Toddler talk

Joel driving

There are so many hard things about the age Joel is right now (22 months, almost). Where to start…the total confidence in his abilities combined with the inability to do things he wants to do himself (“Da! Da!” which is the way he says his name)…the biiiiiiig tantrums when things don’t go his way (“Noooooooooo!”)…wanting [...]

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Where’s the line between annoying and bullying?


For the last few months, we have been dealing with a tough situation at Audrey and Georgia’s school. It all started when a boy, “Robbie,” developed a crush on Audrey. At first, I thought it was kind of cute. After all, my daughter is beautiful and smart (biased much?), so it’s to be expected, right? [...]

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Fresh produce for the growing-averse

What’s the opposite of a green thumb? A black thumb? Yeah, that’s what I have. I love flowers and fresh-picked vegetables, but helping them grow and flourish in my yard just doesn’t work for me. Before we moved in to our house, a previous owner planted masses of beautiful tulips around our front porch and [...]

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Keeping kids in their beds


It’s a transition every parent dreads: Moving your toddler from the crib to a toddler bed. Will he fall out? Will he climb out? Will anyone in the family get any sleep? Joel is 20 months old and I know full well that his days in the crib are numbered. None of our kids have [...]

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Tape Measuring Fun

Yesterday I was busy in Sydney and Georgia’s room, rearranging the furniture. Sydney and Joel were enthralled with the tape measure: the way it springs back into place, the interesting numbers, just the fact that I was “playing” with it. So today, when Sydney started whining about having to do her “rest time,” I remembered [...]

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My shy extrovert


I am an introvert. I am not a hermit–I love being with people, doing fun things, going places, and having a good time. But after all that, I need to go home and have a bit of silence. For example, whenever our family goes to a museum, the zoo, or a party, I am always [...]

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Christmas books

I can’t believe it’s already halfway through December! We are plugging away at our advent activities, our Nativity advent calendar, our advent wreath from church, and our Jesse tree devotional. It’s a little much, to be honest with you. But the good thing is that there is something for each of the girls to do [...]

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Getting used to the nursery

It’s been a long road for Joel in our church nursery. He was sick a lot last winter, so it wasn’t until spring when he was almost one that he could consistently attend. And by then, he was solidly in the midst of separation anxiety! Slowly, each week has been better. For the last few [...]

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Practicing music lessons

Piano lesson

One thing I love about our girls’ school district is that kids get the opportunity to start instrumental music lessons in third grade. Georgia is excited to start next year, and Audrey is in her third year of playing the violin in the school ensemble. Music is very important to me: I started playing the [...]

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A visit to Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave

A couple of weekends ago, we took our kids on a fall drive through beautiful Pennsylvania countryside to Crystal Cave. Audrey and Georgia are always up for an adventure, so they were excited. And Joel just likes to be with his family. Sydney loves rocks and has a collection (of broken bits of concrete), so [...]

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