"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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I scared a teenage boy today....

I chuckled as I drove away from Starbucks today, the stricken look on that nice young man's face etched into my memory to share with you all later....

All he had done was ask, "So what are you up to today?" And when I told him that my girls and I had just come from their dance studio, where today was picture day for both their classes, this pleasant, maybe 17 year old boy followed up innocently with, "Oh, so was that fun?" As I laughed and began to describe the sparkly, multilayered outfits, the hours with the curling iron, the makeup, the ruffles, the feathers, the giggles, and SO MUCH GLITTER...his eyes got wider and wider, and this slightly panicked look began to creep over his face.

Valiantly trying to maintain the friendly Starbucks barista persona, he fumbled over how to continue the conversation and finally blurted out, "So, uh...how long does that take, with all the prep and then the pictures themselves?"

As I reflected on how early we'd started that morning, with showers and curling irons, I answered, "About four hours," and he audibly gulped. He handed over my drink and stared at me speechlessly. Taking pity on him, I added, "You know, you'll probably never have to do that!" He nodded, still wide eyed, and stammered, "Have a...nice...day...."

Poor guy! It really was a long morning, though. Ashley's beautiful thick hair alone took over an hour to curl in the hairstyle her class is wearing -- literally, over an hour! All three girls were fantastic little sports about it, Ashley and Hannah in being treated like rag dolls as I dressed, curled, and sparkled them, and Bethany in patiently watching and waiting.

It'll be a few weeks before we get the professional pictures back from the studio, but I do have a cute picture to post anyway; here are my silly girls blowing off steam once we got home from our full morning! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Once upon a time...

I rolled over reluctantly, knowing that morning had arrived, and groggily focused my sleep-heavy eyes on the glowing red numbers on my alarm clock. As my brain struggled to register that they read "8:08 am", my first thought was, I am going to kiss those girls a hundred times on their beautiful little faces for playing quietly enough that I could sleep this late. 

A moment later my heart skipped a beat as my second thought raced through my head: They have doctor appointments at 8:20!!!

And it gets better. These were new patient appointments -- you know, the ones for which the receptionist always tells you on the phone, "Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time, so that you can spend five minutes handing over your insurance card, photo id, and preferred method of payment and watch while our prehistoric computers scan them all excruciatingly slowly, and then five minutes staggering around the waiting room under the weight of all the paperwork you have to fill out, and finally spend the last five minutes getting intense cramps in your hand from writing like lightening as you rack your memory for obscure details about your ancient family medical history...." (Or, you know, she says something sort of like that.)

I allowed myself five seconds of motionless horror, and then adrenaline took over and hurtled my body out of bed. I flew to the foot of the stairs calling, "Girls! Are you up?! Can you please get dressed as quickly as you can, because we have to go to the doctor RIGHT NOW?!" Reassured by a cheerful chorus of agreement floating down toward me, I raced blindly around the bedroom, hopping out of my pajamas and pulling on the first clothes I saw. In the bathroom I tugged a comb through my sleep disheveled hair, gazed despairingly at my barely awake reflection for a moment, and then took the stairs two at a time to check on the girls.

To my intense relief, I found them finishing dressing, and told them to put on their shoes while I ran into the kitchen to grab my purse and granola bars that would have to serve as breakfast. Good job, mom! I thought guiltily. Take your kids to their doctor appointments without a proper breakfast! Glancing at the time quickly as we headed out to the car, I was impressed to find that it had taken us only five minutes to get to that point. All right! I thought as I hurtled into the van to buckle Bethany. We'll be late, but not TOO late! And then I smashed my head on the door frame.

Everything went into slow motion for a while. I remember being on my knees in the van, holding onto the back of a seat for support, and then I remember being on the floor with the girls hanging over me and calling me. Eventually I was able to stand up, and I took tylenol (kept in the car for just such an occasion!) for the headache that was clearly going to last all day, and walked around the car a few times to make sure the dizzy fog was cleared.

We live 12 minutes away from the doctor's office, and we were 12 minutes late. *sigh* Thankfully, the girls had consecutively scheduled appointments, so they took us even though we were late, and I got to fill out mountains of paperwork while the girls had their exams. Did you know that little kids' exams come with all sorts of fun, probing questions? Oh yes...

"What sort of diet do they eat?"

Oh, you know, the usual...granola bars flung at them from the front seat as we drive down the road.

"Are they able to dress themselves at all?"

Yep, good thing, too! Because they have to dress for the doctor completely on their own at the speed of light while their mom races around the house like a half asleep madwoman!

"Do you consider your home to be a safe environment for them?"

Please don't notice the giant swollen lump on my head, please don't notice the giant swollen lump on my head....

The girls were fantastic, loved their new doctor, and didn't cry when they got shots. I have incredible children -- even if, when we finally made it home, I hung up my jacket and discovered that I had spent the whole morning with a big Tinkerbell sticker right on the front of it. Mother of the year, that's me....

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Springtime on the farm!

Okay, so my parents' place might not technically be a farm. But with five acres of both countryside and woods, with a huge garden and a greenhouse and fruit trees, with a bonfire pit and a volleyball court and a crazy high treehouse, and with goats and ducks and chickens and a dog and a cat, I am pretty sure the girls think of it as the most perfect of farms! They have helped Papa plant trees and work in the garden, helped Grandma feed and milk the goats, helped their aunties and uncle taking care of the ducks and chickens...so many memories that I'm thrilled for them to be building.

This week I took them up to "the farm" for a day of adoring the five new baby goats which were all born to one mama (!!!) last week. These babies weigh just over two pounds each! They are ridiculously cute, and the girls fell in love...

Of course, they desperately want one...according to Ashley, they would even rather have a baby goat than a puppy. I told her I would rather have a baby goat than a puppy as well, but unfortunately, baby goats don't stay babies! 

My little sisters also took the girls out in their canoe, for rides around the mini lake created by the spring melt-off plus all the rain we've been having. I considered going out and snapping pictures for all of about three seconds, but then I realized that would mean getting up from the cozy seat where I'd settled my pregnant self after lunch to discuss homeschooling with my mum. Ahem.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resurrection day!

Happy Resurrection day to all of you! We were gifted with the most beautiful of days today to celebrate Jesus' victory over death, and the day started out perfectly with the girls bounding out of their beds and trilling, "He is risen!" with such joy and delighted smiles...ahhhhh, we are so blessed! They showed us how to celebrate today, talking excitedly of what Jesus has done with everyone they met, from friends at church, to a waiter in a restaurant (who looked very uncertain, but smiling!), to the little girl next door. Once again I realize how new and fresh these precious little girls are making my own faith each day, as I watch how new and fresh it is to them.

We made "empty tomb biscuits" this evening. My mum reminded me of them when I was looking for ideas on how to celebrate Easter with the girls this year, and I'm so glad she did because they worked perfectly! Here's how they work.... (And please forgive the bad lighting and the messy house, I was cleaning up from dinner still!)
First you take marshmallows and refrigerator biscuits....

...then wrap the biscuit around the marshmallow, being careful to seal  it all around, and bake!

Once they come out of the oven, you gather around them and grin for the camera....

Cut open the biscuit and voila! It's empty, just like Jesus' tomb!

The girls were on pins and needles while the biscuits baked, so hopeful that they would turn out to be empty, but still they were completely amazed when they actually were empty. Kind of seems like a perfect analogy to me. :)

And finally, Lamont was wonderful and took a picture of the girls with me while we were dressed up this morning. Actually, he took about 27 pictures, because in the first 26 of them Hannah had her eyes closed because she claimed the sun was too bright. I treasure pictures of me with the girls, because they are rare, so it was worth the 27 takes it required!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tidbits from Tuesday....

At dinner tonight we were talking about Easter, about what it means and why we celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection (and why it doesn't have anything to do with plastic eggs or bunnies!). The girls have been learning lots of new Bible verses from a singalong cd lately, and it was precious to hear Hannah tell her daddy, "I know how we know what love is, it's because Jesus laid down His life for us!" So we segued into talking about love, and Lamont was telling the girls what the Bible says that love is (1 Corinthians 13), and when he got to the part that says that love is not rude, he asked the girls if they know what rudeness is. Ashley had two very inventive examples....

"Stepping on someone's head is really rude!",


"If someone was just about to get eaten up by a lion, and they called out to their friend who was standing nearby and said, 'Please help me!', and their friend said, 'Sorry, not right now, you have fun with that!', then that would be pretty rude."



I took out the garbage and returned to the house to find Hannah waiting for me in the doorway, eager to announce, "Hi Mummy, I'm a water buffalo!"


Ashley randomly started bemoaning the fact that she doesn't get presents except for her birthday and Christmas. (I know, such a thankful heart, right?) I pointed out that gifts aren't always wrapped up and tied with a bow, and said, "For example, when I brought home your new bike last weekend, that was kind of a present, wasn't it?"

"Not really...", she said.

"Well then, what was it?" I asked in confusion.

And with a cheeky grin she replied, "On sale."