What A Day

3 am- I am awoken by Kenan, who is definitely trying for a new habit of doing that. Second night. I look around Luke’s side of the bed for the diaper I Just Saw There before I went to bed- no diaper. Since Luke wasn’t home I didn’t clean off his side of the bed, so it was too messy to rummage for the diaper. I went and got one from somewhere else, knowing this did not bode well. We were just about out of diapers, one reason is explained in the previous post, and I had them counted out to get us to Walmart in the nick of time this morning. But then Kenan had to wake up in the middle of the night and throw off the diaper-earth balance. Okay, no problem. I can do this, I thought. I remember having to swaddle baby Aliyah in dish towels at least a couple times; my excuse then would have been a lot better- hey, I have never done this before! Didn’t know I needed to buy diapers in bulk!
Adon is super close to being ready to potty train, meaning I am super close to being ready to potty train him. I like to wait for warmer weather; this makes sense to me as they have less clothes on and accidents outside are not as much of an ordeal. Anyway, I decided I would skip right to the trial period and put underwear on Adon today. Not that I had any other options, like diapers. I made sure he sat on the toilet through my entire shower, though, and when I got out there was evidence in there that he went. Encouraged, we carried on with getting ready for book club and the errand at Walmart, not in that order.We got to the church, where book club was meeting, and Adon had just stepped over the threshold from the carpeted hallway into the tiled nursery when he let loose. I was so grateful it would be a relatively easy clean up, but, couldn’t he have waited another 30 seconds for me to sit him on the potty or get a diaper on him? I’m keeping cool about it, though- it isn’t as if he had any idea what was expected of him.

Tonight we sat down to watch The Croods, when I asked around if anyone had seen Kenan’s pacifier. A few had, but didn’t know where it was now. We paused the movie and scoured the house looking for it. After a half hour or so, we turned the movie back on and I prepared myself for a long night. “Are you ready to wean from your binky tonight, Keeny?” He looked back at me blankly. This precious piece of plastic seems to get lost more since I have started using binky clips; how is that possible? And the possibilities are endless as to where it could be- in the laundry, out in the yard with the nipple chewed off  by the dog (that is where the other binky suffered its demise). Under a bed. In a bed. Beside a bed. After the movie, we continued looking, and finally Caleb found it tangled in his comforter at around 10:00, making this a really late night. Some days seem to revolve around the little boys. This day was certainly an example of that. I can’t wait to see what Elijah brings to the mix.

The Weekend Begins

Luke and Sam left for a backpacking overnight tonight. I had a tough time getting it through my head that they wouldn’t be building any campfires. It’s, ahem, backpacking. Not camping. When Luke was thinking about what he would bring for food, he briefly considered the hot dogs in the fridge. This was the fateful meal before we got the stomach flu, and I have only fixed smoked turkey sausage, their distant cousin, since. But I mentioned how good hot dogs tasted over a fire and Luke just looked at me. Oh, yeah. No fires. It is supposed to rain early tomorrow morning, but they still wanted to go and do this, packing rain gear for the inevitable. “Besides,” I said, “you’ll be able to stay a little bit more comfortable by the fire!” Another look worth a thousand words from Luke. Okay, okay. No fires.

Whenever he is away like that, it is as if the rest of us are on vacation, too. Meals are a bit more relaxed, nutrition wise, and the house gets little more than a lick and a promise. It isn’t that he is a fierce overlord or anything; he’s pretty great about every piece of furniture being sticky all the time. But when he is gone, things are different. Makes us miss him and rejoice at his return.

Tomorrow is our monthly book club meeting- we read Homer Price and really enjoyed it. After that I will probably have to go to Walmart for odds and ends to keep us in business until I do my big shopping trip. It has been at least 3 weeks since I have been able to do a trip like that; we were sick, then had an Easter Egg Hunt last Saturday…Here’s hoping I can get out this Saturday morning. The whole next week runs better when I have been able to get everything. We haven’t had vanilla or cinnamon for a month. I might even forget what cinnamon tastes like.

Saturday night will be a birthday dinner for Micah, our twin, who turns 4. I have been thinking about how grateful I am that even though she does not have her twin sister, Micaiah, she does have two bookends, Anna and Adon. If she wants to play a little more rough, Adon’s her man. If she’s in the mood for her princess skirt and doll house, Anna’s always available. This morning I caught them together; Anna was ‘doing’ Micah’s hair, putting it up on the side with a bobby pin. Later on, Micah came down the hall moaning and sobbing that now Anna wouldn’t allow Micah to put up her hair. “What did you want to do to it?” I asked her. “Put it up in a ponytail,” she cried. “But Anna’s hair is already in a ponytail,” I replied.

“Yeah, but it doesn’t look good. It’s all tangly!” She was certain she could have done a better job.

 

It Belongs To Me

The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years.In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the LORD’s forces left the land. This night had been reserved by the LORD to bring His people out from the land of Egypt, so this same night belongs to Him. It must be celebrated every year, from generation to generation, to remember the LORD’s deliverance. Exodus 12:40-42

Or, I could name this post ‘Better Than Christmas’ because that is becoming more my goal for Easter, year after year. It is critical that I partake of this Holy Day and all it means to me and to all mankind. I was reading in Exodus about the Passover being instituted, and how He says this night belongs to Him. How much more, then, should the day Jesus became sin on my behalf and delivered me?

I shrink with guilt, though, at my schedule this weekend. It seems like maybe I will be too busy ‘celebrating’ to really be devoting the time to Him. But I do want to try.

The sacrifice You want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17

With unfailing love You will lead this people whom You have ransomed. You will guide them in Your strength to the place where Your holiness dwells. Exodus 15:13

Poor Everybody

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Kenan was the first to get sick- right as he got up Friday morning. When the baby gets sick, there is still the hope that we all will not get it. He had it pretty bad, though, being willing to sit for hours in the rocker and doze. Then yesterday evening as Luke was grilling hot dogs for dinner, Adon fell ill. Okay, fine, no problem…he is little, too. The bug could be targeting those with less immunity…
But then, last night was a mess. So many of the children got sick so often I lost count how many times I got up out of bed to assist them. Aliyah and Sarah were real troopers, helping Luke and me change sheets and give baths. I was so grateful I wasn’t feeling it come on myself, and that Luke was okay so far, too. Luke did finally succumb this morning, and I did this afternoon. Poor us.
I still would say that, even in my advanced pregnancy and feeling ill, I got a lot of laundry done today! We have much to do tomorrow to get the house back into shape, things that can’t happen until people are all better. But I was happy I could use the more lucid moments today to get a good start on the clean up effort.
As I hauled another load of laundry downstairs and paused on the porch, I couldn’t help but be uplifted by the warm breezes and sunshine of this day. The verse came to mind,
This is the day that the LORD has made,
let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
And I realized, this day, Palm Sunday, is in fact the day that is talked about in this verse! Somewhere I heard that this psalm is prophetic that way. Cool! So even though we missed the palm branch parade and Aliyah’s first piano solo for offeratory (don’t worry, we’ll be sure to get a video of the rescheduled event), it was and is still a day for rejoicing and being glad. We have a good God, we are together, we can take care of each other, and we have beds and pillows on which to lay our weary heads. Which is where I am headed now.

The Last Photo Together

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I was telling some people that the last (and only) time we got a picture taken of all ten children was at the fair. Then I realized that I had never gotten around to putting it on my blog. At least, I don’t think I ever did. Not sure how to search my archives for it, if I did. So here it is.

Here’s Lookin’ At You

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Luke was able to catch Adon in a compliant mood last Thursday and cut his hair. We knew it needed done, and I definitely wanted to see his and Kenan’s cut before Easter. Kenan’s is so thin and fine, it may look bad if we cut it too short. We’ll see. The morning after his haircut, Adon got the big mirror out of the bathroom drawer and walked around looking at his reflection. If someone would walk by, he’d turn the mirror to them and say, “See me?” I’m not expecting such vanity from Kenan, but I would like to see him walking more. Each day he takes a few more steps, but it is slow going. I know he’s had the ability since Christmas, when he found he could push the girls’ new baby doll stroller down the hallway all by himself. I wondered if I should have furnished him with a walker-type toy after that; maybe he would have picked himself up sooner than this. Oh, well. Another deterrent to his walking is the many hands around making him have light work. 🙂

The end of our school year is in sight, and I am already thinking about how to make next year better. Aliyah is getting old enough to be needing more rigorous study; I want to spend time researching homeschooling for the higher grades, to try to achieve something closer to a high school schedule and expectations from her as a student. One of the hardest things I have to do is hold my kids to the assignments and school tasks I give them. It is easy to give them work to do, not so easy to check if it was done properly, or sometimes even done at all. A continuing challenge! Maybe part of Aliyah’s courseload will be grading papers for me. 🙂

I considered going to the Cincinnati homeschool convention at the end of April, but when things weren’t working out for us all to go, I wasn’t feeling all that disappointed. Just thinking about the packing and traveling and walking we would do made me tired. Just as well. Luke can do my bidding for me- a book purchase and looking for high school materials and encouragement for Aliyah.

Today was her yearly eye exam, and she came home with a new prescription for glasses and…wearing a sample pair of contact lenses on her eyeballs!

It was a milestone, to be sure. We’ll have to see how it works out. Luke thinks she ought to get the most out of this trial pair, maybe only use them this summer when she goes swimming, sporadic-like. But she seemed to enjoy the freedom and newness of this experience today, so I don’t doubt she’ll keep trying them out for the next 2 weeks at least, until the doctor wants to see her again.

Teaching times like this are difficult for me. I have to show how to do a thing, then trust the child (or barely still a child) to follow my lead. I can’t put the contacts in her eyes; she has to find her own way. She was telling me about a girl she read about in a book who was trying to do a bunch of firsts, like getting contacts, one right after the other, and the adventures and misadventures that resulted. I congratulated Aliyah on another milestone reached, but thanked her for not trying to hit them all at once. One of God’s graces is one step at a time.

Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus
and tomorrow may never be mine
So for my sake teach me to take
one day at a time

Prepare To Be Amazed

But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they won’t believe me. They will ask, ‘Which god are you talking about? What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God replied, “I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” God also said, “Tell them, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob- has sent me to you.’ This will be my name forever; it has always been my name, and it will be used throughout all generations.” Exodus 3:13-15

Second only to the magnificent and unthinkable thought that God has always been (pause to try to think about that), is the amazing and mindbending thought that He has always had a name. Did He give Himself a name? No, that would mean there was a time when He did not have a name, and as we can see from the verses above, His name is ‘the God who always is’ so His name says it all. Just pausing in my busy day to try to think about that is like a fresh breath of air. He is so holy. He is so ‘other’. He cannot be described fully with my vocabulary. Here is a great song that I think of when I think of His eternal-ness.

I am reading a book right now, 10 Ways To Destroy The Imagination of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen. This book is full of tongue in cheek humor and reverse psychology, of course, and this last passage I read talked about never letting your child lie in the grass and look up at the sky. I still do that sometimes, and it is truly a scary experience that makes me feel small and realize the vastness of so many other things God created.

Friday we read about sharks. I wanted a visual (I always do) for just how big these animals are, and so we got some painter’s tape and ran strips down the hallway that would be demonstrative of the length of an assortment of sharks. Dogfish shark, a mere 8 inches. Great White, 20 feet. But the one to stretch the tape and the mind is the Whale shark, a whopping 50 feet of fin and teeth, meaning he would not even fit in our narrow hallway, if we wanted to bring him home for a visit. I still am looking at these tape lines and cannot fathom an animal that big. Let alone whales or the giant squid ‘Kraken’, whose tentacles are said to be 40 feet long and is suspicioned to have capsized many ships in his heyday. Yikes.The cute part about the tape, though, was that no sooner was it laid down on the floor, but the boys decided to fashion them into roads for their cars, with more tape to join them and dotted, dividing lines. Later it became runways for their starships, made out of duplos. At first I found it irksome that they could not even stay with the shark theme for more than five minutes, but since I am reading this book I noticed how wonderful it is that they can look at a thing and almost instantly have multiple ideas for play.

And maybe it is a case of not being able to wrap their minds around God’s gigantic creations for too long, and drifting back to what they can comprehend. I’m that way, too. After I give Your name some thought, and what it says about You, I am ready to do something else, too. But, like the psalmist, I’ll be back.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?