Archive for January, 2012

we <3 hearts


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projects and decisions

My brain has been spinning the past couple of weeks.  There’s lots going on.

1.  Homemade valentines

2.  A rainbow themed birthday to plan

3.  A really big decision to think through

I love doing Valentine’s projects with the girls, so we’ve been doing a lot of that kind of thing.  Homemade Valentines always seems like a great idea until I’m bogged down with actually doing it all myself.  This year I convinced Rose decided to “make” her preschool valentines.  She (let’s be real now.  It was really me) was excited about a precious little homemade valentine idea from the Family Fun magazine.  Also, her preschool teachers have requested that she write her name by herself on all the valentines, so this is turning out to be quite the project.  Ok.  Not really, but it is taking longer than I thought.  Turning out cute, though.

She’ll be passing out these little rings along with her homemade cards.

Also, for some reason I’ve gotten really obsessed with planning Kait’s upcoming 9th birthday party.  Tell me.  How did she get to be that old?  She’s chosen a rainbow theme, so she’s picked out a few supplies

and my mind has just been buzzing with ideas for decorations, activities, and party favors.  Pinterest has been my inspiration and downfall.  I really don’t want to love that place out there on the world wide web, but it’s slowly sucking me in.   Must. fight. harder.  I have other things to do than spend hours each evening gazing at the beautiful craft and home decorating ideas.  Did I mention the amazing food ideas?  I really do have to limit myself or I can get sucked in for quite awhile.  Soooo many creative, fun ideas out there.

However, the biggest thing that’s been consuming my thoughts and keeping me busy is thinking about going to grad school.  I retired from teaching when Kait was born, and I never looked back, until now.  I won’t go into all of it right now, but let’s just say that I’ve done more research in the past two weeks than I think I’ve done since my last college class.  So many options for grad school.  I’m not even sure I want to do it, but I’m thinking of just starting with taking one class and seeing how it goes.  I really do want to work again (well, I work now, but I don’t get paid for it!), and in looking at what my year will look like next year, I could actually start taking some classes.  I think.  MUCH prayer and discussion and research has been going into all of this.  We’ll see what happens in the next few months.  For the first time in many, many years, I’m actually excited about taking a class again.

So, there you have it.  Projects and decisions aplenty.

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last one

Last post with pictures from December, and I can move our 2011 pictures to the external hard drive.  Yay!! I’m sure that doesn’t excite you nearly as much as is does me.

One of the fun things we did around Christmas was go to see an elaborate train exhibit.  It was in a local mall not far from where Aunt Mel lives, and all the Austins foraged through the slushy snow to behold the visual delights.

The attention to detail was incredibly amazing.  Rose happens to be a big fan of trains, so I was excited to see how she would react.  We all enjoyed the experience.  There was a little “I Spy” game you could play while looking at everything.

While at the mall, we took the opportunity to pose for a family picture in Santa’s empty chair.

OK, that’s it!  No more pictures from Christmas.  Now, on to Valentine’s projects and other things.

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seeds of kindness

OK.  Almost done with editing and posting pictures from December.

In December I decided to try something that I’d been thinking of since last year.  At the very beginning of the month, I tracked down some grass seeds and made a tiny little window garden.  Every time I heard the girls being kind to each other or sacrificing for each other, they were allowed to take a pinch of grass seed and sprinkle it into a small soil-filled cup in our little window garden.  The goal was to grow some grass to place in Jesus’ manger on Christmas morning.

I’m quite sure the little ones did not “get” the significance of their kind acts being a gift to Jesus resulting in a soft place for Him to sleep, but the meaning was not lost to me.  I hope to do something similar in future years, too.

By the way, I LOVE this nativity set!  Even after visiting Kenya several times and living there for a year, I have never seen one like this.  A very special friend gave it to us, and we will treasure it always.  It’s my very favorite because of the Kenyan fabric and the beautiful polished wood.  I’m already looking forward to getting it out again right after next Thanksgiving.  🙂

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time for a trim

Pendo has been needing a trim for a reeeeeally long time.  I’ve asked and asked other adoptive moms about where I could take her that specializes in cutting curly hair.  Strangely I’ve gotten only two good recommendations out of about 20 people asked.  One of the options was a very pricey salon, and I choose not to pay $50 for my three year old’s haircut.  I decided to take her to the other option, even though they don’t necessarily specialize in curly hair.  It was only $16.  That’s more like it.

Here’s my little lady when she got into the chair.  She’s a bit nervous, but doing well.

All the ladies in this place just ooohed and ahhhed over our little beauty.

The stylist that trimmed Pendo’s hair was SO good with her.  Even though it needed to be cut much shorter than I had hoped because the ends were really ragged, the experience was quite good.  I think I’ll take her there at least one more time while I continue to try to find a place that I trust that specializes in natural curls.  It’s important to me to take great care of Pendo’s amazing curls, and it would be great to take her somewhere where the stylists can teach me more things about caring for them.  Any ideas or recommendations?

So here she is after the trim.

She looks so much younger with about three inches trimmed off, but her hair is MUCH healthier and that’s the important thing.

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my girls and their curls

Something unusual happened on Thursday so I took a few pictures to document it.

All three of my girls had curly hair.

It just so happened that I had taken out Pendo’s braids to get ready for an upcoming hair cut, so her normally braided hair was out in it’s naturally curly splendor.

The day before, Rose had asked for a hair style with twists, this one,

and for some reason I just let her sleep with her twists in overnight.  The next morning her normally stick-straight hair was sooo curly.  She loved it and claimed that she looked like her friend Clara.

In addition to that, Kait had asked me to braid her hair all over after she washed it the night before so she could have that crimpy, curly look for school on Thursday.

The unplanned result of all of these things was three curly girls.

This is unlikely to ever happen again at the same time, unless I decide to purchase some of those old squishy pink curlers that my mom used to force me to wear at night so my naturally curly hair would be even curlier the next few days.  Yea . . . that’s not going to happen at my house, not unless my ladies request it.  At least I have some idea how Pendo feels when she has to sleep with beads in her hair at night.  🙂

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jump city

I really hate it that I just can’t keep up with this blog lately . . .like the past three months or so.  Ugh!  The quick explanation for this is that our littlest ladies are wearing. us. out.  We are in a PHASE, again.  A not-good-at-all phase.  An “everything-is-mine-and-don’t-even-think-about-trying-to-play-with-it” phase.  An “I’m-going-to-see-how-far-I-can-push-the-limits” phase.  A “let’s-see-if-I-can-find-new-ways-to-do-and-get-what-I-want” phase.  I could go on and on.  We are at a place where all of the training tools we have previously tried and relied on are no longer affective, and we are at our wits end trying to train and love these little ladies without losing our cool or our minds.  Sometimes we fail, at both of those.

Anyway, I do not have energy to take cute pictures or edit them in this phase of life.  We are in survival mode.  All else is unimportant.

In order to catch up a little on what else has been going on (besides all of the testing of the limits), I hope to blog a bit more so I don’t forget about the good things that are happening around here, too.

On Monday our district didn’t have school, so I took the girls to Jump City . . . a wonderland of bouncy castles and giant bouncy slides.

I knew it was going to be crazy there since many other parents were also searching ways for their kids to burn some energy.  It was a little bit insane, but the girls managed to have a good time for about an hour.  Then the injuries started happening.  First a hard bump into another child resulting in Pendo’s busted lip, then Kait managed to get a pretty good scrape above her eye.   Rose was doing well for awhile until she got hungry and overwhelmed with all the people there and threw an enormous, earth-shattering fit.  If you happened to feel the earth shake briefly around 11:30 on Monday, that was just Rose venting her anger and frustration.  For such a little one, she sure has spunk and spirit.

We left earlier than I had planned because of all of this, but it was just time to go home.  Even though the girls had fun, I’m not going to take them back there the next time there’s a day off from school.  And next time I’ll make sure to take more snacks.  Lessons learned.

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