Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Easy Bake Oven

Well, I always wanted an Easy Bake Oven when I was a child, but never got one. Isabelle got one from my parents for Christmas, so here she is trying it out for the first time. She loved it! She made cake and brownies and took both over to my parents as a 35th anniversary gift.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pictures from Christmas

Thankfully we all got over the stomach flu right before Christmas Day. Here are a few pictures from Christmas Day and the day after (see more at our DropShots site):

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally!! Leaves to play in!

Isabelle has been waiting for 3 years to play in the leaves in our front yard, but each year a big wind comes up and blows the leaves off the tree. She always reminisces about pictures of her playing in the leaves when she was 2--she just couldn't wait to do it again! Well, she finally got her chance when it finally got cold enough for the leaves to start falling. Here she is having a great time. Unfortunately, Melina had the stomach flu (we just didn't know it at the time), and we would all be sick with it the next evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pictures of me and Jeff

We went to Jeff's annual work Christmas party, reassured that our favorite babysitter, Morgann, was taking fantastic care of our girls.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pictures from the day I called Poison Control

On such a beautiful fall afternoon, we admired the tree in our front yard, showing some fall colors that are rare in Ridgecrest because of our frequent winds. We had had some extraordinary weather though in that we hadn't had much wind, and therefore, the leaves stayed on the trees.

Here is what I was helping Isabelle with when Melina was innocently behind me eating honeysuckle berries...

No berries on her face or shirt--she hadn't made her way over there quite yet!
After the drama was over, Isabelle painted the snowmen (notice it is already dark outside!).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poison Control

This afternoon I had to call Poison Control for the very first time in my almost 5-1/2 years of mothering. I made it through unscathed all this time with Miss Isabelle, but lo and behold, here comes Miss Melina who decided to taste the tiny, soft, brown berries on the honeysuckle bush. Isabelle and I were outside doing a painting project, enjoying the last of the day's sunshine
when I turned around ( it was too quiet), and discovered Melina putting a berry in her mouth and had already squished some berries on her shirt and pants. I immediately said, "no, get that out of your mouth!" She obeyed but had her typical devilish grin...She was drawn to these berries and was taking them and making a little pile in the planter we were standing next to. She was near hysterical when I took her inside and cleaned her up, and still sobbing while on the phone to Poison Control. The woman who answered the phone said, "honeysuckle? Wow, must be a plant day--just got a call about jasmine!" Thankfully honeysuckle in the U.S. according to her is nontoxic (the berries can be toxic in other countries apparently), and if Melina developed stomach cramps or vomiting then I needed to call back, but she said she should be okay (and as of this writing, she is fine).

What's funny about this is that a couple of weeks or so Jeff stood looking at the honeysuckle, noticed the brown berries, and asked if I knew whether they were poisonous or not. He suggested that we should find out, but we never got around to it. He certainly knows his little girl!

New Family Pictures

We had some family shots taken the other day by our favorite photographer, Rochel; here are some of my favorites:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Mother Letter Project

I just learned about this husband's blog tonight--thanks again, Liberty. He is creating a gift for his wife's Christmas present--a compilation of letters written by women, entitled "Dear Mother," in which he asks the writer to share their story, concerns, thoughts, etc. regarding motherhood. He will put every letter he receives in a book for his wife's present, and if he receives your letter by Christmas he will send you a copy also. This is such an amazing idea. I need to get busy on my letter!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Making Pies

Yesterday we made pies--pecan, pumpkin, and apple. The girls played with leftover pie dough at the counter, and I happened to get some great pics of Melina's many smiles (and of course, there's our Isabelle, all smiles as usual!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is a little after 1:30 in the afternoon, and in a couple of hours we will be at my Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving dinner. Mom is doing a ham and other sides while we're doing a turkey in the crockpot for the first time along with crockpot mashed potatoes and green beans and ham hock (Grandma Clark always made this dish and it just wouldn't be a special dinner without it).

After a couple of days of on and off rain, we have sunshine and a beautiful day so Jeff took the girls for a walk around the block in the wagon, and I can now hear their happy, laughing voices as they play outside in the front yard.

We have so much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, each other, other family and friends, our health, our home and food to eat, and the list goes on and on. Thank you, God for our many, many blessings.

The girls did handprint turkeys last week that we sent to Grandma and Grandpa Morgan and my mom and dad too. And of course, I have one as well, so that meant making this craft 3 times, but the girls enjoyed painting their hands, even Melina. It was a fun activity on a beautiful fall afternoon last week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Little House on the Prairie

I grew up reading all of the Little House series multiple times as well as watching the TV show--still do as a matter of fact. I've always dreamt of having my children grow up doing the same thing. For a couple of years Isabelle has already enjoyed watching Little House, and at about the beginning of this year I started to read aloud the first book of the series, "Little House in the Big Woods." However, she was going through a "scared of wolves" phase, so when we got to the part about "wolves eating little girls," she didn't want to read anymore. Well, about a month or so ago, we picked up the book again and this time she absolutely devoured it, insisting on me and Jeff to read her a few chapters a night. We moved so fast through it that we finished it in no time and just finished "Little House on the Prairie" last night. We just started "On the Banks of Plum Creek" tonight and read the first five chapters already. She loves these stories so much that she begs for just one chapter more. I am so excited that she is loving these books as much as I do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Melina is 16 months old!

Here is our happy 16-month-old baby who adores her sister, gives lots of kisses to her baby dolls, has an unnatural obsession with all kinds of shoes, passionately LOVES cheese and mandarin oranges, rushes to be outside any time of day, loves to play with balls (even has her own sign for ball), eagerly tries to always pet and love the cat (much to Taylor's dismay, however), and is still not the world's greatest sleeper. We love you, baby girl!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Melina's "glasses"

Unfortunately, we had to recently replace the frames of Isabelle's glasses because Melina is very quick to grab them off her face. First time she broke an arm off the glasses, we got it fixed, but when it happened the second time, the eye doctor couldn't fix it. She points to her glasses and says "eyes." She does this with anyone who wears glasses, including sunglasses.

Well, Melina takes her teething necklace and pulls it up over her eyes and says "eyes." Her own glasses. She is quite proud of herself whenever she does this. Here she is with Uncle Pat, showing off her "eyes."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Isabelle's First Knitting

Isabelle finished her first "swatch" of knitting using the knit stitch. She is very proud of herself!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

A cool, rainy, fall-like day! What a change from our 90-degree weather!

We carved our pumpkin, ate some pizza with the Truesdales, and did some trick or treating.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election Day

Isabelle has been very interested in this election, asking lots of questions, and learning new words like Republican and Democrat, and McCain and Obama (even asking the question "Mom, is God a Republican or a Democrat?"). And this morning in Mass, she turned to me and whispered in my ear,"Mom, I just saw Sarah Palin!"

Anyway, I ran across this explanation of the electoral college on this homeschooling mom's blog
and decided to try and explain it to Isabelle. To try and reinforce what she learned, we used 2 labeled cups, as you can see by the pictures, along with an United States map of electoral votes, and a bowl full of M&M's (we used red and green, pretending the green are blue) to represent the electoral votes each candidate would receive. We had the TV on as soon as the election coverage started, and Isabelle would run from the TV to the table, counting M&M's and putting them in the appropriate cup, and coloring in her state map. To her dismay, however, (and ours too of course), we were seeing much more green M&M's than red, so around 7 that evening (about the time the media called the election), Isabelle poured each candidate's "electoral votes" back into the bowl and threw up her hands in disappointment.

So yes, we're disappointed in the outcome, but we pray daily for President-Elect Obama and his family and staff, and we're thankful for a great learning opportunity!

Random pictures from last week

What's going on in this picture???

Isabelle is knitting!

Remember this post?

Isabelle and I went to a knitting group a couple of weeks ago and we learned how to "cast on."

Isabelle was so excited that night--she came home and called her Grandma Morgan who knits, and practiced some more. It took a lot of effort to get her to sleep that night!

And here we are a couple of days ago. She didn't want to wait until the next knitting group to learn how to do the next step after casting on, the knit stitch, so here I am trying to teach her (this is all new for me--the Internet is such a wonderful resource--full of videos that teach knitting).