Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Daybook for June 2013

It is officially summer and time for a Daybook entry.  This is my first Daybook since J-Bear joined us, since school ended, and, well, there is quite a bit to catching up to do.  As always, thanks to the Simple Woman's Daybook for the inspiration.

Outside my window...Our garden is blooming.  Peonies, pansies, lettuces, jasmine, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and herbs are a beautiful sight to wake up to each morning.  The cool, rainy weather has been good to our plants.  We haven't watered the lawn once yet this season, but it is lush and green.  

I am thinking...About the
many Minnesotans who have been living without power this weekend.   'Tis the season for Midwestern storms, and we have had our share the past few days.  Trees are down everywhere in our neighborhood.  We are blessed to have power and a snug, safe home.  On Friday, we barely made it home from the park as 60mph winds hit our neighborhood.  T stayed with our kids in the garage as I carried them one by one through pounding rain to our house.  At times, the wind and rain were so strong that I had to wait to make another trip!  I think it was the first time our children appreciated how dangerous and unpredictable weather can be.  

I am thankful...For our community's commitment to being good stewards of the Earth.  Following the storms this weekend, we spent some time cleaning up our yard.  We ended up with 6 bags full of branches and yard debris!  We are so fortunate that
 our city offers several free, yard-waste composting sites not far from our house.  It was time for  us to make a trip to the compost pile.  We were not alone!  When we arrived at the site, there was a line of cars waiting to get in that stretched several blocks.  Inside the compost site, the brush pile was already impressive, and there were many, many cars waiting to add to it.  Check out the size of the pile: 

The best part is that all the brush and organic yard waste is converted into soil and mulch that is offered free of charge in the spring and fall.  This service and our neighbors' commitment to using it is such an encouraging example to us.  

In the kitchen...It is time to start cooking again.  J-Bear is 7 weeks old already, and we are just now getting to the end of all the generous meals that other families delivered to help us.  I am so grateful for so many generous friends and family members!  The break from meal planning and cooking dinner was a tremendous blessing, especially given that our first weeks of adjustment corresponded with end-of-school-year craziness.  This weekend, we finally had to restock our fridge and freezer a bit, and it is about time for me to start some summer meal planning.  Anyone up for a picnic?

I am wearing...J-Bear on my chest, which is her favorite place to be.  The closer she is, the happier she'll be, whether she's in my sling or just lying in my arms.  It's true--our sweet girl doesn't get set down very often, and that is just fine with me.

I am creating...Our summer schedule.  I love the rhythm of our days in the summer.  The routine is predictable: breakfast, playtime or outing, clean-up, lunch time, story time, learning time, rest time, chores/make dinner, dinner time, bath time or outside time, story time, bed time.  The kids really enjoy being all together.  I am thankful for the way that summer time brings out their friendships and love for one another.

The summer crew
I am my 6-week postpartum appointment with J-Bear tomorrow.  My experience giving birth at a birth center this time around was a tremendous blessing.  I am excited to see the midwives who helped me bring J-Bear into the world and thank them for the experience.   

I am pondering...The pros and cons of homeschooling, whether to accept a part-time teaching position for the fall semester, and our housing situation (our lease is up in September!).  Just a few tidbits for T and me to discuss in those few moments after our kids are in bed.....

I am reading...A lot of stories these days.  Buddy Bear and I are working on his words, E-Bear and I love to get lost in a good Disney adventure or Bible Story, and G-Bear is reading to me!  Between these three, we can't get enough of our local library.  This week we have learned about bugs and the vegetables we eat, flower fairies and adjectives that describe butterflies.  Next week, we'll be reading books about our country and the 50 states in honor of our country's birthday.  Nothing beats our time snuggled together on the couch, reading.  I love waking up to Buddy Bear's requests for a story, and I adore G-Bear's willingness to read to her brothers.  

I am hoping...that we'll all make progress on our bikes this summer:  G-Bear is trying her's without training wheels, E-Bear is trying his big kid bike with trainers, Buddy Bear is trying to learn to petal, J-Bear is slowing growing into a helmet (so she can ride in the bike carriage!), and I am hoping to get a bike by the end of the summer.  T and I have looked at this one a few times.  Two kids really can fit on the back seat!

I am looking forward to...lunch tomorrow with a friend and four of her kids, which will make eight kids between the two of us.  Last week we enjoyed an afternoon playdate with another friend and her five kids.  The week before that we had another family of six over for dinner.  We are noticing a trend:  new friends, big families, lots of kids and tons of fun.  These friendships are a blessing!   We are so thankful that our kids are able to enjoy the blessing as much as T and I do.

I am learning...More each day about parenting with four in the house.  We're doing pretty well so far.  Each addition has been gentler on me than the one before.  I am so thankful for my older helpers, the routine we have been establishing, and the summer days that give us a gentle reprieve as we adjust.  I am also finding more everyday that I want to teach my children.  Our afternoon learning time has been packed with activity.  But even more than that, I realize (more and more) that each moment with them is a teachable moment.  I am praying daily for the patient persistence to take advantage of each one.  

Our Jasmine vine from NC.  It survived the winter inside and it's now flourishing on our deck.
What a sweet reminder of our friends in Carolina land.

Around the house...the playroom is picked up, the kitchen dishes are put away, but that laundry, oh that silly laundry, it never quite makes it out of the hallway.  

I am wondering...How to help my children, and one in particular, grow in self-control.  As I reflect on each of their temperaments, I realize how different they are from each other.  Each temperament offers perks as well as parenting challenges.  Sometimes I feel like I am starting from scratch, even after years of parenting.  When one of my babes and I have a hard day, I need to remember that we're both likely to rebound by morning.  God's grace is sufficient, and love covers a multitude of sins.

A favorite quote for today...

"Mommy, Bobby Hoop (basketball hoop) outside, peeeeeeeeese?"
~Buddy Bear, begging so politely to have our Fischer Price basketball hoop 
brought outside from the basement so that he can shoot hoops with his ball.

One of my favorite things...
My new "31 Days of Prayer" guide, a new gift from a friend.  Each day focuses on a different prayer, personalized for my kids.  It is a great way to be more intentional in my prayer life.  Thanks to my friend C!  I love it, friend.

A few plans for the rest of the week....We'll finish up VBS for G-Bear with a family program on Friday and then start preparing for the Fourth of July.

A peek into my day...
"Mommy, Mommy!  Wook me!  Wook me!"

Thank you, Lord.  These days are the best.

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