Thursday, March 15, 2012

Waxing on Wilder

Nothing makes me want to live a full, honest, hard-working, and heroic life more than reading Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Luke, Rebekah and I have slowly been making our way through the Little House books since last Fall. I needed something that I could do with both kids inside at home. Reading was just the thing. Rebekah was a newborn and loved to have me look at her while I read. Luke was riveted by the stories and played with trains while listening.

At first, I thought that the Little House stories might be too old for him, that he wouldn't be able to sit still for them. Not so. We have often read nearly an hour before either my mouth got too dry to go on or the kids got antsy. Besides, I was really getting tired of going to the library and letting Luke choose some books to take home only to find that they were utter CRAP! (Really, there is no other word for what most children's literature is like today. People always push you to read, just read anything, to your kids. Don't! Read the good stuff! There isn't enough time to waste on crummy literature that teaches kids bad things and deadens their minds to the Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.)

I am preaching to myself there too- even in evaluating what I choose to read as an adult. But enough of that soapbox, back to Laura.

I read the stories like most children, but there is something different about reading them as an adult. As a child, I did not understand what Ma and Pa went through. They lived many years alone, or nearly alone. They roused their family's spirits through a long winter of blizzards that left them nearly starving (and when they were not starving they ate beans, potatoes, and wheat bread!). They made do with whatever they had, or figured out how to invent what they needed. They worked together, raising a family and making a life for themselves in an unknown country. Really, I am in awe.

Here are just a few thoughts going through my head:
1. Ma and Pa knew the value of keeping up morale. They allowed no complaining and used songs or recitation of great poetry/stories/speeches to keep their family going during tough times. (Singing to lessen the frightening, endless blizzards of The Long Winter.)
2. They led by example- working very hard, providing for their children, church and neighbors even while they went without. (Pa gave the church his only $3 to help pay for a bell when he had needed new boots for himself).
3. People don't need much to get an education, but they do need perseverance and the will to do so. (Laura and Mary had one slate between the two of them and learned to read using McGuffey readers and had very few books at home. They memorized many important speeches, ALL of the psalms, etc...) That is more than I can do even now.
4. The Ingalls/Wilders were everyday heores (Almanzo risks his life to go and get wheat for the little prarie town that was starving during The Long Winter. He had plenty of food, but he knew that others would starve without more supplies).
5. I have way too many things and worry way to much about the things that I think I need.

These stories are priceless.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Funny Teeth

Rebekah has been eating solids for a while now. Recently, we introduced her to some baby "puffs." They are softer than cheerios and sort of dissolve in the mouth (after the baby drools on them for awhile. Here is a video of her trying to eat one:


Friday, January 20, 2012


Luke can make up his own Thomas stories now:


Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Month in a Minute

We have now been in California for 27 days! As our CA trip draws to an end, I'd like to share some of the highlights:

  • Rebekah meets Gus and we all get to spend 5 precious days with him
  • This trip, more than any other, I had some amazing talks with my brother and sister. They are both younger than me and are growing into wonderful adults. I am excited to see where life takes them.
  • I had the chance to see my cousins- now in CO, TN, and NC
  • My dad drove us down to San Diego for the second half of our trip. That was 7 hrs in the car with a wiggly little boy and a baby- they were great!
  • We saw some great friends from our old Church in San Diego and Orange County
  • We all attended a special party for Nathan's Aunt Susie- it was her 60th birthday, and a celebration of her victory over stage 4 melanoma. Praise God!
  • Rebekah got her first tooth 1/6/12, and is now working on #2 (I'll be glad when I get a break fromt he night wakings again)
  • Rebekah began to clap her hands all by herself! (See video below)
  • I became an auntie once again- Baby Emma Grace Jones born on 1/7/12 weighing 9lbs 13oz, and as Luke would say, a "cutie patootie!"

We fly out tomorrow on a non-stop to Houston. I had a great time, but am certainly looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen, and opening all of our Christmas cards! Also, stay tuned- we are going to be doing some big work in our yard in the next couple of months- fruit trees, tomatoes, onions, etc... It is going to be a great year!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Playing with Paper

A favorite pastime of Rebekah Ruth:


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas in Stockton

Today we (the kids and I) celebrated Christmas in Stockton with my extended family. It was a last minute trip and Nathan had to stay behind to tie up some loose ends at home. We will get to see him again in San Diego-probably on Christmas.

We flew up here especially to see my great-grandpa who was just placed on hospice care. He is 94 years old and is a great man. Time with him and all my family has been precious. I am trying to savor the moments.

We enjoyed a very good meal featuring pork tenderloin:

Rebekah enjoyed her spatula (she really hasn't taken to solid food yet):Oh and Rebekah sits up really well now! She can sit nice and tall and play for a long time.

Here is a picture of my sister Kelsey and her husband Erik. Aren't they cute?

Here is a picture of the boys. I forgot my camera for the one of the girls :(

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dressing up for St. Nicholas Day

The kids and I went to church yesterday for St. Nicholas Day. Rebekah wore her pretty red dress: