Sunday, February 23, 2014


Friday was deemed “The Day of the Swimsuit” at our house.  I needed to have the girls try on their swimming suits because their swim lessons start on Tuesday.  (Thanks, Papa and Grandma Yoh, for the gift of lessons.)  So, they decided they needed to try them on – and wear them all day long.  Madison’s fit pretty well.  Ellie’s is a little small, but wearable.  (I looked for another suit for her when we went out shopping on Saturday; I might need to go get one.)  They played and played without anything over them for most of the morning.  How they don’t get cold is a mystery.  Madison asked to go to the library with the trains late morning, which meant they had to wear something over them – because, nope, they wouldn’t change out of them.  

While I was making supper, this was my entertainment – reading to their babies.  Notice Ellie is still in her suit (uncovered).  Madison’s is just buried under her clothes.


Ellie could convince most people that she knows how to read by the picture – look at that look of concentration on her face!  If, however, you listen to her… she uses very few real words when reading to her baby.  She is very good at giving expression to what she is reading and is very animated though.


A few posed ones…

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We ended up taking them swimming at the YMCA after supper.  I felt bad that they had been in suits all day and no pool.  I also wanted them to be in the pool at least once before lessons.  And I wanted to know how cold the water was going to be since I have to get in the pool with Ellie. 

This is what we learned:  The kiddie pool is a nice depth for them without needing flotation devices.  It is also a nice temperature.  The big pool, where I imagine swim lessons will be, is cold, and I will freeze to death.  (May need to invest in a wet suit if I am just going to stand there holding her.)  Madison still enjoys the water, but will need to learn to put her face under.  Ellie still does not enjoy the water and will need to learn how to let go with at least one arm or leg at some point. 

We enjoyed the warmer, sunnier weather on Saturday.  I should have taken the girls out to play in it more, but I needed to get to Sam’s Club – we were on our last scoop of jelly.  Jeremy went for a bike ride in the afternoon – inspired by a friend we had seen riding on our way home from the store.  I think the temps are back to winter temperatures for the next 5 day forecast, so we will settle in again.  Hope you all have a blessed Sunday and week ahead.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Howdy, Pardner!

I have been silent for a long time – almost the whole month.  I haven’t taken a picture since my last post, but I don’t know why not.  We have had a good month.  At church on Wednesday nights, the kids have been making some stellar Valentine’s cards for the older folks at church and at Shady Lawn.  It was neat to see them so into it – boys and girls.  I came home and told Jeremy that Madison’s are very different from the others’ cards.  They tend to be very colored or glued.  In the hour we worked, most kids made 3-5 cards (at least).  My lady?  She made one.  Yep, one.  So, whoever is lucky enough to have gotten that card, just know it was made with her whole heart – even if there is no heart on it or words or discernible shapes.  She made it with love, and that is why I continue to encourage her craftiness – because she works hard and she is proud of it.  And that is what matters, right?

We have had a family gathering.  It was going to be at my parents’ house, but mom decided it was a good time to get violently ill, so Steph and Luke hosted.  It was  a good time.  Madison and Megan had fun playing.  Ellie floated between groups of people and wrestling uncle Luke.  Most of the adults just got to talk.  Dad thinks he had more fun because he was with all the kids playing.  We parents would beg to differ! 

We celebrated Valentine’s Day here with a dozen red roses, some chocolates, and a meal – marinated pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts, and lava cakes.  (I used this super easy, super fast, super delicious recipe from pinterest found here.)  It was a good day/night.

I went with Jeremy on a work trip to nowhere exotic (Elkhart, Indiana, to be exact).  But I didn’t care.  It was a night away.  In a hotel.  With no reason to get up in the morning.  It was awesome and worth driving 8 or so hours for.  Jeremy and I had some quality time together.  I ate out a few meals.  And it felt like vacation even though the entire event lasted exactly 24 hours. 

We have been sledding behind Luke’s gator thing.  Madison enjoyed it, until she fell off; to her credit, she did get back on to try again.  Ellie rode with Sam and me.  She basically reclined without moving and without expression.  When I asked her how she was doing, she would just say, “Good.”  I put her in the back of the ride, and Luke whipped Sam and I through the field at about 15 mph.  It was a blast!  I finally decided to have mercy on the kids that were getting cold and hungry and call it quits. 

We had people over to play.  Rachel, Gabe, Ty, and Gracie came over to play and for supper on Wednesday night.  Jeremy was out of town, and so was Seth, Rachel’s husband.  So, we had a play date.  The kids had a blast.  They played with cars and trains, dinosaurs and dolls.  They played hide and seek as well.  It was a lot of fun and helped the night go fast.  Rachel is from church and is someone I look forward to getting to know. 

Then, tonight, the girls busted out their tutus and cowgirl hats.  They didn’t keep them on long, but I couldn’t resist pulling out the camera.  So, I’ll leave you with these pictures

Individual poses

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Shooting their guns (the next group were all directed by Jeremy!)


Blowing out the gunsmoke


Putting them back in their holsters


Giddy-up.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow Day… finally!

Yeah, we’ve had snow.  And schools have had a lot of snow days.  But it had been awhile since it was snowy AND warm enough to take the girls out to play in it.  We didn’t venture far, but we had fun.  The driveway needed shoveled, so I worked on that while they used their sand toys to make snow soup and dig.  We were sheltered by the garage from the little wind that was blowing, and we could stay out without feeling too cold.  When I had cleared the driveway until Jeremy’s car (I figured he would want an outdoor activity to break up the monotony of his work day!) and cleared the sidewalk (it ended up looking a little haphazard, but there was a path), we pulled out the sleds.  We have a little hill on the side of the house.  Because of the icy coating on top of the snow, you could actually go pretty far.  I made a path first, then Madison went.  Ellie changed her mind and decided she did want to try it, too.  So, she and I buddied up for a few times down.  It was a lot of fun!  See that speck – that’s Madison!

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Ellie waiting for her turn.


The girls posing for one good “we love each other” picture.  (Please ignore that fact that Ellie is trying to lick the snot off her face!)


One last random shot…. For about 3-4 nights in a row, the girls wanted to play kangaroo by getting zipped up in Jeremy’s hoodie.  He would then get up and jump around like a kangaroo.  It was quite entertaining.  They were both trying to fit in his sweatshirt.  Although it didn’t work, they still had fun bouncing on his knee.


I hope everyone had a great week.  This week went really fast for me because Jeremy invited me to travel along with him for his work on Monday-Tuesday to the exotic location of South Bend, Indiana.  This girl’s not too picky if it means a night away in a hotel with no alarm or small children to wake me up.  It was great – like a mini-vacation.  Thanks to the grandparents for making this possible! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Next Olympians…

Just in time for the Winter Olympics, Jen called and invited us to meet them to go ice skating at Alice Noble Ice Rink.  (I hyperlinked that because it is worth going – cheap, fun, and a good experience.)  I ended up suggesting it to Jeremy at the very last second – not my normal way.  So, it was a bit stressful deciding whether to go or not and then ultimately to get going, but we are so glad we went.  Our hesitation… we weren’t sure if Madison would be able to use the walker much, and we were pretty sure Ellie wouldn’t even be able to get on the ice.

We laced the girls up in skates – both size 8, the smallest available.  I put on my skates … something that has only happened one other time in my life.  Jeremy put on his skates … a little more seasoned, but not in the recent past.  I took some pictures of my little skaters ready to go

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And we hit the ice the best we could!  (For the record, neither Jeremy nor I ever wiped out/fell down.  A success, especially because we were also trying to keep kids on their feet.)

Madison used an ice walker, and after a few loooong laps, started getting better at moving her feet and not leaning so heavily.

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Her first lap, Ellie went around halfway with me and halfway with Jeremy.  It is very hard on one’s back to bend down to skate with a little one.  The next laps she actually started moving her feet as time went on instead of just being drug around the rink. 

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We skated for about 45 minutes before the rink was overtaken by a mob of pee-wee hockey players.  (Super cute in all their gear, by the way.)  We did pass Nate’s family – or rather, were passed by them!  We also were able to see Lilli, Sam, and Steph on the ice.  Sam used the walker and got to know the ice quite well as his feet just couldn’t keep up with his need for speed!  Lilli spun, fell, got up, stayed up longer, and kept on going.  It was a lot of fun.  We’ll have to try to do it again.

The Dentist

As you know, I took the girls to their yearly check-up last month.  Well, I am pretty sure I could declare January “Month of the Doctors.”  Since I had been teaching, I had put off all the appointments any of us needed.  So, I went to the eye doctor… over and over, actually, because I was fitted with new contacts.  Jeremy went to the eye doctor.  I went to the dentist – twice.  Jeremy went to the dentist – once, plus one coming up.  Madison went to the dentist.  Ellie went to the dentist.  And…. I think that is it.

Well, last time I took Madison to the dentist, it did not go well.  I went alone with Ellie as a 6 month old.  Madison wouldn’t get off my lap, so I moved myself, Madison, and Ellie to the dentist’s chair.  I held her while she cried – mouth wide open – and they checked her teeth.  It was not a good experience.  But I figure oral hygiene is very important, so we ventured to a dental office again. 

This time, I did some prep work ahead of time.  I bought a special going to the dentist book with stickers for the girls to read and play with.  We got the Little Critter Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Meyer book.  They really liked this one as well.  (One word of caution: Little Critter has a cavity that requires a shot!  We discussed how they would not be getting a shot like Little Critter!)  Then, when we brushed teeth, we practiced counting teeth, holding our mouth open, and not being scared.  With all this pre-work, the two little ladies were pretty stoked to go.

Madison got all dressed up for the event.  Ellie got dressed.  Madison went first to set a good example for Ellie.  She did a great job climbing into the chair.


She looked a little nervously at the tools, but recovered well.


She even wore cool sunglasses because of the light they use to look at her teeth. 

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Ellie did not get in the chair… but she didn’t cry either.  The doctor said that was fine because he just needed to do a visual assessment.

Both girls picked out “treats” (pen necklaces and balloons) as well as new toothbrushes.  Super proud of them!