Tis the Season

It is so nice to have a Saturday at home! Dennis and the girls went outside this morning to help Gramma put some Christmas lights up out there. Grampa and Gramma also set up the Christmas tree this afternoon and we put the few special ornaments that we’ve kept on the tree this evening. It seems a little early to me as usually I don’t allow myself to decorate for Christmas until December begins. This year I had the thought that if this is the last Christmas we’ll celebrate in Canada for quite some time it would be nice to make the most of it.

The girls have been working on more artwork lately. Squeaky likes writing stories. Often she’ll write them on paper and illustrate them with cute pictures of bunnies and kangaroos (two of her favorite things). Sometimes we does the stories on her board and we have to take pictures before she deletes one page to go on to another. Here’s the latest:

Do you need an interpretation? It says, “Once upon a time there was a palace filled with gold.” The little circles are coins, there is also a pearl necklace and two sets of earrings.

Button is getting very good at drawing her little guys.

Last weekend we participated in an outdoor play here called the “Trek to Bethlehem”. We played the part of a family who stopped for a rest around a fire on the side of the road to Bethlehem. This basically consisted of us dressing all up in long robes and eating as much as we could as fast as we could before different groups came through and we had to say our lines. It was fun and the girls enjoyed all the special treats.

On the second night Winnie came up to me and gleefully showed me this granola bar. She was so pleased to have found it on the ground. I stuck it in my bag thinking it was one of the ones I had brought along with us. When we got home, I realized that it was a different brand! Since our station at the trek had been next to the bandits Dennis thought it was pretty funny to think that perhaps Winnie had robbed the bandits.
I suppose that little story could have been written more cleverly. I am too tired to do make anything sound clever. I apologize to you gentle reader, if you are disappointed.

Good night!



Christmas is Today

Well, at least it is at our house! First, the girls opened their stockings. We had a breakfast casserole, hash browns, cinnamon rolls and orange juice for breakfast. Then we put the second to last ornament up on our Jesse tree (the last one was placed after lunch today). The girls had a busy morning exploring all their gifts, which were mostly books and book-ish type things.

Yesterday I was trying to get them all excited about Christmas tomorrow.

I asked, “What is tomorrow?!”

“Christmas,” they squealed, “Christmas is tomorrow!”

“And what do we celebrate at Christmas?”

“Jesus was born!” they chirped on cue.

Then Lael piped up, “Mommy, I’m just so glad I like presents.”

At least she’s honest.

Last night as our special Christmas Eve thing to do, we let the girls decorate two cut out cookies and eat them. I have a confession to make. I don’t think I know how to make icing out of icing sugar. I poured what looked like close to a cup of icing sugar in the mixing bowl. Then I added, oh, maybe somewhere between 1/8th and 1/4th of a cup of milk. Then I got real lazy and just scooped some fake-o margarine out of the tub and plopped it into the bowl too. Then I whisked it for awhile. It looked weird, so I stuck it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then I whisked some more. Finally I just took the bowl over to the table where the girls were waiting patiently (!) and smeared some on each cookie. It was more like a glaze. It dripped everywhere, but it succeeded in holding on the sprinkles which is all the girls cared about.

The other night the girls were pretending to have tea. What I love about this picture is Button’s happy grin and Winnie’s expression.

And Squeaky’s lastest drawing, since I suddenly find myself adding all sorts of miscellaneous news items to this blog.

Lastly, I cut Button’s hair for the first time in her life. I mean, I’ve cut her bangs before, but she really needed a real haircut. In Jungle Camp this summer we were taught how to cut girls hair. So I thought I was all expert and stuff after doing Squeak’s. Well, I hacked and hacked on Button’s poor hair. She was really patient if not a tad too wiggly. Finally I left it, only to pick up the scissors once more the next morning to give it another go. I think I’m finally satisfied with the results, but I’m not exactly thrilled. I think perhaps I’ll keep my personal haircutting skills for when they are really needed, like when we are out in the middle of the jungle somewhere someday.

She forgave me, now the question is if everyone else will too.

Making Faces

Button and Winnie are masters at face making. Button always has some interesting thing to show us. She also specializes in speaking with an accent- she shows some talent for this, I think… but I’m not sure where that is going to take her. Maybe straight to her room? (“Mahtha, A don’t lak this foood…”)

Winnie specializes in the Snoopy-vulture look. You know the one, don’t you?

Squeaky has been working on her drawings.

Here she was trying her hand at looking at a picture and drawing it.

Here’s a little mouse that she imagined up.

Building Day #3- clay, mud and gunk

Well! I must say that the progress on the stove is slow and makes it feel like nothing is getting done. There is a fairly precise method of claying the inside of the stove (to maximize heat in the proper areas for stove top and oven) so it took many buckets of clay and many hours of my time. The stove has pretty much been my project. It is nice to have something I can do.

Last night I went up after supper until dark and Dennis put the girls down, and I went up again this morning at 6:30 to finish it up. My arms and hands are so tired from mixing that hard clay with water. I still need one more coat on the top and then I’m sure as it dries out we will need to patch and redo. I’ve been told by some experts (previous Jungle Campers) that the stove is never really done. 🙂 So that is encouraging… haha.

I don’t have a picture of what I did this morning, but we have a few from yesterday. This afternoon I hope to get up there again while the girls nap, so I’ll get a couple pictures of the stove-almost-finished-product and of the “studs” that Dennis has put up that will form the girls’ bedroom.

I have to tell you- this stove pipe was labor intensive for Dennis yesterday afternoon. He’s a really patient guy, but when he came home last night he told me what a frustration it was for him to get this up. He had it all up when he discovered that he didn’t have a damper in the front of it. He had to take it all out, drill holes and put a damper in, reinstall it and attach it to a supporting pole. At one point the whole thing came crashing down on his head. Poor guy. Doesn’t it look nice though? He spray painted it black so it would look nice!
Newest Squeaky artwork installment. She’s really on a roll. It’s a phase.

And so it begins…. Building Week, post #1

It’s 7am on Monday of our first Jungle Camp building week. Dennis was up and out of here an hour ago and it looks like it is going to be a beautiful sunny day!

Last night I was so wiped out that I headed to bed at 9:15. That is like, completely abnormal. So anyway, I woke up at midnight and tossed and turned uncomfortably until 2 or 2:30. So I don’t think I’ll be going to bed that early again for awhile. Why do these things backfire?

Pray for us- Dennis putting in long days, and me trying to figure out how I’m supposed to help with a crawling baby (no strollers allowed) and two other little girls who don’t know the difference between picking up a stick on the ground and pulling out a stake that is marking a measurement- “Look Mommy, I found a stick!!”

Button is in transition from her playpen bed to a big girl bed. Last night she lasted for about an hour in the big girl bed before I removed her from the premises. She would have happily continued to ham it up with Squeaky had I not stepped in.

Here Squeaky was giving Button some pointers on drawing using magnet and board as a medium. This is Button’s first identifiable artwork- do you see the little smiley face? Two tiny dots for the eyes, one dot for the nose, and a little smile underneath. I think the top part is hair.Squeaky shows her how it’s done:Squeaky continues to wow me with her artistic ability. She sees shapes in everything. Her piece of toast became a little person last night, complete with “a tiny bottom, little legs, a neck right here, and her head, Mommy.” She saw a smiley face up in the clouds on a car ride. I looked up and sure enough, there it was. She draws in her food. For example, she’ll make little dents in the top of her yogurt to create people and animals. Here is a butterfly she drew on her board the other day.

A Glimpse in the Life

” Faces”, by Squeaky E.

Grumpy. This was real.




This is where we sit for classes every morning…. this was the Foundations for Living course… Squeaky impressed us on Saturday by writing her name all by herself without any prompts or hints.
We helped her afterward to learn the difference between a “U” and an “A”.
Little Winnie is five months old now! Isn’t she so sweet!?
Button is sick again with another cold so she and I had some time together yesterday morning while Daddy took Lael with him to Sunday school and church. Button enjoyed the one-on-one time with me and we blew some bubbles outside.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get one single picture where they all are looking halfway pleasant with thumbs and fingers out of their mouths? In otherwards, enjoy this one. 🙂