Wednesday, December 31, 2008


When Kate was about eighteen months old she learned her colors. We were so proud of her, and of course we wanted her to show off her new skill. Her favorite thing to do then… Everything was yellow. That green turtle—she called it yellow. The red fire truck—yellow. The black dress—yellow. One day her aunt asked her what color her shirt was (it was yellow, so we were sure to get the right answer, weren’t we?)—PINK!

Well, Kate finally gave up on that game, but now she’s using the same strategy on her letters. We know that she knows some of them, but she will say anything but the right letter. I was trying so hard with her yesterday that I had to walk away from it for awhile.

I know that she’s testing us, but sometimes the right solution eludes me at that moment. We made a new rule now. She has to do her letter work, just a few minutes, before she can play with her computer. It makes sense, because some of the games are letter related, so she needs to practice her letters anyway. It gives her a reason to work on what we want her to learn, and it gives us both a little power—I hold the keys to the computer and she can choose to work or not (but of course she wants her screen time).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I have to admit I have an addiction. I spent time out of our Christmas trip to visit our parents to feed it. I even did it on Christmas Day. When everyone else is spending time with family and friends…I was doing laundry.

I beginning to think there is some sort of elf that makes extra laundry around here. I washed three loads yesterday and the hamper is full again today. How does that happen? We’re not people who change our clothes several times a day. I’m not eternally changing sheets and towels out. Eight or nine loads a week. Really? Where did it come from?

Maybe next time I’ll write about the gnome who dirties all the dishes. Seriously…look at all these dishes.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow Driving

We left over a week ago to do our Christmas traveling. We checked the weather and decided not to drive all the way to Louisville the first night because they were forecasting freezing rain that afternoon. We’d had about two inches of snow here, but we were sure that wouldn’t be a problem. We’d just stop in St. Louis for the night. It would make for a longer drive the next day, but still get us to Ohio on time.

We pulled out of our driveway onto our snow covered road. As we turned onto the main road it wasn’t any clearer. We chuckled as we saw not one, but two of the city trucks with their plows up. It was just a couple of blocks to the interstate, where surely it would be clear, right? It was only a couple of inches and it hadn’t fallen that fast. Wrong.

The interstate was a mess. We couldn’t see the lines. People were sort of trying to stay in lanes. We decided we would have to turn around, but of course with traffic at a near stand still it took quite some time to get to the next exit. There the road was ever so slightly better and we had ruts to follow, where there was bare pavement. As we crossed into Missouri an amazing thing happened—the lanes had been cleared. We were very grateful for MODOT.

As the day continued our “short trip” to St. Louis took over seven hours, but the roads were improving. We even got caught behind some of those wonderful plows that had cleared the way. They were slow going, so we had to be patient, but we were so grateful for the job they had done.

Christmas Time

Christmas with children is, well, interesting.

We spent time with our families before Christmas, driving to Ohio to spend some time with Justin’s family and stopping briefly in Bowling Green on our way back. Kate handled the trip well. She did decide she needed to have the door cracked or a night light. The second night at the “Welcome Inn” (where we stayed while visiting his folks) we left the door cracked for Kate. A few minutes later she was screaming. Justin went back to check on her and she was yelling, “You did it! You did it to me!” The door had shut because the furnace kicked on. We used a shoe to prop it after that. Gabby started getting up earlier each day for the entire trip…culminating in a 4:55 wake-up on the day we left to drive home. Yikes.

While we were at Nan and Pop’s in Ohio Kate decided that she had three older siblings. I’ll call them the A triplets—she named them Axil, Axis, and Axin. While we were there, Gabby also started walking several steps at a time.

At Gam and PawPaw’s Kate handed out presents for the whole family. After she handed out the fifth present she said, “I’m going to be so sore tomorrow!” We all laughed so hard. Gabby was so tired during dinner the last night that she fell asleep while eating.

We got home on Christmas Eve at about six-thirty. It was a long drive, but uneventful. We got the girls off to bed so Santa could come.

Christmas morning brought packages and excitement. Kate had two favorites from her presents, an umbrella and a laptop with educational games. She spent a lot of time flitting back and forth between things yesterday and couldn’t seem to settle anywhere. Gabby enjoyed her booster seat, which she used as a stool to climb into the chairs until it was put at the dining room table for her. She also really likes the echo phones we got both of the girls. She wasn’t as impressed with the Cabbage Patch preemie I thought she would adore.

We had a family Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings and read the Christmas story from Kate’s toddler’s Bible that afternoon.

It was not the day I pictured in my mind, but it was a good day.

I hope that you have had a joyous Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How Literal

Kate while playing with the Nativity set (specifically baby Jesus in the manger):

Animal voice: "That's our lunch."

Mary: "No, no, that's our baby!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

To Santa or Not to Santa

We’ve started talking to Kate about the poverty in the world and she gets it in a child’s way. The other day she wanted to know what we could do for someone in particular. When I started to answer her question, she stopped and me and said, “But she’ll get gifts from Santa.”

Hmmm. What a conundrum. I want her to enjoy the Santa myth. Goodness knows it took several years and a few “expert opinions” to convince my husband to go along with it. At the same time, I want her to know the need is very real. I told her that, “Santa can’t do it by himself.” The need is too great.

Perhaps that’s a good reminder to us. God expects us to do His work here on earth. It's easy to live our sheltered little lives, allowing ourselves to believe that Santa/God will take care of everyone else. We are His instruments. Just like Santa needs our help, God expects us to do good here. I won’t say He needs us. He is the creator of the whole universe. I think He can handle things just fine, but He expects us to do it. He blesses us to let us do it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Party

Last night we went to the annual Christmas Party. Poor Gabby was so tired she fell asleep for awhile, but Kate had a great time. She likes to mingle with people. She ate three plates worth of food, impressing one of Justin’s colleagues and his wife.

At one point she announced, “It’s past my bed time.” I guess she thought the party was going too long. Nevermind it was past her bedtime when we got there.

We played a game of Christmas movie trivia. Our table lost. We were trounced. We claimed ageism, since we were younger than all the other tables. We didn’t watch It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. I have to admit they tried to give ones for our generation, but none of us had seen Elf. Kate some how managed to get one of the prizes though. There was an extra one and the winning table let her take home a prize too. She calls it her present and she loves it.


Advent at our house this year has been great! Kate loves it so much. We’ve structured our evening times to really celebrate this year, since she’s really at the age to “get” it. Every night we light our advent wreath over dinner. After dinner we read the verses from a card that I got a few years ago that go along with each of the candles. When we all get situated back in the living room, we open the box my dad built for us. We pull out the item in the drawer and discuss its significance to the Christmas story. We’ve been using a little nativity set pieces and I have some little ornaments, plus a set of bells for Sunday night—we’re going to be caroling and I though the girls might enjoy ringing along too. After that we sing some carols. Favorites this year have been “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and “Joy to the World.” Baby Gabby even said Jesus one night when we were talking about him.

The girls also love playing with the Fisher Price Little People Nativity. They’ve been evangelizing on our pirate ship too. Maybe that’s how they made their trip to Egypt?!? Probably not, but hey.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just fun!

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated

You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys

Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.

And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Home again

Long time no blog…

The girls and I took a three week trip to visit my parents (Gam & PawPaw), so that’s why no posts for so long.

It’s odd to leave your home for that long with just a few suitcases and your daughters. Oh yeah, and your husband too. Actually we were apart for only two weeks because he came with us to go to a wedding and he came back in for Thanksgiving.

We were able to be at one of Justin’s high school buddies wedding in Evansville, be there for my mom's birthday, attend a family reunion for my dad’s family (including a birthday party for my Grannie), attend a 50th anniversary party for the minister who married us, take Kate to an advent workshop, have Thanksgiving with our families (Justin’s parents came too), meet Justin’s parents for a hiking trip, and so much more. It was quite a full trip.

Gabby took her first steps. She took two steps toward Justin on his first night back. She hasn't walked since, but we'll be there soon enough.

Of course Kate had some great quotes while we were gone…

While out to lunch with my sister:

Kate: I like chips

Holly: Mmm-Hmm.

A few minutes later…

Kate: I like chips.

Holly: Okay.

Kate: Sometimes my Daddy shares his chips with me.

Man she’s good! And she got some of Holly’s chips.


"I see my 'flection," when looking at Holly's new laptop.


“I’m a little grown-up.”


Then the other day in the van…

“I want to be a little girl forever.”

“But Kate, we all grow up.”

“But then I won’t have parents.”

So sweet. Not true--since she'll always be my little girl, but still so sweet.