There she goes…

Today I registered Violet for preschool. *sniff…happy tear…*But let’s be honest here, just one tear. I mean, a friend of mine is the class teacher, I know most of the 8 other kids, it has the reputation for having the cutest Christmas programs ever, and Violet gets to play with her “frenzz” all morning, two days a week. Where do I sign, again?

Besides, she will love it.

Those are pieces of mailing labels…

In other Violet news, I believe I’ve mentioned on this blog how much she wants to marry AJ someday. This topic can start some pretty emotionally charged discussions about why she can’t marry her dad because I already married him and I didn’t marry my dad because he was already married to my mom, who–incidentally–happens to be Violet’s grandma, but wait–is also the mom of her favorite aunt S who is also my sister, but is Grandpa’s daughter just like Violet is her daddy’s daughter and Henry’s sister.

“So, wait. Why can’t I marry my Daddy?”

Anyway, yesterday out of the blue, Violet turned to me and wailed, “But Mom, I don’t waaaaannt to get married!”

Just you wait kid, someday you might change your tune.

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The Promise of Spring

My little brother is having a wee bebe. Well, not him precisely…

Needless to say, that is not my brother.

Violet is fascinated by the baby in her aunt’s tummy and has secured multiple promises to let her hold him later on.

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Meet Ola

Meet Ola. He enjoys stimulating conversations…

a daily diet of bloodworms, and bits of carrot chewed up and spit out.

This SBF (Single Blue Fish) has soft brown eyes and seeks the company of an eager little girl to ensure that he lives in constant terror.

He also enjoys old movies and long walks on the beach. Interestingly enough, his star sign is Pisces–which totally explains his personality…and his appearance for that matter.

He is quite shy, but also vain.

see?

That’s one small fillet. Might be nice poached with a bit of lemon though…

Sorry Ola.

Fish always look like they’re trying to be tough.

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In Which Violet Embarrasses Her Mother

People always talk about being embarrassed by their parents when they were younger, but not enough attention is drawn to the little known but much experienced opposite. Did that make any sense? I think the only reason parents embarrass their children is because their children put them through the ringer when they were little.

Case in point: Violet proceeded to announce to the entire produce department in Haggen, that an attractive, middle-aged woman who looked to be no more than forty-five, was “A Grandma”.

(outside voice) “She a Grandma, Mom!!!”

(gentle but horrified whisper) “Violet! Shhhhh!!”

(Emphatically loud outside voice) “No! SHE A GRANDMA!!”

(Hoarse, desperate whisper) “Violet! Don’t. Talk!!!”

At this point, I turned to the woman who had earlier admired my adorable children, and apologized profusely. Graciously, she replied, “Oh, that’s okay, I actually just became a Grandma last week!”

After a desperate attempt at congratulating her for not only looking like a grandma, but actually being one, we made our way over to the apples. Violet, being tenacious and also at a stage where subtlety is not her strong suit, kept insisting to me that the lady was for sure a grandma.

“Mo-om, she a grandma–that lady a grandma!”

“Violet–just…we don’t say that to people”

“No, Mom–She OLD!”

“Violet! Shush!”

“She OOOOoooold Mom!”

I do not exaggerate when I say that there were people in the produce section just watching and laughing.

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In Which Violet Scares The Living Daylights Out Of Us

I don’t know that I’d go quite so far as to say that I’m a scaredy-cat, but I am certainly aware of noises in the dark. Things that go bump in the night are also the kinds of things that keep me lying still in my bed holding my breath so I can hear if someone is breaking into my house. I know, not likely…but. AJ gets up and leaves the house for work every morning while there are still hours of darkness outside. I don’t usually go back to sleep because it’s helpful for us to be on the same sleeping schedule. This way, when we flop into bed at the end of the day I don’t spend two hours talking his ear off while his eyes glaze over.

Anyway. So yesterday morning, I laid down on my bed with the intent of reading, but I woke with a spine-shuddering jolt twenty minutes later when my bedroom door suddenly flew open.

I’ll be honest. My first response to my sweet, sleepy eyed girl bounding into the room was not a good one. It may have included some partially bleeped swear words.

It seems Violet now knows how to get out of her crib in the morning. We have purposely kept her in a crib with the sides up to hold off the inevitable as long as possible.

Fast forward to this morning. I forgot to tell AJ about this new phase. Translation? I guess he’s easily scared or something because he used up a weeks worth of adrenaline in the first half second he was awake.

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Fat Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday. Not that I know anyone who actually celebrates it, but…

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras is the day before the season of Lent, which is characterized by fasting or abstinence from certain luxuries in preparation for the celebration of Easter. It reminds me that I have something I can abstain from. It reminds me that I live in a country where I can choose to forgo food. Every three seconds, somewhere in the world, a child dies from hunger. In the time that it has taken for you to read this far, five children have already died. Five faces who reflect, as Mother Teresa once said, “Christ, in His most distressing disguise.” This year, celebrate Fat Tuesday with me. As soon as I hit “Publish” here I am heading over to World Vision to donate two chickens to a family in another country. Come join me, and experience the joy of giving.

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routine

Every morning Violet has her vitamins.

2 gummy bear multivitamins and 1 vitamin c.

Every morning she runs to the couch, buries her head in the cushions and counts.

1…..2….3…4..5.6789!

While she counts, we hide the vitamins. One on the door handle, one in the dollhouse, another on her back.

As soon as we’re done, her head pops up.

Weer my dummy beeers doe?

Weer my bymin C?

As she finds each one she shouts,

TADA!

 

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greatest song ever, a new love and why eagles are awesome

Here’s an indisputable fact. “Chariots of Fire” is the greatest movie soundtrack song ever. I know I said that already about the “Mission Impossible” opening, but this time I really mean it. Also, “Chariots of Fire” may quite possibly be one of the best movies of all time. If you have never seen it, the only remedy is to watch it soon, because unpacking that movie is outside of the scope of this blog. In a nutshell, it’s a story about Eric Liddle who was an olympic runner and a devoted christian. Anyway, there’s this great quote from that movie that I’ve been reminded of several times lately.

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

The idea of feeling God’s pleasure when we are doing what He created us for is nothing less than magical. There’s a place inside of me that resonates with this desire to do something–anything to feel the pleasure of God Almighty, but there’s also a part of me that trembles with fear at the thought of doing anything that would evoke such a strong emotion from God. It makes me think of surfing. I’ve never tried it because I’m not a huge fan of swimming or having my head underwater–either on purpose or not. I am pretty sure that actually catching a wave and riding it through would be an exhilarating experience, but most surfers I’ve ever watched end up falling down at the end of the ride with the whole salt water in the nose and head under water deal. It must not be that bad though, because apparently quite a few people think it’s a fun sport.

Anyway, my point is this: everyone has the ability to live in a way that evokes God’s pleasure. I know, I have felt it. It’s a pretty good indicator that you are exactly where you need to be–not circumstantially, but in your heart. A calling, if you will. I don’t mean this esoteric concept of a career change and cross-country move, but more of choice to embrace your circumstances and path.

Here’s a little assignment for you. Fill in the blank.

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me _____. And when I ______ I feel His pleasure.

Mine? God made me a Mother, and when I mother, I feel His pleasure. I have many other answers I can fill in that blank with, but the one most often on my heart is mothering, as a calling from God.

Speaking of mothering, have you ever heard of imprinting? It usually occurs shortly after birth or hatching where a duckling or a goat, or a puppy, or a eaglet form a child/mother attachment with the first “person” they see. It’s a good thing I don’t clean my house as often as I should, because I’m pretty sure Henry would have imprinted on my vacuum cleaner. When Violet was a baby, she regarded the vacuum as her arch-nemesis, which you can read about here. Henry, on the other hand, is in love. Love, love love. Love. I have to put him in his little bouncy chair which effectively restrains him or else he would render vacuuming completely impossible. As it is, he watches in admiration and wonder at the beautiful dance of the vacuum cleaner as she swoops gracefully back and forth in front of him…and her voice? It renders him no less than lovestruck.

This is normal, right?

Last but not least, Eagles are awesome. You know, that right? Case in point: my uncle had a tree cut down near his house on Camano Island. In the tree they discovered a nest. An eagles nest. In the nest they found a collar. Then they found another one. And another one. When all was said and done, they counted out eighteen collars in that nest–dog and cat. I’m not a monster, I would be sad if an eagle swooped out of the sky and carried my squalling cat up and away. But let’s be honest–yappy little rodent-dogs only have one purpose in the circle of life and it looks like this eagle has discovered it.

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Pictures…

Okay, so in a lame attempt to break out of a writing funk, I remembered that I never posted any of the pictures that I took of my sister-in-law’s wedding. So, while you check them out, riddle me this: what can I make for dinner that involves chicken and spinach? You know how some people get those weekly produce box deliveries with random vegetables that force you to figure out how to cook a rutabaga or eat a jicama? Lately, I’ve been buying produce from costco for the price, but this forces me to use a ton of the same thing before it has a chance to go bad. Last night I added spinach to chicken coconut curry (awesome). I need another idea though…

 

And yes, we did combine real live cows and a white dress in the same pasture.

 

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