Sunday, February 28, 2010

Salad

(A conversation between Iain and Jeremy while they played the boys' favorite game Wrestle and Chase.  Get a load of this "talking smack.")

Iain: You are diced tomatoes!
Jeremy: Yeah, well you are a can of peas!
Iain: You are a bit of cauliflower!
Jeremy: You are a rutabaga!
(and the kicker)
Iain: Daddy, you are a variety of vegetables!

Iain: Mama, I would like to get the moon for you.
Me: That's sweet, Iain.
Iain: And I would decorate it for you.  With pink snickercheese.
Me: What is snickercheese?
Iain: It's a kind of cheese. (Obviously!)

Me: We're going to the park.  Are you excited?
Iain: Yes, and also surprised.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Update on Nothing Much

This is how we roll lately.  Jeremy is working a lot.  I'm working some.  We're not seeing each other near as much as we'd like to.  We're ready for a vacation.  The boys are full of nonsense and funnies.  They've just (within the past few days) started playing really well together.  I really love listening to them talk to each other; their conversations are hilarious!

Iain: I don't like sour cream.
Cory: Do you like ketchup, Iain?
Iain: Yes, I like ketchup.
Cory: Do you like Arby's sauce, Iain?
Iain: Yes, I like Arby's sauce.  I like the white sauce, too.
Cory: No me like the white sauce.
And on it goes.  They talk all the time, to me, to each other, or to themselves.

We went to free pretzel day on Saturday.  Yum.  We love pretzels.


Sometimes when it's quiet, it's actually a good thing.  But you should always check, just to be sure...

Today, the boys and I spent most of the day working on the bedrooms.  Cory will be moving in with Iain this spring, in anticipation of the baby getting his room.  They have bunkbeds (thanks to Uncle Larry and Aunt Lisa!), but we won't be bunking them for a while yet.  Iain still falls out of his bed. :)  So it'll be tight for a few years.  I set up a system of shelves and boxes in the closet to take the place of a dresser, and I'm trying to figure out where the toys should go.  I love Ikea's kid bedrooms, by the way.

Iain has been really into his wooden train set.  He made a huge track and it's currently living in the living room/dining room, completely in the walkway but completely worth it for how happy it makes him.

Today he did the alphabet puzzle again while I rocked Cory to sleep for his nap.  When I came out, carrying a sleeping Cory to his bed, the boxes and toys from the hallway (from the room-sorting; see above) were stacked very neatly in Cory's doorway.  Apparently they were in Iain's way.  Iain meanwhile had finished his puzzle and was in his room, reading in his bed, with his music on, "doing his break."  What a responsible lad.

Cory has, within the past few weeks, made the turn from mama's boy to daddy's boy.  According to Dr. Dobson's book Bringing Up Boys this is about the right time for it, and it's a crucial time in Cory's development.  Good thing he has such a wonderful dad teaching him how to be a man.


On the adoption front, there is nothing much happening.  We've been DTR for almost a month, and it's been hard waiting without really knowing if we're having much forward motion.  We're still hoping to travel in the summer or fall (really hoping for summer!).  I cannot wait.  And that is an understatement.


Iain, telling stories: Once upon a time, there was a big, big, mean, fat elephant.  And the mean fat elephant was in our yard.  And he krumped and krumped for his baby.  But he wasn't the age for one.  Then he wanted to fly in the air for one.  Then he set off with his wings, then he set off with a fly.  Then he looked and looked for a baby.  Then the sudden, he saw a little bird, and that's what he got - a little bird for a baby.  And that's the story of the big elephant trying to get a baby.

Once upon a time, there was a big big drumset.  And someone played on his drumset and all these snares worked.  So he played a band.  Then he jumped on the band with his drums.  Then he played the guitar and someone else played his drums.  And then they all played guitars.  And then they all had their favorite guitars and they played along with the piano players and the drum players.  End of the story.

Tonight I made chocolate pudding and told the boys they could have some after they helped me clean up the house.  I have never seen them clean so fast.  Cory grew a chocolate mustache.


Iain got up four or five times the other night.  When I went to put Cory down for his nap the next day, I told Iain to wait until the timer went off before he played with his legos (he wasn't being kind, and the timer was only set for five minutes).  Apparently, he couldn't stay awake that long.

And that's how I feel too, by about now.

End of the story.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine Weekend Snow


The Rock House, our own Winter Wonderland


On Friday, February 12 the snow started.  It fell steadily through the day and into the night.  To those of you who got massive drifts up to your eyebrows, this may seem paltry.  For Atlanta, it was an awful lot of snow.  For us former-Floridians, it was an insane amount of snow to see in our own yard!  


I took the boys out in it on Friday.  Jeremy joined us for a snowball fight, and then had to go back to work.  Cory pretty much just ate handfuls of snow the whole time.



look at Iain's face in this one!

But the boys and I stayed out in the glorious snow for a long time, until poor little Cory said, "I'm fweezin'!"  and we had to go in.  Wet, cold, and tired.

I showed Iain how to make snow angels:



Cory loved jumping on the snow-covered trampoline:


Of course, we made the requisite snow man.  By this time, Cory was anxious to go in, so we made him a quick, small fellow.  One little lump of him is all the snow left in our yard today.


Saturday, the air was warmer but the snow remained.  


Jeremy took the boys outside while I finished up a project.  What I really did was spy on them from the window.


When I finally made it outside, it was just in time to capture some more snow angels:


And some pretty views:



Here's some video of Friday's fun.  Enjoy!

video   video 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lacy Branches Out My Window

My favorite thing about the Rock House is the tree branches that are level with the dining room and foyer windows.  My favorite line from my favorite book, A Severe Mercy, is Sheldon VanAuken's definition of beauty: 

bare branches against the night sky.  


But I have to say that bare branches covered in snow are every bit as lovely.




Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just Pictures

Nothing much to say this time around.  It's been a long week.  

Enjoy some cheerful boys.


A rare warm and sunny-ish day:


Footies, cowboy hats, and the hobby horses I made them for Christmas.  Running laps around the kitchen and living room.  What more could you want, if you're a little boy?



Iain did this alphabet puzzle (each piece is a different letter on a train car) all by himself.  He'd sing the alphabet song under his breath until he got to the letter he needed.  Then he'd stop singing and hunt through the pile until he found it, place it in its spot, and sing again.


Crazy dress-up.  Cory said he was Santa.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Book Review - Love and Respect


I chose to review this book, The Language of Love and Respect: Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, because of the glowing reviews of his other book.  Specifically, Mrs I, a woman from home whose marriage I admire, has always spoken very highly of Love and Respect.  So I approached this book ready to glean firsthand the wisdom I had heard from others.  

The idea of this book is that women need love, and men need respect.  Not a ground-breaking idea, but one that has not to my knowledge been fleshed out to this depth.  Dr. Eggerichs teaches through this book how to communicate more effectively with your spouse, using the principle that men tend to hear things in context of this is or is not respectful and women in terms of is he loving me or not right now?  

Dr. Eggerichs gives some very useful advice on communication, as well as a load of specific situational advice (what to do if your spouse isn't responding well, what to do with an addicted or abusive spouse, how to handle marriage to a spouse who doesn't care to try, how to handle the day-to-day small communication issues).  These parts of the book were helpful, practical, and doable.  The concept of men needing respect from their wives, and women needing love was also valuable.  For the concepts it presents, I give this book five stars.

Stylistically, this was a tough book to read.  I found Dr. Eggerichs' writing to be repetitive and vapid.  The book could have been much more powerful were it about half the length, because every time Dr. Eggerichs made an observation about men, he made the exact same observation about women, only with the appropriate words substituted.  I got the idea.  Really.  It also bothered me how very many acronyms, illustrations, and titles he had (T-U-F-T-S, Crazy Cycle, Air Hoses, The Jesus Way of Talking, C-H-A-I-R-S, etc).  Drove me a bit insane.  And it was hard to keep track of what he was talking about sometimes.  The other bone I had to pick with him was that it seemed that every time he gave a personal example, he made his wife look bad and himself simply look bumbling.

The best parts of the book were the letters and emails he printed by real people who were using the techniques of Love and Respect and finding that they work.  And Dr. Eggerichs does a good job of insisting that he didn't invent these principles; he merely explained them.  And he made a point of saying that you must not practice the principles of this book in order to manipulate your spouse into taking care of you better, but because it is what God wants you to do.

Overall, this is a worthwhile book to read.  Grin and bear the writing itself, and glean the really helpful and practical relationship help Dr. Eggerichs offers.  You won't be sorry.

Note: Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complementary copy of this book to review.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Fortune Cookies and Stuff

How to make Valentine's Day Fortune Cookies:

The boys have been asking to "do a craft!" for a few days now.  I got this idea from Courtney's blog, and we modified it a bit because I wanted to use what we had on hand.  Also, she made 14 for each child, so they can open one a day until Valentine's Day - which is a great idea!  I think we'll try to do it next year.  But today, we just made a few.  On with the show!

First, we cut circles out of felt.  We didn't have any Valentine's Day colors, or fortune cookie colors, but hey, they're boys; they don't mind.  In fact, Cory picked brown and Iain picked green,

Then hot glue a piece of wire down the middle.  We used pipe cleaners, and actually, the yellow-on-yellow was nice - it hid the wire.  But I let the boys pick their colors for the brown and green, so they were a bit more... colorful.


Then you add a note and fold it up.  So cute!


Alas, when I started to fold up they boys' cookies, they started yelling, "No!  We want pancakes!"  So their cookies remained pancakes (with wire glued down the middle), and they ran off happily to play in their pretend kitchen.  I suppose I could have saved myself a few steps and just cut out felt circles for them.  Ah well.  That's why I think we'll wait until next year to do them every day. 

***
I love it when Iain falls asleep during his break time.  He's adorable nestled in his bed among his books and buddies.


***
Cory: Here Iain (gives him some Thomas the Train clothes)
Iain: He gave me Thomas!  What a lovely fellow!

Cory's Vernacular:
Milk = Mlek
Blanket = Bankley
Gumdrops = Gum Bops (both boys use this one, although Iain seems to think gumdrops and gum bops are two different things.  He'll ask when he sees them at the store if they are gumdrops or gum bops.  I always tell him they're gum bops. :)

Me: Night-night, Iain.  I love you.
Iain: Amen.

Iain: I call this cat (points to stuffed cat) "The Finest Cat I Ever Met."

Iain: (Looking at a boy whose veins were visible through his pale skin) Why does he have cracks on his head?  It looks like a dinosaur is trying to come out of his head.

***
We played with the bubble machine that Iain (I think?) got for his birthday a year ago.  They boys loved it.  They were covered in soap and freezing when they finally came inside.  The bubbles blew all through the yard, and Jeremy, whose office is in the front of the house, saw they drifting past his window, so he came around back to see the frivolity. 





(It's really hard to take a picture of boys and bubbles!)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Chew on This

" 'Whether therefore ye eat, or drink ... do all to the glory of God.' St. Paul had recognized even the common things.  Of course, I knew that; I had heard sermons on it.  But I saw now that if my task was far smaller in terms of the effect it was to produce, it was far larger in terms of my own life involvement.  If there were times when I must be willing to pay any price for what was called the 'advancement of the Kingdom; there were also times when I must let such a price - climbing a mountain for example, in rain and mud and darkness - be paid in vain.  This, too, was a place to glorify God.  This must have been what Lynn meant, I thought as I set the table. 'Jesus told us to do what is true.' " --Elisabeth Elliot, in her only novel "No Graven Image."

If you haven't read this book, you should.  And be ready to think.  And maybe get mad.  And definitely be challenged.