race in which first prize was knowing Christ and bringing Him glory. I am so proud of my little girl for winning her first race, but would be prouder still if she, along with Paul, chooses to press on toward the goal of knowing Christ Jesus.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Introduced to the Wonder of Paint

Hannah got to play with watercolors for the first time last night. I think she has the makings of an artist:
Every brush stroke contemplated, every color careful chosen,
every dip of the brush into water pure delight.
I know for sure she is a work of art, carefully crafted by Him who created all things.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentines

The girls got sparkly red heart sunglasses for Valentines this morning.
Hannah loved hers,
and Heidi cracked me up when she received hers and exclaimed with true joy and incredulity,
"I never would have believed it!"

A few years ago I wouldn't have either. I have been truly blessed by my Valentines.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Most Romantic Valentine Gift I've Ever Received

February 14, 2009, my husband decides to take his girls for a much needed shopping trip and date in the city. Now, Karl isn't too great with piddly little details like dates and such, so I'm not sure if this was purposefully for Valentine's Day, or merely a day on which it happened to work for him. In any case, it was much appreciated, especially by Heidi and myself. Hannah was still at the age where getting her food and sleep were about all that was needed to assure her contentment.
I've previously considered posting about the amazing gift he got me that day, but have hesitated, knowing that not all would share my sentiments as to the romantic nature of this gift. What exactly is romance anyway? In my book it's loving someone enough to get to know them, to pay attention to their needs and desires, and where possible meet those needs, even if it means sacrificing something for yourself.
Karl claims this wasn't really meant to be a Valentine gift, he just happened to decide to pick it up when we were in the city that day. I say give credit where credit is due and he made my day. No, year, as I'm still thrilled about it a year later. Yes, a year later I say he probably better not get me anything this year as it would be nearly impossible to top last year. Even had he gotten me a $10,000 diamond necklace I wouldn't have felt more happy and loved. More shocked maybe, but not more happy or loved. Big jewelery isn't really my thing.
What did he get me you ask? Maybe I'd better give you a little background: When we built our house money was even more scarce than it is today. We saved on everything possible. Karl just happened to have an old toilet in the barn. That's what we installed in our bathroom. It worked... for awhile. Then it didn't flush so well. Soon, it rarely flushed at all. I tried hard to not complain. I mean, I did have running water, I wasn't being forced to use an outhouse in -40 weather. Things could be much worse. I didn't however particularly care to be scrubbing a toilet at three in the morning because that was the only time it would flush and I happened to be up to nurse Hannah. Nor did I enjoy explaining to guests that it really wasn't them, the toilet simply didn't flush. Occasionally, therefore, I did put in a polite request that Karl try to fix the toilet.
Little did I know how he would grant my request. It was beyond what I even could have imagined when we walked into the building supply store a year ago and he told me to help him pick out a toilet. Not only did he buy me a toilet, he installed it right away, despite my protests that it was late and we had endured a long day in the city.

Yes, the most romantic gift I have ever received for Valentine's Day was a toilet from my man. He saw my need and he met it.

How about YOU, what's the most romantic gift you've ever received?

Heidi's First Haircut

I finally broke down and did it. Heidi's hair was looking pretty stringy and straggly, I've known for awhile it's needed a trim, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I love long hair and my girls have little enough hair as it is. How could I cut it?
This afternoon I trimmed off about 4 inches of that hard earned hair. It does look much better - but shorter too. I'm sure I'll adjust in time. Actually, if I would have trimmed it all even I would have had to cut it to her chin. I really couldn't bring myself to do that so I just went to the first place I thought would make a difference. She still has a lot of varying lengths, especially in the front.
I know it's better to cut hair when it's damp, but my Heidi's hair curls into beautiful ringlets when wet. As it dries it straightens until you would never guess it had any curl at all. I thought I might have more success if I cut it when dry and straight than trying to pull those curls straight while it was damp.
And Heidi? She loved it. She felt very big and important to be getting a hair cut. I'm just hoping all my reminders that only Momma cuts hair sank in.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What I wish I had the gumption to say when others put words in my mouth or want to think my thoughts for me

"So, you're hoping for a boy this time." It's the statement I hear most often when people discover we're expecting for the third time.
"Actually," I sometimes reply, "I'm hoping for a baby". The wonder of life growing within continues to leave me in awe, and I honestly couldn't tell you whether I want a boy or a girl more. What I want is whoever this precious eternal being is that God has chosen to place in Karl's and my care. Others don't seem to get it. They assume that after two girls we must only be having a third to "try for a boy". Um, if that's all I was doing, wouldn't the outcome be a bit more predictable if I would just adopt? Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a little boy... just as much as I would love another daughter. I figure I can trust God to know exactly who our family needs.
Once we have established that boy or girl would be equally welcome, the next statement usually goes something like this, "Just so long as it's healthy, right?"
Healthy would be wonderful. In fact, I do pray for our babe's health. But does that mean I wouldn't love and wholeheartedly accept our baby should it be less than healthy? Of course not. I have been blessed by two wonderful and healthy daughters who I am very grateful for. But who am I to think that I should only have healthy children? Who am I to say that God can't place an unhealthy babe in my arms? As I said before, I trust God to know exactly who our family needs. I would love for our baby to be healthy, but by God's grace would accept and praise him for an unhealthy child just the same.
Our God is great and the gifts he gives are always good and perfect. I'm so excited about this new gift He is blessing me with and want to accept with open arms who He chooses to give, no strings attached.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Even with a dirty face...

she's all deliciousness

Quail Tops Are In

It's not the greatest picture, but I had to share. Not only is Hannah's hair finally long enough to put a hair bow in, she actually left it in through most of church! Does this mean my little girl might start being recognized as feminine by those who haven't met her before? I'm sure hoping so!
I've discovered it doesn't matter if I dress her in overalls or a pink frilly dress, I still get the "boy" questions. It's all about the hair. If I can stick a flower or a bow in it she's instantly feminized and there's no awkward "Her name is Hannah". But she hasn't much hair, and she's not fond of having things in it, but I'm hoping, oh I'm hoping, that we might be at the beginning of a new phase - one where she looks like the little girl she is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Children's Museum

Yesterday we went on our first official outing with our home school group [I use the term loosely as technically I have no school age children yet, there's only two other families in the group, and we've only gotten together once before this]. We went to the Children's Museum in the city and it was a BIG hit, especially with Heidi. As we were leaving at closing time she informed me, "I would like to go to the Children's Museum again tomorrow, Momma. And the next day and the next". Judging from my exhaustion level today, It's a good thing we can't go every day.

The girls enjoyed driving a car,

riding sea monsters,
being astronauts,
experimenting with air,

exploring a train,

being postmasters,
playing with gravel and water,

and operating a backhoe!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pregnancy Tip

My girls have been enjoying a mid morning snack of oranges almost every day lately.
Their Daddy always enjoys having meat for lunch.
I find both practices perfectly acceptable... until I'm pregnant. The oranges are always fine, but that meat! My olfactory senses seem to go crazy while pregnant, meaning I smell whatever I cook ALL DAY LONG. And meat, well, it doesn't smell so good when morning sickness is present. In fact, I think it kicks the nauseousness into high gear. What to do? I don't want to be sicker than necessary all day every day, but I do want to please my husband. Somehow, forcing him to be a vegetarian for the duration of my pregnancies doesn't sound very pleasing to me.
I finally hit upon a solution last week. I take the peels from the oranges my girlies are consuming, put them into a pot of water with some cinnamon and let them simmer away all day. My house smells delightful, I only have to smell the meat when I'm right there cooking it, and the added humidity from the water boiling is very welcome in our dry climate.
I've only found one downfall to it so far. I've been thinking an awful lot about cinnamon rolls!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"We Figured Out How to Share!"

What do you do on a Saturday night between bath time and bedtime? Why share a ride on your tricycle of course!

Sisterly Love

I've been noticing something lately. When Hannah's sad or hurt she no longer instinctively runs to me. More and more often I see her running to Heidi for a hug and comfort. Part of me mourns the fact that I am no longer her sole comforter while another part rejoices. Isn't this what I've prayed for, sisters who love one another and are close friends? What a joy to see it in action!
I put on a movie for my girls last night and left the room to get some cleaning done. Imagine what it did for my heart to return to find them watching it like this:

Monday, February 1, 2010

I must be nearing the end of the first trimester

While pregnant, I don't set my expectations too high. I try to accomplish what's necessary for daily living; cooking, dishes, laundry and clean bathrooms, and anything beyond that is considered a major achievement. An added bonus if you will.
Today I actually had some energy - a first for the past few months - and put it to good use. I cleaned and swept the living room/dining room/kitchen with some help with Karl, made muffins and yogurt, had some ladies in for tea, thus creating more dishes than normal, got them all washed, dried and put away, did all the laundry in the house, including folding it, ironing what needed to be ironed, and putting it away, cleaned my fridge and freezer, cleaned the fish bowl, and started organizing a stack of paper work I've been meaning to get to. Whew! I don't think I'll feel like getting out of bed tomorrow, but how thankful I am for that bit of cleaning ability today!

My Husband is Incredible!

My husband is amazing. Not only did he arrive home early from work last night, he came bearing gifts. Pizza and doughnuts to be exact. Now, leftover arena food may not make everyone's heart go pitter-pat, but it sure was welcome by this pregnant lady!