Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Creek In The Woods


Over spring break, we visited a spot that I frequented when I only had two children. Burl and Fern were Ridge and Lark's age, so naturally my mama heart skipped a beat. (Click here for a cute memory.) 


We've spent a lot of time in these woods near the VW car factory, and now we're back with Ridge wearing the same cheeks and boots that Burl had then. It messes with my Mama head to remember a sweet special season while living in a sweet special season of my life. TOO MUCH GOODNESS TO ABSORB. 


At first the big kids were skeptical that they could have fun here, then one look at the creek and they were engaged. Ridge got wet, but powered through and didn't stop exploring. 


Burl had some plans and kindly led Fern through his agenda. They fed off of each other, and I was encouraged once again to pray that Fern marries a man who leads her like Burl, with excitement and gentleness, and pray that Burl marries a woman who follows him like Fern with joy and adoration. They are a sweet pair. 


We played for a while until I gave Ridge a break. Despite being cold from his wet clothes, Ridge would have stayed all day but I couldn't watch him shiver anymore. We wrapped up this session of creek fun, and I promised the kids that we would be back again. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When You Give A Child Some Water


It was a case of "when you give a mouse a cookie" afternoon. 


They each wanted a cup of water to take outside, "to drink." We know how that goes: the water turned to inventions that turned into mud that turned into worms that turned into happy children in the perfect mess.


I love seeing them like this. This is what perfect childhoods are made of. 



Hopefully this scene will continue to be a regular part of their little lives and John won't be telling me to "grab the camera and come quick." But when he follows it up with "can dinner wait, they're having so much fun?" the answer will always be yes.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tummy Time Cheeks


It's all about the cheeks. John and I talked in detail about each of our children's cheeks and how they hang. Burl's were out and down, Fern's squeezed her mouth, Ridge's were more to his side, and now we're watching Lark. Tummy time proves the best way to observe them. 


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Six Part Circus Goes To Virginia

There's a feeling of going home when I go to Grandma Polly's house. When I head northeast for a Virginia visit, I'm flooded with memories of my childhood. I remember spots on the interstate, going over the hills on Timberlake road, the anticipation of the last few blocks before we turn onto her street and the simple enthusiasm she greets us with. Her house, with its decorations and function, have not changed since I was a child. It's the best constant that I've had in my life, thank you Jesus. 

I always had space to be a child there. Three generations of women grew up on that street, and the stories are plentiful. "We would only come inside to eat," was fuel to my childhood heart. I explored the neighborhood with my brothers in the same way that my mom did, and now I get to take my children there. 


This weekend we took our circus to Grandma Polly's sanctuary for a four day visit. Burl and Fern have been asking to return, and I was eager to introduce her to Ridge and Lark. 




It was a fantastic trip. She adored them. We saw some sites, did some things, and poked around. Nothing about that was as special as sitting on the floor on her den, playing with my children, and watching her laugh at us. She never stopped watching and she never stopped laughing. I loved it so. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Child's Servant Heart

This morning I woke up to a familiar scene: Burl and Fern were awake before me. Burl was dressed and ready for school, and they had set up breakfast. It was the cutest scene. They were so proud of themselves. They always tell me how they solved problems they encountered: "we used paper towels because we didn't have any napkins clean," "we couldn't find a sippy cup for Ridge, so we got his snack pack."


Then, the sweetest part: Burl wrote me a note on a princess napkin, a move I make when I pack their lunches. John laughed at this, "Wow Meg, he is his mother's son."


Since Ridge was born and even more with Lark, Burl and Fern have been very helpful. I used to feel guilty about this, worrying that they were losing their childhood in effort to help ease Mama's load. Then, a sweet friend said in passing, "God didn't mess up by putting your kids where they are." I turned my worries into prayers that "God would use this time in their lives to turn their hearts into servant hearts for God's glory." That's what I silently pray when the worry creeps in that they have to help too much. When they setup breakfast like this and are overjoyed to show me their surprise, I trust that the Lord knows what He is doing far more than I do. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Diaper Duty

I often joke that my younger brothers were my first children, because I love them so much and have since they were babies. My earliest memory is 20 months old when my mom brought Joseph home from the hospital. I remember running through our house, away from my grandmother, outside to the car, pulling my mom down to my level and ripping off the blankets to see his little shape. I had to see him. When Daniel came along, I had a lot of freedom holding him. At nap time I would go to the floor above his room and stomp around to wake him up from his nap so I could play with him. Now, I see that same love in the older children. Burl and Lark have the same age gap as my brother and me. I had so many more freedoms than Burl has with Lark, so I've resolved to bring him into more of the care taking. Today, he got Lark out of his crib, set him on the changing pad, changed his diaper, walked him upstairs, wrapped Lark in Burl's bed, and read him books. 


He was very careful and very attentive. I laughed when he said in his sweet voice, "I hope that he doesn't feel like he's being tortured." 


Besides the notoriously hard snaps that never line up, he did great.


His confidence was high, and he was eager to tackle baby #2. With Fern's distractions, Burl got the job done. Even though I know this kind of help won't last, his attentiveness and care were endearing. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Burl Is 7




I am fully aware that I go overboard at birthdays. It's not the pinterest parties and big expenses that are my downfall, it's the celebrations. We.do.not.stop with the celebrating. In my mind, they're OUR KIDS and WE WILL CELEBRATE having them because they are our biggest gifts.





Cookies at school, family doughnuts, bonfire with friends, and our newest tradition: a solo dinner out with Mom and Dad. See, we take this past overboard. 




We also added a family trip to the aquarium to see their newest exhibit. 



Birthdays have a way of bringing up all the feelings of raising children. I've found myself remembering his early days, considering who he is now, and wondering what lies ahead for him. John and I have really enjoyed him lately, and we often talk about him after bedtime. He's so young to be the oldest. We mess up with him more than the others, which means he gets our apologies the most. He has a self-unawareness that is refreshing, and he doesn't get embarrassed often. It creates problems when we have to get stuff done and he's in his own world, but it makes for an easy going son.


When he's not at school and home with us, he energizes his younger siblings and things get wild. When he's at school, the younger ones are much more subdued. That's what he does: brings the fun.


Over-celebrating seems fitting for our rowdy seven year old. 
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Two Pairs/Two Twins


Above: Lark and Ridge
Below: Fern and Burl

Each pair have the same age difference: 20 months. Burl and Ridge look so much alike, so the comparisons right now are natural. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lark's First Days

"Ok the angel blog has been up for too long. You can hold a baby in one hand and blog with the other." -my dad, with an attitude. Here I sit with a baby asleep in my lap and I'm blogging about the first month of his life. What a sweet gift he is!

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February was a great month for our family: we became complete. Lark Christian was born (our fourth and final) and we spent the whole month adoring him. It was a very slow and full month. 

Going through my February pictures accurately paints the picture: bed head and jammies. I remember several times folding the children's laundry thinking, "this is all underwear and jammies" because we spent most of our time snuggling. Lark was snuggled from one set of arms to the next, some being more aggressive than others *cough, Ridge, cough*. 

Truly, it's been magical and almost sacred. Lark has spent most of his first days in my arms. I've carried him everywhere. This is my last baby, and I'm not setting him down!



We've spent the majority of our time at home, where all these pictures were taken. I've worked on leaving my camera out so I capture these precious and dear times: 





















He is adored by the whole family and we are happy to have him here. What a sweet season for us. I hope I always remember this feeling. 
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