I love these crazy kids so much I can barely catch my breath.
To think God blessed Jeff and I with them to care for is beyond my wildest dreams.
Because of them, I am grasping a glimpse of how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
His love is one that surpasses all knowledge (Eph. 3:17b-18).
The rest of this post is an update how the kids are growing and changing. The relatives eat this stuff up, but I don't expect everyone to ooh and ahh over my fantastic kids. Click "read more" if you dare.
Our Rem James is 18 months old today.
Where did the time go? He is such a toddler and seems to shake the remainder of baby-hood off his feet with every quick step.
The boy is growing like crazy lately. He has been more whiny and clingy than ever before in his short, happy life. I blame it on teeth because 10 came since Christmas (how I wish I was joking!). I could also blame it on a major growth spirt. I recorded all the children's heights on January 15th and was bewildered when Rem's pants were a few inches too short and his onesies no longer snapped. So, I measured him again on the growth chart and he grew 2 and 1/2 inches in 2 and 1/2 months. Seeing that gap from shorter to taller there on the wall made me exclaim, "oh, no wonder!"
He didn't gain any weight and is still 23 pounds and wearing 18-24 month clothes and size 7 shoes. Crazy, since his big sis still squeezes into a size 8 or 9 shoe.
Loves: cars, trucks, tractors, boats and anything he can drive around on the floor.
Loves: napping. He is such a good sleeper and my socks are knocked off with how blessed we are that he sleeps well. He still occasionally takes a morning nap, but can live without one as long as he gets an afternoon nap.
Loves: being outside.
Loves: going anywhere with Daddy. Remi cries every morning when Jeff leaves and even runs to get his coat and shoes so he can go too. Jeff takes him sometimes and returns a short time later with a baby boy completely covered in mud.
Loves: cats, dogs, cows.
Loves: laughing and dancing (a happier baby we have never known!).
Loves: being tickled and will walk up to people, lift his shirt and say "tickle, tickle." His sisters are always happy to oblige.
Our Mandy girl is 3 and a half. She is spirited and loves to explore the world with words. If she isn't making up stories and talking to herself, she asks lots of questions of anyone who will listen. I am frequently amused by her running commentary. Here is an example of a normal conversation with Mandy:
"Can I have a drink of Milk? Please, please. I won't spill it. Sometimes I need a sippy cup because I spill. But not today. I need a yellow one. A yellow one. Not that one. That one. Yellow. Yellow! I need to wear a dress because I am a princess. Did you know that I am a bradgelina? I can dance, see? Oh look, Remington loves me. I am going to drink my milk because I am so firsty."
Mandy has also grown a lot lately and her measurements showed 1 inch in 2 and a half months. She still weighs 30 pounds. She wears size 4T in most clothes and 5T in dresses for the length. It's crazy, because out of the 3 kids, Mandy eats the most frequently. She is constantly wanting a snack even after she just ate a big meal. She also still naps for about 1.5 hours a day. It is a wonderful time for me to have a bit of quiet, but I feel the transition as Mandy doesn't really need the nap (as much as I do).
Our challenges recently have been ending the whining. Mandy has made great strides, yet I still say, "I can't hear that voice, please talk to me without whining." About 500 times a day. But she can turn it off and on and that is progress.
3 and a half years old is a precious age and I'm enjoying Mandy so much. She is learning what she loves and really does not love. Teaching her and training her is a a great responsibility. I can see her making connections about consequences and obedience. She is also learning about God and we talk to her often about his love for her. I know we'll see a great change in her as she begins to understand that obedience is done out of a desire to love God.
Mandy is learning her letters and can count to 6. Well, if you don't care that things are in order, she can count to 19. I'm noticing she learns very quickly because I am doing school with Emma every day. The biggest challenge is keeping Mandy's short attention span occupied while I work with big sister. Beads, coloring pictures, magnets, and puzzles are her favorite things to do.
Oh Emma dear! I so wish I could have caught a glimpse of how amazing this girl would be at age 6 when I was struggling daily with her at age 2 and 3 and 4. She delights me daily with her thoughtful conversations, efforts to obey, and compassion for her siblings.
She is very helpful and always eager to learn a new task. She really wants to cook and bake (entirely without my help, of course), so she is learning some meals. PB & J is a good one that requires no help from me. Last night she attempted chinese noodles with chicken and egg. The chicken was already cooked and she even was able to turn the stove on. Unfortunately, a plastic wrapper got left on a hot burner and stunk things up a bit. I have to remind myself not to blow up because my attitude about her attempts will greatly determine her desire to try again in the future. She was SO SO SO proud of herself as we sat down to dinner.
Emma is learning well in school with math being a favorite and reading being a chore. Her auditory dyslexia causes frustration for both her and me, so we take it slow and I have about 5 reading curriculums we rotate through. I am not worried one bit about our pace because she will get it when she is ready. Emma's penmanship is very good and I often find notes she copied out of books. Today I found, "Jeff is Canadian birthday" written on a piece of paper.
If you made it through this lengthy post, you'll know I'm completely in love and proud of my children.
The "pink" pictures were taken yesterday at the Capitol during a morning of sunshine. With 30 days of rain in a row, we embraced the sunshine and enjoyed the cherry blossoms.