Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Swimmers take your mark . . .

We've spent at least one hour every day since May 15th at the pool.  Caroline has swim team every evening and the little girls are both old enough now to enjoy spending an hour or so in the baby pool.

I'm so proud of Caroline's enthusiasm and hard work when it comes to most things she tries; and she really displays those qualities beautifully during swim season.  She is excited about practice, and always works really hard to improve her skills.  Last season she never felt comfortable enough with backstroke to swim    that stroke the length of pool alone.  But on her first try at it all alone this year, she did fantastic.

 And our Charlotte?  Well, she is slightly more timid than Caroline when it comes to trying new things, but when she does try something, she tries it with a gusto that is really inspiring.  She epitomizes the go big or go home mantra.  The first couple of weeks we were going to the pool, she had no interest in getting her head wet. She was happy playing and maybe blowing bubbles under the water, but she was not about to go under the water willingly.  That all changed two days ago.  She asked me for her goggles and said that she needed them because she was going under water.  I complied and put her goggles on, fully expecting her to maybe put her face in the water for a moment and come up in horror.  I was so wrong.  She went at it full force and tells us now that she doesn't need swim lessons.  We'll be keeping a VERY close eye on our no-longer-cautiously-fearful girl.  :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

the dance

I'm standing in the kitchen cooking dinner when two chubby hands grab the back of my leg.

"Hodeme," she says.

I have the music on and when I pick her up, I whisper in her ear, "Oh, do you want to dance with Mama?"

"Shesch," is the reply, "shesch, shesch!"

I start to dance with her, her full cheeks covered in graham cracker remnants.  Golden curls resting on my shoulder.  She raises her head and a smile spreads across her face, revealing that mouth full of tiny, perfect white teeth. More quickly than it began, it ends with her cries, "No dance. Moak. Moak!"

I relent.  "Okay, okay, I'll get you milk."

"And appu," she says.

"And applesauce? Yuck.  I'm not sure about that, Camille."

"No. appu! Mama, appu, appu!"

As I open the fridge, she points to the "other applesauce" -- or as you might know it, yogurt.

"And hodeme mama. Hodeme Mama."

--Camille 21 months

Friday, May 25, 2012

For your Friday: What I'm reading

I finished a book last week, Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark.  It was pretty good, an easy read, and set in Louisiana.  The author is a Christian author, so she weaves little tidbits of evangelicalism throughout the book.  In the beginning, it's pretty much unnoticeable, but in the very end, it started to take a bigger part in the story line.  I don't normally mind that kind of thing, but in the context of the story, it started to feel a little contrived.  Overall, though, I liked the book a lot. it would be a good beach read.

I'm reading Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer right now.  I really like it.  Although my book choices over the years could have told anyone else this, I never really pegged myself as a fan of historical fiction, but I've admitted that to myself during the reading of this book.  It's set at the end of World War II in France and centers on a museum curator, her communist party-French Resistance leader boyfriend, and two OSS agents posing as Red Cross workers.  The group works to thwart a Nazi plot to steal the Mona Lisa.  Each has his or her own reasons for doing so, and each has plans for the operation that he or she hasn't published the rest of the group.  I've really enjoyed it so far.

I've also started and not finished several books.  First, Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  It is really good, I've just needed some fiction to wind down at night.  Second, Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman.  I love this book, and I think I'm going to have to start over with it.  I've read and re-read several of the early chapters.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller is one I started a while back and I stopped reading for a time.  It is closer to a novel than the previous two I just listed, so when I'm done with Mona Lisa, I might had back to Miller's book.  I have several other books that have been languishing on my Kindle; mostly books I picked up when they were on super-special sale for less than five dollars, or some of them were free.  Amazon is tricky like that - they get me with $1.99 here and $4.99 there.  I love my Kindle though, as I definitely read since I've had it.  

On the web:

This is beautifully written and a thought-provoking read.  Thank you Emily Freeman.

This is breath-taking.  My soul was saying, "Yes! Yes!" as I read it.  Thank you Sarah Bessey.

This is funny.  And true.  ". .  .because no judge on earth is going to side with a whistler."  Yes indeed. Thank you Heather Armstrong.

This is inspiring and encouraging.  And humbling.  Thank you Carlos Whitaker.

This is refreshingly honest.  We've dealt with some academic/learning issues this year in our family, and for the sake of privacy for my daughter, I won't say much more about it, but it is nice to see that the wrestling through the steps on that road is normal.  Thank you Angie Smith.

This is a great love story.  Without all the mushy details.  This is my brother we're talking about.  Not that he's not mushy; I just don't want to hear about it.  Thank you Amelia. And FYI, kids get in on this girl's writing so that you can say you knew her way back when.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stuff my three year old says

On Tuesday my ride home with Charlotte and Camille after work was either hysterical or completely unnerving.  Maybe both.  Charlotte talked literally non-stop.  And what she said was sometimes completely contradictory to what she had said only the sentence before.  It took my weight in patience not to laugh or cry.

Charlotte:  Where are we going?

Me:  We're going home, Charlotte.

Charlotte:  But I don't want to go home!

Me:  Well, we're going to the pool this afternoon after we get home; don't you want to go to the pool?

Charlotte:  But not home, right?

Me:  Um. Well, yes, we have to go get your bathing suit on and pick up Caroline for swim team practice.

Charlotte:  But I don't want to go home!

Me:  Okay, Charlotte, I've heard you.

Charlotte:  I am not a fast runner, you know.  I am not a good runner.

Me:  Why do you say that?

Charlotte:  Because when I play with Nicholas I get too tired.  I'm not going to play with Nicholas anymore.  I didn't play with Nicholas today.  I played with Kate Kate and . . . .Kate Kate and . . . .Kate Kate and . . . Kate Kate and . . ..Kate Kate and . . . I can't remember.

Me:  Oh, that's good.  What did y'all play?

Charlotte:  Kate Kate and . . .Kate Kate and . . . Kate Kate and Noella!

Me:  Oh, good, you remembered.  What did y'all play?

Charlotte:  Me have a boo-boo.  Right here (points to wrist).  Oww!  Owww!  OWWWWWW!  Oh this hurts!

fake crying

Me:  I'm sorry you're hurt, what happened?

Charlotte:  I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me:  Charlotte, stop yelling.  


Charlotte:  When are we going to be home!!!  I'm ready to be home!  I don't want to be in this car anymore!

Me:  Okay, well we're almost home.  Do you want to listen to some music?

Charlotte:  Yes.  Taylor Swift.  The first one.

music turns on

Charlotte:  Turn this up, please.  I can't hear it.

music turns up

Charlotte:  Thank you.  Now Mama, [unintelligible because she is speaking quietly and the music is loud].

Me:  Charlotte, speak up please or I have to turn the music off, I can't hear you very well.

Charlotte:  Turn this mugik off!  I don't want any musgik!

Me:  Charlotte, stop talking to me like that.  You have to ask me nicely.

Charlotte:  And I. DON'T. WANT. TO. GO. HOME.  Wait, did I miss the horses?  I want to go back and see the horses!  Hey!  Look, there are the cows!  Hey cows!  Hey cows!  What are you doing cows?  Eating your dinner?  Bye cows, bye cows!

silence for about 30 seconds

Charlotte:  Hey Camille, do you want to go home?

no response.

Charlotte:  Hey Camille!  Hey Camille!!

no response

Me:  Charlotte, she's listening to you, just talk to her.

Charlotte:  No.  She is not being nice to me.  She is not saying, "Yes, Charlotte."  That hurts my feelings.  This is all hurting my feelings.  And my wrist hurts!


Me:  Okay, well you need to be nice to Camille too.  She doesn't' like being yelled at and neither do you.  We're almost home.  Let's see if we can get home without y'all having a breakdown.  We'll be home in about two minutes.

Charlotte:  Home!  I want a snack at home!  Can I have fruit snacks at home?

Me:  Sure, you can have some fruit snacks at home.

Charlotte:  Oh, Mama!  I love you Mama.  You are the best Mama.  I love you so much.

Me:  I love you too Charlotte.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hey there!

Now that school is almost over and summer has officially arrived -- or maybe unofficially arrived-- in Baton Rouge, here's an update for all six of you sitting on the edge of your seats.

Where have we been?  What have been up to?

Wrestling alligators

Going to art shows

Eating breakfast outside

Watching movies in tents


Looking for squirrels

And so much more that I never pulled the camera out to capture.

Good night, friends!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Pure heart

The first time I saw Caroline do this, it brought tears to my eyes.  It was so touching for a reason I couldn't quite articulate, but some things speak to your heart and not your head.  Jeff had the same reaction when she did it for him; he said, "Wow, that almost made me cry."

Here's our precious girl singing and signing to a song she learned in Sunday School.

"But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:16-17