Thursday, October 3, 2013

September 2013 (originally titled "every month that goes by I know less and less about this parenting thing")

(I think calling this post "September 2013" was a much less intimidating title, don't you?)  But really, I feel like that is a caption behind everything I do lately.  I think we must be moving into that phase of parenting (at least with Lily and Oliver) where it is less physically demanding (usually they aren't hanging off our legs anymore, we're not chasing them out of the street, we're not carrying them around, etc.) and heading into that stage where it's more mentally draining.  We have good kids.  GREAT kids even.  They are at such a fun stage where we can just really enjoy them, laugh with them, and marvel at some of the things they say and do.  And by "marvel", I mean, "freak-out-and-assume-they'll-become-psychopaths".  Actually, I should remove Joel from's mainly just me.  

I love that Oliver and Lily are in great schools and are THRIVING.  Really.  Maybe I should, but I really don't worry about them while they're gone.  They LOVE school.  But every once in a while, I get freaked out when I think how quickly those first years went by--no longer are they "safe" under my loving control all the time.  (okay, I realize that was only a false impression too, I had the illusion of control at best!) 
I tend to get wrapped up in planning and controlling and worrying....and that can be all-consuming.  I can miss out on the really fun things that are going on, and the really great people they are becoming.  There are so many things I want to remember:

*How Brahm says, "thank you!" all the time.  Even when I change his diaper, or help him off the chair.
*How loving Lily is with Brahm, and how, when I'm not there, Brahm cries for her--he wants HER to hold him.
*How Oliver spends hours creating:  writing songs, stories, books, building a wooden sled to carry his adventure gear, building weapons, drawing pictures of a beer-drinking man.....(hence the worrying...)

There is a lot I could be worrying about.  And some days, I'm not very good at resisting that.  But I recently read this in a book, and have found that I frequently go back to it.  It reminds me that ultimately, God is the one at work in their lives--and my biggest contribution will be to love them (albeit imperfectly!) and pray for them. 

"The sooner we realize that it is not about what we do but about what God does, the sooner we will stop focusing on ourselves and our shortcomings, and begin focusing on God and his power.  Likewise, the sooner we quit worrying about doing our part, the sooner we can start rejoicing in the fact that God is doing his part.  And the sooner we recognize that God is at work, the sooner we can jump in and join him."

(from Praying the Scriptures for your Children, by Jodie Berndt)

It's a lot easier to see how God is working in and through my children when I'm not worrying and fretting and harping and trying to control every waking moment.  Good reminders for me, for sure.  

Here is a more light-hearted look at our September:
Joel celebrated a birthday!  The kids gave him a bead, a quarter, and a paper knife they made.  :-)

Brahm coloring with his bear and monkey.  This kid LOVES to color!
And here he is sitting on his favorite chair with Ernie, monkey and bear.  

One evening, we celebrated our animal's birthdays with cupcakes.  We got this idea from my sister-in-law, Erin--and we had to do it, too!  The kids had fun decorating hats for their animals, and then eating the cupcakes for them! 

Here they are, from left to right:  Lily and Cupcake, Brahm and Bear-y, Oliver and Fluff.  (Except that he insists the name is spelled 'Flufe'.  Okay, fine.)

Another picture of Brahm coloring.  Often times, he'll pretend to write letters while saying his whole name.  It sounds like, "Baum....ah-uh (arthur)".  SO cute!

We added an art table in our kitchen, and we spend a LOT of time there.  It is so fun.  

One Saturday morning, we brought our photobooth to the ALS Walk in Wichita.  The kids came with since they had bounce houses, games, food, and a clown there for entertainment.  Brahm spent much of his time hiding under my table....

While Lily and Oliver got tats.  (Okay, it's face paint.  But "tats" sounds cooler.)

 And one more birthday picture. 

Oh, and this one.  I recently read in a book about the youngest children, "prepare to be manipulated".  :-)  Yeah, I could see how that could happen...I'm pretty tight with this little guy!

September is over.  So here's to worrying less, praying for my kids more, and trusting God to work in their lives in much more powerful ways than I ever could! 

1 comment:

Momma H said...

Your kids are great. You and Joel are doing a good job with them. And please enjoy them and what God is doing in their lives. Then you can relax a little. It's all about trust, isn't it? I am still learning that with my grown children!