Monday, February 14, 2011

love is...

not easily angered.
no scorekeeper.

love never fails.

Lord, help me love this way.
not just when it's easy.
or fun.
or all dressed up in chocolate and sprinkles.

it's a step by step daily journey.

and i can't do it without You by our sides.


Happy Valentines Credits:
Stained glass heart cookies (we used whole wheat flour, which is why ours are darker)
Love letters from God
Heart Stamp (we used fabric/acrylic paint on old long sleeved tees)
"Have a Sippity Doo Da V-Day!" straws & cards ($3 total for 12 of each at Michael's)
"Post Office" mail boxes (Target Dollar Spot... we nailed the removable backs to a random piece of wood from the garage after painting it with leftover chalkboard spray paint) :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Slumber Party

Hope has been asking for a slumber party for weeks and weeks now. "A slumber party, a sleepover, puh-leeze... one for our whole family?!" I guess she doesn't count the three-ish out of seven-ish nights one or both of them make it in the bed with Joe, Alysse, and I come morning.

(I don't need a lot of luxury, but really what was I thinking when we didn't get the King sized bed???)

When Daddy went out of town for several days I knew sleep would likely be interrupted anyhow with them (and ME!) missing him. So even though we didn't have the whole family as requested, we rearranged their room and brought in the extra mattress.

First, however, I had to show them how a proper girls' night is done.

Every girl knows it starts with some fun food. Our local pizza joint advertised heart shaped crusts, and I had a coupon. Turns out they weren't making them yet, so we settled for heart shaped dessert (or a rectangular barley biscuit for the girlfriends 1 and under).

Nobody complained.

Good tunes are another must have. I searched through my girls' weekend CD's and couldn't find a copy of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Then I remembered I live in 2011 and hopped on YouTube. With Cyndi Lauper singing her 80's heart right out, we danced. Mid busting a move Hope stopped to ask, "Hey, don't boys want to have fun too??" and Maddie kept coming back to hold hands no matter how too legit we got.

Frightening, age telling fact? My girls will someday read that line, likely with no idea what in the world their crazy mama was talking about.

You just have to see Alysse's face any time you dance with her. This is the best I could get, dancing and photographing and all. Sheer joy.

To conclude is to pile into beds, wrapped up together, and watch a good chick flick. Or "Feel Better Little Bear" and "Arthur's Missing Pal."


I thought for sure they'd be worn out after all that, but like all good girl time you don't want it to end. Until Mama reminds everyone there is preschool in the morning and she's going to have to go back to her bedroom if folks don't settle it down and get some shut eye.

As they were drifting, they both took turns with the words that melt me every time. No matter how long the day has been, no matter how little sleep I've gotten, no matter just about anything... these are the words that, if it has been a hard day, make me want to rise come morning with a renewed sense of determination to love them well.

And if it's been a good day, then they make me want to strive. Strive to do it all over again because there's nothing like sleeping on such sweet satisfaction as a day well-lived.

"I love you, Mommy."

Best party I've ever been to.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


These two big girls have been wishing, then begging, then pleading to be roommates.
If you look closely on their memory board, you'll see a bridal shot of me that Hope found. She notices if you move it half an inch. Cup overflows.

So we borrowed a toddler bed until we make some final decisions and rearranged. Now that it's a done deal, obviously no one is happy about it. :) So fun to hear them giggling, reading, pretending....
Somebody, really, tell me where she gets this from??

...and, only occasionally, shouting things like-- "Hey, I said, get OFF my bed!!"

To have sisters.... it is some kind of joy that I am blessed to have a front seat to watch. Unless coveted Little People or stuffed animals are involved.

I jest.

{Sort of.}
Bonus... Alysse now has a little space to herself. If I can bring myself to put her growing up self in there.

Leesie, I'm not ready to stop being your roommate. Not quite yet, even if you are getting *so* big too. Thanks for saying 'Mama' and 'Dada' this month. We're over the moon about it. Your tiny waves and claps are the sweetest. Your favorite little face pinches are not, but still we keep you.

Forever and ever, we keep you.

8 months on 1.22.11


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hide and Seek

Friday nights are pretty much always cause for celebration. We are ready to get wild and crazy.

Flashlight hide-n-seek wild and crazy! After all, that was one of the girls' most favorite Christmas gifts... travel sized LED flashlights, perfect for hiding under the covers with.

The best is that the girls truly think we can't find them as they giggle and yell, "You'll never guess where we are!" Or that we will never figure out the toddler sized humps on the couch are, indeed, our two daughters.

Picture it: Joe and I walk around hollering, "I bet they're on... the front porch?? Oh, I know it now, they're in the pantry???" Boy, they must be thinking as they're all crouched and "hidden," our parents are real dummies.

Reminds me of a study a thoughtful friend invited me to in the fall. A study of Jonah, of a life interrupted (Priscilla Shirer=awesome). It came at such a crazy right time, I can just imagine the Lord looking right down through the roof of our house and saying to me, "I see you there... now GO!"

One night, in fact, I was quite late to the study. It had just been one of those days, one of those days that you almost give up. Almost. Until I realized that BECAUSE it had been one of those days, it likely meant I really should go.

I had to park what felt like a mile away, further complicated by the fact that Alysse needed to nurse before I would be home so I had her with me. She had fallen asleep, and I had to haul her 18 pound self along with the infant carrier. Those things are not for sissies, by the way. They transform small bundles into lead-like bicep builders. I digress.

No sooner had I gotten in, out of breath, when they were about to start prayer time. Asking folks, if they felt led, just to thank God for whatever was on their hearts. I had no intention of saying anything, my mind still a whirl from just getting myself to that seat.

Yet I found myself utter out loud the words, "Second chances. I thank God for do overs, for second chances."

Wouldn't you know our topic for that night... Jonah 3:1-2 . Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah THE SECOND TIME, saying arise , go to Nineveh.

Jonah's second chance.

Jonah ran from God, ran from his calling. He was in a good calling before that. He was a prophet to God's chosen for crying out loud! But even still, God had another plan for him. A plan that he ran to the proverbial couch, threw the covers over his head, and somehow convinced himself... "Oh yeah, He'll never find me now!"

A storm came, a whale came, and finally out Jonah came ready to go. His second chance of obedience led to what some scholars say is the greatest revival of all time.

Our Maddie loves the Bible story of Jonah. In fact, 9 times out of 10 it is her requested story at bedtime. But it's not just a lesson for her. Right now it is a lesson for our whole family. When God moves us on out of our comfort zones, even on from good things, will we obey? Will we go?

Will the cry of our heart be, no matter what we "feel" by our own standards...

Ready or not, here we come?


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

White on Rice

We've needed some sunshine. As in... neeeeee-ded some sunshine. We haven't been sick, minus a runny nose here or there, in let's see.... hmmm, well, a long time. Until this past week... argh.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for long healthy streaks and I know kiddos are going to get sick and build those immune systems (how I console myself when I have to see them suffer). And my heart goes out continually to mamas who are worried about their chronically ill, precious babies. But still I don't do well with it.

Lots of things I handle with humor and prayer... my two favorite parenting strategies, pretty much... but it's simply not funny when they are unwell. It just so happens that one of the worst emotional days of my mommy'ing career happened this past Wednesday when they had croup and earaches. Three sick at once is a whole new experience. Too much unfunnyness to even retell here, but let's just say that when the sun came out last weekend we were on it.

Like white on rice.
Like sunglasses on Alysse's sweet little snotty wiped face.

It was a pleasant break from being homebound inside our four walls. We've done everything from grumping our faces off to having some indoor fun. Even though that grumpy business is the pits, it makes the good times all the sweeter. Kind of like that unexpected sunshine after days on end of chilling cold.

We've tried space heaters+ homemade bath paints+an extended stay in the tub. That equaled a favorite.

Get well buckets... a bunch of new (thank-you, birthday!) stuff within arms reach of places to "snuggle up."
Treats from wonderful friends, who actually hear about the aforementioned terrible day and bring your kids the moon. Better yet, estrellas from Dora. (Hugs, sweet friend!)
Grocery store and catching up on missed preschool curriculum. Authoring stories to accompany very messy coffee ground illustrations. About hibernation. Oh, the irony.

Heck, we've even taken to playing board game after board game with a side of some modern art. Recognize the subjects??

But really, I cannot lie. It's time to go bitter cold... we got to sled in you a handful of times, we got to cozy up with some hot chocolate while watching your flakes fall.

One weekend of sunshine, I'm afraid, and we're smitten.
Dreaming of rice and polka dotted sunglasses.