Sunday, May 22, 2011

When the Plan Comes Together

So, you know what it's like when you have spent years teaching the letters and their sounds, and reading to the child, and putting words together, and slowly they start to read, and sound their words out, and you have to set times for them to practice reading each day? And then one day it's really quiet, and you check on them, and they're engrossed in a chapter book that you didn't even suggest and it makes you want to cry?

Well, the construction equivalent just happened. Counting, measuring, math, power tool instruction, years of patience with "helpers", and more have just come together. Daddy's tearing up. : )

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Event of the Year

So as soon as my sister told me last year the big news, we knew 2011 would be "The Year of the New Cousin". When I announced that I was going to fly down when the baby was born and take Delaney, all manner of excitement and anticipation and who-will-have-the-better-time discussions ensued.

And now the baby - henceforth known as Evan! - is here. And the trip is done. And the other kids' week with Daddy is done. And we're back to the routine (except for the yearly excitement of getting the Barn Sale ready, which has not quite kicked in because it keeps raining). For DK and I, it was such a great trip to bond more closely as she heads into a different phase of growing up. The fun of experiencing her first airplane ride with her was a privilege (Said as she put her shoes back on after getting her bag scanned and the body scan: "I was all like, 'tight', and now I'm just like, ahhhh, and let's get on the plane!"). She absolutely loved every minute of the plane ride, and had her face smashed against her window during the entire take-off. Priceless.

And Evan! He was 2 weeks old when we arrived, and completely perfect and adorable. He has beautiful eyes and we got to see them quite often. Delaney did great holding him and became more comfortable as the week went on. She liked to ride in the back seat with him, keep his pacifier handy, and give a running commentary on his faces and wild arm swings (future OSU quarterback?). John and Karyn are doing a great job as new parents and I know they'll face the long haul with wisdom, prayers and lots of love. Other things DK liked: sleeping with mom (me) in a big ol' bed; hot cocoa and danishes every morning at the motel (so like her father: she made me buy sausages that we could microwave in our room because it was only a continental breakfast); shopping!!! at Ft. Worth mall and other stores with actual selection; eating at Delaney's Irish Pub where her not-so-common-and-never-found-on-gift-shop-trinkets name was plastered everywhere; the beautiful botanical gardens; really good Texas burgers with really good Texas beef.
We road-tripped home through Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana with grandma, where snacks and other food was so available she declared she would never eat again until her birthday. After arriving home Sunday afternoon and settling in a bit, she had quite a few tears and lots of sadness. For Texas, for Evan, and probably for the "let-down" from the end of a big, once-in-a-childhood special trip with mom that had been building up in her mind since December when I told her. New emotions, new experiences; our biggest little girl is growing up.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Could Get Used to This

So far today...

...tons of hugs and kisses...

...they made my bed...

..."Interviews About Mom" videos with each kid answering questions and sending messages to me. Best. Gift. Ever....

...Originial songs written and sung for me...

Here's one of the interviews. You can see in the clothing question that I have passed down the sarcasm gene completely intact.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some homework...or Heather-work

So a good friend and I snuck out and had a great evening recently discussing life, kids and breakfast, schedules, books, music, Africa, and a multitude of other deep-to-shallow topics that only 2 mothers of 9 children could squeeze into 4 hours. A phrase that rose to the surface throughout the evening: "living well". She and I are going to continue the discussion - what does it mean to live well? As a Christian? As a mother and wife? As me?

I thought I might start to flesh some of that out here...feel free to add on, weigh in, disagree, etc. Brainstorming is on the agenda first, as all good students know, and since there is not much in my brain, I'll stimulate my thinking by seeing what others have to say.*

"There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live." - John Adams

"If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it." - Erma Bombeck

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'" - James 4: 13-15

*Fine print disclaimer: just words that make me think...not necessarily an endorsement of the sentiment.