Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

A: (while playing with a squeeze toy in the bathtub)..."Mommy, the crab tooted."


A: (while driving home from church)..."Camille is fussing a lot. She needs breast milk."


A: "I want more pretzels. What do you say? Please!"
at least she is asking the question herself now...

Head over to Mary's for more Tiny Talkers.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's in her genes...

One sure sign of summer around here is....CORN ON THE COB! I love it....and apparently I always have because there are more pictures of me eating it as a kid than anything else (except maybe ice cream).
Adeline has had fresh corn a few times before, but I usually cut it off the cob for her. When we handed the ear to her, she tried to bite the end of it (like a hotdog). Precious. She was a quick learner though (see the title), and she soon devoured every kernel and asked for more....and then more. Yeah, she gets her appetite from me too.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Great Waves Park

Patrick's mom works at the Pentagon. Once a year, they have a big picnic at Great Waves Park in VA. There is a cookout, moon bounce, wave pool, baby pool, water slides, fountains, and a sand box. My mom came to watch Camille, and I took Adeline for the day. We met my mother-in-law, Patrick's sister, her husband, and their three kids there. This is the closest most of you will get to seeing me in a swimsuit this summer....it's just not right to have to wear one 5 weeks after having an almost 9 lb baby!

There weren't as many noisy things at this park, but none the less, my recently timid daughter took a while to warm up to the idea of "swimming." She soon learned to love the fountain flowing from this rock.

We made repeated trips to the sand area when needing a break from the water.
Then back to the splashing, running, and jumping...

...and more sand

We were having some sleeping issues with Adeline (as in she wouldn't go to sleep since she figured out how to open her bedroom door...we fixed that). I thought she would be tired out by around 3, but she was having so much fun, we stayed ALL day. With no nap, and constant activity in the sun, she barely made it two miles to Ruby Tuesday's where we had dinner. I thought she would be asleep before we were out of the parking lot, but she got her second wind and sang the whole. way. home........well, until we were 3 min from home. Those with toddlers know it is the kiss of death if they fall asleep for a short time before you get home. I made her stay awake. She melted. We gave her a bath. She was quickly becoming a puddle. Then....she slept.

Sunday Finest

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Life...

Sorry this isn't a great picture....
The other day, I noticed two birds carrying twigs and pine needles to the top of our hanging tomato plant. I texted Patrick with the exciting news. A few days later, we took down the plant to water it, and there was a HUGE nest inside with this tiny, blue egg. Such fun.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

A: (while sitting at the table eating her lunch...)
"Don't throw your books. Stay in bed, daddy said. OBEY your daddy!"
"Mommy says, don't fuss. Make happy sounds....la la la."
Well dear, at least we know she's listening...


A: "Mommy, my paci has eyes (the vent holes)!!! Adeline has eyes too!"


A: "Don't fuss, baby Camille. What's the matter? Here, suck on your paci."


A: "Dear Jesus, thank you for outside, and the park, and swings, thank you for the party and hospitals and daddy's work, thank you for Home Depot, for Camille, thank you for Bob the tomato, and for yummy food and for asparagus. Thank you for all things. In Jesus name, Amen."


Me: "Adeline, would you like more strawberries?"
A: "I want A LOT of them!!!"

Head over to Mary's for more tiny talkers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Watkins Park

A group of us (3 mommies and 6 kids) took a trip to Watkin's Park. First, we started out looking at the animals. My girl LOVES all things bunny.

...but she didn't like the chickens because they were too noisy. And next we had the peacocks...
A: "I don't like the peacocks. They're too noisy."
We then saw some pigs (fine) and some turkeys, but they were noisy too. She wanted to get away from those noisy turkeys, so she prodded mommy to head over to the ducks.....we've seen ducks before. They should be safe, right? Well.....there were some geese and swans mixed in there and as we approached, you guessed it, they were noisy too.
A: "I don't like them. Mommy hold you!?!"

Next we decided to go on a hay ride. Adeline, who recently has become very apprehensive about new things, did NOT want to ride the hay ride. Mommy made her....because I knew she would love it...and she did (although she snuggled with mommy the whole time).

After all that adventure, it was time for lunch. We had a very nice picnic.

Time to ride the choo choo train!!! Again, Adeline didn't want to, and the train was "a bit noisy." However, I think she enjoyed her ride and is still talking about it.

Then, just to make sure everyone was REALLY tired out and ready to nap, we headed to the playground. Adeline held Amelie's hand as we walked (too cute).

Such a fun day!!! Thanks Nancy and Rachel!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I don't get it. Road rage. I. don't. get. it. People who are perfectly nice and normal when you meet them on the street are suddenly transformed when glass windows and metal are separating you. People who can usually see the good in others suddenly assume the worst of everyone. "That person is a #&^#%*)@....he just cut me off!!!" Why is the first assumption that he is a mean spirited person with a personal vendetta against you? Do the same people who tailgate, hold up Mr tall man, and mouth profanities do the same when someone does something they don't like face to face. I know there are probably some that feel the world is out to get them and are just plain mean most of the time. However, I know people who struggle with road rage, and they are as genteel as can be when you meet them in person. Why do angry drivers take things so personally, and why do they feel they need to punish all other drivers when offended? Do they really think their rage is going to change the driving habits of the world?

I don't struggle much with anger. I am not a push over. I can be passionate, strong willed, and even stubborn, but it takes a lot to get me angry. When someone drives aggressively and offends me in some way, I may give them a stern look, but I have never (no really, I mean N-E-V-E-R) flicked someone off or swore at them in retaliation. It just seems immature. On a recent drive, I was flicked off TWICE. I am a good driver. I admit I drive fast, but I don't drive angry, and I don't think I deserved such treatment. I'll describe one of the incidents to explain...

There are two lanes turning left at a light. After both lanes round the corner, they soon merge into one lane. Driving protocol is that each lane takes turns merging. The person driving to my left was on the tail of the person in front of her, but the lanes are designed to facilitate the merge, and I merged when it was my turn. She laid on her horn and both she and her passenger had their middle fingers high in the air. It didn't ruin my day, but it did ruin a few minutes. I just don't get it.......why can't we all just get along?

PS. If you are in the angry driver camp, please remove the Jesus fish from your bumper. No really, you are not witnessing to anyone.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

When looking at a board book about colors with objects to name...
A: "Green caterpillar, birdie, apples, peas.......daddy's drink! (a glass bottle)"



Grandma: "Adeline, what did you have for supper?"

A: "lunch."

A: "Here, baby Camille, a book."
Me: "That's very sweet, honey, but she's still too little for books. She can't hold it yet. You can sit beside her and read to her though."
A: sits down beside Camille and opens her book
Me: "Tell her what is in the pictures, sweetheart."
A: holds the book in front of Camille so she can see it...
"A birdie, baby Camille. See the birdie?!?"
I was desperately trying to find the video camera. This was SUCH a sweet moment. I love my girls.

Head over to Mary's for more tiny talkers...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

A: "I want to go down to the basement to jump and jump all by your big girl self."
(we have a bouncy house in the basement...best $40 we ever spent).
Mommy: "Adeline, do you want watermelon or grapes?"
A: "First I would like wa-melon then cookies."
We are working on getting Adeline to stay in her big-girl bed. Our rule generally is that if we find her out of bed, she has to go in her baby crib for a few minutes (which she hates and usually causes a tantrum, but she's confined and she gets the point). About a week ago, Patrick put her in the crib and she didn't cry. She started to not see this penalty as such a bad thing. SO, being the astute parents we are, we came up with plan B. We decided we would take something she likes such as her paci or bunny and keep them for a few minutes AND put her in the crib. The first night, Patrick explained the rules to her. Later that evening, Patrick finds her in the hallway and says...
P: "Adeline, what are you doing out of bed?!?"
A: Hands her daddy her paci and says, "I go baby crib."
Sigh...back to the parental drawing board.
Head over to Mary's blog to read about more tiny talkers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Orzo and Corn off the Cob

It has been a while since I've posted a recipe, partially because I'm so bad at remembering to take pictures when I cook.

This is the first recipe I want to pull out of hiding when summer hits.  The corn was sweet and delicious (and finally a good price) at our local grocery store last week, and I couldn't wait to use the nifty new Pampered Chef gadget I purchased to cut corn off the cob (I highly recommend it...cuts way down on the mess of corn milk that squirts everywhere when using a knife).  I used fresh herbs I am growing on my deck, and I had half of three peppers (red, yellow, and orange) from a recipe a few days ago, so I used them instead of just the red pepper called for in the recipe.  This can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.  It's delicious however you choose to eat it.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Orzo and Corn off the Cob

4 ears fresh ears of corn
1 1/4 cups Orzo pasta
1 med red sweet pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup finely snipped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely snipped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut the corn kernels off the cob (should have about 2 cups).  Set aside.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.  Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-9 min until tender, adding the corn during the last 3 min of cooking.  drain well and place in a large serving bowl.  Add the other ingredients and toss to combine.

Camille's Sunday Finest Debut!

Here are Camille's Sunday Finest pictures from the past two weeks.  Last week I forgot to take Adeline's picture before changing her, and this week she wanted NOTHING to do with the camera.  Oh well...

I bought this dress in Pakistan from a school for handicapped kids.  They learned the trade of embroidery so they could support themselves.  They did BEAUTIFUL work, and it was cheap!  I bought this before I even knew Patrick was on the planet, and I didn't find it until after Adeline had outgrown it.  What a blessing to wear it on my daughter and remember my time in Pakistan.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What I've Been Reading...

If I really want to track what I am reading, I really need to do these posts more often.  I haven't done one since the beginning of the year!

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer looks at the fundamentalist Mormon church.  The stories of young girls being forced into pluralistic marriages with men three times their age (sometimes even with a stepfather or adoptive father who raised them) is appalling and shocking.  There are stories of violence and even justifying murder through their faith.  I realize this is not the story of the mainstream Mormon church.  Just as you could find people who misinterpret the Bible and take their beliefs to an extreme that is not true of the majority of those practicing Christianity, this book is focusing on an extreme sect of Mormons.  However, the book also discusses Joseph Smith (who is described as a charming but drug addicted, convicted con man) and the founding of the Mormon faith which is applicable to a greater majority of those professing belief in this religion.  Krakauer combines history with current news reports and interviews with modern day fundamentalists (two who are convicted murderers).  Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys religious history and can stomach a bit of graphic violence.

Too Good to Be True by Michael Horton was my book club's selection for May, and it is the only one of the year that I didn't finish...not because it wasn't worth reading but because I was 9 months pregnant, low on energy and brain cells, and unable to commit the mental energy required to process the theological truths it contains.  Actually, there were several in our group that did not finish it (which is rare), but those who did said you NEED to read the end before you can evaluate it or really get the point.  So, I will stop this review here until a time when I am better able to review this work.

I will confess, I was one of those who never planned to read the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.  I saw and enjoyed the first three movies, but as the story continued to get darker, I couldn't see how I would benefit from reading them.  There has been much controversy surrounding them in Christian circles (which is exactly why Patrick wanted to read them....he likes to find out for himself what all the hype is about).  I took the road of just avoiding them.  Then my book club selected the first book as one of our selections.  I found it to be an enjoyable story that was extremely well written.  Our discussion helped me to see that the series should not be discounted based on the magic and evil it contains (CS Lewis's Narnia series and Lord of the Rings both contain storybook magic).  What matters is the worldview presented, and in these books, evil is clearly evil, and good is clearly good.  The author does not try to paint sinful acts such as defiance, lying, or cheating to get ahead as acceptable or admirable.  The "good" characters portray characteristics that we would all want our children to model.

Unless you have been living in a cave, you know they gist of what these books are about, so I will not bore you with a summary.  I have read the first four so far, and I plan to read the last three.  If you have read the series or have been avoiding it, I would love to hear your opinions and reasons.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir worth reading.  I love the review written by Brangien Davis on Amazon, so I will quote him rather than writing my own....  

"Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents--Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father. To call the elder Walls's childrearing style laissez faire would be putting it mildly. As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices. But while Rex and Rose Mary firmly believed children learned best from their own mistakes, they themselves never seemed to do so, repeating the same disastrous patterns that eventually landed them on the streets. Walls describes in fascinating detail what it was to be a child in this family, from the embarrassing (wearing shoes held together with safety pins; using markers to color her skin in an effort to camouflage holes in her pants) to the horrific (being told, after a creepy uncle pleasured himself in close proximity, that sexual assault is a crime of perception; and being pimped by her father at a bar). Though Walls has well earned the right to complain, at no point does she play the victim. In fact, Walls' removed, nonjudgmental stance is initially startling, since many of the circumstances she describes could be categorized as abusive (and unquestioningly neglectful). But on the contrary, Walls respects her parents' knack for making hardships feel like adventures, and her love for them--despite their overwhelming self-absorption--resonates from cover to cover."

For those of you who are Spurgeon fans, Bright Days, Dark Nights is a must read.  A women's group at my church discussed this book chapter by chapter.  Elizabeth Skogland spent years reading Spurgeon sermons, pulling out his thoughts on difficulties such as anxiety, depression, loneliness,  and change.  Spurgeon himself struggled through times of extreme emotional pain.  This book is 90% quotes from Spurgeon, and 10% the writing of Skogland.  Here are a few quotes from the chapter on anxiety...

"The Lord knows your troubles by His tender foresight before they come to you; He anticipates them before Satan can draw the bar.  The Preserver of men will put His beloved beyond the reach of the arrow.  Before the weapon is forged in the furnace and fashioned on the anvil, He knows how to provide us with...that which will turn the edge of the sword and break the point of the spear."

"Instead of forebodings and fears, there seems to me cause for hte brightest expectations, if we can only fall back upon the divine promise, and believe that God, even our own God, shall yet, in this very age bless us as he was wont to do in days of old."

"A certain class of persons are greatly gifted with the mournful faculty of inventing troubles...They feel certain about this dreadful thing and that, and fret accordingly.  None of these things have happened to them yet, and in the judgment of others they are less likely to happen now than ever they were, but yet they convert their suspicions into realities, and torture themselves with them though they be but fancies..."

Anyone else been reading anything recently that they would like to recommend?