Happy First Birthday, my little Abiyoyo, my sweet Abbracadabra, my cute Abba Dabba Doo, my ever-moving Virginia Creeper. It is hard to believe that you are one already. Seems such a short time ago you were the tiniest thing, and I was worried those legs would never get any fat on them. But you’ve rounded out nicely.
It comes out sounding a little weird, but each child in our family seems to be loved a little more. Maybe a better way of putting it is that I am a little better at loving each time around, and there are more siblings each time to share in the wonderful burden of loving Baby. In any case, you are the most babied baby I think I have ever seen, possibly in the whole world.
On this day, your birthday, I want to take the opportunity to warn you that some of this babying will come to an end, very soon.
First, you have gotten to sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s room the longest of anyone, but the time has come for you to move upstairs with your sisters. This has been tried at least twice in the past, with Lazy Mommy giving up after a few nights of you up in the night, crying. Sixth Sense Sarah Beth would wake up when she heard you, come downstairs to haunt stand beside our bed, until one of us would be scared awake and go up to plug your pacifier back in. Mommy has a plan this time to surround your sleeping head with a halo of pacifiers, so if you wake up and notice binky missing, there are two or more right at arm’s reach. That, and to train Sister Dearest to first try plugging you back in before she thinks of spooking waking anyone else. You can handle this. I know you can.
Next thing to go will be the bottles. Right now you act like a sippy cup is a projectile, or at best, a device to get a good drumming sound out of your highchair tray. Soon you will need to drink what is in there, because it is all you will get. That brings us to the subject of solid food- you actually need to eat some of it, to continue growing. I know that the Chiquita Banana woman’s attire, and Mommy’s shirt, are a little misleading, but the purpose of food is to eat, not so much to wear. You’ve got on a cute onesie that doesn’t need any more ornamentation; let’s practice putting food in your mouth, and not seeing it replayed on your chin/outfit/seat.
Other than these few things I mentioned, there aren’t too many ways in which life will need to change, right away, now that you are one. There will still be a surplus of hugs and kisses, siblings wanting to squeeeeeeze you tight and show you how much they care. You are still the baby of the family for a few more months. But soon you’ll take more control on those little chubby legs of yours and start walking away from us. I often mourn: first you’ll crawl away, then walk away, then drive away, then move away…then you send away for money. That is life.
It has been a joy having you in our lives this past year, Abbie. We love you more than we can say, and thank God for giving you to us.
I found this great list, of 100 things for children to do when they’re bored, last summer, but didn’t get to many of the things on it. This summer, I have a feeling I’ll be needing it a lot more. Aliyah will walk outside on a beautiful, warm day, swing a few times, then walk back inside and say there’s nothing to do. Help is here for those times! Thanks to Sherry Early at Semicolon for compiling this gem. Many of the items on the list link to instructions/more information, so don’t even go to the list until you have a good chunk of free time. I know, I know. Rare.
With Dr. Falwell’s death, and the memories flooding back of going through all that with Don, I am spurred on once again to blow the dust off of, crack open (really, this time!) read Heaven, by Randy Alcorn. Judging from the boarding pass I found between the pages dated 26JAN2006, it has been a while since I picked it up from the shelf. I have it listed on my ‘Spring Reading Thing‘ book list, and really might have gotten to it after I finished The Mommy Survival Guide last week, but Meredith had to go and recommend this book, The $64 Tomato, on her blog, so I started that instead. It is a hilarious book. I was really enjoying reading it, but now feel like I shouldn’t be spending time finishing a book about a man and his expensive garden, when I could be reading about the Man preparing The Garden To End All Gardens. So, just a note here, to tell you I am back on my reading list, and going at a good pace to finish by June 21. That way there’ll be two things to celebrate. Hmmm, wonder what the other thing is?
I won’t be able to fully express here how much it means to me and my siblings that your marriage has remained intact all these years. Having your faithfulness to each other be the pattern I came to know growing up, I believe I went into marriage having it slightly easier than my contemporaries of divorced parents. We are very blessed to have not faced that kind of death in our family. In fact, there are innumerable benefits to me, my children, and my children’s children of your choice to stay committed to one another, that we enjoy because we have not had to suffer from the trauma that you separating from one another would have caused. Today, I thank God for your life together. May there be many more years to celebrate…
Rev. Jerry Falwell, the chancellor of my alma mater, Liberty, passed from death into life this morning, May 15, 2007. My first thoughts upon hearing the news were that the circumstances surrounding his death were very similar to those of my father-in-law, Don. Both were working in their study, and for both it was their heart that stopped working, before the men were ready to stop working, I imagine. I like to think that, for both these men of God, He took them instantly to be with Him as a sort of reward for a job well done. I am certain He welcomed both men with open arms.
My other thought was, thank You, God, for Dr. Falwell’s life, his existence. Thank You for this man who had such vision, and was blessed enough to see much of that vision become reality during his lifetime. Jerry Falwell asked for a mountain, and God gave it to him. What a lasting legacy. I am grateful to be a graduate of the fruit of his labors.
If he said this once, he said it a hundred times:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
There are a few things in life I could say I have a vision to see accomplished. Remembering Dr. Falwell helps me remember to be bold in the pursuit of these things, that God gets the glory and that my witness draws others to Him.
I hope to be seeing you and Don again real soon.
My late father-in-law, Don, was the kind of person that, if his basement is any indication, resisted throwing anything away. It was my observation that when time would come to part with an object or store it, he would think to himself, ‘this may not be useful to me now, but I just may need something like this down the road, so I had better keep it, just in case.’
Many people are this way. I am not; I think my children will be thankful for the way I am when they have to take care of my (few) possessions after I am gone- I hope all that remains of my life is useful and beneficial. Because Don was a bit of a packrat, it has taken us a while to go through all of his stuff. It has gotten overwhelming and stressful for loved ones to deal with the things left behind, but I have also seen sweet times of “Oh, I remember when he did that…” reminiscence for his wife, siblings, children, and friends, in the process of cleaning out. One such time was when we were needing some batteries. Carol came from one of Don’s workspaces with a ziploc bag of them, and tucked inside with the batteries was a note that read, “Used, but still have some life.” This dear, frugal man certainly wouldn’t have thrown out half-spent batteries! We have since used up all of the batteries that were in that bag. But I couldn’t bring myself to throw away that little piece of paper with Don’s handwritten words on it. I got to thinking how so many things under Heaven can be described in that way: Used, but still have some life. For starters, us. Not many of us came to the Lord in brand-spankin’ new condition, without a dent or scratch. But God looked upon us, and instead of throwing us away, found a new use for us in His kingdom, with a new lease on life.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7
What other things can you think of, to which you could attach a note that read, “Used, but still has some life”? Luke, ever the comedian, stuck the paper to my chest one day. Yes, I have successfully nourished many a baby, and plan to feed this one to come that way- an ability in which to be thankful.:) Feel free to add your “still have life” list in a comment or an email. I’ll post the additions I get next week.
How grateful I am that God is in the business of recycling.
On Wednesday afternoon, we attended a school choice rally at the Statehouse. It looked to be successful- half the lawn was taken up by parents and students from charter and e-schools, voicing support for school choice. Our state’s budget is being reworked right now, and part of the bill originally threatened to cut funding to non-traditional, publicly funded schools, so this rally was organized in response. The problem areas of the bill ended up getting fixed in the House, but it was still considered a good idea to assemble ourselves and show our support for school choice, so there we were. We, as a family, have two stakes in this school choice debate, so far- Luke is employed by Ohio Virtual Academy, and Aliyah is enrolled in it. Losing funding would be really bad news. Our current governor is against anything that would present an alternative to brick-and-mortar public schools, so we are swimming upstream by using this means of education we have chosen for our family.
Many people are against eschools, for many reasons. Some don’t completely understand the funding process, some just don’t want to admit that their public schools aren’t cutting it. Ironically, there are even homeschool parents who oppose us, either because they are fundamentally anti-education, they want to avoid any accountability to educate their kids, or they believe that public education is evil. Therefore, it gets a little awkward, standing around the church coffee table with other homeschoolers, talking. I have to figure out what their brand of homeschooling is, before I put my foot in my mouth, or offend them.
Anyway, I say all this because I heard about a blog post last week, basically saying that public education is godless, and any Christian who puts their child in a public school is choosing to not give them the best, Godly education they can. Now, I still need to read the whole post, but I think I have the gist of it. And I wonder if the writer of this post would be referring to us as well, a family who has chosen a public school curriculum to be taught to our daughter, at home, by us. See where it can get sticky? We have all power to alter the content of the curriculum when it is unsuitable, yet we enjoy that our children are still required to be properly educated. If we fail, we have to answer for it. This is what works for us.
The options are many right now, as to how a parent chooses to educate their child. Hopefully, we can hold onto that choice in years to come.
There. Never try to post when your husband is sitting next to you, anxious to get on the his computer and look for more fonts.