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A wise lady in my life has kindly reminded me that I’m not the only one required to make room for our new little munchkin; everyone in our family has to make sacrifices to create space for this babe. My husband may not have to physically endure his insides being rearranged little by little, but he does make room in his own ways and often it’s in the many moments when he kindly lends his muscles as I turn our house upside down and switch it around in attempts to make room for the baby.
A few weekends ago we made a quick weekend trip to IKEA. He patiently loaded up the stroller and helped wrangle our little crew through the show room, found them a quick snack at the cafeteria, and managed to wrestle Elsie and Dominic as they “helped” him push the cart through the market place. He kept his cool while his neurotic pregnant wife broke down about the final purchases to be picked up, encouraged me, and assured me that all would be fine. Yes, he liked the cabinet I picked out. Yes, he thinks the rocking chair is a necessary replacement for the little kid chair I’ve been using to rock Elsie. Yes, the new school table will be a good fit for the basement.
Needless to say, we made it through the warehouse, paid, and daddy worked his magic loading the van. We had accomplished the seemingly undoable, some of us with more poise than others…ahem…(I was definitely lacking the poise, not Matt, just to clarify).
We made the return trip home after having the best of visits with old friends in Atchison. After all of the rearranging of the old furniture there was suddenly room for the new. How exciting! And how grateful I am for a husband that is willing to serve his family without counting the cost: where do you want me to move the shelf now? umm…Let’s try it over there. No, no…over there….you get the idea.
Yes, growing this little one is tough work and no, I still don’t feel well. But, I am in awe of my little family working so hard together to make sacrifices and to serve one another in ever growing ways. And oh the excitement! July will be here before we know it.
We’ve been homeschooling for 1 1/2 years now. Although I’m not entirely convinced that teaching one preschooler entirely counts for one year of homeschooling, but I’m going with it. As our time schooling at home continues to add up, we’ve developed a few key parts of our day. One of those is our rug time. I think this has become my favorite part of our homeschool day and it’s probably due to the fact that we spend a majority of the time reading. For a girl who grew up having her grandma take her to the bookstore annually for a birthday outing, my love for books has quickly transmitted to my children and how we homeschool.
Last year, to engage my preschooler in everything she was learning in her memory work (we are currently a part of a Classical Conversations community and love it – more about that in another post), we would go to the library and, using a book list from Half a Hundred Acre Wood, find books that would help us learn more about our history and science each week. This year, our reading time has merged with morning prayer, reading from Scripture, and reading from our current read aloud. This past fall I introduced the time we spend praying and reading together as Rug Time to the kiddos and they have since come to (mostly) enjoy it too.
Ava will sit and listen to anything being read aloud – anywhere, anytime. Dominic is working on his sitting skills, but usually needs something to keep his 4 year old body busy while we listen, even if it’s a single matchbox car that he drives in circles around his seat/spot. Elsie is a little different every day. She lasts about 15 minutes and then expects mom to give her the full attention that toddlerdom seems to demand.
My hopes and aspirations for Rug Time is that we can really dive into what is true, good and beautiful together. The conversations we have about Jesus’ life, characters in our favorite stories, and the hymns that we sing each morning will, hopefully, become an ever-growing treasure trove of wisdom which they can carry with them as they go out into the world each day.
I’m not a fantastic writer. I’ve never claimed to be one. I do hope that I can learn a thing or two from better writers and improve over time. For now, you can tolerate my average writing and enjoy the pictures of our crazy family.
I have high hopes of resurrecting the blog and sharing some thoughts on my favorite topics and of course some (probably many) family anecdotes. Hope you enjoy.
Ava discovering holes in the trees at the Outdoor Campus during our visit in Rapid City over Easter.
Whoever first said “a picture is worth a thousand words” hadn’t considered the value of a toddler’s words. Listening to Ava practice with new phrases (some that I wish she hadn’t ever heard, like when I told her brother that he was a pain in the butt and then I later heard her saying that same thing to Dominic) and experimenting with language (like when she can’t reach something and tells me “it’s too harder for me”) has been a joy. I love listening to her made up songs, made up words, the songs she does know the words for, and the conversations she has with me. For instance:
The other day, Ava used the bathroom and asked for my help wiping. As I am wiping her little hiny she says “holy moley.” “Holy moley what?” I responded. As she finishes a huge sigh, “my poop mama. It was a big poop.” Yep, it sure was.
We visited the chiropractor and Ava was helping Dr. Tiffany with our adjustments. Later at home Matt was asking if she had liked helping and if she would be a chiropractor some day. She considered it and said ” I want to be a saint.” I don’t know that I have had a prouder moment as a parent. I’m never really sure what is sinking in and what is falling on deaf ears, so it was pure joy to hear those words out loud from my little girl.
I also had no idea she knew the words to the Hail Mary until the other day when I was working in the kitchen and she was dancing in the other room singing it to herself.
As for Dominic, he has mama, dadda, and bah bah down. “Bah bah” translates into any ball or balloon. And I guess we have a pirate on our hands because instead of “hi” we get “aye.”
I love a toddler with a lot (or a little) to say.
We are so proud of you, Mary Elizabeth!
As a mother I have realized that I don’t always notice my children growing when everyone else does; but I do have those days every couple of weeks or so where I pick up Dominic or look over at Ava as her skinny little legs carry her across the field at the playground and they feel heavier or look taller. And it’s always a very distinct feeling, palpable even. I love those days and moments and cherish them. I know that they will never again feel that heavy or look that tall.
And it’s those moments that help me to grow as a mother and remind me why I choose to stay home rather than doing any of the 1,078 other things that I could be doing. Getting to feel and watch these kiddos grow into the man and woman that they were created to be is such a privilege and I want to be as much a part of it as possible.