Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa and Such

A dear man from church asked Jedd if we would like Santa to visit our house. Oh, boy, YES! We knew Mara would especially enjoy it. So he came to our house and even brought the girls a present. Ironically, he gave Mara the exact Fairy coloring book that she had asked for a few weeks ago at the grocery store! (:

Mara watched Santa as he left the house and said, "Mommy, he has a car".

Mara's Christmas list (she hasn't made one but I've been keeping my own list as she tells me what she wants) includes:
a pink umbrella, a booster seat (she's wanting to graduate from her carseat), CD's: Annie, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music, a kid sized shovel, and I added a mug - she and Sonna fight over the silly "Love Me, I'm Norwegian" mug with a heart on it everytime!

Jedd worked late hosting groups at camp two nights in a row which meant I had to do bedtime by myself. It's not the time of day that I do my best parenting. I'm tired out and ready for some Me time. Well, I found myself answering Mara's 'Why?' question with, "Because I'm the Mom". Sonna quickly added, "Yeah, Mommy's the Mom" and then skipped down the hall saying, "Watch me skipping!"
This afternoon Sonna said to me, "Because I'M the Mom!" Oh, good grief.

We've been talking a lot about babies and such since Auntie Sara just had a baby. (:

Jedd was with the girls during bathtime tonight and told me that Mara said, "Sonna, did
you know that babies come out of our vulvas?" to which Sonna replied, "That's scary". I'm not kidding. Earlier today Sonna had a flip flop in her undies and said, "It's my tampon". Oh, to be the daughters of a healthy sexuality educator!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mara's Dance Recital December 2009

Ok, so the top picture was taken after the recital when we went to Tamarack for pizza after the recital. Mara, Lilly, Sonna, and friends had a ball playing dance in the restaurant, entertaining people as they ate. The next picture doesn't actually have Mara in it, but I can't make it disappear. The next picture was taken after the recital of Mara and Lilly showing us their dance poses. The last picture is of Mara and her proud Mommy just before the recital. Our video of the actual dance that Mara did won't upload. Ugh.
Mara danced beautifully. She had a blast and was so excited! Her wrist band fell off during the dance and she walked straight forward and gave it to her teacher. (: Very cute.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mara's Dance Dress Rehearsal

Here are a few pics from the dress rehearsal. She did such a great job. Major protest while curling her hair but otherwise, all good.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I was singing "Away in a Manger" with the girls at bedtime tonight. When we finished verse 3 (my favorite), Mara said, "Mom, our voices sound alike". I said, "I remember thinking the same thing when I was a little girl . . . Grandma Margaret likes to sing". Mara responded, "Definitely Aunt Becca". So true. Aunt Becca likes to sing! She has a song for *everything*.

Our daycare provider, Lisa, told me that Sonna was singing Annie's "The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow" this afternoon. My girls usually have a tune to sing or a sound to make. (Sometimes very loud sounds).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent Retreat

This was our fourth Advent Retreat at camp and each year Jedd comes up with a fabulous craft. In the past he's created an Advent Candle Holder, amazing wooden trains, beautiful picture frames and this year he did a tree and wooden ornaments. People especially enjoyed using a scroll saw to cut out their own ornaments as seen here. Everyone feels good about themselves when they can use a powertool all on their own! Our cook, Tonja, made a gingerbread house for each each family (15)! Mara and Sonna did such a nice job of working together. It was really fun to see them create (and eat) with all the candy. They wanted a heart on their house. (: Within 24 hours, over half of the candy has been eaten off their gingerbread house.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prayer for Two Sisters

A few nights ago I was laying in between the girls in bed saying bedtime prayers when this dialogue happened: Me: "Thank you, God, for my Mara Ida Jane and my Sonna Sara Elle"
Interrupted by Sonna: "No, my Sonna-shine".
Me: "Yes, thank you, God, for my Sonna-shine. Thank you that they are kind and loving, curious and persistent. Thank you, God, that they are good friends, and that they listen to their mom and dad"
Interrupted by Mara who shot up in bed and said, "WHO?"
Oh, how this Momma laughed!

Simon's Pizza/Pajama Birthday Party

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cousins Having Fun!

Claire at 5 1/2, Simon nearly 4, Mara at 4 1/2, Sonna at 2 1/2 and Penny at 1, these cousins get along so well. They love each other and are such good friends. It is so fun to see them together!


I have always been so lucky to have wonderful older cousins, and parents who made it a priority to raise us together (meaning we got to spend lots of time with our cousins as kids). So this Thanksgiving felt so special when I got to see Daron and Richard when we were in Seattle spending the holiday weekend with Mat, Stephanie and kids. It was a great Thanksgiving for many reasons: great to be with my brother Mat, get to spend time with Stephanie, see Mara and Sonna love their cousins so much, and see all 13 cousins play together and love each other so well. (Daron has 5 children, Richard has 3, Mat has 3 and our 2 = 13!) The sun was even shining so we enjoyed time at the park (see the parade picture above) as well as sharing a Thanksgiving leftover lunch. I am blessed!

Cozy, Sleeping Sisters

Mara and Sonna are now sharing a bed. At first they were sharing Mara's twin mattress and as you can tell, they didn't seem to mind. But on occassion, Mara would call out in the middle of the night, "I want Sonna to go to her own bed; she's squishing me", or one would roll out of bed. So a couple weeks ago, we moved the queen sized bed into Mara's room and it has been a rather smooth transition. No one has fallen out of bed and they go to sleep pretty well. One night Mara fell asleep immediately but Sonna had napped and wasn't as tired. Jedd and I laughed in the kitchen as we listened to Sonna say, "Knock it off! Shut it off!" over and over again. Mara was sound asleep but apparently Sonna needed to work through something. On a side note, although Sonna was very proud of her crib, I think she was lonesome and just plain cold when she'd wake in the middle of the night and want us to stay in her room until she fell back asleep, even as a 2+ year old. She is sleeping through the night every night now that she has her sister to keep her company and cozy warm.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sonna's escape plan

Yesterday Sonna didn't want to put her shirt on (not atypical) and so she ran to get Mara's clothes hamper and put it over her head. She is so darn funny. She was cornered.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Artsy Craftsy

Mara was invited by our daycare provider, Lisa, to attend a special holiday craft event at her house. Mara was so thrilled to be part of the special afternoon. I dropped her off at 1PM and when I picked her up at 3:15, she had made this adorable gingerbread girl. She painted it all by herself - everything from the stand to the buttons to the rosey cheeks. She even used the wire instrument herself to curl the sharp ends of the wire so they didn't stick out and poke. The picture on top was taken once we got home and you can tell she was worn out!

Taking Care of Babies

Sonna, especially, loves playing with her baby dolls. Our friends, Deb and Brad, gave the girls matching baby doll strollers for their 2nd and 4th birthdays. A huge hit. Those strollers have been pushed miles in and out of the house. Here the girls are pictured in their new jammies from Grandma Joan while taking their baby duties very seriously.

The Joy of Learning Something New

At 4 1/2 it is a very big deal to get to chew gum. Becca was here the week before my birthday and she took Mara shopping to get me a birthday gift. Mara picked out bubble gum and told Becca "Mom likes minty gum, but I don't so I'm going to get her this kind". It was a true birthday gift because the joy Mara experienced when she blew her first bubble was nearly tangible. Mara worked so hard to figure out the trick to blow a bubble. This was the best I could capture on camera.

Sticker Charts and Scooters

Jedd and I decided to get the girls scooters before we go to Seattle to celebrate Thanksgiving with Mat, Stephanie, Claire, Simon and Penny. When they came to visit us in September, the kids brought their scooters and we borrowed one from the neighbors and they had so much fun riding all around even on the bike path to Somers. (Notice there were 4 big kids and only 3 scooters. They did fairly well sharing the prized scooters.) So we came up with a sticker chart plan. Mara helped create hers. Her chores for each day were: help clean living room, clean up my room, have a smooth morning, and set the table. She was highly motivated to work hard to get her scooter. I pictured the note above I wrote that Mara dictated to me and then carefully wrote in orange on her chart: "This is Mara's chart. No one else can write on it. Love, Mara." Yesterday, Friday, was the last day of her sticker chart. She did not have a smooth morning. Mara was overtired and called me names. She got a 're-do' morning this morning in order to get her scooter. One of the stipulations was that she had to stay in bed until 7:00AM. Yesterday, after discussing this with her, she called me into the bathroom and said, "Mom, I'm concerned that I won't be able to stay in bed until 7:00". She used the word 'concerned'. Precious. Thankfully, she slept until 7:30 this morning!! Sonna also had a sticker chart and followed it more or less. Pretty good for a 2 1/2 year old.

My Spectacular, Silly Artist

Mara has been drawing elaborate pictures and then watercoloring them. They are beautiful! She is quite the artist! She is also very entertaining. Here she is pictured with two pair of sunglasses and an orange pair of goggles with an adoring Daddy looking on.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No Problem

Sonna is exactly 2 1/2 years old today. I had to work hard to find a picture of her with some clothes on. This morning she said to me and Mara, "I could share my banana. No problem. It's big one." No problem? Kids say the funniest things.

Aunt Becca was here this week and we had a fabulous time together. Becca left early this morning for the airport. When Mara woke up at 6:30 she immediately asked "Is Aunt Becca already gone?". I said, "Yes, and she's already missing you". Mara said, "I miss her too". Then she said, "Was she sad?" I said, "Yes". She said, "Are you sad?" I said, "Yes". Mara understands sisters.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

We had a wonderful Halloween! We went to a fun party at Lilly, Sonja and Greg's at 4PM. It was a warm day as far as Halloween's go (in Montana or Minnesota). Sonna's cozy Bumble Bee costume was just right for the weather. It's what she wore last year and has been in the dress up clothes since then. Last week she declared that she was going to be a Bee this year. Sounded good to me! (Since then I discovered she was a Bee her very first Halloween too as a 6 month old!) Mara was a lovely Fairy and enjoyed her wand and fancy dress, but most of all spending time with her friends. After Lilly's party we went to her preschool classmate's house. Dicey and sister Libby are Mara and Sonna's age and we joined them last year too for Trick or Treating. We came back to our house by 8PM and had just a few kids come to the door but Mara was pretty excited to hand out candy. (I had left a bowl on the steps with a note saying "Happy Halloween. Help yourself to a piece of candy". This cracks me up because I tend to think of kids as being as conscientious as I was but several people suggested that it was likely some kids dumped the whole bowl in their bag. Who knows?) Mara was exhausted and so was Sonna and bedtime had to be quick tonight. We'll see how late they sleep considering it's Daylight Savings tonight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

An Afternoon of Play

The clinic where I work is closing (sad) and we're cleaning it out. There were two old credit card scanner machines in the storage room and my co-worker asked me if I'd like them. They even came with spare rolls of paper. So this is the scene in our living room. I gave each of the girls a frequent flier card to use as a credit card and we've been doing lots of 'shopping' this afternoon. We also have a bazillion pencil erasers that Sonna emptied on the floor. I keep asking if anyone wants to go outside for a walk before it gets dark but they are really into their work! I just got charged $35 for a water bottle.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins, Power Drills, and Seeds

We had so much fun carving Mara's pumpkin and roasting the seeds! Mara first drew her pumpkin face on paper, then drew it on her pumpkin with permanent marker, and then Jedd got out the power drill and knife. They worked hard together to create her pumpkin masterpiece. Sonna drew on her pumpkin and made her own scary face as shown!
I put the seeds in water and brought them to a boil and then let them simmer for 10 minutes. Then I spread them on a cookie sheet with 3 Tbls. olive oil and sprinkled sea salt on top. I baked them for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. They were really yummy (when fresh, not the next morning as Mara discovered).
Jedd will be gone this Halloween weekend on his second annual Man Hunt. He's going out in the wilderness with 3 friends. Two of them are hunters and the other two are not. Jedd's not but he's excited to winter camp, play cards and drink some good beer with friends.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Highs and Lows

At suppertime we usually do a little rhyme "Hey, hey, what do you say? What was your favorite part of the day, Mara?" and after she responds then she'll say the rhyme and ask Sonna, Jedd or myself. Tonight we tried "Highs and Lows" instead. So people share their high point of the day as well as their low point. We were having a popcorn 'picnic' in the middle of the kitchen floor for supper and it was special and spontaneous so that was my high. My low was yelling at/arguing with Mara this morning when she made a BIG, HUGE deal about getting dressed. I'm not proud of it but sometimes Mara can be over the top with her defiance and testing of limits these days. At any rate, Mara's low was that none of her neighborhood friends could play this afternoon. (Either they were sick or not home.) And her high was going to Sunday School and learning about Moses and the burning bush. Then it was Sonna's turn and she said her high was going to the dump. This is hilarious to us. We don't have trash service so we take our trash to the dump and Sonna really enjoys this trip which is usually with Jedd. She likes running errands in general and even at 1 1/2 she would ask if we were "going to town today?". I don't think she had a low but I'm guessing it was that her cold and cough prevented her from going to church today. She cried when Mara's friend Clara came to pick her up for Sunday School but Sonna was left behind. Jedd's high was being home with his family this afternoon and evening and his low was being away from his family since he was hosting a retreat group at camp. Family rituals are so important.
(The girls are pictured here with friend Clara. Clara is a good friend of Mara's from church).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Aunties and Uncles

Sonna asked me to take this picture of her. She is such a charmer at 2 1/2. We call her "Sonna-shine" and she'll proudly say "I'm Sonna-shine" or tell me "You Sonna-shine's Mommy".
Our girls love their aunts and uncles and pray for them every night at bedtime. Last week when I was putting Sonna to bed (Jedd and I alternate nights with each girl), I gave Sonna a kiss and said "That's from your Grandma Margaret". I proceded to do it for Grandpa Paul, Grandma Joan, and Grandpa Lanny. Sonna looked up and said, "Who else?". I said "Uncle Mike" and she smiled and said, "Yeah, Uncle Mike, I love him . . .and Auntie Sara". Then we added Aunt Becca, Uncle Rory, Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Mat. She knows her aunts and uncles well and knows how much she is loved by them and that means the world to me especially since we are all spread out these days.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Dance Lesson

After hearing wonderful things about the new dance studio in Lakeside and having Mara ask, "When can I take dance lessons?" at least once a week, we registered Mara for dance class. Her dear friend, Lilly, shown with Mara, is in the class too and they held hands as they walked in. (: Mara had a ball! She learned first and second position and at the end she even had the chance to dance across the floor all by herself. She twirled the whole way and her teacher caught her arms at the end so she didn't fall over from dizziness! For as much as Mara seemed to love it, I may have enjoyed it even more! I love these pictures. Sonna sat in my lap and watched quietly for the half hour lesson. On the way home Mara asked if she and Sonna could take lessons together when Sonna turns 4. Very sweet.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Two Haircuts

Sonna got her first haircut last week. We went to a new little salon that opened in Lakeside and advertised $10 back to school haircuts. Even though school had been in session for 4 weeks already I asked for the $10 special and the woman kindly agreed. Sonna sat perfectly still. Mara was a little concerned about getting her haircut by someone other than our camp counselor friend, Bree. But Bree moved to Seattle so Mara had her first experience in a salon too and she seemed to enjoy it. They both got an inch and a half off the ends. Their hair gets tangled easily, especially during their sleep! Mara is famous for her bed-head! Mara is also growing out her bangs. So that was haircut #1. Haircut #2 happened in the corner of our living room when I decided to check on the girls one more time before I got in the shower. Sure enough, Sonna was standing dutifully still while Mara cut her hair with the kiddy scissors. They both had that look on their face; can you picture it? (: Thankfully, Mara had only cut two, half inch sections from the bottom of Sonna's hair. I found the little tufts of blonde hair on the floor. So I gathered all the scissors in the house (my girls LOVE cutting and we have 8 or 9 pairs of scissors) and had a "No Scissors" day. When I was Mara's age I cut the neighbor girls' bangs quite drastically. She was a model. Kelly's Mom wasn't too happy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009