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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January recap

Luke walking to Grammie's house in the snow, a path well-worn!
Good Morning Friends, (the few of you that still check in around here)!  What a nice "break" of sorts from blogging.  

 We finally had some snow around here the other week.  Here's to MORE, MORE, MORE of that before all the buds start sprouting up!  Looks like I'll be throwing the windows open today and Wednesday, (suppose to hit 60*)!!  And then, back down to the 30's by Sunday!  What the heck?  There's your little weather update from around here!  The kids love playing in the snow.  Paisley stepped out the door and immediately laid down to make a snow angel!  She grabs life! 
My snow bunnies....
We had a hot chocolate station for our New Year's party, and I never took it down!  The kids love it and it's cozy to look at!  Luke especially loves to be warmed up.  He helps to make his own hot chocolate and smells it deeply, proclaiming his love of the chocolate smell, (he also loves the smell of gas, the smell from an extinguished match and my "night time" lotion).  He's our smeller!  
 Grammie's house all lit up at nightIt's such a wonderful feeling looking out there at night, knowing she is warm and cozy, loved, valued and safe. I have meant to post some more pics of her home, but at this rate I'll probably wait until the upstairs is completed as well!  Our other computer is shut down right now, (which has all the renovation pictures on it), so I have to take a day to get all the pictures organized.  I need a day for our closets as well, and while we're at it, I'll take a day for deep cleaning, one for organizing the attic and one more to redo our bedroom into "vintage-glam."  :)
Paisley found my heels the other night, (which have since been retired to the back of my closet with all my other non-pregnancy shoes)! 
It's flats for us from here on out baby......

Potty training this girl was so easy!  It had absolutely nothing to do with us or our "formula".  She was just ready I guess.  We started on a Sunday night and she had a few "spills" that night and Monday, by Tuesday she was telling us when she had to go.  I was brave crazy enough to take her out for lunch and some errands with no pull-up and she did GREAT!  I couldn't believe it, (and I'm sure the ladies who heard me hooping-and hollerin' from the bathroom may have wondered at my great joy)!  She still has a pull-up at night, (but that's just because I don't want any extra laundry right now).  She would probably be fine, but I'm not ready!  She wants to go all by herself now and will close the door and do her thing, emerging so proud with her dress all jacked up.  She's quite independent. Here she is on her first "training", Sunday night, being entertained 21st century style!

My beautiful sister turned 50, but she didn't want a huge party.  Instead she wanted several intimate gatherings with those closest to her.  What a wonderful idea.  Truly enjoying those most important to her in a small, relaxed settings.  We had a sisters tea here one day.  It could have continued all day as far as I was concerned, but we had to get back to "reality" after four hours.  The love, safety, inspiration, challenge, wisdom and acceptance we experience together is truly a touch from heaven. 

You can kid the world.
But not your sister.
 ~Charlotte Gray~
Fresh flowers in the middle of Winter,
there's nothing quite like it.
Tyler loves school.  Everyday I ask him how school went today?  "GREAT!" is his answer just about everytime. I wonder if that's really true or not, or if it's simply his optimistic outlook. He got his first report card today.  He's doing wonderfully and as his teacher commented, "Tyler is making great progress in all areas!  He brings a positive attitude to class each day, and takes pride in his work.  He is a joy to have in class!"  I LOVE going to his class to help so I can watch him interact with those around him.  He is genuinely kind to everyone.  We are so grateful for the way he is learning and growing and enjoying the world around him. 
 We've decided to send Luke to Kindergarten this Fall.  He's showing such signs of readiness and seems very interested in going. He loves to do "homework" here at home.  He has a strong interest in numbers and most mornings I will wake up to him counting to 100, (his favorite number).  Everywhere we drive he talks about the numbers he sees.  And asks me several times a day what this number plus another number is.  I try to hide my hand when I have use my fingers to count, like I'm still in 3rd grade!   

It will feel quite different around here with two school-goers.  And we think that having them one year apart throughout school will be nice. 

Here is a drawing Tyler made over Thanksgiving. The students were asked to draw and write out something they were thankful for.  The bulletin board was filled with pictures of "I'm thankful for my family" and "I'm thankful for my house" and such.  Apparently Tyler is very thankful for his "vtbols", (vegetables)!  I laughed so hard when I saw this and immediately sent a picture to Jake!  Kinda reminded me of when he told the Dr. his favorite food was lettuce!  
Finally took our Christmas tree down.  I was hoping to enjoy the sparking lights with a ginormous blizzard, but alas February is almost here and we usually try to get our decorations down by Spring!  Having fun decorating for Valentine's Day now.  I have entirely too many decor items for each holiday, (thus our annual garage sale)!  Jake says he never knows what to expect when he comes home! 

"Where thou art,
that is home."

~Emily Dickinson~

Sunday, January 8, 2012


hello friends. it's been a refreshing few weeks and hope it's been the same for you and your home.  this time of year often conjures up a lot of emotion.  whether it's thankfulness for your family, or sadness for the lack of it, gathering around a table with those you love or drinking their memories away.  i was so shocked at the full capacity, (at least in looking at the parking lots) of many bars in the area on Christmas eve.  we passed a few on our way to different gatherings and i was reminded again at how many people are lonely, not just during the holiday season, but especially then. and not that going to a bar makes you lonely, but i'm thinking that if given a choice, spending Christmas eve at the local bar wouldn't be on the top of your priority list.  i don't know. i know nothing of true suffering, internally or externally.  and sometimes that really bothers me.  how "easy" my life seems.  how lovely my family is, the Peace in my heart and the beauty of my husband's great love.  i hesitate to call them blessings because it somehow seems that those without these things aren't "blessed" and that's not true at all.  perhaps they are gifts.  but even that sounds unfair.  regardless of the perfect "name" given to these beauties in my world, i am so grateful.  i am stirred again to embrace, be present, recognize and love what is before me. 


deep way to start off. sorry about that!  it's quiet in our home this saturday afternoon, paisley is sleeping and the boys are at their favorite home, (other then our own)'s about thirty steps from here and full of nothin' but peace and love and good food. jake is out cutting wood for our fireplace.  somehow he managed to find and load about 40 tree trunks onto his trailer!  often i just sit back and watch in amazement at the stuff he gets done.  he's not human.  before i sat to write this post i was watching him out the kitchen window.  he has this cute little thing he does with his lips when he's working, pursing them together and squinting his brow in concentration.  i've never met a person who works like he does.  and loves it at that.  not going to pretend that i always appreciate or value that hard work.  sometimes i just want him to sit down and put his feet up. but alas, he is a visionary, seeing what is not there and longing to make it happen!  one of my first memories of him was watching him carry shingles up a ladder, balancing them on his back with one hand and climbing the ladder with the other.  i was amazed then and it hasn't stopped since. 
we received a christmas letter from my cousin.  at the end of her letter she had this quote and i thought it was lovely: 

 "only those who number their days aright gain wise hearts.  only they become God's sages: those calm, unhurried people who live in each moment fully, savoring simple things....unafraid of lifes' inevitable surprises and reverses, adaptive to change, yet not chasing after it...." 
~Mark Buchanan from "The Rest of God"~ 

 what a way to begin the new year, a desire put into words. to live a life of calm, (which sometimes seems nearly impossible when the kids are fighting and "at" each other or when relationships, situations in your world are stormy).  to be adaptive to change, (not necessarily to the change taking place around me, but moreso IN me). to savor, (to not be annoyed at the little things that need attention in life, not speaking of my children, but of the things they "create", the leftovers of imagination, the dishes after woofing a meal, the clothing after living a day).
"CHITTY-CHITTY, BANG-BANG" in the living room.  
yesterday i came upon this blog post and it resonated so deeply and made me laugh too because it's the truth.  you know it's happened to you, (if you're a mother of small children).  the dear old lady at the store puts her hand over her heart and sweetly tells you to enjoy these days as a young mother because they go so fast, (and then you kinda want to run over her feet with the cart).  well, this awesome blog post speaks right into that.....and it's a doozy.

WE BRING IN THE NEW YEAR EACH YEAR with our friends Wendell and MaryJo.
HERE THE KIDS ARE WITH THEIR OJ TOAST AT 12:01am, January 1st, 2012!
I'm 16 weeks pregnant now and my maternity bin the attic is calling my name!  Lovie is about the size of an avocado, starting to grow toenails and it's tiny heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood each day!!  After several attempts at finding the heartbeat early on, we finally heard it last week.  Thanks to our sweet midwife who stopped by unannounced several times just to put my heart at ease.  She was with us at each of our children's birth, such a special tradition.  As I lay on the couch hearing Lovie's heartbeat it brought tears of thankfulness to my heart, my troubled mind and my struggling soul.  Ever since finding out we were expecting again, I just felt prepared for another miscarriage.  I was very fearful the first few months and it really messed with my head and heart.  Forced a deeper place of trust.  After hearing the heartbeat I feel more relieved.  Although I certainly realize that this child is not truly ours at any point through its journey, from womb to grave. 
SUCH SWEETNESS, (with a little spice in there too)!
This may be the longest post ever, so thanks for sticking with me.  Just wanted to let you all know how much I've enjoyed our year together here in blogland!  Thank you specifically for your kindness in the early months of 2011 when we were walking through the valley of death.  Albeit, nothing like losing a child you have held in your arms or one you have raised by your side, yet nonetheless, a loss.  Your sweetness and compassion lifted my spirit and I thank you for it.  I am not certain what this year will look like as far as blogging.  Having clarity as to where my limited "free time" is spent is becoming increasingly important to me.  Isn't it amazing/scary how quickly the HOURS fly when you're online?  It's starting to be disconcerting to me.  So, for this month this post will be about it.  I'll be back the end of January and we'll chat then. 
An inward focus is what I'm feeling drawn to right now.  And as much as I enjoy my online time, it's becoming a little cage-like. In that I feel trapped by my own desires, my own online habits. There's a repositioning that needs to take place.  And I'm thinking it won't be happening "naturally", but more intentionally so.  Sometimes, thankfully, our eyes are opened to the unhealthy habits that have become second-nature.  Geesh, maybe I should save all this for another post.....(bless your heart if you're STILL reading)!

 See you in a few weeks.....

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak."
~Hans Hofmann~