Friday, January 30, 2015

Winnie the Pooh

"As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen."  A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

My wrinkled and worried little troll, moments after we met, 1-13-14.

One year later, 1-13-15.  
With Grandbobby, his birthday buddy.

After tasting the frosting, boy's excited about cake.  Proud mommy moment.  (big sister's photobombing snoot looks pretty proud, too.)

Just before Humpty Dumpty's great fall...
Get to know him-
  • was born on Grandpa K's birthday, 55 years later.
  • has a tall head (full of smarts).
  • is the sweetest baby ever.  Oh but changing his diaper.. that's like the steer wrestling competition at the county fair.
  • his favorite things are blankie, thumb, and smiling.
  • he's not even close to walking.
  • has the appetite of a high school athlete.
  • has 10 teeth, arranged much like Oliver's and Marg's.
  • sometimes called Winnie the Pooh, or Winnie the Poopy Berry by Marg (affectionately, obviously). 

Monday, January 26, 2015

And the word of the year is...


Have you seen the quote going around the www, "Wherever you are, be all there"?  The late Jim Elliot coined the phrase, but with more vigor:

Wherever you are, be all there!  Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.

The conviction-

Presence of mind.  To hear my kids when they're saying my name.  Eagerly listen to the pastor when he's preaching.  Focus on Oliver's learning while I'm teaching him.  Stop and listen to my girls' stories about their days and their imaginings for tomorrow when I tuck them into bed (by bedtime I'm usually feeling the doneness of my parenting for the day).  To throw off distractions and just be where I am, when I am.

          *don't anyone tell Oliver about those sentence fragments.  I'd be in big trouble.

What I don't want to be content with is my relationship with Jesus, my ego, my laziness.  I want to press on in my relationships, my teaching, my learning, my service.  I don't want to settle for the way things are, but always try to improve.  I want to be a life-long learner- carpe diem every darn day,  while embracing my kids' childhood, my husband's cabinet-related ramblings, the opportunity to slow down and catch up with a friend.  

I guess what I'm saying is, I want to "Make the most of every opportunity..." Ephesians 5:16


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Christmas time was here...

...magic filled the air.

My photo journalism skills are pretty raw.  Organic, if you will.  Grainy like a loaf of bread from Whole Foods.

Oliver has commandeered my camera, taking pictures of calendars, Legos, close-ups of Winnie, his own missing teeth.  Document-worthy subject matter.  Between that fact and my natural spontaneity, I turn to my iPhone 4, and receive a nomination for worst picture of the year. 

Being hardly a queen of the kitchen (though Andrew is King of the Kitchen.  Hmmm..I guess he married a peasant), my time spent preparing meals/treats is usually flustered, so including the kids in Christmas baking is an act of love.  Cut-outs went pretty good this year though.  The cookies went good.  With milk, coffee, morning snack, afternoon tea.
Celebrating on Christmas Eve at Nana and Papa's.

Here's where it gets sad.  My house has never been as pretty at Christmas as it was this year...and this is all I have to show for it.  Next year you're all invited over and we'll skip the pictures.  Clearly not the best quality (or not so clearly, to be more technical).

The prettiest tree in the history of our little family.  (Kindly ignore the finger coverage in the upper left corner...)

These two.  Simpatico.

I hope your Christmas was filled with joy and wonder at the birth of Christ.  I regret that our Advent season felt slightly rushed and out of focus.  I had more time to reflect on Jesus' birth post-holiday than before/during.  Although we probably had things about right if you compared our activity/frame of mind to that of the city of Bethlehem during the census- hurried, frustrated, full, distracted- there wasn't a lot of stillness.  We've resolved to make Christmas 2015 more peaceful and Christ-filled.  Along with the rest of this new year.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Christmas gifted

Oh my.  The hustle of our 2014 Christmas rivals none.  It. Was. Nuts.

As you may recall, my parents had a devastating house fire in April.  The rebuilding process has been extensive, expensive, extraordinary.

Let me set the stage for the Christmas drama.  Remember Catilyn Smith?  She is lovely.  Before Christmas she gave the opportunity to apply for a private concert in the home of a lucky fan.  I applied for my lucky parents at their new casa, and won the gig!  Approx. 4 hours before the 40+ guests and 3 musicians showed up for the social event of the season, Andrew was installing cabinetry, dad was wiring, my uncle was cleaning, mom was freaking out, and my sister and I were looking at each other wondering what to do.  I wish I had a picture.  I can usually count on my mother for pictures of any interesting family happenings, but she was nearly paralyzed with fear/disbelief that any good could come of this chaos.  Alas! we cleaned it up, set out the food, lit the candles, and had the time of our lives!
#christmaswithcait #itsadate
Cait & co. sang some of her originals (one of which she just sold to Meghan Trainor...apparently it's not ALL about that bass), and delighted us with the most amazing arrangements of Christmas classics.  Of all time.  Seriously.  I hope there's a Christmas With Cait album, I will buy one for everyone.
My dad gave a lovely (and funny) speech about how grateful he is for the help and support of so many people.  Their house is a creative collaboration that came out of the fire 1000x more amazing than it was before (post demo and reconstruction, that wasn't a refining fire, despite how that last sentence sounded.)  House pictures coming...sometime.
Sure makes me want to get my banjo tuned up.
My gorgeous sister and our talented to the max entertainers.
So much beauty, so much talent, so much merry.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Shoot, photo shoot

Update concerning the post about Margot: the very day I roasted her, she became the first of my children to call a sibling a 'butt'.  "Geogie (no R) is a butt."  I disagree.  

My dear mother got a new camera, and my family had the honor of helping her get to know its ins and outs during a Christmas tree hunt.  The land around us still belongs to the man we bought our farm from, and every year he so graciously lets us cut an evergreen from his collection 'as long as we don't tell anyone.'  So now you can't tell anyone, either.

Found it!
First year chopper.

This series of Georgianna- ears folded down under mom's large hat (hey, it went with the color scheme), eyes closed with conviction over the spirit-led song she's making up and belting out, inspired by the wonderment of it all- makes me want to freeze her at age 4 forever.

Still singing...
"Look at that, a giant cat..."
"Oh dear Creampuff, I love ya."
This makes me think of Chevy Chase and his epic tree.
(this makes me think of Chevy too...)
Every year we pass this old station wagon on our way out to the tree plot.  Inside it's filled with weeds and moss and glass and springs and rust and tetanus.  But what are we if not brave?  For the sake of our Christmas card, we gathered our courage and prayed that our winter gear would transform into Kevlar for just as long as it took to get a spectacular picture (but we had limited time, so this is as good as it got).

Merry Christmas from the Toftnesses, a month late but keeping the spirit alive!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Three months ago Margot...

Oo, this Margot Meg.  She turned 3 in October.  Let's honor her with a flood of pictures, eh?

Marg's 'Sweet Summer Sun, why'd you have to go and leave us?' face.  Not sure what G's expression means...
Hangin' with Great Grandma K. on her 87th birthday.
Margot loves 'Marian Poppins' (she's watching it as I type this, as a matter of fact), so naturally we did a-- shall we say 'rustic'-- Marian Poppins themed birthday party.  I quickly scribbled on this chalkboard, totally messing up supercalifragelisticexpialidocious (then Marg scribbled some more), but you get the idea.
Mary's hat reincarnated as a cake.
Girl wore her vintage dress from Nana in an effort to look like Jane Banks.
I'll spare you *most of* the droning of a mother in love with her child, and just give you a few Margot-isms to mull over.  
  • despite her independence with dressing, undressing, teeth brushing, hair brushing, hair washing, etc., she's usually playing quite near me instead of with the older two.
  • she has crooked pinkies like her mama, Great Grandpa K., and a few other relatives. 
  • girl likes things in pairs, and can't handle if things aren't in their proper place.  She's not a neat-freak (I wish), but if one marker is missing from the box she will go on an exhaustive search of the tri-county area in order to restore the item to its proper place alongside its compadres.
  • she has drawn on more non-paper surfaces than the older two combined.
  • she is miniature in stature- closer to the size of a two year old than her three year peer group.  
  • both her first and middle name mean 'pearl'.
  • today she's been calling me 'mama' instead of just mom.
That's my girl.