Friday, November 22, 2013

Found these...

Found the pictures of our dinner celebration a few weeks ago: ten years since our first date!

This picture...I'll title it "the dutiful kiss." And he was laughing against my cheek.

Looking forward to a relaxing weekend around here. There are leaves that may or may not get raked and Christmas presents that may or may not get painted...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


If you spend any time around my kiddos, you know we spend hours (I'm not exaggerating) each week reading. So I'm always on the lookout for new books. Any suggestions? Here are some of our current favorites.

the original Amelia Bedelia books, by Peggy Parrish
the original Curious George books, by H.A. Rey (not the silly new ones "in the style of H.A. Rey")
the Frances books, by Russell Hoban
A Tree is Nice, Janice Udry
Mother Goose anthologies, some favorites are Tasha Tudor, Marguerite de Angeli, Kate Greenaway
anything by Charlotte Zolotow, especially Do You Know What I'll Do, The Quarreling Book, May I Visit
the Angus books, by Marjorie Flack
Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag
Pancakes, by Eric Carle
Richard Scarry books, like Best Word Book Ever and the Please and Thank You Book
The Little House, by Virginia Burton
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
The Chalk Box Story, by Don Freeman
Dr. Seuss books, especially Great Day for Up and Green Eggs and Ham

Annie and JJ also love poetry. Our favorite anthology is Jack Prelutsky's Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young. They also enjoy most anything by Margaret Wise Brown and Aileen Fisher, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses. 

Please share your favorites, too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Little Bit of Awesomeness

Just wanted to share a quick stocking stuffer idea: Melissa and Doug On the Go "Water Wow" books! A friend gave JJ and Annie each a book when Sophie was born and they have had so much fun with them. They have four pictures on heavy cardboard-like paper, and a pen that you fill with water. You color on the pages with the water pen and the designs (some hidden) come out. Then when the water dries the color disappears, so the kids can color them over and over again. They aren't messy and they keep the kids entertained for several minutes (quite the achievement with two year olds). Awesome, awesome little toy.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Big, Bad Basement

I've held off on writing this post because I'm afraid to jinx ourselves. But after a ten month project, I think the basement is finally dry. The initial system that was installed failed catastrophically, ruining our HVAC system and flooding our ductwork. After numerous attempts at fixing it, the company we had employed hired a new operations manager, who tore out the old system and had another one installed. We are three months in and so far so good. However, there is nothing in the basement except our hot water heater, which we intend to move when we remodel our kitchen (someday). We definitely don't trust this new system completely yet. Maybe after a couple of years and a tropical storm or two we'll feel safe storing stuff down there. We also have a shiny new HVAC system and all new ductwork (compliments of the basement waterproofers, see "failed catastrophically" above). Combined with the dehumidifier installed as part of the waterproofing system, the air quality in our house is now fabulous. We love it. We also paid a little extra to have a dual control HVAC installed--it is one system, but has a set of dampers that direct flow to different levels of the house, so we have a thermostat on each floor and can keep the temperature constant throughout. We really love it. Here's hoping our next major house repair/renovate project is far into the future and more fun than this one was!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sophie's Dedication


Sweet baby girl with Mama and Daddy. Notice the tongue sticking out. This was my christening gown, made by Honey.

She gave the biggest yawn I've ever seen just as she was being introduced to the church. :)

Just to show you not all the pictures were bloopers. Though there is a great one of JJ picking his nose. It was during the prayer, so if you saw it, you should have had your eyes closed!

Big sister.

And big brother.

She had squash for lunch.

The rest of us had taco soup, salad, corn muffins, and cake!

So glad many of our extended family joined us.

Aunt Tessie

Uncle Dwight

Mama Rita


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

JJ Court Update

So we went to court this morning, and all went well. That's about all I'll say here but please keep praying! There are many more steps ahead on JJ's journey.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin Carving + Trick or Treating

Annie and JJ both pulled out one handful of seeds, then decided that was icky and let Mama and Daddy finish up the pumpkin clean-out.


Daddy does the carving around here.

Annie's finished pumpkin

and JJ's finished pumpkin

Halloween: my little flower and her bumblebee. The bumblebee was not real pleased with Halloween in general, but she toughed it out. Annie had her first trick-or-treating experience and it was a big hit.




This picture cracks me up.

Sorting through her goodies.

First taste of candy.

Snickers bar. Yum.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sophie: Five Months

Sweet baby Sophie, five months old already!




Her facial expressions keep us laughing. JJ is especially enamored with her lately, though she protests if he gets in her space too much. Sophie is trying to sit up and she loves to play with toys now. She also enjoys watching Annie and JJ play and looking at books when I read to the big kids. Sophie is still wearing size 1 diapers and 3-6 month clothes.

We started solids last week because she had actually lost a few ounces, even though she is still nursing 7-8 times a day and I have plenty of milk for her. She just needs more than Annie did at this age. We went back to the doctor today and she has gained 7 oz since last week, so we are back on track. So far she is a big fan of sweet potatoes and bananas. Avocados not so much...but they are high in calories and good fats so I mix them with banana to get a little bit down her. Soon we will be trying oatmeal, butternut squash, apples, and pears.

Monday, November 4, 2013

JJ Update + Sophie Starts Solids

Oy. Life is crazy sometimes...and right now is one of those times. We were just trotting along, minding our own family business, loving kids, walking dogs, buying groceries...and wham! Most of the craziness has to do with JJ and a court hearing that will take place next Tuesday, November 12. I don't share the details of our foster babies' stories here, but suffice it to say that it has been a crazy couple of weeks and we would really appreciate your prayers over this upcoming hearing.

And I took Sophie in for a weight check last week and she is not gaining weight the way she should, so we are starting solids (a little earlier than I'd hoped) and seeing if that helps. We'll go back for another weight check on Friday, so please pray that she has begun gaining again and we don't need to do further testing.

She started with sweet potatoes, and she wasn't too sure at first, but by day two she was definitely on board! She tried bananas today and they were a hit, as well. Next up: avocado!
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