Sunday, June 21, 2015

Partner In Parenting

"She'll thank us one day," my husband states, his brow is furrowed and I sigh relief because I'm feeling like the bad guy again. I hear footsteps in the hall and I know the child in question is lurking just beyond the kitchen. Tears and anger--some of them mine--had swallowed up the day and I sit exhausted, but grateful to have a partner in parenting. Some days I wonder how I'm going to raise these four (five) kiddos with my own sin blaring at me loudly as I call them out on theirs. Then, he walks through the door and I remember how--with him. Together with the Lord, we are a three-stranded cord, not easily frayed, but wound up with mercy and help in times of trouble. He knows it. I know it. That's how we do this thing called parenting. 
His favourite place to be and his favourite people to be with :)

Photos below represent the beautiful workplace Terry so diligently manages and we get the benefit of enjoying the quiet and loveliness of it all on a Sunday afternoon.
Happy Father's Day to the man I love, without whom I could not do this difficult, yet rewarding occupation of motherhood.

We Didn't Know

She stops suddenly just before the bottom of the slide and she looks up at me and giggles... every... time. She thinks it's hilarious that her body jolts to a halt right at that same spot each time, as though it's a surprise to her. I can't help but laugh too, and then, up she goes to do it all over again. We didn't know this little girl would occupy such a vast place in our hearts, but she earned prime real estate in all of us. Gratitude gushing, because we just didn't know His plan for us included her.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Growing Plants and Growing a Boy

Plants line my bay window, but not because we're nursery owners; it's because my boy turned into a super-reader overnight. Oliver read what was necessary this past school year and even enjoyed books much more now that his fluency has improved. However, in this last month of grade two I noticed he still hadn't completed all the ones I'd set out in his reading bin. I reminded him that I would give him a little prize for every book he read, assuming this would spur his interest as he delved into adventure out of force :)

Since we'd been tending the vegetable garden in our backyard, Oliver had asked to plant some carrot seeds and he was thrilled to see his very own little shoots pushing their way up through the soil in the protection of a pot. Something triggered inside of him the other day and he asked if he could have seeds instead of a treat or another prize for reading a book. Ummm, yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd be okay with that! Friends, my son has read eight books in four days and can narrate them all back to me. I think it's time to move on to more complicated reading and yes, he's been holding out on me... or himself, that is. The excitement is no longer forced. Phew! He is finding joy in the adventures in his books.
So thankful he found just the right motivation to grow his love of reading and to grow plants!
Of course, there are more pots in the window since I've taken this photo ;)
And this kid still has time to do what he loves most... play outside and hunt for toads!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"I Go Africa!"

This little girl, with the hair-ballies (as we call them) and the Ivorian heritage, kept singing out all morning, "I go Africa!" We'd told her during her bathtime that we were going to see lions and zebras that day at African Lion Safari and our excitement bolstered hers. It was a zoo of crazy, noisy, elated kids in my kitchen as I wrangled water bottles and snacks for the ride. Mama, who began this tradition when my sisters and I were young, came along for a nostalgic adventure and, for some kid-loving :)
So we "go Africa" as a reward for the end of our unit (still enjoying some learning but finishing up). It just seemed like the perfect day to get a wee taste of the savanna and rainforests of that great continent. So very thankful for how God opened our eyes this year to the vast and intricately woven tapestry that is Africa.