Rhianwen's Age Tracker

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Tis the Season for White Fudge Covered Oreos

Thank you PaPa and Greatmama for the lovely for-children Precious Moments Nativity Set. We play with it daily! We've also been enjoying a fun advent calendar from Great Aunt BeBe and Great Uncle Keith. Rhianwen loves it. Alden doesn't understand why we don't open all of the doors at once, close, and repeat. So it's hanging above Rhi's bed for her special Christmas bedtime ritual.

The felt advent tree that we inherited from Great Grandaddy is yet again a big hit. I love it because it pulls together prophecy from the Old Testament to Christ's birth in the New to His death for us! It's such a beautiful comprehensive way to do it.

Putting on the day's symbol.

We along with Wally's cousin Alex and his adventurous wife RiLee braved the mud, rain, and cold to get a tree this past weekend.

When I asked Rhianwen what we were doing, she said, "I don't know!" Here she is in her warm coat with her umbrella in a field of trees. Rhianwen was quite taken with Alex and kept calling his name if he was further than 2 feet away from her (I'd post a picture, but don't want to assume that they want the whole world seeing them with their tree :).

Lifestyles of the rich and famous...we were not allowed to cut our own tree. We had to ask some unenthusiastic guy to come kneel in the mud and saw it down for us. Thanks for the family pic RiLee!

Taking shelter in the "barn" with a cookie and hot cocoa. Life is just so hard. We also let Rhianwen choose her yearly ornament (a bell that really rings) and for Alden a dog. We give them one ornament a year so that by the time they are adults, they'll have a full set for their own tree if they so desire. We really benefited from this tradition on Wally's side of the fam our first year when we were quite poor. (Not quite as poor as my parents, who made their ornaments from saved Styrofoam meat plates cut to patterns drawn from cookie-cutters). Alden loved cocoa so much that he learned the word for it and says it each time he savors some in his sippy cup (daddy says hot-chocolate, but mommy's word stuck...probably b/c it's easier to say).

Here's a video of sledding and Christmas tree excitement (listen to how Alden growls, says Whoa! and squeals as Daddy lets the tree out of the netting).

Sweetness. I love the glow of Christmas lights on little baby faces.

Decorating. As in previous years, Rhianwen mostly opted for unwrapping the ornaments and handing them off to more capable hands.

Decorating would have been incomplete without our traditional fudge covered oreos. All I have to say is that it's a good thing those come in small packages, b/c we really can't resist those. Here's my snotty boy completely content.

Rhianwen wanted to make a "snowstorm" after hearing a nanny talk about making snowflakes at gymnastics. This is one of daddy's favorite winter activities. He is a pro at it (just see how much better his were than ours on our renovation tracker turned extras blog there's also a fun shot of my hometown's bridge you can just see the wreaths that decorate the lights on top). Anyway, I discovered that if I give Rhianwen a pair of child scissors and paper, she will be entertained for likely hours. She cried when she was told it was time for a nap. She could cut and cut little pieces of paper all day. You should have seen my floor afterwards! It really looked like a snowstorm had blown through!

That is the snowflake I helped her make. Alden didn't understand why he couldn't use scissors. I ended up giving him the plastic ones out of our play-doh set. He seemed happier after that.

Another fun development for Rhianwen is her ability to button. If I leave my clothes or her clothes with buttons out anywhere I ALWAYS discover them later all buttoned up. It's really funny when I'm trying to quickly get out the door and put on my coat at the same time..."what's wrong with this coat?! ... oh, Rhi buttoned it. No wonder I can't get it on." or "why isn't this sweater coming off of the chair I hung it on? Oh, Rhi buttoned it around the chair post." She also has mastered writing the letter H all on her own. So, if you get a Christmas card with lots of H's in it, that is why.

Alden is increasing his vocabulary every day. He's really into the word GO! Bybie (Bible), Baf (bath), gobble (bird), nack (snack), s-a-boo (for let's go say boo at Rhianwen before bath), So many more, but those are a few new ones.

One quotable quote: Rhianwen to Alden: "Princes don't wear pacifiers!" (Rhianwen is really into Cinderella right now). We just got done watching the Disney version, and we talked about hope and what our hopes were. She said she really would like to go to a ball. We talked about how heaven was a place that was more beautiful than any castle and any ball. I told her that there would be music, singing, and dancing in heaven (I mean they have King David there, right?) and how Jesus was the best dancer in the whole universe (since He's the creator and enabler of all things) and how Jesus is a Prince too, the Prince of Peace. And daddy said that, unlike Prince Charming, Jesus would know who she was and what her name was at first sight. And I said He might say something like, "I've been waiting for you!" She said when she got to heaven, she'd dance with Jesus.

Be still my heart ;)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

This blog is mostly for mom, whose house we are ransacking...but Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Although our list only included up to the grandparents in this video, we wish ALL of our family Happy Thanksgiving and are thinking of all of you!!!

Boots is harassed but still alive.

Great Grandpa gets a big hug after a big meal!

Visiting Great Grandma. She ate half a slice of pumpkin pie and 2 small hershey bars! We sang, laughed, played, and talked. It was a great visit!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Whoa and Wow are Alden's new words of the week. He says Whoa when he almost falls or something does fall. Wow is saved for amazing feats of prowess like when he smears lovely snot all over mommy's face. I was telling Wally about the snot from Alden and said, "I had snot all over me." Rhianwen piped up, "Oh, well, you are supposed to blow your nose."

A "wow" moment. Notice Aldi has finally taken to his paci after 15 months of hating it. Now, it's almost become his security object. He's getting his molars, and I feel sorry for him, so I'm letting him have it for now.

"S-code." (It's cold...another new phrase from Alden).

With all the rain from Ida and snot from Alden, we were stuck at home for days. I decided to try to make our own Wampanoag costumes using boys' t-shirts, tea and cinnamon as the dye, and beads on the tassels. They came out great, and Rhianwen and Alden love them! They are so easy to wear too, and even look good when we go out in public. They also look good for either a boy or girl. You can see more pics on our renovation blog. We used these during our Thanksgiving program at the nursing home, and they were a big hit. Now, of course, daddy had to out-do mommy again (I'm just trying to give him a hard time :)), and when he saw those clothes and necklaces, he decided to bring in a couple of trees to make a tee-pee. Alden had a blast trying to pull it down.

Alden is a pro at falling asleep before nap on Saturdays. Here he is on the rocking horse snoozing away during the Clemson game. What a fan.

Today was a hard day. A lot of fussing in the morning from both of them, we got out to the airport to play in the sand and see planes take off, but then all Alden wanted to do was stomp all the other kids' sand-creations (understandable, yes...acceptable, no), then I managed to dry 2 crayons with a load of clothes while Alden decorated our couch with pen and a green highlighter. SIGH. It's a hard week anyway, but today was the clincher. I feel like sometimes I've lost my own identity in all of this mothering stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Rhianwen is enamored with the movie Mary Poppins right now. She's constantly pretending to be Bert (the chimney sweep) and wears her corduroy hat nearly all day long. 2 words she's picked up from the movie are: Nonsense! and Certainly! also, she insists that Michael said "Norbert!" somewhere in the movie and she goes around calling it out. She also calls the Apostle's Creed the Preeds Croostle. This reminds me of my mom who often did such things including "going to the chicken to buy a store".

Such a cute little gymnast. She was so excited to get a leotard it almost replaced the corduroy hat!

Despite the time change and early darkness, we've been enjoying stomping through leaves and sliding into big piles. Rhianwen also likes to pretend to sew them together, which is what she's doing here. I asked her if she thought leaves made good clothes, and she said, "NO!". I guess she's learned something from devotions!

Look mom, we match!

Oh no. Mommy and daddy are definitely NOT ready for this. We were just saying how we don't want another baby until we have at least one of our current ones completely potty trained (ie. capable of successfully initiating and completing the entire process independently every time). This is more than likely a pie-in-the-sky ideal. Alden has already pooped in the toilet at this point per his request, and he's not even 16months old yet!

After putting the lid on for the last time, he says, "Done." He's so confident and happy with the results. I love it.

All this learning tires him out! Don't you just love his jammies?

Be praying for us here as parents. Rhianwen has hit yet another difficult stage. She's been very demanding, argumentative, disrespectful, and refuses to listen even if what I'm saying is what she wants to hear! Many days all I want to do is cry and run away. But I know that God is using this to show her her need for Jesus, to show me my need for Jesus, and to remind me that He controls the outcome in every situation. What He asks of me is to trust and obey in a way that loves God over my own life. But I lack wisdom and patience in most situations. Nothing I try seems to help.

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