Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blessings in Small Bodies (Part Two)

Three moments we wouldn't have been able to enjoy this week if we didn't have our wonderful girls:

1) Mommy took the girls to a local county fair. After checking out a sow (a grown female pig) taking a nap, Miriam looked at Viv and said, "Wow! Look at all that pig's bellybuttons!" Those aren't bellybuttons all over her abdomen, dearest. But we'll save that explanation for some other day.
2) We did a 5K as a family this weekend. All of the girls were really well behaved and Miriam actually ran more than a mile of it! She was tired at the end and her legs "hurt when I bend my knees" for a couple days. Vivian has short little legs so her run looks more like a skip. Or maybe that's just how she moves. Skipping and tripping through it all. Felicity literally had her feet propped up in the stroller. One volunteer looked at her and said, "Yeah, that's how I do my 5K's, too." Anyways we got to work on our fitness and be parents who set a good example for our children and squeeze in some QT with the girls.
3) Having children lets us be innocent. If we slow down a little, and children make us slow down a lot, we get to appreciate. We get to notice the bees laboring away on the sunflowers, we get to not talk politics or worry about the headlines, we get to consider big questions like "Is Jesus here right now?" in the simplest terms. Vivian had a bad dream one night this week. Mommy came to her room and said a prayer with her and she was immediately at peace. Her trust is simple and an example her parents should follow.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Lovin'

Summer is happening, even though the weather is staying cool. Sometimes the pool water is warmer than the air. Makes for some blue babies.
We never can get over how different Miriam and Vivian are, yet they are so close. Sometimes Felicity can be a smash-up - her personality leans more Miriam while her looks are Vivian Part Two. There are moments we're caught in a time warp when we turn around to quickly or catch Felicity out of the corner of our eye. It's Vivian! Nope! That's Felicity! But she's outside-run-around girl, just like Miriam. Outdoors aren't really Vivian's thang. Last weekend we went hiking with Grandma and Grandpa. The trials were nice, the maps weren't - despite getting turned around and maybe lost, we did get a good walk in the woods. 
About 15 minutes in, Vivian wanted to know if we were done yet. "When will we be OUT of the forest? How many more minutes? I'm tired. Someone needs to carry me. I'm thirsty. Are we almost out of these forests??" Felicity was a happy little camper in her toddler backpack riding along on Daddy. Miriam was playing with sticks, making nature discoveries, hopping all around. Vivian is excited about so many things and is generally a happy pants. But the limited quantities only, please. Eventually she convinced Grandpa to carry her for awhile. As soon as she was up in his arms, she caught Mommy's eye and gave a smug little grin. The world was again as it should be.

But as different as the two oldest are, one without the other is nonsense. This last week they've been going to Zoo Camp. Separately. Miriam's 4 year old group met on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Vivian's group was on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We got up close and personal with some animals, went behind the scenes, made crafts, ate snacks, and made friends. Money well spent!

The girl NOT at Zoo Camp is lonely and wants to know when her sister will be home. An adult for a playmate is fun for a little bit, but adults aren't as silly as a sister, they're not very good at dressing up, they don't understand the proper way to color, how to pick a fight...adults just aren't kids. No matter how hard you try to make them be a child, it just isn't the same! (And that's probably correct in reverse. No matter how hard we try, children just aren't adults. If only Mommy had some Patience Pills she could take in the morning to remind her of that truth.) 
But can we also say how much we're enjoying our one-on-one time with each of the older girls? Daddy even took off work two mornings this week so he could be with each of them at the zoo and then take them out for a quick lunch date afterwards. These girls are the cutest, best people we know.
And speaking of sisters, Mommy got to spend some time with her Little Sister, Emery this week! We did a Cookies and Canvas event put on by the local United Way. Emery is a total natural. She's artistic in about every way imaginable, while Sarah's art is very limited: follow a pattern and sew something. It was so much fun, and with Emery's guidance, Sarah's painting wasn't horrible!!
One more thing about the other best people we know (maybe we just know a lot of the best people God ever made). Becca and Eric, some of our closest friends, are having a BABY in October!! 
It's coming up fast and we wanted to get in some fun without kids before that next best person arrives. Sarah's parents kept the girls OVERNIGHT! It was their first time sleeping away from home without Mom and Dad and they did great! Back to the story. A day away at Michigan City was the EXACT thing we needed. Beaches, outlet malls, a brewery with AMAZING food (Becca didn't imbibe...because she doesn't like beer), and a "gimmicky" ice cream shop. The shop was called Bubbles, had hand dipped ice cream that was delicious, and outside there was a bubble machine blowing magical bubbles around the patio. It felt like a whole week of vacation wrapped up in a day. We laughed, relaxed, and loved it. Someday soon we'll get to take our family and theirs back - watching our kids play together will be its own little dream come true.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blessings in Small Bodies

Recently a blogger that Mommy and Daddy both like for her common sense mentioned that it might nice for parents to say all of the reasons we love our children and why we keep having kids (because it's not for the post-labor "celebration" meal at the hospital). Wouldn't it be nice to hear why they're a blessing, rather than wearily listing the crazy, funny, messy situations we endure only because our love for them is unconditional? And if it weren't unconditional...well it's just good that is it.

So in light of this, just three reasons, for now, why children are so good.

1) They make us laugh. All the time. All day long. Today Miriam showed off her robot voice to Grandma and Grandpa and we all giggled. Later, Vivian told Mommy, "You have a ball room with no balls." WHAT? Turns out it was a Frozen reference and she thought it would be a super joke. EVERY time Felicity sees a dog we know because she barks. Our baby barks back at dogs. Kids might be a little nuts, but they are funny.

2) Kid clothes are cute. Seriously adorable. And we've got all girls so the cuteness is to a factor of three times a billion.

3) We get to help mold good people who want to love God and use their lives to make our little corner of creation better. It's seems safe to say that we're not going to fix the world during our lifetime. But our children might or their children could or their children's children will have that opportunity. And as parents, it's a gift to be able to raise these beautiful people who can serve, who will use all their brains and brawn and passions to love people better.

This is what we call too many people trying to ride a tricycle.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Princess and the pea

We planted one little envelope of peas in our garden this summer. We've picked enough to eat them for two meals so far! Fresh from the garden, they're delicious. Sometimes the girls help Mommy shell the peas. As they help, they eat most of what's in the pods. And the pea plants are getting pretty trampled because all three of them like to wander in the garden on a daily basis looking for something new to pluck.

Tonight we had peas for supper. Mema, Tim's grandma, joined us. Tim grilled brats. It was a good meal. As Mema reminded us of her adventures as a cadet's wife during World War II, Mommy noticed Vivian digging in her nose. Really, really digging. Mommy asked what was the matter and Vivian said, desperate tears coming to her eyes, "There's a pea stuck in my nose!"

Tim made a joke about just wanting to finish his dinner before going to the ER. Mommy tried to get Vivian to blow the pea out. But it wouldn't budge. Daddy found a flashlight and we could see the pea. It hadn't gotten far but it was in there. 

A few more blows and still nothing.

Dr. Daddy got to work. Nurse Mommy held the flashlight, while Dr. Daddy carefully attempted extraction with tweezers. It didn't hurt, but it was clearly not comfortable for Vivian. She held as still as possible, followed every instruction she was given, and Daddy carefully pulled out a pretty large pea.

Mema exclaimed, "My little prayer worked!"
Tim was so proud! "Text my sisters and my mom," he said. "Tell them, 'No ER visit required!'" Because when Tim was three like Viv, he stuffed a peanut up his nostril. And had to go to the hospital to get it out.

Friday, July 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Take 9 PLUS On Our Plates: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Long story short. That's Tim's favorite phrase right before he actually shares the SLIGHTLY shorter version of the long, detailed story. But we'll actually try to keep it very short today. Only the highlights as we link up for some Quick Takes

1. Sarah's great-grandma passed away before Independence Day, so we celebrated her life last weekend instead of the country's birthday. But we did manage to get in some craftiness.
2. Tim and Sarah did a Zip and Sip nearby with some of Sarah's sisters and their male counterparts. Very fun.  Do it.
Sarah's missing
Annette's missing.
3. We've been zooing, as expected.
Close-up with Bill, the lion
4. Mema's pool is ready to go! Lots of swimming in our past, present, and future! Each girl has her own way around the water. Felicity likes to be held in the pool.
 Miriam likes to get out every toy and play in the pool.
Vivian likes to get wet and then sit beside the pool wrapped in a towel. Preferably on Nana's lap where she can snooze.
5. Tim is keeping busy, as ever.
6. First trip of the summer to the Farmer's Market. FINALLY. Bought rhubarb. Make this if sounds like something you're into.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
3 c. rhubarb, chopped
3 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. rolled oats
 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray at 9x13 pan with Pam. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, 1/3 c. flour, and cinnamon. Put in baking dish. Combine remaining flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, and melted butter until it looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

7. And Felicity had her first ponytail! Sorry if you were hoping for a better picture. No camera in the world can keep up with her constant movement.
This story is getting to be the long version. Short and sweet and out and over.