Tuesday, February 21

A thousand words

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture of our Mary is evidence of the truthfulness of this saying. If I wanted to capture Mary's personality in one snap-shot I could not have done it better than this picture did. Notice Mary's friend in the background who is posed for a perfect portrait in contrast to our little actress who cannot help but try to make everyone smile with her antics.

Mary is such a joy to have around. We never have a dull moment and we can always count on her to liven up any room that she is in. She is so much fun and brings such an active (if not a little wild sometimes) spirit to our family. She is currently busy with Girlscouts, dance, and piano lessons and enjoys having her mom as her teacher. In fact, her favorite time of the day is her "mommy time" where she gets to spend some alone time with Karen doing whatever she chooses to do. She also is busy taking care of her new hamster, Carrie. It is now a rare moment that Mary is not carrying around Carrie or building her a castle to play in.

We hope this update on our "littlest-middlest" princess makes you smile as much as she makes us smile every day.

Sunday, February 12

Girl Scout cookies

This weekend marked a very important event at our house. We picked up the 240 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that Emma and Mary sold. We are now trying to decide whether to deliver the cookies or just eat all 240 boxes. For those of you who did not purchase cookies from our girls or any other girls a box of cookies now costs $3.50. For those of you who like math this means we have $840 worth of cookies in our bedroom right now. This is equivillent to one month's mortgage, about 5 car payments, 8.4 American Girl dolls, 70 piano lessons, 67.2 dance lessons, or 280 trips (with three girls) to the Dollar Store. These are just a few of the things we base our financial decisions on at this point. Based on these calculations, and the fact that we don't want to get violently sick, I guess we will go ahead and deliver the cookies instead of eat them all. Having said that we would like to report our favorite Girl Scout cookies to you all,

  • Jeff is a Thin Mint man through-and-through.
  • Karen is enamored with the carmel and coconut of Samoas.
  • Emma loves her Thin Mints (with Do-si-dos a close second.)
  • Mary prefers the peanut butter goodness of Tagalongs.
  • Miia sticks with her mom and her Samoas.

What are your favorites?

Wednesday, February 1

No more TV

So we gave up our TV. We didn't just decide not to watch it anymore. It is now packed up and put away in a closet, along with all of the electronic boxes and wires that go along with our TV. We decided to do this as an experiment in time management as well as in an effort to improve the spirit and tone in our home. So far the experiment has worked. Aside from a few times when I have missed watching Scrubs or The Simpsons we really have not noticed it being gone. We don't have a big home, so our front room is a family room/living room/sitting room. This has been the same in every home we have lived in since we got married. Our television has always been the focal point in that multipurpose room. This focuses the attention of the room right on the TV. It is not only the focal point in the room but the portal in our home to the outside world. What we watch comes right into our home and influences our thoughts and actions. Although we consciously have tried to avoid overtly immoral programming we had noticed it was increasingly difficult to find anything to watch. We decided to change the focus of our front room, and maybe our home and lives. We rearranged the front room and put the piano in the TV's old space. The girls were initially beside themselves when we told them we were going to put away the TV. How would they survive? They cried. Since the TV has actually left we have heard very little in the way of complaints. Somehow, as children usually do, they find much more imaginative ways to fill thier time. They seem happier and more well behaved, or perhaps we have more patience and love with the TV gone. Either way, our home has been more peaceful and quiet the last couple of weeks.