Tuesday, July 15, 2014

room switch

Well, the crib and changing table are gone.  The nursery is being transformed into a "tween" room.  The almost two year old is sleeping upstairs with the middle two for the first time tonight.  I think tonight might be rough.  Steve is putting them to bed upstairs and we're hoping Justus adjusts to that routine now.  Jeneva could not be more excited to have her own room.  She has been anticipating it for the past year.  She has been decorating and organizing all afternoon.  We're getting her new bedding for her birthday and hopefully a new dresser if I can find one that we like on CL.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

school's out

The kids had their last day of Kindergarten and 4th grade on Friday.  Field Day was tiring and totally wore them out!  Jude slept til 9:30 the next day.  I always get a little emotional and teary on the last day.  Bye teachers, thank you for educating my kiddos.  This year was an exceptional year too.  They both had fantastic teachers who really seemed to "get" both of my kids.  They were really intuitive and a good combination of strict and sweet.  When my kids are happy (most days anyway) to go to school, that makes me happy!

Summer isn't totally planned out yet, but some things on the calendar are swimming lessons, tennis lessons with lots of friends, a book club for Jeneva and summer camp as well, maybe soccer camp for Jude (who appears to have some skills!), possibly a family trip to Duluth in August, and a trip to Iowa to drop the kids off for a week so I can head to CO for training for a new job!  I was offered a Kindergarten position at RiverTree School.  I will be working 3 mornings a week.  I was not seeking out a job.  It kind of just happened. We definitely sense God's leading in this and see it as an indirect answer to several prayers.  We are excited about this new challenge. 

Justus has been sleeping better at night and he finally started walking at the ripe old age of 20 months!  Crazy kid.  He looks so crazy tall now that he is vertical all of the time! 

All for now.  I always blog before bed and then suddenly get lambasted with tiredness.  It just hit me!  G'night.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

*I forgot about this unfinished post, so it's dated, but I'll post it now anyway.

In September when Jude started Kindergarten, he took a stuffed animal with him for nap time at school.  He didn't take Pandy because he was too big to fit into his backpack.  He usually took his small bear which doesn't have a name.  Every day he would make sure the bear was in his backpack.  All of his classmates took their stuffed animals too.  Now it is April and he doesn't take something to snuggle with anymore.  He quit back in January.  This makes me feel just a little bit sad.  I knew that taking a stuffed animal to school would be short lived. It was endearing while it lasted.

I went to a "middle school" meeting last Thursday evening.  It was for the 4th graders and parents for the purpose of meeting the teachers and to learn about how middle school (5th-8th) works at Yinghua.  It exceeded my expectations.  I am thankful for the solid education and great community.  I am overwhelmed at how quickly she is growing up.

I am enjoying spending my days with Josie.  She loves playing with friends several times a week, she loves sitting on the couch reading book after book after book, and she loves doing "school work" at the table.  She is constantly asking me how to spell things (mostly peoples names) and can write all of the numbers and letters.  She is my little helper and tag-a-long.  She really likes to memorize things--books and her Bible verses for Sunday School.  She is self motivated and independent.  On the rare occasion that she asks me to pick out her clothes for her, I do because then she will at least be wearing something that matches.

Justus is 18 1/2 months and still crawls.  He crawls fast, but he won't walk.  He HAS walked.  He's taken 7 or so steps numerous times.  I'm pretty sure it's not a developmental thing.  He's just lazy.  Oh that boy.  I don't know what to do with him. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

late night ramblings

I am completely lost in a novel (What Alice Forgot) and it feels so good!  It's been quite some time since I've finished a book or really been engaged with it (book club failure last year).

The past two weeks have been tough.  Blame it on the weather.  Blame it on lack of time to myself.  It's all just my sin and my heart and it just needs to be dealt with.  I'm feeling relatively hopeful today.  A Praying Life by Paul Miller has been a refreshing read for me these past two weeks.  I'm slowly trudging through it and finding conviction and encouragement.  Thankful for that.

Steve has been working an insane amount of hours.  He signed up for 1 or 2 shifts of OT a week, which is manageable, but then on top of that he is being forced to stay extra shifts.  They are super low on staff and their new recruits are still in training, so it will be like this for a few more weeks. 

I stayed up until 9:30 tonight with Jude getting his class valentine's ready for Friday.  It was a moment I wanted to savor and bottle up forever.  My kindergartner was so excited about signing his name on all 25 of his valentine's and then writing each child's name from his class.  It led to stories and conversations about many of the kids in his class.  It was just sweet.  I loved it.  He's been very affectionate lately too.  Last night when we were doing family devos in the living room, he out of the blue started scratching my back.  Now if we could only get him to remember to hold open doors for girls!

Jeneva and Jude started their own "book club" with each other.  A super exciting book set called Conspiracy 365 came with my new Usborne consultant kit.  Jeneva decided to read it aloud to Jude.  They are both totally into it and starting book 2 already.  She reads it aloud in the van and even takes it on the bus with them to read to him.  Oh my word, I'm dying because I love that SO MUCH!

My biggest conviction in parenting right now is in modeling for my kids how to deal with disappointment.  I have NOT dealt with disappointment well lately.  I get super upset and frustrated when plans get thwarted or things don't go the way I expected them to. Praying for God to work in my heart and give me a spirit of contentment in all circumstances.

All for now.  Gonna read another chapter of my book before bed and then SLEEP.  Hopefully.  :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

my favorite people

It's been a pathetic week.  I have won a "lousy-mom/wife-of-the-week" award.  Most awards make a person feel GOOD.  This award, however, did not.  Well, in the midst of it all I was looking through some photos on the computer and this one just made me smile.  It gave me at least a bit of motivation to press onward this coming week!  These truly are my favorite people in the whole world.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

today kinda sucked

Today I am feeling super insecure about my parenting.  Am I too strict or not strict enough?  I think I argue with my kids more than I should.  Do I focus too much on relationship and not as much on obedience?  Why is Jeneva so emotional and why do I feel so irritated by it?  Am I ruining her?  Why is Jude such a whiner and so negative?  Why is Josie so darn cute (I won't say that she's been my "favorite" this week or anything).  Do I do too much for my kids rather than letting them figure it out on their own?  Probably.  Are all of my intentions going to backfire when they are older?  Am I doing it all wrong?  Am I doing enough to train them to have a good work ethic?  How am I helping Jeneva to manage herself?  Do I enable her instead?  Are my kids going to love Jesus or falter because of my example?  Why is Steve doing a better job of parenting than me?  Are we on the same page? Do I worry too much?  Not usually, but today I do.

Monday, January 27, 2014

our week and a brief family update

This week we had the opportunity to host a woman from China who came to Minnesota to visit a friend.  She was the Morse's tutor in China.  She was absolutely delightful.  She loved the kids so much and they thoroughly enjoyed her sweet disposition and joyful enjoyment of them.  We had a friend's 4 year old son staying with us during that same week, so it was a full, but fun house.  Her English was limited making it was difficult for us to communicate verbally, but Jeneva did amazing! She interpreted back and forth for us and then they would talk and talk and I of course had no idea what they were saying.  On Saturday night, Ellen (Jeneva's age and very distant cousin:) stayed over.  She also speaks nearly fluent Chinese, so the three of them could communicate just fine.  Love it that my kids can be exposed to hearing other languages spoken in our home on a regular basis--Chinese and Spanish as well.

Right before our guest (dai laoshi) came we had some plumbing issues.  Our main sewer line backed up.  It took three plumber visits to get it fixed because one of the pipes under ground busted.  She couldn't shower and we couldn't flush her first night here (she was gone during the day, so it wasn't too inconvenient for her).  She was so gracious and didn't seem to care one bit.  Then the next day our hot water heater started leaking in the basement onto the carpet.  We knew we needed to take care of it immediately, so Steve called the plumber and got some estimates.  We did not want to pay that kind of money considering we just forked over a whole chuck of cash for our plumbing issues, so he decided to attempt it on his own.  He called his friend, Charles, who he thought might know better what he was doing.  He was available to come over right away. They bought a water heater and installed it in just a few hours.  We were so relieved and grateful to God for helping us get through that situation without any major hangups and to Charles for his help and expertise.

It has been a crazy long winter so far.  It's only January, but we've had oodles of snow, which I love, but also oodles of COLD days.  School has been cancelled 5 days so far in January for extreme cold!  Today was one of those days.  Tomorrow our school just has a late start.  Tonight Josie's prayer request was for summer to come quickly. 

I feel weary.  I don't feel down or depressed, just worn out.  And the "worn out" isn't unbearable (at this point anyway).  It is just go.  Go time.  All of the time.  I love the routine of school.  The kids are having great years, so that helps a ton.  I am liking our church routine too.  Wednesday nights are a helpful break in the week and enjoyable family time--and the food has been incredible too!  I am looking forward to books that I plan to read this year (last year I bombed at reading much).  Novels for book club and also children's books since I joined the Usborne book company.  I'm letting go of my expectations to have a perfectly clean and organized house.  When I let it go, I can enjoy life more.  It's hard to let go, but I have to otherwise I'll go insane.  I'll go insane if it's messy all of the time too though, so it's just a matter of finding a healthy medium. 

I came to the computer to type up a to-do list and I ended up rambling a blog post.  Figured it's been awhile since I've updated. Once again I haven't posted any highlights of the kids birthdays--or any other major or miniscule event for that matter.  Maybe if I put my to-do list on here I'd be more likely to do what I need to do (procrastination is my middle name).  Okay.  I have two things I NEED to accomplish tomorrow.  I need to order labels with my name and website on for my Usborne books.  AND, I need to find out when I can turn in my CEU's to the school district for my teaching license.  So, that's on my "to accomplish" list for tomorrow besides laundry, cooking, driving kids to and from school, and grocery shopping.  Good night.