Tuesday, April 26

How the garden grew...

They look like pros, cutting sod and reformatting the front yard...
 This is the glory-point of Stephen's ability to multitask - he "babysat" Jack while building a wall. Conveniently, Jack wasn't sure he liked the feeling of grass and didn't go far. :) Note the silver car at the end of the drive way that no one really could figure out how to drive. That was my Aunt's. We tried to keep it clean...
 Periodically we tested the strength of the wall by all standing on it at once. It still hasn't budged!
 It's level! Can I eat it now?

 Jack wanted to help, so he started stacking the largest dirt clods he could find on the top of the wall. I truly think he might have thought he was building too.
 "Can you just stop taking pictures now? Maybe you could do something useful?"

Stephen, I am sorry I threw the monster-claw-bulbs at you. They are really pretty hastas now. If only I'd known, I would have treated them with some dignity.
 Vinca! "It sounds like Inca with a 'v'!"
 The day they got uniforms.
 Stephen prefers to work solo.
 I considered changing my mind about how big the lower level was...after they cleared the area. I almost cried when I thought about having to fill it with plants. So, Stephen proposed a path down the middle to "shrink" it. We just bought the stones to lay the path on our way home today! It will look great. Notice Jack is still moving large dirt clods around industriously.
 Trying to ring for tea
 "Oh there you are, Mom! Can I have some milk please?"
The garden really was a group effort. Somehow I stayed out of every picture, but I was not left out of the work. My mom says that is life I should get used to it. :) Thanks Stephen for days of working in heat and cold and rain. Thanks Jon for skipping men's meeting to move sod for the last level, and for carrying my plants around city market while I clucked over them. Thanks Jack for not eating all the dirt. Thanks to my neighbor girls for picking the most beautiful dandelions to brighten up my non-flowering-at-this-time mums. Thanks mom and dad for just shrugging and smiling when I asked if I could tear up your front yard and for buying even more pretty flowers to help fill it in!

Monday, April 25

Our 2nd Easter

Easter marks a very special holiday for us this year. It is the first holiday we have celebrated two times with Jack. Last year he was only 3 days old when we all went to Easter service together and celebrated our first family holiday. Easter is such a time of birth. Second birth for those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God. The birth of our first son, and the birth of our family. Pretty awesome holiday. So, here we are. Our second Easter as a three.

Oooooh and how to smell flowers.

New fascination. Making this face while vigorously breathing in and out of his mouth in order to "smell" the pretty flowers, and saying "ooooooooooo" while keeping his lips all puckered and looking in every direction possible.

Monday, April 18

Baby Bubble

 We are thinking of just putting up a small hut for Jack to sleep in outside. He would rather not eat or bathe or do anything inside if the front or back door is unlocked.

The story with a moral...

At bedtime last night Jon asked for a bedtime story. I have to say, it was one of my favorites ever. He thought others should hear it and learn from the moral.

It went something like this...
"Will you tell me a bedtime story?"

"Once there was a forest and in the forest there lived a great big hungry bear. This bear ate little boys who were naughty. One fine day a little boy named Jon Taylor was walking through the woods and the bear ran and gobbled him up. The End. Sweet dreams! I love you."

He said it didn't scare him. But, I think it did prick his conscience that he shouldn't be naughty. Feel free to repeat this story and insert an appropriate name. It would be ok to switch the bear to a lion or the naughty little boy to a naughty little girl if that would suit your needs better.

Have a good day! Be good!

Friday, April 15

Before and After

 The blog is giving me a lot of trouble. I still can't get Jack's 1st birthday video to upload, and I have written and lost this post about our new garden 3 full times. I am going to post a mini version of it now with only a simple before and after picture. The transition part has the best pictures of the dirt that was eaten, the plants that were moved, and the little brother that kept insisting he wasn't going to do "that" part and then did it while I made dinner. Jon, Stephen, Jack, and I had a lot of fun digging in the dirt. Really. My parents bought a couple of gorgeous hydrangeas and other flowers to really polish of the plant array. I think they got excited because they also decided to relandscape the other side of the house with matching stones. It looks pretty too! I will keep trying to put more of the pictures up, maybe a couple at a time will treat me well. Until then, here is our budding garden.
Before (B.(S.)C.) (which obviously means Before Stephen Came)
and After! (A.(S.)D.) (which obviously means After Stephen Departed)

Monday, April 11

The tree frog

 Kim, Daniel, and Josiah came to visit our small group on Wednesday night. It was great. We have the best small group collection of little kids and babies, Siah just melted in. It made me laugh so hard when I picked him up and he grabbed my arm like it was a life raft. He clung to it for over 10 minutes, kneading it, pinching it, but never loosening his grip. I love his hands.

And his cheeks. And his facial expressions. :)

Is it really genetic?

How do boys know they like the way dirt tastes?
 Peter V. tells me he used to eat it on purpose as a kid. He claims it can taste really good. What awes me is the sheer elation Jack has when he gets within reach of a dirt clod. Dirt sucker. Dirt ball. Dirt chalk. Dirt crumbleable fun for him. He spent hours this last week playing in the garden as Stephen, Jon, and I built it. He learned how to turn around and climb off of the deck just so he could sit in the middle of the dirt. He is happy dirty. This week has actually earned the baths. Deep down inside of me there is this little thrill of "my son is a true dirt-lovin' boy."
 After repeatedly tasting and spitting out dirt he finally toned down the enthusiasm for eating it. It only took a dozen times before he was shaking his head "no" even while raising it to his mouth. Apparently he was trying to counsel himself out of the inevitable because the dirt still makes it to his taste buds more than they make it to mine!
This was also the day he got a stain on these cute pants that I really can't get out. What do they put in this dirt anyhow?
To top it all off, the bus doubles as a dump truck! I will post pictures of the actual garden before, during, and after once my mom gets home tonight and we get to see her reaction. I love sitting out front now.
Also, Jack is the only one that doesn't tell me I ordered too much dirt. It is nice to not be wrong all alone.

Saturday, April 2

Watch out!

Consider yourself warned. This post finds me with my feet propped up, an enormous sense of accomplishment patting my back, a napping Jack, and talkative fingers...Good news for you I also have banana bread baking and therefore have a time limit to this ramble session.

This week has been pretty grand all around. Jack turned 1 year old on Thursday. We'll start there. He woke up so happy, shrieking and giggling through getting dressed and breakfast. Then I tried to teach him how to say he was 1. With 50% dependability he'll hold up one finger if you ask him if he is 1. It is pretty cute when he does. He liked having a birthday I think. About 9 adults kept staring at him, playing with him, and singing his new favorite song "Happy Birthday" to him. (He likes it because it has his name in it...) He got to talk to his grandparents in Canada over breakfast, and they even knew the song! If you watch the video time you'll notice that he polished off his piece of birthday cake in about 2 minutes flat. It was whole wheat apple cake, so I think it was kinda healthy. Hilariously he sucked on it and it just disappeared! I guess he likes cake too.
 That cool uncle that came in the mail about a week ago got him a GIANT cow balloon. As I type it is staring longingly out our kitchen window at the overgrown grass in my front yard. I almost feel guilty for keeping it inside. (good news for me, the banana bread has taken about 20 minutes longer than I expected it to to bake, so I get to keep writing!)
 Waffles and presents all around. What a way to wake up in the morning!
 Stephen fell asleep again after breakfast, so Jack got to jump on him.
 This was the only present he took initiative in wanting to open. After that he was very complacent about paper and bags, until Aunt Kimmi and Uncle Daniel's gift had a bow on it.
 The tunnel of terror. My parents have signed a formal contract with me to not buy my children toys that make noise without help, or require batteries. This tunnel will probably grow in his favor, but he is yet to crawl through it by himself. He'll throw a ball down it, and then crawl around the outside to get it at the other end.
 That said, he might crawl through it sooner if there is room in it for him. Jon and Stephen were excited...
 Making sure Jon's head came out ok, Jack crawled quickly from the foot to the head to find out what happens to a human that dares crawl through.
 and then went through it with Jon about twice. The box read "large enough for 2 children" and Jon took it literally. Oh, and we found out the cat can fit in it at the same time too.

 These shoes from Aunt Jojo seemed to be the winners of the day. He carried them around for 15 minutes just smiling, chuckling at them, putting them in and out of their box, and showing them to all of us.
 See what I mean?
 It had a bow. Wow. That one was worth looking at for 7 minutes before noticing anything else. It was a cd that has some of the greatest original kids songs I've heard in a while. - 
"No panda bears aren't so scary
they're eating up China bamboo
but if you don't mind your mama
they just might come and eat you."
Just a sample for your imagination. :)

 My mom has been psyching Jack up for this moment for 6 months, teaching him how to blow, letting him practice on her candles and through straws, perfecting the art of blowing out a birthday candle without icing the cake with spit. He was sooooo ready when he saw this candle. He locked in on it with his eyes and never turned back.
 If you missed it in the video, watch it again. He got it!

 The next morning we went on a bike ride to break in his new helmet. Yup. We. Jon, Jack, Stephen, Jojo, Me, Little Bit.

 This was before we left when I still thought a bike ride at 7 months pregnant was a great idea. A few miles later I laid down in a big sunny field to wait for Jon to finish riding with the other 3 and come back for me with the car. :) Note to self: Bike rides should probably be completed before month 5 or 6 of the baby cooking. Somehow I couldn't bend forward to lean into the pedals and mount hills very well.
 This is where we got ice cream 50 minutes from the airport, 60 minutes before Jojo's plane was supposed to leave. I always joke about missing people's planes so I can keep them, but I have never come so close! If it weren't April Fool's day I wouldn't have felt like I needed to keep saying it wasn't on purpose...Running through the airport with less than 3 minutes before her plane really did take off I was witnessing a miracle when they rushed her through security and they let her board. Incredible. The ramp pulled away from the side of the plane less than a minute after I watched her plummet down it as fast as she could. Between the bike ride that morning and the run that afternoon, I don't think I should exercise again for another 2 months.

Yesterday Jon had to take the door off the oven to open the drawer underneath to get a cookie sheet out. It was stuck. While he was doing that I thought I'd start lunch, so I turned the oven on to 350 to warm up. While it was warming up, Jon's head was in it trying to open the drawer. He suddenly realized I was trying to bake him. It was really funny. :) I did turn it off. And apologize.

Stephen and I are going to start a business together to use all of the math we are learning in his Business Math book. It will be great. It will either be baking, building retaining walls, or refinishing kitchens. Maybe it will be a niche business that does all three. 

I beat both Jon and Stephen in a game today.

And I vacuumed, did laundry, made banana bread (yup, it's still in there!), gave Jack a bath, unscrewed 6 doors off my kitchen cupboards, and overseed (I know, not a word but I really want to use it) the guys start sanding them down. About 30 minutes in we called Pastor Aszbach in Canada to find out how to do it right, then they started over and now it is going well. 

I found peanut M & Ms in my cupboard today. I should have taken that door off months ago.

My bread is done. I think I should change the recipe, it took over an hour to bake, not 20 minutes.

The end. For now.