Thursday, June 28, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 26

This post means the year is half over...And we're loving this blog more and more! It's been a wonderful way to keep track of these two cuties pies as they grow and grow. We can see so much change in them both from just six months ago.

6 months ago
But that's not what we are joyful about today. Oh no. Today we take joy in ROUTINE. Some are surely shaking their heads and gagging at the thought. Routine? How could that ever be joyful? Oh, but it truly is, especially our new WRITTEN (typed) ROUTINE. Don't get too worked up, it's nothing elaborate. But the order to our week has been so helpful because Miriam was getting pretty bored with her Mommy and her Sister and her toys. It was making Mommy impatient. What to do? How to engage this bright little girl?

Then Mommy went to get her hair cut. (If you can't find the answer in church, run to the salon - it's probably there.) The nice lady with five seriously well behaved children began to sell the written routine and year round learning. Now the girls are pretty young, but this wise lady said it's never too early to start teaching your children. We decided to give it a shot.

In comes the routine...each week we have a theme, letter, shape, number, color, etc. that we celebrate. We talk, color, read, and eat about it. We find it, we draw it, we sing it, we look at it. We are all about it, all week long. The routine tells us that on Monday we'll introduce the theme for the week and do a few activities, Tuesday we'll sing songs and read books about it, etc. And Vivian seems to really be enjoying the structure and attention, as well. She doesn't always understand what we're doing and she isn't a pro with glue, but she loves to mimic Miriam and she loves to follow Mommy around. So the written routine is a hit with our little ladies.

And Mommy's chores are on the written routine, too (that way she actually does clean the house). Yippee.

So the girls are happier and the house is cleaner. Sold on a written routine.

This week was Rainbow Week. We created our own rainbows, had rainbow snacks, colored rainbow pictures, read about Noah's Ark, made rainbow collages, ate rainbow pancakes, painted rainbow toast, and MORE!

Painting rainbow toast was the favorite activity of the week. Little milk, little food color, little toast. Easy and at least a half an hour of pure entertainment.

Of course, Vivian had to try painting her self. But that's to be expected.

And Miriam had to taste test it. But that was pretty bland. So back to painting.

Happy Rainbow Week.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And then there were 9...

Aunt Nichole got engaged this weekend!!!!!!! So soon a ninth sibling will be added to our family. 

Tony is a super nice guy. He even watches the girls sometimes for Mommy and Daddy! We're looking forward to watching their relationship grow.

Aunt Bridget was so excited when she heard the news that she couldn't stop crying!

Tony and the girls...most of us are still looking like campers...or maybe Tony and Nichole are glowing! Congratulations to the beautiful love birds!

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 25

Sarah's extended family takes a long weekend camping trip every summer. This has been happening for as long as Mommy can remember...25 years, perhaps? It's highly anticipated and extremely joyful. Very delicious food, corn hole, euchre, wiffle ball, volleyball, hair braiding, nail painting, biking, fishing, swimming, running, Family Mass, kettle corn...we love every second.

"Ring around the rosy..."
The girls are really getting to be camping pros! The first morning, we unzipped the tent, Vivian peaked her head out, and said plainly, "Fire Hot!" At least that message got through!

And Miriam was able to spend lots of time with Uncle Michael's Great Dane, Stella. She was frequently heard saying, "I love you, Stella." One night, Mommy rolled over to find Miriam next to her on the air mattress. She must have needed some company and crawled on up!

The beloved Stella
Wiffle ball was the main event this year. We had spectators.

Professional players.

Even a "streaker." Miriam thought it was so funny to run into the middle of the game and make Uncle John chase her when the players yelled, "Security!"

 Vivian got a piggy back ride. Perhaps her most joyful moments of the weekend. But really, she's joyful all the time!

"Giddy up, Mommy."
The next morning, Vivi was so wiped out she fell asleep on cousin Colin after breakfast. He seemed to love it. Must be a pretty cozy guy...she never does this!

 Until next year, Amishville, we will miss you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spring slipping by...

Is this already the end of June? It's been quiet here in our little corner of blogland...but noisy in our corner of the real world. Spring will be over very soon...sliding into summer. And it is doubtful any of us will slow down. Especially not Vivian. That girl is an energizer bunny, always talking, always going, always smiling, always quick with a "NO!", always in a hurry, always scraping her knees, face, toes, hands, always bumping her head, but rarely crying. And when she does, Miriam is so sweet to her. She hugs her little sister and tells her, "It's okay, Vivian. You're okay." Miriam seems so grown up suddenly. She's thoughtful, telling us at bedtime, "Thank you for rocking me tonight." And, "I like your shirt, Daddy." And, "Here, Mommy, I picked you a flower." And, "Do you need gas for your car?" She repeats everything we say, loves to make up songs, and 'reads' longer books. She has imaginary pets and babies that come along for car rides.

Recently a friend said to Mommy, "Time goes so quickly when they are little." And Mommy replied, "Except when it doesn't." (Realistic to a fault, that one.) We're always learning and teaching and correcting and attempting to raise loving human beings (they probably call that parenting)'s work for Mom and Dad 24 hours a day! Never a break in this business/busy-ness (also what they call parenting). But then it seems Miriam was just born yesterday. Just five minutes ago Miriam was at the hospital meeting her baby sister, Vivian. Just a blink ago Vivian learned to walk. So we again remind ourselves to enjoy THIS moment despite its trials and because of its joys. It will be gone before our mind's eye is able to take that one lasting picture.

It's finger paint again.
And body paint.
One of our favorite things!
Never let's her sister out-do her in messiness.
Our guardian angel of child crafts.

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 24

Our garden is producing! And our ladies love to help with the harvesting. It makes them joyful! Vivian tries to eat the goods while standing in the dirt. Fresh is always best, we're told. Unless it's an uncooked eggplant. That might be an exception. However, when those hundreds of little green cherry tomatoes turn red, we may not be able to pull the girls away from the garden.

We're having a bit of a green worm issue on the Brussels sprouts...hum...we've been picking them off and disposing of them. However, it's getting a bit extreme. Chemical reinforcements may be called in soon.

Singing to the veggies...
Eggplant grew a nose!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dad's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads. You are so important. We are so blessed to have you. God knows what children need and dads who play and act goofy, lovingly disciple, and so much more are at the top of the list. Thank you to all the dads who teach us, make living room forts with us, cuddle with us, provide for us, grill our favorite foods, model our Heavenly Father...

Tim with the little girl who made him a Daddy, the day she was born.

And the second little girl, a Daddy's Girl, on the day she was born.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Who knew a couple towels could be so entertaining? Miriam and Vivian, that's who! 

Vivian loved her head wrap...but it didn't last too long up there.

And the pouty-model-face that Miriam was giving us in her towel wrap skirt! We don't know that she's seen too many models...maybe it's just instinctual.

We are fancy!

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 23

Can we (should we?) talk about sweet treats again?? We went on a weekend camping trip and our girls (re)discovered the JOY of marshmallows. Mom toasted them while Dad kept the girls back from the fire. This is pretty ironic because Dad is probably the better toaster and Mom likes to set her's on fire before eating them.

The remnants of  a marshmallow on Vivian's face. Pretty clean, considering!

Miriam's hands were covered in goo afterwards. She realized that they would stick together...

...then she could "unglue" them by slooooowwwwwly pulling them apart. Over and over.

It was pure, sweet joy.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 22

We really like dessert in this house. A lot. Is it actually a meal if you don't eat dessert? Perhaps that was just a big snack. Because no meal is complete without a bit of sweet. And Miriam and Vivian are their parents' daughters in this respect, too. 

Honestly, this is just a tribute to the greatness of dessert. And a little cookie monster.

Cookie obtained. 

Cookie shared.

Skip the cookie. Eat the icing.

Cookie coma.



We spent Memorial Day at Tim's grandparents' pool. The girls love to swim, so we'll probably spend many warm afternoons paddling around this summer. But it was a special day because Vivian learned how to fly.

 What a smile!

And a couple of very loved cousins were in town, John Michael and Lydia. It made the girls practically giddy.