Monday, July 29, 2013


So many reasons why I love this picture.
Pajama mornings are cuddly.
I didn't ask them to sit together.
I didn't ask them to hug.
I didn't ask them to smile.
They're sisters.
They love each other.
They're mine. 


Jaina has been keeping us entertained lately. Her sly little grin...the mischievous look in her eye... 
Here's a little Jaina update....little things I want to remember.
She used a fork for the first time the other day and nailed it. 
For "yes" she says, "ah huh" and nods her head once.
When you ask her if she wants to go night night she says, "ah huh" and heads for the stairs. 
When you ask her if she wants to go outside she says, "ah huh" and heads for the door.
She loves Daddy's airplanes.
She points to the sky when she sees a bird. 
A couple of times now, she's brought me both of my shoes and then pointed to my keys hanging on the hook.
When I get her a yogurt out of the fridge she goes to the silverware drawer and tries to open it. 
She likes to do laundry and empty the dishwasher.
She loves kitties and doggies.
Kitchen drawer open? She pushes it closed.
Ask her to put something away and if she can, she will.
She likes to drape things around her Daddy's belt or my tape measure.
She likes to twirl around and walk backwards until she runs into something.
She's stubborn. I know that she can say and do certain things but will she do them when you ask? No way. 
She just cut her first molar. Boy, was that an event! (top left)
Why is it so cute when toddlers dance?!
Still takes two good naps a day and sleeps about 11-12 hours straight at night. 
I love this blurry picture because is classic Jaina. Wonky pigtails, one shoe, sissy's ballerina leg warmers, pushing a stroller with a badminton racket.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


33 lbs
39 3/4 inches tall
8.5 - 9 shoe

Passed her sight and hearing tests...


Dear Ava,
Happy 4th Birthday! You have been waiting for this day for so long. July has been a long month for you. You get so excited about everyone's birthday - not just your own. 
When I asked you what you wanted for lunch on your birthday you said, "Orange cups, real pears, watermelon, macaroni and cheese and corn on the cob." So, that's what we had! It was yummy! We threw an Art Party for you and Marion and Jasalyn came to celebrate. You painted your very own pictures and birdhouses. 
I can't believe you're 4 already. You love to sing and dance and twirl....All of your dresses need to touch the floor. Especially the princess ones. Unfortunately, little girl dresses aren't made to touch the floor and that's hard for you to understand. Also, the "line" (waist) on your dresses make you crazy. 
It seems like your stuck between being a toddler and being a big girl. Sometimes you seem so grown up and then other times you act more like your sister. :)
You're zeal for life is amazing. Everything excites you - except for naps and picking up toys of course. You love to do things for others. When I mention someones name, you're first response is usually, "I'm gonna color them a picture!"
You can spell your name, sound out words and tell me what they start with, recognize and write most letters, hop on one foot...
You miss your cousins, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas and your friends. 
You love to sing. Music comes easily. 
Princesses? You still love them. And ballerinas.
Attitude? You've still got that too. Sometimes cute...sometimes not. 
You love your little sister so much. Hearing her say new things and watching her do new things makes you happy. Sometimes you fight but she can pretty much hold her own.
Mommy and Daddy love you so much. You bring us so much joy. It's hard to see you grow up so fast and we wish that we could keep you little forever....Happy Birthday sweetie! 
Mommy and Daddy

P.S. You say a lot of funny things. These are just a few recent ones. :)

"I love sharks and fireworks and snow and painting."

"Daddy! Cover your mouth when you cough!! You don't want to spread germs!!"

Sometimes I get upset with her or ask her to do something she doesn't want to do. 
"But Mama! You're my sunshine!"

When we ask her to pick up her toys....
"I'm so sweaty!!!"

"Mom! When I grow up and Jaina grows up and Tap grows up and you grow up, we can get a big dog in Oregon!!!"


1. What is your favorite color?  Pink
2. What is your favorite toy?  My baby
3. What do you like for breakfast?  Cheerios
4. What do you like to do outside?  Draw chalk and go fishing
5. What is your favorite animal?  Sharks
6. What do you like to wear?  Dresses
7. Who is your best friend? Jasalyn and Marion and Danny and Kaleb
8. What do you like for snack?  Peanut butter with cut apples
9. What is your favorite song?  "You are my Sunshine"
10. What do you sleep with? My baby and penguin and Hoppy
11. What is your favorite book?  James and the Giant Peach that Lyle reads me
12. What is your favorite ice cream?  Strawberry with mixed raspberry with sprinkles
13. What is your favorite vegetable?  Carrots
14. What is your favorite fruit?  Blueburries
15. Where is your favorite place to go?  The Aquarium
16. What is your favorite thing to do?  Paint
17. What do you want to be when you grow up?  A ballerina
18. What is your favorite thing to eat?  Umm...Strawburries? Strawburries are healthy for you.
19. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy?'re my parents. Your so sweet!
20. What do you want for your birthday?  A bike, a ballerina tutu         and ballerina shoes

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This sweet dog showed up at the farm the other day. She followed Selena home on her run. Someone probably dumped her and left her to fend for herself. Donald brought her home last night and she was so covered in fleas that it took 3 baths to get her decent. I think she was grateful. We named her Susie after a dog from Ava's favorite book, "Charlie the Ranch Dog."
Keeping an eye on the kids.
 I think she's a Black Mouth Cur but I'm not an expert on dog breeds. 
 Susie didn't want to be left alone on the porch. We sat out there with her and she settle right down and chewed her bone.
She looks happy doesn't she?
 Jaina loved her and Susie tolerated quite well.

Isn't she beautiful? I sure wish we could keep her but she needs lots of space to run and we don't have that. Donald and I are both softies when it comes to dogs....Does anyone want to take her home and love her? 

P.S. I think she likes to hunt. 

Monday, July 22, 2013


Donald was listening to something online...

"What is that Dad? 'Get Up and Code?'
"Dot Net Rocks?'

Seriously. How does she know this stuff? These words sound so strange coming out of her mouth.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


She was riding in the cart at the grocery store and a family passed by us. A girl about 10 years old ran back to Ava and whispered in her ear, "You're. Awesome." At that moment I was so glad that I had let her wear whatever she wanted. Totally worth it.

(you should see the back of her head...complete mess.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Our dear friend Ed passed away yesterday. I can't help but feel like he was looking forward to that moment. His testimony encourages us. We will surely miss him.


Ava's prayer last night.
"Help me to not be afraid of the dark. Help me to not go under the water. Help my Mommy and Daddy to not throw away all my toys. Help me to be taller so I can reach stuff like the lights and the sky. That's all."

"Oh Tap, I just love you. You're like a live stuffed animal that poops."     ~Donald

Jaina is a little daredevil. She climbs on and gets into everything.  She's talking more...I think she says "all done" and "thank you" but they sound the same. Kind of like "da doo." She shakes her head yes and no and usually at the appropriate times. For example, when she's done eating and I ask her if she's all done, she shakes her head yes. When I ask her if she wants more, she shakes her head no. She waves and says "hi" clear as day. I'm amazed at how much she understands. She's snugly and loves her bed. Boy, does she have a temper!! She lays down and bangs her head on the floor when she doesn't get her way. We've been working on her animal sounds. She's got kitty and doggy down...working on the buzz of the bee. :)

On July 1st, I told Ava that it was July. She was so excited. I've never seen anyone so excited for it to be July. Then she said, "Now it's my birthday!!!" It's going to be a long couple of weeks until then. 

About rollerblading:
"I think I would try it and be like 'I'm so cool' and then come back without any teeth."     ~Donald

I made 7 1/2 pint jars of fig preserves today. 

Where did all of these cockroaches come from!?!?!?!?! Nasty!!!!

34 days until we leave. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


In 1870, Horatio G. Spafford's son passed away at the age of four. A year later, the city of Chicago burned and he lost almost everything that he had. Stricken with loss and grief, they reached out and helped the homeless and needy. In 1873, the family planned a trip to Europe by way of the French steamer Ville du Havre. At the last moment, Horatio was called away on a business emergency so he sent his wife and four daughters ahead, promising he would follow in a few days. On November 22, 1973 the steamer Ville du Havre was struck by a British iron ship, the Lockhearn. His wife, Anna, was rescued and brought to Cardiff, Wales where she sent him a telegraph saying, "Saved alone. What shall I do...." As Horatio sailed to his wife, the captain of the ship told him that "A careful reckoning has been made and I believe we are now passing the place where the Ville Du Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep."
That night in his cabin, thinking of the loss of his daughters, Horatio wrote the words to the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul."

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I put Jaina to bed without nursing her tonight. Instead of sitting down to enjoy those quiet moments with her snuggled into the crook of my arm,  I stood by her crib and wrapped her in her blanket as she held her baby tight. I patted her while she laid her head on my shoulder...whispered "good night" and "I love you" as I laid her down. 
It was painful to ignore her cries as she realized that we weren't going to sit like we have every night for the past year. She reached for the chair for a moment and I almost gave in. I don't know why this is so hard. I've been hanging on to the one time a day that I get to spend with my baby while she is completely still and comforted by  my arms. I should have cherished our time last night a little more. 
We're probably not completely know how it goes...but it's a turning point. And it breaks my heart.