Friday, March 06, 2015

Weekly Updates in 10 Pictures or Less

As another week winds down to a close, I breathe a sigh of relief.  Not only for the things that were successfully marked off my "to-do" list, but also because we are one week closer to warmer weather.  Oh how I long to go outdoors and play!!  To say that we are feeling a bit stir-crazy in these parts might be a slight understatement as we stay indoors to avoid the bitterly cold temperatures.  BUT, we do still keep ourselves busy in one way or another.  Here is a glimpse into our week in 10 pictures or less:

1.  We had another snow day last week due to frigid temps and then one early this week because of an overnight ice storm.  I finally let them break out the paints for a while to help give them something new to do.  Despite the fact that Nolan kept trying to jump in and "help" them out, Marissa and Melayna both had a great time painting together and our living room is now nicely decorated with a few masterpieces!

2.  I watched a young boy last week while the girls were at school.  We turned our living room into a large fort using the couch and the sofa and almost all of our bar stools.  While the girls enjoyed having this monstrosity in our living room for two days, it wasn't very practical since we couldn't eat at the counter or sit on the couches all together.  

3.  Since the fort looked so cozy to the girls, they asked if they could sleep inside the fort with all of their sleeping bags and pillows.  It wasn't near as comfortable as it looked at first and believe it or not, all three girls squeezed onto the landing at the bottom of our basement stairs and slept overnight there!!  Seriously, how do kids sleep like that??

4.  After two days of the living room monstrosity, I had the kids use another snow day to re-locate the fort to a semi-permanent location downstairs in the basement.  They opened an "office" down there using the cardboard box Nolan played in all last week and then they asked if they could sleep overnight in that fort.  All of the sleeping bags and pillows and stuffed animals actually fit in there and they slept wonderfully over the weekend!

5.  Nolan has also been able to spend some time inside the fort with me while the girls are at school.  His favorite accessory are the bean bags - and the fact that he can jump off of other things onto those bean bags!

I don't have any pictures of our continued Friday morning Bible studies, or open swimming as a family on Monday nights, or the Saturday morning swimming lessons at the Y that Marissa continues to take.  (And now Morgan has also joined in).  The girls are all taking part in their school's "After School Adventure Program" once again this year and that will keep them busy a few nights a week for the next month.  Morgan is taking "Fun with Glass"; Marissa joined the running club; and Melayna is taking "Beginning Ballet".  And Noel stays busy teaching, tutoring, and now track season is in full swing with their first indoor meet tomorrow.

Wow!!  As always, our weeks - and hearts - are full!!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

No Sympathy

    I heard crying the other day and just as I was heading off to see what happened, I heard Morgan saying "Nolan, I don't feel sorry for you at all because that's what you get when you try to stand on a two legged stool!" 

    (Is this a sign of the sympathy she will have with her own children?) LOL

Throwback Thursday

This is a great #tbt from a few years ago.
It just makes me laugh!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Melayna's Spring Picture 2015

Spring pictures are in.
Here is Melayna for her spring school picture 2015.

Marissa's Spring Picture 2015

Spring pictures are in.
Here is Marissa for her spring school picture 2015.

Morgan's Spring Pictures 2015

Spring pictures are in.
Here is Morgan for her spring school picture 2015.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nolan's Favorite Words and Activities

Nolan is suddenly trying out a bunch of new words and repeating more and more of what we are saying and we are loving it!!  There are just too many to remember and write them all down right now, but here are just a few of the more common ones that we hear:

  • The other day when he was with Gramie C, she taught him to say "Yes, Ma'am".  It wouldn't be very clear unless you knew what he was saying, but he still said it.  (BTW, he likes saying "Yes, Sir" much more!!)
  • He loves to put his finger across your lips and say "shhh, qiet"  (Especially when Mommy is singing!)
  • He will come up to you with a sweet innocent face and say "pay, peas?" You will notice that he is usually carrying my kindle and he's wanting to play.
  • "coo-coo" is his word for trains.
  • "cahhhhhhhh" is a car or truck or bulldozer (and he usually says it with a really strong east coast accent!)
  • "booberries", "dawberry" and "apple" are common words along with is favorite drink - a "moovie" (or smoothie)
  • "noooo" for snow and "wain" for rain, of course.
  • "wa-wa" is the name for his friend Joshua from church
  •  "ooos" is his word for shoes (which he doesn't like to wear shoes - or socks - and he takes them off whenever he can.
  • He calls all ducks "duck duck gooooose" (Think we've played that game one too many times!!)
  • He also says "uv you" as part of his bedtime routine.  Usually he will put his arms out wide while laying down and say "ugg?" (for a hug), then "kiss", and then "uv you, bye bye", which then gives you permission to leave the room b/c he's ready to go to sleep.  (As a side=note, if he doesn't do that, he may not be ready to go to sleep.  Just warnin' ya!)  
  • He also loves sleeping in Marissa's bed because she has a lot of pillows!!  And he loves taking his "Jesus book" to bed with him.  Often you will find him with it near his head, which just melts my heart!


A couple of weeks ago, Grandma and Grandpa M bought Nolan pajamas for his birthday.  For some reason, they made an impact on Nolan and he still remembers which pairs they bought for him.  When I put them on him, we can say "Where did you get your Pajamas, Nolan" and he will throw up his hands and say "Gampa"!!!


Do you  need help getting breakfast?  Nolan loves picking the marshmellows out of anyone's cereal and he even thinks that he knows how to pour his own now.  

OOPS!!!  Sometimes he pours too much!!

And finally.....
One of Nolan's absolute favorites right now is taking selfies.  Lots. Of. Them!!

Yeah, you get the point...

Monday, February 23, 2015

To Make Them Smile...

Last Wednesday night, a local church allowed the kiddos and I to join them as they spent an evening passing out flowers and balloons to residents of a local nursing home/rehabilitation facility.  They provided the flowers, balloons, and candy.  We were just able to take them around to various rooms and spend some time talking and praying for the people in the room, hoping to brighten their days.  

Morgan and Marissa both picked up two vases and all of us walked down a quiet hallway.  We knocked on the first door and met a man who was staying there while he went through physical therapy to recover from a horrendous accident that he had been through recently.  He was really nice and spent quite a bit of time asking the girls about themselves and even offering all four of them candy bars.  He seemed genuinely curious as to why complete strangers would care to stop and talk to him and spend our evening there like that.

The second room we chose was also a woman trying to recover and rehab from a recent knee replacement surgery.  She also offered the kids candy bars and shared stories of her grandkids.  She also seemed genuinely surprised and happy to have visitors bringing gifts and a few spare minutes to chat.  The girls didn't talk much unless they were spoken to first, but I knew that they were just observing and taking it all in.  

As we were leaving the second room, the activities director stopped us and asked if we had any more balloons because one or two of the residents really wanted one and were missed.  Melayna knew where we could grab a few so the director asked us if we would be willing to follow her to the gentlemen's rooms and deliver them there.  Both of those men had conditions that didn't allow them to talk, or walk, or even feed themselves, but they were aware enough to acknowledge that we were there.  One smiled at Nolan when Nolan waved "good-bye" and the other man acknowledged our visit with silent tears just streaming down his cheeks.  You can bet that both of those rooms prompted questions for me to try to answer on the way home as the girls tried to process all that they had seen.  It was also a great opportunity to talk about how powerful one touch of the hand, one hug, one laugh, even one small rose bud can offer so much hope, so much love, on the darkest of days.  And it's also humbling to be so quickly reminded (again) that we usually end up feeling the most blessed when we think we are doing something to bless others!!


I didn't take any pictures while we were in the rooms with the residents, but the girls wanted to ham it up for me while we waited at the beginning.  They were glad that we had come and seriously, who wouldn't be cheered up after spending an evening with these ridiculously silly faces???

A Boy & His Box

One day last week, Noel picked up a humidifier for our house.  The verdict is still out on the effectiveness of the humidifier, but the box was a HUGE hit!!

That first night as we were setting up the humidifier and getting it all ready, I decided that it was big enough that Nolan could probably sit comfortably inside of it and make it a little playhouse.  I quickly started taping up the box to make it secure and then begin cutting doors into the front.  Marissa saw what I was doing and immediately came over to help.  After we got it all ready, Marissa climbed inside and invited Nolan to join her.  His curiosity got the best of him and he followed her in.  That's all it took.  He was hooked!

The two of them spent the rest of the evening climbing in and out of the box and dragging it around to new locations.  They invited Morgan and Melayna to join them in the fun.  Even Noel and I were invited to squeeze into the box with Nolan.  (I'm sure that was picture-worthy, but fortunately, no one thought to grab a camera at that point).  

The girls squeeze themselves into the box and lose interest quickly, but as you can see, Nolan fits perfectly.  He can sit up straight with his back against one side and his feet resting on the other.  He loves it and continues to hide inside of it at least once each day.

"Ta-da!!  Here I am!  Did you miss me?"

Since the girls lost interest in actually hiding inside of the box, they decided to spend another evening drawing pictures and designing the interior of the box instead.  There are their signatures and bible verses and pictures of animals and funny sayings.  

Nolan doesn't care about all of that.  He just knows that it's a fun place to take your breakfast cereal and juice and just hang out for a while!!

Maybe I should find a box that fits me, grab some fun breakfast cereal, and hide out for a while too!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Language

This morning Nolan was really talking to Morgan and I and excitedly pointing around.  The problem was that we couldn't understand one single word of it.  I laughed and said, "What language are you speaking, son?"  Without missing a beat, he replied, "Nowan"...

Yes, I believe "Nowan" is a new language indeed!