Monday, June 22, 2009

My Little Fishy's

It’s finally summer. I think the real mark of the first day of summer is the first day you go swimming…er..uh..or get a sun burn. Maybe those two are one in the same. But last weekend we took the girls swimming for the first time. It was Grace’s first time in the pool. She was loving life in her little baby raft complete with tent! It’s like she was born to swim! Isabelle is getting braver and braver. Last summer she lurked AROUND the water, and loved the idea of the pool, but really, she didn’t like getting IN it that much. This year, it’s totally different. We put a little fishy inner tube on her and watched her go! She paddled and paddled around the pool.

We also took the girls to get their pictures taken. They turned out okay. Let me know if you want some (mom and dad or family!?), they are pretty inexpensive. Oddly, Isabelle smiled like the Cheshire Cat and Grace looked like she was seriously on the verge of tears. Quite the roll reversal for my girls.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Small Part

My passion has always been missions. During this season of my life, I am a little grounded. Of course, I don’t resent this at all. On the contrary I LOVE this season of parenting with all of its challenges and blessings. But I still miss getting my hands dirty overseas.

While I’m here in the States I LOVE being involved with International Friendships. What better way to express our hearts for the Unreached than to love the internationals that come to the U.S for study? Usually every autumn we host international students who have come to the U.S. for the first time. They stay with us. We feed them and shuttle them and their unusually large amounts of college student stuff back and forth to OSU while they find a place to stay and get on their feet. It’s always an inconvenience and it’s always fun and rewarding. What worthwhile in life isn’t some combination of those things?

Last weekend I got a call from one of the Chinese girls who stayed with us last Fall. We haven’t been able to get together throughout the year mainly because…well…the birth of Grace. She told me that she wanted to thank us for hosting her and to tell me that she came to know the Lord this year and even got baptized as a public sign of her faith. She was really excited and said had been going to bible study and was growing in her walk with God. She also thanked me and told me that we were the beginning of it. Wow.

I wasn’t the one who prayed with her, but I got to play a small part. That’s so worth all of the luggage hauling. Thank you Lord for letting me be a small part of her life! She’s heading back to China for the summer. Keep her in your prayers…she could face some serious obstacles as she ventures home a New Creature.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Good Bye Pull Ups!

I think I have neglected to announce this most exciting event in the life of Isabelle...she's potty trained! She hasn't had an accident in over two weeks! Really, one day, she just decided (with the help of nearly a full box of popcicles)that she was going to do it...and she did. Up until THAT very day, you had to tell her to go potty every 20 minutes or so. And if you forgot..well, get out the clorox and the dry clothes.

We are so excited because...#1: We don't have to buy diapers anymore! #2: To some extent, we have successfully passed a parenting hurtle. Seriously, there are days when we wonder if we are getting anything right. Don't you think someone should come in and do a performance evaluation on parents? With a list of areas for improvement in the upcoming year?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bed Time Story or Bed Time Prayer?

Today I laid down with Isabelle and Grace to get them down for a nap. We laid down and Isabelle said, "Mommy, can we pray before we sleep?" I said, "Sure, Baby. Why don't you pray." So Isabelle says, (as usual) "Father, thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Grace, and good food. The End." I then asked her (while surpressing a giggle)"Don't you mean 'Amen'?" There was a pregnant pause as the pieces fell into place and she said, "AMEN!"

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ikea Addiction

I used to LOVE Ikea. I thought I was really over it, I had out grown it. My style had matured past cheap sweedish furniture. I went again last week and have a visa bill to prove that I. AM. NOT. I still LOVE this store. I mean, I get serious home improvement lust as I stroll the three miles of showrooms and marketplaces in that store.

When I go I want to replace my faucets, gut my kitchen, buy new couches and new curtains. I want to re-organize all of my stuff, and buy cool orange storage boxes to put it in. I want to put new nobs on all of my cabinets and on all of my dressers, and I want new clocks, and new desks. And it’s all soooo cheap!
So…I settled for the below:
A new Kitchen Island

Curtains for the sliding door in the kitchen

Lamps for our bedside table

Lamp shades, pink sheets, and picture frames (still without pictures) for Isabelle's room:

and a zester and a veggie knife...which I don't have a picture of!Of course, I had to make the trip while Conrad was out of town ;) To make matters worse, they opened an Ikea in Cincinnati…where I venture at least twice a month for work. I ask you, who can resist $5 lamp shades?

And, not to mention, while Conrad was on his painting kick we painted the kids bathroom...thus completes ALL rooms in the house!

Pretty In Pink

We finally finished Isabelle’s bedroom. She has been sleeping in the un-painted-throw-all-the-extra-furniture-that-we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with room for quite some time now. I have had visions of pink for nearly a year, but lacked the time or attention span to do the project. Fortunately, Conrad get’s on painting kicks and when he rides that train, I have to take advantage of it! So paint we did..or I should say..he did.

We had bought her a quilt several months ago, and I took the pillow in to Lowe’s to match the paint. I think I chose very minor colors in the design because when we finished painting, I LOVED it, but it didn’t match the quilt very well…*sigh* The top third is a very light pink and the bottom two thirds is a cranberry color. It looks great! I finished off the room by moving her name and a few picture frames in, and bought great pink lamps from Ikea. We got rid of all of the extra furniture and moved in her new toy box and her little kitchen. It is so pink and fuzzy we all love it and spend quite a bit of time in there.

Yesterday I found her in her bedroom “christening” her new bed with every kind of liquid toiletry in she could find in her bathroom….dumping it out on her quilt. With a little bit of perspective, it’s funny and..well…washable. But at the moment, it’s really not that funny. How come it only takes these little tornadoes minutes to do the actual damage, but hours to clean up??

Thursday, June 04, 2009

My Lack of Beauty Sleep

As you can see from Isabelle’s last post, Conrad has been out of town for a few days. I used to laugh at my mom friends who would freak out when they had to be alone with their small children for several days or weeks at a time. What’s the big deal, I would think, single moms do it all the time.

Well, hats off to those single moms, because when my husband goes away…we bring my Grandma in to help. And I know I’ve said it before but thank God for Grandma! My girls LOVE their Great Grandmother, just like I love her. And she let’s them get away with murder…just like she let us! When Isabelle wants something while Grandma is visiting, she by-passes me and goes straight to Granny. It’s a shrewd move. Her chances of success drastically improve with this strategy.

Usually, sleep is quite interrupted while Conrad is gone. For some reason, both kids always get up. Two nights ago, Isabelle and Grace rotated getting up and going back to sleep the whole night. And these night time marathons ALWAYS seem to happen on nights before I have to get up at five a.m. and drive to another city for work. Why? Do they feel my desperation for sleep? Anyway, that morning was a rough trek to Cincinnati but a triple shot of Starbucks Espresso got me through.

I just thought I’d give you a taste of the constant action we’ve been experiencing here. Hopefully you will hear my story, see my beautiful children, and appreciate your full night’s sleep :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hi Daddy! We miss you...

Dear Daddy,

Since you are working in Baltimore for the week, I wanted to post some pictures of me and Gace for you. I'm doing good on the potty while you are gone and Gace is feeling much better! Gace is miling all the time for Ganny and we are having fun with her. I had fun at dance class last night and I was the best listener for Ms. Kelly. I hope we get to go pick stwaberries this week. Come home soon, we miss you!

Love Isabelle.