Friday, February 22, 2013

Phone Photo Unload-Gift Edition

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." 
Colossians 3:17

Sugar cookies baking in a clean oven. The chance to catch up on a few to-do's. A tried and true recipe from a dear sister in the Lord. My cookie decorating that could have passed for the boys handiwork. 
This three year old and his awkward preciousness. Seeing obedience come to fruition in his little self. His, "I sorry's" and growing sentences and his.constant.chatter. Conversations at dinner about how one day we will MISS IT!
The baby fresh from the bath. Toothy grins. Clean neck rolls. Her nose crinkle when she smiles. Bare bottom standing and the shrieks when you try to catch her and put her diaper on.
A house *full to the brim* with life. That mess means people to cause it. The realization that, "In twenty minutes this will pass."
Valentine's Day surprises and bellies full of chocolate by 7 am. Cars tattoos. Counting to thirty with each of them while we hold the dish rag in place. The look on their face every time we peeled that wet backing away. The fact that they kept those empty heart shaped boxes.

That Saturday morning breakfast now requires a full dozen. The anticipation of when we pull those eggs right out of the coop and put them in to the pan. Shopping chickens online. Coop plans. Making life lovely right where we are.

Content play. Knowing that if she's missing, she's in the closet.
Shots with NO TEARS. A trip to Target afterward to pick out a truck. Twenty three minutes in the same spot of the aisle trying out each and every one. That a Grandma bought her grandson the same truck after watching him choose so very carefully. Brother joy, not envy, despite the fact that he was the only one who got a toy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On School and Life

My big boys,

Today we are a little more than a fourth of the way through our first year of school and we are learning! Learning to write! Learning to read! Learning what happens when you put a boiled egg in milk or in soda! Learning to make spider hats and why letters have stamps and just exactly how one, "Stops, drops, and rolls." Just Kindergarten learning! But mostly? Mostly, we are learning about each other.
Take you, my Benny Boy. You are my listener and my do-er. You love read-alouds and answering questions about them and you beam ear to ear when I ask you to help or lead us in our Phonics Song. You are honest when you truly don't understand something and I am continually humbled by the love you show me when you figure something out for the first time. You don't get excited or jump up and down. You get down from your chair and run over to hug me, as if the victory isn't complete without someone to celebrate it with. If there's glue involved; you're in! And you always, always, ALWAYS choose the pink marker no matter what we may be coloring. I am still learning to tread lightly when it comes to being your momma-teacher, as my persistence on a few issues has brought about tears on your part and the fact that you apologize when you make a mistake about leaves me undone. You have such a desire to please, my boy, and your efforts are so very sincere. Even though you are a reluctant learner, content with just letting Abe answer or resigning to the fact that you, "just can't," I've found that a little encouragement brings you right into step. And wouldn't you know, a correct answer from you carries us both through the bumpier days. A handful of M&M's for the both of us doesn't hurt either!

As you for you, Mister AB, you are just like your daddy. You have a photographic memory. If you see it, it's ingrained, forever and ever, amen. You love to learn and practice and practice some more. In fact, one of your favorite things right now is flash cards. You beg Ben to quiz you and he does even though we all know it's painfully boring for him. You love sounding out words and writing your entire name and practicing with your readers. And you LOVE computer paper and all the writing and drawing you can do with it. And we can just forget about throwing even one piece of it away! You are independent and intuitive and you often work ahead (and get it right) in your workbooks without saying a word. I love seeing those wheels turning and how you think and reason and your persistence to do it by the book. You are steadfast, my boy, eager, and genuinely excited about the world and every question in it.

Sometimes, we sit at the island, your two verses my one and we laugh and high five over, "Drop, Drop, and cross." And we celebrate remembering the difference between a 3 and an S or we bake cookies and I don't blink twice at the mess. And sometimes, I sigh loud and scratch my forehead at the 187th pencil drop for the day and the play-doh in the grout and wonder just why in the world your daddy isn't home yet and what I can possibly muster up for dinner before the entire house comes apart at the seams. Turns out, I'm learning too. What works, what doesn't. What is needful for the week. The day. The hour. What isn't. And all the while trying to remember that the goal is our hearts and our mission is love and still manage the laundry and a little fun too.

The three of us, well, we are most definitely a work in progress. And though today will probably look quite different than yesterday and I can't even fathom the tomorrows, His grace is sufficient and His mercies new every morning, and so we will just school on.