An Open Letter to My Children

Plumfield Dreams ~ An Open Letter to My ChildrenOn Sunday we dedicated you to the Lord before our blood family and our church family. We did it because we wanted to make a public statement that the Lord is your true Father, and has entrusted you to us to shape and mold in His likeness. We wanted to make it clear we know to Whom you belong, and we are committed to the hard work of loving you into His kingdom.

At the end of the dedication, your grandpa said that each of his children is a better person than he is. I hope he’s right. Your grandfather is a wonderful man. Your dad and I are blessed to have been raised in wonderful families. But I still hope he’s right, because that’s how it should be. Because he and your grandmother were faithful, the Lord has honored their faithfulness by growing their children just a little bit past their scope. And that’s my prayer for you, too. I pray that you will grow to be better people than your dad and I.

Sometimes I get nervous because I can see the ways in which life could be very difficult for you if you choose to follow Jesus with the abandon I hope you will. And that’s exactly why I want you to be a better person than I am. Because the more you are abandoned to Him, the more He can ask of you. I read recently that we give with abandon to our children because the more we give the more we can require. So as you grow we are going to do our best to pour into you with love and patience and grace, to show you Jesus through our lives, with the prayer that the Lord would turn you into people who are so filled up with His love that He can require far more from you than He could have from your grandparents or your parents.

I pray you are joyful about following the Lord wherever He leads you. I have so many hopes and dreams for you, and I’m sure those will grow along with you over time. Ultimately, though, the only thing that matters is that you love the Lord with your everything.

We sing this song with our church family, and whenever we do I pray that these are sentiments that will guide you passionately through life.

To know and follow hard after You
To grow as Your disciple in the truth
This world is empty pale and poor
Compared to knowing You, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You

I love you the most there is.

5 Factors in Adjusting to Life with Two Kids

Top Ten Tuesday is now List It Tuesday, which basically just means the list can be any length. So, here’s a list of five of the biggest factors in adjusting to our new life with two kids. You’ll notice that the first four points are difficulties in some way, and the last is a huge positive – that outweighs the first four.

    1. Where does all the time go? I get Aria up, change her diaper, and set her up with breakfast. While she’s eating I change Noah and nurse him. I clean up Aria’s breakfast and change her into her play clothes. Noah is fussing. I get him settled, and by then Aria is ready for lunch. Wait – what? Doesn’t it seem like there should be more time in there? Where does that go? By the point I have everyone fed, changed, and happy, it’s time to feed or change someone again. And I only have the two. Some of you do this (or have done this) with even more {bows down}.
    2. Finding the scheduling balance. It’s all about that disappearing time. Before Noah was born Aria and I would get out of the house each day, even for just a short time. Now it’s much more difficult, and many days doesn’t happen at all. It’s also difficult for me to find the time to accomplish my work and blogging. I pretty much have to do those things while the kids are sleeping. I try to accomplish household chores while Aria is awake. I’m suffering in the areas of time with Andy and time to sleep. I’m not concerned about the sleep – occasionally, when it becomes imperative, I am able to catch up on the lost sleep. The time with Andy? That does concern me. We have to get a handle on that part of our lives. I’m just getting back to what will be my “normal” weekly commitments for the school year, so we’re still working out the kinks. One thing I know is I have to figure out how to quit sleeping through my alarm. 😉
    3. Mommy guilt. Okay, so this one is also time-related. I often feel guilty that I can’t give Aria the attention I would have previous to Noah’s birth. Yes, I recognize that it’s good for her to hear “no” and “not right now” (and she heard those before Noah’s birth, too). I think what I find difficult is telling her no because of him. I’m probably sub-consciously worried it will cause some sort of tension between them, even though that’s probably a silly concern.
    4. Hitting. Oh, geez. Aria loves her brother, but she has taken to hitting and squealing at a high pitch as attention-getting techniques. Sometimes she does both as experiments, and sometimes she does them to draw negative attention. Since she’s not speaking well yet, it can be difficult to discern the best way to handle these issues. I can tell she understands me – she understands pretty much everything now – but the fact she can’t respond to me clearly makes it confusing.
    5. Watching the kids interact. There is nothing better than watching these kids interact with each other. Aria was fascinated by Noah from the first time she saw him. He lights up when she leans over him, and then she lights up because he lights up. I love to watch him respond to her voice, and watch her get excited to see him. She talks often about the “baby” and has just now started to say his name (“No-ee”).

Do you have any wise words for me? I’d love advice.

Plumfield Dreams: Aria & Noah


10 things I can’t wait to do with my kids

10 Things I Can't Wait to do with My Kids

  1. Live music. In case you don’t know me at all, I love music. My kids attended their first concerts in the womb, and even got to be on stage with me for some. Noah attended his first concert before he was two weeks old, and Aria’s been to a couple now (all of these were The Phil). I can’t wait to share even more with them. More of The Phil, including The Nutcracker (okay, that may not include Noah), and many other fantastic musicians. In an ideal world, they’ll get to experience Nickel Creek with me some day.
  2. Baking and cooking. Oh, I can’t wait to do this. Right now Aria likes to watch, but she is just a little too young still to “help”. We love to cook, and Andy likes to bake bread occasionally and cookies during the holidays, so I know this is an activity our kids will get their fill of.
  3. Reading all kinds of books together. When I was young my siblings and I each were responsible to clean up after one of the meals every day. While we cleaned, our mom would read to us (or, when we got older and thought we were clever, we would talk her into letting us read while she cleaned). I loved those times, and those are treasured memories for me. I would love to do that with my children. Regardless, we’ll be doing a lot of reading. Right now I read Aria’s Bible to the kids every morning, and many, many board and picture books throughout the days. I often read my own books aloud to them, as well.
  4. Organized sports. I sort of hope at least one of our kids shows an interest in playing a sport while they’re young. (Remind me of this when I’m whining about the time it consumes, okay? Remind me I was looking forward to it, and then help me think through whether it actually makes sense for us.)
  5. Music lessons. Yep, I’m really looking forward to the prospect of the kiddos learning instruments. Definitely piano, and then another instrument if they show interest in something else specific. I may even take lessons with them. My piano skills are rusty. (While you’re reminding me of things, could you nudge me on this one when I’m sick of bugging them to practice and then actually hearing them do so?)
  6. Sharing favorites of the media sort – movies, music, books, TV. I LOVE stories in all forms. I have all sorts of favorites, from little-kid-appropriate to not-even-close. I look forward to walking through all those stages with my kids. Though I’m already bracing myself for the inevitable comments about how outdated my favorite movies and TV shows look.
  7. Decorating for Christmas. Eek! ‘Nough said.
  8. Going to the library. Oh, boy. The library is a block from our house. I grew up going to the same library, choosing stacks of books as a little kid, and even bigger stacks once I was responsible for them (as opposed to my mom). I hope big, bright eyes at the prospect of checking out books is hereditary.
  9. Studying scripture. Because what could be better than watching my children learn and grow, and getting to share that entire experience with them?
  10. Serving others. Each other, neighbors, the elderly, the poor, the hurting, anyone we can think of. I have specific memories of serving all these groups of people with my own mom during my formative years. How cool is that? I say we pass it down through the generations, make it a family legacy.

What things are you looking forward to doing with your kids? If you’re already in, or past, that phase, what are your favorite activities with your kids?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Look Forward to Doing with My Kids

I’m linking up to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings


Quick Takes: Light and Fluffy

In the interest of full disclosure, my grandfather died this week after a long physical and mental decline. He was my last living grandparent, and I think the realities of it all haven’t hit me yet. For now, because I am overwhelmed in many ways, I am choosing to focus here on the light and fluffy, rather than anything even close to emotional or difficult. I will just say this: I have been phenomenally blessed by present, loving grandparents, all of whom invested in me and my siblings.

  • Tonight I chipperly and firmly asked Aria to help me pick up her toys and put them away. She took the cloth napkin she had gotten out of the kitchen linen drawer, laid down flat on her back in the middle of the living room, and placed the napkin over herself. I think we need to work on that picking up thing.
  • Aria, Mom and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in West Lafayette with my aunt and uncle. We try to visit fairly regularly, because we LOVE them, and we LOVE to visit their home. It’s peaceful there, and beautiful, and my aunt’s an awesome cook, and they are fun, intelligent people. So yeah. This was the first trip since Aria has been ambulatory, and oh boy. The layout of their main floor allowed Aria to happily walk/jog in large circles…over…and over…and over… She officially loves it there as much as we do.

 BabyFruit Ticker

  • We’re in the pregnancy home stretch, so I now go in for appointments with my midwife each week. At my last appointment I checked my choice of herbal birth prep formula with Stephanie, and upon her approval began it immediately. It’s a six week formula, and I started it a couple of days into my 34th week (of course, if I go into labor before 40 weeks I can discontinue use). I haven’t noticed anything new with its use, which is fine (probably good). The only thing I’d say is that it tastes guh-ross, like the herbs within the capsule (shocking, right?).
  • This evening I met with our general practitioner to quiz her about vaccines. She was very forthcoming and informative, and what I learned is that a bunch of the stuff they pump into tiny children they don’t need until they are much older, if at all. We’ll be foregoing several vaccines this time. Before Aria was born, we made the decision to not have this conversation. I had reached information overload (and I have a high tolerance for information), and just couldn’t deal with it. Now that I’m not overloaded I regret the decision, but I don’t know that I could have made a different choice at the time. Tonight we also attended orientation at the birthing center, as a refresher for Andy and myself, and an introduction for Mom (who will bring Aria while we are there, as long as it is during the daytime). I love that place. I’m really looking forward to birthing there (you know, as much as you can look forward to giving birth).
  • This week I started going to a new chiropractor. I’ve always gone to a chiropractor about 30 minutes from home, and I really like him. However it’s become impractical to try to get there for treatment, so I began going to a chiropractor two minutes down our road. My first appointment went well, and I have a second tomorrow. This particular practice often works with pregnant women (the owner’s wife was even our Bradley instructor), so they are familiar with special techniques for treating the pregnant body. The adjustment didn’t help with my pelvic discomfort, which leads me to the conclusion that I am correct that what I am feeling is the baby resting there (the fact I can now actually feel him moving that low is another clue – I’m quick like that).