Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall in Minnesota

Here are some pictures from our afternoon at the apple orchard / pumpkin patch. Fall is very much upon us here, and the littles *greatly* enjoyed this outing.

Running through the fields
Mr. and the Littles explore the orchard
Master enjoys the view.
Miss checks out the honey crisps.
Hmmm . . . which one shall we choose?

Master and Mommy

Fun in the Haystack
"Dad, I can handle this tractor . . . let's go to the big one."
Loving the BIG Tractor

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Good First Day

After a wonderful experience attending Community Bible Study in California last year, the little Peanuts and I were eagerly anticipating joining another CBS group here in the Twin Cities. It was a bit disheartening to find that there are no groups meeting within the Cities themselves, but we decided to venture out to the burbs in order to find a class.

Today was our first day attending the Minnesota version of CBS. Almost every aspect of our day was better than expected. The drive to the church was only about 20 minutes long, Miss loved her class (as expected), and Master loved his class (very much unexpected). In fact, I was informed by the teacher that he was *very* good and did not cry! I was shocked, stunned, and overjoyed. Little Master Man has had very little experience with babysitters over the course of the past six months, since we don't know anyone in the Twin Cities well enough to leave our children with them. And so, his good behavior today was an answer to prayer if there ever was one. I know he may not maintain the same attitude all year, but it was *so* very nice to have the first day go well.

I enjoyed my core group meeting, and am looking forward to studying the Scriptures in-depth again. I am very much in need of structure in order to really get the most out of my personal study, and so I am very thankful for CBS and their amazing children's programs that make it so easy for someone in my situation to attend.

PS -- Look who is 3 and a HALF as of yesterday!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Get Well Soon!

Tonight the Peanuts are thinking of Papa Peanut, and Great-Papa Danny, both of whom are feeling far from their best.

Miss wishes that she could use her considerable medical skill to give both of you a check-up. Master just sends his wishes for a speedy recovery.

We're praying that you are both better *very* soon. We love you!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Today We Are Thankful For . . .

1. Return address labels. I have refused to order these over the course of the past five years, because all of our living situations were so very temporary. I resolved to order them only when we found ourselves in a permanent living situation. Now that we have purchased the house, I carefully chose the labels that I wanted and ordered them with glee. They arrived a couple of days ago and are oh-so-super. Just wait until you receive a letter from me, and check out the upper left corner of the envelope!

2. Return address labels for Miss. For her own very special correspondence.

3. A beautiful, blustery day. Fall is in the air, but the chill hasn't quite come on yet. We are expecting that over the next few days.

4. Homemade applesauce and pumpkin bread, both of which I have made during the past week. Smells fall-o-licious in our house.

5. Miss's ability to take delight in the simple things. She entertains herself during "quiet time" by pretending that she's talking to the Veggie Tales characters. She was thrilled beyond belief by her "souvenir" from the Twins' game earlier this week -- her ticket stub.

6. Master's newfound habit of laughing to himself. He will be sitting and playing alone, and will just begin to laugh a great big belly laugh. Apparently something is going through his mind that is quite hilarious, and it is hilarious for us to watch.

7. Bath time. Both kiddos love it. They happily splash around and play together, and there is nothing like how sweet they are when the are all clean, smelling of soap, and wrapped in warm towels.

8. The Minnesota DMV. We *finally* took our drivers license tests this week, and were expecting the worst from the DMV office. We were very pleasantly surprised to find a clean, uncrowded, efficient office in a beautiful building. There was even a kid's play area, with a great big bus for the kids to climb on. You betcha!

9. The articles I've read about the planned Minneapolis city-wide wireless internet system that should be operational next year. Reportedly, all city residents will have access to wireless for $20 per month. Yay!

10. Our neighborhood. We are loving our walks around this area. We have strolled around Lake Nokomis, admired the Minnehaha waterfall, and played at the neighborhood playground this week. All without going more than a mile or so from our house. We feel very fortunate to have so much beauty right at our doorstep.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Family Nature Hike

Today we celebrated Daddy Peanut's day off with a hike along Minnehaha creek and falls. It was a beautiful morning, and there is a strong sense around here that these mornings will be hard to come by in the months ahead. So, we grabbed the littles and drove 1.5 minutes to the creek and set out on a wonderful wooded path that runs along the edge of the water.

Miss was allowed to walk, and had a wonderful time looking at flowers, plants, rocks, and the squishy mud next to the creek bank. She developed a fascination with moss on this trip, and was on the lookout for it as we marched along.

"Oooooo! There's some! There's some! Mommy, come feel the MOSS!! It's fuzzy!!"

Master enjoyed riding in the baby backpack, and we realized that this may be one of the last times he uses this mode of transport. They boy is *heavy* these days, and he is walking like a pro, now. Soon, he'll be toddling along behind his sister and will be able to touch the exciting moss for himself.

Here are some pictures from our day. Notice the state of Miss's pants in the last photo. Ah, well. We must sacrifice cleanliness for the pursuit of scientific exploration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Apologize in Advance

I've never had a job that was quite this boring, but I have had a few boring ones, and a couple that involved cubicles.

The worst job ever, though, was that of ride operator at Knott's Berry Farm. Girl Scout type uniform with red knee-high socks. Children throwing up on rides and proving that they weren't *quite* finished with the potty training. I would probably have a lot more sympathy for those littles now, but I was seventeen and *far* from motherhood at the time.

Second-worst job was that of Public Safety dispatcher for the City of Norwalk.

"Station One to Adam One."

"Go Ahead."

"We have someone parked on their lawn at 12XXX Lyndale Ave. Please Respond."


Ah, the glamorous life of law enforcement. Every day was like an episode of Alias.

Reliving these memories makes me oh-so-happy to be pursuing a much higher calling these days. *Grin*

Monday, September 11, 2006


It was strange, today, to be remembering September 11th, 2001, while going about my daily routine with two children who weren't even born on that day. I knew of the anniversary and it's importance, but avoided all forms of news in order to shield the littles from any disturbing discussions or images.

I thought back to what was happening in our lives on this day in 2001. We were just getting settled into seminary in Chicago. I was worried about a new job that wasn't going so well, and Mr. was loving the life of a full-time student. We had only been married for a year and a half. I had to work all day while listening to reports of what was happening on the radio. Mr.'s classes were canceled, and a special chapel was convened for students and faculty. He spent a good deal of time that day watching news coverage on television. I didn't see any images until I arrived home from work that evening. It was all so frightening and surreal.

So much has changed in our lives over the past five years. The biggest changes came in the form of our little peanuts. I realized, looking at them today, that it won't be long before the innocence they now possess regarding world events is gone. Soon, I won't be able to keep information about terrorists and wars away from their little eyes and ears.

But, for now, they are a blessed reminder of what it is like to exist without such knowledge. The biggest tragedy in Miss's life today came in the form of me saying that we had to put an end to our singing and dancing in the basement in order to get ready for bed. I'm glad that there is, at least, a little while when life is like that.

Here are the Peanuts, taken today on the basement stairs:

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Overheard Today

Miss: Daddy, do you have a sore throat? Oh, honey, do your ears hurt?

Daddy: Sure, sweetie. Why don't you give me a check-up?

Miss: OK, honey. You just lie down. Now, you have an ear infection, and I'm going to give you some medicine called *antibiotics*. You should only take it when a grown-up gives it to you.

Daddy: (laughing) OK, I see.

Gotta love that Elmo Goes to The Doctor video. We checked it out of the library and watched it three times a few weeks ago. It has dominated the pretend-play time in our house ever since.

She looks in our ears, examines our vision, administers shots, and hands out imaginary lollipops as rewards. Mr. Peanut has come to especially enjoy playing this game, because she gives him a pillow, tells him to lie down, covers him with blankets and gives him a stuffed animal to hold. Rather relaxing, actually.

We're having a cool snap here . . . . Fall is most definitely in the air. Miss is looking diligently to see if the leaves are changing colors, and she gasps every time she notices one falling to the ground. It should be a fun time . . . until the raking starts.

Here is Miss, taking a time-out from her duties as staff physician to paint with water:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Another Milestone

For the past 14 months, all of my days have begun in the same manner.

I walk over to Master's crib, pick him up, feeling his little fuzzy head snuggled against my neck. I walk to the couch, locate the receiving blanket, and nurse my little guy.

For the first time in 14 months, my morning did not begin that way today. Master is officially weaned. I am sadder about this transition than I expected to be. When Miss stopped nursing, it seemed very natural. She had been walking for 6 months by the time she was weaned. As she was nursing, her little legs were moving and she was crawling all over me in a bizarre attempt to keep running while still obtaining some mommy-milk. We were both ready for the transition to occur.

Master, on the other hand, has just begun to really walk. He still loves to nurse, and he loves to snuggle with me. He was less than thrilled this morning when I popped him into his high chair and gave him a handful of cereal rather than his customary morning appetizer.

I am planning a short trip at the beginning of next month, and so it seems the right time for our nursing relationship to end. I will miss the built-in snuggle time in our day, though. This change is a true indication that his little-babyhood is behind us. *Sigh*

The fun of watching him walk around the house, flashing those dimples and laughing as he toddles by, almost makes up for the sadness of saying goodbye to something so sweet.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Girl Time

Miss and I have decided that we need a little bit more 'together time'. She has become increasingly frustrated with the constant interruptions of her toddling brother when we attempt to snuggle, read together, or play with her toys.

And so, we are carving out some time in our day to spend alone together. After Master is down for his afternoon nap, she and I are enjoying some mother-daughter time. Today, that consisted of some stellar Mr. Rogers viewing, and the painting of our nails.

She was quite enamored with the process, and was especially excited to learn that this is a girls-only activity. She was sure to remind Daddy of that throughout the rest of the day.

"Daddy, boys don't *ever, ever, ever* paint their toes. Only GIRLS."

It is good to have some quiet, snuggly time with her. I am beginning to realize how important it will be to carve out slices of time to spend with the littles individually. I can see her patience with her brother increasing, as she knows that she has a special appointment with me each day that won't be interrupted.

And, I get to have fun, too. Who can resist a little sweetie who gets so much enjoyment out of toenails painted red?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Soaking Up the Last of Summer

It has been interesting to observe the end-of-summer rituals here in the Twin Cities. Pools are drained, the State Fair comes to an end, and the children all head back to school on the day after Labor Day. There is general mourning regarding the death of summer, and the looming cold of winter. The local newscast ran a story tonight on whether it will be terribly cold this winter, or just *sort of* terribly cold. Suddenly, there is talk of foliage, and the progress of the fall colors along the north shore.

The change of seasons is much more defined here than it was in Southern California, where Labor Day meant going back to school, but it also meant that months of warm weather still lay ahead.

In recognition of the chilly days and nights to come, we have been trying to give the littles a great deal of play time in the new backyard.

Here they are, enjoying the simple pleasures of summer:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Still Here . . .

Papa and Miss at Lake Nokomis (our neighborhood lake)

Please accept my apologies for the lack of blogging over the past week. Since I last wrote, we have been continuing to settle in to the house, and we had a fun-filled visit from Grandma and Papa Peanut.

We had a great time while they were here, and we kept quite busy with a trip to the Minnesota State Fair, a drive out to Stillwater, many walks around the neighborhood, games of 'fetch' in the backyard (Miss's special name for 'catch'), and doing some work around the house. Papa was a huge help with some things we needed done around here. He hung doors, unstuck basement windows, and helped with multitudinous other little tasks.

We are all feeling amazingly comfortable in our new house, considering that we've only been living here for two weeks. The littles have been completely happy with their new room arrangements, and (surprisingly) Miss hasn't inquired once about our old apartment. We are especially loving the convenience of having a back yard. Miss pulled Master all around it in her little wagon yesterday afternoon. Pretty darn cute.

I will be back to writing about our daily adventures, so please check back for updates.