Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little Girl Fun

Here's some pictures of fun the girls had in the last day or so.


Anna painting a canteloupe gourd we found out in the garden, dried and hollow from a winter outside. She's painting it dark purple, her favorite color:

Ruthie laughing on the blanket. How many people are in this picture?:

Three! The other two were hiding in their favorite, secret, cozy spot!:

Two girls in Daddy's vest, lots of laughs:


And last but not least, a little video of Anna jumping off the picnic table. She really wanted you to see her jumping from this spot, I think because she saw a picture of her sister jumping off the same table posted a few days ago:). I tried to convince her to show you a picture of her jumping off the playground structure yesterday which was twice as high, but she was insistent that this is what she wanted you to see. You should have seen the jig she was dancing before she jumped most times, I wonder who she learned that from?



video

I thought Josie might jump for you too, but then she got scared of the mower you can hear in the background and got down in a hurry. My girls do not like loud noises.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mitch

Sometimes the stress is so thick in our house you could cut it with a knife. It finds its way in at the beginning of each semester and settles in like it belongs here, one of the family. It creeps in through the pressures of going to school with a family, through the lack of sleep, through high expectations and perfectionism, through the roller coaster ride of emotions. It builds with each passing week, becoming more tangible as the semester progresses, peaking higher with each wave of exams, building as finals approach. In school, there is no reprieve, no moment when all the work is done and you can breathe, until the semester is over.

Last Friday was an exam day. One with extra pressure: the professor announced that anyone getting a 95% or above on the exam was exempt from the final. Mitch studied hard, wrote furiously during the exam, checked his work, turned it in, walked out, and began the wait. Full of the nervous energy that is the result of any exam he passed his day, plowing into the work yet to be completed. Hours were spent on a group project (its own form of stress for a perfectionist). When he came home that night you could see the cloud around him, trying to engulf him, the nagging voice telling him 'you're not good enough, you should have done better...' The lies that beat us down.

An evening of laughter is good for the soul, it speaks the truth to you, it opens up new horizons, it lets the light in again, it strengthens connections in our family. Struggling to be energetic, lighthearted and carefree, wishing it was not a struggle, loving and feeling the full knowledge of being loved in return no matter what. No matter your struggles, no matter the other voices in your head trying to beat you down.

That night I was lying with the girls putting them to sleep when Mitch came bursting into the room dancing a jig (literally). He was trying to make it a subdued, 'you can still go to sleep girls' sort of a jig, but failing. You could tell by the huge grin on his face, the kind that puts happy wrinkles all over your face and a twinkle in your eye, that he had received good news. Sometimes there is a tangible reward for all your hard work. "No final for you," I asked?

"I got a 100%," was the reply.

Way to go, Mitch. You deserve it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Morning, Pancake Morning!




On Saturday mornings we make yummy sourdough pancakes for breakfast. Mmm, mmm, good! The girls wanted yogurt on theirs this morning. You can't beat that! I couldn't believe how much Josie ate, four plate fulls of silver dollar pancakes! She's a growing girl.
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After breakfast we put on our rain jackets and headed down to the Farmer's Market, another sabbath ritual for us until our own garden starts producing a little bit more. It was fun to see all the brave souls that came out it this 39 degree rain to stock up on their week's veggies. Among other things I got some soap handmade by a friend that I know through our midwife, Karen Robinson. Coming home Anna was on her bike, Ruthie was asleep in the sling and Josie was in the ergo giving her Daddy'O snuggles. Following the creek path means coming home is slightly downhill the whole way and Anna took off for home as fast as she could peddle, a big grin on her face. She made her own sunshine around her on this gray day with her bright pink bike helmet, bright blue rain jacket and bright green rain boots. Mitch, in his bright yellow rain jacket, had to run to keep up, a bouncing, laughing Josie on his back. Quiet settled around me as I watched them disappear around the bend in the path. A rare moment in time when I could actually hear my own thoughts rolling around in my head.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jumpin' Josie

I love this picture I got of Josie jumping off the picnic bench. Quite a stunt for a just turned two year old little girl! Josie has the spirit of adventure and daring in her. No fear here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You can have more kale . . .

. . . after you eat some more beans. How often do you bribe your children to eat their dinner by telling them that they can eat more kale if they do? It actually happened in our house tonight. The first two pictures below may not appear all that interesting to you, but they are very exciting to us because they represent the first harvest from our garden this year! We had kale that had overwintered from last year that has finally grown up enough to harvest after recent rain. We also had arugula that we planted this year and were able to mix in with the lettuce we got at the farmer's market this weekend for our salad tonight. Part of the kale we made into kale chips. (Spread olive oil on a baking sheet. Lay the kale out on the sheet oiling both sides. Sprinkle with salt. Broil until crispy but not burnt.) The rest we just sauteed. Anna and Josie were pretty excited about the kale chips. Maybe it was because they had just been out in the garden harvesting the kale with us minutes before. Maybe its just because kale really is that good. Whatever the reason, after finishing her first two servings of kale, Josie exclaimed, "I want some more!" and Anna said, "I love it!"


And a fun picture of Ruthie!

Playdate

We had some friends over to play this morning. It was fun for me to hang out with my friend Monica and fun for the girls to get to know Ella and Liam better. Here's Anna and Josie showing Ella and Liam the intricacies of making soup in the bird bath:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beautiful Heart

I truly believe that it is the way of Jesus, the way of the cross, the way of the suffering servant, the way of meekness and humility, of giving and sharing, the way of love that wins out in the end. It is by dying that Christ won victory over death. But so often as we live life I look around me and it feels like the people who are winning are those in power, those wielding force and those driven by greed. But winning what? Today Anna reminded me that the way of Christ is the way of life, the way of experiencing this life to the fullest. We were at a birthday party this afternoon where they had a pinata full of little toys and games. After all the trinkets came crashing down there was, of course, the resulting melee of kids wrestling for a place on the floor, pushing, grabbing, all trying to fill their own bag with as much stuff as possible, all very normal behaviour for kids their age. Anna stood back and watched all this for a minute. You could see the dilemma in her head. She didn't want to dive into the fray. Pushing and shoving didn't seem worth it to this non aggressive little girl to get some 'stuff' But she did want some of whatever it was that had fallen all over the floor just like the rest. She went around to one side of the pile and was able to collect three little toys before the whole squabble was over and all the items were inside one child or another's little bag. Then she came running back to me to show me what she had found, dumping her prizes on the floor. Two of her friends also came over and dumped theirs onto the floor. They each had quite a pile. You could see that Anna was sad as she eyed their piles, wishing she had as much stuff as they did, interested in what it all was. We looked at each of her three things and I showed her what they were for, and then she jumped up with one of them in her hands and went running over to give it to her sister. Josie didn't have any herself. She had just gotten to the party late and was still waking up from her nap sitting on Mitch's lap having a snack. Anna's first thought was for her sister. Even though she didn't have much she wanted to share what she had to make her sister happy. I was in awe of my little girl and her desire to do something that is hard even for adults to do. It was so beautiful to watch.
When we were talking later about the party I complimented Anna on sharing what she had with her sister and she told me "Yeah, it made Josie happy when I shared with her, it made Josie happy." She was completely focused on her sister's happiness. At the end of the day that truly is what it comes down to. It was making her sister happy that made Anna happy. Not more stuff. Isn't it that the kind of happiness that we are all seeking? We think more stuff will make us happy, but actually giving away what we already have to someone who has less than we do is what brings happiness. Thank you, Anna, for reminding me of that today. Thank you for showing me your beautiful heart. My response in the situation was to be frustrated at the other parents that never asked their children to share with the other kids in the room who either didn't have any toys or who had fewer than they had (there were others who were left out of the fray). I was feeling like my daughter was losing because she was being gentle and kind. But she was showing me that she was winning something of far more value and being true to what really makes the world go 'round. Thank you for following your heart, Anna.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Worship through Art

Our friend Isobel created this piece of art in response to our Resurrection Sunday worship service. We wanted to post it on our blog because it is such a beautiful expression of the worship that happens on Sunday morning, even better than an actual photograph. We love it because it is so alive and worship on Resurrection Sunday is so much about life, true life. We also love it because the art itself is an act of worship. Thank you, Isobel, for sharing your expression of worship with us.
Several times we have referred to Anna and Josie and their friends dancing in the aisles during our Sunday morning worship services. You can see them in this picture in the foreground, the little girls on the left. Isobel's and Rich's daughter, Lily, is the girl on the far right with the white dress. The fourth girl in the middle is their friend Ella.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ruthie

Ruthie fell asleep in my arms on the couch just now and I was loathe to put her down. She had her little arms around my neck. So trusting. So peaceful. So vulnerable. I could feel her warm, sweet, milk breath against my neck and feel her chest rise and fall, her weight so precious in my arms. This is such a wonderful time, a time of connectedness, a time for me of receiving complete love. Her sisters were whispering around us in their play, conscious of her sleeping presence, putting their own babies gently to sleep. Snow is falling outside. It is a time of tucking in, a time of feeling the specialness of family and nurturing connections inside before the whirlwind of summer outside play truly begins and this moment of babyhood passes. A time that will be gone so soon. So much to value in the moment of now.
I don't usually put all three girls down for naps in the same room. But today after Josie had 'mamas' she wanted to snuggle with Anna to go to sleep, not Mommy. Anna came in and 'read' her a story, they tucked in their baby dolls and after quite a few giggles and 'sssshhhs' from Mommy they drifted off to sleep. When I rolled over after nursing Ruthie and finally getting her to sleep this is how I found them:
Chad, cookie monster is often Josie's baby of choice. It cracks me up to see her taking such sweet care of a monster.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mean Kids

What do you do when other kids are mean to your kid? It makes me sad to see Anna bullied, bossed, yelled at, toys taken, to the point that she finally walks away from the group of kids and chooses to play by herself, a sad look on her face. This feels like a repeated scenario to me lately. There is one child in particular that is a playmate of Anna's that keeps being mean to her. That child's parent is often right there 'watching' but not parenting, not teaching their child appropriate behavior. The behaviors are normal 3 year old behaviors, but not acceptable behaviors. The sort of behavior that if it is not checked can become a serious issue down the road. Anna is not perfect either, she has her moments. I don't expect her friends to be perfect. But it bothers me when I see a parent not teaching their child appropriate behaviors or correcting inappropriate ones and then watching that effect my child.
In general Anna shares really well with her friends and plays kindly. She's not a follower, she marches to the beat of her own drum. This playmate gets mad at her because this child wants to be able to boss Anna around and have her do everything she tells her to. This child doesn't share well. If she's played with something recently but has since moved on to another toy she is still extremely possesive of the toy and will scream and cry and grab it away from my daughter if Anna tries to pick it up to play with it (and the toy doesn't even belong to her). She's not just mean to my daughter, you can witness this kind of behavior often towards whatever child she has decided she doesn't want to play with or share with. I get so angry! And they're only 3!
I'm never quite sure what my response should be when I see this child being so mean. There are times that I do intervene if she is doing something that could hurt another child, grabbing a toy from my daughter, or if her words are particularly mean. I tell her that is not appropriate behavior and that she can't treat my daughter or another child in that way. But I feel really awkward saying it because the parents are right there and they should be the ones saying it, they should be correcting their child and teaching appropriate behavior, enforcing appropriate consequences.
How should I approach this whole situation with Anna? I know it doesn't do Anna any favors to rescue her from this child. She is going to be faced with people like that her whole life. I want to teach her how to deal with it in healthy, kind, nonjudgemental, socially appropriate ways. I tell her she can just walk away, I tell her she doesn't have to let herself be bullied and bossed around but can choose to play however she wants to play with a particular toy or in a particular game. We've been talking about how people make unkind choices sometimes but that she can still choose to be kind. But sometimes I feel at a loss. I do want to protect my daughter. It is hard as a mother to watch your daughter have to deal with the harder side of life.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Resurrection Sunday Photos










The girls' dresses were made by Mary Miller, otherwise known as Mema in this house:) Pretty amazing work! It was fun to see the girls feel so pretty.

Reflections on Resurrection Sunday

“How was your weekend?” That is a pretty typical question to hear on a Monday morning, and I (Mitch) have been reflecting quite a bit today on how I would respond to that question if asked tomorrow morning. Right now I would say my response would be, “Surprisingly emotional.”
Today was Resurrection Sunday, so as followers of Christ we were celebrating the most significant event for our faith. It is impossible to capture all of the significance of the death and resurrection of Christ, so I won’t attempt it here. I’ll just share a bit of my experience.

I do not tend to be a very outwardly emotional person, at least not in public, but every-now-and-then a moment catches me by surprise. This has happened a few times at worship services, and today was one of them. The moments catch me by surprise because they are not usually in the settings I would expect. One could see how a Good Friday service could be very emotional as you meditate on the deep grief accompanying the death of Christ and reflect on your own brokenness and inner darkness, but those do not tend to be the ones that get me. Resurrection Sunday is a time to celebrate and rejoice, and that’s what it was for us today. There is always a special energy among the church on this day, and I particularly felt that this morning. Churches tend to do something a little special (as they should) for this day, and Crestview was no exception. I do not, however, tend to be someone who is particularly impressed by fancy or trendy worship sets (I am not particularly put off by them either). The service at Crestview usually begins with three or four worship songs. As you would imagine the ones today were very celebrative speaking directly about the resurrection. These were upbeat, hand clapping energetic songs (perfect for two little girls that love to dance in the aisles every Sunday, especially when they have new dresses to twirl around), and I found that from the very beginning of the first one my eyes were pretty much filled with tears. (Okay, they never actually did spill out, but it took about all I had to keep my cheeks dry.) A number of times I couldn’t really sing because my voice was too choked up. I didn’t see this coming at all. So what was it that got to me during these high-energy, celebrative songs?

One of the main thoughts that was going through my head was that the only way our life makes any sense is in the context of the resurrection of Christ. There is a lot that is really good and beautiful about our life, but we are also in a season of life that has been quite hard. If Jesus had not overcome death, if we did not have this assurance that in the end the love, the righteousness and the justice of God wins out, then it would not be worth it to put ourselves through the tough times we are in (not that all suffering is avoidable, but much of ours is self-inflicted due to choices we have made to pursue certain visions). Many of the songs today were about victory—“Where thy vict’ry, oh grave?” “Fought the fight, the battle won.” Just to pull out a few lines. I get emotional thinking about the fact that that victory was won through meakness, through suffering, through death. The resurrection shows that the way of Christ—the way of suffering, the way of submission and obedience until death, the way of peace—is not just a noble way. It is the way that, in the end, good overcomes, the way that God makes all things right, and He is making all things right. It may not be immediately clear how this directly ties in to making our life make sense, but somehow it does for me, much more now than it did just a few years ago.

Being in school can often bring out some of my worst attributes. That is partly why this has been such a difficult season of life. It has also been a season where at times my faith has taken a beating, more due to letting myself be consumed by other concerns than being due to direct attacks. During the time of worshiping through music it was as if my emotions reminded me that yes, I do have my hope in the resurrection of Christ and in His present and coming kingdom. I do believe that things will be set right for those who are suffering now. I do believe that we do not even have to fear death. I do believe that my Redeemer lives and that He is in the process of redeeming the world for Himself, and He can even redeem this time of my being in school with all of its difficulties. It was sort of an inside out way of being strengthened in my faith that I did not expect, especially as someone who is at least suspicious—at most cynical—about overly emotional expressions of faith. It was also a reminder of how I have experienced the power of His resurrection in my life, as flawed as I am. There are those times when I have been stubborn and hard-hearted that He has softened my heart somehow by his grace when I was totally incapable of setting myself aright, even this very weekend. When I am in those moments where I do not want to yield, I do not know how God will get me turned around and reconcile things, but somehow He always does, and that gives me hope.

Of course it would also contribute to my emotions anytime I would look over and see Anna and Josie spinning in the aisle, sometimes with hands raised. Some of that was just the emotions of being a father and some of it was the beauty of the image of children being joyful and worshiping in their own, unconstrained way.

So that was some of my experience today, Resurrection Sunday. I don’t know that it really makes sense for anybody else. It was my experience, one that I would not have had five years ago. I can't quite capture it or put words on it all. Thanks, Greig, and the rest of the crew involved in setting up an environment for worship this morning. I was blessed by it.

Oh yeah, I promise that the pictures of three beautiful girls in cute dresses and their beautiful mother will be up soon.

Christos aneste!
Alethos aneste!

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tree Climber & Garden Update

Anna saw this tree, stopped, eyed it for a while as she sized it up, decided she could climb it and went for it! That's my girl! She told me "Don't spot me, Mommy, I can do it all by myself." Not that spotting is any help, it's more for my own peace of mind, but it must not feel that may to her. And she made it! Quite a beautiful crab apple tree just starting to get a bowerful of pink blossoms. I do happen to think that the little girl in the tree is even more beautiful, though! Here's my tree climber:The rest of the day has been spent at the Farmer's Market and in the garden. The girls found lots of 'wormy squirmies' and had fun helping Mitch plant radishes in the shape of a heart in one section of the garden that he had just finished double-digging. We'll have to show you some pictures soon of how the garden plots are shaping up. The arugula is coming up in one and some rye (cover-crop) in the other. We can almost harvest salad greens from our herb garden up close to the house! Check it out! This is what we get excited about:Poor Anna and Josie can barely walk up the steps and get to the front door of our house during the day because of all the pots of seedlings that we set out on the steps while it's warm and sunny:
Where are they at night, you ask? That is when Josie can barely get to her seat at the table because of all the seed flats on the floor around her chair.

It is getting difficult to change little Ruthie's diaper because she is so quick at her roll now. I think she's got you beat, Tom Patterson! Here's the cutie:
video

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Airborne Anna

Anna spent the evening jumping off the coffee table onto her landing pad blanket below. I had fun taking pictures. Here's some of my favorites:















Then she and Josie had a Djembe jammin' session and I actually got a picture of them both smiling at once!

Surrounded by Love, Support in the Hard Times

What do you do when you have a sick kid, an intense week filled with caring for kiddos with no built in mom time or down time? Call a friend! I have a friend who is incredibly gifted at creating space for people to worship God. She called me last week and asked if she could come over and tell the story of the Good Shepherd and Psalm 23, using props, and help create a space for me to worship and pray amidst the chaos of our week. It was a wonderful time. The girls got into the story because of how appropriately she told it, connecting it to them and using the props to keep their interest and draw them towards God. With them engaged, I was able to find some space inside my head to turn towards God again, instead of constantly engaging in their care. I was even able to sit in one place long enough to finish an entire cup of tea! Mitch wonders why I ever bother to try and make tea because he finds my cup still sitting on the counter in the evening, a marker of my failed attempt to find some quiet time in my day. So you can see why it meant a lot to me to actually be able to finish an entire cup of tea.
We created a 'feast' on our coffee table as part of our story telling and I was able to use elements of it to pray and sink into the presence of God. A much needed soaking. Here is a picture of the table and my almost empty cup of tea. Thank you, Michelle, for listening to the Spirit and investing in my life, for creating a space for me to pray.

And what do you do when you, the Mom, are sick and your kiddos are healthy, full of life and unquenchable kid energy? Call a friend! Yesterday I was feeling quite under the weather and had a fever. I just needed to sleep and didn't think I could make it until nap time, especially given the unlikely probability of all three girls sleeping at the same time. (Mitch, I'll leave figuring out the exact probability to you). But my friend Gina was wonderful and took the two older girls for 2 hours in the morning while Ruthie and I slept. They came home just in time for their naps, Ruthie stayed asleep, and I got to keep sleeping. Then Gina took the girls to a Family Housing activity in the afternoon for another hour. Blessings on your head Gina, that had to be quite an interesting time trying to guide 3 kiddos in a painting activity. Hats off to you. Our girls loved it and I needed it. Thank you.

I feel so lucky to have this kind of community around me, people who are willing to be family to me when Mitch and I need it. People who can step in when Mitch and I are failing to make ends meet and can hold us up. People who can turn us back to God, who can be a window for us to see Him more clearly. People who in the past couple of months have taken over some of the logistics of life for us so that we have been freed up to focus on the needs of our girls and spending time with them. For all our talk about independence in the USA, I'm not sure that is my value. I'm pretty dependent on those around me. I need them. Hopefully, maybe not until another season of life comes along, but someday hopefully I can be that kind of friend to those around me. Hopefully we can teach our girls by our words and our example of giving and receiving what it means to be true community to those around us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Middle Eastern Meal

I have to share with you what we had for dinner last night because I am quite proud of it! I made pita bread, falafel and a black bean hummus. This was only my second attempt at pita bread and most of them had a pocket inside! That was fun. We put the falafel with a yogurt sauce and tomatoes and lettuce fresh from our snowy farmers market on Saturday inside the pita and it was quite a tasty meal. It's my new favorite. The hummus was more of a side dish and we've been experimenting with adding black beans to our hummus. A friend introduced me to that at our monthly gathering at our midwife's house so I had to try making some. I basically traded about half the garbanzo beans for black beans and I liked the result! I'm not going to give you all the recipes here because that seems like a little much for me, If you really want it you can e-mail me. But here's a picture of our table of yummy food! I'm not known for my presentation, but you get the idea: Here's a sleepy Anna and a silly face making Josie in the picture:
We have quite the large dining room table, wouldn't you say? All I have to say is we've found that what matters more for us is what goes on at the table: family time around homemade meals made of good, healthy, local, fresh food nourishing our bodies, minds and souls. Who could ask for more? One more piece of what health for our family really is.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two Firsts For Anna & A First For Ruthie


Anna is climbing! This was a first for her, and she loved it! Our church went climbing Saturday night. Mitch had Ruthie in the sling and she went to sleep for him so even Mommy got to climb a little! Here I am:
And another first for Anna, her artwork has taken a giant leap forward and she is drawing actual things, not just big scribbles! This is a picture she drew of she and Josie, Josie is on the left, Anna is on the right. They have heads, tummys, arms and legs. So classic in how kids learn to draw people! Here it is:


Here's a picture she drew of Ruthie, she wanted you to see it, too. She added eyes, nose, open mouth with teeth in it and a forehead.

Josie, not to be outdone by her sister, wanted to post the picture she drew too. Here it is:


Anna and Josie wanted to know who was going to see their pictures. I told them some of the people that are normally reading our posts but that I didn't know for sure unless you post a comment, so they wanted me to tell you that they want you to post a comment so they know who looked at their artwork. You don't have to, but I told them I would tell you they wanted you to!

Here's a little video of Ruthie working on her roll. She's getting quicker now, but this is a video of one of the first times. She's trying so hard! She still has a hard time getting her arm all the way out from under her so that she doesn't just roll back over. She can only go to her left, we're working on enticing her to roll to her right now.

video

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two Things I Love

besides my husband and my three girls, of course! Which would be 4. I love that kids are born with no inhibitions and with a ton of creativity. You probably already know this if you have been following this blog much at all since I talk about both topics a lot.
I love watching both of these things in my girls and I hope that they can keep these two qualities even as they get bigger. They don't have any of those social inhibitions that it seems the rest of us learn so quickly. They feel the freedom to be themselves in the moment and do whatever comes most naturally for them. They don't think about what other people will think of their dancing in the aisles in church, they just dance! Yes, this is what happens every Sunday and is one of the reasons they love going to church, live music to dance to! It is one of the reasons I love going to church! They don't think about the aftermath of their actions, the consequences, they just live absolutely in the moment and enjoy it. They don't think about getting too cold if they jump in a mud puddle when there is snow on the ground outside. They don't think about all the cleanup later if they make mud soup in the bird bath:
This is a lesson I am learning from my girls. So much confidence, so much fun, so much freedom in their actions when they aren't plagued by all the fears and future thinking of us grownups. I hope that my grownup side never squelches this side of them, but rather nurtures it as they explore the world around them with all their senses and no inhibitions.
The second thing I love in my girls is their creativity. Maybe this is even a part of having no inhibitions. They are a blank slate without all the social inhibitions that stifle our own creativity. WE know that there are specific uses for specific things, you have to do it the right way. But I love surrounding my girls with objects and toys that are open ended in their use for their play, objects they can dream up whatever use they want for it. Sometimes I have to resist the urge to rescue them, the urge to show them how to play with something, to show them what to do with their time. They have to get through their own periods of boredom and transition in their play themselves in order for their minds to expand and begin to flow creatively. But when this happens the results are beautiful, so full of life, so unique to who they are and their own individual interests and ways of interacting with the world. It is a way of letting them find themselves, a way of knowing themselves and the world around them. This afternoon Anna made snow castles (yes, this is the same girl you saw dressed in a snowsuit, boots, hat, mittens and big, poofy jacket yesterday):
That's her snow castle she's showing off just to her left. I had never heard of snow castles! Mitch asked her how she did it later and she replied "I fill up my big cup with a lot, lot, lot of snow and then I go bop-bop-bop with my shovel. But one time it didn't work and I went bop-bop and it made a mess, a big mess!" (lots of gesturing and big grin to match!)
So there you go, a creative afternoon with no inhibitions. And to top it off, for your viewing pleasure here's a little video of them doing/singing "This is the way the way the ladies ride", and then "This is the way the cowboys ride" (Those are my snow pants Anna is wearing all the way up to her chin. It was quite hilarious, sometimes when the horse bucked her off she had no hands to catch herself and she face planted amidst lots of giggles):

video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools!

Happy April Fools Day! Just thought I would share a few pictures from our day.

Here's Ruthie playing on the floor smiling at Anna:


Josie found the only mud puddle in the whole courtyard this morning and had fun stomping around and sitting in the mud until she got too cold. 100% kid :

The afternoon was full of crafting with paper, markers, scissors and glue:


Here's Ruthie smiling at her sisters! She had fun watching their artistic antics:



And all three on the couch! Josie's making a silly face. Do we have a clown in the family? :


Anna's showing off one of her creations. She said she wanted Aunt Becky to see it. I said "Yeah, Aunt Becky and Nona and Grandpa and Grandma Jo and Aunt Holly and Jack and Caroline and..." and she said "And Aunt Becky, Mommy, I want Aunt Becky to see it." So there you go, Aunt Becky!:

Look what the snow blew in! We had quite a storm this afternoon. Good thing Mitch walks home! You thought Spring was finally coming. April Fools! How appropriate. Here's Mitch all covered in snow with fogged up glasses:

Anna and mommy had fun outside in the snow after dinner. We even saw the fox and followed his footprints through the snow down to the creek. It was so beautiful to be all tucked in under the snow covered trees listening to the sound of the full creek rushing by. Anna was a little nervous we would see the fox again, but we didn't. Then we had fun swinging on the snow covered swings together and looking up at the moon. We sang 'I see the moon' and thought of you, Grandma Jo, seeing the same moon there in PNG. Here's Anna making a snow angel: