Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Lenten Plans

First is my "Journey Through the Desert with Jesus" Lenten Calendar. I found this idea here, but I tried my best to make it a little different by adding my own drawings for the special Saint days that I plan to celebrate with the kids (St. Patrick and St. Joseph), pictures of the desert and Sunday Oasis, and adding a family pic to move throughout our journey along our path.

See the desert pictures and our family photo.

Here are my Holy Week pictures.

Here is the stone that will be placed over the tomb on the night of Good Friday and then "rolled away" on Saturday night to surprise the girls on Sunday morning with a resurrected Christ.

Here is my bowl of earth that, God-willing, will bring forth grass (to symbolize life on Easter Sunday) after sowing the seeds during Holy Week. This replaced my winter wreath. I found this idea here.

Then I decorated the house with purple. I found this idea here. I tied purple ribbons and pieces of purple cloth on all our religious art or statues. Here I covered up my Scrapbooks and photo albums with the cloth and put my Russian Nesting Eggs hand-painted with Jesus' life on display where my Nativity scene usually resides during Advent and Christmas. I purchased this over here at a bizarre from a Russian shop.

Isn't it beautiful!

I also plan to make an Alleluia banner to hang during Easter and hide for the next Lent, but in case I don't find the materials or the time, I am at least going to put an Alleluia on my Lenten Calendar beneath the tomb and risen Christ on Easter morning. I am sure I can manage that!

The only other little thing that I hope to include is to get pretzels from the bakery on Friday mornings. You can read about the pretzel tradition here. Here's to making it a good Lent for our hearts and souls!

The Chubbiest Legs Ever?

This is almost embarrassing, but I just had to post this. I was going to just send the pictures to my sweet hubby so he didn't miss out on any of this chub fest I am enjoying, but I just couldn't stand to let all of you miss it either! So, here it is! He is weighing in at over 24 lbs on our scale, by the way, at 6 1/2 months. I just think it is hilarious that I had such tiny little girls and then this Tank!

I can't even get my hand around a calf!

Don't even try with these thighs!

Don't mess with this boy!

I, for one, can't get enough!

Look at the hands. I just stare at all that beautiful chubbiness on his hands when I feed him!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You won't believe this!

The weather was so nice here today! We didn't even need a coat! It has been freezing and snowing, and then all of the sudden the snow started melting and then this warm afternoon came! I even let the girls skip nap/rest time after Mass to play outside for fear it wouldn't last! They had a blast! The girls practiced their tricycle skills. Hannah sat and yelled, "Pipi Longstocking" about a thousand times while throwing balls into the yard. OK, that was a little weird, but they had fun! See the smiles!

This guy could barely contain himself!

By the way, my Lenten projects are coming, but I've been too busy making them to blog about them. And to be completely honest, I am still putting the finishing touches on the calendar and around the house. There was a time when I would have scrapped the whole idea if it wasn't completely and perfectly ready on Day 1. However, I have learned with three little ones that I wouldn't ever do anything if it had to be perfect and on time. (God teaches us SO much through having kids!) It just is not possible, especially with me playing Mommy and Daddy right now! I even have to take out the garbage, you know!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A new best friend!

Isaac has a new best friend, this penguin that Aunt Cindy and Uncle Frank got him for Christmas. We just blew it up when we got back home for the first time. He just squeals we he sees it! So cute!

What a smile, huh?

Fasching Carnival

Fasching is the way the Germans celebrate right before Lent.

Here the costume! I made ears out of two toned construction paper and taped them to my black headband. (This was a little shoddy. I bet they are not still attached by the time I pick her up.) Then she is wearing her black leotard and her black pants with her black tutu. Attached via safety pin to the tutu is a single strand of dread lock from my Bob Marley costume that I cut off to make a tail. I used eyeliner and rouge for the nose and whiskers.

We were running late this morning because we all overslept, so Genna, still in her PJs, had bedhead when we ran out the door to Hannah's school.

But when we got home she, of course, wanted to be an animal too which I had already anticipated. So here's my little bunny girl, Genna, clutching her baby bunny!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Speaking of Lent...

I've been talking to the girls about how we can abstain from or sacrifice something to "walk with Jesus through the desert." On the way to Mass this morning we were discussing this and I suggested that we give up desserts and candy. Hannah says, "Hmm, no I don't think I want to do that. I have a better idea! I'll give up going to kindergarten." Nice try, Smarty Pants! No one will ever call her a dumby!

I also explained how on Sundays during Lent we can have desserts or candy since we are celebrating Jesus' resurrection on those days. In the middle of Mass, Hannah turns to me as revelation strikes her and says, "Today is Sunday! So we can have candy today!"

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!

We have had a pretty good week considering all the jet lag and trying to get back into a routine. Isaac had 2 bad nights and the rest have been better. He is still not back to consistently sleeping through the night, but I imagine that will take time (and maybe a few tears). The trip back went so much better than on the way there. So praise God for that! The kids slept a lot on the plane since it was an over night flight. I, however, didn't sleep a wink. :) It definitely seemed like the day that never ended.

This week I did some early (way early) spring cleaning. I guess it is more like dead of the winter cleaning. I took the rail off Genna's crib since she is potty trained during the day and we are working on night time. She is loving it! Such a big girl! She even hops up on the real toilet to go. None of that little kid potty business for her! She is so much more motivated to be a big girl than Hannah that I think that she actually ends up encouraging Hannah to do things on her own. Hannah is trying to cling desperately to babyhood. Here's Genna's "new" big girl bed!

I did an overhaul of all the toys and moved all toys with small parts either into the girl's rooms or into bins that only Mom can open. This is because our little Bruiser is on the move! He's not actually crawling yet, but he gets where he wants to go and fast. He does occasionally get stuck in a corner though! ;) Here's our new Isaac friendly toy corner!

Here is Hannah's toy corner in her room!

Here is Genna's toy corner in her room!

Plus, while I was in the states I bought some quilts for the kid's rooms and a rug for Isaac's. Genna's will have to wait until she gets a bigger bed, but I did get her one too. I want to use our extra twin beds for now for guest beds. Here are Hannah's and Isaac's!

Hannah's goes with her Degas ballerina theme. The ballerina on the quilt has a real tutu which you can't really see in this picture. The quilt says, "Goodnight Stars goodnight moon, Goodnight friedns we'll see you soon." This is another reason I fell for this quilt. Daddy always read Goodnight Moon to her when she was little. (He's actually done it with each child.)

The rug is so soft and comfy! Isaac's quilt is on the guest bed that is in his room for now.

I am going to be busy the next few evenings doing my last minute Lent preparations! I have some great ideas (most of them not my own, I have to admit) for us to unite our sufferings with Christ this Lent and to celebrate with Him on Easter too as a family! I am trying to find a way to incorporate Dad too despite the distance! I also have to throw together a cat costume for Hannah for tomorrow. Her school is celebrating with a carnival before Ash Wednesday. And, of course, she didn't want to be anything in her dress up box. So I am using my creative juices (which I LOVE to do) and trying to be Super Mom! Pictures to come tomorrow!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stranger Danger Funnies

I've been trying to teach the girls about Stranger Danger since they are so very friendly. So we were at a little store that had a play area for them. I told them to stay in this area and not to talk to anyone that they don't know. I was looking at something close by when Genna yells out, "Mom, I see someone I don't know!" and points to a lady near her. I smiled and explained to the woman that I was working on Stranger Danger. She was nice and seemed to be proud of them instead of insulted.
Well, at the very next store, the girls are sitting on a bench while my mom paid and Hannah calls out, "Mom, Genna talked to a stranger!" Genna immediately says, "Just a little bit, Mom." I asked her what she said to the stranger and she said, "I asked her where she got her band-aid." She just cracks me up!

The girls decided to strike some different poses and faces for me when I got the camera out. Here are just a few of them!

I am signing off the blog for about a week while I make my way home and try to overcome the jet lag again. I'm sure I have a million things awaiting me at home too. I am sad to leave my family, but I am looking forward to my own bed, our old routine, seeing our friends, and getting Murray and Trinity back home(our dog and cat who are probably super homesick right now at the pet sitters.) So, have a happy Valentine's Day! I got beautiful roses from my husband that I wish I could take with me!

Sibling playtime

In our family we have sibling playtime and we have independent playtime too. Here is the first time Isaac has actually joined in the fun instead of just watching. They were playing one of Hannah's silly made up diaper games, and Isaac just had to have one too! He fussed until she gave him one.

In this one, Hannah was supposed to be in her quiet time, but I put Isaac down in her room for a few minutes. He got a kick out of this. He loves to watch Hannah!

Hands and Knees

Here's a picture of Isaac's newest milestone! He rocks a bit then goes back to his belly. So it wasn't easy to catch it on camera. How fun! I love when they learn new things because it seems to delight them so much!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

6 Months and Counting...

Isaac was officially 6 months old yesterday! He is at least 22 lbs and he is still wearing some 6-12 month clothes, but he's mostly in 12-18 months now. He is very active, and he is getting around pretty good. He can roll, scoot backwards, and turn himself around in a full circle. He can't go directly forward yet, but he is getting up on his hands and knees now. He is not sitting for long times unassisted, but he can sit until he reaches for something and topples over.

He is hanging out of his swing now! :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back in the days...

Me, my sister, and my mom
Hannah, Genevieve, and me

In 1984, I was 5 and my sister was 2 1/2. In 2009, (25 years later) Hannah is 4 and Genevieve is 2 1/2. I think this is so crazy! See how my daughters look like my sister and I, and even I look more like my mom than I thought. I would say the biggest differences between these two pictures is not the people but the shag carpet!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy birthday to my loving husband!

Today's the day my husband catches up with me (I'm a whole 3 days older technically) and turns 30! Happy birthday Sweetheart! We love you and miss you so much!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Little Lego

Isaac was all ready for bed in his Handy Manny PJ's when someone plopped him in this Lego bucket. I think he liked it!