Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fa la la...

listening to "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" in mama's bed

She has the best morning head in town

Making pumpkin bars with a Boy-Scout-Popcorn Bucket on his head ?

We had maybe the best family home evening we've ever had this week. we talked about home - what makes a home, and what kinds of things we want to have and feel in ours. i made a little puzzle and on each piece i wrote a word like: prayer, love, fun...
the pieces fit together to make a house.

we talked about filling our home with love, kindness, manners, etc. then we talked about gingerbread people and what they make their homes out of: icing, cookies, gumdrops.
and then, we made a gingerbread house! (thanks for the inspiration, Lindy!)
i don't know if I've ever seen a little boy so filled with glee. henry loved placing the candies, congratulating his dad on icing well piped, snitching any little morsel of sugar he could get his chuggy hands on. if you'll forgive a trite simile, the experience was as sweet as the icing.

gingerbread house decorating was one of our advent activities - and i tell ya, that advent has been the best thing to happen to the holidays at our house. we've never had so much fun counting down to Christmas. every day brings a new activity - a christmas story to read, service to do, an outing to go on, a treat to make. i made it with henry in mind, but i think, er i know i enjoy it every bit as much as he does.

The kids are finally getting over the crud they've had for ... may as well have been forever -- feels like as much! We've had our hellish moments, yes we have...but mostly, they've been so sweet. And, true to form, I've loved the down time and the excuse to just sort of hunker in - only venturing out to Target when the milk runs out (or we're absolutely nutty from so many days of consecutive confinement!)

Yesterday we actually braved the library (thank heavens the children's section was a ghost town - no worries about germ-sharing - i think we're past contagiousness anyway). We checked out seventeen Christmas books! I have a new favorite: Hurry! Hurry! Have You Heard? Such a sweet, beautiful little story. We also loved The Three Bears' Christmas. Honestly, you know what I love as much as the stories? The way Henry practically snores while he listens. When he relaxes, his breath gets growly. I love to feel it next to my ear while I read. That boy is the cuddliest little bear imaginable. I have anxiety attacks (you think that's hyperbole - it's not) when I think about kindergarten in the fall. I fear it on every level: the externally imposed schedule, the influence of other children, the disruption to the (dare I say it?) sacred rhythm of our days, the threat to his tender bond with Lily. I think about homeschool almost constantly. But I don't know if I trust myself with the responsibility. I'm too easily distracted. Too selfish, I think. But boy, is it on my heart like bricks.

Lily has started saying a prolonged "Ummmmm" and furrowing her brow when we ask her she's deep in thought about her response. It is the kind of cute that hurts right in your heart. Her voice is made of honey and feathers. She's a perfect little package - soft and tender, with sass and determination mixed in for good measure. She wanted to be held the entire time I was cooking dinner tonight. It was a nuisance. But also pretty cute the way she was so enthralled with the sizzle of the stove and the colors of the stir fry. And then she was so naughty during scriptures - she was making goofy faces the whole time, making me laugh uncontrollably (and Henry, too) - Nate was peeved with us, I could tell.
It's amazing how quickly your heart grows with your family - I cannot imagine us without Lily. She's an essential ingredient now. Our life would be so bland without her.
She's picking up new words and tricks every day; she growls like a lion, mews like a kitty, gobbles like a turkey and quacks like a duckie. Oh, we love her.

We're 1/3 of the way through our time in this apartment, but I'm 2/3 tired of it. I feel like we clean up thirteen times a day, but somehow it is always messy. On the bright side: the heat blows nice n' toasty and we have a laundry room (instead of just a one-bum closet), and there's only one toilet to clean and Henry thinks getting cocoa from the Flavia machine at the office is like going to Six Flags -- so...not so bad, really. But I may or may not have had iCal up today to count the days between now and January's end :)


  1. I almost called you tonight, I was missing you so badly, but it was 11:00, and I know we're good friends and everything, but I thought that may be crossing a line...Nate's line. :) Talk to you tomorrow!

    Have I told you how I love your writing? Yes, I have. Well, I still love it. ;)

  2. I love the FHE idea. I may have to steal that. And your description of the kiddos makes me want to just squeeze them both! You and Nate need to go out on a date so I can watch those two again!

  3. Henry will be in Kindergarten next year?!!! Where does the time go? Seriously. Of course by then Asher and Lily will be two and I'll have another little one. When did we grow up, Em?

  4. I love your FHE idea for houses and homes etc. I'm going to have to file that one away.

    what cute babies. can I still call henry a baby? I am going to anyway.

  5. like everyone else I am so going to steal your FHE idea for this Monday.

    so I'm commenting because I need another dose of your cheery and gorgeous prose! post post post! :-)

  6. oh, and there's a fantastic 12 days of Christmas book that my kids LOVED last year when we got it from the library (sadly, we haven't been in several weeks to check it out again). it's by hilary knight and it has the most charming illustrations. my favorite kind where there are a billion tiny little details all over the page of little fascinating things going on in the corners. keeps the kids entranced while I have time to finish reading the words...