She’s here!

I’m sure that’s why some of you are still checking this blog!  We welcomed our new daughter Halle!

She has tons of dark hair and was a chub at 9 lbs 9 oz and 22 1/2 inches long.  We are doing great and Katie and Rachel love to hold her.   When Rachel got her first chance to hold her at the hospital, she sat down and said, “I’ve got my baby hands ready!”

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“Katie, I can make you happy!”

Well, people, I’m still here.  I haven’t died or otherwise become incapacitated.  I just get distracted easily.  And the weather was really nice so we started to spend a lot of time outside.  We also had to celebrate a brand new three year old and a brand new however old my mother is.  And I got excited about sewing again.  And then I got excited to read again.  And so here we are, a month and a half later.  We’re all healthy and happy.  So for now, to see if I can’t get back into the swing of blogging (don’t get your hopes up!), here’s a little Rachel story.

Whenever Katie gets sad, Rachel will run up to her and say, “Katie, I can make you happy!” and then make this face at her:

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M-A-M

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My mother-in-law has been meeting with Katie 2-3 times a week for the past few months.  She volunteered to teach Katie how to read using a program she taught in elementary schools when she was in college.

Part of this particular program involves using letters, on individual index cards, to form nonsense words.  This way, the child doesn’t memorize the words and instead works on sounding out the letters.

At first, Katie struggled trying to blend the sounds together.  Sometimes she got the wrong sounds and sometimes she just had trouble putting them together,  “nnn-aaa-fff, fan.”  So Grandma would correct her and help her with the blending, “nnn-aaa-fff, naf.”

While Grandma and Katie practice reading together, Rachel and I, of course, have to be right at the same table.  Sometimes Rachel reads stories, sometimes she sits on my lap, and sometimes she asks for her set of index cards with letters on them and then quizzes me what each letter is just as Grandma quizzes Katie.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that while Katie is sounding out letters with Grandma, Rachel is, while seemingly not paying attention, picking up on quite a few new sounds and letters.  The other day, I heard her say,”mmm-aaa-mmm, mam.”  Now both her and Katie wander around the house repeating, “mmm-aaa-mmm, mam.”

I wouldn’t be surprised to see her pick up reading fairly fast seeing the introduction she has already had with Katie.

Happy Easter!

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Rachel’s thinking “What kind of a silly hat are you wearing?”

Highlights of our Easter:

  • Easter baskets–the bunny brought candy and scooters for each of the girls
  • Dinner with my parents, grandma, sister, and her kids
  • Finding out some interesting information from my grandma that I did not know before*
  • Church–listening to beautiful songs, lessons, talks, and testimonies of my Savior

*My grandma served a mission in the Western States mission before she married my grandpa.  I asked her how many sisters were in her mission at the time (assuming there probably weren’t many) and she surprised me by saying there were 10-12.  That was more than I had anticipated.  Then she surprised me again by saying there weren’t any elders.  WHAT!?!? I said.  She told me that the Church was not calling elders at the time–World War II was going on.  So the men were tied up with the war or the draft.  However, as she was transferring from Denver to New Mexico, the Church sent the first group of elders to their mission. For a while, all of the missionaries met together for dinners and meetings.  And part of that group was a handsome young man that would later become my grandfather.  They saw each other a few times before Grandpa left for Nebraska and Grandma left for New Mexico, but really met and became acquainted later at a mission reunion in Salt Lake.

My Katie

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My beautiful Katie is growing up so fast.  And she is turning out to be the sweetest little girl.  I feel like she is teaching me more than I am teaching her.  And it really is a joy to watch her grow up and learn.  I feel so blessed that I was chosen to be her mother.

My eighty-three year old grandma came this week and instead of being scared of her with her cane, Katie sidled up to her and chatted about things that were important to her.  She told her about learning to read with her grandma and knowing how to write some numbers.  And my grandma asked her to write down different numbers.  So Katie did.  And Grandma was pleased.  And Katie was even more pleased.

Almost the whole time we have been there, she has been conscious of my grandma and making sure she feels part of the group.   It melted mine and my mom’s heart to see how kind she was to my grandma.  (It’s not hard to be kind to my grandma–she really is a sweet lady–but I know it is sometimes difficult for little ones to understand great grandmas).

Katie also loves to watch out for children smaller than she is.  Whenever we are playing with a group of kids, she will come to one of us moms and tell us that the baby is getting into something.  Or the two year old bonked her head.  And she is always right there to tell whoever is in distress, “Don’t worry, we will go find your mommy!”   My sister has been here with her two children, and Katie has been just as watchful over both of them (especially the littlest one).

I love these little insights into her personality.  I am so proud of the little lady that she is becoming.  I hope to have many more moments that I can see how great her spirit is.  I know she was saved for this time and that she has a special mission to accomplish while she is here.

Pictures!

When I started this blog, it was mostly dedicated to pictures I took of my kids (or other people’s kids) and was updated sporatically.  Now my blog is evolved and I don’t post as many pictures of the girls as I used to.  On Saturday, I went with a friend and we took some pictures of my girls.  I know…very convenient…I invite someone to come take pictures of MY girls.

Here’s just a few that I really liked.  Some of the others will make an appearance on this blog later.

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One of our favorite toys

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Katie and I pulled out the blocks today that she received as a birthday present one year from her grandma (maybe her second?  or third?  I really can’t remember now.)  And I was reminded how much I like these blocks.  They are painted really fun colors and the best part are the little animals and people.  Whoever painted them was really creative!  The idea is really simple–the animals and people are both made out of wood doll heads or pegs that can be found at a craft store.  So if I was that creative or patient, I could make my own.

And I love watching Katie and Rachel construct buildings and imagine what the people are doing.  Rachel is more into building towers and she loves it when Scott or I build a tower and then she gets to knock it over.  Katie really likes to build houses and put the people and animals inside it.  Today Katie and I built a bridge with a pathway leading to it.  I tried to put the dog under the bridge, but she told me what there was water there.  She was ok with the duck under the bridge because ducks can swim.

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Staying at zero

Remember that awesome post I wrote yesterday about staying at zero?  Yeah, well it didn’t work so well for me today.  I was more grumpy than I was happy and more frustrated than I was helpful.  My poor kids.  And I have to say they put up with me rather well.  I am so grateful for their forgiving attitudes.  I am sure that we are given children to learn from rather than to teach.

The other day I remembered to take some pictures of our daily activities.  Here’s a few of the girls first thing in the morning.  We are all about babies and strollers around here.

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Katie feeding her “baby” Eliza.

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Rachel going to school.

Spring is coming…

At least that’s what I tell myself. I was really excited at the end of February when it started to get really warm.  But then it snowed and it has stayed pretty cold since then.  However, the sun was out this afternoon and although it was a bit chilly, we went outside for some fresh air.  The girls had a good time swinging.  Then after dinner, we went for a quick walk.

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And my starts for my garden are coming up.  I just love watching the new plants stick their heads up from the dirt.  Here’s to hoping for lots of beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables this year!

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Funny things overheard at our house this week

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Teddy bone: what a dog might chew on for lunch (aka doggie bone)

Katie has been wanting to learn all the verses to the Primary song, “Follow the Prophet.” Singing at the top of both her and Rachel’s lungs on the way to church is the following version of the fourth verse.
“Abraham the prophet, prayed to have a son.
So the Lord sent Isaac as the chosen one.
Isaac beat up Jacob, known as Israel
Jacob’s sons were twelve tribes, so the Bible tells.”

A request:
“I want to go to the mall and ride the alligator.” (aka elevator)

“Rachel drew a most excellent person.”

Mazagine:  a magazine