Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Wee morning hours...

When Novie and Eden wake up in the morning and their cups are filled, a show is turned on, and they are settled and comfy, I like to just sit back and watch them. As they wake up, stretch, yawn, sometimes they ask silly things because they are not fully awake. They smell warm and fit perfectly into your arms.
In the morning they both want to cuddle either with mommy and daddy or each other. They want to be held, hugged, and kissed. We share secrets, talk about dreams we may have had, our plans for the day and what we should have for breakfast. I love these moments because they are still, quiet, still in their sleepy state, whispering and of course they want to snuggle. They both have wild morning hair, I should take pictures everyday and make a silly flip book of their hair.
It's a precious 15min before they fully wake up and the busy-ness begins. During dinner we always ask the girls, "what was your favorite thing today?". I think I would say these 15min. everyday is definitely at the top.

If only I had an old Quaker Oatmeal box

Yeah, then I would not have to get so "guetto" creative. I keep seeing adorable tutorials where you take an old Quaker Oatmeal bin/tin/box, cover it with paper and tada you have a cutsie little storage item for headbands and hair items. such thing as Quaker Oatmeal here in Hungary so I had to make a "cylinder" out of an old cereal box.
Pretty weird looking and not so "cylinder-ish" but it's good enough for what we need it for Here are photos of the interesting process:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mirror Image?

Andy wasn't sure what to think when Eden said "I look the same as Daddy" I wonder if that is really how she sees him..googly eyes, with a Batman shirt and necklace?? We all had a good laugh! Goofy Girl!

Christmas Home-made

My goal this Christmas was to make over half of the girls gifts. I want to make them memorable items each Christmas worth saving for their kids. I want to use the "special" fabric I have been hiding away and make them gifts they will adore for years to come. Well, I ended up doing way over the 50% goal!!! I actually completed all my projects 2wks before Christmas and started another whole plethora of alot of those still are not yet finished but I was really proud of the motivation I had to make things for my girls. I've been getting brave with zippers and buttons, trying to take projects a little more slowly to notice every line and stitch. To take time to iron between each stitch as well, for some reason I cannot stand that step in the project process, blek.
So here are the bean bags I made. I thought they turned out pretty awesome. I actually think Andy and I use them more, or maybe the students and interns do. I must say though these 2 additions to the family have been the perfect solution for cramming 15+ people into our living room.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Flannel Graph Jesus (forgot to post)

We have been blessed with many church families who support us in so many unique ways. The Ladies of Columbus Bible, MI sent our little Sunday school kids some felt Bible characters and a board. I was able to use the Nativity scene for Novie and Eden last night as Andy read the Christmas story. We read through the story, placed the characters at the appropriate time, prayed, and shared about what Jesus had done for us this past year. After we had finished the girls and I were talking about all the details surrounding the birth of Christ. We've recently had 2 staff lady friends have babies in the past 2 months. We talked about how baby Jesus was tiny just like Jacob and Bence but that Mary and Joseph did not have cute clothes to wrap him in but had to dress him in little strips of cloth and put him in a feeding trough, "like Pocahontas' water?" kinda but bigger and yuckier from cows and donkeys. We talked about how there was no room for Baby Jesus in any body's house, how Mary did not have a nice hospital or kind nurse to help her, ( or that magic red button when pressed takes all the pain away.)

We talked about how the Wise Men traveled years to find baby Jesus and when they found him he was Eden's size and they brought him expensive, precious gifts. "What did they bring Jesus?" "Golds!" what else? "Cents!" That's right Frankincense, and what else? "Kitties", that was from Eden :). and Myrrh. "What's a myrrh mommy?...hmmm, so we googled it :) I wonder how accurate this definition is?

Novie decided she wanted Santa to bring her some myrrh. Good thing she forgot about it this morning :) As my two girls asked questions surrounding the birth of Christ it brought tears to my eyes...I cannot imagine what Mary went through..after delivering children how could you possibly imagine doing it in the conditions she did it in....not only that but he is the Saviour of the world. The most humble birth recorded in history is the man who sacrificed himself for us. There were no doctors, nurses, monitors to check heart rates and contractions, and NOTHING was sterile at all. Think of the bugs, rotting hay, animal poopy the list of germs is endless.
This humble birth was by my Saviour.
He would be most loved, passionately hated, tortured, worshipped, wrongly accused, and murdered.
He would heal, raise the dead, control weather and Rise again!
How exciting to know He is also returning soon for us, His chosen children.
I cannot imagine that night in the stable that our Saviour was birthed,
Silent Night, I doubt it, Holy Night, definitely.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beauty and the..what?

Today, as a family we all squeezed together on the floor and watched "Beauty and the Puppy." That's right, one of our favorite movies.
Novalie woke up this morning wanting to know if we could finish watching the Puppy movie. Puppy movie? When were we watching a puppy movie? I thought she was remembering the dream she just woke up from. After a few exasperated moments of confusing explanations..such as, "You know mommy the puppy that wears clothes then gets really angry at the girl." "The puppy lives in a castle, with talking things." Wow the more I listened the more I was thinking..we may be on the brink of some major child's story phenomenon get a pen and paper we'll make the big time for sure!
Nope, we finally figured it out when she started to sing the song. "Tale as old as time...dancing all the time." Well, not the right words but we instantly knew what we were going to watch.
Beauty's Enchanted Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Obsession with being Productive a pursuit of Peace

I realized something today as I was TRYING to sit calm and quiet to finish my Quiet Time. I CRAVE being productive. Lately I have been struggling..not exactly sure if I can pinpoint it exactly but I cannot relax in my own home unless every last possible object is in its exact spot. Except every day I struggle in vain to complete my outrageous goal in vain because it has never happened once. No matter how hard I push myself to do laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, sewing, scrubbing blah blah the list is endless...I cannot complete my goal. Yes, my expectations are hard for myself but I sometimes feel I must remain productive or I will go mental but the pressure of perfection is blowing my brain out. I think I enjoy crossing items off my to-do list too much. I just want to chill and relax in my own home. I do not have a place of my own, and the place I share I just want to be clean, nice, relaxing and to smell good. No stickiness! is this too much to ask for ? Santa I want a spotless house for Christmas :)
But as I push myself to the brink of exhaustion every day..I realize that I must find peace in the Saviour! I also crave this, why is sooo hard for me to sit still and chill out. I realize I cannot help others effectively if I have depleted all the essentials from my own life. Writing on my blog has helped me to sit still, gather my thoughts, control my emotions, chill out and make some sense of this life I'm living. It's helping me tap into myself. It reminds me..Tabitha, you are not JUST Novie and Eden's Mommy, you are Tabitha and when I remind myself of this it helps me be a better mommy..does that make sense :) I am more than a mommy and when I remember that I am a better mother.
I'm tired of being tired. I feel sometimes that if I am not over-extended, involved in everything, super-busy and under-rested I must be lazy. A friend said once, " Our society worships productivity" how true. I can hear the masses chanting, Never say "no" and do more, Never say "no" and do more.
My goal this Christmas to "chill" or better yet, to allow Peace to reign and rule in my life.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives but what I give..."

Ginger House

I LOVE making a Ginger house every year. This year we did not do the ginger house it did us. We tried and tried..but our efforts were quite in vain. At least some memories were made, even though they were kinda disappointing and frustrating :) Good thing we can already laugh about it! It broke in numerous pieces the roof was by far extremely too top heavy, and it was attacked hours later by a hungry kitty cat. But we did it and had a good time, until next year, I think I need a more concrete plan for the 3 tiered castle I want to make next year... ha-ha yeah right!
The picture strategically hide the broken, cracked and missing walls :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Whiny Face

We have a saying in our house, "don't have a whiny-face". It's hard to whine when you are smiling. This whole whiny-like speech seems to have taken over my two sweet little girls lately. Let me share with you how our morning begins with BOTH of them the last couple of weeks... "MOMMY! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MILK" half yelling, half whining!
Now...every Sunday after church we have tea, and coffee set out for the adults to visit and chat with each other. Sometime this fall, (be thankful, if it was you, that I don't know who you are!) someone gave my little darlings chocolate milk. Now this was a first for them a sweet addictive creamy, substance that produces an euphoria and sugar rush for all children under the age of 5, they downed those heavy mugs of dark liquid and instantly became these wild animals wanting more! At first I didn't mind giving them some (man, I should have said no that first day!) they would get one microscopic scoopful in their milk barely even noticeable, now it's become their morning coffee, the day does not happen unless this daily intake of chocolate milk is consumed. But lately when we say no, or "start first with a glass of water" the "Whiny-face Beast" shows its ugly self. What has overcome my sweet babies and replaced them with "whiny-faces?!"
It's sad and crazy when the sin nature pokes its ugly face out in children so tiny, how scary that I see it over something silly as getting that scoop of chocolate powder in their milk. So what to do now?.... It's encouraging to know as a believer we have not been left alone in the fish bowl to bump into the glass on our own. The Lord has left us with instructions for every situation in our lives. Even Whiny. Whiny is not obeying the first time and manipulation. "If I whine enough, I will get it" b/c we all know mommy gets tired sometime and inconsistent.
In the Bible the Children of Israel were notorious for whiny. They were repeatedly saved by the Lord, provided for and rescued yet they complained about not having meat. Numbers 11 says the Lord provided meat not just for a day or week but for a whole month! "You will eat it for a whole month until you are sick and gag on it." Seems kinda harsh for whiny doesn't it. Goes to show how important is it NOT to let the whiny persist. So practically what am I going to do with my 2 "Chocolate addicted whiny faces" First we have decided to ignore the "Whiny speech" we have declared in our home we do not understand "Whinese" (thanks for sharing that story Lisa in your book) you must speak English (or Hungarian) but in a tone that would make the Lord smile, Novie recently reprimanded her sister, "Baby Jesus does not like you saying it that way" Baby Jesus has been her go-to guy since we pulled him out of the Christmas box. Every day she wants to hear more about Baby Jesus. I LOVE it. Anyways, He is fastly becoming important to her and it makes me tear up, so Baby Jesus has been the "judge" of our daily speech. Mainly, this whining issue. So First we do not understand "Whinese". Secondly, we give them a second chance to ask the sweet, God-honoring pleasing way. "May I please have..." If we respond "no" and the attitude or whiny continues that leads to firmer discipline for disrespect and an automatic "no" for future requests until the whiny, disrespect are tamed and sweet. Seems like tough love. I hope so. The Whiny-Face Beast must be killed, and quickly before it rules our home. Pray for us as we "tame the whiny beast." That goes for my whiny attitude too...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Colors of the Rainbow, Sickies vs. The Plague

Yesterday Novie woke up with a loud "Mommy! I need to blow my nose!!" Very Loudly and too early. We handed the tissue off and were greeted with a squishy filled Kleenex appropriate for a doctor and mommy's visions only. So we made a doctor's visit and left with 4 different medicines. What?! seems a bit over board, I can only pray and trust the doc as I watch my husband mix the medicines himself. I guess he woke up and instantly had a Pharmaceutical Medicinal Degree? who knew?... so the rest of the day was spent with 2 hyper little girls who had NO signs of being sick.."so why the rush to the doctor over one squishy tissue?"
Last year we had The Plague. No not Bubonic but I deemed the name sufficient for what we went through last Holiday Season. Andy woke up Thanksgiving day about ready to fall over..but because he is the sweet wonderful husband he is he pressed on for the pure chaos the day would bring. 20 of us gathered at a friend's house to Give Thanks all the while Andy was begging to Get Rest. That day began The Plague's vicious cycle. We made weekly doctor's visit for both girls and Andy. We went through pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchialitus, also Novie had a slight case of Chicken Pox, about 3 lice scares (still praise the Lord for his mercy in that department) believe it or not I would RATHER any day have The Plague, than Creepy Crawlies, there were numerous colds. countless coughs, sniffles, flues, pukes, and no sleep nights.. for 5 straight weeks. Andy lost over 30lbs on his pneumonia diet, while I gained eating bread and cereal in between the cleaning and laundry sickness seems to bring. soooo, all this to say...we are paying the doctor a visit for every colored Kleenex we see in the next 3 months. Happy Winter and Happy "Sickies" Season. May the Lord bless us and you with perfect health this season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2 Years

Happy 2 years blogging for me! Kinda funny but I thought I should celebrate by blogging! :) I started blogging to remember all the funny, cute things my kids do, which means I should be typing 1/2 of my day away, but Blogging I think, has just recently in the last couple months been an outlet for me. I don't have a "bosom buddy" (as Anne of Green Gables would say) here in Hungary. Someone you gets me, who I have a history with, someone who adores all my girls antedotes and listening to all my heartaches, struggles, and victories. I have good friends who are becoming great friends..but dear fabulous friendships take time and I have something to say everyday! :) So instead of calling my "bosom buddy" which I would do if I was back in the States with her, (I don't think she would want me calling at 3am) my blog page is going to be my daily "phone call" that I miss so much.
Moms, you get this..some days we ACHE to hear the voice of someone over the age of 4 :) some times I go days without hearing the voice of another mom or woman. Crazy! so anyways, I think my blog page or whatever it's called will change character in the next 2 years to come and hopefully be updated on a more daily basis.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not always the sharpest tool in the shed

Sometimes I think I have a loose screw it the lack of sleep, lack of quiet, missing brain cells or plain old not having the energy to think straight. I tried to get an adorable picture of the girls in their new jammies from Grammy. But (this is the not smart part) I left a Christmas movie on that features dancing chipmunks. Yes, Mommy vs. the Dancing Chipmunks...did I actually think I would win? HAHA, BAHAHAHA, yeah right. Here was the results of me trying in vain to get a perfect picture.
Merry Christmas from The Mater's.

Personal Space

Mom's, you know there are those certain times each year (or should I say month) where we need, crave and demand some personal space. Now we all know as a mom there is NO SUCH THING as personal space. In most societies, actually I think all of them, there are social boundaries. But for some reason these boundaries do not apply to small children. Small children touch your face when you talk to them, rub your arms, open the occupied bathroom door wide, wiggle their way onto your lap while you type, sew or read, they choose to cling onto you as you pull those hot dishes out of the oven or are balancing a stack of plates from the dishwasher, they choose to jump on your lap while you fold laundry, which made those last 20min. pointless.

But I don't mind, I know it won't always be this way and I would not have it any other way.

Eden is my little Touch, I think it's her "love language" as the Chapman's would say. Eden cannot eat, play, walk, talk, cuddle, snuggle, cry, rest, etc unless she is touching someone or something really, really close. All those comments above apply to my little Eden. When I am out of her site she is very curious to see what I am up to and she must get really close to satisfy that curiosity. I posted earlier about Eden and her "pre-dawn" visits to our room.

A few nights back Eden had a rough night sleeping..not sure if it was a sugar rush from a party earlier that evening or the cough that would not allow her little body to rest. But after several trips to reassure and check on her I finally squished into bed with her. I got comfy then wrapped my arms around her little body and drew her close. I invaded her space. Eden is my "wild child" running around, getting into things, always on a roadrunner go. Many times I try to slow her down with hugs and kisses but they only last second when I want them.
Within seconds of squishing next to her she was fast asleep. I LOVED that moment, I watched her sleep, smelled her hair, outlined her adorable face and was happy and as I was there with her I started thinking, everyday she "invades" my personal space, not in a bad way but often, so maybe she invades my personal space to steal moments with me like I did with her that night. I went back to my own bed checked her one last time and smiled, I think Eden steals moments with me just to have me hold her close like I want to do with her. I think "invading" personal spaces can be a good thing. I'm going to look for more chances to steal moments with my girls and when they "invade" my personal space I will pause, smile and think... these moments may be trying but they will fade and one day, believe it or not moms I think we will miss it...alot.

Some of her favorite Things

So I have been recording, literally writing down this daily for your reading pleasure.
Every morning Eden has a ritual it goes something like this:

First, She rises before the sun, I think she likes to go to sleep when its light out and wake up when its dark, or maybe she has a standing daily competition with the sun to be up first. Not sure, and not a fan. At least 99% of the time she dozes back off and we take her back to her bed a.k.a. the "tent" (it's the bed on the bottom of the bunk surrounded by blankets) :)
Secondly, for some reason she has a GREAT attachment to about 8 different random objects each day. The only 2 objects that have made the cut repeatedly are her paci and her blanket, now the blanket is not a cute small one but the big one made for a twin bed, and well, the Paci..that is whole different post for a different day. Can I just say...gross.

So here are some of the objects that made it into our bed this week at the crack of dawn:
- stuffed panda, dog, penguin,
-2 different Barbies
- fake food
- 7 books, of ALL sizes
- Little People Tractor
- long sleeve shirt (was she really going through her drawers at 5 in the morning!)
- Little People animals
- A Lego house..yes, the whole project got thrown onto me
- A Burger King crown
- 1 My Little Pony
- different plush Nativity characters
- coloring book from the Post Office
-pink ribbon
-empty sippy cups
and last but not least 3 pillows and a stroller, YES, a baby doll stroller!

Anyone else have a child with strange pre-dawn hoarding tendencies?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Those moments

I find myself blogging more and more as a way to finalize moments, vent, get things off my chest, and remember. Most days when I blog tears hit the keyboard and I spend half the time wiping my eyes so I can see the screen clearly. There are so many moments in life I want to remember and will also want recorded for Novie and Eden.
This is one of my favorite memories, mostly because I was laughing so hard I cried! My Grandfather trying to hold a 1, 2 and 3 year all together in his lap at one time. His 3 Great Grand daughters.. I think my cousins and I put him up to this "Kodak Moment". This picture was taken when I was pregnant with Eden Christmas 2007. Since then we have added 3 more grandkids to fit on his lap.

Here we are all together Christmas 2007
This morning my Grandfather passed away, Grandpa Taitt I guess it's only been a few hours... He has been brave these last 2 years battling cancer choosing not to go through chemo and other treatments but fight with sure will and courage. He was really young... too young. This past May he turned 71 years old. The doctor's predicted he would pass away before last Christmas, I praise the Lord for giving him and us another year.

Times like this is when it really feels like there is an ocean between my family and I. Sometimes, very briefly, I forget how far away I am because of the technology we have through e-mail, phone, Skype and internet. But today I'm feeling the miles, every single one. I want to be home, to hug my Mom, Dad, sister, brother, and all my family.

Our last time together at Sarah's Wedding Reception Oct. 2009.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Banner

Felt makes the cutest things! A few strips of ribbon, and cute little felt designs added such a warm Christmas feel to our living room.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This is one Proud Momma!

Last night we had our Annual Christmas Banquet here at WOL Hungary. We invite local vendors, the town Mayor, Doctor etc. The "Prestige" of our village. The Banquet was wonderful, the food delicious and the singing beautiful.

Here's why I am a proud Momma :) I received 1 Skye message and 2 e-mails from individuals telling us, "that i greatly appreciated your parenting tonight", "Thank-you for keeping your kids seated", "It was good to see some staff kids behaving".

Yes, I teared up!! Andy and I are the youngest parents here on staff (until March) :) and I feel like I am forever receiving comments about my "lack of experience", for those of you who REALLY know me, that is a good way to get the steam rollin!!

Well, today I am going to brag on my two beautiful girls!!! When I read those e-mails this morning all I could do was find Novie and Eden and shower them with hugs and kisses and try to keep the tears in check. They are 2 and 4 sitting still for 10min. is hard much less 2.5 hours! A BIG thing we are working on, and it has given our home a "boot camp" feel to it, is having our girls obey the 1st time we tell them NO hesitation, NO excuses, and NO attitudes. I'm not sure about the girls but being consistent in this area is plan ol wearing me out! But the girls are doing great and now if they disobey they can tell us exactly what their punishment will be. Last night they did well and someone noticed. "Pride goeth before a fall!" OK, this is definitely rolling around in my mind right now, but may I continue on without being judged?... my girls did well and someone noticed! not only did they notice but they told me! PEOPLE, this is the ULTIMATE form of encouragement for us young mom's out there. If ours kids do something well, used their manners, behaved, were a blessing to you, please, please PLEASE tell us!! It helps us know those long hours of discipline, hair-pulling moments and tears were soooo worth it!
Being a parent is HARD work and you will NOT ever understand until the Lord blesses you will children of your own. It's joy, tears, heartache, frustration, sleep apnea, headaches and laughter all rolled into the best thing that has ever happened to you!!!

Novalie and Eden, I have these e-mails forever ingrained into my brain and the encouragement they brought, ingrained into my heart. You two are a blessing to this exhausted mommy :) You are a joy to me daily. You make the most mundane activities worth it and the silliest things my favorite memories. I praise the Lord for blessing me with the privilege of being apart of your lives! Thank you for obeying "the first time" at the banquet last night...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jesse Tree

I remember as a kid (mostly because of photos) of my sister and I in matching dresses made by Mom and Grandma, hanging up red and green construction paper ornaments on the wall. Each day we had a different shape that told a story relating to Christ and Christmas (oh and my baby brother, who is now 21 wearing an elf outfit bahahaha). I starting searching and searching..what did my mom do. I knew it was an unique way of celebrating Advent everyday. To celebrate Christ, to remember WHY we celebrate Christmas and of course a simple way to make a beautiful memory. searching happened upon The Jesse Tree. The funny thing is we've done this the past several years! Just didn't know it actually had a name! Funny...

Many people keep asking me, "What exactly is a Jesse Tree?"

In Isaiah 11:1 it says, "Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from its roots will bear fruit."

The Jesse tree is an unique Advent calendar, each day of Advent a home made ornament is added to a tree to represent the prophecy foretelling of Christ. It shows us Christ's geneology, It tells the story of God's plan of salvation, talks about sin, creation, some days you talk about events, other days people, or significant objects. All great teaching opportunities for young kids.

Today is Dec 3rd and we have NOT started yet! 6 days behind according to the "real" Advent calendar this year but really only 3 days behind on mine ;) My printer ran out of ink last night...sad day for me... but really I should have been making the homemade ornaments myself this whole time..why did this project get the one lazy fiber in my body this season?...sheesh. So here I am blogging and making a tree, world, tent, coat of many colors, 10 commandments stones, harp and ladder. Kinda exciting!
I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow, and we shall spend the morning as a family around the table catching up on our Jesse Tree!

We always hear, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season", or "don't forget the TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas but it's true, plain and simple, without Christ we would not have Christmas. Start each day remembering HIM, HIS sacrifice and why he came as a Baby in a manger for us.

Pictures will come soon of our own little Jesse Tree.