27 January 2013

A Little Project

Here's a little sneak peak of what we've been working on this past week:

The kitchen corner isn't quite finished yet, but the rest of their new little play room is coming along nicely.

FYI:  I love the boldness of the black chalkboard wall.  I don't think I've ever felt as on trend as I do right this very second, now that I have a black wall in my house.

And as it turns out, chalkboard walls provide great fun for all ages.

25 January 2013

Our Amazing Week in Bullet Points

*Monday:  David went on a man-date to watch The Hobbit, leaving me another evening at home after the kids were in bed to work on some ridiculously intricate (but beautiful!) Super Bowl party decor.

*Tuesday:  The hard drive on our lap top crashed.  This type of thing has never happened to us; it's one of those terrible atrocities I thought only happened to other people.  Fortunately I had been trying to get caught up on backing up all our photos.  We still lost some good ones, though, like our trip to Canada and Christian's first birthday.  Sadsies.

*Wednesday:  I got to be up Tuesday night with a lovely Crohn's attack and had to miss BSF. 

*Thursday:  Daphne got a little fever and I think maybe an ear infection.  We've never had an ear infection in the house before, but her symptoms seemed to fit my internet searches for what could be ailing her (and the internet has the answers to everything!).  Fortunately she has the strongest constitution of anyone I know and today seems back to normal.  

*All Week Long:  We are currently DIYing it all over the place, including projects like antiquing paper with soy sauce and the oven.  I hope the paper appreciates that our soy sauce is gluten free.  Although now that I think about it, I think the biggest question should be why do most soy sauces even have gluten in them in the first place?  And will my hands ever stop smelling like soy sauce? 

*Today is Friday, although not really our Friday since David still works tomorrow.  Today should be normal with no illnesses/technological malfunctions/anything else unexpected.  The children will be in good moods and Christian will eat everything I feed him and throw none of his food on the floor.  No one will cry and both kids will take 5 hour naps this afternoon.  It's going to be a great day. 

(Pictures from one year ago, since I'm on the old laptop with old pictures.)


20 January 2013

What to Wear to a Football Game

Would you like to see the 5 zillion pictures I took of the kids this morning, dressed for the Big Game? 

We can have a 49er fashion chat while we look at pictures.  
fake smiles

I think this is the last year for Daphne to be able to wear her 49ers pillowcase dress.  She's worn it every year since she got it at 10 months old, first as a dress, then to a tunic.  This year it was basically just an awkwardly short shirt. 

Poor Christian only has a 49er hoodie which I did not feel was classy enough for church and then would be too hot for when our home group people came over this evening.   He just went for neutrals so he could 'wear' his hat and play with his 49er football (not pictured).

And now, as you all know, the 49ers won today which means they are going to the Super Bowl!  David is basically over the moon about this.  He wants to stay home for the game (something about being in his own turf to watch his team play) which means I get to throw a fantastic party.  It's way more fun to throw a Super Bowl party when someone in the house passionately cares about one of the teams.  Personally, my favorite thing about the 49ers is that the team color is red because that means the decorations will be beautiful and will blend in nicely with our house.  Thanks, 49ers, for not having ugly colors. 

David is already scouring the internet for a shirt for Christian to wear, and I think if you want to come over to watch the game it's pretty much a prerequisite that you wear red.  Unless you really like the other team, then maybe you don't have to. 
this boy loves watching football

That's pretty much all I have to say about football for today. 

19 January 2013

Out of Words and Arm Muscles

I haven't too many spare words right now.  My mouth is pretty tired from answering the never-ending questions from a certain 4-year old I know.

"What are we going to do when I wake up?"  "What are we going to do when Christian wakes up?"  "What are you going to do after I go to sleep?"  "How many more sleeps until Home Group?"  "What is [our neighbor] doing right now?  Is he wearing his pajamas?"  "What are doors made out of?"  "Are we going to Home Group in 3 hours?"  "Is it almost dark out?"  "What are we going to do when it's dark out?"  "Is it almost Christian's bedtime?"  "Do you have a special project for me?"  "What color is this red book?" "Can we go to Target?"  "Can we go to Home Group?"  "Can I move to Albany and live with Becca and talk to her?"  "Can I call your mom?" 

I try to answer her, although I admit to falling into the vague "I don't know" and "mm hmm" answers after a few hours minutes.  Then I realize I basically said yes to eating candy canes and Avenger fruit snacks right before lunch and moving to Albany and calling everyone in my contact list and so I have to back-pedal and remind myself to pay a little more attention. 

Christian figured out that he knows how to climb up onto the kitchen table and dining room table.  Pulling him off the tables every few seconds is a very good work out for my upper body. 

Pulling him off the tables so often also greatly affects my cooking, as discovered when I only put a teaspoon of yeast into our hamburger buns instead of a tablespoon.  Those were some dense hamburger buns, let me tell you.  Daphne, so sweetly, ate most of hers and then finally told me "I just like other hamburger buns, but maybe not these ones."

Christian also discovered the joy of stealing markers from Daphne's coloring box, as evidenced by the orange streaks on one of my beige bath towels.  

Never a dull moment. 
he chose this outfit

she can all of a sudden draw anything, her fav. being animals.  amazing.

15 January 2013

Winter Rest

It snow misted all day yesterday.  Teeny, tiny snowflakes that you could barely see, but it was enough to make two children happy and to dust the ground with a bit of white.

In enjoying the winter spirit we did snow-themed art projects, made chicken stock and chicken noodle soup and cornbread, we had a Scrabble game going, and were snug at home enjoying David's day off.

The weekend was packed with an overnight trip down south, two birthday parties, a big 49ers game, church, and cow-buying (to keep in Albany, because no matter how cute I think it would be for the kids and I to walk our cow around the neighborhood, I think she'll be happier in a pasture with other farm animal friends).

Somehow the days can be so full, to the point where we don't even want to look at our calendar and be reminded of the commitments we have, but then we get a restful, rejuvenating day like yesterday and we're fit to tackle the upcoming week.  Your Sabbath doesn't have to be on Sunday, you know.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.   ~Mark 6:31

I hope you can find your time to rest this week.
sweet Pascha

14 January 2013


Let's talk about my most favorite thing!

"She is too fond of
& it has
turned her brain."
~Louisa May Alcott

As we are such book lovers around here, here are some book-related facts about our family:

*Our library is the first place of business Daphne recognized when she got to the age of recognizing places.
*I have my library card number memorized and never have to use my library card.  When I had a teacher account I had that card number memorized as well. 
*I wish there were more facts I could list, but there just aren't.

My need-to-buy book list is always evolving, but here is how it sits currently (you know, in case you get it in your head you want to buy me a book for some reason).

The Entitlement Trap:  So many people have recommended this book on giving kids "a sense of ownership, responsibility, and self-sufficiency" as the book description says.  As I haven't yet read the book I can't really give my own description, hence just copying it straight up for you.  

Don't Make me Count to Three:  The book I talk about pretty much every 5 minutes on this blog.  It's weird that I still haven't purchased it.

Nourishing Traditions:  Talk about an amazing book to read when you have a fascination with nutrition as I do.  I don't think I could ever be as strict with food as she is (because we could basically never eat at a restaurant or someone else's house if we did...which of course doesn't say much good about the state of nutrition knowledge in our country, I suppose) but I sure do like to try.  I figure being mostly good at home is better than never being good at all.  And it does feel oddly rewarding to have pots of beans soaking in whey sitting on my kitchen counter. 

The Backyard Homestead:  I got this from the library once and never was able to sit and really dive into it like I wanted to.  I think I need to own it as a reference book.

The Blessing Book:  And pretty much every single book by Linda Dillow.  I own Calm My Anxious Heart and have read it about 6,000 times, and I've checked out The Blessing Book quite a few times over the years. 

Divergent and InsurgentInsurgent ended on such a cliff-hanger and I just need to know what's going to happen!!!  According to the internet I have to wait until September.  This is why I don't like to read a series until the entire set is out.  I think David would like this series which is the main reason I want to own them...he doesn't like to read books from the library because he doesn't like having to try to finish them in 3 weeks or less.  I want to own the Legend series so that David will read them as well.  With both the Divergent Trilogy and now Legend, I read them so quickly thanks to the page-turners they are that I will need to re-read them to get all the details into my brain again. 

If I Were a Mouse:  We love all the books by Karma Wilson, but when I read through this one with Daphne I just loved it.  The majority of her books are not Christian in theme, so the storyline in If I Were a Mouse caught me by surprise and is probably why I loved it.  I would probably like to get this book as well. 

And there you have itLet me know if there is anything else you want to buy for me I need to get.       

08 January 2013

Beautiful Mornings

Have you seen this e-card floating around?

This quote is basically MY LIFE right now.   I have a renewed love for my old French press as I've discovered that I love black coffee just barely sweetened with a bit of cream and stevia.   Looking forward to my cup of coffee encourages me to get out of bed early and I even think about it as I'm going to bed at night.

As I used to (seriously, like 3 months ago) only like frou-frou lattes and mochas, I'm really not sure who I am right now.  

Most mornings I have to reheat my cup three times and of course I can't sit down to drink it because as soon as I sit someone wants on my lap.  But still, I feel as though I'm enjoying a leisurely morning in a coffee shop even though I am definitely not, and that is why mornings (with the coffee) are beautiful.   (Lately they've been made even more beautiful thanks to these homemade fig newton bars, which I conveniently made gluten free.)

My morning coffee has become a time of restoration for me.   I pick a mug I love, and even though I can't sit and enjoy it uninterrupted, I try to choose a time in the morning when the kids are playing and I can pretend like it's quiet time for me.  It's not the actual beverage that makes it so special, it's the experience of having something nice for myself each day.

"...He restores my soul..."  Sometimes through something as simple as a warm mug of coffee. 

Apparently it is important to us to instill the same love for the beverage to our children.  David let Christian try a sip (or 7) yesterday and he loved it.  I didn't think you were supposed to like coffee when you're 16 months old?

This was his face after having a few sips:

And then coming to beg for more.  Remember that this was DAVID giving him coffee.  DAVID (not me, as I would never do such a thing):

Today David had training and so worked a day shift and day shifts are the most wonderful thing.  Our morning was busy taking GAL to the airport, and then making bread and applesauce and baking gluten/dairy free snacks for the kids, and then before I knew it it was lunch time, nap time, and then David was home. 

The coffee was extra good today.

04 January 2013

Firmness of Purpose

Recently David and I have been inspired by the book Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreide.   Of course if I'm being honest I was super inspired by it and kept reading portions out loud to David, who I'm sure was tuning me out all the while acting interested.  

(Just kidding.  He totally listens to every thing I say.)

I won't write a book review here, but suffice it to say it was convicting and encouraging and gave me this lovely quote that will be a theme for our household this coming year:

Lovely.  Just lovely. 

Also I've decided I love the idea of having a word of the year.  I've heard people talk of it in the past but have never been too inspired to find my own word, until I actually found a word and decided I love having a word of the year. (!!!!)

For 2013, my word (our family word, really) is purpose.

purpose  (ˈpɜːpəs) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal
2. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.

We want our intentional actions to result in something good. 


We'll purposefully clear out clutter from our house and reserve our spaces for beautiful and useful things. 
We'll purposefully make our house a sanctuary where creativity is inspired.  I want my children to have the freedom to think and dream and create, and I don't think that can be done well in clutter.  I hate the way I feel when I walk into our house and all I can see are the messes I need to clean.  We aren't super messy or gross people, but when there's too much stuff around there's too much to clean and too much time spent on thinking about cleaning.  

 We'll purposefully clear out clutter from our calendar so that we can enjoy down time with our kids. 

We'll purposefully let things go of stuff so that we can spend time on more important activities.  For instance, I was spending many minutes a day straightening up the decor on the coffee table because little hands were constantly messing it up.  I took the stuff off the coffee table and now I spend no time at all on that chore.  I cleared up about an hour a week of my time just by cleaning off my coffee table.  The less stuff I have to take care of, the more time I have.  My heart feels lighter just thinking about it. 

We'll purposefully be saving even more money (for a down payment on our country home!) because we won't buy things unless they are beautiful or useful.  If one object is beautiful AND useful that's even better

(By the way, when you start saying 'purpose' too much it starts sounding ridiculous and like a made up word.  Purpose, purpose, purpose, purpose....see?  Weird word.)

Here's to 2013!  Go forth and be amazing.  We sure will. 
his resolution is probably to eat more potatoes

hers would be to decorate the entire house with her artwork

yeah, baby

02 January 2013

Christian Says Good Words & Some Bad Words

Christian said his first little sentence today.  David came in the back door and Christian said "dada outside."  Outside is his favorite place to be.  He talks about it a lot. 

I feel like he's just too little to be stringing words together already.  There's a possibility he's going to grow up to be too smart for his britches.

Of course, his 'outside' sounds more like 'a**,'  so maybe we'll be fine.

Speaking of outside, he gets to wear Daphne's hand-me-down Stonz Booties now.   Sometimes I can be super lazy and send him outside while he's still wearing his jammies since the boots can go on right over his footie p.j.s.  If I had a baby gate for the driveway I could toss him out the front door and let him play in the driveway for as long as he wanted.  He may be immune to the cold weather but I, the babysitter, am not.