These are what Anna called our “Africa dresses” this week. The Barney movie she got for Christmas has a girl in an African outfit coming to tell a story, so she wanted to put on some African dresses, too. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of my own gorgeous dress—you’ll just have to imagine it—because it was a brightly colored fleece blanket topped by a too-small cowboy hat. It was classic.
Below you can see another of this week’s favorite activities: the sled. I explained to Anna that Santa’s sled is pulled by reindeer, and when I was watching Anne of Green Gables, she saw a sled pulled by horses. Then I explained that sleds can be pulled by other animals, too, even dogs. She got so excited that we helped her construct her own sled using the baby rocking chair and some strings. The photo you see is an early version. The later adaptation involved a 10-foot medley of ropes, strings, and ribbons tied to each other around various other objects (a used CD, a spinning top, a small broom, etc.). That one irritated me for a whole 3 days before I told her it was time to put it away. It took me almost 30 minutes to untie all the knots. *sigh*
In other exciting news, last Monday night, Adam and I finished the first puzzle we’ve done for almost three years. We used to love puzzles, but after Anna got big enough to be curious, we couldn’t leave them out for long enough to get them finished. A few months ago we finally bought a Stow-and-Go mat so we can put it away before we go to bed, and Adam finally didn’t have to work every evening, so we pulled one out, listened to Inkheart (by Cornelia Funke – kinda fun) on CD, and had a grand old time. Here’s the result, and we’re very proud.
A fun tidbit: this week, Mariah started saying “thank you.” It comes out more like “Yeah-goo,” but it’s clear in its intent. Who’d have thought the little fireball would be so polite? Also, last Sunday was the first day she went to nursery. She’s only 15-months old, but when the older kids moved on to Sunbeams (which Anna mostly likes), there were few enough kids that I can now take her with me. Adam likes Sundays a lot better now. :)
And now my favorite story of the week. For Christmas, the girls got a little set of Veggie Tales board books. Anna loves them because they have songs (for which Adam and up make up the tunes – they’re different every time), so we’ve read them several times. There’s one called, “Where’s God When I’m Scared?” about Junior Asparagus learning how to not be afraid of the dark because God is bigger than all the monsters and things that go bump in the night. So now, on Thursday afternoon I was making tomato soup and cheese sandwiches for lunch. Mariah was playing with the magnet letters on the fridge and Anna was climbing up and down the small stepladder she uses to help me make the sandwiches. The ladder was placed to keep her hands at least a foot away from the hot stove because she always makes me nervous. I started the soup heating, then began sweeping under the table (to make room on the floor for the lunch crumbs). I got busy cleaning up and setting things out, and a couple of minutes later I suddenly heard a horrible sizzling sound. I jumped into immediate panic mode, imagining tiny blistered hands and an ambulance, and I cried out and turned around in a flash. I ran to the stove only to realize that Anna was still several feet away from the stove and the tomato soup had boiled over, making the sizzling sound. I pulled it off the burner, turned on the vent, and turned off the element, then checked to make sure Anna hadn’t been splashed. She was sitting very still on the top step of the ladder and looking concerned. I smiled at her and said, “Oh, dear. When I heard that noise, I thought you had been burned.” Suddenly her face cleared, she smiled back beatifically, and said, “It’s okay, Mommy. God watched over me.”
I realized a few minutes later that, although she’s an intelligent girl, that hadn’t come directly from her—it was a quote from the Veggie Tales book. The last line of the song is “God is watching over me.” And I am ever grateful that my little girl believes God can protect her from something as simple as splashing soup. I think I need to spend more energy recognizing the times when he protects me from all of life’s hot soup.