Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Woohoo! Farewell to our small one bedroom apartment! Moving time!
No words needed for this photo.
Decorating Christmas cookies a few days before the move. Matthew came up with the idea to create an Advent Box with activities for Greta to do each day of the season. She opens an envelope from the box every morning, and it tells her the special activity for the day. Some of them are simple, like "sing jingle bells" or "read part of the Christmas story", and others are more involved. Making and decorating Christmas cookies was a rather involved Advent activity that we all enjoyed. Greta understandably had some trouble avoiding the temptation to eat all the treats as she put them on the cookies, but she did pretty well. Therese enjoyed her first ever sugar cookies to celebrate Advent too (plain for now!)
Lots of sugar!!!
Here is Therese up in our new home. She loves to climb up on things and practice standing...
We moved 2 weeks ago today. There are still a few boxes left to unpack, but it felt like home up here right away. We can see the sun, the sky, the clouds, the MOUNTAINS! I even have my own washing machine for clothes now! Matthew and I have an actual bedroom! We have a cute kitchen and bathroom again! It is all SO GOOD. What a blessing. The girls seem to notice the difference too.

Another Advent activity: making snowmen with Papa. (See that cute kitchen? Pink and maroon tile countertops??)
Such concentration. (Aaaah, and my pretty mirror from Matthew is back in its old spot again, just as it was when Greta was a baby. See it back there?)
Happy snowmen! Greta is really into snowmen, and sparkly things like tree decorations, and most anything Christmas-related (don't let her loose at a festively decorated store--she'll never want to leave!!). She loves to say "Look at our beautiful Christmas tree!" and she has a Raffi Christmas album that she spends a lot of time singing and dancing to happily.
MORE COOKIES! I went to the ladies Christmas party at our old church (Marineview Chapel) and got to decorate these sugar cookies. It was so much fun and they tasted amazing. My friend Julee is an amazing baker, and she made hundreds of these cookies for a bunch of ladies to enjoy decorating together. There were many cookies leftover after the party, so she hosted another one at her house a few nights later. This was fantastic, because the cookies do not last long in our family!
A fun game on Papa :-) And a new haircut for Greta!

Eating--you guessed it--another Christmas cookie!

Greta is really into the Thomas the Tank Engine stories and characters (her favourite is Gordon). We wanted to take some family photos on Sunday after church and it was quite a chore to convince her that the photos would be rather silly if she was looking at her Thomas catalog for each one!
Therese finally getting this little puzzle of Greta's to herself! Happiness!
Playing under the tree. We got our biggest tree yet this year! It smells really good.

I'm pretty sure my Grandma Marlene wore this dress as a baby...and my mom, and me, and Greta and now Therese!
Our most difficult timer-involved family photo shoot yet. And yes, I do realize it will probably be even harder next year.

This is the one we will frame.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seattle and More

Last weekend we went down to Seattle to meet up with Grandpa Paul, who was visiting from Phoenix. We also spent time with Melissa and Kristen and their girls Ida and Poppy, and met Paul's girlfriend Sam--who Greta really got along well with.
On Sunday we went to the Pike Place Market. Here are Greta and Grandpa Paul riding the carousel together! This was Greta's first carousel ride. She didn't want to go on a horse just yet, but liked the idea of sitting on a bench with Grandpa Paul.
It was so fun to see Greta take in the carousel!
I used to love to ride the carousel when I was young, especially the one in Spokane. The carousel in Spokane had a special part where you could try to catch tickets and get an extra ride or a treat! I'm looking forward to the day when I can ride next to Greta on a carousel horse!
Greta was a little nervous about touching a crab at the market, but she did it anyway.
We didn't get many pictures this weekend, because our camera battery was on its way out! Here is Paul with the girls. He hadn't met Therese until this weekend! She took to him well :-) We tried to get a photo of Paul with all four of his grand-daughters, but this was quite tricky! Maybe next time...
Therese had a really bad night over the weekend. I think she had a stomach bug or something, because she kept me up for most of the night and wouldn't even nurse for 12 hours! She NEVER doesn't want to nurse! Poor girl (and poor me, sleep deprived the night before my birthday, and keeping our hosts Natalie and Ben up too!!) The next day she was pretty exhausted, but she did alright and fortunately seemed to feel better.

We had such a nice visit with family, and enjoyed spending time with Natalie and Ben who let us stay at their house near Green Lake. After Christmas we will see Grandpa Paul and Sam again when we go down to Phoenix for a few days. We are looking forward to it! Greta often says "And Sam will tickle me again!"--she liked that. Also, Sam and Paul were faithful about calling Greta "Donald Duck" nearly the whole weekend, which I'm sure scored them MANY points :-)
The other day we got our first dusting of snow. Greta was SO EXCITED! She couldn't wait to get outside and play in it!
Shortly after this photo was taken we all got ready to go out into the cold. Greta, true to form, didn't take long before deciding to lie face down in the snow, at which point we all realized it was time to buy some proper snow clothes for the poor girl! Hopefully it will snow again soon so we can use them and she can get all in the snow without getting cold and wet.

Greta loves to sit on her window sill...but soon this will absolutely not be allowed anymore, because next week we move back to our 3rd floor 2 bedroom!! The sills are narrower up there, so not as tempting to sit on...plus we will make it clear that it is simply not an option to sit on the sill anymore. Hopefully all the extra space elsewhere will be enough to keep her away from that temptation :-)

Today during her "nap" time--which is usually just a "quiet" time--Greta decided to jump off of her window sill. I heard a loud crash and then a second later loud crying!! I raced in there and she was very, very upset. I was so worried she had a broken bone or something! But she was fine, just shaken up. She was so shaken up, in fact, that she asked me to hold her and rock her in the rocking chair for awhile! I can't even remember the last time I rocked her...it was kind of nice :-) But I made sure to help her understood that that was NOT a safe choice and that she should NOT do it again or she might have to go to a hospital! That seemed to make an impression.

Therese, on her 7 month birthday (Matthew and I were sick with the stomach flu this day, but she was fine!)
Still a little smiler, and she still spends a lot of time lying on her side...
...even though she is really good at sitting up all by herself now!
Look at those cheeks!

Greta did some dressing up recently--quite the fashion statement! (by the way, those are leg warmers on her arms)
Here is Greta feeding Therese her first bite of ice cream. Greta is usually really good about sharing and she is still oh so sweet with Therese most of the time. They love each other so much!
(Greta was serious in most of these shots, despite the costume...this was as close to a smile as we got, even though I'm pretty sure she requested we take this picture!)

My girls!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The other day in her Kids Pace class, Greta had her face painted for the first time. I guess she spent nearly the whole hour and a half also wearing a clown wig!
At the end of the day Greta cried when it was time to remove the face paint :-(
Greta as a fairy.
On Saturday there was a Halloween carnival at the community center down the street from us. The gym was all set up with crafts, play areas, face painting, and treats. Greta had a blast, and Therese was very pleasant throughout, even though it was her nap time :-)
Towards the end of the carnival there was a magic show, so the area with mats and blocks cleared out and Therese had it all to herself!

Our little side-poser.
Greta getting her face painted at the carnival! Hooray!

She got a lollipop after making a spider--she made a bat puppet there as well. While doing these projects Greta was full of concentration and totally engrossed in creating! (If you notice on the left Matthew has his Hebrew flashcards with him, so studious!)

Our beautiful fairy!
The next day Matthew painted her face again--she is really into face painting! I jokingly suggested she paint his face...and I let her paint mine as well.
Here we are! Scary...
Yesterday was Halloween. Greta was very excited to go out and trick-or-treat! Here she is with her wand, all ready to venture into the night.

Greta doesn't really like it when it's dark, but she didn't seem to mind too much last night. She and I held hands and went to many doors while Matthew had Therese in the carrier and tried to get her to stop fussing and go to sleep...in Vancouver people light fireworks for Halloween, so it was very noisy out!
Eventually I took over Matthew's job...Therese just needed her mama (she's definitely in that phase...I don't really mind at all :-) )
Greta started to get a big spooked after about an hour of trick-or-treating. It was really noisy with all the fireworks, and there were many scary sights as well. She wanted to be held by Papa, and she wanted to go home! The whole way home she did what she does when she's scared: she closed her eyes tight and held on to Matthew with all her might! She was sure glad when we got home, and was relieved to hear that we would not be going trick-or-treating again tomorrow...through the whole ordeal she did not shed a single tear, though.
She likes having all the candy!
She was very sweet going door to door--she often remembered to say "trick-or-treat" and "thank you", and when people told her "Happy Halloween!" she would say it back to them, and if they said "Have a good Halloween" she would say "Thank you, I WILL have a good Halloween!" What a sweetheart.
Non-Halloween now...Greta often says "You should take a picture of this", here was one of those moments :-)
We have come to the conclusion that Therese is totally into Matthew's stuff. She always goes for his Filson bags when they're on the floor, and his shoes (especially his shoelaces...)!
Filson back-pack, about to hit the jack-pot!

Good news: we're moving (again!) But really, this is great news. The people in our old apartment, the two bedroom upstairs that we vacated a year and a half ago, are leaving. They told us ahead of time in case we wanted to take it...and we DO! We moved out of it to save money, but we can afford it now and Matthew will be done with school in April, so things are looking up--we are enjoying Vancouver and want to stay here longer...but WE NEED MORE SPACE!!! Matthew and I cannot wait to have our own bedroom again! And we LOVED that apartment. It is almost too good to be true. We move in at the end of the month :-) So, come for a visit! We will have room for you again!