Sunday, August 28, 2011

The long walk home...

Well, it's not usually a long walk. But with this "help", the trek between the el & home takes a little longer than usual.

Notice how Beary Bear's strapped to her arm. Saving her from the huge "push or hold BB" dilemma blocks before.

YouTube Video

Music in the city

It's no surprise to anyone here that we love living in Chicago... Especially this time of year. One perk is the many summer festivals and live music.

Hands down, our fave venue is Millenium Park (shown in the first video during a recent visit from my family's former xchange student, Jana). Free. Amazing skyline. World class performers. Need I say more? Unfort, since the arrival of our monkeys we don't make it as often as we'd like.

The second video is a free concert right in our 'hood. As you can tell, it's quite the draw for all the families.

How cool it is to be able to share such diverse music and culture with E & A!

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beach Day!

We're soaking in the last days of summer around here... Which means hitting the beach as often as possible. Yesterday we introduced Aunt Katie to "our" beach and finally documented some beach-side adventures!

Learning to wave jump!

Not yet a fan of the water... But finding plenty of sand adventures! (most likely searching for Beary Bear here)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 1, 2011

A sensitive soul...

Underneath E's sassy, spirited, effervescent (my Mom's descriptor), Fancy-Nancyesque facade we're starting to see a sensitive soul. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of the above stated 'tude/fits to go around, but these little rays of *unprompted* sensitive, caring, thoughtful sunshine are brightening more parts of more days of late. I thought it worth noting a few (for possible reference next time she is dragging her sister across the yard because she just. won't. come. when i call her!). A few exhibits:

- After talking about the famine in Somalia and the reality that many children don't have enough to eat, she pondered quietly for a few seconds then offered: "Well why don't they all come here and we can give them food?" When we explained that it takes money they don't have to travel here, she thought a little longer and countered: "Then why don't we just send them food?". Duh.

- One of the joys (and challenges) of city living is the real-life exposure to people with obvious needs. Almost every time we drive somewhere we encounter someone asking for something. Sadly, my hardened, adult eyes (and heart) often *don't see* them. But E rarely misses an opportunity to remind me to give them some food (we try to carry granola bars or the like) and is sincerely puzzled and concerned by the fact that someone wouldn't have a home when "There are so many houses all around us!".

- She's actually starting to ask us if we would like something BEFORE. HER. or letting us pick between two choices before she does. Now, this doesn't always mean she'll happily give us our selected whatever without a fuss... but at least she's starting to think about it, right? Here's how this might go. E: Mama, which color would you like to color with? Blue or pink? Mama: Pink. E: Uhhhh.... But I really like pink. Are you sure?! Baby steps...

- And we're even hearing more unprompted pleases and thank yous. Hallelujah!!

Now, lest I leave anyone with the false impression that this is the norm (and we've thereby overcome the toddler years...) scroll back to the top and re-read the dragging her sister across the yard reference. Which is way. more. the. norm. My point in posting is to not forget these emergent glimpses into this beautiful little girl's heart. Our prayer is that the Lord would continue to call her and guide us in this journey!