Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I have been talking to Madelyn a lot lately about being trustworthy. If she asks to do something like color with markers at her table on the carpet, I ask her if she is trustworthy. If I can trust her to not color on the carpet and only color on her paper.

At first when I would ask her, she would occasionally say no. Her responses have mostly been yes since she realized that gets her what she wants. The thing is, she is usually pretty trustworthy. So far (because I am sure at least some of it will happen at some point) she hasn't colored on anything other than what she is supposed to, run in to the street, cut with scissors or purposefully broken anything. However, she has started answering some of our questions with answers that are not always truthful. It's mostly her imagination, but we're working on it.

We talk about how being trustworthy means that you are going to do what you say you are going to do, you tell the truth and you follow the rules.

So today, when she wanted to draw on her easel just outside the door, I asked her if I could trust her to stay on the porch. Of course she said yes and she happily colored for nearly half an hour in that same position.
I pulled a chair to where she was in sight, grabbed a book and read as I watched her. She happily ran inside and said, "I'm 'trustworsty' mommy! I was right there!"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

bed visitor, chili cook off, games with the big kids

We had an early morning visitor in our bed. I didn't mind one bit. Makes me sort of miss the time when I saw two faces in the morning instead of just one.
We had a chili cook off at church. I am a bit competitive, but did not win. There were 26 big 'ol pots of chili to compete against! It was fun!
I also made dozens of cupcakes for desert. Pink icing of course in honor of the upcoming love day.
By the end of the night Madelyn was pooped. She even laid down on the icky fellowship hall floor. Gross. But sweet. But mainly gross.
 She LOVED getting to play games with the big kids.
Her fav was her very FIRST game of duck-duck-goose. She adored it and the sweet girls that taught her how to play.

Another fun, full Sunday!

January 29

Madelyn loves flowers. She gets excited when she sees them. Sometimes she even jumps up and down with excitement! One thing NEVER fails though; she ALWAYS picks them. Her little hands are sneaky and fast. I am not sure exactly how to get her to stop. Outside stores, friend's houses, our rose bushes...always. She can't resist the temptation, plucks them from their stems, pulls the petals apart and lets them fall to the ground.

Then, she scans for the next flower to destroy. Seriously. I know she is two. I know it's not that big of a deal. However, I always get nervous when we are walking by pretty flowers because I know what's coming next.

Here's to hoping she outgrows this soon or I will have my hands full this spring.

(For the record: I just wanted a few cute pics of MK in her Sunday night church attire...we just happened to try to get her to stand near the roses out front. These pictures took place in the span of about 30 seconds. Remember, she's fast!)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

a date with Grandma

When MK called Grandma upon discovering her papy had popped, Grandma praised her for being such a big girl and promised her a trip to Toys-R-Us. She was excited and since she can't drive yet, I was excited because it meant I got to go too. I love TRU. I remember shopping for my birthday present there one year with my sister and my dad. It seemed so humongous back then. I mean, it's still big, but not the way I see it when I think back to that birthday. I settled on a life size beauty shop thing. It was awesome. Many dolls lost their beautiful locks at that barber shop in my bedroom.

Anyway, we were excited.
We let Madelyn browse the aisles. When she found something she thought she loved we encouraged her to move on. After at least an hour or more of making our way up and down the aisles Madelyn settled on Sammy, a sweet pink puppy with a kennel and veterinarian equipment.

Then we headed to lunch at Olive Garden. We were definitely placed in the "kids section" which was a good call on the hostess' part considering it was past nap time and MK let us know it!
It was such a sweet date with Grandma and Madelyn fell asleep in the car on the way home with Sammy under her arm and no papy in her possession.

Friday, January 27, 2012


drew holcomb.
mommy cooking.

drawing faces!!!!

I love it! Seeing her develop in every way makes this mom SO proud!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

MK's Tasty Homemade OJ Popsicles

1. Peel four small oranges and put the slices in a bowl. We actually used Cuties...the most delicious little clementines!

2. Mash the orange slices with a potato masher.

3. When the potato masher gets boring, use a meat mallet.

4. Pour the juice from the bowl in to the popsicle mold.
5. Add mashed up oranges (we like fruit chunks in ours) and a little water to top them off.
6. Insert popsicle stick.

7. Freeze and enjoy!

how to entertain a sick kid...part 3

This could actually more correctly be labeled: how to get a sick kid to eat. However, that would throw off this little impromptu series I've got going on over here now wouldn't it? Plus, I did hope that it would be fun and entertaining as well.

MK and I had to leave the house to get some milk for her. Considering that is ALL that she has taken in in days, it was somewhat of an emergency. Luke was at church, so we got dressed and drove to the store.

We passed the break and bake cookies on the way to the milk and Madelyn's eyes perked up. We've never made those (or broken them apart? ha) together before but she saw the enticing picture and got excited. So, in hopes that it would motivate her to eat her dinner in order to have a cookie, I bought them.

We bought a few other things too along with the milk and cookies. I picked up some fresh crab dip that Luke loves for a snacky sort of after church dinner. You know why I love our local grocery store? The dip rang up wrong so we got it for free. Free. I feel like I have to stand watch over the groceries at Wal-mart because nothing ever rings up right. It's almost more exhausting then shopping for everything to begin with. Anyway, back to entertaining a sick kid.

We unloaded the groceries and immediately got busy on the cookies. Madelyn pulled them out of the package and on to the sheet all by herself. "My do it" is her favorite thing to say these days. Then we counted them one by one and covered them in sprinkles.

Then we let them bake while we ate dinner. At least that was the plan.

No dinner was had by the munchkin but at 8pm I gave in and let her have a cookie. Even then, she only nibbled on it! At least she had fun! Operation entertain gives this little activity (for lack of a better word) a success. Operation get-your-kid-to-eat would rate this a failure.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

how to entertain a sick kid...part 2

MK woke up this morning requesting her Dora pajamas. I resisted the temptation to tell her no or fib and tell her they were dirty (because I knew she would wear them all day meaning I would have to look at them all day) and let her wear them. Character pajamas two days in a row was a bit much for me, but I survived! 

In my ongoing attempt to make our time inside as fun as possible, I dug through one of my boxes of teaching treasures and pulled out the puppet theater! MK loved it and so did I. We played for over an hour with it before she tuckered out. She is so creative and her imagination is full on at this age.
When Luke made it home from work, even more puppet theater took place. This time MK thought it would be fun to read her Bible to the puppets though. It was pretty cute to watch.
Since MK didn't eat anything all day long, I decided to try a popsicle. She took a few bites but that was it. Poor thing just isn't in the mood.
I am so thankful that she doesn't get cranky when she doesn't feel well. The back of her throat is red and I am sure it feels terrible, but she's still fun to be around!

how to entertain a sick kid...part 1

MK has had a sore throat this week. She's been pitiful and I hate it for her. She has been so healthy all winter so it was kind of a bummer that she started feeling icky this late in the game. In addition to that, the weather has been dreary and wet so I have tried to do some different things with her to perk her up.

One day we did a little experiment.
I remembered doing this with Emily when she was little and she loved it so I thought MK would too.
First we filled a pitcher with water, leaving about two inches of room at the top. Then we added oil. She thought that part was pretty cool and even liked mixing it up with her hands to see the oil bubble down in to the water and float back up.

Then I said, "We should make some fireworks in our oil and water".

Big mistake.

For some reason, she did not want to take part. She hasn't ever really been exposed to fireworks (at least not recently enough that she would remember) so I have no idea why it freaked her out, but freak her out it did.

The "fireworks" were just a few squirts of food coloring. They drop to the bottom of the oil layer and then eventually break through and look like fireworks in the water. MK didn't stick around for that part though (you can see her climbing down behind the pitcher in this picture).

How to entertain a sick kid you ask? I'll get back to you on that. So far all I know how to do is scare a sick kid. This was a fail. We may revisit it when she is well again (or 10).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

hand to hold

Confession: I am a people watcher. As in, sometimes I stare. I have really worked on this through the years, but it is part of my DNA I think. My mom and I went to dinner together last night. As we were being walked to our table and the server kept winding through the open rooms full of empty tables, I had a gut feeling we weren't going to be put in one of those empty tables out in the open with a good view. Then it happened; he sat us in the corner. Like, the very furthest corner of the restaurant. Mom got first pick and I got two brick walls. This my friends is a people watcher's worst nightmare. Actually, it resulted in some really good conversations instead of me staring at the people around us playing the guess-what-they-are talking-about-game.

You know, where you insert words in to their mouths? Don't act like you've never played. And if you haven't, you should definitely give it a try.

On the last full day we were in Africa, there was a moment that I played the guess-what -they-are-talking-about-game.

We were visiting some of Pastor Emmy and Supermom's children on our way through town. It was the day before we would journey back to America on what would be Supermom's first trip. For a few minutes they walked away from the group. They held hands and talked.

I have absolutely no idea what they talked about. It could have been the muzungus (white people) who would not stop with the pictures (although I doubt it because I think they've gotten used to that). It could have been to decide on the plans for the evening. It could have been that they were talking about the upcoming tests their children were going to take. I have no idea.

However, in my head (you know, in the guess-what-they-are-talking-about-game), they were talking about the trip they were about to take together.

For a split second I thought about what it would have been like if Luke and I had made the journey to Africa together leaving Madelyn at home. I thought about how nervous I would have been the day before. How the touch of my husband's hand on mine and the sound of his voice speaking wisdom and care over me would have been one of the only things that would have calmed me.

In my mind, that's what happened.

Regardless of whether that's really what they talked about or if they were even talking at all, this little moment that I couldn't help but take a picture of is something that I will always remember. For me it was a visual reminder that my husband and I, no matter what the circumstances, are a team. We are in it together. We are each other's consultant, friend, encourager and hand to hold when we need to step away from the crowd for a minute.

Monday, January 23, 2012

safari day

Yesterday afternoon, Madelyn asked me to get her little bin of "fari animals" (toddler translation: safari) out for her to play with. After literally two or more hours of her making them hunt for food, building homes for their babies and practicing up on the roars and growls, I thought she might enjoy watching an animal documentary. Her only visual exposure so to these animals has been via the zoo (which we haven't been to in a few months) and the Lion King as far as how they interact and move.

I found an Animal Planet African Safari episode on Netflix and turned it on. She didn't seem in to it at first, but I sure was. It took me right back to Africa.

I remember a conversation I had with Luke leading up to the trip when I heard that we were possibly going on a safari one of the days. "This makes no sense. I honestly think a safari might be neat, but I can't imagine going half way around the world to meet Emmanuel and all those amazing people and spend a whole day looking at animals. (Insert sassy tone of voice) We have a zoo." I can't believe I actually said all that, much less typed it out, but it's the truth. I said it. Up until the day before we actually went on the safari, I thought it was actually just a possibility. I was still a little disappointed and internally (my teammates may beg to disagree on the internally part, but I was trying hard to keep my negativity to myself) pouty right up until the moment when we saw this.

An elephant? Seriously! There's this massive creature 25 yards from me. Eating and roaming and doing it's thing. Did I mention it was only 25 yards from me?

When I saw that elephant it was as if the scripture that I had tucked away in my heart as a small child, taught to various groups of kids through the years and most recently my own, came alive!

"And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1: 24-25
It was captivating!! To see the creeping things and the beasts and the living creatures that God spoke in to it's very existence was faith building for me!
I felt myself continually thinking, "Praise you Father!". Here we were, standing in awe of the works of His hands.
The safari was broken up in to two parts; the first half was on land, the second on water. Our guides for both parts were awesome.  Part of the water we were on led to the border between Uganda and the Congo.

As Madelyn and I watched the documentary yesterday I kept blurting out, "Madelyn, Mommy saw that in person when she went to Africa! And that too! Oh and that one!!". She kept looking at me like I was crazy, but I couldn't help but be excited.

What a humbling experience and a reminder of how marvelous all that He has created truly is! I am thankful that despite my moaning and groaning he allowed me to experience something so awesome!

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