2671. Blissing out in our friends' hot tub and playing with their dog.
2672. Our sweet neighbour bringing real-fruit freezies over for the kids.
2673. Sam helping me make his bed.
2674. Sam's advice to help a grumpy person cheer up: "tickling, or just be happy." ♥
2675. The kids playing together.
2676. Talking with my sister.
2677. Vava wearing her headband low and looking just like her pretty cousin.
2678. The way Vava says sorry to Sam.
2679. Patrick's patience.
2680. Bach at supper.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
2671. Blissing out in our friends' hot tub and playing with their dog.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
2661. Vava, unprompted, reading the first three letters of the stop sign as we walked by.
2662. Vava dancing to classical music, arms out and waving grandly.
2663. Sam riding his tricycle all the way to DQ, little legs whirring.
2664. Patrick emailing me love from work.
2665. Mama-to-be soothing tea.
2666. My thoughtful sister in law.
2667. Sam remembering the kissing tree.
2668. Finding myself thinking.
2669. Encouraging comments from readers.
2670. Patrick writing again.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Check it out: what church looks like, by Kate Motaung.
I know church looks different for all of us - the building sort of church, and the people sort of church - but no matter what, church meets us in the faces of those who love Jesus, the hands that reach out, the feet that come to meet us.
This morning, Sam woke up a little after 5. I've been trying to get him to come out of his room without waking Vava (a really big temptation), so I was proud of him for coming to me quietly, not turning on the lights, not shaking her crib ... but I was definitely not ready for him to be up.
I brought him in to bed for a snuggle with me, and told him we could get up at 6:30. Until then, even if he couldn't sleep, he needed to let his body rest.
He wasn't impressed.
Long story short, by 7:30 I knew there was no way we could spend this damp grey day inside, hosting a play date. I needed to get out of the house, and let the cranky energy dissipate in some fresh air.
Know what church looked like for me today? A friend who wasn't fazed by me canceling on her, who met me at the park, and showed up with coffee in hand. It looked like a hug and empathy and caffeine and some good laughs.
I'm so so grateful for the hands and feet of Jesus, for the church that is His body, dispensing everyday grace into my needy heart.
2651. Friends who understand rough mornings, and bring coffee. ♥
2652. Liquorice on sale :).
2653. Yogurt tubes.
2655. Sam and Vava's cuddles.
2656. Patrick's beautifully barbecued burgers.
2658. Sam Robson's version of Be Thou My Vision.
2659. Vava throwing a wadded-up pair of worn socks, and giggling "stinky ball!"
2660. Funny shows and laughing with friends.
Monday, July 28, 2014
2641. My kids forgiving their mother's cranky outbursts.
2642. A morning present.
2643. Clumsy Vava needing snuggles.
2645. Patrick coming home.
2646. Finding a new heart-blog.
2648. Walking with the kids.
2649. Sam rubbing my back, asking, 'mama? This comfy?'
2650. Sam vacuuming under the couch cushions.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
2631. Vava writing a wildly skewed M, and joyfully proclaiming "big beautiful M!"
2632. Snuggles with my booger-monsters.
2633. Patrick's patience.
2634. Overhearing someone call their daughter Vava ... or something like it. :)
2635. Rainbow in the water.
2636. Thoughtful friends.
2637. Gideon's conversation with God.
2638. Busy baby boy :).
2639. Sophia walking!
2640. Sweet texts.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
2621. This truth: 'each act of obedience felt like a small death. But each has turned out to breathe life into us in ways we couldn't imagine.' (From Restless, by Jennie Allen, p.18.)
2622. Sam and Vava singing together at naptime.
2623. Bubbles on the deck.
2624. Comforting hugs.
2626. Friends with gifts.
2627. Finding a zamboni pile and having a snowball fight in July :).
2628. Napping long ...
2629. Ahh generous husband.
2630. Watching Sam's eyelashes fall steadily closer to his cheeks.
Friday, July 25, 2014
2611. Vava and Sam's sweet love for each other.
2612. Waking up refreshed after a rough night.
2613. SO MUCH LOVE in the mailbox today. Four parcels!
2614. Friends who give grace.
2615. A reminder that the cross must matter in everything.
2616. Sam falling asleep when we went upstairs to wake Vava.
2617. Vava drawing pictures ... a dinosaur, circles, mama & papa, an airplane, a doggie.
2618. Vava wearing her new clothes on top of her old clothes.
2619. Sam curling up on the floor, sleepy before bed.
2620. Popcorn and a show with my One True Love.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
2601. I asked Sam if he was going to love his baby brother when he comes. "Yeah," he sighed happily, "I already do." ♥
2602. Vava & Sam & their friend diligently washing the little tikes car.
2603. Waking up to sunshine.
2604. Banana pancakes with peanut butter.
2605. Choosing behavioral goals to work on with the kids.
2606. A loving nickname from Patrick.
2607. Laughing hard at internet ingenuity.
2608. Sam and Vava singing Jesus Loves Me.
2609. Being able to serve and bless my family.
2610. My neighbour being okay.
The other day, my beautiful Sam was standing in the backyard by the woodpile. He was the same height as the tall weeds that surround it, and the picture he made brought a country song to mind. The words that laced through my mind: "the weeds are high / where corn don't grow." Poor grammar aside, the lyrics pressed in on my heart in the particular way in which God speaks when He is getting my attention.
I'm no gardener - it's no exaggeration to say I have a brown thumb - but when it come to rearing children, I need to be one. Like fields, my kids need to be tended and intentionally filled with the seeds of good things. I need to cultivate their appetite and ability to learn, think, communicate, perceive, and understand layers of meaning. These things don't just appear in a life. They need to be planted, and like any good crop, they will yield nourishment and satisfaction in days to come. Where good things are already growing, there is less room for junk to take root. But where there's no corn ... the weeds are high.
I know my kids are young, but I think the weeds are high, already ... there are gaps in my rows, areas I've neglected and allowed weeds to grow because it's easier than uprooting the stubborn invaders of laziness and ingrained bad habits.
So I'm going to focus on intentional gardening. I'm pretty easily distracted and find myself letting goals slide. I think I need to make a firm change in my habits so I can be a more deliberate mama. They say it takes three weeks to form new habits - so for three weeks I'm going to take a break from Facebook, cut down my distractions, and pull some weeds.
Because I've got some really lovely fields to tend :).
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
2591. Playing with my sillies.
2592. Sam decorating his face with cheerios.
2593. Goodbye kisses from Patrick.
2594. Sam making a running track with cushions.
2595. A friend dropping by.
2596. Extra cuddles from runny-nose Vava.
2597. Vava calling "nose!" everytime she needed a Kleenex.
2598. A rejuvenating nap.
2599. Sam telling Chrissy she could take his toy frog home.
2600. Vava asking Patrick to read her the little critter new baby book three times in a row. ♥
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
2581. Celebrating a friend's birthday.
2582. Laughing over old stories.
2583. Homemade strawberry yop.
2584. Surprising Patrick with two coats of paint on the deck rail.
2585. Vava sleeping in her highchair.
2586. Patrick loving me even though I burnt supper.
2587. Sam and Vava's goony conversation about eye-poking & tickles.
2588. Kissing Patrick in the car.
2590. Baby K shifting off that painful spot ... ahhh.
Monday, July 21, 2014
2571. A playdate with fun friends.
2572. Sam helping me with the compost.
2573. Vava wearing her pretty yellow dress.
2574. Kids eating homemade icicles.
2575. Quiet afternoon to read and post pics.
2576. Talking with my sister.
2577. Homemade honeydew & vanilla yop.
2578. Going swimming at the neighbourhood pool.
2579. Sam being so proud of floating without Patrick's help.
2580. Vava wearing her hoodie towel as Patrick carried her home.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
I love that the Bible assures us God is present in the womb - where life is, of course, God is, because He is the life-giver, the Breath of Life. It all comes from Him. He knits us together, bone and spirit, in the womb. Babies don't just grow as lifeless bodies in their mothers and then begin living at birth. They live and grow and gnaw on their fingers and suck their thumbs and play with their hair and have hiccups and stretch and wriggle and live in that womb ... spirit and bone.
My growing boy doesn't let me forget him these days. He's active and amazing all the time. God is completing him, preparing him for life out here. It's funny, because I sometimes forget that He doesn't stop, once we're complete babies at 40 weeks. He keeps knitting, even after we're born.
I'm often overwhelmed by how much I need to teach and nourish and instruct Sam and Vava. That's part of the knitting. And they're getting to the point now where they play with each other almost every moment, and teaching them how to behave as family - to clothe their actions in kindness - is a full-time job. I feel like I'm nattering on at them all the time. But they're not completed yet. They're being knit together - siblings, a family - as their characters are developing and being shaped.
And then, of course, teaching them reminds me to look up and see who is teaching me, and to remember that I, too, am still being knit together with my siblings. My brothers and sisters in Christ, we drive each other crazy sometimes - just like Sam and Vava. We get in each others' faces, step on each others' toes, tattle, whine, fight ... we're in process. We're being knit together. We're not done.
We're not complete and whole on our own - we're meant to be part of our family.
Baby K is growing toward a 40-week completion date, but he's not meant to stay in there, perfect and alone. Sure, he'd never fight with his siblings if he stayed in my womb - but he's meant for so much more than just not fighting.
I can see the tendency in myself, wanting to withdraw and longing for solitude when I'm tired of getting along with people, tired of trying, tired of putting up with them not leaving me alone. We prepped our deck for a painting makeover yesterday. Our neighbour offered his opinion that he doesn't like the colours we chose. I felt it - that flash of resentment, that flare of wishing we lived alone on an island where others' opinions weren't foisted on us unasked. My own little isolated warm untroubled womb.
But we're made for family. None of us achieves anything on our own. When I was born, I couldn't feed or clothe or comfort myself. My parents cared for me, snuggled me, held me, fed me, ensured I had everything I needed to grow. My sisters and brother bugged and annoyed and loved and taught and endured me. People who lived before me built the infrastructure that provides me with electricity, running water, education, sanitation, and abundant food & clothing. I enjoy all of these blessings that make life rich and pleasant. Alone? Left alone, I'd be long gone. I was made for family.
That's how God makes us into the church. Life begins with salvation, the Spirit dwelling in our tents of skin and bone, and He makes us His family. Our brothers and sisters in Christ teach us and love us and bug us and make us laugh and help us. We're meant for each other - we're being knit together - family.
I take comfort in seeing my kids fighting and loving and growing together. Those annoyances? Evidence that God's needles are busily knitting them together into a family. And a reminder that the hassle of getting along with my siblings is so much more than worthwhile. :)
Saturday, July 19, 2014
2551. Music that brings back the melancholy and beautiful Saturday-night oldies feeling from my childhood.
2553. My hard-working Patrick.
2554. Vava's morning cuddles.
2555. Sam trying to get Vava dressed for the day, and succeeding only in getting her naked.
2556. Getting our deck ready for its beautiful new makeover.
2557. A warm bath with eucalyptus Epsom salts ... ahhh so much relaxation.
2558. Baby boy making sure I know he's here.
2559. This amazing verse: Ecclesiastes 11:5 - as you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
2560. My kids teaching me gospel truth.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
2541. Laughing with Patrick - laughing so hard I cried.
2542. Vava in her orange dress.
2543. An inspiring and convicting sermon.
2544. Patrick telling me to go nap after the kids woke up this afternoon.
2545. Sam running to hug me when I woke up.
2546. Blueberry cake from our sweet neighbours.
2547. Hugs at church.
2548. Wind whipping our laundry, clouds rushing in, and the neighbourhood's dash to get clothes off clotheslines.
2549. Car already half-packed for our camping trip.
2550. Vava taking selfies with my phone.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
2531. Going to the market with our cute kids.
2532. Picking up a book I ordered two weeks ago.
2533. Sam being so determined to earn a new dinosaur.
2534. Front porch pie & chats with neighbours.
2535. Momversations at the splash pad.
2536. Vava loving her new dress - and looking so sweet in it!
2537. Sam counting to ten so Vava would know when to give him a turn with a toy they both wanted.
2538. Vava sharing very sweetly.
2539. My new potted mesclun mix.
2540. A shower without interruptions. ♥
2521. The kids being so good while I drowsed on the couch this morning.
2522. Being able to eat toast at lunchtime.
2523. Naps :).
2524. My veggie-loving Vava.
2525. Patrick matter-of-factly climbing our 8-ft fence because I forgot to unlock the door.
2526. Patrick taking the kids to the park after supper.
2527. Vava wearing her cowboy hat around the house just because.
2528. Cuddling with Sam.
2529. The kids playing together in the bath.
2530. Sam telling Patrick and me to be best friends (sit beside each other) this morning. ♥
Thursday, July 10, 2014
2511. Waking to two happy kids.
2512. Getting the deck tidied.
2513. A visit from aunt Diane.
2514. Sam telling Vava she's so pretty.
2515. Mom advice from my sister.
2516. Patrick not minding that I forgot to put out the garbage.
2517. American ninja warrior with a mesmerized Sam.
2518. Kind friends.
2519. A little nap.
2520. Being mama.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
2501. Sam risking timeout by coming out of his room to tell me Vava wanted to say sorry to me ♥.
2502. Sam riding his scooter to the park.
2503. Vava reading her name and Sam's name today.
2504. Chatting with my parents.
2505. A productive morning.
2506. My bedspread coming off the line so fresh and bright.
2507. Chrissy coming for supper.
2508. Nana's slim.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
2491. Waking up with a snuggly Sam.
2492. Teaching him that my job is to raise him, and his job is to obey me.
2493. Patrick's hilarious wish: "I'm kind of hoping that Sam secretly likes sharing." Hehe.
2494. Clean carpets! Oh the bliss!
2495. Vava rejoicing over her clean bum.
2496. Riding trikes with the neighbourhood kids up & down the sidewalk.
2497. Cuddling with the kids and Patrick for an hour before bed.
2498. A little rearranging & tidying when putting the furniture back.
2499. Comfy new lounge pants.
2500. Goat brie ... mmm.
Monday, July 7, 2014
2481. Sam sympathetically asking "Aw mama, you miss your persons?" (I do!)
2482. Driving away from the dentist for a good long time.
2483. Chatting with my sister.
2484. Surviving an epic mama fail in the middle of the street in front of a daycare and a whole bunch of kid-caring pros. Survived!!
2485. A beautiful backyard play structure delivered and assembled by kind friends ♥.
2486. Finally renting a carpet cleaner ... I almost cried of happiness when I did my living room.
2487. Patrick manning the kids.
2488. A deer running gracefully through the Target parking lot.
2489. Notes from my sweet sisters in law.
2490. Pictures of beautiful Sakeji.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
2471. Sleeping in.
2472. Vava wanting to wear rubber boots with her pretty dress to church.
2473. Being on greeting duty.
2474. Our loving church family.
2475. Being reminded of the Bread of Life, the Word of Life.
2477. Afternoon naps.
2478. An envelope full of love in our mailbox.
2479. Finding the comfiest lounge pants!
2480. Cuddling down for another night's rest.
Friday, July 4, 2014
2401. Safety on the gorgeous winding highway.
2402. Breathtaking views.
2403. Adventures in Odyssey to pass the time.
2404. Fog and beauty in Terrace Bay.
2405. Unexpectedly lovely beach.
2406. Stretching our legs and playing in the waves.
2407. Playground with swings ... happy Vava.
2408. Sam asleep.
2409. Vava asleep.
2410. Too-hyper, car-fever-ish kids being silly and adorable in Wal-Mart.
2411. Arriving within minutes of our dear-loves!
2412. The cutest little cottage and bunkie.
2413. Fresh breeze.
2414. Rippling water.
2415. Sandy shore.
2416. Hugs from sweet nieces!
2417. Hugs from their parents.
2418. Eating dinner on the deck.
2419. A spitting pine.
2420. Radiant sunset.
2421. Sunporch bedroom for our family ... cozy and sweet.
2422. Kids crawling into our bed in the middle of the night.
2423. Showing them stars and fireflies twinkling outside.
2424. Lying in bed and hearing the waves lapping at the shore.
2425. The kids' bliss at waking to the blue-sky, silky-lake view.
2426. Chad's coffee - even stronger than Patrick's :).
2427. Vava and Miqa sitting on the floor, eating cereal together.
2428. Lounge chairs on the beach.
2430. A hot and perfect first full day.
2431. Old VHS movies.
2432. Popping kernels straight in the microwave.
2433. Playing bananagrams.
2434. Playing taboo.
2435. Playing Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
2436. The kids wearing their PJs from Grandmaman.
2437. Going to the Tractor Trot.
2438. All the kids being fascinated and absorbed by the parade.
2439. A fun stroll through pretty Richards Landing.
2440. Sidewalk sales.
2441. Sam "smashing bugs" (swatting mosquitoes).
2442. Sam talking about his big cousins (aunt & uncle) and baby cousins (2 are older than he is).
2443. Baby M's sweet temperament.
2445. K's hilarious announcement, when dessert was finished: "my body is turning food into poop!"
2446. J's care for her sisters.
2447. Vava loving uncle C's crab imitation, "clack clack clack!"
2448. Clean laundry.
2449. Horatio Hornblower.
2450. A note from a much-missed friend.
2451. Answered prayer.
2452. Cute maternity jeans, just when I needed them!
2454. Patrick being such a hands-on dad.
2456. Chatting with my SIL all day.
2457. J's amazing playground skills.
2458. K's injury being fixed quickly with a little YouTube help.
2459. Fresh oatmeal cookies from our neighbour/host.
2460. Decadent flourless chocolate cake.
2461. Sam and Vava loving their cousins.
2462. Evening treats by the fire.
2463. Chatting late into the night.
2464. Showers to wash away the unbelievable stinkiness of old smoke.
2465. Iced coffee.
2466. S&V watching a storm roll in, from the coziness of our bed in the early morning.
2467. All the kids dancing and singing Jesus Loves Me.
2468. Filled-up hearts to bring home.
2469. A quicker drive home than we expected.
2470. Safety through sunshine, fog, and thunderstorms.