Saturday, March 29, 2008

athlete in the making

this was 100% Zack's help from Mama. I just snapped the picture. :) Vance is so proud.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

book club

I don't normally post pictures of food, but since this is probably the prettiest cake I've ever made, I thought I'd document it. :)
It was my turn to host book club this month, and we were reading To Kill A Mockingbird. (I wasn't that enthused about a re-read, but it was much better than I had remembered). Miss Maudie's Lane Cake kept coming up in the book, so I toyed with the idea of trying to make it for our dessert. My friend Becky egged me on, so I went on an old-fashioned cake adventure. It was pretty fun. I'd never made a filling like that or made a seven-minute frosting. In some strange sense it was fun to make and eat something from history. Mrs. Lane won a prize for this cake and published it in a cookbook in 1898. It became a big hit in Alabama and the nation afterward, although I'd never eaten it before. The furor must have subsided in the last century.
I was expecting it to be too sweet and heavy after all that work, but it was really good!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

lazy weekend

On Saturday Vance went to basketball practice, so the kids and I had a quiet afternoon at home. Isaac is in love with the train set I pulled out, and that occupied a lot of our time. I put Claire in his crib to take a few pictures of him, and then he wanted to play with her. I got a few good shots:

Monday, March 24, 2008

oh, happy day

Growing up, Easter was a nice holiday, but not one that stood out from among the rest. Since I've moved to Minneapolis, however, it has become my favorite holiday. What changed? I started going to a church that had a Good Friday service.
It's a somber and quiet service, with the lights dimmed. Interspersed with meditation, worship, and reflection in between, four different readers narrate the crucifixion events. Then Rick (our pastor) reads his own rendering of the crucifixion. Throughout the service, people can walk to the front and take communion when they feel prepared to do so. At the end, people leave when they're ready, not talking until they're out of the room. It's a very sobering, even sad, service.
But I find that taking all that time to meditate on why Jesus died makes me so ready to rejoice on Easter Sunday. Because I know what it cost Jesus to die, I am so much more aware of how glorious it is that He was raised. His resurrection makes my future in heaven--and my mom's presence there right now--possible. It makes it possible for me to live life in joy and peace with God. It makes me want to rejoice..and so does everyone else.
Oh, happy day, happy day
When you washed my sins away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same

After church, we had lunch with a group of 44 (yes, you read that right) people at one of our pastors' little houses. City houses are not big, nor was this one. I was skeptical that we would be able to move, much less enjoy ourselves. But we did. The kids were great, and we had a fun and relaxing time celebrating.

the toddlers' table
notice that Chad is wearing a black velvet jacket :)
more revellers
the girls' table
no, Claire isn't that big yet....this is Hazel

family Easter picture... too bad it was taken at the end of the day when Isaac's pants were gone... :/
Claire in her first ever dress (Vance said, "it took 15 minutes to get all that stuff on her!"). She was very popular at church that day....I only got to hold her for about 5 seconds before a whole string of people whisked her away.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Spring, Everyone!

It's still snowing reasonably hard, but it's above freezing, so it won't last. It's a balmy spring day in Minneapolis!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

spring birthday

Because of all the snow, we didn't give Isaac his birthday present from Nana and Papa until this week. He was so pumped about getting to open a "pwe-sent".

He still hasn't figured out the pedals. I bet he could, but so far he's happy to just push around at tortoise pace. It's really funny to see him puttering around contentedly as the older kids zoom in circles around him. I wonder how long it will take him to want to learn to pedal.

aaaand he's off!

just chillin

Daddy Vance and his happy, adoring children...

Monday, March 17, 2008

play gym

Here are a few pictures of Claire with the new love of her life--the play gym. She can kick around on her little gym for over an hour sometimes. It amazes me how much she loves it. We just put her feet close to the pole so she can kick it, and she has a blast. Zack also likes to shake the rattles, so they make a good team. And since the gym can fold up and fit under the couch, I like it too. Everyone wins :).

I've been thinking a lot today about how fun it is to watch your kids enjoy each other. People talk a lot about sibling rivalry and jealousy, but sibling affection doesn't get a lot of press. I've been amazed at how Isaac seems to really love Claire. He loves to be with her and look at her and touch her. Today he came to "visit" her while she was (once again) enjoying her play gym, and she smiled when she saw him coming over to her. Melts my heart...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Blogger isn't letting me post pictures right now, so I'll have to come back and put some new Claire pictures up. We're all still enjoying the warm sunny weather while it lasts, although it's supposed to snow again next week. It's been amazing to see grass again. I had forgotten what the landscape looked like without a covering of snow.

I'm just getting into my next book, so I've been able to spend more time cleaning and organizing around here as well. I'm working on a menu master list to make meal planning easier, and finding recipes faster as well. I spend too much time trying to remember where a certain recipe is. I'm about halfway through with organizing my cooking magazines. It feels good to have a clean(er) house and feel like I'm making some headway with long-term projects.

But I have to say, the extra reading time is a big perk of nursing for me. Since Claire has been born, I've gotten to read Bleak House (Dickens), The Chosen (Potok), the Harry Potter series(can't believe I didn't read it earlier), Humility (Mahaney), and The Enemy Within (Lundgaard). I'm working on Alcorn's Heaven and Piper's When I Don't Desire God right now. Both slower reads, but very good. Then I'm re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird for book club. I haven't read this much in a long time, and it's kind of a thrill for this book junkie. I'm slowing down now, though, since Claire is nursing faster and less frequently.

Well, back to organizing. Pictures to come soon....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

50 degrees!

...and we were all anxious to get outside :), Isaac especially. He loved having the windows open, and was outside as much as possible today.

March is a crazy month in Minnesota. With a record high of 80 degrees, and a record low around -30, the only place in the world with more extreme swings in temperature is Siberia. Siberia! 112 degrees between the record high and low. It boggles my mind....and I live here!

Isaac is feeling better, albeit still with a runny nose. He is growing up so fast. Today, when Vance left for work, he said, "Bye! Have fun, Daddy!" completely on his own. Even with his exploding vocabulary, however, there are words he doesnt know. So he has a substitute word: peascany (or pieskanee, as Vance spells it). I have no idea where he got it, but it gets used whenever he doesn't know the right word. Which is often. :) It's right up there with "yellow" which is the response I get any time I ask him what color something is. Two year olds. :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008


A few pictures from my week of isolation...Isaac got sick last Sunday, and Vance went down soon after. I, thankfully, had been sick two weeks before, so I was able to rock, cuddle, wipe noses, and generally keep things going in the midst of all the tired, feverish people I was living with. If it was the flu, it was a pretty mild version. Nonetheless, with everything on my schedule for the week suddenly nixed, I was starting to feel cooped up. Preschool? Cancel. Playdate? Cancel. Piano lessons? Date with Vance? Small Group? Cancel, cancel, cancel.

Claire got a fever last night, so I spent most of the night up with her, too concerned to leave her by herself. Fevers are kind of scary in such a little body. She's better today, though.

I did get to get my hair cut on social event for the week, since I went with a friend :). All in all, it could have been a lot worse, but I'm grateful for what looks like warmer temps this week, and maybe some normal activities!

two tired boys...
...but not for long! :)

This picture needs some explanation. Isaac was adamant about wearing that too-small fishing hat. He was also exhausted, and was nodding off sitting at the lunch table. Too funny not to document. :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Little Sweeties

Okay, I've been bad about posting pictures, so here's a bunch. Zack and Claire love to hold hands....or at least, Zack loves to hold hands with Claire. He just loves to be in contact with her, period. It was too cute to pass up.
Bucking Bronco has been the new favorite game in our house. The Bronco often pitches the cowboy onto the couch, amidst un-cowboylike squeals of laughter and demands of, "more bronco! more bronco!"

oh man. this one gets me every time.

makes you want to 'fess up, doesn't it? yes, sir.

This was one of the events at the Little Sweeties Dance. Of course, for a preschoolers dance, over half the activities had nothing to do with dancing. There was a large muscle room with lawn mowers and cars and slides, a coloring station, a decorate-your-cookie station, a coloring station, a reading station, etc. Isaac spent most of his time running around in the gym.

There was, though, some "dancing". Isaac loves loves loves music, but I think he was a little shy about prancing around with the older kids. He stood mesmerized in line with them, but wouldn't move a muscle the whole time.

A little different from your typical bump and grind, eh?

Zack's friend Caleb turned two on Saturday, and we got to go to his hoppin party. Here's Isaac pretending to partake of the cake (although weirdly enough, he doesn't like cake all that much. Didn't eat any of his own birthday cake). He and Caleb spent half the time running outside in the hall. Typical boys. We had lots of fun.

Here's Claire, showing off her neck muscles. She can get a lot higher than this, actually, but I haven't gotten it on camera yet. She's a tough little cookie.

And some smiles for the camera. I was both the comedian and the photographer, so these didn't turn out that great, but it gives you a little idea of what she's up to these days.