Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My kids

An Evening Walk

"What shall we do this evening?" This theme has begun to resonate throughout our lives as we daily strive to adjust to having toddlers in our plans. Combine this with living in Clarkston, the most boring town on the planet and you have a real dilemma. Well, last night we chose a walk. After dinner, my dear hubby, whom I lovingly call Bear, dragged the big double stroller out of the bedroom. Don't get me wrong; I love the stroller. It's one of those jogging types with the big bicycle wheels that is so smooth you hardly know you're pushing it. But it is kind of clunky. Anyway, Bear pulled the thing out and unfolded it. Then came the coat ritual. I bundled Baby Seth within an inch of his life and we watched Natalie as she put her own coat on. This is a newly acquired skill and she is very proud of it. She calls it "swimming into her coat". (The name came from Uncle S the other day when we were over at their house and Natta proudly displayed her talent. Confused, he said, "Are you going swimming?") She lays the coat on the floor, hood toward her feet. Then she belly-flops on top of it and thrusts her hands into the sleeves. Next comes wriggling and writhing until she gets her little fists out of the end of the sleeves and the coat is upside down on her chest. Then she stands up. This part necessarily has the song "Stand up, stand up" from Veggie Tales attached to it. Once the child has regained her feet, she attempts to flip the coat over her head until it resides in its proper location. This involves much flailing of her short arms with disastrous results to recently combed and ponytailed hair. Finally the garment slips into place and the flushed, triumphant pixie yells for the world to hear, "I did it ALL BY MYSELF!!!"

Ok, coats on, children buckled into the Blue Mastodon and we're ready to go. Bear and I stride down the deserted streets in the dark, chatting quietly. Each of the four of us finds something different to enjoy. Bear comments on how good it feels to stretch his muscles after sitting all day. I enjoy getting out of the house and sucking in breaths of the fresh, chilly air. Natalie keeps up a running commentary on all of the magical sights she discovers along the way. A small doggie, a big tree, a rock, a green stoplight...these all hold fascination for her. And Seth adores the street lights.

Ten minutes later we reach our enthralling destination. The video store. Five minutes and ten dollars later we emerge as the proud but temporary owners of Cinderella, Postcards from Buster, The Lion King 2 and as a treat for Mommy and Daddy, The Illusionist. We then head to the REAL destination, in Natta's opinion, ICE CREAM! Seth's round eyes get rounder as we enter the brightly lit world of the grocery store. Delightedly he scopes out the colored displays as we make a bee-line for the frozen-food section. Natta reminds us approximately 38 times (lest we forget) that we are here to get ICE CREAM. Meekly, Bear and I agree that yes, we're here to get ICE CREAM and we pick out two flavors. We succumb to the temptation of hot fudge and then through the check-out line and we're once again headed home.

Seth takes this as a major disappointment. Not only did the cool bright lights and colors go away but now it's cold and it's been hours since he last ate. Maybe days. Maybe even weeks. He lets out a howl that continues for blocks. Mommy tries the pluggy but Seth will have none of it. He is wise to this evil plot of substituting the good stuff with a fake pacifier. He's learned in pluggy lore and will not be deceived. There is no milk in that thing. What is Mommy trying to pull anyway? The howls continue up Fifth Street and past Poplar. Natta makes the obvious comment, "Seth is crying." Well, color me surprised. The howls escalate as a small boy decides he might just die right there in the stroller. He has never been this hungry ever before in his whole life and it is taking YEARS for Mommy to wake up and realize he needs sustenance. Now we're howling our way down Maple Street.

At last, oh at last. The front door. The warmth of the house envelops us like embracing arms. Someone picks up Seth and begins dispensing Mommy Milk. Somebody else distribtes bowls of ICE CREAM to all. Peace reigns. Plans are made for the nightly ritual we call "Bath and Bottle Works". Bedtime comes, prayers are said. Mommy and Daddy retire to their basement retreat and watch "The Illusionist." AAAHHH, life is good.

I wonder what we'll do this evening?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Yep, I do love being a mama!

Don't you love being a mama, she asked in a recent comment. YES!!! I am so completely in love with these two little people it takes my breath away. I love being a stay-at-home mom too. I love spending every minute with my kids. Soemtimes they drive me nuts. Often they drive me nuts. But I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Yesterday we ended up at L's house for a couple of hours. Since they were embroiled deep in a game of Settler's of Catan, I was left to myself and my kids on the other side of the living room. I did not mind a bit. Natta chattered at me and Seth grinned his adorable sunny smile. Someone handed me an electronic Yahtzee game and it was not long before Natta had her little hands on it, pushing the buttons and chuckling like a brook when the thing would beep. Since we were refugees, I provided a sensible, healthy, gourmet meal. Well, no, I got Arby's. Natta was thrilled. She arranged a napkin as a plate and lined up her chicken strips and fruit cup on it. The next necessary step involved comandeering my cup of iced tea. Not for her was the cup of milk. No, sirreee. Iced tea was IT! In the past she has been known to take a cup with a straw and tip it up like a bottle, thus creating the world's finest indoor waterfall. So I hovered, warning her to "keep it by your tummy" while she drank it. Happily she hugged my cup close to her tummy all afternoon, sipping the brewed beverage until I was sure she'd had enough caffeine to choke a moose.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed the milk.

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Favorite Things

My favorite place on the web: Faith and Fellowship Forums. I have met the nicest people there from all over the world. They even threw me an online baby shower and sent gifts with a few people who live close enough to come in person.

We talk about anything and everything. Our kids, American Idol and Survior, our jobs, our health, our faith in Jesus. Our little family of regulars includes a 50-something grandma from Norway, a 18 year-old homeschooled girl, a new mom in NC, a pastor in Michigan, a mother of eight kids in KS, a book editor in Oregon, an expectant bride and a candymaker in Texas and a souvenir salesman in Disneyland.

The best thing about friends is having them care about you and share things you care about. These dear people embrace my many pictures of my babies, stories of the cute things they do and say and rants about anything and everything. They prayed for me while I was sick and asked me to pray for them. They encourage me to be close to Jesus but at the same time are laid back enough to joke about the "Christianese" we all speak.

As a stay-at-home mom of toddlers, my biggest enemy is loneliness as I crave adult interactions. Thank God for this place, a haven of friendship and fellowship.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Baby, baby

I love babies! My own especially, but other babies are interesting too. When I have time to "dink" on the computer, I like to follow the story of the Herrin Twins and the Hathaway Quintuplets. The Herrins are 4-year-old twins who were conjoined until this last August when they underwent separation surgery. Not only was the surgery incredibly rough, but the recovery has been long and slow for them as well. Yet they stay cheerful and optimistic. Their parents are troopers too. I cannot imagine living with the stress that they deal with every day. Just the medical issues alone would be daunting, but they also have a first-grader and a set of twin boys who are just in that 1-year-old terror stage. Whew! I'd go nuts. Yet you can tell by the pictures on their website that they are wonderful parents who have their priorities right. Being Mormon, they have a good support system too. I love to go check their site to see if they have any more news. Tomorrow they will be on Oprah and for the first time in my life, I plan to watch that show, just to see them.

The Hathaways are actually people I know personally. They have four brand new babies who are the same age as Little Mister. One of them even has the same name as Mister! That is so cool. They don't update their site very often, but it's a treat to see the pictures that they post and I always say a special prayer for little Seth Hathaway. I hope someday the two boys will be able to be friends.

My own news is usually less exciting. The big event yesterday was a trip to Wally World where we spent $150!!! Yikes! And all on stuff we needed. Buglet, who I'm calling Curly Miss now, has some new twinkle shoes that actually fit her now. She loves them, of course, and insisted on wearing them today. Nevermind that she is wearing a sleeper with feet. Good thing those twinkle shoes are big!

She has a nasty cold today and I had to stick her in bed for an extra nap because she was so whiny. She's mellowed out now and is laying in the Baby Gym with Mister. He's getting bored though and starting to fuss, so I'm probably about done with blogging for today. :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Talkin'


Curly has been playing with her friend Kyrie a lot while Hubby and I help Mark and Kris get settled. They have a great time playing horsies, coloring and playing dress-up.

The main milestone I have seen recently is multiple word sentences. The other day she said to me, "Nap is dirty. Got sketti sauce on it. Mommy put it in-er wash-nachine an' make it all clean."


Not my most embarassing moment

I was going to post a story about one of my more embarrassing moments which happened this weekend. Then I thought better of it. I don't want THAT floating around cyberspace! So I guess if you're dying of curiosity, you'll have to email me.

Life is moving on, sometimes slowly, sometimes so fast it makes my head spin. Seth just turned three months. He loves to cuddle and will reward me with the sunniest grin when I go pick him up. Curly Miss spends 150% energy just being two. She chatters non-stop. I find myself always wondering what she'll say next. We're all glad to have a day at home today after helping M & K all weekend. Then I went up and worked on the Moscow trailer yesterday. I'm beginning to wonder if that project will ever get done. Maybe it won't and then we won't have to go live there. Did I write that out loud? OK, I know it was my idea to go live there but it's all I could think of to get us out of the hole. Still, it's such a dump.

On to more postive things. I have Bell Choir practice this afternoon. I love Wednesdays for that reason. It's so fun to meet with the gals and play some music. And Curly loves T who watches her while I play. Speaking of that, I ought to start getting ready. It seems that if I don't start an hour ahead of time, I don't make it. Such is life with two babies.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Going Along


Curly is 25 1/2 months old. She's over 3' tall and weighs about 28 pounds. I think the word to use right now is TALKATIVE!!! She loves to talk and will usually "parrot" everything we say. Most items in her world have cute little two-word descriptions. For instance, a coffee cup is a "coppee-shop". A bowl is a "bowl-hat" and Mister is "Beebee Sef".

She's learning to throw a ball, draw happy faces and likes to watch The Lion King. Right now her favorite snack is popcorn and she likes to eat it in the morning right after breakfast! She also likes spaghetti and green beans a lot.

I have to laugh at the cute phrases she says. When we went up to the trailer to work on it, she said "It's stinky". And whenever anything catches her fancy, she says "Oh, wow!". Anything from Christmas is called a "stocking". Her blanket, pictured here, is called "Nap" and at dinner, it's "Nap on-backa chair." She hangs it on the back of her chair to have it close.
She loves her little brother. She's a little helper, running to get a burp rag for me. She likes to hold his bottle and if he's crying, she'll say "Go sweep, Beebee Sef". She wants to be a mommy's helper in everything, from loading the dishes in the dishwasher to brushing her hair and teeth. She can almost put a shirt on by herself too.


Mister is 11 weeks old. He'll smile at us and wave his fists around. He's sleeping about 4-5 hours at night, which we hope will improve soon!



Mister turned three months on Sunday. He has been smiling a LOT and he slept through the night this weekend for the first time! Woo Hoo! He now eats about 10:30 or 11:00 and will sleep till almost 7:00 sometimes!

He loves to play with his sister. She shows him toys or puts his pluggy in his mouth for me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kids' Faces



I could seriously look at them forever.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Gospel Message

I posted this to a friend recently:

Hey, Inspector :)

I'm glad I added you to my friends list cause after chatting with you I really do consider you a friend. Thanks for sharing where you're at. It sounds like God's got your number, as we say here.

You know, flipping the Bible randomly open never works for me either, lol. It would be cool if it did, but it never has so far.

Bookman is right about the sin issue. The word for sin in the Bible is Hamartia, which literally means "to miss the mark". We humans have all sinned in one way or another, meaning we fall short of being all that God planned for us to be. If you read the Old Testament, it is all about the high standards God has for people. The problem is that God is perfect so His standards are unreachable by us imperfect human beings. The whole Old Testament demonstrates this. And the consequense is separation from God. Whether hell is a lake of fire or not, the main thing is that it is a place of eternal separation from God.

But God loved us so much, He made a way to remedy our failure. Not by lowering His standards, but by making such a sacrifice that it makes up for every single way we sin. And takes that sin away. God sent His perfect Son who is a part of Himself to come down to earth, be a human and literally represent all humankind by taking the full punishment of all of our failures and sin throughout the ages. He was tortured and died, shedding His blood as the payment God required for redemption. Then He overcame Death and Hell by rising again and eventually returning to God. But God still left a part of Himself here for us: the Holy Spirit. Not as a human this time but a Spirit who will dwell within us if we ask Him.

So redemption and salvation is basically telling God that we don't want to be separated from Him forever. We accept what Jesus did on the cross, acknowledging that we can never be good enough for God but that Jesus was and we'll let His sacrifice do it. And we tell God that we are His and we'll allow Him to "run the show" in our lives. With this declaration, we are saved from eternal damnation (i.e. irrevocable separation from God) and we give ourselves completely to Him to form into the person He created us to be.

So when Christians talk about being "unequally yoked" it means that two people need to be headed in the same direction...toward God and what He wants. Especially in a marriage, it simply doesn't work very well if they are headed in opposite directions...one towards God and one away from Him. This doesn't make the unbeliever evil at all. Not in the sense you were thinking of. (I guess the Ecclesiastes verse says we're all "evil" but more in the sense of imperfect, I think.) It just means that the believer has a relationship with the Living God and is moving towards spending an eternity in His presence. This is such a GOOD thing in his eyes that a person who doesn't believe is missing that goodness by heading in the other direction. That's how I see you and other unbelievers. I want to show you the good that I have found in knowing Jesus. Of course you are a good person. But God is SO incredibly good that you still need Jesus' blood to make you perfect enough to draw near to God. No human being has ever made it on his own. I'm so glad God made a way for it to happen.

In the Bible, the first five books tell mostly about God's Laws of how perfect he wants us to be. The next bunch of books are a history of God's chosen people and how they tried to live by the law and failed miserably. Then the books after Psalms and Proverbs are the prophets telling people to live how God wants and the dire consequences if they don't. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell about Jesus' life and sacrifice. The books after that are mostly by a pastor named Paul about how to live the Christian life. They were letter to early churches who were having trouble. Then the last couple are by other apostles and Revelation is about heaven and eternity.

Wow, I've ended up typing a lot! I do want to say, take your time. I do pray for you that you find God because He loves you more than anyone you have ever met or will ever meet.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Puttying and Puttering

Yesterday we were up at the trailer from 11 AM till 8 PM. In those nine hours I think I got maybe an hour of actual puttying done! I cooked two meals, changed four diapers, oversaw two naps, nursed the MiniMister three times, watched The Lion King twice and made one cup of coffee. As well as fought a migraine all day. LOL. I'm glad I went though cause I got to talk to hubby and dad all day. They got some big projects done like replacing a rotten spot in the floor, fixing the leak, replacing a different pipe and fixing a dripping faucet. So all in all it was a really good day.

Today we're resting and "puttering" around here. There are a few small things to do to this house before we list it for sale. Like buying some of the correct color of white paint. There are three cans downstairs and none are the right color, lol!

The trailer...We're moving there cause we already own it and it will be cheap housing for a while. We had previously been renting it out to tenants. It's about 35 miles from where we currently live. The good part is it is in the same town where hubby works so he will no longer need to commute for an hour.

The not-so-good part is that it is about 850 sq feet and the neighborhood is awful. God is really testing me on this one. :(

So we're selling the house we live in now. We can't afford to keep it. :(

It means moving again. I keep hoping life will settle down but it hasn't so far so I'm learning to roll with the punches. And trust God more.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I Can't Afford to Be Sentimental

I was thinking about sentimentality today with regards to all the "stuff" we have in our house. Since we're planning to move again, I want to get rid of as much junk as possible and I find myself getting less and less sentimental about things. It used to be that I'd want to keep something cause my mom or somebody gave it to me. Or if it reminded me of the past. Or if it's a photo or something I made. Now I'm realizing that moving all this stuff from house to house is plain silly. Sentimentality just leads to being a pack-rat. I find it is very freeing to not worry about getting rid of stuff. Especially stuff that people give me. I used to keep anything that anyone gave be for fear they'd find out I didn't like it and be offended. Now I just don't care that much. I don't want to offend people but I also don't want to be so overloaded with junk I don't want. So I re-gift or send stuff to Goodwill and feel happy about it. Bye-bye stuff!