Wednesday, July 24, 2013

These are the Days

I can't even remember when I started the below . . . computer time is little when an almost-four-year-old  gets up at 6:30 and doesn't nap. And that's okay. And in case I forget, let me say it here to remember in years hence: I cannot seem to do anything productive after bedtime. Unless you count watching Downton Abbey productive. I keep thinking I'll get so much more reading done, or something done, once I finish the series (just half of an episode left).

Life is good, "these are the days". Laughing children, sunshine, playgrounds, memories. Truly, joy surrounds.

Life can be interesting, "these are the days" . . . of growth. Prayers for patience, inspiration, Grace, God's perspective. Early mornings, short rest times, trying to bring beauty and creativity into our home. Embracing the ordinary, living in the moment. These things take intentionality and inspiration. I'll be the first to admit that I easily get sucked into the mundane, the monotonous, the unimportant details of a day.

I just read a profound-to-me little article in Guideposts that resonated so strongly. The woman was writing about a day with her 7 children where all the demands drove her to lock herself in her bathroom . . . where her children then knocked on the door and then waved flowers for her under the door. She prayed, "Lord, I'm having trouble handling all my blessings today". So true, we can be surrounded by blessings and still need great grace to handle them all. She ended her article saying, "God never gives us more blessings than we can handle". I am beyond blessed, but never beyond the need for grace and strength.

Random happenings

- Karis picked the first ripe tomato off one of our plants. She keeps trying to like them, but just can't quite make herself

- My family came here for the 4th of July weekend, we made many memories with time in Excelsior, celebrating Trev's birthday at The Anchor Fish and Chips (or as Karis calls it, "Ben Kyle's brother's restaurant"), putting together a swing set my parents gave Karis (or in my case, watching everyone else put it together). Karis treated us to a concert: sat on her little white chair, crossed her legs, strummed her guitar, sang her heart out. As Grandma Nancy said, "She's a natural!". Good times.

- Trev's family came here the following weekend and we had a great time celebrating Trev's birthday here with dinner and a "concert", Karis style. She started us off with asking her audience questions, inviting their questions, "twinkle twinkle", "Whole World in His Hands", "When the Saints go Marching in". Aunt Debbie finished us off in the living room with more beautiful ballads.

- And yes, Happy Birthday to Trevor! The day began with brunch at The Anchor with his cousins. Many laughs and sampling unidentifiable meats. Lots of outdoor time, grilling here with family. I'm increasingly thankful for his life, and getting to know who he is (I'm learning there's always a lot to learn even after so much time together) is such a gift.

- We spent most mornings one week at the church, doling out snacks for "KidsCAN - Creativity Camp" (think, VBS). Karis lit up being with her friends and then participating later in the week, highlights were a puppet show and watching the older kids play musical instruments. 

- Had a "barn raising", friends came over to help finish the swing set and to help us eat some elk steaks.   Thankful.

Quotes and media:

From Everyday Relationships (a favorite podcast with Susie Larson and Greg Smalley): How easy it is to parent out of fear (reaction) instead of love (inspiration) . . . good reminder, lots to think about.

From Too Small to Ignore (by Wes Stafford, President of Compassion International"
"The most precious thing we can give our children as parents is warm, positive memories. More important than making cookies, getting the shopping done, or cleaning the house is what happens along the way. Childhood happens!"

"With a little imagination and willingness to play along, you can earn your way into their world. Once there, you will reap the great joy of listening, learning & lovingly shaping values and dreams that will last a lifetime."

Books to remember:

- A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. One of those that at the beginning I thought not worth the time, but ended up being delicious (it's one of those new fad food/recipe memoirs)
- Too Small to Ignore (excellent, go get your copy now)
- My Antonia (dear Willa Cather, I adore your writing)

- I Spy (Karis). She's scary good at this kind of seek-and-find thing
- Time for Preschool (Karis picked this one out . . . maybe she's ready?)
- P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet (especially the pages about the Badlands. Love it! A prairie girl at heart, I think)

- "What's your name? Where do you live? You go up the red slide" (said to her new little friend at the McD's play place"
- "Want to do a concert?" (and then proceeds to put on a beautiful show of songs, audience participation, and
- "Let's play farmer's market!" (there was a play one set up at the library . . . and she recreates this wonderfully at home). Last week we took a field trip to one, where of all things she got a gummy worm (which was, of course, the highlight). Ha!
- "Let's pray for the 'Wisconsin' family" (from our church, going to Tanzania for a couple years - their name is Swanson, but Karis insists on this pronunciation, and I love it)
- "Mom" (she calls me mom a lot now . . . "mommy" and "momma" are still there, just not exclusive now)
- "Where does _______ come from?" (Asked about anything. Sometimes a Google search comes in handy. Almonds come from trees, by the way)
- "Mommy, it's 7:00! It's time to get up!" (thank you digital clocks)
- "Hi, my name is Beth, what's your name? How old is your son? Oh, my baby is six months too!" (this was her role-playing game a couple weeks ago. I love entering her little worlds when she invites me)
- "Here's a thank you note, for mommy, Judah, Daddy, God" (she wrote this during bedtime and had Trevor bring it to me. Heart melter after what was a rather interesting evening . . . like, when K was quite rough with her barely toddling little friend. Anyways, things do tend to balance out
- "Okay, well, I'm done with my gummies, so I'm just gonna go do some reading"
- "I'll go in here, so I'm modest" (said while getting dressed in a different room)
- "I wanna hold your hand!" (think Beatles. we sing this as we walk down the stairs)

Judah Updates:

- He loves to roll from back to front
- He loves to suck on his toes
- He loves to suck on his thumb, especially when holding onto a blanket and sucking the blanket at the same time. I LOVE this, adorable beyond words
- He loves his tummy time, a friend recently said he looks like superman with his arms and feet in the air. It makes me think of a "swimmie" yoga pose
- He (mostly) sleeps longer stretches at night. A couple times he's gotten up only once. So refreshing. I find sometimes I'm just as tired after those good nights, not sure how long it takes to catch up on 6 months of fragmented sleep?
- He eats food with gusto (banana, avocado, sweet potato, cereal, applesauce, peas, prunes - so far), grinning and drooling (in varying shades of mushed food) in between every mouthful
- He continues to laugh at Karis like no other, especially at "peek-a-boo", or just "BOO JUDAH!"
- He sleeps pretty regularly . . . 7:30 - 7:30, up at 11 and 3 on a good night

"Hi, I'm Beth! What's your name? How old is your son?"

Taking a dinner break after swing set assembly. Look at those baby legs, my little squishy. 

Love this daddy pic - at Honey and Mack's a new family owned ice cream shop nearby