I can't believe that January is already almost halfway over!
I just finished taking down the last little remnants of Christmas yesterday. I copied my friend Mari's idea of saving the Christmas cards each year so that you can look back on your friends each year and reminisce about the past. It makes me feel so much better than recycling them! We got some truly beautiful cards this year.
I also, regrettably, got rid of our beautiful live wreaths that were hanging in the house. They smelled absolutely divine, but any time there was movement near them, pine needles shook off all of over the floor. Which, to be honest, I don't really mind, except that Merit likes to chew on them.
Okay, here are some random iPhone pictures from the last week or so:
Our good friend Valerie supplies us with most of Kjel's clothes and occasionally some really awesome toys -- these cool dress-up outfits that she brought by fit perfectly with Kjel's new play kitchen and her play-doh ice cream set. These two spent hours one afternoon playing restaurant together.
I will never stop feeling immensely grateful for these amazing Melissa and Doug blocks that I won in a giveaway several years ago. They are easily the most played-with toys in our house and are really perfect for every age group in our home. Babies love to suck on them, toddlers love knocking down the intricate towers that the big kids build. Ha. And occasionally Steven and I will find ourselves building some super awesome structures while we chat at night.
While I was chatting with Kjel in the car last week, we started talking about Kindergarten next year and I totally started choking up, telling her about all the fun things she will do. I am going to miss her so much. Kjel is a delight to have around. All day, she is coloring or drawing, building, creating, and helping me. She is the most responsible child, ever. I love that her drawings have become more detailed and feminine over the last few weeks. These are both pictures of me! I'm so flattered! Especially since this morning she looked me up and down and said very matter-of-factly, "You look like a weird boy with sort of long hair." Yowch.
Second favorite toy purchase of all time: these adorable mini-animals. We now own the farm animals and the safari animals plus several of the bigger, heavier ones (a hippo, lion, and horse, which come to think of it have been missing for a few days, hmmmm). They come in little cylindrical containers at Target. Kinda pricy but I got a triple deal right before Christmas and got a container of 100 for 4.99. BEST investment. My kids love, love, LOVE THEM! Especially Will and Kjel. How cute is this tiny farm they made?
Ah, Merit. Poor, poor Merit. Sick again. She is doing lots of learning about mortality and how it is just plain awful sometimes. This is a post for another day - but on Saturday i was DETERMINED to sleep train her. Of course, later that weekend she started burning up with a fever. She's been sick like nobody's business since then, just lethargic and sick tummy and coughing like crazy. So sad. :(
Will looks at me every so often and commands, "Mom, you be sad." So I make a pouty face and he runs up to me and pats my cheek (or bum) and says, "Oh, honey, it's okay. You happy."
I HAVE GOT to enroll Kjel in some kind of dance class. I had some beautiful classical music playing and she was amazing, twirling all around and jumping, but then the music got quiet and her movements were more subtle, then as the music swelled she unfolded into this beautiful, leaping dance. So beautiful. I think she is very talented.
We've had some amazing winter sunsets here. Pictures just don't do them justice. I LOVE the view from our backyard, with the tall trees silhouetted against that pearly sky.
This is just a random dinner picture. Ha. I love this family.
Oh, so fun! In a stroke of genius inspiration, we decided to swap the girls' rooms. For lots of reasons, but mainly so that Merit can sleep better. I'll explain later. I ordered a darling bed and some new bedding for Kjel, and I'm going to paint her room a lighter more blue-grey this week. Can't wait to reveal it! For now she is sleeping on her mattress on the floor and as Gage says, "Her room looks like the poorhouse."
I have dozens of these on my phone:
Last weekend I took the big kids on a mom-date. Sweet Frog is always a huge hit and it's the best because NO ONE in my family likes what I like (the original tart with blueberries). Joke is totally on them. It's the one treat I never have to share!
One of Gage's resolutions this year is to learn to cook so I've been giving him mini lessons when the timing works out. He was so proud of these very tasty scrambled eggs! (Look away, Rose!)
I took this sweetie pie on a date. And he got some pie! The Wegman's peanut butter pie is his ALL TIME favorite dessert. Steven is easy to please. I'd say easy as pie ;). I sense a theme here.
Steve took this one of me and the kids on Sunday night. Kjel is that hot pink blur, she's about to flip over the side of the couch. I was trying so hard to have an inspiring devotional. "Just try to laugh," Steven advised. Oh, life. So wonderful.