Thursday, May 30, 2013

We're Here! And James is here, too!

Grandparents are the main readers of this little space of the Internet, and it's for good reason. I never set out to be a fancy blogger, never desired to gain a lot of traffic, don't really care to be instructive or spiritual or pensive, just wanted to record things from our life and post a few pictures here and there. I was faithful to write letters to John and William as infants, but the time and space for that has decreased. This will be helpful whenever I put together William's year one and two picture books! The advent of the iPad in our lives has meant that the grandparents get videos and emails occasionally and was nearly the death of the blog!

I do wish I had been more faithful to post the funny things the children have said in the six months since I last posted. But, we've been busy and I haven't. Christmas, New Years, a new baby brother arriving four weeks ahead of his due date, a slow and cold winter leading to a cold and busier spring, and we are nearing summer with no sign of things slowing down. I'm fine with that. I don't know much, but this seems to be life with little people and since I have three of them, I will embrace it. I try to protect our days so that there's plenty of time for reading together and playing together, thus lots of time to grow together and aggravate each other! We aren't a part of a regular play group (although I have a huge and fantastic group of friends here in Lexington), we don't do preschool (although I have flirted with the idea and sometimes wish we did), I can't bring myself to sigh up for a weekly Bible study (trusting that my heart for Jesus will not atrophy during this season, but be strengthened as I try to faithfully love, teach, and train our boys, love and serve my husband, and use my free time to read and sew or just sit still). We have the rest of our lives to be busy outside of the house. It will come soon enough. I don't want to look back and wish we'd stayed at home while we could.

We have all loved the addition of James to our family and are still so sad that George did not join our days on this earth. It has been so sweet to have a baby around. When William was born, John was mostly oblivious to his presence and they both slept so much, the transition was a cake walk. Adding James has been more of a challenge, but not because of anything he's done. He's the sweetest, cutest four month old I know. Tonight after I fed him, he started the sweetest cooing conversation with me. I called John over. (He was standing guard outside the big boys room since bedtime has been more of a challenge since we upgraded to bunk beds. Another story for another day...) James was smiling big and began cooing again. One would think that he realized his talking brothers were asleep and it was his time to chat and ask questions!

Parenting older children takes more energy and interruptions to sleep for the past year from pregnancy and a newborn have called for extra videos and book sessions on the couch to make it through the day! My friend Patsy and I frequently text one another about hosting the other's child(ren) when they are particularly squirrely. The addition of another child (or two, in her case) can help everyone press the "Reset" button. Plus, sometimes I think I should relax and treat my children like they are someone else's, that our 90 minutes together isn't going to change the course of their lives (because it isn't), and that the things that I think are so important to correct can slide every now and then or even most of the time!

Well, I've written far too much here, resulting in birthday presents still unwrapped! I will post some pictures so everyone can marvel at the sweetness that is our three boys. ;)

Sweet James--he was so tiny!

This is the reality 75% of the time.

Wrestling with Daddy never gets old.

Jacob and Sam visit--oh happy day!

Jacob can read. How is it possible that he's old enough to be reading?!

John lays with James during room time. He asks to do this almost daily. These moments are so sweet to me.

Happy baby!

A "house" for the big boys in the den on a rainy day. John likes to play in it, William likes to pull it down.

We go on walks while the boys ride their bikes--a lot!

William is a bike rider!

Brothers relaxing together

William holds James--it is even more adorable than the pictures convey.

John loves to spend time with James, but has yet to hold him.

See what I mean? Cutest baby ever.

Strawberry picking!

John counts our strawberries and determines we have nineteen.

William and Isaac enjoy the swing.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17, ESV)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

House Helper

Young John is so eager to help around the house. He started emptying the small trashcans before he was two, learned to effectively use the cordless vacuum about that age, loads clothes into the washer and dryer (which he calls "my chipper job") and here lately has kept our recycling bin empty since he gets his shoes on and empties it into the rolling cart outside if anything is in it. I could use a dose of his eagerness! One major highlight is that he not only lifts up the toilet seat 75% of the time, he also cleans up if he misses during his bathroom trips. 

John has also gained several skills that help him get around some of the safeguards we've put throughout the house. He can easily open a door with a knob cover (or hit it in such a way that it falls off); move chairs/ottomans/baskets to get things that are out of reach like screw drivers, chef knives, and books off the mantel; push down the cabinet door locks to get to the contents; and so on. His independence has resulted in many messes, a broken refrigerator shelf, and some small-scale meltdowns (as well as a few large-scale ones) and needs for discipline and teaching. Channeling his energy in this area is a challenge but mostly fun, and I really appreciate how adept he is at helping. 

Earlier this evening, I realized our toilet paper roll was almost out but I didn't get a new roll. We had dinner, sent John off to work for the night, went to Trader Joe's for peanut butter (and $40 of other not needed, but oh-so-tasty groceries), and got ready for bed. I headed upstairs to do some sewing and computing and heard him out of bed. I wasn't happy since he's not to get out of bed, but he said he needed to go to the bathroom. I conceded, he came up for help to get his pajamas back on, and we walked back to his room so I could tuck him in.

Fast forward two hours. I've been upstairs working and dawdling and head down stairs to use the restroom and wash my face. I find a new roll of toilet paper waiting for me. How sweet is that? I guess he saw the need, went into the hall closet for another roll and set it out. Lord, help me think of this tomorrow when his desire to help results in a fit or a mess.

Children--a wonderfully bewildering adventure!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Garbage Trucks

Back in October, the city hosted a trash festival (of sorts). Our neighbor told us about it and knowing John and William's fascination with trucks and garbage trucks in general, I knew we couldn't miss it. Ironically, then I told them we were headed down town to see something special, they were not convinced. I even told them we were going to see garbage trucks and they asked to go back home. (Could have been the nearly thirty-minute car trip traveling into town in only one lane of traffic since the lanes had shifted for rush hour!)

We approached the block where the trucks were parked and their mood shifted immediately! We loaded up and headed to see the trucks. The waste management team did a great job of answering our questions and helping the boys in and out of the trucks. We are so grateful for their kindness to us and all their hard work to keep our city clean! 

William is happy to sit in the big truck

Brothers posing in front of a front loading garbage truck

John is not ready to get in any big trucks, but is happy to check out the electric cart they use around down town.

His confidence boosted, he climbs into a big truck...

and is very pleased!

Here's William in a 1950s garbage truck--his brother is also inside telling him about the "controls"

Riding the garbage truck like the workers

Now, every time we drive by this block, William asks about the garbage trucks and John informs him, "Nope. No garbage trucks today!"

William's Birthday Week

Sweet William turned two today. I didn't plan a big birthday party for him, but we decided to make a big deal about it as a family and celebrate in small ways many times. So, this week, we celebrated with bike shopping (his birthday gift) and a trip to Monkey Joe's with his girlfriend and down-the-street-neighbor Lola, and a brownie tonight with dinner. William is a sweet and gracious child and loved every minute. Today, we sang "Happy Birthday" at our meals and John was so happy to tell people that today William turned two. 

Leaving the bike shop, "walking" with his dad. After knocking over two big bikes, William was embarrassed, so we picked out a blue bike and silver helmet for him!
(John was so in love with his new helmet that he didn't want to take it off.)

John checking out his reflection. Safety never looked so good.

We headed to the mall for lunch and play. William enjoyed a grilled cheese.

Who needs hands?

Taking his first ride--he's a natural!

A little help from Daddy

Going in circles

Here's Lola--looking a little terrified!--at Monkey Joe's

Young John loves this place!

William is all smiles.

And as usual, William is not afraid of much and is happy to have his picture taken with Monkey Joe.

Happy Birthday, William! We love you so much and can't imagine our family without you. You are so kind and sensitive. You remind me of how important it is to be tender and thoughtful of others. You love digging in the dirt, reading books, and taking walks. You don't really like watching movies, you'd rather chat!

Recent Conversations

While watching Mighty Machines:

J: Mom, they're at the demolition site. You know what happens at the demolition site?
Me: Tell me.
J: (with preschooler intensity) They tear buildings down. The buildings die!

While "reading" the Bible:

J: The word of God says...and he hit him and killed him. Cain was angry and killed his brother. Then Noah built the ark and fight the animals!

And another time:

J: The word of God...glory it says...and the word of God said to him...and many people...glory and grace and the Jesus...

While eating dinner:

J: Mom, my food is sad because my teeth are crushing it.

While reading with Gigi:

Gigi: Maisy arrived and Cee-ril was buying tickets.

J: No, cee-ril is something you eat. His name is Cy-ril.

Gigi: (silence)

While riding down the road:

J: Mom, don't do that with the horn. You scared me.

Me: Well, that car was breaking the law and I was reminding him of that.

J: Well, you scared me.

At breakfast:

J: Hey Dad. It's rainy outside you you'll want to make sure you wear a jacket.

Learning about a new babysitter:

Me: Boys, Monica isn't going to babysit tonight.

J: Who is going to babysit us?

Me: Her name is Mary Fran.

J: That's a strange name!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Yesterday, John was so excited to tell his dad all that he'd done during the day. We usually give him a run-down, but John had added two Mighty Machines episodes to his repertoire and wanted to tell his dad about every detail among other things. His excitement was really sweet. Here's a sampling of their conversations:

Young J: Dad? Hey, Dad?

J: Yes, son.

YJ: I was watching (voice deepens) "Under the Sea"and the boat went under water!

J: Was it a submar--

YJ: Pause! There was a man and he dived down!

Later on...

YJ: Dad? We read George (voice deepens) and the chocolate factory!

J: You did? What was it about?

YJ: George ate all the chocolates.

J: Why did he do that?

YJ: Pause!

While getting ready for bed...

J: Ok John. What would you like to pray--?

YJ: Pause! Daddy I want to sing another song.


There's a lot of talk around our house about treating each other with love and respect, considering another more precious than ourselves, and exercising self-control. (Please tell me this is totally normal in a home of a preschooler and toddler.) We have a great CD with songs about the fruits of the Spirit that the boys love to listen to. 

Yesterday, John and William were in the basement playing while I folded laundry. I headed upstairs to make lunch and within 90 seconds heard William crying. I went to the top of the stairs to see what happened and I found William working his way up the stairs crying and saying, "Took it from me!" Below is the conversation that transpired:

Me: John, was that gentle to take the tricycle?

J: (through gritted teeth) I needed to do that because I don't have self-control!

Me: (chuckle in agreement) John...

J: (teeth no longer gritted but still yelling) I do that because I don't know self-control!

Lord, help me!