Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Lent - Prayer

You know writer's block?  Well right now I have prayer's block.

I started Lent last week.  I love this season in anticipation of Easter.  It is not always glamorous, and more often that not I fail and don't keep up with my end of the bargain (I already had a cheat this week).  Yet it is a time to recognize our dependence on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that is clearly displayed in my human frailty.  The thing is, this time I am having trouble "finding" Jesus. 

I have adopted some daily habits to turn my dependence to God, but the pressures of this life keep pushing me aside.  I read a daily devotion to the kids in the morning, but if they're not eating their breakfast or listening, or we are rushing out the door, the meaning is lost.  I try to read my own devotional after they're done, and some days am non-stop interrupted until my coffee is cold and I have tried to re-read the single page devotion 5 times.  I try to pray throughout the day, but between breaking up fights, and making snacks, and handling meltdowns, and cleaning the toilets, I sometimes forget.  So I rely on my evenings once the kids are in bed... but sometimes my brain is dead tired and keeping focus is hard.  Even at church, I rarely get to sit through a service, as I tend to my children, and fill in for Sunday School teachers who are away.  Those aren't excuses.  I am just saying that it is hard. 

I won't give up.  I have a longing to reignite that flame and passion for prayer.  I just realize that this season in life brings challenges.   I share to express that amid the beauty and fun and joy of life, there are hard part too (they don't get showcased as often).  I hope to share more of these times throughout this season. 

God, grant me grace as I seek you more. 


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

For My Boys

Happy Valentine's Day!  While today is a day for lovers, I couldn't help but showcase some of the love I have for the boys in my life. 

Monday, 29 January 2018

January updates

I'm sitting here sipping hot coffee, listening to my favorite music in the daytime while my kids play quietly in their room.  What????  Is this really my life right now???  I had to sit down and spend just a brief moment jotting down my thoughts while the magic lasts.

It is not always like this.  Not at all.  But the twin veteran moms were right.  Something shifts at age 4, and suddenly these little beings can handle some independence.  We have built in a structure of "quiet time" after lunch for a lonnnng time now and it is finally paying off.  It doesn't always work (or last more than 10 minutes), but some days it does.  Those days are treasures.  Yes I have laundry to do, and the garbage is overflowing, and dinner needs to be prepared, but for 15 minutes, I am sitting down.  Enjoying the moment.  Savouring my coffee.  (And just as I type this a child has come out with an angry request).

We had a rough few months of sickness, through the Christmas season.  We went away on vacation to Mexico, and it was wonderful, despite that we were still sick through it all.  We are back into routine.  We moved the boys to 3 days of preschool to give us (mainly me) an extra bit of kid-free time to keep up my sanity.  That has just begun, but I am already so happy.  I just need a little more space at this point in time.

This winter has felt long, and dreary.  Over time the years here on the island have felt more oppressive through the rainy seasons.  I love the storms and the wind.  But living it day in and day out, with young kids who are stuck inside, and carting groceries through the rain, and taking out a dog twice a day is wearing.  I am so grateful for their preschool this year.  It is a nature-based program and nearly every day they ARE outside, rain or shine and when they come home they have played and explored and are ready to tuck in and be content inside.  Still, I am ready for the new life of spring to come.  Being in the sun on holidays was wonderful, but it made it especially hard to come back to an intense storm season.

As for New Year's resolutions, mine don't tend to shift much year to year, and I am probably still in works of the same things from last year and the year before.  Three priorities at the top of my list are:

1. Read my Bible every day. I started this year with a 30-day devotional called Awaken, which includes a journal portion and I'm so glad to be back at it. 
2. Exercise - starting back at the gym.   I've done home workouts for a few years, and while I have strength, I think this will take me to a new level of discipline, so I am starting 3 days at the gym, in addition to my weekly walks and runs.
3. Declutter!  The boys are nearly out of all "baby" toys/clothes/supplies so I have purged those and want to continue through my house this year and bring the other rooms back to some sense of normalcy.

So that's where we are at, on the verge of February awakening and the prospect of spring (my tulips have pushed through the dirt and are waiting to make an appearance).  What does your new year look like?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The act of sacrifice

Today my kids are home sick.  It was their preschool day.  The one day of the week, out of 24/7 days a week, where I get a break for 3 precious hours.  Today that is gone. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

We are FOUR!

The goal of reaching the magic age of 4, has been on my horizon for, well, the last four years.  When the twins were little, every veteran twin mom we met would say the words, "Just wait until they are 4.  That's where the good times begin."  Of course, there have been good times before this point, but there is something about the development of twins and how they learn independence and to play with each other, that makes the age of 4 the best yet.  We are still getting to that point lol.  There are some glimpses of that magic, but there also are still power struggles, tantrums, tears and fights. 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

As it's the boys' birthday today and they turn 4, I found this old post I have not yet posted.  There are no pictures attached, but here is a description of life with 3-year olds.  More to come soon!

*     *     *     *     *

The boys are 3 1/2 years old, and right in that stage where they do and say the cutest things.  Things that will likely be forgotten, if not recorded somewhere.  So here is the place I have decided to jot down some memories and moments to remember what having 3-year old twins is like.

I'll start with the "older" twin, RJ.  RJ is our spit and vinegar, wild and free. little rascal.  He is strong-willed, independent, and has to figure out everything for himself.  He is also our little lawyer.  He won't accept "no" for an answer, and unfortunately he spends most of his day asking for things that he can't have.  This must be very disappointing for him all day long.  When I say no, he has 3 regular responses.
1. First, he tries to argue why he should get what I am saying no to, and why I should change my mind and say yes.
2. Second, if he really can't get his own way, he attempts to come up with a solution as to when he will get his request fulfilled (ex. Maybe after I have a good nap today then I can have a jelly candy when I wake up)
3. Third, if the answer is a final no and he is not willing to accept it, he will either run full speed and try to attain/achieve what I have said no to... or he will just pull out his loudest voice and scream full-on in a tantrum over and over again.  This will happen despite where we are, or who we are around. He has no shame.
At the moment, the only way to calm him down out of a tantrum is to pick him up (through his flailing), or take his hands and drag him into a quiet space to help him calm down.  If I leave him for a few moments alone, he is actually good at calming himself down and will come out and say, "Mom, I'm okay now.  I'm calm."  And then he will usually go back to response number 2.

RJ is also still our entertainer, although he does get some stage fright at times.  Other times, he is completely free-spirited and wild and will express himself however he feels.  He loves to dance to good music, make up songs, play his guitar alongside his dad, and run around and do "tricks."  He practices yoga moves and exercises along with me, and hardly ever stops long enough to sit and eat a meal.  He is our wild child.

MJ is younger, but wise and sweet, and innocent.  So innocent.  MJ hates to get into trouble.  Almost always when he does get in trouble, he has an actual explanation as to what he was doing and why.  And probably 97% of the time it is unintentional (the 3% of the time is usually that his brother is bullying him and he is fighting back).  MJ is highly concerned with other people's emotions and will often ask us when reading books, why certain characters look angry or sad or upset (often times it is just the drawing has funny eyebrows or something).  He loves babies and will be gentle and bring toys for any little people to play with if he is around.  That is not to say that he is always cautious.  Oh no.  MJ LOVES rough and tumble play and wrestle-time.  His favorite "game" right now (both the boys love it), is a game they made up called "Gorilla Grodd," based off of one of their Batman books.  Basically, their dad is Gorilla Grodd (the bad guy) and RJ is Batman and MJ is Spiderman and they have to fight him off.  They wrestle on the bed and come up with different "tools" to impair him.  He plays along and they laugh and scream and wrestle like crazy.

The boys have actually made up a few "games" that they play that are hilarious right now.  One is called the "Muffin Man" and I have no idea what it is except that they dump out their stuffie toy bin and put it over their heads and walk around being the "Muffin Man."  Another one is mama and babies.  This started with their foxes but now they use their blankets (the big on is the mom and the small one is the baby).  In this game they basically just replay parts of our day, such as going to church and nursery, or having a nap, or going to the park.  They talk in different little voices and it is hilarious.  They certainly aren't short of imagination, and it must be a great perk to have a twin to play along with you!  In fact, I realized the other day that they don't have a lot of alone play time.  MJ is always asking Dan or I to play with him, and I think it is because RJ calls all the shots when they play together, and when MJ plays with us, he actually gets to play his own way. Haha!  The woes of being a "littler" sibling.

As far as what they say/talk about... it really is hard to keep track and remember.  I think we are just so used to it that we don't notice the cuteness of the phrases they use.  RJ still uses "them" instead of "they" so he sounds like a hick: "What will them do when they come over to play?"   MJ just has a really sweet-sounding voice and a little lisp where he can't say his "L's" and it makes him so cute: "Mommy, will you pway wif me?" At bedtime, they always ask for a lullabye (or 10) and often sing along, especially if we sing a worship song they know.  MJ has the purest voice when he sings.  As soon as they're asleep, no matter how hard the day, I am filled with so much pride and love for them!  They are so sweet when they're asleep.