Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keeping the Fabulous Four.


We've survived everything from pimples and prom to distance and distractions.
From seventh grade to twenty-seven, we are still friends.
I was thankful that I was able to see them again, briefly, last week.
Conversations over cups of coffee, no matter how short in length, are always invaluable when they are shared with a lifelong kindred spirit.

I am thankful that I have three.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going Places.


"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

-Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hope.

The purpose of Advent is to draw our hearts towards the celebration and significance of the miracle of the birth of Christ. We pause to prepare our minds, attitudes, and our hearts in anticipation of Christmas morning—and in anticipation that Christ will come again. In the midst of the chaos surrounding this holiday, we stop, still our bodies, and listen, until all is silent … and in the silence we strain to hear it—the cry of a newborn in the darkness. And in the quiet we absorb the miracle and remember that God pierced the stillness and shook the earth through that tiny cry. As the cry pierced the stillness, God’s light pierced the darkness, and we see that light as we light each candle.


Today we will be lighting the candle of Hope.


Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”


As the patriarchs of old hoped for the coming of a Savior, we now hope for Christ’s second coming. We believe in the prophecy fulfilled and believe that Christ will come again. We all hope. We all need hope. In a time of war, economic uncertainty, and a future unknown, we rest in the hope that God will again keep His promise in the coming of a Savior, as He did thousands of years ago.


Let us pray.


Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. In Christ's name, Amen.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Love. (Advent Wreath)

: grab a wreath (or make one, using a styrofoam ring and evergreen)
: take four taper candles (you can use traditional colors, or whatever you have handy)
: put them in four taper holders (or five, if you want to light the Christmas candle)
: arrange it on your dining table




: easy, meaningful, beautiful

Sunday marks the first Sunday in Advent. I'll post my weekly readings from last year, so you can read along, if you'd like.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body;

and be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

: family : home : cars that run : clothes to wear : food to eat : health :

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends.

I am thankful for you, too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tone It Down.

Why this picture is hilarious:



1. I am slightly blurry.
2. It looks as though there is a stack of cups on my head.
3. The word "laugh" is quite prominent, perhaps encouraging you to do so.
4. I am a terrible photographer.

But look! Brown hair for fall.

I think I love it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

: best pumpkin bars ever :

(a recipe given to me by a good friend's mom)

(bars)
4 eggs
1 c. oil
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 16 oz. can pumpkin

: sift dry ingredients (except, of course, the sugar)

: combine sugar, eggs, and oil, and mix well

: add dry ingredients gradually until well mixed ... then beat for two minutes

: add pumpkin and mix thoroughly

: pour in 13x9 greased pan
: bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes

(frosting)
6 oz. cream cheese
1 T. milk
3/4 stick Crisco
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

: blend well

: allow bars to cool, just a bit. spread frosting. lick the bowl.

(baby girls are yummy, too)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ma petite fleur.


I had no idea Hobby Lobby sold crocheted hats and clips, so I was thrilled to create this little ensemble, for two dollars!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Five Months.

Dear Naomi,

Today you are five months old.


Be still, my heart.

FIVE MONTHS? Really?? I'm sitting here, shaking my head, in awe of how quickly time has passed. You've grown and changed so much in the past few months and I've only a few moments to sit here and type it down. I cannot capture its enormity, so bear with me!

You may notice (rather, you WILL notice, because you are a girl) that your four month letter is missing. I could make up a lie and tell you that it's partially done, or it's all-typed out and hiding, but I'm going to raise you to hopefully not lie, so I suppose I should tell the truth, too. There is no four month letter. It's nothing personal, trust me. It just so happens that the day you turned four months old is the day I weaned you to formula. This might not sound like a big deal, little Mouse, but it was. The formula we gave you tasted wretched and we battled through a weekend of sleepless nights and miserable days before finally finding a formula that was right for you. On top of that, I was going through my own sad moment of weaning you so soon, which was not my plan, and I kind of mourned it for a few days. After a few good cries and my Mother (your Memere) putting her hand on my chin and declaring, "YOU SET IMPOSSIBLY HIGH STANDARDS FOR YOURSELF", I was able to clear my head of the sadness and focus on what really mattered: You. And you've done great.

That isn't to say that your crying fits have disappeared. They haven't. But they are few and though they are mighty, they are, I believe, on their way out. But, we shall see.

So. Anyway. The lack of a four month letter is in no way an indication that that particular month was not a full one. It was. And look! We made it to five months. Now for the updates.

Growth:


Based on your last doctor's visit, you are in the 90th percentile for height, the 40th for weight, and the twelfth for head circumference. I have the exact numbers in your baby book, which is tucked nicely in the bookshelf next to your crib where you are currently asleep. I'll check it later. :) But, it's sufficient to say that you are tall and skinny, with some yummy chubby baby thighs forming. The nickname of "Mouse" continues to fit you and your petite features! We'll see if the transition to formula helps to chub you up a bit. ;)

Sleep:


You typically take 3-4 naps a day (the last one is always a bit sketchy). Your naps range from 1-2 hours in length. You go to bed around 7:30 and wake up around 6:30 in the morning. Despite the struggle we've had with your crying fits, you've been a good sleeper amidst it all. Thank you for that. :) You sleep in your crib for all of your sleepy time, but every now and then I'm able to sneak in a nap while holding you. And oh, snuggle bug, those moments are the best.

Feedings:


You started on rice cereal last week. Yay! With the first bite, you were a bit astounded with the mushy substance in your mouth, but after that, it was mouth wide open. Your arms start flailing when you see me mixing up your next little batch of cereal, and, much like a little bird, your mouth is open and ready by the time I've scooped some onto a spoon. I started by giving it to you after your dinnertime bottle, but you made it quite clear that you would like some also for breakfast, please. So you eat rice cereal twice a day. And, as I mentioned earlier, you are now a bottle-only baby, and you've taken to it like a champ. You drink about five ounces five times a day, and prefer it to be just a little warm. And, of course, I accommodate, because I'm assuming that transitioning from constantly warm breast milk to something cold would seem just a tad cruel, so for now, you're getting it warmed!

Development:


It is not entirely uncommon to leave you laying next to your bouncer and find you next to the end table moments later. Though you aren't a crazy-active roller, you can definitely get somewhere if you try hard enough. Mostly you prefer to lay your stomach and watch your brother. You can "monkey sit" very well (leaning on your arms) and you are able to sit on your own for only a few moments. You're beginning to catch yourself when you tip, and it is so fun to see your little body learn how to do all of these very important things. You are also in this wonderful phase where you love to touch faces. Once we lock eyes, your little hands reach out to my cheeks and once you find them, a huge smile lights up your face. Melt my heart!

Personality:


You, little mouse, are an absolutely hilarious bundle of joy. Your smile lights up the room. You definitely love attention and, while you're perfectly happy in your jumper or your Bumbo, your favorite place to be is in someone's arms. You love to take in everything that is going on around you. You smile at almost everything and everyone. The nursery workers at church swoon over your giggles (and your face touches). You are the definition of delight. When the fussy times hit, they hit hard, but knowing that your sweet smile is waiting at the end of each episode helps us to endure them more confidently.

Naomi Kate. I love you immensely.


You are my baby girl, and my sunshine, and you have your Daddy wrapped around your finger. You are precious, Mouse. And while there are so many times where we would like to hit "pause" and freeze your sweet moments, we still can't wait for what is yet to come.

Love,
Mama

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembering.

Today I am thinking of my Pepere, Staff Sgt. Joseph Paul Colby, who served during WWII. He stormed Normandy and defended our country with honor and integrity. Despite war memories that haunted him the rest of his life, he was a gracious, kind, gentle man, whom I miss dearly. He came to know the Lord the day before his death a few years ago, and he murmured on his deathbed that he saw a door ... a beautiful door ... and then his eyes closed forever.

Happy Veterans Day, friends.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Success!



(Okay, and you totally need to check out the cute giveaway on the lovely Caked blog!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Tree.

A precious friend of mine first explained the concept of a Thanksgiving Tree to me last year when Cub was just a year old. I loved the idea of it and decided that this year we would give it a go. Of course, as is par with the start of the holiday season (and just the day-to-day happenings in our house), I promptly forgot. What jogged my memory was seeing a picture of that precious friend and remembering how much she inspired me to be a good Mom and to teach my kids as much and as often as I could. Then Voila! I remembered the Thanksgiving Tree.

I'm sure many of you know what it is, but in case you haven't heard of it, I want to pass it along just as my friend did to me. Firstly, you take orange, red, and yellow construction paper to create "leaves". I made a simple template by drawing a leaf on some cardstock and cutting it out to trace.


Cut out as many leaves as there are days leading up to Thanksgiving (or do the whole month of November, if you'd like!). Since Thankgiving falls on November 25 this year, I cut out 25 leaves.


You can get creative in making the trunk and branches of the tree. I've seen toilet paper rolls, paper mache, and construction paper. I used a stick.


Every day in November, write one thing you are thankful for on one of your "leaves" and attach it to the tree (store the unused leaves separately). Because we didn't get going on this until November 8, we had eight leaves we needed to write and attach. For households with more than one child, you can do one specific color of paper per child, or per family member! This is Cub's Thanksgiving Tree, so all of the leaves are his. He came up with eight things and I attached them to the tree.


I love the Thanksgiving Tree because it is a constant reminder of not only Thanksgiving itself, but of the importance of thankfulness every day.



A heart of gratitude is a precious one. My desire for Cub is that he remembers to be thankful in all things and in all circumstances.


Hopefully, this little tree will help him along the way.