what will you say…

I was chatting with my boys, ages 5 and 9, about how we can respond when someone asks us about FuMei’s hand differences.  My older son had obviously thought about it some already and had several good ideas for when someone is just curious, for when someone is being rude on accident, and plans to call people on it when they’re rude on purpose, by saying, “That was rude.” (I reminded him to be respectful to adults, but I think it’s fine if he’s fairly sure that a child is being deliberately rude to respond that way.)

My 5 year old is just smitten with her, but hadn’t contributed to the conversation at all, so I prompted him to answer.  He was very thoughtful,  and replied seriously, “I think I would tell them that I want to kick them in the balls.” Oh my word, that boy! My husband and I don’t talk that way and don’t condone violence or inappropriate language, of course,  but oh my goodness, I had to try so hard not to laugh and/or give him a high five. We talked about some alternative ideas, but I love that he wants to defend her so strongly! She is going to be one protected little girl with these two big brothers around!

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so big

All of my kids are in the middle of growth spurts.  They are eating and sleeping more than usual.  Today, a sweet friend gave us these shirts they had bought for us in China, to celebrate us getting our LOA/RA/LSC.  The kids LOVE them, and so do I. DSC_0137My mama heart is clinging to my littler two’s littleness lately – my younger son starts Kinder next year, and my daughter turns 3 soon.  Neither of them is teeny tiny anymore!  They’ve had such a sweet three years home alone together, and they’re the best of friends.  Soon, we’ll be bringing home Fu Mei, and soon after that, he’ll start school.  I’m both eager and anxious to see how the relationship dynamics will all shift. DSC_1813

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

what we’ve been up to, much needed family day edition

Our schedule has been crazy lately.  My husband has traveled a lot for work and funerals, and the few free weekends we’ve have been jam-packed.  Today, for the first time in two months, we had a free day with all of us home.  It was wonderful to just hang out at the house, get out on a couple of fun errands together, and play at one of our favorite parks.  We need to be deliberate about having days like this more often.

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this kid

His favorite part of feeding the ducks is eating the bread.
He’s so quirky and silly and fun.
He’s so affectionate and sensitive and loving.
He has been working so hard at being brave and trying new things.
He makes me laugh every day.
He makes every day interesting and exciting and new.
He’s about to turn 5, and it’s breaking his mama’s heart a little bit.
He promised me he’ll still be little when he’s 5.
Being his mom is amazing.

“good job, mom.”

It was definitely one of those days. I tried to cram in too much fun, and we all paid for it. Someday, maybe I’ll learn.

As I tried to round up my kids to go from one play date to another, my middle little one didn’t come when I called him. I called him again, and he didn’t come. I called him more sternly, and he finally sauntered over.

I said, “C, let’s practice. Go back over there.” He did. I called him. He yelled, “Yes, ma’am!” and came over. We practiced again. And again.

It was just a normal, everyday mom-of-a-preschooler moment. I wasn’t extra patient or loving or kind or creative or sweet.

But a mom, standing near by watched us. She had several little ones of her own. She said, “Good job, C!” and then…

“Good job, mom.”

I almost burst into tears.

As moms, we don’t get a lot of recognition. Infants don’t coo, “Thank you ever so much for changing my diaper!” Toddlers don’t exclaim, “I was so impressed with the consistency of that mac & cheese!” Generally, the things we do are only noticed if we don’t manage to get them done. That was really one of the hardest things about the transition to being a stay-at-home-mom for me. No more good evaluations, no more positive and encouraging emails from the boss, and no more bonuses or accolades for great work. If the kids are clean and fed, you actually did your hair and wore makeup, you did some sort of craft or learning activity, healthy dinner is on the table, and the house is clean when your husband gets home – your reward is that you get to do it again tomorrow.

And it is a reward. I know that. I am so thankful that I get to stay home, and I love serving my family.

But today reminded me that I need to choose to be more deliberate about encouraging and building up the moms I see every day. How much better would motherhood be if we were all telling someone, “Good job, mom!” every day?

“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

good job, mom

this kid

Is finally feeling better after the “24-hour VBS stomach bug” stuck with her for more than 5 days. We went to a West African Drum & Dance performance, and she wanted to sit quietly on my lap and just take it all in. The only times she got up were to find a snack (apple) and to dig in my purse to find this paper and pen to draw. She’s such a sweet mix of being totally independent and totally a Mommy’s girl. I love it. I wish I could just bottle her the age she is now. I think this is my favorite, favorite age.

#1 & #2

The two most beautiful things I’ve seen in quite a while:

1.  My beautiful sister-in-law as a bride.  I’ve watched her grow up since she was 11, and I’m so amazed by the woman that she is now.  Congrats, M & S!  We are so excited to watch you enter this new chapter of your lives as a family, and we’re so thankful to have you as our brother and sister.

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2.  These gorgeous Chinese stamps on the back of all of our documents* – nothing rejected!  Hallelujah!

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*We’re still waiting on our I800A.  My project for tonight is to get everything else totally ready, so when we get it, there’s no more delay. Trusting God’s timing feels a little easier today than it did last Wednesday.  Today, someone I am friends with on Facebook said in a prayer, “So when I can’t see Your hand I’m going to ask for the faith to trust Your heart.”  Isn’t that wise?  That’s my prayer right now.