Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brotherly love

Martin and Aaron have always had a sweet relationship. They've always played well together. They've always loved each other. The other day, while playing with friends, they learned a hard lesson. Sometimes "friends" can be conditional. "If you don't do this then I won't be your friend." This was one of the things they heard that day. They also experienced a "friend" changing her mind off and on all day about whether or not she was their friend. Certainly this led to hurt feelings, but more importantly it led to a good lesson. So, I spent a good deal of time talking to them about being a friend. I told them that it doesn't matter what anyone says to you, your job is to always be kind back. We talked about how hard it is to do that, but how important it is to always show kindness. I am hoping that this is a lesson that will go straight to their heart. About an hour after this talk, I found them in the kitchen writing each other cards. I am so thankful that my boys are best friends and love each other the way they do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Special Gift

A very special person, whom I have never met sent this flute to me last week. She lives in California and has 2 precious children. She read the blog posts that I made about Aaron and Martin and how I was teaching them to play instruments and sent me an email telling me about this flute. She told me that she used to play the flute - and has had the flute sitting around her house being used as a doorstop. She asked me if I could get any use out of it. I don't think she even knew that I was a flute player. Holly - if you read this - please correct me if I am wrong. I am so thankful for this flute! I still have my flute - but it needs to have some maintenance work done to it, and I have just not made it a priority to do so.
This flute is amazing. It is the exact same brand as my flute - and has the same "feel" to it. So, it feels completely comfortable in my hands. I am so excited and thankful for this flute. Now, I will be able to teach Rosalie to play the flute. Thank you, Holly for being so generous and sending me this flute!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Enough hair for a bow!

It has taken a crazy long time to get here ... but she finally has enough hair for a "non" headband bow. She thinks she is very special when she wears this bow! Can you tell?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rosalie, my singer

Rosalie loves to sing. I can't decide, though, which she likes better - singing or watching herself sing. This could be why I am not able to get a video of her singing an entire song. She sings one line ... and then wants to watch it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sometimes when all is quiet ...

...I find all 4 of the children playing together.

It doesn't happen often (given their age differences) ... but it's so sweet when it does!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Boulder

We have an enormous boulder just on the edge of the woods behind our house. This boulder has provided hours and hours of fun for our boys. That boulder has been a space ship, a pirate ship, a kingdom(they pretend that the log that they can walk on like a bridge that connects to the boulder), a house, and a space station.
I LOVE that my children have so much fun playing on it ... and that their imaginations go wild when they play there.
Pictured above is our boys playing with Emily and Caleb Ingraldi. When the Ingraldi family came to visit us, the children spent the entire day out on the boulder!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cake, song, and blow out the candles!

I may or may not be the one that started jumping up and down when the candles were blown out. I may or may not have been the one that thought that Rosalie actually did blow them out.
I may or may not be the one that is foolish enough to admit it out loud. Rich informed me after the jumping up and down incident that it was actually him that blew them out. Oh, well. She really liked it when we all sang to her!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Stroller

This stroller is special. It was mine when I was a child. Or course ... if I remember correctly, it was covered in some sort of yellow flowery vinyl like fabric. Then later, when that start ripping apart, my Mom used some "leftover" ugly green fabric to cover it. Ugly, yes ... but it was indeed, durable! This past week, my mom found some adorable (and durable) pink fabric to recover the stroller, yet again! She recovered it a third time to give to Rosalie. That stroller has been all over the place - including - overseas twice! It has plenty of dings and places that are bent. . . but for a toy that was made and bought in the early 70's ... I'd say that it has fared well!

Now, my sweet Rosalie gets to enjoy this stroller as much as I did. I love watching her push her babies around in the same stroller that I used. I am so thankful that my mom saved it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rosalie!!

I don't know why it's so hard for me to believe that Rosalie is 2. It just is. The picture above is the first picture taken with all 4 of our children. When I searched out Rosalie's newborn pictures, I was amazed at how little my boys looked in this picture!

I remember how much those boys loved their baby sister as soon as they saw her!

Okay ... maybe not all of them loved her right away.

What a joy it was for me to enter the world of pink, purple, ribbons, and bows!

1 year later ... 1st Birthday.

The boys have never stopped adoring their sister! (although Jonathan still has his moments!)

2 years old ... sweet and ...


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Small Things

Have you ever thought about the small things? You know ... all of the pesky details of life ... the ones that aren't particularly fun, but still have to be done. Have you ever counted them? I haven't actually put a number on all of our small details ... but I have decided that they count!
I've said a lot of things about my husband in the past ... his incredible integrity, his unending loyalty, his amazing work ethic, it just occurred to me, though, that I've never talked about the small details.
My husband takes care of me in ways that are hard to describe. The ways that he takes care of me may not even appeal to other women. However, those ways are perfect for me. He takes care of our family in ways that require great forethought. He is always thinking ahead, planning, and figuring things out. (all of that may sound vague - but it applies to all aspects of our life - especially the details)
We've been married for 13 1/2 years and I've never spent a single second worrying about finances (including the 9 months that we had absolutely no income and lived on our savings account). He takes care of all of those financial details in such a way that it's downright admirable.
He does thousands of small things on a daily basis that make my life easier. I spend a lot of time thinking of ways that I can serve him as sacrificially as he serves me. I think that at the end of a day ... we can both say that we work hard at serving one another.
Sometimes those small details are easily overlooked. The reason that "small details" may seem vague is because they are so small that they probably would bore my readers to death. However, thousands of small details equals a great deal of stress free time for me. I don't ever want to overlook the small things!
It's worth taking a few moments to think about all the small things your spouse does for you. You might be surprised when you start to count them.
I've spent a lot of time missing, forgetting, and overlooking the small details. The lesson that I've learned is that it's worth it not to miss, forget, or overlook those details. I am certain that if you really start to count them ... your admiration for your spouse will grow exponentially.

My question for you today ... are you counting the small details?
If you have a moment to comment - I'd love to hear about some of your small things!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rich!

This past Sunday, we celebrated Rich's 40th birthday! Our plans were to acknowledge this birthday in the same way we did all the others. A fudge marble cake and a token pair of jeans from the family. (Rich doesn't like surprises ... so we plan his gifts in advance ... and he always gets a new pair of jeans on his birthday)
We had a very special turn of events, though that made his 40th birthday more special than what we had planned! Our dear friends, the Ingraldi family came all the way from Virginia, and spent the entire day with us. I'd love to say that I took pictures - but - I didn't get any pictures of us all together.
The younger children spent the beautiful day outside playing - and the rest of us spent the day eating and talking. It was a joy to have them with us for Rich's special day! Oh, how I wished that we could be closer to fellowship with them on a regular basis.
Martin and Aaron didn't want them to leave when it came time for them to go. Jonathan's first words the next morning were, "Mommy, I wish Caleb and Emily were here to play!".
Oh, how we love our dear friends and are so thankful that they spent over 6 hours in the car for the 9 hours of fellowship time.
It was a joy to have them in our home - as it's usually them that are feeding us and showering their hospitality on us. Thank you so much for coming to spend the day with us!!!