Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Watch Me Grow {37}

Dear Miss Dinah,

This morning Daddy and I laughed at your jammies, which had the words "Watch Me Grow," on them. It's funny because it is true. We constantly watch as you constantly grow!

Ballet at Sabrina's again today. It had been a few weeks, and baby James is almost 2 months. It is very strange to be telling you, "Be gentle, Miss Dinah, it's a baby!" Until now, you have always been the little one!

Sabrina is so sweet to you...she set a big play-pen to entertain you while we danced.

When you weren't in your play-pen, you enjoyed:
...crawling toward James as he slept
...being held by Mamma during grande battements -- an extra 17 pounds or so made those releves hard work ;)
...holding the medal barre (yes, you looked like a little ballerina while doing this) and smiling relentlessly at the mirror. BIG smile -- all 3 1/2 teeth visible! (The top 2 count as 1/4 each)
...chilling out in your car seat, drinking from your sippy cup and munching on a cracker. Um, when did you become a big girl??? because that's sure what you looked like!

We did some quick shopping afterwards. You did great as we rolled around Wal-Mart in your up-front shopping cart spot.

You napped on the way home and then a few more hours at home. Guinnie stopped by after you were awake to play and marvel at your standing.

Daddy was thrilled that we bought a baby gate, and put it up right away when he got home.

This morning

You whisper to yourself when you are working hard.

I see you.

I love you.

Mamma <3   

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Store Up Treasures in Heaven {36}

Dear Miss Dinah,

I don't know about you but I'm tired! Today was a long day, but very fun.

This morning we went over to Marc and Dana's house. We hung out and at lunch with them. Marc cooked fajitas - yum!! You had some corn tortillas, and blueberries - which you devoured. We decided to play a game after lunch, and came back home to do it.

Oh, by the way, there were dangerous winds today. There was so much dirt blowing around you couldn't see very far. Staying in side as much as possible was the safest thing to do.

The view through the back window. Normally you can see for miles.

You could barely see past that bus today.

"Agricola" was the game of choice. Of course, you napped the first 2 1/2 hours of the game, but don't worry -- you didn't miss out. It lasted another 2 1/2 or so! Quite a game -- but a lot of fun. We even lost power for a little while due to the weather.

Then we made dinner: French Onion Soup. You took a bath, and then stayed up and enjoyed fellowship with our sweet friends some more.

Playing with M&D's dog, General. He's such a good sport :)

Chasing General and getting whipped with a tail.

I am so excited for you to grow up knowing Marc and Dana. I'm sure you will spend plenty of time at their home through the years. Christian relationship is a treasure. Something to be cherished.

I love you.

Mamma <3

Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Cry, Sweet Dinah {35}

Dear Miss Dinah,

After you were born, I remember my mamma telling me how your cry sounded like mine did when I was a baby.

I thought, How in the world does she remember that!?

Well, sweet thing: It's probably because she heard it many, many times. And I've realized that sound does have a way of sticking with you ;)

Thankfully, your joyful giggles make up for the tears. Now, let's focus on that, shall we??

I love you.

Mamma <3

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Birdie at the Park {34}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Church this morning.
We talked about kindness.
A fruit of the Spirit.

And about Jesus humbling himself,
Leaving his home in Heaven,
and his Daddy,
to come

We played musical chairs.
We got out first ;)
Herb kept reminding the kids, "Be kind." :)

You napped,
and then we walked
park =D

Temp stroller found in storage. Daddy tries fun new tricks.
The sideways stroll.

 I love you.

Mamma <3

"Oh how I love to go up in the swing, up in the swing so high..."

Crawl to Daddy.

Crawl to Mamma.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday {33}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Today, Daddy we were vacuuming, and you were intent on chasing the vacuum
the house.

I've noticed you've been getting your front tooth on the left side for a week or so, and now the right side is juuuuuust starting to poke through. You make funny faces because of it.

You're hugging is getting better.
And you're attention span a little longer. 

And you like carrots.
And apples.
And rice cakes.

Tonight, we sat at the table for dinner. You, in your high chair. The TV was on, but still, it felt so "family-eque." :)

You know that power cords are off limits.

You whine, and try to flip, on your changing table.

You give little smiles to familiar people and stare blankly at unfamiliar ones.

You giggle instantly in front of the mirror.

We read a few minutes at bedtime.


Mamma <3

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cultivate Joy {32}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Cultivate a life of joy, at all costs, and it will go well with you.

This is not easy.

This world will offer you many opportunities
   to get bummed out,
   to lose hope,
   to despair.

Cultivate a life of joy,
   not just positive energy,
   not just wishful thinking,
   not just believing in whatever works for today.

   but dwelling in the place of real, tangible, lasting joy.

1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.            
2I long, yes, I faint with longing     
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.

5What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,b
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.c
                                ~ Psalm 84
You and Guinny (Daddy thinks we should spell it this way...ha!!) Wearing your matching pink and showing off your crawling skills. The computer screen saver happened to flash through a pic of Mamma and Daddy right when I snapped the shot. Funny!!

I love you.

Mamma <3

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting {31}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Today was cold and VERY windy.
When we say windy in SW Kansas,
we aren't messing around, either.

So we stayed inside most the day and worked around the house.

You practiced your pulling up to standing
and in one valiant attempt,
you bumped your little noggin on the table.
It actually left a bruise!  :(
Since your pants have sushi on them today,
I dub thee: Kung Fu Princess Warrior --
Fighting to stand, one piece of furniture at a time.

My little warrior has one weapon which gets particularly sharp every few days:
Her daggers (or fingernails)
And then I'll say it's time to "Chop them daggers!"
We were chopping when Daddy walked in and took a video.

...quite a fun, surprise ending too =D

I love thee, Kung Fu (Princess) Warrior.

Mamma <3

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Left My Stroller in Oklahoma {30}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Today it was 70 degrees out. We ran some errands -- actually, we walked some errands... because we left our stroller in Oklahoma!

I held you in the sling as we walked, and walked... and walked.

Rose, at the Post Office gave us many a good suggestion of how to get it back. Maybe someone will be going that way, soon.

People must not have recognized us without our stroller, because we got asked if we were new in town!  Well, I guess we are... sort of :)

Another sweet woman offered us a ride as we were walking back home, carrying our letters and packages...
"You just look like you have your hands full," she said kindly.
"Well, you see, it's just that... I left my stroller in Oklahoma!" :)

We walked to Ginny's (your grandma's). She wasn't home, so we swung, swung, swung. It felt good to take a break from walking. And you started to doze off in the nice, warm breeze.

I love you!!

Mamma <3

... and then we walked home :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Long Day, and Then Some {29}

Dear Miss Dinah,

This morning we finally packed up and left what has been home for a week. We had such a great time, it was hard to leave. They were getting ready to leave for a guitar lesson early, and this progression of photos Matthew took in the kitchen pretty much sums up the pace of the week.

Frenetically amazing.

Details are key.

Camrey getting her baby ready for the ride.
Griffin has his University of Oklahoma key (to the tree house) around his neck.
Logan makes an appearance.
Cassidy gets one last picture with her iPhone.
Carmel rounds the troops.
Last minute business.
Don't forget to say bye to Comet.

We loaded up the truck, and you drove us all home... =D

5.5 hours later...

...Gimpa calls as we pull into town and asks if we are going to Granny (your great-grandmother's) birthday party. So we load back up and go. What's 15 more minutes in the car? :)

Tonight, Mamma went to an exercise class and you stayed home with Daddy. Apparently, you woke up 10 minutes after I left, and gave your Daddy a run for his money. He said he wished he'd taken a video of this: you were banging your carrot on the tray, taking bites of your rice cake, and crying. Not a happy camper. Oh and he gave you water too! Big girl! He tried everything, finally he let you play with the iPhone, and you calmed down. Daddy's girl :)

I love you immeasurably.

Mamma <3

P.S.  I think you have a top tooth coming in!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Working and Watching {28}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Daddy left yesterday to go and pick up his equipment in Dallas, and he's already on his way back today.

His seed cleaner (for parts) was being shipped all the way from Australia, and we have waited a long, long time for it to get here!

You will grow to see what a hard worker your Daddy is. His mind is always working to think of better ways to do things. He's been wanting to build a better seed cleaning machine for a while now, and he's finally getting to do it. Over many months, he has done countless hours of research, planning, drawings, phone calls, and gathering equipment.

When I first saw his seed cleaning machine, I had never seen anything like it before. It looks like something I had seen in a child's book of silly inventions. There were gidgets attached to gadgets with pully's, and sprockets rotating around gears and doo-hickey's connecting  bouncing things to spinning things. Note: some language may have been adapted to adjust for lack of knowledge on the topic.

It won't be too long before you understand how these things work though! You are already starting to investigate your own little pieces of the world. I love it when you explain things to me. You talk in your quiet little voice (or squealy, excited little voice) all about what you are doing... and you watch. Oh, girl, how you watch. You so closely observe what people are doing. I can tell that you are just taking it all in. You watch, you watch, you watch...and then you giggle =D

Daddy sent us this picture, all loaded up before he left Dallas.

 I love you.

Mamma <3

I Don't Know Boys {27}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Did you hear the story about how we thought you were going to be a little boy?

Of course, we would soon find out that something different was in store. I can't imagine not having my perfect, wonderful little girl. But let me tell you, my daughter, boys are wonderful in a very peculiar way:

Basketball goal goes up before the walls do...

Rope "swing," being attached to tree before access to tree-house is complete...

"I wouldn't do that, you could really get hurt," Matthew says.
"That's how we roll," says Griffin nonchalantly.

First items in house: carpet, lounge chairs, OSU/OU gear (strategically placed on separate "sides"), jalepeno pringles, and guns.

 Someday, you may have a brother, and we will learn about these creatures together!

 The fruit of their labor...

I love you!

Mamma <3

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pull Ups {26}

Dear Miss Dinah,

You amaze me with your moves.

Pulling up on everything!

You crawl to the wall or a chair, pull until your little buns are up in the air, drag your feet in behind you, straighten out your legs... and try your very hardest to stand. Up in the room, you pulled yourself up on the edge of my suitcase, found the zipper - which was fascinating in and of itself, and definitely worth your attention. You pulled yourself up and then tried to climb up onto the suitcase. Little climber!

You are amazing to watch.

You make me smile in wonder.

You go, girl!!!

I love you.

Mamma <3

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cousins {25}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Well, our trip has been delayed a few more days. Originally we might be leaving by today, but Daddy is not able to pick up his equipment until Monday... so here we are!

We have had so much fun getting to know your cousins and spending time in Oklahoma. Your Daddy and the children's Mamma are cousins, but we just call us all cousins. Your cousins take care of you like their own. They love to play with you, and are sad when you have to take a nap or go to bed. Camrey is always asking, "When is the baby going to wake up?" :)  She and Cassidy have become pros at getting you out of your bed right when you wake up. Cassidy is so gentle and intuitive with you. She is quite a natural.

This afternoon, another cousin, Eleri, drove into town to come play. She brought her baby, Henry. We all hung out, played, gabbed for a couple of hours. Actually, you slept through most of it, but you did get to see them before they left ;)

Tonight, Mamma went to take a shower and when I came out, you had your PJ's on and a fancy flower in your hair. You are so beautiful, and I can tell that it's not just on the outside either. I love you so much.


Carmel and your, eh, "puppy" friend ;)
Your Daddy =D
Boys working hard.

Soaking Up the Sun, Dancing and Singing in the Son {24}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Yesterday while your cousins were at their Homeschool Co-op, you Daddy and I went to run errands. We went to pick up supplies for the tree house at Home Depot, and to get a few odds and ends at Walgreens. There was a BBQ company selling out of a trailer in the Walgreens parking lot. You will discover we REALLY like eating at these things. Somehow, they seem more authentic ;) Anyways, this one was called "Somkinokies," and it was soooooooooooooo good.

When we got back, the cousins weren't home yet, so we sat outside and enjoyed the early afternoon sun. It was so beautiful and relaxing!

Last night, Carmel took me along to the ARTS center where Cassidy dances. Your mamma has really enjoyed dancing throughout her life, and enjoys connecting with other people who do. You always seem to want to walk on your toes, and people say, "Wow! She will be a dancer!!" about you. This makes me laugh because I think, we were ALL made to express joy, sing, dance, shout, and play. It's because of what (and who!) our creator has placed inside of us!

You stayed home with Daddy. You napped and then watched American Idol. He said you loved the singing! I was surprised to see you still awake when I got home after 9 pm, but you seemed to be having a GREAT time ;)

I love you.

Mamma <3

Good morning sunshine girls!
Cam, Griffin, Logan, you.

Little birdie.

And Mamma.
Oh, by the way you CLIMBED UP THIS STEP TODAY...mmm hmmm.
American Idol with Daddy...tired puppy :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making Progress {23}

Dear Miss Dinah,

Another busy day here in OK, and you are FINALLY napping ;)

Here you are playing the piano with Cassidy:

It was another beautiful day. You and I started out for a walk...
then Camrey ran out to join us:

...then Comet ran out to join us:

She stuck him on the leash and off we went:

We passed by at least 12 dogs on our walk, I thought.
And according to Griffin, there are exactly 42 on the block. He even tried to name them all.

This afternoon, Cassidy and Camrey watched you while I lay down on the couch a few minutes. When I got up, at ate an apple - and you sucked on it with too. Yum! You enjoyed that apple.

Matthew and the boys worked on the tree-house today after they got done doing chores and music practice. Here's the tree-house at our last visit back in Ocober:

And here they are working on it today:

This afternoon, you proved that you are OFFICIALLY crawling! There were some small balloons on the ground, and you definitely chased after them, making almost a half a lap around the island in the kitchen. Camrey also claims you stood by yourself with her when I wasn't watching... I'm not so sure ;)

Camrey just ran in saying, "The baby's awake!!!" She diligently alerts me every time :) Cassidy and Camrey ran upstairs to get you out of bed. Carmel and your Daddy finally got home from the store. I can here him in there talking to you, and kissing on you now ;) Here I come!

I love you.

Mamma <3