Can I just go on record and say that 7, 5, and 3 are great ages? These guys are so much fun right now.
No more endless crying that defies explanation. They still get upset, but they all have words! They can USE LANGUAGE to tell me what's wrong! Granted, sometimes what's wrong is that someone touched them or looked at them weird, but at least they can tell me.
No more diapers. Enough said.
Ryan and Dylan are learning to be truly grateful for things like family vacation. They really get it that it's special when the five of us get to spend time together.
They all sing in the car. Loud. I love it.
Lauryn loves to "just talk". She will often ask me or her Dad, "Come lay down with me, and let's just talk!" Recent conversation: "Let's talk Mommy." "Okay, what do you wanna talk about?" "God." "Okay, what do you know about God?" "I know he made pine cones and he lives in my heart." The child manages to work pine cones into any conversation lately.
For about 40% of the day, they truly enjoy each other. The other 60% of the day they either tolerate each other, irritate each other, or are generally indifferent to each other. But that 40% sure is sweet.
Tonight we had some friends over for a "Co-Family Night."
Jayton and Anne Z. work with us in Kidsplace - they teach from the stage, as well as lead a third grade small group. (Might I also mention here that all on their own they have planned a get together at the park this weekend with their 3rd graders and their parents! LOVE THAT!) Anne is also one of my Thursday night coffee buddies.
Coincidentally, within the last couple of months both of our families have started sponsoring a child through Compassion International. Also coincidentally, both children live in India.
Thus, "India Family Night" was born.
Our family sponsors Manuu, the child on the left. The Z. family sponsors Rahit, the child on the right.
We decorated our mantle with an Indian flag and some prints of popular rangoli patterns.
For dinner we had Indian cuisine: Chicken Tikka Masala, Naan, and Basmati Rice. DELICIOUS. Let me say that again - DE-LI-CIOUS! Anne bought and prepared the entire meal!! I didn't do one stinkin' thing. I'm not sure how it worked out that way (sorry Anne!), but I'm so glad it did. She did an amazing job. I'm trying to contrive a way to get her to cook more international cuisine for 9 people, and let me enjoy it without lifting a finger. I'm sure I'll come up with something.
For dessert - mango slices served over mango ice cream. (This was my one contribution to the meal. The effort involved included opening the freezer door and spooning out the ice cream. I even made Anne help me slice the mangoes. Shameful...and yet I have no shame.)
We played a few traditional Indian games. The first was called Uffangali and involved trying to scatter a pile of beans by blowing on the pile. It got big laughs from the kids and adults alike.
Next we played a simple game called "Chidiya Ud", which provided bigger laughs than I ever could have guessed.
When you sponsor a child, Compassion International sends you a short biography; Rahit's information included the fact that one of his chores includes carrying buckets of water for his family. So we talked about that with our kids, and then let them have a little fun racing to fill up a kiddie pool with buckets of water.
We ended the night letting each child pray aloud for Rahit and Manuu, and we made picture frames to display their pictures.
Jonathan arguably has the best job in the world. So by extension, I get to do a lot of fun stuff too.
Last Tuesday, with the help of his incredible staff, we took 191 people to Trinity Family Fun Day at Joyland, the little amusement park in Lubbock. Love seeing families having fun together!
I took approximately 27 (it might have been 5) trips down the log ride. I asked my five year old co-rider Dakota, "Did that ride take your tummy?" He looked down, lifted his shirt up, and replied, "Nope! It's still there." Love preschoolers.
After years of cape-wearing practice, my two boys have nearly perfected their Super Hero skills. Jumping off couches, chasing the villian (the dog) at lightening speed, and flying off tables is near second nature. Now, little sister is getting her chance.
Watch out boys. There's a new hero in town.
Thus far, her powers include giggling, flipping her hair, and smiling coyly. She is also known for her transformation powers, as the cape frequently turns into a princess robe. From Super Hero to Princess! Instantly! (Totally should have seen that one coming.)
What's that the boys are gathered around? A glass jar with a lid? That can mean only one thing. They've caught some kind of varmint.
Actually, I don't know if this qualifies as a "varmint."
Is a salamander a varmint?
varmint n.: one that is considered obnoxious or troublesome.
Nope. A salamander's not a varmint. But I do have a new nickname for some young rascals I know. (Kidding, kidding.)
She totally reminds me of Randall Boggs. (From Monsters Inc. Anyone trackin' with me?)
I guess technically Randall is supposed to look more like a chameleon, since he morphs into different colors and all that. But Randall reminds me of Sally. (Sally - that's what we named our salamander. For the 5 minutes we kept her before letting her go. If indeed it was a "her".)
Lauryn was cool with Sally's presence at first.
She stayed cool until we decided it was time to release it. Then she screamed, ran in the house, and didn't come back out until she had put on her pink cowboy boots. Apparently the boots provided a level of protection in the event the beast should charge at her feet.
See ya later Sally! Thanks for providing my concrete loving kids some wildlife excitement. I'm forever grateful.
I may never march in the infantry, Ride in the cavalry, Shoot the Artillery,
I may never fly o'er the enemy, But I'm in the Lord's army! Yes sir!