Wednesday, May 2, 2018

abner at 3 1/2...

4th kid. dead blog. he doesn't have a whole lot documented. so i figured it was time for an update on our favorite boy.

he is very much in love with our cat, winston. they love to bug each other. when we first got winston and he would snuggle on abner, abner would say "he yike my body." :)

hattie and abner are also pretty inseparable. i was bummed for a little bit after we decided to home school the girls, that abner wouldn't get any one on one time with me. he is absolutely miserable to be around when hattie isn't home though. he is lost without her!
speaking of home school, hattie is in junior kindergarten now. abner sits in most days, so he has picked up on a great deal. he can count pretty high, write his name, recognizes most letters. it's pretty cool to watch! except when i realized he is learning everything upside down because he sits across from hattie. i think he has it figured out though!
this is what he does when he says something he shouldn't. he has been testing his limits a lot lately. if you discipline him he turns on you real quick. you could be his favorite one minute, and the next he is yelling "i don't yike you anymore! only daddy...and hattie...and ziza." it both frustrates me and makes me laugh.
he loves his cowboy boots, and was pretty proud when he got a cowboy hat. he doesn't realize just how much it sticks out though. when he first got it he ran into hattie with a "ohp! mine hat!"
he is gaining independence...finally. he will venture away from me. he goes to sunday school without me. he will play at the park without being stuck to me. he still has his moments and shadows me everywhere. so much that one day i told him he was no longer abner lee, he was now abner leech.
he is very much our shy guy, but i am able to encourage him a bit. this pic was after he carried his library books up to check out and say "may i haff these pease." i was super proud! many times he hides from people, not just unfamiliar ones, but everyone.
he's my little artist. constantly impressing me with paintings, drawings, creations. i hope his love for it continues to grow.
next to daddy, the ranch is high on his favorites list. especially if roger and colby are there. he talks about the cows and the 4 wheeler a lot. i love that they have a place to run, because we are definitely country people and not town dwellers.
he loves me a lot...when daddy is not around. he goes back and forth on who is his favorite, but he is such a lover. the best snuggle bug. thankfully he is still peanut sized, so he's easy to hold.
 he loves his sleep, and i love him for it. many days we hear "i tired" and he enjoys naps still.
his dork status is reaching new levels. ones that would make uncle luke proud. but he is the cutest dork around.
we found out a year and a half ago that he has a subaortic membrane. he has to see the cardiologist every 6 months to get an echo cardiogram. he is a rock star patient. this time as soon as the doctor walked in the room he lifted his shirt up. he also has to see an ear, nose and throat doctor soon. his tonsils are rather large. i wish he didn't have to deal with any of this, but his attitude makes it easier.
and two random things, that i don't want to forget.

he created a card game. basically, you take turns drawing cards, but you hold them facing out. from what i gathered it's called "you have a pair!" ha!

and today he wanted a chance to bat with hattie's new t-ball bat and squishy ball. he lived up to his name, and hit it on the first try. i have high hopes for his baseball career. ;)

he is definitely the best thing that ever happened to us. God knew what he was doing when he surprised us with abner. his sisters love him like crazy, and he completes our family perfectly. our little caboose.

Friday, March 9, 2018

spoiling hattie.


just wanted to remember this conversation with eliza...

after another hattie whine at bedtime, i was saying good night to eliza.

eliza - i just don't understand why she does that. it makes me mad.

me - i know. i don't understand either, but she is learning. you just need to keep showing her how to act, and hopefully she will figure the world out. do you know why daddy thinks she acts like that?

eliza - why?

me - because i spoiled her when she was a baby.

eliza - MAMA!

me - what?! sorry, i did.

eliza - how? why?

me - well, a lot of moms are nervous with their first kid. they fuss and worry, but i wasn't like that with you. i learned a lot from watching aunt tammy, and it was just fun. i was never nervous. then we lost delia, and you know what? when we had hattie, i was scared. i was nervous and i worried a lot. and she liked to be held, so i held her, because you didn't like to be. i gave her what she wanted, and spoiled her. but guess what else?

eliza - what?

me - you spoil her too.

eliza - errrgggh...i know, but i like to be nice!



Saturday, February 3, 2018

another plan that wasn't ours.

train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. proverbs 22:6


let's go back to when james was in the army. you could have heard me say things like "i just want to be settled by the time the kids are in school." at that time we only had eliza and it would be years before she would begin. little did i know, james would get called into the ministry and a new life of uncertainty would be upon us. 

eliza started kindergarten in our comfortable country lutheran school. i was all set for her to be there throughout. to one day have her aunt as her teacher. to share recess and lunch with her cousins and best friend. 

God had other plans. 

plans that would start by taking us to western nebraska. 

the days, weeks, months before call day i said that a school was at the top of my list. sure distance would be hard, but we had been to korea after all. i just wanted a lutheran school, and i wanted the kids to be settled and not have to switch schools.

so when we heard the words crawford and harrison nebraska, in the wyoming district, i was shocked. the distance must be great, but my initial prayer was "please let there be a school." and i was disappointed when we found out there wasn't one.

"i will NEVER homeschool."

that was another thing i often said. sure my degree was in early childhood. i could handle preschool, but i did not have the patience to teach my own children past that. 

and yet here we are. diving in to that world.

when we moved out here, eliza started at the public school, and it's been a great experience. she has had wonderful teachers, but that hasn't stopped us from wanting more. we knew when she left the lutheran school setting we were going to have to pick up some new routines at home. i wanted her to still have that education. memory work, bible lessons. we have since begun matins in the morning, and learning the catechism at night. it has helped us. it has brought us together as a family, but also made that desire for more grow stronger.

we discussed homeschooling last summer, but it was late in the game, and i was so scared to move eliza again. 3 schools in 3 years? when i always wanted them to be settled, we can't drop this bomb on her. so back to public school she went. hattie is preschool age now, and so we tested the waters. we bought a curriculum and did a formal junior kindergarten with her at home. see how it goes, and maybe this would be something we could do in the future. 

between that, and what we are doing as a family, i am just blown away.

to hear your 3 year old recite the books of the bible, or your 5 year old belt out the venite, or your 8 year old tell you the meaning of the 10 commandments, it sparks something.

i realize more and more that they only get this one chance at an education. i want more for them, not state standards, but ours. and if we can't be in a place where a school is, we can make one. we can do this, and we can do it together!

i never imagined we would be here. not only in western nebraska, but also facing a year of homeschool. 

i realize that He had this plan all along. because of it we get to be active and involved in training our children.

what a blessing that is!



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

17 years ago...

i was a 17 year old girl. volunteering at camp for 2 weeks.

i met a boy.

we shared my first kiss.

and life would never be the same.

that's the short story.

but there is so much more.

i documented everything in my journals.

we exchanged numbers. home numbers.

we kept in touch through icq, aim, and yahoo messenger. yes...icq.

i didn't have my license so ma had to drive me an hour to visit him.

we'd swing through the drive thru of burger king just so he and i could flirt.

he came to my homecoming dance.

we thought ahead and lied about his age, so when the time came he could go to my prom.

we left messages on answering machines.

we wrote notes...not texts.

he was there at my graduation open house.

he helped move me in to my dorm freshman year.

we held hands on the night of 9-11.

we held each other.

we couldn't get in touch over the phone when my roommate was on the internet.

we went to my first frat party.

we took selfies without being able to see them instantly.

we fell in love.

but i was young...and he was younger.

and we broke up.

i drowned myself in dashboard confessional and incubus.

i wrote poems.

i wrote letters to him that i'd never send.

i burned his stuff and he got rid of mine.

i was a brokenhearted college kid. it was insufferable.

(seriously, reading my journals, i'm pretty sure i defined emo.)

years passed.

we got lost in others.

we both grew up.

we found ourselves.

but neither one of us forgot.

and then myspace happened.

and we found each other.

a slow restart, but a restart.

now a college graduate and a soldier.

letters written.

yahoo video chat.

skype.

cell phone calls.

voicemails.

a deployment.

10 years ago he proposed.

he was in afghanistan, and i was in indiana.

things were still difficult, but we were together.

right where we were supposed to be all along.

more years have passed.

and i still can't believe that i get to be with that cute workboy from camp.

always...always.

p.s. alone in my car tonight, i listened to that dashboard cd. i could still belt every. single. word.

Monday, May 29, 2017

remembering...not celebrating.

8 years ago i was a new army wife. there was a baby in my belly. we went to a memorial day service in georgia. i remember being filled with pride for my soldier. i'm sure i was smiling.

3 years ago (in march) i was no longer an army wife. there was a baby in my belly, and two by my side. we went to a funeral in georgia. the same cemetery as before. i remember being filled with sadness for my friend. i'm sure i was crying.

there is nothing more humbling than a military funeral.

it changed everything.

i've seen a lot of memes about how it's not "happy memorial day" i'm sure i've said that at some point in my life. now i realize that this day is more than that. to the families left behind that word "happy" really stings.

be careful with your words.

instead, pray for the husbands and wives, the parents, the children, siblings...let them know that you remember. go to a service. put out your flag. be thankful that there are people out there willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

this year i'm a pastor's wife. there are three kids by my side. we went to a service at a cemetery. james got the honor to speak. i reminded the kids why we are going. who we are honoring. that we are remembering. not celebrating.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

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