Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Eve at the workbench

Love this Daddy to my kids. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This week

Some pics from our week:

Lego creations by Linnea (and Daddy), sunny outings to the park, giving Pete a frosty with a spoon (!), Linnea washing dishes, Peter with the toy guitar, and making heart-shaped Valentine’s day cookies. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Best of 2012

There are some things I've been meaning to write about.

Like how we bought a minivan.

And how last week I gave Tim a haircut. (A first time for everything!)

And there are lots of cute pictures and little cell phone videos of the comings and goings and shenanigans around our house.

But right now, before it gets too late in the year, I want to recap some of my best family memories from 2012. It was such a wonderful, wonderful year that I don't want to forget these highlights. There are likely more I am forgetting, but as my chief blogging time is a few minutes here and there, just getting these down before I forget is more important to me than a perfect list.

In no particular order, some favorites from 2012:

1. Reading the whole Little House series aloud. We started reading chapter books aloud when Tim was home from mid January to mid Feb and  started with my childhood favorites, My Father's Dragon. It was mostly Tim reading while Linnea played (lots of Legos and blocks) and I nursed P in the family room. Then we read the first three books in the Narnia series before beginning Laura. I had a few of the LH books from childhood but my memory of them wasn't great, and I'm fairly certain I lost interest once the later books centered on town life and never read those at all. It was a wonderful rediscovery of those stories! At first I worried Linnea wouldn't be able to follow them but she really did latch onto the details, and Laura's story became ingrained jn our own daily life for months. Tim was super excited about all this too and as we got to the last third of the series we would wait foe him to come home at night to "read Laura" so he wouldn't miss anything. I have some really sweet memories of spending family time this way, from holding a sleeping newborn Petey while Tim read, to quiet hours alone with Linnea, to the excitement of reading just one more chapter after dinner because we couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Buying the next book once we finished one was always an event, and the only one we do not have now is Farmer Boy. We were all a little sad when it was over (especially because The First Four Years, published posthumously and not originally part of the series, proved to be a disappointing and rather weak ending), but Linnea has declared she wants to reread them all before moving on to something else. I'm not quite ready for another emotional investment like that but it sure was fun. And you can bet I'm already planning a Laura roadtrip tour for when the kids are older! Hang tight, South Dakota! We'll be there in about 10 years.

2. Making the most of Peter's naps.
He's in a funky rut with naps lately,  but for most of the year he's been on one predictable nap schedule or another, which has allowed me to have wonderful time alone with Linnea (and when she was still napping, time alone with Petey too). She really thrives on alone time with me to do devotions, reading, crafts, play dolls, etc and it really is essential to our day that Peter get some sleep so "the girls can be together," as she says. We've had picnic lunches and made tea and done chores and read her monthly Highlights magazine. It has really grown our relationship in addition to helping my expanded mommy responsibilities be a little more manageable.

3. Trips to Bainbridge Island. I did a whole post last Feb when we went at the end of Tim's parental leave, and we went again for his birthday. Ferry ridrs, coffee, treats, book store, you store, playground. Linnea often plays that she's taking her dolls to BI and I know we'll be back sometime soon.

4. Our Easter trip to Suncadia.
Memorable in so many ways, it was our first escape as a family of four. The luxury, the mountains, the room service, the Easter egg hunt, the spa, the outdoor hot tubs, and yes, Linnea vomiting on the Pass en route. She still asks if we'll have drammine along next time we go back.

5. Visits from family
I hope I don't forget anyone here, but we had so many great visits in our "year at home": Mary, Jane, my parents, Anna, Mike, Enid, my grandma, and some of you multiple times. Linnea loves looking through her photo albums of the fun times we've had with you all and it helps us feel a little closer even though we're far away.

6. Linnea's third birthday and Cannon Beach trip
I was sick, but otherwise it was great! Beautiful forested drive and foggy beaches and a crawling Petey. My parents rented a great house walking distance from the shore. Linnea is already looking forwarding to spending her "four-year-old" birthday there this year!

7. Advent
We had a really fun Christmas season and though illness was certainly a part of it, we still had Laura (smile) and each other. Christmas Day was a blast. Petey's birthday and Linnea's recital and Christmas tea still make me smile. I hope this year lives up to it.

8. Starting to get to know our neighbors
God has really laid it on my heart to reach out to four households in particular. I would feel funny sharing details about them here bit it has really been a joy to feel a sense of community on our block, and two of the families have young kids. We are praying for them and hope to serve and love them well. Looking forward to some friendships in the years to come.

9. Bird watching
We keep getting new birds. It keeps being more fun. This week we saw a wren. I know that wasn't last year but I am so glad I took the chance on this activity. Tim insists he will not be a "birder," but can't you just see us in funny hats with binoculars taking a seniors' trip to Costa Rica when we're old? Haha. I wonder if he'll still be afraid of "being kidnapped" by then.

And that's all I got. There is so much to be thankful for in 2013, and God's mercies are new every morning. I thank him for bringing us closer as a family in these fun and unexpected ways.

Time with my girl

Lately Linnea and I have been working through some of our abundant craft materials that were languishing in the basement. In the first photo is her necklace that she strung all by herself (I helped with the pattern) from a kit she received for her birthday. I have a matching one and we both wore them to the play we attended yesterday afternoon.

We subscribed to a three play package at Seattle Children's Theatre after enjoying a show there last winter. This one was about a ladybug and a skunk who become friends even though they have lots of different interests. It was interactive, and we sat on floor mats in the theater lobby instead of in seats by the stage. Linnea seemed to like it a lot after warming up to the interactive aspects of it (hand motions, singing and dancing, etc). She always surprises me by being a little quiet and shy in large group settings like this, as she is energetic and gregarious with her friends and smaller groups like music and ballet, but it makes sense. I try to just let her do whatever she's comfortable with and not push her to participate. Anyway, we had fun and after the show got some snacks in Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle) which is adjacent to the theater. Linnea chose a blueberry smoothie and we split a mini pizza.

I always enjoy time alone with mh girl, and we are always ready to be back with the boys too! Linnea is already looking forward to when Peter will be old enough to join us for a play. :)#

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