Monthly Archives: June 2007

Finally Some Pictures!

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I know a certain Grandma who, among others, has been waiting very patiently for some recent pictures.  With everything so busy lately, this is the first chance I’ve had to post some.  I will warn you there are a bunch, and I can’t say they’re all the most exciting, but I promised to give a little picture tour of our new home, laundry room included. 

 

The girls were excited to have a few new church dresses after an amazing sale at the store.  Isabelle was particularly thrilled with hers, as it looks very much like Milly Molly Mandy’s party frock.

This is our new home:

Daddy’s building a wonderful retaining wall to make a place for a storage shed.

Our dining room – my mom’s gorgeous hopechest fits perfectly in here!

Isabelle’s been loving coloring lately

Naomi’s been loving playing with "tea things" or little dishes lately

A bunch of munchkins in the playhouse

Juliette’s been loving talking on the phone lately: here she’s talking to Grandma Karen

 

The girls’ attempt at posing for a picture in the backyard

My little monkey

Since we sold our swingset when we moved, everyone was thrilled to use the money for this lovely new porch swing/glider.  It gets lots of loving use!

My beautiful Belle

My lovely little Hannah

Riding Phillip horse (now that her legs are long enough). The girls have loved all their riding toys so much more since we moved, as we have sidewalks now (and a million skinned knees to prove it!)

Juliette helping me show off the "closet" I made – a $6 curtain rod on the ceiling works wonders!

One corner of the baby room

Hannah sleeping with my favorite teddy bear from when I was a little girl.  She’s affectionately dubbed her "Betty Bear"

Another corner of the baby room – it’s really hard to actually take a picture of whole rooms around here. This is Juliette’s room, and eventually Alyssa’s too (the baby in my tummy, of course)

Naomi’s corner of the Big Girl room (Isabelle, Hannah and Naomi love their room!)  They even have a mini playroom under their clothes, since I gave up on fixing their closet doors and decided to take them off instead.

Isabelle’s little corner of the room

Hannah’s little corner bed

Mommy and Daddy’s room – so very cozy, we love it!

My best attempt at getting a picture of our little "ensuite" bathroom

Isabelle giving you a tour of the upstairs landing – it was the perfect spot for Grandma’s rocking chair and the girls’ bench.

Isabelle showing you all the top of the stairs and the mirror which we didn’t think we’d find a spot for.

I couldn’t resist – again, stuffed animals make the best doorstops!

We’ve dubbed our breakfast nook the tea room. Juliette seems so much more grown up now that she eats breakfast with sisters at the big girl table.

Our lovely little kitchen

The downstairs bathroom – again it’s tough to get the whole picture in.

Ain’t it exciting – a laundry room!

I think we’ve dubbed this the school room (even though we do school in the living room), but I think at the moment it’s more of a hodge-podge room. 

The living room

Matt and I were able to have another pottery painting date, so I painted a creamer to match my teapot.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring a picture, so the color’s a bit off, but it works.

The other half of the living room. Funny thing is, we were given this piano by the people who used to own this home.  Some good friends spent a day lugging it to our old home, and ironically enough the piano has now come back to its old home!

 

We LOVE our porch – it’s such gorgeous weather here that this is like another room for us and we spend tons of time out here!

The girls coloring and enjoying playpen time in the tea room

One last picture in the tree at our old house.

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Our Summer School

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It’s so nice getting back into old routines again, and creating some new ones as well.  I finally started making bread again (and cinnamon bread, which of course brought excited squeals from a bunch of little girls). Isabelle’s enjoying having copywork again – actually we’ve gone back to tracing fonts for awhile, as I’ve noticed writing gets a bit sloppier when one doesn’t practice for a time.  She loves it! We’re also getting into good habits with new chores to go along with a  new house, and it’s just a relief not to have a bunch of unpacking looming over my head.  We’ve also started doing a bit more school, which we all love.  I have no desire to stop school for the summer at these ages, since a primary purpose of our little school times is to provide my little ones with routine, and regular snuggle/reading times.  But we are doing something different which we’re all loving.  I was inspired in part by coming home from church Sunday pondering how I could help the girls learn our liturgy so they could participate more in service.  The other part was inspired by Kendra’s great post last week.  We’ve started beginning our school time with circle time.  We’re using the circle time to work on habits which need improvement, and for the most important things: Bible, prayer, etc. Here’s what we do: The habit we’re working on is not interrupting others (everyone seems to talk at once around here!) So I hold a little ball in circle time, and no one but mommy may speak unless the ball is passed to them.  The girls love this little game, and it’s great because they have started to be the ones to pass the ball to their sisters when they want to talk.  So we sit together in a litte circle, and the first thing we do is pray – I’ve been starting by reading a prayer from Valley Of Vision, then praying myself.  Then I pass the ball in turn to the girls, who like to pray for "whatever’s in their heart" (for Hannah, it’s usually praying for someone’s birthday cake to come soon!) Then I read the Bible – until I come up with a more organized plan we’re reading a section of Psalm 119 each day. Then we read our day’s Bible Story in the big DK story bible, which we are loving thus far.  Next we practice our children’s catechism, again by rolling the little ball to the girl who gets to answer the current question. After this, we pray together one of the prayers from our church’s liturgy, then finish up by singing one of our weekly church songs.  We’re currently in the church season of Trinity, which lasts until advent, so it’s the perfect time to practice this liturgy, as they’ll be learning it for awhile at church too.  When we’re done, I still get out the preschool toys, other books, etc, and have our normal little school time. But circle time has been such a hit that the girls always beg to have even more circle time when we’re finished!

Three Year Old Logic

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Today we were enjoying the fact that our new neighborhood has actual sidewalks, and taking a walk together.  The girls could run on ahead as long as they stopped and waited for me at each alley or sidewalk.  It’s kind of refreshing taking walks sans a stroller – the girls actually get exercise and we can save the stroller for the longer walks with daddy. Anyway, Hannah and Belle were running on ahead when suddenly a dog barked (from behind a fence, but barked nonetheless) at them.  Didn’t faze Isabelle at all, but I wish I could adequately describe Hannah’s reaction from my point of view.  She was running full speed ahead, and somehow simultaneously let out a blood curdling scream, threw her hands up madly, and was racing right back toward me at full speed.  I couldn’t help but laugh at her cute little (if loud) panic.  That girl and dogs … So she came back to me, I calmed her down and offered to hold her hand while we walked past the fence.  I said she didn’t need to worry as the dog was safely contained.  Being one who’s recently  learned to "justify" every tear, she explained to me that she was frightened because she thought the dog might open the gate and come get her.  I said he probably couldn’t do that since dogs lack hands with fingers and such.  No matter, Hannah said, they have feet and she’s sure they can open gates with their feet.  Ignoring for the moment the fact that some dogs can indeed open gates (or jump them), I tried to reassure her by saying something to the effect of "Well, I dont’ think that would work. You’ve never opened a gate with your feet." To which she replied (with a randomly invented memory)  "Oh, well,  yes I have opened a gate with my feet . . . a long long long time ago . . . when I didn’t have any arms." 

Thursday Thirteen

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Ok, I don’t technically do Thursday Thirteen, but it made for an easy start-back-up-blogging entry for today.  I am SO thankful to be moved into our new home, and to have computer access again! Sorry for the long absence, but it was for a good cause (my sanity in getting unpacked!). Soon I’ll get some new pictures and stories up, but for today . . .

Thirteen Things I Love About Living In My New Home (and why I never want to move again!)

1. We only own one house now, since God was so faithful to allow our other house to sell!!!  What a relief!

2. I finally have *pretty* rooms for my girls.  Nothing fancy, but the matching duvet covers make the room, and look so pretty with the butter yellow walls. The older girls have all their dollies and clothes in there, as well as their little rocking chairs.  I took off the closet doors, so they have a pint sized playroom under their hanging clothes.  The baby room has a little closet I created by hanging up a curtain rod on the ceiling, and is cute as can be with blue walls and flowery blankets.  I just love the cute little girly rooms!

3.  We have a porch! It’s such a perfect time of year for it, and I love ours – it’s like an outdoor room. I love to rock the girls out there, or sit and play chess with Matt at our little bistro table.  The girls love to run around and dance to daddy’s guitar music in their jammies.

4. We were able to weed out much unneeded *stuff* moving from a big house to a smaller one, and I’m so looking forward to our yard sale in a couple of weeks.  It’s such a good feeling to pass on or get rid of things we don’t need! I’ve decided the perfect time to weed out is while unpacking – if we didn’t have room for something, we chose what to keep and what not to. 

5. There was a perfect little spot for everything we truly wanted to keep.  God was so faithful to give me creative ideas every time I thought we had no room for something – from medicines to cookbooks, to preschool toys and extra clothes.  There’s a place for everything we need.

6.  I’ve discovered a love of furniture that doubles as storage!  My mom’s hopechest, and this big, square coffee table/chest which we’ve never been able to use before now are my two favorites.  They are a big reason we were able to fit all the preschool games, extra feather comforters and other things that were hard to find a place for.

7.  I love having a four year old to run many of my upstairs/downstairs errands, so that my pregnant body doesn’t have to go up and down too many times each day.  And I’m thankful that all four of our girls know how to safely go up and down stairs.  Incidentally, a friend showed me a great way to teach this to a crawling baby: put them at the top of the stairs on their belly, then gently pull their feet to bring them all the way down.  It instantly taught Juliette the right "feeling" of crawling down backwards, and worked like a charm after I’d tried to teach her for awhile.

8. I may have given up a *bed and breakfast* master suite, but I love our cozy new room.  My favorite part of the upstairs in this house is the cape cod ceilings that slope down to three feet.  They give it such a homey atmosphere – I feel like Anne of Green Gables in her room in the movie (for which Matt thinks I’m goofy).

9. I love being able to go back to routine with the girls – it feels like it’s been so long since we’ve been able to snuggle and read, color together, and all the other good stuff we love to do. And everyone is so much more at ease when things are normal.  I’m also thankful for four little troopers who put up with mommy and daddy being stressed and hectic for awhile (moving and unpacking while pregnant and mothering four sick toddlers was a bit more than I’d prefer to do again!)

10. This house falls into the category of "homes I’ve lived in that felt like home from the start". I love that – there was no breaking in period, just a happy and contented feeling of being just where we ought to be and loving it.

11. My new playpen.  If you live in a smaller space, I highly reccomend the Graco Travel Lite playpen. It is SO wonderful to have a playpen again for Juliette – you should have seen how happy she was when Matt was kind enough to bring it home from Walmart. I’m a big believer in playpen time for little ones, and I can attest to the fact that it makes them happy when their trained to like it.  Juliette loves the "safe" place to play with no big sisters to "help" her or relieve her of her toys!

12. My new smaller home is so much more delightful to clean – well, ok, I don’t know if I’d ever call cleaning day delightful, but it is so much easier in a smaller home and makes me thankful for only two little bathrooms!

13. Lastly, I love how moving into this home has made my husband all the more my hero.  He worked so hard to do all the little things he knew would help and I would love – even when he didn’t feel good as we got sick during the move.  Though he would have been quite happy to "pick away" at unpacking, he was so gracious in understanding his wife’s frame and desire for quick order in our home.  He set up beds, fixed wiggly faucets, installed a garbage disposal (by far one of the best inventions ever!), stayed up late to help me unpack the tricky boxes in the schoolroom, was ever patient with me as I obsessed about unpacking, hefted heavy things many times to and fro, picked up a playpen late at night, rearranged furniture and so much more in record time. I’m incredibly thankful for my sweet husband and all he has done in bringing our family into our lovely new home!