Thursday, February 26, 2009

Murals I

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Murals II

The church was looking to do some murals for one of the children's rooms. I suggested the seven days of creation, and the next thing you know, I was designing murals. It was a lot of fun to be able to draw and create like this. Having really never done murals before, it was a learning process, but I had awesome volunteers sto help me paint the designs on the wall. Here are the results. I hadn't taken pictures until now, but all of this was completed by November. The murals are about 5 feet long and 4 feet high. That's just an estimation, but it sounds right.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grandpa Durr's 80th Birthday

The entire Durr clan.
An array of photo albums.

Grandchildren and great grand child.

Abigail wanted to help by delivering the presents. She also tried to sing "Happy Birthday" to him a bunch of times. It's her favorite song right now.
Grandpa and Grandma and their kids.

Happy 80th Birthday Grandpa Durr! We had a wonderful celebration at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club. The brunch was delicious, but the highlight was the reading of the letters by the grandchildren. Spen is such an amazing man, and to celebrate his faith, humor, work ethic, love and life through the written word brought tears to everyone's eyes.

Wilkening Bingo Bash

Our friends (featured with the microphone), Mark and Kelsey, are in the process of adopting a baby boy from Ethiopia. Jeremy Everts came up with the brilliant idea to host a Bingo Fund Raiser. They were able to raise $2300 to help bring this blessing into their home. We had a lot of fun...although we didn't win anything.

Crossed Feet

I love how Abigail always crosses her little feet. This is her reading with daddy.

Nicer Days

I wish I was one of those moms who just took their child outside no matter what the weather. I'll definitely be working on that. With the sunnier and warmer days, I have been taking Abigail out more. Every day she asks for bubbles, rocks and ducks. We have spent time throwing rocks, blowing bubbles and looking at the ducks and boats almost every day this last week. We also spent some time weeding together. Her weeding consists of transferring dirt from one spot to the next with her shovel. My weeding was a bit more productive. It has felt very nice to be outside. I always love the change of matter which one is beginning. There's always something new to look forward to.

Abigail's New Room

After Painting
After Decorating Abigail is officially moved in and sleeping in her new bedroom. She has made the transition so well. We are virtually complete. We're just waiting on the dresser to be delivered and it's done!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Big Girl Bed

Abigail is currently asleep in her big girl bed. This was our first attempt to have her sleep there although we've talked it up to her as well as spent time playing in her new room. So far so good. It will be interesting to see how she wakes up in the morning. The room is basically put together, and I'll have to post pictures soon, but we're still looking for a dresser, so I haven't taken the final pictures yet. Update: She slept in her bed until about 5 am and then woke up very upset. She was moved to her crib. I'd say it was fairly successful. We'll see about tonight. Night #2 = success. She stayed in bed and slept soundly all night, finally waking at 7:45. Night #3 = Woke up at 3:30 fairly upset. Jer went to comfort her for a bit and then let her cry it out, which took all of 3 minutes. The rest of the night was good. Night #4 No problems.

Work Day

Jeremy had President's Day off today. Stacie volunteered to take Abigail for the day, so it became a work day for us...a nesting day for me. We were able to accomplish so much. I worked on sewing most of the day. I am not an accomplished sewer at all...really a very big novice, but I was quite proud of my accomplishments. I made a bed skirt and curtains for Abigail's new room. I also began to work on curtains for our laundry room. Most of Jeremy's day was spent doing primer throughout the house in miscellaneous spots that have been neglected since we bought the house. He was then able to follow up on some painting. He accomplished a variety of other random projects that were on my nesting list. I love to cross things off!!!

Abigail's Vocabulary

Abigail, like all kids, has her own little language. She is actually VERY verbal, and I can understand most of what she is saying. However, I wanted to write down some of her own words to help me remember her language. So, here's the dictionary: ba = please (except she also can say please now), patu = pacifier, eepa = grandpa, eema = grandma, daddies = daddy, watch = stool (because when I'm working in the kitchen, I ask if she wants to watch and pull the stool out), orange = playdough (because when she first played with it we asked her what color she, pink, purple or green), coke = cold, bump = jump, po-cot = polka dot. I'll add more as I remember later.

Helping in the Church Nursery

We are convinced that Abigail believes she is a nursery worker at the church. When I tell her we are on our way to church, her dialogue goes something like this..."," The nursery workers also comment on her desire to bring the babies all the things she mentioned. When I went to pick her up there this week, she was sitting on one of the rockers. All of the other rockers were filled with actual adults. Hopefully, she is so helpful when our own little baby comes along (in about 7 weeks - crazy!)

Valentine's Day II

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Valentine's Day

We had a fun Valentine's Day. Abigail went a little crazy with the sprinkles for daddy's cookies. She is tracing her hand on her card, which I ended up doing for her, but she really enjoys the attempt. I was able to get up early and make Jeremy a special Valentine's Day breakfast of heart shaped french toast, strawberries, kiwi, ice cubes...yeah - kinda a heart theme. I wonder why. That evening we dropped Abigail off at the church where the middle school kids were doing a babysitting fundraiser. We went off for our second annual Valentine's Day dinner at our favorite pizza spot, Katie Downs. I just celebrate the love I have in my life for my amazing husband, wonderful daughter, fabulous family and loyal friends.
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Lake Activity

As the weather gets a little bit better, we begin to see more activity on the lake. A few days ago, loads of kayakers paddled by and Jer snapped this picture.

Elena's 4th Birthday

We had a lot of fun at Elena's fourth birthday. They hired a clown who did magic tricks, face painting, balloon animals and brought a bunny for the kids to play with. I made a cake to match her outfit. The kids all seemed to enjoy the festivities.

I'm 34!

I had a few wonderful birthday celebrations. I celebrated, in these pictures, with family. Jeremy hosted a wonderful birthday party. I also had a night out with my Seattle friends as well as my Tacoma girls. It was a great birthday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Snowmen and Apples

Random little quirk about Abigail I want to remember. Whenever we are coloring, working on the dooble pro or doing playdough, she always asks me to create a "snowman" and then an "apple." I've drawn a number of things for her since we started drawing together, but these are apparently her favorite.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Parenting Books: You win!

I stole this insert from my friend, Melanie. It began to ring true a few days ago as Abigail was not herself at all. I was worried that she slipped into the dreaded 18 month change in personality that we'd heard about. However, in retrospect, I don't think she was feeling well, and her schedule was completely off. I don't like to make excuses, but she does seem to be getting back to her normal personality. However, in the midst of her personality change, we were floundering a bit - trying to be as consistent as possible but struggling with communicating to her and vice versa. She was defiantly saying "No" often and also just falling apart in 1/2 second if anything didn't go her way. Praise the Lord this whole thing lasted only about 4 days. I appreciate her sweet nature all the more now that I can see what it can be like. Here's my friend's blog journaling:

I've always thought that parenting books were kind of obvious. Especially the ones that say things like "don't reward bad behavior". I feel like calling the author and saying, "Really. You spent how long writing a book to tell people like me 'don't reward bad behavior'? I'm not a Nanny 911 case, I'm just trying to get my daughter to stop telling people she is going to throw them in the garbage. I read your book and I get 'don't reward bad behavior'. As if I had time to waste. Thank You."
Today I realized the ugly truth. Being around my daughter when she is happy, kind, and well-behaved is like a moment in heaven. I would do anything to make it continue forever. When she is so sweet I don't want to give her a treat or watch TV or any of the other standby "rewards" because I just want to sit with her doing whatever it is she is doing and enjoy the golden blissful moment of perfection as it unfolds. Sitting with her, being loved, adored, and included in play is the best thing in the world. It is a reward for me.
When gloomy behavior visits, I really would do anything to make it stop. I would buy her a pony or a happy meal or anything in else in the world to make her happy again. And I'm not the only one - have you ever heard that song "Hush Little Baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird?"
So, obvious-advice-parenting-book, you win. Now I understand that "not rewarding bad behavior" is much harder than it sounds.


It's quite humbling when your 19 month child reminds you to pray before dinner. The other night, Jer and I started to chow down without praying. Abigail held out her hands to hold ours and said, "Amen." What a blessing! Also, we went to Thai food a bit ago, and she saw two statues with their hands together and head down. The entire meal, she kept pointing to them and saying, "Amen." We just pray that this spirit of prayer continues with her throughout her life.