"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, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving! This is our very cool thanksgiving tree, the idea for which was shamelessly stolen from my friend Hallie. The best part? Both the tree and the candles are sitting in coffee beans. Decadent, right??

We created the tree a couple of weeks ago, and the girls and I have been slowly adding leaves, writing on each of them something for which we are thankful. It has been neat to hear what makes them thankful, some of which are funny (when Daddy plays tickle monster!), and some of which are really profound (mercy). Hannah made me smile this morning as we were adding our final leaves and she said, "Mummy, I think you need to write 'Starbucks' on a leaf because you are thankful for that!"

Giving thanks to God for His tireless love and passion, and for grace which is new every morning....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Operation Christmas Child is a success at our house!

Last week the girls and I packed their first Operation Christmas Child box. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here: www.samaritanspurse.org/occ -- you'll be glad you did!) First we went through their toys/crafts looking for anything that was brand new or in perfect condition. We ended up with only two things we could send -- a little green teddy bear that has apparently never been snuggled (sad! glad that will be remedied!) and a little set of bracelets that looked brand new -- but I was so blessed by their attitudes as we looked through their things. They not only wanted to send pretty much everything they have to the little girl who will get their box, but they specifically targeted their favorite toys and most loved snugglies. Willing and eager to give away their favorite things...I'm so proud of these girlies!

Yesterday we took the box to church with us, and ever since we left it there Bethany has been frequently asking me, "Does the little girl have her Christmas box yet?" I am so excited that there is now an option to "follow your box" online, and can't wait to get the email telling us where our box went so that the girls and I can learn all about the country where their little girl lives.

They had so much fun with it and really internalized the joy of giving what we have to others. They also wanted to do much more than one box -- next year they'll each do their own!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five on Friday

Trying out the Five on Friday format now! Incidentally, it was supposed to snow yesterday. It didn't, and it still hasn't...so we are living on borrowed time, and I am loving it. ;-) Hannah said yesterday, in that slightly wistful way that only a three year old can manage, "Once it snows on top of the pretty leaves, I don't think we will get to see the leaves ever again, will we?" So stay away, nasty snow -- do you really want to make my three year old sad?!

1) Last weekend, Ashley got to fly to Seattle with Lamont for a couple of days! She was so excited about it, and counted the days until her trip for at least a month beforehand. Her only other flight was when we went to Chicago when she was eight months old, and of course she doesn't remember that, so she was just giddy with joy over the plane ride. Lamont sent me this picture on his phone when they were in the plane....

(Yes, she does appear to be wearing a lei in this picture. I'm not sure what that is about!) She got to sit by the window, and look down at the clouds -- she was specifically hoping for clouds so that she could see if they look the same from above as they do from below -- and even go into the cockpit for a few minutes after they landed. I missed her! And she had such an amazing time. When they got home, she sat on my lap and talked nonstop for over half an hour...full of life and full of stories, I love it. :-)

2.) On Wednesday Ashley was gone overnight again, this time to go to AWANA with my younger sisters and then stay with my family for most of the next day as well. (And um, it's cool that she's growing up and having all these adventures, but when she's gone we really miss her!) So Thursday morning I took the little girls out for breakfast -- to McDonalds, because I'm classy like that. It was fun to get to hang out with just the two of them, and it's so much easier to have conversations with two instead of three! This was them discovering that they could blow bubbles in their orange juice, which I started to stop them from doing, and then realized there was really no reason to say no and it was just one of those parent things that drive kids crazy with their senselessness. So blow bubbles we did.

3) I apologize for the terrible, terrible picture quality (the lighting was bad and, well...we were trying to do a self portrait of four people, what do you expect??), but here is a picture of us this evening, out to dinner with our wonderful friends Ashley and Cameron. It's Ashley's birthday tomorrow, and we were celebrating a day early. Such a fun night! It's so nice to get out as just the four of us sometimes, with no fruit snacks or diapers or sippy cups involved. Happy birthday, Ashley!

Funny story -- after our waiter called me "ma'am" for about the tenth time, I complained about it to our table when he had left: "He keeps calling me ma'am!" A different waiter, walking up behind me, chimed in instantly with, "What was that, MA'AM?", with a big grin. I glared and everyone else laughed, and he proceeded to toss a "ma'am" my way the next several times he passed by. Then when he came by for the last time as we were standing up to leave, to make sure we didn't need anything else, he looked at me with that big grin again as he started to speak, and I cut him off with, "Don't you say it!" So he paused and then stuttered out, "Uh...studly!"

4) I cut Hannah's hair this afternoon. That is only noteworthy because I've been trying to let it grow out for months...it's just been driving her nuts, though, and growing so slowly. And the mop of ringlets all over her head is SO adorable, and we miss it! So it's back. :-) I did take a before picture, so maybe tomorrow I'll get an after, and get them up here.

5) And this is just because this picture makes me so happy.... Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Do you all know what day it is??

I certainly hope that everyone remembers what day it is today! This is a big day, a truly momentous day -- a day so noteworthy, that I hear there are plans in the works to make it a national holiday.

(No. I made that last part up. But it should be true.)

And so, on this beautiful November 1st, I wish you all a very happy Starbucks Holiday Cups day!!

My friend Kayley came over for our weekly visit this morning, and she brought me a Starbucks macchiato, not only because Starbucks+macchiato=WIN, but because she knew this was the very first day of holiday cups and she knew that it would make my entire day to get to celebrate the first day of holiday cups with my very own holiday cup IN MY HAND. That is the kind of friend she is. *sniff*

"When we're together, snowmen come to life."

They're talking about me, and about Starbucks holiday cups. True story. It's perfect, right? We may not be getting our first snow until Thursday, but somewhere, snowmen came to life today!