Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

How siblings show affection...
Don't worry. Jonathan is not always the one getting picked on, he sits on Leesi all the time too.
For some reason they think this is a hilarious game.

Look! My kids actually match! It's rare enough to have Elisa wear a whole outfit that doesn't clash in some way. To have them match each other is like, another level. And they even somewhat cooperated for the picture: miracle.

Happy Easter to you all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Fun

What a beautiful day we had for our Easter egg hunt at church today. It was sunny and warm, a perfect spring day. It was both kids' first egg hunt, and I think it was a hit. When we got home Leesi dumped all her candy on the floor and said, "Let's count my candy." Which was such a big girl kind of thing to say. She's growing up.

Jonathan was in the 2 and under area, which meant there were a bunch of eggs just laying in the grass. He opened an egg and inside he found... fruit snacks!!! Fruit snacks are like his favorite thing ever. He held them out to me and said, "open." Then he wandered around eating fruit snacks for the rest of the time.

On a somewhat related note, I made this purse for Elisa:

I gave it to her this morning for the Easter egg hunt. At first Elisa was walking around trying to hold her eggs and her purse. She didn't quite get that she was supposed to put the eggs in the purse.
It was a great day and we're ready for all our Easter celebrations tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There was a little girl...

Last week I started this post...

Ever have one of those days where you doubt in every way your parenting abilities... those days where you are sure that no child in the history of the world has ever behaved so badly and still turned out to be a productive human being?

It was one of those days. Monday was also one of those days.

I feel discouraged.
I then launched into a description of Elisa's behavior. But then I got lost in that, and wasn't quite sure how to wrap up the post. Now, a week later, I feel like I have adequate perspective to be able to finish this post.

The truth is that all of last week was pretty bad. Elisa had many, many time outs last week. She screamed loudly throughout most of these time outs. For some of them, I had to hold her door closed, while she tried wildly to pull it open from the other side. I could go on and on about her bad behavior, but I'll probably get lost in the descriptions again, and never finish the post. So let's just leave it at that.

Monday morning she woke up, a new person. She has been a total sweetheart for most of the week: obedient, loving, kind, fun. Today she had a couple rough patches, but it was a busy whirlwind of a day... so nothing unusual.

She reminds me of the poem about the little girl with a little curl right in the middle of her forehead: when she was good, she was very, very good; and when she was bad, she was horrid.

Parenting is hard, isn't it?

This is the first three year old I've had... so I'm still figuring out how to go about parenting a three year old. I remember a mom telling me, before I had kids, "Read all you can about parenting now, because once you have kids, it's all on the job training." It's really true. As soon as you kind of "figure out" one stage, you're onto the next... and each kid is different. So, while you can learn from the first kid, you still have to readjust your strategies for the next.

Right now I'm reading 1-2-3 Magic. It's a book about discipline and it's given me some good ideas and advice. I'm almost finished with it, and then I'm going to start implementing it. Maybe I'll post more about this later (no promises).

Anyway, thanks for making it this far through my ramblings. I think I just needed to get some of that off my chest. Last week when Elisa was acting so terribly I really did feel alone. I missed all the moms in Arkansas that I used to get together with. I felt like everyone was honest with each other about how our children were (or weren't) behaving... and I just needed someone to tell me, "My kid does that too."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Humble King

Palm Sunday. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. Crowds laud him as king, laying down palm branches. Behold your king comes, humble and riding on a donkey (from Zechariah 9).

Today we sang, "I'm kneeling down again, here at your feet. Show me how much you love humility.... You are the God of the broken, friend of the weak. You wash the feet of the weary, embrace the ones in need. I want to be like you Jesus, to have this heart in me. You are the God of the humble. You are the humble king."

It's so relieving to rest before a humble king.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tilly and Friends

Elisa and I have discovered a fun new book series that she's really into right now. They are by Polly Dunbar and they are the Tilly and Friends books. They have super cute illustrations and sweet short little stories. The book that started us on the Tilly and Friends kick was this one:
It's called Where's Tumpty and it features a big blue elephant named Tumpty who is trying to hide. The cover shows him hiding beneath a large cardboard box, with his eyes tightly shut. There are six characters in the stories, and so far, there are six books: one for each character. They are very sweet and fun to read. My favorite one is probably Doodle Bites. Elisa likes them all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jonathan at 18 months

Yesterday Jonathan was officially 18 months. And he is quite the little boy. He continually keeps me on my toes with his penchant for exploring. He is just now becoming more verbal. He doesn't have very many words yet, but I feel like his vocabulary is on the brink of exploding. The last couple of days he has added a new word each day.

Here are his words so far:
hello (how-o)
milk (which also sounds like mama)
mine (my!) (hmm, wonder who taught him this one!)
night-night (na-na)
light (lide)
slide (lide)
balloon (ba-oon!)
all gone or all done
again (eye-en!)
bye bye
a bite

He is also becoming a master at various animal sounds. His favorite is the elephant. He loves to cover his mouth with a cup or cardboard tube (or really anything at all) and make a loud "wooooo" sound. The cat and the cow still sound pretty much the same. But his roar is quite good, as is his quack. It's like the deepest most boyish quack I've ever heard. And whenever he sees a dog he gets really excited and pronounces "woof, woof!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Last week I found myself... fatigued... with life. I didn't have my usual energy for parenting. I didn't have any motivation for activities with the kids. We went to the library and got a whole bunch of new books, and that's really what saved me. For most of the week we read books and books and books, because other than that I didn't really feel like doing anything. I felt short and impatient with Elisa. I also felt done with our current lifestyle. Burnt out of living on campus, burnt out of being an RD wife. It was just one of those weeks.

The week before that (so two weeks ago), Greg was gone for the entire week on a Spring Break Mission's trip with students. Luckily, I was able to go up and see my parents for most of that time. (So much better than when we lived in Arkansas with no family within 2,000 miles). But still, I think that week apart from Greg took its toll on me, and fed into the next week of fatigue, sadness, and lack of motivation.

But this week has been much better. I find myself motivated once again. Today we went to the Children's Museum AND the library (doing two things in one day shows a huge amount of motivation on my part, just so you know). The weather was great, and I even got some one-on-one play time with Jonathan outside in the beautiful evening. It was so fun to watch him toddle around, excited by the lichen he found on the ground, excited by the birds, excited by the balloons he saw in someone's dorm room window. We walked up to the dog park where he happily watched the dogs. He even got to pet one. Overall a beautiful, wonderful day.

I also am starting to feel a little re-energized to be living on campus. I was reading today in 2 Corinthians 3-4 about ministry. Chapter 4 ends this way:
"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
So much of the time I think about how I want to own a house and have a yard. I get so focused on these temporary things, that I lose sight of eternal things. What would it mean for me to "look at things which are not seen"? What does ministering out of a place of surrender mean for me? What if I constantly delivered myself over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in me? (2 Cor. 4:11) So that is what I am mulling over right now. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Addendum

I don't know how I failed to mention this in my last post. But when I opened the bike trailer after the ride I found Jonathan and Elisa holding hands... their little hands clasped together and Leesi looking up at me, sweet as pie, with Jonathan fast asleep beside her. I could have just cried from the sheer sweetness of the moment.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hello Spring!

I know that Spring around here means mostly rain. But it's nice to have a break every once in a while. Today has reminded me of the lovely spring weather we would have in Arkansas. It was the perfect day for a bike ride!

Jonathan totally fell asleep. Now he is refusing to take his nap. Oh well.