Single weekend

Phew - the weekend without Matt is done. He's headed home now. Unfortunately he had to take a cab, but it means that there are 3 clean and happy girls all snuggled in bed instead of a crazy family home late from a long drive to the airport.

We survived the weekend by being really sad for a little while and then moving on to Saturday morning cartoons, Chuck E Cheese for several hours, and then home to run around like crazy from all the sugar and excitement. The girls had one of their favorite meals for dinner - Ramen noodles. Then it was early bedtime for Katherine so we could have a Girls movie night. We watched The King and I and then all headed to Mommy's bed for a "sleep-under".

While we snuggled close, we talked and talked about what it would be like if our house was made out of candy. It was really fantastic to be all cuddled up together in my bed with them. They were warm and cute and snuggly. Around 9:30 Claire fell asleep and Anna began her wiggle-fest, trying earnestly to fall asleep. She was so disappointed that she couldn't get to sleep in my bed.

I put her to bed in her room and then carried Claire into her own bed. I was asleep just a few moments later - all that snuggling really made me sleepy!

The next morning we skipped the early church service because apparently Claire just couldn't walk. Every so often some kid's legs just don't work in the morning. They hobble about clutching to various pieces of furniture in pure agony from the... I don't really know what it's from, just an anonymous pain of some sort. I try not to laugh but it seems a bit far fetched to me.

Once Claire had "recovered", the girls played happily and then we set off for church. Everyone had a good time, I enjoyed it tremendously (although it is never the same without Matt) and everyone was happy on the way home.

We all noticed that the weather has mysteriously changed from the day before. We had gone from icy cold to nice and warm somehow. So, off went the sweaters and we headed to the playground! It was so so lovely outside. The leaves were falling, although they were a bit soggy from all the rain, the sun was shining and people were outside again. We ran into one of Claire's classmates at the playground and I really enjoyed the conversation with her parents, a.k.a grownups.

We came home to have tea and watch the rest of the movie. The girls really liked the movie and Katherine entertained herself pretty well. Anna & Claire then decided to set up stores - Claire set up a bookstore in my room and Anna set up some kind of shop in the living room. I managed to bathe the girls in between their games and everyone stayed happy. They even happily cleaned up the huge huge mess they had made. That is a true blessing. We enjoyed chocolate chip pancakes for dinner and then off to bed.

Now, Matt is home and all is well. God is so good to me.


Parent Teacher conferences

Ahh, the opportunity to gush about my children.

We had both the girls conferences on the same morning. It was nice because Matt could come without missing too much work and the girls could come and hear from their teachers how well they are doing.

I was expecting good things from Anna's conference but was not expecting it in the areas it came from. The teacher praised Anna for her problem solving and ability to express herself clearly. She said how much she liked that Anna thinks about her answer before she gives it. She has even noticed Anna's "thinking face". She also said she uses Anna to help her with her lesson plans. Anna reads over her ideas and then says if she thinks it will work well. Anna was just beaming through the whole conferences. The teacher did point out some areas she needed to improve. She needs to read a little slower, taking time to process things a little longer. She also needs to work on her handwriting. Overall, we were just so proud!

Claire's teachers gushed just as much over her. She is compassionate, considerate and sharing. She doesn't cling to just one friend but is a friend to all. She will sit with anyone at any table. She focuses on her work and really works hard to do a good job. She is becoming quite an artist and is beginning to describe her pictures with words. She participates in class and is raising her hand to ask questions (something her shyness has prohibited her from in the past). She is just so comfortable in the classroom and so so happy. It was great to see her teacher glowing about Claire and how she has come out of her shell and is so much fun.

Matt & I couldn't be prouder of our girls. We just love and adore them beyond words. We want them to not only reflect our parenting, but also God's love and blessings over them.

Our latest adventures

First, the MAM was a hug hit!

MAM 2009

Then we went to the Apple Orchard.

Royal Oak Farm 2009

And then we have been enjoying nice weather and falling leaves. And of course, Matt's birthday!

October 2009



It all started with a $5 bill.

Matt & I are working with cash only around here - this has seriously curtailed our spending and works very well as we try to pay off debt and become unified in money matters. It also means, no cashee, no buyee.

So, I was sure I didn't have any money left and this had made my biweekly walks to Central Street hard. Especially since I walk past the Great Harvest bread store every time. I figured I could check out a few movies at the library for free and then walk quickly past the yummy bread smell. But, when reaching for my library card, I spotted the fiver. A fiver!! I was so excited. Would I choose a scone, loaf of bread, cinnamon roll, cookie? How could I choose?

It happens that a fiver is not enough for a loaf of their bread (hmmm, never noticed that when I just put it on the card) but is enough for a tea cake. Tea cake makes me think tea party. And what to do when 2 of the girls are coming home at noon??

Katherine and I got to work - we made little sandwiches, a veggie bowl, cut up fruit, made tea and sliced the main attraction - a blueberry lemon tea cake. And Katherine set the table with her birthday tea set and silverware (thanks for the birthday money fam!).

And, to make it even more exciting, Anna's best friend and her mom came too! They had so much fun and I got to sit and relax with a friend.

This is after the party dress up play time! Usually, Katherine and Claire are left out - not this time! Thanks go to Anna for sharing her playtime/friend.


Veg update

Well, the month of vegetarian meals continues. We're at about 65% veggie dinners. It has been fun. Matt is super happy and the kids are learning to be happy about it. Ha.

Yesterday, we had cherry turnovers for breakfast (totally NOT healthy), the kids decided not to eat the lunches packed for them and then I made Vegetarian Burritos for dinner. This was not my night to make a kid friendly dinner and I was nervous that they wouldn't eat and would be very unhappy.

Well, as I have heard, hungry people will eat almost anything. And they mostly really liked it. Even Katherine gagged down some of the bean-heavy burritos. She had a grimace on her face the whole time, but she was hungry so, down it went! And, from a grownup perspective, the burritos were really, really good.

As we transition our eating habits, I feel I should emphasize the transitioning part of it all. You can't just sit down and start eating quinoa and barley and lentils and enjoy it. So, a little extra seasonings, a little extra cheese and it's a hit!

Note: homemade beans are totally worth it! Soak overnight and all day on low in the crockpot. That's it.

I have been called

to rescue others from packets of Hot Chocolate.

That stuff is just not very good. It's got hot and steamy going for it and not much else. Certainly not good flavor!

So, I discovered something others have always known, I suppose. It is really easy to make your own hot chocolate on the stove.

2 c. of milk (any kind)
2 T. cocoa (the Hershey's Dark chocolate cocoa is pretty good)
2 T. sugar

Mix in pot on stove. Warm on stove. Drink. Optionally top with marshmallows.

I heat my on high and just stir constantly. Today it took me 2 minutes to make. This is totally scalable too. I have made a huge pot or just a single serving. Yum.

My kids are totally spoiled now, no more mixes here!