Monday, January 30, 2006

The Many Faces of Ethan

Hmmm, the serpent from one of the "Godzilla" movies?

Your guess is as good as mine!

Definitely Godzilla!

The face I know and love the best!

one more, just for fun...

You Are 30% "Average American"

You are average because you wouldn't pay to go in space.

You are not average since you don't think affirmative action is necessary.
Do you think this qualifies me as being "in, but not of"?


Gummy Bears

You may be smooshie and taste unnatural, but you're so darn cute.

"Ginger Lisa"

Who Should Paint You: Roy Lichtenstein

Larger than life, your personality overshadows everyone in the room
A painter would tend to portray you with a bit of added flair!

Think saying I am larger than life is just a nice way of saying overbearing??

Friday, January 27, 2006

Movie Night

One of our kids' favorite pastimes is to watch movie previews on the computer. Both and have sections were you can watch movie previews. The other night after dinner, Emma wanted to watch a preivew for the movie "Curious George". Then Ethan requested "Chicken Little". Soon, it was a movie preview fest. I didn't realize how many good kid movies have recently or soon will come out. Our Netflix list is getting pretty full. We may even take the kids to see one or two in the theaters.
By the way, some of the songs on the "Curious George" movie are by Jack Johnson... I think this is a kid movie we will all really like!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Just A Spoonful Of Sugar...

You may recall my post several weeks ago about shopping with Emma. It is generally disasterous. Yesterday was no exception. Elliott met me, Ethan and Emma for lunch yesterday, and then we went to the mall to do some exchanging. It was disasterous from the moment we got out of the car in the parking lot. Elliott was on a phone call in his car several spots away from us, but he could hear Emma screaming at the top of her lungs. The problem? I had unbuckled her seatbelt instead of letting her "help" me. She did okay at Q'doba... she was eating a favorite of beans, rice and cheese... but then at the mall she didn't want to cooperate. (Oh, wait, she did cooperate in GAP when she saw a dress she wanted me to buy for her... She's only 2, am I creating a Princess?)
Today, however, we went back to Meijer, and I think she is finally old enough and knows the routine enough that I may not have to put off trips to the grocery store. It helps that our market has free balloons and pink carousel ponies the kids can ride for 1 cent. I have started rewarding Emma for staying with me. She gets to ride the pony and choose a balloon AFTER the shopping is done. When she starts getting uncooperative, I just remind her she has to do what I ask if she wants a balloon. Works like a charm! I hope the store never stops giving out balloons! Ah, it was so pleasant and fun to go shopping with her today. This may be the start of a beautiful (shopping) relationship!

Which is cooler: Dinos or Bugs?

This is Emma with her cousin Bentley last April. Bentley's mom sent me a cute email this morning:
"Bentley was just putting a bug puzzle together upstairs. He stopped and asked me why Andrew likes bugs, and Ethan likes dinosaurs. I told him that I didn't know. He asked if it was "because big people don't like as cool of things as little people?" I asked if Andrew was a big person, and he said that Andrew is bigger than "Ethan and me. He's 6!" I thought it was pretty funny. "
That is so cute. I am sad that these cousins don't see each other more often. They are the perfect age for each other. We have to content ourselves with getting together once a year. Thank goodness the interenet makes it so easy for us all to send pictures and messages back and forth. Bentley, we'll see you in July!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dr. Suess and other such nonesense...

These pictures really have nothing to do with anything... I just like them.. It is crazy to think that eventually my two cute little boys will be old enough to go on a mission like their uncles Charles and Hugh... Charles is the one towering over all the Peruvians in the top picture.

Ethan is well on his way to becoming a contributing member of society... He is learning to read. This morning he finished "Hop on Pop" by Dr. Suess. It is so fun to see him sounding out words and understanding what he is reading. Very thrilling for him too!

In other news, Emma is as endearing as always. Her newest thing is to come up to me with her arms outstretched for me to pick her up and say, "Mommy, I pick you up." She also likes to run around and "dance" like a ballerina. Thank goodness for video cameras!

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Piano Man

Andrew started taking piano lessons about 3 months ago. He is doing really well, and his teacher is very impressed with how quickly he is picking up the instrument. He has just graduated to the grand staff. Yesterday, he started a couple of new books, and today he told me that he still had his old books, so he could start teaching Ethan the piano if I wanted him to. He is very thoughtful that way! I told him it was up to Ethan, and Ethan agreed to start lessons tomorrow. Andrew has also helped Ethan with his reading and spelling. Isn't he a great big brother?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Today was a glorious day in Indiana. It was too nice to pass up going outside to play. Ethan settled in to the treehouse to play with his stretchy dragons (why is it that the most inexpensive toys are always the favorites?) and Emma got some riding in on her "bike"... the boys' old Hotwheels bigwheel. Every time we get out of the Yukon, no matter what the weather is like, she runs over to the bigwheel and wants to ride it. I was so happy to have a day with not a lot to do especially as it is supposed to be in the 60's today. Of course, true to Indiana form, it is supposed to snow tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

I hate it when all the best plans get derailed! I am having trouble deciding which sashing square I should use in this quilt. Do you prefer the dark red, or the lighter red with the swirls? I am thinking the lighter red is a little too boring... the darker red gives a little more kick to the quilt. But Elliott prefers the lighter red. By the way, the border will be half square triangles of the background fabric and the dark brown (same as the corner stars.)
So, which do you prefer? (Click on the quilt to see a larger version.)

Monday, January 09, 2006

All things bright and beautiful

Tonight's Family Home Evening lesson was about "The Creation". This lesson (and many other great lessons) was from The lesson has you take apart a clickable pen, and ask the children if they think the pen can put itself back together. After they say no (or yes, as the case may be!) all the pen parts go together in a bag, and each child has a turn shaking the pen, and then seeing if the parts went back together on their own. Of course, they don't. We then explained that our bodies and this Earth are a lot more complicated than the pen. If the pen can't put itself together, than neither can we. The Earth couldn't form itself either. Andrew then put the pen back together, and we explained that just as a pen has to have a maker, so do we too have a maker. Our maker and the creator of the Earth is Jesus Christ, who was fulfilling God's commandment by creating all these wonderful things. We talked about this a little more, and then Ethan asked, "Who created Jesus?" "Heavenly Father did." Andrew's question, "Who created Heavenly Father?" Hmmm... good question.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mini me

Princess Emma has decided that my new sewing machine is hers. I think it stems from the fact that when I got my new machine, Elliott took the old one (a Brother) off the table and told Emma it would be hers one day. I put the new Janome machine away for a while so I could finish piecing a quilt I started before I got it (that way the seam allowances will match), and put the Brother back on my sewing table. Two days ago Emma walked into my sewing room, saw the Janome sitting on the floor, and said "Emma towing machine!" I told her no, that was my machine, and of course, in the best two year old voice she could muster, said, "NO, MY TOWING MACHINE!" It was hilarious!
I am glad she has such an early interest in sewing! Actually, like her mother, she also loves fabric. She loves to play with the scrap basket at the quilt shop, and get into my discarded cuttings at home. Unlike her mother, she also loves to clean. If I ask her to put away the toys she dumped out of a bin, she says, "OK" and goes right over and gets it done. For Christmas we had to buy her her own broom and vacuum because she wouldn't let me do the chores without her "help". I know that this is the age when all kids like to do these types of jobs (mimicing their mother or father) but with Emma it really is a passion.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Neverending Story

Birthdays and Christmas at our house seem to go on forever. It seems like we usually have at least two birthday parties (one family and one friend) and then we also end up getting presents sent to us from grandparents. The past two years, we have celebrated Christmas one or two days early here at our house, then celebrated it twice in California, once with Elliott's family and once with my family.
This year a few of our presents were too big to take on the airplane. So some of "Santa's Elves", as Fed Ex and UPS are affectionately known around here, delivered them today: a big pasta pot for me from my mom, and a Roboraptor for Ethan and this awesome Plasma Car for Andrew (from Grandma and Grandpa.)
We were so excited we had to go out to the driveway and test out the plasma car. It was an awesome ride! Can't wait for it to warm up a little so we can really let this baby go!

Count your many blessings, name them one by one

It is a dreary day out today. Maybe not as cold as usual, although it is supposed to snow this weekend, but a dreary day none the less. Of course, the sad news of the miners who lost their lives doesn't help. I just felt so sick when I heard the news. My prayers go out to them... I hope the Lord will comfort them through this very difficult time.
It is days like today when I look around me and count the many blessings I have.

I have a wonderful husband and some dang adorable children. A beautiful home that keeps us warm and safe from the elements. I have lots of great friends, and live in a friendly and beautiful part of the country. In the spring, lots of beautiful flowers will pop out of the ground and adorn our house with brillant color.

Finally, I have a knowledge that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that when we trust in him, our lives will be more full. I don't pretend to know why bad things happen. Why did all of those miners die when so many of us were praying for their safe return? I don't know. I do know that we can have hope and comfort in Christ. That through him we can return to God, be resurrected, and that we can be eternal families. This knowledge keeps me going more than anything else.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

...And A Happy New Year!

'Tis the season for New Year's Resolutions. I figure if I go public with mine, maybe I will stick with them better! Here goes:
1. I resolve to be more patient with my children
2. I resolve to finish quilting and binding the quilts lurking in my quilt cupboard, including:
a. Mom's blue flying geese quilt
b. Elliott's hawaiian patchwork quilt
c. The black, white, and blue swap quilt
d. My victoria's crown quilt
e. Emma's butterfly quilt
f. My family room quilt
(wow, that is a depressing amount of quilts!)
3. I resolve to read the scriptures more faithfully
4. I resolve to keep my house cleaner
5. (I know these don't usually work, but here goes) I resolve to lose 7 lbs. before we go to Hawaii in a few months.

And how, you ask, will she accomplish all of these?

#'s 1 and 4 will be easier if I spend more time doing activities with my children... At least, that is how it has been in the past. So I will start playing with them more, and having them help me more.
#3 means I will have to start setting the alarm a little earlier in the morning, and get up to read then.
#2 will be accomplished in the evening after the kids have gone to bed. When Elliott and I are relaxing in the basement, I will pull out a quilt each night, instead of just sitting there (I have already started on this one!)
and #5 I will have to get rid of all the junk in our house, stop eating when I am bored, and start exercising more! One pound a week shouldn't be too hard.

Maybe each Sunday I will update my progress on the blog, as a way to make sure I stay true to those resolutions! Check back soon!

Monday, January 02, 2006

B*I*N*G*O* and Bingo was his name-o

It's official... Ethan is a reader! He got some new beginning reading books for Christmas, and Elliott sat down with him the other day to help him. He already knew most letter sounds, and loves to write stories (with help from mom and dad) for the pictures he draws. He was going along really well in the beginning readers, and yesterday, after church, he just sat down by himself and started reading. I was so proud. We are going to go to the library later this week to get more books at his level so he will have a little variety.
When I was growing up, the beginning reader books were the Dick and Jane books. I remember sitting on a little red stool in the kitchen (that had the saying "step up to be tall, sit down to be small" painted on it), reading the books out loud to Mom, the summer before kindergarten. We always participated in the summer reading program at the neighborhood library, and looked forward to the end of summer celebration.
I still love to read. Jane Austen is my favorite novelist... her books really get to the core of human character. I have read every book she has written, along with one she started that was finished by a different author, and a follow up to Pride and Prejudice written completely by someone else. I also enjoy biographies... my favorite so far was of Mary, the spanish Tudor (Henry VIII's first wife). What a sad life. I am about to start a bio I got for Christmas from my Dad about a Swedish queen who abdicated her throne. I'll let you know how it is!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

California Dreamin'

Well, we made it back home from a week in California. It was supposed to be high 70's to low 80's while we were there, but lucky for us it rained and was chilly! I might have actually wanted to move back if it had been better weather! Here are Ethan and Emma on the one warm sunny day we had.
It was fun to see everyone though. I hadn't seen one of my neice and nephew since March. They are so old now! And of course, Christmas dinner was so good! My aunt Patricia and her son Michael came to visit too. We decided she and my mother will have to fly out maybe in the spring or fall and we will go to Amish country.

On a sad note, Hisser has died yesterday. We aren't really sure why. It is possible he was too cold. He had been moving pretty slowly and not eating. I put his terrarium down next to the heating vent to see if that would help, and the next day, when we checked on him, he was legs up! We had a little burial ceremony today in the backyard. You can check out Elliott's blog for some pics.