Showing posts from October, 2012

Halloween Traditions

Halloween.  For us it marks the beginning of the holiday season.  When the pumpkins come out, so does my Christmas music. What a great way to kick  it off by spending an evening with your neighborhood, building friendships and having fun together.  We started a tradition a few years ago of hosting our neighbors for a potluck dinner prior to trick or treating.  It is a day when parents get off of work early and no one has plans to leave the street for the whole night.  Truly the most perfect time to host a get together.  Plus it helps the kids to possibly get some protein into their systems prior to the sweet fest.

Another halloween tradition is carving pumpkins.  We usually do our pumpkin carving outside, but hurricane Sandy forced us indoors this year.  Nothing a tarp and some furniture rearranging couldn't handle.  The girls painted two pumpkins they had picked out at a pumpkin farm about a month ago.  Two pumpkins, two paint trays, two cups, two brushes = two happy girls.  Th…

Coming Unglued

I write a lot about the glimpses of beauty that we have in our home.  I hope it is encouraging. But I also know that when all you read about someone else's life is the fabulous times it doesn't give a full picture of reality.  Yesterday we found this creation at the bottom of one of our craft bins.  While we still don't know for sure what happened, all clues point to the little girl who is NOT pictured in this photo.  What we do know is that a spilled bottle of Craft brand tacky craft glue is very strong and can secure 2 bottles of glue, 2 hole punches, a pair of scissors, a large rock and a myriad of other craft supplies to create a modern art sculpture.

It was dried, very dried.  This happened awhile ago.  If I had to guess when I would say it happened in August when more than just craft bottles were coming unglued.  We left for China in a flurry.  The months prior to leaving were filled with lots of business.  And really the previous year of waiting had stretched ever…

First Party, First Memory

Today was a first for Elie.  Her first birthday party.  Our sweet friend turned 5 and invited our crew to come celebrate.  I didn't know what to expect.  I didn't know how Elie would respond to this type of environment. Just a month ago, I would never have even entertained the thought of attending a birthday party with her.  My thoughts were all on her.  I didn't give one thought to what the event would do in my own heart.  But I guess that's usually when things make the most impact.... when we are not expecting them.  

She knows how to sing "Happy Birthday".  The tune is the same in China and the lyrics to "Happy Birthday"  were some of the first English words she shared with us in China.  I now know the whole story.  Well, atleast parts of the story, because.... and this is huge.... she told me.  Yes, this week was not only her first birthday party, it also marked the first time she shared a memory with me.  
I was tucking the girls into bed.  Fo…

A day in the clouds

Before I left for China and we went into survival mode, we spent one morning in the clouds.  Talking about clouds, reading about clouds, looking at clouds, and doing some fun experiments.  We are starting to find a rhythm and I hope to do this again soon with Elie and Faith.  I'm sure it will be just as fun the second time around.  If you have never tried this with your crew, it is cheap and fun.

Start with a bar of Ivory soap.  I wasn't sure if they still made Ivory as I haven't used one since I was a child, but yep they are still out there. 

Microwave bar of Ivory soap.  Experience the thrill of pushing the buttons. 

Savor watching your child's face light up in pure joy as they watch the soap start to morph into a cloud.  Tell that part of your brain screaming your children are getting cancer by standing so close to the microwave to be quiet. 

What type of cloud did you get?  What does it look like?  Apparently there are also lots of other cool things you can do wit…

Juice Box vs. Milk

Every time we go out to eat Elie always orders the same thing as Faith.  She waits to hear what Faith is going to say and then orders the exact same thing.  If for some reason she has said another option first and then hears Faith saying something different, her order changes.  All that changed today.

"Okay girls, juice box or milk?"
I love our little girl date times during the day while the boys are away at school.  The three of us all immensely enjoy some good Chic-fil-a.  And it sounded so good after we had pounded out seven miles running together.
Faith decided right away she wanted a juice box.
Elie thought about it, "Hmmmm. (She looked at me, looked at Faith, looked back at me)  Milk. Chocolate."

And there came that silly lump in my throat that makes my eyes start to water.  Not sure why except that it was the first time that she didn't order exactly the same thing as Faith.  She knows enough language now to order what she really wants.  She knows that…

12 years and counting

On Sunday Kevin and I celebrated twelve years of marriage. Twelve years packed full of beautiful moments,  moments filled with tears, moments of great joy, and moments of great disappointment.  Each year wrapped in the choice to work hard at love or the choice to give up and walk away.  Time and time again we have watched many of our friends decide to take the second approach..  And so we started a tradition in those early years of the anniversary high five.  At the start of the day on our anniversary we give a high five, congratulating each other for making it last another year.  In our modern culture wedding anniversaries are something to celebrate.  And we always make a big deal of the day.  This year we spent the weekend away with our entire crew at Rehoboth beach thanks to some very generous friends who let us stay at their beach house.  Kody took this picture of us on the porch at Cracker Barrell.  For our current season, that is living it up!

I said "I do" at the age…


When you birth a baby the time between meeting your child and the day they go off to school is long and filled with years of beautiful moments together.  But when your heart gives birth to a five year old who asks daily if she can go to school, that time together at home significantly shrinks.  It is a miracle that after only two months home we are even talking about school.  It is an even greater miracle that she may even attend a regular kindergarten class at our elementary school next fall.  She wants to go.  She needs to go.  And most of my being is excited for her and thankful for this incredible opportunity.

But there is another part of my soul that was hesitant to make that first call to the school.  The part of my heart that still needs to grieve the time lost.  We have spent the past two months on a whirlwind tour of childhood.  Playing with baby toys, going through picture board books, spending the mornings at the park and the afternoons up to our elbows in chalk and playdo…