Bedtime Stories

Some of the more “interesting” sounds come at bedtime. Not because of the bedtime routines like brushing teeth, an infinite number of trips to the bathroom or the kitchen for “just a little drink,” or the stories, although a bedtime story itself could be very entertaining, depending on who is telling or reading the story. Bedtime prayers are often a highlight around here–sometimes the dead squirrel is prayed for, or the birds that ate all the food in the feeder, or dollies and new boo boos.

At this very moment, I am listening to a conversation between two little boys aged 6 and 4. Dancing Eyes is laughing and singing REPEATEDLY “let’s get this party started, let’s get this party started…” in a silly falsetto voice. The boys’ laughter tells me they are probably being a little bit reckless in their silliness. It probably doesn’t help to have the guinea pigs in the same room, but…

Currently, la Vida Loca is going through a monster scare phase. She says in her tiny little fear-filled voice, “The monsters, Nana, the monsters…I so scared, I so scared.” Mind you, it is the ONLY time her voice is that soft. I reassure her that the monsters are gone, pray with her–naming every single family member, each child that comes to our house, Buzz, Woody and Jessie, and an assortment of other VIPs that need to be bathed in prayer. We do this same routine at naptime, so we are sure to cover all the bases at least twice daily. With a little kiss good-night, she quickly falls asleep.

Meanwhile, the airwaves on Planet Boys Room are filled with another tune with a limited vocabulary–“oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oooooh, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh ooooh…” which I believe is a Brittney Spears ‘song’.  Immediately followed by  little boys singing Sunday School choruses and discussing their day with their Papa. And his semi-stern voice telling them to calm down and get ready to pray…

I am ready to pass out from sheer exhaustion, and they sound like they could “Party Like It’s 1999.” Sean is describing the airplane he wants to build out of boxes, and Dancing Eyes is laughing about something that tickles his little funny bone. And then, in the middle of all this, I hear “Jesus loves us. That’s cool. Amen.”

And you know what? I cannot top that. Jesus does love us. That IS cool. Amen!

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Cuteness Personified

The joys of being a Nana are often accompanied by the sadness of being so far away from my youngest grandchild. BUT, last weekend we were ALL together, and it was so wonderful.

Isaiah is getting so big. Eating food, sharing his sweet little dimples, and just all around a great little snuggler. His cousins, (Sean, Dancing Eyes, and La Vida Loca) had a great time being entertainer to the baby and entertained by Uncle Ben and Tia Janielle.

Isaiah, Dancing Eyes and Vida got to go to their very first Cardinals game. The game was not a winner for our Redbirds, but we all had a great time.

Janielle and Isaiah

Dancing Eyes, Isaiah, Janielle making their own entertainment

Too soon, they had to go back to Minneapolis, leaving me sadder than I was before they came. Such a reminder of all the little things I don’t get to see everyday. All of those “firsts” that he will be doing. Yes, I can Skype. Yes, I can get pictures. Not the same thing as holding him in my arms and singing to him. I wouldn’t trade those things that I get to have with my other three little guys. But I so miss all of that with my littlest little guy.

Already back home, he learned to drive…great.

Isaiah and his buddies–note the Cardinals cap 🙂

i know–cuteness personified

Don’t you just love the expression on his face? Those dimples? Honestly, he is my most adorable blonde grandchild, probably the cutest one in the world. Is my bias showing? I am trying very hard not to brag…

I fail.

Nana Can Draw???!!!

I am seriously out of my league with my oldest grandson. He is the deep thinker, the sensitive one…keeps me on my toes and scraping through the rust in my brain for answers to his deep and penetrating questions.

But just for today, let’s just say that his brain works a lot faster than mine–I chalk that up to the fact that his isn’t as cluttered and full of junk like mine. My brain is generally the repository of unnecessary information that pops up and seemingly makes people think I have a fantastic memory. I don’t–it’s that odd information that everyone else shredded years ago, but for some reason is stuck in my head. I really need to do some Spring Cleaning in the upper bunk soon. (Ohhhhhhh–I bet that is why I am having all these headaches!)

Anyway…I have been studying for a training class on how to lead the Precepts Bible studies. You know, doing homework, stressing about getting things done ahead of time, wanting to be RIGHT. Ugh…I really enjoy the lessons, but I am seriously out of my comfort zone right now. Of all the difficult chapters of the Bible, part of the lesson was to tackle Daniel chapter 7. The four beasts…It wasn’t enough that I had to start midway through the book without the benefit of DOING the previous 6 chapters. NO…I had to create story boards about the chapter.

I am a fairly creative person. I sew…do crazy things with brown paper, glue and a dining room table…find intriguing uses for burlap and other old and useless items…But let’s just make it clear that I do not draw very well. I can VISUALIZE what I want things to look like…but drawing them and color-coding the drawings…well, my efforts don’t look so great.

Sean is a true natural when it comes to drawing. He has amazing talent, and I am not the only one who notices that strength. So last night, Sean tapped on my door and asked to come in. I guess the idea of Nana doing homework was worth checking out. He wanted to see what I was working on and I showed him my storyboards.

“Who did these?” he asked.

“I did.”

“I mean, who DREW them?” he asked.

“I did.”

“YOU drew these pictures? I didn’t know you knew how to draw!” he said, sounding very astounded.

“But who colored them, then?” he continued.

“Me.”

Finally, I had impressed my grandson. He thought the beasts were duly scary. He was fascinated by the fire on the wheels of the throne and the river of fire. He was very pleased to see the awful beast in the fire at the end. For a very difficult passage of scripture, it sure came to life for my little buddy via my simple and very poor drawings. Drawing may become a teaching tool for me as I try to communicate truth to the little ones in my care. There is something that “sticks” a little better when you have to illustrate it by hand.

So, once again, I am learning new things from little people. I am definitely going to have to clear out a little more space upstairs for all these lessons I am learning. Thankfully, I still yearn to learn!

Sharing–It is VERY OVERRATED

So one of the lessons that gets repeated each and every day around here is the importance of sharing. I don’t know WHY each child seems to need so desperately what someone else has…and why they ONLY want it if someone else has it…but that seems to be the cycle we are riding around here in the 18 to 30 month age group.

this look familiar?

The ironic part of the whole sharing dilemma is that it is usually the least attractive item that these little miniatures go nuts over…the ride on tractor that no longer makes noises and goes too slow…the bat with the dog-chewed grip…the green chair that is just like two other green chairs…the one block of 500 blocks that are strewn hither and yon…I don’t know what the deal is, but if they see you with it, be prepared to fight tooth and nail to keep it. Or cry a river of tears and wail loudly as if you are dying a very painful death.

bam bam…lost the battle for the tractor

Toys…they are oozing out of every conceivable corner of my house and deck and garage and yard. Sharing them should not be an issue. Why do they not “get it” when I point out that I share all of MY things with them as a good example? I am seriously considering loading all my “lessons” into the squirt bottles and water pistols to see if that makes more of an impression when I douse them with the contents. Hmmmm, I am getting some ideas…

Unfortunately, they DO understand enough about sharing to pass along every germ they have on their seemingly clean little bodies and create miniature (or ginormous) petri dishes of breeding grounds for every imaginable virus. These children will be immune to just about everything by the time they are done at Nana’s House. Unfortunately, my own immune system will be shot to pieces by then. Apparently, my success will be that I have created toddlers with amazing capabilities of sharing the very things we DON’T want shared while NOT sharing the things we DO want shared.

Sigh. My throat is feeling scratchy…

too late…

Royalty

There is an undeniable beauty in the color of royalty. Purple. Regal. I have loved purple from its palest to its richest hue. And my garden is one regal, royal explosion of purple.

Lovely Gown

Ladies in Waiting

Petite Violet Blooms

Royal Velvet

Hosta Bursting

Petunia Princesses

Hydrangea Heralds New Beginnings

Matthew 6:27-29

English Standard Version (ESV)

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you,even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Butterflies and Flowers

Incredible Detailed Veining

Like a Butterfly on a Cloud

Visiting the Asters

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away, and BEHOLD, new things are come!

II Corinthians 5:17

THIS is why we need to bust down the wall…

Some of my friends have stated, correctly unfortunately, that in order to be in our “family” you need to knock down a wall. I blame my father for this–he started it the day I left for college. Busted down the wall between the bedroom and the old kitchen. When I returned at Christmas, I was demoted to sleeping in the unfinished basement. I took it rather personally…

But I learned a lot from my dad. My husband and I have managed to knock down at least one wall in our house (except the first one–not enough time) since 1988. In our current house, we knocked down the wall dividing the living and dining rooms before we even moved into the house.  We just didn’t go quite far enough…so now, four years later, we are preparing to finish what should have been done the first time around. (In the last four years, we also completely demolished and rebuilt the basement…without any unnecessary walls, I might add).

Nathan happens to NOT be teaching summer school this summer…budget cuts, you know? Apparently, parents are truly in favor of their little children studying Spanish during the summers when the bill gets paid by the school district, but when the buck stops with them, it actually DOES stop with them, so Nathan is all mine for the summer vacation. You all should start praying for him now…

We decided that taking the wall between the kitchen and living room down to counter height and adding a peninsula would be a good idea. Of course, that means relocating the refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher and a few other cabinets, but, miracle of miracles, everything will fit nicely when re-positioned. (Doesn’t that sound simple?) If only it were so simple!

My father, who I credit with our need to bust things out, thinks we should just give it a rest, but he wasn’t here yesterday. That would be WEDNESDAY, the worst day of my week, each and every week. That is the day that the little Tornado comes and upsets my apple cart. Every. Single. Week.

Yesterday, I was on the other side of the kitchen wall making lunches. The cherubs were on the living room side of said wall. It was quiet. No fights. No whines. No drama. I smelled danger.

I walked around the corner to see them having a pow w ow around my daughter’s purse. Her lip balm was multi-tasking–Bam Bam was the guinea pig and was having his hair spiked, arms and legs moisturized, and all around getting the spa treatment from those two little girls from Down Under. What can I say? That wall needs to come down so I can keep my eyes peeled and see them EVERY SINGLE SECOND. Sigh.

I got them cleaned up, scolded lightly, then got them playing with toys (imagine that, playing with toys!). I returned to the kitchen (maybe 10 steps away, on the other side of the wall) and heard splashing, giggling and child-sized foot stomping. Don’t ask me how, the wall was in the way, but Bam Bam had managed to carry a one gallon jug of water, drop it on the floor, where it promptly burst and puddled. Oh joy. Oh delight. Sigh. That wall has to come down. Soon.

I am going to teach the kids the Joshua and the Wall song. Cuz that wall is coming down. Do you think if I walk from the kitchen to the living room silently 6 times and then blow my trumpet on the 7th time that the wall will come down on its own?