Jan 16, 2014


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I really need to start remembering to bring my tripod on our adventures so I can actually be in some of these photos instead of being mysteriously absent from all family excursions!

Jan 14, 2014

the detail, the squawk, and the slip-up

When you have kids you generally find out at some point that they talk. A lot. Of course they all have their own personalities in this regard, and each one goes through phases, but they are bound to hit a climax at some point where it seems like their mouths and vocal chords are in continuous motion. For instance, when Lara hit 5, she started relaying and explaining events and experiences to us. As she grew older she added things she had learned, theories she has about life, books she's read... etc. Lara's talking stems from an inherent need to be heard and validated, and an interest in that which is usually least interesting out of the endless list of 'everything interesting this world has to offer'. She is also our detailed child. Add to that an unfortunate tendency to trip over words, and you can imagine the amount of aural abuse those around her endure. Not that I perceive these things as negative mind you. I love that she notices and loves things not everyone else does, and I love the intelligence with which she approaches them.

Julia takes after her mother. Meaning that she will usually be too lost in her thoughts, dreams, memories, and over-stimulation of ideas/plans/responsibilities, to even begin to vocalize much of anything. I mean, she talks, sure. Just not a whole lot. And don't let any of that fool you; linguistically she does just fine. She simply chooses to squeak an elongated 'oookaaaaayyy' as a response to most questions. Actually it's more of a creaking. No, a skuawk. Yes that comes closest.

So then there is Max, whose vocabulary is quickly turning out to be our best source of laughter (and the reason I started writing this blog post). Laughter, and a sincere desire to invest in some top-of-the-line ear plugs. The kid simply never stops talking. Okay maybe when he's asleep, but I'll bet you that even then he is narrating every second of his dreams. His downfall is his whiny tone and need to repeat questions until he gets an answer he likes, which I am very, very careful not to give in to. But back to the laughter! Max has the rib-tickling ability to mispronounce words or phrases, turning them into some of the funniest things I have ever heard. So I thought I'd let you share in some of the giggles, and write down his best slip-ups. I'm going to see if you can figure out on your own what he's trying to say...

1. Booger King
2. Heavenly Phone Evening
3. Drunken Donuts
4. Martin Loser King Jr.

I feel like I should make a special apology to Dr. King, since my kids have not gotten his name right a single time since we moved here! He started out referred to as 'Junior Burger King'! Ah, I just had to stop typing for a minute because I was laughing so hard. Again! They never get old.

Jan 2, 2014

a new year...

...and a very happy one thus far at that! Ok so, it's only been 23 hours since 2014 reared its head, but I don't think it's too early to say that I have a feeling this is going to be a darn good one. Not too early at all. We rang in the New Year with loved ones, some very intense games of Pictionary, appelflappen, sparklers, and even a loud and bright piece of firework that Sander was beyond thrilled to light. He was missing Holland an awful lot this new year's eve. Something that the Dutch radio station 3FM apparently picked up on, when they called him up and had him explain on the air what it was about Holland that made him homesick during new year's. Being on the radio lifted his spirits quite a bit, finding out he was pretty darn good at Scattergories brightened his mood further, and lighting his firework finally sealed the deal. For me it's different. I miss Holland a great deal but it hardly ever seems to overshadow the happiness of living here. And funnily enough that sentiment was the same when the tables were turned and I was perfectly content living in Holland whilst missing my family aplenty. I suspect growing up with ADD has taught me to live in the moment, since my brain often times simply couldn't handle the thought of tomorrow. Or that of 2 hours later for that matter! And remembering yesterday (or 2 hours ago, sigh) regularly seemed equally impossible. More importantly, if there is anything I know with total certainty, it's that when I make a change in life that I know God wants me to make only good will come of it, and I will have absolutely nothing to fear. So while I have plenty of blue days, rough moments, and temporary fits of blind rage (usually when someone finishes the Jell-O salad before I can get to it for a third helping), sadness over not living in Holland anymore is generally not the cause of these downs. We took a drive to Antelope Island today for our first activity of 2014, and that calm and content feeling was once again underscored there as I watched my children's cheeks grow rosy from the cold air and their faces smiley from their feet sinking into the snow so deep the insides of their boots got a little wet. We walked together, and marveled at the sheer magnificence that surrounds us so nearby. No, I am not melancholy this year.

I feel this new year will be the sunniest year yet.
p.s. Max isn't in any of the pictures because he has been a little sick the past couple of days so we figured it would be best if he wasn't subjected to the elements just yet. He's getting better every day though :)
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