Friday, March 31, 2017

Lent lessons

For Lent, I set out to not necessarily "give something up" but to focus more on my faith by reading the Bible daily, which, honestly, I knew I wouldn't do: My aim was, really, 3-4 times a week.

Again, honestly, I'm probably falling a wee bit short on even that. I think I'm averaging 2.5 -- but I am getting closer to reaching 3. I'm celebrating progress regardless, ha.

Anyhow, back to the point, my kid is lapping me.

I was out raking the other day (yay for spring!) and Millie was playing behind me in the yard. After a few minutes I didn't hear much sound so I turned around and found this:

Later on, while she was having a bit of quiet time (I needed to get caught up on emails), I found her on the couch, "reading" to Mustang:

Then, this morning, as we were getting ready for Speech, she looked worried.

"Where my Jesus book?" she asked.

We looked and searched and still couldn't find it.

Lola, fortunately, hadn't left for school yet so she could at least confirm that it was here, somewhere, last night before bed. So at least we hadn't lost it.

But, still, where did it go?

She had it before bed? 

Like right before bed?

You don't think ... ?

And, yeah, sure enough, she slept with it. Under her pillow.

Lent lessons. From the 5-year-old. Keep the Bible close, you'll read it more often.

It made me smile.

Happy weekend (soon enough)!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

growing up...

We saw the new live-action Beauty and the Beast this past weekend. No shock there, I'm sure, ha. (We're so predictable.)

But toward the climax, knowing that it might get just a little more intense than what she'd like, Lola changed seats and scooted in close to me. (Amelia had already long before already snuggled in with Grandpa and Grandma.) Lifting the arm rest between us, Lola was able to huddle up right to me, resting her head against my shoulder, my arm dropping instinctively around her.

Lola stayed there, right next to me, for the rest of the movie. I whispered to her, she whispered to me, both of anxiously anticipating our favorite scene from the animated film  (which, um, never came: It mustn't have fit the theme of the new film -- but don't take that as a knock against the new film: We both really enjoyed the new one too, surprise surprise, I know).

Anyways, as we huddled together, my fingers tracing the bones of her bare ankle, straddling that thin line between "rub me" and "tickle me," for a few moments, I could almost forget that in just a few months, she's going to turn 9. 9!

Two Sundays ago, Millie was getting a bit restless in worship at church. Typical 5-year-old behavior I'm sure. I lifted her to my hip as we sang, gently swaying, getting giggles and smiles aplenty. We danced (hopefully quietly?), I sang, whispering the lyrics into her ear, letting her squirm just a bit in my arms.

The next day, I could barely move my arms.

The girls are getting bigger. They are getting older. Our roles as their parents are shifting a little more every day. Not getting less important, just that we're needed in different ways.

So now, when those increasingly rarer flashes of little-kidness do show up, we're grabbing them as quickly as we can.

We are so excited to see where their futures lead, most definitely!

But, yeah, some days I want time to just slow down a little bit.

A lot of bit, honestly.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Oh how we appreciated the warmth and sunshine this past weekend.

I took Millie -- wait, I mean Amelia (she is now insisting that is her name, though she changes her mind again the next day) -- for a walk down to the park and, as we turned to head back home, we encountered Ray and Lola, Lola on her in-line skates. On the streets/sidewalks. That was a first for her! And she did great the whole way.

Of course, I pushed it a few hours later and had Lola bike next to me while I went for a run. As it turned out, it was probably a bit too much in one day and I wore her out three miles in, but we took a quick break and then made it home. Still, I'm looking forward to summer, knowing she can do it, since she and I are always on the lookout for more ways to get some bigger-kid-and-Mom time alone.

Also last week, two members of the family experienced their first-ever Bemidji State hockey game. I've been a handful of times and was already planning to go with a friend, but then we got a couple of extra tickets at the last minute so Ray and Lola were both able to go as well.

Lola sure enjoyed it.
In fact, we had so much fun that we're going again this weekend, all of us. I'm excited to see what Millie -- Amelia! -- thinks of the whole experience.

Both girls are growing up so quickly these days. Lola is thriving in school and I continue to marvel at her curiosity and insistence at understanding the whole world right now today. She continues to love art and has really taken a liking to macramé (typing knots and string to make various designs).

I'm super biased of course, but she does seem to have a knack for understanding basic concepts of art? Maybe? I dunno, that's really Ray's domain, but they've been working together well. It's so great for them to have a shared interest to bond over.

She also is finding her own "style" and I am trying (really hard!) to be hands-off and letting her express herself.

Amelia is obsessed these days with "Who is in charge?" and how does one get to be in charge. She certainly has left toddlerhood, and even to a degree preschool-hood (is that a word?) behind, insisting on doing everything herself without any help.

She is talking in sentences and has long forgotten most of the sign-language signs we used to need to communicate. She belts out the words to her favorite songs (if you see her, ask her to sing the "Moana grandma" song. Or maybe I should try to take a video one of these days). She's still a ways off from "reading," but she has FINALLY! taken an interest in letters and is pushing herself to learn their sounds without us really needing to force her to do it.

She also has been finding her own style, which apparently means fancy, fancy, fancy. She doesn't even get in the door before she's stripped off her tennis shoes (or winter boots) and has her "high" (not really) heels on and a "fancy dress," as she calls them. I think we're up to three times now that she's snuck her heels into bed and slept with them on. (I guess that better than sneaking a tablet into bed, right?)

She loves being the center of attention is "putting on a show" for us almost daily, twirling and dancing, occasionally singing. She's a cutie.

So things are good here. We're looking forward to the official arrival of Spring, and hoping it sticks around longer the next time it shows up. But, of course, Spring is also the start of Ray's crazy summer work schedule, so we are also trying to cherish and make the most of the time we all have together.