Diva down!

"They look so cute; let's take their picture."

Well, not exactly the pics I see of families in front of wooden fences or by train tracks or in fields (where they suddenly happened upon a random couch).  But they are our little chicks.  And this is how we roll.

Avoiding eye contact

For you formed my inward parts

We did a year long study of anatomy last year.  (Sadly this school year has already started and I am still posting things from last year.)  We studied all the major systems and the kids added to their butcher paper body each week.  I would say that was a highlight of the year.  And they memorized large portions of Psalm 139 to go along with their studies.
 Henry makes puzzle working difficult.  But when he climbed on this one, Joe grabbed him so I could take a picture!  Anatomy was an appropriate study for us as we started the school year with the birth of a new baby.  We watched an incredible TED talk video that fast forwarded the entire life of a baby from conception to birth.  AMAZING!  At one point he said that if we continued to grow at the rate we do in the first 6 weeks after conception we would be something like...oh, I can never remember numbers...but it was an outrageous number, in the millions, of pounds we would weigh at birth.  We are indeed fearfully and WONDERFULLY made!

Lessons Learning #1

This picture isn't necessarily a frame-er, but it speaks to one of the things I have been trying to learn.  I've started a list of these lessons.  Things that would have been nice to know before we were parents, but that you can really only learn sufficiently once you are parents.  I go back and forth between whether to write them here or in my journal (and then, of course, there is the decision of which journal), but I figure by writing them here I am killing two birds with one stone - recording these lessons for all posterity (and proof that I actually am maturing as a parent) and getting stuff on the blog for the grandparents!

So, why a mouth full of canned whipped cream?  Just because.  A reminder to myself and my children that things aren't always serious and business.  Be efficient!  Get things done!  Think ahead!  Be prepared! (i.e. miss the current moment because you are so busy being ready for the next one)  In the case above, "Hurry and finish that dessert!  We are already late for bed!"

No one expected mom to breeze through the dining room with canned whipped cream and say, "Open up!" Never more sugar!  Never more mess!  Rarely the free offering of something that is usually begged for and denied.  

This makes me sound like an awful parent.  Truth is, without Jesus I am.  Stingy, naggy, overly serious.  I get on my own nerves.  But I started thinking lately, what if I just said yes more often.  No's are such downers - to give and to get.  And how often is what they are asking for really that consequential?  Usually, it's more dessert, more time to play, a movie, listen to music on the ipod.  But it's tricky, because if Olivia had her way, she would likely want to eat dessert and watch movies all day, with breaks to socialize.  She's probably not unlike most kids.  But in a family that thinks a heavy diet of sugar and passive activities is not good for the soul (or the body), that means a regular feeling that her desires are constantly denied.

So, in an attempt to make life less of a drag and to help redirect her (and my) desires to the One who truly satisfies, I am trying to say 'yes' more often.  I understand; saying yes to a mouth full of whipped cream shot out of a can does not directly correlate to an increased love for Jesus.  And yet, he has loved us extravagantly, sweetly, shockingly.  Maybe it does redirect, if even a little bit, to real satisfaction.  So, here it goes!  Open up!