Monday, June 30, 2008

Rockaway Beach

I took roughly 800 million photos on this trip. It was very hard to narrow it down to only "some" for my blog. I just kept thinking sadly how it may be years and years before we visit the ocean again. By chance, Mike and I have seen quite a bit of the ocean during our marriage. Mike's previous job sent him to CA quite a bit and we'd tag along. Then we spent a month on St. Simon's Island in GA. Living up here in the North West we've managed to spend a weekend at the beach now and then. Our kids have been in on most of these trips, and it makes me sad to think that fates might not be taking us so frequently to the ocean once we move. So I kept thinking my sentimental little thoughts and taking picture after picture.

This was a really fun trip. We stayed at a little beach house for three nights. We spent a lot of time at the beach, went to a rodeo, and Mike took the kids out in our little boat to check out some sea lions hanging out across the bay. Our kids especially loved that we invited our friends the Madsens for a night. They have three kids of their own and were watching two little cousins for the weekend as well, so there were nine kids in all, but they were so good, got along great (maybe too great -- Daisy and the 6 year old cousin seemed loathe to part and kept assuring each other they could use their parent's email to communicate), and ohhh they had a great time. The weather up here is generally a little chilly at the ocean. I tried to brave a swim suit one day but ended up in a sweatshirt (in fact I pretty much always have that red sweatshirt on -- someone ought to buy me a new one). The kids, however, didn't seem to mind any amount of cold. Now for the pictures . . .

The friends arrive to splash in the waves, build ferocious sandy sea turtles, make dams, and just provide all around fun for our kids. . . . (This first pic is of Goldie with her best friend Ashton. She adores him and pretty much wants to be with him constantly. Mike and I joked that in a few years time we will not be inviting a boy that one of our daughters says she "loves" on any family over nighters).

Goodbye ocean . . . sniffle sniffle :(

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Update . . . sort of . . . I guess

In case anyone is nervously biting their nails wondering why I post so infrequently of late, I thought I best let you all know that I am still here. I am very super tired and very super busy, but I am here and I do still love to unwind each day by checking if any of you have new posts (using helpful little google reader). Life is crazy and also stressful lately, BUT it did occur to me as I was standing at the washing machine pulling out laundry yesterday that I am happy. It is a nice feeling to know that even if the things you are stressed about go very wrong indeed, you are still ok, and you are still very happy with what you have in life and that really, down the road, it will all be fine.

Does anyone remember Elder Holland’s talk in conference long ago about driving down some highway and remembering back to years earlier when he and his wife were young and broke and moving? Their car had broken down and he had to walk for gas or something. He felt so discouraged at the time and thinking back on it as he drove down that road much older and wiser, he felt like he could see himself – that discouraged young man walking down that road, and he wished he could stop and tell his young self to cheer up, it would all turn out alright in the end. I probably did a horrible job of describing that, but I loved that talk so much, and sometimes I feel like I can see the old me – years from now – telling this now me, “cheer up, it will all come right in the end.” I am so lucky and so blessed I feel like crying.

So, I may be a little scarce on my blog for a time – then again, I may not, who knows, but if I am, well, you’ll know why. It might help that THIS came today. I was so excited and my kids took turns taking pictures of the opening process. I showed them the screen and where you use your finger as the mouse and then I was like, “Hmmm, now what,” because I have no idea how you get a computer up and going. As soon as my poor work late husband is around, I will be using this!

Because I had nothing specific to post, I am just putting a few random things on here. These are some aprons my sister Shannon made for my girls. It was a long time ago and I’m sure they are supposed to tie them in back, but they were wearing them yesterday and I thought once again how darn cute they are (both the aprons and my girls). They are especially good for when we are doing things like sugar cookies because flour tends to get all over their clothes with out a nice little apron. (Yesterday we were actually making cinnamon rolls – don’t ask me why in the midst of my busyness I felt like I absolutely had to make homemade cinnamon rolls!! You know, where you have to use yeast and let your dough rise and punch it down and rise it again, etc., etc. Why oh why).

Also, Penny, bless my little angel’s heart, has turned into a bit of a monster lately. She won’t learn to say a word and she spends most of the day scream yelling because she is not happy with what ever we are giving or doing for her – or possibly not giving or doing for her. She throws her food off her high chair and scream yells because she wants it to be something else, she tears apart the house like nothing I’ve ever seen – reaching and pulling pans of cinnamon rolls off the counter, finding an open bathroom door and pulling toilet paper everywhere along with dumping out the garbages, emptying things out of every single drawar and cupboard in our house – and then of course screaming and yelling when we stop her. Ohhh, I do love my very awful little monster. Here is a picture of her from the other day. She was very angry up on the couch with me, so I set her on the floor – thinking perhaps she wanted to crawl away. This was the face she gave me before some more yelling. It was as if she were saying, “Are you serious? Is this what you thought would make me happy? Come on, mom! Think for once!”

And here is a sad little picture. Abe was watering the lawn as Penny crawled around outside. Suddenly I heard Penny start to cry and Abe nervously said, “Mom, Penny got . . . wet.” Yes, it appears she did.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This and That

Look at these pictures. I know it looks like such a darling little baby bump, and it is (particularly because I looked through 300 pictures until I found the ones that made me look ten times skinnier than I really am – I get particularly truthful when it is late and I am tired), but it's the earliness of the bump’s appearance that calls its cuteness into question. I am 15 weeks but it has been quite obvious since about 9. I look at pictures of me with my first pregnancy and even at 21 weeks there wasn’t much sign of anything going on in there. Now, I don’t even have to be pregnant, someone merely has to say the word “pregnant” and my stomach says, “What? That old story? Noooo problem.” And out it pops.

Next, I’ve been a little vague with my kids about Santa Claus because although I love the fella myself, it makes me a little uncomfortable to be untruthful with them when they are so darned trusting. With that said, it is funny that the tooth fairy has spun a bit out of control. I don’t know how it happened really, but somehow they now expect notes detailing exactly what the dear tooth fairy will be using their particular tooth for (sometimes as a piece in her window sill or perhaps to patch a hole in her roof – as her house and everything in it is made of these beloved little teeth). Here is Daisy’s note for today’s lost tooth:

That’s right, she wants to know her tooth fairy’s name; and, in case you couldn’t read the small print at the bottom, she promises she won’t tell. I asked Daisy if there is one tooth fairy or lots (because that is a lot of pressure naming THEE tooth fairy). Luckily, she said, “lots.” I think she will be pleased if Twinkle or Stardust or Glittery pays her a visit tonight. How has this happened? The only thing we were ever told about the tooth fairy was that it was our neighbor Ruth (we were skeptical but the idea was certainly intriguing – elderly Ruth flitting about, collecting teeth and leaving us money). Oh well, they only have so many teeth to lose and then they will be forced to abandon the tooth fairy as she will have abandoned them for other loose toothed children.

Lastly, I can’t wait for Penny to start talking. My very favorite kid stage is the stage when they are old enough to talk but young enough that most things they say are ridiculous or just very funny like when Abe was about two and I asked him to go tell Mike we needed him to fix the light bulb in his room. As he ran off to do his job I heard, “Dad, could you fix the old bob in your room.” Then there was a pause before Abe said, “What’s an old bob?” Another time he was singing humpty dumpty and he sang how all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put humpty “together forever” again.

That’s what I love, but now my kids are getting just old enough to sound a bit too sensible. Still, the cool stuff isn’t quite all said and done. Goldie in particular still does a fair job. Here is a little recent stuff from around here:

Goldie (very frustrated as she tries to “scrub” the tub while she and Penny have a bath): Mom, Penny keeps splashing and splashing while I keep cleaning and cleaning!
Me: Well, she’s just a very splashy baby, there’s not much we can do.
Goldie: But is there ANYTHING we can do!?!

Abe: Mom, oatmeal dropped into my belly button.

Goldie: Mom, I like you best when you have babies.

Goldie: I love you even when you’re having a bad day, and I love you even when you’re really . . . (pause to study me) . . . mad.

Goldie: Mom, can you put Penny for naps. Every time I clean up she just messes everything up again! (Welcome to my world Goldie).

Abe: What if it wasn’t that we grew bigger, but our clothes actually grew smaller.
Daisy: Maybe that is what happens.
Abe: Then how do we GET bigger?
Daisy: I don’t know.

Goldie: Mom, there are two kinds of kids. The kind of kid that’s a goat and the kind of kid you love, like me, I’m that kid. (Yes, she very much is).
P.S. Mike and I did have a few good laughs coming up with tooth fairy names last night and Mike folded her a butterfly out of a dollar. Also, I heard Mike talking to his brother Greg last night using words like, "gigabytes" and "megahertz." If you know his brother, you know this wouldn't be a surprising conversation to overhear. Still, Mike was very vague after hanging up in telling me what they'd talked about (which could of course be because he knows I don't understand those crazy words), but, it turns out he was getting info. on laptops for me! He gave in and told me before ordering one because he wanted to let me choose the color. I chose red. I know that isn't super sophisticated, but think of the fun I will have with my little red laptop, especially during the next few months of moving and living who knows where and having our computer all boxed up. Sometimes my stomach hurts because I love Mike too much.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

City Chickens Part II

Speaking of chickens . . . they are trouble. Also, as a side note, my friend pointed out on my last city chicken post that these are really not "city chickens” at all – possibly suburban chickens. Anyway, my brother-in-law Troy has a weekly post entitled “Corn Grows” that documents (as you might have guessed) how his corn is growing. Look there to see how early corn ought to look. Look here to see how early corn should not look. Perhaps I will title this “Corn Tries to Grow.” It tries alright, but our chickens peck it to bits. I didn’t know chickens ate greens! I thought they ate bugs and grain and people food (if you are not careful when snacking outside). But, it turns out they are ruthless with our little greens. Corn seems to be their favorite, but they have destroyed a zucchini plant, ate every one of the 3 zillion sunflower seeds I planted along our back hill, and are moving on to our tomatoes and peas now that the corn has served its usefulness. Look at them – caught red handed and trying to pretend like they know nothing! I was so excited to have corn and pumpkins in my backyard this fall (even though I won’t be here). It wasn’t even that I wanted to eat it that badly – I mean, I did, corn is delicious – but I just love autumn and cornstalks and pumpkins and fall leaves and I was so excited to have some of these things right in my yard! Bad bad chickens. I think perhaps that they are, as of yet, unaware of the delicate thread that a chicken’s life dangles by. If they knew, I wonder how my corn would look.

On an unrelated note, Abe tried (unsuccessfully) to teach Penny how to “play dead” the other day. Then, this morning, he was very excited to show me that he had taught her a new trick – how to sit when commanded. Something seems not quite right about this.

The Birds and the Bees

There, I have warned you. If you are a more gentle reader, please stop here . . . although, now I am certain you will all continue on due to the pull of human curiosity. I did ask Mike last night if this post was "too much." He perused it briefly, rubbed his eyes, and commented that it was a bit more eye raising than usual, but he would have to read it in the light of day to make any sure judgements . . . of course now it is the light of day and he is at work, and I, well I feel like posting . . . so let's hope this should not have been stopped. If so, blame my husband for not keeping his wife in line better.
I once read that the best way to teach your kids about sex is to simply answer questions as they come up – honestly but with out necessarily giving way more information than they are asking or are ready for. The idea being that there will be no need for ONE big talk because you will have had a series of enlighteningly lovely discussions. Although, it occurs to me that at some point some explaining will need to be done whether or not the right questions have been asked.

After my biology days and once having to substitute teach an actual class for my Anatomy professor on the very day that the subject was male anatomy and function, I have become fairly scientific in my explanation of most things. (That might explain why Abe at age 3 or 4 commented, “Wow, that baby sure has a lot of pigment!” when he first met my sister’s Haitian son). My kids have asked questions here and there as to just how on earth babies get out, and how they start. They know the answers to these things, and they think it is great that babies start as a tiny egg because – hello! An egg? Even though it’s waaaay smaller than a chicken egg and looks nothing like a chicken egg – still, an egg. They also know that genes come from moms and dads; and kids are a mix of their parents. I think I’ve explained these things perhaps a bit more openly than some think right, but also in a way that they have never seemed disturbed, though they have found aspects to be surprising -- possibly silly. Still, with all this knowledge, they have not yet wondered how all these various things come together, which is just as well at this point.

I was discussing this very topic with a few friends today (when and what to tell kids) while our children wailed at being stuck in various parts of the McDonalds Playland we were at. Moms love to do that when they’re together. No, not just ignore our children when they are stuck in tunnels, tubes and slides (hoping against all hope that if we ignore them long enough they will figure it out and we won’t be forced to climb in there for a slithering claustrophobic feeling rescue) – but they like to talk about subjects like: when to teach your kids about the birds and the bees, nursing, certain things that can be lost at the onset of labor (if you don’t know what I am referring to, it’s all for the best. Mike thinks the word is awful – and he’s right) and basically anything else that would send most husbands scurrying from the room.

I told them that the funny thing about my kids is they have asked far more detailed questions about chickens than humans. They like to know that not every egg you eat might have become a little chick and this has lead to a discussion on the necessity of roosters in the chick producing business. Surprisingly, they have specifically asked how something from the rooster gets connected with the egg (and they have never wondered such craziness about us humans). I tried to tell them (though I was able to be very fuzzy in the details while maintaining my honest policy because while I have seen many a rooster in action, I have never been certain myself just what goes on under all those feathers and flapping – I took ornithology in college, but they must have neglected that part of the bird’s anatomy). In any case, they think it is weirdly hilarious that something from the rooster actually gets into the hen when all that leaping is afoot. I don’t know if hilarious is the best approach, but it’s something. My friends laughingly pointed out that I have truly taught my kids “the birds and the bees.”

When I relayed that comment to Mike, he told me that under no circumstances was I to relate any of their sexual education to the habits of bees as that would mess them up for sure. And, if you know much about bees, you can see this is a good point. He then went on to tell me a little about the queen termite and her role in this whole business. Thank goodness it isn’t “the birds and the termites” because I found this information most revolting and wished I hadn’t heard it -- which has brought me back around to the sage advice I mentioned at the beginning of this post about giving answers to such things only as questions are asked!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Long Post about Running, Falling and Dogs

Yesterday was a bad run. By that I mean, I had a bad experience out running (and don’t you dare say, “I saw you out 'jogging' the other day” – that is most insulting to any “runner” – regardless of how slow they might appear to have been going).

I’ve had bad experiences plenty in the past. Not really bad like “feeling bad” though I have gone running when I’ve felt blue, but you can’t really cry when you run, I mean, you can, and perhaps might, but it makes it very very difficult to breath. In fact, in a high school cross-country meet I once ran next to a girl who, suffering from a bad knee, began to cry. I should have been more compassionate. It seems like you might hear a story in the New Era about a girl who stopped in a race to help a competitor even though it meant losing, but I just passed her and thought, as she struggled to breath due to her crying, that she was not helping her situation any. I must have been a very bad person back then, but I am much much better now, and actually, one time I was out running with the cross country team when an elderly man who was walking by us had a little fall. This did make me very sad, and I stopped right away to see if he was ok or if I could help. It turns out that he knew my dad because my dad later received a phone call from this man telling him how I had stopped in the middle of a race to help him and what a fine daughter my dad must have raised . . . of course, it was no race, merely a practice of little consequence, so I mostly felt guilty about my undeserved praise. Still, I fancy that in that situation I would have stopped even had it been a race (after all, he wasn’t a competitor from BEN LOMOND . . . and I think that girl was only crying because she knew I was going to pass her rather than that her knee really hurt that badly).

Back to bad runs. Usually my bad runs involve falling or dogs. Occasionally both. Amy and I used to run this race called the Bear Gutsman. It’s awful and great. You run two miles, then hike to the very top of . . . whatever that mountain is above Farmington where you see those two big round towers, then you run six miles down the other side (it’s a gravel road on that side because someone drives to those towers for something). In preparation for this, beyond running, we would do a major hike/run every week. Amy always complimented me on my sure footedness because after we’d hike to the top, we’d do our best to “run” down, and I was quite confident and expert at sidestepping rocks and branches and bumps and what not until once my toe struck a rock near the end of Indian Trail and I flew not unlike superman several meters through the air before landing and rolling. My big toe has felt rather broken ever since (that was ten years ago) and my sure footed nature never returned once I knew just what could happen.

Another time I fell in the middle of the road with not so much as a pebble in sight and I was forced to return home bloody and stinging and trying not to cry because well . . . it gets hard to breath . . . as I’ve mentioned.

One time I was pushing Abe and Daisy in the double jog stroller down a hill when, of all things, a bee flew into the stroller. Abe began flapping his arms and I pulled the stroller to a rather abrupt stop which caused him to plummet out of the stroller (who would leave their child unbuckled in a jog stroller!) and roll a ways down the hill. That was, I guess, more of a bad run for Abe, but a very sad run for me. There was loads of crying the rest of the way home that day . . . luckily (if that is the correct word) it didn't affect my breathing as Abe was the cryer.

Occasionally, Mike has tried to have me run with our dogs. I realize this is a great way for them to get exercise, but I don’t trust them. Once, I was running with Bud when he decided we ought to turn at an intersection that I intended to run straight through. So, he turned right in front of me. I flipped over him and landed in the road where a car stopped to check on me, which was embarrassing enough to make the fall itself seem insignificant.

Another time I was running with Shep. I happened to step onto a spot of ice just as a dog barked to the left of us causing Shep to lurch in that direction which pulled the leash enough to send me slipping, and yes, falling on the ice. Falling really shakes me up, even if I’m not seriously hurt, and when I’m shook up, I feel like crying . . . and, well you know.

So, this is getting long and I haven’t even gotten to yesterday, which isn’t sounding so bad after all now, but I had to mention dogs. I come across loads of dogs in my running, and I think I handle them pretty well, I know enough that I don’t keep running as this seems to excite them even more. I usually stop and face them and yell for them to “stop” or “stay” and it usually works. I don’t get unduly upset over the usual dog doing a little barking and chasing, but some dogs really seem to want to kill me, and it is quite scary when they are not stopping or staying rather pausing, and foaming, and barking, and making little angry juts forward at me as I keep pointing at them and yelling as commandingly as I can. I know the joy of country living is partly not having to worry about your dog being leashed or fenced all the time and no one really caring, but every owner is always certain that their dog “wouldn’t hurt a soul” and I am pretty convinced that is not correct. It makes me especially furious if I have my kids in the jog stroller.

Mike keeps telling me I should run with mace, and I do have a bottle, but I always forget and I don’t like to hold things when I’m running. When I used to run in the morning before it was light, I would occasionally take the bottle of “inert” practice mace that we had around (I don’t know why we had that rather than the real deal). It would have been useless against an attacker, but it gave me a little confidence all the same. In fact, maybe that is what I need again. It would probably freak dogs out enough, and I’d be less reserved about when to use it since it has no side effects. Speaking of pepper spray, someone would spray some in the school hall at least every year, and once a little kid on the bench in front of us at church sprayed some that he found in his sister’s purse, but those stories are for another time.

Anyway, yesterday I ran up a long rural road with not a bit of trouble. There is one spot where a very large wolf-like black dog lives. He is always fenced in, and it is a lucky thing because he seems to want to attack, and the fence is covered in “Beware of Dog” signs which make me think that he not only wants to attack but likely would attack given the chance. Yesterday the gate was open, but no sign of the dog. Whew. As I ran back down the road towards home, a truck came speeding along going about 60 mph. There was no where I could really go. It was a skinny road lined with blackberry bushes. I know the truck (well, its driver) saw me, but he showed no inclination to move over a bit or to slow down. Instead he just continued his happy speed as he passed within a foot of me. Obviously I survived, but I was so . . . scared? Mad? Insulted? I’m not sure, but very unhappy and wanting to say angry mean words to the fellow and knowing my dad would have shaken his fists and had a word or two to say and called the man an absolute idiot. But, I couldn’t yet calm these thoughts before a Boxer was rushing at me -- teeth bared --barking away (with two miniature poofy dog sidekicks barking excitedly that he was going to show me who was boss). My wits were still not quite about me, but I managed to do my commanding “stop” as he got with in inches of me. Luckily his master called him back (from some unseen spot) upon hearing my yells. So I continued on, my heart racing (which isn’t great for running either), only to be met a half a block down by TWO more large and frenzied dogs! I think I was really mad by this point because I not only yelled at the dogs but yelled, “GET YOUR DOGS!!!” in a loud enough voice that someone from the farm house an acre away called them back. They always call them back in an angry “bad dog, you know better than that” voice but prefer to call from the hidden insides of their home.

After all of this, I knew what was going to happen. I was going to go back past the open gate of the black wolf dog and he was going to be there. He was going to attack me, I was sure, so I began trying to think what one was to do. Bear attack? Play dead. But dog attack? Do I just cover my face, I wondered, so if I survive I am not totally scarred there? Will anyone come? How long before another car on this rural road, and if it’s that truck driver, will he stop and help, or just speed laughingly by? If someone from a nearby farm house hears the commotion, will they grab a gun first thing? Or will they more likely come to see what is going on, take a few minutes before realizing it is a human being attacked by that dog, and then go back for the gun? How long will that take? Will I still be alive? Who will pick my kids up from school if I am taken to the hospital and can’t remember any phone numbers to call?

The black wolf dog was not there, and I ran on home to safety, but . . . well . . . there you have it. A few of my running mishaps. I wonder what my stories would be if I were into biking! Actually, I did participate in one bike race, and if you are curious about how I weathered that, Amy's small email can give you a glimpse into that. Also, I actually did fall off a rocky ledge on a bike once and gashed my head open because I wasn't wearing a helmet. HUH? Sheesh, but really, enough is enough.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bless Your Heart Summer Reading Program

Daisy is at about the same reading level ending kindergarten as Abe was when he ended last year, however, by the start of first grade he had improved tremendously, and I was trying to think how I’d kept him reading so much all summer. They both had the same kindergarten teacher and she insists they fill out a little reading log of what they read for 15 minutes each day. I love that because it turns my good intentions (wanting to make them practice daily but often getting sidetracked) into real action because they have to turn in their little log each week. Anyway, once we are in the busyness of summer I’ve been worried I wouldn’t stay consistent with them. Then I remembered just how Abe improved so much last summer: the local library summer reading program.

They get little booklets with cute little things for them to color in every time they read 20 minutes. Each time they fill in 15 things (that’s 5 hours of reading) they get to take their booklets to the library to get a prize. Now, my friend in Vegas has told me about their library program and they give away things like passes to water parks. Hello! Ours are more like the type of things you might find in a Happy Meal, but it doesn’t matter. It’s enough. I can’t stop them from reading they want those prizes so bad. They got their books yesterday. Abe was upset because I told him he couldn’t read for 3 hours straight because he had to do some other things that day. Daisy read for an entire HOUR out loud to Goldie. True, Goldie was basically moaning and thrashing about in misery on the floor before Daisy was finished, but they pressed through -- all for the chance to get a few steps closer to a little slinky or possibly a miniature purse. Hooray for summer reading!

P.S. Here is a cool little thing Abe wrote after his fieldtrip to the Zoo recently.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Daisy Doodle

Alright, time to do my Daisy tag. I love that girl. I was so amazed and so in love with my first born that I remember worrying I wouldn’t quite find my next so wonderful. Of course I was wrong, and I now know I will be just as enamored with each new child, but I remember holding little Daisy on one of her first days home from the hospital, just looking into her eyes, and being hit with such an overwhelming love that it was unearthly. I started crying and didn’t want to look away from her because it was such an amazing moment and I didn’t want to break the wonder of it.

She is usually our “Doodles.” I’m not sure how, but of all the many nicknames my kids start life with, it eventually boils down to one, and I have no idea where Doodles came from.

1. She can be very dramatic and 2. She loves to be loved. These points are very different but somehow go together as I try to describe her. She really can be full of drama. She can become angry a bit easily and she can weep and weep over the smallest problem as if the entire world has come crushing down upon her. Yesterday she was upset because she didn’t like how Abe and Goldie intended to play a matching game. After some angry words, she began weeping and wailing. Literally. She went off to the garage as she told me she was “leaving forever.” She stayed in their sobbing about how “no one is nice to her” extremely loudly for a VERY long time. Eventually she felt, perhaps, that her loud cries would be better headed if she came inside. My poor girl, this type of thing occurs so easily for her. BUT, as to loving to be loved -- never have I seen a girl who adores to be loved as much as my Daisy. If I’m being patient enough (which I often am not), I can generally cure these dramatic outbursts by simply insisting she come snuggle me, and then rubbing her back or kissing her head and telling her how much I love her. It is pretty much the quickest cure for any misbehavior. Usually she just gets so darn happy to be being so loved that she can’t help but make happy little contented cuddling sounds. She really does thrive on that type of thing. She loves to be given attention and hugs and praise. It always makes her smile this smile that is so big and so happy along with a little bit shy that it breaks our hearts and we never want her to grow out of it. If you sneak a peak at her when someone is telling a story of something wonderful happening to some lonely sad child she has the same joyous smile.

3. She is so creative. I have posted a bit about some of her creations before, but she is a crafty little thing. I love to see the things she comes up with. Everything is something. An old McDonalds French fry container becomes a bed for a little toy, etc. The other day she took a round, washed out, cream cheese tub; hooked strings to it and turned it into a back pack for her doll. I remember when she was only 1 ½ or so she would be sitting in her highchair eating when one piece of chicken would suddenly come to life, running after a chunk of potato calling, “Wait for me, Mommy!” Or when riding in the car with no toys, her fingers would become little people talking and playing with one another.

4. She’s bright. With Abe and Daisy being in school one year apart, it has been fun to see her following along right after her brother -- learning the same things he has learned and just as quickly. She is nearly up to par with him on math and is a great little reader.

5. She loves girly things so much. Princesses, fairies, the fancy Christmas dresses her sweet aunt Kathy has bought for her, going about singing and dancing -- you name it – anything that a girly girl would enjoy my Daisy does. Unlike several of her friends, who want nothing more than to spy on Abe and his pals when they are around, she still has very little time for boys. One boy at school has announced he’s her boyfriend (and she seems to have accepted that all too easily), but she prefers to be floating happily about as a fairy with nary a thought of boys – though I’m sure all this primping might someday lead toward an interest in such things. I love that Mike can do sweet things for our girls (rather than just think of good “boy stuff” for Abe). He and Daisy went shopping for a lawn mower the other day. While at the mall (Sears was the lawn mower store), he let her get some butterfly clip on earrings. She has been so careful with them and so pleased with herself when she wears them.

She’s a happy bright little soul who is always excited about running off to have new adventures . . . although, with just enough pause of shy hesitation before diving in, that it makes her bravery very endearing. We really like that she is ours.

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