Friday, April 22, 2011

In His Own Time

When will I learn?  Honestly, I am shocked at how long it takes for simple things to sink into my brain.  The kids are now almost six and eight.  You would think that I would have learned by now that saying, "They will do things in their own time".  That's what parents say to one another to encourage each other when one set of parents is worried that their child isn't keeping up with the milestone markers.  "Maybe they are late bloomers?' they will say in a way that says "Don't freak out just yet."

The Little Man has had that said about him a lot in his six short years.  He's been that "Late Bloomer" in  many physical milestones.  He sat up late, he barely crawled, and didn't take his first steps until close to 16 months old.  Considering The Girl was right on target with everything, I was constantly freaking out with all of his tardiness.  

Last summer, when he turned five, we thought it was time for us to remove the training wheels off of his bike and get that kid riding a two wheeler.  After all, isn't five the age that kids do that?  Yup, The Girl rode a two wheeler at five, so it was time.

This did not go so well.  I video taped day after day of practice.  Day after day of tears.  Day after day of tantrums.  Day after day of failed attempts.

(Yes, I still have videos of these attempts.  Yes, I thought about posting them just so you could see the transformation.  However, I won't be posting them.  After watching them again, I realized how traumatized he was.  There is no need to humiliate the guy.)

Finally, after a few weeks, The Hubs and I shut 'er down.  We both had lost our patience.  The Little Man was only getting more and more fearful of his bike, and feeling more and more defeated.  The bike went away.

Sometimes The Little Man would talk about it, and sometimes he would even entertain the idea of trying again.  Each time he would back away when the rubber would meet the road.  Fear would just seize him.

He got a scooter for his fifth birthday. He rode it all over the place, and absolutely loved it.  Still does. The kid is scootering fool.  After a while, the bike in the shed never crossed our minds.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday the bike came out again, and The Little Man was very eager to try again.

Here's what happened:

Yup, My boy is a late bloomer, but when he does something, he wants to do it right.  

If someone hears me getting frustrated about how long it's taking for my son to get something again, smack me.  Then remind me that, "Kids do things in their own timing"


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Elation, Money Makin', and Disney Celebratin'

(OK, that is a corny title.  You have to do that sometimes.)

I know I have mentioned on here several times how much I love having time off of school.  More so than the kids,who are the ones going to school, I love days off.  So you can imagine my sheer delight when, on Monday, we got notice via email that school was going to be let out of session early this year.  Yes, instead of going until the end of May, The Girl will be done with her second grade year on the 20th of May. 

Elated doesn't quite cover it. 

I was so hoping that I was going to be the one who got to break the news to her and the boy we carpool with.  I imagined a car full of hoops and hollers.  About 100 or so "Are you serious?"'s.   A car ride full of joy.  However, the rumor mill runs fast, and both kids had already heard the good news.  It was still fun to talk about it, though, even if it couldn't be me who gave the good news. 

I can hardly wait for the week I get to spend with The Girl.  The Little Man will still be in school (although, he only goes for 2.5 days a week), but I am praying that during those times when he is gone, she and I will have a sweet time of bonding.  It's been a while since we've had some time just she and I.

The Little Man gave me a few giggles as he came up with some "good ideas" the other day.  Recently we've had to establish a "No read, No TV" rule in our home.  You know how much I love the tube and the kids do too, but The Little Man has gotten a little unbalanced with his screen time.  So right now, there is no TV unless he has done some reading.  As you may imagine, this new rule was not warmly accepted. 

p: I have a good idea!
me: Really, what is it?
p: You know how I don't like to read that much, right?
me: Oh, bud, you like to read.  You're just being a stinker about it.
p: Well, I would like it a lot more if maybe you could pay me a quarter for every book I read.

Nice try, but not going to happen.

Besides avoiding reading, The Little Man has been talking a lot about going to Disney World. 

It's probably all the commercials he's been watching.

Somehow he got it into his mind that the reason we aren't going is because there is some sort of time issue holding us up.

p: Mom, I have a good idea!
me: Really?
p: Yea, you know how we are going to go on Summer Break soon?
me: Yup, just a few weeks left of school and we are on break!
p: That's when we should go to Disney World!
me: What?
p: Yea.  Because if we go on Summer Break, we don't have to worry about getting back to school anytime soon.  We can stay as long as we need to have the most fun we can have.
me: What?
p: Yea.  You know how we always have to go from places because we have school to get back to.  Well, if we are on Summer Break we don't have to worry about that because we don't have school for a long time.  We can just stay there however long we want and do everything we ever wanted!  Wouldn't that be great!
me: That does sound like fun, but we would have to pay for all those days we were there.  We can't stay all those days for free, right?
p: Yea, but that's fine.  At least we wouldn't have to leave.

As much as I would love to run away to Disney World, somehow I think there is a kink in that plan of his.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Because It's Nearly Easter

I am fully aware that I am a couple of days late for Scripture Memory, but since I was late with it at the beginning of the month, I think that means I am right on time.  Right?  Anyway, it's been two weeks, and it's time for some more scripture.

I decided that this time I would focus on Easter since it's around the corner.  I have perused several scriptures that reference the free gift of salvation that comes from Christ, as well as reading the different gospel stories about the crucifixion and the discovery of the empty tomb.  So much to consider.  I decided to go a different route and chose, instead, scripture that prophesied the ultimate sacrifice of the Lord's Servant.  Hundreds of years before Christ came into the world, it was prophesied by Isaiah that the Lord's Servant, Christ, would give of his life, a perfect life, as the atoning sacrifice for our sinful lives.

"He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
   and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

 4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all."

-Isaiah 53:2-6 NIV

I wish I could say that I will be memorizing all of that.  However.  I think I am going to take on the last three verses (4-6). Still a healthy chunk, I think. 

While all of chapter 53 is full of amazing prophecy and wonderful truth, I like that these three verses hit the heart of it all: He undeservedly took on our suffering and pain (vs 4), took the punishment that is due for sin so that we would be healed and have peace (vs 5), and just in case I get all high and mighty and think that I'm not that bad, verse 6 reminds me that ALL have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own ways.  The punishment he took was because of me, and for me.  My sin has nailed Him to the cross.  My sin has put a crown of thorns on His head.  My sin pierced His side.  Mine.

*Lord, allow the gravity of what your Son did in my place to sit heavy on my heart.  Let the truth of what He did in my place fill my heart and mouth with gratitude and praise.  Thank you, Lord, for this free gift of salvation.  Not because of anything I have done, but because of what you have done.  You have created me anew so I can do the good things you had planned for me long ago.  Thank you, Lord for this gift. -Amen.*

"8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
-Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Friday, April 15, 2011

Light and Airy

I mentioned in my previous post that I was able to get The Little Man out for some pictures just mere hours before his dad pulled his tooth out and blamed it on the floss he lost his first tooth.  I knew the tooth was coming out soon, and so this shoot was planned in order to capture the last images of my baby boy looking like a baby boy. 

I know.  I'm so dramatic.

Ironically, almost every single image I picked out from the session either included his sister, or him with a non-teeth baring grin.  I couldn't help it.  Plus, he made it very easy on me to not choose any picture of him with his teeth showing since each and every picture with his teeth showing looks extremely forced or irritated.  I guess this session wasn't as important to him as it was to me.  Oh well.   We still had some fun.

While I was out shooting, it occurred to me that I was a bit rusty. I guess I haven't taken too many pictures this year.  This makes me sad, but I am working on extending myself some grace, considering.  Also, I have convinced myself that I will be shooting much more once the weather warms up.  Also, I HAVE to find some new locations which will require that I force my children to take pictures me to do a few practice sessions for fun.

Enough already.  Here are my kids: (Not that I think you care, but just in case you do, I did process these pictures quite differently than I usually do.  It was fun to do something different, and I like the light, airy, warmth that these have.  Also, I really like them in B&W, so I've included color and B&W for this reason.)

First, the two of them together: (They posed themselves for this one.  I think it's too cute and very true to who they are.)

There's those teeth!  This is the ONLY one where his teeth show:

Are you beginning to understand why I am so sad to see that sweet face change?

I only wish the wind wasn't blowing quite so hard.  It made the back lighting on The Girl nearly impossible as it revealed every last strand of hair blowing wildly in the wind.  However, it's spring and that's par for the course where we live.  I guess it makes it more real?

The next pics you see of The Little Man will show a large gap in his smile.  It seems that he will not just lose the one tooth, but that BOTH lower front teeth will be gone very soon!

I am hiding all the floss.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All Things Mouth Related

I was kind of joking when I said in my last post that at least the Scripture Memory posts would bring me back to the blog two times a month.  The "writer's block" is fierce.

Much to my disappointment, The Little Man's tooth fell out over the weekend.  He could not be more thrilled.  I think The Hubs pulled it out since it had become so loose that it seemed like it could fall out at any moment, and maybe get swallowed or choked on.  He won't admit it, though, and is blaming the floss.  He knows that these types of things break my mommy heart.  Somehow, The Little man has made it possible to weave the fact that he has lost a tooth into most conversations.  He also has a few more loose teeth waiting to come out, and talks about those quite frequently as well.  It's quite cute to see him so excited about this new stage in his life, and to worry about things like if he can and should still use a straw.  I think it changes his whole look and am so incredibly thankful that I got to take him out for pictures just mere hours before the tooth "fell" out while flossing.

Meanwhile, in my mouth I had a few teeth that were awaiting some work.  On Monday, I had gum grafting done on two of my teeth.   Basically, I had two molars on opposite sides of my lower jaw that had some recession of my gum tissue.  Before you get all weird on me and think that I don't take care of my teeth, don't.   I was told that my gum recession looked genetic since there were no other signs that pointed to something different.  Anywho, a gum graft is when they cut tissue off the roof of your mouth (the donor area), cut the gums off around your teeth, peel them down, stitch the donor tissue on and then stitch the gum tissue back over that. *Shiver*

If you feel like you want to crawl up into a ball and freak out after reading that, well, you are not alone.  In fact, when the dentist told me I needed to have this procedure about a year ago, and after she told me how the procedure worked, I promptly crumpled up the prescription/referral note, threw it in the trash, and pretended that she never even mentioned it.  Unfortunately, when I went to the dentist last month (see I visit the dentist every six months) she noticed that I had done nothing. Dern.  She also noticed that the recession was getting worse.  Unfortunately, when you ignore your receding gums, not only do you expose the nerves/root of the tooth, but the tooth can fall out. 

You know I asked which hurt worse, the surgery or losing the tooth.

I don't think she much appreciated that question. 

I think as a dentist she has taken an oath to do her best to save all teeth.  You know like doctors take oaths to preserve all life.


Anyway, she didn't recommend that I just wait for the teeth to fall out.  (Even though they were so far back in my mouth that I don't think anyone would notice they were gone.)

So off to oral surgery I went.  I have to say, I had a GREAT periodontist (that's a gum doctor).  He was super gentle and very kind.  He HAS to know that people come into his office shaking in their boots. Also, the surgery wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  In fact the surgery itself was totally fine, I was drugged up enough to barely notice what was going on.  As the numbing medication and pain meds have wore off, I will say my mouth has been tender, but not unbearable.  Considering I have around 20-25 stitches in my mouth, I would say I am pretty comfortable.  Also, I have some swelling in the face, which I thought was totally noticeable, but found out today that hardly anyone could tell.  I would like to think that I now have the freedom to gain about 20 pounds in the face area, and no one would be the wiser.  Which leads me to my diet.

As you can imagine, this type of surgery alters your diet a bit.  What I thought would be a great time of eating milkshakes and smoothies  all day everyday has actually turned a little tiresome.  Considering I still have the stitches for about 7 more days, I really need to figure out how to get over getting tired of pureed food.

Mostly, I just have a really bad case of wanting what you can't have.  I am certain when the stitches come out, I will look back at these days with a longing desire to eat only milkshakes and smoothies again.

I guess that's how I roll sometimes.  The grass is always greener...

So while some of us are highly anticipating our teeth falling out and getting money from the Tooth Fairy, others of us are going to great lengths to make sure our teeth stay put.

Life takes us on funny little twists and turns.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Would Call it Writer's Block, but...

I don't know if I really qualify as a writer.  Nope.  Pretty sure that someone who rambles in an unorganized fashion, sprinkles her ideas with commas and other random punctuation, is completely incompetent at spelling, and only "writes" about three or four times a month is most certainly not a "writer".   However, I will say I am suffering from a severe case of "Writers Block".  Life is most certainly happening all around me, I just am not sure how to put words to what I take in every day.

Good thing I am doing Scripture Memory this year.  That gets me here at least twice a month.

Even if I'm not punctual about it.

So here goes the first memory verse of April 2011.

(Can I just add, that with spring springing up all over the place, and with Easter coming up in a few short weeks, I can't help but think about the "newness" of everything.  New life.  Doesn't it sound amazing!  My prayer right now is that God would bring new life into our home this month.)

So, back with the memory verse. Since I am longing for newness, I think this is appropriate:

"Patient endurance it what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." -Hebrews 10:36 NLT 

Patient endurance. 

I can't help but relate this to running.  While I am no marathoner, I have run a few races in the last five years, and in the past year, I have been able to complete a couple of half marathons.  Running does not come easy for me.  In fact, I find myself nursing some sort of injury quite frequently.  Also, I am not fast.  Not even a little.  I'd like to think that I am made for distance and not for speed, however, the injury thing usually creeps in at some point and hampers those aspirations as well. 

It's hard to understand why I would even enjoy running at all.  There really should be no part of me that does.  However, I do.  It's hard, I physically shouldn't be able to do it at all, it takes a lot of effort, but, quite frankly, there is an immense satisfaction that comes from triumphing over it all and completing a distance I didn't think was even possible. 

Patient endurance.

This verse wasn't chosen because I am preparing for a race.  No, I chose it because I feel as though I have been in a race for the past four-ish months now.  I won't tell a lie and say that I am feeling like the finish line is around the corner, and I can just sprint it out.   Instead, I'm not sure where the finish line is.  There is a large temptation to stop running, and maybe walk.  Just a little bit.  Just so I can catch my breath.  Maybe take a swig or two off my water bottle. 

Something I've learned while training for longer distances: Once you go a certain distance, if you stop, you won't start back up again.  Even if you think you could pull out a few more miles if you just stopped, walked a little, took a little drink, you won't.  You will just walk.  Which actually isn't the end of the world if you are training.  If you are in a race, though, especially one that you paid for, it's not ideal.  There's something about walking across a finish line that doesn't sit well with me. 

Unless, of course, you signed up for a walk.  Then you're all good.

While I am not in an actual race, this time in my life feels like a race.  I didn't sign up for it, but I am not walking across the finish line. 

Trust me, the temptation is there.  I've thought about it a time or two, and even slowed my stride to an almost walk.  A "wog" if you will.

God has called me to this "race" to do His will.  While I have said that He is my God and I am His servant in the past many times, those words have never felt heavier than during this time.  I've had to actually live them out.  As a servant, I have been given this portion, and I will say "Yes, Lord."

Please don't think I think that any of this is easy.  It's not.  I also have often thought about those who God calls to run an even harder, longer race than he has given me.  There are so many, and the suffering is so great.  God's will for our lives is not always easy, but it is always for our good and the good of His kingdom, and He is there with us for every step.

As I have "raced" these past few months, God has been gracious in revealing so many wonderful things to me about Himself.  He has also made me more aware of His promises.  They are more than I can imagine, and far more than I deserve.  So, the last part of that verse is crucial.

Why would I not give into the temptations to walk, or quit altogether? "Then you will receive all that he has promised." 

That kind of reward, is better than any race medal I've ever received.