August 31, 2012

Rhapsody in Pink

... a blog by Michaela.

Bree at Tea and Bree asked me to join her for a button swap in the month of August.  The month has come, and almost gone, and I have enjoyed getting to know my partner, Michaela.  Putting this together has not been easy going.  There has been one technical issue after another, including being locked out of my Google account and HTML with a life of its own.  Thanks to Brianna who was up until midnight retyping this interview when all attempts to repair the formatting proved impossible.




You can find this lovely young lady at Rhapsody in Pink. I believe the pairing for this project was quite random so I found it amusing to realize how much Michaela and I have in common.

The first thing I love to know about people, after knowing their name (which I might quickly forget) is how they came to know the Lord. So will you tell me how you met Jesus? 

First of all, I must say--I am so excited to be participating in this “button swap” idea of Bree’s. Not only is it a fun event, but I've gotten to know a lovely fellow blogger, and am able to share some personal insight that is, well, frankly, is quite unique. Kat definitely knows how and what to ask. I'm very honored. :)

Now to answer this question, having grown up in a Christian home, it can be a little hard to pin-point an exact Salvation date. However, making Jesus a personal part of one's life is vital--over the year's I've learned ...via my parents (who are such a stronghold!) and then in personal study. My first profession of faith was when I was 5 years old, while listening to an episode of Jungle Jam (please tell me I wasn't the only child on earth obsessed with that show!?) All I knew was that mom and dad, and well, Gruffy Bear wanted me to accept Christ into my heart. And I prayed a little prayer. Not legit, but a step! Again, when I was 8 years old I remember specifically sitting in church and "praying a prayer". I'd been baptized at 7 years old...but it wasn't until then that I actually sealed my commitment. I've since learned that knowing Christ is a relationship--prayers don't Save you.

My journey with Christ has been anything but smooth. As a strong willed gal, He's had to break me  more than once. I've fallen again and again, straightened things out, failed, and keep trying. It's a continuous adventure! Now in my early 20's I'm truly discovering a personal, deep, drastically challenging friendship with my Jesus. I've taken His word--not as "well, this is my parent's way" and, well, they're my heroes...and if my mom and dad say it's true, it must be!"--but rather as a Spiritual map to show me His WAY.

I understand you are part Italian. I am half Italian and love everything about the food, family, the culture, the il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing.) What is the best thing about growing up with Italian roots?

You have such a pretty way of stating things, Kat! :)

Yes, I am “part” Italian--75%, actually. My mother was born in Compobosso Italy, a little city in “the shin of the boot”--about three hours from Rome. Because of this, my heritage as an American Italian is very unique. Why? My grandparents speak broken, heavily-accented English. . . I've grown up listening and dancing to funky folk music and songs from the hills (that no modern Italian would dare listen to,) . . .and most of my mothers family still lives in Italy and France.

My Nonno (grandfather) runs a tailoring shop from his basement--a dark, outdated, wonderful little hole. The glued-together tables, the bowl of stale, overly sugary gumdrops--carefully calculated into each customer's bill--the long mirrors poised against the wall. . .are all reflections of this tiny, stubborn, soft-hearted man.

Upstairs is Nonna's domain: the kitchen. I feel Nonna in the air, in the aroma of garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce. Something is always simmering on the stove, pizza placed on the counter for random munching. My nonna is the world’s greatest cook--anyone who's eaten in her home vouch for it.

There is nothing more lovely than biting into a slightly chewy, crispy piece of bread dough, sprinkled with chunks of tomato. This, my friends, is pizza. Pizza in Italy isn't slathered in cheese, and heavy red sauce and meatballs are not only American, but Sicilian in origin. There's a huge difference between Italians and Sicilians, btw. They speak a completely different language, cook differently, practice different customs. In short, "true" Italians aren't loud-mouthed, obnoxious "Godfather" images. ;)

Some of my favorite traditions include Sunday afternoons in Nonno and Nonna’s living room watching soccer. Yeah, a room full of girls watching soccer. . .Wouldn't have anything to do with the stocky, dark-haired, swoon-ishly handsome players, of course. . .nah, we just love the game.  Christmas Eve is also prominent. As is European custom, we gather at night for a huge meal of seafood (breaded calamari! So.good.) Bacala, or cod, is traditional, cooked according to regional style. Nonna bakes her's with bread crumbs, white grapes, and walnuts. Amazing.

The evening end with gifts, several desserts, music, and a PBS special or two.

How did you become a blogger? How long have you been blogging? What is your favorite thing to write about? What is you dislike about blogging? What is your favorite part of being a well read blogger? How have your grown in your blogging and because of your blog? Consider your past posts and tell me what your three favorites are.

Ok, I’m going to try with all my might to shorten my replies! Hey, I can’t help that I’ve had an entire blog post typed out for months on my Italian family. ;)

1. I started blogging via Homeschool Blogger, hoping to meet fellow homeschoolers. I don’t remember all the details (I was about 16 or 17?) but a friend may have invited me.

2. It’s been about 4-5 years since I’ve been blogging (somewhat irregularly).

3. My blog is an online journal; the place where I am just me. Thus I can’t--and don’t--worry about offending anyone. If you don’t like what I write, don’t follow! :)

That said, I write at whim--my favorite topics are family/life events and Spiritual/inspirational thoughts.

4. Ooh, I dislike blogging schedules! ;) I’m somewhat of a “lurker” online, (which is odd, because I am totally opposite IRL,) and would rather read, laugh aloud, and blab everything to anyone nearby then leave comments or keep up with posting, events, and whatnot. Ah, but such is the bloggers life. Good discipline for people who put the pro into “PRO”crastinator. haha

5. I love the friendships I’ve developed via blogging. Truly, some of my dearest friends are bloggy buddies. Their friendship, comments, appreciation, honesty, and encouragement totally make “my little corner of the World Wide Web” worthwhile. Love ya ppls!

6. Well, first of all, my writing style has “grown”. I now know exactly what *I* like to blog about, and I’ve found that my readers usually do too. You can really see my different, constantly changing interest over the years. . .actually, I cringe whenever anyone tells me they’ve gone through my archives. It’s like, “oh. . .please.don’t.do.that.” ;) I mean, most of the picture-links are broken. Um, yeah. . .can’t copy and paste pics from emails. haha

It’s easier just being myself and talking about life than fabricating “unique” or “popular” posts. I want to appear as myself--down to earth. A regular, average girl living day by day with Jesus in mind. Like I said above, I don’t worry about offending in my convictions or lifestyle--and because of that, I have found many treasured friendships.

7. Favorite posts. . .ohh, tough one. Ok, I’ve got to say, “A few of moi favorite heroes”, (where I talk about. . .well, yeah, the title is self-explanatory, ;) ) “An awfully big adventure” (a New Year’s post summarizing 2011,) and one of my newest, “Running”, in which I speak of Christian perseverance.

Tell us a little about your family. What do you love about having lots of sisters? How do you like to spend your family time?

So much for keeping my responses short. ;) It’s only worse in person.

My dad (Dave) is a postal carrier in a nearby town--he’s done some management, but in short, he’s a good ‘ol mailman! I love him with my whole heart. He’s a true family leader, fun person, goof-ball, and very serious about his faith. It’s been an honor to give my daddy my “heart”.

Mom (Patrizia, aka, Patty) is a homemaker, coffee lover, strong Christian, and huge role model to her girls. She’s put up with just about everything an emotionally-charged household can conjure! I’ve mostly grown out of personality-clashes and have developed a very special friendship with mom. That’s the fun, adventure-some part of being an adult still living at home!

. . .and then there are the girls. For those of you who don’t know, I am the eldest of 5 sisters--me (21), Anna (19), Julia (15), Maria (13), and Lidia (10). Daily life in an all-girl family is. . .special. Sometimes I regret not having brothers to balance things out, but the Lord has provided several “adopted” brothers who suffice quite nicely. :)

Anywho--we are super-feminine with a rough-and-tumble twist. Thanks to dad. ;) It’s a blast sharing every part of every day with 4 beautiful, talented young ladies. We laugh. We cry. We swoon. We bicker. We shop. We cook. We listen to Adventures in Odyssey. We jump on the trampoline while serenading the neighborhood with The High Kings and Broadway.

Lets put it this way--having all sisters is hilariously fun. . .when everyone stops crying.

I see you are taking up walking and we know you like to write, play piano and dance, what other ways to you enjoy your free time?

Reading has always been a passion of mine--usually dramatic, slighty-dark, incredibly hero-ed, powerful and sometimes sappy-ish Victorian literature, like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Pearl Maiden’, ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, ‘Les Miserables’, etc, etc. I also enjoying cooking, shopping, (Forever 21!) watching movies, listening to my varied and unconventional playlist (hey, Celtic, Classical Crossover, soundtrack and opera is normal, RIGHT? Right.) dog training (when a dog is available--praying about that one,) road tripping, going to concerts/plays, and most recently, costume production for Independent Christian films. Oooh. . .and Anna, our dad, and I are crazy about rodeos and bull riding. Latest pastime (watching rodeos and bull riding, that is.)

Tell me about some of your favorites? Movie... book... food... season...

1. Definitely, without question or doubt--Fiddler on the Roof. We watch it every New Year’s Eve for my dad’s birthday; it reminds me of my family in a lot of ways. Five daughters. Strict tradition. European background. And gotta adore the music!

2. For some reason I can never think of just ONE favorite book. If bookS count, I’d say ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. Especially ‘The Silver Chair’. For darker stuffs, definitely ‘Pearl Maiden’. Inspirationally, ‘When Dreams Come True’ by Eric and Leslie Ludy.

3. PASTA! Even more than chocolate and coffee. I could seriously eat pasta all day. . .every day. . .for the rest of my life.

4. Hmm. . .at one time I’d say summer, but now probably late spring and early fall (LOVE fall fashion. . .knee length boots, leather gloves, cardigans, trench coats. . .)

For my readers who have never been to your blog, sum up yourself and/or your blog in ten words or less.

Passionate about her Savior, LIFE, growing, learning. . .and chocolate.

OR

Simple ponderings. Simple girl. A small piece of me. (blog motto)

If you knew you were to die tomorrow, what would you do today.

I would spend the day with my family (first and foremost)--making wrongs right (if that’s even remotely possible,) and in quiet time with God. SERIOUSLY praying, seeking, repenting. .It would be priority to write or call, possibly visit, all my closest friends.

If I came to your home, what would we do? Where would we go? What would we eat? What would you most want to show me in your real life world?

There is a certain regime we follow with girly visitors. :) The most important involves a visit to our beautiful historical Square. . .chatting at the coffee shop (think mocha’s and giant-sized homemade cookies,) rambling about the tree-lined sidewalks, stopping for pictures in the gazebo and with Gomer. . .the army-guy-statue. Total MUST. ;) We’d stop by the used book store for priceless, $1 treasures, look for stylish bargains at my favorite consignment shop, and last but not least. . .make the almost impossible choice between frozen yogurt at Lemonberry or lunch at the tearoom. :sigh: Perfectly girly day. . .though I’ve known some guys to enjoy it. ;)

If you were staying the weekend we’d have to make pasta together. . .and I’d HAVE to take you to the creepy-goth costume shop. It’s literally packed floor to ceiling with vintage clothing, hats, gloves. . .

Who has had the greatest impact on your life and why?

My parents. They have been through so much together, with us as a family, and individually in my own life struggles. I couldn't make it day-by-day without their support, example, and wisdom! We are a very openly-vocal family, so it isn’t an issue sharing the deepest feelings of my heart with either mom or dad. . .and yes, that includes “guy stuff”.

Outside of my family, I have been very inspired by the writings of Eric and Leslie Ludy. Just a couple of months ago I saw them speak, and have since read ‘When Dreams Come True’. They are such a beautiful example of purity!

Thank you so much Bree, for suggesting this event! And thank you Kat for interviewing me and allowing me to spatter my life’s story all over your blog. ;) ::hugs::
_______________________________

You are a lovely lady! Many blessings to you and your family. In conclusion, I would also like to thank Bree for giving me a chance to encourage and introduce this up and coming writer.  To Michaela, I have just one more question... when can we get together to make some Cavatelli, Braciole and marinara?

Michaela blogs about fashion, food, family, faith, entertainment and lots more at Rhapsody in Pink. Check her out!

August 28, 2012

A Short Courtship

This morning Sam was putting oatmeal into two bowls when I came into the kitchen. He explained, "Ellie and I are going on a date to see if we like each because we are getting married."

So I watched them sit at the table and pray. Then Sam said to Ellie, "I paid for dinner since it's a date."

I left them as they happily ate and chat. Later I walked back into the kitchen just in time to hear Elisabeth say, "I'm a nice girl."

I am guessing Sam agreed because shortly after they were holding hands when they came walking through and Ellie was dressed in a veil.

I Am Gabriel

We love to find good quality family movies for our weekly movie and pizza date with the kids.  I was tickled when I Am Gabriel arrived as my first review with Lovell-Fairchild.

A few minutes into the movie I was thinking, "This is kind of far fetched."  And then I thought, "Hmmmm... that's kind of like my God.  He sure is far fetched."

At another point I thought how likely is it really a little kid angel is the one God would send to turn a whole town around?  Yep... it's rather likely.  He uses the most unlikely vessels.  The Bible tells us angels will walk among us and we won't know them.  And in fact, He did choose to send a child named Jesus to do the most important job there ever was to do.

The theme of prayer was so prevalent in this film.  Prayer is a very important part of my life.  But I am a doing person and I have to stay focused on the need to pray and then do.  This film reinforces the fact that sometimes we have to stop trying to do and just pray.  At one point in the film, Gabriel doesn't attend church with his host family instead to take time for prayer.  I thought that was a good message to share with the world because, worship and church and praise are very important to our journey and our relationship with the Lord but sometimes we even have to put those aside and just get on our knees.

The movie takes place in the fictitious town of Promise, Texas.  I Am Gabriel was a project conceived and filmed by residents of Justin, Texas.  As the writer unfolds, in no uncertain terms, the despairing of this town and their need for revival the Lord laid on my heart how this town could be any town, any church or any family.  In our tragedy, disasters, mistakes and hardships we can hide from God or seek His face.  It is an active choice.  God will speak to His people if we choose to believe He can and will do a miracle.  Sometimes He is working right in front of us but we are too busy seeking answers and questioning the means to believe what He is doing.

Enjoy the trailer!





‘I AM . . . GABRIEL’ DVD DEBUTS AUG. 28
MOVING FILM TRACKS VARIED RESPONSES TO THE MYSTERY OF GOD’S WORK IN DAILY LIFE 
Starring Dean Cain and John SchneiderEchoLight.com/IAmGabriel

DALLAS – Aug. 14, 2012 – I AM . . . GABRIEL—a moving and mysterious film about divine interaction in our daily lives—launches DVD sales nationwide and online Aug. 28. From Director Mike Norris, I AM . . . GABRIEL weaves multiple stories of individuals touched by tragedy and their varied responses to an unlikely messenger from God with an amazing message of hope.

I AM . . . GABRIEL shows what happens when people turn to God in prayer and start to trust Him for the circumstances in their lives,” said Norris, who also co-wrote and acts in the film. “The mystery of faith comes to life and encourages every viewer to see God at work in every little detail.”

Starring Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville) and Gavin Casalegno in his breakout role as the title character, I AM . . . GABRIEL opens in present day Promise, Texas, a town parched for rain and hope, whose citizens feel cursed after a tragedy 10 years earlier. Then a young boy wanders out of the wilderness into the lives of the beleaguered residents. Miracles start to happen. Some believe and find hope. Some don’t and grow desperate. Some see a messenger from God, others a runaway kid, a huckster. Finally, as the town’s last skeptic backs him into a corner, the young boy reveals his identity. I AM . . . GABRIEL is a story of faith that leads to real hope, regardless of circumstances.


Produced by 2nd Fiddle Entertainment and Heaven’s Promise Productions, I AM . . . GABRIELis distributed by EchoLight Studios.


"We are absolutely thrilled to be distributing stories created by inspirational filmmakers like Mike Norris,” EchoLight Chief Global Strategist Christopher Morrow said. “And it is so encouraging to be in development with Mike on another EchoLight Studios project slated for production in 2013."


I AM . . . GABRIEL can be pre-ordered now with deliveries and immediate sales starting Aug. 28. The film is available through such leading online and retail providers as Amazon.com, LifeWay Christian Stores, Family Christian Stores, among many others.


ABOUT DIRECTOR MIKE NORRIS

Actor, director, writer and producer Mike Norris, son of legendary performer and martial arts champion Chuck Norris, founded 2nd Fiddle Entertainment to create faith-focused films that make a difference. With numerous film and television acting credits, Norris also directed films and multiple episodes of the long-running series Walker, Texas Ranger.


For more information, visit: EchoLight.com/IAmGabriel
Connect with the film on Facebook: Facebook.com/IAmGabrielmovie

August 24, 2012

It's A Jungle Out There- VBS 2012

Well, VBS has come and gone for another year.  And, as stressful as it is... as exhausting as it is... the kids love being able to volunteer and do what little part they can to share the gospel message with other children in our community.  The theme this year was, "It's a Jungle Out There" and with that in mind I made jungle trail mix and these cookies for my snack night.  
What do you think?  Do they look like zebras standing in the grass or like green cookies with Hershey Hugs on top?  You see it now, don't you?  Neither did my family.  I spent hours making them one very hot day.  It was so hot the Hugs were melting before I could get them unwrapped.  They were sitting on the cooling racks in the kitchen, all 100 and some, and each time someone walked through instead of the usual, "May I have a cookie, please?" they said, "What are they supposed to be?"  As you know, I was laid up that week and didn't go with the family on Monday night.  I told the girls to make sure Miss Jackie knew what they were supposed to be... just in case she might miss it.  ☺  Oh, well.  That's what happens when I try to be creative.  Thank God for creative daughters.

The boys were delighted to be part of the counting team for the coin march.  This is their third year doing it.  They go so into it!  They count the girls' money and they get so into it when it comes time to give their own money they put it in the girls' bucket instead of the boys'.
Ellie went to help stack two nights.
Nathaniel loves foreign coins so he always takes along some cash to trade out the foreign coins that inevitably get tossed in and aren't accepted by the bank.
It figures the night I went to count was penny night.  A hundred dollars is a lot of Pennies!
I love how focused Sam gets at every job he is given.  Usually, his tongue sticks out of the corner of his mouth.  It is too cute for words.
The boys dressed as jungle explorers.
The last night is always a carnival for the kids who attended, their parents and siblings.  Kaitlin and Brianna were face painting for the evening.
The ladies who do decorations always outdo themselves.  This year the one was moving the week of VBS and the other lady had her three grandchildren for an unexpected visit while their parents are dealing with a life threatening health issue.
And yet, it looked amazing!  See all the vines and leaves they were hand painted.
They even cut bamboo from one of the ladies property to put on the walls.
The altar reminds you a bit of the garden of Eden.  The rocks are paper machie
And look at the waterfall!
Aunt Dawn sent Sam this vest for his birthday in June.  He has worn it almost every minute since then.  He even wears it to bed.  He was so excited to realize he could wear it as part of his costume.
Brother Wayne is such a nut!  I am not sure how it came about but he ended up with a sailboat painted on his forehead.
And somebody graffitied the baby!
Even though I swore we were not volunteering for VBS this year... and even though it was a very tiring week... it was also a time of serving and memory making and sowing in little lives... in other words... time well spent.

August 23, 2012

What's Happening... or something like that

So it has been forever since I've done a mom post.  Partly, because it is summer and who wants to be sitting in front of a computer.  Partly, because it has been the busiest summer.  Against all our wishes to take it slow and focus on family, it seems the Lord had other plans.  Friends in need of help with babysitting, others in the hospital, a funeral, showers, house guests, birthdays, and of course all the typical things that are always happening with our own family and remodeling work.  

Maybe, I will get caught up here at Art's Chili Pepper one of these days.  Probably not.  But here is a little summary of what I've been up to in August.

Allen surprised me with a date night to a Casting Crowns concert a few weeks ago.  We have never seen them live and were immensely blessed.  This concert was sponsored by World Vision, a Christian Organization that works with children in foreign mission fields.  During intermission they talked about the program a bit and of course encourage everyone to sponsor a child.  Our family does a lot with different organizations around the world to give financial support working with various missionaries and organizations like Voice of the Martyrs.  But this seemed like a special opportunity because you work with one specific child with a name and a voice.  The Lord instantly laid it on my heart to sponsor a child who shared our Gussie's birthday.  But I wanted to confirm that it was the Lord's will and not mine.  So I didn't say a word.  I just asked the Lord for Allen to mention it if that was what we were to do.    

After the show, as we entered the lobby, Allen took my arm and lead me toward the tables where World Vision was set up.  He said something to the effect of we should take a look over here.  When one of the volunteers asked if we needed help he said we were looking for a child with this birth date.  Isn't God so good?  They didn't have any children who shared that date, most of their kids are older. But they directed us to the online search.  Busy week got away from us and it was the following Sunday when Allen said look at this.  He explained that in World Vision there is just one child registered with that birthday.  Just one.  And that is how Jose from Mexico became a household name.
Date night with my sweetie


So, thanks for asking.  On the knee front things are looking up.  Whoo Hoo!  Because I was getting more than a little grumpy.  Actually,  I got miserable enough after ten days of no progress I broke down and went to the orthopedic specialist.  It just so happens we have an amazing group who focus on sports medicine.  And since they rebuilt Brianna's knee a few years ago, I knew just where to go.
Emma took this picture of me filling out the many pages of paperwork... can you imagine how  much it would be if they weren't a paperless office?

For ten days I sat around doing what the Physical Therapist said to do and I was feeling so silly for thinking I was in so much pain when it seemed like such a little thing.  It turns out, it wasn't a little thing but a huge mess in there and then I felt so stupid for not going sooner.  Especially, in light of the fact that he had me up and running with little pain in just four days.  Dr. G had suffered the same injury himself so he was very sympathetic and had a wealth of information beyond what I expected.  He spent an hour hammering out a treatment plan, pt schedule and rehab schedule to get me back on the road.  A switch in anti-inflammatory medicine and a shot of cortisone and I was on the fast road to recovery.  I am definitely not where I would like to be but I am thrilled to be up and running again.  That first 1/2 mile seemed pathetic but I did it and after five days I am up to a mile a day.

I love that Ellie wants to give comfort to everyone in pain.  I also love that she thinks a bandaid can fix anything.  When I came home from the doctor she put this one on my hurt leg.

As part of their decision to challenge themselves to do something more for others the girls have been knitting hats all summer to go to NICU and to ladies undergoing Chemotherapy.  Since I've been sitting around doing just about nothing useful anyway, I pulled out my crochet needles and took a stab at it.  I have never been able to get the knack of knitting.  Don't know where my ladies got that gene.  I finished my first newborn hat yesterday and had a blast.  I will be donating them in honor of our Gussie.

Today I started my first chemo hat using a fabulous breast cancer pink cotton which reminds me of my darling Miss Lorene who is a breast cancer survivor and lover of all things pink.  I have never crocheted anything that wasn't a square or rectangle so learning to work in the round is a lot of fun.  I love the look of it and can hardly believe I waited  my whole life to figure it out.  As I have been working, I have had lots of fond memories of my Great Aunt Anna Marie who first taught me how to chain when I was Aedan's age.  

These are the pink cupcakes Ellie and I made one night while everyone else was at VBS.  Notice the neato Castle and tiara decor Aunt Dawn brought on her last visit.
For several days last week Ellie had a severe asthma attack.  She couldn't sleep for days because laying down made her gasp for air.  One particular night I sat with her so I could help her relax and get some sleep.    This is how Allen found us when he came back from Philly.

This summer, Allen and the kids have been building a tree house in the woods on our property.  It is hilly to get down there so with my bum knee I have not been able to check out progress for a while.  Saturday with things feeling better, I made the trek with Carmella and a box of popsicles.   I can assure you this will be the sturdiest and biggest tree house this side of... well, this side of something.  It's big.  

And by the way, don't you LOVE this hat on Carmella?  Well, that is about it for the miscellaneous highlights in August.

Hope all is well in your world,

Kat

August 22, 2012

Pigtails

I hope this little darling knows how much she is loved by her family!

Everything she does brings delight to us.
For instance this morning I made her first pigtails
And everything and everyone stopped to say "oh" and "ah"
We hear, "She's sooooo cute" at least a thousand times a day.
And she really is!
She is changing and growing so fast these days
Even a morning away from her is too long
Because you will have missed something new
She has recently learned to clap and say "Bravo", "Yay" 
and it's usually in response to us clapping for her and saying "Bravisimo" 
When she does something so obedient or so cute or so amazingly Winnie
In the last few weeks she has gone from two little teeth to almost 10!  
She loves her birds Reggie, Melvin and Babs.
She adores her bunny, Olivia, and has recently learned to say her name.
Yes, we think it is absolutely adorable when she snuggles Olivia and sticks her thumb in her mouth.
Her language skills have multiplied like crazy this summer.  
She says all sorts of things in English
And communicates quite proficiently with sign language
And because the girls thought it would be fun she is learning Italian, too.
Winnie loves her Pa
and long walks in her buggy
Books, blocks, cars, swinging and the pool
She sings and dances to music and can't help but be happy when someone sings to her.
She scoots along the furniture now
And has trouble taking her nap because she finds it far more exciting to watch what is happening outside her windows
She is practicing taking naps in her pack and play so she will be ready for vacation in the fall
Her favorite foods are grapes, bananas, raisins and currants but she will eat just about any fruit or vegetable we give her
Thank you, Lord, for this girl who fills our every day with Joy.  Thank you for your word that has taught us how to train her for your glory.  Thank you for sharing her with us for this time on the earth.