Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Break

Horray for Spring Break! We all have very much been looking forward to it! It has been a trying week, with a very difficult, although inspiring funeral on Thursday. Madeline had been asked to sing her friend's favorite Primary song, "Give Said the Little Stream". Madeline accepted, but the night before the funeral she came into our room just sobbing and we wondered if she'd be able to do it. She'd never been to a funeral and she said her first funeral would have been alot easier if it was for an elderly great uncle, twice removed! Madeline was really holding back the tears during the service and was doing these little hiccups. Again, I worried that there would be no way she could sing. When the time came though, she walked up to the stand looking very composed and got through the whole song. She said she just tried not to look at anyone because she could hear crying and knew if she looked at a crying person, she'd start sobbing herself.

Once again, I have to say that our friends are simply an amazing family and their strength and faith through all of this has been an inspiration to so many. I was over at Children's Hospital just a couple of days after this sweet girl had passed away and was asked by my friend to give the nurses a picture of their daughter and also let them know the date and time of the funeral. I was so impressed (but not surprised) at the effect this family had had on the staff there at the hospital. They truly loved them and were mourning with them. Two of the nurses made the long drive from Seattle to be here at the funeral. One of the nurses said, "The babies we've lost needed a babysitter."

Early Friday morning Lyle took Adam and Madeline to D.C. where he and his sister, Laurel planned to run the D.C. marathon. Poor Lyle missed his connecting flight and didn't get into DC until 11 PM, with an early-morning start time for the marathon the next day. I was thrilled to get the phone call from Madeline the next morning that Lyle had just crossed the finish line with a time of 3:25! He was hoping to be under 3 and a half hours and I'm thrilled for him that he met his goal. Laurel also did spectacularly well, finishing her very first marathon in 3:58! They are amazing!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Abby has been keeping us on a very busy schedule. She expects fun vacation-time activites pretty much around the clock! Here the girls are making a serious mess during craft time! Easter crafts were 75% off at the store, so Abby picked out the deluxe Easter cottage kit!

Maya loves anything that involves glue. She made some very gluey, sparkly Easter eggs.

Abby has been planning a trip to the zoo for a very long time. Obviously the girls were excited as we set off. Unfortunately, just before the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, it started to hail. It was getting close to lunchtime, so we stopped in at Panera Bread to get a bite to eat.

The girls ordered hot chocolates and were VERY pleased when these massive cups were brought to the table.

That should take the chill out of your bones, Abby!

Maya's cup is a big as her head!

Finally we made it to the zoo. Thankfully the weather did improve and we had a sunny day. The tiger was very active and went right up to the glass to get a look at Abby. We heard him roar several times. Even though glass was separating us from him, it gave us chills!

"Wait up, peacock! We just want to say hi!"
The peacock was smart to high-tail it (or low-tail it evidently) away from these two!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We Have Each Other

I love that Abby can read now and that Maya is starting to let other people read her bedtime stories! Abby is such a good big sister. I'm so glad that these two have each other.

Speaking of us "having each other", Maya's been very adamant lately about who is in HER family. I think it all started after an incident at Kinkos a couple of weeks ago. I was making some copies and Maya was chatting with a little girl who looked to be about 4 years old. The girl asked Maya where her mommy was. Maya pointed to me and said, "Mommy right dare." The girl got a very serious look on her face and shook her head and said, "No. That's not your mommy. I can tell that's not your mommy." This little girl's dad looked very embarrased and reminded his daughter that her hair is blond and her mom's hair is brown. The little girl was very determined to get her point across. "No. I still look like Mommy. That is NOT that little girl's mommy!" I really felt for the dad who looked like he wanted to clamp his hand over his talkative daughter's mouth!

A couple of times during the last few days Maya has pointed to me and with great conviction told complete strangers, "That MY mommy. MY mommy." I have to say, it warms my heart.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter 2008

Our Easter Sunday started in typical northwest fashion with gray skies and cold, rainy weather. Also in typical northwest fashion, the clouds have now cleared away and we've had a sunny afternoon. I thought the kids looked so cute (don't tell Adam I used that word) this morning. I was proud that both Madeline and Adam joined Lyle in the church choir today, a first for Adam. Although Abby was physically present on the stand during the primary musical number, I did not see her lips move even once. Abby, on the other hand, told me that she DID sing, she was just trying to see how little she could move her mouth and still make noise.

We colored eggs last night and the little girls made a horrible mess.....

....and enjoyed every minute of it!

Madeline always shows a great deal of patience with her eggs and gets the deepest colors.

Adam is confident enough in his manliness to use pink.

The kids went downstairs at about 8:00 this morning and were very pleased with their Easter baskets. Adam got a new basketball that's touted as the ball that never needs inflating. The first thing I heard him say when he bounced it was, "hmmm, it's seems a little flat." Madeline got the game "Blokus", Abby got a set of little fairies, and Maya was thrilled with her very own backpack! She may sleep in it tonight. Here she's enjoying Lyle's delicious German pancakes while wearing the beloved backpack.

Each of the girls got an Easter dress and they all looked so pretty. Maya does not seem capable of a normal smile when the camera comes out. In this photo she was laughing because it was about my 20th attempt to get one decent picture. That little stinker!

I'm the primary nursery leader in my ward and so I get lots of Qiu time on Sundays! She loves nursery and is always very happy to arrive and eat her snack. Notice once again the backpack. And the picture face.

I was able to sneak a shot of her listening to the lesson. She really pays attention and participates. She loves learning. Oh, a kind of funny story from today. During the sacrament, a little boy a few rows back was very loudly reciting the alphabet. He was going strong through "G" when his mother quieted him. Maya didn't even miss a beat and when he stopped she yelled out, "H, I, J...."

Back home I tried one last time to get a normal smile out of her. This was the result. I give up.
Happy Easter to all. I've really felt the spirit of the day today and the joy of the resurrection.

*Just a couple of hours after I finished this post, we got a phone call that dear friends of ours from church had just lost their precious 13 year-old daughter. She had been in the hospital in Seattle for the past month fighting MRSA pneumonia. She was an amazingly talented young lady--state champion gymnast, dancer, honor student, and just a wonderful person. Our hearts are aching for this sweet family tonight