Friday, July 24, 2009

A rather backhanded compliment

Summer is flying by.
Even as I write, the sun is sinking rapidly into the western horizon, drawing yet another day to a close, and drawing us one day closer to the close of summer vacation.
Ah, well. Such is life.
There is definitely a part of me that is excited to get back to school, and can't wait for the first day and a new year.
The "sleeping in" part of me wants to punch her right in the face.
There hasn't been a lot of big stuff going on this summer.
Mostly, we are relaxing at home, swimming, reading and watching good family movies together.
We go to the library a lot.
Isaac and Joe went to Boy Scout camp a few weeks ago.
We've taken a few day trips.
We are planning another trip to Mankato in the near future, before school starts.
Other than that, though, we have been pretty free.
I like that. Being free.
There is something to be said for planning lots of activities and things to do. I've done it all before.
But this summer I have just played with my kids. And I like it.
We've been reading a lot too.
I love reading together.
We pick out the most interesting, intriguing looking books; take them home; huddle up on the couch and read, read, read.
I love it because Isaac, who is getting "too big" for lots of things, still sits and listens to the stories I read to the younger boys, and wants to see the pictures.
Daniel's new thing is to say "Of course!" when you ask him a question.
"Daniel, do you want to read books?"
"Of course!"
Last night, we were all snuggled in on the couch reading a book called "I Could Eat You Up," a sweet picture book about all the sweet things we call our children. I was making it personal, and making all the terms of endearment plural, looking at each of my children with a silly grin after each page . . . "My little sugar lumps, my sweet peaches . . . "
They were rolling their eyes, but they were grinning too.
When we got to the end, Josiah said, "Now, that book was not very convincing."
"It wasn't convincing?" I echoed in query.
"Why is that?"
"Because it was too short!!" he replied.
That is a backhanded compliment if I ever heard one!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In which Isaac has his 11th birthday!

(I titled the post this because Isaac had a classic Pooh nursery when he was a baby, with blue and white cloud walls. It was pretty cool!)
Well, he did it.
Isaac turned eleven on June 28th.
Eleven. It seems so much . . . older than ten.
First of all, it's just a bigger word.
It seems like time just bulleted by.
I remember when he was born so vividly.
To read his story, see the July 1, 2008 post.
Eleven years. It really doesn't seem possible, and I find myself panicking sometimes. Have we used our time with him wisely and well? What do we have to do in the time we have left to help mold him into who he is to be?
In case you couldn't tell, I could do with some more faith in my life.
Really, he's just a great kid, and more than trying to make him something, I've just really enjoyed who he is. He has brought so much joy and laughter and quiet childlike wisdom . . . and plenty of loud rambunctious boy-ness to our lives.
This year, we celebrated with his friends by taking them for an afternoon of laser tag and arcade fun.
We celebrated with family on his actual birthday. His wish list this year was so different from what it has been in years past. While it still had the ever present Lego request, it also had things like dirt bikes and cell phones. Yikes. He did not get either, by the way. But he sure was trying to sell us on the cell phone idea. My mom always teases him that he will grow up to be either a lawyer or a hostage negotiator. He sure can make a good argument.
He started young.
I remember, when he was turning three -- three --, before my mom and dad moved here, they sent his gifts early, but asked I wait until his birthday to let him open them. That was a few days away, and to quell any frustration that might arise from seeing his gifts and not being able to open them, I stashed them up on a high bookcase where he could not see them.
Well, that didn't work.
He was standing on the couch one afternoon, two days from his birthday, and he spotted them.
Immediately it started, but not the nagging "Please, mommy! Please." business.
"Are those mine?"
"Yes, they are."
"I can open them?"
No. I explained that he would have to wait just a few days, and he went to work, reasoning with me.
He sat on the couch, quiet for a minute, thinking.
"Mom, the clock says three, so I can open them now?"
Indeed it did.
"No, not yet." I replied and smiled.
"You have to be three, not the clock."
More silent thinking.
"Mom, can I open three gifts now because I'm gonna be three?"
"No, darling. We need to wait until your birthday, and then you can open them all."
More and more silent thinking.
"Mom, I'm already three. Jesus just told me I am. He just made me three right now. So I can open my gifts now?"
There it was -- the Jesus card.
Who can argue with that?
I looked at him with amazement and amusement and wonder.
There was no whining, no crying, no begging, no pleading. Just two -- almost three -- year old reasoning.
Sometimes, this tendency in him makes things difficult. But I know it is there for a reason.
Having him, having all my boys, has changed my life in profound and miraculous ways. They have all been so worth every moment of the having them.
I love you Isaac. Here's to your eleventh year of life in this great, wide world. May it be as wonderful as you are.

Did I mention . . .

that we had a fantastic fourth of July.
Daniel liked to see the bright colors flung all over the sky. He would squeal with delight every time.
He did not, however, like to hear them.
He liked them best if he was indoors -- or in cars, watching from a window.
My favorite part?
He called them "crackerfires."
'Mom. We see crackerfires?" His little face tilted to mine, nose crinkled into a question mark.
Kids make everything so much more wonderous.
This year, we almost didn't have a city fireworks display. The economic belt is tightening all over it seems, and fireworks just weren't in the budget. A local bank donated funds, though, and it was on with the show.
It lacked a little boom, I thought, though that may have been because of where we were watching them.
I will say, however, that the finale was perhaps the best I have ever seen!
There is nothing like the Fourth of July, with it's red white and blue, flags flying from front porches, people gathering together around good food and each other, patriotic songs playing on the radio, waiting for the dark to fall and the sky to explode with the crack and sizzle of color, sleeping boys carried home on a ribbon of smoke while the town snaps, crackles and pops well into the night.
This year, there is so much I am uncertain of. So much I shake my head at and sigh over and wonder about.
But sitting there, under the blooming sky, listening to the people all around me -- parked along the edges of the road, sitting on the hoods of their cars, ooohing and ahhhing, all of us looking up-- I swell with emotion and a pride of sorts and from deep within me comes a prayer. God, bless America.

Monday, July 6, 2009

These days . . .

There have been some problems with my Internet connection, which I hope will be worked out soon. It has made blogging regularly a bit of a problem, though.
But just because my Internet is slow and at times non-existent, it certainly does not mean my life is that way.
What has been going on . . . hmmm, let's see.
Joe and Isaac are at a Boy Scout camp-out this week. I miss them terribly, but have been having a good time with my little guys too.
Joe said they are doing a lot of cool things, and are having a bunch of fun! Isaac did say he was a little homesick, though. That made me feel good. It's nice to know that even out there, in the middle of his boy's dream of woods, water and wilderness, he's missing home . . . just a little. I'll sure be happy to have them back.
We picked the first blackberries from our bushes today. We got about 50 berries, and it looks like the haul this year will be good.
Some of the apples on our tree are just beginning to blush.
The garden is keeping me hopping too. Lots of squash (did I say lots already?), beans, peas, peppers, lettuce and cucumbers.
The corn is taller than . . . everybody, and is beginning to sprout ears. We have baby watermelon on the vines. The potatoes are getting ready to flower.
It's been a lot of work, but is has been so much fun, especially now that veggies that were hanging on vines, glistening in the morning dew are on our dinner table the same day. It is so comforting, in some small way, to know that we, through God's wisdom and provision, are nurturing ourselves with good things from nature.
There are a ton of things I am learning, and a thousand things I will do differently in next year's garden. Yes. I have already started thinking about next year's garden.
This evening, the moon was so big and low and yellow. I packed the kids in the car, and mom and I took them for a ride.
"Look at that moon!" I said, when the trees fell away and we had a good, clear view of it.
"It looks like gold! It is gold!" Josiah said.
Ahh, similes and metaphors. You gotta love 'em. And you gotta love 'em even more when your seven year old is using them to express his thoughts about the sensational summer moon.
He was clearly impressed.
I was too.
So, what has been going on these days?
Not too much, I guess. It's the good 'ol summertime.
These are those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer.

Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!