"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little pig, little pig, let me in!

Bethany, in a deep, gruff voice: "Little pig, little pig, let me in!"

Ashley, in a painfully high-pitched squeal: "Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!"

Hannah, trying her best to growl menacingly: "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll bloooooow your house down!"

All three girls blow out perfectly synchronized deep breaths, and then collapse on the floor in a fit of pig squeals and giggles.


We've been playing out that scene a lot lately. Apparently the sound effects are extra hilarious in the car, where the girls love to get me to play the big bad wolf, and after I growl at them to let me come in, they respond with an amazing three part pig harmony of squeals at unbelievable decibels.

A few other unrelated funny or special tidbits that I'm wanting to get written down before I lose them....

Two evenings ago Bethany was having a spot of fussiness, and began whining at her sister over a toy. I glanced up at her and, interpreting my look correctly, she decided not to wait for my correction...she took off for the bedroom, and sat down on her bed for a timeout. As we realized what she was doing and started laughing about it, our terrifically indignant two year old came running back into the livingroom, planted her feet with purpose, and shouted, "Don't laugh at me! Ok guys?!"

We had salad with lunch today -- Hannah and Bethany each had two big bowls full, and Ashley had three! They kept wanting more and more. There are a lot of things that I still do wrong food-wise and I still have a lot to learn about providing really healthy and nutritious meals for my family, but it makes my heart so happy to see that my children eat green salad like it's candy! (I don't know if any of you remember my somewhat cryptic comment on my blog about a month ago about how I'm making little forays into the world of more organic foods, but it's been a good thing so far, and I'm just so blessed that my girls welcome it.)

That said...my always sweet and never devious (ha!) Ashley cuddled up to me on the couch the other day and said, "You are the best mummy in the world, I love you so much!" As my heart began to melt and I hugged her close, she then turned to me with bright eyes and a grin she was trying to hide as she asked, "And did you know that we still have ice cream in the freezer??"

And the best for last! I've been telling the girls a lot of stories of Jesus lately -- we've been enjoying reading the Bible together at either breakfast or lunch, and after we've read a new story, inevitably we'll spend a few days discussing it repeatedly, or the girls will have additional questions that come up as they think about it. It is so much fun, and I love their responses. But today I choked and then burst out laughing in the middle of Hannah's prayer at lunchtime when she nonchalantly prayed, "Thank you, God, for this food and for the sunshine...and please turn my water into wine!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On tigers and tickles...

This morning was a typical morning for me and my girlies...which is to say, there was really nothing typical about it at all. After all, who needs to get dressed and have breakfast, anyway? It is so much more fun to chase each other around the livingroom and then collapse to the floor in fits of tickles and giggles! Even better if the giggles subside into cuddling on the floor while discussing the relative merits of airplanes vs. helicopters. Naturally, such a conversation will evolve into "flying" on Mummy's feet while I lie on my back with my legs up in the air, which ends up mimicking a possibly drunk seagull more than either an airplane or a helicopter, but that's ok. Incidentally, flying a 2 year old, followed by a 3 year old, followed by a 4 year old...and then doing it again, and again, and again...well, it is fantastic exercise!

Eventually we made it to the breakfast table, where we sat and did very little eating and quite a bit of spirited conversation about tigers. Why not? Tigers and Thursdays go very well together. It was actually a spinoff conversation from the one we had a few days ago about bears...and the one a few days before that about alligators.... The girls are on a predatory animal kick. Mainly these conversations focus on what one should do in the unlikely event that one should face a raging bear, alligator, or tiger. (No, I don't bring up these topics to my very young children! They are quite focused on this right now for some reason, so I just try to keep the conversation light.) It was decided, for instance, that if one is faced with an angry bear, it would be a great idea for one to pull a fish out of one's back pocket (where one handily happens to be keeping a fish at that moment) and throw it to the bear. This would of course be seen as a peace offering, and one would be sent on one's merry way by a grateful bear. In the case of an angry alligator, on the other hand, it was suggested that one would be wise to point out to the alligator that one is not, in fact, a fish oneself, and therefore would not make a good meal for the alligator. This apparently would prompt the alligator to change its mood and slink back into the water, allowing one to continue to play without further alligator harrassment.

Anyway, we did not reach the point of determining a strategy for handling an angry tiger, because the girls got stuck on the fact that a tiger is a big cat. They had trouble believing that, so Google images came to the rescue! Our breakfasts continued cooling while we ooh-ed and aah-ed over pictures of beautiful tigers like this one:

Hannah especially loved every picture I could find of tigers in the water. Her "favorite" changed with every new water picture she saw. Ashley and Bethany were partial to baby tiger pictures, and this one was their favorite:

So cute! I think this was the picture that finally convinced Ashley that tigers really are cats. She was a little perturbed because, as she said, "Kitties are nice and gentle, but tigers are usually a little bit mean, so I don't think they should be kitties."

It took us way longer than usual to get through our morning tasks and breakfast today, but you know what? Breakfast can be reheated -- tickles and tigers must be enjoyed whenever they come along!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baby fever again...

Well folks, it's that time again! The oft recurring occasion on which I wax eloquent about my longing for a new baby... No, really. If you'd gotten to spend an hour cuddling this little guy, you would feel the same way! This is baby Eli, my newest honorary nephew. (That makes 5 nephews and 2 nieces -- such wealth!) Cute as a bug, isn't he? He opened his eyes enough to peek at me, and gave me kisses, so clearly he loves me and wants me to cuddle him forever and ever amen. This was Ashley's opinion of him....
She kept begging to hold him just one more time, please!, and told me on our way home afterward, "I was just teasing when I said I wanted a puppy more than a baby brother. I think I want a baby brother more."

And Hannah was completely unperturbed by him crying on her watch, and just kept snuggling him and giving him little kisses. So sweet!

Now, I have recently been told that I talk about wanting a new baby "like every week". The person who said that shall remain nameless -- but Erika, you know who you are. ;-) However, I am kind of pathetic about it. I know that. And I don't see my pathetic-ness changing anytime soon. So my baby fever will probably continue to be a regular guest speaker on my blog! But when it comes accompanied by pictures of cutie pies like my new little nephew, hopefully you all will keep putting up with me. :-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Someday my prince will come...

I know there is a deep question coming when her eyes get that far away look. It may be an expression, but you truly can just about see the wheels turning in her little mind. Then slowly...slowly...her head turns toward me and her thoughtful look focuses on me for a moment before she speaks, and then it comes:

"Mummy, I'm very worried, because I don't know how to get married. I know I'm growing into a lady and it is almost time for me to get married, but I don't know how. And I keep trying to remember when you and Daddy got married so I can know how to do it, but I can't remember. And I don't know who I will marry, either. I don't know when I will be old enough and I feel like I need to know all of those things. Do you think God can teach me?"

Then I wrap her up in my arms, and I ache inside at the knowledge that my baby girl is looking so very far ahead into the future and seeing that it is in fact very close, and dreaming in beautiful innocence of a day when she will no longer be my dimpled little pixie child, but the strong and lovely woman whom God is helping her already to become. And I assure her that He will teach her all those things and more when the time comes, but that right now He delights in her girlish laughter, and her sparkling eyes, and her silly bare feet, and her twirling dances. I tell her that she is His princess and she need never worry for her future, because she has the King for her father.

And she lifts her bright, trusting face to mine, and her little girl smile holds the beauty of womanhood all unknowing in it, and she runs off to play as a child once again. And I weep.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mom's morning out!

I've been given the privilege of heading up a new church ministry called "Mom's Morning Out". The general idea is for moms like me (yay!) with young children at home to be able to get together and share stories and encouragement and prayer, and generally love and support each other. I'm really excited about the relationship building opportunity here, because we have a lot of young moms who really don't seem to feel connected to other women, and that makes being a wife and mom so.much.harder. So there is so much potential here for us to build encouraging relationships with each other, and I really cannot over state how eager I am to see where God takes this! Today was our first morning together (we're having our "morning out" twice a month), and it was so much fun to get to know each other more. Today we had an older mom (said with much love, Val!) come and share with us some of her motherhood story and experiences -- it was great, and I hope to have lots of moms who have been through the journey and raised children into Godly adults, willing to come share their time and stories with us. I have lots of other fun ideas, too, for activities we can do together. Basically...YAY for the entire thing! ;-)
Women becoming sisters...yay!

Little girls playing ring-around-a-rosy while they wait for their mums to finish talking...yay!

Daddies (who generously shared their time to help with childcare) helping themselves to our goodies while they thought we weren't looking...um, yay?