Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it Snow!

We'd wished. We'd hoped. We'd even prayed. And finally...it snowed! We had a glorious snow day which started with a leisurely breakfast (homemade blueberry muffins), games, and sledding. We tried two locations: the first, on a dead-end road adjacent to the Hamilton cemetery, and the second, at Harmony Intermediate School. The school was perfect. Steep hill and close parking so that Charlotte could stay warm and snug in the car.

So while Charlotte slept peacefully... the kids played!

And played!

And played!

And played!


Following the sledding extravaganza, we returned home for hot chocolate, popcorn, and a great movie (City of Ember).

Happy Sledding to all!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year...and a little fire!

I love any excuse to have a party. I've baked cakes to celebrate soccer games, mark test completions, and turn "a horrible day" into "a fun day."

So when a friend reminded me that today is the Chinese New Year, it was the gentle shove I needed to announce a family party! This afternoon, I pulled the Lucky China menu from the cupboard, grabbed the phone, and ordered a smattering of Chinese-American delicacies. (Okay, never mind the party, I'd use any excuse to not have to cook dinner!) Minutes later, I'd picked up our order and the car was suddenly infused with the unmistakable, yummy aroma of Chinese food. I think my favorite part of Chinese cuisine is the tiny white containers--so neat and tidy. I also love getting to sample a little bit of everyone's choice and reading the fortunes. Madilyn scored on her fortune: "You will inherit money or land this year." SCORE!

After dinner we held Family Home Evening. For the activity I retrieved some dusty fireworks left over from the 4th of July. In the cold and dark, we lit the fireworks on our back porch. The kids huddled together on the stairs and Charlotte watched from her car seat out the back window. Owen was working late, so I had to be the lighter. Oh the screams and laughter! (Mine) Especially when one zinger shot into the sky...right towards us! Luckily it landed on the roof and extinguished itself.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Growing a Neck

Amelia, (barely) 5, asked me an important question today. With eyebrows furrowed in seriousness, she said, "When will Charlotte grow a neck?" Charlotte, 4 months, does indeed appear to have no neck. Though I know it's there, it is as illusive as blue birds in winter. We catch rare glimpses of her neck when she is stretching to see the toy that has dropped just out of reach. And it appears when she strains to see her siblings playing loudly. But as quickly as we see it, it just as soon disppears, hidden by chubby pink cheeks.

I wish some of my body parts would magically disappear just as Charlotte's neck seems to. Like, for instance, my roll of post pregnancy belly. Truman, also (barely) 5, calls it his "cushy pillow." Aww shucks. It was really only cute the first time. Just yesterday he asked if he could watch TV while resting on the cushy pillow - pointing, not to the fabric pillows on the couch, but to my belly.

My hope: just as Charlotte's neck starts making regular appearances, my cushy pillow will disappear!

One can always hope.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ring In

Family of 7 plus Nana and Grandad rang in the new year while sleeping in bed. But we did plenty of celebrating before bedtime. We ate our traditional New Year's Eve meal of Chinese take-out, played board games on the kitchen table, and watched Anne of Green Gables.

Here are my top ten favorite moments of 2008:

10. Being an at-home-mom, and playing with my children. Watching Madilyn play soccer, reading with Elise, baking with Amelia, building race tracks with Truman.
9. Running. Waddling when I was pregnant. Longs runs with Karen post-pregnancy.
8. Monthly Book Club meetings (favorite books of the year: Thirteenth Tale, Tenderness of Wolves, and The Road).
7. Any time spent exclusively with my husband - dinners at Clydes, late night dates, and getaways. All, much too rare.
6. Seeing my first two publications in print (Motherwords).
5. Visiting Katie in Utah - seeing Othello, shopping, Las Vegas, and cup cakes.
4. New York City with Karen, Madilyn, and Elise!
3. Seeing Madilyn get baptized and having both sets of grandparents there for the occasion.
2. Birth of Charlotte Jane - our gift, our sunshine, our blessing.
1. Being surrounded by family (5 sweet children and a wonderful husband) on Christmas day, snuggling, reading our new books, playing with toys, enjoying a scrumptuous meal, and counting our blessings.