30 November 2010

The Next Level

Our sweet girlie has taken her love of water to the next level.





She LOVES to have water splashed in her face!





Is it just me or is this a bit unusual?





I'm not arguing though... she's so fun!

29 November 2010

Me 'n Taylor



I love country music. I love the lyrics and the melodies and the sing-along-ableness(?) and the combination of it all put together.

So a couple months ago when I knew the kiddos and I would be traveling to the states for a quick visit I decided to spend some of my birthday money on a new CD (what am I, ten?). I chose Taylor Swift's Fearless album (repeat: what am I, ten?).

I have no shame.

Now, the beauty of living overseas and being waaaaay behind on music and movies is that we can buy other people's 'old' music and and movies that have been out for years and it still feels brand new and cutting edge to us cause we haven't heard the songs played a trazillion times on WNCI.

So, I happily did some online shopping, dropped Taylor Swift's album (the special edition with DVD! Hooray!) into my virtual shopping cart, paid a few bucks for it, sent it off to my parent's house and got excited to listen to it when I would arrive on American soil.

One bad thing about living in a city of four or more million people is that I don't get to drive around for long amounts of time on country roads in a comfortable well-climate controlled vehicle with a CD player and decent speakers. I think we have a radio in our vehicle, but what do I want to listen to?... Arabic news? The Quran being sung? Middle Eastern disco tunes?

Um. No thanks.

Sometimes I do grab my iPod and portable speakers, throw them up on the dash and try to imagine the long car ride in a comfortable well-climate controlled vehicle with a CD player and decent speakers. But I never can quite imagine away all the traffic jams, staring men and clouds of pollution and turn them into gorgeous trees, open country roads and fresh crisp air.

But in the U.S., I didn't need to imagine any of it. It was real.

Wow. This story is waaaaay longer than I planned.

Can you believe I'm not to my point yet?

Actually, I don't know if you could actually say that this post has a 'point.' Can you call something a 'point' if it is trivial, silly and useless?

Aghh. Who cares.

Getting on with it...

Me and Taylor rode everywhere together. I must have listened to that album fifty times.

Wait. Let me check that math.

50 x approx. 79 mins = 65.8 hours of listening

Hhhmmmm. That's probably a little high. But I think you get the point. I drove a LOT. And if I was driving, I was listening to her (me) singing. Or me mumbling along with her singing. I never did quite get all the lyrics down. But I tried... oh I tried! At one point in a moment filled with hope I did turn on the radio. After five minutes I became frustrated at the amount of commericials and remained faithful to my CD from that point on out.

Anyway, I loved all my drives with Taylor. There is something about that open road, about good music, about tall trees and a comfortable seat that is so refreshing and freeing and wonderful. It's a privilege to enjoy those things. I enjoyed every moment and hopefully I didn't harm my children's tiny ear drums in the process. I never did ask them what they would like to listen too...

I love that music has the ability to transport me, to conjure up feelings that have been absent a long time, or even feelings that I never really had in the first place. Singing along, I was fifteen again taking a big breath before walking through the doors of the high school for the first time. I was having flashbacks of getting pebbles thrown at my window, of a first kiss, of feeling geeky in the bleachers and remembering when I was told 'forever and always'...

Music brings up what's inside. It brings the raw and the honest and the beautiful to the surface. I like that about music. I like that about Taylor.

28 November 2010

The Finished Products



This is what I have been working on! Christmas pillows!



Joy!



This one is my fave. Are buttons ever NOT cute?



Holly and berries...



... and the star of Bethlehem.

Mikey gave me the best compliment. He looked at them and said "Wow honey, these are really good. You could, like, SELL them for money!"

Thanks babe!

27 November 2010

Morning Fun

This morning H was talking to me about how the lights on the tree blink.



Then he demonstrated that he too, can blink. Cute!



Soon he found something of interest still on the coffee table from last night.



He knows the good stuff when he sees it. He's reachin' in! (He did ask first! Sweet boy!)



Mmmnn.



Delicious!



Yup. The dried up leftovers of my super rich dark chocolate from last night. Do you suppose it tasted like fudge?



From the look on that face I would say yes.



He also tried this alternative strategy to retrieve the fudgy yumminess. I don't think his tongue is quite that long, however. I am amazed by his zeal though!



This girlie was also mesmerized by the blinking.



I am mesmerized by her!

The Moment I've Been Waiting For

I feel like my excitement to decorate for Christmas this year was elevated to a new level. I decided it's because there is generally so little around here to separate one season from another other than the fluctuating price of vegetables. And frankly, that's just not so festive.

I made myself wait until the day after Thanksgiving but then there was no holding me back.

Yesterday the tree went up!



My boy was possibly more excited than me!! Wow... that did my heart good!



Sidenote: Do you know how difficult it is to explain to a three year old why people started putting trees inside during the winter to remind them of hope and life to come after the cold dark winter when there is NO COLD AND DARK WINTER?! That kid looked at me like I was nuts.

Or do you know how difficult it is to explain to a three year old that the triangle shape of the tree reminds us of the three-Person Trinity? He said "Wet's make it a square por for more people!"

Hmmm. Not sure he really grasped the concept. But you can't say I didn't try!!

Ohmygoodness.

Aaanyway...



He was an ornament-hanging champion! Especially if you like all your ornaments exactly three feet from the ground in the precise front of the tree all on once branch.

Ha!



This is the tiny tree that I put in my kitchen. (I figure with the amount of time I spent in there I may have my own personal tree!) In it's previous life it served as 'thee main tree' for our first couple Christmases in this country. Compare that one to the size of the one we have now... big difference!!



I was a miniature-fake-light-detangle champion (what is Christmas decorating without having to untangle some mess?!)



And this girl's job was to drink her bottle. Yes... she was the champion in that category!

So last night after the kids were in bed, the decorating mess was cleaned up,



the mistletoe was hung from the ceiling,



the stockings were hung on the back of the couch (?) with care,



and the tree was all aglow...



I sat down in front of the sparkly plastic conifer with last year's Christmas magazine (don't worry, it was like I read it for the first time) and a snowman mug of imported hot chocolate.

*content sigh*

I really do love being in this place for this wonderful season!

Quote of the Day

H walked towards my desk just now holding a book.

"We need ta ta tape. For dis book."

"Okay. Here ya go. Hey... what letter makes that sound 'ta'?"

"Apple. Ta ta apple." He answered quite confidently.

Hmmm... I think he's got a ways to go with his phonics...

:)

25 November 2010

A Thankful Heart

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! There is so much in my life that I am thankful for. So so much. Frankly, life is just good. I'm rich in relationships, saved by my Jesus and loving this unique life we're living. I feel like I'd have to sit down for a long time to write to just attempt to express my thankfulness through words. My heart and life are full!

Today we celebrated with many American friends. We even ate turkey that was brought in in a friend's hand luggage, pineapple cheese casserole (Is this a southern thing? It was delicious!), apple crisp and hot cider and lots more too.

I am honored to know so many amazing people who make their home in the same city that we do. Truly, truly honored.

Aaanyway. Besides the highlights of the full heart, full belly and lots of laughter... was the highlight of my baby girl!

How can you tell when a baby has lived her short life in the desert?

This is how:



"Mama? What is this stuff?"



"Mama? I don't like it!!"



"Get me outta here!"

Look at that face! This girlie does not like grass. She did this same thing a month ago in Charlotte when I put her down on grass.

So funny!



As the night went on, she would crawl near the edge but not leave the safety of the mat.





If her foot or hand happened to skim the grass, her little face would cringe and she'd pull back.



She had good entertainment on the mat though!



But then this happened... she would occasionally see something worth crawling off the mat for. She'd see a piece of paper, a purse or a dirty used plastic cup and she'd go for it!



And then sometimes she'd realize "Oh no! I'm in that icky scratchy pokey stuff again" and she'd be back to her old pose...

Isn't she just the cutest?!

By the end of the night she was doing much better. What a happy Thanksgiving accomplishment... my baby girl learned to tolerate grass! Ha!

24 November 2010

An Answer

I have been working on a sewing project. It's been a somewhat lengthy one that I have really enjoyed. But there always comes a point in a sewing project when the sewing machine and I begin to fight. This applies to ANY sewing machine. My machine has been down for the count for a couple years now so I often ask my innocent friends if I may borrow their machines. I fight with all of their machines too. I don't what know what it is about me and sewing machines.



Aaaanyway... today I was sewing merrily along, thinking "Wow, this machine has been really great!"

Dun dun dun.

You guessed it.

Funny noises, tangles of thread and tight stitches quickly followed.

I was SO frustrated. After multiple tries I was almost in tears. Not only was I near the end of my project but I was also in a race against time to finish before the three snoozing kiddos in my house (one extra for today) woke up from their peaceful slumbers.

Mothers, you know this kind of race against time.

Aaaanyway, I prayed almost without thinking... "Jesus, help me."

And INSTANTLY, I had the thought "Check the bobbin."

So I did.



And I found that the thread was a bit out of place. So I corrected it. Then I threaded the thing back up and gave it one last go.

And it WORKED. Like a charm. Only it was NO kind of charm. It was the Holy Spirit speaking to me about how to fix the machine.

Maybe you think this is silly. Menial. Meaningless.

But I assure you, it is not.

I have been asking God lately to be more aware of Him in my everyday. And this IS my everyday. Well, this and dirty dishes and crumbs on the floor and bottles and laundry and... and... and. But I wonder how many other times the thoughts that pop into my head are from the Holy Spirit. Am I always listening?

So I just wanted to Praise my Jesus 'out loud' in the cyber-world. He answered my prayer. He really does care about our everyday. He really does care about our little details. And he knows how to work a sewing machine too.

:)

21 November 2010

Quote of the Day



"My bewwy huwts Mama." My boy told me over breakfast.

"Oh no! What does it feel like H?" I asked.

"I think it's prum (from) Daddy gave me too many zerberts wast night."

Ha!

Oh Happy Day!!

Today was a big day in our house.

Do you know why?

Okay.

I'll tell you.

I mean... I'll show you!



My girlie wore pigtails!!!



Calm my beating heart...



I can hardly take it!



After I wiped the happy tears from my face I rushed her outside for a picture taking session. During which I took forty-five photos.

Yes. Forty-five.

Thank you Jesus for digital cameras. Can you imagine if I had film and in the middle of my forty-five shot I was like "Hold on sweet N, don't touch your hair. And don't crawl around on this dusty ground. Mommy just has to rewind this camera, pull out the thirty-five millimeter film, pop it in this little can and load a new one, okay? DON'T MOVE."

Uh huh.

Thank you Jesus for digital cameras.

Actually, If I had used up two rolls of film on this that would have made me psycho. Let's just be honest about that. But since the photos are digital I can snap forty-five and NOT be psycho. Right?

Aaaanyway, I got about four decent ones. And forty-one 'aesthetically challenged' photos. (Just trying to be P.C.)



Like this one. What is that face N? (She obviously didn't know that this was one of the biggest days of her life.)

;)



And here is a fly on her nose.



Rubbing her face.



A fly on her lip.



More rubbing.



Blinking and the fly. Again.



And here is a charming photo of the bottom half of big brother running across the frame in his undies. There is almost always one of those!



But he liked her 'pinky-tails' too!