Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Forever

While driving around we passed a cemetery. Harrison has just started recently paying attention to things out his window and asked what all the flowers were for.
We explained about graves, and the bodies buried there, but that the person's soul has gone on to live in either Heaven or Hell. We used the opportunity to again reaffirm to him our need for God's grace and forgiveness for our salvation so we can live in Heaven.
Harrison asked if various family members would be in Heaven. He asked about living with Jesus all the time and never being afraid about dying. He listened for a long time as we answered his questions as best as we thought an almost 3 year old could understand.
Finally he said, "I like Heaven a lot! I can't wait to live there...it will be fun forever!"

Monday, January 30, 2012

Boy in Boots

A boy...
his boots...
some puddles...
and rain...
...is pure joy.
Last shot is for Paper Mama and Sweet Shot

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Twenty-Four Hours

"Mommy, you should go check on Jeffrun," Harrison told me when I got him up from bed. I told him Jefferson was sleeping. He hadn't been feeling well, let's let him sleep. Yet Harrison insisted I go get "Jeffrun" up too.
I'm glad I listened. Jefferson was gasping for breath in his crib. He was listless and hot with fever. He would not open his eyes or interact. Jeff had been diagnosed with RSV the day before, but had gone downhill quick.
Jefferson had now become dehydrated and was going to be admitted to a children's hospital if things didn't turn around soon. We prayed, family prayed, friends prayed...and God answered...fast! Twenty-four hours ago Jeff was gasping for air, listless, and moaning. Twenty-four hours ago he was feverish, dehydrated, and hospital bound.
But today our happy guy is smiling, laughing, talking, and playing. He is spitting out his tongue to blow raspberries, he is batting at his brother, and he is throwing his cup across the room like a pro-ball pitcher. He is our testimony that God sees further than twenty-four hours and we thank Him for that!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who's The Man?

Harrison: I'm your man mommy. When Daddy is at work, I'm your man and I take care of you...
...Daddy said I'm the man when he is not here. I protect you and Jefferson and kill all the bad guys.
...No one will hurt you 'cuz I will fight them and beat them! You love me mommy, you take care of me all the time...
...and I will take care of you all the time. Because I'm the man and I will be right here for all the days and minutes.
(What Harrison explained to me after a particularly long morning. What a blessed lady I am!)
First shot is for Show Off, second shot is for You Capture.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hundred Acre Words

Sometimes...
if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge
and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly beneath you...
you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.
-Winnie the Pooh

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lunch Date

Between work schedules, baby schedules, and sports schedules, family dinners around the table don't always happen.
So one of our most looked forward to events during the work week is our lunch date. Harrison anticipates these dates almost more than I do! We drive into town, pick up Matt, and get lost for the lunch hour as a family.
We enjoy escaping the routine and breaking up our days with "the chip place" or the "bread and cheese place"...more commonly known as Chipotle and Jimmy Johns.
These special dates have been celebrated since Harrison was a baby and I hope we can look forward to many years of lunch dates to come.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seat Taken

There was a little wooden stool in the hall bathroom at my grandparent's house. It sat right under the sink. It was the perfect size to climb up on to reach the dual spigot sink and wash off the dirt from helping in Mamaw's garden or the sticky raspberry juice after our snack with Grandpa.
My beloved stool was also easily carried out to the back bedroom where Mamaw kept a tin of fake bugs, a box of colored wood blocks, and some of my favorite books. The wooden stool flipped up to transform into a seat just the right size and I would sit contentedly getting lost in "Harry By The Sea" and "Come Over to My House".
The little wooden stool my Mamaw acquired from collecting stamps and redeeming them at Sears, had been used by my Dad as a boy. I am sure he never imagined his daughter sitting in it one day. And as a dirt and raspberry covered little girl, I never picture my own little boy using that stool in the same way.
But here I am, watching those beloved chubby bare feet on the stool to aid his reach to the faucet, cleaning his own dirty, sticky fingers. I see his excitement to run get the stool and flip it into a chair as he settles in with his own literary classics of "The Little Train that Could", and "Virginia". I love that the little wooden seat has held three generations of curiosity, helpfulness, and wild imaginations. This is one seat that has always, lovingly, been taken.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Operation Check-Out

This post has nothing to do with the ridiculously cute pictures of my littlest man, but what is a post without pictures? I just wanted to share with you and challenge you to join us in Operation Check-Out.
Between diaper changes, laundry, vacuuming, and contested nap times, the stay at home mom can feel that she has little to contribute, especially in the area of service and ministry. It is easy to make excuses and feel like there is not much you can do.
Having been recently challenged about being mission minded, I wondered how I could go on overseas mission trips. Then it hit me, foreign missions are very important, but there are lost and lonely people right here around me. My mission field is anyone outside my door and the "mission team" is my boys.
Thus launched "Operation Check-Out". We make a point to engage our check-out clerk in a conversation wherever we are, the grocery store, fast food, or the mall. Slowly over time we have built relationships with individuals at many locations. These conversations are simple but deeper than a "Hi, how are you?" and seem to be very welcomed.
We have met Katie, a single mom of three desperately trying to make ends meet. She feels hopeless and alone. After weeks of me telling her I was praying for her she now looks for us to come through her line and gives me updates & more prayer requests. We met Kareem who escaped Iran 15 years ago amidst political warfare. There's been Judy and Kyle, and Bill and many others just needing to have someone to talk to.
You don't have to go oversees, out of state, or another time zone to seek the lost and hurting. You just have to look across the street, in your grocery store, or at your doctor's office. These people mindlessly scanning your bread and milk have questions, fears, doubts and hopes. Some are seeking our Savior and you've been blessed with an opportunity to share our hope in Christ all because you ran out of cereal. I challenge you to join us in "Operation Check-Out". Open your hearts and eyes to the mission field in front of you. If you are willing, God will give you the confidence and words to be a light for Him.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cheap Entertainment

Some of my best playtime memories involve a large cardboard box. Dad would cut out doors and windows and Mom would arm us with fistfuls markers and crayons.
Our creativity would take us hours into a make believe world. We made the best houses, covered wagons, and carriages. I was so excited when we got a large box and I told Harrison to go at it.
But, let me tell you...boys do not make houses from cardboard boxes, nor do they draw cute little pictures on the inner walls. Nope, within minutes the box had been a space ship, an armored tank, and then a charging bear.
The poor corrugated walls were reduced to ruins as my line backer in training tackled it to the ground. My ideas to construct a fort were dismissed in favor of designating it a crash landing site for blind leaps off the couch.
So, we may not be hiding out in any cardboard forts around here, but I don't think my little man could have had more fun as he wrestled, tackled, and conquered that box. Sure was great entertainment...for both of us.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Harrison

Harrison: Mommy, you are small now.
Me: Huh?
Harrison: Last year you were not small...you were VERY big! Cuz Jeffrun was in your tummy!
Harrison: What are these called we are eating?
Me: Fish sticks, they are made from fish.
Harrison: Can mine be shark sticks instead?
Harrison: Oh no! The bad stole the day! I'll get it back!
Me: The bad guy stole the day?
Harrison: Yeah, I need to get it back
(After a long imaginary battle with an unseen foe...)
Harrison: I got it Mommy! I got the day back! I saved the day!
After kissing him good night and tucking him in, he reaches his little hand to cup my face, looks me in the eyes and says, "Mommy, I will love you for always!"
(Your eyes are not imaging things, nor is there dirt on my camera lens. The lovely crusty yellow ring around Harrison's mouth is from the mac 'n cheese he had just devoured...what a boy!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby IQ

Don't let anyone tell you babies don't understand, are too young to communicate, or have to be older to get what's happening. After two of these little guys I can tell you all the above are false.
The slobber, chubby cheeks, and impish grins are just a ploy. These little people are brilliant. One look into Jefferson's eyes and you can just tell his creative mind is at work making a plan to carry out in his favor.
This guy has no problem getting his point across, whether he wants to be cuddled, let loose, or devour his own Venti Frappaccino. He calculates and executes his attacks on eye glasses, ponytails, and plates of food better than any special ops team.
He has no problem communicating his issues with the word "no" and is starting to get that we aren't changing our minds on using it. But he has a "Plan B" for anytime he senses our displeasure. With a heart melting grin and a sloppy kiss on the cheek, this brilliant master mind is released from all ire.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Repeat

Do you want to know the one word kids say over and over. It's not what you're thinking. Before kids I thought the word of choice was "No!" I had heard it screamed by tiny humans while learning social injustices before and I just assumed that was all 2 year olds knew how to say.
Harrison broke that expectation for me. Not that he doesn't use the word "no", but there is another word, one that won't quit and keeps coming over and over, no matter what you say, how you answer, or where you hide...yes, I've tried to hide, don't judge.
It's the word "why?" Harrison follows every sentence, every statement, every spoken thought with "Why?" Nothing is safe from the question. Time for lunch...why? Because it's the time of day we eat lunch...why? Because our bodies need food...why? Because that's the way God made us....why? And then I say it...the mother of all mother sayings. It pops out before I catch it and I realize I'm a mom. "Because I said so; that's why."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Awe

I love watching the boys' faces as they discover something new. Their eyes-wide-open expression makes me stop and look too. I find myself re-discovering right along with them.
I don't know what happens to us as we grow and become "been there, done that" minded. Why do we take for granted, and all too often forget, the little miracles we are surrounded by. Thanks to my little men, we've laughed at the hyper jump of a tree frog, traced the intricate design of a spider web, and chased clumsy beetles down the side walk.
Yes, thanks to my boys we usually end the day with mud on our feet, dirt under our nails, a few band-aids, and bruised shins. But to Harrison and Jeff new wonders are around every corner and I'm having a blast re-discovering right along with them.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just For Pretend

Two year olds have a really hard time differentiating between pretend and reality. Case and point?
My two year old believes cars can talk, he could get burned on his pretend grill, and that jumping off the back of the couch will launch him into orbit.
In his little world bad guys are defeated with a down slash of a Nerf sword or with his neon green plastic water pistol.
To him the cartoon characters he admires on screen are as real as any actor we would clamor to see walk the red carpet.
So when he saw his animated heroes in gigantic proportions you can imagine his wide eyed awe. He stood motionless hardly believing what he was seeing.
One day he'll figure out that Po isn't real, that race cars can't talk to each other, and that they all remain burned on the back of a DVD. But for right now, it sure is fun to watch him meet his "heroes" and remember what it was like to not know the difference between for real and pretend.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Half A Year

Some days drag by and some days fly. The long sleepless nights faded into memory and the calendar kept turning and before we knew it 6 whole months have been made fuller because of this guy.
My sweet little man, you are half a year old and growing bigger by the minute! You are wearing 6 months to 12 months size clothes and size 3 diapers.
At your check-up this week you weighed 17lbs. 12oz. and were almost 27" long. You eat like a vacuum. You are not picky and will eat anything in front of you...peas, squash, apples, fingers, hair, spoons.
Your personality cracks me up. You like to fake cough to get attention. You copy most noises and can make car sounds right along with your big brother, not to mention other less endearing sound effects.
(This is a happy face by the way)
You "talk" all the time and make a high pitch squeal at the person you want to converse with in order to get their attention. Bath time is your favorite part of the day. You roll and sit up and laugh contagiously.
You are a joy in our lives and every minute of every day is richer with you a part of our family. We are proud of the little man you are becoming, Jefferson. We love you! Happy 6 months!