No Longer Strolling

I just sold our last remaining stroller on Craigslist the other day and we (including Joel, who rode in it for much of the first part of his life) are feeling nostalgic about it.

I'll put up piccies soon, but the boys are now riding a Balance Bike and a big-boy Razor scooter around the neighborhood and I'm running to keep up with them. No gym necessary for moi!

Still a busy week this week with our homestay student here till Saturday morning, then Stephen will be helping some friends move their stuff to storage that day, too. They're moving to Thailand on Monday and we'll miss them a bunch. Hung out with them a bit this morning after dropping Yuki off at her English class in Kenmore.

Watch this space for pictures again at some point...haven't downloaded the camera lately or had time to do any real bloggin'. Too busy livin'!

Linkages

Ever wondered what Downton Abbey would look like set in an American fast-food joint? Get a taste of Downton Arby's.

Want to see your ecstatic three-year-old read? Let him at the freeware Reading Bear! Can't beat free and fun.

Looking for a peaceful, hopeful, beautiful, organizational blog to glean ideas for a happy self and home? Search no further than Small Notebook.

Want to keep your kids occupied for a little while? Get the entire Fly Guy series (we're hogging all five at the moment) from the library and watch the little readers devour them! (Anything by Chris Van Dusen is also a huge hit.)

Rocky Talk

Joel, out of the blue this afternoon: "Hey, Mom, building houses on sand is not a good idea. I'm glad God gave us a house not built on sand."

Lovely

I've already lost count of how many times Matthew and Joel have told Yuki (our homestay student) that they love her.

She's Here!

Our sixteen-year-old Japanese homestay student arrived today and is settling in, playing with the beans, taking walks with us, and trying to stay awake till bedtime. I know that jet-lagged feeling well!

She'll be here for a week, taking English classes during the day, and learning all about life in America, Munday style.

Conversations in the Car

For some reason, we saw an extra number of folks smoking in various places around town today. The beans were commenting on it and reminding me that smoking can make you sick. Matthew said, "If you smoke, it can make your blood boil." (Not sure where he got that phrase!)

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We were practicing rhyming in the car, and the boys were piping up their guesses from the back seat when I would say a word. When I said "Matthew," Matthew shouted "Joel!" as a rhyming match.

Busy Beans

The beans are always busy...playing...fighting...playing...reading...playing...building...

I'm sort of reading How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk and decided to try one of their techniques when the boys were fighting the other day. Instead of getting mad and yelling at them, I wrote one word on a piece of paper, went and sat down near the beanies, held up the paper, said not a word, and the boys read the paper, stopped fighting, and played nicely again. (The pretend situation in the book was a parent getting mad about a child throwing a wet towel on the bed, and instead of wasting energy on yelling, the parent wrote a note to the child from the towel, saying something like "Put me back on the rack.")

Thrilling!


I got this idea from my college friend Angie...use a plastic tablecloth with a felt back (to prevent slipping) and draw a grid with numbers, like a telephone keypad. The kids can jump their phone number to help them remember it.




The crystal connectors are still a big hit...


And so are the new big-kid Lego...





Always busy around here! I have loads more to blog but will stop here for now...

Double Date

A beautiful day for a double date with our friends Norm and Jasmine--they're leaving in a couple of weeks to live in Thailand.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, said Jasmine's socks!

Yes, we started out at Theo Chocolate for a factory tour...yum...

Stephen even had to wear a beard net!




Then dinner at Homegrown (locally grown and organic food) in Fremont, around the corner from the factory...



Norm and Jasmine, you're not allowed to go--we'll miss you too much...


My plate: boysenberry soda, upmarket ham and cheese, and a toasted hazelnut and dried fig salad...


We have a couple of beans who enjoyed the hair and beard nets...



Munday Morning Quotes

Matthew, looking at Stephen sitting at the table: "Daddy, you're a big boy!"

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Joel, after chatting about our landlord and how he repairs things in the house: "I want to be a fixer when I grow up!"

Apples to Apples

Matthew: "Are there Grandpa Smith apples, too?"

Feeling Trapped

Joel, asking for Chap-Stick: "Mom, my lips are trapped!"

Birthday Bean


Coloring table...

Matthew's requests: chocolate-tofu-peanut-butter pie and key lime pie...





Everybody was having so much fun that we never got to the pin-the-rocket-booster-on-the-shuttle game...

I had a table set up for everyone to write messages for Matthew and glue them on a poster board...thanks to all!

Recognize this bean?

Ironic

Toesies

Joel showed us his bare feet this morning, pointing to his big toes: "This big toe is named Abigail and this big toe is named Stephen."

Holstbeans

What I neglected to mention is that while the beanies and their daddy put the solar system mobile together the other day, they listened to Holst's The Planets Suite. If you're going to be working with celestial bodies, I highly recommend it.

Happy 6th!

Happy, happy, happy birthday to our special Matthew-Bean! We had a fun gathering yesterday here at our house for him and piccies will be coming soon...after we go to another party today! (This time it will be celebrating a friend who just had a new baby sister come into the world.)

Even though Matthew's birthday was yesterday, I'm still thinking about his actual birth-day six years ago--it doesn't seem like that long ago. It was such a special day and I really felt God's presence in a powerful way, calming me, giving me peace. And I know this will probably sound crazy, but as I was waiting in the prep room, ready to go in the operating room for the C-section, I actually felt and heard God's Spirit blow into the room next door, readying the room for us. We had a CD of praise songs (just piano) going during the birth and every time I hear that CD, I get goose bumps thinking of Matthew coming into the world, bathed in God's light and power. M-Bean has a special sense of God and talks about and to Him all the time, even making up songs to send Him love. (Matthew tells folks all the time how much God loves them.)

I'm so blessed to be his earthly mommy.

Moonbeans

Matthew got a really cool solar system mobile kit from his Wisconsin cousins and we let him open it early. We worked on it all week, starting with painting each planet half, adding the glow-in-the-dark paint, letting it all dry.

And Stephen finished it up with the beanies this morning, tying all the strings onto the planets, adding in the rings around Saturn and the sun, and putting it all together...






I've done quite a bit of posting tonight because I've just downloaded the camera and formatted it to make room for Matthew's big day tomorrow! We kissed him goodnight tonight as a five-year-old, and tomorrow he'll wake up as a six-year-old big boy. (Though we told him that because he was born in Japan, timewise he's already a year older!)

Sous Beans

Bob the Baker (also known as our assistant pastor's dad) at Green Bean (our local coffeehouse) invited the beans to help him make some quiches on Tuesday morning.

He's retired military, so he's very organized and sat the boys down to give them a briefing before entering the kitchen.




It was a hopping morning and we had loads of onlookers. Everyone commented on how well behaved and cute the boys were, especially in those aprons and hats. They did very well, concentrated, washed hands frequently, and were a joy to cook with. Thanks, Baker Bob!

Racing Beans

Another Home Depot day (last Saturday) with our friends Ella and Eric...







DIY

We've got a red-flower theme going on in our living room. The wall hanging (above) is actually a Japanese noren, meant for hanging in a doorway.

The pretty poppy weaving below is from my UK mum...


And I've recently made some cushions...


With fabric from Ikea...

Let me tell you, little beans love to "help" with the polyfill.


 

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