Monday, August 31, 2015

Katelyn's First Day of School

Dear Katelyn,

I missed your "birthday blog" this year (it was a busy Spring).  You have been 5 for four months now, and I decided to just take care of it today, your first day of Kindergarten. 

You continue to impress and amaze people you meet with your intelligence and sweet spirit.  It has been great fun to see you challenge yourself in recent months, particularly in reading.  We had to make a rule that bedtime stories had to be read TO you, not BY you, simply because you were determined to read the hardest and longest stuff you could find.  The new rule is read to yourself all you want during the day, but bedtime belongs to Mom and Dad.  

You have been so excited to start school.  We told you quite a while ago that Kindergarten belongs to the 5 year olds, so come April 30, you expected to go to school the next week.  So, we had to break the news that it wouldn't start until September.  You were bummed, but always flexible, you went with it. 

Today was the "big day" and it seems like you had a good time.  As you and I were walking to school this morning, you heard a bell ring when we were still a block away and said, "We're going to be late!"  We still had time though. You were your bold little quiet self as you walked into the classroom. I guess it helped that we visited last year's classes a couple of times, so you knew right where to sit on the rug.  And those were some tired eyes when I got home and saw you on the chair, but, as usual, no nap for you.  It will be interesting to see how day 2 goes in that department.  Your mom and I could get used to this earlier bedtime, though.

I'm proud of you, my Sweetness.  You're bright, funny, creative, and beautiful.  I know Jesus has great plans for your life.  I'm thankful that you are beginning to understand God's love at work in you, and believe soon you'll be ready to place your trust in Him. 

We love watching you and Nathan play together.  While you prefer life as a princess, it's fun to watch you play with the boy's stuff, too.  It is wonderful to see your love for one another.  I pray that remains a lifelong bond for you.  

I pray God's continued protection and blessings for you, Katelyn.  He has great plans for you.  Seek Him, love Him, and He will give you all your heart's desires. We live in a hard, dark world, but I see the Lord's beauty in your innocence and sweet spirit.  Allow Him to touch the world with His love through you.
"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11–13 NASB95



Monday, March 16, 2015


"I wan go outside.  Bike.  Red helmet."

So comes the rite of spring this year in Snukeville.  Nathan has always wanted to be outside, which is funny because he was born on the coldest day of winter. But whenever he decides it is the thing to do, don't get in his way.  

I haven't spent a lot of time on my bike the last couple of years, but this year is already starting dramatically differently.  As many of you have noticed, I've been trying to be disciplined about running.  In the meantime, I put Nathan on my bike a few times along the way, and in the process created a monster.  

Katelyn is getting braver on her "big girl" bike.  She was SO excited when we got it last year.  Then, she took one spill and that ended that for the winter.  She was terrified.  Since she's "almost five" we got her back on, and have been coaching her.  Really, it's just conquering the fear since she's on training wheels.  

Several times a week now, we are venturing onto the church parking lot (very conveniently located in our backyard).  Nathan has been toddling along for a few minutes on his balance bike, and Katelyn shaking in fear of falling off her bike, which has yet to happen.  

I am reminded of learning to ride a bike when I was a kid.  My dad was so patient with me, and now I realize he was likely just two steps from knocking my block off.  It's a fun process, but one that is also frustrating.  We're taking a different tactic with Nathan (balance bike) so we'll see how that goes.  It brings much fun, and great family time outside.  And generally a temper tantrum when the party's over.  

Fun days in Snukeville.
 Nathan in his seat on my bike
 Balance bike close-up
 Little man, big dreams
Katelyn learning to be brave

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Nathan (2.0)

Dear Nathan,

It hardly seems possible, the fact that you're two years old today.  I know most parents in their right minds who enjoy their kids say that, but it truly is the case.  

As I watch you wander around the living room asking me, "Who's that?" about almost all your toys (but particularly Larry the Cucumber), I am amazed that the little man you are.  You are so intelligent.  You work to master everything you learn.  I wish I had half the drive to learn that you do.  You've begun learning your letters, and along the way you are realizing there are letters everywhere! It was so cute the night you discovered that the funny stuff on the wall in your sister's room were actually letters.  And when you discovered the letters on the various shirts I wear.  It's just so much fun.  

You are SO LOUD! And you always have been, from moment one.  There is nothing quite like having the still of night ripped apart by a wail or a shout from your bedroom.  In some ways, those screeches are a sound of comfort. But not many.  Mostly, it's just loud. Both you and Katelyn have spoiled us by being generally great sleepers.  So good, that on the nights you aren't it is pretty miserable for dear old mom and dad.

I am so thankful for your sweet spirit.  You have been independent from the start, but man... you are a mama's boy! You and your mommy have quite the bond.  I am so thankful for the love you show her.  I pray that bond only grows, and you know just how much you are loved.

It's been a busy year for you.  You learned how to walk.  You've started talking.  You have developed an extreme fondness for VeggieTales (expressed in an awkward bond with a plastic Larry the Cucumber who most often has no eyes.  Seriously dude... it's just a plastic cucumber).  You love music.  You love Frozen.  You love animals.  You love your church and everyone who cares for you.  Your Grandma and Grandpa moved here in March, and that bond has just gotten stronger and stronger.

You and Katelyn are trouble... even now.  It will be interesting to see what you two come up with in the years ahead. I love how you join in on the fun with whatever story she has rolling in her mind.  And by joining in on the fun, I mean you generally body slam a toy (or her), steal a crown ("I King" walking around wearing a princess crown.  Oy), or pull her hair (and when you get caught... you hug her and say "AWW."  Yeah.  We've got you figured out, kid).  Be nice to your sister, Paco.  She's either your best friend or worst enemy!

I am thankful for the sweet boy you are.  I praise Jesus that you are so healthy.  To think back to the time when we were expecting you, and the stress related to your heart issues.  So far, it's just shown itself to be a funky heartbeat.  Your energy is through the roof, and the only trip to the hospital was that time we thought you might have swallowed a battery last Christmas (update... battery was found under last year's Christmas tree... not in your throat).  You are a trooper when it comes to your periodic monitors for the doctors.

I praise Jesus that His grace already shines so brightly in your life.  Most of all I pray that you trust in Christ for salvation and forgiveness early in your life, and that you are a faithful servant of the Most High God.  He has great plans for you, my son.  I pray you live in His grace.

I love you, Nathan.  Our gift.