Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Friday, January 29, 2010

Random notes from January

January has not been the month I had wanted it to be. Somehow the month escaped before I had overhauled my homeschool records or finished our year long kitchen makeover. Not surprisingly, the dogs didn't get the bath they needed and my sunroom is trashed. Again. And, there are a measly total of 6 7 posts to this blog thus far for the new year! What is that all about?

Obviously, we are not off to a good start this year. Therefore I have made a monumental decision! No really. I've decided that we will just pretend that the New Year hasn't started yet adopt Chinese New Year as our actual new year! I can do that. I have a Chinese daughter. Hello! We will be celebrating the Chinese New Year beginning February 14th. So that will work, I think! Right? There. That's decided.

But, January wasn't a total loss! Oh no. There is always a silver lining on my clouds, a pot of gold at the end of my rainbow, a bee in my bonnet....wait, that's not good! Anyhoo.


Lost another tooth! Yes, she did!
If she keeps this up, I'll have to purée her dinner!

Not that I'm complaining.

The boys on the other hand, have quit losing teeth and now the dentist wants to pull them.

Claire, who used to cry the minute we bowed our heads to pray, has started participating in prayer times. She says the GODISGREAT blessing at the dinner table and will often volunteer to pray aloud at devotion time. We usually pray at the beginning and end. This morning, Claire was busy rummaging in my closet for who knows what while her brother was leading one such prayer time. He respectfully asked the Lord to open our eyes, hearts and minds to what He would have us gather from our devotion and Bible study and then, from the depths of my closet abyss, Claire hollers out, "AND DON'T FORGET TO HELP US OBEY OUR PARENTS!"

That kid cracks me up!

This is her favorite outfit, y'all.
An OU shirt that Papa brought her back from....Oklahoma, of course.

She would wear this thing every day if I let her.
Every. Stinkin'. Day.

Not that I mind, that much.
But, every day?

This guy...

Came and tuned our piano. For the first time in 10 years! I didn't really notice that it needed tuning. That ought to tell you something. Hence the reason, I'm not teaching them to play....or sing....or do anything musical!

But, why would I when we have Sara to do that!

Sara = ♥

Claire is getting smarter by the minute. I'm serious. I can't keep up. She is reading now. She does all those three letter consonant-vowel-consonant words like cat, pat, mat, rat, fat.... I'm in love with Leap Frog. Leap Frog is just genius, I tell you. More on that later.

She soaks up every darned thing! I just put the months on her board this week!

The children were reciting the books of the Old Testament and every time a child paused to think of which book came next she would blurt out the book! The other kids just loved that! I don't think they thought she was even paying attention while they've been doing memory work.

Noah just yelled up from downstairs, "Mom, tell Parker to stop cheating!  He's using a gun in a blow dart fight!".  Okay, not something you hear everyday.  I love that my boys are still.....well, boys.  At 13 they still love a good Nerf gun war!   

There's a rumor going around that the kitchen is going to be finished very soon!  Of course, that could just be a rumor.... 

Monday, January 25, 2010

The trouble with teeth....

Is that this one has trouble loosing them!

They wiggle and waggle and get loosey goosey.
But they don't. fall. out.
Of course, she doesn't actually try to get them out either!

So, she hasn't' actually lost that many teeth yet. 
As a matter of fact,
 some of her permanent teeth
 simply gave up on her ever pulling the baby teeth,
 and grew in behind them! 

Now she has two rows of teeth....kinda like a shark....only different

I beg!  I plead!
 I'm ashamed to admit it....okay, I'm not really,
 but I should be, because I've even been known to offer a bribe, y'all!

She won't bite pull!

Daddy decided to take matters into his own hands.

Oh yes he did!

Much to someone's dismay.

And that produced much drama.
Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. 

Is that a tear I see?  No?

A dangling tooth really must come out!

And, it did!

Two days later, she lost the baby tooth to right of that big ole front tooth.
 Sucked it right out of her head while doing her Math!

See, math is dangerous!

The other trouble with teeth....

Is that if you are related to me in any way.....

You are going to need braces!

Guess what that means?

Yep.  Twin boys that look like their Mama = two in braces this year!

We had some impressions taken a few days ago. 
You know, so we could see the damage up close.
Because that is what every Mama wants, right?
To see what their gene pool has caused!

Pray for us y'all!
Isabel has two more loose teeth.

Plus also, I had the fabulous luck to come across a joke site that had this for the title of a joke list:

 And, now I'm worried!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moving on

It has been a long week for me.  Not because of the passing of my beloved grandmother last week, but because of catching up.  To all of you that emailed me, messaged me, facebooked me and sent cards, I say thank you.  You can never really be totally ready for death when it shows up in your life, but in this case, it was a blessing. My grandmother lived a long and amazing life ....amazing to me anyway, and she was more than ready to go.  I will miss her terribly, but the truth is, I've been missing her for years.  That is to say that I have grieved off and on for some time now as Grandma slipped away from us, and so this was another step in that process. 

Today, I have to move on.  Shortly after this post my blog will return to it's regularly scheduled to speak.  And by shortly, I really just mean as soon as I get the chance to, you know, breath.  Then I will change the background and music and start posting again! 

But, Grandma will never be far from my thoughts and my heart.  That woman was really a huge part of my life .....Everyone should have a someone like that to miss one day.  Really. 

In 1995 I presented my grandmother with a book for her birthday.  It was purely selfish.  The book was titled Grandmother's Memories.  One year later, she gave it back to me and I now have 45 pages of handwritten memories!    There were pages at the front that were scripted and asked questions. 

My grandmother preferred to do things her own way, so of course, a lot of those pages have many blank spots left.  But, the back of the book is another story altogether.  There were 20-30 blank pages....she filled every one of them!  And wrote in some of the margins.  I only wish it had had 20 more pages, because I know her, and she would have filled them too! 

This is one of my most treasured possessions now!  I highly encourage you all to run out and buy some kind of journal like this for any special person in your life.  Once they are gone, it's too late. 

And now I really just want to share one of the many stories collected in her memoir.  I promise I won't fill blog posts with oodles of memorabilia.  But this is one that will give you a chuckle. 

It's a story she shared many times, but it's memorable to me because it is one of the first memories Lizzie has of her.  When I married Paul, Lizzie was four years old.  Grandma first met her when she came to Charleston for a bridal shower for me.  Which means that my grandmother was about 80 years old at the time.  I think she worried that she looked so old she would frighten children.  So, when she met a new one, she could be heard recounting this narrative.  It was Lizzie's introduction to my grandmother and Grandma's way of breaking the ice ....though I doubt Lizzie even took notice of "how old" Grandma looked.  She did however, remember this story! 

Grandma:  When I was born I was premature.  3lbs, no hair.  I was wrapped up in cotton batting and placed in a box in front of the oven for warmth.  It was the latest in incubators!  Grandma Hutchison came 20 miles by train to see me.  She told me later, "You were the prettiest baby."  Grandma Hanson lived next door.  She said, "Don't you believe looked like a withered old potato!"  And, I'm sure she was right.  And I am proof that things go in cycles, for I now look like a withered old potato! 

She would laugh at her grand joke!  And we would laugh with her.  We loved our withered old potato of a grandma!  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rest In Peace

I haven't any words tonight, but suspect some will come soon. There is much to morn, celebrate and remember about this amazing woman.

Organic Maniacs!

Yes, I know you come here for the pictures, but I haven't got any today. Come back tomorrow....or maybe Thrusday. Who knows. My Christmas tree is still fully decorated and lit up in the front window. That would be an indication of the fact that I've been a smidge busy for the last week or so! Hang in there!

In the mean time, just feast your little ears eyes on these thoughts. I wish you could have heard it straight from their sweet mouths, because they just crack me up!

Claire to Me: What are you doing?
Me to Claire: I'm straightening my hair.
Claire: Straighten mine.
Me: You already have beautiful straight Asian hair.
Claire: I'm not Asian!
Me: Yes you are!
Claire: No, I'm not. I'm organic!

Alrightly then!

Parker discussing an upcoming Geography project he and his brother have to prepare for a class they take with our homeschool co-op. They had to select a Country from a list and someone will bring in pictures for that country and someone will bring in a food from that country. Parker and Noah choose China....of course!

Parker: I don't know who would pick Canada. I have no idea what they eat in Canada!
Me: Sweetie, they eat a lot of the same things we eat. Most Canadians were immigrants from Europe, just like most Americans are. As a matter of fact, most of Great Grandma's family immigrated from Europe to Canada and then eventually moved down to Maine where Great Grandma was born.

Isabel: Does that make us Mainiacs?

Get it....Maine, Mainiacs? Get it? She didn't. She was serious. And, that made it funnier!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mile Stones

Guess who has started dressing herself?

I know what you're thinking....well geesh,
she's four years old,
shouldn't she have been dressing
herself for a while now?

That's kinda what I was thinking too.

Clearly, we have no idea
what it's like to try to dress oneself
with absolutely no balance what. so. ever.

Even sitting down, it's hard for her.
And, she just never tried.
My theory is that she knew it would be hard.
Being "like my kids" is hard.
She knows this by now.

So, this is the year that she becomes an independent dresser.
I decided. So, I put her clothes in front of her said, "get dressed."

"MOM! All by myself......without anyone?????"


She works hard.
But, that is not new to her.

She can't just watch Isabel and repeat.
She had to come up with a way on her own.

She does not give up.
This is what her therapist loves about her.

Pants come off way easier than they go on.
So, she chooses a dress.
She's pretty smart that way, you know.

Believe it or not, socks are not as easy as you think...
especially when you have so little muscle in your foot
that you can't make your foot go where you want it to go.

But, look at that happy face!

Sorry about the holes!
That can't be helped.
Her braces do that to a new pair of socks in one wearing,
I swear it...except I don't swear.

Of course, it would be real easy for me to swoop in there and hurry this along.
But, I can't. I know I shouldn't. I won't.
Because I know, it will do her no good.

Now this is where I do step in. I can barely do the braces!
She wanted to try, so she did for a few minutes.

Then she conceded and let me put them on.

But, she wasn't defeated. She just accepted that that was something she would have to tackle later! Because, shoes! Now shoes are so much more worth it anyway!

And, she can do shoes!


So big!
So proud!
My little girl has grown soooo much!
To think, she could barely feed herself a year and half ago!