Friday, March 23, 2012

Some things to make you smile

Here's a little look through our day today. :o) 
This is happy Hopey. A full tummy after breakfast set her to singing. 
I recorded her twice because I realized I'd missed the first word of the song on the first video. :o) This is Hope's most-sung song, with Amazing Grace being a close second. We now hear Joy singing the first few notes of "All Night, All Day" too, which makes us smile. 
I was sewing, and heard giggles at my feet. Looking down, what should I find but Hopey, bouncing lightly on top of Joy, and Joy-Belle giggling her heart out. 
I had sent Hope downstairs to get Josh for supper, and this is one of Joy's versions of calling Daddy for supper. I think she likes the echo of her voice she hears in the back porch. :o) 
Then, I paged him on the phone so Joy could "talk to him" that way. :o)

After supper was over, Joy was "helping" Josh wash the dishes. Well, actually, she was making it a rather drawn out experience as she merrily set about emptying a good portion of the container drawer, and bringing it to him piece by piece. I didn't get it in this video, but as I was getting the camera, she had been bringing him containers and saying "Daaaaaddy, Daaaaaddy!" Too cute!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just a few pictures this time...

Guess I haven't been taking many pictures of the girls around the house lately. Oops. Part of it is, when they see me go for my camera to capture them in whatever they're doing, they all of a sudden stop what they're doing and come up to me to see the camera or capture my attention. :o) Nevertheless, here's a few shots and snippets of them at play the last week or so. 
 The prized umbrella. Ah yes, there's only one, so they must share. :o) Hope was pretending it was raining. Notice Hope's unusual outfit - bloomers and a shirt. Well, Chloe brought them new clothes she sewn for them, and Hope was so taken with the bloomers that she wanted to wear them right away. The pants Chloe had made needed to be shortened, and since I didn't have that done yet, and because I wanted to let her enjoy her new things, and because we weren't going out that day, I thought I'd let her run around in bloomers with white knit pants underneath for warmth.
 Having their evening snack on a pillow one evening while I was putting clean sheets back on the guest bed downstairs.
 Moments before this shot they were both reading books in the rocking chairs, but Joy saw me coming and tossed her book on the floor and started her slide off the rocking chair!
I was a little slow on the draw with this, and didn't catch her best conversation, but Joy was jabbering on and on with the Fisher Price telephone in the hallway while Josh and Hope were doing garbages one evening. I heard her say "Hi, hi, hi..." and then all this other exuberant jabber followed. You only hear a snippet of it here, but it was sure cute!
 Odd shot, I know. Joy was entertaining herself so cutely with this balloon, but when I went to shoot her doing it, she stopped! First, she would squat down behind it and then roll forward onto it till her tummy was centered on the balloon, and then she'd try to crawl around with it under her. Then, she took to squatting over it till she could sit on top of it, which looked quite funny indeed with her round tummy protruding ahead of her, and the cute little exasperated squeal she would give each time the balloon rolled out from underneath her had me chuckling, that's for sure.
 After naptime they played with their Curious George magnet book for a while, and then decided the magnet stickers really should make a scene on the dishwasher instead. Actually, they wanted to do them on the fridge, but knowing some magnets were bound to slip underneath in the process, I re-directed them to the dishwasher, as it's move-able and the fridge is not!
"WRrrribbit! Wrrribbit! Mommy- yhat's what a frog says!"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sunday and Monday

After an inspiring weekend away at the ladies retreat, we were welcomed home by the adorables. 
Sunday evening we all sat around and watched "The Hope and Joy show," completely entertained...and involved, as you'll see in the videos. 
Hope wanted us to sing along while she played. She thinks each letter on the piano (GERHARD HEINZMAN) is a different song!

 One of her self-created signs. :o) She bends her wrists up and down in a circular, rotating kind of motion, and it can mean anything from "pick me up" to "I don't want to play with that anymore."
 On the rocker, but far away in her immagination.
 Yes, Joy, we like your funny face.
 And you too, Hope. :o)
 Joy cracked us up by insisting on pulling Chloe's red laptop bag around. Joy would fit inside the thing!!!
 This is what they like to do. :o)
Playtime downstairs, Monday morning.
 Who says that piano is only meant to be played by one person at a time???
 The both know how to switch the sounds on it, and were getting at each other by constantly changing it back and forth. :o)
 After lunch, we found Hope playing the piano like this.
 I guess she must have overheard my Dad's comment about how long it was going to take for her legs to be long enough to reach the pedals. As she was playing on her little chair she said "See, this is how I use the pedals." She came up with that all on her own!
 My family left after lunch, and after naps, I took the girls downstairs for Hope's final birthday present that Dad assembled for me that morning. :o)
 They were fascinated.
 And knew just what to do with it.
 Reach farther Joy... you've almost got it!
"I need some water for cookin'."

More company comes

Mum, Dad, and Chloe came up for the weekend. 
Mum, Chloe, and I were off to a ladies retreat with our church, while Dad helped Josh look after the girls at home. But we didn't need to leave till just before supper on Friday, so that left plenty of time for play earlier in the day. 
The door to the linen closet was open, and Joy helped herself to the TP stored there. Chloe came along and quickly made a game out of it with the little squirt.
Quite pleased with the results of the crumbling tower. :o)
And then they would build it again...
ROTFL!!! Leave it to Joy to try and reach the very top of the tower. :o)
And crash it again...and again, and again!
Meanwhile, Hope had Granny occupied downstairs with a game of "bath the babies and blow the bubbles everywhere!" Thank goodness it was all pretend!
A cherished moment, especially when the child asks "Granny, can you cuddle me in the rocking chair wiff a blanket?"
Joy liked Chloe, because she was wearing all those fun bracelets!
So dramatic. :o)

Back at home

Returning from Chicago, we settled into life at home again. 
Hope and Amy had spent many hours creating with those beads that melt while we were away, and spent a few more hours at it after we were home. :o)
A perfect activity for patient, fine-fingered Hopey-Doodle.
Great-Grandma Collin really wanted to bless Joy-Belle with a rocking chair of her own, just like she did for Hope when Hope was younger. We ordered it from Sears and put it together after lunch one day.
As you can tell from the dopey expressions of both girls, naptime was in order. :o)
Tuesday evening we had been invited to tag along with Lorrie and Amy for dinner at the acreage with the Fehrs. The handy carpeted stairs and mobile Geoffrey Fehr (20 months old) motivated Joy to try and go down the stairs as well as up. Lorrie tried to teach her, probably just like she taught her own children on these stairs years ago, but alas, Joy didn't catch on.
She kept turning around and trying to slide down them forwards on her bottom, like she saw Geoffrey doing. Her legs are gonna have to grow a few inches before that's a possibility for her, though. :o)
More time in their rocking chairs. Cute how each has a hand on the others chair! I didn't pose them that way or anything.
Amy had the girls giggling with bubble hats in the bath their last night here.
Lorrie was sweet and let Hope play in the sink while she cleaned the bathroom for me. We had a tight turn around that day, as Lorrie and Amy left just after lunch, and my family rolled in after supper. Lorrie and Aimes were a great help with cleaning and changing the sheets before they left.
After dropping Lorrie and Amy off at the airport, we picked up Starbucks on the way home for Josh and us.  When I order peppermint tea, I now order a venti size, and this is why!!
The little squirt loves it, and knows to turn the cup until the lid is at the right spot.
Hope loves to share my tea too. :o) Such little girls and such a big cup...cracks me up!
They were showing Daddy their painted toe nails after supper. :o)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To the Windy City and Back

During Lorrie and Amy's recent visit to our house, Josh and I had the chance to get away for five days. We traveled to Chicago for the wedding of a dear friend, and also took a couple days to visit friends Phil and Sandy Hartzler in Goshen, IN. 
 No, that's not us inside the buggy! Phil and Sandy took us up to Shipshewana for dinner one evening, an area in which many Amish people live. This was the first of many buggy's we saw out on the highway as we were driving along.
 Dinner at the Blue Gate Restaurant. Excellent home-style food!
 A quick snap shot of the bakery/restaurant/gift shop/dinner theatre. It was raining out, so I didn't linger for other shots.
 A shot of Phil and Sandy's cute old house. You don't see window arrangements like that anymore.
 Josh and our rented wheels, ready to drive into Chicago for the wedding. We didn't know ahead of time what colour of vehicle we would be getting, but I was delighted when I saw that it was blue as I was hoping it wouldn't be white or gray! :o)
 My dear friend, Mrs. Jensen, "Grandma J," and I, before the wedding.
 A few delightful moments with the bride when she still Miss Valerie Mueller. I worked closely with her most of the years that I volunteered in Chicago, and through the many challenging situations, long hours, and rewarding projects, a beautiful friendship was developed. :o)

 Valerie was wed to  Mr. Adam Waller, whom I did have the privilege of meeting shortly before I moved away from Chicago. They started courting last September, and were wed on the 3rd of March, 2012.

 Adam led them in a spontaneous (at least it appeared that way) prayer while the soloist finished the song.
 Snapshot of me at the guestbook. I was so honoured to get to do that for the couple, and got to greet many old friends as they came through to sign the guestbook after the ceremony. Adam and Valerie had the guests sign after the ceremony, as witnesses, not just guests. Thought that was a neat idea!
 Me and my man. :o)
 Not a great shot, but it sorta shows the cake and them. :o)
 The entire bridal party (all but the flower girl were siblings of the bride and groom along with their spouses or spouses-to-be) sang a song at the reception to honour their parents. ..."We rise up and call you blessed..." - something along that line. It was well done!
 Mr. and Mrs. Adam Waller. The siblings had totally re-decorated their getaway car, giving it a new body job made out of cardboard, but it wasn't staying together too well in the Chicago breeze. However, as they were making their departure, the "real" getaway car, a limo Hummer, drove up and picked up the bride and groom and most of the bridal party, dropping the bridal party off not too far away, as you might imagine. :o)
 Sunday, after church and a visit with friends in Elgin, we popped over to the Grinvalds house. Their girls have certainly grown up since the time we were an active part of their lives, but they welcomed us just the same, and were acting themselves in a very short time after their initial quietness dissipated.
 That would be Haddie.
 Emma is quite the aspiring photographer, and she had fun snapping this and the next images with my Nikon.

 Joshua. He was 10 weeks old the last time I saw him. :o)
 And Joshua with Joshua! :o) They hit it off quite well, I think.
 Luke, the little gentleman.
 The happy brothers. :o) Fun fact - their family is currently the same as we Collin's, with three girls and then two boys. Still hoping the Lord will bless Ben and Gretel with more children... it's in His hands. :o)
  Josh and I had Monday to ourself, and after a much needed long nights rest (time change was only 2 hrs in IN and 1 hr in Chicago, but it still tired us out) we enjoyed a nice brunch together at a favourite Chicago restaurant (Egg Harbour) before heading downtown to visit the Museum of Science and Industry. We took a leisurely drive north along the shores of Lake Michigan, and then jumped onto the Chicago Skyway to cut across to the good old O'Hare International airport.
Not a great picture at all, but that was all I captured of the Chicago skyline for this time, so thought I should post it to document that I actually was there. :o)

We returned home late Monday night, to our precious family and the tidy home Lorrie and Amy had lovingly prepared for us.