Sunday, April 26, 2009

Walking Away

"C'mon Andy! You can do it! Come to Momma!" I coaxed Andy with a sing-song voice and eager arms as he took wobbly, tentative steps towards me. As he fell into my arms I exclaimed with pride, "Yay! What a big boy!" Then I turned him around and sent him back to wobble a few steps to Chris's eagerly outstretched arms. We went back and forth, day after day until one day Andy, unbidden, walked away from the couch to explore the world on his own two feet.

That one day was four weeks ago; March 30th to be exact. The day that most parents look forward to and dread at the same time. The day that marked a major milestone even more than rolling over, sitting up, and trying solid food for the first time.

Before we know it, Andy will be walking away from us into his kindergarten classroom, then to baseball practice and Boy Scout meetings. He will soon be holding a set of keys as he walks out our front door to drive to high school and his first job.

All too soon he will finish college and walk away to begin the rest of his life and to explore the world on his own two feet.

How do I know this? Because I have a nine-year-old who is growing up in the blink of an eye. I have cheered on his first steps and sent him to kindergarten (and first and second and third grade) and watched him karate chop his way to a black belt (coming in January!). He will also hold a set of keys and a first job and a college degree.

Witnessing the natural evolution of changes in our children is inevitable so as I watch my children walk away to explore the world on their own two feet I will proudly proclaim, "What a big boy!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Signs of Spring

What makes you think of Spring?

Is it the vibrant buds on the tree branches promising new life and a warm summer?
Is it those beautifully pesky dandelions growing in your yard before the first colors of your lovingly planted flowers shoot through your carefully sowed soil?
Perhaps it's the small creatures that come out in droves to annoy and frighten us all.
My favorite sign of Spring, the one that elicits a sigh of relief from my thawing lungs after living through another long, cold winter is...

The Street Sweeper!
Yes. The street sweeper. At the first sighting of a local street sweeper, I called Chris with this very important news (which probably interrupted him as he taught his students) and loudly announced that the sweepers were out in full force and that SPRING IS HERE!
I vowed to capture the moment they came to sweep our street and demanded that my family keep listening to hear when they were coming. Chris, the darling that he is, heard the low hum of the sweeper crawling down our street and declared that I better get outside with the camera. With no hesitation and maybe a little embarrassment, I stood on our front steps and clicked away hoping for a good shot. I'm fairly certain the street sweeper driver thought I was crazy.
Every year I look forward to the street sweepers and give them them an extra wide berth and some patience as they clear away the last traces of winter and usher in the season of Spring.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I am a little late in posting the 8th verse for the year. Better late than never, right?

Psalm 139:1-8
1O LORD, you have searched me and you know me
2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

This will be really short because, between pulling Andy away from the plants before he shovels handfuls of dirt into his mouth and chasing him around the house retrieving various toys belonging to a certain 9-year-old before he either strangles or impales himself, I find myself with little time to blog.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beautiful Day

I have been thanking God all week for our beautiful weather. It has been gorgeous! This weekend will be cooler with some rain but I am thankful for that also since we need the rain too.

In years past I have always waited until June when the Summer Solstice began to really enjoy summer and even then I didn't take full advantage of my favorite season. Around here, summers are short and meant to be savored, pleaded for in the thick of winter when we are up to our necks in snow and nearly frozen from the cold.

This year I have decided to take advantage of Spring and enjoy every warm day we are given. Even the not so warm but sunny enough to fool one into thinking it's warm days. I spent time outside everyday this week whether it was taking a walk with my family, playing at the park, or cozying up in a chair in the dark at the drive-in movie theater (which Josh and I did last night with Angela, Kristen, and Jamie).

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I couldn't wait to introduce Andy to the slides and swings at the playground. So I didn't. It turns out that Andy is a huge fan of the swing! The higher it goes the harder he laughs! And if Josh is pushing him? Well, that is just heaven on earth!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Reason for the Season

Instead of going to church and reflecting on the sacrificial death of our Savior last night, we decided to head to Minneapolis and attend the Easter Celebration at the Midtown Global Market. There was no mention of Jesus Christ or the reason why we celebrate Easter but there was a band playing banjos and such and dancing. And there was an Easter Bunny. So we took a picture.Josh was much too cool to take a picture with the Easter Bunny but I did subject Andy to the torture and he did surprisingly well. I expected tears but he was too busy trying to figure out why he was on the lap of an overgrown rabbit.

Then there was the candy hunt. Some but not all of the vendors were handing out candy to kids with Easter baskets so we hauled our Easter bucket around searching for the tell-tale signs of candy. I finally persuaded Josh to carry the bucket after he begged me to carry it because he is too cool and would look like a little kid carrying it around. He was trying to be as invisible as possible with his bright green Easter bucket so I took a picture.
We ate a ton of authentic Mexican food and bought some foods for home like Middle Eastern pita bread and some Mexican tamales. Josh decided to partake of some American fare(i.e. hot dog and chips) and chose Andy's Garage. So we took a picture.
Shopping is high on my to-do list at the Midtown Global Market so we browsed through the shops featuring African musical instruments, Norwegian lace, Asian embroidery, South American beads, local farmer's market produce, and lots of pottery and clothing and toys. At a Latin American shop we bought some Mexican candy and a pinata to smash open at Andy's 1st birthday party since he is a Cinco de Mayo baby. The brilliant plan to make it a tradition came to me in that very shop. So we took a picture.We reserved a special place for the sun pinata. Especially since Andy hates to ride in his stroller. And Josh managed to talk us into getting him a Nacho Libre mask as a plan to wear it as part of a Halloween costume this year. Never mind that it is six months away and I will probably forget about it and get him another costume anyway.

The evening turned out fabulous despite harboring a little guilt that we didn't go to church. However, we did discuss the importance of Good Friday with Josh and we plan to celebrate Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday and praising God for what He and His Son did for us so that we can be saved from eternal death. For that is the reason for this season.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Two weeks ago I had the privilege of taking Josh shopping for new jeans. And when I say privilege, I mean the tear-out-my-hair-and-pluck-out-my-own-eyes-instead-of-taking-that-boy-shopping kind of privilege.

It was sorely evident that he needed new jeans when the ones he put on that morning cut off the circulation to the bottom half of his body and made it hard to breathe. He was forced to wear them all day until we were able to go shopping.

Our first stop was Old Navy where we had previously had success. Immediately Josh spied a "cool" pair of gray jeans. We searched through all the jeans and when I finally emerged from the mountain of everything-but-gray-jeans we were still empty-handed because, of course, they didn't have his size. That would be way too easy.

Well, this started a hysterical fit because nothing but the gray jeans would do. I mean, what does this boy think I did? Does he think I called the store beforehand and asked them to put away all the gray jeans in his size because I wanted to torture myself by inciting a hysterical fit?

And me being the exceptional mom that I am, I asked him exactly that. Through clenched teeth.
And suppressing a scream.

Wonder of all wonders, Josh's scowl turned into a smile! I think my little boy is growing up! There is something to be said for a little perspective.

In better spirits, we left Old Navy and headed to another store that didn't even carry boys jeans. So off to the Mall of America we went. The MOA has an Old Navy so we stopped there first to see if they had any of the coveted gray jeans. They didn't. Again, that would be way too easy.

After searching the better part of the mall's 3859 stores, deciding I didn't want to pay about that much for some chintzy denim, and slurping a couple smoothies, I finally convinced Josh to try The Children's Place. That store is for babies according to Josh. He refused to even look at any jeans but I finally persuaded, ok, forced him to try some on. They were a dark shade of blueish gray but still gray. And guess what? He liked them! We bought two pair and happily skipped away hand in hand. Not really. Josh wouldn't be caught dead holding my hand in public and I would feel too silly skipping in public.

On the way home I thought to myself "Target! Why didn't we just go to Target?" So we took a detour to Target and dragged our exhausted bodies to the jeans section. Josh spied them first; the coveted pair of gray jeans. We quickly bought them after trying them on, of course, and finally made our way home.

It was then that I realized that I had a really good time shopping with Josh, barring the one bout of bad attitude and all. But we had some great important and not-so-important conversations and a lot of laughs. We spent good, quality time together that I believe has pushed us forward in the evolution of our relationship. I really enjoy being his mom (most days) and I am so thankful to God for giving me this exact child.

It turns out that the shopping trip that I was resisting ended up being a privilege after all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Time to Memorize Another Verse

This post was originally started 4 days ago. We are finishing up Spring Break so I just couldn't get to it. I had such a great time with my family this week and I can't wait until summer when we can hang out all day everyday again. I am excited to go biking and swimming and introducing Andy to swings and playgrounds and watching him and Josh play together outside splashing in the kiddie pool. I am looking forward to getting my garden built, plotted, and growing. It will go by really fast so I want to enjoy and savor each day.

Psalm 139 (NIV)
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

5You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?


This week Gramps began chemotherapy and radiation therapy to help shrink his tumor. He seems to be handling it fine and was sent home with some anti-nausea medication if he needs it. His spirits are good and he still has some energy.

Last Thursday, my cousin BreAnna gave birth to twins; a girl named Erin and a boy named Eli. They were very healthy and able to go home in a matter of days. BreAnna also has a 17 month old girl named Adi. She is going to be one busy mama! I don't envy her at all. Well, truthfully, I am jealous that she has twins but I'm not sure that I would want to be in her position as a single mom with three in diapers. Heck, I wouldn't want to be in her position as a married mom with a supportive husband. I have my hands full already!

Sometime last week, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I heard the absence of noise from our rather noisy baby and I thought to myself "Uh oh. What's going on in the living room?"
This is what I found when I went to investigate. Andy had removed a lot of dirt from the pot behind him and heaped a big pile of it onto the floor. As you can see, he helped himself to a little bit of it too. He is such a mess!
I have been playing around with the iPhoto editing features on my MacBook but when I download the photos to my blog they don't seem to look any different. I finally figured out that I have to click on the "Done" button when I have finished editing them. Amazing concept! Thus the same picture twice for my own viewing pleasure. I am puffed up with pride for myself right now because I managed to finally notice the "Done" button! I know. It doesn't take much.