Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Patience and Trust

I think if I had to let all things settle and skim off the top two lessons learned from pregnancy I think the cream of the crop would be have to be patience and trust. You learn a lot while your pregnant - how to hold your bladder when you sneeze, how to keep from losing your cookies when you bend over (I told Steven that it often feels like you are giving yourself the Heimlich), how to find that "comfortable" sleeping position when you feel like a beached whale that needs a team of rescuers to come and help you to turn over...you know, all the important stuff like that.

Even though all of those above things are quite the experience, I think that, really, they don't hold a candle to the bottom line: while you are pregnant, you have no control over anything and basically your "job" is to incubate your baby while you wait for the time of delivery.

While I am pregnant I am certainly more attune to the other pregnancy experiences around me...there is definitely something to the phrase "ignorance is bliss" - I think I was stupid enough to the whole process when I was pregnant with Isaiah that the thought of something going wrong really didn't ever enter my mind, I was selfishly oblivious to the many struggles couples have not only in getting pregnant, but in keeping everyone healthy until delivery. Then my dear cousin lost her full term baby a few weeks before I delivered Isaiah and the first seeds of uncertainty were planted. Now with every pregnancy I have had a specific experience of knowing someone journeying down that pregnancy road along side of me that has been derailed by a major pregnancy complication: premature births, stillborn, miscarriage - or dear friends that have experienced years of infertility...the terrible list just makes me more aware of the harsh reality that nothing in life is certain. That's where the lesson of trust hits you straight on. Of course I continue to worry and stew about the health of the baby and being safe during the pregnancy/delivery, but really if something were to happen would I have enough trust in God's Sovereignty, no matter what road our family finds itself traveling, to worship Him even through the hard times? To believe His Word when He promises to work good in the lives of those who love Him? These are questions I try to ask myself now, so that when any terrible day comes in my future I will hopefully be a bit more ready to fall into His lap and trust Him to direct me to deal with what is brought before me.

Patience of course is an obvious pregnancy lesson - I have no idea when this baby will come - I have no control over the event (outside the medical science in place nowadays that allows you to choose the birth date!) But I sit and wait and continue to grow and become more and more uncomfortable and short of breath and unable to easily accomplish simple tasks that are required of a mom - all in all feeling exhausted while trying to get all of my responsibilities covered. Patience is part of that fruit that the Holy Spirit will grow within us when we allow Him...so do I sit and stew and pout because I am uncomfortable (yes, at times I do unfortunately)...but then I remember the dear stories I alluded to above and think of how those folks would long to feel what the "hum-drum" 9th month of pregnancy is like and see it end with a happy healthy delivery of their beautiful baby. Then I am reminded to stop and pray for more patience and to trust that the Lord's timing is perfect...and to also hope that others will see that through their life circumstances, God is hoping to teach them more about His character as well.

Sunday's Winter Wonderland

We woke up to beautiful snow on Sunday morning - totally a surprise to me - I didn't even know it was in the forecast - I took these on the way to church...it was the kind of snow that I like to see towards the end of winter - sticks to everything, but gone very quickly :-) In fact, I would call it "Spring snow"



















I should have gotten some really close-up pictures of the trees....but I was driving when I took these and then working at the church getting stuff ready...so didn't get a chance to go out and play photographer :-(

Monday, February 25, 2008

Warning: The Following is Not Pretty

Ok, remember last night I posted how I sent all of the boys - husband included - to the in-laws house and I was able to get some stuff done here at home? Well, do you also remember the only "negative" I listed in the grandparents-living-in-town situation? - yep, that's right - grandma-itis...it is a disease and I am about to show you what it does to my children...my youngest most specifically.

When the kids returned home last night, Isaiah came into the house sobbing that his "daddy was being mean!" upon further investigation it was found that Daddy would not allow said child too consume a box of cookies that grandma had given to them (this was not a snack box by the way)...especially after the candy and ice cream that he had already been given - vicious man!

Avery was put to bed only to be up again around 9:00 fully awake, wired and ready to have "cereal, peese?" I told him no cereal Avery, its bedtime - but Steven then informed me that the boy ate no dinner whatsoever at grandmas - it was offered, but the child would not eat. I then learned that after dinner was over (he had still refused to eat any of it) Avery was given a full ice cream push pop to enjoy on his own - as a reward for his persistence I suppose. So the boy was hopped up on sugar with no other food inside of him to counter act it - so I relented and Raisin Bran it was.

Here is the stinker happy with his cereal...if you click on the picture you will notice the clock behind him says 8:59pm. Can anyone say detox?


Well today the effects are still among us...tonight at dinner Avery has refused to eat his food, he wants either yogurt or cookies instead and is insistent on having them...now I can't blame all of this on grandma - Avery has a bull head on his shoulders to begin with, but here is an example of what has been going on for the last 45 minutes...I'm not against yogurt, but that is not what was being served this particular meal...

video

You can tell the boy was really working at keeping the fuss going at that point - and could you hear my fained sympathy in the background? As soon as I turned off the camera Avery once again through himself to the ground and here is what his loving big brother had to do since mom was being so very mean...










There, there little man, just wait a few more days and we will see grandma again and all will be well. So while the detox phase can be frustrating, I believe it is still a price I can pay for a few hours of time to really get some stuff done. And no, I am not mad at my mother-in-law or do I wish that she treated my boys any different (well ok, I do wish she would say no once in awhile). Really she is a wonderful grandmother and we all would like to keep her.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ok, I'm Slow...

I will admit that very quickly :-) ...really though some situations will present themselves before me quite clearly and my mind just doesn't think them through and have that "a-ha moment." Here's the latest example. We have both sets of parents living in the same town as us, (or grandparents - depending upon which generation you're perspective is coming from). This is a huge benefit, I can list and list the pluses of the situation. (One of the few minuses...you have to deprogram the kids from "grandma-itis" a lot more often...it truly is a disease) We regularly find our way to one of the parents' houses at least one evening of just about every weekend. Steven or I neither one had this experience growing up - our grandparents lived in neighboring states and visits only came on the holidays or in the summer months, so I am glad our kids have the opportunity to spend more time with their extended family.

Now, when we end up over at my in-laws house, I am glad to go...I have a good relationship with them - totally the opposite of the typical dreaded in-law stereotype. But when I go, I still feel kind of out of place in that I don't know what to do with myself - nothing to watch on TV, the grandma is doing her grandma thing with the kids, Steven usually picks up some book or magazine over there and relaxes a bit, the father-in-law is not much of a talker - I usually end up sitting at the kitchen table (the control center of the house) and visit with whoever is around, try to prevent the grandma from going overboard with the grandma routine, and snack on whatever is in front of me. This has been the habit for almost 6 1/2 years now.

Well tonight I wised up a bit (that a-ha moment finally hit) - I sent Steven and the boys over alone, I have stayed behind and guess what!? I was able to clean the house (2 bathrooms, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dishes and the like) in no time flat, I am listening to the music I want to listen to, I am thinking through and planning for the upcoming week...why in the world did I not wise up to this before! It's quite something - and it may all fly out the window in a few weeks when the baby comes, but I think it is going to become my new habit!

Did I mention that I am kind of slow...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Random Answers #2

Here is round two of the random questions series - it all involves the internet - an obvious interest to anyone who reads or writes a blog I would say, here are the specific questions...
1. What was the year and the circumstance of your first internet experience?

2. Do you leave your computer on and your email up all day long to be sure to catch any communication right away or do you check in only occasionally?

3. In this email age, do you still look forward to getting the mail (the kind the mailman delivers) or do you go two or three days between trips to the mailbox? Do you get "real" mail anymore or is it all junk due to e-banking and such?

4. How would you rate yourself in relation to your internet use?
Use when necessary
Like to when I can
Must check in at least once a day
Lost without email/internet
Spend hours each day online
Addicted!

Ok, I really can't remember my first experiences with the internet - I am pretty sure it was in my college years, I remember having to e-mail things to my professors as assignments - all a ploy to make us become familiar with the system. We had it at home - but my brother monopolized it (he met his wife on-line)...I went my first several years of marriage even without really relying on the internet very much, that all slowly changed after we got rid of our TV about 7 years ago now. We started to use the computer more and more as our entertainment - especially after the kids started coming - we use it as a video monitor to play dvds, which led to getting better internet services, etc.

I leave my computer on all the time, go a check it throughout the day - I use it for both work and as my major form of communication - don't know what I would do without email - I hate phones, the children always plot against me the moment I get on the phone - they could be happily entertained somewhere within the house and the minute I pick up the phone and start a conversation they magically appear at my feet asking questions or just starting a rumble amongst themselves that causes me to chastise them "in front" of whoever I am talking to! My job requires a lot of communication and recruitment for activities and the idea of getting stuff accomplished without my email kind of scares me - I think I would seriously be looking for other employment! I hate phones that much...

I don't check the mail that comes "by post" with much anticipation - except around birthdays and Christmas of course because that is the only time we receive anything personal - everything else is pretty much junk. Our mailbox is attached to the front of the house, right outside the door, I think that's why I still pick it up daily - cause it's easy to get. The moment I bring it in the door I stand next to the little trash can (no kidding, right inside the front door) and throw 3/4 of it away. The rest are bills that my husband gets to handle - I rarely get to open a thing. Its the opposite with email - I get the majority of those - Steven gets enough computer time at work to do him for the rest of the day.

I must admit I would be lost without the email or internet - I already mentioned my job would be at stake :-), I keep up with my mom's side of the family through a private website my Aunt created, I blog now to get to know new friends and to try to keep long-distance friends/family up with our family adventures. But I don't know if I would quite say I am yet addicted - I don't go searching for stuff on the internet very often and other than checking in on my little circle of folks that I like to keep up with, I am pretty much done with it...but wait a couple of years maybe - I might be in the initial stages of becoming an addict :-)

Have Been Mulling This Over...

Sara Groves has a new album out - it's called "Tell Me What You Know" - it also, is now a permanent fixture in my cd player, (believe it or not I still have her release from a few years ago in there too). Sara is one of my favorite artists for many reasons, I love her sound - I live vicariously through her cause I dream that if God had ever blessed me with music skills, I would play similar to her style of simply sitting down to her keyboard and singing (or like Rhonda Vincent, then the keyboard would change to strumming a mandolin).

Anyway, one of her songs, actually the very first track, is called Song for My Sons. I wish I was more technically savvy to know how to set up a sound bite for it right here, or to do a video montage with the boys' pictures...but I can't - so you'll just have to click on the title to hear a piece of it. This song is a great example of how she has taken the thoughts out of my head and put them to music. The liner notes say that partly where the idea to write this song came from is the inspiration from a letter Sara's great-grandfather wrote to her grandmother. I have often thought of writing each of my kids a letter to set aside for when they get older - closer to total independence - of things that I have sifted through over the years. I haven't done it for a couple of reasons, 1. I'd probably loose the letters after I wrote them this early in their lives and 2. I have wondered if they would even be able to understand certain ideas if they have not experiencing them first hand within their own spiritual journeys.

But the lyrics of this song really say enough..."this is a song from my heart...for times when we're apart and I cannot console you, I can't say your life will always go like it should, but I can say that God is always good..." and the chorus..."when the cold wind blows, like I know it will - when you feel alone, like I know you will...don't let your love grow cold." I am just beginning to taste what it is like to push Isaiah (he's my oldest - the others aren't quite as ready for pushing) out of the nest a bit and encourage him to deal with the junk that he will experience - and I can't do it all for him, and I can't be there next to him, telling him which way to go. It's his spiritual journey, not mine...I think that is the hardest part of parenting - working your way out of a job.

I think that is why I encourage them strengthening the brotherly bond so much (pretty soon the sibling bond) - I am hoping that by making them so devoted to each other, that in the future they can pull together and help each other through some of the many dangers and temptations they will face - sort of like a built in accountability group. I as a parent need to step back enough to let the Holy Spirit do the convicting/leading in their lives, but I think a sibling might be able to hang in there with them a little more closely to give them the encouragement and support they might need...that's one of my prayers anyway.

I think I will write those letters eventually, just to love on them more than to give them my advice - but I will wait to write them until my own life's journey has taught me some more things too...so if something happens to me before those letters are written - give them this song. Here are some picture of the "brotherly love" to end with :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update on the boys

Looking back, it really has been a little bit since I've told you what the boys are up to. They are doing well, I think they are anticipating the baby more than I probably realize - Isaiah is the most aware of what is happening, so his anxiety is a little more pronounced. Avery wants mommy time often and Huston just talks anybodies ear off - whoever will lend it to him. So they all want their attention, but they have all moved into a nice phase of entertaining themselves and playing together - and for the most part they do that pretty well, with some squabbles - but I've experienced much worse from siblings.

Isaiah is really loving art right now - any type that we can find. He has been busy the last couple of days stringing beads (he says they are rather girly so he is only doing it to make them for the girls that he knows). He has also been painting this craft dough stuff that I have stumbled upon. It's the consistency of play-doh, but once you have cut out the shape you want you stick it in the oven for an hour or two and it hardens so that you can decorate it. Then he still does his art class every other Wednesday and seems to enjoy it...here are some pictures of his "masterpieces" - he drew the fruit himself and then experimented with water colors in today's class. He is sitting next to his friends Zach and Gracie - they are in our small group from church that meets on Tuesday nights as well, so it is great that he has friend to enjoy the class with.






















Huston and Avery have been paling around together more often than before - Avery is finally getting into the stage where he will "play with" someone and interact a bit. They enjoy running around the house together and Avery will call for Huston's attention and suggest activities which is really fun to hear. I don't have any shots of this interaction yet, but I will try to capture this soon.

Huston has always been one that could loose himself in imaginative play - and it doesn't take much to spur on the ideas. Here he is playing with some of the small foam beads that Isaiah has been stringing, but instead of making art out of them, he turns them into "boats" and makes up different situations that they might encounter...if he is uninterrupted this process can take up a good hour at times.






















Avery is becoming our daredevil more and more as he grows. I will often catch him climbing up stuff, balancing himself on high places before he crashes himself down to the ground/cushions below or he will simply just run everywhere and then all of a sudden stop and throw himself to the ground like he's been tackled. He loves his brothers and wants to be around them a lot and try to do what they are doing. He also loves movies and books...and while we do really try to limit how much he watches, it is amazing to see how quickly he picks up on what is happening in the story - and even memorizes the songs and dialog! (Check out the Turu the Terrible entry for a great example) Here he is balancing himself on the arm of the couch and then crashing to the seat below...

That is about the extent of the activities...I'll try to be more faithful in telling you what they are up to in the future. They keep us entertained for sure!

Sweet Chocolate Faces and "Beary" Kisses





Monday, February 18, 2008

Random Answers

A family friend, Randa-Kay from justrk.blogspot.com has asked a few random questions in hopes to find out some interesting tid-bits of information about those who read her blog. So I thought, why not?, I am always looking for something to talk about and this kind of stuff is fun. So here are her questions:

1. When grocery shopping, do you arrange your items in the shopping cart nicely and in categories or just toss it in?

2. When putting your grocery items on the nifty conveyor belt at the check-out, do you group them by category to make bagging easy or do you just put them up there in whatever order you grab them?

Ok, now I know with some things I can be a pretty predictable person, but I am also so undisciplined in life and fly by the seat of my pants for the most part that I vary from the "norm" more often than I should...and my answers to these questions will illustrate this perfectly.

When I finally get myself in the mood to go to the grocery store in the first place these days, I usually go with the intentions of getting in and out as quickly as possible - especially if the boys are in tow. I fly down the aisles, grabbing only the things that I know we need or the things that catch my eye that would be good for future use, pile them into the cart and pray for a very short line at the check-out. All the while I am refereeing my kids, "no, we don't need that....please stay on this side of aisle....just a few more minutes Avery....no we can't open that now.....please don't touch the candy....we don't need any more trinkets" You get the picture - and the level of my politeness in addressing them dwindles the further into the trip we are, so that by the time we are waiting in the check-out line I am pretty much done with the whole experience.

Now when I go by myself I will have a comprehensive list and fill my cart methodically so that nothing gets overlooked and nothing gets squished - total opposite of the scene from above. I go slower and really don't care if the lines are long or not - its almost like a mini-vacation within the day, an oasis of grown-ups.

But regardless as to whether I have the boys or not, I do try to put everything in groups on the conveyor belt...boxes, cans, produce, meat - it just makes it easier in my mind...easier on the checker, on the bagger, on putting the stuff away once I get home...all around a proactive action in my book. But, as with everything, I am finding that this too is becoming random when the boys are with me, because they are getting tall enough and aware enough to want to help put things on the belt - which means its whatever they can reach and throw up there, because it is a total competition as to who can put their hands on the most product and get it on that belt!

So anyway, I didn't realize that this could be a subject that I could write upon at length (sorry), but it was still fun to think over the craziness of grocery shopping. And by the way, I would being giving a disservice to my husband if I did not mention the fact that he often goes for me so that I don't even have to mess with it at all - a good egg, that one is.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Turu the Terrible

Ok, I know I have posted in the past about how our little Avery loves the old school cartoon Jonny Quest. He has the beginning and ending credits memorized, anticipating every scene and labeling all of the characters. Now he is starting to pick up dialog as well. I'm not sure how I feel about this - let me give an example as to why...

In one episode he particularly loves, there is a mean guy (that's what we call them around here) that has a pet flying dinosaur named Turu. Turu is kind of like his attack dog, the mean guy uses him to help carry out the fiendish plans. Well, at one point in the show the mean guy yells, "Kill, Turu, Kill." as he is pointing to the Jonny Quest gang...its only one small instance in the show, but guess who can yell that just as clear as day? Yep, my sweet little baby faced Avery.

I am as proud of this moment as I was when Isaiah was around 2 or 3 years old and requested a Johnny Cash song by saying, "Can we listen to the one where he says I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die?" Maybe we should filter what they are watching/listening to a little more, or maybe we should just stay away from folks named Johnny.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ok, here is a peek at our frustrating attempts to wish you a happy Valentine's day, let's just say we gave up on getting a good picture of everyone (I won't tell you how many I took, I stopped counting) - here are a few of the "best"

Now this one is NOT the best of Isaiah, but the other two are pretty cute...forget about ever seeing the sign held straight in Avery's hands! It's just not going to happen.

Now I thought this one was cute with Isaiah kind of acting nutty with his sign, the other two are not very attentive or enthusiastic...

This is the one I love, because it shows the reaction to the little brother who will NOT cooperate. :-)


So anyway, Happy Valentine's Day and I hope you get some sort of special treat from someone you care about.

Night Terrors...

They're back again - Isaiah goes through seasons of them, and last night was a really good one. I think they correspond with him growing. He has been eating a lot, a little mouthier, and complains of aching feet and legs at times...so I guess his body is just totally giving him fits - but of all the "ailments" of growing these thing are the worst.

Last night he "woke up" crying. I went into his room and found him holding his ears like something was too loud then he would hug himself and fidget and squirm and move away from me. I talked to him - asked him what was upsetting...are you hurt, are you having a bad dream?...these questions he wouldn't answer - he would just cry. But the thing that freaks me out the most is that he will look right at me and have a total look of fear on his face - like he doesn't know who I am at all.

So I finally coax him off the bunk, and we take a walk (he takes my hand at this point). We go to the kitchen to get a drink - that usually snaps him out of it. Well, last night it took a few sips and a few minutes of blank expressions followed by looking at me and becoming terrified again. I asked him if he knew what room in the house he was in and he paused then said, "the living room" (we were in the kitchen). Then he looked at me and started getting scared again and he even poked his finger at me like he wanted to touch me to see if I was real, but was too scared to. I finally just grabbed him up in a hug and kept saying "it's mommy, it's your mommy, you're ok..." That finally snapped him out of it all - we went and read a chapter out of a book we're working on and then he went quietly to bed...luckily that was the only one of the evening.

The mind sure can do funny things and I don't like it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Revision!

Ok, I really wrote that last post right before I went to the dr. Everything at those visits are always so routine - I guessed about the outcome of the visit...so now I have to revise. It is actually only 5 more weeks to go and if baby girl isn't here by the 19th of March, my dr. will induce on that date - he is going to be out of town the following week (the actual week of my due date) and wants to make sure he is there for the delivery. He is a very nice dr, I have been going to him for many years - a few years before the kids started coming even.

So it is nice to have a definite date to look forward to, but I do hope I go naturally before then. I have never had that experience really - have been induced with all the boys because of their stubbornness of not wanting to leave the womb. Oh well, at least I know what to expect on the 19th if she decides she doesn't want to join us sooner.

It will be nice for my in-laws though - they are scheduled to fly out to Honduras for my brother-in-law's wedding on the 20th or 21st - so their newest grandchild (first grand-daughter) will come before they have to get on the plane. I know Gloria was kind of anxious she wouldn't be in town for the birth - so this will guarantee it and now she can have nothing more to think about once she is down there to enjoy the wedding.

Waiting and Preparing...

Six weeks to go - I went to the dr. today and everything is fine. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this newest little one. My body is done being pregnant...many folks at church have commented that it seems I have been pregnant forever (thanks for pointing that out) actually, that's exactly how I feel. I get a little discouraged because I have gone past my due date with all three of my previous pregnancies - so just feel that the 6 weeks that are left might become 6+ ...we will see, maybe a baby girl is more considerate of being on time. :-)

I have been nesting a bit I think - which is why this blog site has kind of gone to the side for a few days. Trying to organize the room, put clothes away and go through stuff - her bedroom has become a catch all I'm afraid - funny how we always seek out a place to just pile everything high instead of putting it away, so I have been trying to dismantle our mountain. I organized her clothes a bit - a family of girls from church has giving us their hand-me-downs, plus of course it has been fun shopping on and off throughout the pregnancy! I came downstairs after putting her things away and told my husband that I am sorry to say his baby girl will be at least 5 years old before he has the chance to dress her. (and even then he will only dress her for her "around the house outfits" - I didn't inform him of that part though)

Here are some pics of her newly straightened out room - you might notice, there are still some piles of stuff in the nearest corner...the pictures on the wall are curious george (old school)



















I not only cleaned her room out a bit (still has a ways to go) I also scrubbed some floors, cleaned some bathrooms pretty thoroughly and even dusted a tad - still have a ways to go, but it is good start. Then on top of that I have been trying to figure out work - getting everything ready and covered for Sunday mornings and finding some folks to look after some things while I am "gone." I know I will be in the office a bit pretty quickly after the baby comes - I was after I had Avery anyway, but will try to stay away for at least a month on Sunday mornings.

The boys are doing great...will update you on them the next time. They are getting spring fever - need to get outside and burn off some of that energy! But as you can see through the window of one of the above photos - winter is still here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Birthday Party for Grandma

Yesterday was Gloria's birthday (she's my mother-in-law, and no...I won't tell you how old she is now). We went with her to Cracker Barrel - a pretty popular place for our family - everyone seems to find something they enjoy pretty easily there. Huston enjoyed the corn muffins with blackberry jelly...he spread it himself - he just piled it on the top like icing a cupcake.













Here are some pictures of the birthday girl...and yes she eventually did get a bite of her own cake...and they even let her feed herself too.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Avery's a top...

As in a spinning top - check out the new game he and daddy played last night...one of the benefits of having hardwood floors I guess.
video
Next time I'll pin a dust rag to him and let him do some work while playing...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Nephew Weekend...Part 2

We survived, the kiddos went back home this afternoon - after church was over. It really went pretty well, and thankfully my folks are in town to help with logistics. I work at the church getting all the preschool Sunday School classes ready and making sure everything is running smoothly - its enough of a job for Steven to be solo parent with our own 3, couldn't imagine him trying to wrangle 5 boys - so the two cousins spent the night with their Gran and Grandad last night to spread the fun. Here are a few more pics of the activities...
It snowed here on Thursday night, so the kids enjoyed it on Sat. morning. These are the bigger boys throwing snowballs. The snow was a little too dry to really have much fun with it. It wouldn't stick together too well, so the balls kind of fell apart before impact.




The kids also enjoyed some home-made craft dough to mold and shape. They all decided to make "bear pies." Huston isn't pictured because he hadn't gotten up yet. He's the late sleeper.


Next was the costume party - we have a trunk full of boy dress up stuff. At the end of the morning we had 2 pirates, Darth Vader and a cowboy. This picture doesn't really show much of the fun, about 10 min. before I took this, Huston had fallen off of the top bunk, so everyone is a bit sober looking. I love the "cowboy face" on my younger nephew, though.




All in all this was a good experience. I am glad I was able to help my brother and his wife receive a bit of a break this weekend (although unfortunately they were both a bit under the weather). Most importantly it gave the new cousins a chance to interact (for those who are not aware, my brother and sister-in-law have just started the process of adopting these boys, along with a younger sibling).

I hate comparing kids. I don't think it is a very healthy thing to do usually, yet we seem to naturally want to - even kids compare themselves...I try to remember that God has called us to each be our own individuals and to focus on Him for direction for our lives, not on those around us. But I do see that some comparisons can be healthy, it can help you to gain a different perspective. I was very proud of my boys and how they treated each other and their cousins this weekend, it helped me to see how much they are really growing up (which is kind of hard to watch sometimes!). It also helped me to see what great kids these new family members are - to come through all the "rocky times" their young lives have seen and go through so many recent adjustments they are really great and healthy, normal acting kids - and that is impressive to me. I am not sure as adults we would cope as well as they have to all these recent new experiences.

Now I would do this again, believe it or not :-) - but probably not for awhile, mostly because of the new transitions we will have to go through in this family with the baby girl coming soon. By then these boys will be older and will probably teach me even more about a lot of different things.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Boys....x5

My boys and I set off to meet my sister-in-law and the cousins halfway today at every kid's "favorite" restaurant - I use that term lightly - McDonalds. We went to pick up her older two to come spend the weekend with us.

That makes a total of 5 boys (under the age of 6) in my van...


We have had some fun...running around the gym at church, playing different toys in the room upstairs - hopping from one thing to another like little kids do. We made and played with play-doh and watched a show or two. But alas - no pictures really - not in the great habit of remembering to pull this camera out sometimes, but will try to do better tomorrow. I think its supposed to be warmer, so hopefully some good outside time is in store.

Here is everyone waiting to go home from the church after a good run...