Monday, May 14, 2012

Capture Gratitude: Time wasters, intentionality, fun neighbors, and orange shoes.

“There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.”  Fredrick Buechner 

This is going to be short and sweet, because I am under a couple of deadlines (one of which is a garage sale this weekend. Which I was super excited about in my decluttering frenzy in January and February. Now? Not so much.)

True confession time. This week I really have been working hard under those 2 deadlines. But the past few weeks, working hard hasn't been the only reason I wasn't blogging much. I was doing something else with my free time:

This is my favorite game/app EVER. My awesome SIL got me hooked on Draw Something: Which is a phone/iPad/Kindle Fire version of pictionary, except with color. Love it. If only I had an iPad or a stylus, I could really rock at it, but I'm getting pretty good with my fingers. I'm playing with several fun friends, but my favorite is playing with Luke. He got the word "Luke" one day (I'm pretty sure they were going for Skywalker...more on that coming soon), so he wrote "ME". This just in: 12 year old boys are hilarious.

Tobin loves to watch me draw and help guess. This week he was practicing writing on his white board (he loves his dry erase!) He told me he was going to play Draw Something with me:
 Any guesses?

My favorite thing about May.
The last 6 months have been something of a whirlwind, as we got used to living as a family of 5. Being home with 2 very active little ones has been exhausting, and I'm still trying to get my mojo back as far as doing things with and for them, and actually getting things done. I realized a few weeks ago that I've defaulted to turning on a TV show whenever they were getting too rowdy or I needed to get something done (not that we watch anything on actual TV...Netflix all the way, baby!)  I'm determined not to feel guilty about that - this is a season of life, and there's  no cookie cutter formula for raising kids, no merit badge for kids who only watch 30 minutes of educational TV each week.

BUT I also know that I want to be intentional about raising my kids, giving them different experiences, and teaching them to entertain themselves rather than always be entertained. And I felt like I was getting lazy - it's just so much easier to turn on The Backyardigans than try and get/keep them both involved in any activity. And most activities take a lot more prep and clean up than flipping a switch.

 So the past 2 weeks, I've tried to limit the Media-time (for them and for me), and plan some activities for the boys. Or just get out some of our many art supplies and let them go to town. To my surprise, the boys have really enjoyed having some structured activities again, and have even played very well on their own, once they got used to having the computer turned off most of the time again. I mean...I still have to referee pretty often, but I also had to do that after 30 minutes of watching "Bee Bee", as Micah calls it.
Disclaimer: I am not above copious amounts of TV viewing for my youngest very-early-riser so that I can have 5 minutes of alone time to read my Bible, pray and drink my coffee.  That doesn't count.

 We love our neighbors, and are super happy that they're going to be around more this summer. Who else has a neighbor who would lend their newly won-Beiber doll and let Luke come and surprise me at the door, singing "Baby, Baby...." Tobin thought that was the FUNNIEST THING EVER. And we kind of want to steal their Beiber, but that wouldn't be neighborly, I suppose.

 Speaking of my early-rising-youngest... Matt was out of town last week for 5 nights. By Saturday morning, I was WIPED out. And I heard both younger boys giggling and talking in their room before 7am. I wanted to cry. But then it got really quiet, and no one made the very expected and traditional tiptoe into mom & dad's room, and climb up on Mommy. I fell back asleep. And then I woke up kind of panicky 30 minutes later, with the realization that little boys + quiet = TROUBLE. No fear:
Luke heard them, and got up with them, letting them watch Netflix shows on his Kindle. Praise God for big brothers.

Tobin was disappointed that we didn't enter our mini-van, which I'm sure would have looked smoking, next to all the classic Model A Fords, Trans Ams, and Corvettes.
 In even better news, we all voted for our favorites, which entered us in a drawing. Tobin won our family a book of TEN movie tickets. SCORE.

 Saturday night was my last night alone with the boys (Matt got home around 9, after the littles were in bed.) We had home made wild wings and watched Star Wars in the basement.
Best moment: At the end, I was explaining to Tobin that Princess Leia was giving them all medals because they helped save the planet. Tobin looked at the screen, with Luke Skywalker (in case you're wondering: Still a whiner.), Han Solo, and Chewbacca with their medals. Tobin: "That BEAR didn't save the planet!" When I told Matt that story later, we laughed for 10 minutes. Nerds.


 Mother's Day is bittersweet for me. I am so thankful for my 3 boys, but also remember years of waiting and feeling like Mothers Day was just salt in the wound. And I know that for many it's an actively painful day - those who've lost babies, or lost their mothers.

So I pray for those who are hurting...rejoice with the MANY friends who celebrated their first Mother's Day as Mommies this year, and pray for those who are waiting and/or hurting.

And thank the Lord I get to be a Mama to these turkeys.

I'm still running... But my shoes were dead, and I've been fighting shin splints. I've been reading a lot about barefoot or natural running, and decided to give barefoot shoes a try (Matt says he thinks I'm supposed to wear them barefoot - without socks - but I think they'll get stinky. They are barefoot shoes, because they're supposed to encourage you to run as if you were barefoot, which is better for your body.) Everyone has told me to go super slow... So I wore them around today, and I'm going to start slowing breaking them in tomorrow (I think I'll run for 5 minutes... I was up to 30, so that's not 10%, which is what was recommended...but I have been wearing a pair of barefoot casual shoes for a while, so it won't be a total adjustment for my muscles.)
 I don't know how they'll work for running, but they sure are adorable.