Fall 2009 Pictures

  • Posted: 9:29 PM
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  • Author: Mary

Our camera broke when we were in Rome and we got a new camera for Christmas. I was trying to get everything set up on the computer this evening and I found some good pictures from the last few months. Enjoy...









Favorite Holiday Recipe

  • Posted: 9:44 AM
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  • Author: Mary

Ok...I finally have a reason to write aonther blog. The Brown Eyed Baker at http://www.browneyedbaker.com/ is giving away a very nice Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and I am writing this post as my entry. I'll try to get back to the blog soon and give some family updates, but for now here is my favorite Holiday recipe.

I found a recipe for some very decadent and delicious Cinnamon Rolls here a few months ago. I tried them out and found them to be worth of a Christmas Morning treat. In fact they are so sweet, you may not want to have them much more often than that. I have baked 8 batches which I have in my freezer and will be given out to a few people for Christmas presents this year and shared at Holiday parties. If you are a Cinnamon Roll fan, you should check these out. You won't be sorry. :)

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and The Holy Face

  • Posted: 4:37 PM
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  • Author: Mary

Today is the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. This is Emily's middle name and primary patron. It is also the name I took at my Confirmation. We celebrated today by making 'rose' colored cup cakes with vanilla icing and 'rose' colored sugar in honor of Therese, the Little Flower. We also learned about Therese and the Little Way and how she did small things for Jesus. We talked about how she can do things like obeying her parents, picking up her toys, and being nice to her sister because she loves Jesus. We asked for St. Therese's intersession for us as we try to follow the Little Way.

For more information about St. Therese check out these links:
http://www.littleflower.org/abouttherese/index.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%A9r%C3%A8se_of_Lisieux
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=105

I'm trying to get ready for our trip for Rome so I don't have time to post the pictures of the cupcakes now. I'll get back to it later if I get the chance.

This Week

  • Posted: 6:48 AM
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  • Author: Mary

I had kind of a crazy week. Crazy, but productive in some ways. I am quite proud of what I accomplished. I took this wheel barrow full of muscadines: (plus a few)

and turned it into this: (plus a few jars)
And, It only took me a week and 1/2 to finish it. After Matt picked the fruit from the vine and assisted in sorting and washing the berries, I did the rest with out any help. Not that help wouldn't have been appreciated, it was just no where to be found. The really amazing part of this is that I had a sick toddler last Saturday, a sick preschooler last Sunday, and I was a very sick Mommy on Monday night and Tuesday. I also did not have a completely neglected home while the project was on going. In spite of all of the obstacles put forth I actually completed the task.

It is, of course, muscadine jelly. Well, most of it is actually jam. I have never done anything like this before and have never been particularly interested in learning how to, but our muscadines vines produced a modest crop this year and I was faced with a choice: let the fruit rot on the vine or do something productive with it. I chose of course, the latter.

Although I am ignorant to the particular qualities which differentiate jam and jelly, after making 2 or 3 batches of jelly I opted to make the rest into jam. This choice was made solely on the fact that the jam recipe called for a greater volume of juice. I know I am a mom of young children and rarely have to opportunity to do more than the most very basic math (as in counting to 20), so this was an opportunity to use some of the math skills that I possessed at the height of my academic career. Through careful employment of these skills, I was able to compute that a higher volume of juice per batch would result in fewer batches that needed to be prepared. Of course fewer batches would mean less time preparing jam and more time for the other tasks that my life that required of me. As you can clearly see, a wonderful application of my once Calculus level math skills.

Upon more careful reflection, I see that this supposed wonderful application of my math skills may just be an application of my barely greater than basis level domestic math in disguise. Please for the sake of my ego, let us pretend that it was ingenious. Regardless, the jelly turned out very well, and hopefully the jam did too, although we haven't yet had the opportunity to taste.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Below you will see some examples of what happens when Mom tries to do anything around the house which doesn't include the kids. I do not think any of these incidents actually occurred when I was making jam, but you get the idea.

Pictured here, Mary Claire covered in dry erase marker. It is actually all over her back and legs too. She tried to erase it with the dry eraser, but of course it didn't work as well on her body as it does on the dry erase board.


Pictured here, Emily is drawing on herself, again with dry erase markers. This was after she had drawn on Mary Claire's back. When I came up to her to take this picture she said "look mama, I'm painting my nails." Of course they had to have a bath after this incident.


Pictured here, Mary Claire had taken off her diaper to go potty and since there was no child seat on this toilet, she fell in. (She is not, by the way, potty trained yet, just obsessed with being like her big sister.) I was cleaning up the kitchen when this happened and she was hollering for me from upstairs. She didn't sound urgent, so I continued what I was doing. Emily ran down stairs and calmly told me, "Mary Claire fell off the potty." Thinking to my self, "this could be bad," I quickly rushed up stairs. I was greeted with this hilarious situation and had to rush back down stairs for the camera before I pulled her out. Once I started laughing, Mary Claire thought it was pretty funny too.

For My Two Best Friends...

  • Posted: 7:13 AM
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  • Author: Mary

Matt leaves early on Wednesdays for a meeting in Paris. I was sleeping in a little bit, as I have been up with sick kids a lot lately and sick myself. When Mary Claire got up this morning, I just pulled her into bed with me so we could cuddle and talk. She told me:

"Mama, I miss Nanna" (translation: I miss Anna)
"I-dit, too" (Isaac too)
"I-T, too" (Clare too)

So sweet. We do miss seeing Anna since she is in school now. My girls are always asking about her. We miss our sweet Isaac and Clare too. Hopefully we will see you soon!

Have a cute-baby-tastic day!!

Catch Up

  • Posted: 10:17 AM
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  • Author: Mary

For my 2 or 3 readers out there sorry I've been away for so long. I have been much to busy with living to take time to work on the blog. While I enjoy doing it, it requires a lot of my time and energy to keep up with the home, the kids, and now NFP teaching and promoting and I've been spending more of my 'extra time' with my family instead of my computer. Here is a little of what we have been up to.

1-----

We had a short camping trip a few weeks ago. The weather was supposed to be beautiful (which it was) so mid-week, Matt decided it would be a good idea to go camping Friday and Saturday. We searched in vain to find other people to go with us, but it seems that no one else was available or up for hanging out with small children outside all weekend. We decided to go on our own. It was fun, but not the relaxing trip we had envisioned. It is nice to have one or two more adults along (even if they bring kids) to take turns watching the kids, setting up camp, cooking, etc. so everyone gets some relaxing time too. We had a great camping spot though and hopefully we will be able to fine someone to go with us to enjoy it next time.

Matt and Emily skipping rocks on Saturday Morning


2-----
Here is a good picture of the girls. I caught them laying on the couch hugging each other one morning.


3-----
Uncle Josh was in town for a few days before heading back to Rome. He came over one afternoon and one evening. It was great to have him around. The kids loved playing with him and he is a great out loud reader. Also it was a good opportunity for Emily to get to know her Godfather a little better.



4-----
The girls have been enjoying playing with my modest jewelry collection. I have a jewelrey box that my uncle made for me when I was a child. It is like a treasure chest to them. They can only play with it on my bed when I am there so nothing gets lost. I saved a few special pairs of earrings that my dad gave me and will pass them on to my girls when they get their ears pierced.


5-----
Emily plopped down on the couch bedside me today to spend a few minutes taking care of her babies. Here she is nursing in the 'football hold'...
Here she is using the more traditional 'cradle hold.'
I must be doing something right if this is how my daughter thinks of taking care of a baby.

6-----

It has worked out for my Aunt Amy to start music lessons with Emily. We just heading over to Altus after Dance on Tuesday mornings. I guess it is our Arts day. We have really enjoyed the singing and instrument playing. It has even inspired me to get out my old beginner piano books to play a little bit. I'm very rusty, but it is fun to play around again. I'm going to have to ask Aunt Amy to give me a few refresher lessons because I have forgotten what a lot of the notations in the music indicate. Unfortunately I haven't gotten any pictures yet, but I will eventually.

...Have an Art-tastic Day...

Fun at B and Pop's House

  • Posted: 4:32 PM
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  • Author: Mary
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  • Filed under: grand visit

I have a guest contributer today. My mom wrote a little summary of the girls visit last week. Enjoy.

Trial Run for OCTOBER with the Grandgirls!

Well, I can say that those girls are GRAND. Of course I knew that even before having them for several days a few weeks ago.


Matt and Mary kindly humored us by letting us have a trial run of keeping the girls for several days without their parents. What fun. We did lots of art projects, watched a few of Emily’s favorite cartoons, went swimming several days, painted the deck (with water and paint brushes), played in the water table and played lots of toys and read LOTS OF BOOKS! Those girls can read for hours.


They both slept all night! WOW! Matt and Mary, you are doing a great job with the bedtime routine. They knew just what to do.


Some highlights:


Waking up to Mary Claire…1st word out of her mouth in the morning was B (that is my Grandma name-B). She pretty much knows that if she says B, I am right there to take care of her needs, so I heard B often during those days we had her.

She says B house, Pop house…every morning when she woke up. Then she would let us hold and rock her for a while when. She lets us read to her for long periods of time. When we would be putting Emily to bed at night Mary Claire would get a crate of books out and read for 30 to 45 minutes!!!! Then she would put all of the books away.


Emily did lots of art. She especially likes getting to use the liquid paints and paintbrushes while Mary Claire was taking her nap. Emily loves to dress up. What a girly girl she is. She also loves pretending. When she pretends to cook, she tosses a caeser salad with Jacob’s drumsticks. What 3 year old knows what a caeser salad is? Mary does some pretty fancy cooking and Emily knows about that stuff. They both liked getting their fingernails and toenails painted too.


A fun week at B and Pops. We look forward to October when Mary and Matt travel to Rome for Josh’s Ordination-more fun with the grandgirls. That is our contribution and gift to Josh…is to allow Mary and Matt to go while we keep the kids. Our prayers will be for Josh all during that week when we have the girls.





























Will You Let Me Be Your Servant

  • Posted: 9:20 AM
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  • Author: Mary
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  • Filed under: Title

You may have noticed that I changed the title of my blog. I thought of the previous title as a place holder until I found something that was more meaningful to me. A few months ago, I was going through a really tough time and happened to go to Mass that weekend with my parents in Morrilton. I hadn't heard this song in a while and they "happened to" sing it at Mass that day. It really touched me, even more than usual, and was the perfect song for me to hear at that time. Ever since that Sunday, I have had it stuck in my head and sing it often. To me, this song expresses the way I desire to fulfill my vocation as a wife and a mother. I sing it when I'm feeling happy and fulfilled and also when I'm feeling frustrated or angry to remind me of my calling. I have chosen to use it as the title of my blog because it means so much to me and it truly is the way I strive to live my life.

Here are the complete lyrics. It really is a beautiful song and a wonderful theme of my vocation.

1.Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you? Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant, too.

2.We are pilgrims on a journey, we are trav’lers on the road. We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.

3.I will hold the Christ-light for you in the night time of your fear. I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.

4.I will weep when you are weeping, when you laugh I'll laugh with you. I will share your joy and sorrow till we've seen this journey through.

5.When we sing to god in heaven, we shall find such harmony, born of all we've known together of Christ's love and agony.

6.Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you? Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant, too.

Quick Takes Friday

  • Posted: 7:46 AM
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  • Author: Mary

Friday Already?!?

--1--
We had guest last weekend. Our friend Jason, who is a seminarian to be ordained next summer, spent the weekend with us. With his super busy schedule the last several years we have only gotten to see him 1-2 times a year, however this summer we have had the privilege of seeing him on several occasions and felt very privileged to have him as a guest for a whole weekend.


Reading is probably the girls favorite activity. So, they weren't going to let Jason escape without reading them a pile of books last weekend. It was kind of nice to have someone else around to read for a while. Plus, Matt and I even got to spend some time cooking together while they were keeping Jason busy reading in the Living Room.




--2--
This summer Mary Claire has discovered the simple, yet decadent pleasures of Blue Bell Natural Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. She likes it so much that she will literally drink it out of the bowl after it melts. She also enjoys the perfect accompaniment, fresh ripe peaches. Yum, Yum.





--3--
It has been a rather unusual week for me. I took the girls down to Pop and B's house on Tuesday after their first dance lesson. I spent Tuesday night with them, but left on Wednesday morning and have had a few days on my own. This is a first for me. Emily started spending nights with B and Pop when we were in the Hospital having Mary Claire. At the time, Emily was only a few weeks older than Mary Claire is now. (Emily was 19 mo old and Mary Claire is almost 19 mo old now.) Now that Mary Claire is old enough to stay for a few nights and we actually don't have another baby yet, I get some time on my own. It is strange, but nice for a change.




Wednesday evening Matt and I got a chance to prepare for teaching our upcoming Natural Family Planning class. It was nice to have several hours uninterrupted with out having to stay up late to get it. Yesterday evening we had a spontaneous date. I finally got to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and then we had a late dinner after the movie. What a treat :) !!


I have had a good few days, but I'm very ready to give my girls a hug and kiss. I will miss them so much when we take our 10 day trip in October, but I feel so comfortable and relaxed about them staying with my parents which makes it a little easier.




Thank you so much Pop and B.
(My dad sent me a picture from his phone of B and the girls asleep in bed together this morning, but I think my mom would kill me if I post it, so...)



--4--
The girls had their first dance class this week. As I expected, Emily felt very shy and therefore very silly, so she wouldn't really do anything but giggle and not cooperate. Mary Claire was more cooperative though. A large part of the reason that I'm making the effort to do this dance thing is that Emily needs more social stimulation. I know it will take a while, but she will eventually feel comfortable with it and participate. She did watch though, and has practiced the steps she learned at home.



Here are some pictures of the girls after dance class.



I guess that is about all for this week. Have a ballet-tastic day ;)




A Few Words About Health and Fertility

  • Posted: 4:34 PM
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  • Author: Mary

I, like many moms, care about the health of my family. I try to minimize the amount of processed foods, trans fats, and take-out that we eat. We rarely go out to eat, we eat local honey, natural peanut butter, real oatmeal (old fashioned oats that you actually have to cook), mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, and if my kids are going to have a cookie chances are it has been made in my kitchen with unbleached flour and real butter. They drink mostly water, as do I, but when they do have juice it is most often Post Familie juice with no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Most of the meat we eat is fresh caught fish, beef that is raised down the road or venison from the fall hunting season. I wouldn't consider my self a health nut, but I think it will be better for my family to learn to like healthy foods now instead of having to train themselves to eat things like whole grain bread and natural peanut butter later in life.


I know there are a growing number of people who are thinking more about the foods they put in their mouth. Hormone free meats and dairy products and organically grown produce are just a few of the foods that have gained popularity as people have become more conscious of the foods they eat as well as the environmental impact of those foods.I am glad to hear the increasing media coverage and talk in my own family about raising awareness of our food choices. However, I often wonder how people completely ignore another health issue that, in my mind, is very closely related with the mindset of "be conscious of what you eat"...Hormonal Contraception.


Hormonal contraception is something that millions of women take daily to add unneeded hormones to their body and “break” a well functioning reproductive system. The list of side effects is long, well researched, and little talked about.



To name a few:
heart and blood abnormalities
cancer
cycle irregularities
headaches
migraines
mental depression
decrease or loss of sexual drive
cramps
bloating
weight gain or loss
water retention
nausea and vomiting
symptoms of PMS
vaginitis and vaginal infections
changes in vision
gall bladder disease
temporary or permanent infertility
http://ccli.org/nfp/contraception/pill.php



I, for one, am not willing to use a pill (shot, patch, ring, I.U.D., etc.) that puts me at risk for one or more of the above. It would certainty not be a loving thing for my own husband to ask me to do it either.


I know that many women, especially young women, use the pill to “treat” bad periods or make their cycles regular, but this is also an unhealthy thing to do. Cycle irregularities are part of physical maturation for a young women. If there is something wrong then taking the pill will not fix the problem, it will only mask it. There are a few places that will actually investigate the cause of the problem and not just automatically put teenagers on the pill. If you know someone who is having this difficulty please consider contacting the Pope Paul VI Institute http://www.popepaulvi.com/ which has extensive experience treating fertility and cycle problems and is a great resource and starting point to find supportive doctors.

For all of you married people out there, obviously one alternative to using contraception is just having as many kids as you will. Although some people are called to this, it is not a viable option for most people. There is a better way of family planning and it is called Natural Family Planning (NFP). It is not the "rhythm method" and it is 99% effective. It is great for your marriage and your body and it is not just for Catholics. Please women, and husbands who love your wives, take a few minutes and just consider it. Pray about it, read about it, maybe even consider taking a class. It can't hurt just to see what else is out there.

If you would like more information please don't hesitate to ask me.

Quick Takes Friday

  • Posted: 9:20 AM
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  • Author: Mary

---1---

Wedding Announcement...
Last weekend we went to Little Rock to see Matt's brother Josh and spend some time with the Pohlmeiers. We spent Saturday night at the Pohlmeier's house and the kids had a huge blast getting to play together for 2 days.

An interesting thing happened on Sunday morning over breakfast. We were all sitting down to some pancakes and eggs and Emily wanted another pancake. Matt and I were across the table from her, but Isaac was sitting right next to her and the plate of pancakes. He very kindly put another pancake and just the right amount of syrup on her plate for her. Erin commented that it was good for Isaac to learn early how to serve the women in his life.
Emily looked at Erin with the most confused look on her face and said "I'm not a woman...but I will be a woman when I grow up." And then she announced, "When I'm grow up, I'm going to marry Isaac." Keep in mind that Isaac has been saying lately that he is going to be a priest when he grows up, so I'm not really sure how that is going to work. Also, they are third cousins, but this is Arkansas, so that might not matter so much.

---2---
DANCE

I took dance lessons from the time I was 3 to 18. I really enjoyed it and I have been thinking about starting the girls in dance sometime in the next couple of years. Since we have been watching So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) all summer we have had dance on the brain. I decided to call about lessons last week just to investigate our options. The dance teacher was about to begin registration and said she took kids as young as 14 months. I had thought that I would have to wait until Mary Claire was 3 if I wanted the girls to take together. We went to check it out and I decided to sign them up. They (Emily) are very excited and so am I.
---3---
More about Dance

Speaking of dance and how much we love it...We were watching SYTYCD on Wednesday evening. Emily always has to go to bed before it is over. When she woke up on Thursday morning, she came out of her room, walked right into the living room, sat in the rocking chair and said "can we watch the dancers?"

She was disappointed when I informed her that we had more important things to do first such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth, going potty, getting dressed, and doing our chores. She really enjoyed when we finally got a chance to sit down and watch the dance numbers from the night before.

---4---
Ankle

Last Saturday evening Matt and Jason Pohlmeier decided to go play basketball with Matt's brother Josh. About 1.5 minutes into the game Matt tripped over Jason's foot and hurt his ankle badly. We had it x rayed on Sunday morning, but luckily it wasn't broken, just a bad sprain. The doc, my dad, said it would be 6-8 weeks before it heals. We head to Rome in about 7 weeks. Matt will have 2 weeks of walking (a lot) everyday, so I really hope that it is better by then.

---5---
Zucchini

My sister-in-law brought us some zucchini today and some zucchini recipes. I still have plans to try the recipes, but I actually decided to make this chocolate zucchini cake today. http://blessusolord.blogspot.com/2009/08/chocolate-zucchini-cake.html The girls "helped" me make the cake which, of course, resulted in a huge mess and a lot of fun. After licking the batter Mary Claire had a piece of bread to get the sweet taste out of her mouth. She was having a party on the counter and I had to get a picture.


---6---
We took an evening drive down to Morrilton last week. The girls were both tired and not very excited about being in the car. Mary Claire usually just falls asleep, but instead she did a lot of this...
Causing Emily hold her ears and eventually fall asleep like this...
Finally we gave Mary Claire the Route 44 cup of ice and she was happy for a while....until she poured it all over herself.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Chocolate Milk??

  • Posted: 1:37 PM
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  • Author: Mary

I really have had a wonderful experience nursing over the past 3+ years. I have had the opportunity to experience many things that other mothers who do not nurse or who wean their children at a young age do not get to experience. Nursing has always been a part of my life as I watched my mother nurse my three siblings all past 1 year-old and most of my aunts nurse my numerous cousins. I always planned on nursing when I had my own children, but I didn’t really know what it would be like to nurse, especially when your child gets older. It is certainly a different experience nursing a “baby” who is walking and talking or nursing two siblings who are 19 months apart in age. I feel very blessed to have had these experiences and over the past 3 years have noticed a funny happening that I thought I would share. It seems that my children often will prefer one side to the other. Both of my children happen to have had a slight preference for the same side.

Mary Claire is now nursing only 3 times a day (morning, nap, and bedtime) since we will be separated for 10 days at the beginning of October. I was putting her down for a nap and nursing her today when she stopped nursing and tried to switch sides. Since she is an 18 month old nurser now, we can have quite a bit of communication about and during nursing (this is a whole other story). I told her to keep nursing, there is more milk in there. She clearly told me “NO,” pulled down my shirt and got into position to nurse on the other side. Then she pulled on that side of my shirt until I conceded. It makes me wonder, does that side produce chocolate milk while the other produces plain? Perhaps that side makes whole milk and the other skim. Probably they just prefer the way I hold them with that arm, but it is interesting to think about.

…Have a creamy-dreamy day


I told my mom that I didn't think I had any pictures of Mary Claire and I nursing so she took one when we stopped by on Sunday...


7 quick Takes Friday

  • Posted: 4:41 PM
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  • Author: Mary

---1---

Sleeping Sweetie...

Isn't this sweet?!? Last week Matt and Emily were sitting in the rocking chair together near bedtime and Emily just feel asleep in his lap. When our kids are cuddly little babies and like to fall asleep in your arms they are being nursed to sleep. I, being the one who nurses them, get the pleasure of having a sleeping baby/child in my arms multiple times a day for over a year with each child. Matt doesn't get to experience a child sleeping in his lap very often and he actually really enjoyed this.



---2---
Computer Failure...

During? the thunder storms on Tuesday, our computer crashed. I figured it would be at least 2 weeks before Matt had the chance to look at it. I called my brother Wednesday and was telling him about it and he, being a 19 year old with no summer job, had time and decide to surprise me by coming over to work on it. Yay!! It was like having my own personal "GEEK SQUAD" for free. He had it working the same afternoon. Thanks Joseph!
---3---
More Bad Luck...

As if the computer wasn't enough, My glasses also broke this week. I sent them back with my mom and brother Wednesday and Mom took them into the place I got them to see if they could be fixed. More good news...they were still under warranty so no problems!! I didn't even know glasses had warranties, but I'm very glad because I had just gotten new transitions lenses with the scratch proof coating $$$. (but still cheaper than buying contacts all of the time)


Also we let Matt's brother, Josh, borrow my car for a few months. Matt has been driving our "farm truck" to work. It broke down last week and is in the shop. No good news there yet. We have been either taking Matt to work or car-less all week. It has been kind of nice having the time with him on the drive to and from town, though.


---4---
Out of the Lips of Infants and Babes...

I have decided that words like "Mama," "Papa," "Yey," " I want chi-chi" (a.k.a. nurse), and other delightfully happy words are the theme of the one-year-old. "No!!" is the theme of the two-year-old, and "I can do it myself" is the theme of the three-year-old.

---5---
Home run...

I made meat loaf for dinner one night this week. (This happens to be a very uncommon occurrence in out home.) I was delightfully surprised that it was a HUGE hit with the kids. I usually have trouble getting them to eat meat, but they loved it. I'll have to remember that for future meals.

--6---
Sister Time...
I "caught" the girls playing together so nicely this morning. I just had to take some pictures.

This is Mary Claire's "smile" for the camera. I didn't even ask her to do it she just said "cheese" and made this face when she saw the camera.



Just a side note...Mary Claire loves playing with these little dolls, and she calls all of them "Belle." She will get mad when Emily takes her "Belle." Emily will give Belle back to her, but Mary Claire may actually be wanting Belle, Snow White, Ariel, etc. It can cause some confusion.



---7---
Life Lessons...
Speaking of miscommunications...
I have recently realized that something as simple as a miscommunication can lead to deeply hurt feelings and even greater misunderstanding especially when relationships are on rocky ground to begin with. Although this should have been obvious to me already, I don't think I really understood the depth and complexity of this before last night. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn about life and communication, but hopefully I will think a little more about my communication attempts in the future.
I have also made some painful self discoveries in the past several months. I am a lot more stubborn and selfish than I thought I was. I have also discovered that when faced with hurt and discomfort in my life my first reaction is to avoid and ignore. I know I need to devote more time for prayer in order to get past all of this. I'm sure that God is the only one who can change my heart. He has proved this to me before, I just need to continue to trust him now. Any of your prayers would be appreciated.
There is your peak into my soul for the week.

For Favorite Aunties Everywhere

  • Posted: 8:03 AM
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  • Author: Mary

Aunt Katie spent the night with us last night!!! Yay!! Since Katie offered to babysit, Matt and I went to Fort Smith for dinner and errands. Emily was excited that Aunt Katie was going to put her to bed, so she was disappointed when Matt and I arrived home at bedtime and assumed the normal bedtime routine. Aunt Katie told her she was going upstairs to take a shower and she could come up to see her in the morning. Matt brought her into the nursery, where I was putting Mary Claire down, and put her in the bed, but Emily protested.

Emily: "No, Aunt Katie put me to bed!!!"
Matt: "Katie went to take a shower. She will come give you a hug when she is finished."
Emily: "No, Katie do it, Katie do it!!!"
Mary: "Just sit up in your bed and Katie can tuck you in when she is finished."

Emily sat there for a while and then decided that there was no way that Katie could put her to bed if she was already in bed. So...Emily moved her pillow and blanket to the floor where she laid patiently waiting for Katie and fell asleep as I was putting Mary Claire to bed.

I came into the living room to ask Aunt Katie to just pick Emily up and put her in bed so she wouldn't sleep on the floor all night. Katie went to try, but as she tried to pick Emily up, Emily (who was very groggy and confused at this point) strongly resisted being picked up and repeatedly said "No! Katie do it!! Katie do it!!" Katie was cracking up too much to carry on at this point so I came in to reinforce. I pealed Emily up off the floor amidst protests and told her that Katie was here and would put her in the bed. We finally got her in the bed for the night.

When Emily woke up this morning, she came out of her room with a terrible morning face and bypassed Matt, Mary Claire and I, who were all in the living room. She marched straight upstairs to Katie and happily announced, "It's morning and I came to see you."


Emily and her Aunt Katie:

WHO information on Breastfeeding

  • Posted: 8:02 PM
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  • Author: Mary

I was studying some material about breastfeeding for our Natural Family Planning teaching certification yesterday and read some great information that I wanted to share. I have heard all of this information before, but it continues to amaze me how Awesome God is and how perfect he created this way for babies to receive their nutrition. It is good for babies, mothers, fathers, families, and by extension, communities and whole societies. I know that as a mother we want to give our babies what is very best for them and He has given us the privilege of being able to make the perfect food for them. With all this information available, the only thing I don't understand is why don't more women choose to celebrate this? We are women. We are mothers. This is a special gift God has given us. Let us lovingly accept it!


"Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.


To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:
Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life
Exclusive breastfeeding – that is the infant only receives breastmilk without any additional food or drink, not even water
Breastfeeding on demand – that is as often as the child wants, day and night
No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers


Breastmilk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life.


Breastmilk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. These effects can be measured in resource-poor and affluent societies (Kramer M et al Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT): A randomized trial in the Republic of Belarus. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, 285 (4): 413-420)


Breastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers, it helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer, increases family and national resources, is a secure way of feeding and is safe for the environment."

Some Summer Fun

  • Posted: 12:50 PM
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  • Author: Mary

The girls on the front porch enjoying some homemade muscadine juice Popsicles one very hot afternoon.




Our friend Jessica Clark (http://www.joshjessandcaleb.blogspot.com/) made these really neat cloth books for the girls. Emily's was "The Three Little Pigs" and although Jessica had no idea, that was a very good choice. I have been telling her that story lately, but because I haven't read it in years I had forgotten some details that I remembered when reading it again. I can't believe that I forgot the pigs say "not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin." Anyway, Thank you so much, Jessica!! The girls really like the books.








I had Isaac for the day yesterday because Erin had some important moving business to take care of. Since it happened to be his birthday I tried to let them do some extra special fun things. We made a batch of birthday cookies and he got to lick the beater. We were having pizza for supper and the kids started getting hungry early so I thought it would be fun for them to make their own pizzas. They really had a blast. These two are really going to miss each other!!! I'm really going to miss Isaac too. He kept the girls more occupied than usual for the day and he was more obedient than my own kids. His parents should be very proud. Our kids test us all day, but if they know how to obey when they are not at home or with us I think that means they are really being disciplined appropriately at home. That is not so common these days.

Birthday Party

  • Posted: 10:49 AM
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  • Author: Mary

Emily turned Three years old on the 10th. We had a birthday party for her on Sunday the 14th. Here she is showing off the Cinderella cake Oma made for her.

She didn't want to blow out her candles, so Isaac, her "best buddy" helped her out.

She is showing off the "Sleeping Beauty" costume that Jake and Allison got for her.


Here she is excited about her princess crown cookies...(in background).


Here is Emily and her best buddy Isaac. This was so cute I just had to include it.


Mary Clarie was QUEEN BEE while Emily was sleeping in the morning after her party. We enjoyed the quiet with each other.
Things have been so crazy for us the past few weeks. We are hoping that things will get back to normal this week and the kids will get back to their regular routine and sleep better.