Thursday, March 8, 2018

Ezekiel is turning 5!

Five is again, a difficult year for me.   With the girl it was realizing how big she is getting.  With the boy it's not only how big he is getting...but realizing...I no longer have "small children"...I just   Weird right?   Now I have two school age children.  I was a preschool teacher for about 10 years, it's where I have thrived, felt comfortable, and now I am putting that behind me and moving forward with my school-age kids, and I don't know if I'm ready!  Kids have a way of doing that...pushing you forward.

He is so ready to be five.   He also seems to know it's a "big-kid" age.  He has the guts and gusto to be big, so he is ready to have the number to go with it.   He has been out to conquer the world since he was born and the bigger he gets, the more excited he is to do it.

He loves being outdoors to play and explore.  I love seeing this with my kids.  I am so thankful for my giant front window where he has the independence to be out on his own, but I can safely watch him from a distance as he imagines, creates and plays in his own world.

He is genuinely compassionate and graceful.   He is exceptionally quick to make right wrongs, apologize or show forgiveness.   He may be the one to more often make me want to pull my hair out...but he is also the one to more often be quick to apologize or make me smile.   He pushes boundaries, but he sure learns in the process.    For two years his sister wanted to have a "all girls" party, which made him sad, but I let her (Fancy Nancy tea party wasn't a place I really trusted a 3 year old boy).  Yet for two years when he said he was going to have an "all boy" party, he in the end changes his mind and invites his sister.  I actually tried to talk him out of it this year, reminding him his sister didn't invite him, to which he replied, "yeah, and she hasn't apologized either, but I'm still going to invite her and let her come because I love her"..   HOW DO YOU SAY NO TO THAT?!  My goodness, that is the kind of grace and mercy I hope to walk in every day.   I tell you year I'm sure making he gets to go to his sisters.

He has... SO MUCH energy.  We put him in gymnastics since he is constantly climbing and jumping off of things, thinking it would be something he really enjoyed.  We were wrong, he liked it alright, but kept asking not to go.  He wanted to do karate instead, we finally let him and he has LOVED it!  The structure, discipline and energy release that goes with it has been perfect for him.  I love the self-defense and training for real life safety scenarios.  It enables him to take care of himself and gives me assurance to let him play independently.

He still loves to cuddle. He may be crazy, rambunctious, a bit rascally, and full of energy, but the boy loves a good snuggle.  I think God tends to make boys a bit more cuddly to help balance out all the gross and orneriness.   Then again, maybe that's just my kids.

He loves cheesy jokes.  We recently spent half an hour just sitting and reading knock, knock jokes.  His favorite saying/joke of all time is "Guess what? Chicken butt".   It makes me laugh, so I got him a shirt.   It is his favorite.

Also, if we are going to talk about Zeke this year....we have to mention his hair.  He is losing his curls!!  It's a dream come true for him.   Twice this last year I caught him rubbing lotion and then sunscreen into his curls and telling me "I am trying to make my hair straight!"  I guess it worked.   I loved his curls, but with his crazy hair, there is a good chance they may come back! 

It's been a fun year, he is turning into quite the handsome, fun boy.  In my dreams he will want to hold my hand and cuddle each morning for the rest of our lives....but I know it's just a season and all seasons come to an end.  I'm going to keep loving this time, but hopefully raise him in such a way that he goes forward with confidence and compassion to be all that God has made him to be.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Genevieve turns 7

It's Vi's birthday week:
"Life flies by in're not a baby Gracie you're my friend.  You'll be a lady soon but until gotta do what I say."

I've loved Ben Folds ability to tell stories through song for years....this year his song "Gracie" is what immediately came to mind when I sat down to write this blog.    I think it's because this year I am starting to see more clearly the young lady Genevieve will become.   Small glimpses...but she is coming more into herself. 

She is fiercely driven.  Once she sets her mind to accomplishing something, she follows through with a perseverance that leaves me quite impressed.  She has started doing extra chores to earn money towards things she would like so she doesn't have to take money from her convertible savings.  I could take a few notes from her self-control and money management skills....

She loves nature. definitely nurtured in our home.  She listens, she observes closely, explores, asks questions, and genuinely appreciates all nature has to offer.  She remarks on the colors of the sunset and wonders if God possibly loves pink and purple as much as she does.  She constantly asks me to bring the "nature cards" that Karlie got us whenever I mention going to the park.  She explores the textures around her, and gathers what she can to bring back to her space.

She is still as girly as they come.  This year she was prescribed glasses, she loved getting to pick out her new purple glasses, they made her look older, and are awfully adorable.  She loves dressing up, feeling pretty, and going on dates with her daddy.  This year she asked me for a braided headband and patiently sat throughout the week as I watched YouTube videos and attempted to do her hair for her.  She gave lots of encouragement and praise, and in the end, she was delighted to have her hair styled just the way she wanted for a special night out with her dad.

Her full array of emotions confuses us but is part of her loving, empathetic heart.  A few times this year we caught her crying and she had no reason other than "I just feel like crying".  You do you girl.  But she loves her family devotedly, that's for certain.  I'm amazed how she can play with her brother for HOURS with little to no bickering, they just want to have fun.

 She wanted a "creating and inventing" space, so she got a new desk where she sits for hours creating art or gluing and taping things together that end up being some kind of invented contraption.  Creating is her passion as of late, and it's fun to watch her imagination come to life.

As always, it's been a fun year that has flown by. She's grown socially, emotionally, academically, and physically and I am always amazed and in love with who she is and who she is becoming.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Broken Jars

We are all broken...but if we as Christians, show no difference, no light and hope in the midst of our brokenness...where do people see and desire after Jesus?  We as Christians seem so shocked and confused when bad things happen, but we still find Jesus there.  Because the Jesus that I know at least, is found in the midst of our humanity and brokenness.

Life isn't "easier" as Christians, we aren't exempt from the pains of loss and sorrow, from disappointments and failures.  I think Paul's life shows that being a Christian doesn't keep you 'safe'... in fact, it does the exact opposite...being a Christian for Paul was completely and utterly unsafe.   In fact, I can't think of a person in the Bible who led a "safe" life.  Christians are hurting and looking to the church in confusion because so often the "Christian machine"wants to focus on the joy of the Lord, and praises and His goodness, and heaven.  These are all truths, but we can't just put on blinders and make God fit into a box that He will NOT fit in.   I think what this creates is a community of Christians who just...can't.   They cling to the songs about goodness and joy and don't know how to even process their grief and pain.  We are crippling our own Christians instead of equipping them in power to continue on in our brokenness because in Him WE CAN.  That doesn't mean ignore your hurts or sufferings, we don't cover them up by halfheartedly singing church songs to try to force ourselves to be ok.   I think that the pain is part of God's story.  We endure, we press on, for the hope set before us.   Jesus suffered, he wept, he cried out in desperation.   We have to capture this moment on the cross to truly understand what suffering and sacrifice means.   In the midst of all His pain and agony was love for others.   This should be an important reminder to us... this isn't a call for those with the gift of evangelism... this is THE act of Jesus for us to receive...and to share. 
I have been hurting.  I have been hurt by those I love, I have been disappointed by people I thought were supposed to be different.  Yet none of that changes what Jesus has done for me, and none of that changes that in the midst of pain and betrayal...we can still act in love.  I want to allow Jesus to hold me in my hurts and heal my broken heart, but remember that in His comfort is power.   The power to be used AS a broken vessel not yet a perfected one.                There's a relief in that, at least for me.   I have too many flaws and fleshly reactions that I am still working on to wait to be "good" to be of any use.  
So I for one will not tell you "I'm good because God's good", instead you might hear, "Life currently sucks, but God is good".   If you are struggling with something I probably won't spew the first verse I can think of and tell you to just believe it.  I'll try to listen, truly listen, and love you through it, connect with you, and if the Spirit leads me to encourage you with a verse I certainly will.   Many verses have encouraged me through the years, but where I have most felt the love of Jesus is through connection not conviction.    

“We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure.
This makes it clear that our great power

is from God, not from ourselves.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ezekiel turns 4

So here we go, Ezekiel is turning 4.  I'm thankful to be leaving three's... can I just say... those potty training days are not my favorite.   That being said...hooray for four!  Three has been endearing and adventurous.  Ezekiel's vocabulary has grown tremendously this year, and it's only made him more entertaining.  

I love the twinkle in his eye when he is thinking about doing something adventurous....or when he is about to be a rascal.   Those are practically his two favorite things in life.   

He loves pretending...he will play by himself for hours building tracks and having trains go in circles or driving his Paw Patrol cars around on the floor.  His imagination is what I have always encouraged in children throughout the years and I love seeing his bloom and grow.   

He loves going outside by himself or with his sister.  I watch him from the window as he marches around with confidence as he defeats evil villains with his super powers.  He believes he is invincible, which leads him to decisions that cause my anxiety to skyrocket, while at the same time my heart to swell with pride.
Fighting is one of his favorite pastimes, he punches every guy he loves.   

He is still my cuddly child, I know that it won't last forever, and try to make it a point to sit and cuddle with him every day.  He is growing faster than I can handle, I can barely pick him up anymore..and for the sake of my back probably shouldn't.   

He is the joy giver in our family.  No matter what is going on, he will find a way to make us smile.  There is a song in his heart, singing comes from him and most the time I'm not even sure he notices it.  One of his favorites to sing with abandon while doing other things is "Mr. Sun".

He is a child of many expressions, and they're all my favorite.