Tuesday, November 30, 2010


what a blessing to be here in the old neighborhood with old friends as neighbors! emi and jonathan lent us their home for the big graham thanksgiving dinner while they went for thanksgiving with the in-laws. (we were the only ones there not actually related to the grahams, but... having known them since i was two, i feel related, anyway). they had put me in charge of the stuffed sweet potatoes, bread, and coffee. having done almost the entire dinner by myself for the past 2 years, i was amazed and very thankful that i didn't have to do more this year; i barely got it all done as it was! ok, i also made a pie and cranberry sauce, but i got those done the night before, and i was not baking bread from scratch. i guess having the three little ones diverting my attention every five minutes or less makes it more challenging than ever. i did get sparrow and golden involved, however, we are still learning a lifestyle of working together on everyday tasks. so here is what they did:

i put a big towel down on the kitchen floor and filled my biggest mixing bowl with water. then i dumped the 24 sweet potatoes out on the towel and the girls washed them in the water bowl, putting the clean ones in another bowl. i gave sparrow a kitchen towel to dry the sweet potatoes as they went along, and then we transferred them to the table and everyone helped poke holes into the skins with forks! this was a lot of fun for them and there was only one accident. sparrow also spent time with me in the kitchen during golden's nap. she was making thanksgiving cards for her friends. she would tell me what she wanted to write, and i would tell her the letters, which she would dutifully write down. she made three of them, a huge accomplishment for someone who can't actually read yet! by 3:30 we were over at the schmidt's place and everyone was already there: mr. and mrs. graham, julia's family, omi's family, and grandma sneider. the children's table was bigger than the grownups' table! which is how it should be. if it isn't, then we are not multiplying! but as it is, there were all the little ones shining and beaming around the table, and we felt very blessed.

all the food was amazing. what is it about stuffing that i love so much?! and yet it does not taste as good if i try to make it at any other time of the year... after dinner we all waddled out into the cold for an invigorating walk--it WAS cold, it was going to go below zero (celcius) that night! then back for dessert and games. there were more pies than you could shake a stick at, plus whipped cream, the aforementioned coffee, and pumpkin ice cream. the children were ecstatic. golden and sparrow came back for seconds and would have had thirds if i had let them! but they had not eaten that much dinner; it seems that the children weren't too thrilled with thanksgiving food! "the incredibles" came on tv. sparrow hates suspense in movies and can't usually handle it, but since she's seen that one before, it was alright, and the adults played games! apples to apples and wise and otherwise. my favorite "saying," made up by elizabeth (age 12) was this: "if there is fat on your hand...there is ham in your stomach." hahahaha! it was so cool of her to play games with us. she is the only "tween" in the family, and she is an amazing big sister. we were still there when emi and jonathan came back! hehe! they joined in the merriment for awhile, then there was a quick clean up flurry and time to head out into the night freeze for home. it was 10 pm.

during the morning. the girls making silas fancy.

the children at their amazing thanksgiving table
...and silas is part of the children crew too! his first thanksgiving!

mcdonnell family ready for a walk thanksgiving day

thomas walking with golden after she fell

ladies and children

running to catch up
checking the mail

zachary cozy with monty
children relaxing

golden the climber
...and slide!
i am so so so so thankful to the Lord Almighty for nursing us and nourishing us, for his patience and lovingkindness, His word, his mercies which are new every morning, His Holy Spirit which fills us daily, my husband who is so patient and hard working and such a good father, my beautiful blessings of children that i have been privileged to bear and now get to have the adventure of motherhood with! amazing friends and neighbors, the home we live in, all our mod cons (dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave, laundry, toaster, electricity, hot water, toilets, showers, computers, come ON!), and the vision and sacrifice of the pilgrims who came here to build a new world, as well as the pioneers and hard working farmers who tamed this land and made it so amazing. and of course for the soldiers who sacrificed and are still sacrificing for our freedom. God bless America, and may His name be glorified in it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

october oddness

me singing: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once i caught a fish alive. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, then i let him go again. why did you let him go? because he bit my finger so! which finger did he bite?" (i pause for sparrow's answer.) all of a sudden, golden jumps in and says, "God!" -oct. 4 (oh dear, already got the sunday school answer thing down pat!)

sp: "i promised i would fall asleep, but...i just forgot." -oct. 7

sparrow was getting all worked up trying to get golden to try some home made salsa, but golden kept refusing.
me: "don't worry, she'll probably start liking it when she's four, like you."
sp: "but mom, this salsa won't last that long!" -oct. 7

sparrow looking at the new princess band-aids box: "mommy, belle looks like she's giving birth." -oct. 6

sp: "i hope heaven has a wood floor." -oct. 4 (do ya think she'll be disappointed when she finds it is not wood, but gold?)

sparrow put a hat on silas and was so delighted with it. "we should show himself to himself." -oct. 5

me: "silas, you've been so good over there, you've been in there for almost an hour!"
sp: "yeah and he was SO good in your belly when he was all by himself!" -oct. 6

golden calls the broom the "sweeper." -oct. 8

golden telling auntie omi about her little brother: "silas. red. hairs." -oct. 4

we were going through our MEP math lesson, and one of the questions for sparrow was "what do the grownups in your family do?"
sp: " the grownups watch movies in the night and look on the computer at morning."
q: "what do the children in your family do?"
sp: "the children kill scorpions in the night and buy pumpkins at morning."

then she really got on a roll:
"the dad juggles and the mom sings funny things. the grandma buys halos. golden likes to trip over her toys and fall on her head. she likes to throw bananas out in the desert and i like to throw watermelons out in the desert." -oct. 8

me: "how do they figure our baby is a boy? well, he's wearing boy clothes! if the baby looks like a boy, people will think it's a boy. if the baby looks like a girl, people will think it's a girl."
sp: "and if the baby looks like obama, people will think it's obama!" -oct. 10

sp: "i really feel bad for that man that he had to wait for 46 days." (this was the day after we had read the story of the pool of bethesda. the actual time the man waited to be healed was 38 years!) -oct. 14

sparrow looking at one of our wedding pictures: "mommy, you're so pretty there. i want to keep you that way."  -oct. 14

me: "danielle's great grandpa died. he went to heaven."

sp: "is he in the throne yard?"
me: "what are you talking about? what's a throne yard?"

sp: "that place where people die in a bunch of boxes!" -oct. 17

sp. re: silas: "why doesn't he have any eyebrows--he has no FUR!" -oct. 17

sp: "if our next daughter is a kitty, we can name her 'hello kitty.'" -oct. 17

I had gotten myself into a fix getting annoyed at these barbies that sparrow kept finding in the car (i had put them in there to get rid of, and apparently never gotten around to it.) i had to apologize for getting mad and explain why we don't want the barbies in our house. sparrow listened patiently and then said, "and besides, that one with the red dress had lint on it." (could i have asked for a better daughter? she's so precious!) -oct. 23

sp: "silas, you're so cute and pretty, i want to eat you. ...i want to eat myself, cause i'm so beautiful."
me: "and what makes you beautiful?"
sp: pauses to think, says finally, "...this dress."
me, laughing: "the Bible says it's your gentle and quiet spirit. your heart."
sp: "...and God can see inside this heart that's in me! and he also thinks i'm beautiful when i'm wearing NO clothes, and NO panties!" -oct. 23

sp: "God's light is SO white, it's not even dark white!" -oct. 24

silas is lying on the couch, crying: arms flailing, mouth open, eyes closed.
sp: "he looks like he's worshiping!" -oct. 24

golden, re: silas: "she's a little tadpole!" -oct. 26

me: "he who does not work does not eat."
g: "God is eating da flowers." -oct. 28

sp: "i'm gonna be 45 before silas."