Monthly Archives: March 2013


I don’t have any great family pictures of us or even any of just the kids in their cute little Easter clothes. I was so preoccupied with getting stuff ready for church that capturing the moment in pictures did not even cross our minds. We got a few of the kids with their Easter baskets this morning so that will have to do.



Gee…you think they’re related? And also, how is it that the 2 year old’s head is almost as big as the 4 year old’s?


A little bit of Easter basket fun.

We had a great day that involved getting out for a bit, naps, hunting for eggs and mostly just relaxing. We go to church on Saturday nights so we were able to rest and enjoy today.

After baskets, we took advantage of being in the small minority of people in our area who weren’t at church this morning to go to the walk-in clinic. No worries, everyone is well; this was a planned visit. We decided to go when we had a good hunch it wouldn’t be super busy to go and get Mark’s stitches out. You’ll have to ask him the story. Since the stitches are out and things seem better he’s probably ready to tell the story. I’m sure I could tell it with a lot more dramatic embellishment but I’ll be nice and leave it to him.

The plan was to get there late morning while everyone is at church, get those stitches out, and then beat the crowds at lunch. Sometimes we’re smart about things. Mark walked in, barely sat down, got called back to get the stitches out, paid the bill, and was back in the car in less than 10 minutes. I want to say it might have been closer to 5 but that may be some of that dramatic embellishment I was talking about. None of us got a chance to get restless and I didn’t even get to the coffee in my travel mug so you know it wasn’t long at all. First part of the plan went perfectly so off we went to find a restaurant. We found one just down the highway, got seated and were leaving just as the crowds were coming and the parking lot was starting to fill.  We came home for naps and since I had been up late translating, Mark let me take a nice long nap. I love when things just go according as planned and then you get a little surprise nap in, too.

After dinner we decided to let the kids hunt for eggs. The yard was still a little wet but we were heading for baths anyway so figured it wouldn’t hurt. Mia wore her rain boots since it was so soggy. Finn doesn’t love walking in his so I didn’t even try. Wouldn’t have mattered anyway, he didn’t venture much in the yard anyway. He’s got this funny way of going about Easter hunts…

He’s the funniest kid I’ve ever seen when it comes to hunting for eggs. He did the same thing last year. Find an egg, pop it open, squeal at what’s inside, discard the egg and enjoy the treat right then and there.


Finn was here.

Mia found a basket full and Finn found maybe 6. It’s not about quantity for him. He does not rush out and find as many eggs as he can. He is so slow and meticulous about it (which is funny because Finn is never in slow motion about anything). But if he lays eyes on a chocolate bunny, that thing is getting eaten right then and there.


He’s not risking putting it in that basket and never seeing it again.

He’s probably the smartest one since when I went to get down eggs from last year I found many with the treat still inside. When I told Mark he said, “Man, I didn’t do my job well enough.” Finn’s just not even going to take a chance on that happening again.

Find an egg, enjoy on the spot, repeat.


If you happen to find another one while you’re still eating one, just hold on to it and wait for a second. Can’t rush through a chocolate bunny experience.

And don’t you dare try to get him to hurry up and find more eggs. Unwrapping a chocolate egg is serious business.


Does he care that there is a blue egg just sitting there behind him, waiting to be found? Nope.

Mia was so great. At first we told her not to pick up all the easier-to-spot eggs so that Finn could get those but once we realized Finn would never make it out to those this week, we let her go ahead and have at it. She was really sweet to sit next to him and encourage him to go ahead and get the egg.


It took him a good 10 seconds to figure out if he wanted to go ahead and get that one. Seriously…it’s funny. He’s going to get smoked on the playground Easter egg hunt tomorrow.

Mia, on the other hand, has this thing figured out. She kept missing some pretty obvious ones which was funny but since she didn’t have any competition from the other hunter, it really didn’t matter how long she took.




Using the new climbing wall!


When did this happen? I blink and there are flowers on the tree. I blink and this girl is so big.


And then we tried to get some of both of them. I can mastermind a schedule of activities that will maximize our time and efficiency at many places in one morning, but get a good picture of these two kids? Impossible.


Cute of Mia. Finn’s just trying to enjoy those bubbles he just found in that egg…


It’s hard to say cheese when you’ve got half a bunny in your mouth (side note…he only had two little bunnies, I know it looks like he had a whole herd but he didn’t. He was savoring the experience, remember?)


Finally! Finn is ready to smile (notice his completely empty basket)…aaaand Mia misses the cue.


I think they’re both pretty much done…Finn is at least.


Hunting for Easter eggs and trying to document it is hard work…

So yeah, pretty great day. Except for one small thing.

Not sure how, but we managed to get something that has simultaneously created the most delight and the worst agony for Finn. The most smiles and laughter and the worst sadness and tears.

This was part of his Easter basket:


Oh yes. Best and worst purchase from a consignment sale this week.

He carried this thing around aaaaalllll day today. I’ve never seen him play for so long and so intently with a toy. When it was time to go in the restaurant though, we said Buzz had to stay in the car. Oh boy. That was not what he wanted to hear. We’re not anti-toys in places where we know we are going to have to wait, but this thing is loud. As in, where are those speakers hidden so I can put tape over them. Pretty sure the people next to us wouldn’t want to hear about going to infinity and beyond or having a laser shot at them every 30 seconds. He finally got over that, was so! excited to see Buzz back in the car and then we had to relive the drama all over again at naptime. Mark finally got him down and then…yep, tears all over again before bath and bed. Now, usually substitutions work great. I had gotten him a Toy Story bath book but not even that was going to cut it. Bath was just an excruciating period of separation. I said that he had a surprise waiting for him in in his room after bath so to just hang on. That helped. Some. I had pulled out some Buzz pajamas I found on super clearance and had stashed away in the closet. Pajamas usually seal the deal. Nothing. Not even a slight curling in the lips. He’s probably thinking…guys…really? Why would I settle for a PICTURE when I have the REAL DEAL hidden somewhere in this house! There’s all kinds of spin-offs I could go into about settling for substitutes and holding on to the real thing but my brain hurts from dealing with Buzz separation. I’m getting anxiety about the next time he plays with him. He’ll soon figure out it’s a stay at home but not take into bath or bed toy…but it’s not going to be pretty. I would almost regret bringing into the house after seeing so many tears and sadness in the little guy but after watching him play with Buzz, seeing him grab his face and whisper stuff in his ear, running down the hallway making him fly? No way. Best toy deal in a long time. But wow, not for the faint of heart. Mia’s attachment and fun with her new Tangled doll (also an excellent deal find) is more my speed. Loves playing with it but understands when she can’t. Even was willing to leave it in the car at the restaurant since Finn couldn’t take his in. Although she did almost have a breakdown when she thought she had lost all the clothes and accessories…. Oh toys, why must you be so fun and so cruel?

Now it’s time to get more Easter eggs and treats ready for tomorrow.  And make sure that space ranger is out of sight.

That’s What It’s All About

That’s what you’ll hear Mia saying these days…that’s what it’s all about…and no, she’s not talking about the hokey pokey, fortunately. That’s what she’ll tack on to a lot of her conversations about what Easter is about.

This year has been really fun to interact with her and listen to her process through the whole story. We’ve read out of The Jesus Storybook Bible and we’ve done the resurrection eggs (in fact, she’s done the eggs so many times between here at home and church and preschool that I’m pretty sure she knows them better than we do). Every step of the way, it’s been so amazing to see her put into her own words what this week is all about. To see the pain and sadness on your kid’s face hearing about his death and burial and then the true joy and delight to hear that the tomb was empty? Very cool.

And really, I do think she gets it and knows what it really is all about. We were in the car on the way to church last week and all of a sudden this conversation starts up – not exactly sure how…well, I know how…she likes candy.

Mia – Candy is great but that’s not the most important thing about Easter.

Us – You’re right…what is the most important thing about Easter?

Mia – Jesus! Jesus died on the cross.

Us – But then what else? The story didn’t end there, right?

Mia – Nope. He rose again and the tomb was empty!

Us – Very good.

Mia – And that’s what it’s all about. Not chocolate or candy. But we can like chocolate and candy, right?

Us – Yes, we can like chocolate and candy. We can enjoy them, but just as long as we know what we’re really celebrating.

Mia – Yeah…but everybody knows that.

Us – Not really. Not everybody knows.

Mia – What do you mean? Are there moms and dads that haven’t told their kids?

Us – Maybe they haven’t told their kids because they don’t know themselves.

Mia – That’s not good. We’ve got to tell them. So moms and dads can know and kids can know.

Us – You’re right. We can and should tell them. Your grandparents do that in a different country – as missionaries – but you could do that here.

Mia – Yeah, I can tell anybody. Everybody.


[and then almost speed talking and you can tell her little wheels are turning up there]

Mia – What if kids don’t have moms and dads? Like Rachel and Jeremy’s kids who didn’t have a mom and dad and now Rachel and Jeremy can be their mom and dad and they can tell them about Jesus. Right? [Rachel and Jeremy are our friends who are in the final stages of adopting two kids from Ethiopia – they were in Africa last week so their story is very present in Mia’s mind all the time as she thinks and prays for them]

And in that conversation, my heart was full (with also just a slight bit of guilt). My four year old gets it. She hasn’t had Bible classes, she can’t read and study for herself but she gets it. She may not know what the words Great Commission mean and she may not know that the Bible specifically says that we are called to care for the widows and orphans.  But in her little 4 year old heart she knows: Easter is a big deal. And everybody should know that truth. And if there are people out there who don’t have somebody to tell them, then we need to be the ones to do it and take care of them. Nothing like having that conversation with your kid to put your own walk in perspective.

So you see it’s been really good. It’s also been fun as we lead up to Sunday. Today was a dreary, drizzly day [and Sunday is supposed to be sunny] – something kind of cool about that, don’t you think?

Mark had the day off which was nice. It’s fun to have a full day at home with Dad. For dinner, we had special pancakes. Usually Friday is pizza night but we had already had pizza earlier in the week so we decided to shake things up…and load the kids up with sugar.


Marbled pancakes (that were supposed to be more egg shaped than round but this was about 8 pancakes into the process and I was getting more hungry than meticulous)


She did this all herself. She loves “sour cream”, as she called it. (Guess we don’t have whipped cream much in this house.)


And he was pretty good about taking his on in his own little way.

I promise there was fruit somewhere on the table.

At bedtime, another special treat: all piled on Mia’s bottom bunk to listen to a book on cd.


Don’t be fooled, they’re totally pretending they’re asleep. No way any sleeping was going to happen.

And just so you don’t think Mia is completely a not-typical 4 year old, she’s figured out she can probably milk this wonderful thing that is Easter…

Dad, can I have some chocolate milk…since it’s almost Easter?

Oh yes, we know Easter is coming and it’s full of good things…so can we just go ahead and start the good stuff now?

As long as we know what it’s all about.

When little boys have big sisters

Both kids play with pretty much any toy in the house. Mia likes playing with trucks and cars every once in a while and the other day I found Finn carrying a doll around, get a changing pad/diaper/wipes/cream and proceeded to change her. He was being so sweet and gentle, until he dropped her right on her head. Oh well…

That’s just the way it is at our house. Find a toy and adapt it. Boy playing with a girl toy? Throw it. No problem. Girl playing with a boy toy? Pretend it’s sick and nurse it back to health. No problem.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I saw this.

A princess crown. Worn in a very unorthodox manner.



And just for the record, don’t tell him that’s not the right way to do it. It was my turn next but he had to fix how I did it. He shoved that thing down over my eyes to match the way he had done it (in the second picture), took one look at me, and belly laughed.