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Aug 30, 2010

Soggy Sam and Laughing Lena

(NOTE: I'll be posting about Lena's 1st birthday soon, but this was waiting in my drafts box.)

Soggy Sam sneaking up with the hose.
Aim and fire!
You can see her laughing in the relection.

Aug 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Big D!

Dylan is 11 today! He's tall and handsome and smart and funny...growing into such a fine young man. But this is how he will always be to me. My sweet little first nephew. We love him so much! Happy birthday, Big D!

Aug 25, 2010

Rainbow Over Blacklick

We were out and about a few weekends ago, running errands in the rain. On our way home, we noticed a rainbow that looked to be right over our house. After we pulled into the garage, we all piled out of the van to take a look. It was such a lovely moment, such a beautiful gift from God to be with my family looking to the sky, feeling the warm light rain tickle our cheeks as we watched the rainbow split from one to two and then fade away into the mist.

Thanks for that little gift, God. It didn't go unnoticed.

Aug 22, 2010

New, Old...Favorite Chairs

Right after my Papa died and Nan went to live in Zanesville, we all had the uncomfortable job of going through their things and picking out what we wanted to keep of theirs. Such a strange, but necessary, thing for families to have to do at a time like that.

Anyway,the only thing I knew I wanted was their old...old melamine dishes. I wanted something I would use everyday that reminded me of them. And I have the most vivid memories of meals with my grandparents, most of which were eaten on these plates and in these bowls. We do use them every day...and I do think of Ralph and Martha Barker every day.

In the end, I also ended up getting something else that I have many fond memories of from my grandparents' house - their dining room table and chairs. I can't even count how many meals and coconut covered Easter bunny cakes we ate on it, or how many games of kings in corners we played on it. It's old and seems to be loosening up a bit, but we all love it (and some of us like to play under it).

Recently, to brighten up our kitchen, we painted the chairs a buttery light yellow and recovered the seats with a fun yellow and red fabric. I LOVE them. What do you think?

Sam Loves Lena So Much That He...

I've nursed both of my babies until they were one year old...Lena's time is up next week! That makes me sad.

Anyway, I've always been a strong proponent of breast feeding for the health benefits to my babies, the cost benefits to our wallets, and the knowledge that I'm giving my babies a food that was tailor-made just for them by God himself. It's kind of spiritual to me in that regard.

And since I'm a pretty open person and feel passionately about breast feeding, I have always felt pretty free to do it where ever I am at the moment, under cover of course. No need to pop out my uncovered boob in the middle of a park or anything. But at home when it's just the fam, they both pop out quite frequently to nurse Lena. And lately, Sam has shown some interest in what exactly is going on there.

Sam: "Momma, wha's dat?" (staring and pointing at my boobs).

Me: "Sam, those are Mommy's boobies."

May I interject here that I realize I'm not giving him the proper name for what he's pointing at but, seriously, who calls their own boobs "breasts"? Just trying to keep it real.

Sam: "Why?"

Me: "That's how Lena gets her milk."

Sam: "Oh. Otay. Momma's boo boos."

Then he goes about his business. Later that day, he's got his shirt off preparing for bath time and he's pointing to his nipples.

Sam: "My boo boos?"

Me: "Yes, those are your boobies."

Sam: "Wena, dink?"

Me: "No, no...Lena can only drink from Mommy's boobies."

Sam: "Why?"

Me: "Because boys' boobies don't make milk."

Sam: "Oh. Otay."

I thought it had sunk in, but then I see him grab Lena and shove her face toward his nipples. I run toward the them and scoop Lena up.

Me: "NO, Sam. You may NOT nurse Lena. Only Mommy can give her a drink."

Did I actually just say that to my son? Geez. I tried to be kind, as he was just concerned that Lena might be thirsty. But I also wanted to be firm because, come's just weird. So we had a little talk about it and we'll see how well it's sunk in this time. He hasn't tried it since, but maybe it's a good thing that Lena's nursing time is almost up.

Aug 15, 2010

The Magic of Movies

On Sunday, we introduced Sam and Lena to one of our favorite pastimes in one of our favorite places – a big screen movie at a movie theater.

We’ve wanted to take Sam to see his first movie for a long time, but just could never make it happen. We’re not big on handing the kids over to a sitter when we don’t have to; we get such little time with them as it is.

And now that Lena is nearly one, we figured we’d give it a shot. I’m so glad we did.

Toy Story 3 was the movie. What a great first movie for them, with lots of innocence, laughs, thrills, action and a lovely sentiment. It was an hour and 40 minutes, though, which worried us. But they were both good as gold.

We got our concessions and headed into the theater 10 minutes early, which was enough time to get them accustomed to the theater and screen and shove hot dogs and popcorn into their mouths while it was still light enough to see what we were doing. My fingers were ten greasy messes after tearing all the food into one year old bite sized pieces, but Lena loved it all, so I didn’t mind. After all, isn’t that why God invented wet wipes?

Then the lights dimmed and the trailers started. Sam was still munching popcorn and climbed into Daddy’s lap with his diapy and his favorite sucking thumb. And there he stayed through the whole movie, never making a peep or a move. Rich thought he’d fallen asleep he was so still, but his eyes were as big as saucers through the whole thing. He might have even forgotten to blink.

Lena bounced up and down in my lap every time music played but, when the movie began, she was still and serious, like she knew something good was about to happen. She became her normal wiggle worm self after about 45 minutes, but never did much more than that. I let her crawl around the large carpeted area beside us in the back for about 5 minutes, which seemed to pacify her need to move. And then she was still again, all the way to the end.

I’m passionate about movies and books. I believe that the best of books and movies give us hope when all sometimes seems lost, allow us to glimpse into people’s lives we would never meet without them, introduce us to worlds beyond our own imaginations, inspire us to be better, chill us to the bone, thrill us until our muscles are weak from the tension, double us over in fits of laughter, break our hearts…

Books and movies are magic, moving mediums. And giving my kids the opportunity to read and watch them is important to me, because I know that I’m helping to cultivate their imaginations. As a parent, that’s an unparalleled gift to offer a child, and I’m so grateful to be in a place where we are able to give that to them.

Aug 11, 2010

Sam the Short Order Cook

Samuel is obsessed with my parents' play kitchen set in their backyard. He's always cooking up some yummy gravel soup and serving us plastic donuts and hamburgers when we're outside at their house. He likes to help us cook at home, so he comes by his love of cooking naturally.

Anyway, Mom found a play kitchen set at a garage sale and brought it over with her on Tuesday when she came over for a visit. It's still in our living room, just because we haven't had the gumption to take it down to the playroom yet. But that's fine for now, because Sam is in heaven! He's frying us up eggs (flipping them just like Daddy does), serving us pizza and fruit.

And Lena is his shadow, following him from sink to fridge to stove, watching and helping (and slobbering all over the plastic egg and strawberries).

THANKS, Mom! The kids are absolutely in LOVE with it!

Guess Who Walked?

LENA, that's who!

She's taken a couple little unassisted steps here and there over the last month, but tonight she took seven unassisted steps. SEVEN!

Three cheers for Lena!

Hip hip hooray!
Hip hip hooray!
Hip hip hooray!

Here she is tonight, proudly standing in honor of her accomplishment (pay no attention to the kitchen set in the background. It hasn't made its way to the playroom yet).

Aug 9, 2010

Catching Up

Prepare for the onslaught of backlogged pictures that have been stacking up through July and the beginning of August. We've had a good, hot time this summer!

Sam with a road working machine at the ODOT exhibit at the fair. He was mesmerized.
Still at the ODOT exhibit.
Downtown Columbus in Legos at the fair.
It was very intricate. Sam, again, was mesmerized. Lena was asleep through most of the fair, so we didn't get a shot of her.
That's Sam's little head peaking out from Papa's sound booth at church the Sunday we went to Newcomerstown to sing.
We went to the zoo on one of the hottest days of the year.

Mommies little piggies...

Sam cheesin for the camera after lunch one day.
Lena was very into her lunch this day.
Sam picking tomatoes.
Sam's redesigned train track.