Sunday, April 12, 2015

Put a Heart on It

Our youngest child loves to stand over our shoulders and tell us what she approves of on various social media sites.   As we scroll through things on our phones or computer she will shout out, "Put a heart on it!" when she likes what she sees.

Lydia gives out hearts fairly freely, pushing us all to "like" and love with a similar seven-year-old abandon.

Here are some things I want to 'put a heart on' and remember...

  • In March of 2015 we welcomed a bunch of people into the mosquito-filled guest room. Britt, Paige, Graham, Vince, and Dr, Jen all arrived in the month of March.
  • The last couple weeks are a blur of activity.  I close my eyes and see babies crowning. After so many nights of interrupted sleep, the entire staff stops speaking their second language, remembering names of their children, or how to find their way to the grocery store a half mile away. As you can imagine, things get very hilarious. Freak laughter turning into tears is one of many warning flags that a looooong sleep is needed.
  • The kids have been enjoying the temporary addition of Caroline at their school.  Their teacher, Jimmy, has been juggling five grades and a lot of curriculum and Caroline has proven to be especially helpful in the Mathematics department.  She leaves for her new grown-up life in TN in less than a month and Troy and I are bracing ourselves for sad kids.
  • Easter Sunday was good, even sans Troy-boy we enjoyed the day. At our little house church we had communion. Because I was seated right next to the table it was being offered, I saw an opportunity to serve each of my kids their communion without disrupting anyone else. I served Lydia and Phoebe, then Hope. To each of them I whispered, "This is Christ's body, broken for you. This is Christ's blood, shed for you." They nodded in agreement and solemnly and took the bread and juice from me. I motioned for the boys to come to the table. Noah arrived and I handed him his bread and said, "This is Christ's body broken for you." He looked at me with an expression of disgust and insult and said, "Yeah. I know that." OkkeeeDokee. Noted.  If you want to see how that makes the folks that serve you communion feel, I suggest you try that response for yourself some time.
  • Troy went to Peru for 9 days and had an amazing time with two friends. Collectively they left 13 kids and 3 wives (one per) behind to have their little faux mid-life crisis adventure.  It sounds like they were fairly responsible and had epic fun motorbiking through the Sacred Valley beneath the Andes Mountains. Troy said it was breathtakingly beautiful.
  • Kids know when they have parents at their wits end.  When my kids are being blind, and don't seem to recognize my dwindling patience, I usually just announce that they are all at risk of having their entire head removed in one swift bite.  The last night Troy was away I instructed kids to go shower. We usually have a little negotiation over who will use which shower.  It's dumb, I don't know why we do it.  Anyway, they all took off and I sat in the kitchen chatting with Jen and KJ for a bit.  When I went upstairs to tuck the two little ones in we chatted and tickled (a favorite thing to do right before sleep because stupid parenting) for a few minutes. As I said goodnight - Lydia said, "Oh dang, we hurried up to shower and get ready for nothing. I thought you were in a bad mood but you're not." 
  • Hope got to go to the Dominican Republic with friends this weekend. Three teenagers and three brave 20-somethings took the border by storm and went off on a girls weekend. With Hope away and the boys gone at a sleepover, Troy and I had one night with only the last two children.  We asked them what they wanted to do with the special night of just the two of them?  They requested to drink Sprite and go buy ice-cream at the grocery store. We jumped in the car quickly and made sure to enjoy a chance-evening with the "baby" girls. We let them choose their ice cream and served gargantuan bowls of it.  Phoebe noted that, "Some day when the big kids are in college, we will party like this and eat ice cream with Mom and Dad every time we want!"  Possibly feeling bad for enjoying the absence of her siblings she added, "The big kids will just be able to buy Sprite for themselves whenever they want and drink it all day long."
  • Our friends (John Dols and Josh Dwyer) from Minnesota brought a group from the High School they work at for a week in Haiti. They were hosted by another ministry. We met up with them once for dinner and once for a beach day. On the dinner night the kids were asked questions. "What is your favorite fast food to eat when you go to the USA?" was one question that left five kids staring like deer in headlights.  Hope finally came through with, "PeiWei".  Then we determined that fast food is not our favorite at all and the question itself was flawed. Our kids had been invited the previous year to the beach day and had expectations based on the group from last year.  Sometime mid-day Noah informed me that this year's teenagers were much less interested in hanging out and rowdy housing on the beach. He said, "I guess they only brought introverts this year."

Hiking above Cazale in late March 

double date with Caroline and Vince
Jen was here 12 days to help with kids and driving 
Easter Sunday 

four of the six babies from April babystorm week 2015

Hope making chocolate in the D.R. this weekend