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A Load off of My Mind

Out with the old... in with the new... beautiful, functioning dishwasher! See those dishes in the sink?  They have been there a while...they are rinsed off, but with my toe I never quite finished all the dishes each night.  I tried to make sure there were bowls for in the morning (and then we ran out of milk!) and Eliana's cups got washed.  The first load is running now, though! Look at those green lights! It's a go! It doesn't sing Broadway show tunes, but I'm not handing out Tonys (Tonies?) here.  What's important is that I don't have to get all sweaty doing the dishes at night anymore.   And I can still have time for ice cream and a quick run through the house (because it looks like a bomb went off in here-namely two: "Little Man" and "Big Blue") and pick up trash and sleeping bags and dirty clothes (oh, I already did that one!) and more trash. There is a lot of paper strewn about...magazines, 3 x 5 cards (Hey, here's something really funny that is totally unrelated but because I am the kind of person who enjoys letting everyone know what an idiot I am I will share this.   I was looking on the keyboard for the symbol for "times" or "by" and of course it doesn't exist.   I was getting irritated...there is a plus sign, a minus sign, an equals sign, but no times.  I suddenly realized, however, that I could use the lower case x.  I am so smart.), torn up pieces of computer paper. Maybe it wasn't a bomb; maybe the paper aisle at Office Depot threw up in my living room. What does that have to do with a dishwasher?  Oh, yes, I have a little extra time tonight.  And speaking of time, aren't you glad you are spending your precious time reading such interesting stuff? Here is one more thing that has nothing to do with dishwashers but is actually interesting and fun.   Christian called out to me tonight that his tooth was hurting.   I told him to come here and asked him which one.   He showed me and I said,"Maybe it's loose. Wiggle it."  Sure enough, there was a little wiggle! I said,"Tell me how you feel about your loose tooth." He said,"GREAT!" I can't believe he's starting to lose his teeth.  My children are growing up, people!   They tell you that this is going to happen, but they can't really prepare you for the reality of it. I have a dishwasher again! Yay!

Scenes From Our Playroom

Christian is such an all-boy kind of boy.  He walks around, church even, with his hands made into perfect little pistols.  He swings bats or sticks at balls or whatever is lying around that he can throw into the air and whack.  Star Wars?  Huge fan.  Wrestling, poking, and other pesky little-brotherisms?  A pro. (I have to admit in all fairness that Michaela likes her Star Wars and can antagonize with the best of them-I'm not tryin' to overdo it on the gender stereotyping here.  But I cannot recall a time when she pointed her first two fingers while holding three and four tucked in, thumb up, one eye shut, emitting tiny,"Tchew, tchew," or,"Pye-oun, pye-oun" sounds.) Watching Christian play with Eliana is so funny for this all-boy reason...he does things that Michaela isn't as apt to do, and Eliana rolls with the punches.  And I mean it.  She rolls and takes a few hits along the way. In spite of the rough-and-tough stuff, Eliana looks up to Christian... She's learning a few of his moves, and she's not afraid to take him down... She's sensitive, too.  A moment of silence? A prayer over her big brother? Uh, oh...the attack! Around and around, and then they fall down... A special delivery... Snuggling in the sleeping bag in our entry, of course... A favorite for both of them is playing ball... I only wish I knew what they were up to-I think Christian was sword-fighting himself, and Eliana? I just don't have a clue. Most of the time I find them playing in this space between our front door and the stairs.  I'm going to start calling it the playroom.  Hey, we are into multi-tasking around here...this area can do double-duty just like the rest of us. Christian loves Eliana a great deal.  I am grateful that he wants to play with her so often.  I pray that they remain close.  It's easy to see she loves him, too.  And is eager to learn all he has to teach.  Every day she picks up a Tinker Toy contraption that he has left behind and sends it soaring through the air with a little,"Tchew, tchew," sound.  I always call it a ship, though!


After Christian's party the other night I received an email from one of the moms who brought her son, a classmate of Christian's, to his party.  It brought tears to my eyes, encouragement to my heart, and joy to my soul.  This is part of what she said... Thank you so much for inviting [my son] to Christian's birthday party yesterday.  I just wanted y'all to know how precious I think Christian is.  At birthday cake time, he was so kind to make sure that everyone had a piece of cake before he had a slice himself.  What a rare child who puts others before himself.  It really impressed me ...  I came home and told my husband and he too was impressed.  Christian is so special.  I am so glad that [my son] has spent this year with Christian in his class. There is a part of me that immediately wanted to share this compliment with the world, the part that feels a sense of pride in his good choice, the part that wants him to know this kind of serving others pleases not only the grown-ups in his life but his Creator as well (surely He reads my blog) and I want to document it, and the part that wants him to feel good about what he did.  Then there is a part of me that hesitated to share it; am I tooting Christian's horn for him?  What are my motives? I don't know the answer to that last question fully, but I do know that it humbled me to hear this from another parent.  It was something that I didn't really notice.  I saw that he was helping pass out the cake (I was trying to take pictures, and focused on that) but the reality of his small sacrifice passed me by at that moment.  It is true that at many parties the birthday boy or girl receives the first piece of cake.  And he insisted on helping pass the cake out to his friends. I am so grateful that this mom happened to see his act, and point it out to Mike and me.  It helps me to see Christian's heart even better, more clearly.  You know how it goes when you're the mom, and the kid has been "good" at school all gets the 'tude.  And sometimes it's the 'TUDE.  Christian and I can butt heads a little, not unlike two grumpy goats getting one another's goad.  As for bringing out his best...well, I don't always.   So, to regroup my thoughts and consider all that he has going on inside of his head and world, and to see through someone else's eyes who he is, is so helpful in understanding and loving him well.  I pray that God will continue to teach me the best ways to love Christian, and that I will be an attentive student.  I want to be a complimentary parent, one who can come alongside and enable him to be his best.  Like hollandaise and asparagus or milk and chocolate.  (I'm so sophisticated.) Seriously, I long for Christian to continue to grow in his love for God, and his love for his family.  And I need God and family in order to do that.  That seems a simple thing to say, but for me right now, it is profound.

A Birthday Party

Christian's birthday was in January, but because of several circumstances in our life together we were unable to have a party for him.  The time finally came, though, for our little man to celebrate his birthday with his friends from school, soccer, and church.  We have been working the last couple of days to finish getting ready, and today we were able to gather with baseball paraphernalia, cake, and lots of people! Earlier today I put the finishing touches on his cakes, and he was able to see them when he got home from school. At the party everyone sang to Christian and he blew out his candles before I could get a picture!  He was so happy, though. We were decked out in our Texas Rangers outfits... (her back is to the camera, but Michaela has her jersey on) Even Grandma was rooting for the home team... After the party, a bath, and dinner Christian was able to open his presents; he was so excited about the special things his friends had given him.  Here are a couple of my favorite expressions... Even though it was a bit late I'm so glad we were able to celebrate his birthday, especially while Grandma was here.  (I really wish Grandpa had been able to come, too!)  We will be counting our blessings with Christian in our family all year long!

A Busy Boy

With Michaela sick, we were all hunkered down at home yesterday...Christian's soccer practice was canceled so he didn't even get to do that.  It was too wet to go out and play (sound familiar?  Where is the Cat in the Hat when you need him?  On second thought, we make enough of a mess around here without any help from a crazy cat and his twin disasters Things.).  Even though he was stuck inside, Christian found productive ways to occupy his time. Eating his apple, for instance... It looks like a little owl.  "Please, tell me, whoo, whoo ate this apple?" Later in the evening, while he waited for Mike to finish a few things and before going on to bed, he helped us out by unpacking a couple of boxes and adding an area rug to the living room... This is what it looked like when his work was done... He was a busy fella' but I have to say he was so good. He was patient and you could tell he was concerned about Michaela. He'd ask about her every now and then, he was pretty quiet, and he played sweetly with Eliana.   We also played games in the middle of the day while Eliana was sleeping and Michaela was resting. At the end of the day Mike and I were very proud of him for his good choices. I will say that he was able to sleep in two days in a row, and I think he got a full 12 hours each night.  What a difference that can make!  I just don't think I can get him in bed and asleep by 7:30, though!  I hope this week goes well, that we all remain healthy, and can treat one another with love, kindness, and grace.  That is my prayer for this week.
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