Monday, August 24, 2009

Repeat after me, "Jesus love me".

Sammy is quite the repeater. If he is thirsty he will say, "Sambo wants water. Sambo wants water. Sambo wants water. Sambo wants water please. Sambo WANTS water." All the while you are getting the water, but that doesn't seem to matter. Anyway, it can be very waring on the nerves, but lately he has started one repetitive phrase that found it's way into my heart.

Every night these days I rock Amelia to sleep. It is beautiful in many ways, and frustrating in others (another post for another day, perhaps). One of the things I love about it, though, is that Sam is sitting in his bed right next to us and I get to hear all of his little chitter chatter while we are rocking away. Quite a few nights in a row he was repeating to himself the phrase, "Jesus love me. Jesus love me. Jesus love me." Over and over again. Then he would just curl up in his blanket and go to sleep. Oh the sweetness. As I sat there I tried to think about ways to describe to him what Jesus's love looks like in our life every day. Little did I know, He would give me a living example for myself in just a few days...

Joel took the babes to play at a friends house and I stayed home to clean. All was well and I was really having a great time until, suddenly, my inner critic reared it's ugly head. " Good grief, Jenny, why can't you get it together and get a cleaning routine together? Then you wouldn't be running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to catch up! You say you want a tidy, clean home and yet you never do anything about it...." and on and on until a heard another little voice. Sammy's. Straight from my heart came his little voice saying, "Jesus love me." I sighed and sat down, soaking in the fact that despite my weaknesses, Jesus does love me--without reservation. I plunged ahead with my cleaning until the critic came again to say, "I really don't know why you are wearing work out clothes. Do you consider pushing a vacuum cleaner exercise? Seriously, there are so many mom's around you who manage to find time to take care of really need to grow up and learn to prioritize." Then suddenly I heard Sammy's voice break through again, "Jesus love me." "But I really do need to grow up." "Jesus love me." "But I really am lazy." "Jesus love me." "But,"

"Jesus love me".

I gave up and just rested in the fact that He does love me, He does delight in me. He wants to encourage and refine, yes, but He also just wants me to rest in that love and that grace. That grace that washes all of our sin away and makes us new. That grace that recognizes our weaknesses and uses us to spread His love anyway.

Oh how I thank Him that He speaks to us, straight to our hearts.

So, little Sammy, you keep on repeating that truth and I pray that your soul will come to know that your Maker, and Savior, and Friend does love you indeed.

Down by the river...

So, today I took the babes to Sugarhouse park to play at the playground. As I have written before, playgrounds are NOT my idea of mothering fun. I would much rather find a big field and let them explore anytime. However, now that they are a bit older it isn't as stressful to try and keep up with them, make sure they aren't falling off of high surfaces etc. and so I take them in an effort to be well-rounded:)

So, last time we were at Liberty Park Amelia had a scary incidence on a slide with big kids. I think they may have pushed her when she wasn't going fast enough and so she got really scared and upset:( So, when I announced that we were going to the park today she said, "Melia not slide. Kids not nice." So sad.

I'll just fast forward in this story to the point this afternoon where Amelia was headfirst down the highest tunnel slide frozen in fear because two big kids were behind her. She was freaking out and so I finally climbed up and pulled her out by her feet. When we got down she said, "Sambo" and I told her we would go get him. Then she pointed and I looked out to see Sam halfway across a big field heading toward a river (or maybe it's a stream)!!! I really thing he has an internal radar pointing him to the nearest rushing water. So, we caught up with him and (after we sternly talked about him not leaving a playground without mama) headed toward the river. And there we sat for a long, long time. They sat perfectly still while I waded into the water and brought them piles of rocks to throw back into the water. Every time I would bring them a new handful of rocks Amelia would say, "Thank you mama" and it just warmed my heart.

Anyway, all of this to say that I think we mamas and children each have our places where we thrive. For some it might be at playgrounds meeting new mamas and kiddos, for others it may be at play groups. But for us, we'll take a river bank and a pile of rocks, a big hill to climb or a field to lay in the sunshine, puddles to jump, bugs to find. It has been this way from the very beginning of our journey together. Fussy hour? Head out doors.

These are the places where I feel like all of our souls are being fed and where harmony is pretty easy to find. Except when it's time to leave. That's another story altogether.

All for now, Jen

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A little peek into their play...

I am still amazed and delighted every time I hear the babes playing on their own, leaving this mama able to get one or two things done around the house. I usually can't help but peek around a corner, though, and eavesdrop on their little conversations and watch them play. It is so interesting to see their play diverge as they get older. As boy/girl twins they were offered equal access to dolls, trucks, balls,etc. from the very beginning and though they do overlap, it is very obvious that Sam has had a love affair with trucks and things that go from super young and Amelia is a nurturer and relational in her play. Give Amelia two sticks and she will turn them towards each other and say, "Hi, good to see you!" Give Sam two sticks and they will be flying across the sky as planes. It really is amazing.

Anyway, here is a peek for you into their world of play and conversation:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Puddle jumpers...

Rainy, cool morning here...perfect for puddle splashing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Praise God from who ALL blessings flow ( pun intended:) .......

Even blessings like pee pee and poo poo. I'm sorry. Really, I am. But this is day five of potty training Amelia, and I just can't NOT talk about it. Let me just say that over all it has gone well. I think by the end of the week accidents will be pretty few. However, it is really exhausting. Seriously. Other mamas told me that but I think that I didn't believe them. I mean, what can be so exhausting about teaching your little one to go to the potty? Ahem. I have learned my lesson for sure. I have almost cried and wanted to quit about fifty times! I have been at the end of my potty training rope several times and raised my voice, pleaded and begged for her to pee pee, etc.! But then there will be a little victory that reminds me that the intense training won't last forever and on we go!

I wish I could put some super cute pics of Amelia on her little pot, but I am wary of putting pics like that on the Internet, so here are some pics of Joel and Sammy's weekend road tripping to ID for a visit with Bub and Robin(stole them from your facebook Robin, hope you don't mind:)! They had such a wonderful time.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Weekend adventures...

Joelie and Sam are off on their first overnight trip together! They are heading to Idaho to see my brother and sis in luv who are there with the band that Bub works for. They'll join them at an outdoor festival(that may get rained out) and just soak up some time together. It is so obvious when Sam is ready for some guy time. He just starts climbing all over me and getting aggressive and I'm like, "Help!!! Sam needs some guy time!!!!" That's one of the reasons it was great having Evan living with us for these past months (dropped him at the airport today to fly to his bride and come back to UT a married man--yay!) b/c Sam had an additional guy to rough and tumble with! Anyway, here are some pics of their departure...

See? Here is Joel trying to download some music on his ipod for the journey...

Bye bye sweet guys...

He knows something special is goin on...

Then he realizes "Mena" and Momma are not getting in the car! Then there were a few tears.

I'm sure he recovered quickly and was back to this sweet smiling face before long:)

While the boys are away the girls will.....potty train! Yep, that's the big plan for our day tomorrow. I read the book "Potty training in less than a day" in preparation. Anyone want to tell me some successes they have had using the principals from the book? Anyone? I'll let you know how it goes.

All for now, Jen

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sometimes life swirls...

Since the babes were born, we have tried to be pretty intentional about keeping life outside the home low key. Parenting twins through their beginning ages and stages provided plenty of chaos, and I felt that by focusing almost entirely on home I felt the freedom to spend my days mothering and trying to have as peaceful a home as possible. So, not many commitments, no huge changes, not a very full schedule (other than Joelie's work and even that has slowed down in recent months). In the past couple of months,though, it seems that as life with the babes was slowing down in a sense , life outside the home has started to swirl around us a bit more. Mostly in good, challenging, heart-stirring ways. It was like we were swimming under the ocean water for a couple of years, focusing on our little family and the beauty around us and then God said, "Hey little ones, come up for a breath of air. Come look around and see what I am up to beyond your family (precious to Me and to you as it is, and should be)." So, we stuck our heads up and suddenly we are in the middle of a new church plant, planning on moving to the West side of SLC and possibly buying our first home, and adopting a baby from Ethiopia! WHAT?!

Okay, okay, I'll write about the last one first. It is, after all, the one dearest to our hearts. Adoption has been a part of my heart for as long as I can remember. In silly little ways (while other little girls were playing princess I insisted on playing nothing but make believe scenerios about orphans) and in deeper ways I think God has been preparing me for adoption all of my life. Joel and I decided early on in our relationship that adoption would be a part of our life together, and we have just been waiting for the right timing. For many reasons that I hope to share as time goes on, we feel that now is the time. So, our agencies have been chosen, the paperwork has begun, our home study is complete. It is a long process. I honestly don't know what our timeline is (financially we will need to be creative and are accepting that this will make the process even a bit longer), but I hope that in about 18 months we may have a little one added to our family. Our hearts are full of joy but there is joy and soberness. Joy that we will be adding another precious child to our family. Joy that God cares for orphans and has given us such a beautiful example of adoption by accepting us into His family ("Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and
to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27)
. Soberness in the fact that there is an orphan crisis in the world that sometimes necessitates children being removed from their culture, language, and first family. So, I hope you all know that we are not making this decision lightly. We have discussed it for years and feel so much peace that this is right where we are supposed to be (daunting as it is sometimes:) . So, join us on this next step in our story. We are glad you are walking with us. I know there are probably so many questions that you have and I promise to try to answer as many as I can along the way.

The rest of the life swirls I will try to catch you up on as well. But for now, I'm trying to keep our days peaceful amidst the changes and that means a little less time for computer stuff. Today the babes and I walked to the park and I watched as they plunked rock after rock into a little stream. It was over cast and breezy and and my heart felt content and I was reminded that even though this is a season of change, I still want Joel and I to be present in the present...ya know what I mean? All for now, Jen