Thursday, November 14, 2013

a runner, a faster jeep, and other things

Just came across these on my phone from a couple weeks ago. Post-nap cuddling:

...and afternoon milk and coloring. Like the painted pumpkins, two very different techniques.

You likely saw this on Facebook or Instagram, but I'm so proud of this guy:

He went for his first (non-treadmill at PT) run in almost 4 months. I went with him...and have to say, I was pretty tired. It was cold (notice all the clothes Joe has on) and we ran 2.5 miles at mostly a 9-min or less pace. He does not like his stride, but he is extremely critical of himself. I think he did great.

It's been a long road to recovery, and we are still on it, but we are making progress. Thank God!

In other news... Joe took the speed control off the jeep the other day. {The governor kept the car going 2.5mph.} Now there's no turning back. They are on the go (at exactly 5mph), and we're running to catch up. Hannah, while a little scary at times, handles the car pretty well. Joseph is just along for the ride, looking back to make sure I'm not too far...sometimes with a face of terror.

A friend and neighbor who we see often while we are in the street and she's out exercising said a picture of the kids in the jeep would be a cute Christmas card. Which has me thinking... What about Christmas cards? I was so on the ball last year, having ordered and received them by mid-November. Not so much this year. No card. No picture. No plan...yet.

We did do a little research for Santa the other day...

Speaking of, I think I found my next pair of Tom's (wish list item?).

It's either those or the camo ones back there.

I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but our fall decorations have been out for almost two months. That's longer than I leave my Christmas decorations out! I'm ready to pack them up, though feel a little like I'm cheating on Thanksgiving. I do love the house all decorated for Christmas, though, and can't wait for that.

In this very nice purging/organizing stage I'm going through right now - throwing out and giving away - I've started going through my stacks of magazines. Why do I keep them? I've kept them for years...and not once have looked back at a single one. I feel tied to them and weird tossing them. I did a quick Pinterest search and saw that magazine tree up there. So I made a few. Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but at least I can say I've now made a Christmas tree out of a magazine. Very fulfilling. But I have thrown out lots of magazines...and that's a good feeling too. Any other ideas on what to do with old magazines? Can't recycle them here.

It's feeling like winter around here. Have you been freezing? We have...

But Hannah likes getting bundled-up.

Monday, November 11, 2013

letter to my four year old

I know her birthday was two months ago, but I needed time to sit down, think clearly, and form a letter that would do my heart justice (hard!).

Dear Hannah girl,

Sometimes I find myself looking at you and thinking...I can't believe you're so big. Yes, all mommies talk like that. But I'm referring to those times when it's like, all of a sudden, I realize - hey, my baby girl is not a baby. You are your own person, with your own personality, your very own thoughts and opinions, and your own wishes and dreams. And you are a gift. You are a precious gift. And, as always, "I just love you so much." It wasn't so long ago when I'd rock you as a baby and just cry, amazed, and all I could say to your daddy was "I just love her so much."

There are moments like this...

when you're cuddled up next to me for quiet time and figuring things out and I realize - there are lots of things you can do all by yourself.  You don't need me for everything.

And there are moments like this...

when you're on Daddy's lap in the car and I realize - you've done this for three years now...and you're not just playing with knobs and buttons, but actually steering the car up the driveway and into the carport!

And there are moments like this...

when you walk up the aisle with your Daddy on Sundays and I realize - I don't know who loves and treasures it more. {I am thankful to Mrs. Pat who caught this on camera. Joseph and I don't see you from the back of the church because we are already seated in the pew.}

These pictures are just a few examples of times I hold dear. Most moments with you are like that. Obviously there are times when you drive me mad, but usually you are a sweet girl.

You are always busy - running around the backyard with your brother, cooking something up in your kitchen, dressing up, or playing with your train...just to name a few. Checking the mail, going for walks, watering the flowers, and running errands, you delight in the everyday things. I love that about you. You continue to have a very active and creative sense of imagination and I love to listen over the monitor and peek from your doorway during quiet time.

You're a busy monkey, for sure, and you are growing and changing every day. You say the funniest things, and sometimes you just plain shock me. You can outsmart me and you have a really good memory. Your choice of words can make me laugh out loud or infuriate me. They can also make me melt, like when you whisper secrets in my ear or say "Momma, do you realize that I love you and you're my best friend?" and "I'll always be your little baby" when I say to stop growing up so fast.

Other random things about you:

Coloring, building with blocks, and doing puzzles can consume hours of your day.
Wagon rides, or driving your Jeep up the street, are frequent activities that you love.
You like to watch Doc McStuffins on Disney Jr. and think you may want to be a nurse or a doctor one day.
You give me (and Joseph and Daddy) check-ups when we're sick...and when we're not sick. 
Your favorite show still might be Team Omizoomi, Joseph's favorite now, too.
You could eat yogurt three times a day.
The swings are your favorite place to be on the playground. And boy can you pump high!
You sing a lot, typically your own words to your own tunes. 
You like to incorporate "fancy" words into your vocabulary. 
You ask a lot of questions.
You can ask really, really tough questions.
Your favorite foods are pizza and apples. And cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
Pink is the best color in the world, at least it is to you.
You enjoy and sing to a lot of the Christian songs on the radio.
Reading stories at night in your rocking chair is still one of your favorite parts of the day.

You call for family "group hugs", help set the table, and feed and play with Mollie. You are a helper, an encourager, and a cheerleader. You are a great nurse, and did such a good job taking care of Daddy after his accident. You are a loving and responsible member of our family, and are very happy to be right where you are. In filling out a list of your favorite things recently, you answered that your favorite place was "right here. home." My heart exploded. Me, too, baby. 

You are four now! This was by far the most anticipated birthday yet and in conversation "when I was 3" is a common way you organize time. You were a fancy, fancy birthday girl and your party was worth every minute spent planning and getting ready. You are fancy and continue to humor me in your outfit selections and with your personality.

You are a cute monkey, beautiful if you ask Daddy and me. But way more important than that, you are beautiful on the inside. You love Jesus and talk about Him often. It is very important to you to have Him "in your heart." My biggest hope, dream, and prayer is for you to always be that way - loving Jesus more than anything in the world. Daddy and I are so thankful to God for giving you to us. I treasure these years we have together, and am loving this age. I just have to remind myself to slow down and just enjoy each day. It does go by so fast...

Thank you for the joy and love you bring to me and to this family. I love you forever.


Friday, November 8, 2013

halloween wrap-up

Happy Friday! Stopping into blog world to finish up October. Excuse the delay. I did not want to post about Halloween on All Saints Day...there's just something about that that seems not right to me. And then the weekend was spent pretty much unplugged from all digital devices, which was intentional and nice... {I did start to work on a photobook for Hannah with all the pictures from her fancy party...Shh, don't tell her. It's a Christmas gift. She saw me working on it, but I'm hoping she'll still be surprised when she opens it.} And then, this week, Hannah and I (and several of our friends) were held hostage by a nasty stomach bug. Now it's a week into November.

Meet the ghosts:

Lila, Riley and Caitlin. Hannah named them. I'm not sure which ghost is which, where those names came from, or if I spelled them right.

On Thursday, Halloween, Hannah and Joseph filled themselves with sugar at their respective class parties, and then headed to the playground for some games. I've recently realized that boys don't get less weird in pictures...

That's Hannah's friend, Wilson. He previewed what Joseph's smile will be like in a year or two. Joseph's class (no one but Mrs. Rachel seemed thrilled to take pictures):

The most noteworthy part of the fall festival at school was this treasure box full of hidden candy.

I wouldn't call that candy "hidden" - but perhaps this was just how it looked once Joseph discovered it. He was one happy kid. Have I mentioned his sweet tooth? It's remarkable; he simply cannot get enough. He would collect as much as he could carry and then bring it to me, the treat bag bearer. Of course, pieces kept dropping on the ground, and then he'd leaned down to pick whatever it was, and drop more in the process, lean down to get that, and so on. At least, he laughed at himself telling me, "That silly, Momma! That silly!"

What he didn't notice was me throwing some of the candy he brought me back into the tub. Hey, we have plenty. Probably enough to get us to next Halloween.

Back home again, with the ghosts:

I am glad we decided to put them in the backyard this year. They were much more enjoyable (and visible) to the kids. Our backyard is also visible to the neighborhood as cars pass by on the hill behind our house.

I made these treats - pumpkin patch cookie cupcakes (recipe here) - to take to our friends' for dinner. I'd recommend, especially hot out of the oven.

After dinner, we set out on a "hayride" for a little trick-or-treating.

{Bad quality photo...working on finding a better one.}

It was a fun Halloween for sure!