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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

An Invaluable Lesson

I know, I know. I’ve totally been slacking and finally I feel creative enough to actually do this again.  That is…if I can find my way around all the changes WordPress has made!

My life these days seems, at a glance, ordinary and repetitive.  As I was sitting here, checking email and listening to the washing machine spin, I realized that a lot of little things do happen each day that others might enjoy reading about.

Last Tuesday night I babysat for some neighborhood kiddos, and while standing outside with them I was approached by one and told, in a very matter-of-fact way, that I am fat.

Now – I’m going to go back to about a year ago.  When I arrived here in Atlanta, Cole was about the same age as this kiddo.  At that age kids are very open, and there’s really no “filter” made yet.  Cole very often would tell me that I was large, that I was fat, that I should grow up and be a “sumo wrestler”.  I had to remind myself of his age and try to take the hurt out of his words and we began to work on seeing beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

That morning, while I was doing my workout (31 pounds lost and counting!), I turned to see Cole standing in the door of the playroom.  He had a bit of a smile on his face, a kind of absent-minded, loving look that I see quite often from him.  He then proceeded to hold his arms out clear in front of him and say, “Aunt.. your belly used to be this big,” and then he moved his hands in closer by half, “but now it’s only this big.  Good job, Aunt on losing weight.”

So when, that evening, he heard the neighborhood kiddo say this to me, he quickly hastened to my defense, “Aunt’s belly used to be this big,” he showed her, “but now it’s only this big.”  And the look on his face when he finished was the  sweetest, saddest expression.  The neighborhood kiddo informed him that it’s good because my belly was too big!  And he shook his head.  I asked him why he did not want my belly to be smaller, and he said “Hello! Pillow!”

I’m so very proud of him.  Where once he would look at me and see “fat Aunt”, today he looks at me and sees me as beautiful. He’s proud of me, and loves me, no matter my size.  And I think that I’m blessed that God has chosen me to be the one to teach this incredibly important lesson.

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Rainy Days in October

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Atlanta for over a year now.  Scott recently uploaded several pictures of the kids taken over the last year or so and it struck me that I’ve gone from admiring and bragging about photos of Cole and Grace to being able to actually tell the stories behind them.  These little ones grow up so fast and every day change something – so I’m making myself sit down (while it rains and is generally drreary outside) and take the time to record some of my favorite things they say and do over the next few weeks.

Grace calls yesterday: lasterday and last night: yesternight.  I think her teachers are trying to fix that turnabout of words, but Scott and I are holding on to it as long as we can, since puzzles are no longer peezles.

Cole retains everything.  I mean .. everything.  Last year he repeated something his Daddy had said in passing to me and when we both looked at him, his response was “Daddy, my ears are always on”.  As we continually are reminded.. yes they are, Cole.

One of Cole’s first school projects this year was to write a story about the class Teddy bear and have a picture taken with it to send in to school.  Cole’s story was about how he and the teddy listened to his Daddy tell Evil Dr. Daddy stories.  We’ve had quite a few of those type of projects this year so far – Cole is writing more and more now and working on sounding out words.  He has also discovered that some of his favorite play things are not so easy to write.. instead of falling back on his favorite “few lettered” play thing – legos.

It’s a tradition in the evenings for the kids to go into the playroom/piano room and watch a movie to calm down for the night.  Sometimes the snacks are eaten through quickly (they remind me of hobbits: May I have snack #2 now please Daddy?) and sometimes they are just wiped out, as evidenced above.  And you can see ever faithful “Pink” there with her.  Pink even has a special spot near the door so Grace knows exactly where she is when we are gone.

I’m going to try and keep posting up a bit more faithfully.  I do miss writing, just time seems to slip away from me.

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First Days of School

Two weeks ago Cole started his first day of Kindergarten.  8:30am until 3:00pm he is now in school and he is loving it.  I am loving it as well – from the first words of Spanish he brings home on Wednesdays to the songs he’s learning in Chapel and the excited chatter about what he ate for lunch in the cafeteria.

Gracie started her 3 year old pre-school today.  This morning she was a little iffy on going but after some cheering up she quickly got dressed in her first day of school outfit that her Nana (my mom) picked out.

I’m glad the school year is here – especially with my new students and the chaotic schedule they bring.. but I do miss having these two around the house during the day.  And look at those pictures!  How fast they grow.

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Updates

I have been incredibly silent here as of late simply because my life here in Georgia doesn’t permit me to spend time at the computer like my life in Illinois did and I find I really don’t mind at all.

Things have been stressful lately. The hardest part of going through a family break-up is trying to maintain a low level of stress so the kids don’t react. It’s amazing how in tune with my feelings both Cole and Grace are, and how willing they are to give me a hug or huge smiles whenever they think I might be sad or unhappy. Our bond has grown leaps and bounds since last fall and more than ever I am thankful that God has taken care of me, despite all the struggles I’ve had with anger and despair over the last few months.

Now that the divorce is in the final stages I feel as if we can finally start releasing some of the stress. Plans for this summer are the busiest plans I’ve ever had for a summer. We have my mother visiting (she arrived last night) for two weeks, and in that two week period we are heading to Disneyworld. Plans there include the Pirate and Princess party as well as me being able to hook up with an old friend.

After we get back from Disney the kids will be heading to Colorado for their first of two long visits to their mother in Colorado, so I will be heading to Seattle to visit another two great friends that I haven’t seen in several years. I love Seattle so much and am very much looking forward to spending some of the hot Georgia June time in nice, cool Seattle.

After we all get back the children are here for another two weeks then back to Colorado they go for another three weeks. When those three weeks are done it’s nearly August already and we’ll be looking at back to school time. I feel like the summer is already over when I look at our calendar!

So that is what is happening in a nutshell around here. Prayers are coveted. Please keep Cole, Grace and Scott in your prayers. My students are having some major health issues (one had a heart attack and another a relapse in cancer), so prayer for them and for a few more students for me would be appreciated.

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Look at him go!

Cole skiing!

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Beginning 2008

My brother Alec flew home with me on the 27th of December to spend two weeks with us here in Atlanta and get to know Cole and Grace a bit better (since it has been over a year since he’s seen them). We’ve watched lots of movies, played lots of Guitar Hero, laughed a lot, eaten a lot and enjoyed much family time together.

I’m sad to see him go home – I wish I could just bundle everyone up and keep them close by. I’ve always been a family girl and not having family close enough for me to just flop down next to them on the sofa is a rough thing for me.

For Christmas I got my little brother Ethan a copy of EverQuest II to play with me. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying spending time with him in the game and getting to know him – because when you think about it, I did not grow up in the same household as this brother and he’s still so very much a mystery to me. But now we talk via Ventrilo (a voice chat program) while doing something interesting to the both of us and it’s improved our relationship and communication lines 150%.

After Alec leaves to go home this afternoon it’ll be back to normal around here – but not for long. There’s a trip out to Colorado for the kids next month, and we’re already planning things for March and April – so it’s never dull around here. Time is flying by so quickly, it’s hard to believe it’s already been six months that I’ve been here in Georgia – it feels like just a few weeks.

I still do not regret, and doubt I ever will, the decision made to move here. God is working wonders in my life, and I know He’ll continue to comfort me when the homesickness gets overwhelming.

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Fun with Pictures

Click on the picture below to see the full set in detail.

collage.jpg

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