Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Be still my beating heart

I had to quickly document an amazing moment with the baby so that I will remember to put it in Lydie's baby book. Tonight after I rocked her and sang a few lullabies, she said, "Night, night Mommy. I shove shoo!" She has said I love you before when she is mimicing the boys. But she has never spontaneously told me. My heart melted.
One other precious phrase that she has been saying this month is "Whez da boyeez?" She puts her hands up and shrugs her shoulders when she asks. It is the cutest thing ever.

"Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world around me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?"

- G.K. Chesterton

New discoveries

Lydie is in full toddler mode. Wow, is she ever our busiest and most emotional child! Oddly, I adore her for it! Case in point, this morning she found the q-tip drawer. I would not have even noticed, except that I heard her say, "Wow!" And then I found this scene in my bathroom:

Monday, April 28, 2008

A letter to my son

Dear sweet son,
Today you reminded me again (and again and again) how blessed I am to know you and call you my own. You have one of the sweetest hearts I have ever known. Thank you today for waking up your sister and comforting her so that I could dry my hair. You never cease to put a smile on her face with your presence. I think you might have that gift with babies. I love the way our baby yells, "Ja-see!" when she sees you or your picture. Do you know what a gift your kindness is in her life? (Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body.") I have noticed that despite your bubbly and happy disposition, your thoughtfulness sometimes leads you to have a melancholy mood. Lately, you have been so frustrated with yourself and your little struggles that you have been discouraged. The other night you said in tears, "Mommy, I just feel like the only reason I was created was to make bad choices." You have your Daddy's bent towards seeing your faults and discrediting your gifts. (Your Mommy struggles more with pride than with self-loathing.) It is so hard for you to see yourself as God and I do! You are my little one that will sleep beside our bed on the floor when you have a nightmare because you don't want to interrupt our sleep. Your Daddy did the same thing as a boy. This morning, and every morning that I am diligent in using my time, I will be praying that you would know who you are in Christ. I pray that you will begin to see how precious you are to us and your heavenly Father. I pray that your security and identity will be in His work, unwavering and strong. (Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you...") I am trusting God to use your intellect, compassion and zeal to give you a fulfilling, wonderful life of living with and for Him.

Right now, you seem to identify more with Daddy. You told me just last night, "Mommy, I made mental columns of all of my favorite people. For family, Josh is up at zero 'cause he's my brother. Daddy is #1. And guess what? I made you #2. That's pretty good, Mom." And #2 is good enough for me. I am so glad to see how your Daddy faithfully spends time with you every day and how you adore him for it. You are very blessed to have this relationship, Jaybird. Not only is Daddy fun and willing to do nasty things with you that I won't do, but he is constantly looking for opportunities to point you to Jesus... and you are soaking it up. The questions that you ask amaze us. You want so desperately to serve God well. We have to remind you often of grace, and you are beginning to understand. I was just thinking today as you held the door open for me and picked up the baby, "Wow. Some beautiful, godly lady will be so blessed one day to call you her husband." But I would not dream of saying that to you because you do not care to talk to girls right now. You say they are pretty and they make you nervous, and that's just fine with me. Like I said, you are a smart boy. I am so proud of you, little guy. You are funny, extremely smart and full of compassion. You are an old soul. At seven and a half you have accomplished so much through the power of Jesus. I can only imagine what He has for the rest of your life! Don't waste a day of it!

Pictured above: Jaybird with "#1"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Faux first-time-mommy

No, she did not wear this smocked dress to the park. She is, after all, a third born
Today has been a great day with the children. I got to spend two whole hours at the park with just Lydie (and many quality moments with the boys this afternoon, too). The park time was a rare treat for my little third born and me! I never realized how quiet the park is from 9-11 am. Every child seemed to be a toddler. And every other mom seemed to be pregnant. I felt like a rookie mommy again. I forgot how first-time-mommies ask so many questions to complete strangers about child development. I heard, "Is she talking yet?" "How long does she nap?" "What percentile is she on the growth chart?" I remember being the same way with Jaybird and a little with Toot. I remember a time when getting to Gymboree and playgroup were the biggest stresses of my week. I am not saying those things aren't legitimately stressful. But it is funny how demands change your perspective. I loved my faux first-time-mommy day! What great memories it stirred!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Life goes on...

Lydie discovers paint
Lydie's first masterpiece

"Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost." ~ henry james

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Bakc " home

We are home again. The services for my grandmom really made the end of her life here on earth more of a celebration than I had anticipated. We had our share of mourning, but there was also laughter and so many good memories! I was reminded of how lovely and generous my grandmom was to everyone. There were gobs of stories of little gifts, words of encouragement, and acts of service that she gave to so many around her. The pastor of her church even shared how she had given him and his wife their wedding cake as a wedding present. They now have children in college, but the story still made him cry a little as he shared what it meant to them. I was very inspired and encouraged.
My favorite part of our time with family was when there was a dove release at her graveside. The man who trains the doves let the great grandchildren hold a dove. Then he released a big flock and they flew around overhead. When the children released their dove the flock overhead found the dove and they all flew away together back to the trainer's house. This sweet man used the symbolism of the dove to relate to our grandmom going to heaven to be met with loved ones and the mystery of how she gets there. It sounds a little corny, but it was the sweetest moment for the children!
My little Toot took "note" and below is what he wrote: (It says, "Back home".) Thanks for the encouraging comments and emails. I feel very blessed!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Request for prayer

Leaving today for my grandmother's funeral. She passed away peacefully with both of her children by her side. Please pray for me, as my husband is out of town and I am getting ready to leave. Trying to pay bills, empty trash, pick up the house, bathe the kids (and myself), pack suitcases, iron funeral clothes, and talk with family is very, very difficult, especially with little sleep from last night. I am also trying to delegate all the things I was suppose to do at church tomorrow to prepare for our spring women's ministry event. Please pray for comfort for our grieving family and cooperation from my three little ones. I am so tempted to be overwhelmed and huffy with these little children around me, but as I am praying for strength and patience I remember that all these things are just tasks. I know I can do it with His help. I know I need to put on those big girl panties again, but man do they feel WORN OUT!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dukin' it out

Quotes from an argument between the boys:
Toot (age 5): Mom, Jaybird is ruining my childhood.
Mom: Baffled/trying not to laugh
Toot: Mom, do you know the word childhood? It means the days that I am a child.
Jaybird (age 7): Toot, you don't understand. Mom, he thinks I'm being bossy. But really, I am trying to LEAD him through childhood.
Mom: Nodding head/trying not to laugh
Jaybird (after Toot left the room): Sorry, Mom. I thought we had worked this out. Sorry you had to get involved.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Lydie is learning to identify her (MANY) emotions. Here is my girl expressing the following feelings on cue (and let me tell you, she has all of these emotions and more on any given day, hour, minute). Should I be concerned that she can strike these poses on cue? Girls are so different, no doubt! This is Lydie's sad face. We see this face less and less often, as she is finally realizing that she can not always have her own way. She has discovered how to fake cry over little boo-boos. She comes with a loud, fake pouty whine and says, "boobooboo!". She got red marker on her hand and tried it today. She laughed and laughed when it rubbed right off. Oh my!This is Lydie's happy face, sort of. We see this face more and more often as we work on her boundaries. Girlfriend does not like boundaries!

This pose is my favorite! This is her surprised face. She hates to be surprised, so we actually never see her make this face unless she is posing for a picture. I guess the boys taught her this one. It looks like she's "home alone".

The past month has been one of big changes for my little girl. She has really been testing us! I am thankful for God's faithfulness and direction in my parenting. This little girl would be a disaster without firm discipline. (This past week away from home, routine and our usual rules I saw a lot of behavior that was not desirable!) It is so exhausting to parent a toddler, but I am already seeing the fruits of my labor. She is learning to obey simple commands a lot quicker (the ones she hates like no, come here now, did I say no already?). She tends to try to play on my emotions...already. But at the same time, she is our most affectionate child. A hug and a kiss will cover a multitude of sins in Mommy's book! And she is a fast learner, which is helpful. And after all, she has no idea who she is up against! Where does she think she inherited that stubborn streak of hers? Oh, and she probably inherited the emotional streak from me, too!

Monday, April 14, 2008

We're home!

We're back from seeing family. What a tiring week it has been! I was at the hospital a portion of every day this week, with the exception of one day that we set aside to take the children to a museum. My precious husband watched all three children with little help from anyone else! That's a big accomplishment for a working dad that is not used to the particular demands of motherhood! I am so thankful. He gave me a wonderful gift to be able to see my grand mom and spend precious time with my mom, dad, brother and many other family members. I heard family stories that I have never heard before. Who knew that I have a great uncle that loves all the things that I love...oil painting, music, etc.? This week provided me with the first opportunity in over eight years to have meals alone with my Daddy. Why would he want to be alone with me when he has three grandchildren in town? :) We had conversations that were deep and rich (and touched on topics beyond that of a 7, 5, and 1 year old's interests).

I also saw some things that saddened me deeply. My very active, very spunky grand mom is sick and feeble. I have no idea how she is still alive, except that she is so strong and determined! She has had no kidney function, no fluids or food, and been on oxygen all week. Her days are shortly numbered now. She sure is determined to talk, and tells everyone "you sure are sweet" and "I love you lots" over and over again in her southern accent. This may be the first time I have seen her without makeup, jewelry and flawless hair. We are all amazed that at 85 she has zero wrinkles. I am not exaggerating, her skin is incredible. Anyway, I loved every minute I spent with her this week and with my family. We finally had to come home yesterday. Home has never seemed so sweet. I missed my bed and our dinner table. I also missed time alone with my four sweeties. We all just looked around and smiled today at lunch.

I'll have to post about our other drama this week in a later post. My husband's mother was also hospitalized this past week and had surgery this morning. When it rains, it pours, I guess!

Monday, April 07, 2008


We have canceled our trip to the mountains to be with my grandmother. She was in perfect health until this year when she had a stroke. Since then, there has been one complication after another. She currently has a mysterious infection that has caused her kidneys to fail and her pulse to soar. She is pale and on oxygen. So we need to spend what appears to be her last days with her. Please pray for our family. She is a believer, so I am very happy that she will be with Jesus soon. But if she does pass away, the rest of us will miss her so much!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A treat!

Friday was Jaybird's last day of school before spring break. We are all so happy to have a break from schoolwork and carpool! I wrote yesterday about my husband's surprise spring break gift for the boys. Well, today he "gave" me mine! He is hiring a cleaning crew to clean the house Monday morning before we leave to go to the mountains. He knows me well...what a treat! So today we decided to spend the entire morning doing whatever we wanted instead of our usual Saturday morning house cleaning routine. I looked at magazines, read in my Bible and current book, looked at homeschool curriculum and played with the kids. This is what our house looks like when I take a day off:Who turned the ottoman upside down? I think it became a make-shift horse or spaceship.
See that olive green chair in the corner with that soft blue blanket? That's where I sat and watched the three tornadoes run through the house!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Boys will be boys

At our house these days, Ind*ana Jones is all the rage. Yesterday, as a very special treat and celebration of the beginning of spring break, my husband bought the boys leather fedoras. These hats are so cute and have already served as little imaginary bridges to new adventures. I hope the new movie in May will be kid-friendly. The boys will be heart-broken if they can not see it! We will probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD and then skip certain scenes. Thank you, Ind*iana Jones, for making words like "archaeology", "King Tut" and "ark of the covenant" regular meal time words at our table. This is a very fun stage! (And a great break from Star Wars and pirates!)Best buddies The boys wanted me to take pictures of a "fight scene". That punch was a little too close for comfort for me, but Jaybird thought is was great!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The good ol' days

Spider man costume is rolled up at the leg and down at the waist to create a "creek swimsuit". *Notice the camo rain boots for a complete ensemble.

"These rocks make for good troll hiding spots. I believe in trolls and fairies." -quote from Jaybird

Afternoons like ours today may be the ones my kids refer to as "the good ol' days". They invited two brothers over to play in the creek out back. They went on all kinds of adventures such as troll hunting, spy games, and Indian wars. They even painted their faces and bodies with the red clay from the creek banks. There were small obstacles like one scrape, one thorn scratch, one fall, and one bee sting, but it didn't slow them down. Should I call and apologize to the other Mom that came and found her two boys with clay-stained, wet shorts, muddy shoes and no shirt? Nah!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sofa love

Yard sale season is back! And just in time because I am finally decorating our playroom and finally adding personal touches to our family room. This past Saturday I was looking for shelving for the playroom and I found this jewel:We bought our old floral sofa in 1999. By 2002 I was not happy with our choice, but we had gone from a family of two to a family of four. So we kept the sofa for years and moves and children. I have grown to hate that floral sofa! (This is the loveseat that matches) It is so uncomfortable and the floral colors leave very few decorating choices. So on Saturday when I saw a sign that said, "See our sofa inside" hanging by the garage sale sign I became curious. They were asking $75, and in my excitement I forgot to haggle. I wrote them a check on the spot! I invested another $75 to have the sofa cleaned and scotch-guarded this morning, for a grand total of $150. It is big, comfy, a great color and worth every penny! If you know me you probably know what I am thinking now...paint color, accessories! I can't wait to work on this room over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more pictures!