Friday, August 5, 2011

Svea at 10 1/2 months!

Oh, it's been way too long and I have much to tell and post since we made the big move to Minnesota but for today I just need to post these adorable pictures of Svea. It's hard to imagine how she could get any sweeter, but somehow she does! She's enjoying Grandma Margaret's garden here. More later. Later = After I find a job and after we find a house and after we figure out where Mara will start school in a matter of weeks!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Holden Village

At times of transition in life it seems wise to take pause and breathe deep. We were fortunate to do that at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington.After Jedd's last day as Camp Manager at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp we drove to the Holden Village Bed and Breakfast and then took the ferry to Holden. It was a much needed, much anticipated mini-vacation. We were blessed by the warm community there, the evening worship, and the extra care for our girls. We were also blessed to stay as guests of our friend Siri Garnaas. Although it was short, it was restorative. Jedd visited Holden with his family when he was 12 and I went when I was 6 so it was special to return with our girls.

A woman offered the paint the girls' faces. Oh, boy!

Trip Further West Before We Head East

We had a fabulous time with Uncle Mat, Aunt Stephanie and Cousins Claire, Simon and Penny! We enjoyed a trip to the Puget Sound, many morning Top Pot Donut runs, the Seattle Art Museum, celebrating with Stephanie at her graduation party, and Jedd and I got to meet our friend Anya's fiance, Garth.

Sand between the toes will never do.

The Cousin Love is palpable. Thank you, Mat and Stephanie, for a great weekend! xoxo

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mara's Kindergarten Graduation

It's hard to imagine Mara will be a First grader!!! The Kindergartners had a Slide into Summer graduation ceremony in which their teacher announced their name and then they went down the slide in pairs. Mara is pictured above with our neighbor, Willow, and on the slide with Natalee.

Home free! (:

Mara has been blessed with some very good friends. She and Lilly have known each other since they were 16 months old and Aubrey is a new friend this year. Both of their moms, Sonja and Cheryl, have been close friends of mine too. I will really miss them!

Audrey, Skyler, Willow, Mara, Natalee, and Macie. All ready with their graduation hats.

Afterwards, Mara suggested we go to the Dairy Queen to celebrate. Jedd and I thought that was a great idea! We are so proud of you, Mara!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

These Are The Days

Here's Mara. She decided to pose for the picture. Oh, there is a lot going on inside that 6 year old head of hers. Mara is needing lots of hugs and kisses and I'm treasuring that she wants them and accepts them. (The new readers, Mara and Linnea McCrady, brought books out for their lawn party. Love it.)

This picture captures Sonna in true form. She's giggling at herself and entertaining the rest of us. Her direct quote right before I took this picture was, "I just tooted on the timer!". Hilarious child.

Svea isn't one to throw out smiles real frequently. She typically has a rewarding smile for her Mama, Daddy, and sisters but otherwise it seemed as though she might have been storing up her smiles . . . until now. My sister or my mom pointed out to me that she smiles with her eyes. And it's true. Even if her mouth isn't flashing a smile, her eyes often are. But now, at nearly 8 1/2 months, it seems as though her smiles come more freely. She's always been a super easy going, deliciously content baby, but it sure is fun to see her beautiful smile. Svea's latest trick (which includes full body smiles) is peek-a-boo. She even initiated it yesterday using her changing mat. So fun!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Special News

After much prayer, consideration, and some sleepless nights, we have decided to move back to Minnesota! It will be such a gift to be near our families (parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins), college friends, camp friends, and our old church family. It will be a joyful homecoming in many ways, and at the same time, it is hard to leave Montana. This was Jedd's dream to come to Montana and I was happy for the wonderful opportunity given to us. During the past nearly 5 years, we have experienced a loving community, amazing schools for the girls, mountain adventures, 65 camp counselors who have loved our girls each summer, and two beautiful additions to our family; Sonna and Svea. And there have been some challenges too.
We take this leap of faith knowing we are leaping into a whole lot of love and support from our family. We are excited for this next part of our journey together and we trust that God will continue to take care of us.
My mom took this picture of us on Jedd's birthday, May 24th. It was taken just before we told the girls of our plans to move back to MN but it easily could have been taken just after they heard the news. The girls were thrilled to hear we were moving to MN. They immediately spoke of their excitement to be near grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. I was so relieved that I cried and had to explain to the girls they were tears of joy.
To follow up, a few days later Mara began to feel sad to leave her friends, her school and her house. Bedtimes have been filled with heightened emotions for her. Two nights ago, Mara was calling for me after both Jedd and I had done bedtime with the girls. I didn't come right away because Jedd and I were watching a movie and I didn't have many patience left. Soon Mara cried, "Nobody loves me. You think I'm weird". (Weird had three syllables when she said it). Well, that broke my heart and made me laugh simultaneously AND it got me back in Mara's room. I explained that her dad and I were having some Mommy and Daddy Time. She cried, "I need some Mommy Time". I hugged her and agreed to stay 2 more minutes. Then she exclaimed she was going to run away. Next Sonna cried, "Then I won't have any Sister Time!" Oh, dear. Stay tuned . . .

Friday, June 3, 2011

Svea and her Grandpas

Svea is so blessed to have three grandpas! We have had the opportunity to travel back to MN twice in the last month! The first time all five of us drove back for a special work week at Jedd's parent's farm. Last week, Svea and I flew back for my friend Alecia's wedding. We arrived on Grandpa Paul's birthday and these pictures were taken that day.

We visited Grandpa Lanny in the nursing home in Minneota, MN the week we were at the farm. I love the way he is holding her hand in this picture. We so wish the girls could have known their grandpa when he was whole and healthy.

Svea likes to pull on strings, usually the strings on Jedd's hoodie sweatshirt. Here she is playing tug-o-war with her grandpa's lap belt. She is delighted in him!

We also stopped for a visit with Grandpa Stan Sather in Madison, MN. They were quite taken with each other too. Grandpa Stan's eyes lit up when he saw Jedd!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy 8th Month, Svea!

It was a lovely summery day. Svea enjoyed riding in her stroller by the lake, she visited her Daddy at camp, took two naps, ate a little rice cereal but mostly enjoyed her Mama's milk as usual, went to a neighbor girl's birthday party, and was asleep before 7:00 PM. She had a happy 8th month birthday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mara's Kindergarten Program

The kindergartners had their end of the year program. It was a Wild West theme. Our friends the McCrady's loaned us Linnea's cowgirl vest, skirt and hat but Mara was not interested in wearing it. Bummer! But I didn't fight it. Instead I put it in a bag and brought it to school. After seeing a few of her classmates also wearing hats, Mara put hers on. But not the vest or skirt. No way.
Mara has had a wonderful year in school. We feel very blessed by her teachers (Mrs. Stern and Mrs. Cariveau, classmates, and school as a whole!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blue Eyed Sisters

Notice Sonna's hands in this progression. All I can say, Svea, is that you will get your payback time when you get older should you choose!

A side story:

Mara told me that a 7 year old boy was bugging her and her friends on the bus. She said, "He kept saying 'Hi'." When Sonna heard this she suggested, "Just say 'Excuse me, please stop saying Hi'."

I also want to add (mostly so that I remember) that Sonna plays out scenes from her favorite movie "Beezus and Ramona". When you get older, Sonna, you should see how much of it you recall. As a new 4 year old, you like to assign roles (you are always Ramona), direct the scene including dialogue straight out of the movie, and your favorite scene to act out is when Ramona is on the monkey bars on the playground. That, and when Ramona packs up her suitcase. You do have a flare for the dramatic.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Sunshiney Day!

If I haven't mentioned it already, it has been a long winter. So today's warm temperatures and sunshine were most welcomed! When Sonna got to school her preschool teacher said, "Sonna, welcome to our outdoor classroom!". Carol had moved easels, tables and chairs outside and prepared all sorts of activities for the kids to do outside. Carol later told me that Sonna chose to be inside for part of the morning. Hmmm?

Lilly came over after school as she usually does on Tuesdays and the girls had so much fun together. Svea enjoyed the sunny day too!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Girls' Birthday Party

I wish I had one good group shot but truthfully, we're lucky I managed to take pictures at all! We had 15 kids here (7 of those are sibling sets) and the weather was cold and rainy so we were inside. Several of the parents stayed as well so there were 29 of us in our living room/kitchen! The kids played some games (thank you, Aunt Becca, for the good ideas!) and had corn dogs for lunch and ate cake. This was a party of Little Things - the girls received Littlest Pet Shop sets, little necklaces, little tea sets - and just last week at Svea's check up the doctor suggested we take a refresher CPR class in case Svea would swallow and choke on such little pieces. *Sigh*

The party was from 10 AM to Noon but everyone stayed until 1 PM which was just fine. When they left Sonna said, "Why did everyone leave?!" and Mara appeared exhausted and said, "There were too many people here". OK. You are right Mara. Next year you can have your own party. The girls are blessed to have such good friends!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Sonna!

Sonna is exuberant, a good helper, a dramatic storyteller, a social butterfly, and so lovable. She loves to dress up and dance and the sign of a good dress is whether or not it twirls nicely. Sonna is eager to learn and enjoys being read to. She keeps up with the big kids and adores her sisters. I included the bottom picture because she often sits in front of the mirror and practices her facial expressions and talks to herself. (: