Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumn full of fortune~

This turned out to be one of the best early autumn weekends I can remember. The girls were lucky enough to be invited to our new neighbors' (um, they're all new to us) kiddo's birthday party. The family has four children, three of whom are adopted. The older of the group turned two while the younger twins turned one all on the same day. Imagine the odds of being adopted into a family and sharing the same birthday with your new brother. God's so fun with details. Anyway - it was a delightful party and the best part (as predicted) was the cake. Better yet, they served cupcakes - really cute little western-themed love bundles that were very much enjoyed by Emie and Ainsley. Here's the little lovely trying to hang on to her hat while playing outside, and happily playing inside after ditching it.

And I was fortunate enough to enjoy some really good company out in sun with my neighbors who know how to throw a party. I've never been to a toddler party that served adult beverages but I'm thinking this could be a new trend. Why not keep the parentals relaxed and happy? They're such nice people, these neighbors of ours.

Sunday we checked out another new church. This one doesn't have a building and meets in a movie theater. Ainsley, as she was being dropped off into Theater 8 for child care, very matter of factly said, "I'll have a popcorn and drink, pease." There's no one like her. Perhaps the easiest drop-off to a new place we've ever had with the girls. Our transition into our first time visitor space was equally painless. We even passed by the "Free earplugs" bowl without breaking our stride. Whaa? Earplugs? Well, we weren't in there 32 seconds before it became painfully obvious what the reasoning behind those little beauties was all about. They like to make some noise for Jesus, baby! Made me wish I also had popcorn and a drink. But indeed the man could preach and we both walked away challenged to "be the church" instead of continually searching to be extra comfortable in one. Yep, we needed that message.

In the afternoon Emie had an idea for a party. At our house we call this Sunday, or Tuesday, or any day. The girl likes to celebrate e v e r y thing! Love that about her. So she asked for some colored paper and scissors and came up with this. Move over iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and allow me present to you the iTeaparty:

Seriously impressive burgeoning hostess (and lettering skills) of a kindergartner, right? Ainsley was equally excited about the prospect of going to yet another party and especially one with tea cups. A little Newman Pomegranate Lemonade (as delicious as it is pink) added just the right touch and a good time was had by all.

Later we headed out to a nearby apple orchard to snatch up some local flavor. Ainsley, plum tuckered by all of the partying, fell fast asleep before we ever arrived. Dirk snatched his laptop and got to work while Ainsley dreamed happily in the backseat. Emie and I hit the trails (and I do not use that term lightly). There was some hiking involved to get to these beauties. But as the saying goes, "If the prince wants an apple, his servants take the tree." So does this mean I'm a servant to my princess? Kinda. Happy to be when it involves making memories as sweet as these. It was a gorgeous day to hike up hills of apple orchards -- sun glinting through the leafy branches, a cool breeze on our faces. Delightful. And we have a big bag full of gems to make something wonderful. So fun. Here are a few snaps of the love next to the crates of apples the orchard sends out to the local markets.

Once we'd gathered our half-peck (as if I even knew what that was before that day) we drove out to beautiful Portsmouth. They were hosting a competitive and wonderful bike race. So fun to feel the rush of wind they created as they flew past us. Ainsley was overcome with delight at the pace of these athletes. As her mouth made a giant "O" she'd say (each time they passed) "They going so fast. So many bikes!" Maybe she enjoyed it so much because she had the best view on the street.

But truly I've never seen anything like it in person and it was a thrill. I really expected to see a yellow jersey somewhere in the crowd. Great fun!

We were fortunate enough to meet up with colleagues of Dirk's who've become friends. We enjoyed a beautiful evening overlooking the Piscataqua River that divides New Hampshire and Maine. Pretty fantastic. These times are the richest moments - the fortunes in life. To be fortunate enough to be surrounded by lovely people and a lovely God is to be fortunate enough.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten

Emie came home filled to the brim with excitement from school yesterday. She couldn't wait to tell me what she had learned in music class. "Guess what, mama! Did you know I have an instrument in my heart?" "No," I replied. "I do, it's my voice!" Indeed you do Emie girl, indeed you do.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Look at what we found in our yard. It reminds me of something from a fairy tale. I love the mustard color and display of God's artistry. Ainsley and I have had a good bit of fun wandering through the woods here seeking out other beauties. We found this one which must have been wonderful the day before - but we could still appreciate the rich color even in its split apart state.

It's been quite the little metamorphosis day after day. Look what little Mr. Mustard looks like today.

And these guys just look like fresh loaves of bread to me. Ainsley's little tootsies give you a little perspective on the size of these dumplings - small caps they are not.

I think we'll skip the lesson where we taste each of them to compare their mind-altering effects. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just the highlights

A week in the life:

~ Emie started Kindergarten! She was so ready. I was not. I'm reasonably sure I was the only one with any butterflies on day one. She loves her teacher, the school, and the bus ride there and back. There's nothing like turning the care of your little one over to someone else for a time, a season. Here's to the next twelve years and beyond! So happy with the school's warm philosophy, welcoming ways, and small class sizes. So good for everyone, even me:)

~ Ainsley decided to swallow Emie's "Worry Rock" a gift given to her by her kindergartner to use if she ever felt nervous. Guess Ainsley figured we're not big on worry around here so she may as well put it somewhere unreachable. Though the doctors gave us some spiffy rubber gloves to go looking for it after a fiber-filled meal.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Irene, you got some "'splainin'" to do.

I love how my last post was all about being an early settler and making my way into a new land gracefully only to be faced with the ultimate test of my pioneer spirit a few days later: A power failure. I'm pretty sure I knew this already but now I know for certain that I am not destined to live off of the land in the woods anywhere at any time.

Irene came through and rustled several things up a good bit, my pride not withstanding. Admittedly, by the time she got here we were wondering, "Is this it?" It really seemed like just a good old fashioned rain storm similar to any number we've weathered elsewhere before. But by morning (after a few quick flickers) the lights (and all things power related) went away for four days. I don't think it would have felt so long had our water not also been tied to an electrical switch. When you live in the woods, sewers are but a distant memory. So that means no flushie, no shower, no rinsing of anything until the power is restored to your septic system. Awesome.

At first we were kind of excited by the challenge to find things for the girls to do that didn't involve electronics but after countless rounds of dress-up, puzzle assembly, Go Fish, and Play-doh we were seriously jonesing for some connection to the outside world. And then at dusk to have no night light and nowhere to warm up the beloved bedtime "milkie" the adventure was getting lost on the girls as well. Truth be told they did so much better with it all than we did. They just kind of took it as a matter of fact. There's no power but we have everything we need right here. We weren't going to starve and never be seen or heard from again. Yet the grown-ups were getting restless.

The hardest part for me was not being able to reach out to anyone on the phone or computer. I was reminded (again!) just how much I rely on these wonderful conveniences to keep a sense of connection to friends and family. I was also reminded (again) how much I have that doesn't ever have to be plugged in or charged up to feel connected. Once again the little lovelies are teaching me how to live well.

To be surrounded by my precious family and know that I have a good all-powerful God always guarding over me is more than enough. But I am singing some new praises for amps and wattage all the same.