Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

This past weekend Madi and I had some fun putting together Valentine's for her class, teachers, and a few friends - 

Madi's school invited all the mother's to a Valentine's Day coffee and cake in the morning and it was such a treat! The kids got to play and sneak cake from us while us moms got a chance to chat. Madi was so sweet and maybe has accepted this whole "I'm going to take pictures of you forever and you might as well accept it thing" because we only had one with her tongue sticking out and then she hugged me and smiled so sweetly. A great valentine! 

We gave the girl's a few small gifts as well, which I promptly hid after they went to bed and will magically re-appear next month on our trip to Singapore to keep them occupied - ha! 

We also had cinnabon and delicious chocolate cake dropped off by sweet friends. I hoarded the cinnabon, but the girls seem pretty happy with their cake.

And when I arrived home I was surprised with some amazingly gorgeous roses from my sweet hubby.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Evelyn and Olivia: 19 Months

Evelyn Grace

- You surprised me this month during breakfast. You grabbed a huge spoonful of oatmeal, looked at the spoon and decided it was too much, tipped the spoon to dump half off, and then finally took a bite. The logical problem solving was evident and amazing!
- This month we've had a lot of pretend sleeping. Madi has been tucking in both of her sisters with blankets and pillows on the floor and giving them their stuffed animals to cuddle. 
- Both of you love puzzles, but Evy picked it up immediately despite us trying to trick her by turning the puzzle board upside down. You also love the shape sorter.
- The stank face has re-appeared. It was not missed. It's given to every new person upon initial meeting and when we tell her "no" to watching Mickey Mouse.
- We are wondering if you've started to teethe or have just had tummy issues because you were sick for a few days, but still happy and active.
- Evy is trying to jump with Madi, but still can't quite pick up her feet.
- Evy will make animal sounds for cat, dog, sheep, pig, cow, lion, elephant, and monkey.

Olivia Ann

- You are definitely playing me now by calling me "Daddy" because you squeal with delight when I respond by asking you "Who am I?" and then say "Mommy!"
- I mentioned above that we've been pretend sleeping and Liv took it to the next step by squinting her eyes closed when we would say "Good night Liv" when she was tucked in on the floor or pack and play.
- You were slower to take to puzzles than Evy, but are just as good now and love to do them also.
- Can we say d-i-v-a?! You are carrying around (and trying on!) my shoes, carrying any type of bag or purse you can find, and love putting on bracelets and necklaces.
- Liv still can't say "Yes" but she bounces up and down with her whole body when she's trying to answer "Yes". I have to admit it's the cutest unspoken "Yes" ever. You have also mastered "Peas" for "Please" now.
- You caught up to 16 teeth with your sister and now we are waiting for molars to pop on both of you as the last four teeth.
- Liv is "tickling" Madi and the two of them laugh uncontrollably.
- Liv will make animal sounds for cat, dog, sheep, pig, cow, lion, and monkey.

The two of you are so joyful and I feel like this month we got more laughs from you playing with and interacting with Madi. It's definitely not quiet in our household in the evenings and we wouldn't change it for the world. Happy 19th month precious girls!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Frozen şəlalə (waterfall) in Laza

In His sanctuary, there is glory, there is strength.
In the presence of the Father there is wisdom, there is peace.
I will come and worship, I will listen, I will speak,
Most amazing conversation, most amazing transformation
As the God of all creation talks with me

I remember vividly the first small group we joined when we moved to Houston. They were a loving and amazing group and we were blessed to have so many couples that we would divide into two smaller groups each week with a forced choice question. One week the question came - do you prefer mountains or the beach. Let's just say they had to pick another question when Jason and I (the only Coloradans) ended up in a small group of two amongst mostly native Houstonians! 

I have always loved the outdoors, especially the mountains and hiking. This past weekend I was able to slip away with a group of amazing ladies that help the refugee community here in Baku. During our free time on Saturday morning I knew that I wanted to go hike the frozen waterfall semi-close to where we were staying in Qusar.

The waterfall was near the small town of Laza, around 8 km past Shahdag (where we spent a long weekend sledding). Our car couldn't make it on the icy and snowy road so we hopped out and walked part of the way before waving down a truck that took us closer to the town and waterfall. We spent the next few hours hiking and enjoying the mountains and the snow.

When we reached this point our group got out slips of paper with specific prayer requests. We spent time as a group praying over them and afterwards sang a few praise and worship songs together. It was an amazing experience to sing God's glory the midst of His awesome creation.

We started at the bottom of the waterfall and then hiked up to a second part, and then afterwards a third part. It was definitely the more technically-challenging route and we were fortunate to head down a slightly easier path, but we loved the angles we got to see that we wouldn't have otherwise. 

I definitely missed my girls over the weekend, but they had a blast with their dad. I heard about pizza, movies, popcorn, snuggles, and sleepovers - sounds pretty fab to me!  

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