Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Traffic Cones or Fashion Statement?

What can you do with a bunch of traffic cones?
  1. put them in a circle and run around them
  2. put them in a line and then zig zag through them
  3. pile them all together and try to use them as a bed
  4. put them in chairs and then try to feed them your applesauce
  5. start a new fashion

I didn't get pictures of everything Autumn did with the traffic cones she found when we got to church for supper a couple of weeks ago but I did get one of the new hat! It didn't fit mommy very well but worked nicely for Autumn.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Little Children Praying

We've been teaching Autumn to say grace before a meal (mostly dinner) and she's gotten so good that when we are all sitting at the table she puts her hands out and says "hands" so we can pray. (we hold hands while praying it was easier to teach than 'praying hands'). She jabbers along with us and usually you can pick out the words "Sheesus" and "keekoo" and "guess" adn then she loves to say "Eeeeeemen". She'll even put her hands out in the middle of the meal saying "hands" and wanting to pray again. I'm not positive she understands this concept totally but she is having fun and that's really a big part of prayer in my mind. It shouldn't be something you have to make yourself do, but rather something you enjoy. We've also been working on a bedtime prayer. She says it all by herself! It goes like this: "Geeear Dog, keeeeeekou, Eeeeeeeeeemen". There are lots of long drawn out words and the appropriate head nodding to go along with them. If I forget to have her do this when we are going to bed just as I get to the door she'll say "pray mommy!" and I have to go back in and say it with her. I just love that! Something else she likes to do is say hi to God when we open up the sun roof in the car. Obviously we haven't done that lately due to the FRIGID temperatures...I do like to open the inside part though to get just that bit more sunlight into my car and she'll wave at the sky then too and say "hi Dog". I have no pictures of this but I have a fun video clip from our bowling in Osakis so enjoy that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Year in Review

So I had these great plans to send out the yearly letter updating everyone on all our antics. Yeah, not going to happen. I have it written but I keep getting waylayed and it is not getting printed. So the picture cards will be going out and the letter will be posted here for any and all to see. (this really did fit all on one page believe it or not!)

Dear Family and Friends

It’s been quite a year. Our lives pretty much center around a whirling dervish of energy that never seems to stop moving, even in her sleep. We do try to keep something of our own lives going and here’s a taste of that.

We moved to Lakeville this summer. It is a suburb like we lived in last year but a bit more south and closer to my job. This helps with gas costs and we even enlarged by one room. So now I have a room to put my sewing machine and loom up without worrying about Autumn getting into things she really shouldn't. Kurt also has his music computer set up in there where he can lay down tracks for a new CD he wants to put together.

Kurt has been working hard in his new position with the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in the surety office. He moved from being the admin assistant in the personal sales office to being an admin assistant in an office where they deal with surety insurance. It makes no sense to me but he is challenged by it and that is what matters. He recently got a nice little pay raise which has allowed us to ease our belt buckles out a notch or so. Always nice to breathe a little easier. He is on the Trustees committee at church and can usually be seen with his head inside a closet or up in the rafters. He has also been seen standing on tables to change light bulbs and chasing down mice with a bowl and lid in the kitchen. He is also on the Friends of the Sanctuary committee which means that once or twice a year he helps change vestments and set out communion, trim wicks and change candle oil. They are all coming to realize what I already knew: he’s really handy to have around. At home he can move furniture, tighten loose things, loosen tight things, put up Autumn height stair railings, reach high objects, stick stars to the ceiling and put toys together. All in all, handy. He’s also trying to figure out how to record new songs while being a full time Daddy.

I am in my third year in the Farmington school district and keeping my fingers crossed that this is the one. I have been branching out myself, I joined the Chancel choir at church and am rediscovering what I really love about music. I am working in the church nursery, still attending UMW though only as a general member, not the Vice President. I have even started teaching a parenting class aimed at children birth-7. It is part of the Love and Logic program and we use it at home with much success (when we remember to use it). The trick is to tell yourself “don’t say what you want to say” and give yourself time. Autumn is pretty well behaved for a 2 yr old. At least that’s the rumor I hear every now and then. And yes she get’s the occasional time out at church or in the store and what amazes people the most is that she stays put. That’s when I buff my fingernails on my shirt and say “yeah, this time, thank goodness”.

Autumn, lets see……she is into running and jumping and galloping and climbing, and twirling, and tumbling, and standing on her head, dragging chairs all over, throwing and kicking balls……well just about anything that involves moving. She loves to swing and slide and dig and ……We've signed her up at a developmental gymnastics studio in the hopes that she’ll have a positive channel for that energy for at least an hour a week where she’s actually encouraged to jump off the highest point she can climb to! She adds new words and phrases to her vocabulary daily though she still speaks a form of Autumnese that we have yet to figure out how to translate. She is constantly looking for loopholes in rules, figuring out how things work, and trying to fit her little body in all the spaces she can. She has this look she gives you and you know by that glimmer that you are about to confront new mischief and you’d better get your game face on. Autumn loves to talk on it and can be seen walking around the house with the phone stuck to her ear (any phone will do). She likes to call Papa but will talk to anyone who answers. Guess I need to figure out how to lock my keypad so we don’t end up calling China or somewhere equally expensive. Autumn is really getting into painting and coloring and other such crafty things. It takes some prep work on my part (making sure the bathroom is ready for immediate use after a project for example) but it is lots of fun. She also likes to help cook, rolling up croissants is a good one, beating the eggs is fun and “iky”. Spooning cookie dough on to cookie sheets is yummy. And dumping flour into bowls is quite messy. I really love this age! Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about her.

This summer we went to Michigan to my grandparents cabin and my parents went with us. Autumn thought it was the best thing to run into any room and see Papa and Merma anytime she wanted. Kurt and I had fun spending a week of quality time with my parents and being able to have some just us time and know that Autumn was in good hands.

We’ve been enjoying our memberships at the zoo and the children’s museums and Autumn is really starting to understand what happens when we say, “Let’s go to the zoo/museum”. She gets excited and if we don’t head right out the door (no sense of time that one) she gets upset. She likes to see the “kigers” and “beas” and “shish” and “karks” with their “teef”. The other animals don’t hold her much though the monkeys are starting to be interesting to her, she calls them all “shorshe” (george, as in the curious little monkey).

I had surgery on my birthday. It’s probably going to take me a while to get over THAT present! I’d like a birthday do-over please. It went well, they took out more than we had initially planned, like my appendix! And a couple other things but I still got to go home the same day (-10degrees outside by the way). Autumn has quickly, though not willingly, picked up on the fact that I can’t pick her up and we can’t cuddle and play tickle the way we are used to doing for a while. It was suggested to me that I should put a pillow over my stomach when cuddling and I have done that. Once when we were snuggling onto the couch she noticed I didn't have my pillow and she heaved a big sigh (long on the dramatics this one) said “oh man” (her new favorite phrase) and went to get my pillow. After suppressing lots of laughter (it really hurts to laugh right now), we snuggled in and watched Winnie-the-Pooh.
We hope and pray that God has watched over your families this past year and will continue to do so in the year to come. We all have our trials to deal with, little daily frustrations to large catastrophes. Nothing is too small or too large for Him. He is there through it all, just remember to lean on him always and you will come through to the other side with a smile on your face. I know, I know, easier said than remembered to do, but each time you do it the next time is easier.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love and Logic

This is the Denver skyline from my hotel room one evening, my friend took the picture here because her view was the parking lot.

Recently I went to Denver to attend a training for facilitators of the Love and Logic parenting program. I had so much fun. To start with I ate my lunch outside sitting under a tree in the sun wearing only short sleeves. Now for many of you in February that may not be a big thing but since we've had weeks and weeks of below 0 temperatures I thought I was in heaven! It was two and a half days of sitting in a chair and listening to the experts but I really had a good time. The best things I learned were: even the experts forget to use this stuff (good news for us average parents) and to be a better parent we need to put ourselves first in a loving way. I really needed someone to tell me that, I should have recorded them so I could play the reminder to myself from time to time. I picked up some good tips to try with Autumn. What was also nice to hear was many people, including the experts, saying that this stuff really works "when you remember to use it". I say that myself so it was good reinforcement. I am so excited to get started on my next class, I have new ideas to try with them. If you wonder what all my hoop-la is about check out Now I need to sit down with my budget and their catalog and the library and see what I can get now and what to put on my wish list for later. :) I don't have any pictures of me with Jim or Charles Fay becuase I didn't think to take my camera. But a gal I met there sent me a couple of pictures so you can see what we saw.
While I was gone, Kurt played single daddy. He did a great job too. He only called me once to find out what time Autumn's gymnastics class started. I got to talk to them both on the phone each night, that was an experience. I usually am the one interpreting for Autumn as she talks on the phone, but this time Kurt had that job. It really helps to have a frame of reference when she starts talking. :) Autumn really bonded with Daddy over those three days and still wanted him to do things when I got home. It wont last but it is nice for a while.
This sunset was what we saw while eating at Mount Vernon Country Club for dinner one of the nights. The city all lit up below was beautiful.

This view was from on our way up to the country club. Obviously we stayed there for quite a while.

Here is the airport. Looks like a bunch of snow capped mountains. As I was poking around waiting for my flight I found it that it is supposed to remind you of snow capped mountains. Guess the architect did a good job on that one. :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Like my new slidey shoes Mommy?

We went to see a GI doctor last Friday to find out if there's anything we can do to get Autumn's tummy straightened out. Before all the trauma started she was having fun exploring the room. Unlike most doctor's offices we've been in this one was stocked by someone who understands kids. All the floor level cupboards were empty (great for hiding in), the drawers that were kid height were either empty or had fun things to play with like small disposable bed pans, tongue depressors and cotton balls etc. The important stuff was all up in high cabinets and drawers. There were no "no touch" things in the drawers on the end of the exam table either.

Win a Cutie

We went bowling in Osakis and Autumn had a good time but after about 4 or 5 frames was done. (she had a score of 86). Once she found the driving video game she had more fun "difink" (driving) than rolling a ball down a lane. Her Aunt Kelly snapped this picture, what a cute thing to win in the claw game!