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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a letter

Dear Dishes,

Please don't be upset at me,
but I'm going to completely ignore you tonight.
I'll see you in the morning.

Yours truly,

the things a comma can do

"When the enemy comes in like a flood,
the Spirit of the LORD will put him to flight."
Isaiah 59:19
now, as some commentaries suggest, the comma was misplaced,
let's read it again:
"When the enemy comes in,
like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will put him to flight."
Isaiah 59:19
oh, the things a comma can do!!

Paisley~ 8 months old

My Baby is 8 months old today.
And yes, I will shamelessly talk about her again, hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want!!!!
Here she is all dolled up for her first Christmas Eve service. We were literally about to leave, (the boys were loaded in the car) when, GASP, I realized, I don't have a hair band for her!! I grabbed the nearest wreath bow, (fuchsia of course) and wrapped it around one of my headbands! Voila! Darling! Oh, she was to dress. Lace tights, mini uggs, fuchsia tulle skirt, polka dot shirt, velvet jacket w/ a flower broach and her one-of-a-kind headband!

She continues to stay true to her name meaning: beautiful and pleasant. She smiles continually! She is taking three solid naps a day. One in the early morning, (10 am) one in the afternoon (1 pm) and a shorter one in the evening, (5ish). She L-O-V-E-S her crib. I snuggle her in with her nuk, her cozy blanket and her new puppy, (which is practically the size of her). Nuks are only for naps so I think it's something she enjoys having. I'm teaching her now to take it out of her mouth after naps and throw it into the crib. My sister suggested that and it's worked well w/ both of the boys. They had their nuks until they were 2, but only for bedtime.
She is starting to "talk" a lot. It is precious. She says "Da, da, da, da" which is of course her first word according to her Daddy!! smile.
She loves people, however she is starting to prefer me over others, I'm fine with that! She smiles immediately when someone points a camera at her!!
Her brothers continue to love her and hug her and give her toys and occasionally wrestle with her too. When the boys are snuggy in bed I place her on top of them to give goodnight hugs, she usually gets their noses with her mouth and the boys think that's hilarious.
She eats well.....and often. Still mostly nursing, but in the morning she'll have a big serving of oatmeal and some fruit. For lunch some other kind of baby food and then a bottle in the evening before bed. Like I mentioned previously, this is the favorite time of day for Daddy and his little girl.

In a mere 4 months she'll be a YEAR old!
Is it just me or is time going faster then ever??
Oh my, how do we slow it down,
keep it still for a bit,
savor it?
Practical suggestions accepted via comments!
"Do your part to make this world a cuter place to live in."
~Susan Branch~

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Woodstove

"We're seriously going to go bankrupt," I complained one month after realizing that our mortgage payment and oil bill were about the same!! That was 2 years ago, shortly after moving into our new home, this darling, albeit, drafty farmhouse. We immediately switched to electric heat, space heaters galore, 7 to be exact, plus 2 "fireplaces" and an "eden pure." We weren't doing a lot better w/ the heating costs, but we weren't going to go bankrupt after all, so there's a start. Well, while reading the Farmer's Almanac this past Fall and talking to the "weather pros" around town, we realized we were in for a cold, hard winter. What to do? What to do?? Without too much pause for thought, my handy husband announced plans to "break into the existing chimney"!!! Which was behind these lovely floating, okay!!I've learned early on in our marriage to just go along with my husband and his plans because 99% of the time they are awesome, amazing, efficient and beautiful. Here's a post about the remaining 1%. Quite literally the next day a man came out to make sure the chimney was clean. After the inspection, work began in full force. It looked like he was breaking into a vault, layer upon layer of plaster, wood, cement, and finally, the inside of the chimney! My husband never ceases to amaze me with his vision for this old house. He took some old "lick 'em, stick 'em" stone from his shop and with mortar, applied them to the wall for the rustic look. They also act as an insulator. man, he's a cutie!!!

He was finished in no time at all. He's a machine!
Our friends GAVE us their old wood stove, they were buying a larger one for their home.
Seriously, GAVE it to us!
It was pressure-washed, polished and installed:



When it's doing THIS outside, we are toasty warm! We are so grateful it was able to work out so nicely. The average temperature throughout the day is 78* although occasionally it will get up to the mid 80's, especially during the night. It is what I call our "perpetual newborn" because it needs constant care. But, it gives it return so we don't mind looking after it!

I have fond feelings when I remember my childhood and the warmth of a wood stove. I don't have fond memories of carrying wood inside each night from the "lean-to", but apart from that it is a pleasant thought! When I was extra cold my Dad would hold me above the stove, the warmth radiating all over my back, my legs, my head. It was heavenly. On cold mornings my Mom would lay my clothes around it, getting them really warm and then quickly dressing me. I can almost feel the warmth of it even as I type the words.

So, Winter, do your best....have at it!

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home."
~Edith Sitwell~

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Picture 2009

What a fun day.....relatively speaking, getting our Christmas pictures taken. My husband kindly drove to my sister Von's house to pick up her couch for the shoot. Bless his heart. We put down an outdoor carpet we had and flanked the side with old suitcases we have. The backdrop are the doors from our old carriage house. They work great for "shabby chic" picture taking. The boys scarves were "made" by cutting a large scarf in two! My cousin Sharalee is an aspiring photographer and her work is beautiful. She has an eye for details, especially in capturing faces. Thank you Shar for taking the time out of your busy life to come and capture ours. If you would like more information on scheduling your own family photo shoot with her, she can be reached at And thank you to my sister Janet for dropping m & m's into Shar's hair to get the boys to smile and for totally bribing Tyler with a new Thomas train!! Shameless, shameless bribing!! So without further ado:

Where it all began... pretty sure I love him more now then ever....
yep, I'm sure!!
one of my favorites:
Paisley's birth announcement picture, sent out w/ our Christmas cards to save on postage!

i mean seriously, this FACE!! Conveniently, Luke had fallen two days before this leaving a lovely little bruise on his forehead!

This picture captures him quite well; perfectly content to be alone.
JOY from the soul, coming through his eyes. Luke has what I call the "soul stare." Looks like you can see right into his little soul when you look in his eyes!

The boys with their hero.

WHAT is happening to my little boy? He's getting so big!

It wasn't easy getting him in a shirt "with lots of buttons." Probably his least favorite thing is to wear a shirt "with lots of buttons." but as previously mentioned there was bribing involved....not something I like to make a habit of, but I was desperate to redeem ourselves from last years picture!!
my little boy is growing up.

Here's to Christmas, 2009.

"Bless every twig upon my family tree."
~Twila Paris~

Friday, December 25, 2009

MeRrY ChRiStMaS FrIeNdS!!!

JESUS......He was BORN today, at least this is the day set apart to CELEBRATE that!! He was looking for a place to be born, even from the moment He decided to come out of His Mom. He had no place to call home, no place was open for Him, all the rooms were filled. He was searching for a place that wasn't too full for His presence....but, the search was in vain. And so, He took what was given Him and made it GLORIOUS. He took a drafty, cold, smelly, shack and with His mere arrival transformed it into a Palace. A KING was born!! And guess what? He's still doing that same thing TODAY. He's searching for a heart to be BORN into!
He's looking for a place that isn't too full, a life that isn't filled with all the other stuff, a place where His Presence can dwell.....and when He looks at me, at you, I pray that search will come to an end. God, take this drafty, cold, smelly shack of a girl and TRANSFORM me into a PALACE fit for You!!
"Okay" says Jesus, "I'll be born in you today." And because of that.....I can truly say
it is indeed A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Paisley sits

My Baby is growing up, she's not a newborn anymore. She takes my breath away if she lays on my chest too long, that's how I know I'm past the "newborn" stage with my babies. Technically I think it's 0-6 months/newborn, 6-12 months/infant, 12-24 months/toddler...not sure on that. Anyway, she's sitting so well on her own. She enjoys this time of interacting with the world around her. I can't believe I'm already opening the Tupperware drawer for her, handing her the spatula and measuring spoons to play with. I feel like she was just born! She's getting "big" in my arms. 29 inches and 20 lbs. She's a workout hidden in footie pajamas!! She is such a JOY! I think I've said that repeatedly, but it's more true then ever. She rarely cries for anything, but when she does cry! She is easily soothed and LOVES to be talked with. The boys adore her and I often will find her with about 40 toys surrounding her. She's starting to fuss when I leave the room, but beams that smile of hers if I peek my head around the corner. This little girl can SMILE! She is by far my most smiley baby and I just love it. It's amazing and fascinating to me to see my children's temperaments so evident at even an early age. Take for example this picture of Luke at Paisley's age: man, he was cute! And to this day, this is his "look"~~somber, sensitive, inquisitive. It took work to get him to smile.
and just for kicks, Tyler at the same age as well: (check out that Mama hair-do)!!
On the other hand, if you simply SAY her name, she beams from ear to ear. She is super snuggley! She loves to be held tight and kissed on the neck. She takes one bottle in the evening. Yippee! Tyler and Luke never took a bottle so it's kinda fun having a bottle-baby. Jake feeds her at night. It is darling. He sings over her and prays for her and tells her how beautiful she is. And she smiles back, milk dripping from the corners of her mouth. My soul is so blessed when I watch this, a picture of God to me....providing my "daily bread" while He sings over me and calls me His own. I am so grateful for my husband and each one of my babies. They say I'm raising them, but I think it's the other way around!
My husband is finally home after more then 48 hours of plowing, salting and plowing some more. We got about 18 inches of snow. I've been snowed in with the children, trying my best to wear them out w/ playing outside, hot meals and warm baths. They've watched enough videos to last a month. I've kept the home fires burning....literally. I'm so glad he's home again, and I have to look at this way, he was plowing coins!! I'm sure it must feel so good to be lying down in bed. It's almost 1 am and I better do the same.
P.s. oh the things a first-time Mother does!!! Back then we thought is was SO CUTE, now I think it looks ridiculous, not to mention VERY uncomfortable!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fulton Opera House

On Wednesday night I had a date with this handsome man...doesn't he looks sooooo sweet?
What is happening to my little boy?
We ate a nutritional dinner at "French Fries House".
His favorite: "cheesebooger and fries".
And then off to a fancier place, the Fulton Opera House to see "Annie."
We met my dear friend Mary Jo and her daughter, Josephine. They both were all dolled up and looked so beautiful....curled hair, painted nails, fur coats and all! The kids thought it was so special having their own tickets. Tyler held his almost the entire show!
They were all eyes as we entered the theatre. There was a lovely Christmas tree in the lobby and they fell to their knees by the presents!
I'm with Mr. Jolly!!
The children could hardly make the seats stay down, they weren't heavy enough! It was cute watching them find a comfortable position and wait for the show to begin, their little legs half way pointing to the sky! The show was OUTSTANDING! It felt like we were on Broadway, more then on Prince Street. The cast of little "orphans" were amazing! They could sing, act and dance, probably the reason they got the part! Annie was very talented and sang her songs perfectly, I was very, very impressed. The scene changes were so efficient and timely and the sets were pleasing to the eye from any angle! I'd love to see it all over again.....better yet, I'd love to see the theatre from the view of the stage. Someday I'd like to be acting on that stage.....someday!

After the show, because life is short and you're only young once, we walked across the street to the charming Prince Street Cafe.
It was 10:45 pm!
We let the kids pick out whatever they wanted.
Josie got a cookie the size of her face!
And Tyler picked a bowl of fruit loops!
When they were finished, they played with the toys while Mary Jo and I visited. It was delightful. This picture cracks me up. Tyler had found a small hole in the floor and was looking for treasure, such a boy! I love it!!! Sweet, proper Josephine was playing nicely with her toys!
Time to go, we closed the place down....I went outside and asked them to smile nicely through the is what transpired.....

and yes, Mary Jo, we'll show these on their wedding day!!!
I had a really great night with you Tyler. You sat so nicely and really took in all that was happening. I hope you enjoy live theatre as much as I do and someday, if you want to be on that stage too, I'll do what I can to make it happen. And can I just say that what you said today is probably the greatest quote from you...ever.
"Mom, look how big I am, my head is as big as my face!"