Friday, May 22, 2015

Delaney's First Communion - Kim's pictures

My friend Kim who lives down the street took pictures for us the morning of Delaney's First Communion. Here are my favorites:
Delaney's face!
Annie's ALMOST smiling here!
And, because I'm doing anything to avoid making my commissary list, here are a couple of pictures from seven years ago at Delaney's baptism:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

20 questions for Annie on her 6th birthday

Last year I asked Annie this set of questions on her birthday, and the intent was to ask her and her siblings the same questions year after year to see the way the answers change as they get older. But I decided I don't like those questions anymore. Too many of them have to do with food. How many questions about food do you need to ask a kid on their birthday? Food is such a tiresome subject in our household anyway. People have way too many opinions about it to begin with. So I found another set of questions that I think are a little more well rounded, and I think I'll stick with these.
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Reese. (The little girl in her class whom she invited to celebrate her birthday)

2. What is your favorite color? Purple.

3. What's your favorite TV show? Odd Squad.

4. What's your favorite outfit? Skirts.

5. What sport do you like best? Soccer. (Interesting, because I don't think there was anything she hated more this spring than soccer, but it's the only sport she knows about.)

6. What song do you love? Shake it Off.

7. What's your favorite cereal? The cookie kind. (Shrug)

8. Who is your best friend? Reese.

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? A princess.

10. What is your favorite book? Polar Bears.

11. What are you really good at? Math and reading.

12. Where do you wish you could go on vacation? The beach.

13. What is your best memory? Going to the children's museum. (She means the one in Savannah that is open air. She always gets really squirrely in other children's museums which are dark and enclosed.)
14. What would you buy if you had $1000? A trampoline. (She really had no idea and Delaney whispered this to her. I asked Delaney at this point to kindly stop feeding her sister answers in the birthday interview!)

15. What vegetable do you hate the most? Tomatoes. (I might nix this question from the list for next time, or reword it. We don't need to encourage our kids to hate vegetables, they do a good enough job of that on their own!)

16. If you could have a wish, what would it be? As many dollars as I wish!

17. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mint chocolate chip.

18. Who is your biggest hero? Daddy.

19. What do you like to do with your friends? Play outside.

20. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday? Go to the beach a thousand times. (A girl after my own heart!)

Friday, May 15, 2015

A very special weekend

A weekend like last weekend definitely deserves a blog post, but I have been as sluggish as I can possibly be these last few weeks. Mentally and physically. I had completely forgotten how such a tiny human is capable of sapping all the energy out of my entire body. I have no motivation to do anything. I nap for an hour every afternoon and am in bed by 9:30 most nights. I am slogging through the days. But I know it will get better in a couple more weeks and then I'll have all the energy to do all the things I want to do. Right?

Tim's parents and sister Karen come from Massachusetts and stayed with us from Thursday until Monday. We packed a lot of celebrating into that small amount of time. On Saturday we had an early birthday for Annie because we had to take advantage of visiting family for that. Sunday was Delaney's First Communion and Mother's Day.

On Thursday we got the girls from school, and when it was done raining we took a walk around the neighborhood and ate breakfast for dinner. Before walking back, Tim Sr had us stop and take this picture with the timer.

On Friday morning, they all walked to the morning colors ceremony in front of the General's building, while I slept. I like how Timmy is standing the same way as his dad. Delaney is still wearing school clothes even though I let them have the day off.
We went out for a little bit of shopping and dinner downtown at a pizza and pasta place on the waterfront. Karen and I ordered manicotti that turned out not to be (a little disappointing), and we enjoyed the occasional bird swooping down over our heads. Afterward we had ice cream and that was perfect. You can never go wrong with ice cream!
On Saturday we had Annie's little 6th birthday celebration. She invited a little friend from school, and was actually nice to her when she got here. We didn't know what to expect. Annie is unpredictable, and she has never before wanted to invite a friend from school. So we watched in amazement as they ran around playing together, like 'Is this really happening?'

We sang 'Happy Birthday', she opened presents, and we had cake. Out in the garage there was another present waiting -- and bonus for Delaney, there was an early, early birthday present in there for her too. Grandma had gotten each of them a new bike. Lucky girls!
Sunday was Delaney's big day -- her First Communion. It was an early morning, and a little bit hectic. By 8 a.m. we were all dressed and waiting outside for my friend Kim down the street to take pictures of Delaney and us. I might post maybe one or two pictures that Tim Sr took with his camera during that session, and then wait to share all the rest until I get the ones Kim took. It was a bit of a tough lighting situation, with the morning sun shining directly at us.
Delaney made this banner almost completely by herself, with only some help from me in cutting things out of felt. I think hers was definitely the most colorful and most original.
Before Mass started, Tim went up to the first pew where she was sitting, and gave her a hug. Those two have a special bond, and it really warms my heart to see it.
If I had it to do over again, I'd put that veil a couple inches further back on her head. Having it so close to the front of her head made it difficult to get her face in any of the pictures. When it's Annie's turn I'll remember that.
When I ordered the cake at the commissary, I specifically asked (at Delaney's request) for them to freehand a dove on it somewhere. I was expecting the silhouette of a dove, which is usually how I see it in a religious context. To my surprise, it had a face! It's such a happy-looking dove, flying across the cake like, "Hi guys!" I think Delaney approved.
Tim's cousin Sindi made these and sent them. So thoughtful!
We had our neighbors over too (Delaney's BFF Norah and her family), and had a nice afternoon of burgers and hot dogs, cake and ice cream. Then we had a quiet night before everyone left the next day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This morning

This morning it looked as if we'd be leaving for school on a bad note. It happens all too often around here in the time between when breakfast is over and our car backs out of the garage. Someone gets mad at someone else, a yelling match ensues, maybe it gets physical, I attempt to referee, blah, blah. Eventually all is forgotten hours later, and they are best of friends again, but it really wears on me. I'm always asking them, "Why do you guys have to be this way to each other?"

Delaney and Timmy started a pretend game with her as the mommy and him as the baby. Annie started picking on both of them, just pushing their buttons. With about five minutes to go before we left, Delaney was crying because Annie had taken back every toy she'd ever given her and told her and Timmy both that she wished they were not her brother and sister.

I told everybody it was time to leave. They all went out to the garage and then Delaney came back in because she'd forgotten her backpack. I told her, "Delaney, I think the reason your sister is being this way to you guys is because she's jealous. She sees you two playing a game that she isn't a part of, and it makes her sad. And when she gets sad she gets mad and starts being mean. I'm not excusing her behavior, just saying why she does it."

I didn't expect anything to result from that conversation, but I was surprised to hear Delaney saying to Annie as I approached the car to get in, "Annie, when we get home, would you like to play the game that Timmy and I were playing, with us?" I saw Annie's eyes widen with confusion at the unexpected peace offering, and then she said, "Yes." To see and hear this was huge for me. I wanted to praise Delaney for the kindness she had shown toward her sister who had been so mean to her, but I didn't want to ruin the moment. It was such a bright, grace-filled spot in the morning that I knew I would have to write it down. This is possible! It really happened. It was a shot of hope and joy into my weary heart.