Saturday, May 28, 2011

Treehouse News - February

So, after hard drive issues on my computer, I think I am finally up and running again.  This blogging thing is turning into a once a month deal!  Oh, well.  I will just hope and pray that it gets better.  =0)

Just like January, February could pretty much be summed up in one word:  Coughing.  I was sick the whole month of February into the beginning of March.  I survived, and managed to write down just a few things of note for each of the children.  There were not too many pictures from that month, though.  I had to cheat and use a photo from the beginning of March for Evan for this month!

All I want for Christmas...
Princess *finally* lost that second top tooth on Valentine’s Day!  She was so excited that she broke out into “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” as soon as she could.  Here are some other quotes from her:

"Your kids are going to have a silly dad, Evan"

“Dad-nabik!” - I didn't realize that I had been saying, "Dag-nabit!" until she came up with her own version of it. She had the inflection right, though!
Princess and Little Man have really been into jokes, lately.  This is the progression I heard one day at lunch:
Little Man – What kind of a bagel isn’t a bagel?  A donut!

Princess – What kind of a donut isn’t a donut?  A bagel!

Little Man - What kind of a bagel isn’t a bagel?  A donut!

Princess – (Rolls eyes) I just heard that one.

Princess is really enjoying cooking shows lately, but I have never watched 30 minute meals with would never know it by this next conversation:

“Oh, this is DELISH!  I love it!”
(Me to Ryan) – “What, no reaction?”
R: "I am crying on the inside"
R to Princess: "Could Mom be on Worst Cooks (in America)?"
Princess: "No." 
R: "Because this is too good?" 
Princess: "Yep."

Little Man
A Boy and his Buzz
I didn't have much written down for Little Man this month.  I know that we spent a lot of time talking about his upcoming birthday party.  So, one of the things I recorded during this time was his list:

- A remote control car.
- A Castle, not a Little People one, a real knight one.
- A knight costume.
- All kinds of cool stuff.

Here are a few more quotes from him.

"And we didn’t even plan it!" – Little Man said this when he found out that we were both the second children in our family.  He was so excited that he then came over and gave me a big hug!

“There’s also bumps to let you know there’s a chocolate chip around!” - Little Man's explanation of how you can tell a chocolate chip cookie is the real deal.

We sing to Pookie when she goes to the bathroom on the potty.  After singing her the song, Little Man said, “Now you say, ‘That’s my line!’”

Bright Eyes
Pookie continues to amaze me with how much she understands and how she communicates those things to us.  Here are a few things she said during February:

“Uh, you have orange on your head.”  She saw my orange headphones in my ears.

“We are in the ‘dimin’ room!” -  This started a discussion between Princess and Little Man of what “Dining” means.  After discussion, they decided the dining room should be called the “Eating room” and the living room should be called the “Talking Room.”

“3…2…1…blastoff…to infini and eyon!” - This is Pookie's version of "To infinity...and beyond!" from Buzz Lightyear.

I told Pookie I was jealous of something, and she responded, “Why you are jealous?”  I thought her grammar was pretty good for a 2 ½ year old!

“Dad is my friend.  I want my friend…I want Daddy!”

It is so much fun to watch the kids grow and change - and it is fun re-living some of their stories as I record them here.  I am so glad I can share them with you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Treehouse News - January

So, this is my way of getting everyone caught up with all that happened in our lives the last four months...I will just give you a quick synopsis of each month.  (Well, after typing this one, I think some entries will be quicker than others...)

For the month of January, this is really easy.  The whole month can be summed up in one word...SNOW!!!

Can you find the rock wall?  That is at "ground-level"

And, boy, did we have a lot of it! It is funny to look at these pictures now, because it has been so beautiful here, now. But, in January, it felt like we would never see the yard again!

Back Porch
Front Steps

This was a great time for the kids, though.  They loved playing in the snow, and it was so peaceful outside that I (almost) enjoyed being out there, too.  The snowpants I got last year for Christmas made a huge difference.  If it were not for those, we not have any pictures of the kids playing outside!  I don't do least not well.

Sitting in a Winter Wonderland

Princess' big news for January was that she lost the first of her two front teeth.  Both front teeth were wiggly all through December, so she was pretty happy.  Here are some other "quote-ables" from the month.
"I'm growing up like you, Mom.  A couple is a LOT."  - Ryan always picks on me because I use a couple to describe a "few."  Princess must have heard us talking about that at some point.  I am glad to see that she agrees with me.  ha!

Little Man woke up one morning and exclaimed, "Where did all this snow come from?"  Princess answered, "God!"

Pookie was having a rough time, and was crying...loudly.  Princess couldn't take it anymore, she said, "She is screaming so loud it is like a hundred bees all buzzing in my ear at once!"

The girls were playing together in their room, and Princess decided to have "school" for Pookie.  Here is what I overheard, "Now, you know that this is the prince and princess preschool, but it is also church.  Now, there is a library here, but there are a lot more libraries...this is our library, there aren't many books, but it is fun!"

Princess is also starting to really think ahead.  She started getting dressed, folding her pajamas and making her bed before going to sleep on top of her blankets.  You know, to save time for the next day - so she doesn't have to do chores in the morning.  Ah...a girl after my own heart...I am definitely a night owl!

While explaining to Little Man what a "Tall Tale" was, Princess got a little mixed up.  "...then they get exhausting"  I think she meant "exaggerated".

Little Man
Playing in the tunnel Dad made

Little Man didn't really have any big changes in January, but he did have some fun quotes!

Little Man likes to sneak into our bed sometimes, and on one night he was tossing and turning and waking me up.  I was pretty annoyed, and asked him the next day what he had been doing.  "I was looking for a cold spot on the pillow."  So much like his Dad!

One night, Ryan was contemplating out loud whether or not Little Man should have dessert.  He said, "Is it going to make him all crazy?"   Little Man responded, "No, it will make me all s-l-e-e-p-y...(snore)"  I think he knows what we want to hear!

While having Bible time, we were talking about Jesus walking on the water.  I asked the kids how they thought Peter was able to walk on the water.  His answer?  "Maybe they had water skis."

There is a diner that the women in my family go to every so often for breakfast, while the guys go somewhere else.  One night, we decided to have dinner there.  Little man said, "That's not a restaurant, that's the women's breakfast!"  While trying to explain to him why it was okay, he said, "There's a grandfather in there, I guess that is okay."

One day, we were looking out at the snow piling up after Ryan had shoveled.  I told the kids that I might go out later and shovel so Ryan didn't have to go out again.  Little Man said, "You should do that!  That will make his feelings better!"

While gazing out at the snow one morning, Princess said, "I want to go out there today!"  Little Man responded, "Me, too, too!"


Pookie had a great winter!  She has grown so much in her communication and is a lot of fun to listen to.  Here are some quotes from her in January:

For the first story, I have to give two background points. The first is that Pookie owns a doll called "Kimochi Cloud" that helps preschoolers to understand emotions.  She hugs "Mochi" any time she is unhappy.  Second, this was said while watching Mater's Tall Tales.  There is a scene where McQueen is chasing after a Mater fan and trying to give him an autograph, the fan clearly wants nothing to do with McQueen.  Here is what she said:  "Poor 'queen.  He needs a hug (she puts out her hands to the TV).  He needs Mochi!"

Pookie is still working out pronunciation of some things.  She was very excited about the "Foofritz" (footprints) in the yard and told us every morning that the ones left in the snow outside the window (by the oil delivery guy) were actually hers.

I heard "I want lipgloss, mom" just about everyday this winter.  So, it made me laugh when she said, "I want lipgloss, Mom.  I want lipgloss all the time!"

Pookie was very excited about the prospect of losing teeth.  One night, after bath, she looked in her mouth in the mirror and said, astonishingly, "Oh!  Teeth!  Two...lost!  I need them!"

I know that Pookie knows that I love her because she tells me all the time, "Mom, I wuv you."  I am apparently doing okay with encouragement, too.  After making them hot cocoa one day, she said, "I so proud you, Mommy." 

We were getting ready to wash our hands, and Pookie didn't want the foaming soap, she wanted the moisturizing soap from Bath & Body Works.  She said, "I want the one with sprinkles."

This little lady LOVES to sing.  She just sings whatever comes to mind.  One of my favorites was a cross between the ABC's, the ones that she could remember, with Baa Baa Black Sheep.  It went like this, "Abcdefg...wxyz...yes sir, yes sir, three bags FUUULLLLL!"

And, if you have gotten all the way here, you get to hear from Ryan, too.  As he was trying to convince me that leaving the heat off for the first floor all day was the wise choice, his argument was, "Think with your wallet, woman!"

I am surprised that I had so much material for January!  I know that I was not really good about writing stuff down in the months that followed, so this may be the longest post.  But, all in all, I would say January was a good...albeit, cold...time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bible in 90 Days - What was it like?

I did not intend for my 90 days of Bible reading to turn into a 90+ day sabbatical from blogging, but that is what it turned into.  It was not all because of the dedication to reading, though that did take up much of my time.  I just found to be true what my husband said before I started - "You are going to have to give something up."  Blogging is just one of those things I gave up.

So, what was it like?  Well, reading the Bible in 90 days was, in a word, intense!  It was overwhelming, wonderful, difficult, enlightening and joyful.  Although I gave things up that I enjoy in order to read, I am so glad that I did it.  I did fall behind from time to time, and on the last week I was two weeks behind schedule.  I did some really intense reading and finished on my deadline.  I did mess up my deadline, though.  For some reason, I had put in April 4th, instead of April 2nd.  So, technically, I did the reading in 92 days!  I wanted to write down some of the thoughts that I had about the experience so that I would remember it.  I am also hoping that it might be an encouragement to someone else to take the challenge on, even if they think it will be hard.  Here are some of my reflections on this time:
  • There is a LOT of repetition in the Bible
      I knew that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all told the same story in different ways, and from different perspectives, but I don't know that I put together how much of the Old Testament repeats the same information in different ways.  I read a lot on my iPod (more on that, later) and I found that it was better to start new books by reading the synopsis of the purpose of the book in my Study Bible before reading the whole book.  It helped to frame out what the book was and why it was important, so I knew why I was reading about the same King for the third time!
    • I don't need an "Aha!" moment every time I read the Bible for it to affect my life
        I am used to reading the Bible for study purposes or to meditate on it.  I would get really disappointed if I didn't feel I had gotten some sort of revelation from my time reading.  In this challenge, I had to let go of that because I had to just try to keep up with the reading.  What I found, though, was that just reading the Bible each day affected my attitudes, my speech, my thought life...It really brought home that God's Word is truly alive and active (Heb 4:12).  My mind does not have to understand it any better for it to change my life.
      • I never found my "groove"
          When I began this challenge, I was hoping that I would be forced to find a time in my day that would be consistent to read.  Instead, I found that I had to find time wherever I could.  I sometimes had to make decisions to skip housework in the evenings to catch up, or grab my iPod whenever I could get a few words read; but I never did really find a consistent reading time.  I also learned, though, that that is okay.  If all I can do is read a little every chance I get, it is enough!
        • I could not have done it without support. 
            Ryan was a great supporter during this time.  He did extra housework for me and encouraged me when I wasn't sure how I would catch up.  The last night that I read, Ryan actually took over all the night time duties with the kids so that I could finish.
              I am also so glad that I had to be accountable.  I am grateful for my team leader, Laura, and Amy at Mom's Toolbox who provided the challenge and check-in opportunities.  I would never have finished without them.
            • Tools
                As I said, before, I read a lot of my readings on my iPod.  I found a website and iPod app called "You Version."  I was able to sign up for the "Bible in 90 Days" reading plan right from their website and it would check off the chapters for me as I read them on my iPod.  You can also change the dates for the reading plans to customize them even further.  There were a few glitches with getting started and using the app, but overall it was a great help.  I would have liked having the plan from You Version printable, but I was able to print the copy from Mom's toolbox.  I found that keeping the printed reading plan in multiple places was helpful.  I had Bibles in different parts of the house and it was helpful to have a copy of the reading plan with it to help me remember approximately where I was.
              • The pressure of not finishing is gone!
                  I have tried to read the Bible cover to cover so many times and never actually finished.  Upon finishing the 90 days, Ryan and I began reading through the Bible together on the Chronological plan and I am finding there is not the same pressure to "perform" as I have had in the past.  I am not afraid of not finishing.  I am not afraid I won't be able to do it.  If I fall behind, I know I can catch up - I have done it now on a much tighter schedule.  I also am finding that I am putting people and places together more than I have before.  Reading it all in such a tight time frame gives a perspective on people and places because you have not forgotten the background and history before you move on to the next parts of the Bible.
                I enjoyed this experience on so many levels.  I am covering Greek history with Princess in school right now, and it was amazing to read through the New Testament while reviewing the history of the time period.  It changed the experience of reading it.  There were also times that I read things and thought, "Wow!  The kids just asked me about that and now I have an answer from the Bible that I can point them to."  Ryan and I chose the Chronological plan this time because I want to see how the overlapping history of the Old Testament looks side by side.  We are about one month in, and I can already tell it is going to be a good experience for us both.  I am excited to see what the experience will bring out of God's Word this time around.

                In the time I have been "gone" from my little bloggy world, so many things have happened!  I look forward to sharing some of the things we have done around here over the last few months, as we have had some good times.  I also have been using the last month to read some of the books I skipped out on during my Bible reading months, so I hope to share my thoughts on those, too. is good to be back!