Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dance Revolution

Before we get into the dancing post, let's just go ahead and get this one out of the way.

Okay. I feel better now, don't you?

Claire has always had some mad skills when it comes to dancing. So when I found out about a "free trial" lesson she could take here in town, we were all over it.

Here is Claire, ready for her first dance lesson!

The little girls were so sweet. Not very coordinated, but very sweet.

That's what I'm talking about.

Trying out the foot positions of ballet...

Is it just me or does she look like that kid from Charlie Brown who dances with his head hanging straight down?

Listening to the teacher...

Near the beginning of class, the teacher said, "Okay, everyone take a friend's hand for this next song!"

That is the only thing that Claire heard the whole time.

She spent the rest of class chasing this little girl in the black and white outfit around, trying to hold her hand. And the little girl spent the rest of class trying to get away from Claire.

I think she's a natural.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Few Things about AK

She loves waving and telling people "bye-bye"...whether they are coming or going.

She is pulling up on everything and uses anything she can to help her walk, whether it's a push-toy or a chair or anything that will move. She can stand unassisted for a few seconds.

Everything goes in her mouth.

If I say, "Averi Kate, what's in your mouth? Show it to Mommy..." She will pull it out and show it to me. Then she'll stick it right back in, but at least I'll know what it is...

Her absolute favorite things to put in her mouth are fisher price little people. She crawls around with a little person sticking out of her mouth 65% of the time.

She points at everything and everybody.


 She will let you know when she gets tired...she rubs her eyes and says, "nye nye..."

Some classic Averi Kate faces...

 Oh how I love this child!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Entertainment

 Who knew how much fun a tablecloth could be, when combined with an almost-toddler and a 3 year old?

Looking out the screen door...

Of course, the 4 wheeler always provides great entertainment...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Claire's Mouth

Yesterday as we were riding in the car, Claire became frustrated about something or other. Probably something having to do with not having enough snacks. Anyway, she let out a loud, frustrated yell in response to something I said.

"Claire, that is not appropriate. That noise is disrespectful to Mommy."

 A few minutes later Claire said, "I have more of those noises in my mouth."

"Oh," I replied. "Then we need to think of something else to do when they show up. Tell you what. Whenever those noises come into your mouth, try this. Close your eyes, take a big breath, and pray, 'Jesus, please take these noises out of my mouth.'"

So we practiced that, and she did great. A few minutes later it happened again, and this time she asked me to pray for her. So I did, and it occurred to me that we should not only ask Jesus to take the angry noises out, but to put something else in - so we prayed that He would replace them with words of love and kindness.

Later that evening, we were about to eat supper, and I asked Claire if she had thanked God for the food. She bowed her head and prayed, "God, thank You for this food, and thank You for changing my heart. Amen."

My heart might have melted a little. A few minutes later she got mad about something and dumped her plate of food into the floor. But you know what? I'm thankful for that moment of grace that God gave me toward the end of a challenging day with my 3 year old, to remind me that yes, He is in fact working in her heart, and no, the time that we spend training her in God's Word is not going to waste, and well, no, in the end it really has very little to do with my efforts as much as it does HIS Spirit working to plant HIS Word in her heart and making the soil softer so that one day HIS gospel will take root.

Another funny thing is that these days, whenever I go in to tuck Claire in, she will say to me, "Do you have any songs in your mouth tonight, Mommy?" There's something that she gets about what comes out of our mouths, that sometimes I have trouble remembering. Whether it is outbursts of anger in the car, or songs of praise by the bedside, maybe she understands that "out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." Thanks, Claire, for the reminder.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I am Thankful

When I put my girls to sleep at night and pray over them, I always have a great sense of urgency to be the kind of woman that I pray for them to become. And I want them to be women who "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances." So as I am at a season of life in which uncertainty, chaos, and exhaustion abound, I realize that I have a great chance to choose gratitude over despair.

I am thankful.

I am thankful for a godly man who is deeply committed to being a faithful husband and father, who works hard to provide for his family, who walks in integrity and humility, and who dares not rush into important decisions without taking the time to seek God's wisdom.

I am thankful for a spirited 3 year old who never stops talking, never stops questioning, never stops learning...who is affectionate and honest, who sings her entire life, who throws me for a loop and drives me to my knees every day, but no matter what conflicts arise during the day, who always wants me to sit on her bed and sing her to sleep at night.

I am thankful for a precious, easy-going almost-toddler who is a curious george, who loves dogs and fisher price little people, who crawls at breakneck speed and is starting to stand on her own, who doesn't know how to take a bottle or a sippy cup, who still doesn't sleep through the night, who always greets me with the sweetest smile and open arms.

Yes, my life is full, even when things are not going as I planned, even when I feel completely out of control. But my life is not full just because of my precious family. My life is full because of the Creator of my precious family. The Creator who loves and restores my bent soul, who satisfies my thirst, who covers me with grace and righteousness. The Provider who does not change. The Savior who does not condemn, if only I believe.

So when I feel homeless, I will find refuge in Him.

And when I feel frustrated, I will rest in Him.

And when I feel exhausted, I will fall on Him.

And when I feel unsure, I will call on Him.

And when I feel out of control, I will cling to Him.

Because HE is my all in all.

Yes, I am thankful.

P.S. I am also extremely thankful for peanut butter and brown sugar melted together in the microwave. (Every single night.) And for boot camp, baseball caps, indoor plumbing, and cast iron cookware. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


My family will appreciate this one. I have a confession to make: I am a clutz. My mom always told me, "Well, there is a reason your name isn't 'Grace'!" I have apparently passed this trait down to my firstborn (I'm so sorry Claire.) Four to six time per day on average (I am NOT exaggerating) I will hear a crash somewhere in the house followed by an exclamation of, "I'm okay!!!"

Averi Kate has always been sweet and pleasant, but now she has a new boost of happy energy because she is so mobile. She loves crawling after objects or people and exploring her spaces. But sometimes a girl just gets tired, and she collapses for about 5 seconds.

Then she's up and off again.

Claire was sitting on the couch reading with her new Leapfrog Tag Reader today (thanks Bo and Bonnie!) She was reading Cinderella. When she got to the page where Cinderella and Prince Charming meet and dance together, Claire cried out in excitement, "Mommy!!! Look!!! She found her Daddy!!!"

I have a feeling that neither I nor the Coach will correct her on that point. Oh Coach. You are her Prince Charming, you know.

Loving our girls these days!!!