Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kalli's Dolly

Kalli created a playmate for her vintage yellow dress doll out of a popsicle stick. These two little dolls played together all afternoon. And when Kalli is looking for them she says, "Mommy do you know where my yellow dress and one I made doll are?" She is adorable.

Jeremie builds

Jeremie loves to build whether it be with legos or anything else. He is always building something and always has a story to go along with what he builds. So, here is the story of his tank. He is fascinated with military vehicles....and really who wouldn't be? They are HUGE, powerful, and multi-colored. They also have lots of different gadgets. So, he built a tank out of egg cartons and popsicle sticks. The story is that his lego guy built this tank because he wanted to go hunting deer (why he needed a tank for hunting deer, I am not sure...probably because we choose to teach our kids that guns are tools for hunting or target practice and not meant to be used on people so I am guessing that his reasoning is that this tank has a gun, thus it must be used to hunt). It is a short story, but a story none the less.

Every Girl's Dream

Every girl I have ever asked has admitted that one time in their life they wanted a horse. Maybe it's the thought of riding freely through a huge field or hearing the ocean splash against the shore as the horses hooves thud across the sand. Whatever it is, there is something deliciously intriguing about horses. Well, Kaylynn has been asking for a horse for the past year and we have to keep saying no (for various reasons). So, three days ago, she decided to make one. This is definitely a step up from the organ bench I used as a horse when I was a little girl. She is so creative, and I am a proud mama.

The beginning....figuring out what to use as the legs and body....the first try was a box, and she quickly realized that a box would not hold her weight.

Some finishing touches.

And off she rides!


Cami is nearly 1 and has so much personality!!!! She has a new shoe fetish (we are trying to encourage the minimalist footwear, but for some reason she LOVES boots!).

Notice the drool....she has two teeth coming in.

She also loves to climb in and out of drawers, boxes, crates, or anything else.

Getting ready for her fashion show. She has wonderful designers (Jeremie, Kaylynn, and Kalli).

Climbing in a book box. Gotta love the little kick of the foot.

And her FAVORITE.....MARKERS!!!! Cami has such a thing for markers and ALWAYS has one (or more than one) in her hand. I don't know how she gets them, but once she does she either stashes them under the heater or in Rodeo's kitty door hole so she will always have one when she wants one. I just make sure the lids are on tight, and if they aren't then she winds up with blue mouth....and for some reason it always winds up blue.
And she is walking! I will post video soon.

Grafton Notch State Park

Grafton Notch State Park is one of the state's hot tourist attractions (although not usually in the winter). It is known for its breathtaking views, great hiking, superb bird watching, and some very difficult terrain. It is also part of the Appalachian Trail, which if you have never heard of it, there is a great documentary about it on Netflix. Kaylynn requested it when she was sick last week. It spans over 2,000 miles through 13 states on the East Coast. Kaylynn says, "I want to hike the whole trail someday." Who knows? Maybe we will (it will take about 6 months).

So, we took a little family trek up there a few weekends ago, and we were not disappointed. The older two wanted to hike all the way to the top, but Kalli's little legs just couldn't go any further. So we slid down back to the car. We will return (with a sled for pulling Kalli). I was so inspired by my children. They worked together over the difficult areas, holding hands and offering words of encouragement to one another. It was such a tangible picture of the body of Christ working together and spurring one another on. As a body of believers we need each other so much. This hike was not a spiritual journey in the literal sense, but I pulled such a valuable lesson from it. I could see us getting to the top if we had been prepared with the right tools (for Kalli) because of all the encouragement we offered one another. I can also see how it could have gone completely the opposite direction if we did not help each other along or take a hand when it was needed. So, I am asking the Lord for more opportunities to teach my children how to love as Christ wants us to love and how to spur one another on and offer encouragement as often as possible. I am so thankful to have my children and husband to walk this journey out with.

Winter Fun

The winters in Maine are so incredibly long! But, we find plenty of winter fun activities to fill the snowy, cold, 5-6 months. Sledding parties with friends, snow forts, ice skating, hiking, and playing on the frozen lakes are just a few of our favorites.

Jeremie spent all afternoon digging this hole. He was so excited, and I was so proud of his diligence! It became a the perfect spot for many creative endeavors!!!

We were blessed to have these massive snow forts built for us by a teen center gal! This one was complete with stairs and a slide!

Oh the fun things to do with snow, but I do think I am ready for spring. Yesterday was warm enough to go out without jackets, and we ventured to the road to play with sidewalk chalk. Yes, spring is coming!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Time To Celebrate Old Traditions in a New Way

As winter slowly melts away, spring becomes quite the buzz in our house. And with talk of Spring comes talk of Easter. And this year, our Easter conversations became a springboard for Ash Wednesday and Lent. It was Kaylynn who noticed Ash Wednesday on the calendar and asked us about it. So, off we went to research. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, and Lent is the 40 (or 46 depending on the culture) days leading up to Easter. Lent is traditionally a time of prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. God's people would, and still do, fast in various ways. They would use their time during Lent to give more time to prayer and giving. Often, the fast was from food entirely, eating during certain hours of the day, or certain types of food. They would take the money they would have spent on the food and give it to the poor. Lent also included a fast from all festivities as it was meant to be a time of grieving Christ's sacrifice, concluding with a large celebration in honor of His resurrection. We have never "celebrated" Lent but look forward to it this year both as a homeschool lesson and as a time to reflect on the purpose of Christ's life and what He has for us. After a quite lengthy discussion and many goofy ideas, we came up with some practical things to fast (as a family). We kept them simple so we could do this together. We will be fasting all media which includes internet, movies, and computer games. This will not be too terribly difficult because we do not own a TV and only watch movies as family time; we don't spend a large amount of time online, and we do not play too many computer games (the kids do have a favorite building game, but they are willing to put that on pause for the next month). Now, having said that, we will make internet allowances for work (Alan needs this) and for school (I need this). We will also be fasting all dairy products (which I am already doing because of Cami's allergy, but the kids wanted to try it). I look forward to the extra time in prayer and giving as a family and the extra focus on Christ. I feel like this is a good time to refresh and spend extra time meditating on scripture and allowing Christ to pour into us so that we may pour into those around us.