Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Life is So Whirly Sometimes...

Well, now, it's been a long time. And a lot of living in that time. Four birthdays. Trip out of town to acquire our 12-passenger truck. Crossing more home space off our clean-and-purge list. BB starting back to work on his degree. Back to school preparation for the girls. Participating in a research study! And then the everyday life stuff, which has been good, but still very intense.

Baby H turned one on July 16, but since we were camping so close to his big day, I decided to make cupcakes, get him a happy hat, and take it with us to the woods. He rather enjoyed his cupcake, which we covered with whipped cream from one of those refrigerated squirty things.

He's such a smiling delight and has even decided to grace us with more and more full nights of sleep! We've watched him let go and start walking a few steps between people or things. He loves to imitate clapping or funny faces, and is getting sweet little curls in his super-blonde hair. Praise God for our baby son!

One summer goal I've not had a chance to explain here is the one regarding Day Dates. The big 4 girls all gave me a handmade coupon at Christmas, promising a special outing. BB had challenged them to think of things that I enjoy doing. Their choices were sweet. So, on 4 different days this summer, I finally got to redeem my coupons! Each time, we did something special, just the two of us, and then we ran errands together.

When it was MK's turn, it was just too hot to do her originally suggested idea (taking a walk at a garden that I love), so we turned it into a shopping time. Here we are having a Mexican lunch. All the girls have made such amazing progress in the past year, but MK may just have made the most. God has brought her from paralyzing fear to near-fearlessness. I'm just so proud and full of joy over this.

Therapy continues to be a huge part of our lives still. Our setup means that I usually have about an hour to kill while a couple of the children have their sessions. Often, I'll make a super-fast grocery run or other quick errand, but one day recently it occurred to me that there are several playgrounds very near the counseling office, so I took the youngest 3 to play. It was hot, but they did not mind a bit, and were very happy to sip on my iced tea!

Doesn't CJ look precious?! She is precious, of course. And ever so precocious! And brave. I am looking forward to more focused time with her during the school year on the girls' at-school days. She is eager to start practicing letters and sounds, and to do some preschool together.

Now, how could I not show off these sweet photos?! There's my handsome, sleepy guy in his Marvel Comics t-shirt. And he's even sporting an elbow dimple. Yum.

So, one of many things that I am working to do better with my children: play. I'm a rather serious, task-oriented person by nature, and the last few years have been beyond intense, even very dark at times. Now that things are lightening, I can see clearly how important it is to be able to smile, play, laugh, and be silly. You can ask AH: she knows I'll do just about anything to make her smile. Oh, I do some extremely ridiculous, wacko things!

Anyway, I am working to dethrone BB as the fun parent. I don't mean in a spoiling kind of way, just in an enter their world, surprise them kind of way. So I played Ticket to Ride with them the other day. I do not like games. I do not like crafts. But I do like watching the hilarious micro-culture the my kids have - something that's more obvious when they're playing a game. I was taken aback recently when I sat down (for the first time in a loooooooong time) to play another game with them. They were so relaxed and silly, and they included me in this mood. Aha! That's a good thing! So, I'm in. I'm now a game-player!

I know that CA will love me for this someday when she reads these posts, but I can't resist. She was clearly so convicted by the sermon a few Sundays ago that she had to enter a state of unconsciousness in order to cope with the intensity, perhaps? And, yeah, I was snapping pictures during church.

And I could not leave EG out. Look at those tiny, tiny mushroom dices. I love having sous chefs all my own. Seriously, the girls are so helpful. They each had their turn at planning, shopping, and preparing a week or more of family meals. I love to see them moving with more confidence and experience in the kitchen! We keep saying that they'll leave home someday and not know how to cook for one or two people - they'll have been cooking for a huge family for so long!

We start school Monday. I'm fighting some real nerves about that, mostly because last year was so.hard. But I have been praying, "Lord, help me to see the upcoming year through eyes of faith and not eyes of fear; not eyes that only see what the past was, but a vision that knows that this is a new year, a fresh one!"


  1. One already!? Amazing! I'm also encouraged by MK's progress, my sweet eldest is terrified of making mistakes, despite knowing they're a part of learning and growing. It's a real heart issue, not a head issue, so it's great to see other lovely little ones being able to work through similar stuff. xo

  2. So good to read this update! I would love to hear more about the research study. . . and what the girls enjoy cooking and the games they like. I am moved by your description of entering their world because yes, I am the same kind of parent as you. I get focused on my goals and set everything else aside. oh dear.
    I can't believe your boy is so BIG. Happy birthday to the big boy!