Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Corn Bread Muffins

A moment I'd like to remember: Emily is patiently helping her sister spoon the corn bread muffin batter into the pan. Each one wanted to be responsible for the 4 muffins in his or her row.

And now she is helping David. And there was no screaming!

And the corn bread muffins were delicious. We didn't have one of those convenient mixes... so we actually followed the directions on the bag of corn meal. They do taste better made from scratch. Or maybe it was just that I didn't have to do all the work for once!

Pickwick Society

Emily goes to her Pickwick Society meetings once a month as well. This group teaches handicrafts like embroidery and crochet. They also learn folk dances and do interesting crafts. Today, we were told to bring a bonnet or sun hat to decorate. I completely forgot about this and sent her to her meeting with this hat we just happened to have around the house. Well, look how it came home! Yes, there is a bird on it!

Isn't that fun!

Emily's Dance Recital - Picture Day

Emily's big dance recital is coming up at the end of May and she was very excited to get her costume. Last Monday, the studio had photographers on site to take single and group pictures of the girls in costume. We had a lot of fun putting it on... I think it is really cute. Her dance is to Surfin' in the USA and it is a Daddy/Daughter number. Chris attended his first rehearsal last Sunday and they have been practicing quite a bit. He's got all sorts of moves and gets to throw his daughter around quite a bit... which she loves!

Her official costume requirement is to have her hair up in a bun. I have never put anyone's hair into a bun. Especially not a bun that is supposed to look good. When I went to purchase tights, I was very glad to find a bun helper contraption that makes the job a lot easier... than with no bun-maker contraption. I was pretty proud of my work. Not bad for the first one, eh? And it only took me a few minutes.

And here are the girls ready to have their pictures taken. The make-up makes them look about 10 years older. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Bertha had make-up remover on hand and we took it off as soon as they were done. I'm sure there will be plenty of years in the future to see our daughters wearing make-up. I'm not in a hurry!

The smiles indicate every one is obviously enjoying being all dolled up and fussed over.

And yes, I ordered Emily's single portrait... I grumbled about the cost, $30 was the cheapest package you could get, but I'm sure they will be really cute.

Little Flowers

Emily meets with her Little Flowers group each month on the 1st Friday. They study a saint and a virtue each time. If you are wondering, the virtue for this day was industry. They decorated aprons with flowers and got to take home their very own cleaning supplies. My Emily has been dusting like crazy ever since. Thank you to Blair for the picture! A funny side story... Emily's dust rag got really dirty because she decided to dust the top of our grandfather clock. She mentioned it must not have been cleaned in a really long time. I assured her I had never cleaned up there so it had likely been 6 years! Anyway, she had to wash her dust rag with soap and water and then she wanted to hang it out to dry. She then proceeded to make a make-shift clothles line with yarn strung between a couple of sprinkler heads in our front yard. Then she found some clothespins and hung it out to dry! Our sweet neighbors joked that there was probably a deed restriction about clotheslines in the front yard... but that they wouldn't report us.

Seder Meal

We took the kids and met our friends for the Seder Meal Celebration they have each year at our church. It is the best $5 meal we get all year. The kids and I studied up on the Jewish traditions for the Passover meal and really enjoyed this. We were already familiar with what we saw on the table:
Matzah: The unleavened bread the Israelites ate because they had to leave in such a hurry.
Parsley (Karpas): representing life , created and sustained by the Lord our God
Salt Water: representing our tears. Reminds us that the struggle for freedom begins in suffering.
Horseradish (Maror): The bitter herbs. Represents the bitterness of slavery.
Charoset: the sweet mixture of apples, honey and nuts that symbolizes the mixture of clay and straw that the Israelites used to make bricks for the cities of Pharaoh. It reminds us of the sweetness God can bring into the most bitter of our circumstances. It represents hope.

Here is David having is hands washed to symbolize the sacredness of this occasion, and the purity of heart and hands that we are called to exhibit as God's people.

The grownups got to drink wine. The kids got sparkling grape juice. Lia liked her little wine glass. I liked the kisses.

Our cups were filled many times throughout the meal and we were asked to finish our cup each time. The kids liked this too.

There was a really fun song called Dayahnu that had everyone singing and clapping.

The most visual part of the meal was when we were to dip our fingers into the wine and leave red drops on our plates for each of the ten plagues: blood, frogs, lice, swarms, cattle disease, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and last Death of the First Born. I would have taken a picture of this but Lia got very upset with my little red drops on my plate. I guess she thought it looked a little too much like blood!

When we finally got to eat, we were treated to enormous helpings of roasted lamb, corn, salad... it was delicious.

2011 First Communion Class

Here are my sweet kids from the 2nd grade Faith Formation class Bertha and I have taught all year. They have their hands out letting us know they are ready to receive Jesus at their first Holy Communion. This picture was taken on their last day of class, which was a pizza, cupcake and craft party.

Bertha picked out a cute first communion banner kit from Oriental Trading Company. Bertha and I taught together when our daughters were four years old and we were so happy to finally see these kids able to do a craft all by themselves. We just handed out all the felt pieces, gave them some glue, displayed a sample .and told them to put their banner together anyway they wanted. They have come a long way in 3 years!

Lia came to the class party. She heard there was going to be pizza and cake and didn't want to miss out. David and Lia actually attended about 4 of the classes this year due to Chris's travel schedule. Do you think they can get credit for that?

And here is Emily's finished banner. She's got it hanging in her room.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Welcome Baby Jude!!!

We were very excited to meet 4 week old baby Jude on our trip to Austin last weekend. He is adorable and everyone wanted to hold him and give him kisses. Look at all our beautiful kids! Here is Emily trying to get some quality time with the baby.

And here she finally managed to get a little alone time with him. "Mommy, he is so much better than a doll!"

Waving Goodbye to Daddy

With Chris travelling so much, the kids have made big productions of sending Daddy off to work and welcoming him home. I think he likes this a lot. ;-) Here are the little ones waving goodbye in the dining room window as Daddy pulls down the driveway for work.

David's Handwriting and Drawing

My handwriting practice session with David last about 5 minutes. Maybe less. I generally ask him to make me 4 capital letters and 4 lower case letters as we work through his handwriting book. Then he copies a short word two times and if that goes well, he copies another short word two times. This is all I can get out of him. We are pretty consistent about doing this every day and he has made a lot of progress. If I push him too far... he throws the pencil. If left on his own, he would crumple up his work and throw that too. We had tried the Draw Write Now book several months ago and just found it to be too frustrating for him to folow the simple drawing lessons. The other day he did remarkably well with this drawing of a hen. His work is above and I am pround to say he needed no assistance from me.

First Communion Dress

We found Emily's first communion dress at Dillards. She tried on three dresses and this was her favorite, hands down. It wasn't terribly expensive at $65 and we are hoping Lia will wear it one day as well. Due to a conflict with a family wedding, we had to change her first communion mass to Sunday, June 12. That Sunday happens to be Pentecost Sunday, which is when we celebrate that God sent us all the Holy Spirit. How appropriate. I got Emily the book called, The King of the Golden City, after reading my friend Blair's blog. Emily read the book straight through and then proceeded to read it over and over again over the next few days. Yesterday, I went over some of the study questions with her to see if she understood the symbolism used in the parable... She doesn't really care to "talk" about books. Too much discussion annoys her. Imagine her Mommy rolling her eyes at this. So she filled out the questions on her own and proved to me she understood it beautifully. Now if I can just get my hands on it... I can finish reading it myself!

Neighborhood Duck Hater?

We went on an evening walk and found our little ducklings all piled together for the night. Mysteriously, there was no Mommy duck around. Well... apparently there is a duck-hater in our neighborhood! We ran into our neighbor the next day scooping up two baby ducks and putting them in a box. When I asked her what she was doing, she replied that a neighbor had taken the Mommy duck away to another pond. We can only imagine she did this to leave the baby ducks unprotected so that might die. Apparently when this neighbor was confronted, she confessed the location of the Mommy duck. So my duck loving neighbor was attempting to take two of the baby ducklings to this other pond to try and locate the Mommy duck to bring her back! Is that crazy?

We think my duck loving neighbor was successful because we saw all nine ducklings and what appeared to be a mother figure with them. I'm still hoping to see her to find out how her escapade went! I'll let you know.

Nonna is in Rehabilitation

Nonna is healing and receiving therapy at a rehabilitation center. Next week they will seek a 3rd opinion for her treatment plan. Please keep praying.