Sunday, January 30, 2011

Looking for God

On Friday Sonna exclaimed, "Wasn't that neat that we got to see God today?" I asked, "What do you mean?" I quickly retracted my Too Big question and instead asked "Where did we see God today?" Sonna replied, "At the Salvation Army". (We donated our baby swing that we weren't using). I asked, "Do you mean the tall man with the beard who helped mommy carry the swing?" Sonna smiled and said, "Yes". I explained that this man wasn't God, but he was God's helper. He was sharing God's love with others by volunteering at the Salvation Army.
I've been thinking about this conversation ever since. What if we all looked for God as Sonna does? What if we consciously saw God in others? I'm going to try to do that more.

Here's another Sonna story. On the flight back from Arizona our plane was diverted to the Great Falls airport just seconds before we landed in Missoula as planned. Heavy fog prevented a safe landing. Thankfully we were brought back to the Missoula airport but the whole incident added 2 hours to our time on the airplane. Sonna had a meltdown and was very irritable on the flight between Great Falls and Missoula. She was just acting out what we were all feeling. I had Svea on my lap, Sonna sat in the window seat next to me and Mara and Jedd were across the aisle. Sonna's tantrum was waring me down and I didn't know what else to do so I looked right at her and sang her song to her; "You are the light of the world, you are the light of the world, so shine, shine, shine where you are, you are the light of the world". In an instant her whole disposition changed. She looked deep in my eyes, softened her expression and listened intently. When I finished the first verse she said, "Keep singing to me Mommy".
This made me think, what if when we are at our worst - our most irritable, down right mean, short on patience - we could stop and be reminded of our worth and know how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father. We might be changed too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Arizona Vacation

Oh, sweet vacation! We were blessed with a week with Grandma Margaret and Grandpa Paul in AZ where they spend 1-2 months each winter in a retirement community called Venture Out. My Grandpa and Grandma Bredberg started going in 1976 so this was my 4th or 5th trip. I had such a special time with my Grandma Bredberg, Uncle Don and Aunt Jan, and Uncle Wayne and Aunt Judy. They all took care to spend time with us, feed us, and love our girls and that was a gift. It was extra special to have Becca, Rory and Ivar there too! My Mom and Dad are so helpful with the girls and that means so much to Jedd and I. So we rested and relaxed too. There were lots of tears when Becca and Rory went back to MN the day before we left. Sonna cried for several minutes and worked through her sadness by talking/crying it out with Grandma Margaret (while riding in the golf cart). Such sweet sorrow.

Even Svea went swimming one day. I think she was a bit chilly, even though the pools are like bath water, but the wind was a little cool. We were fortunate to have sunny, 70 degree weather everyday!
Family pictures. Tricky. Even frustrating at times with a sometimes uncooperative 3 & 5 year old, but Mom was victorious with these two! Thanks for taking pictures, Mom!

Some Auntie lovin'.

Jedd and the girls picked grapefruit from Loretta's tree (a friend of Grandma's). Oh, delicious citrus fruit! Grandma Margaret made Lemon Meringue pie for us twice. Mara was a big help making one of the pies.
I am so grateful that my children know my Aunts and Uncles. Aunt Jan spent time enjoying them and appreciating their vivacious personalities. It was mutual.
Uncle Rory and the girls had fun decorating grandma and grandpa's front walk.
We had a fun picnic in the desert at Usury Park. The playground was a big hit.
There was a lot of cuteness in AZ since baby Svea and baby Ivar were in attendance! Ivar's new nickname is 'Smiles A Lot'. He is such a smiley baby!

Grandma went to the library so we'd have a good supply of children's books to read. So nice!
My beautiful sister and I had a blast together! It is so fun to see her as a Mom too.
Walking over to Grandma Bredberg's for a visit.

Grandpa Paul doing double duty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our 3 Girls

I think this was taken Saturday morning while the girls were watching cartoons. It is so fun to see the relationships between the girls. Svea lights up when we pick up Mara from the bus after school and Mara delights in her. Sonna gets many smiles from Svea too but also a very specific cry when Sonna is hurting her or Svea is afraid she's about to. My mom even recognized this cry during her visit when Svea was first born! Yesterday Sonna scraped Svea's head with the edge of a piece of paper when I was looking at the snack sign up sheet at preschool. When I heard Svea's cry I turned around to see 5 scratch marks. It was as if Svea could handle the first 4 but it was the fifth one that put her over the edge. Poor baby! Other times, Sonna seems to be the one to get the biggest laughs out of Svea. They do love each other very much but sometimes Sonna doesn't know how to channel all that love for loving touches. It will come!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Svea's New Hat Redo!

This is the way the hat is supposed to be put on! I had it wrong. Adorable. I'm thinking little kitty cat for sure!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Svea's New Hat

Cris Ireland knitted this adorable hat for Svea. Cris is a friend of mine from the church I grew up in. Is Svea a kitty cat or a polar bear? Svea has an adorable collection of hats and wears them well! My favorite accessory!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Overnight to Missoula

Look at this joyful baby! This captures Svea. She is so content and happy.
We went to stay with our friends, Cristian and Sarah Borge, and had a great time! The girls went sledding with Sarah in her backyard, we had a dance party in their basement with friends Julie Engh and 2 year old Everett, enjoyed wonderful Chilean food made by Cristian, went to church and ran into some favorite former counselors, met Kels and Jess (counselors) for lunch, and saw Julie and Greg's new acreage. It was an excellent 24 hour 'trip'!
Borge's camera is awesome. She and Cristian took these pictures.
Many, many games of UNO were played! Lydia, another camp friend, came over for the evening too. She also got in on the Hide and Seek action.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sonna's First Day of Preschool!

This was at the breakfast table this morning. All the girls in their cozy fleece pj's! Mara started preschool in the fall when she was 3 years old so we planned to start Sonna in the fall when she was 3 years old too. But last summer Sonna began telling us that she didn't want to start preschool yet. So Jedd and I talked about it and decided there really was no rush and we would listen to her wishes. So last summer I told Sonna that she could stay home with me and the baby and then start preschool after Christmas. From that moment on, she told everyone who asked "I'm going to stay home with the baby and then start after Christmas". And now it's officially 'After Christmas' and Sonna was SO excited to start school! Kids are smart and clearly Sonna knew what she needed.
She had her lunch packed by 7:30 AM. Sonna and Mara decided they wanted to have the exact same food in their lunches. :) Sonna brought a Christmas cactus to school as well. Each child tends to their plant during the school year. Hopefully she'll have better luck with her plant than I typically do with mine!
As a point of comparison, this was Mara when she and Sam started preschool in September of 2008. (I wasn't blogging then so I thought it would be fun to share this picture of Mara).

Monday, January 3, 2011

This and That

Sonna starts preschool tomorrow! She is very excited and very ready. I knew Sonna would enjoy having Teah (one of her classmates) over to get reacquainted before school starts. Teah's mom said Teah was so excited for her playdate with Sonna that she woke up at 4 AM! The girls are similar in may ways. Both LOVE to dress up in fancy outfits. They had a little disagreement about who would wear the princess shoes but Sonna eventually let Teah wear them.
Sonna and Mara were a big help yesterday. We took down the Christmas decorations and they especially enjoyed carefully packing up the nativities.
Mara was given a time out for calling me brat. When her 5 minute time-out was done, she came out with this picture of a flower titled "Stop Mom" and told me it was a joke when she handed it to me. I sent her back in her room and told her she needed to write me an apology. The apology says "I'm sorry for calling you brat". I thought it was noteworthy. (:
She is learning so much so fast these days. She loves to write and is really good at sounding out words.
Mara and Sonna received a gift from some friends of camp. They are the coolest bendable things called Toobers and Zots. This is Mara's fire hose and I have no idea what is in her mouth.
After a two week vacation, Mara went back to school today. This morning she was so sweet to share with us that she wasn't sure she was ready to go back to school. I reassured her that her classmates were probably feeling the same way but reminded her that it would be so good to see all her friends and her teacher again. I also told her I remember feeling the same way when I was her age. When it was time to go, she was ready and excited.

Last night I asked her to get her Friday Folder from her school bag so we could get her organized for school. She said, "Mom, it's not in my school bag". When I looked in her school bag I found 3 pairs of pajamas, Hello Kitty band aids, her teddy bear and her new super-hero (Captain Doodle) outfit. She had packed up for Arizona and these things were apparently essential. We don't leave for Arizona for another 2 1/2 weeks but I remember the girls asking me last week how many nights we'd be in Arizona. When I said 7 nights, Sonna said, "So I'll need 7 pairs of pajamas and 7 pull-ups". I told the girls that 3 pairs of pj's would be plenty.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Welcome 2011!

Happy New Year from the Larson girls!
We ate ice cream sandwiches, popped popcorn, worked on a puzzle and watched a movie. The girls were in bed a little after 8PM and I heard the fireworks at midnight but I was too near sleep to crawl out of bed to enjoy them.

The scrapes on Mara's face are from her sledding wipe out. She is a tough kiddo!

We are looking forward to 2011. We trust there will be many blessings and some challenges too. We plan to enjoy the journey!