Spotlight on Marie

February 24th, 2015

Marie gives us a lot of joy and rejoicing these days.  When Rachel Anne is awake, often the two of them are paired up and playing together.

(I love how Rachel’s pigtail is flying out in this picture.
She was rolling over just when I took the picture.)


Evidently sleeping is such a wonderful thing they even want to pretend sleeping for play.  This is a frequent entertainment and pastime for these two at different locations through the house.


Indoor horseback riding is also quite popular.



With all the snowy weather, the snow gear is always lying around to dry.  It makes for very handy dress-up material, and so they dress up in boots, mittens, scarves and hats and enjoy tramping around the house.


One of the biggest reasons Marie is a vibrant sensation these days is she has really taken off in reading!   This is how I frequently find her these days.  Right here she claimed she was “just looking” at books, but then she started telling me what they said.  The pictures must have made her curious!


Here she is reading while Rachel Anne was napping.  In the mornings she reads books to Rachel.  Her very favorite books right now are Freddy & Flossie books (the Bobbsey Twins).  We got two of them on the pre-reading level from the library, and she is very excited about them and loves reading them.  She also wants to “be Flossie”.  In her mind, in order to “be Flossie” she has to have two down-low pigtails that are round balls and stick out.  With enough hair elastics, I have figured out how to achieve that!


Marie asked to help me peel potatoes for supper one evening.


She was so happy to help out.  She didn’t just peel one or two and then go play, she stayed there and peeled potatoes the whole time until we had enough for supper.




Paul and Hannah have been taking turns making things for our meals, and Marie wanted to make something too.  When it was time to mix up more hot cocoa mix, I let her do it.  (After all, a little more or less powdered sugar or dry milk in that recipe will not make any difference.)


She really enjoyed it.


After she was done, she even got out the little vacuum and vacuumed up the crumbs that spilled on the floor.


(Here you can see a little bit of a “Flossie pigtail”.  I think it was in a deteriorated state, but you can get the idea.)


That’s a snapshot of Marie at the exciting age of 4 1/2.  We’re thrilled with all she’s learning and love watching her bloom!

Big Snow, Big Times

February 22nd, 2015

God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”.  (1 Tim. 6:17b)

So enjoy we did, with this rich blessing of abundant snow this weekend!

With the church services cancelled for today, after breakfast we loaded up our snow gear and some food and headed up to my parents for the day.  They have a fantastic sledding hill, and they had made a wonderful track the night before.  (My brothers, their friends, and Katie & Sherman had a late-night sledding party on Friday night—I think I heard something about it lasting until 3:00 a.m.!  I am definitely not among the young anymore!)


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After having a week of extreme cold (for here), with some days the temperatures never rising out of the single digits, when it was up to 36 today, we felt like it was about time to go swimming!

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With the bright sunshine, we didn’t even need coats, and not really any gloves or mittens if we weren’t going to be handling the snow.


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Andrew & Marie

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Here’s a nice view of most of the sledding hill.

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Bobby and Sam were quite the whizzes on their snowboard.  I could not believe what great balance Sam has, at a mere 4 years old, on this snowboard!  He’s headed to be a uni-cyclist!  Lucy, if you want to learn to snowboard, you can take some lessons from Sam.


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Initially, Rachel Anne thought she didn’t want to sled.  When Aunt Gail showed up, she was all ready to sled with her favorite aunt!

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Sky didn’t miss a chance to race the sleds down the hill!

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Rachel Anne

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After a while, Rachel, Ted, Morgan & Avery came to try out the slopes.  By that time, the snow was getting a little slushy and wasn’t quite as good for sledding, but it was still very adequate for the wee bairns.

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Rachel (my sister) and Morgan
(who wasn’t very impressed with sledding)

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Rachel & Avery

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After the sledding petered out, the Giant Snowman Project commenced.   Here, Katie, Andrew, and Sherman are rolling the snowballs.

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While that was going on, Rachel Anne and Morgan spent quite a bit of time in the library reading books and waiting for lunch.

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Here is Giant Snowman Project at stage 1.

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Paul, Hannah, Bobby & Sam are on top the snowball.

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Katie and Glen are in the bucket of the Agri-loader working on the snowman and Andrew is throwing snow up on the snowman.

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Katie and Daniel (Luke & Glen’s friend) are measuring the snowman.  I think they determined him to be 13 feet tall.

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Katie and Glen put a tire on for the bottom part of his top hat.

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Back inside, this happy little girl was grinning and pushing a stroller.  By the time I got my phone camera ready, she was getting serious about her play again.

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But I did manage to capture a few gentle smiles of beautiful Avery.

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Avery really loves her Grandma!

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Here Mr. Giant Snowman has his completed top hat–a tire and a black 5-gallon bucket.  (I love Daniel’s pose in this picture!  He’s in the red shirt.)

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Hannah was enjoying Sky.

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And there he is, in his full, chilly glory!   Glowing with orange skeets for his eye, nose, and buttons, and a piece of black plastic pipe for his mouth.

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Avery Ellen

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After the Giant Snowman was completed, Paul, Hannah, Bobby, & Sam each built their own “miniature” snowman.  Paul is shaking hands with his.

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Here are all four snowmen.  (I think there were almost enough snowmen present to classify as “Attack of the Deranged Mutant Snow Monsters” like in Calvin & Hobbes.)

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This is Hannah’s snow-woman, or girl snowman, as she called her.  She made hers with a pony tail.

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The pony tail is made of corn husks.

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And here is Hannah, with her creative masterpiece.

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We had a really great time enjoying the snow and enjoying being together with family.  My mom did a massive cooking and had plenty of food on hand for everyone.  We took along a turkey casserole, that was originally meant for our church’s fellowship meal tonight, to contribute to the food.  We missed all the rest of the family who wasn’t there—and I sure thought about you guys, Julia, Miriam, Laura, and Lucy.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll all be together for a big sledding party again someday.

Speaking of sledding, I still remember at least one time, maybe a couple of times, my grandmother Gardner went sledding with us.  She was an amazing lady!  I hope I remember that when I’m a grandmother, and hopefully at least a couple times go sledding with my grandkids.  (I had better start by making sure I go sledding with my kids!  It’s so easy to have too much to do and let them go sledding by themselves.)

We’ve had a big snow for this winter, and a big time sledding.  While some were having black clouds of depression and severe grumps over the snow (at least they pretended to on Facebook), we’ve enjoyed being home, staying warm, and then today, getting together with my family and sledding.  We can take this kind of snow any time!