Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goodbye, High Chair.

Well, someone decided that she was too big for a high chair.  Apparently Evelyn wants a seat at the big kid table, because she climbed up in the big chairs and refused to sit in her high chair.  We still have a couple of booster seats strapped in for the big kids (very useful when they are eating something messy like cereal or soup), and she has taken a liking to these.  I guess we will be selling the old high chair soon.  I can't really say that I'm sad to see it go.  One less large piece of plastic in our house is a welcome change to me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Evelyn's Dedication

Earlier in December, we finally had Evelyn dedicated.  It was a wonderful event to celebrate our baby (and about 10 other babies in our church) and focus on our family values.  Part of our homework before the dedication was to create a list of our family's top values.  These are things that we ask that our friends and family come alongside us in emphasizing with our children.  Admittedly, this time around was even more hectic than with Miles' and Vivienne's dedication, but we still took some time to talk it through, and here are our top five (in no particular order).

  • Vulnerability - I have been a huge fan of Brene Brown's writing on vulnerability and the human experience.  I hope that we are examples of how to be vulnerable with our children (apologizing when we make a mistake, admitting that we are not perfect, sharing our struggles and our strength, respecting one another, experiencing joy) and create an environment where the kids can feel safe being vulnerable and real and know that they are lovable no matter what.
  • Kindness - We want the kids to learn to be kind to one another and to others, to love other people like God loves us.
  • Generosity - We hope that our children will learn to be generous with their possessions, their time and their energy.  We haven't been great examples of this in the past few years because so much of our time and energy is pulled into having small children.  But as we create more margin in our lives, we hope to spend more time volunteering, especially as a family.
  • Integrity - We want all of our children to learn to have integrity, to be honest, to mean what they say, and to be known as people who are trustworthy.
  • Thankfulness - It seems so critical in life to be thankful for all the gifts and blessings that we receive every day... even the small things that go so easily unnoticed.  I know I have a much better attitude about life when I stop to thank God for everything I have and just marinate in the gratitude for a while.

 As a part of the dedication, we were also instructed to think of two habits we would like to practice.  For us, these were:
  • Quality family time, regular family meals, encouraging family discussions/interactions as part of the natural rhythm of our family
  • Prioritize our marriage and not let "us" become a background story to the kids
Evelyn with her Daddy at the dedication.  The lighting was terrible so it was hard to get a photo.

I'm so thankful for a church that encourages us to be intentional about our lives and our priorities.  I hope that we are able to focus on these things as a family, and that we reflect back on them frequently and reevaluate how to instill our children with the values that are important to us.

Friday, December 13, 2013


I know that I have mentioned this before, but Miles is obsessed with space shuttles.  But when I say obsessed, I mean that he is completely, head-over-heels in love with the space shuttle.  One of his favorite activities is to watch real space shuttle launch videos on YouTube over and over and over.  He will literally do this for hours on end until we tell him to turn it off.  While he watches the videos, he will hold his toy space shuttle and an airplane belly-to-belly (like the shuttle and the boosters), and move them along with the shuttle on the screen as they take off.  It's pretty stinkin' adorable.

If he's not being allowed to watch space shuttles on TV or the computer, then he's pulling out his stomp rocket in the foyer and launching it over and over and over again.  He loves to make it fly up and get stuck in the upstairs hall (our house has a very open layout, obviously).  Then he will run upstairs and throw it down (despite my requests to not throw it from the second floor) and resume his launching repeats. 

It will be interesting to see if he maintains his love for space shuttles and airplanes and rockets.  Right now, it's definitely safe to label it as an all-out obsession.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm Different.

On Sunday afternoon, Vivienne was sitting at the table with Jason.  Out of nowhere, she said, "I'm different."  Jason said, "You're different?  Who told you that?"  She explained to him that, "Jesus made us all different."

That was the first time I have heard her make a statement about Jesus besides something like "That's baby Jesus!" when reading a book.  It made me smile to hear my girl talking about Jesus on her own.  I know that they probably taught her that on Sunday morning at church, and it's really neat to see that it's soaking in and that she knows Jesus made her very special.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Singing Her Sister Goodnight

I took this picture a few nights ago.  Vivienne loves to help put Evelyn to bed and sing to her (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and sometimes a little Jingle Bells).  She says, "Goodnight, Baby Evewyn!"  She is an incredibly sweet, gentle big sister and she loves her Baby Evewyn dearly.