Sunday, March 30, 2014


Seven and in first grade. It's hard when he's gone for so much of the day now. I'm so glad I get to go in and hang out with his class every couple of weeks.  It's neat to see him in that environment too.

This is art class last week.  Here he's showing that he's 7 in sign language.  And missing both front teeth now!

Working hard!  He brings home some pretty cool drawings and they use oils as well as the typical grade school art supplies.  The monsters are his favorite thing to draw.  He has "his" monster that I should take a picture of some time.  He's drawn the same style with 2 large fangs and swirls for eyes since last year.

It's so fun to think about the things he couldn't do at the beginning of the school year that he can now.  Like read his own directions for his homework.  He's pretty much at the end of the grade level in terms of independent reading already.

I can ask him to do things for me at home and as long as he doesn't get distracted he does a good job.  Now it's just up to me to LET him do more things on his own!  He always wants to help me, but I'm so frazzled that of course it's easier to just do it myself, but I need to teach him.

This was a watercolor painting that he did and I need to get the details about what it is again.

One big thing this winter was ski lessons with Nana.  She wants a ski buddy so she took him up there to learn.  I'm not sure she's going to have a buddy for more than another year or two as he bombs down chair 1 all by himself!

One instructor that he had at the beginning of his lessons then didn't see him until the end and was so impressed by his confidence!  When he progressed from the rope tow and we convinced him to try the chair lifts... there's no going back!

My boy is growing up too fast!
Happy Birthday Cory!

Friday, March 28, 2014


When I heard the word Mighty tonight, the first thing that started playing in my head was this song.

I don't actually know the words that well because we played it on band tour during spring break when I was in college.  That little trumpet riff gets me every time!

The lyrics are pretty simple and it's not a long song:

Mighty is our God
Mighty is our King
Mighty is our Lord
Ruler of everything

Glory to our God
Glory to our King
Glory to our Lord
Ruler of everything

His name is higher
Higher than any other name
His power is greater
For he has created everything

But there's so much packed into those few short choruses.  And that last sentence, "His power is greater for He has created everything".  Stop and think about that for just a minute.  He created everything.  If so, then why am I worried about the things of today or tomorrow?  Is He big enough to take care of them?

And does He care???  Yes!

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
~Matthew 10:29-31

What a relief!

On days when I struggle, I think I need this song on repeat in the background!

What do you do when you struggle?

This is a post prompt from Lisa-Jo. Join in? If you don't have a blog or don't want to write there I'd love to have you write with me, even in the comments!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Paris: Leaving that Awesome Place

After a long hiatus... here is the last of my posts about Paris.

And so all too quickly our week in Paris came to a close.  We stayed, all 13 of us, in the lovely Loft Isabelle just outside of Paris proper, but for all intents and purposes still in the city.

It was a former mechanic shop converted into this lovely space with full skylights.  Very different from most of the flats we looked at, especially to accommodate our large group.  In the above picture I'm standing just outside the room that we had.  My back would be to the street and the place was roughly a rectangle.

Along the right wall below were two areas for seating and a garage (which you can't really see).  Along the left wall below was a bathroom/dressing room and then a bedroom, an open space with a little patio open to outside, and then in the far corner one more bedroom by itself.  (yes, there is a tree inside too!)

Upstairs on the right (left in the above photo) was all open area with some weights.  The "back" wall was the wall to our room and we faced out onto the street.  The left had a large bathroom with a hallway to one side (that you are looking into on the right side of this photo) that went into a dressing room (where the boys stayed) then across a little sky bridge (which I'm standing on) and into the last bedroom.

So there were 5 full bedrooms, 3 very large nice bathrooms, and lots of open space.  There was a (very) small kitchen under our room with the afore mentioned industrial stove and oven, but we made it work!  Dominque came in every day and provided our breakfast, which was lovely.  We made many short trips around the corner to the Monoprix and I wished I'd had my camera when I went to the corner fruit/veggie stand! 

The space was a little cold, but not unbearable and the floors were heated in a lot of the main floor so that helped.  There was also a small basement with laundry that we convinced them to let us use!  And one evening Dominique and his aunt were down there doing some laundry and I heard voices so I went to see and ended up having a fascinating conversation with them.  They were from Mauritius, but his aunt had lived in Paris for many years, mainly as a nanny.  They both spoke their native language as well as French and English.  So impressive and humbling.

Dominique took this photo of all of us as we were leaving Sunday morning.  The window directly above us was to our bathroom and the ones to the right were to the bedroom.  You can see more photos of the interior space if you visit the website, but hopefully my explanations help with the floor plan.  I never did figure it out until we got there!

And then we parted ways with the rest of our family as they were heading out into the countryside for a few days and we were going on home.  The kids are all chillin' in the airport with snacks!  For the most part the Charles de Gaulle airport redeemed itself to me, compared to our last crazy layover there!

Because we had paid for 5 seats only on the way home someone was going to end up sitting with one adult and two children.  The flight attendants managed to find that hapless person a seat elsewhere for both of our legs so I had Joy and Noah with me in a whole row.  Joy was loving her own seat!  World traveler here we come!

Cory once again did not sleep for the entire return trip.  We once again did not pack enough diapers in our carry on and were down to none by the time we got our luggage back in Seattle, plus the girls had peed through so we had various wet shirts, Ergos, and I'm not sure they had dry pants on until we got out either.  Note to self for next time.  You can never have too many diapers on a plane!

But we made it home, with all of our luggage, and I even met a new friend on the plane because I spotted her daughter wearing a unique dress!

Paris, someday we'll go back!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Night night!

No, they don't get to share a bed, we do aim for sanity around here and that would not be it!  But they love to climb INto Hope's bed and play or pretend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book: Maybelle in Stitches

Maybelle In Stitches

Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.


I've really enjoyed reading all these books centered around quilts.  Quilts truly do tell stories and I love the few that I have in my home!

This one is the story of the support of friends through finishing a quilt.  Each of the friends' stories becomes a part of the quilt as well.

I didn't feel like this story was as tightly written as some I've read.  The dialogue was confusing at times and some of the details were kind of random.  That being said, the premise of the story was quite interesting.  Set during WWII and a woman who works in a factory setting while her husband is away at war.  Most of the stories you read during this time period are actually about the war or spies or something like that.  So it was a fresh perspective and I think the author did her homework in giving us details about rationing, factory work, etc.


If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

A word from Joyce Magnin:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.

Monday, March 24, 2014


My little man is four and he is very proud of that fact!  He'll be going to preschool next year and he was so disappointed when he found out that he didn't get to start NOW that he had turned four!

You still love Elmo and Clifford, but you love everything that your big brother Cory does too and you want to be just like him.

You know all your letters and sounds and are starting to sound out words.  Mama needs to get on the ball and help you practice your writing more.  You still say a few funny things like "cimanin" and "she's house" rather than "her", but overall you speak quite clearly and have lots to say!

You love those baby sisters something fierce and don't mind sharing your birthday party with them, at least this year!

This book is super cool and after daddy has made you a (very intricate) dinosaur it becomes a pretend toy to play with!

You also get to practice your archery skills, although unfortunately Mama and Daddy didn't read the recommended ages very well so it's a bit strong for you, but I'm sure you'll figure it out soon enough!

You always want to be where the sisters are and included in what they're doing too.  I hope you don't feel forgotten as the middle child, I love you just as much!  You are pretty good at entertaining yourself though, especially with Legos when the sisters require my attention.  You always have to hold one of their hands when we walk to the post office, usually Hope because she wants you too (although not so much in this picture!).

Here you let Joy grab your belt loops and spin you around.  I'm not sure which of you was having more fun, especially when you ended up in a heap on the floor!

They look up to you and want to be just like you too!  I hope you will pass on your friendly nature and happy go lucky attitude.  Every day is a new fun day for you!

Happy birthday to My Noah!

Stats from last week: Just shy of 44 inches and 47 pounds.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I have a daughter.  She just turned 2.  Her name is Joy.

She's one of a kind!  Miss Independent and not afraid of anything, including climbing much higher than her Mama would like at this point!

She's not as verbal as her sister, but definitely just as loud.  Maybe a little more observant of the details of life while her sister observes people.  But quick to hug Mama when she's sad.

Joy, as opposed to Happiness, is a state of mind not dependent on circumstances.  To have the motto, "I Choose Joy", is something I wish for and have not come close to attaining.  I'm not an optimistic person by nature so it's hard work for me.  But to have to choose something, to make it intentional, makes it so much better when you finally do accomplish it, even a little bit.

It's not related to circumstances, but for me, it's hard to do in isolation.  I get too caught up in my own mind and tunnel down until everything is dark.  Just having a simple "meaningless" conversation can help bring me back.

How do you "choose joy" in your life?

And I hope my Miss Independent lives up to her name without too much trouble!

This is a post prompt from Lisa-Jo. Join in? If you don't have a blog or don't want to write there I'd love to have you write with me, even in the comments!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Two Times Two!

My babies are two! Not sure I can call them babies anymore... they have SO much personality, but I also treat them more like babies than I did with either of the boys... maybe because there are two of them and I have less time.

They are into EVERYTHING these days.  Here, we got a box in the mail and they co-opted it as a bed.  They wanted their "banket" and for me to cover them up.

They really don't care that much about watching TV at all, but on the weekend when brothers are both home and watching cartoons with Kix in the morning they must participate.  Of course, then we have Kix to clean up off the floor.  Sometimes they eat them off the floor, other times they put them in the trash.

They adore brothers and will say goodbye to Cory in the mornings when he leaves for school and then later ask for him.  When I say he's gone to school they say "bus" because we can watch the bus pick him up out our front window.  He's usually home while they are napping in the afternoon and they love to see him when they get up!

Here's Noah sharing his new Lego magazine with them before bedtime.

Sometimes they will let me get in a few minutes of exercise, other times... they want to participate!  This day they had watched for awhile and then wanted to get in on it.  I guess they watch well!

Evidences of getting into everything...

On Friday we picked up balloons at the dollar store.  They LOVED them to death this weekend (as did Noah with his).  They've also started to figure out stickers and we get them at the bank and a lot of grocery/shopping stores.

Of course one of the best pictures didn't turn out because my camera was set to the outside pictures... I forgot I'd gone outside to take pictures of the crocuses coming up.  We have spring here now!

The laundry basket is so much fun to play in, but they are big helpers with the laundry too.  Putting their dirty clothes in the basket in the bathroom (while saying "laundry!") and helping Noah do his job of pulling all the baskets out to the laundry room and back again.  They know exactly where things go and especially Hope is very particular.  It's fun to watch.  But woe to you if you give her sister something she thinks is hers!  There will be much wailing over things like mixed up trays or bibs for meal time!  She'll also attempt to help her sister get dressed.

I had very little success with bunny pictures this time, but I didn't try too long.  This is Joy and she was willing to sit and hold Mr. Bunny.

Hope didn't want to cooperate until I bribed her with promises of "choc-et".

This is what started to happen anytime I put them both up together.  Hope will slouch down until she slides right off the front!  She's a goofball, but won't pose for the camera at all.

They both love to play pretend with cups and spoons and food.  Joy decided Mr. Bunny needed a drink!

Hope was trying to eat her balloon... although she was getting frustrated because she would pull it down and then try to grab the whole thing and it would float away from her. 

The girls have a lot of individual words, but not too many phrases.  One they have picked up from me is to hold up a finger for me to stay wherever I am while they run to get something.  They say "I back".  I say it a lot when I take one out to the car and don't want the other one to cry.  I hold up a finger and tell them I'll be right back to get her.  So now they use it on me.  You can see it a bit on the video at the bottom of this post.

The other things they say consistently are "Uh huh, yeah" and "Uh huh, sure" when they agree with you on something.  Oh and "next" means they want you to sit wherever they are patting the chair, usually so they can sit with you.  So cute!

My camera simply is not fast enough to focus on them half the time!  They are BUSY girls!

They've picked up spinning around in circles until they fall down or bump into each other.  And the other day we finally got to go outside to play other than just walk to the post office and they just took off like they were going to the PO on their own!  When I finally convinced them to stay in front of our house they had a blast riding the little 4 wheeler, picking up rocks, and helping me shovel the gravel into a spot that gets muddy.

Stats as of last Monday: 27 pounds each and 32 3/4 inches - give or take a bit on those measurements due to wiggly girls, but they consistently measure almost exactly the same with Joy being just a smidge bigger and taller right now.

We're wearing all 24M tops, but still some 18M pants so they don't fall off!  And a few 2T things that run small.

This was Saturday morning silliness with Daddy.  They are running to get some pretend food and putting it in his hands.  They will play this game indefinitely if you want!

Birthday Girls from Krista on Vimeo.

Birthday party pictures to come later!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Madness

Things have been a little quiet around here lately.  Not for lack of ideas or pictures, but for other reasons. 

The biggest reason is that I appear to have a pinched nerve in my right arm.  Which makes computer use particularly challenging.  It's been going on for about a month now and after seeing a chiropractor for a couple weeks and then having it get worse I went to the doctor yesterday.  I was supposed to get a call to schedule a "nerve study" so they can actually find where the pinching is, but so far the communication from the clinic is poor.

They suggested possible carpal tunnel which is kinda freaking me out, but it seems to start more from the elbow than the wrist and the under side of my arm is half numb, not the typical place.

Anyway, that's weighing heavy on my mind since it affects everything I do, but in the meantime...

March is birthday month!  Last weekend my sister in law and I went to Seattle with my mom for her birthday.  First time I've ever been in a real spa.  Quite interesting!  Not sure I was up for the Chinese water torture body scrub, but at least I can say I tried it! 

We also went shopping and I actually managed to find some new clothes... for myself for once!  Although my biggest purchase of the weekend was of course new shoes for the summer for the girls.

Now we've got 2 birthdays this weekend and another at the end of the month with a party to plan.  I'm hoping to get the kids birthday pictures and posts done in good time, but we'll see how much photo editing my arm will let me do...

What kind of madness are you up to this month?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Tea Party at Nana's!

We tried to get up and play in the snow one more time... and then it rained.  So we had a tea party instead!

Friday, March 07, 2014


“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
~Matthew 26:41 

Funny how many things these words apply to... like the fact that it's taken me a good hour just to write this post.  I want to, but I must check FB and then I find a cool article to read and then I see someone has posted something I must comment on. (and really I'm avoiding the writing)

Or.  I go to do the laundry and then find something I have to put away, which takes me to a different room and reminds me of the thing I need to do there.  Something else needs doing that requires the computer and then I'm back to FB!

So many things I set my mind to, but never quite follow through.  Do you ever feel this way?  It's not only the temptations, but the distractions that do me in.  

But then it is the temptations.  The temptation to think that it won't matter if I have just one more cookie, hit the snooze alarm one more time, don't work out today.  All those little choices in the moment add up to a life I'm not so happy with.  

The spirit(mind) is willing, but the flesh(will power/self discipline) is weak.

Last weekend I went to a women's conference at my church called Worthy.  Worthy is He to be glorified in ALL my actions.  And worthy am I because He loves me.  Things that redeem all the little choices.  Things that make me want to be more mindful of the little choices.

What is it they say?  That a lifetime is made up of the little moments?

I want to be happy with my life and that has to start with me.

This is a post prompt from Lisa-Jo. Join in? If you don't have a blog or don't want to write there I'd love to have you write with me, even in the comments!