Saturday, September 19, 2015

Summer, for the record...

So this online "journal"... it won't be much of a record if I don't get in a few more details of this blessed summer for our family.  (And as for recording things, the Lord knows this summer has also broken our hearts with one burden that is laid before Him alone.)    

I might have posted this already?  We're so deeply grateful for the friends the Lord has put in our kids' lives....  like Hudson, Isaiah's buddy since pre-2 yo.   May the Lord be gracious to use these precious friendships over the years of growth and change ahead to spur our boys on in Christ-rooted, Christ-exalting manliness.  May they sharpen each other owards excellence and holy risk and the kind of valor that will ring with praise and joy for all eternity.
This firstborn son of ours is an indescribable gift...  such grace to be Isaiah's mama.  I love you, son.  
It was a long glorious summer of play for our kiddos.  I doubt any group of kiddos on the planet could have possibly wanted to play more baseball than our kiddos played.….  Monday through Thursday mornings and Sat AM and PM.   But our crew loved every minute.  Such a gift... especially here, where kids' sports are crazy rare.  

It was a treat for all of them… and a treat for me too!  I got some quiet time.  Real quiet quiet.  I rested and read.  Had a breakfast visit with no distractions with a delightful neighbor friend.   Finished two family photo albums from years ago to try to give my kids a photo record of their many-moves, silly-joys, full-of-friendship and many good-byes lives.  

The boys never wanted to miss a day of practice.  It helped that all of their best friends in our city played too.  And sometimes, if our boys rode with Matt’s co-worker and his sons, Marian would ride alone with Daddy and every time that happened, I’d get to hear about who they jammed with on their drives…. Rich Mullins and Toby Mac are Marian’s fav.s.  

These guys have serious Stratego skills...  (I can't beat any of them!)... and that time Isaiah chased down my 10 with a 6 and I ran from him b/c I was sure it must be a spy!?  Oi!  crazy boys!
It was hot.  Hottest summer in 30 years we heard.  And a few times I thought of boasting about how horrifically hot it was, only to feel disappointed with my bragging stats…  supposedly the temps were only high 90s or 100.  But then my local friends told me that was all that was reported because if the temps rise over 40 degrees C, around 100 F, the government has mandated that companies need to allow workers to complete their jobs in the evening hours.  The handy way around that is to simply never “let” (or report) that the temp has surpassed the limit.  So… there was something brag-worthy there.  Supposedly we were 105-113ish for most of 2 weeks and over 100 for most of July and into early August.  We felt the concrete magnification and the AC-lessness loud and clear.   And we survived!  And we’re pretty giddy grateful to be enjoying these 70s Sept days now.   (Baseball practice was only cancelled a few days for the heat…  but many days baseball was traded for water gun battles and there were no complaints about that!)

Matt made it through his first, our family first, need for local medical attention.  He went more than 24 hours without being able to swallow any food or water more than a tiny sip.  He could breath just fine but not swallow... even a tiny sip of water.  Not good for a baseball coach in such heat!!  We were so grateful that the Lord provided a dear local friend to go through the hospital system with him that afternoon and an excellent trained doctor who unblocked his esophagus quickly….  after 7 hours of waiting and walking around the hospital for 14-15 different office/doctor visits and payment stations. Once the final doctor saw him, he was all cleared up in no time!  We still need to see how to move forward caring for this issue for him.  

the real first day for the littles...
This boy has a sweeter tender side to his evident rough boy default.  I could not be more smitten with John! 
oh this girl!
More Vivisms-  (While sitting on the potty) “Mom, I can hear a song in my heart.”  “Really, what is it?”  “Well, I think God put it there.”  “Yes, I’m sure he did…”  (we trailed off at that point… probably time to wipe up)

A few days later, we had the same conversation and I asked her what was the song?  I thought such sensitive, spiritual wisdom would mean that she was going to sing something along the lines of the Doxology… but no.  “I think the song is “Twinkle, Twinkle.”

She said to me this morning “In the night, I felt the Lord with me on my bed!”   So glad for her (and for me!!) to be sleeping peacefully.  Since Easter this year, most moments of affectionate words from Vivi have included “I love you with all my heart!  Jesus is Risen Indeed! Jesus is Risen indeed!”  This afternoon, while she was listening to a song from Frozen, she got really concerned and quieted down and then asked me with more seriousness than I usually see in her:  "Mom, do princesses love Jesus?".... I love her tender side!

Our kiddos launched into a whole new year of school.  Isaiah’s in 4th grade (wow-  that was a big year for me!  How did my baby get that big already?), Marian is in 3rd, John in 1st grade and Vivi in PreK (she’s all set to move up to the K level class next semester if it seems like she’s tracking well enough….I’m hoping that plan will work b/c I think it seems good to me for homeschool later, if they can swing it, to have John and Vivi back to back instead of with a grade in between them.)  Here’s our fake first day of school pic….  I think it was actually the eve of our second week.
So they didn't forget about the ring pops that were gifted to them a few weeks ago....  I was sure hoping I could slip those artificial sugar/flavor bombs in the trash...  but no.  They were distinctly remembered.
Isaiah- 4th grade, Marian- 3rd grade, John-1st grade, Vivian PreK.  

And there was that sleepover in the tent on the patio... that didn't quite work but was still fun to try for!
her 8th birthday was her best yet she said....  we're exquisitely grateful for Marian Lynn.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dance Party U S Asia

For Marian’s 8th birthday, she planned the entire event…  I simply had to make dinner (Da Pan Ji) and a “cake" (she chose apple pie).  She planned the whole thing to be a Dance Party.  There was some time for dressing up to begin with, and then there were a few dance-off competitions, but mostly the whole things was just song after song (daddy was the DJ) of silly, giddy, jumping and laughing cool moves.  Sadly, I only got a few videos of that and all of this only with my phone since my battery was gone!  (argh!)

This girl…  She’s growing up so much.  I can really see Marian maturing to understand her role as a growing up girl, to communicate with people well, to take responsibility to help and serve others, to finish her work (even when she’s sure that that much homework will take her 4 more hours… and it actually only takes 20 minutes.)  She’s growing up so beautifully before us and we could not be more grateful to know and love and care for Marian Lynn.  

Dear love, we pray that you will continue to grow up in the Lord in every way, being pleasing to Him in your mind, in your heart and character, and all your relationships, skills and talents, work and play.  Keep seeking Jesus first, dear!  Oh we love you so much precious, treasured girl!

She said... "This was my best birthday ever because my two teachers came!"
The K crew

and when our dear guests had all gone... the dance party gave way to sword fight

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love Poems (from a four year old)

So, our family might have a little case of being just slightly, over the top verbal.  Just a few of us Ks would probably be somewhere over the rainbow off the charts on ridiculosity for over-expressive wordulousness. The four year old is just one such poet.

She's blossomed with a whole new chapter of lovey words for the two of us.  Somewhere this summer I started asking her "Who do I love?".  And there's been a few times when she's asked me "Who do I love?"  (Sometimes every five minutes.)  We go over it ever time "Jesus, because he died for me.  Mama and Jerry and then Daddy and all the kids."

Wait a minute.  That's not cool.  No crush can come above your daddy for a long time yet, dear.  Coach Jerry (who just started working for Matt's company) is a pretty awesome guy.  But he can't come above Daddy on your lovey list yet, dear.  She cried when she had to go with the little kids at baseball practice and Coach Jerry led the bigger kids' exercises.  But she's agreed to reorder her list now so Daddy's up there where he should be and we're all a little more happy ..... though I'm pretty sure Jerry felt super honored with his original ranking.

Then her loveyness turned to her asking me, "Why do I want you to sit next to me at the table/brush my teeth with me/ wipe my bottom/ read to me on the couch....?"  Both "because you love me" and "because I love you" are acceptable answers.  I love that game.

And when I told her "I love you to the highest height, the sweetest sweet, the deepest depths, the yummiest yummy, the silliest silly..." she returned "I love you to the stars like that too."

She was set on catching those "stardusts" in the sunshine.
But then she up and came up with some lines all her own.  "I love you ten thousand times the cushions of it."  (I have no idea how she came up with that but she says it with such serious joy confidence, and well over a hundred times now, that I don't want to bother her with the semantic technicalities.... I catch her drift.)

And my current favorite of her love poems:  "I love you to the stars- Never evah fight the stars."  (Yea, we can all pretty much agree that that's a battle to pass on... and that somehow she's managed to super-power her affection with those words.)

And Vivi Hope... "I love you to the stars like that too, crazy sweet lovey girl."