Saturday, September 20, 2014

9 months old

Looking a little sleepy here...

Eden has fuzzy, blondy, with a hint of auburn, hair. Elfy ears.

One tooth on the bottom.

I couldn't wait for Fall for many reasons but one of them was this dress. Red corduroy with little dots, perfect for her first day of "school" at co-op.

Eden crawls, eats everything off the floor,
makes a bah bah bah sound imitating Daniel with her hand to her mouth,
waves her arms and shouts happily at anyone who shouts and waves their arms happily at her.

Eden loves her Kitty,

to feed herself bits of sweet potato or cooked apple pieces,

to be with her mommy,

or daddy,

but Mercy or Daniel or Michael will do in a pinch as long as Kitty is near.

Eden sleeps nicely in her crib for her morning nap, afternoon nap and at night for which we are all thankful. She is learning that screeching like a young pterydactyl doesn't get desired results. She is learning to sign "More" but seems to prefer saying "ma ma ma". She says "da da da" at Daniel and Daddy, both. She says, "Ah dah ah dah" when I sign "All Done" at the end of a meal. She is pulling up and climbing and getting so big. A few of the kids say they have seen her stand all by herself for a few seconds.

Still under a year old, when we remember back to last year at this time, I was still pregnant with this baby whom we didn't yet know. What a joy to know you, Eden, and to have you here with us!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Remodeling For Fun

Anyone who has been blessed with a home to live in has certainly given thought to how they might make changes to their living space. Now that I have said that, I wonder if maybe that is too broad of a statement. I will narrow things down a bit. In every one of the homes I have been blessed to live in, I have imagined changes I could make to enhance the house's functionality or the yard's beauty.

As a child unaware of the actual structure of a house, I imagined a secret passage way in my closet that took up the vertical space between walls and the first floor. Of course, I read The Hiding Place. The Secret Garden. There was a brief time that I was sure we could make a room in the ceiling space over the living room. A crawl space door from my sister's room would lead us in.

Couch cushion forts were made at Grandma and Grandpa's. Just as fast the floral patterned tunnels were built, they were lain flat again to make six square trampolines for jumping across the rec room floor.

Until we were given lego sets with directions for building castles and Robin Hood's treehouse lair, the medium sized flat rectangle pieces were the coveted item to start with. If you had one, you could use it for the floor of your house, or the upstairs of your house or the roof of your house. Sometimes, we built houses and then as an afterthought, added two sets of wheels underneath; it's a camper now! which is really still a house of sorts.

One summer, I spent a few days building a fort out of piled up leaves. Fresh leaves were picked and layered stack on stack in the spaces between trees. An adult I don't remember came along and asked the neighbor boy and I to stop "playing in the berm" so we left our leaf house unfinished. I had to go home and ask what a berm was.

When I was older, a friend of mine and I built a shelter in the woods by lashing long sticks horizontally from tree to tree and then leaning brush and branches against them to form four square walls. A pocket knife and twine provided hours of entertainment as we constructed a tree house on the ground.

None of those childhood building experiences prepared me for the most difficult and frustrating part of a grown up remodeling project. Some might say it's the delays, or the uncovering of previous owner's previous remodeling blunders that you now have to right. Some might say it's the expense or the decisions that are hard to make.

I say, for this project, it is the dust.  

After I'm done cleaning it up again, off of the new floors, off of the children, out of my food and my glass of iced coffee, I hope to return and post pictures of the end result. And once we decide about the countertops and finish the floors and go back to the hardware store three times, the end result will be glorious!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beach House 2014

We made our way to the beach house again this summer to spend time with Bob's family.

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to, nor did I get a true sampling of all the people who were there.

Reuben was sick which preoccupied much of my energy and then Reuben needed a trip to the ER which kind of made me wish we could go home and start our vacation over when he was well again.

In the end, a significant portion of our family enjoyed the peaceful surroundings and family interactions that is the beach house.

 Something that worked really well this year was to have our big boys sleep in a tent in the yard. I think they woke up early and went to bed late but they got to be outside in the cool quiet with the deer and their books.

 All around, our beach house trip was a win and another reason that summer can be okay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


  We make a brief and glorious trip to this spot to fill the boat up with gas and get ice cream just about once a summer. I thought these pictures of Eden's first trip to Kelly's deserved their own post.

Summer can be an okay season

Despite the sports-driven routine, despite the small structure we have put in place for our day, despite spending the months just prior to summer longing for a break from our school life, I often find myself restless and sometimes even a bit purposeless during the summer months. Summer has just never been a favorite time for me for various reasons.

Today I'll post pictures of things we've done recently that I have truly loved to remind myself of summer goodness.

James continues to take deep long naps in the afternoon, if I let him. On this day, he asked for Duplo legos to play with and I obliged. I would rather that he spend a little time playing alone in the afternoon during his Quiet Time than take a fullfledged nap. I checked on him ten minutes after I had shut the door and this is how I found him, with the cord of the fan in hand. Where we live, fans and summer go together.

Canning season happens during the summer. It has to because of the sun. I made raspberry jam a few weeks ago.

Earlier this summer, I made strawberry jam. Lots and lots of it. I think we've decided that we might go through a pint jar of jam once every 1-2 weeks. I'm set on making enough this year. We ran out in February this year! 

Daniel is so very into baseball right now. Today, he sat and listened to the Mariners lose on the radio while texting his Grandad as they rejoiced and moaned together over the ups and downs of the game. I love that he has time to do that during the summer.

Free kids' lunches at Ikea. That's right! 

And, of course, summer for us means a little vacation.

And, summer means we get to celebrate our anniversary, just the two of us. Maybe we should celebrate our anniversary quarterly during every season?