Friday, April 6, 2018

Elliot's Conversation

Elliot is extremely chatty, and if you can simply master his vocabulary list and identify each term correctly, he makes a charming conversationalist. But if you guess wrong, he will continue saying the word in increasing volume until you get it right (or he finally loses interest).

Pip- chip
Mummy- yummy
Blank- special blanket
Bloon- balloon
Beekoball- basketball
Mum- mom
Dickder- Victer
Iyah- Josiah
Nana- banana
Ruck- truck
Dute- cute
Deeku- thank you
Deedodas- dinosaur
Deedodas- applesauce
Dader- water
Dader- color
Ouse- house
Puppin- muffin
Stoo- stool
Boop- poop
Dog! Dog!- dog
Dada- daddy
Rammy- grammy
Radad- grandad
Opop- Pop Pop
Oos- shoes
oves- gloves
At- hat
Oots- boots
Peas- please
Ooth- tooth
Down- up
Down- down



Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Birthday, Ben!


Happy birthday, dear Ben!

You are one of God's greatest gifts in my life. At small group, we took a few minutes to share some evidences of grace. Not to monopolize the time, I saved mine, and here are just a few that come to mind.

Sacrificial serving: every morning you get the boys up so I can have my time in the Word and prayer. You love to do the small things that will bless and encourage others, like making the coffee for a meeting.

Reaching out: you have a gift for noticing people on the fringe and connecting with them.You have a warm and generous attentiveness for others.

Joyful zeal: you don’t get stuck in the status quo. You love change and receive twists of the road with faith and joy.

Loving the Word: one of your favorite things is studying the Word and then exploring it with junior highers. You take it up as a sword in the fight for faith. May He send it deeper still into your heart and life.

Missional thinking: you have an eye toward tackling the hard thing where it will be strategic for the gospel. You are ready to press in, even when it is at cost to self.

Creative thinking: the boys love your stories and games. You have a tremendous capacity for enjoying different things and help to pull me up somewhat in the fun factor.

I love you and am so thankful to be on this path with you. May the year ahead hold best-yet mercies!


4 Years Old!

(4 year blue chair picture coming)

3 years old

2 1/2 years old

2 years old

18 months old

1 year old

11 months old

10 months old

9 months old

 8 months old

7 months old

6 months old


5 months old

4 months old

3 months old

2 months old

1 month old

2 weeks old


Dear Josiah,

You are 4 years old! It has been such a joy to watch you grow and change over the past year. You are sensitive, energetic, imaginative, and thoughtful.

Most frequently, you are busy pretending you are an animal. Favorites include Tazmanian tigers, cheetah, black panther, and bull, though (if you’ve watched Wild Kratts recently) you may opt for a red kangaroo, ahi-ahi, howler monkey…

You are very agile. You can gallop through our living room on your feet and hands, and that is typically your preferred mode of travel. I would certainly miss a step and faceplant, but I’ve never seen you do that!

We are doing a little preschool this year, reading a special book together every week and doing the history, science, and reading along with Victor. It’s really fun to see different concepts click in your mind, from colors to math to reading comprehension. But you are more kinesthetic than anything, and bouncing, running, and jumping are still your most frequent activities.

You have a lot of fun playing in your preschool class at church and playing with other friends—but you are more introverted than your big brother, and it’s not unusual for you to gravitate to independent playing at times. You do love joining in with freeze tag though, and you are very fast, my little cheetah!

Your tender heart is evident. Several times in this pregnancy I’ve thrown up in a trash can in front of you boys, and you will very compassionately tell me, “I’m sorry you had spits, Momma.” You will also warm my heart often at supper time when you say, with an emphatic tone, “Thank you for making this, Momma.”

After being sick for about a month around Christmas, you actually weighed less than Elliot (which made me sad to see!). But once you got well, you also hit a growth spurt and started out-eating all your brothers! Now the special birthday pjs that I ordered too early only reach mid-calf!

I love hearing you apply biblical truths to life in everyday situations. You have told me several times, “I don’t need to be afraid at night, because God is with me!” and “I don’t always get my way, but do you know who does? God!”

You are a joy to have in our family, and I just pray that God will continue to cultivate and shape your heart to take refuge in Him, to see how His word and His ways apply to every part of life, and to find your greatest joy in Jesus.

For your birthday again I remember the special verse that we pray will describe your life:

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth, that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.—2 Chronicles 16:9a

We surely love you, Mr. Josiah,
Momma

 Interview with Josiah
(3.29.18) 4 years old


1.      What is your favorite color? black
2.      What is your favorite toy? Dump trucks
3.      What is your favorite fruit? apples
4.      What is your favorite video to watch? Wild Kratts
5.      What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Hamburgers
6.      What is your favorite thing to wear? New dinosaur pajamas
7.      What is your favorite game? Sequence
8.      What is your favorite snack? Crunchies
9.      What is your favorite animal? Cheetahs and Tazmanian tigers
10.   What is your favorite song? Away In a Manger
11.   What is your favorite verse? Genesis 1:1
12.   What is your favorite book? An animal book
13.   Who is your best friend? The Lees
14.   What is your favorite thing to do outside? Throw snowballs
15.   What is your favorite drink? Apple juice
16.   What do you like to sleep with at night? My new monkey
17.   What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Bananas
18.   What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Hot dogs
19.   What do you want to be when you grow up? A police officer
20.   What was one of your favorite things that you did this year? Played that I was a cheetah
21.   What is your favorite place to go? To the park


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Letter to Victor

Dear Victor,

You are 6 years old! Well, by now you are almost 6 years and 2 months old, but that is simply a sign of these crazy times...

This year we celebrated your birthday with a belated party (with 22 people present), during which your two younger brothers began vomiting, an unexpected introduction into our extended journey through the stomach flu for our whole family.

But nevertheless! You are 6, and it is a wonderful, wonderful time.

You have grown and changed so much in the past year. We jumped into the wonderful world of kindergarten this year, with our school time together in the morning and your "workbook time" in the afternoon while I do my work too.

You have developed in so many different ways, from drawing pictures with careful detail to reading Bible stories out loud at bedtime to building an elaborate helicopter with Legos all on your own. You have your own "craft box," full of art supplies, and you demonstrate great care and attention to detail in many big art projects.

You love to listen to books on tape after you finish your workbooks in the afternoon, rotating among Mr. Popper's Penguins, Nate the Great, Mercy Watson, and any other options we may have checked out from the library at the time.

You have gained so much independence and ability around home! You are the designated silverware-putter-awayer, and you can switch out loads of laundry from the washer to the dryer, make snacks for your brothers, put your clothes away, dust, set the table, and on and on. I am consistently grateful for your good attitude as a helper and the way you do a good job with the projects you are given.

You loved having friends across the street just your age! Jaylin and Bryson were really fun buddies, and you got so excited when they would come to Wednesday Connection with us. We are sad that they moved to Crystal now, but you often remind me, "Maybe we can still visit them sometimes!" I pray that you will continue to reach out to others and learn how to be a good friend.

One of your favorite ways to play is by gathering a huge quantity of toys, play food, and books and organizing it all. Then you say it is your "store," and anybody can come and get things that they want. Sometimes items must be "purchased"... sometimes they are for free. Systems, organizing, and patterns are big for you.

You are a good big brother in so many ways. You help make sure Elliot is safe and happy and help to explain things to Josiah that you want him to understand. You can all play together very happily (sometimes). I love when you all sit on the first step, in a sweet little row, to eat your afternoon snack together. It is my regular prayer that you and your brothers will be lifelong friends, iron sharpening iron in Christ.

You do well sitting in our church service. You take some notes in the children's bulletin and color in the maze on front. Sometimes it is clear you are paying close attention to what is being preached. You also really enjoy your Sunday school and Wednesday night classes and will sing us the verse songs that you are learning.

You and Josiah have taken to racing back and forth in the living room, "practicing running faster than Daddy." And you love the pillow fights and "boofing games" and wrestling matches you all have together.

I am so glad that you are our son, my Victor. You demonstrate determination, kindness, serving, and enthusiasm. You have a good mind and increasing understanding. Our great desire and prayer for you is that as you grow you will find Jesus to be your one true treasure and joy.

May you be able to cry out along with Paul,
"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
I love you, sweet son.
Mom




Friday, February 9, 2018

Musings: The Past Few Weeks in Headlines

Sometimes life bowls along too quickly for me to keep up. Much less synthesize. Much less reflect meaningfully upon. Much less write meaningfully about.

In lieu of that, I will offer the headlines of stories I don't have time to write, and maybe someday I will look back, remember enough of the details to make sense, and flesh it out more.

When God Doesn't Stop You from Making Big Mistakes: Humility, Apology, Release, Repeat.
A Quiet Heart With Chaos in View
Why Is There a Hole in the Bottom of That Chip Bag?
Prequel: Piles of Boys in Worship (Without Daddy): Why We Should Always Go Potty First
Sequel: My Toddler Just Ran Into the Men's Restroom
The Wealth of Beauty Out My Back Window
Studies in Interruptions and Impatience
When You Grumble at Your Little Grumblers
The Joy of a Good Question: When the Helper Helps You Study God's Word
It's 8:30AM and I Have Used Up My Day's Worth of Energy
Eagerly Waiting for Christ's Return With Your Little Ones
Bless You, Tax Man

Friday, February 2, 2018

We Have an Announcement...

For those of you who have been on pins and needles, wondering whether the streak of blue will continue or take a surprising turn for pink ... the announcement.

AKA Take 6:



The outtakes:









Another one of these cute little cowboys?

Yep, we're tickled pink.

Monday, January 8, 2018

6 Years Old!

 6 years old!

5 years old

4 years old

3 years old

2 years old

18 months

One year old

11 months

10 months


9 months
 
8 months

7 months

6 months


5 months old

4 months old
3 months old

2 months old

1 month old

2 weeks old



Dear Victor,

You are 6 years old! Well, by now you are almost 6 years and 2 months old, but that is simply a sign of these crazy times...

This year we celebrated your birthday with a belated party (with 22 people present), during which your two younger brothers began vomiting, an unexpected introduction into our extended journey through the stomach flu for our whole family.

But nevertheless! You are 6, and it is a wonderful, wonderful time.

You have grown and changed so much in the past year. We jumped into the wonderful world of kindergarten this year, with our school time together in the morning and your "workbook time" in the afternoon while I do my work too.

You have developed in so many different ways, from drawing pictures with careful detail to reading Bible stories out loud at bedtime to building an elaborate helicopter with Legos all on your own. You have your own "craft box," full of art supplies, and you demonstrate great care and attention to detail in many big art projects.

You love to listen to books on tape after you finish your workbooks in the afternoon, rotating among Mr. Popper's Penguins, Nate the Great, Mercy Watson, and any other options we may have checked out from the library at the time.

You have gained so much independence and ability around home! You are the designated silverware-putter-awayer, and you can switch out loads of laundry from the washer to the dryer, make snacks for your brothers, put your clothes away, dust, set the table, and on and on. I am consistently grateful for your good attitude as a helper and the way you do a good job with the projects you are given.

You loved having friends across the street just your age! Jaylin and Bryson were really fun buddies, and you got so excited when they would come to Wednesday Connection with us. We are sad that they moved to Crystal now, but you often remind me, "Maybe we can still visit them sometimes!" I pray that you will continue to reach out to others and learn how to be a good friend.

One of your favorite ways to play is by gathering a huge quantity of toys, play food, and books and organizing it all. Then you say it is your "store," and anybody can come and get things that they want. Sometimes items must be "purchased"... sometimes they are for free. Systems, organizing, and patterns are big for you.

You are a good big brother in so many ways. You help make sure Elliot is safe and happy and help to explain things to Josiah that you want him to understand. You can all play together very happily (sometimes). I love when you all sit on the first step, in a sweet little row, to eat your afternoon snack together. It is my regular prayer that you and your brothers will be lifelong friends, iron sharpening iron in Christ.

You do well sitting in our church service. You take some notes in the children's bulletin and color in the maze on front. Sometimes it is clear you are paying close attention to what is being preached. You also really enjoy your Sunday school and Wednesday night classes and will sing us the verse songs that you are learning.

You and Josiah have taken to racing back and forth in the living room, "practicing running faster than Daddy." And you love the pillow fights and "boofing games" and wrestling matches you all have together.

I am so glad that you are our son, my Victor. You demonstrate determination, kindness, serving, and enthusiasm. You have a good mind and increasing understanding. Our great desire and prayer for you is that as you grow you will find Jesus to be your one true treasure and joy.

May you be able to cry out along with Paul,
"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
I love you, sweet son.
Mom


Interview with Victor at 6 years old (1.8.18)

1.      What is your favorite color? Bright colors
2.      What is your favorite toy? Uno
3.      What is your favorite fruit? Pears and strawberries
4.      What is your favorite video to watch? Edd and Eppa; Shaun the Sheep
5.      What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pepperoni pizza
6.      What is your favorite thing to wear? T-shirts
7.      What is your favorite game? Uno
8.      What is your favorite snack? Graham crackers
9.      What is your favorite animal? Dragon
10.   What is your favorite song? Angels We Have Heard on High
11.   What is your favorite verse? Psalm 56:3-4
12.   What is your favorite book? Tin-Tin
13.   Who is your best friend? Elliot
14.   What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play tag
15.   What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk
16.   What do you like to sleep with at night? Ducky
17.   What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
18.   What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Spaghetti and meatballs
19.   What do you want to be when you grow up? Pilot
20.   What was one of your favorite things that you did this year? Go to see Grammy and Grandad
21.   What is your favorite place to go? McDonalds