Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow Shovelers


It's a snow clearing extravaganza!


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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Graham Cracker Houses





I think they're cute houses. The kids ate them. Maybe next year I'll try to do a real gingerbread house with lots of colorful candy.





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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sentimental Tree

We decorated our Christmas tree at the end of November. As usual, I've been thoroughly enjoying it. We've done schoolwork beside it several times. I love to sit on the couch in the evenings with the fire blazing, the tree glowing, and a mug of hot tea in my hands.


The older he gets, the more helpful he becomes!


This was pre-yellow pajamas.
She very carefully hung about 6 ornaments on one branch.


I love our tree. Nearly every ornament is handmade or was given to us as a gift. Some are over 30 years old. Don't get me wrong, I think designer trees can be very beautiful. But I love the personality of our tree. The glittered pasta star Bee made, the angel that my 2nd grade teacher gave me, the santa that my husband played with as a child, Goose's wooden ornament that she painted so fiercely that the paint is nearly thicker than the wood. Those things are the things that make a good tree, a hug-able tree.





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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trade

I took a picture of her,




so she took a picture of me.




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Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Snow

The first snow of the season visited us last night. Goose woke up early, as usual, and I noticed that the house seemed bright. When we pulled the shades and looked out the window, she was amazed. She giggled and said, "Look at the trees! I want to go out there!" I tried to stall so we could wait for her brother to wake up, but I knew that would be hours, so I bundled us up and we went out.

She spent a long time walking around and looking behind her at her tracks. She patted the bushes and watched the snow fall off. She scooped handfuls and licked it.

She made her first snowman, with only a little help.


Our snow family. See her tiny one on the left?
I planned to add faces later, but when we arrived
home tonight, we noticed that the mama and dada
had fallen over.


I love to watch her experience the world.



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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food Coma

I feel like I've been eating for 2 weeks. We've had 3 Thanksgiving dinners, with one still to come next weekend.

They were lovely dinners.

Dad's house

Mother-in-law's house


My house (I've always wanted to eat a turkey leg.)
(That's my grandmother's china.)

I seem to have entered the stage of the year where I can't stop eating, while my daughter has entered the stage of her 2 year old life where she won't eat more than 8 bites of food all day. She still seems to be growing fine, and so do I. I'm 32 years old, and I have noticed my metabolism slowing down. This is sad.


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Here Is a Pie

My husband made an apple pie for Thanksgiving. I think it turned out beautifully.


There is nothing that he won't try to do. Photography, construction, quilting, car repair, sewing, furniture making, baking, electrical work--you name it and he will do it.

I love this about him.


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for This Relaxed Feeling

I am just about to embark on my first ever turkey cooking adventure. My mom and her husband are coming for dinner today.

(The big family dinners are all on weekends when more people can come, so I'm hosting this tiny one today.)

I'm not nervous or anxious about this. If you know me, this is a big deal.

It's a testament to my mother--that she gives acceptance and not judgment. I've never felt like she wanted me to look a certain way, dress a certain way, be a certain way. She has always supported me and loved me and given no indication that she feels anything other than acceptance.

I don't feel rushed this morning. I know that it's okay if I wear my hair in a bun. It's okay if I have holes in the knees of my jeans. It's okay if I burn the food. If the turkey is undercooked--we'll laugh and toss it back in the oven. I'm not even planning on doing any more cleaning than is already done. It doesn't matter if my bathroom mirror is spotty and smudged.

It doesn't matter if I'm spotty or smudged. My mama loves me and I feel fine.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Boots

I got some new boots. I rarely buy things for myself, and I had to save up quite a while for these. I love them so much. It was kind of hard to spend the money on just one thing--I kept imagining all the coffees and books and chocolates that I could buy. But I'm really glad I went for it.

Here they are on a very precious model.




I wore them this past weekend when we went back to our home county to celebrate Thanksgiving. We slept at my dad's house, which means we had a huge turkey dinner, went up in the hayloft, rode 4-wheelers, drank soda, played rummikub, talked like crazy, and ate pancakes/eggs/bacon/toast for breakfast. There was also much snuggling.


I'm thankful.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Poem To Share

Have you ever read this poem? I saw it today, on a poster on a friend's wall. I love it.


My Declaration of Self-Esteem

by Virginia Satir



I AM ME


In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me.
Because I alone chose it - I own everything about me
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
Whether they be to others or to myself. I own my fantasies,
My dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own all my triumphs and
Successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of
Me, I can become intimately acquainted with me - by so doing
I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts - I know
There are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other
Aspects that I do not know, but as long as I am
Friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously
And hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
And for ways to find out more about me. However I
Look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically
Me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought
And felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is
Unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that
Which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be
Productive to make sense and order out of the world of
People and things outside of me. I own me, and
therefore I can engineer me. I am me and


I AM OKAY



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Building Progress

I have some pictures to share of our room addition. The outside is almost done!

The only things left are gutters and shutters!

The back window is in!


Which meant it was time to cut a sliver of a door.


So curious!

Peek!


This is the north wall.


They ate lunch in here. I think it already feels like home.


I'm getting really excited! I know there is a lot of work left to do, but already I'm imagining the bookshelves and the plants in the windowsills and the new couch. I'm considering a very pale pumpkin color for the walls, but that could just be due to the time of year. Probably in the spring I'll be thinking butter yellow or green.


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Play Imitates Life

She has slept in a crib right next to her mama's bed since the day she was born,



so why shouldn't her dollhouse babies do the same?




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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Draw A Picture

My kids love to draw pictures. I love to take pictures of them drawing pictures.


This was first thing in the morning on Tuesday.


Can you tell by their wild hair?


He was drawing a picture of a pond with a duck on it, and a bunny
watching the duck, and the person in the house had a spy camera
set up to watch the bunny, and there's a net to try to
catch the bunny. I will be keeping this picture forever.


Usually her drawings are a bunch of tiny circles. She's making one
in the above photo.

Love


Love




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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On Nursing A Toddler

Today my daughter is 2 years and 7 months old. She still nurses multiple times each day. Does that seem like a long time to nurse to you? I nursed my son until he was 3 years and 4 months, until he weaned himself.

I've heard that many people believe that a mama chooses to keep nursing her baby into the toddler years as a selfish way to keep the child in babyhood. I don't believe this is true. At least, it's not true for me.

It happens so gradually. The baby turns 1. Then she turns 1 year and 1 day. And so on. Each day adds up until she's 2 years and 7 months old.

Goose learned to ask to nurse from the day she was born. First she asked by rooting and sometimes crying. When she was about 6 months old, she learned to ask by making the sign language sign for milk. Sometimes she would ask by lifting my shirt. When she learned to talk, she began to ask for them by saying her name for them: Deedees. These days she says, "Mama, can I have deedees please?" I only say yes if I also want to.

Sure, I enjoy nursing her. One reason I enjoy it is the closeness we share. Another reason I enjoy it is seeing the obvious comfort it brings her. When she's hurt, she asks to nurse and immediately feels better. When she's sad, she wants to talk about it and then nurse. Sometimes she just wants a hug. When she's tired, she nurses to sleep. Sometimes these days she nurses a little bit and then rolls over to go to sleep. She is teaching herself other ways to get comfort, but she still likes to get comfort from nursing. From experience, I know that gradually she will replace nursing with talking it out and asking for hugs and snuggling with a book, and anything else that brings her peace.

One nice thing about nursing an older toddler is the things she tells me about it.

"Your deedee milk tastes so yummy!"

"I love deedees so much!"

And best of all:

"Deedees keep me safe."


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Friday, November 5, 2010

To Make Her Laugh...

...you only need to be a little bit goofy.





Papaw has figured this out.






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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Toss

I found these pictures today. They were taken at the end of September.


I bet she felt like she was flying.


She kept saying, "More! More!"


I can still feel the weight of her as she landed in my hands.


Joyfulness is her habit.



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Monday, November 1, 2010

Pair of Dice = Paradise

Usually I buy the halloween costumes, but this year I decided to make them. I have to say, homemade is the way to go. It was free! Well, only pennies anyway, and all stuff we had lying around. Also, people really love to see homemade costumes, and that means I got to hear about how cute they were, and let's face it, we all need a little appreciation now and again.

Without further ado, here they are, my pair of dice.

Look at the moldy pumpkins on the steps.


In fact, we went as a whole family of dice.

My husband said, "We live together, and we die together."


This guy wasn't feeling the greatest.


He managed to walk for about 2 hours of trick-or-treating before he got too tired. Usually he goes for all 3 hours. He did tell me that this is his favorite costume he's ever had.


This little girl was very excited. She kept us laughing. She said funny things like, "I only need one more candy." and "Hold my hand because these steps are really tricky."



At this house they each got a packet of hot cocoa mix, which was a big hit.
It was the first thing they wanted when they got home.


I love our little version of Halloween celebration. I love how the 4 of us go out together and walk all over our neighborhood and then come home and watch The Great Pumpkin while we stuff our faces. I know that's what many families do, but it feels so intimate to me, so cozy.

Paradise indeed.



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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Something Else New

Something else is new in our household!




Well, it's used, but certainly new to me. My 21 year old Toyota was acting up and needs major repairs. So my husband bought this van, and is planning to fix up the Toyota.

I have always wanted a minivan. I know some people don't like them, but I love this vehicle.

I can fit 7 people inside!
It is not rusty!
It has air conditioning!
The speakers work!
I'm thrilled!


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Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Year's Pumpkining

We went to the orchard, which is one of my favorite places of all, especially when the weather is this good.

Thank goodness my husband was along to snap great shots like this one!


He always has such a hard time choosing a pumpkin. He was
having extra trouble deciding this year, so we got
both of the big pumpkins above. I got to carve one!


She found this one, and immediately knew it was hers.


She's extremely satisfied with it.


There is a playground, and slides are still her favorite.


He likes them too.


The orchard we visit has an awesome food stand. We decided to buy a bunch of stuff and share it. Not pictured are the delicious apple cider slushies.

How much would you guess this cost? $12! For all of it!


Next we went apple picking. Which quickly devolved into throwing rotten apples against tree trunks and watching them explode, but things started out very nicely.

He got a kick out of the picker stick thingy.





Okay, so here's where we started throwing rotten apples.
She had just smashed one against a tree. This is her, "I did it!" pose.


We went to the pond. Perfection. Photo by my husband, of course.


There were just a few raspberries left on the bushes, so I
picked a handful for the kids.


This fall has felt so rich to me, so very luscious. We have done a lot of fun things, little day trips and outings, and it is all filling up my well. I'm breathing it in and swallowing it down and eating it up. I wish I could keep this time here forever, but of course I cannot, and so I will allow it to go on. But I will try to keep it inside myself, and when I am very still and close my eyes I can feel it all around me.



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