Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the kids

I need to write an update on the kids! It's been too long again!

Natalie is learning so much at preschool. She absolutely loves it. I am not ready for her to go to kindergarten. That isn't for another 8 months but we have been informed that Zeeland kindergarten is going to be all day everyday starting next year. I am so bothered by this. I won't be ready for her to be gone that long. It has really made me sad thinking that we only have a short time left until she won't be home with us during the day. And preschool tires her out enough already. Sometimes she is really tired after school. And she only goes 2 afternoons a week. I'm sure she'll love it though. Just in the past couple of weeks, Natalie has been singing 100% on key. There was almost like this transitional week where all of a sudden, she is 'right on' instead of 'almost there'. She loves to sing and dance. And the way she dances... it's like spiritual or something! She is definately becoming a little lady. A couple of months ago, Natalie woke up yelling. Her foot was asleep. Jordan went in to be with her and she started to call out to Jesus. She called out, "Jesus! Jesus! Heal my foot! Jesus, You're the Son of God... heal my foot!" And He did! She calmed down and went back to sleep! We laughed so long and hard over that! Natalie still likes to act like animals. She is extremely good at it. She snarls, gallops, leaps, licks, scrathes... completely mimics dogs, cats, horses, and rabid creatures that freak everyone out! I'm not too concerned that she does this so often because she doesn't do it at school.

Ruby is quite the little lady. She is learning and growing as well. I have not been diligent at all with doing 'school' with her in the afternoons that Natalie is gone. She no longer naps in the afternoon either so I really should work with her more often. Ruby still loves to play with her baby. 'Baby' is as real as it could possibly be to Ruby. She holds her all the time and talks to her. Baby can't stay in the car or she'll get cold. Baby has to go in the bathroom stalls with Ruby so that she can pee too! Ruby gives her baths when I'm not looking (so I have to take her out of Ruby's arms at night to wash it!). And Baby can talk now - a very high-pitched, squeaky talk. Baby calls Ruby 'Mommy' and sometimes Ruby will call Baby 'Sister!' We were watching a movie with the kids one night and Ruby was getting a little scared... Jordan nudges me and Ruby has both of Baby's eyes covered while Ruby watches. She just loves her! How will we ever break her of this?! For now, it's pretty darn cute! Ruby knows her ABCs and can count almost to 20. She is still our little fashionista. We went shopping (but just for Jordan!) the other day and Ruby was very impressed with Old Navy's line of children's clothes! Ruby came out of the bedroom one day crying about her eye. She told me to take it out, told me she had a headache and she just kept carrying on. I had looked at her eye and it was a little red and I asked what was wrong and she just kept telling me to take it out. So after 10 minutes I laid her down and looked at it one more time. I moved the skin around the bottom of her eye and there was a sparkley sequin (about the size of a pinky-nail) made out of cardstock paper! Ruby had put it in her eye because she thought it would be pretty! I had to peel it out of her eye! Poor girl... that was what she wanted 'out'!

And Charlie is 18 months old now! I feel like he's been trying to cut some teeth for too long now! He is an amazing eater. Many times at dinner, he eats more than Jordan and I! Charlie loves sweets and is always dragging me to the kitchen to ask for more of something. He is a FLIRT! He's always playing around with his eyes like the girls did: rolling them, shutting them, batting them for dramatic effect! And it works! I'm in love! He also kisses us all day long, the girls included! Charlie also has this cute little walk that he does where he keeps his knees bent. He knows it makes us laugh but he does it even when he thinks no one is watching! He LOVES tools and helping his dad work and lately he has been getting into everything! I can hardly keep up with him. He is constantly on the go, taking things out of drawers and cupboards and finding new places for things. He's starting to say more words. He says all of our names plus 'grandma', 'more', 'eat', 'ew', 'natalie', 'ruby', 'gary', and other basics. He has said his name already, too which is soo cute! He picks on his sisters all the time and can hold his own when they pick on him. He is playful, he is fast, he can scream like a girl. Today he pulled me by my neck to kiss me on my mouth. Love. This. Boy!

Love. them. all.

Monday, January 9, 2012

twenty twelve

I'm one of those people who is always reflecting on things. I'm a ponderer and an analyzer. And each new year, it's like I need to sit down and put things down on paper (be it literal or cyber).

2011 was another incredible year! Natalie began this year as a little girl, Ruby, a toddler, and Charlie, a baby. And now Natalie is a preschooler, Ruby is no longer a toddler but a little girl, and Charlie is the toddler. Parenting is one of the most rewarding things in my life! These kids have made us so proud! They have learned and developed so much in this single year. They are also behaving better and showing signs of their maturity. I cherish the moments that we have had this year with them. We are sooo incredibly blessed.

Each day there are many choices to make but there are three decisions I made in 2011 that stand out to me. Choice 1: I decided (twice) to do a Beth Moore bible study. It seemed like an easy enough thing to do and an easy decision to make. And it is one that has brought me closer to the Lord. Choice 2: I made the decision to run a 25k (and Jordan made this decision as well). That was something that had seemed completely impossible to me. I truly believed that I was setting myself up for failure. There was no way I'd be able to do this. But I took it one day at a time and pushed myself further each day. It was never easy but always fulfulling. It brought me closer to the Lord, it disciplined me in many areas, it cleared my head, it gave me energy, it gave me alone time, it empowered me, and occasionally it gave me shin splints. But as you can see, the benefits outweighed the cost. And I completed a 25k race. Choice 3: was whether or not to go on the Guatemala mission trip. We did go and it was a life-changer. It brought me closer to the Lord, it was a time of some personal reflection, it was a time void of all fear, it is a highlight of my life. Once we returned home, we realized that there was no cost at all of going on the trip. All of the things we thought it would 'cost' for us to go were far outweighed by the benefits of going. All of these little decisions yeilded eternal results. And each of these things took some courage on my part. This courage resulted in opportunites to grow in my relationship with Christ.

This year gave way to some reality checks in the sense that the reality is the kingdom of God. My uncle Bern died this year and it was a reminder that we are not in control and we have no way of knowing when our time is up. But what we do know is that everyday counts, some things are deposits into the eternal reality.

So far this year, I've been doing some thinking about a resolution. In 2011, though it wasn't intentional, I was courageous in some things and what a thrill it was. So I've thought of some goals for 2012 that I want to accomplish and I'm going to evaluate them to see what is required of me.

Goals for 2012: to learn more about and grow in Christ, to sacrifice more of my time to my family to ensure that we are forming deep relationships with each other and with God, to be more generous with my time and money especially including random acts of kindness, to run 500 miles and to take better care of my body.

My overall resolution is to be intentional with how I use my time. To make my time count. To make time for devotions and prayer, to make time for Jordan and the kids, to make time for others, and to make time for myself as well. I'm going to have to be intentional about all of these things since they don't always happen on their own. Faith, family, and God's family are what I think my core values should be. If I discipline myself in doing what I can to take care of those most important things, then I'm hoping everything else on my self-improvement and to-do list will fall into place.

Happy New Year.