Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sometimes...

Sometimes I think all my children have G-tubes and I avoid tickling them all near the mid-left side of their stomachs...
Sometimes I look at Levi and remember what he looked like lying in his isolate wondering if he'd ever make it out alive...
Sometimes I forget to be grateful and I assume all my children should thank me daily for taking time to feed, clothe, and bathe them daily...
Sometimes I forget that my four-year old is only four because of his profound ability to communicate...
Sometimes I look at my one-year old and remember how faithful God has been to give us another healthy baby...
Sometimes I want to have fifty children because I can't get enough of my sweet boys...
Sometimes I want to yell and ask all my children to leave me alone...
Sometimes I want to tell everyone how fragile life is and to not sweat the small stuff...
Sometimes I sweat the small stuff...
Sometimes I want Levi to keep his G-tube so we can always have a visible reminder of God's miraculous hand...
Sometimes I want to pull out Levi's G-tube and just tell the doc it closed up by accident...
Sometimes I think I'm a great mom and wife...
Sometimes I think I'm a horrific mom and wife...
Sometimes I wish I were already in Heaven...
Sometimes I want to live until I'm a great-grandmother...
Sometimes I sing and dance and make music in my house...
Sometimes we sit quietly trying to find an ounce of patience left in our bones...
Sometimes my boys are all trying to be like each other and looking to grow up like someone they trust and admire...

Always, I hope that my hubby and I can look more like Jesus, so our little men will desire to look like Him too...












~Always Buster

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

forget me nots- Happy birthday Roman

When you become a parent, you consciously-subconsciously, pull from your subconscious and focus much of your energy recreating things you loved from your childhood, and making sure you work hard to foster the opposite styles of which you hated from your upbringing. Some people swing the pendulum a little too far and end up causing their own children to have a distaste for their opposite rearing. For example, if you were shown no physical affection as a child, you may cause your child to hate PDA due to their overexposure to it, or maybe their was zero communication in your house, so now your children have to roll their eyes at the constant TMI. Either way, we all like to focus on the good and forget the bad. While we may remember some of the "bad" a little too much from childhood, I think as we age, we only hold on to the good. At least this is my experience. I quickly forget all of my adult discomforts quite easily, until I'm reminded by someone else. I'm thankful that I can't really capture the bitter taste of hardship. Rather, once I'm through a tough day, I naively exclaim that it wasn't that bad. I hope that regardless of what my children remember from their childhood, I pray they remember they were loved well, that the hard was worth it, and that good is always right around the corner.
It's always fun to look back after that first year of life and amazingly only remember the sleep-filled nights! Roman, I cannot believe you are one! You are the most relaxed, sweet, simple, and silly boy. Your dance moved rock the house, and your voice will certainly be heard through these walls! I love how much you love your brothers, and I love how you keep on growing despite my efforts to slow you down! Happy birthday bugaboo. We love you!

Born on Veteran's Day, 6 lbs 2 oz, November 11, 2016.








~Birthday Buster

Friday, November 3, 2017

Multigenerational Halloween

Everywhere I turn, I'm hearing people talk about mentors, accountability partners, or influential advisors. It feels like everyone is yearning for trusted, wise counsel. This poses a wonderful and difficult problem. First, it's wonderful that we are learning how we can't do life singlehandedly. But it's also difficult to bridge the gap and open our hands and hearts on both ends.
Too often, people hold a badge of honor for their packed calendars. Quick texts and surface posts are serving as our relational barometers. On the other hand, those who have the time to pour into meaningful relationships don't have a true respect for those who are generationally or culturally different. I read an article recently that gave five ways to connect with other generations. It was based on the notion that our society needs to relearn the art of "relating" to one another. Since our current pastimes don't usually include "family-style" dinners, "table games," or "fireside chats," it's easy to forget how to patiently listen to the old tales of "yesteryear." Does that mean our mentors should be people who have walked in exactly the same path we are currently enduring so that we can simply gain a quick and easy answer to our problem? Not necessarily. But they should be people who are living a life that you admire, who are open to loving you, and who are willing to humbly exchange skills.
The article explained that, "Our modern, marketing-driven lifestyles have us carefully sectioned out. We get names like boomers, Xers, millennials, and Gen Y, and then the world offers us products and services geared to our specific demographic. But what is lost as we try to experience life and all its joys and sorrows with only the company of others in our age group? Connection. Perspective. And wisdom. These are the gifts of multigenerational relationships" (Fischer, Paige Porter, Real Simple Magazine Oct 2017).
Moreover, just because you are considered young or old doesn't mean you fit into your generational label. I happen to be on the cusp of my birth-year's nomenclature, as well as the line of my zodiac sign. While I could care less about these labels, I think it's essential that we see accountability and multigenerational relationships with mutual respect. My husband recently talked with someone more than a decade younger, but he explained his fervent respect for this young man because he recently traded in his iPhone for an old-fashioned flip phone. When curious about this millennial's unique choice, my husband learned that the young lad simply realized his need for margin in his life: margin between his screen time and his authentic relationships and respite. Wow. Don't judge a book by it's cover is a cliche for a reason. Both parties in a mentor-relationship need to see the need for receptivity. When our "elders" (for lack of a better term) snub their nose at the newest technology, or refuse to change their ways or learn something new, it creates a stumbling block for themselves and for those who desire their counsel. Thus, for the sake of wisdom-exchange, both parties must embrace the gifts of connection, perspective, and wisdom learned from their counterpart. When you can get outside of yourself, you begin to grow in new ways. If we never stop growing, we never stop connecting, and if we never stop connecting, we will stop living solely for ourselves.

 It's been so interesting watching our street turn from the 21st century back a couple generations for the sake of cinematography.





Just sitting on our driveway watching a live film

When asked if the crew could spread leaves on our new grass so that it matched the season of the film, we said we'd only allow it if the boys could assist!

The boys LOVED throwing leaves everywhere. Child labor ... that's enjoyable.



Si-man rode his first Farris Wheel downtown and just beamed after seeing the city up high

Halloween always holds a special place in our heart because it's  someone's bday too!




~Multigenerational Buster

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lessons of the week

Since being home from our New England excursion, all the boys seem to have learned something new. Roman started waving hi and bye and also clapping along to his favorite songs (some of my favorite lessons this past week). Silas has learned that he's big enough to open and close our heavy 1970s windows to enjoy the cool fall air, and he also learned what it feels like to give blood (necessary to obtain allergy tests for him). Sadly, our sweet, little Levi has learned some normal, but unnecessary, whines, including the inevitable phrase MINE, as well as the art of crying before bedtime hoping to stay up until the sun rises again. I'm thankful that Levi continues to show glimpses of normal toddlerhood even if they aren't my favorite. Although sometimes we can't afford to let him be normal. He yelled so hard the other night before bed that he made himself throw up all the extra calories we'd just fed him. It's those moments I just have to pray and trust. Please pray for our nutrition appointment this week too. Their notes are the first thing that the GI doc looks at for his evaluation in December. Regardless of the lessons, I'm very thankful that we were able to show these "needy" boys the art of giving this weekend. It's so easy to tell them to be grateful and ask them to stop complaining or count their blessings, but it's much more effective to take them to a homeless shelter and show them true "needs" and real giving. Tis the season for thankfulness and giving (wait, shouldn't that be every season?) I really do love my job, and wish I could make time stand still sometimes...

Sweet boys are ready!

Our seeds grew nicely while we were away!

Ro Ro is edible. And I think he wondered if our new grass was too.












~Lesson Buster

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Expensive Garbage

I had heard that Atlanta was a "new Hollywood hub," but I didn't actually believe it until the key location manager knocked on our door a couple months ago regarding an upcoming film about Neil Armstrong starring Ryan Gosling and Matt Chandler. The director of the recent Oscar winning film, La La Land, is also shooting this picture entitled First Man, just a couple doors down from our house.   It's all anyone seems to talk about in our neighborhood these days (myself included), but the most fascinating aspect of the picture is the gorgeous home that was built on a little open lot. The ranch house has picture perfect landscaping, a backyard pool, and beautiful stone accents that were all established in a matter of weeks. This is no facade, this is a real livable house! However, just as quickly as it was built, it will be burned down and destroyed all for the sake of "story-telling" because Neil Armstrong's home was a apparently burned when he was young. As I commented to one of the set designers about the work that goes into a masterpiece only to ruin it, he exclaimed, "That's Hollywood, we know how to make expensive garbage."
I can't help but think about the people in Santa Rosa, California  returning to their ash houses, or the people in numerous hurricane locations that have a true sense of loss right now. I'm not saying that I don't love going to the movies, nor am I telling you that I won't be walking down the street in hopes of seeing a famous face (all superficial states), but I do see the importance of holding your "stuff" at arms length. When we think that our "stuff" has significant value, we forget how quickly it can be taken or destroyed. Even those things that we think have serious nostalgic purposes or keepsakes that can't be replaced, even those aren't truly the memories. About a week after Kyra's sister gave me a pair of her old earrings, Silas broke them. I could have been furious and hurt, but I realized Kyra could have cared less about those earrings.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." --Matthew 6:19-21

It's the actual events and memories we maintain in our minds that matter, not the photographs we seek to embalm. While, I love our home, it does make me see the value in selling everything and moving into an RV one day! Speaking of... here's the last photo burst that I hope I'll always have a vivid picture of in my mind.

Visiting the real Von Trapp Family Lodge was awesome!

Never realized this famous Sound of Music family moved to the US

They still loved their home country though

Silas found this empty podium and decided he wanted to "give a sermon" 

Levi wanted to be his back-up dancer! :D

Love these boys



Must return to this amazing coffee shop in Vermont one day!


Nothing like camp fire s'mores

Rain starting in Maine really made us have RV fever.



Rain = Land Before Time movie

Pictures don't do this justice... trust me.
















~Garbage Buster