Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gone Fishin'

Grady is constantly asking us to take him fishing. And by constantly, I mean every single day, at very frequent intervals ALL throughout the day. So Bryan and Grady planned a little boys date for this weekend. Grady could not wait. He was so excited.

They went to buy worms at a local fruit & veggie stand, and then went to Lake Monroe Park, for a little guy time.

The girls and I went to a few garage sales, and did a little morning shopping. It wasn't too long before we started wondering what the boys were up to. So we stopped at Subway, got some subs, and took a little picnic for us all to share.

Each of my children are so different, and while they enjoy many of the same things, I want to make sure that I take the time to nurture their individual interests. I want to make it a priority to spend time alone with each child, doing something that they choose. Whether it's fishing, or painting, or eating, or swinging on the playground, I want to let them choose.

Grady only caught one fish, but he is already asking about when they can go back. Those few hours meant so much to him.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother (and Father) Hens

This morning, my boy woke me up with a smile, and NO hope of climbing back into bed for a few more minutes of sleep. I conceded to his "come on, Mama" requests, and followed him downstairs. I drank my coffee, and he ate his Cheerios. We talked about frogs and tadpoles, and our plans for the day, and more about frogs and tadpoles. He counts them, and names them, and watches them intently.  Each morning he asks if this will be the day that their legs start growing. He would rather sit and watch them, than do most other things...except go fishing, or catch more tadpoles.

Big sister, on the other hand, is all about the new baby chicks. Today we took them out into the backyard, for a little sun and fresh air. Oh, how she cares for them.

She carefully instructs Lilly on how to hold them, how to "be sweet", and what to do if they see a bird of prey.

And these chicks love her too. They sidle up next to her (and in her dress), and go to sleep, which she relishes! She says with a sweet smile, "They think I'm their mother hen".  And I nod and smile, "Yep, they sure do".

Little sister is not thrilled about getting pecked at, so after a few attempts at "being sweet" she moves on to her new favorite friends. Lately she favors a duck, a camel, and a mouse. They go almost everywhere with her. And she chews them into slobbery gross-ness. I guess that's what friends are for.

It's so fun watching her imagination come alive, as she interacts with these silly toys, and gives them little roles and squeaky voices.

Whether they are caring for tadpoles, or chickens, or a plastic camel, it makes my heart happy to see them nurture something. It tells me that some small amount of this mama's lovin' is being absorbed, understood, and reflected on to something else.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2 Chickens and a Fire

Bryan and I have dreams of a farm. We want the garden and the crops, the chickens and the goats, a cow and a barn, and some land. Actually, that's mostly what he wants. I want the fresh fruit and veggies, a jean skirt and cowgirl boots, a big yard under the oak trees to host birthday parties and bonfires, and a couple kids that learn about real life and hard work, right from our home.

It's one of those things that we hope our future will hold, but we also know that we have to be still, and content, and joyful in the here and now. Sometimes it's so hard to be patient and wait on God's timing, but we are trusting that His ways are best.

Anyway, all of that to say, today we got started on a little piece of our farm.

We've always talked about having chickens once we have a farm, but Bella and I have been seriously wanting to get some chickens now. We've chosen names, and spent many nights talking about where and how we will keep them. We've done research on the computer, a cost analysis at our local feed store, and Bryan took them to the library to check out some books on how to raise a chicken. Finally, the day had arrived.

This is Henrietta and Lucille. And they are great! And very loved already.

I love those sweet little Grady hands!

Bryan (aka Cesar Millan) will be working with the dogs, as they want to eat our new babies... 

Today and yesterday, were rare days in Central Florida. We've spent so many days in the 80's already this year, I've almost forgotten what chilly days feel like. This week however, we were blessed with two absolutely BEAUTIFUL, cool days. Today's high was 73*, with a low of 48*. Whoo hoo!

So tonight, in an effort to celebrate the simple things in life, we rocked a last minute, thrown together, call/text/email a few friends, backyard hot dog and marshmallow roast by the fire.

Even though I have no idea what they were talking about, I love the conversation that the guys are having.

There were friends, and conversations, and food, and it was a wonderful little break in the middle of the week.

Lilly, barking at Bailey.
While cold weather may be a silly reason to celebrate, it's more about making the choice to celebrate something, and to be thankful for all of the many little things in life that are good. Friendships are good. And a tiny backyard is good, especially when there are friends to enjoy it with. And life is good.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

This Abundant Life

Christ "came so that we may have life, and have it more abundantly". That abundant life is sometimes hard to see, and so easy to lose sight of.  Being purposeful and intentional in the way we live and love, is a choice. Choosing to be grateful and joyful is a daily challenge.  I want to seek out the best of this one big, beautiful life we have been given, and not take anything for granted.

I only work two days a week, and the days that I'm home, I want to make them special. I want to make memories for my children, even if the memories are small and silly. I want my little loves to grow up knowing that they are important, and a priority. Whether we are doing school, or running errands, or walking to the mailbox, I want to find ways to make these tasks enjoyable.

Rollin' to the mailbox

Tonight we went to Bella's Classical Conversations Awards Ceremony. I was honestly a little unsure of how she would do, standing in front of a lot of people. In the past she has been so shy. She has cried, and clung to me, and begged me not to leave her side.

When it was time for her to stand in front of all of the parents and family members, and recite her portion of the timeline, big sister did not hesitate. She walked right up to her spot, and smiled proudly. Oh, how my girl has grown this year. She is becoming brave and confident.
Bella's class reciting the first 8 timeline cards.

While there are still shy smiles, gripping hugs, and those "please don't leave me" moments, there is no doubt that this girl is growing up, and turning into a little lady.

In other news, why did the chicken cross the road?