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Thursday, October 24, 2013

on giving thanks.

Last night, as Pax and Holden prayed with me before they climbed into their beds, God used them, once again, to teach me. The purity and faith in their prayers finally hit me. They always pray with thanksgiving and it didn't always make sense to our adult ears (Jeremy and I). Well, I finally realized that our adult ears haven't been the brightest. So as normal, they prayed in thanksgiving for things they trusted God to do:
Dear God, thank you for keeping me safe and warm tonight as I sleep. Thank you for comforting me when I get scared. Thank you for giving us a good day tomorrow. Instead of always asking for these things, they pray with faith and thanksgiving for those things He consistently does in their lives. They pray knowing that He will be faithful to fulfill. Sadly, I can not say that they have learned this from our prayers. We are often asking. Yes, we pray with thanks for blessings, but we don't always pray with thanks for our requests. So it finally hit me! They have it right. I've had it a little wrong. Another ironic part of this, was that it was just a typical night. I was not expecting a lesson from my boys. And when I asked if either of them wanted to pray, they both replied "no". Sometimes they want to and sometimes they don't. So I said that I would pray for them. But then they both changed their minds and decided they wanted to pray first. So this lesson for me could have easily been missed. Not to mention, that Jeremy normally does the bedtime routine with Holden and Pax. But I took over because he was putting Abe to bed. It could have easily been missed. But it wasn't. It was a moment ordained by God. And one that I needed. A moment that is going to begin to change my conversations with God.

Earlier in the day, I had read a devotional from my One Thousand Gifts Devotional. This is still the best devotional book I can recall using. I've blogged about it once before, here. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it now. And once I'm done with it, I'll probably just start over from the beginning. It's been incredible. And yesterday I read these truths..."Murmuring thanks doesn't deny that an event is a tragedy and neither does it deny that there's a cracking fissure straight across the heart....Giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God...Our thanks to God is our witness to the goodness of God when Satan and all the world would sneer at us to recant...That which I refuse to thank Christ for, I refuse to believe Christ can redeem."
So 1 Thessalonians 5:18 took on a new meaning to me after reading those words. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
So when my husband is working crazy hours and we are missing him at home...I can still give thanks for God's goodness.
When a child spends a day battling me at every corner...I can still give thanks for God's goodness.
And if the plans we've made for our lives crumble beneath us and we are stripped of all control...I can still give thanks for God's goodness, his control over all things, his consistency and his presence in our lives.

This theme of thanksgiving seems to be ever present in my life right now. And it should be. It's always been easy to give thanks in the "good". But it's been a new challenge for me to think about living in that place of thanksgiving when life is not what I want it to be. Perhaps it's easier said than done. Right now, life is pretty happy. But how will I respond when that changes?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Abe's Dedication Day

Sunday we had Abe's Dedication Day at church. For some reason, I hate getting up in front of my church. Well, let's just say that I hate getting up in front of any large group of people. Or how about, I hate getting up in front of any small group of people. I no longer enjoy the spotlight that used to often call my name. So these little things make me somewhat uncomfortable. I was really looking forward to it. For months I've looked forward to it and anticipated this little moment. But 30 seconds til go time and my thoughts had shifted. And then when I heard our Preschool Pastor call "Abraham Malachi {insert our last name}" I suddenly felt like I was at his high school graduation with the formality of hearing the name. (I'm sure that sounds weird. I'm just admitting what went through my head on Sunday.) And at that point I stopped listening to everything she was saying and began chanting in my head "Melodie, you better not cry. You better not even look like you are going to cry!" But the verse we had chosen for Abe was Psalm 86:11.
"Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name."
I hope this scripture will become the cry of his heart as he grows and begins to understand and hopefully long for a relationship with his Creator.
I think this was me hiding behind my baby. ;) I had to laugh when he was so well behaved until the prayer. Then he began to squirm, fuss and wiggle. Babies always have the pefect timing.
It was an extra bonus that my parents, Nana and Papa J, were able to be there. Of our three dedications, this was the first one my dad has been able to attend.
These little ceremonies, simply built through church tradition, are special to me. I'm thankful that we were able to stand before our church with our third child. I'm reminded once again that God has blessed us with a new life. A very special life. And I'm honored to commit to our church, and more importantly to God, to raise another son in a manner that will point him towards Jesus.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another season of sports.

Two weeks ago we began Holden's second season of soccer. We love this program in our area. Even though it cost a little more than most organizations it's a very small commitment of our time, which is important to us. They practice for 45 minutes before their game. Then they play a 30 minute game and that is it for the week. No week night practices and no other time commitments other than eight weeks of Saturday mornings, when the teams practice and play. Holden has now played two games. He is doing really well. He is playing on a 5/6year old team this year. After his first game, his coach awarded him the medal for the game. A player gets a medal after each game. And we were really proud that Holden was awarded it the first week! This little boy is a fast one. He is always the first one to the ball. I haven't taken many pictures during their games, but these were from the first week.
The Myers were hanging out with us that weekend so Camryn got to see her buddies play.

This is Pax's first season to play a sport. We let him choose and without any hesitation he chose t-ball. Pax has been begging us to play baseball for what feels like years. And baseball definitely seems to fit his personality well. A laid back and slower paced game. He is playing on a 3/4 year old team. In t-ball, with this age of kids, a parent is on the field with the child helping them along. So Jeremy does that part, while I just sit and watch the game. :)
All ready to play!
Yes, there is a smile on his face most of the time he is playing. He is in heaven!
Getting a little advice from daddy before it's his turn to bat.
The big, bad t-ball team.
 They each have six games to go and they are both loving it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

an apple a day.

For the most part, I stick to our curriculum that we are using for school. Since it is kindergarten, it includes plenty of coloring, cutting, pasting and crafting. I'm sure we will do lots of little extras as we make our way through the year.  One particular day a few weeks ago, we went off the curriculum and had an apple day. The boys helped me make applesauce. They helped me eat the homemade applesauce. We read books about apples and making applesauce. We did an apple taste test and comparison chart with several different types of the fruit. Holden's favorite was Gala and Pax's was Golden Delicious. And today we just happen to have our first field trip with some fellow homeschoolers to an apple orchard just 15 miles north of our home. We learned all sort of things about apples (and insects and honey). The boys got to pick an apple, watch the process of how they are cleaned, and then eat their apple. All the while a sweet lady added honey to their fruit. All of the children just gathered around the woman that held the honey bottle. It was funny. I never would have thought about adding honey to an apple. And this mommy left the apple orchard with a homemade fried apple pie. As for Abe, he sat in his stroller, skipping his morning nap, yet completely content the entire time. It was a nice day to get out of the house and do something a little different. Next year I will plan better and coordinate our apple day at home the same week as our apple orchard field trip. A few pictures from our apple day...
And from our morning at the nearby apple orchard...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Abe is 10 months!

Our sweet baby Abe is already 10 months old! Yesterday was the day and we did a little photo shoot in his room. My mind is already thinking about his first birthday that is soon approaching. I know we missed the first 5 months, but sometimes it doesn't feel that way. The many nights that he still doesn't sleep through the night without an extra feeding, I can feel it. And I blame it on our absence from each other in the first half of his little life. Which leads to my unwillingness to just let him cry. I'm much more attentive because of his beginning not being with us. But other than that little hiccup (that's what I'm calling it) he is a well adjusted, sweet, baby boy. And  for all I can remember, I birthed a 20 pound 5 month old back in May. ;) I just mean that he's as much a part of our family as I am or the other 4 of us. The time we missed, for the most part, feels insignificant now. So for sleep, he is all over the place. My dear husband suggested to me this past month to drop that 11pm feeding that we were doing. I did. So now I might be up at 2am or 5am (or any other inconsistent and random time) doing that extra feeding. It just depends on the night. So I understand that it might be better for Abe if we didn't wake him for that late feeding. But this mommy is tired. Alot. In the last 5 months it's been a rare treat for me to sleep through the night. I've never gone this long without consistent sleep. And that has been a challenge. I'm just not sure what the solution is. Last night Abe went down late because of church activities and he slept til 7:30am today. But even with later nights, that is not always the case. He is typically a great napper. He take two naps a day that go anywhere from 1-2 hours each. Yesterday he fought his morning nap and then slept for 3 hours in the afternoon. But that is unusual. He is normally a good napper for both the morning and afternoon.
At his 9 month well check he weighed in at 23lbs 7oz (94%). He was 29.5 inches long (87%) and he had a head circumference of 45cm (46%). I haven't noticed any huge growth spurts, so I'm assuming this is all still somewhat accurate 1 month later. He is mostly wearing 18 month clothes and size 5 diapers. The boy loves to eat. He takes 4 bottles during the day and normally 1 during the night. Just this week I bumped him up to 6oz feedings. He was doing 5oz. This is one of my attempts to feed him more throughout the day in hopes that he'll not wake for that nighttime bottle. He loves little finger foods like tiny bits of cooked carrots, green peas, plums, grapes and beans. He also still loves eating from a spoon. He really enjoys anything you give him but I would say his favorites are butternut squash, applesauce, peaches, green peas and beans. Yogurt is rare treat. But when I pull it out of the fridge he starts flapping his arms and panting.
He rarely sits these days. He loves to be standing and cruising around furniture. I keep thinking that he will be my early walker, in his attempt to keep up with his big brothers. But who knows. He is into everything! Several times a day he is pulling the Wii remotes and games out of the a drawer in our entertainment center. He just can't leave that one drawer alone. He can successfully climb the stairs with no help from us, so the baby gate is now locked at all times. And now he is starting to interfere with Holden and Pax's playtime. He is tearing apart whatever they are building or just bulldozing over it with his chunky little body. It is so frustrating to the big boys and I can't help but laugh at the dynamic. Neither of them have really known this type of life with a little brother. They are so close in age, it just wasn't this way for Holden when Pax became mobile. I find it hilarious. Despite these interruptions in their play, they are madly in love with Abe. It's one of the sweetest things I could ever watch. They love to get in his face and make him laugh. They lug him around the house occasionally. And Abe is always wearing a smile on his face when they are doting on him. He loves his big brothers and I am so, so grateful that these three boys have one another and share such a sweet bond already. What would life be like without siblings! I just can't imagine it!
Some of Abe's favorite things are being held, bathtime, his paci, eating, and throwing his head backwards to see upside down while we are holding him. Jeremy started that little trick. Some things he doesn't love are diaper changes and being in the car too much. And he will let you know it if he's not loving it. :) Abe is a sweet, happy and fun little boy. And we are an extra blessed family because he is ours.
A few other pictures from this past month....