Sunday, November 30, 2008

Linus' Tricks

Linus and I often have these sessions (sans video camera) while his sisters are in the bath. It seems that he has a hard time answering his own questions when they're around. Hmmm... I wonder why. Could it be that neither of them EVER stops talking? Oh, and please excuse my pre-school teacher voice in this one.

Now if I could just get him to do the laundry...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Changes, Changes

Since we'll never be done and it's getting so close to Christmas, I figured I needed to share some pictures of our "new" house. We weren't very good about taking "before" pictures, so I had to dig through some oldies to give you folks who have never been to our home, a feel for what we had going on before the re-do.

This first shot shows the color of our couch, the white walls, and a smidge of beige, almost white, carpet at the bottom.

This one shows more of the carpet (which looks remarkably clean!), the Ikea "antique stain" we have all over our house and the red couch.

This one, aside from showing you an adorable 3.5 year-old Amelie and a 7-day-old-fresh-from-the-hospital Linus, shows some the stains that were ALL OVER our almost-white carpet. You'll have to trust me when I say that this picture doesn't touch how bad our carpet looked.
And now.....

for the big reveal:

This is the view from the front door.

And this is the view from the kitchen doorway.

This is the view from the couch.

And this is the view from the computer desk.

So there you go. Piles of laundry, strewn-about toys, tea sets and all.

The hutch in the last picture is new. Also the coat rack and hanging baskets by the front door are new. We had to create a foyer where there wasn't one. (We added the tile there three years ago. It just didn't make sense to step right onto carpet through the front door.) The carpet is variegated and hides everything. It's hard to tell when I need to vacuum. The exact opposite was true of our former carpet.

We're quite pleased with the changes and are thankful for the ability to have done it. We're also thankful for the push it's been to SIMPLIFY!! It's the only way, my friends!

Here's signing off until after Thanksgiving. Hope it's a good one!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankful Trees and Hand Turkeys

I'm excited to share our "home changes" photos with you, but am waiting until we're completely done. So, I guess you'll have to wait another six months? No, just kidding. We're still working on the finishing touches. But I can tell you, as I type, Duncan is attaching all of the tall pieces of furniture to the wall. So we've decided on a (semi?) permanent layout for the living room, at least! We're closer than ever, folks, to the big reveal! I know you all can hardly wait!

That said, I just wanted to share a bit of our simple craftiness for the Thanksgiving season.

To begin with, we have our Thankful Tree. Violet and I created the tree and Amelie and I cut out the leaves. Many nights, after dinner, we each share something for which we are thankful and write it on the leaf. It could be something from that day or just something in general. It's been great to talk about thankfulness, pointing out the myriad of blessings in our lives. It's gone hand-in-hand with the discussions we've had about giving away some of our toys and books to others, as well.

We also have our hand turkey table cloth. Because, what's Thanksgiving without a few hand turkeys, right?

Linus even got in on the crayon fun. This is an action shot.

Violet's finished product

and Linus'

We also colored a centerpiece turkey. In case you were wondering, I just drew if free hand. It's not an actual hand turkey.

Amelie, at 4 and five-sixths, is definitely our most intent colorer these days. Here, she's adding turkey food to one of her turkeys. As you may notice later, she kindly gave every turkey some food!

Here, Violet is showing off the hand she used to make her turkey.

Daddy had to make his hand turkey as soon as he got home from work.

Amelie's fancy finished products

And voila! It's completed!
Good thing we won't be home for Thanksgiving and therefore won't spill any turkey gravy on our masterpiece!

Gobble, gobble!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I can't believe I've been absent from blogdom more than a week! After that quick 12-hour stomach thingy that hit three of the five of us, we've been busy with the house. Duncan did a fabulous job painting a large portion of our home in Gold Buff, or Golden Buff, as Amelie calls it. As one friend put it, it's as if we brought the sunshine right inside! Our carpet is called "cider" and is the neutral, variegated type of carpet that our home has been missing all of these 6.5 years we've lived in this house. The furniture is rearranged, some is going, some new is coming. We're in purge mode, getting rid of and throwing out SO MUCH STUFF! It feels SOOOOOO good.

I'm still working on getting things back on the wall. Then it's time for PAPER. If anyone has a good method of dealing with the ridiculous amount of paper the accumulates in their home, I would love to hear it. I'm not naturally an organized person. It's a struggle for me to wade through what is necessary to keep, what can be tossed, etc. Like those explanation of benefits papers from the insurance company? How long should I hold onto those? Or do I need them at all? So, I've been doing research to find out how long we should hold onto such things.

Still on my to-do list:
1. Baby books (ugh!) There. I said it. Why does something that seems so innocuous make me feel so guilty?
2. pictures and mementos from before we had kids
3. three downstairs closets that are not usable because they are full of STUFF!
4. the garage --it's quite a mess since Duncan did the floors and painted. I think I'll leave it up to him;).

So there you have it. Lots going on here. Lots keeping me from blogging. I promise to post pictures soon!

I'm busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

When Mommy and Daddy Are Down

Saltines + sleep+real cable tv at Grandma and Grandpa's house

Why are we here even though they are on the other side of the world right now? Our house is COMPLETELY torn up getting ready for phases 2 and 3. Not so comfy for us sickies. Please pray the kiddos don't get it!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Soveriegnty of God

I would never call myself political. In any sense of the word. Politics and the lies and deceitfulness and the forked tongues are so discouraging to me. However, I voted. And as the returns came in, I didn't win or lose yesterday. I just have a new president.

I came across an article today from Relevant Magazine. I don't know anything about this publication but the article by
Roxanne Wieman, to which I was pointed, summed up the election results perfectly for me. This article hit the nail on the head, as far as I'm concerned. Here's an excerpt that I could have written, if I were a writer, that is:

"So many of us—members of the widely contested “young evangelical voters”—were divided about this election. Not just as a group, but even in our own hearts. I know which candidate I chose, but it wasn’t an easy decision. And, to be honest, I didn’t really care who won. I agreed with both. I disagreed with both."

Leading up to the election, I just kept reminding myself that God is Sovereign. No matter who is president, no matter which "way" Congress tilts, God is Sovereign. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His will is what prevails each and every day. And His will is perfect.

I'll go and hang up my politics hat now,

Sunday, November 02, 2008

11 years and counting

Eleven years ago, on Halloween, Duncan came to visit me at WVU for the very first time. I was a senior and we had met more than two years before that. Two years and I couldn't get him out of my system. Yes, I found him on the internet, struck up an e-mail conversation with him, which turned into him calling me on the phone, which turned into his visit.

Halloween weekend 1997.
He came on Friday and left on Sunday.
Still not my boyfriend.

But on Monday night?
My boyfriend!
I bet you'll never guess where he was the next weekend!

We dated for 19 months. And, boy, did he ever take me on a roller coaster ride!

After 19 months of dating, he broke off our relationship. Heart-broken, I moved on. Moved away, literally, from where he was.

And 13 days after he broke up with me?
He proposed.

Engagement was blissful. Well, except for the long-distance part.

And marriage?
Marriage has been beyond describable. Duncan is an amazing husband. I'll just have to leave it at that.

The coolest thing is that I realized this "anniversary" as we sat in the very same restaurant where we had had lunch that Saturday, November 1st back in 1997. On Saturday, November 1, 2008! (O.K. so it was the Evansdale Beanery and we had lunch 11 years ago at the downtown Beanery. But still!)

As we drove home this afternoon, I thought about how, 11 years ago, to the day, I probably day- dreamed about what I am living right now. Duncan is my husband. We have three beautiful children. And this November 2nd, he wasn't leaving Morgantown by himself as my not-but-almost-boyfriend. We were leaving Morgantown together, having been married nearly eight and a half years. With our three adorable children in the back of the van. The trip was hard (and I'll post about it in more detail soon enough.) But it was also wonderful. And totally worth the effort and hardship.
We got to see our favorite Patrick! We got to see so many of the dear people that walked through life with me when I was first getting to know Jesus. It was marvelous. Realizing this special anniversary just made it all the better.

Here's to those of us who remember silly dates and details! (Heather...)