Everyday Beauty 2:30

2 Apr

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We have been reading The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, specifically The Tale of Mr. Tod. This one is Eva’s favorite. And, I love the way she rolls “Mr.Tod” off her tongue as if it was always intended to be one word said by a two year old.   Sophie understands the relationship between rabbits and foxes, so she doesn’t like Mr. Tod at all.  No matter how you feel about Mr. Tod,  it is better with pink sunglasses and moccasins, naturally.

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Everyday Beauty 1::30

1 Apr

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On Thursday, we found out we will be moving, again.  We called the property management company about something completely unrelated to our lease, which we were planning on renewing for another year.  Luckily,  Joel asked when we should anticipate resigning the lease for the upcoming year.  He emailed at the beginning of the month about this, just for the record, and we had not received a reply.  The man, curtly, replied he already sent us an email regarding next year.  He didn’t.  To say we have had issues with this company is an understatement.  Nevertheless, the family which owns the house is returning this June and prior to Thursday we weren’t anticipating moving.  Now, here is the thing, the house we are renting isn’t great, not bad, just not great.  Besides being caught unaware and the hassle of moving, I am not heartbroken over this news.  What I do feel like is that a giant reset button has been pushed.   Now, the options are swirling.  I am lucky I am married to a man who is great researcher.  We have several bunny trails we are exploring trying to find the right short term and long term fit.  Do we try to find a place to buy?  A rent to own option? A rental for another small period of time with the hope of buying in the nearer future?  I know the right answer is out there and I know it is in the right timing.  I just need to remind myself of that when I am in the midst of the daily living.  You mamas know what I mean.  You love the day to day, but some days it is all your energy to keep the house a turning and happy.  Sometimes the distance between the truths I cling to and what comes out in my feelings is pretty long and discombobulated.  I need to remind myself that in the midst of the laundry, cooking dinner, finishing the school year, and sleeping;  we will get the house packed and moved and it will all be alright.  Because it will.  It will all be alright.  If I forget, remind me, ok?

yarn along

27 Mar

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Above is the progress I have made on my Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan.  This sweater is for Sophie.   This morning, Sophie chose to wear her Blue Wyatt sweater I knit for her exactly a year ago. (I love having a chronicle of our days through this space, because in my mind it was much longer ago than that.)   Proud of herself for choosing something warm enough, she came into my room. It was laughable.  A little too short in the belly, way too short in the arms.  We can make it work for the rest of the cold season if I roll the sleeves up a tad to make it look intentional.  I convinced her, for today and a trip out of the house, a better match for her stripped tights was to wear the vest she inherited from Ella.  She looked adorable.  Moral of the story: kids in hand knits are fantastic whether the knits are in queue, ready to be retired and passed to the third born, or inherited.  I must keep knitting!

Ella and I are working on a unit at school based on the book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Today, we talked about the 5W’s of a news story and conducted a little experiment in preparation for learning about the water cycle tomorrow.  We rapidly boiled water on the stove and talked about evaporation.  Then, as she noticed the water droplets settling on the the microwave door, we discussed condensation.  Did you know they wrote  a sequel to the book called Pickles to Pittsburg?  We read it today, and the girls loved that one too.  I found the lap book/unit online as I was searching for hand-on activities to go along with learning the water cycle.  Originally, I was just planning on teaching a science aspect of the book, and using this book as a silly tag-a-long. I really liked the social studies part of the lap book.  So far, we discussed community helpers, maps, map keys, directions, and today the 5 W’s of a news report.   People create some pretty cool things and share them, for that I am really grateful.

I hope you have a great Wednesday, and some real tulips bloom outside just as pretty as the ones we have inside.

Joining Ginny for the weekly yarn-along

Six.

26 Mar

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Our oldest girl turned six on Saturday. Six trips around the sun of her making our life brighter, and better, and more exciting just by being her.  A whole heck of a lot has happened in the past six years, but Ella remains one of the happiest and joyous moments.  For the past six years, she has been my constant companion, living and loving alongside each other. She has been my greatest teacher these past couple years, .  Challenging me to move past comfortable into a deeper and better love.

Ella is a girl whose default speed is excitement. She loves a good plan, and if we haven’t created one quick enough she will step right up to the plate.  She is diligent, thoughtful, considerate, big picture, and well aware of everything going on around her.  As she grows day by day and year by year, she continues to be an amazing blessing.  She is at a age where she takes great delight in being helpful.

Ella willingly bears the responsibility of being the oldest.  She is a partner in crime to Sophie, patient with Eva, and a watchman to Gavin.  As we have been approaching six, many growing milestones have come into place.  Reading had taken off;  riding a bike; making grilled cheese.  I blinked, or changed a diaper, or wiped someone’s nose and Ella seemed to have conquered another  new feat.  So just to slow down time, she and I snuck out on Friday afternoon for a date.  We took a trip to the Downtown Mall and popped in the yarn store per her request. Our date was so Ella could pick out yarn  so we could make a shawl for her Felicity doll and then we were going to get hot chocolate.   The touring antique carousel was  set up in the middle of the Downtown Mall, and Ella skipped from the yarn store to the horses swinging her yarn bag and giggling all the way there.  We rode around and around.  Twirling and laughing together I got to watch her and remember inside my grilled cheese making, reading girl is still my sweet first baby who flipped my life upside down and isn’t too big, after all.

weekending

17 Mar

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It was a  long and leisurely weekend filled with

:: A Saturday morning nap for Gavin and a hot cup of coffee with a few rows of knitting for me

:: Sneaking away to the office for a pocket of time to print all that I needed for school and the start of a new unit (it always feels so good to start the week with everything one needs, doesn’t it?)

:: While the girls set up every scene of Playmobil on school table and have returned to it time and time again

:: A trip to the soccer store with Dad for the middle girl ready to start her first soccer season next Saturday morning

:: A late afternoon rain storm inspired a game of hula-hoop soccer on the screened- in porch.  One must make sure the soccer ball works!

:: A Saturday night evening girl night with a dear friend back in town for the weekend

:: Dancing Gavin to sleep to The Lone Bello

:: Dinner in the Crock pot, snow forecasted one last time, and a Sunday evening with my hunny and a tiny bit of chocolate

How was your weekend?

weekending with Amanda

Prince Shoes

13 Mar

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Baby toes need baby shoes.  I finished seaming these little shoes for Gavin yesterday afternoon.  Today, he wore them out on our car ride and they stayed on!  It is probably no surprise to you that I would love knit booties.  But, baby booties that actually stay on the baby’s feet – over the moon, I tell you.

Joel has been in San Francisco for work this week. His mom was sweet enough to come for the beginning of his trip to help keep us all sane.  (Thank you, Nana)  I wasn’t quite feeling up to four days and four kids all by myself.  During her visit, she and the girls created the Three Sister’s Tea House and served tea.  Our next door neighbor serendipitously  brought us a pound cake.  Nana helped the girls make beautiful and fancy paper fan menus.  This was the same day Gavin woke up with a stuffy nose and needed many snuggles.  Thank goodness there was a the enjoyment of the tea party and all its preparations.

The other day I noticed all this stuffing laying around the house.  When I asked Ella and Sophie about it, they told me they were making stuffed animals out of paper.  Naturally, I inquired as to where they got the stuffing.  From our pillow pets, Mom.  Obviously this was a silly question.   Today, the girls and I are going to attempt to sew shamrocks to accompany the St. Patrick’s Day books we have been reading.  According to the legend, St. Patrick used the three leaf clover to explain the Trinity.  Ella has been asking me about sewing lately and I am hoping this is a good introduction with an easy project to accompany it.  I have been trying to follow their leading more in regards to their creative projects.  In all honesty, they are so much more creative than I am. I want to join in their play and the wonder of the childhood imagination see where it takes us.  Just in case this proves to be too advanced, I have some shamrocks to color, too!

Joining Ginny for her Weekly Yarn along.  Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

Beautiful Exchange

7 Mar

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Last week, my word for the week was peace.  I wanted to begin to see what our new normal would look like as a family of six.    I am not sure where to begin.  We spent a great deal of last week trying to pinpoint which foods caused Gavin’s belly to be upset.  He seemed to be most affected by foods I ate at dinner time and he was most upset after his 3am feeding. As you can imagine this made for a pretty tired mama.   I think we have narrowed down the problematic foods, and he is sleeping better.  Score.

Simultaneously, the girls seemed to have energy oozing from their veins just waiting to say hello to spring time.  The days were flying by.  In a hazy way that you neither remember nor smile upon.  If I were being really honest they were the days where tempers (old and young) seem to spike at a moment’s notice.  We were asking for forgiveness and having to regroup quite a bit.  All of this left me feeling deflated, yearning for more patience.  One of the days I walked into Joel’s office and asked how the week could be passing so quickly because I felt like I was only blinking.  Moments felt like I was racing against the clock all the while losing time.

My soul was asking for more grace.  For myself.  For my family.   Without asking for it, the endurance of my patience was being tested.  I felt like I was failing.

Then I read these words: “If all the work of transfiguring the ugly into the beautiful pleases God, it is a work of beauty.” Ann Voskamp.

Last night I tucked the girls in bed and Sophie told me “Mom, I really love you.”  And, after all was settled down, I was sitting on the couch with Joel who was holding Gavin.  I called his name.  He found my eyes and smiled at me.  Really smiled at me.  The whole week melted away.  This motherhood gig is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I want the hard days to mold me into someone I am not naturally so I can love better.  I want my ugly hidden parts to melt away so I can see them with the beautiful grace.  Ugly becomes beautiful.  A beautiful exchange.

[All pictures taken Tuesday when Gavin turned one month old.]