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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Final Frontier

Going where no man has gone before...because no man can fit in these laundry baskets.

We've been going to space a lot these days. Rainy days at home. Sometimes insanity, sometimes inspired, but rarely ever boring. Although if I talk to a non-parent, it often sounds that way.

Non-parent: "What's new?"
Mommy-thought: Never ask a mommy what's new.
What mommy actually says: "Not much. We've just been having fun staying at home. You?"
Non-parent: Soliloquy on life.
Mommy-thought: Well, I've succeeded in sounding and feeling very boring and have just realized that I am totally disconnected with the world at large and with my own semi-intelligent brain...I think it's still there. It has to be, right, or I wouldn't be having this thought.

Rhianwen's completed her first fill-the-jar-with-marbles-because-you-didn't-need-to-change-pants-today campaign. One marble per day. It took much longer than expected, but the prize was worth it in the end. Her first ever Ariel doll (first ever Barbie-type of doll). Not sure if I should be excited about the purchase or disturbed, but she's here to stay. So best foot forward, or flipper. Ok. I know you're in agony over the humor.

Mommy-thought: Finally!
Rhianwen-thought: I can let her swim in the bathtub! Someday I will have a purple streak in my hair too!

We finally got some wet snow and got to build a huge snowman who proceeded to fall over in about 2 hours once everything started melting. Wally and I also had a fabulous snowball fight. My arm is still sore. Mommy-thought: "I'm so out of shape. Sigh." I did learn that if I stay very still, Wally is sure to miss. For some reason, he can hit moving targets much better.

Valentine's Day. Daddy's, you are sure to melt your wife's heart if you give flowers to your daughter. More touching than anything you can do for your wife, although, that is also very much appreciated.

Her first Valentine's flowers.

It may seem strange to celebrate Valentine's Day as a family. It seemed strange to Wally. But I explain it by saying that Valentine's Day is showing love to someone in a special way. We all can do with a little practice in showing our love even if it isn't romantic. Even Rhianwen and Alden made cards for each other and daddy. The balloons were a big hit. Alden couldn't take his eyes off of his long enough to see what else was in his bucket until he heard Rhianwen say: "It's coffee! No, it's a ball!" Mommy: "No, it's chocolate." Alden: "Choci?!" Oh yes. That boy does enjoy the fine things in life. Doctors not being one of them. Alden had his 18 month well visit and yelled the entire time the doctor was doing anything to him. He's still long and lean and perfectly healthy. However, our kind receptionist rewarded all that screaming with an old-school ring-pop. It really is so much more comforting than a sticker.

Our verse this week was I Peter 3:11 "Let him turn away from evil and do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it." We're choosing our verses from Wise Words for Moms (a pamphlet by Ginger Plowman who wrote Don't Make Me Count to Three). The girl in the picture can turn. Rhianwen chose the zany colors and kind of lost interest in coloring the entire thing. So it looks a little bland, but I really can't get over how much a visual representation of our verse fosters discussion with Rhianwen. I've really enjoyed how it's helped her ask questions, think for herself, and remember! It even helps us work out our own faith and keeps it in our heads.

A bed on a carousel, according to Rhianwen. Alden kept getting up and saying, "Moaning!" (Morning). She insisted that she wanted to sleep on the floor for nap today. I said definitely not, but couldn't help picturing a sleepover with a bunch of silly giggly girls in sleeping bags plotting to put shaving cream all over whoever goes to sleep first. Fun days ahead.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I just love singing Edelweiss to Rhianwen at bedtime. It's something my dad sang to me, and now Rhianwen requests it most nights of me. When my dad sang it to me, I knew he was singing about me, and not just a flower growing in the alps. It was so special. "Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow...". Snow takes on a whole new meaning when we get 6 inches of the real stuff! Another song we sing at bedtime is "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus"; after all of our snow, Rhianwen noticed that it says "Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as SNOW" and got very excited about that connection.

My little blossom of snow making a snow-angel.

We went sledding in our yard and in our woods. By the end of it all, my arms are still sore from pulling and pushing. Impressively (in my opinion), my legs aren't. Maybe I'm more in shape than I thought! Greatmama, do you recognize the sled? It's a gift you gave Wally long ago.

Smiley eskimos. Notice the scarf I'm wearing that I actually made for Rhianwen but who opted for my scarf instead.

Alden is really into dress-up now. We have very few boy-appropriate outfits, but he manages to make do. Doesn't it look like we are all warm and cozy in a Swiss chalet?

Wally and I enjoyed sledding too. We had some close calls with our fence, but it's still standing, and we still have all our limbs.

Guess who got a haircut? He did amazingly! Just sat there like it was the most normal thing ever. We set up the video camera and connected it to our tv so he could watch his hair get cut. Mirrors just aren't 21st century enough for us.

Not professional but quite adorable. At first we thought that Alden just cared about his ring-pop...

"No offense, dad, but I think I'll wear my hat."

Rhianwen got inspired from daddy's haircutting skills and decided to try it out on her grass-head.

I just love this picture. The light, the mood, my cuties. We were looking at the prism casting rainbows from the morning sun. It reminds me of how Christ's light shines through us and adds beauty to our world.

Last week we enjoyed a visit from Nanny Kim. It was a lot of fun. The kids were so happy and really enjoyed her child-like spirit. We found a great book called The Paper Princess at the library, and Nanny Kim made a paper doll to match the Paper Princess paper doll in the book. Here they are reading the book with the Paper Princess. Alden got a fun ginger bread man. We discovered covering them in contact paper makes them very sturdy.

I think Nanny Kim's visit has sparked the craft spirit in me again. Of course, my crafts are not very ornate since they are geared for 18 month to 3 year olds. We've been trying to memorize one Bible verse a week since recently in my life every venue of Scriptural teaching/learning has somehow stressed the importance of keeping the Word close to our hearts. It's wild to me how God does that sometimes! Anyway, this week's verse is Romans 6:23. So I made the craft (below) with Alden and Rhi. They each do one, and eventually it ends up on their bedroom wall. Alden knows that they are about God, and took his paper Gingerbread man and held it up to the wall that had all of his verses on it, and said, "God." I'm not sure if he thought his Gingerbread man was somehow a craft about God or if he thought his Gingerbread man needed to know about God. Either way, it was so cute!

The thing that makes this craft so great is that they can open the "gift" on it. Fascinating to their age range. (And, just to make myself very clear, I am not saying the Atomic bomb was God's judgment, I just used it b/c it looked big and fiery and less terrifying than other ways to depict death).

As you can see, Rhianwen actually learned most of the verse b/c of the craft! Yay! Of course, her retention is questionable. But we've gotten a lot of good discussion that we otherwise would not have had b/c of it.

In Aldi-man's words:"Bedtahm now now now!"

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