Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two of a kind

I dressed Annabelle in this sweet outfit today. It has been lovingly passed on to us after my neices were done with it. At least 3 other girls in the family have worn it, including Bronwen. I just love the dainty pink and red flowers, the crisp white peter pan color (how can it still be crisp after three other owners?) and the red and green stiching across the front.
It's in such nice condition because it's sized 3-6 months and babies that small don't make much of a mess. My girls are petite so they've been able to get a little longer wear from it.

One morning recently, Noah helped Bronwen get dressed and this is how she came to breakfast. Surprised, I was sure that she was only wearing it as a top, tucking in the rest. Upon further investigation, I found that they had gotten all the snaps fastened and she appeared to be quite comfortable and proud of herself.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

How do you measure success?

To Laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate Beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a redeemed social condition or a job well done;
To know even one other life has breathed because you lived - 

This is to have succeeded.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cold cold cold

and there was only one thing for it.


Here Mama, let me straighten the camera for you . . . there, that's better. Now I'm ready!

I'm ten months old today, and I must say I'm feeling very good about that.

I love to chew on everything, even my bottom lip which is why I have a chapped ring you may or may not notice in these photos.

I'm very happy

But I've also taken on a very serious, pensive side too.

I'm quite vocal, saying "Mama", "Hi" and many other things no one really understands. Even though I didn't do it for this photo session, I can pull my self up to some things (my crib) and stand with a pretty good balance. And I'm trying to crawl, but can't quite get my arms and legs to co-operate, so I end up pulling myself accross the floor on my belly. Well, it's been very nice chatting with you. Next time, tell me about yourself!
Bye Bye!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Simple Indulgence

Delicious homemade strawberry freezer jam (thank you Jayme), creamy philadelphia cream cheese, whole grain bread on an antique milk glass plate.

Snowy Thursday

I love the snow! We had another snow storm but it was very mild. I think we got about 4 more inches and everything is fresh and beautiful. We are tucked in tightly and enjoying the view from every window. Here are a few more of my favorite cartoons. Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A favorite spot

Even though this double, reverse cow-lick gives me fits, it has always been one of my favorite spots. Bronwen has two of the same kind, in the same spot too. Annabelle has only one . . . but in the same spot! Hmph . . .genetics at work, isn't that interesting?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wrapping up some loose ends

Needing something else for my fingers to do, I've been relaxing in the evenings with my yarn and crochet needles. Noah reminded me that he still needs his rainbow blanket for his dog and I'm making a tiny bed set for Bronwen's babies.
Do you have any projects that need to be started or finished?

A gift

I am so thankful for today. I had lots of energy, we got much accomplished and I even made some headway with my chores which have been largely neglected. I'm trying out a new schedule and today I designated "laundry day". So all day long the delicious smells of soap and softner filled the house.
It helped that Madie had no school so we were able to stay home all day. Here are some precious moments from the day. Today was a gift that I gratefully accepted.

Since she had no pre-school today, I decided that it would be a good day to start teaching Madie to read. She was a very willing student

Sunday, January 20, 2008


My Grandpa is 91. Here he holds the hand of his youngest great-grandchild, Annabelle who will be 10 months this week. After decades of blue collar work, his hands are incredibly soft and I love how he loves my babies. This picture reminds me of the quote that goes something like this: A man is never so tall as when he stoops to hold the hand of a child. I've looked everywhere and cannot find the exact quote. Anyone out there have it? Anyway, I love that thought and it is so true. It also reminds me of the gentle hand of our loving Father, as he protects, corrects and guides his wayward children.
Thank you Christine for taking such a wonderful picture. Our children are so blessed to know their great-grandparents.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tiny treasures

By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. I Timothy 6:19

Today while Noah was doing his lessons and Annabelle was napping, Bronwen and I made a little beaded bracelet. She received this kit from Madelyn at our family's white elephant gift exchange and has been very anxious to open it - all those delicate tiny treasures.

Between Noah's lessons and Annabelle's infant needs, it has been a challenge to find Mommy and Bronwen time, but today was treasured time with her. She picked out the order of the beads and I threaded them for her. She was so proud of her pretty little bracelet and wore it for the rest of the day.

Annabelle enjoyed some one on one playtime with her big brother.

And we made some delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008


Yes, it is a country. This was a recent topic of discussion and I am happy to inform you with confidence that it is a country. Here are some interesting facts:
Belgium is located in Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands. The capital is Brussels.
population: 10,364388
Chief of State: King Albert II
Head of Government: Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
Dutch (60%), French (40%), German (less than 1 %) are the officicial languages.
There are 750 Hotels
Favorite Detective: Hercule Poirot (writer Agatha Christie's Belgian detective.)

I obtained this information through the CIA. Seriously, I found this really great site:
(sorry for the long web address, this is my first blog with my new Macbook and I haven't figured out how to make a link yet.)
I thought you might be interested, especially those home schoolers out there. I think it's a great reference for Geography and World History. However, it is the CIA, so they are probably keeping track of who visits!

A Meaningful Weekend

The twelve days of Christmas have come and gone and I think I had to sing the song only a dozen times (it is one of Noah's favorites.) But the tedious carol leaves a few questions begging for answers. I'm not going to list the questions, but here are some of the answers I uncovered.
Twelve days of Christmas. Contrary to popular belief, they are not the 12 days before Christmas. They are the days between Christmas and the beginning of Epiphany (Jan.6th)
The link above gives some great information. Here's a brief look: From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments.
Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.
The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Wow, that's so neat . . . inspirational even . . . or so I thought, before Snopes. I happened to notice a link to Snopes, referring to this new and interesting bit of Trivia I just learned. It dispels the myth behind the meaning, and although long, it is worth the read, if you enjoy trivia. I do, so I read it. Something I found particularly interesting is this: over the years, some misinterpretations have crept in, as they will do after 500 years, and we sing "four calling birds." This phrase was written, "four colly birds" which describe 4 birds black as coal . . . blackbirds. Also, "five golden rings" refers not to jewelry, but to 5 ring-necked birds (such as pheasants.) Now, making these corrections, the first 7 gifts are more cohesive, being all about birds. That's all I have for you. The next five gifts don't make any sense, I guess it's just a festive song about romantic gifts.

Ok, that's enough of that. This was a meaningful weekend. My tree came down and the decorations are tucked safely away for next year. This is always a melancholy time for me. I talk to the tree while I'm undressing it. (Yea, I talk to the tree; watcha gonna do 'bout it?) I thank it for giving it's life so my family could save some beautiful Christmas memories. (No, I'm not a tree hugger, but it was once alive . . .and now it's not. That deserves a little respect, don't you think?) The bottom of the trunk has been cut off and is drying, soon to be added to the other trunks from Christmases past (click here to see a nostalgic (sappy?) look at our traditions so this part will make sense to you.) Oh, and the last ornament on, was the last ornament off. (yes, another unexplainable tradition of mine. Sorry Jody. I think it's actually because I have OC tendencies. I was cataloging each ornament so as to make sure that none got thrown out with the tree.) ((Are you tired of the parenthetical thoughts yet?))
No sooner had I dragged the poor brittle thing out front than the city's midnight crew came by and scooped it up and away to it's new purpose: becoming some one's mulch for their spring flower beds. Hmmm, I wonder . . .

While my wee bairn tried her first bites of cereal (and wasn't thrilled,) my eldest marched into "big boyhood" when he lost his first tooth Sunday night.
Annabelle was more interested in the spoon and the bowl than in the strange, experience in her mouth. Very little made it into her tummy.
Friday night was traumatic for Noah as the lower, front right baby tooth loosened quite a bit, and - though I tried to prepare him for a little blood and a little pain - he was nonetheless panicked at the sight and taste of his blood and the sharp pain in his tender gums when the tooth pushed forward and would not sit back in it's little hole. When it was finally re situated, he "rested it" all day Saturday and tonight when he was brushing his teeth before bed, it just let go in his mouth.

So he put it under his pillow, (because his older and wiser cousin Madelyn did this) he knows that's the tradition, but he doesn't know why. I can't wait to see what his reaction will be in the morning. The tooth fairy was very generous because (s)he was feeling very nostalgic. Hey, the price of the first baby tooth is high, it's a big thing!

My grandparents were safely returned from SC and are now settling into their new surroundings in Mom and Dad's home. We spent the day with them today and they seem truly happy and content. This will be a great time of adjustment for all four of them though. Grandma is better and all her tests came back clear. She has a very strong ticker. It seems as though she had an adverse drug interaction between her insulin and her nitro heart pill. Thank you to all who knew of her situation and prayed for her. My apologies to anyone who did not know what had happened. Rest assured she is feeling much better and appears to be her old wonderful self.

I think that's all, I'll post pictures tomorrow. Tonight I'm just too tired. Have a great Monday, love to you all.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Well, our snow has come and gone . . . again. The only snowflakes here are the ones I drew above. Two days ago the temperatures were between 65 -67 degrees and 15 inches of snow melted. That combined with several inches of rain, and we are dealing with flooding - in January!

Our street was flooded the other night, but thanks to the city working quickly, it was back to normal yesterday morning. And our home has stayed dry. I know many other areas have not been so fortunate. Many streets are still closed and at least one has even collapsed. One family lost two children when their vehicle was swept away by the current on a flooded road - 7 ft of water!

Driving around and seeing the damage has made me think of how much worse it has been for families in past catastrophies when flood waters have swept away homes in our country and . It is something I cannot even fathom. How blessed I am to have my family safe around me.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Snow Fun

Riley is a snow dog. She loves the snow, diving nose first into every drift. Cooper enjoys it too, but he gets cold sooner. He likes to chase the flying snow.

Aunt Jayme and Uncle Scott were playing with the neices and nephews in the snow and Bronwen kept saying "This is fun!" So they asked her,"What else is snow?"
"Is it wet?"
"Is it cold?"
"Is it white?"
"Is it deep?"
"Is it pink?"
Well, by this time it seemed as though she wasn't really paying attention so they asked "Is the snow hard?"
"The snow's not hard, it's soft!" Aunt Jayme laughed and kicked it.
there was a pause and then Bronwen muttered, "It's hard to walk in."

It's really hard to believe that the temperatures are supposed to warm to the fifties and rain this weekend. My children are really sad that all of the snow will probably be gone so soon. We've been making the most of it though! Such is life in the midwest. We'll get more I'm sure.
I wonder what Mason was thinking of doing with that snow ball? Well, he did not throw it at anyone. He tried to start a snowman, but the snow was too powdery and wouldn't pack. Hmmm, sounds like it is perfect for something else though. SKIING!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


For us, 2008 came in quite peacefully. The snow was falling and covering everything in a soft, cold blanket. The city was quiet and we were warm and happy inside with my parents and sister and brother in law. Of course we stopped what we were doing just before midnight and watched the ball drop in Times Square and listened as I read some interesting facts I found about the tradition.

Then we had some fun in front of the camera and laughed until, well you know. I may post some of the silly poses. Then again, I may not, I don't want to embarrass anyone. Hope you had a great start to your new year too.