Monday, September 29, 2008

Buck Family Fun Day

We had a fun time on Saturday at the fund raiser for our friends, Josh and Shelly Buck. Everything was free, the blow-up games, the food and the drinks! There was an auction and donation boxes set around. I hope they got lots of help because of this fun day!Mommy and Gideon going down the huge slide. He didn't care either way for the slide.

Olivia does a serious jump down the slide.

The kids liked the face painter and waited very patiently for their turn. Garrett got a Colts helmet.

Olivia waiting with Esther for her face paint. Olivia got a lady bug, she wanted Esther to get the same thing, but Es opted for the flower.

Gideon, ready to go!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Amazing Video

I promise that the video you just watched was not a forced activity by her parents.

Esther asked us about a week ago to "take me wheels off?" We tried it for a short time that night and had some success. She asked for her training wheels back on and she rode around with them on for about a week.

On Friday, she asked me to take them off again, I told her she and daddy could work on it Saturday, but they didn't get to it until Monday. Monday we ventured down the road and as we ran beside her, she quickly got the hang of balancing her weight and even how to turn. We had to continue to tell her to "pedal hard" because keeping your balance is all about speed. Again she asked for her training wheel back on and we put them back on.

Today she wanted to try again. I started her at the top of the driveway and said, "Go to the end of the driveway, turn around and come back, ok?" "K, mom." I held the back of her seat to keep her balanced as she got on the bike, and as soon as I let go, she was off to the races. I ran in the house to get the camera and caught this ride, down our driveway, into our neighbor's driveway.

She hasn't learned how to stop or start on her own, and does fall sometimes. And when she does, there is fury in the child. She gets so angry! Not because she's hurt, but because she didn't finish the ride. This evening, she bailed out, got off her bike in a huff and said, "Oh MAN! I fell AGAIN!" Stomped away from her bike and sat with her arms crossed yelling at her bike.

She's amazing. Did I mention that she's only 2 1/2 years old.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lots of picutres and what we've been doing

I've had tons of pictures to download to the computer for a while, and just haven't done it. But, today was the day, and I thought, "while I'm at it, I might as well blog them all!" I hope you enjoy!
Esther is getting so BIG! Here she is fresh out of the bath. She's as independent as ever, always having to brush her own hair, put on her own shoes and socks, and getting dressed all by herself.
She loves to play mommy with Gideon and her play babies. Gideon doesn't tolerate being held down very well anymore. He's chewing on a wipe in this picture, I know it's weird, but it keeps him happy for a while.

Here she is reading to her babies.

Here's my "fashion forward" daughter. As I was getting ready to do her hair for school on Friday she said, "Mom, could you do my pony on the side?" I asked her where she saw that and she said that a friends mom did it for her at her house. I was a little hesitant. All I could think about was that girl from Napoleon Dynamite. I did it anyway, mostly because I want her to have her own sense of style and let her express herself that way. Hair is not worth fighting about, especially when she's five!

We went to downtown Holland on Friday afternoon and walked around. It's a historically sound section of Holland and such a beautiful walk. All we did was walk, together, as a family. And the kids LOVED it. That night during prayer time it's all they wanted to talk about. Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

Gideon chillin' in the stroller.

They've got some really cool statues all along the street. This one is of children raising the American flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Olivia said the whole thing, Garrett just wanted to touch the statues.

Gideon is so much fun. He's not been sleeping very well, maybe he's my kid that doesn't require a lot of sleep. I hope number 5 needs lots of it!

The kids have been dying to climb trees. They are just too small or the trees too big. However, the other day I thought about the pole in the side yard and suggested they try climbing it. They were very successful and proud. Garrett's climbed it every day since. Some days he takes a Frisbee up with him and pretends he's driving a car or flying a plane. Who needs toys??

These are the levels by which each child can reach.

Gideon found the hole that leads to China and thought he'd try to go too.

Here he is attempting to get out of the "China" hole.

In funny Josh news, he was voted on at church to be the pastor slimed at this years Fall Info Party for our children's program. He was a good sport and was reminded that he got the most votes because everyone loves him! That didn't make him feel better.

Es loves to take pictures, this day it was me. Thankfully most of the time she wants to take Josh's picture.

The next set of pictures need to be set up. The same day they all climbed the pole, Garrett had a major melt down about Esther having something he wanted and she wouldn't give up. I told him to wait his turn. He was upset that he couldn't have what he wanted, when he wanted it and went over to pout and cry under the tree. Gideon was across the yard, on the other side of the driveway and heard Garrett's screams. If Gideon could talk (or I could read his mind) this is what it would have sounded like, I think.

"Oh, my brother is so sad! I wonder if I can make him feel better?

Here I come Garrett! I will save you!"

"Man, he's really loud and really unhappy. I don't think he sees me yet, I hope he doesn't get made when I. . .

TACKLE HIM! Now he's smiling and laughing! I love you brother."

Monday, September 15, 2008


Have you ever been at complete peace with something, that rationally, you shouldn't be at peace with. That's how I've been this past week. It amazing how "peace that passes understanding" comes over you when you actually die to self and live out what you've said you believe. When you stop caring about what other's might think about a path that God had marked out for you a long time ago, and you actually follow it. Knowing that the result of following that path might create more uncertainty into the future. Knowing it's going to be fine to not know the future, because really, how many of us do? Knowing that your wealth comes not from what this world can give to you, but what blessings God wants to give to you. I think we miss out on God's blessings so often because we are too worried about the repercussions of what he's asking us to do. We miss out on opportunities to bless and be blessed, when we're so busy judging and worrying about being judged. We miss out on blessings when we're so busy looking at our neighbores "green grass." We think to ourselves, "WOW! ______'s got the life. If I could be where they are, than I would be happy. If I could follow God that way, than I would feel a sense of purpose."

This journey is my own. My journey is a blessing. Not because of what I can get from it, but because of what I can contribute to the big picture. My blessings come from giving, serving, dying to self. Living out what I believe. My peace comes from knowing that I have obeyed. My peace comes from knowing that the choices that I made yesterday WILL fit into the big picture a year from now. I may not see how, but peace will lead me on.

I'm pregnant.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Have lots of "boy"friends

"Two of these thing's are not like the other. . ."

One of my prayers, is that my girls will not get sucked into the "girl" world that is so caddy, selfish and manipulative. Not even a week into school, and the "girl" issues have begun. On Monday, on the way to the bus stop, Olivia told me that she was going to sit with someone else on the bus that morning. She still liked the girls she had sat with before, but wanted to sit with other people too. I didn't hear anything else until Josh got her from the bus yesterday and came home with this story.

Josh: "How was your day?"
Olivia: "Good. ______ said that we aren't friends anymore." She says very casually.
Josh: "Why?"
Olivia: "Because I sat with _____ on the bus, and didn't sit with them. But I told them, it's not fair, _____always sits by herself, she needs friends too."
Josh: "Oh, ok."

When I heard this story, every insecurity and mean experience that I had growing up caused me to get defensive and try to fix the situation. As I stumbled over words, trying to encourage and lift her up, Josh stopped me and said, "Jess, she dealt with it fine. . . she's fine."

This situation has, I'm sorry to say, dominated my thoughts today. I called Josh in tears thinking about what may have happened this morning on the bus. What if the girls ignored her and didn't let her sit with them. (She promised them yesterday that she would sit with them this morning). What if they started teasing her, how would she feel? Who would she go to if she was upset? How can I prepare for her the hurt she will have? All needless worry. She was "perfect." The bus was good, and she sat with the "friends." I use the term lightly, because I pray that she will always surround herself with people who let her be herself, especially when she's loving others, no matter who they are. I pray she will never fall into being in a clique. And that she will always treat others the way she would want to be treated.

She has surpassed my expectations thus far and taught me so much in just a week. She is a strong little girl with strong convictions.

Monday, September 08, 2008

How we're adjusting

Today marks the first full week for O to be at school in the morning. We've been trying out some different things to help pass the time. One of the activities that is a big hit is Garrett's "school" time. Because I wasn't able to get him into the free pre-school program through our county, I bit the bullet and am attempting a focused activity time with him in the morning. He's a very intelligent kid, but lacks the focus it's going to take to complete a task. The time is not so much that he learns, although that will be nice, it's just to get him motivated to sit and focus on a task and finish it. So far, he's done wonderfully. This morning he even came up and asked if it was "his school" yet. He doesn't enjoy the handwriting part, it's a little too detailed for him. However, he hasn't reduced himself to tears or even fits, just a bit of complaining and questioning on when he can do another page. The color pages are what take him forever. He makes them too detailed, and therefore wants to give up. He is very precise in staying in the lines and coloring as hard as he can to get all the color on the page, which makes the task take twice as long as it should. One day I was interested to see how long it would take him to color the turkey on his page, so I timed him (without him knowing). 25 Minutes later and he was finally done. He didn't complain through it, just stopped after every stroke of the crayon and asked a ton of questions. I gently focused him back on his task and he finished. It was hard for me to not rush him. I am slowly learning that it's not the quickness in which we finish a task, but the thoroughness which is important. Josh and I are always reminding each other that the kids don't have to move at warp speed just b/c we do. It's a good reminder to enjoy the moments, cherish the time, not make it go any faster than it already does.

Garrett coloring his turkey.

Look at the determination!

Esther usually starts out with us at the table, but likes to do her own playing. She was packing her back-pack for school.

I knew these two would be trouble without Olivia - here they are playing in the mud.

Garrett was picking up big handfuls of mud and throwing it to the ground saying, "CREATION!" It made me think of an artist who randomly throws paint on the canvas and makes a work of art.

The dog even got in on the mud time. His face should be mostly white!

Gideon doesn't know anything is different yet, he's still lots of fun!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Big Cheese

The day came and went, the morning flew by, but I missed my girl. Garrett, Esther and mommy have a lot of adjusting to do now that our playmate, peace-keeper, and helper is off to school. She was as confident as I knew she'd be. She didn't bat an eye when I told her we wouldn't be getting on the bus with her. She pushed me away at the bus stop when I hugged her before the bus even got there! And as you'll see, she didn't even look back when she stepped on the bus - she kept on going. I prayed for her all day, maybe I was really praying for
me. . . I was almost wanting a call from the school telling me she was too upset to stay, I want her to need her mommy still, and of all my kids, she needs me the least. It's what makes me love her. Her independence, confidence, and self-esteem that I pray she holds on to forever. She didn't care that she had to take her Dora back-pack on the first day b/c her other one wasn't here. She didn't care that her snack was wrapped in a Meijer bag b/c her lunch bag was MIA too. She was just happy to be going to school. So happy, that when Josh got her off the bus, she quickly hugged him and started running home without giving a detailed play-by-play of her day, per what was expected. Josh stopped her and said, "Hold on, why are you running, I want to hear about your day!" She glanced back at him and said, "I need to get home quick, so that I can go to bed and go back tomorrow!"

Once we got her talking, she had lots of things to say about her day. What her new friends names were, and that she was the first, "Big Cheese" of the year. What's the Big Cheese, you ask. It's the helper for the day, and she was randomly picked by her teacher for today. She was really excited. I didn't fail to mention that she must have gotten her mom's luck, b/c Crisp's (at least according to Josh) have terrible luck!

A great first day. No tears from anyone, even me. Well, until I started writing this post. Oh, well, can't keep it in forever!

Ready to go!

Can you guess which pre-school age child took this picture?

7:45 am - It was a family affair down to the bus stop. It's very unusual to have us all out and dressed at this time of the day, I'm going to say that it was a first.

Looking for the bus. It was 10 minutes late picking up and 20 minutes late dropping off!

We wait for the bus down our street in front of another little girls house. Her name is Olivia too - she's in first grade. Her little brother is three and his birthday is November 22nd, same as Gideon

Getting on the bus.

See how the other little Olivia stopped for her picture - our Olivia is busting tail on the bus!

Getting off the bus - so excited!