Thursday, October 22, 2009

For now...

Well, I have to take my last post back and regretfully admit that I just do not have the time I wish I had for this blog right now. Right now is the time that my 18 mo. old toddler needs all of my attention during her wakeful hours and my home and husband need me during her sleeping hours. When she is able to entertain herself for longer stretches of time, maybe I will get back into the swing of things.
For now - best wishes and I will hopefully commit back to this sometime in the near future.




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Updates and Getting back on track

This is my attempt to get this blog rolling again.  I have NO idea how it's going to look this time around, but figure that this is just my outlet for anything that might be on my mind for the day/week.  I have been gone from this for a long time because, well, I just really didn't feel like organizing my thoughts this summer.  But, I do enjoy the times that I am productive enough to get something jotted down, so I am going to give it a try again!
Time is especially limited for me, these days, because Vienne is down to just one nap a day - a short 1 hour and 15 minute nap, at that.  Naps are basically the only time I have to get a lot done - ie:  make and eat lunch, tidy up, maybe get a workout in (yeah right), read my Bible and journal (ahem), check and respond to emails, get some cooking done/started....and, yeah, blog.  haha.  I have a friend (ahem, Lacey) who, in my opinion, seems like a super woman to me with two kids (one being a newborn this summer) who has already started a regimented workout routine, knits amazing projects, makes skincare products and sells them on etsy, cooks for her family and roommates, does housewifey things, and manages a blog a few times a week!!!  I am utterly perplexed and humbled by what she gets done.  How does she do it...well, I'm planning to ask  when I can get her out here for a visit.  I am a pretty organized person but there is NO WAY that I could get done half of what she gets done.  I feel like such a lazy ass.
Ok, anyway, enough of that.  :D
Updates.  How about some updates about this family of mine.  Well, this week Vienne will be 17 months old!  That is crazy to me.  She is quite the fun little lady with loads of personality - aren't they all?  She is completely buzzing all about the house now, full of creative insights each day.  We have discovered that this girl loves to organize, loves to clean (I'm serious...hand her a rag and she will wipe any surface), loves to play dress up, loves to dance, loves loves water and the outdoors, loves her soccer ball and is learning to kick it...especially on the beach...and much more, of course.  She is still pretty shy and hesitant out in public, but is opening up a bit more each time.  She is not really talking or doing many of the "normal" things kids do at her age, like pointing to her nose or body parts when you ask, trying new words, running, or eating lots of foods, for example.  Of course, we are not concerned about these things, we have come to learn that Vienne does things in her own time...she is a watcher.  She soaks it all up and then one day she just lets it all out, at once.  I know she is listening and watching and learning a ton and she responds very well...but she doesn't seem to feel the need to prove anything to us yet.  She is still very petite, as well which just tells us that she will be a small girl.  At 16 months, she was only 18 lbs. but, as the doctor said, she is developing just fine.
Anyway, so that's Vienne.
As for our family, we have a vision of some big changes ahead.  Mark is making some huge career changes which will give us the opportunity to move to Portland when things really take off.  Right now, the job is kind of slow-going but we are hopeful and prayerful.  We have listed our house and if we don't find buyers at the time that we want to move, then we will look for renters.  All of this is in God's hands and we are striving to remain faithful to His provisions and His will for us.  It has been a stressful summer to say the least, but we know we are well taken care of.
As a housewife, during all of this change and stress on our finances, I have been doing all that I can to manage our food and household expenditures in a frugal and wise manner.  I have been brainstorming for frugal meals and ways to keep the household going in an affordable and health-conscious way.  Not just because of finances, but more out of the heart to keep our household safe and healthy as well as lessen our carbon footprint, I have been making further adjustments along with the rest.  For example, I finally purchased my first 50lb. bag of bulk wheat berries to mill our own flour for baked goods, I have finally started making all of my cleaning products (save dishwasher and laundry detergents...which totally bombed for us...such a bummer....will try new recipes soon), shopping mainly at our local Farmer's Market throughout the summer, using whatever scraps that the critters left behind of our sad little garden...etc.  
These past few weeks I have finally really been getting into sprouting and I think I will write more on that later.  Fun stuff!
I've also been dealing a lot with my health lately and I think I will write a post on that sometime soon for anyone who can relate to hormonal imbalances as well as digestive issues.  Woohoo.
For now, I will bring this update to a close and insert a few recent pictures.


starting to love her books

soccer on the beach!

playing dress-up in one of mom's shirts (what a distressed look, huh?!)

going out for our 4 year anniversary!

anything can be a phone

picked up a rag and literally started cleaning the car!  that's my girl!

more cleaning....start 'em early!

dress up in dad's shoes

Monday, July 6, 2009

BIG weekend for Vienne!

I know this is turning into a blog mostly about Vienne lately....but, that's what mostly dominates my mind anyway!
So, this weekend we had quite a few big firsts from her.
1.  I laid her down for her usual afternoon nap on Saturday before we were to head over to a 4th of July bbq.  Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those random fluke days that Vienne decided to skip her afternoon nap (she does this from time to time).  The days she chooses to do this, she typically lays in there, in the dark, and "chit chats" to herself for a half hour and then cries and whimpers for the next 30 minutes.  I usually make her stay in there for an hour.  Well, this day she was in there for the entire hour giggling, singing, and chattering LOUDLY the entire time.  I mean giggling so hard I could have sworn that someone was in there tickling her!  Finally, after the hour was up, I went in there (in frustration at her) and found her standing up and bouncing on her mattress!  This is a first, people!  This is the first time she has sat up from the laying position and then continued to pull herself to standing!  No wonder she was laughing with glee the entire time.  She was so proud!  All I could do was laugh right along.
2.  My girl is walking!  Well, not entirely confidently all around the house.  But, she is solidly 'island-hopping' - like from the table to the chair to the cabinets to the wall and so forth!  No more needing mom or dad to steady herself and hold her hand!  Check out the video of her walking between us but just using us as stopping points.  Pretty exciting!  We finally started baby-proofing the house this weekend.




video

3.  Vienne might be proving to be an artist!  Maybe like her mommy?  So, during one of her naps this weekend, I pulled out some paper and pencil to sketch a bit.  I left it laying on the couch that afternoon.  Once she was up, I left her playing in the living room while I cooked (living space and kitchen are one huge open connected space where I can watch over her....love it!).  Anyway, I look over and find that she has picked up my pencil and brought it over to the paper and started drawing on it!  First off, let me clarify that we have never taught Vienne how to use a pencil yet.  We've never played with crayons or anything.  So, as you can imagine, I am just overwhelmingly shocked that she has succeeded to not only pick up the pencil and hold it the right way, but to also put the writing end onto the paper and then continue to draw with it!  She covered the paper w/mostly scribbles....and not once did she touch the couch or cushions with that pencil.  Well, after she was finished and I picked that paper up.....look below at what I discovered on it!!!
NOT KIDDING!  Do you see the two stars???  Two!!  Crazy, huh?!  Now, I must admit that I have been pretty reserved in boasting any exceptional behavior from her until this point.  I even admit that I used to think that she might just be behind most of the 'typical' kids her age.  She has never exhibited the need to rush forth with anything, prove anything, or acquire new skills quickly.  But, now I'm starting to rethink things about her.  I am wondering if she is just that quiet smart little one who sits back and really watches everything.  I've always known that she is extremely watchful and observant, I guess I just never put it together that she was actually learning so much from that watchful behavior!  I am excited to see what else she pulls out in the months and years to come!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First Steps

Vienne Juliet is 14 mo. old today.

My little baby girl is pretty much walking now!  Very exciting times in our home.  She's been walking, holding onto our hands for a few months now - but now she is walking back and forth between me and Mark!  And, last night for the first time, she let go of the edge of the table to walk towards my open arms!  That was huge!  Any day now I know she is just going to let go and walk towards something that she wants instead of towards my arms of security.
She has also been sleeping on her tummy every night and naptime and now I find her on her hands and knees once she is awake.  Perhaps she will finally start crawling after she is walking!?  That would be funny!  Or at least this position is teaching her to sit up on her own....finally!

As far as first words, Vienne has been saying "Mama" and Dada" for quite some time and also says "num num" on occasion and just added "Bob" to the vocabulary.  "Bob"?  You ask?  Oh yes, Bob is one of Grammy's puppies.  

Vienne has been mimicking me more and more, which has been totally cute.  She now picks up her comb and tries to rub it on her head.  She has picked up my makeup brushes and shoved them at her face.  Last week she started using her spoon quite accurately.  And, of course the organizational skills of hers continue to grow and grow.  Have I mentioned these?  This girl loves to organize - to put things away, in their place or at least some new place she has assigned them.  Rarely does she make a catastrophic mess because she is always putting things in containers and back up on shelves and in little holes.  Yes, of course we have covers on the outlets!  Her favorite toys are tupperware containers and boxes along with tiny little objects to sort in the boxes and then shut them away with the lids.  The other week we were in a little health food store and I set her down on the ground to walk along a shelf that was at her level.  The shelf was filled with display boxes of granola bars and such.  A normal baby would probably pull everything out of those boxes and strew them all over the floor.  Nope.  Not my Vienne.  She re-organized those boxes in her own terms - removing bars from one box to put them in the next.  Not one granola bar was on the floor, nor even on the actual shelf....each of them were in different boxes from their original spot.  It was so funny.  Of course, I had to put everything back where it belonged before we left - but I was quite impressed.

Growth-wise, Vienne is still so very small.  I'm not really concerned because she still has a decent amount of chunk on her thighs, belly, and cheeks.  I just wonder when she will have a growth spurt!  She is 14 months now and can still fit into 9 mo. size clothing!  And  last night I just happened to check the tag on one of the jammies she regularly wears...it is size 6 mo.!  I put it away for principle's sake!  And, man oh man, her feet have never grown!!  She still wears a size 2 shoes!  That is the same size she was wearing a year ago!  Surely saves on the pocketbook!  But it's kinda weird, isn't it?  At her 12 mo. checkup (which was actually at 11mo.) they said she was "perfect" so I'm not going to think twice, I guess.  

And I think that about sums up June for us!  And, here's a video of those first steps last week along with a few cute pictures!

video

Summer finally arrived here on the Oregon coast!

Getting my girl out to enjoy the beach she lives at

Organizing garlic into the jars while she eats lunch on the counter

Took a morning walk to check out the low tide and the tide pools around Haystack Rock

Being coy


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vienne Updates - June '09

Well, this past week has been full of a few new things from our precious little girl.  

Last week, while visiting Grandpa in Portland, Vienne took her very first 4 steps on her own, away from her Daddy's secure hand.  It was very exciting and showed us that she may just be closer to fully walking on her own than we thought!  She has grown very skilled at scaling the walls and really only needs one hand on the wall or furniture to get around.  I think it's more for her own security than anything else...like she doesn't realize that she really can do it on her own.  One characteristic I've really been noting about this little girl is that she is in no rush to acquire a new skill...or at least hasn't been up until this point.  She takes her own leisurely time and doesn't need to prove anything.  It's funny.  Most kids I see are just so dang determined!  She's totally skipped the crawling stage...and if I haven't mentioned before, we've already gotten a lot of flack about that one!  Like you can control whether they crawl or don't!  It's funny - this girl can pull herself up to standing position and pretty much navigate around any obstacle as long as she can have a grasp on one edge of it...but, if laying on her back she canNOT sit herself up to save her life!  When on her back, she is like a beached whale flapping her arms until you sit her up or pick her up!  Isn't that weird??  I know she'll learn it on her own, soon enough...but it is strange.  She'll be walking on her own soon, but won't even know how to sit up on her own....like a turtle flipped on it's back! 

Well, along with this new realization that she is sooooo close to walking, she has just actually given up the interest in scaling the walls in preference to holding our hand and walking her all around the house, in circles, back and forth.  It's terrible and tiring.  And, of course since I am not game to do this for more than one loop around the house, she has begun to reveal her first selfish tantrums!  I experienced the very first full-body fit just the night before last.  It was sooo strange for me to watch!  Let me explain - this girl has been sooo mild-tempered and easily consoled and distracted.  Now, she knows what she wants and it's all that's on her mind and she will scream to get it...finally showing that 'determination' that I thought she lacked!  I was a kindergarten teacher for like 4 years...I've seen my fair share of fits, so I don't give in too easily.  I just stood over her and watched her thrash until she calmed down, panting and gasping for breath.  Then I held her until she was breathing normal.  Once she was calm and content, I let her walk just a bit.  But, I want to nip this in the butt as soon as I can...I am not one who will placate her through her tantrums and give her what she wants.  But, man oh man, it is so ugly to see this new side of your child!  I should also add in, though, that that night we discovered a new tooth that just broke through the surface that day...thus, most likely explaining her dramatics and moodiness.  Poor girl.  

So, this week has been interesting...pushing a little toother forth and enduring many little fits.  It's hard to get much done now when she's awake cuz she's so moody if she doesn't get to walk about, holding my hand.  Eventually, I just sit her on her bum, or leave her holding onto the couch and tell her that if she wants to walk that she needs to do it on her own. Yeah, that's not getting across to her too well...but, that's my mentality!  Anyone have any suggestions for how they've dealt with their baby's tantrums??

Through all of this, Vienne surprised us the other night by sleeping fully through the night!  What a treat for me!  So, despite the fact that she is breaking a tooth forth, I am going to go ahead and start weaning her from her one night time feeding...which, I know, is against the books.  "They" instruct you to wait til their body is not going though anything traumatic, but I think she is ready and I want to follow through with what she accomplished the other night by doing it all on her own.  So, that's my new endeavor...maybe this Mama will be more refreshed and rested through the days!  yay!

Here are a few pictures...



This is my "mild baby" - the one who sits on the counter and plays with garlic cloves for 20-30 minutes while I cook.  But, this is soon to change, I am learning!

So close to doing it on her own.

Bored with that...now wants my hand!

Starting to whine and getting close to a possible fit...

This is her yelling for me since I walked out of the room...haha

Playing 'pat-a-cake'

Monday, June 8, 2009

Love and Respect


Mark and I have been reading Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich.  Interesting book.  If you're not familiar with it, it focuses primarily on the passage from Ephesians 5:33 which states: 
"However, each of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Those who know the Bible are familiar with this passage, especially if we are married.  But, have we fully digested what it truly means to "respect our husbands"?  For me, respecting Mark has not been difficult to do, so honestly, I have found myself only mildly embracing this 'instruction'.  But, the book points something out that struck me:  the fact that our husbands value respect not as much as they value love but as much as we women value love.  If they were given the option between receiving love or respect, they would choose respect.  To me, that is a foreign thought as a woman.  Love is so much more important to me.  

What has also become an interesting topic with some other ladies I know is the concept of 'unconditionally respecting' our husbands.  As we enter the marriage, I assume that we hope for and expect unconditional love, as Christ loves us...do we not?  To be loved despite our follies, our irritating habits, our past...etc.  Right?  Well, that's exactly what our men need from us with respect.  To respect them despite their mistakes, their choices, their behavior...etc.  This entire concept was brought up in my ladies' Bible study and I was sadly disappointed to discover that the other ladies did not view respect this way.  Their respect for their husbands is conditional and they seemed pretty firm in believing that was acceptable.  It made me so sad.  

Of course, respecting our husbands, unconditionally, is not an easy task at all times.  Yes, they will make poor choices, they will behave in ugly ways...we will not always like them. But, as Christ loves us despite all that we've done and continue to do, so are we to aspire to treat our husbands in the same light.  It is an act of obedience not of feeling, sometimes. The scripture does not say "love your wife as you love yourself when it is easy to do and the wife must respect her husband only when he deserves it".   And, Christ does not love us only when we are perfectly following Him, nor does He call us to love others and treat others kindly only when they deserve it.  He instructs us to love our enemies, to love the unlovable...all the more, we should be loving and respecting our husbands, should we not?  The point of all this is not to say that it is easy.  No.  Of course it isn't.  If it was easy to do then the Lord wouldn't have to make such pointed instructions for us, now would He?  These things are difficult sometimes, yes.  And, no, we cannot always do it on our own.  One girl in my study said that if her husband cheated on her, she would not be able to handle it and she would leave without looking back, knowing that is against what the Lord asks of us.  Of course, I believe that is what we would all initially feel.  Of course, we would not be able to handle it.  But I have been embracing, more and more lately, the awesome power of our God.  In saying that 'we cannot handle it and we would just give up', we are limiting His power.  No, we cannot handle it, but HE surely can.  And, when we rely on Him, He works the impossible.  Dealing with infidelity is not something that I am familiar with in the least bit and I cannot say that I know how I would respond to it.  But, in knowing what I know now and seeing the testimonies of the Lord's work around me and in other seemingly impossible marriages, I know the restorative power of Jesus and that He can work the impossible when we let Him. So, in that light, shouldn't we respect our husbands unconditionally, with the same reliance on our Heavenly Father?  It's an act of obedience and obedience does not always feel "fun" or easy.

So, what does unconditionally respecting our husbands actually look like?  Well, this is something I'm still learning.  And, it is hard to think about.  I'm trying to come up with something terribly disrespectful that Mark or any husband could do...and then ask myself how I would respond and how could I respect that.  With my flesh?...no, that's impossible.  Let's see...let's say my or your husband chose to do something very dishonest.  Are we supposed to respect that action?  No, I don't think that's what it's saying.  I believe it's like the call to love.  You know how you've heard the saying "love the person, hate their sin"?  I think that's how it's supposed to be in respecting our men.  Respect him for who he is and who you married. Right?  Does this make sense?

I started reading this Love and Respect book with admitted cynicism.  But, obviously, I am gaining much more out of it now, than I thought I would.  I guess bringing it up as a discussion topic with other women started to give me insight to the truth of it and how we, Christian wives, need to freshen up on the instructions the Lord has given us.  I desire a fabulous marriage...and I, honestly, believe that I do have one.  But, I want more!  We need to always be growing and pursuing new heights in the Lord.  In all respects, Mark and I are still 'newly weds' (4 years) - so we have lots of growing to do!  I want to be a power-house couple that emanates the fragrance of Christ!

Anyway...stepping off my soapbox now.  Those were my current jumbled thoughts on this and I needed to unload them after the difficult discussion I had with the ladies at my study.  I would love to hear other thoughts!

Friday, June 5, 2009

When Mark Dresses Vienne...



It always gives me a fun chuckle when I emerge in the morning to discover that I forgot to lay out clothes for Vienne, which left my color blind husband in charge of dressing her for the day!  Today, we have a darling little peachy-pink dress with brown trim, layered over a strawberry pink undershirt with darker pink polka dots and finished off with plum purple fleece pants with striped cuffs.  Doesn't actually look that bad in the picture...he has managed to pull of worse...but it was just silly enough for me to share.  He literally thought the colors here were brown, green, and blue.  Not really sure how that would've worked together, anyway...but man oh man this color-blindness of his keeps me on my toes!  Isn't it great?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow...


We did it!  We finally got our garden veggies planted last night!  Mark built this beautiful raised bed over a month ago and we have just been waiting to find the best and most affordable way to fill it with good soil.  We finally got a truckload in it yesterday.  We planted mostly cool weather veggies, since we live here on the coast.  We have a mesclun blend of greens in those first few rows, then some rainbow chard, a winter squash, a summer squash, a row of carrots, a row of beets, some broccoli, and sugar snap peas growing up the lattice against the far end of the wall!  Fingers crossed that everything grows well.  We had a very very small little garden in our last home....but this is my first real vegetable garden and I am so excited to see how it turns out.  Man oh man, if we can get away with eating veggies only from here and not have to buy produce for a while, I will be so ecstatic!  Lord willing, I am diligent to tend to it regularly with loving care!
And, now we are just waiting for an opportunity for more soil to fill the area to the right of the garden bed in which we can plant grass seed!  Then, Vienne and I will have a little side yard to play in during the summer!  Oh I do hope that this works out and that we can grow the grass quickly.  Soil is so gosh darn expensive!  
And, finally, we will finish this area off with a compost bin that Mark will build from scrap wood.  Then I won't feel so guilty about throwing food scraps into the garbage and we will have compost for our garden!
This is how my garden is growing!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God's Pharmacy

A friend sent this to me...and you may have even seen this before, but I think it's soooo cool!
 It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish.... all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...

God left us great clues as to what foods help what part of our body!

God's Pharmacy! Amazing! 
A slicedCarrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flowto and function of the eyes.
Tomatohas four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research showstomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.
Grapeshang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like ablood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.
Walnutlooks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like thehuman kidneys.
Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak.. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pearstarget the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).
Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility. 
Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.
Olivesassist the health and function of the ovaries
Oranges,Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruitslook just like themammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.
Onionslook like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion,Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

8 things

Just another one of those silly little questionnaires to pass the time...

8 Things I Am Looking Forward to:

1. Sunny weather
2. Planting my vegetable garden and getting a grassy yard area growing
3. Anyone to come and visit us!
4. Getting my hair trimmed soon
5. My grape kombucha to finish brewing
6. What the coming year may hold for us
7. Throwing Lacey's baby shower
8. Meeting my little niece that is brewing inside her belly!


8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Cleaned up the house
2. Threw a mini temper tantrum over Vienne's 30 minute (WAY too short) nap
3. Visited Mark at work
4. Had a friend come to visit and chat about homebirths
5. Rejoiced over Vienne's 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap to make up for the morning one.
6. Realized that she's in the depths of painful teething still
7. Made a lame dinner
8. Watched 'Dancing with the Stars'

8 Things That Bring Me Peace and Comfort

1. Reading
2. Quiet morning time, on the porch, in the sun with an iced coffee
3. Staring at our ocean and breathing in the salty breeze
4. Spending time with my mom
5. Good worship
6. Prayer 
7. Knowing that I've been productive
8. A date with my husband

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Back from my hiatus...

Took a bit of a break from writing, in the last month.  Here's a catch up of things in a nutshell...
Celebrated my 31st birthday.  Celebrated our Risen Savior on a stormy day.  Seth and Lacey came to visit.  Tried to finish a crochet project.  Gave up on said crochet project.  Tried a new naturopathic doctor.  Found inspiration for my yard.....finally.  Started planting flowers and herbs and preparing for a vegetable garden.  Planned for a compost bin...waiting for wood to build it.  I started making kefir.  Finally and officially switched from using paper towels/napkins to cloth.  Finished my collection of cast iron pans to replace my old yucky ones.  Vienne started cruising around the house, holding onto walls and furniture...but not yet walking on her own.  Vienne claps to music and excitement.  Vienne started 'dancing' in place when we say "let's dance!".  Vienne celebrated her first birthday! My baby is ONE!  Threw a huge birthday party for her...and she got spoiled rotten.  Made lotsa yummy foods for the party.  Grandma Lynn came to visit...Aunt Kate and Uncle J came to visit...it was a big weekend.  Vienne broke out with small weird blisters on her cheek, eyelid, and finger. Thought it was chicken pox.  It was not.  Vienne also experienced her first bout of a runny nose and a fever...still not sure if it was a bug or teething.  Mark found an opportunity for a new job, in addition to real estate.  Mark took his online classes.  Mark passed his final exam.  Mark is now a certified (licensed?) mortgage loan officer...on the side.  I found hope for actually being able to move out of here some day sooner than I thought.  We sold our new car and bought an old one.  We are looking into listing our house. Simplifying.  Honored my mother on Mother's Day.  Vienne started sleeping longer...til 8:30 a.m.!  Found Vienne sleeping on her tummy for the first time in her life.  Discovered that Vienne likes puzzles and putting things away.  Continuing to attend my Bible Study even when I feel things are awkward.  Started hanging out with a new friend and her 2 kids.  Read a few books.  Got challenged to be thankful for my illnesses.  Here's some pics of things I mentioned:

Scaling the walls...

Getting caught playing with the filling...

Her new squatting position...

my front walkway finally getting spruced up...

potted flowers...

our garden bed and potential side yard...soon to be filled with grass and veggies!

playin' with my sis in a hat shop...

Aunt Kate and Uncle J's visit...

walking around in her birthday party dress...

singin' "Happy Birthday"...

other yummy treats - a rhubarb and lemon mousse tart...

considering eating her yummy organic, naturally sweetened 'Birth'-day cake...

playing with a new wooden toy...putting the balls away...

my beautiful, precious, wonderful gem of a baby