Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ready to go ...

Today I decided to take some pictures of the kids because it had been a while and because Meredith was dressed in something other than her favorite "comfy" (i.e., ratty, worn-out) clothes!

Clara finishes breakfast. These girls really love each other. I hope it lasts through adulthood!

Meredith went to the Indianapolis Museum of Art with her grandmother today, and decided to wear beads for the occasion. Note the Crocs. We finally gave in and bought her a pair. These are less ugly than most, so I'm okay with it! She wanted a pair so badly. (Like I said, she likes things that are "comfy.")

Here is Clara, the Miss Congeniality of the family.

I took Clara downtown to have lunch with Kevin. We sat in the Artsgarden and ate lunch while listening to live Jazz music. Who would have thought that she would like Chinese food? Awesome!
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500 Parade

This is the first time I went to the Indy 500 Parade and it was so much fun! (Seriously, I think I had more fun than the kids!) It was very impressive. All the racers were there and there were lots of marching bands, big balloon-things (I don't know what you call them but the kids loved it), really great floats, mounted riders, clowns, and lots of celebrities (people from Miss America to Meredith and Jan from The Office to Thomas Kincaid).

All in all, a very awesome way to kick off Memorial Day weekend! Kevin was dreading navigating the crowds with two kids but even HE will admit that it was fun.




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Saturday, May 23, 2009

The kids stole the camera ...

I was looking at pictures on my camera and realized that the kids stole it recently and took some of their own. Made me laugh! It looks like Meredith was trying to take pictures of various of Clara's body parts and she was cooperating quite well.







I presume the is the inside of someone's mouth? I don't even want to know ...

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Adventures in Key Lime

I could have also titled this post, “How to Get Arthritis at an Early Age.” But I decided to be more optimistic about my key lime pie endeavor.

Usually when I make key lime pie I use regular limes because I rarely time it right for key limes to be in season. But when I saw a bag of key limes on sale at the grocery store, I decided that I would, at long last, make this pie the right way.

“Long last” is accurate because it’s the last time I will use actual key limes. They are slightly larger than the size of a quarter. Do you know how insanely tedious it is to extract zest and especially juice from something that miniscule?

I started off trying to smash the limes against the top of the juicer and rock them back and forth with my hand, but that wasn’t getting me far. Then I settled on pinching each side with both thumbs and forefingers and twisting. It was the type of thing where I would have quit but I had gotten myself too far into the project and I was under a time crunch.

Key limes have a slightly “brighter” flavor than regular limes but it’s not a big enough difference for me to ever use them again.

By the way, this is the absolutely best key lime pie recipe known to mankind. It’s a frozen version by Ina Garten. And she even admits that she uses regular limes too. Ha!



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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My kind of town ...

The stars aligned for me. Not only was Kevin’s firm taking a trip to Chicago on Friday and there were some extra seats on the bus, but Kevin’s mom was able to watch both girls for us. I jumped at the chance to go.

Last time I was in Chicago it was also May. The flowers in May are gorgeous in Chicago. Whoever puts the planters together does an exquisite job. Everything was so breathtaking. And I’m not exaggerating.

Here’s Kevin at Millennium Park.

Here I am posing next to some of the many, many tulips that were in bloom.

The most fun part of the day was just hanging out with Kevin in a big city and feeling as free as a bird.

We did hang out a little bit with the Lego Man, too.

We had lunch at the Grand Lux Café on N. Michigan and the food was absolutely incredible. It was the type of place where I wanted to steal a bite off of every plate that passed by. Kevin got this breakfast sandwich with grilled brioche bread. It was so delicate and crispy. It was amazing.

I putzed around at Sephora (and other shops) with some of the girls while Kevin went to a Cubs game. But then the Cubs game got rained out. Bummer for him.

We ended the day with pizza, of course. But before that we went up to the John Hancock building observation deck for drinks. It was very relaxing and fun to get to know some of Kevin’s co-workers better.

All in all, a fabulous day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spiritual Valley

Lately I feel as though I’ve been going through a spiritually dry time. To help with this I decided to read something else daily to encourage me in my devotions. So I picked up Valley of Vision, which was given to us as a gift years ago by a former pastor. It is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions written in the first person. Reading these prayers has been very encouraging and convicting. I really look forward to it every day.

One thought that sometimes swirls around my head before I try to squash it, is that I’ve already read the bible numerous times so I know what’s in it. There’s nothing to “look forward to” as new material. My parents even had me memorize long passages of it as a child. I know that this is wrongful thinking because God’s word is vast and “unsearchable” and He is infinite. A lifetime of studying the bible could not uncover even a fraction of its riches and insight. I know that. But sometimes it’s difficult to plod on during dry times and suppress those feelings of “I already know this stuff.” So this passage below struck a chord with me.

“I am often straying,
often knowingly opposing thy authority,
often abusing thy goodness;
Much of my guilt arises from my religious privileges,
my low estimation of them,
my failure to use them to my advantage,
But I am not careless of thy favor or regardless of thy glory;
Impress me deeply with a sense of thine omnipresence,
that thou art about my path, my ways, my lying down, my end.”

Someone wrote this hundreds of years ago and yet I can relate to him. One reason I have enjoyed this book is that it gives me a connection with the broader church--saints who have gone before me and I will never meet in this lifetime.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Late Mom's Day

Our Mother's Day was nice but there was some drama. We took an impromptu picnic to a park with family. But we almost had to leave early when Meredith got a massive splinter in her right foot and screamed bloody murder for fifteen minutes until we could pull it out. We were quite the focal point of the entire park. Thankfully grandma had tweezers. But it did take three people to hold her down while Aunt Beth pulled it out. Sheesh. I think Colin has decided he never wants kids.

And then I read this very interesting article in the newspaper about SIX GENERATIONS living here in Indianapolis, all within 10 minutes of each other. That would be like if I grew up knowing who my great-grandmother's grandmother was. Wow. I can't even imagine.

And lastly here's some food for thought--Al Mohler suggests that Mother's Day should be gotten rid of altogether. See Why Mother's Day is a Bad Idea.

Hard Truth

What seems like many years ago a friend told me about the book, He’s Just Not that Into You. We talked about the premise of it but I didn’t read it at the time. When I heard that it was made into a major motion picture I decided to order a copy through the library. I mean, seriously, how many self-help books are actually made into movies?

Although I can’t relate to many of the dating scenarios described, I can relate to the essence of the message because I’ve seen so many women make the mistakes described in the book. And I know from personal experience that when a man really likes you, he pursues you and there is no doubt about it.

Women tend to take the mixed messages that men send them and overanalyze them, convincing themselves that there are numerous complicated reasons why a guy is not asking them out. No one likes to admit that maybe the answer is simple—he’s just not that into you and you need to move on with your life.

It’s a hard truth but one that would save so much heartache and time. I’m glad I picked up this book and finally read it. Now I just need to watch the movie, right?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Growing Up

I’m calling it. Meredith is now officially reading. Today she read this “story” entirely on her own, with only one or two word corrections, and she got through it quickly.

“A little cat can sit on a rug.
She can run in the sand.
She can lick a man.
She will lick me.”

Teaching her to read has been a bonding experience. And it’s been really rewarding watching her develop and learn. I haven’t been 100% sure about the homeschooling. But the success of this venture has been very encouraging.

She is also writing letters and asking me if she has spelled a word correctly. Yesterday she wrote her cousin’s name (Avery), like this: “AVRE.” Then she asked me if she spelled snack correctly. She wrote: “SNAC.”

As for Clara, she went straight from calling me “mama” to calling me “mom.” Or more accurately, she says, “MOOOMMM” at high volume.

She also counts to ten constantly (every amount of something always adds up to ten), is starting to enjoy picture books other than board books, and she weighs almost as much as Meredith. Both my girls are growing up!

Last Ballet Class




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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fish Tale

Meredith caught her first fish! There's a fishing pond in the common area behind our back yard and a neighbor took her out there (and loaned her the pole) while I was planting flowers on Saturday. She came back with other neighbor children announcing: "Meredith has a big surprise for you!" Everyone was so excited for her. Now we know what to get her for her birthday--her very own pole.

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Spring Shower

Check out this awesome cake a friend of mine made for a baby shower held at my house on Friday night! I can't say fondant is my favorite icing taste-wise but it sure looks cool. I love hosting gatherings like this.




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We have the coolest library ever. They have all these elaborate special "events" for children, to encourage reading. Last Friday I took the girls to a Fancy Nancy Parfait Soiree. Meredith is a huge Fancy Nancy fan so she had lots of fun. Clara likes Fancy Nancy too but, to tell the truth, she was mainly along for the ice cream. The party included a fashion show where each mother/daughter walked down the runway together and the announcer described the outfits.


I brake for flowers. I’m constantly pointing out stuff to my kids. Every spring I forget how starved I was for the color and beauty of flowers. The other week we enjoyed our annual picnic at the Oldfields Estate gardens here in Indianapolis.



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