Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Memories -- Michael

When I began putting the Holiday Music channel on the stereo a few weeks ago, hearing the old familiar songs as performed by the artists I heard as a child brought back a lot of memories and feelings from many years ago.  Especially as Miaya is getting old enough to perceive music as more than just background noise.  With her sitting on my lap, I wondered at the long and circuitous route I took to be holding this oh so precious child, and how it must have felt for my parents to see us experience our first Holiday times.  I often think of the year our main gifts were toy trucks and tractors, for myself and my two sisters, which probably came from the local implement dealership.  To see the home movies of some of those years with the fireplace burning and the tree in the corner looks so like the perfect Christmas scene from a magazine, and for us kids it was certainly a magical time.  A simpler time it was in many ways, we had a television that got TWO channels reliably and sometimes a third, a party line phone, toted in coal for the stoves, carried in water from the well, and braved the cold to visit the privy.  Of course, as children we were really a bit too young to realize the amount of work it took to just meet the basics -- which were about what we had.

The the later years as we moved to a better farmhouse and more siblings arrived saw a similar though much less spartan setting.  It's strange the things that really stick with us, like the big bag of mixed nuts, in the shell of course, that arrived each holiday season and occupied us for hours cracking nuts and picking out the meats.  It was a very social thing and seemed that every house had a bowl of nuts that became the focus of most socializing.  Of course, the favorite and easy to shell nuts disappeared first, leaving the tough brazil nuts fighting a rear guard action against the onslaught. 

Yes, that music brought out a lot of emotions that alarmed Miaya a bit and she kept asking if I was sad, no dear, Daddy is really happy, and you're the reason.  I must remember to be a little better about building the memories that she will have to hold dear when we are gone. The holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas are about family and remembering what is really important.  What is really important is not the packages under the tree, it's the little girl who crawls up on my lap and declares "I love you so much Daddy!" and gives me a big hug, it's the wonderful woman who for some reason consented to be my bride those years ago, rescuing us both from our lonely lives. 

I now understand a little better the smiles on my parents faces as we tore into those presents on those magical mornings, the contentment and joy that is timeless.  And, we never really noticed how little they gave each other so we could have more.....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miaya's Christmas

Christmas with Michael's family in Illinois.
Miaya playing with cousin Jennifer.

 Miaya with Jennifer and Grandma Shirley (Michael's mother).
Grandma with all the grandchildren together for the first time.

Miaya's pile is outgrowing her!!

Christmas Eve at the Foster's

Christmas morning at home....

Kim's parents, her sister Katie and husband Tim and their son Rusty came over for brunch.

 Hard at work.....
"I can practice my word writing now".

 Is there another present for me?

 The wrapping paper is getting deeper, and it's all form Miaya!

 Kai Lan Dino Dreams, this one got a lot of play.

A nice soft fluffy blanket and pillow from Aunt Katie, this one was big hit with Miaya, she insisted on using it for her nap. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

We Have An Infestation....

Of Chocolate Mice!..........

Which have somehow become a Christmas tradition with us.  Just one of those things I guess........

I'm NOT Cousin It..........

Do you think Miaya's bangs are starting to grow out like we've been hoping?

Friday, November 26, 2010

And Nobody Cried!

Miaya was reaching up to put her milk glass on the counter when it slipped from her hand and landed upright on the kitchen floor. The first look was at mama to see how she would react... Mama just laughed especially when she saw this cute milk splattered face. Such memories. I guess you don't need cry over spilled milk.  "Got Milk

Happy Birthday Lyla!

Miaya's cousin Lyla came from South Dakota for Thanksgiving, and Miaya surprised her with some birthday roses.  They have been getting along famously, Miaya seems to be on her best behavior -- kind of scary good! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tis (Almost) The Season

We started our Christmas decorating today.
Being very careful!

Arranging so they're just right....


Now for the star...

Petie, my favorite dog......Well, some of the time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Art

Miaya's preschool teacher sent home a farmily assignment, a picture of a turkey to decorate for Thanksgiving.  Kim came up with the idea of using natural materials, so Miaya and Michael were tasked to collect leaves and pine cones. 
Pine cones and leaves in the Halloween bucket.

Miaya and Kim working on the turkey.

Look at the intense concentration on that face. 
The final result, using brown and yellow leaves, and "petals" from the pine cones.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Miayaism today: (really yesterday)
Kim asked Miaya to get her coat so they could leave to go to preschool. In response she said "Why?" Mommy said because you will be chilly if you don't. She responded rather emphatically "I better get my coat, I don't want to be chili I want to be chicken noodle!"
Two Days ago:
Miayaism (funny sayings by Miaya) wore a polk-a-dot shirt today and wanted to hurry and get a coat to cover her shirt...when asked why she said..."I don't want anybody poking me!" Ahhh to be 3 again!

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Here's our girl in her Monarch Butterfly costume.  She really loved having wings!

We had been working at Kim's school installing some media equipment, and stopped at Kim's parents and her brother's before heading back to town for Trick or Treat evening.  Miaya was very confident about walking up to the doors by herself.

I thought afterward that I should have gotten a safari helmet and and a big butterfly net!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Sunday Drive........And More

It started as a Sunday trip to the grocery store.  Kim had dressed Miaya in a neat outfit, and I slipped back into the house and grabbed the camera because she just looked so darn cute.  We ended up going to Winterset, Iowa to look at a cemetery in search of some of Michael's distant relatives.  On the south side of Winterset there is a tiny little county park where we took these pictures.  Miaya was very cooperative, and posed very well for us.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Miss Ciara Takes The Crown

Kim's niece Ciara, (Miaya's honorary big sister) was elected fall Homecoming Queen tonight.  A nice honor for a  great girl.

The Queen and Her Court

How Tough Was Your School?

Country Schools were located so students seldom had to travel over 2 to 3 miles to school, usually on foot.  Many schools were simply identified by the section or township they were located in, often with a number.  Here in Southwest Iowa, many counties have identified the location of these schools, and placed marker signs.  Sometimes these schools were named for a nearby family, or a geographical feature.  A few of them, well take a look at a couple.

It's situated in a low lying area not far from a river, so the name makes sense.

Well, um, I guess, um, I just don't know. But, it was probably a tough school!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our little Ciara

Granted the child is way taller than me....she's still our little Ciara. In fact, we tend to confuse the names between Miaya and Ciara sometimes....boy Ciara gets into a lot of trouble at our house as much as her name is used! Kind of hard to be in trouble when you aren't even around! Anyway it was Ciara's birthday this weekend and we enjoyed a family picnic at Lake Icaria. We all ate til we were stuffed and headed out to the lake. Ciara and Michael took Miaya and they had a great time! Check out the pictures!

The latest in swimsuit style....floaty optional.
Our little Ciara

We also got to see Alex and his injury as he hopped to his sister's birthday. He unfortunately broke his ankle in a preseason football scrimage.He plays for Simpson College.  He was a starting player, too! Found out a lot of things through the experience: one being don't get injured in Lamoni hospital....if you have a choice don't go to Leon hospital...ask if they have an ambulance in the county...would be nice to have a little something for the pain, before they set it (they did it on the field) oh it was all very frustrating! But it was hard on Alex's spirit more than  anything....he loves to play football.  Looks as though no season this year....I'm hoping he will go out for baseball! I'm very lucky to have 4 wonderful nephews that are terrific young men!

Checking the temperature.

First Day of School

I really don't remember my first day of school, in fact I really don't have too many memories of grade school. I do remember when my mother would bring my treats, which always consisted of Cracker Jacks and cupcakes. She would go around to each child and write their names on the cupcakes! She also brought our baby kittens in one time with bows around their necks. Sweet memories...obviously I had some memories, and I hope that I can do the same with Miaya.
Miaya started the day with a nasty cold, but she kept on going. In fact she had a huge sneeze after the picture of her in front of the front door... and you know what came out everywhere. I'm so glad my husband carries paper towels around everywhere! The first picture is of her in the bedroom getting ready. I promise she is really Chinese, I don't pull her hair so tight it makes her eyes that way! She was a little tender headed this morning....but  she got through it. I really love my expression....looks like I just had big bite of lemon....but I was actually singing to her....nice shot Michael! Notice she had to ride to the beauty parlor on her tricycle.

Miaya and her backpack ready to go!
She has her own Kai Lan backpack which she is very protective of. She use to have a panda backpack, but she says that's for babies now. She is growing up...too fast for mama.

I just love this picture....can you feel the excitement!

She was a bit shy and cried a little when Daddy left, but she felt better after she had breakfast

The report from her teacher, was that she did real well. She's a smart cookie, she knows her alphabet...can identify little and big letters both, counts real well....especially when I give her m & ms. Enjoy the pictures!

Her Very Own Playground

Miaya has a "playground" as she puts it!  We got a swing-set on clearance, and now our girl actually has a place to play.  She could hardly wait for the slide to be attached for use, and the glider was a big hit, especially after she figured out how to make it "go faster" by herself.