Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/28 - 15

^ 7:38am  coco peanut butter oatmeal

^ 8:38am

^ 9:38am comforted by daddy

^ 10:38am  making a treat

^ 11:38am  one of the best presents ever

^ 12:38pm  he was stroking her hair while he read her a story

^ 1:38pm

^ 2:38pm  a little project after some mending work was finished

^ 3:38pm  telling each other stories in the tent over popcorn

^ 4:38pm

^ 5:38pm  chores

^ 6:38pm

^ 7:38pm

^ 9:38pm

^ 10:38pm  last emails for the day

The Anti-Eeyore

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful disposition is good for your health but being gloomy is like a disease.


"Four kids?  You must be tired!"

"Sounds like your job is a nightmare right now"
"...if it would ever stop raining."

I'm not a pessimist by nature and tend to find the best in circumstances...but, I don't know if its habit or culture, I find these negative responses sometimes pop out of my mouth before I think.  Especially when I'm talking with a stranger or making small talk.  Maybe I feel more sympathetic commiserating? 

I'm always so grateful when the person I'm talking to doesn't give the expected reply..."yeah, right?" And instead spins my inquiry towards the light.

"Actually, I really love being surrounded by all the life these kids exude."
"Oh, I love my job and I love staying busy."
"My garden is loving all this water so I don't mind the rain at all."

Words are powerful and attitudes do affect our health.  Hearing a positive response or cheerful point of view (especially when the situation itself looks bleak) has changed my week before.  Not that life is always rainbows and starfish but automatically defaulting to the negative in a neutral situation doesn't help anyone, really. 

I was thankful when I caught myself last time a thoughtless reply was the quickest to come to mind and gave myself a second to develop a more honest and more positive response.  

I'm sure I'm not the only one who occasionally blurts out gloom.  Anyone else working on developing responses that are both sympathetic AND positive?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When almost my whole family arrived for an impromptu visit/birthday celebration last weekend I couldn't resist making Owen an actual cake (though he, apparently, thinks ice-cream alone is an acceptable alternative).  I 'pinned' this idea long ago, excited with the boy friendliness (and ease).  

I love how Owen and Blake are gazing longly at the combination of sugar and trucks. 

It was the first time most of my siblings/nieces/nephews had been to our house and we fit seven children and eight adults into our small quarters cozily.  I loved hosting, loved seeing everyone chatting and eating and playing, loved how warm it felt full of people.  There is such a fun dynamic among cousins as they grow...I'd have kept them longer if I could have.  Cousin sleepovers soon?

At the very least we need more birthdays to celebrate.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Owen's caring heart often melts mine.  

He wanted to help carry the doll stroller on his bike when Everly got tired of pushing...but this makeshift baby carrier would have to do.  

We know that these two will be close...and little signs of that friendship are sprouting.


Owen:  got his first blisters from ice skating.  

Everly:  has been cooking several meals daily in the play kitchen  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Owen:  The arrival of his new helmet means even faster zipping. 

Everly:  Being 'pokey little puppy'.  Hands find pockets, walking slowly along, gazing at the ground or the trees or the sky.  Not ever in a hurry.  Especially on a nice day as we walk to the park.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Owen:  Started a new nighttime routine this week and I couldn't be prouder of how he is maturing.  

Everly:  Mandarin oranges are so messy...and so delicious.  We've been eating several a day for a few weeks.  Ever is working on peeling them herself. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Real: Cabin Fever

Rainy days.  Icy days.  Windy days.  It's the middle of winter and we've hit that point where we can't go outside for very long without feeling as if the 400 layers we're wearing aren't really working anymore.  It's reminiscent of the middle of summer where we spend large chunks of the afternoon avoiding the hot humid outdoors.

Cabin fever.

I'm trying to stay on top of things and come up with new activities and fun distractions.  Honestly though, I kind of want to take a nap or curl up with a book and tea.  Or clean the bathrooms without a fight breaking out over who is not giving back what.

And at some point I'd really like them to learn to amuse themselves...I have no problem facilitating occasional boredom to help that process along.  (Disclaimer: temporary side effects of this training may include occasional loud screaming and persistent whining.  Headaches have been reported in some users.  In rare instances, dinner plans may be postponed in favor of intensive mediation/time outs.)

Why does cabin fever feel so hard to shake off?  Maybe we should try taking multiple short walks outside instead of attempting the one long ramble.  Or maybe I should just take a deep breath and order stock in Magic Erasers.

Could it snow now, please?

Friday, February 8, 2013


Oh, little girl.

You are such a sweet light in our home.  

Even your tantrums and grumps tend to be endearing.  

Daily I rehearse how grateful I am for every minute I get to spend with you.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

4 Happy Years

At the end of the day, Jon and I declared it one of the best we could have planned.


Owen woke up to snow out the window.  We probably could have stopped right there and the day would have been pretty close to perfect for him. 

First up:  suspense over!  The mysterious box was a world map puzzle!  (Which he promptly puts together 5 times.) 

Request:  birthday pancakes with coconut and strawberries AND hot chocolate.  

We watched it snow while we all ate together.  

And shoveled afterwards.

After shoveling Jon took Owen down the street to the hockey rink.  

from this...

to this...

to THIS!

I'm not sure who was more excited when they came home.  But Owen refused to take off his snow pants for the rest of the day since he was convinced that they'd be going back any minute.  

For dinner Owen requested french fries.  When pressed to expand his menu he asked for burgers.  So we had dinner at Five Guys.  

We each told Owen a few things we hoped for him this coming year in a sweet conversation about how much we love our firstborn.  Reading and more skating and spiritual growth were mixed in there. 

No cake for this guy.  He wanted vanilla and "spicy (aka minty) green" ice cream.  Who know where he got mint into his head...but it's one of my favorites so it's probably some genetic instinct.

He got one present early and the tow truck ate dessert with us.

After ice cream the whole gang reunited and played happily in their new home for the rest of the evening.  A few cars and a big puzzle made this boy feel very special.

One tired, happy four year old snuggled in bed that night.  


It was a day made for doubt about it.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Owen:  looks like a different child to me.  Maybe it's the spiked hair, maybe it's him morphing into the four year old that he became Friday.

Everly:  just a little grumpy.


I was looking through some of the older posts on the blog and the one-photo-an-hour post from December made me smile and served as a great memory prompt for that day.   I want to try and do that every so often and see how the look of the day changes over time.

So here is January 31st at 26 past the hour.

7:26 am  Daddy snuggle time.   Owen was playing a letter tracing game...but here it looks like he's moved on to flipping through my photos.

8:26 am

9:26 am

10:26 am  Babysitting our sweet little sleeping charge.

11:26 am

12:26 pm Pre-nap reading

1:26 pm

2:26 pm Jon departs for a meeting

3:26 pm Owen puts on a show trying to figure out what Aunty Gina (and Uncle Ian) sent for his birthday.  Ever and I sit back with a snack and watch the fun.  (We made him wait until the morning to open it up.)

4:26 pm  The coldest walk.  Mama needs to buy some boots, I think.

5:26 pm  Daddy's home, dinner's going.

6:26 pm  Tuscan bean soup

7:26 pm  One last book

8:26 pm 

9:26 pm Downton Abbey with Jon...dundundun!!

I set an hourly alarm so that I'd a) remember to take the photos and b) be able to find my phone since I'm always without it.  It was driving Jon crazy and he couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.  At the end of the day I couldn't help but comment that the day flew by with a regular reminder of the hours passing.