Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Out of the mouth of babes...

There are some things that the boys say that are just really fantastic.  My conversations with Andrew are particularly great right now.  Benjamin comes in with some good stuff, but man! Three year olds are really funny!

For about two months Andrew would ask about "South America".  I was pretty impressed that he was interested in another continent, but figured it was because Benjamin sings a song from school about the continents.  Either way, I answered him accordingly.  "South America is South of Oklahoma."  "South America is hot and humid."  "South America has good coffee."  "South America produces a lot of crops that we enjoy here." On and on and on with whatever I could remember about South America as a whole.  Then a couple of weeks ago we were in a fabric store.  Andrew was in the back of the cart and started yelling, 'MOMMY! It's SOUTH AMERICA!!!"  I pointed to a camp fabric.  Nope, that was not it.  I pointed to a fabric with trees all over it.  Again, not what he was looking at.  Finally, he asked me to push the cart to the row of fabrics and pointed to Captain America fabric.  For TWO MONTHS I have been answering questions about South America only to find out that my sweet child has been curious about a super hero. And he never questioned my answers! He just smiled and that was that! 
Andrew is in a phase of using the word "totally" obsessively:
Me: Andrew, what are you doing?
A: Mom, you totally have to come here and totally see this.  I am totally playing knights and the couch it totally my boat and I am totally a bad guy and totally come here!
He is also into Batman, for whatever reason. He has a good imagination that is kindly fostered by his equally imaginative brother.  So during the day, I hear A LOT of c.o.n.t.i.n.u.o.u.s stories about bad guys, and knights, and pirates, and batman, and superman, and soccer guys, and football games and playing baseball.  
Someone PLEASE ride with me so you can also enjoy these one sided stories.  Or perhaps take a turn at answered really interesting questions...

"Why did the road turn that way?" Because that's how the road makers wanted it to go.
"Why are we going here?" Because we need groceries/stuff/whatever else.
"Why are you doing that?" Because.
Why is the cloud going?" Because God made the clouds to move and the earth spins.
"Who is that person in that car?" I have no idea.
"Mom. I said WHO is in that CAR?" I said I don't know.
"BUT who is IT?" Andrew, I don't know that person! DO you?
"No. But who is that person?" *big sigh and should shrug*
At family worship, we go over verses and catechisms each night.  One of the catechisms asks, "Can you see God?" and the answer is "No. But He always sees me!"  Andrew, however, answers like this -- "No! But He always see me, Coppa!" {Because Patrick chases them and yells, You'll never catch me coppa!"
Benjamin has some fun phrases, too.  He has now lost FOUR baby teeth and calls his permeant teeth "man teeth".  We truly enjoy using this phrase.

Yesterday he asked me what I wore last time I found his tooth.  I was so confused, although I had an idea of what he was getting at.  I had him explain a little further.
Me: What do you mean "what did I wear"?
B: When you got my tooth.
Me: From where?
B: Mom.  Under my pillow. What were you wearing?
Me: *don't laugh, don't laugh* What do you think I was wearing?
B: Well, did you wear a tutu and wings?
Me: *don't laugh, don't laugh* You mean, did I dress like a fairy?
B: *smiling his toothless grin* yes!!!
Me: Uhhhh, no. But I guess I can.
B: Where do you get wings?
Me: Oh my goodness. I don't really have wings, buddy!

I wish I could think of more Benjamin-isms! 

I'm so lucky to be around these guys every day.  They really are so funny and so much fun! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

{Hosea} SheReadsTruth

Maybe you know this.  I love Hosea.  It seems that the Lord always leads me to this book of the Bible in times that I most need it, but rarely recognize the need.  This time was no different.

{Do you ever do the devotionals on shereadstruth? You should.  It's so good.}

I have always loved how sweet the Lord is to pursue and cherish and redeem us. Over and over and over and over and over again.  But as I read the words of Hosea this time, and different scripture from the devotionals, I just ached and wept over my sin.  Over my lust and waywardness.  Over the idols that I pursue and cherish and love -- over and over and over and over again.

I've been praying for God to reveal my sin to me.  I've been pleading daily that He would show me the depth of my sin so I can see the magnitude of His forgiveness and grace.  Because, in all honesty, I'm not sure if I've ever seen myself as sinful and bad and disgusting as I really am.

As it turns out, I really love myself.  But be not confused: I don't love my body and I struggle daily with that.  I don't see my good features or fruit that the Lord is producing in me.  I just love me.  I really think I'm great and that other people should want to be like me and be around me and be me.  Ugh.  I hate writing that. My sin is awful.  And that's just the beginning.

I cherish idols.  Idols that don't seem like idols to you are huge barriers in seeking the face of God for me.  I've made idols out of my phone, working out, eating food, serving, being a mom and a wife...  It's just that I've turned good gifts from the Lord into carved images of worldly delight.  All at the cost of knowing more of Jesus.  All in the name of doing good.  All because I love the world more than I love Jesus.

Hosea was told to love and marry a harlot.  And he did.  He never gave up and he even bought his whore back into his life with the price you would have paid for a slave.  Hosea sought her and loved her and, even when it seemed hopeless, fought for his bride.

Does this sound familiar?

It's God.  That is what He did for me, for us.  He never gives up on His people. He paid for our ransom through the blood of Christ. He leads us into the wilderness to speak tenderly to us, to call us His own (Hosea 2).  Even when the world intices us and leads us astray, even when our idols stand tall and burdensome over us -- He doesn't walk away.

Hosea is a hard book.  The words can be harsh and they can open wounds of hurt. But the words are powerful and real and healing.  We see how it should have been for us.  We see the anger of God burning, righteously and jealously for his people.  We should be dead in our sin. (see Ephesians 2)  But GRACE prevailed.  We didn't get what our sin deserved because Jesus paved a better way, through His death on the cross.  Through amazing love.

So return. Over and over Hosea calls us to "return to the Lord".  He will heal us, He will come (Hosea 6).  Return, seek Him, break up your dry ground and let the Lord rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12).  By the help of your God, return and wait. (Hosea 12:6). Return to Him.  He's waiting to heal your waywardness and love you freely (Hosea 14:4).

Don't miss Him -- the Provider of your good things, the Satisfier of your soul, the One who cares gently for you, the One you ushers you to repentance, the One who calls you to rest in Him, the One who is enough.

Return.  Repent.  Rest.  It's a beautiful mess, a worthy struggle, a daring adventure.  Be His. You are His one, true love...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Oh, the things he knows...

It's amazing to me that Benjamin has learned so much in the last year {plus} of school.  We really do love the school he goes to and are more than grateful for teachers who love what they do and care so well for my child's heart and mind.

As a way to remember where he is now, I am going to write down the things he knows and have a place to look back:

Pre-K and some of Kindergarten --
*Catechisms 1-50
*About 30 bible verses memorized
*Can count to 100
*Can count by 2's and 5's
*Can do simple addition and subtraction
*Can recognize and recite all phonograms
*Can recite most of the counties of Oklahoma
*Can recite most of the governors of Oklahoma
*Knows the books of the bible
*Knows the days of the week
*Knows the months of the year
*Knows the states, by song
*Knows several state capitals
*Know the continents and oceans
*Knows and can recite the 21 rules of the school {which also happen to be the 21 rules of our house!}

Bonus information: His favorite part of almost every day is recess.  And he loves that there is an art table in his classroom this year.

As one more added bonus: Benjamin is fairly good about using "sir" and "ma'am" and holding doors and letting ladies go first.  Little manners go a long way in my book.  And I believe it's a lost art anymore.

It is so humbling to realize how much his mind has learned.  I think we take the minds of little people for granted -- they can learn and retain so much information!  Please don't hear me boasting or bragging on my child.  I am very proud of him, yes, but I don't think this is because he is a genius.  I also don't think my sweet child is better than your sweet child.  Although, he is a great kid ;)
I do think that he has been taught well and learned those things well.  And I look forward to seeing him grow and learn more!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Road trip {to West Virginia)

My Gramma is a treasure to me. I spent so much time with her when I was little and loved being with her.  She let me bake with her and clean with her. I helped her snap beans from the garden and watched her cook delicious things. We rode the bus into town together and played together.  I drank a lot of her coffee and she always had chocolate around.  

When I was little and my friends wouldn't let me play, she would say things like: Two is company, three is a crowd, four is too many and five isn't allowed.  But then she would remind me that if I wasn't allowed with my friends, I was her company. It's the little things, you know? 

Either way. My Gramma isn't doing so great.  She was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in the spring.  Hospice is helping care for her at her home. But she's still feisty and as spunky as a 92 1/2 year old woman can be.  We decided to drive up and spend some time with her this summer.   I wanted her to meet Elise and tell her that I loved her, face to face.  And I'm so glad we did. 

We stayed with Kent and Sarah {and baby Cole} and enjoyed spending time with them.  We visited my Gramma often and ran around town.  We spent time with my mom and John, my sister, Carol and Frank, Jason and the girls and even got to see my Grandma Royce {and more Royce family!} -- all in eight days time.  Patrick drove us up and flew back the next day.  And Carol drove home with us {and then stayed for a week!}.  It was good to see family.  It was good to have a car :)

Just a few a lot of pictures from our trip:

Elise doesn't love the carseat.  I spent a lot of time beside her on the way up.

Candy Land with Uncle Kent and Aunt Sarah.

Early morning play time with my crew.

Me and Elise on a rainy day at Chick-fil-a.

Uncle Kent letting Benjamin power wash his truck.  

Gramma's feet. And my feet.  And Elise's {fast moving} feet.

A picture of me hanging in my Gramma's bedroom.

Baby cousins, baby friends.  Cole and Elise are 2 1/2 months apart!

Elise is clearly not as friendly as Cole.  BUT someday they will love playing together :)

Watching Uncle Kent's softball game.

I mean...it's Andrew.

The kiddies with my Grandma Royce.

Andrew having fun with my cousin Audrey.

Elise loved playing with Gramma's oxygen tube. Haha.

Uncle Kent with the little boys.

Playing at the park.

Sharing a bed and snuggling.

Pool time!

Just playing at the pool on a {not so warm} beautiful day!

The boys did a lot of ninja/jedi training with Uncle Kent.

Pap-pap and Elise.

Me and Gramma.

Snapping beans with Gramma.

McBride children with Gramma and Pap-pap

Sweet Gramma kisses.

Treasure! We got to celebrated Cole's first birthday with him! I can't tell you how sweet it was to be there and to spend time with this little guy {and his parents}.

Me and my peeps.

Pit stop selfie on the way home.  

Mimi was all smiles with B at our first {of many} bathroom stops.

So long WVa. See you next summer.

Road trippin.  Maybe this was right before we took a wrong turn and spent an hour trying to get back on our correct route home while trying to hide from Patrick that we were going to drive through the night and come straight home.  Good memories, people!

Elise was not amused with all the pictures. 

Four generations of ladies.

Sweet treasure! Me, my mom, my Gramma, my children!
We will be back in Morgantown next summer for Audrey's wedding!!! Yay! Until then, I treasure the time we got to spend with family and wished they would all move to Oklahoma ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer recap {4th of July}

Patrick took off several days around the Fourth of July, so it was a sweet week of family time! Edmond has one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the US  -- so naturally we have to participate! Although, the parade has to be one of the longest and hottest things we endure each year!

Either way, here are some pictures...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First day of Kindergarten and Pre-school

Incase you thought I forgot about blogging, I have not.  Having three kiddos keeps me busier than I ever thought it would.  And, let's be honest, there are not many people reading my blog :)

Anyways.  I have two children in school.  Bleh. I mean, I'm glad for them.  They get to learn and be with other kids and learn.  But I want them nearer to me. Forever.  Really, though -- I'm letting go and loosening these tiny strings that have slowly tightened around my heart for the last five and a half year.  I'm fine, I promise.  As a side note: Being a mom is the pits sometimes. {end pity party}

Last year, Benjamin was anxious and didn't really want to go to school.  This year, he was bouncing up and down and couldn't have been more excited.  He LOVES kindergarten! He is loving his teacher, having new school supplies and having PE twice a week.  It has to help that he goes to a small school and knows so many people this year. For a minute, I thought my quiet introvert was actually an extrovert! Going all day hasn't bothered him a bit, yet.  It is only the second day. AND he has already been writing and sounding things out and reading a little.  I tried to get him to do all these things over the summer. Fail. I suppose this is another reason why we aren't homeschooling.

Andrew started preschool today.  He was so excited to be at school with Benjamin that he was in his uniform by 6:28am.  But come 7:52am, he was singing a new song called: tantrum.  When he realized that he was definitely NOT going to class with Benjamin, he threw himself on the ground.  I convinced him to get up.  And right in front of his classroom door, he threw himself down there too.  I handed Elise to a  friend and put him inside the class {forever to be scarred, I'm sure}.  He did not enjoy me taking a picture of him with his teacher.  She's so great.  I think he'll be glad I did that in a few months.

When I picked him up {this afternoon} he had just got up from his nap.  He was grumpy and frowny and not happy to chit chat at all.  I asked if he liked school and he scowled at me and said, "NO!".  So the happiest kid ever turned into a monster.  Not awesome.  I took him home, fed him goldfish crackers, covered him with a blankie while he sat in a chair -- and twenty  minutes later my sweet Andrew was normal again.

Good news: He did like school and thinks it's okay that he will go two days a week.  His favorite part of the day was sleeping on his mat.  Of all the things.  That's what he chose. To each his own.

And then it was just me and Elise. Having just ONE child is awesome. I could do whatever I wanted.  Kind of, she did need to nurse and nap and what not. But we did things! And it was so very quiet and a little to calm around here. Truly, I missed those crazy boys and was so excited to pick them up.

Here's to moving on and ushering in new seasons...even if it means shedding a few tears over what was left behind.  I'm going to be a mess every year for the next 21 years.  Sorry in advance.