Monday, June 30, 2008

Jealous?


The sole purpose of this post is to incur jealousy in all of the Tim Horton's lovers who reside in the US, miles from what may be the perfect donut and cup of coffee. The boys and I enjoyed a box of 10 Timbits together (donut holes but awesomer) and passed around a large milk to wash it down. Then we went swimming for 2 hours to burn it all off. Well, maybe not all, but some anyway.

I'm quite certain that Micah burned off his Timbits in the first 30 minutes. He had his floaty suit on, and he was determined to keep up with Elijah who was swimming all over. So instead of staying where he could touch the bottom, he insisted on swimming everywhere he could in the shallow end. I'd try to offer him a hand or a push so that he wouldn't have to work so hard, but he'd puff, "Don't touch me. I'm doing it myself!" OK, never mind. Thought you might be drowning is all.

He finally got out after about an hour, curled up in his towel on the side and didn't move for 10 minutes. He would have gone to sleep if Isaiah hadn't decided to visit him. Elijah was a fish- jumping in over and over and swimming around the entire time. And Isaiah wanted to be in the water, but only while holding onto a large floating frog or Mommy even though he could touch at the shallowest part and was wearing a floaty suit.

It was a good day. AND it stopped raining long enough to play outside a bit tonight, although I think everyone was too tired from swimming to really enjoy it. Bedtime was a piece of cake. Everyone was sound asleep in 10 minutes!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blogging from NB




The boys and I are in NB and having a relaxing time so far. I'm am always amazed by how much cooler it is here. I've visited 3 times during the summer, and every time I neglect to bring enough warm clothing. You'd think I'd learn, but alas, this three week trip I'll be wearing the same 2 pairs of jeans and 2 long sleeved shirts for most of the trip. I checked the weather before we left, and while it said that the high would be 80 on some days, that really only means 80 for about 45 minutes in the direct sunlight when there is no breeze.

The boys have had a great time exploring Grammie's back yard and especially playing on the hammock. We've made a couple of trips to the dollar store where Grammie gets them each a new toy. Pirate swords and flying things have been hot sellers. They all did really well on the airplanes and in the airport. We made it through with only one stern lecture to stay with me at all times (Elijah's curiosity tempts him to wander off constantly), and one of the flight attendants said they were some of the best little travelers she'd ever seen. Isaiah even took a nap on flight 2.

We'll post more pictures soon.
Love and kisses to Daddy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Here's to tiny pushes

"I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."
-Helen Keller-

How often do I throw away opportunities to exercise excellence in the little things, waiting for the really important work to come along? Parenting is one such job where every day is filled to the brim with opportunities to either use many moments intentionally, or to wait for the really important moments to make a difference in our kids lives. We all know, that it's not the big moments that are truly formational; it is the sum total of all of the little moments along the way.

Recently I noticed that Elijah has been asking for things constantly, all day long. It usually sounded something like, "Mommy, when I'm 9 can I get a dirtbike?" And it was happening every time we had a chance to talk about our day. Often the other two would then start in with things they wanted too, and the conversation would progress with wanted things getting bigger and more complex.

So I decided that every time he asked for something, I was going to ask him to tell me something he was thankful for. I told Eric about it and talked to Elijah about it. Eric thought it was a great idea and Elijah said, "sure! I don't ask for things all the time." We've only been exercising this new policy for a few days now, but it has made such a difference in our conversation as a family already.

Having Elijah shift from something he wants to something he's thankful for was simple, and yet it has redirected whole conversations as his brothers often speak up with their own thankful thoughts. Instead of spending our time talking about things we want to have someday, we're spending that time talking about what we're glad about right now. It's nothing deep or profound, not great or noble, but it is a tiny push in a new direction that is already reaping change in all of our hearts.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Micah in the Pool

Practice kicking... getting warmed up for the lesson. Their teacher, Abigail, is on the right. She is an Asbury College swim team student.


video

I am really disappointed that I didn't get a better video of Micah. I was hoping for another opportunity to catch him swimming on video, but our last day of lessons Friday was canceled. On his last day, he was able to jump in from sitting on the side, paddle away from the wall then turn around on his own and get back to the wall. He also does bobs and back floats. AND, he loves every second!

Pool Fun

video

The birthday present from our cousins has certainly come in handy in the past couple of weeks. Elijah and Micah play in the water almost every day- not this week though as it has been too chilly with thunderstorms every day.

Swimming lessons have been great this week. We missed a lesson and a half because of lightening, but Elijah is swimming on his own now, and Micah is really close. At least we know that if they fell in a pool, they would both probably be able to get back to the side, and they wouldn't panic. They certainly aren't afraid. Isaiah on the other hand- he won't even go near the kiddie pool. The video below is Elijah swimming.


video

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quotes of the Day

As I was picking Micah up today-
"Mommy! Mommy!" exclaimed in great excitement, face all aglow, "Guess what? I made a friend today... his name is Luke and we played Power Rangers and he's my friend and Mommy Mommy Guess what? Do you know what Mommy? Do you know why Luke is my new friend? He is my best friend ever. Do you know why Mommy?"
"Why?"
"Cause he follows all of the rules when we play."

Hmmm, I wonder if this means that Luke follows all of Micah's rules? or if Luke is just generally a good rule following kid. Either way, Micah apparently loves that about him. Eric and I thought this was fitting for Micah's personality. He tends to be a color-inside-the-lines kind of guy. :)

In other news:
  • Elijah took his army men to day care today and traded one for 6 Pokemon cards from some poor kid who probably doesn't know that you can get a whole bag of army men at the dollar store for a buck. How very entrepreneurial of him.
  • We went to the Nicholasville pool yesterday afternoon and had a blast. Isaiah is getting better in the water- not so timid- but when anyone asked him if he had fun swimming, his response was always the same,
    • "Yaaaa, and I sinked, and I got out, and I cried, but I am ok." He speaks of the 3 seconds after he lost his footing and landed was face down in 1 ft. of water apparently unable to put his feet down and stand back up. I must admit that it is wonderful taking him to the pool though. His timidity means that I'm not chasing him all over the place. He mostly just chills close to wherever I am in the water.
  • Elijah and Micah are in swimming lessons this week. I hope to post a video of Elijah swimming soon. He is seriously swimming like a fish. He can almost do the entire shallow end from the wall to the black line. Micah is doing well too. He certainly tries hard and can usually get from the wall to his teacher 3-4 ft. away and back to the wall again. They would swim all day every day if they could.
  • Cooler weather this week. Yipee! No A/C all day today.
  • I'm officially training for a half-marathon. My running-man husband finally convinced me that I could do it, worked up a training program for me, and so far, 2 days in, it is going really well. I'm shocked that I was afraid of running for so long. It's really not that bad if you're doing it right. I had always erred on doing too much too quickly. Eric is training for a full marathon (now that's crazy).
  • My new job as Spouse and Family Ministries coordinator is going great. I love it.
  • All 3 boys went to sleep in their own room tonight with almost NO supervision (just two little "visits" to Isaiah). Wonderful yet not getting hopes up at the same time. This fluke has occurred before. Oh that the flukes would start occurring closer together.
  • I love Coldplay! Eric bought a live album with his father's day iTunes $ and it is great running music.
  • Reading Organic CItalicommunity by Joseph Myers- terrific ideas so far. I'll post more on it later.
  • I love the library in the summer. It is BUG week this week. We had so much fun there this afternoon. And next Tuesday is science experiment day. Elijah will be jumping out of his pants.
Only a week until our big trip! Wooo Hooo!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Isaiah away

This summer the boys are all participating in a summer child care program for a few hours 4 days a week. It is really the first time Isaiah has ever been away from his parents for longer than an hour at a time, several days in a row. I was curious as to how he would react. He is very independent in nature, and generally gets along well with everyone, but he can be kind of clingy. He still wants me to carry him around quite often.

At the end of week 1, I would say they're all thoroughly enjoying it. No tears when I drop them off, and when we're getting ready in the morning, they're all excited to go. When I pick them up at noon Elijah usually asks to stay longer, and everyone is happy and ready to spend time together for the rest of the day. Isaiah's reaction, however, at pick up time will absolutely be burned into my memory forever- I hope.

He sees me from across the room, our eyes connect, he crouches down in a half-squat kind of position, bends his arms at the elbow like a boxer, hands in little fists, then springs toward me, running, arms pumping, yelling "Mooommmmyyy" all the way. He jumps into my arms and squeezes with all of his strength. It is the best feeling in the world.

Swimming

New firsts for the boys- Micah and Elijah have both been in swimming lessons this week, and tonight they swam unassisted for the first time. Elijah did it easily, swimming a full 3 body lengths to his teacher. Micah swam also although a much shorter distance. He hasn't quite figure out the coordination of keeping arms and feet going all at the same time.

Anyway, the joy on their faces was hard to describe. They were literally glowing from ear to ear- grinning so big you could see every tooth. After Elijah swam from his teacher to the wall for the first time, he turned to Micah and said, "Did you see me Micah? Did you see? I swimmed!"

Good day!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Melancholy Micah



I've noticed you lately my Micah
You watching the world from a distance sometimes, and when
I look you straight in the eye, I can see right into your soul.

Tonight at church, other children arrived and made busy
exploring, running, jumping, shouting
You sat quietly beside the water station- like a rabbit
You barely moved.
I watched you, and I wondered if you were sleeping with your eyes open until
your gaze caught mine.
I made a funny face;
your eyes didn't sparkle, no grin teased your lips.
I changed my expression to one of questioning, tilted my head to the side and blew you a kiss.
You buried your sun-kissed cheeks in your hands, and cried- silently.
I hurried to your side, sat down next to you and asked you what was wrong.
You couldn't tell me in words, but you curled your body up in my lap, tucked your blond head under my chin and clutched the shoulder of my shirt in your fist.
I said nothing, hugged you tight and asked you to be my special helper for the night.
You agreed and stayed close by for a while, then eased into play with a group of quiet looking friends.

I'll keep watching you my Micah. I've got my eye on you because you're easy to miss sometimes.
You just keep looking me straight in the eye, so I can see you.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Elijah has friends!

I think this has probably been the strangest transition yet for me- Elijah growing from preschooler to full fledged little boy. There have been many many changes in him recently, but probably the most noticeable to me is the fact that he now has friends with whom he plays completely independent of me or any other adult. This happened somewhat last year- we would have friends over and they would play together in the back yard or his room. But always after 20 minutes or so of play, there would be the need for adult intervention- they're bored and need a new activity idea; they're arguing over a toy; the friend gets homesick or they need help to play a game.

Today is Elijah's first day of summer. It is also the neighbor kids' first day of summer. It is now 11:45am and since 10:00am, he has been playing with Jordan, Shawn and Shawn's sister outside- without any guidance from me or any other parent whatsoever. I keep going to check on him, amazed that he's still happy without any intervention from mom, and he is having the time of his life. They're all playing in the space between our houses- making ample use of 3 back yard spaces- and I can see them from any window on the back side of our house. Also a comfort is the fact that Jordan is an extremely responsible and mature little girl as is Shawn's sister, and all of the other three kids come from seminary families and they're all older than Elijah. They've shown in the past that they will help him make good choices when he's unsure, and Jordan is very reliable to keep an eye on him for me. But the very best part is that he loves to play with them, and Shawn especially seems to enjoy having him to play with.

I am watching them have a giant water gun fight right now, remembering all of the summer days I spent doing the exact same thing with all of my cousins and friends. I remember those days just like he'll remember these days. His growing up is so obvious at this moment that pokes me in the chest and makes me want to drop everything and watch in awe at the person he is becoming. Forget laundry and dishes and dirty floors; right now my heart wants to sing a song of praise and thanks for all of the moments of his life I've gotten to share so far. How can I possibly deserve such blessing? I don't, and so the next verse of my song turns to thanks for the grace of a heavenly Father who must know the joy of watching His own children grow up.

Micah the Photographer





Micah found our camera recently and before I realized it, he and his brothers had completed the above photo shoot. Elijah and Isaiah were posing for pictures and Micah was the photographer. And yes, Isaiah was a very willing victim. They were all so entertained by it that I hesitated before taking the camera away. Micah did go and get his own camera that Uncle Steve gave him for Christmas, and the photo shoot continued, and even turned into a short feature film, working titles include- The Tragedy of Isaiah, Knight Elijah, or At the End of a Sword. Other ideas?

Also photographed- his beloved Starboy- a Planet Hero. If there is ever a question about what to get the boys for birthdays or Christmas, Planet Heroes are a safe bet... Always!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Quote of the day

While swimming in our little/ big-to-them inflatable pool, "You just have to think happy thoughts and you'll fly across the water."

They like to stand at one end and jump to the other side doing giant belly flops- hours of entertainment. :)

Simile Metaphor Collection

Elijah after running: My heart is beating like a coconut rolling down a hill.
Elijah on urination: Pee is like horses galloping out of the gate. Once they get started you just can't stop them.
Elijah: If school were a human I'd give it a wedgie.
Elijah: I am like a hot rod and I just want to be a plain old Ford
Elijah on the fruits of the spirit: I've got them all covered except self-control. Its like a tiny green tomato and the rest are all big ripe ones. Especially love. Its like the biggest tomato we saw in the garden tonight.