Sunday, April 27, 2014

Did you see the pictures below?
All of this relaxing (one whole Saturday without Stephen spending half of it working) might just have been made possible due to Stephen for all intents and purposes finishing his dissertation! Yes, we still have another year in Philly while Stephen does job talks in the fall and other research, but it's nice to have the big stuff out of the way. One of his dissertation chapters was published and was cited here in the church newsroom. Kind of fun.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Christian Conversations

Christian: I don't believe that you were little. I didn't see you."
Me: You were in Heaven.
Christian: I don't believe in Heaven!!!"
Me: Okay. Grandma and Grandpa remember, they are my mom and dad.
Christian: I don't believe that! Did they disappear in 17196 . . . like Israel?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Veronika der Lenz ist da!

I have never welcomed warmth so much as this Spring which finally arrived a three days ago. For perhaps all of our freezing March, I stopped trying to be an enriching nurturing mother aiding my children in their journey to becoming moral beings, and simply focused on keeping them alive and with both eyes maybe one eye in tact until Stephen was home. Believe me, when you're stuck in an apartment for weeks on end with bitter cold outside and no car (though honestly I don't know that a car would have helped), building character quickly becomes overrated. But at last we're in the clear so I can get back to that raising-children-in-light-and-truth-thing.
Christian, following his list-obsession father, has his whole life planned out. He's going to have five boys (he holds up one hand) and five girls (he holds up his other hand). He's going to live next door to me and live in a big big cabin with carrots on top and he'll have a "dangerous river" right by it [he had a little mischievous grin when he added that last part]. He's going to have four grandchildren. Personally I feel a little bad for him, I mean it's great he's giving me all those grandchildren, but it's a shame after all that work he only gets four---perhaps it has something to do with that dangerous river.
My gentleman farmer, Christian, enjoys smelling every crocus in the back garden--there are dozens and I don't believe even one has a smell. Nature brings out his intense imagination and it's a pleasure to be privy to his elaborate worlds when we go out onto the green roof over the parking garage. Tonight he interrupted me singing and said "did you hear that . . . I think it was our magic doorknob." He is obsessed with knights, kings, and guards. Sometimes when I want him to stay still I just tell him to be a guard for a while--works every time.
He likes to pretend he's the Union and that Simeon is part of "the Rebs" (yes, we have shown him a few non-violent clips from Gettysburg). This is far preferable to a couple of months ago when Stephen was telling him stories about the crusades (without my knowledge) and he started calling Simeon a Muslim when he would fight him with his toy sword. We've been searching for the right instrument for him for a while, and I'm starting to think that it is going to be limited to something he can play in the Army marching band. In his prayers he prays that Joshua can "be a big solider."
Simeon is all about wearing his Sunday best--everyday. And if not his Sunday best, his brother's or dad's. Once dressed, he loves to play that piano (we finally got a simple electric keyboard) or cello (the mop). His favorite books right now are Jazz Baby
and Ben's Trumpet
which he requests to read over and over again. Luckily they're library books because I don't think Christian could stand to hear them one more time. Still taking his time talking, mostly potty trained, we're proud our "Nano" boy. I think Christian has gotten a little lonely some days with me busy taking care of baby and not being able to go out of the house as easily as before--luckily Simeon is becoming a fun playmate in his own right and hopefully a lifelong best friend. He demands hugs and kisses before I leave from tucking him in, and from Christian when he goes "to work". This of course is imitating me when I demand "hugs and kisses" from Stephen for myself and the kiddos before he leaves for the day.
Joshua watches his brothers with utter glee. He has a squeal of enjoyment reserved for when he sees their faces in the morning. I admit I've given into Netflix (once upon a time I said I'd never pay someone to help me waste my life, apparently I'm now doing so in behalf of my children) just so I can go to the other room to put Joshua without them rushing in the door to play with him and to keep Joshua being constantly distracted by them. He finally decided it was worth bending and is finally at 8 months sitting by himself for an extended period of time and is also waving a sweet hello to all. Joshua is our little peacemaker as his generous smiles melts all of our hearts. Several people have mentioned that he seems to have a knowing face--and it's true.
Stephen has been working hard on his research and has been polishing his quantitative skills that have made him more marketable (and a little more boring). He hopes life will return to normal soon, but seeing that almost all the women around me (students and non-students) have their husbands working just as long if not longer, I'm not sure I'm a fan of "normal". Indeed, no longer am I a fan of the stay at home parent, there needs to be two stay at home parents! Sorry for the weird format of the videos, but enjoy what you can from them: