Saturday, April 24, 2010

Painting a Place

The girls had a ball painting their baby sister... feeling all her flopping and fluttering... talking to her from the world she will soon come out to meet. They've pretty much asked to do it about every day since.

It is wild how much more Hope understands this time around. She was, after all, just about three months younger than Maddie is now. While painting away, Hope drew a box and told me to have the baby move inside it so God could protect her right there. She proudly tells others how she's about to have another baby sister, how we don't know her name yet but we will someday soon. She makes little things and gives them to me with instructions to save them for our baby. She sometimes even reverts to talking in a baby voice and reminding us, "I'm still your baby too!":)

To this we tell her, "You'll always be our baby-- our very first baby! And now you also get to be our big girl. You have such a special place in this family."

We read and play lots of pretend to help things along.

Wow... our big girl... our oldest at the ripe age of three.

How we pray for both of the big sisters and their hearts as they accept another member of our family-- a totally new role for Madison! May each of them know how loved and cherished they are. And may God give us lots of wisdom and patience in how to do so all along the way!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What We Gonna Do Today?

Well girls, to answer that favorite morning question...
How about???

Some ice-cream and story telling on a blanket in the backyard? Strawberries, definitely not optional.

Blowing dandelions or bubbles to your heart's delight?

Splashing in our dollar find plastic pool and running through the sprinkler?

Wading in and picnicking by a creek?

Having special guests over for dinner?

Crying at the park over spilled milk even though you were rocking cute, little sand pails?
So maybe we could leave out that last one next time? :)

How about being grateful that God has given us sunshine and a beautiful world???

So many simple ways to enjoy it, and it's my joy to spend this time with you. One thing I know for sure is that things don't always stay the same, and I want to remember you both how you are now when it's raining down sunshine... and that spilled milk stuff.

Until Tomorrow Morning,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Returning on a Jet Plane

Six days with Joe out of town is just about six days too long (even as I type that I think of the many, many who sacrifice months and years at a time for all of us... wow, the admiration and respect!)

Of course, I miss the extra hands and the help... the way he doesn't come in from his long day needing time off, but instead jumps right in to take care of all his girls... the little big things, like the way he almost never lets me do the dishes after I cook a meal. The way he doesn't seem to see the things that I didn't get to, yet loves hearing about how we did choose to spend our hours instead. He truly makes me feel like I have one of the hardest and most important jobs in the world.

But more than all of that, I just miss him.

I miss us working as a team to bathe up, brush up, story up, pray up, love up our girls. Then when their lights go out, save the Christmas twinkles from Hope's room, and their sweet voices turn to steady breathing... we finally really look at each other. It's late in the evening, but it's our time to reconnect. Occasionally we watch a movie, but it's rare that there's television. We may read or fold laundry or catch up the budget. He may even have to do more work, but that's why we put his desk in our bedroom so that as he's typing away I can be near him no matter how late it gets. In fact, that's often when I catch up on e-mails or blogging. My favorite is when we lay up in our bed and talk and talk... and not just because that's when I get the best foot rubs. :)

Certainly we have evenings when things go later than usual with the girls. Evenings when his work calls him away for longer than we'd like. Evenings when we're so tired that all we can do is crash or, worse yet, evenings when we let something stupid get between us.

But I want the girls to know that their Daddy and Mommy are a team, and that we love God and one another first and did so even before we were given three times what we began with. Our prayer is that this same thing will hold true long after they've moved on to make their marks on the world. That they will look to marry partners they respect, enjoy, and treasure. Men who will sacrifice for them and they, in turn, will make sacrifices too... all while doing their best to see to the heart of what God wants for their life together. Both when those decisions are easy and convenient... and when those decisions are terribly difficult and outside of their comfort zones.

Come quickly, jet plane! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

You Can Count On...

1. Hugs and smooches... a lot of them from Nana, the "Queen of All That is Huggin'-n-Smoochin'."
2. Walks up to the barn with PopPop and playing the "I got your nose!" game a few gabillion times while you sit in his big chair.
3. Neat little hideaways and spaces to relax or let your imagination fly free.
4. Chances to be creative... and silly!
5. Food... heavens, the food... like early morning peach smoothies in your jammies.
6. Catching up with Hope's friend, Minnie and Maddie's buddy, George... they're always waiting to be scooped up on that small, heart carved bench in my old bedroom.
7. Surprises... like a family shower on Easter for our Baby Girl! As people were carrying in gifts I--no lie-- joked with them about how, "You shouldn't have just because I'm in town!" I really thought the pink packaging was for a younger cousin's recent birthday. :) It means a lot to be remembered, even this third time around... a reminder that her new life is not just another miracle... it's a miracle all in and of itself! My favorite part was not those girly boxes, though; it was the late afternoon prayers and tears shared over our family. I find myself literally aching to hold her in these days of waiting.
8. Time to sneak away with Aunties... and not enough hands to take pics and keep Maddie from sticking her hands right in the mouths of "MY BIWDS!"
9. Enjoying the world's most lovable dog... insisting he get a proper "night night" EVERY night.
10. That familiar brick house atop a hill that we know will leave the light on for us until next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Best Thing

With some yesterday memories of a legendary long road trip, dye stained hands, and long baths topped off by painting tiny toes the palest of pinks...
We awoke to the sunshine that has begun to spoil us. We also awoke to plenty of opportunities for more memory making...

During the devotional just before the big egg hunt, Hope helped us make yet one more memory that I will treasure up in my heart for some time to come. As I read "The Best Thing About Easter," I paused to insert all the cousins' names into the line that reads, "Jesus died for_____." My voice broke as I looked around at all their sweet faces and that's when Hope interrupted to declare, "And Jesus died for my Nana!" while nodding her head with such untainted assurance. Then gesturing to all the extended family gathered 'round, "He died for all of these, my friends, too!"

Ahh, yes... the very best thing of all.