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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I am thankful for Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  I've been going for nearly 5 years, and boy has my walk with the Lord grown in that time.  I find the study to be convicting some days and comforting others.  My teaching leader doesn't sugar coat, and I walk away with many things to think about.  Eliana loves her class and willingly leaves me to go play and see her teacher.  I know she is learning things in her class, and that is a blessing.  Next year's study is on Genesis.  I actually took the first few weeks of this study several years ago during my first year of teaching.  I was drowning with the new responsibilities and had to let it go then.  I'm looking forward to picking it back up this fall.  There is an intro class in two Mondays for those in my area.  Feel free to contact me if you're interested in checking it out.  It has truly been a blessing. You can find a class near you here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Eliana is 21 months!!!

 After a recent Bible and Art Club meeting, I saw a friend's daughter painting using q-tips.  I realized that Eliana too might be ready to paint.  Low and behold we have a new hobby.  Eliana's favorite color us "boo" aka blue.  I had some left over watercolor paper (thus the green boxes) from a demonstration, and she didn't mind them at all.

 I made some chocolate babka for my mom's birthday!  The split in the bread on the left side of the picture is chocolate bubbling out.  Yum!  My friend Sara had made it last fall, and she graciously shared the link with me.  The bread is tasty and a labor of love as it takes about 3 hours to make if you include all of the rising and baking time.

 Eliana enjoyed wearing my mom's St. Patrick's birthday hat. She was willing to share with me, but I wasn't too interested in having my head be as glitter covered as hers.  She really enjoyed family during our trip, including playing with Thomas and the buckles on the high chair, Trisha and her new puppy (which she now makes kissing noises to other animals thanks to Trisha), and sitting in my mom's lap so I could eat.  I'd love to say that Eliana was delightful while she and I drove (Kyle had seminary homework, which kept him in Fresno), but that wouldn't be the full truth.  She cried between 2/3 and 3/4 on and off during the drive there.  We made it about 1/2 an hour before she decided she was done being in the car and wanted "O-U-T".  We drove home, in a rain/sprinkle/hail storm on the way back.  But, I timed it so that we went during her nap time.  She slept while I listened to The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis.  I'd take rain and a napping baby (not so much of the hail) over a clear day with a crying child any day.

 Eliana has recently taken to caring for her dolls and stuffed animals.  You'll find them snapped into her high chair, getting their noses wiped when Eliana gets her's, being fed when she eats, and just about anything else she does.

I'm so amazed at how much she has grown!  She can now finger door handles, and likes to knock (not just hit) on doors.
 Awe peanut butter bread, you are one of Eliana's favorite snacks!  She goes in and out of phases when she'll eat well.  She didn't want to eat spaghetti when Alyssa visited last Thursday, but she gladly ate a hot dog after the Walk for Life event on Saturday (Right to Life).  She initially didn't want to eat her dinner tonight and loudly told me so, yet when she wasn't given other options she eventually tried it and ate most of it.

 You can normally tell on Sunday mornings who dressed Eliana by whether or not she has a dress and matching bow (thus Kyle) or something warm for the weather (that would be the over practical me).  Trying to get pictures of Eliana is a bit harder now.  She loves to see the picture on the camera, and so she often moves before the picture is taken.

If you look really closely, you'll see her hair really is growing.  The black bag highlights this growth.

Other things Eliana is up to:
*She is helping to set the table.  I bring the forks, napkins, etc. to the table, and she puts one for each person.
*Kyle and I were told by several people yesterday at church and our small group that Eliana is a big helper and kind to others.  Those complements are music to my ears!
*Eliana's nose has been running for 7 weeks.  Sigh.  I love spring, but I don't love allergies.  Thankfully, she seems to be doing better the last few days.  I hope her ears don't hurt in the middle of the night like mine do on occasion.
*I can't believe she'll be two in a little less than three months.  Where does the time go?
*We love to go on walks to get the mail and explore.  Today's observation was that numbers and letters are on license plates.  She wanted to know which plates had the number 6 on them since that was the first number she pointed to.
*Eliana has told us several times over the last month when she needs to use the toilet.  Although we aren't in full force potty training yet, she has gone four times for us when she told us she had to go.  
*We love our little girl!

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Memories

 A few Saturdays ago we went to take pictures in the blooming orchards.  Well, it turns out that the orchards in my memory weren't on the street I remembered.  But, we found these cool trees in the process.  Eliana was moving so quickly in the fading light that this truly was one of maybe three or four that were in focus.  Yeah for playing Hide and Go Seek from me:)

I feel like the trees bloom for such a brief moment, and then the green takes over.  It isn't that I don't like green; it is after all my favorite color.  I simply am amazed when the trees turn white, pink, and purple.

Eliana and I visited with these amazing kiddos last week.  Oh how I love them!  Timothy has grown so very much!  They all have!

 I love when we visit Michele's house, because Eliana always gets a lesson in sharing.  :)

Notice that they toy Eliana is using to try and open the front door has WHEELS on it!?!?!  This child has no fear when it comes to exploring.  Her creativity and curiosity seem to be limitless.  Tonight Kyle attached a basket to the front of this toy.  Eliana was thrilled to carry her panda around from Grandpa Hal and Grandma Sue.  It is currently one of her favorite toys.  

 Does anyone know what kind of tree this is?  This was the first year in five that I actually captured the blossoms before the disappeared for the season.  I love them!  I was even brave enough to knock on a door of a stranger's house just to ask if I could photograph her tree.  She smiled and was quite willing.

I love the variety of colors Eliana and I see as we go walking together. 
Sometimes, you capture the image you have in your mind perfectly.  It is such a rare treat for me, that I am delighted when it happens.  I've been photographing roses since I first got my hands on a camera, and sadly most of them are disappointing compared to the true beauty of the rose.  Awe, but this picture, that pretty much sums up what I saw.  These flowers were from Right to Life's 25th Anniversary Dessert last Thursday.  I must say I walked away with a lot of things to ponder about life and abortion. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Eliana is 20 months old!!!

Well, I guess she was 20 months a few days ago, but I just haven't been on the computer much to post about it.
Eliana continues to find creative ways of doing things, like how to crawl underneath chairs.

She continues to learn to mimic.  In the Fiful newsletter, there was a picture of a bunch of people with their hands up.  Eliana thought that was a good idea too!  

Eliana has scared everyone who watches her fearlessly ride this rocking horse that used to be Kyle's.  She has only gone fast enough once to make herself go head first overboard.  Thankfully, I happened to be getting off the couch to get something and caught her.  She had no idea of what happened.

Eliana continues to love to help.  I had swept the day before this picture was taken letting her hold the dust pan.  When I went to get something out of the linen closet, she got out the broom.  She even moved the rug out of the kitchen so she could completely sweep.  Awe, I hope she always loves to help!

Eliana and I walk with our neighbors Elaine and Jaxon on Friday mornings.  We saw them during a lunch time run to the mail box and decided to go for a walk.  Eliana had a blast pushing Jackson through our apartment complex.  I'm so thankful to have walking buddies.  The fresh air is delightful, and the conversations are a blessing.

Other things Eliana has been up to:
*She got a bottom canine tooth without a fever!  I think the other one is also poking through, but Eliana doesn't want me to check.
*Eliana decided tangelos are good.  You must understand, she refused to eat ALL citrus prior to this.  My friend Michele is right to continue to try foods that before were deemed inedible.
*Eliana loves grapes!  I'm so glad that even though they aren't in season, we can still find them at the grocery store.
*Many friends and family have commented about Eliana's hair noticeable growing.
*Eliana has fun with Michele and her kids while I teach art lessons on Thursdays.  Eliana so far can say Nate for Nathan.  I'm sure the other kids' names will come in time too.