Wednesday, February 24, 2016

To My Almost-Four-Year-Old

"Okay, we just need to get some frozen spinach and then we're done!"

As you took off through the aisle headed toward the frozen vegetables, I started to call out "Walking feet, Averi Kate!!!" but I didn't. Instead I stopped and took it in for once, and just enjoyed the picture in front of me. You, not walking or even running but skipping your heart out through Kroger, with your hair halfway fallen out of your side ponytail and one hand pulling up your pants in the back so they wouldn't fall down. And singing. Always singing. This is how I want to remember you as an almost-four-year-old.

Averi Kate, you are a pure joy. You are so funny. You make me laugh every single day. You have the most ridiculous laugh right now. It is so unladylike and sounds kind of like a mix between Pee-Wee Herman and Steve Urkel, but it is contagious and absolutely sincere.

When we ask you to do something, we have to remind you 800 times before you actually do it. "Do you need to go potty AK?" You run off and come back 3 minutes later with something to show us. "Look what I found!!!" "Did you go potty, AK?" "Oh. No, I forgot!!!"

When you ask a question, if you don't like the answer, you just keep asking it as if the answer will change if you ask it enough. "Can I have some chips?" "Not until you eat your supper." "No, but can I have some chips?" "Not yet." "But can I have some chips???"

You are usually the first kid up in the morning, and breakfast is your favorite meal (especially muffins). You can't hear music without dancing, and when you dance you look like a character off Charlie Brown, with your arms hanging straight down by your sides. You exaggerate things in a funny way. For example, "I'm hungry. I am a thousand hungry. I am a million a lillion a dillion a chillion hungry. All the way to God. I'm hungry all the way to God." You make ridiculous jokes and purposefully insert the wrong lyrics into songs in a way that drives your sister crazy. You give the best hugs of anyone in the world.

Your favorite pants are camoflauge and you call them your "states and capital pants." Maybe they remind you of a map? You still say "wiln't" for "will not." When you and Claire play basketball you pretend like your team's name is Madagascar. You love cooking shows and animal documentaries. You love to pretend like you're a baby bear and you don't have a mommy and can you please come home with me. (Yes, you can. Always.)

You have a generous heart. You don't do things for show or to impress anyone. You are the same when you think no one is watching. You are unreasonable at times, but at least you're honest. You talk with your hands and your whole face, and sometimes I forget to listen to the words you are saying because I'm so wrapped up in just watching you talk.

You are such a great middle child. You love your sister, and even though you fight like sisters you are also each other's best playmate. But sometimes Claire wants to be by herself, and I think you have just recently discovered that Owen makes a pretty good playmate too. So you will play with him as easily as you play with Claire. I do think you need to watch out, though, because you can be a little rough with Owen, and he is getting bigger now. One of these days you two might just have it out in the backyard. But I do love watching your sibling relationships grow and develop. I hope and pray that the three of you will be the best of friends.

You are affectionate. You love to cuddle on the couch and read. I can always count on you getting out of bed once at night to come tell either your Daddy or me, "I love you and I like you." When you pray, you always pray for "Meily's heart to feel better and please help Dobby's knee to feel better and help Nan's back to feel better and help everybody that I know and everybody that I don't know." You say things like, "I love you. I love you as much as I love God." And even though that's not exactly theologically correct, it comes from the sweetest place in your heart and I think I understand what you are saying. I hope with all my heart that your heart full of love will grow into a heart totally in love with Jesus.

You love gymnastics but even if you didn't take the classes, I think you would still flip and climb and hang and try to do handstands that turn into moments of panic for me when you crash down on your head in a weird position. You still fall and crash and run into doorframes and yell "I'm okay Mom!!!" multiple times per day.

Every night when I tuck you in, you still whisper, "Tell me some things." And so I do. I whisper truths over you, things I love about you, things that I am in awe of about your Creator. We always end with the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my Shepherd..." Your favorite song is "The King of Love my Shepherd Is."

Your Shepherd is wonderful. He so lovingly and purposefully created you, full of life and joy and a free spirit, and placed you so perfectly in our family. You got a birthday card from Nan and Popple that had a picture of a big ice cream cone on it and said, "When God made you, He definitely added the sprinkles to life!" No question, that card was made for you.

Happy birthday, our sweet almost-four-year-old!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Race Day

There was this one day in January when I ran a half marathon. My goal was to run it in under 1:45, which I did (I think it was around 1:43?). I came in 4th overall for females and first in my age group.

Then the girls rode in a mountain bike race that afternoon.

At the starting line...

And she's off!!!

Ready for the next age group to start...

And she's off too!!!

And she's back!!!

And she's back too!!!

And they're done!!!

And they won!!!

It was super cute. They both won first for the females in their age group. AK kind of won by default since she was the only girl in the 3-5 age devision, and Claire did beat out all the other girls in her age group (which was a total of 2).

Owen just enjoyed being a spectator...

(and eating oranges.)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Few Things about Owen.

He is super coordinated with his running/walking. He can throw a ball farther than I can, and he loves basketballs most of all. When he plays basketball, he shouts "DuhDah!!!!" which translated means, "GEORGIA!!!" (He picked up on this from Claire, who always pretends that she is on the UGA basketball team when she plays in the yard.)

This kid generally enjoys life except when he is hungry or tired. He is super affectionate and gives awesome hugs around my legs multiple times per day. He also gives Claire and Averi Kate hugs throughout the day. It's the kind of hug where he wraps his arms around you and then pats with his hands. SOOO cute.

He gets most excited about seeing his Daddy, eating "oodin" (muffins) in the morning, wearing shoes, throwing balls, and dancing to music. He's never happier than when he is outside.

O-ster. O-bo. Spud. This kid is awesome.

Just a Little Catchin' Up

Well, things are coming along swimmingly with my goal to update the blog at least every couple of weeks this year. Obviously. It's okay, though. If I had to name this season of my life, it would be..."Tired." With the potential subtitle of..."Overwhelmed. Deer caught in headlights. Chicken with head cut off. Etc." So I will cut myself some slack and not feel bad about posting two month old pictures. Because a memory is a memory, no matter how late.

We'll start before Christmas, with a little "Christmas in the Park" action.

The girls got their faces painted...

Yep, I pretty much love these two faces right here.

Then they moved on to cookie decorating...

 Made a little visit to Santa, which Owen was not too sure about...

And rode in the trolley!

One day we got an awesome surprise in the mail from our bestest Oregon friend Miss Amber and her pal Roosevelt...

A giant inflatable bowling set!!!


This kid right here is growing like a weed and learning more every day. Oh, and Owen is too.

Basketball is an obsession around here.

And bike riding is always a hit.

And for Owen...

The car is still magical. 

  (And the Frozen karoke machine is too.)

A few conversations...

Me: So what is Christmas all about?
AK: Jesus!
Me: And what happened with Jesus on Christmas?
AK: He was born.
Me:What was so special about Jesus that people all over the world would celebrate His birthday?
AK: I need to go poop.


A radio program was on in the van, and the characters were saying some words that we don't generally use in our family. I addressed it with the girls...
Me: Girls, I don't know if you noticed this, but some of the words they were using were not helpful.
AK: (serious look) Yeah. They maybe said "booty" but not in the van.

(Have I mentioned before that the van is the only place the kids are allowed to say "booty"? Or that AK says it constantly every time we're in the van?)

As I was passing by the girls, I overheard them pretending...

Claire: Ok, I need Mom and Dad and Coach Kevin...
Me: Oh, is Owen going to be Coach Kevin?
Claire: No, AK is everybody.
AK: Except Claire. I'm everybody except Claire.