Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My siblings and I thought it was quite humorous when our mom had to run through two or three names before her tongue found the one she was looking for. With sisters named Alyssa and Gloria it wasn't terribly uncommon to hear things like“Re-Gloria” or "Al-Glo-Rebeca." As a kid, of course, I couldn't fathom the numerous things a mother does all day, every day, and often all at once. Now, I understand. As I sat at the table feeding Raphael the other day I struggled to get the right name on my lips and it came out something like "Pop-Per-Raffi".
And thus a new name for my children, in a collective sense, was born: they are now known as "The Popperaffi". It sounds kind of like Paparazzi. It may not seem like my children have anything in common with these infamous rabid journalists, but it's not as out there as you may think. I really do have my own version going on. Three people who I can't seem to shake; they watch me night and day. They're not yet equipped with cameras, but by their very lives they're recording my words, my actions, even my attitudes. And they really do follow my everywhere. It doesn't matter if I'm on the toilet or in the shower, they seem to find me! I'm reminded (and it's a timely reminder) of one of my favorite quotes from Elizabeth Prentiss.
"My children, my darling precious children....what I want them to become I must become myself."
It's a tall order. I have high hopes for the kind of people I want my children to become. I don't care about how much money they make or what kind of social position they find themselves in, but I do want them, above all, to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and to love their neighbor as themselves. I want them to be kind, compassionate, generous, joyful, unselfish, courageous, loving, humble. It's what I want to become too, but I have a long, long way to grow. I know that Erik and I are the biggest earthly influence in their lives, that they see us at our best and at our worst, that many times our actions don't line up with our words or our expectations of them. But we love, and are abundantly loved by, a big God, a God who is bigger than we are, who loves our kids more than we do, whose plans for them exceed ours, and who is able to bring them to pass.
So even though the calling is high, so very high, I won't lose heart. I will continue to live with my little Popperaffi and let them see my life, moment by moment, day by day. I will continue to love them, to play with them, teach them, correct them, dance with them. I will humble myself and ask their forgiveness when I have spoken harshly or become impatient with them. I will continue to pray for all of us to become more like our loving and kind-hearted Christ. And I will trust Him to complete the work that He started in us.
And Mom? I hope you can forgive me for laughing when you called my Al-Glo-Rebeca. I understand now. I really do.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
The Glam Housewife with her Raggle Taggle Gypsy Man. the scary part? Erik actually liked me dressed up like this! I guess that's fair though, because I thought he looked mighty fine himself.
My ol' Ma and Pa from the Prairies. I grew up on the Prairies, but even then they didn't dress like this.
My niece Jessamyn the Princess, who almost had to turn sideways to get through the door in those sleeves. When she was little we used to call her Jessamyn PrinCessamyn.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Last night was the first night Raphael slept in the crib in Peregrine’s room. I’m always sad when the time comes to move a baby out of our room, but the time has come. None of us has been sleeping well, and with with the other kids it finally took moving them to their own space. I’d given Peregrine careful instructions that when he awoke he was to leave his room quietly and not wake his brother, but I was a little uncertain as to how it would go.
I awoke this morning and heard Peregrine stirring, heard the soft opening of his door, heard the baby cry. I heard the door close and hoped that Raphael would go back to sleep. He whimpered a bit, then stopped. I lay still and listened as it continued; he would fuss for a few seconds, then stop. Then all was quiet. I got up and looked into “the boys’ room” only to see Peregrine standing next to the crib looking down at little Raphael, who was smiling and wiggling in great excitement. I felt a little annoyed that Peregrine hadn’t obeyed me after all until he explained in a voice of wonder:
“Mom, he woke up when I climbed down from my bunk bed and he started to cry. But he’s, like, perfectly satisfied with me. Whenever I tried to leave he would cry, but if I stay here he’s so happy!”
It was the perfectly satisfied that got me. And the sound of his voice, the tone that betrayed that he had found true joy in making another person happy. I sleepily put my arm around him and said “You really love your brother, don’t you?”
Friday, October 17, 2008
“I think we should vote for Daddy! He’d be the best president ever!”
“Yes, Daddy would be a good president.”
“Yes! And then we could live in the White House!”
“Do you think Daddy would be a good president, Peregrine, because he’s wise?”
“Yes! He’s the wisest man I’ve ever known!“
”I think he’d be a good president too, but this time it’s either going to be Barack Obama or John McCain.“
”I’d vote for John McCain, because I like his name better.“
”Well, that’s not really a good reason to vote for a man. We need to learn about them and vote for the one we think would be the best leader of our country.“
”Hmmmm. Does John McCain love the Lord more than anything?“
”Well, I don’t know. Both McCain and Obama say they love the Lord, but really only He knows their hearts. We can only look at their actions and try to pick the one we think is the most godly and would make the best decisions for our country.“
”That’s a good point Mom.“
I loved that he quickly realized the most important criteria was whether a person loves the Lord more than anything. I wish it were that simple to discern the heart of a man! It would be even simpler if we could just vote for the man with the name we like the best! (I’d vote Obama, hands down, in this case!)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
It's with a twinge of sadness on my part that Raphael is beginning to eat solid food. With the other two, it was a milestone I looked forward to more, but I've so enjoyed the simplicity of nursing this little one, and the connectedness we share. This time around I feel more keenly that this is a first step toward independence, and I know how quickly they grow. There is something so sweet about being his only source of nourishment; every ounce of him so far has grown and been sustained through his physical connection to me. Now, he begins to separate himself, to move slowly toward the independence that must come. It's only right, and it's good, but the baby days go so quickly by, and I shall cherish the memories. There's no looking back, after all. This is the period, from six months to a year, that I so enjoyed with Peregrine and Alethea; it seemed there were new discoveries every day. I'm sure I will enjoy it with Raphael as well, my little Green Boy.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
- We had a great time away last week. The first several days were spent at Semiahmoo, where Erik was attending a conference for work. Even though he had to attend meetings and workshops, it was so much nicer to be there with him than home alone with the kids, and we had plenty of time with him too. The kids enjoyed exploring the beach, finding rocks and shells, and breathing lots of fresh sea air. We also had a very nice visit with Stacy and her sweet family one day. After Erik's conference was over we headed North to Vancouver, British Columbia, where we spent the next two nights. The weather was cool and rainy, but we enjoyed walking around the city and seeing some of the sights. I was born and raised in Canada and always feel nostalgic to revisit my home country. Even though we're close neighbors, it really has its own feel, and it was good to be there again.
- Being away gave me lots of time to reflect on life, to think about what's working and what isn't, to re-evaluate priorities and think about some new ways of doing things. Reading The Paradox of Choice has been enlightening, and has challenged me to structure my days more. Being faced, daily, with all the little questions of how to best run my household, is, to me, a source of stress. If I can have a master plan, a master menu, a basic schedule to follow, a lot of those little choices, and thus stresses, could be eliminated. Like my sister Alyssa once said "Do I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out what to make for dinner at 4PM?" Planning, and sticking to my plan, doesn't come naturally to me, but it's an area I'd like to grow in. I'd like to come up with a basic monthly menu, but I started with just this week. I've also written out a basic schedule for the last two days, and so far it's been helpful. (You can read my previous thoughts, and fears, about scheduling here.) I know it's only two days, but it's a start, right? One day at a time....
- A few little Poppy-isms as of late: She confidently ordered "official chips please" off a menu one evening. It was the fish and chips she was going for! Another evening she enjoyed a "girl cheese sandwich." Today she found a woolly bear on our walk, and kept referring to it as a "gummy bear"!
- We're slowly getting school underway. I'll try to write more about what we're doing this year soon. Peregrine is officially kindergarten age this year, so it's our first "real" year of homeschool and so far we're enjoying it.
- Raphael is six months. Half a year. Precious. And can hardly wait to go fishing with Daddy.
- I've long wanted to start keeping a nature journal and make it a family project. Drawing, however, is not one of my skills. But I know it's something I can learn along with the kids, so I've been doing some drawing with Peregrine, following the instructions in his Draw Write Now books. It's actually fun, and has boosted my confidence enough to pull out an old blank notebook and make my very first, of hopefully many, entries! It's a very humble beginning, but a beginning it is.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Outside My Window... water, water, everywhere. We're traveling this week and are at present in Northern Washington looking out over Puget Sound. It's a lovely golden morning and promises to me a beautiful sunny day.
I am thinking... how much fun we're going to have exploring the shore today.
I am thankful.... that we got to come with Erik on this business trip. It's so, so much nicer than being at home without him.
From the kitchen... kitchen, what kitchen? I'm kitchen free this week, although I did bring lots of food like muffins and crackers and cheese and cookies and yogurt.
I am wearing... my "secret-fit belly" maternity pants from Motherhood.... still. What can I say, six months later I still can't fit in my pre-pregnancy pants, and these are comfy. Sigh....
I am creating... a temporary home out of our hotel room.
I am going... to visit Stacy tomorrow. Yeah! We had the pleasure of a visit last summer and I'm looking forward to seeing her and her growing family once again.
I am reading...The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. I've been reading it aloud to Erik on our drive. So far, so good. Good food for thought, and fun to read aloud and discuss together.
I am hoping... for sunshine today and good sleep tonight. Getting everyone to sleep in the same room can be a bit tricky.
I am hearing... the TV, and the kids laughing. And, I might add, I'm thankful we don't have a TV at home.
Around the house... whatever messes we left in the wake of leaving, thankfully not too bad as my Mom came over and helped. Thanks Mom!
One of my favorite things... traveling, road trips, although the road part of trips is a little more challenging with small people who have smaller attention spans.
A few plans for the rest of the week... playing with the kids, exploring the beach, swimming, and when Erik's conference is over, a few days in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here is picture thought I am sharing... no pictures today.