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Aug 28, 2013

Lena's 4!

Today my baby girl turns 4 years old.

4 years old...

It seems only a moment ago that we brought her home and Sammy kept poking her and watching her and kissing her.  Creating a bond with her that today is very strong and sure and loving. 

Of course they have their times of rivalry and fighting.  And sometimes we have to remind Sam not to throw her under the bus when they get in trouble, remind Lena to hold his hand in a parking lot, remind them both to share, remind them not to kick each other...:)

We try hard to foster that big brother/little sister relationship of caring for each other, sticking up for each other, watching out for each other, depending on each other...and more times than not it seems to come naturally for them.

A couple weeks ago I was using peroxide to clean a scrape on Sam's leg.  I was blowing on it and soothing him, but he was crying hard.  Into the bathroom shuffles little Lena. She put her tiny hand on his arm and rubbed it and said, "It's okay, Sammy.  It's okay."  Then she started to blow on his scrape too.  My little nurturer. 

The kids were getting dressed for Lena's party on Saturday, and Sam went to brush his teeth while I was working on Lena's hair.  He came skipping back into the room with a sparkling smile and said, "Lena, I put your toothpaste on your toothbrush for you this morning!  I like to do that for you because it's your birthday!" And then right up until the evening grumps settled upon him later that day, he was so sweet to her, doing things for her, being excited with her about all the stuff we were preparing for her party.  I was so proud of him. 

And the laughing these two do together.  I tell you nothing puts a smile on my face quite like hearing my kids making each other laugh in the other room.  Those deep belly laughs that make their legs weak...the most beautiful music to my mommy soul. 

So on this hot and steamy 28th day of August, I'm so thankful to God for our sweet girl.  For the kind and thoughtful little human she's becoming.  For her colorful sense of style and her love of cats and her excitement about even the smallest things and her independence and her sweetness and her beautiful face and even more beautiful soul and her love for her big brother. 

What a blessing she is to everyone who knows her. 

The following are scenes from her beachy birthday party on Saturday.  

Happy birthday, baby girl!  We love you so much it's disgusting. 

Aug 23, 2013

End of Summer

Trying to squeeze out a few more fun summer days.

This was last week when the evenings were pretty chilly.  We nearly had the pool to ourselves, thanks to Lori's invite, and though Lena's lips turned blue, she stayed in that water until it was time to go home.  I have to get her in swim lessons next year. 
Freezing more garden harvest...that will be so good in January. 

Sam saved up his money from chores and bought a toy from the dollar store that I refused to buy for him.  A military play set.  Really?  I hate it so much.  But he makes guns out of spoons at breakfast and sticks in our yard and has some Nerf guns, so this is the next step in the boyhood obsession, right?


He softened the blow of my not liking his purchase by treating Lena and I to some frozen goodies from the Good Humor icebox at the checkout counter.  I love dollar stores. 

Aug 22, 2013

We Are Family

Aunt Suzie and Uncle Kenny organized a dinner for all of us at a winery in Newcomerstown a couple weekends ago.  It was such a beautiful evening and we had a great night talking and catching up with family we don't get to see very often.  I'm so thankful to them for putting that together!
I love these people.  Each one of them holds very distinct and dear memories for me. Thanksgivings at Aunt Krick's house, Papa's mounds of mash potatoes, helping decorate a giant pine tree, playing with cousins, watching movies, hearing war stories, listening to Nan sing songs while she was cooking or cleaning up dishes, Easter bunny cakes, crochet hooks, church, lots and lots of big hair, laughing...always lots of laughing, Christmases, weddings, birthdays, visits, meals, shopping, cooking...
So many good memories.  Some sad but still good, like every family has I imagine.  One that sticks out to me is when Papa died and Aunt Suzie and I were the only people at the hospital with him while everyone made their way into town.  I don't know if I could have stood hearing the news and staying there and waiting there without her being there with me.  Strange how something like that can bind two people together.  I experienced something similar with my cousin Julie when my other grandpa died. And the two connections I have with these two women as a result of sharing such important, intimate moments in our lives are unbreakable and unshakable to me. 



Beautiful nights filled with family and love and laughter.  This is happiness.

Aug 21, 2013

School Days

Sniff, sniff. 
Sam started kindergarten last week. 

Big boy school...I cannot believe my boy is at the big school every day now.  He seems to love it, has a male teacher who is silly and fun and plays guitar.  I know he'll have a great year.  But seriously, kindergarten??
A few days before he started school, he had to have two teeth pulled.  Two permanent teeth were coming in way behind the baby teeth instead of underneath them and, though we gave it a good month, those baby teeth never loosened up.  So the dentist easily yanked them out and, with the help of some bubblegum-smelling gas and novocaine, Sam never made a peep.  My brave boy.  He wasn't even scared or anxious about it. 
I, on the other hand, was on high alert and completely prepared to take the dentist out at the knees should he hurt my boy in the least.  But the doctor knew what he was doing and Sam never had an ounce of pain.  
That night the tooth fairy visited Sam's room for the first time.  Sam thought the fairy dust she left on his tooth box was pretty cool, as were the two gold dollars she gave him for his teeth.  (I'm glad the tooth fairy doesn't buy into this inflation crap.)
Then there's the whole topic of my baby girl starting preschool in a couple of weeks. 
My baby.  In preschool. 
Ugh.  I can't discuss it yet, though Lena is very ready to go and make new friends and stretch her mad alphabet skills. 
In preparation for her big day (sniff, sniff), I took her to get her very first professional hair cut. Up to now I've always cut it myself, but preschool is a special occasion which demands a special hair cut, right?  She liked sitting in the chair and adored looking at herself in the mirror. 
My sweet girl...

This is not her official first day of school photo, but when Sammy was getting his taken, she of course wanted one too.  She is so beautiful.  And is getting so big...

"....Is this the little girl I carried...."