Monday, September 15, 2014

This weekend my husband rode his bike 94 miles and I did not change out of my pajamas.

Daniel's new hobby of riding distances that I feel are long even when traveling them in the car is a little hard for me to wrap my brain around. Yet he keeps doing it and I keep being simultaneously proud and confused. This weekend he got up bright and early on Saturday (I assume it was bright, I have no idea. I was sleeping, like a normal person on a Saturday morning) and met his friend somewhere downtown and they joined a bunch of other crazy people and biked their way around Puget Sound.

The kids and were exhausted from our first full week of school and activities, so we had decided on Friday evening to just sit around on Saturday.  So they played on their tablets and then Ethan played Wii and then we watched a Star Wars movie and then around 4 PM we started all getting on each other's nerves, so I went and hid on the front porch with a book.

Sunday we had church and errands to run and then cleaned the house and had people over for dinner and then I was in "overwhelmed introvert" mood and then I went and hid on the front porch with a book. I have no idea what I'm going to do when it's too cold to hide out there in the evenings.

In other news, it's day 1 of Color Weeks at Vivian's school. The kindergartners have to wear a specific color every day for two whole weeks.  It caused the expected mess this morning, as some parents forgot and had upset non-matching children on their hands and other parents sat around and shared the challenge with finding clothes for their kids in the stores, especially when one doesn't want to spend much money on a clothing item that is not in a color the child likes.  Fortunately for us, Vivian is the same size as Ethan and can wear his shirts. I have no idea how pink and purple are going to work next week. Not to encourage gender stereotyping, but you don't see a lot of pink and purple on kindergarten aged boys, and most of the clothing in those colors also feature princesses and sparkles.  And seriously, it's enough trouble to get any clothing on these kids and to school on time anyway.

In other other news, I just signed my kids up for Chess Club.  I have no idea how that's going to go, but they seem interested and Ethan randomly knows how to play chess already. It would be nice to find something that comes easily to him. Those things are far and few between these days.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In which I face up to some of my less-great behaviors of late

Today I went to the first week of my church's fall women's Bible study. I've gone off and on for years, but usually make it through about half of the session before work or grad school or sick kids get in the way too often and I get out of the habit and stopped going.

But now I have free time. And I'm the type of person who can't have too much free time or else nothing gets accomplished in my life. And one of my priorities this new season of life is to spend much more time reading my Bible and praying.

So I went to Bible study today and my small group sat around at the beginning and introduced ourselves and mentioned our reasons for being there. Out of the 6 of us, I think I was the only one who wasn't partially motivated by the idea of not just studying the Bible, but connecting on a deeper level with other women in the church.

I REAAAAALLLLYYYY struggle with the idea of connecting with other people in the church. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm married to Mr. Outgoing Man and have gotten to know people through him, and also have met other parents while our kids were in their children's church classes, I'm pretty sure I would have made zero friends at church. And we're 8 1/2 years into attending there.

So I was thinking about that whole connecting thing and then went after Bible study and had lunch with Daniel. Because church is close to his work and the kids are already taken care of, so we're going to have cheap date lunches on Tuesdays as often as possible. But he and I were talking about some of the problems with people at church that we've both become aware of lately since Daniel is also getting more plugged in at church... family issues, sicknesses, sad times... all of the stuff that you can easily avoid getting engaged with if you are the type of church goer that I've become lately. I'm very good at serving and being friendly to the people I know through Daniel and the kids, but I have not let myself become intimately involved with the lives of my brothers and sisters at church.

And I sat there at lunch with Daniel and was thinking about all of this and pretty clearly heard God telling me that my time of avoiding and not engaging was done. I believe my first response was something along the lines of what my kids whine at me all the time "but I don't waaaaaannnnnnttt to!" I've used the excuse of having been a pastor's kid and having to know about people's problems and not wanting to know all that stuff anymore. But that's not the authentic, loving life that I want God to transform my life into.

In other news, swim lessons start tonight. They have got to learn to swim this time around!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Laundry. And other Monday morning excitement.

Well, we survived our first Monday morning school dropoff of the year. Ethan's classroom is on the second floor of the school, and last week he went upstairs with one of his classmates, but today had to walk up all alone and he looked so teeny tiny. I haven't heard from the school, so I assume he made it up the stairs.  This is challenging for both of us :)

And then after sending my tiny son up the stairs in a mass of elementary schoolers, I walked my tinier baby to her class where she managed to remember to give me a kiss before pretty much skipping off to her class. Kindergarten is a BIG hit with Vivian. She even made some friends last week. Currently her biggest challenge is recess, because she doesn't like big groups of kids. She reports that she and one other girl just walk around.  Recess was pretty much Ethan's only reason for attending school, so it's funny to see the perspective of a different kid.

I'm loving having actual free time to accomplish actual things. I made it to the gym today and have Bible study tomorrow. I wrote an article in under an hour because I could actually complete entire thoughts without interruption. Kind of weird. Mostly I am liking it as much as I thought I would, but times like after I do school dropoff or on my way to pick them up or when I need to run an errand and I have no little hand to hold... then I get a bit panicky about this whole kids growing up thing.

I've also loved the time that I have to think and meditate and pray.  Daniel and I both feel that there's something new around the corner for us.  We have no idea what it is, but we're both praying for wisdom and the ability to hear God clearly when He speaks to us.  I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker's book Interrupted last week.  Sat down to read a chapter of it and got up 2 hours later having read the whole thing. It really spoke to me where I'm at. Not wanting life to just be about being middle class comfortable Christians, but wanting to truly be His hands and feet in the world. And maybe that just looks like volunteering at school and being involved at church right now and remembering that folding 500 loads of laundry per day is my ministry to my family. I'm fine with that.  But still listening and praying.

In other news, I'm apparently going to Cancun for the weekend at the end of the month. D and the kids aren't coming on this trip, but they are going to Canada  to see his family, which is a win-win for all of us. I need to go buy sunscreen or something.

Friday, September 5, 2014

It is very quiet in my house

So.  It's day 3 of school and I'm still trying to get used to my super quiet house.  And trying to recover from what's been a crazy few weeks prior to the start of school. My parents arrived and then left the next day with the kids for my grandmother's house in Portland. Daniel and I followed on the weekend and joined them for my family's first ever family reunion, at which I met distant cousins and watched my kids play with their third cousins and saw some old grudges being laid to rest among the older generations and generally had a great time. Then Daniel and I came home the next day and my parents took the kids to Walla Walla to see my aunt and I enjoyed two days of kid-free time at home.

And then they came back and we went places and did stuff and saw the family here in Seattle and were generally busy and then this happened:

And I got all sniffly because losing a front tooth is such a grownup kid thing to do and STOP GETTING SO OLD!!! And they did not listen to me, because then on Wednesday this happened:


Argh.

Ethan's liking his first grade class so far, although he's a little disturbed by the amount of actual schoolwork that they are doing.  Vivian likes her teacher and has so far managed to avoid talking to any other children. I believe that is her goal for the first month of school. This does mean that she actually eats her lunch at school though, unlike her brother who is far too busy talking to consume any food. 

I'm home now with a long to-do list and a messy house and two big articles that are due in just a few weeks and oh, I'm going to Cancun for the weekend at the end of the month.  So far today I've worked on those things absolutely not at all, because I needed to nap and then play on Facebook. Using my time wisely, as always.

They're just going to keep growing up, aren't they? Not entirely ready for this.


Monday, August 18, 2014

The last quiet day

Tomorrow we have Kindergarten assessment testing for Vivian and get to hang out at the car repair place and get new tires put on the car (we are exciting!), because on Wednesday my parents arrive and then will be taking the kids off on a couple of trips to visit family starting on Thursday... and my kids will be run all over the place and will have so much excitement and fun and playtime with grandparents and then they start school three hours before the grandparents fly away.

All that to say, my kids are going to have a lot going on the next few weeks. So today is their last quiet day of summer vacation. As much as I hate just hanging out around the house all day, that is exactly the plan.  Vivian's been running a fever at night the past few days and Ethan's just generally grouchy, so I'm hoping that some quiet time today will help both of those situations. Much vegetating on the couch!

As for me, I have cleaning to do and final school supply lists to check and packing for my kids and also sitting around and wondering, yet again, how it is possible that I am going to have two kids in school in a few weeks. Vivian's not going to have the same teacher as Ethan, since his teacher moved up to another grade, but she will be in the same classroom, which is kind of weird. Her teacher is new to the school and it's really strange to me that the kids and I know more about the classroom than she does.  :) This also means I get to spend another year standing in the exact same spot in the hallway waiting to pick up my kindergartner. But this time without Vivian in the hall to keep me company (sniff!)

Laundry calls...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seven

So, the person that turned me from just being Carrie into being someones honest-to-goodness parent decided to turn 7 today.  Seriously? How did we get here already? 


So, Ethan at 7.  Loves all things sports. Obsessively.  All sports.  Cheats at most games and denies it with a giggle when caught.  Favorite activity when not playing or discussing sports is to play Mario Kart on the Wii. He also discusses that obsessively.  He's still never met a stranger and will talk the ear off of anyone who slows down to listen to him.  His conversations are totally stream of conscious conversations. This morning on the way to church we went from discussing Hong Kong Disneyland to Japan to China to sandstorms to cheetahs outrunning sandstorms to cheetahs having houses to dogs and then abruptly back to Mario Kart.  I have a low level headache most of the time when I ride in the car with him for more than 5 or 10 minutes.  Driving back from Sunriver last month (7 hours) about broke my brain permanently, as he did not stop talking the whole time.

He loves his sister and wants her around all the time. In the car they play a pretend game that is a mashup of Mario Kart and My Little Ponies and who knows what else.  At home he likes to convince her to play games with him, with the promise that he'll play some other made up game that they have called "Teachers and Puppies". I don't have a clue what that one is about, but it involves their imaginary friends as well. They share imaginary friends. 

He just watched Star Wars for the first time this week and, despite not liking it at first, got into it and can tell you most of the plot if you have time. He did not stop talking the entire time we watched Star Wars and Return of the Jedi (we skipped Empire because I don't really like it), constantly asking who was a good guy and who was a bad guy and what would happen next.

He's still a tiny guy- somewhere around 37 pounds, I think. I joke that he is going to be going on dates while driving the car from a 5-point-carseat.  He is getting taller though.

My son. My baby who is growing up too fast. There hasn't been a dull moment since he arrived and Daniel and I are so blessed to call this little one our son.  Happy 7th birthday, Ethan!