Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Miriam's Fifth Birthday

Miriam is five. Five! Less than a day into being a five-year-old she requested to start school. All in good time.

It was a pretty amazing birthday. She got to go on her birthday date with Daddy, something she truly loves and looks forward to from year to year.
Drinking tea "like a princess"
Mommy made her fancy apple cinnamon oatmeal scones for breakfast. Very good and kind of healthy (for a scone)! Endorsed by Tim who claims to not like scones.
Of course, plenty of playing and fun all day long. She is getting so good at playing on her own for long stretches of time with dolls, play food, or any kind of imaginary play. Miriam loves to color and draw. In fact, we let her choose how we would spend our family time together after bath time. She requested that we make caramel corn and draw pictures of our family together. Deal, Birthday Girl.
Miriam is our little nurturer. She is always thinking of others and caring for Felicity. At the same time, she's very independent. She likes to pick out her own clothes and dress herself every morning, gets ready for bed on her own, plates her own food at meals, works at her own (fast) pace during reading lessons and theme-of-the-week activities when she can. Miriam loves rules, approval, and responsibility. Sometimes this means she acts more like a mommy to her sisters than a peer and Mommy has to step in and stop the bossing. Miriam loves to make new friends and is not afraid to introduce herself to other children at the park or a museum, but is often more shy around adults. She likes to watch Curious George, anything girly, playing outdoors, is very directional-pretty much always knows where we are and how to get to our destination, and is catching on to blending sounds and reading so quickly. Basically, we are in awe of this oldest child God blessed us with and pray that He always stands next to her and guides her to that place where her heart finds the most joy and the world needs her gifts most.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Irish Twins at 4

Miriam and Vivian have spent the past three-ish weeks "the same age".
Delightful for Vivian. Chaffing Miriam. Yesterday was the last day of two four-year-olds. So we took this keeper.
Vivian begged that Miriam wouldn't be allowed to turn five. Sorry, love, that's not something we can stop. Time marches on no matter how hard we work to keep you little and innocent.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


We've been waiting for this day for a month...floors and walls are beginning to take shape! We can envision the home as it will be with walls, paint, windows.
There's no framing done on the first floor, but we can still get a sense of the space. Here's the view from the future-kitchen-window:
The girls are already playing in the Play Room.
The basement is coming along really well and we're all very pleased so far!! There are stairs to climb with door ways to walk through and the start of plumbing!
Pretty soon we'll have a real home here - we'll look out our basement window and watch the sunset through the trees any night we want!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It begins...

*In your mind, read this post with background music. Either something from Frozen or something as ominous as possible. Your choice.*

Apparently, it's winter. Or we moved to Alaska. Or God is offering us some suffering to endure of the salvation of all mankind.

Too dramatic? Oh, sorry.

Well, Daddy is thrilled for snow. No kidding. He LOVES driving his car in snow. So he's happy.

And the girls get to play in it. Except when temps are below 20 degrees (Fahrenheit, for the Canadians) - then Mommy keeps the girls in the house as much as possible. So most of the time they are haaaaaaappy.
But Mommy (cue the monster music...or some whiny violin). She thinks it's pretty when it's coming down; a sparkly white world is lovely. BUT. BUT. BUT. The cold. No. The gray. No. The carting three small people around in the slush. No. The cabin fever. No. The low of 1 degree (Fahrenheit) tomorrow. No.
Must. Stay. Positive.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Weekend in Paradise

Paradise to Mommy can be just about any travel. And while tropical is nice (ok, more than nice), nothing can beat northern Michigan. At least, nothing has yet. It's quiet, peaceful, the friendliness of the people cannot be found anywhere else, and there's a winery around every corner. Also the shopping! And the beautiful Lake Michigan views!

We hadn't been up there for over three years.
A lot has changed in our lives in three years. Vivian was just 8 months old at the time and Miriam was 19 months. Tiny people! Now there are five of us and Miriam is old enough to be the one pushing the swing at the parks.
Same park as the first picture in this post...with much bigger girls!
Felicity explores the vineyards.
We also asked Aunt Nichole to join us for our weekend away. She helped keep the girls in line while Tim was working (work was the reason for the trip) and made the shopping and wineries even more fun. 
Now Sarah just has to talk Tim into retiring up there...she's got a few years to work on him.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Finally Four

Vivian is finally FOUR. Today she is finally as old as her older sister...and it's killing Miriam a little. But TODAY, Vivian does not feel like the little sister and she LOVES it.
Vivian is BOTH our party-animal and our home body. She loves to play and jump and have fun as much as possible, as often as possible. But at the same time, when we're away from home, she finds her Mommy and says, "I want us to go home now." She loves to feel safe and cozy on her Daddy's lap as much as she loves to rough house with him. She hates rest time - she has to lay down every day but really only naps a few times a week anymore - because she hates to be alone in her room.
Vivian is, in a word, impulsive. She acts first and thinks later. This may be part of being three, but her parents think it's also just inherent in her personality. It makes her so much fun to be around and so difficult to parent! We know that as she grows, we must learn to appreciate the joy she brings to every single situation rather than worrying about correcting her constant exploration. At the same time, she will learn when is the time to stop and think and when is the time to just go!
She recently caught onto blending sounds together in our phonics lessons and is beginning to read! It's amazing to watch her - she is so proud and loves the affirmation each time she reads and understands words.
The thing we love most about Vivian is her passion for life. She doesn't do anything halfway. When she is in, she is ALL IN. She gives the tightest hugs. She's never met a stranger, will talk to anyone about anything, and loves to love! Her emotions are always on her sleeve. She is always eager to have other people nearby to share her feelings and thoughts with - introvert is not in her dictionary.
We love you, Vivian Therese. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween: An Update

So, as you know, Vivian threw up yesterday morning. And within an hour was fine. Never ran a fever. Back to business/play within a couple of hours. No one else got sick or even complained about walking through the puke. Who knows what that was all about?? (Children, you defy explanation at least 65% of the time.) So when trick or treating time rolled around, we went with it.
Most of our time was spent indoors at Mema's new assisted living home. The elderly handing out the candy were AS EAGER as the kids receiving it. And we were out of the wind/cold/rain/snow! We made a few more stops...including a pop in to Aunt B and Uncle E's where we got to hold the adorable Leo again. Our last stop was at Nana and Papa's for supper and the official candy bag dump. Nana made these healthy and cute Halloween appetizers. She loves Pinterest about as much as Mommy!
Hope everyone else had a mountain of candy and a (mostly) healthy Halloween!