Tuesday, September 29, 2009

12 years ago...

I was in labor with Moriah and Susannah, almost 5 weeks early. My water had broken around 9:30 and by about midnight things had gotten very interesting.

Moriah was born at 2:49 am at a respectable 5 lbs. 2 oz.
Susannah was born at 2:53 am at a slightly more respectable 5 lbs. 11 oz.

Since that early morning, they have brought us so much joy, laughter and blessing.

Happy Birthday my sweet girls. I love you so very much.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lion King

Jim and I had a lovely date night last night with our three 'olders' and went to see The Lion King. Jim's parents gave us a wonderful early Christmas present and got us tickets and babysitting so we could go.

Can I just say that it was AWESOME??!! The kids all LOVED it , Jim and I LOVED it and we are so very grateful that we had the chance to go (thanks again Betsy, for making it happen!).

We had mezzanine seats right off the left aisle, which were very decent seats. Susannah was directly on the aisle and she had quite the close view of a huge elephant that came lumbering by, followed by its baby. We saw birds flying, antelopes loping, hyenas skulking, zebras galloping and giraffes...giraffing. (???) We saw Mufasa teaching, Zazu advising, Scar scheming, Simba pouncing, Rafiki foreseeing, Timon and Pumbaa gallivanting, and Good triumphing.

We saw beautiful costumes that mimicked animal forms in surprising and innovative ways. We heard strong voices singing mostly familiar songs. We peered through binoculars, trying to make out intricate details. We gaped at the engineering, whispered about how we thought something worked and we pointed to our favorite sights.

For me, it was pure joy to watch our kids watch the show. The girls were spellbound and Samuel was mightily impressed. We were all amazed by the talent, the story, the costumes and the effects. We enjoyed a magical evening together that none of us will soon forget.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moriah's X-C

Our kids are not front-runners for X-C. Never have been, probably never will be. But they all run to be healthy and to have a fun team experience. Because they aren't 'placers', they run against themselves, trying to better their times throughout the season.

Moriah was ecstatic to see that she had shaved off nearly a minute from her x-c run yesterday, as compared to two weeks ago at the same course. Exactly the kind of self-improvement that makes her think "ah, practice makes a difference!"

Way to go, Moriah!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Abigail the storyteller

Tonight during dinner, we were treated to Abigail's recounting of the trip she and her sister took with their daddy out to Big Game Alaska. (It's really the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, but it was Big Game when we first moved to Girdwood and that's what it will always be to us.) She seems to like to tell us all about things like this, which is incredibly endearing.

Abigail told us about the owls, "one up in tree, one in house".

She told us about the moose, and showed us how they moved their heads up and down. (two male moose were hitting their racks together and she was trying to explain that through motion)

She told us that the porcupine was stinky (I can't 'spell' how she pronounced porcupine, but I promise it was cute) and that it put its arm up 'like dis' (with her left arm straight up).

She told us that the elk made noises in his throat and then she proceeded to try to 'gulp' like the 'big ek' had done.

She's done this after some other experiences and it's a joy to watch her search for words and put them together so that we can 'see' what she saw. It's fun to watch her facial expressions, too, as she tries to get us to understand everything.

I'm looking forward to hearing more from her in the future. Our little storyteller.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lovely weekend

We had two days of sunshine (including Friday), making this weekend awesome for the weather. We also had one day of Son-shine (*wink*), making this weekend awesome for the love.

Jim and I took a walk Friday afternoon, the 'big' girls ran/hiked part of the mountain with their x-c team, Samuel enjoyed an evening around a bonfire for his x-c spaghetti feed and the little girls had fun playing at Little Bears.

Yesterday was another beautiful day, although we didn't take advantage of the weather quite like we could have. I slept in late, Jim ran to town with Moriah and Susannah and Samuel went to hang out with a friend. The little girls did get to ride their 'bikes' and I wish I had gotten a photo when the two of them fit onto one tricycle together. Next time, if they are game to try it again.

Today, the weather was kinda rotten. But the day was still beautiful because the church did another 'day of service' in the community.
  • Samuel helped out by babysitting (he has a stress fracture in his left foot and can't do a whole lot)
  • the girls (and several others) helped 'fling cookies' (passed out cookies to random folks as a sign of God's love) and babysat after Samuel had to go to work
  • I scraped old stain off a deck at a non-profit's building
  • several folks painted at the same non-profit's building
  • others chopped and delivered wood for a man who seriously broke his leg and heats his house with a wood stove
  • two ladies played Scrabble with a shut-in
  • another group painted cubbies at Little Bears
  • and Jim ran from place to place making sure everyone had what they needed and fielding calls and directing folks to the right places
We even had a new family show up, expecting regular worship, who jumped right in and helped!

It was awesome, rain or no rain.

God is good.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I will be dreading each and every Monday from now to the end of the school year. Except the ones we have off for various holidays and breaks of course.

My day is jam packed full of classes and I don't have a lot of 'down' time. That alone makes for a harried mom. Add to that two little girls who are very tired after a long (but fun and active) day at day care and we're likely to get Monday late afternoons and evenings full of grouch and crying.

Like this afternoon, when the little girls were so tired that they were completely upset and unhinged over getting and eating goldfish crackers. Weeping and gnashing of teeth over where the goldfish were placed (on the couch, really?) and really letting go (Miss Abigail) when Hurley dared to snag some of the easy-to-reach tasty snack.

Like tonight at dinner, when Abigail was very insistent on getting yogurt for dinner. (Um, no, that's not for dinner sweetheart.) So insistent she sent her fork sailing over the table, where it hit Susannah's fork and made quite the impact.

Like tonight before bed, when the babes were sitting on their last potty stop and Bethany put the soft toilet insert on her head. Jim said 'oh yuck, don't do that' and Bethany dissolved into hysterics over some imagined stern reprimand. (Although this isn't just tonight...she's done this lately a few times with Jim for some reason. It's truly unwarranted. He's a very sweet and gentle daddy.)

Like tonight after finally getting the little girls settled and my finding out that the three older kids have eaten the rest of the ice cream that I was counting on enjoying once the crabby babies were not underfoot any longer. grouch grouch (Truth time worthy of a "Not Me Monday" seen on other blogs: I was very hard on Susannah over this. I was SO frustrated and let that dictate how much my lecture turned into a rant.)

Tomorrow is Tuesday. I'll be getting up early as Samuel gets ready for school and then going in early for a staff meeting. I think my day will be a little less stressful tomorrow. I think. If I can stay awake.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not-togetherness, togetherness

Yesterday was a twinteresting day for our twin sister sets. (trying to be clever, here...bear with me)


Bethany had been sick with an on again, off again fever that came back Monday night. She was semi-okay Tuesday but was still slightly feverish at 4:30 in the morning Wednesday morning. Which meant I wasn't going to send her to day care, even if she had shed her fever by the time she woke up. The decision then became: do we send Abigail alone? Without her buddy? Without her sister?

Jim decided that, yes, having at least one busy little toddler gone would be beneficial for him. We thought we could sneak Abigail out because Bethany was still sleeping fairly hard, but Abigail chose to wail loudly for her baby doll and woke her up. Jim quickly spirited Abigail away to get her dressed and ready while I distracted Bethany. We fully expected Bethany to be upset at not going to Little Bears, and once she caught wind that Abigail was leaving and she wasn't, we got the full-on tears and "I wan go Little Bears!" I shook her out of her crying by getting her dressed. This made her think she was heading to Little Bears too and I did not try to disabuse her of the notion. I just never said "yes, you're going." (*guilty grin*) Jim got back from taking Abigail as Bethany was looking for her shoes, and we had another round of tears when Jim gently told her she wasn't going.

I did not think this boded well for Jim's intention of having a productive morning, but happily I was wrong. After the initial sadness and tears, Bethany settled into a morning alone. Apparently Abigail was perfectly happy as well. So much for my fear that they'd miss each other too much and be sad all morning. Yay! Gotta love when those unfounded fears are proven wrong!


Moriah and Susannah had their first X-C running meet yesterday. As sixth graders at a K-8 school, they are allowed to run with middle school kids (in the 7th grade races). Both were apprehensive and both were hopeful they wouldn't finish last. Moriah was also a little nervous about trying out her new shoes, which she has mixed feelings about because of how 'ugly' they look. She hadn't had a chance to really run in them yet and try to break them in. They seemed to do okay for overall, but her feet still hurt after the race.

Here is why I call this part of the post togetherness:

They stayed pretty close to each other the entire race. This photo is taken toward the very end of the 1.8 mile race, on a long hill that you could just tell sapped the runners as they made their way past. The girls were absolutely exhausted by the end, but they were very pleased to have finished in front of several other girls.

Oh, and Samuel chose to ride the bus all the way back to Girdwood only to turn back around and drive into town with me to cheer his sisters on. What a sweetie. (but don't ask the girls if they concur...his version of cheering was a little too enthusiastic for those tired runners!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

I am not afraid

Can I just say that? I am not afraid for my kids to listen to a president address the nation's students. I'm excited that our president is taking time to speak to the importance of an education and perhaps light the fire of motivation in some children who don't have a 'cheerleader' at home to do that for them.

And even if this was a president whose policies I disagreed with, I'd still remain unafraid for my kids to hear what he/she had to say. I'd urge them to listen just as intently. I'd remind them to respect the office and the person. I'd want them to know that it's okay to hear 'other' points of view.

I'd teach them what I disagreed with concerning this or that policy/statement and why. I'd also teach them that respectful discourse requires two sides listening to each other and sharing differing viewpoints. I'd teach them that that's how we learn (and sometimes realize we don't know everything).

Listening to a presidential speech is a teachable moment, regardless of what 'side' you're on.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Scary mall moments

After watching Samuel run this morning at a X-C meet, the girls and I made somewhat of a day of it in Anchorage. We stopped by Skinny Raven first and spent way lots on specially made sneakers for Moriah (supposedly made for the way her feet pronate and supposedly helpful as she runs). They're kinda funky looking and have high wedge-like heels, but Moriah says they feel great so we have high hopes that running won't be as painful from now on.

Then we headed to the mall to do a tiny bit of shopping (read: Mom wanted to hit Eddie Bauer in case the capris I loved were on sale/in my size, which they were/weren't). We ate lunch first before heading to the clothing stores. The little girls fell in love with 'magic stairs' and we rode them a lot. A lot. After a few bargains were purchased, I was very ready to leave the mall with two very tired toddlers but I thought I'd like to pop into Gymboree to check out their sales.

That's when I lost Abigail for a few moments/minutes. (honestly I have no idea how long it was; it felt like an eternity) All four girls and I had just come out of JC Penney's, Moriah and Susannah sharing the responsibility of keeping track of the babes while there so we could all look at things. We had told the babes that we were going to find more 'magic stairs' (after riding them in Penney's), but those Gymboree sale signs were too tempting. I was assuming we had broken back into the 'big girls watch the little girls' formation so I could look at the sale racks when I heard Susannah ask "where's Abigail?"

I had Bethany next to me and thought Abigail was close by too. Nope. A quick check: no Abigail. I ran to the door of the store and did a quick scan of the three ways she could have walked away from the store, frantically recalling what she was wearing and looking for a bright pink shirt. (the mall has four floors, each of them wide and open with cut aways to look up and down between floors) Nothing. Turned back to the store, where Susannah was still doing a sweep of the clothing racks and the tv area. Nothing. I turned back (after a helpful associate asked if I was looking for anything in particular...uh, yes, my little daughter!) to the door and scanned again. Abigail was out in the hallway, almost to the escalators, a fair distance from the store. She had gone down one part of the hallway and had even turned a corner and had made it almost to the end of that next part of walkway. She was heading back in the direction of the store. I ran all out to go grab her, completely and utterly relieved and shocked she had gotten so far so quickly.

There was a security guard following her, about five feet behind. I shot him an extremely grateful look (and resisted the urge to defend myself) and hugged Abigail with all my might. Then we got the heck out of the mall (after riding the 'magic stairs' a couple more times)! :) We all think that Abigail was looking for the escalator when she walked off, since that was what I had told the little girls we were doing before my last minute jaunt into Gymboree.

Still feeling a little shocked and shaky about the whole thing. I have never had that happen before and I do NOT want it to ever happen again. Susannah was pretty freaked out too. She did so well, though, alerting me and helping me look. Moriah was great at keeping Bethany with her as I searched. I am so very thankful that our little 'girly' excursion ended just fine.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Overheard at the table

Last night:

Abigail asked for more pepper and more 'leaf' out of the salad.

This afternoon:

Bethany, when encouraged to take a bite out of the little romanita tomato rather than put the whole thing in her mouth, said "No, I want to drink it."