There are only 20 days until Baby Anderson arrives. I spent three hours in my classroom getting things organized for my wonderful long-term sub, Emily. I only have a few more details to get ready on that front.
Then the baby room needs to be conquered. I have purchased more fabric in the last week then ever in my life. I have grand plans to make a crib sheet, curtains, and a home-made Moby wrap. Of course I say I but really I mean we because none of those things will happen without my beautiful sister, Sara. She is the sewing genius and the only one who can talk me through sewing a straight line. She would never admit to it but she really is like a sewing warrior, unafraid to conquer any project.
The excitement of the next 20 days will not make them pass any faster. The anticipation of finally knowing if our lives will be filled with more superheroes or if some princesses will finally come to the Anderson's is almost more than I can stand. As Chris constantly reminds me, it is probably the best surprise God gives us.
It is an elementary tradition. The teacher asks the young pupil how turkey is prepared at their house. This week Elijah brought home his class's version of "How to prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving." I nearly peed my pants reading through it. And, although, biased I do think Elijah's had the most imagination. It was also clear that his class is used to hearing timers!
I would go hunting in the forest to find my turkey. I will be really quiet and look. I'm going to jump out and shoot it when I see a turkey. I will carry the turkey home on my back and hold it by the leg and the body will touch my back. I will put the turkey in the oven, but first I'm going to take all the feathers out. I will just pull them out. The turkey will cook for 10 minutes, while the turkey is cooking I'm going to play games because I like paying games. When the little thing that always beeps when my mom cooks that means the turkey is done. I will grab some gloves and take it out like the special gloves that my mom has. I will use a knife to cut the turkey apart then we will eat it. We will have stuffing that my mom will make. Mom makes almost all the food in my house so she will make potatoes and gravy. Then I think I would have some pumpkin pie; maybe, I'm not sure. I'll probably play a game with my dad after dinner because that's what we always do.
I am not good at waiting for things. I never have been. I was the kid who searched for presents, found them, unwrapped enough to peak and then rewrapped them. (Although I do remember having a partner in crime for this.)
I have 6 weeks to wait for the newest blessing to the Anderson family. I can hardly contain myself. I have been so blessed in this pregnancy. I feel good. I sleep okay. I am not totally huge (yet). Not knowing if we are going to be graced with a boy or a girl consumes most of my wandering thoughts. Thinking about all that little clothes and warm cuddles makes me smile. Every time the baby moves (which is a lot) I smile in anticipation of meeting this beautiful creation.
But....at the same time, I am not nearly ready to welcome a baby into the family yet either. I haven't found the flannel sheets for the crib to keep the baby comfy cozy. I have not picked out or made the curtains to cover the hideous light that shines in from outside. I have not planned all my sub stuff yet (yikes!). I have not planned out all of the details that need to be planned from December 23 when baby comes through Christmas Day when I will hopefully get to go home. I am not ready.
It is strange living in this duplicitous stage of life. To want it over with and need more time all at the same time. Either way in 6 weeks or 42 days or a lot of hours God is giving us a baby. And truly no matter what happens my only prayer is for a healthy, happy, baby; a safe delivery; and a smooth transition into life with three children.
"Hello my beautiful sister" this is my standard greeting when my sister calls or when I see her after school. She often quips back something about how her look for the day is far from beautiful.
What she doesn't seem to understand is that I don't call her beautiful merely because of her physical beauty (of which she has been blessed with much). I call her beautiful because her beauty is as Peter said, "of [her] inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight" (I Peter 3:4). Sara, being the humble woman she is, will never accept this compliment but truly she reminds me daily what a woman of God looks like. My beautiful sister daily shows me what a Godly mother looks like as she disciplines with love and Biblical basis. Her quiet and gentle spirit draws people to her as she shares kind words, cookies, and a bit of God's love with all she comes across. She shines with beauty as she loves our Grandma, who can be difficult to love at times.
I am so blessed to have a beautiful sister; one who truly shines with the beauty God intended women to have.
Tomorrow you begin a whole new chapter of your life, school. I know you keep saying you are not excited and that you are a little bit scared too and I don't blame you. Starting something new is scary, but you are going to do so great. God has prepared you for this. You are so good at making friends and helping others feel included. You are always willing to give it your best. These qualities will make you successful at school. And really you will be good at anything you try.
It sounds cliche but I can't believe this day is already here. I confess there were days when you were an infant when I couldn't wait for you to grow up but now here you are growing up before my very eyes and I would give anything to go back to the days of your babyhood when you would look up at me and smile and we could cuddle on the couch.
There are a few things you need to know about school. First, always respect your teacher, even if you don't like them. Second, not all homework or things you learn in school will seem relevant at the time (or ever) but always do your best anyway. Third, kids are not always nice and sometimes people will say mean things to you. Just remember, if it isn't true, don't let it bother you. And as much as I love you, I will not always be able to solve or fix it, but you can always come and talk to me about anything. And last, no girlfriends until you are 25 and absolutely no kissing until you are married.
I love you, Elijah! You are going to be a great kindergartner.
One of the reasons I wanted to be back in SD was so I could help my beautiful sister with Grandma. It has been a job that is both enjoyable and frustrating at the same time. Grandma has changed over the years and it has been an adjustment learning to love this grandma.
One can hardly blame her. Life has not been easy for her. Losing a husband and two daughters to lung diseases is horrible. Helping care for your oldest daughter who is battling a losing battle with a lung disease is a bit cruel.
I have found it is especially easy to blow off Grandma when things get busy; like back to school time. But God had so burdened my heart with a conviction to make the effort; to love and care for her; to show her that the God she loves is a God who forgives and who loves (even noisy upstairs neighbors).
I always look forward to the 20 week ultrasound when I am pregnant. I love getting a sneak peak at what God is knitting together in my womb. Most of the ultrasound process is measurements and pictures of anatomy but at the end comes the profile. Baby 3 was not the most cooperative patient at Monday's ultrasound. Baby kept moving and kicking and wiggling so the tech was having a hard time getting what she needed. Baby was also turned facing my back which makes the profile near impossible. But, at the very end, Baby turned around and this mama shed a few tears at the sight of that precious profile. The pic is not great but you get the idea.
There are way too many things we love about living in South Dakota to list on this blog but one of them is the awe my boys have for the world around them. Each time we drive to Grandma's or to Sioux Falls or anywhere the boy's marvel at the tractors and the growing things in the fields. They love to ask, "What do I have?" They are so curious about what is growing out their windows. Elijah has gotten very good at telling the difference between corn and beans and John is very good at telling us whether the tractor is a John Deere or not.
It also amazes them to no end that Auntie Sara has a garden and that we get to eat what grows out of it. The other night, as we munched garden lettuce and the first green pepper, Elijah was so impressed that we were eating food grown right down the street.
It is an on-going argument in our house over whose kids is whose. I am certain John is Chris', not only because he looks like him, but because he behaves like him. I am certain Elijah is my mini-me. Elijah is sure this is not true but this week I saw it even more clearly.
My beautiful sister and her husband hosted Backyard Bible Club this past Monday through Thursday. Each day Elijah would sit towards the front (something his mom also tries to do, that is where all the learning takes place) and raise his hand patiently for each question. Now, it is a trait common in little people, they often raise their hands to answer questions they have no idea how to answer. Elijah, however, always has an answer, even if it was, "I have no idea." I too have a tendency to raise my hand or just offer my thoughts even if I have no idea; however I feign knowledge where I have none.
The first night Elijah was frustrated that he did not get called on to say the memory verse. He decided to remedy that problem by simply asking the teacher beforehand to call on him. The conversation went something like this: "Excuse me, Mrs. Ruth, could you please call on me first to say the verse? I really know it." Again this is me. I get frustrated when I am not noticed or acknowledged, especially when I actually do have the answer, for once.
I love both my boys so much but Elijah is so much like me. I hope that doesn't cause trouble in the future.
Last week Monday we packed up the rest of the house and put it in a massive trailer. I say we loosely. Chris did most of the work, along with two good friends of mine from Geth and a handful of others who came by to help out. It was all over in about two hours. Tuesday morning our generous, servant-hearted friend Kevin came by to drive the trailer to SD for us. (yes, he drove it to SD and then turned right around and drove home, what a great guy!)
Having been away from the house for 10 months I
didn't really exp
ect to be too emotional over the whole thing. I was, though. As I sat in the van, ready to drive away it occurred to me that I would never be in the house again. It was no longer mine.
Today at 1:00 MC bought the house. At least I am assuming she did since the real estate agent didn't call with bad news. It is now her house. I am so grateful for all of the memories that God allowed us to have in that house and I look forward to the new memories we will build in Harrisburg
I think I laugh, literally out loud, every day at the funny things Elijah and John say and do.
John had a Nerf gun today and was very excited that he could cock it himself. He cocked it, shot it at the closet door and then turned to Chris and I, "That was awesome!"
Elijah put on Chris' slippers tonight and declared that he was the Dad. "My first order of business, Get me a pickle, son," he said to Chris.
John mistakenly uses the word possible instead of purpose which means that "on purpose" becomes "on possible."
Our daycare provider is having a baby. Elijah has been very curious about how a mommy knows that she is having a baby. One day he asked, "Do you beep or something?"
John currently uses, "IIII'mmmm tiiiirrred" (said with a drawn out whine) when asked to stop doing something he is enjoying, like pestering his brother. While I don't think it is funny now I am sure I will find the humor when he is older, much older.
Let me answer two questions. 1. Yes, John has both legs in one leg hole. 2. Yes he is wearing a Burger King crown.
I love my couch. I worked two jobs and shopped for two months to get it. It is a khaki, microfiber huge sectional couch that has served many purposes over the seven years it has been mine. It has been a comfortable sleeping spot while I was pregnant with Elijah. It has been a super cool fort. It has been a guest bed for my Granny (she still talks about how comfortable it was to sleep on). It has hosted 5 beautiful ladies learning more about our great God. It has served as the pow wow spot for various important discussions ranging from what to name our second child to what movie to watch.
She wants it. She is the wonderful single woman who is buying our house. Our answer to prayers but she wants my couch. Of all the things in the house that I have missed, my couch tops the list. There are so many memories tied to that object. I remember cuddling my newborn, adorable, Elijah on that couch. I remember telling a group of dear friends (as they sat on that couch) that after trying for a year I was going to have another baby. I remember both Elijah and John taking naps on that couch.
God has taken Chris and I on such a wonderful journey of faith, provision, and balance. As soon as Chris told me that one of the stipulations to the sale was leaving the couch behind I felt it was an important part of our journey. In the 10 months since we put the house on the market God has taught us that He is enough, that we have too much, that we don't need to worry about what the world thinks we should have, that a house is not a home, and that we are rich in so many ways. Really the couch symbolizes sacrifice. God wants to know if I am willing to give up an object that I love in order to reap the blessing of a sold house.
I am. I did. And the house is sold. Thank you, God!
Chris and I try to watch The Office together each week. When Chris is out of town we save it for when he gets home. This week's episode has the main character Michael proposing to the woman of his dreams, Holly. It got me thinking about the night of my proposal.
It was New Years Eve, 1998 (almost 1999). I had joined Chris for the holiday in the Black Hills. It was a cold, but not bitter night. We ate dinner at the Franklin Hotel, where Chris used to work. It was delicious. After dinner we went up to Terry Peak Summit. A beautiful look out, although a bit windy at that time of year. As we drove up there Chris spent a lot of time talking about all the great times we had spent together. When we parked the car Chris played the song "If You Could See What I See", a song he said he would only play for the woman he would marry. When we got up the lookout I was suspicious but still not convinced that he was really going to propose. This was the man who insisted that he graduate from chiropractic school before he got married. We looked out at the night. It was clear and beautiful (and windy). One moment I was looking at the stars and the next Chris was on his knee with a beautiful ring. I'm not sure what exactly he said, I was so shocked. I just remember him asking, "Will you marry me?" I remember saying, "Yes."
It is one of the best yeses I have ever given. I love my husband more today than I did 11 1/2 years ago.
I love you. I love your blue eyes. I love the way you say "Lub you". I love the way you take your brother down with no fear whatsoever. I love that you keep telling me I am your bestest buddy. I love you. Really.
What I am wondering is, if you wouldn't consider using all your knowledge about going potty and actually do it. All of the time. You know, like the big boy you keep telling me you are. It frustrates Mommy a little bit (okay a lot) that you know what to do but don't do it. It also frustrates me that you only want to go potty when Mommy's hand are otherwise occupied, say cooking a fabulous dinner that you won't eat.
I was certain the "Great M&M Bribe" of 2011 would do the trick but you are too smart for that. Daddy was certain the "John Deere Tractor Trade" of 2010 would do the trick but you were too smart for that one too. That's the trouble, isn't it, John. You are too smart for all of us.
A couple years ago I assigned my beloved Sevies to write an original psalm. To be fair I wrote one too. I came across it while decluttering some files. It amazes me, and frankly disgusts me that I can still be in the same spot again, two years later.
I am 25 days into the 30 day challenge. I have missed two days. I wish I could say I was a transformed woman. I wish I could say the Word was with me all day. I can't say that.
What I can say is that I know God hears me (Psalm 17:6; Psalm 54:2). I know God does not withold favor from those who walk is blameless (Psalm 84:11-12). I know that if I trust in God my circumstances will not shake me (Psalm 125:1). I know that hope in the Lord lifts my soul (Psalm 42:11). I know that God will reveal my offensive ways and create in me a clean heart (Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51:10). I know God is my shield, my peace, my strength (Psalm 112:1, Psalm 119:165, Psalm 7:10). I know that God finishes what He starts (Psalm 138:8).
I can also say that I needed to hear all of those things. I feel connected (most of the time) and that is huge. I can say that journaling has helped me process what I have read and those entries are creating a wonderful dialogue.