It has been a season full of life- full of messes and full of learning- learning to work and learning to flex and learning our new place and new routines.
Last Wednesday we were all sweaty... and stinky. It was our second day with no water, which followed days previous with so little water we couldnt shower. It was a hot Wednesday (thankful for solid water- in force!- as of Thursday!) and it was the last of the heat. That night I woke up to cool winds and it's been steadily cooler since. I thought maybe we'd have a few weeks to enjoy of fall? Bu't today, I'm feeling like fall might be here and gone near instantly- making way for winter soon! I'd better finish up these summer thanks before that page is turned too! So here's a probably very boring list for others, but jewels of our family experience that I just can't let be forgotten- a brief record of our summer thanks to the Lord.
*Slumber Parties: our kids' firsts. Before our neighbors went back to Canada for the birth of their soon-coming-one, we had a girls' slumber party and a boys' slumber party with their kids and one other precious family. So sweet to log memories with these friends! The girls came here first and then Marian went to the D's house to get some slumber fun at their place while the boys all came here.
*Chores: Matt lead the way in teaching the big three to wash dishes this past spring and now our kid crew is really stepping up to help significantly! I'm so gratefully blessed!!! Isaiah often says he's glad to do chores, to be a hard worker. And everyday I think of what a gift it is to spend a few moments doing chores together every morning and every night. Chores don't loom over us as some terrifying-terrible thing we have to dread and finally do late Saturday. And the house doesn't usually get too wildly out of control. We do a little bit together after breakfast, after dinner. It's a joy to work together and keep it quick and help keep our home nearer to order. It's a win all the way around.
*Friends: Our kiddos play outside all the time with lots of local friends. Yesterday John came up to the house (our apt. is on the 6th floor with no elevator) saying "we had so few friends to play with near our old house but we have so many friends here!" Such a gracious gift from the Lord.
(just precious... that's all)
*New glasses.... they're Matt's new glasses but they're cute on our John boy too!
*At the end of one particularly hard day of disobedience and discipline I told Matt that I didn't know what more I could possibly do to help serve our kids, to fix our days together!? The next morning, instead of harder discipline, we fought harder for joy and we won.... together. We called it Kindness Training Day. That Saturday was truly marked by smiles.... the timer telling us every ten minutes time for more kindness. I would send one or two kids on kindness assignments- aiming to bullseye everyone and every love language through out the day. They enjoyed the day so much, the opportunity to laugh together and express and give gifts and create for each other. It was well worth putting on constant repeat for every Saturday we're together.... Lord, please help kindness never to grow old among us!
*Vivi's line: "mama, you give me feather fingers. First on this shoulder, then on this one. Five times. And don't count." (Feather Fingers is what we call a light tickley tingly back scratch.)
*Piano Marvel is fun for all of us... clearly not the same as meeting with a teacher, but worlds more affordable and doable for all of our crew! Our big kids have been learning well and even our littles are able to jump in on some fun too. (And friends, if you click on the link to PianoMarvel from our kfamilyjournal and if you decide to try it for free or subscribe for unlimited monthly lessons, then we will benefit too :) Yea for all of us!)
*Surprise! We got to host a surprise baby shower for this precious friend.... such a joy to gather such a beautiful group of women to celebrate this friend and babe (coming next week now!). Marian was thrilled out of her mind to get to bring Auntie Corrie up to our house for the surprise...
*Isaiah's scars: Isaiah has heard from a few friends about scars, how basically they're a measure of bravery and coolness. Our big guy has spent not a little time looking for every possibly blip or speck on his body that could maybe be another scar.
*Marian sitting at the table with us and pointing to dad and then to me with her other hand.... putting her fingers together to form a heart and nodding her silliest goofiest grin, eyebrows sky high.... and all of us smile-full.
*Isaiah asking why we walked off weeks ago when we were all in the mountains to kiss.... did he really notice that? Did I really just hear my boy gigglingly say that?
* That little incident with a little neighbor boy and a knife. Maybe it was culturally inflexible of us, but we just don't "play" with little kids making threats with blades. Matt had to chase him down to get it out of his hands.... and I think, by grace, he's only dearer to our family now after that sweaty tearful moment.
* A new hairdo.... I had just decided that maybe even for me, I could let long, long hair be almost like an accessory. Thats big for the girl who somehow feels mismatched or gaudy with any single piece of jewelry. But my hair was longer than it's ever been in my life (near my elbow) and I thought that a long pony tail hanging down my back felt pretty. But it was time for a trim and I practiced all my local lingo well enough... I really like long, I really want it long, just a little trim.... and I came out with most of my hair layered above my shoulders and a third or so hanging below there and then about 56 hairs together nearly full length. Layered like nothing America has ever seen. But I couldn't go for the rat tail look so now I'm back to my regular ole pony tail again. bummer. and a new promise that since I just don't get the culture of local haircuts, I just can't get one again!
* Leatherman. Isaiah has recently become an expert on these multi-tools and has even begun- yep, this is his beginning- to use the internet to research and compare the different knives. He's well on track to add the next 4 months of allowance and extra chores to his savings already and he'll be able to buy his favorite one. big steps....
There... a few things to remember.... all gifts from the Lord!