Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another round of kid quotes ...

First, I will start this post with a quote from Clara. Her quote-debut on my blog!

We pulled up to some hamburger joint’s drive-thru the other day and she pointed to the window and said, “Freh Fry!” (French fry.) At only 18 months, she is an all-American kid!

And here are some Meredith quotes of late:

A: “Okay, it’s quiet time. You don’t have to sleep but you do have to lay still and close your eyes.”
M: “But that IS sleeping.”

We have a CD set of Mozart music. Meredith saw a man on the cover (Mozart) wearing a white wig. She said to her dad, “Look, it’s George Washington music!”

She was standing on the window ledge the other day, to get a better view.
K: “Meredith, get off the window.”
M: “Why?”
A: “Usually there are two reasons—you’ll break it or you’ll get hurt.”
M: “Actually, there are three reasons. Another reason is ‘because daddy said.’”

M (eating lunch): “Why aren’t we eating at McDonald’s today?”
A: “McDonald’s is a treat. It’s not as healthy for you. And it costs extra money to go there. Everyone has a certain amount of money and you have to be careful about how you spend the money God gives you.”
M (five minutes later, holding up a crayon drawing): “Mom, can I sell this picture to grandma?”
A: “Why don’t you just give it to her?”
M: “Because I need money for McDonald’s.”

She was wailing the other day—obviously she had hurt herself.
A: “What happened?”
M: “I bonked my finger and my head. I kissed my finger (to make it better) but I tried and tried and I just couldn’t reach my head!!”

The other day a friend came and worked on her laptop from my house while her daughter played with my girls.
M: “When I grow up I will bring my work to your house like Mrs. S.”
A: “And I will watch your babies. Are you going to have babies some day?”
M: “Yes. I’m going to have a girl baby like you.”
A: “That would be nice.”
M: “Maybe tonight at Family Worship we can pray about my baby when I get big. And we can ask God that it will be a girl.”

A: “Mer, I think you’re hungry and tired.”
M: “Nooooooo.”
A: “What are you then?”
M: “I’m thirsty and tired!”

She was curious to know what her new friend Alex’s daddy looked like, because she had never seen him.
A (explaining): “He has brown hair like your daddy but he is shorter than your daddy. And he’s thin, not fat.”
M (gasping loudly): “Is daddy FAT?”

M: “Mom, are we all going to heaven?”
A: “Yes, if we trust in Jesus and love Him.”
M: “Let’s pray about that now. ‘Jesus, I want to go to heaven. And we love you and trust you and please take us to heaven soon. Amen.’”

Meredith is so inquisitive these days. Yesterday she wanted to know why snow plow trucks don't have "snow blowers" on them like daddy uses. I needed to ask Kevin, her grandpa, and her uncle for help on answering that one!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bits of Life

We now live in Friendly-ville, also known as the Playdate Capital of the World. If you’re a stay at home mom and never want to be bored, you need to move to Zionsville, Indiana. Seriously, we have the nicest, most amazing neighbors known to mankind. We are quickly developing a sense of belonging and of community.

Here is one of our new neighbors, Lauren, who is exactly Meredith’s age. They have had fun playing together three or four times and this morning they built a snowman in between our two houses. Isn’t she cute?


Speaking of snow, apparently we just had the sixth largest snow fall on record for Indianapolis—12 inches overnight. Right now Meredith is playing in it and I’m watching her from the office window. Here she is, probably trying to make a snow angel.


I found out that a free puppet show was taking place at a nearby nature center and took the girls yesterday. Oh. My. Word. It was the hugest hit! Even Clara paid attention and laughed at several funny parts. I was really impressed when two puppets broke out into a snow ball fight (throwing fake cotton snow). The funniest part for the kids was when a duck couldn’t catch a fish for his dinner. Every time he missed the fish, the kids laughed and laughed. I need to pay better attention to when this kind of stuff happens and tap into more of these free resources for kids.

Last night I made a carrot cake for Granny’s birthday today. Clara thought she’d died and gone to heaven after she climbed on a chair and found the beater with cake batter on it, sitting in the sink.


And here is Meredith who asks at least three times a day: “Mommy, please can I have hot cocoa to sit by the fire and cuddle?” How can I refuse? (She's my Quality-Time gal.) I usually give in every day or two. We are enjoying having a fireplace after not having one for two and a half years.


I need to make this more often. I made it a few days ago and both Kevin and I agree it’s our favorite brunch. Croque Madame smothered with béchamel sauce. Mmmm. Mmmm.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sledding Adventure

Over the weekend we took the girls sledding. The sledding hill is conveniently located right across the street from our new neighborhood. We were surprised that Clara loved it so much! Every time we got to the bottom of the hill, Clara would say, “Mo!” (more). And Meredith (who often complains about being cold and hates to walk far) ended up being such a trooper and really enjoying herself too.

Clara was bundled up so much she could hardly move!

The Inside ...

Okay, I ran into a friend at Chik-fil-A yesterday who asked me why I hadn't put pictures up of the inside of my house. Here are some that I took right before we moved in, except for the last one with the lights above the island. The lights were just installed last week.

I'm itching to paint ... but it will probably be a few more months.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tourists in our own town ...

Kevin and I got a hotel downtown without kids last weekend. Our main goal was to play. But we also squeezed in a few hours of planning and writing down some goals we have as individuals and as a family for 2009. It was pretty much amazing. We had so much fun being carefree and just doing whatever whenever.

I embarrassed Kevin by taking pictures of our food and getting a picture at the symphony (but at least I didn’t take a picture of the stage!). So, here is my photo journal of the weekend …

Our first stop was Friday night dinner at The Villagio in the Zionsville village. I had a really light and refreshing lasagna with two sauces—béchamel and a marinara.

We went to hear a Beethoven piano concerto at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. I was completely swept off my feet by the performance of Brazilian pianist Ingrid Fliter.

Breakfast at Café Patachou—amazing omelets and gooey cinnamon toast!

Yes! We went to The Bodies exhibit, which is only here in Indy for a short time longer. This was by far the most interesting thing we did. Even though we were hesitant because it sounded like it might be gross, we both ended up really enjoying it. In fact, we both decided we’d like to see it again sometime. It was absolutely fascinating!! Understatement! We stopped and read every single piece of information and talked to the docents on several occasions. We even held the human brain at the end of the exhibit. We highly recommend it!

We climbed the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at the downtown circle!! This was such a spontaneous thing (Kevin’s idea-so he gets the credit) and so much fun! As we were walking to the monument, we were stopped by a reporter from 93.1 WIBC and he interviewed us on stuff we were doing that weekend. Then he took this picture.

We rode the elevator to near the top and then climbed the last 48 steps, which got very narrow. Here is Kevin on the ascent.

View of the capitol building from the look-out deck.

Next we went ice skating! Here is Kevin, who is a natural. What fun winter recreation!

Afterwards we decided that we should bring Meredith sometime soon. After watching some other little kids, maybe she’s not too young after all … we’ll see.

We were FREEZING afterwards so we went to warm-up at Rock Bottom Brewery. It was very comforting to de-frost while watching the game. Were the pretzels really as amazing as we think they were … or were we just STARVING?

Next we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which we agreed was thought-provoking and very interesting. We liked it. I think I will get the short story from the library and read it.

Here is a picture of our hotel room.

Here I am looking out our window—we had a great view of downtown.

Here we are at our little “planning” time. It was really nice to put stuff on paper. We want to try to be more intentional with how we live our lives and spend our time. We talked about everything—family goals, spiritual goals, career goals, and money goals. We already have it on our calendar to meet, review, and discuss this stuff again in January of 2010.

Of course, you don’t usually take kids to browse at Borders for “fun.” Usually you take them only when you absolutely have to. So it was nice to leisurely look at books together.

The last thing we did, before getting a late lunch, was take a tour of the new Central Library. Yes, Kevin posed for me only because I made him.

A special thanks to Kevin's parents for loving our kids and taking such good care of them while we were away--they made this weekend possible for sure.

Friday, January 09, 2009

46 Books in 2008!

 This is a picture of a book Kevin’s mom got me. I’ve been writing down all the books I read. I think 2008 is the first year I’ve really kept track. But I do believe that 46 books is a new record for me!

Daughter of Fortune (Allende)—I do not recommend this book. It had some really racy stuff and I only finished reading it because I was leading a book club discussion.

Suite Francaise (Nemirovsky)—Interesting and swept me away into the story. I loved her descriptions and insight into human character.

Fire in the Blood (Nemirovsky)—Not as good as Suite Francaise.

Born Standing Up (Martin)—Steve Martin’s autobiography. I thought I would laugh more than I did.

Dwelling Places (Hampton Wright)—Just okay. Never got into the story.

French Women Don’t Get Fat (Guiliano)—Wow. So many good points!

God’s Harvard (Rosin)—Insightful and made me think.

The Nine (Toobin)—Interesting about the Supreme Court; has a liberal slant for sure.

Ordinary Heroes (Turow)—Kevin liked it more than me but it was a good action story.

Small Wonder (Kingsolver)—Made me mad! Love her style but disagree with her politics.

Parenting with Love and Logic (Cline)—Made me think. I’m really glad I read this and would definitely recommend it. A lot of it probably works better with slightly older children.

The Vaccine Book (Sears)—Highly recommend this. Why did I wait so long to be truly informed? This book was empowering.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Tripp)—I re-read this and do recommend it.

Acquired Tastes (Mayle)—Interesting and entertaining.

How to Cook Without a Book (Anderson)—I re-read this one too and highly recommend it.

Digging to America (Tyler)—This is the first Tyler book I’d read and wasn’t very impressed. I like a story with more plot to it.

A Girl Named Zippy (Kimmel)—A memoir about a girl growing up in a small town. I laughed and laughed. Very funny.

Top 100 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum (Duffy)—I read this to gain a better understanding on the various philosophies of education. I highly recommend this book for anyone considering taking their children’s education into their own hands!

84, Charing Cross Road (Hanff)—Fun and sweet.

Captivating (Eldredge)—I don’t understand the hype. I had a hard time relating to the author of this book. And I disagree with some of the theology.

Bel Canto (Patchett)—Beautiful and odd. I would recommend this book.

The Street Lawyer (Grisham)—Fun and made me think.

A Charlotte Mason Education (Levison)—The best book I’ve read on summarizing Charlotte Mason. I was glad I read it.

Tara Road
(Binchy)—Kevin’s grandma introduced me to this author and I really like her writing style.

Innocent Traitor (Weir)—Historical novel about Lady Jane Grey. Good but since I knew the ending, and that it was tragic, I had a hard time really getting into it.

When Children Love to Learn (Cooper)—Another Charlotte Mason book.

Yiddish Policeman’s Union (Chabon)—Good but I think it would have been better if I had read it rather than trying to listen to it on CD while ironing. I got too distracted to tie all the loose ends of this detective story.

Grown-Up Girlfriends: Finding and Keeping Real Friends in the Real World (Smalley and Oliver)—Excellent book with good tips and reminders.

Circle of Friends (Binchy)—I watched the movie after reading the book. The book is way better but the movie had a nicer ending. Of course.

Everything I need to Know I Learned from Other Women (Gallagher)—A fun little advice book but also full of hogwash.

Mother-Daughter Book Club (Dodson)—I will probably re-read this when my girls get older. I love the idea of it!

Infidel (Hirsi Ali)—I finally joined the rest of the world and read this book. Excellent!!

Three Weeks with My Brother (Sparks)—Very moving and at times very sad. I actually cried when he talked about working with his special needs son and his love for his son.

Jane Eyre (Bronte)—A classic that I had unfortunately never read. I really enjoyed it.

My Antonia (Cather)—Interesting portrayal of childhood friendship held throughout the years.

So Far … (Grammer)—Wow, Kelsey Grammer has had an interesting life. I wonder how different this book would be if he re-wrote it now. I only read this book because I attended a movie premiere where I met him.

The Alchemist (Coehlo)—I believe as much as anyone that you should never give up on your dreams, but this book is full of scary theology.

The Excellent Wife (Peace)—I re-read this book and recommend it.

Basic Economics (Sowell)—This is currently Kevin’s most favorite book. Wow! Everyone should read this book. Especially elected officials. I read most of it in 2008 … does that count? It’s a big book.

The Preschooler’s Busy Book (Kuffner)—I actually bought this book because it was really good and has practical ideas.

Before Five in a Row (Lambert)—I bought this book too and will start using it will Meredith when the boxes get unpacked. Hopefully February?

A Life that Says Welcome (Ehman)—This was one of the best books I read this year. It encourages hospitality on so many practical levels.

Let’s Make a Memory (Dobson and Gaither)—Another fun book with ideas for kids.

Just Who Will You Be? (Shriver)—Interesting and a very easy read.
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Life in Pictures II

We really enjoyed Christmas this year--all of Kevin's siblings were in town and we had a fun, intimate family day! Kevin's dad bought an air hockey table and a shuffleboard table. Fun times!

I ignored all the upacked boxes (hard to do!) and took the girls to the Children's museum right after Christmas to take advantage of the Yule Slide while it was still up. Clara loves that thing!!

We were planning to host a New Year's Day brunch and I got the stomach flu. I told Kevin he'd probably better cancel since I wasn't up to cooking. He was so disappointed he offered to make the frittata himself!! I was so proud of him! And everyone says it was actually really good. :)

Meredith went to a fun, girly tea party!
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Life in Pictures

Here's some of the highlights from our life over the past few weeks, while I've been absent from the online world ...

Our two angels ... Clara and Meredith at Christmastime.

Tired but happy at the end of a family gathering ...