Wednesday, February 13, 2013

to pink, or not to pink?

In the words of the Professor (age 12), tomorrow is that dreaded pink day. He journaled about it, even - something like, "The girls will love it. Kissing. Hugs. Pink stuff. Hearts everywhere...but I'll warn my brothers tomorrow to run for their lives!"

This is the same kid who required that we call our parfaits "sedimentary fruit salad" because it sounded less girly.

Anyhoo, we made some cute and super-easy hearts. Don't tell the boys.

Cut strips of paper. Or, go rustic and have a child cut strips of paper.

Fold a strip of paper in half, and the fold becomes the pointy bottom of the heart.

Curve ends of paper inward and secure with glue or clear tape. 

Hang dozens of them ALL OVER the boys' room. Yes!!!

Just kidding. We hung them in the girls' room (we used clear fishing line), but you could also leave them (sans fishing line) in your husband's pickup, lunchbox, underwear drawer, etc. Scandalous.

We also found this adorable printable (with other fun ideas linked here!)

...and some beautiful work by fellow artists...

American Girl Doll Clothes - Berry Ta Dot Peasant Swing Top, Made To Order Soft Heart- Fine Art Photography print 5x7 by Alana Gillett- Ruby Red Aquamarine Teal Baby Blue Bokeh Dreamy Valentine's Day Love Wall Art

Gladiola art print by Solhful Print Shop,
Kiss Me Quick hoop art by Candykins Crafts,
American Doll clothes by Doll Closet,
Soft Heart photography print by Maria Rose Collection

Hope you all have a wonderfully pink...or not-so-pink...Valentine's Day. ♥

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

things we learned in 2012

our boys are fearless...and honest

Afton, age six: Mom, watch me do this weewee!
Me, a little startled: A what?!
Afton: A weewee, you know, wike what Mattie does on his big bike? A WEEWEE! I can do it, too!

Our son has made a baptismal tub out of exercise mats and is dunking his stuffed buddies. The first one in is a shark puppet, who has come to know Jesus and is now "a nice shahk, an' not a fewoshus man-eating creechah."
Caught Afton in the kitchen getting a large freezer ziploc baggie, looking a little suspicious. The interrogation goes like this: 
Me: What do you need a baggie for? 
Afton: For...doin' something wif it. 
Me: What are you going to do with it? 
Afton: Um...fill it wif air an' tack it to the wall. 
Me: What for?  
Afton: For an emergency. 
Me: Why would you need a baggie of air tacked to your wall in an emergency? 
Afton: In case we need a whoopie cushion.
Mattie: Hey Mom, don't worry if you hear a big crash upstairs in a minute. It's just me being adventurous.

*insert suspenseful narrator voice* Afton, being fearless as always with the pepper shaker, throws it on his corn on the cob and goes in boldly for the first bite of black-encrusted yumminess: "Mmm...OH, my." Pause. "Whoa-" -gulp- "I think I used too mu-" gack, sputter...and the rest is lost in coughing, amid hysterical laughter from his unsympathetic table mates. We have dinner entertainment every night, folks.

I asked Mattie if his room was clean, and he says yes - and then qualifies it with, "...if you're a person who's good at finding your footing."

learning English

Andrey, watching me cook dinner: Pizza?
Afton: No, wasagna. Can you say "wasagna?"
Andrey: Zanya?
Afton, jubilant: Mom! He said it almost perfectwy, he just forgot da "wuh."

Chamberlain, to Andrey, while I'm prepping potatoes for dinner: "See dis? Iss a toe-tay-toe. Can you say toe-tay-toe? Toetaytoe, Andrey!" 
After a victorious day punctuated with moments of great frustration, we capped it off with an overly cocky child demanding tabasco sauce with dinner - quickly followed by the joy of watching natural consequences ensue. The play-by-play is as follows: 
Mattie, to Andrey: Do you want this? It's called...TABASCO. (big grin)  
Me, to Mattie: Noooo!! NO! Don't offer him that! (starts to remove tabasco amid loud protests of both Mattie and his unsuspecting victim) 
Mattie: But Mom, he wants it! See?! 
Me, to Andrey: It's hot. Spicy. TOPLO. You sure you want it? 
Andrey: Da. (huge grin) 
Me: Oooookay...(motions to Andrey to just dip his finger first to taste it) 
Andrey's grin widens and he scoops a generous amount onto his fingertip. Takes a mouthful, smiles at his audience in a self-satisfyingly manner for about 1.5 seconds...and then commences convulsing and screaming as though we had done something terrible to him, to the great entertainment of everyone else. God loves me.

homeschooling: they don't always learn what you think you're teaching them...

A few large puppets + several smaller stuffed animals + elementary knowledge of childbirth = not the puppet show I was expecting to watch right after breakfast.

I'm chopping nuts with the ulu and ask the twins if they know what the name of the knife is - they both promptly answer "pizza cutter." Funny little Alaskan kids.

the life of a mama

You know you've found a great doctor when they ask "How often do you exercise?" and you answer "I have four children and a two story house without an elevator" and they are good with that.

In all the chaos of planning an overseas trip and getting ready to bring home Andrey and Reagan, I realized I had forgotten to put something crucial on our to-do list. I've fixed it now, though, and "paint toenails" has now been put in its proper place near the top of the agenda.
The cat just made a mess in three different places and I confess that I am really, really bummed that none of the kids have misbehaved tonight and earned extra chores. Being honest.  
Five minutes later: Never mind. An altercation over brushing teeth at bedtime resulted in a small injury requiring a large band-aid, and I sent the offender to go clean up cat puke. Procrastination wins.

I can't tell you how many times a day I reach for the pencil behind my ear and then realize that I am trying to write with a knitting needle.

There is some small comfort when you get ready for bed and realize that you have been entertaining the general public all day by wearing stickers all over your backside that were meticulously applied by your toddler.

Afton: Oh no!! Andrey threw it and it landed in my CUP! Now I can't drink my TEEEEA!!
Me, not thinking (obviously): It's just a crayon. Drink it.

Woke up to Chamberlain singing the ABC song on repeat right next to my head. I looked and looked for a snooze button on her, but alas...

Intercepted two crayons that were headed to go into the dryer with a clean load of laundry, and felt a little like Ethan Hunt, Mama-style. The laundry load full of favorite hoodies is saved, thankyouverymuch. *cue Mission Impossible theme*

toddlers are adorable...and dangerous

Our kids have acquired a somewhat morbid sense of humor from watching VeggieTales. Chamberlain just had a piece of carrot: she called it Laura, took a bite of it, and then softly yelled "Oww! Help!!" in a high, squeaky voice.

Ah, toddlers: Those aggravating little creatures who uproot your plants and cut the stems into pieces, then proceed to calmly reassure you that we can glue it.

Chamberlain found a dead fly and sighed, "Ohhh, poor fwy, we sould feed him some oatmeal!" Mattie informed her that the fly was dead, and she immediately grabbed a shoe and commenced beating it to a pulp. Capricious, thy name is "toddler."

The kids and I are peeling hard-boiled eggs. Chamberlain grabs an egg out of the bowl, scratches at it with no success, and puts it back, muttering, "Dis one doesn't work, eider."

Daddy wrestling with all four of the kids is all fun and games, until the toddler finds the set of nunchucks. Kapow!

**Want more? Find it at Copperlight Wood. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Did you miss me? We've been pretty scarce here for a while, and it looks like there are some cobwebs to sweep up. Let me find my feather duster...

It's been a little wild. If you've followed our family blog (or our last year at all) you probably know that we brought home our adopted son and daughter from Spaghettia last August. The last six months (!) have been very full of learning and growing and disciplining and teaching and bonding and feeding and praying. Things are shaking out, but it has taken, earthquakes of get us where we are currently.

Want to hear what's new, besides all that?

- We have kitty hats now available in 18 months to 4T size. Adult sizes and with earflaps are available by custom order, but not listed in the shop yet.

- A new team on Etsy has started recently and I am very, very excited about it. Team Jabez is a small, faith-based team of incredibly talented artists with a wide range of giftings. I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of it.

Rustic Bird on a Branch Polymer Clay Pendant Resurrection - Vintage, Pink, Cottage Chic, Floral, Macro, Nature Photography, Flowers, Pastels, Dreamy, Valentine, Shabby Chic, Spring         Pillowcases Paisley Olive Green Cream Hope Set-Africa Adoption Fundraiser  10' Felt Rose Wedding Garland Decoration Decorating Romantic Chic Wedding Cake prop Table Garland  Photo Prop

{just a sampling: pendant by Distlefunk2, photography by Jennifer Rigsby Photography, pillowcases by Adopting Nations, felted rose garland by The Find Sac}

- Felted thumbless mittens are now available in a larger size for bigger-but-still-small kids. You know, ages 3-5ish. :) We have just a few colors left, but inventory will be back to normal by next fall in all three sizes (0-12 months, 1-2 years, 3-5 years).

 - After mulling it over for about...oh, a year or so...we switched our homeschool curriculum to Ambleside Online this year, and I've discovered some new authors that I have fallen in love with. Charles Kingsley, Elizabeth Goudge, HE Marshall, Captain Marryat - where have you been all my life?! In just our last term I've learned the "kings and queens" from Henry VIII to Richard Cromwell and can not only explain what "The curse of the Cromwell be on ye!" means, but can also pull off a pretty fun accent and vigorous fist-shake to go with it.

In related news, the Lullabies spent the afternoon outside with Little Miss sitting as Queen Elizabeth on her snowbank throne. She sent the Professor to the Tower of London (a tall birch tree) for treachery.

- I have taken on my first major granny square project. It will be done in approximately 72 years.

I must go. Mr. Baruch's is asking why the washing machine lid is making a funny noise, and I have to explain that we - um, *cough* - did science a few days ago. Boys and dirt...need I say more?