Thursday, June 27, 2019

Three Things Lately

It's been a nice but busy week with the oldest three at VBS. I've come to realize that I don't drive hardly anywhere these days. Our grocery store, pharmacy, library, drive thru coffee shop, and city park are all within a mile of our house (essentials, y'all.) So, the daily drive to and from the host church for drop off and pick up that is a whopping 15 minutes away feels like we are in the car all day, when in reality comes out to just an hour a day.

In essence, I'm a wimp.

Overseas it was at least 20 minutes to a grocery store, longer for just about any errand. When we returned to the US we regularly made 12-13 hour drives, often just myself in the car with the three kids.

I've lost my stamina it seems.

Something I haven't lost my stamina for? Heat! It reached 100 here yesterday and I didn't even break a sweat. I didn't really choose to stay out in it all day but it wasn't a factor in why I hurried the kids home after VBS. The kids have completely become acclimated to American "heat waves," though, complaining the whole time.

I remind them unwaveringly merciless how hot Abu Dhabi was, with one hundred percent humidity, and that they are tougher than they think.

They cry and ask to stay inside with a popsicle.

All of this thought of then and now got me thinking about how quickly things change and I wanted to share some of our life updates.

1.) Ian still works. Ha! I guess that's good. About 9 months ago he accepted a new position with more responsibility and some more travel. If we had about an hour I could explain what he does but for now, let me quote my good friend Alison vis a vis FRIENDS:

"He's a Transpondster!"

Yup, an avionics transpondster, who gets to travel to China and Singapore, England and France.

2.) We celebrated our 11th anniversary two weeks ago! It's really hard to believe. I still feel like just yesterday I was walking down that aisle to say "I do," to the most handsome, loving, smart, strong, and adventurous guy I know.

3.) For Father's Day Ian was given a ticket to fly down and spend the weekend with his Dad (and mom and brother!) in Florida. I'm pretty sure they just ate and hung out between meals but it sounds like everyone had fun and Ian had a rare non work related trip away.

Brittney (me, in case that was confusing.)
1.) I'm deep in a hole of reading. I can't read at night because I will fall asleep (I'm old, I know,) but I do have a nice pattern of reading in the morning rather uninterrupted.

By the time Ben goes down for his long morning nap I have showered, made my bed, the kids have had breakfast, gotten dressed, and made their beds, and I sit and eat breakfast, drink coffee, and read for about 20 minutes. Sometimes it turns out to be more like an hour! It's a nice summer break routine for me and the kids are being helpful with making sure they occupy themselves for awhile.

2.) Puzzles!! I love doing puzzles but for the last couple of years I've had no place I could do them without little people ruining them or without taking up our only table space. In the new house we have this gigantic island that I've set out a 1,000 piece puzzle and work on it whenever I'm waiting for water to boil or when the kids are briefly occupied. It's been nice! Since we do not have small group at our home for the summer I don't feel a rush to get it finished or to have the space cleared off and I'm really enjoying it.

3.) The house. Sigh. It's so nice but there are so many projects, do you know what I mean? I'm not really sure what to devout our time and resources to first. I think that we are going to get all of the pictures on the wall this weekend so that's an easy (and free,) feat to accomplish. I painted a small area and the verdict is still out on whether we want it to stay painted or revert back to a neutral, so that kind of feels like a project failure.


1.) She's growing up! It all seems unreal that we have an 8 year old and that her interests and activities are maturing as she does. I have a hard time keeping up with it and balancing it with what the world says she be allowed to do/say/watch with what we want her to do/say/watch but also allowing for growth beyond what we expect for her preschool aged brother. She's begging us for a sleepover but we just don't have grown-ups with a little girl that have the same value and that we trust enough for that here with us.

2.) Grace is quite the gymnast! She attends a once a week recreational level class (because four kids means budget and time restraints,) but I often wonder if she'd enjoy to do it a little more. Also, if you've ever wondered what it would be like to live in a home where a child does at least 200 cartwheels a day, come on over, we've got answers for your questions.

3.) Both girls have recently gotten into the American Girls historical novels and it makes my heart so happy. Grace just read Molly, which was one of my favorites, and we've been having alot of discussions on World War 2. She made the connection between the setting for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Molly and had alot of questions. Mainly if Aslan would come out of the wardrobe and visit Molly, but still, connections.

1.) Sophia is 6 and a half and is a funny place between bitty girl and big girl. I feel like I'm learning alot about what makes her tick lately. Quality time and words of affirmation are big on her list. She's begging for a vacation and she looks up to ask what I think of whatever she's doing approximately every 30 seconds.

2.) Sophia passed her swim test at our local neighborhood pool! Actually, both girls did, which means that they can both go swimming in the non baby pool without me and go on the diving board and everything! I was so surprised that Sophia passed as she is still figuring out the mechanics of it all. She's one determined little girl!

3.) Sophia is such a sweet, kind, loving kid. One thing she's not? Outgoing. And sometimes that shyness can come across as rude or unkind. THis week, for VBS, I challenged her to step a little outside of her comfort zone, just to learn the name of a new friend in her class every day.

I told the kids that I didn't care if they forgot their memory verse every day, if their craft project was ruined, or if their VBS team didn't win with points. What I did care about was if they were kind to people. Did they look around and see if anyone was all alone? Did they sit next to them? Ask a question or two to make them feel involved.

Do you have a shy kid? How do you encourage kindness to others when they are wrestling with their own shyness?

1.) He says the funniest things, really. Just this morning, when the sunlight hit him just right he exclaimed "I've got fur on my legs, just like Daddy!"

Last week, when asked how a spot of water got on a library book he replied "I think a bird spit on it. And then maybe I spilled some water."

2.) Luke starts Pre-K this fall! Last year he was just along for the ride and although play is still his main priority he will have a little more to do at home and will get to be a part of our Classical Conversations community! I'm most nervous about him staying at the table for those three hours but I think he will come around to it- there is lots of movement and noise making allowed.

3.) I recently got a bill from his four year old check-up. They included a hearing test on the bill that he most definitely was not administered. How do I know? Because I ask myself EVERY DAY if he has hearing problems. And I keep thinking I should ask a professional but then I'm in the doctor's office with four kids and I just plain forget. Everyone just tells me it is little boy syndrome but the kid doesn't even respond to his own name when in crowds or when not looking you in the eye, so I've got questions that need to be answered, whether by time or by an evaluation.


1.) Ben's 8 months old! He's sitting, rolling over, eating like a champ, saying Mom-mom and Da-Da and laughing his head off at his crazy siblings. He love jumping in the exersaucer and splashing in his sink baths. He still hates the car seat.

2.) Ben went on a swing for the first time this week and really enjoyed it! I didn't have access to baby swings when the other three were little so it feels like such a treat to enjoy him enjoying it.

3.) Ben does not enjoy drop off situations. Or being held by other people. Or being away from me ever. SO, VBS in two weeks when I am working it and he is in nursery care for 4 hours at a time will be interesting.

1 comment:

Callie said...

I love this post structure! I might have to steal it from you. ;-) That's a great idea about keeping the puzzle out on your island, I might have to try that. We rarely do puzzles, but I think Derek and I might enjoy doing one together. And YES, I have a shy child too. I really like how you are handling that with VBS, asking if they were kind to other kids today. I might have to put in a little more thought and instruction in this area for my shy kiddo. It's kind of a selective shyness though, so I never know when it's going to strike, which makes it hard to know how to prepare them until afterward. :-/ And I totally get it about sleepovers. We are probably going to be a sleepover-free family, unless it's with cousins or possibly with friends that we know REALLY well and trust alot. It's tough. The world has changed so much since I was a kid, so that doesn't help.