It's all over now!

I have been in denial, not wanting to accept the reality of another little one on the move, and how that will create even more havoc in our home. . . but the day has come. Timothy is on the move and proud of it. Now that Timothy doesn't have to lie there and take the abuse (he is about to loose his big toenail after Wil served him one of his now famous bites) I have a feeling Luke and Wil have some payback coming their way.

Our Budding Photographer

It is always fun to stumble upon something that reveals what Luke has been up to. While looking for some pictures we came across these.

These are just a handful out of the 40 pictures he took in our tiny half bath off the kitchen. (Most are not suitable for printing:) )

And speaking of the bathroom. On the way to school today Luke was sharing with me some of the jokes and games he and his friends play. "What if you were frozen like a spoon?" hahaha. "or a rug?" hahaha. He then informs me that while those are funny he "prefers to use bathroom language" - "What if you were frozen like poop?" hahahaha, head back, hahaha.

Sigh. The male fascination with bathroom humor starts so young!!
(that one was for you Greg and Christina)

In Sickness and In Health

For the second time in 2 months we have been hit with the stomach flu. For Wil it all started last Friday while I was with Timothy at the hospital. The days that followed have been filled with vomiting and very messy diapers. Wil is really quite pitiful when sick. When awake a steady moan can be heard throughout the house and when asleep he is so out of it that he doesn't wake when, well, there has been a GI emergency. Instead he continues to sleep and roll around in his crib waiting for us to come in and find the disaster. He is so lathargic that he can hardly sit up so I often find him folded over like a taco where I last placed him.

And then there is Luke. His started Sunday night around 7. He was sick about every hour throughout the night. We knew it was happening because it was preceded by a panick of "oh no, oh nooo". He has not been sick since Monday night but remains very weak and makes sure that we all know it. He has also taken to the floor. When he gets up off the sofa he curls up on the floor because upon standing he realizes he "can't do it" (said in a drawn out whine). But he doesn't want to miss any action, whether it's running a bath for Wil or dealing with Timothy, so he rolls as close to the activity as he can. If we are upstairs he simply rolls to the base of the stairs.
Last night, after being carried upstairs by dad he managed to brush his teeth and make it into his room but rather than climbing into bed he fell to the floor. I told him that he needed to help me help him into bed. "I can't do it", he muttered. I then told him that while his dad and I are happy to help him while he is sick there are things he needs to try to do for himself, like walking. His response? "But mommy, why would I do things for myself when you can do them for me?" Right.
So that's where we have been since Friday. Oh, and I was also hit with this from Sunday through Monday night. James did a great job as dad, husband, nurse, and housekeeper!

Conversations with Luke

Talking with Luke is usually enjoyable, if not exhausting, and often entertaining. Here are some of our most recent dialogues:

While driving downtown. . .

Luke: Why do those signs (crosswalks) have human beings on them when it is time for people to walk but a hand on them when it is time for the cars to go? It should have a picture of a car, not a hand.

Me: Well, because those signs are meant for people who are walking, not people who are driving. The "human being" means it is safe to cross the street and the hand means to stop because it is not safe to cross the street.
Luke: Why isn't it safe to cross the street?

Me: Because cars are passing.

Luke: Then why doesn't it just have a picture of a car?

Me: I'm not sure Luke, good question. A hand held up is sort of a universal sign for stop - so when people see that they know they need to stop.

Luke: But they need to stop because there are cars coming, so they should just have a picture of a car. . .

And so it goes until I finally say - yes Luke, you are right. They should have a picture of a car.

Since Easter we have been having many conversations about Jesus, the cross, sin, forgiveness, heaven - you know, light and easy stuff.

Luke: Mommy, tell me again why Jesus died on the cross.

Me: Remember the story about Adam and Eve and how sin came into the world?

Luke: Yes (and he goes into a dramatic retelling of creation, Adam and Eve and the fall)

Me: Well, you know how there are consequences for you when you do things that you shouldn't? Because Adam and Eve brought sin into the world when they disobeyed God everyone born after that was born with sin too, and someone needed to pay the consequences for that sin.

Luke: Oh yea, right. So Adam and Eve got in trouble.

Me: When they disobeyed God it damaged their relationship with him and God wanted to make it right. So he sent Jesus to take the consequences for sin, for all of us.

Luke: But mommy, Jesus is God and God is Jesus.

Me: Yes, that's right Luke.

Luke: Well, anyway, that sure was nice of Jesus.

Me: yes, it was.

Luke: Mommy, from now on when I disobey you and daddy and get in trouble I want Jesus to take my consquences. (followed by laughing and knee slapping)

And lastly,

Me: Luke, do you know why Wil is so wet?

Luke: (looking at me sheepishly) Well, I don't want you to get mad at me.

Me: Is there a reason I might get upset with you?

Luke: Mommy, I was just so tempted. I had water in my mouth and it was so tempting, I mean really tempting. I just wanted to spit it on Wil and I was so tempted that I just had to do it. (Shoulders shrugging)

Model Patient

As far as hospital experiences go (and we have had plenty) today's was quite pleasant. Timothy, who could not eat after 1am the night before, was amazingly happy. He was very interested in what was going on around him and even more delighted with all the attention he was getting. And he got plenty of attention! He was a hit because everyone that looked his way, including the anesthesiologist, got big smiles. The procedure itself was short and sweet and all the steps we had to take from check-in to discharge were very clear and easy.

So now our youngest is hopped up on narcotics as he sleeps away - hey, maybe he will sleep through the night tonight!

These are pictures of him waiting to go in for prep. He's so cute in his gown I couldn't pick just one!

If it's not one thing it's another

He's smiling now but he won't be on the 20th. We found out today that our little guy, Timothy, must have surgery. It is "minor" though it does require general anesthesia. He has a slight issue in his, ahem, private area, so a pediatric urologist is going to have to do a little snipping to make sure things are as they should be. Better now than later right? At this point I am pretty sure that the most traumatizing part for him will be the fact that he cannot eat/drink after 1 am the night before. Not something our little chunker is accustomed to just yet.
Luke wants to say hi! If the ice cream dyes his skin
what is happening inside? Yikes!

Timothy the Giant. Oh my aching back.

Little boys are noise covered in mud

People tried to warn me what it would be like to have three boys. There are whole books written about the uniqueness of boys and their ways. I read some of these and I took in the comments from seasoned mom's of boys, yet there are days when it is still a shock to my introverted system that I am in a house full of boys, three of which are under five and extraordinarily loud.

Every so often James and I decide we want to attempt eating out with all three. There must be some sort of parental amnesia akin to the delievery amnesia women suffer because we always forget how difficult the previous restaurant visit was. We did this recently. We try to pick "kid friendly" places but really no place is kid tolerant enough for our needs. Luke begins checking out the kid activity sheet and we point him toward the activities that are age appropriate for him. Our Luke, though, is not happy with coloring and connect the dots, he wants to do word searches which bring him a great amount of frustration (he struggles between wanting our help and telling us he can do it by himself - and, no, he cannot spell just yet) which anyone within ear shot will hear about. James is usually trying to reason with Luke on this while I am either bouncing Timothy on my knee or feeding him (although our last trip had me walking the parking lot with him) while trying to keep everything out of Wil's reach. Somewhere in the midst of this James and I attempt at conversation. They all start to fall apart around the time our food arrives so we eat without chewing while the waitperson rushes our payment. On the way home we wonder why we do it. It is a waste of money, it's not terribly enjoyable (although amazingly Luke looks back on such outings and declares them 'fun'), and we pay in other ways for pushing them all beyond their limits. The majority of our ride home involves Timothy screaming - the red-faced, curdled voice kind of scream - Wil yelling out as loudly as possible with more playful, though very loud screams because he thinks T's cries are funny, and Luke counting at the top of his lungs (he is into counting these days and will go as high as he can into the 500's and then start over declaring that he is going to count to googleplex) in an attempt to be heard over his younger brothers. It is truely mind-numbing. I'm not sure why we keep thinking it will be different - insanity maybe. In the end we realize we just want to rub elbows with the outside world, even if we have to bring our chaos into it.

That's the noise part. The mud part will have to come later, just know that the rental home we are now occupying has a dirt lot for a backyard and a garden hose within reach!

Rock the Block

On Saturday March, 31 the church plant participated in one of it's first outreaches in the downtown area. As we have mentioned before, the church will physically be located in an area that is within reach of a range of people groups that make up the city of Columbia. Our focus on this day was to serve the city by reaching out to a community that is made up of low-income families, many with single-parent households. Because these two factors combined are directly associated with the development of at risk children and youth we are seeking ways to serve these families that will benefit them in the short and long term.

For this outreach we joined efforts with another area church. The local elementary school made their facility available to us for the events which were kicked off Friday night with a family friendly movie. Saturday was about offering services and activities that focused on building up the families in this community. This included kids club, home renovations (based on the schools recommendation of need), free professional services offered by the many gifted volunteers, and family workshops on parenting.

As one volunteer observed, "the vacancy in the eyes of some of the children was a jolt to my comfortable life. There is something not right about a six year old that has a flatness and sadness in his/her eyes." So how do we impact these children, who have experienced aspects of life that we cannot imagine, in ways that are meaningful and show them Christ's love? We are not entirely sure but we do know that we, the church, have to be present in their lives as much as we are able.

Considering all that was going on in Columbia this weekend before Easter the turnout was pretty good. We hope this outreach will be the first of many as we seek to develop relationships with families in the downtown area.

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