The Significance of 6! Jesus and Lego’s

There’s something very significant about turning 6! Who knew?!? I anticipated planning a party, buying supplies and singing “Happy Birthday” to our boy. What I didn’t know was that he would become a Christian and learn to build Lego sets alone.

Just a week before Hank’s 6th birthday we went through the Roman’s Road with him:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation of everyone that believeth…” Romans 1:16

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans: 623

“But God commented his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

As I read each verse and paused, looking up at Hank to see what he thought, he professed with his own words that he believed.

I have both joy and trepidation for my son. He will live the rest of his life with the perfect intercessor. He will have the Word of God to rely upon. But, he will also be guaranteed suffering by which the Lord will proof his faith like silver in the fire.

Dear Sweet Hank,

As your momma, I cannot be more proud of your acceptance, belief and confession of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Don’t take it lightly, you will need your savior dearly at times of suffering and even in times of abounding joy. Your daddy momma and brother are here for you no matter what, to point you back to Jesus. I pray you will read the living Word of God and from it draw strength for the great purpose God has for you.

love,

Momma

On Hank’s 6th birthday, March 15th 2016, we went to Barnes and Noble bookstore and purchased The Action Bible so Hank can begin his daily discipline of reading the Word of God. I am proud of him.

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Hank holding his new Bible on his 6th Birthday

The following Saturday, Hank had his birthday party as planned (despite my having recently recovered from pneumonia and three of us fighting head colds). He had a wonderful time celebrating with 10 of his good friends at the Dojo where he takes Karate. I must say I really enjoyed it too. There’s a cool joy that comes from watching your child having fun. It trumps almost every kind of joy I can think of (beside the Joy that comes from the Lord, that one wins hands down). Hank received wonderful gifts too. Among them were three lego sets.

Pardon my tangential backstory for a moment:

Several months ago, I asked Hank how he and I can connect more and he said he really likes building Lego sets with me. I took that seriously and decided I would purposely help him with his future sets. I want to do whatever I can to foster meaningful life giving relationship with my boys because I know the benefit will be more than I can measure with regards to their sense of assuredness in life. Plus, I really Super Duper love them and want to enjoy them as much as possible.

After the party we went home and started building legos. To my surprise, Hank was doing them all on his own! I was both excited for his new skill and nostalgic.

Have I missed my chance to build lego’s with him!?!?!

Thankfully, he still enjoyed me sitting by his side as I sat in awe of his ability to follow the instructions step-by-step to completion. I love him so much.

6 is significant! Hank has been maturing right before my eyes. I’ve seen him choose to be generous with his brother. When I ask him to do something, without complaint, he helps me (more and more often). He is becoming a light in this world as he learns more and more how to reflect Jesus.

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the gift of faith. Thank you for bringing Hank to you. I am so very thankful that he will have you to rely upon all the days of his life. I pray Lord for his future family too. Please bless Hank as he grows. I pray he will one day marry a woman who loves you too and together they will see their children love and serve you. Thank you for the gift it is to be Hank’s momma. In you I am delighted and humbled. Amen.

Hank’s 4th Birthday Festivities (pardon the delayed report)

Let me start with telling you I am so blessed.  On Saturday March 15th, we celebrated Hank’s 4th birthday.  I can hardly believe we were entrusted with such a precious gift and that we’ve had him for 4 years already! Where did time go?  I find myself getting sentimental thinking, “Now there’s only 14 years until he’s an adult!”  I am old enough now to realize that 14 years just isn’t very long.

Now that Hank is a big 4 year-old he has some new goodies to enjoy.  God has been so involved in blessing Hank!  My dear friend, Tiffany, sold us her son’s Lightning McQueen bike complete with training wheels.  It was so cool because Gideon and I were able to pick it up while Hank was at preschool leaving him none the wiser. 🙂  I managed to hold off until Friday night when I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Bart and I agreed to let Hank have his bike a day early.  We went to my in-law’s home so Hank could try out his new ride on their long smooth driveway.  He loves it and especially enjoys “talking shop” while standing next to it.  He reminds me of his Daddy talking about trucks.

momma and hank with his new bike

On the Big Day (Saturday) we went to Northwest Trek.  Hank and Gideon love it there almost as much as us adults do!  We spent the first half of the day there then headed home.  At home Hank opened a few more presents: sidewalk chalk, a dinosaur bubble gun from us and a bow and arrow set, talking Lightning McQueen car and giant bubble wands from my Mom.  Hank has been begging for a particular bow and arrow set from Fred Meyer for about six months.  When he opened it, he was on the moon!

hank and giddo momma and giddo

Life isn’t just about what we get but it sure is nice to see the gift that children are!  My birthday was March 19th and I feel like Hank is my precious and slightly early birthday gift!  I now feel like my birthday is nearly just another day but really enjoy seeing Hank’s excitement and enthusiasm on his special day. ❤

Dear Jesus, I pray Hank will grow big and strong.  I pray he will love you and lead his family well one day.  Please grant me the wisdom and strength to be the best momma I can be.  Amen.

Swim Lessons- Toddler Wetsuit

Hank started swim lessons last week at the local community center.  It is awesome there.  When you first walk in the childcare room is just around the corner.  We stop there to drop off Gideon and off to swimming we go.  From the childcare room we walk down the hall where we see a rock wall in the distance and through double doors, past family shower cabanas, through more doors and into a beautiful heated room where the pool is located.  The first lesson we discovered that only two children signed up for the morning lesson and the other girl hadn’t made it so Hank had a private lesson!  What’s more, his little swim buddy is also three and has a peanut allergy.  I have really enjoyed watching Hank from the bleachers and visiting with the mother of the other pupil.

Hank has probably 4% body fat if that so despite the heated pool he shivers and quivers and shakes.  We ordered a wet suit for him last Wednesday after just two classes with purple lips.  It came quickly but was tragically short in the torso leaving no room for his undersides.  He actually told me it hurt his bottom. 😦

Well, we sent that back to the manufacturer and ordered a different one.  It arrived today and we are so delighted!  I ordered a size 6 to be sure he would fit and it is a bit roomy but I think that is for the best as he will get more use this way.  In case you are wondering where to get one for your toddler, we got this wetsuit and it is very nice and thermal throughout.  Our boys are both very tall for their age necessitating the two size up order that an average size child would not need in my opinion.

He is really loving his swim class and following the teachers directions beautifully.  I am encouraged to see he willingly does what he is asked for someone, even if that someone is not me at this time.  He is hoping to assert his independence and has therefore been very contrary lately.

So far he has done torpedo’s off the wall with his arm forward in a point, head tucked between and legs pushing off the wall (assisted), back floats (assisted), practised crawl stroke arms, kicked his legs while holding the side of the pool, and blown bubbles by first practising blowing a rubber ducky across the pool.  He calls it a  “soccer ball duck” for some reason. 🙂

waiting for class to start first class out in water bubbles back float front float new wet suit

Dear Jesus, I pray that at Wednesday’s lesson he is warm enough.  Thank you for helping me to save so much money with coupons at the grocery last week that it offset the cost of the lessons. Amen.

Hank The 3 Year Old Photographer

Hank loves photography!  Perhaps because he hears me make over my sister-in-law, Lacey’s, beautiful photos.  Or maybe he gets a kick out of using our camera but either way the following pictures give us insight into his world, literally from his perspective. 🙂

Daddy Drinking Coffee

Daddy Drinking Coffee

Daddy making coffee

Daddy making coffee

Gideon's hair

Gideon’s hair

another of Hank's "selfie's"

Hank taking a “selfie”

Hank's "selfie"

Hank’s “selfie”

Hank's left foot

Hank’s left foot

Me cutting fabric

Me cutting fabric

Momma doing her hair Momma doing her hair-2

sewing sewing sewing

sewing sewing sewing

This picture is awesome!

This picture is awesome!

Dear Jesus, thank  you for Hank’s budding interest in photography and for the fun look at the world from his vantage point.  Thank you also that he hasn’t broken our camera. Thank you for simpler days. 🙂  Amen.

Screen Time

These days there are a multitude of ways to get what we’ve come to know as “screen time”.  Television, Kindle, IPAD, PC, Smart phone, and the list goes on.  In our house, we are virtually a dead zone.  We do have a television but no cable.  We do have Netflix and the boys enjoy shows on there without an endless stream of media because it stops playing after each show.  We are fans of good old fashion play.  You know like it was in the days before the internet.  We make up a silly game using laundry baskets and belts to tow the boys around the house or we play chase.

Recently, I discovered a neat setting on my smart phone that allows me to have a seperate section just for the boys.  I downloaded a few games there for use when we’re waiting extra at the doctors.

Last night the boys got to playing it together here at home.  Now we have a second way to get “screen time”. 🙂

Boys Giddo watching Boys Giddo watching (2) Daddy with boys watching

Dear Jesus, thank you for time together and that the boys are starting to play together.  Amen.

Sick Days Mean Productive Days- Toddler Activities-Fine Motor Skills

If you read yesterday’s post then you know we’ve been home this week resting and healing up.  Regardless of Gideon’s Croup and Hank healing from the stomach flu, we need things to do to pass the time.

Earlier today, I enlisted Hank’s help “cutting” fabric for heat packs I am making to sell here.

Hank cutting fabricHere’s a finished one:

Open view of Owl and Green Snowflakes Snowflake side set Owl side set

We kept busy yesterday playing play-doh until I broke out the toothpicks and we practised some fine motor skills. 🙂

Poke The Holes:

Giddo with toothpicks Hank playdoh Hank with toothpicks and playdoh Proud Hank-with momma smile

I love that last one of Hank cheezing.  I used to smile just like that when I was little.

My good friend, Mary, gave me the idea for this next activity:

Threading Snakes!

I pulled the laces out of my hiking shoes and cut up plastic drinking straws like this:

supplies for snake threading

I threaded one and tied it so it couldn’t slip off then explained that they were going to thread the stripes onto their snakes.  They loved this one.

Giddo threading his snake Hank Threading his snake

Dear Jesus, thank you for good quality time with the boys.  They amaze me.  I am confident you are an awesome God when I look at the purposeful and imaginative things you make.  Amen.

The Washington State Fair 2013, Mix-It-Up Monday’s

My husband and I got brave yesterday.  Armed with our boys and tickets from my mother-in-law, we went to the Washington State Fair.  My boys are 2 and 3, that pretty much explains why we were brave to go.  But, add to that, the weather was finicky and oscillated between sun and torrential downpour.

We bought fair fries (my favorite!) that mound over two paper plates in a rectangular shape reminiscent of the deep fry basket they came from.  We bought ride tickets too.  $20 got us enough tickets for two rides, yes just two!  Hank and Bart rode the black widow, also known as the octopus.  Because of their weight differential, their car spun around with the most vigor.  My heart jumped and stopped simultaneously while watching from the ground.  I wondered if Hank was loving it or about to throw up.  Would he swear off rides?  This was his very first time going on a ride at the fair.  Praise be to God, he actually enjoyed it!

Hank and Daddy just before his very first ride Hank and Daddy on the ride

Next we put the boys together in a little plastic canoe that travelled around in a big wiggly circle going under tipi’s every so often.  They loved it, Gideon cried and threw a fit when the ride was done.  The ride operator told the boys to keep their hands inside the canoe.  Hank was a model child sitting patiently while Gideon hung his hand in the water up to his sleeve.  When told to stop by the ride operator, Gideon just laughed and laughed.  Stinker. 😉

Hank and Giddo in a canoe 3 Hank and Giddo in a canoe 2 Hank and Giddo in a canoe

The rain started then and we all got pretty wet.  Low on tickets, we went to Pete’s Barbeque Pit for dinner.  Hank ate a half ear of corn to himself and even tried my pulled pork sandwich.  Bart, or superman, negotiated Gideon and his bowl of wandering coleslaw.

We managed to look at horses and chickens too.  Hank even got to see Horses walking by within reach.  One horse whinnied at Hank.  I was surprised by how loud they are close up.

We had just a few tickets left so we headed to play some fair games.  Hank had a particular toy in mind.  It was a weird alien looking dinosaur.  In his defense, I think he wanted it because of its dino characteristics.  The game was basically impossible, but, Bart gave it a solid effort.  While wearing Gideon in the Ergo carrier on his chest he swung a rubber hammer to hit a spring-loaded platform that sends a rubber frog flopping toward shallow baskets on a table.  I should add the table was jam-packed with these alien dino’s.  Well, no dice.  Leaving without the toy was confusing to Hank.  He is after all only three.  He didn’t understand that you can pay for something and not leave with the toy.

With our bellies full and our tickets spent we walked soppily back to our street parked car.  Yeah, we got free parking!  On our trek out, Hank wailed.  I’m sure he and Gideon were exhausted from all the stimulation and bedtime was fast approaching.  We overheard, over the loud cries, a man exclaim, “I’m so glad I don’t have children.”  My gut reaction was to turn around and say, “I heard that and I’m so glad you don’t have children too.”  But then reason gave way.  Getting into a fight with a man at the fair was not what my wet and exhausted children needed.  We held our heads high and went back to our car.

I am glad we went with the boys this year.  This time last year, I couldn’t even get out of my hospital bed.  God is so good it is absolutely unreal the miracles He has done and continues to do today.

I got to thinking though.  For folks who feel the need to say unkind things to families with crying children, this letter is for you. 🙂

Dear childless stranger at the Washington State Fair, I know you loudly exclaimed, “I’m so glad I don’t have children.” in response to hearing my child’s cries as you passed us. While he was very upset, I can’t help but feel sorry for you because you are missing out. There is SO much more to having children than their tears. They are the greatest gift after salvation. Now, more clearly than before children, I see a glimpse of God’s love for me as His child. Children admire you, emulate you and simply look to you for what it is to be an adult because one day they will be too. Please watch what you say around them.
sincerely,
Momma

Dear Jesus, thank you for this fun outing and the opportunity for Hank and Gideon to experience the chaos that is the Washington State Fair.  Amen.

It’s Raining Lets Hold A Baby Python, Toddler Fun

Well, back to school for older children, and for mine?  Well, we are enjoying life’s teachable moments and even having fun exploring.  Hank has been wanting to pet and hold a snake.  It’s raining outside today and we needed an outing (and a little break from the aforementioned “teachable moments”).  We decided to go to the pet store to look at all the animals.  The nice people at Petco allowed us to even hold some!

First we held this baby python, I even did!

baby python

Then we held this baby frill neck dragon:

baby frill neck dragon

Dear Jesus, thank you for the boys you have blessed us with.  Thank you that the teachable moments are when real ground is covered.  Please help me to know best how to encourage our boys.  Lord, I feel lately like everything is “No!” and “Don’t do that.”  I know they are both small toddlers and the sibling fighting was bound to happen sooner or later but, its tough.  Please bring me encouragement too.  Amen.

The Zoo With Cousins

We had the pleasure of going to the Point Defiance Zoo with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her boys.  We saw the sting rays, the tiger cub and some gibbons… well, uh, doing the deed.  That last part totally embarrassed me because they were so overt, maybe more so than Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA show.  Needless to say, I do not have pictures of that for you.

I did see a lot of Hank loving on his cousins and auntie Lacey though!

boys eating lunch Hank and Lacey Hank hugging Cooper Hank hugging Gage

Dear Jesus, thank you for fun times with family.  Thank you for fair weather.  Amen.

 

 

We Got A New Car!

We have been blessed beyond measure.  One blessing is our new car, a 2009 VW Jetta Tdi wagon with a true manual transmission.  If you search, you’ll find these are very hard to get ahold of…  And we own one now. 🙂

Until yesterday we were driving a 1994 Toyota 4Runner.  This is a big upgrade.  Our new car has heated seats and features galore including leather interior.  Plus, man oh man does it have power.  True, we cannot drive it on the sand like you could the 4Runner (which has directions for doing so on the drivers side visor!) but we can get up a hill real quick.  It is SO fun to drive.  I loaded the boys up today and we just drove around.  The boys love our new car too.

Here’s a link to our 4Runner if you know someone who is looking to buy one:

Reliable 1994 Toyota 4Runner With Low Miles

And here are some pictures of our new ride:

Jetta backseat Jetta drivers side Interior Jetta side Jetta Trunk

Dear Jesus, your provision pours out everywhere, into everything.  Thank you for blessing us with this new car.  I pray someone will buy our 4Runner soon.  Amen.