Men's Retreat/Mommy Fun Day
Trev enjoyed his time away with hiking in beautiful lands and laughing/connecting with guys. I (for the first time) really looked forward to a weekend with the kids to myself. Why for the first time? I don't know - it's just easier/more fun now . . . they're such good company - before, it felt a little lonely. OR perhaps I've chilled out a bit and can let loose now? Whatever the reason, I decided to do what Trev does when I'm gone: eat out, go to the mall, watch many movies. So fun. We met friends at the mall, Karis spent some birthday money at the Disney Store (Minnie Bow Tique). Met cousins Lee/Caroline/baby Asher at Costco for insane Saturday shopping, samples, brats, ice cream. Winner dinner we brought home to eat while watching Frozen (Judah's first time).
1/2 Birthday for Karis
Not a super big deal here, but Karis enjoyed that we had a "nicer than usual dinner" with candles. Meatballs, because that's what happens around here. Ha!
New Things Week
There was a week in February where a bunch of new things happened for us:
- Life Group (a small group of lovely people who gather here every couple weeks)
- Gymnastics for K
- fillings (I have this crazy thing where I still miss my dentist from childhood and trusting me teeth to this place down the street feels odd)
- funeral (dear wonderful man, Hil Wondra - father of Aunt Debbie. It was an honor to celebrate his life). With Judah, new thing for him too.
. . . and I have to admit that a new thing every day in a week was stretching for me. I think I used to be up for many new things - but lately getting into the swing of new things feels unpredictable. Something about having kids and the unknown variables makes me squirm a little. Even the good things, I'm surprised sometimes at how much I love our little comfortable routine. And yet new things, once we're settled in, are so invigorating - now weeks later, the rhythms of Life Group and gymnastics have been so sweet for our family. And my teeth don't hurt anymore. And celebrating Hil's life, hearing Aunt Deb give a eulogy, singing the songs - while watching my little man play with the bulletins. All things new are often beautiful.
Just a random thought here . . . one day I was thinking about how complicated things can be when Karis has good ideas. Like, putting a leash on her stuffed dog, and then Judah wants a leash, and we have to leave in 2 minutes, and the leash isn't working well for Judah and . . . all from a good idea. Later I remembered that I'm the same way. I get ideas, and things quickly get complicated. Hmmm.
THE TWINS ARE HERE!
We rejoice in the births of Calvin Kirk & Lexie Joann, born February 13. Their lives are precious and beautiful. Our side of the story is that we'd just had an early Valentine's Dinner with my parents at Milton's, and were all sitting down to watch some Veggie Tales before they left for the lake when we put the kids to bed. I hear a double gasp - they both got a text saying to not go anywhere, D & M were on the way to the hospital. Amazing! All the grandparents were able to be at the hospital and meet their grandchildren that night. What pure joy, they are thriving and their parents are awesome.
"Daddy go to China?"
(send me a message if you want to hear this Judah story)
Wrestling a Turkey
My mom graciously gave us a turkey, and I tackled it - not really a big deal now seeing it written, it but at the time it felt like an event and I realized why people usually save turkeys for holidays! I enjoyed making the most of the meat into some meals and soup and having it handy in the fridge. But really, we wrestled, we got to know each other. Probably because I hadn't made one for 11 years and I'm sure it gets more tame with practice.
Blur of a trip to Bis
I headed west with the kids (left Trev at home to . . . well, what did he do?! Ha) to celebrate at my sister-cousin Sarah's baby shower. Super special, loved the time (minus the long drive with spots of bad roads). A highlight was getting to know my cousin's beautiful baby Lila, and watching Karis with Lila. Sweet bond already.
Memorable moment - while cleaning up dinner, I heard Karis crying upstairs so I run up and think surely she's been hurt. No, she's cuddled in bed with Trevor, reading the Star Wars book she gave him for Christmas (via taking Gma Nancy to Wal Mart, adorable). She managed to choke out through sobs, "It's just sooooo saaaaaddddd. Aniken died!". All while Judah is concerned and asking "Karisee okay? Karisee be better soon?". Oh my word, I was wanting to console her, exchanging looks of shock with Trevor, trying to not laugh, and attempting to take pics and video so she can see it someday (you would too!). Oh Karisee!
This was our Lent theme, and brought a real lightness to the season. Making room - by putting some habits away . . . for me, it was covering the computer here in the morning through after lunch, and not checking facebook at all. Ended up being such a gift, and even got to be the chapel speaker at Karis's school one Friday and share about the Lenten journey here (mostly spoke from John 9, the healing of the man on the road who was blind - as does happen with such things, the preparation and execution blessed me way more than anything I said could have affected the audience). I'm hoping to keep these make room habits, the temptation to go on the computer in the morning is strong, but staying away from it is so much better for me and my fam.
House Anniversary Party
Why not? We've been here 3 years already, wowza. We rejoice. With meatballs, clearly. And Karis crafted root beer floats in fancy glasses.
Slugs and Bugs
The only music we listen to in the car these days. Hilarious and sweet. Try them.
Girls' Cabin Weekend (aka Karis gets an American Girl Doll/Judah goes to Build a Bear)
The 2nd annual guys-plan-a-weekend-away-for-their-wives weekend was so refreshing. No cooking, no errands, no plan. Lots of talks and sunshine and wandering and more talking. And while the cats away . . . well, Karis got tummy sick (bummer), they had dinner with all the Pope fam, and got to go to MOA with Gma and Gpa Pope - where dreams came true! Which leads me to . . .
The newest member of our family is pure delight. She sleeps with Karis, has her own stool/place setting at the table (between Karis and Judah - he's even been welcoming). Karis home schools her, brings her outside to watch us play, carries her around, gives her food. Love her imagination. The kids had a blast at MOA (Judah got Marshall, a fire dog, at Build a Bear. Which he loved so much that his "Puppy Mudge" was thrown down the stairs when we got home. Now he's in the dog house (tent in the basement).
They were on the same weekend this year, super special. I savored Maundy Thursday service by myself (sadly, Karis sick - just enough to have a sweet day of cuddles and lots of reading.) She became quite fascinated with Judas - which led to some talk and a few tears about how WE betray Jesus. We took some time to really wonder about the Last Supper, Jesus Washing Feet, his loneliness that night before his death. Good Friday we spent the morning with Uncle Steve & Aunt Deb (thanks for breakfast!) and got to see Gma N for a hand-off of egg hunt goodies (thank you!), before heading to a wonderful date at Milton's. When we got home K had choreographed a beautiful dance for her and Rose, their performance was stunning. Birthday bash was sweet - my lives-far-away-bestie sent a beautiful letter and snazzy coffee mug - I opened it by myself when I woke up that morning, so dear. My dear neighbor/sister-friend came over in the morning with coffee and flowers and hot cross buns, Karis and I got a date to the library and Old Maid at Dunn Bros (my faves and we had such fun). Rest, got to see the twins/D&M/my mom from outside (and received an awesome aunt t-shirt and yummy chocolate, thanks!) before going to Potbelly's and the Vigil (always so powerful - kids went in jammies, Judah asked questions in a whisper the whole time and thought some of the actors were "disobeying" - when they spoke with zeal and loud voices. Chocolate and alleluias and bells and baptisms). The day felt light. For memory sake, I'll say that Trev told people at church that my birthday is on Easter Sunday - he says he does know that it was the 26. Jury is out! Karis made the day so special with writing me books and notes and sending me on scavenger hunts to find them. I love her heart! (and want to say, pre-birthday celebrations included Red Stag with my parents, Trev finding new reading chairs on Craigslist (generous gift from K&N, thank yous), me and the kids all getting haircuts at Snip Its, Dollar Store balloons . . . a post birthday celebration with friends here on Easter Monday with our kids picnic-ing while we enjoyed quiet convo-with-chocolate in the kitchen, Momma Beth bringing treats and flowers and a catch-up for us and also for K & L . . . ). I receive God's love on my birthday, I hope to throughout the year too.
Easter Day was joyful and also different. We were tired (I was at least) and went through the motions feeling a bit foggy. Gma Nancy's caramel rolls started the celebration. Drove separate to church, Trev went to pick up his Grandpa while I took the kids home to do the egg hunt and make dinner (honestly, it was not hard, but it was lonely - I missed having a gang here to enjoy the kids with me!). I did try to enter the moments with joy and to soak in their wonder at finding eggs, stealing sweets off the counter . . . and one of my fave mental pics is their joy at seeing Grandpa Jim. So sweet. More another time about the realization that Easter is more than a day, it's a season (alleluia!) . . .
BABY POPE IS HERE!
Welcome to the world, Elodie Beth! We celebrate your life, our hearts are bursting - can't wait to meet you and cuddle! I was so thrilled to get an early morning text with the news of Elodie's birth. She is beyond beautiful, perfect, and her parents are amazing. It feels tempting to hop in the car and go squeeze that little baby. So grateful.
We got Gpa Kirk to ourselves for a day, we enjoyed lunch and a walk around Minneapolis Institute of Art (until K's fingernail ripped off playing - thankfully strong Gpa was able to carry her languishing self to the car). Gpa played Old Maid, read Samantha, watched Mickey's Clubhouse, ate pheasant and shakshuka, and filled me and Trev in on a recent prayer breakfast in Bismarck. The next week we got a day with Gma Nancy and enjoyed a feast at Milton's, breakfast at Sun Street, a relaxed walk around a huge Bachman's nursery with Judah, and a ladies' lunch on Balsam with Karis after school. We treasure these times.
Judah's Baptism Birthday
Burgers, per tradition. With dear Dierker Godparents and Uncle T & Aunt K. Sweet time of togetherness, burger basket picnic, candle lighting and verse reading. We are thankful for Judah's precious spirit.
Sometimes Things Break
Like ovens. Cars. Daughters. All on the same day. It's life, right? I try to acknowledge the inconvenience and then realize that these things are small. And, they get us into creative/problem solving mode. Like, taking too sick for school but well enough to be in good spirits- Karis to get soup and crackers and . . . Best Buy to check out ovens. Deja Vu, we did that when the dishwasher broke. Movie of the day there was Star Wars, which scared her and captivated Judah.
Random Reading Quotes . . .
From War & Peace (I just finished - felt momentous. Almost took a picture - loved the book, never would've read it if not invited by a gal from church to dig in with a group of great women):
" . . . that eternal human need for hope of relief, the need for compassion and action, which a human being experiences in a time of suffering . . . that eternal human need - noticeable in a child in its most primitive form - to rub the place that hurts. When a child hurts himself, he runs at once to his mother's arms, to have the hurt place kissed or rubbed, and he feels better once the hurt place is kissed or rubbed. The child does not believe that those who are stronger and wiser than he have no means to help his pain. And the hope of relief and the show of compassion comfort him, while his mother rubs his bump."
From Kitchen Table Wisdom:
". . . even children instinctively run to others when they fall down. Kissing the boo boo doesn't help the pain, it helps the loneliness."
From Jane of Lantern Hill:
"'No,' was all dad said. No is sometimes a horrible word, but there are times when it is beautiful."
From Your Three Year Old, Friend or Enemy
"Or, he will set up a 'nothing-pleases-me' situation in which, as when taken shopping, he does not want to go into the store, but at the same time refuses to stay in the car, and will howl bloody murder whichever alternative you choose" (for Judah this is, "I need uppa!" and then I go to pick him up and, "NO! I need DOWN!"
"It is not essential at this time to prove that you are the child's master. It is more important that you and he get through the day in one piece, with nerves not too badly frazzled"
- "Momma, what are these red bumps on my hand? Do I have measles?" (found out later she heard about measles in a book)
- "Judah's ruining my property!"
- "Babysitters are for having only fun - not doing things like cooking and cleaning like mommy"
- "It's a bit of a muddy day, may I please take my wares off outside?"
- "Did you mean to burn these beans?" (clearly doesn't appreciate roasted veggies)
- "Oh mom, I love you more than anything in the world. Except for Judah, I love him more" (HA!)
- "Want to come to my store? It's called 'Karis Penney' - like 'JC Penney'!"
- "Oh Judah, you look like an 8 year old with your hands in your pockets!"
- "Mom, I just bit my tongue unexpectedly?"
- "Oh, very well then" (said to a friend while playing dress up)
- "Mom I did a caricature of me and Judah just like the one of you and Drewey!"
- They're both into using paper bowls at steering wheels, "driving" around the house
- "It feels like someone's birthday, we're doing so many fun things!" (a Sunday afternoon at a furniture store, park, Potbelly's. Karis, please always stay this easy to please!)
- "I wish you could come with us!" (said through sobs when she and Trev were going to leave early for church in one car and me and Judah following behind. We all went together and it was wonderful and we've learned to listen to her sensitive spirit)
- "Oh well he ate all those puff balls on an empty stomach!"
- "It's in my bacteria" (when I asked where her headband is . . . this is what she stills calls the place behind her rocking chair. Love it)
- "Oh daddy, thank you for spring cleaning my room!" (they did - they did it well. Trev has a gift)
- "Well I don't know about that bed - I might just walk sleep right off it!"
- "I don't think I should go to school. There are some people that I really care about who are healthy and I might be tempted to bump into them and then I might get them sick. I can do school-y things at home. Yeah, I can homeschool!"
- "Momma, who cut my hair?" (asked while we drove by the place - crazy!)
- "I be contrary, mommy?"
- New fave books: More, More, More, Hungry Caterpillar
- "Mommy, what are you doing?" (putting in ponytail) "Ohhh, it's beautiful!"
- "Karisee, you feeling okay? Karisee tired?" (as she laid on our bed during evening devotions)
- "Who turns it on?" (when reading about fire trucks, trains, anything that moves)
- He's really pretend playing now, lately "going on a roadtrip" (puts on his coat, my boots, wheels around Karis's suitcase)
- "I do!" (in the sweetest voice when you ask him a question. Love this)
- "Can I have some coconuts?" (when he saw a box of chocolates . . . took us a while to figure out the meaning)
- "Mommy, is there something ewwwwie in here?" (said while holding his nose as we walked into a dog hair cut place)
- "There's DEER POOP!" (said with glee in Bismarck)
- "Is it 'The Train that Could'?" (he wishes the book was called this instead of Little Engine that Could)
- "Little Penny!" (his name for the book Henny Penny)
- "Teddy bear is going to book club!"
- "Where did Peter go? Are they disobeying? Is the princess okay?"
- "How about we clip his fingernails" (his little toy frog)
- "Mommy please want to wash the beetle?" (please come wipe up this dead bug)
- "Is it common prayer?" (book of common prayer on the table)
- "I have to hit mommy!" (while walking down the aisle after communion. While hitting me)
- "It's in my tum tum tummy!"
- "Is it real? Is it pretend?" (baffled while coloring a hard boiled egg)
- "Judah has whiskers? Judah shave his whiskers?"
- When recently asked where does Jesus live, Judah replied, "In Neverland!"
- "Let's pray for Karisee's balloon" (he was so concerned about her balloon that flew away - my fault)
- "Are they HUGE? Are they GINORMOUS?!"
- "Daddy going to have wet hair?" (asks Trev before he goes on a run)
- "Judah's adorable?" (while looking at a pic I had just taken of him - last one below)