Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Fun Parent

Today I watched Peter play with the kids. He was throwing the football to them outside, and teaching them to play soccer. Then they all came inside and played hide and go seek, even Daddy running through the house. These are priceless moments in our busy lives, ones that we treasure. These moments can occur at any time, any day, and yet too often we let them slip away until we have completed our more urgent work.

It's hard for me (and I think Peter too) to find - no make - time to make the most of each moment. How often do I play with my precious children? I meet their needs, I go to them at night when they cry or need me, recently racking up an average of 4-5 hours of sleep a night with all the colds and sickness, but how often do I let the dishes, the laundry, my shower(!) go, and just let down my hair and enjoy these little ones? Not often enough.

I want to be a fun parent. I don't mean by that an indulgent parent, giving in to every whim or demand, but I mean one that loves to enjoy my children, and let them see it. Kids can tell the difference between scheduled fun and pure fun, just like grown-ups.

Tonight while I was cutting Peter's hair we were talking about this. We both agreed that we want to spend more "down" time with the kids, playing things that THEY enjoy.

With new year's resolutions just around the corner, you can bet this will be on our lists for 2009. Let's show our kids we love them, and let our actions confirm our words.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008


Here are a few recent kid quotes:

"I must ruuuuuunnnnnnnnn!!!!" - Caleb (age 2), as he goes tearing down the hallway;

"Let's sing 'Angels We Have Heard and Hide!'" - Daniel's (age 4) request during family worship time (he loves the "Gloria" part...); and

"If light shines in the water, does that make the light wet?" - Hannah's (age 5) random question as we drove down the street.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Officially Retired

It's been too long since I wrote updating the family news.

The biggest change is my dad has officially retired. After a long summer of prayer, struggling with Parkinson's Disease, breaking his back, and learning to cope with chronic leg pain, he decided that he would like to spend his "good" days enjoying life with my mom and family and friends, instead of in the office. It was not an easy decision, but I am confident he has made the right one.

With that decision in play, he called up another estate planning attorney to see if he could send a few cases his way. The man offered to not only take the cases, but to buy his entire practice! So, in short, he sold it - all. It's all gone. The files have all been moved to the new attorney's office, and the furniture has been moved as well. He is completing a few remaining projects at home, with my mom as his secretary. He seems much relieved, and his overall health is improving again. It's good to see him smiling so much, and even down on the floor playing with the kids.

This also means that after nearly 20 years, I am retired as well! While I will admit, I had a few tears over the whole change (it has been a way of life for me), after 4 children, I NEEDED to retire. It is timely for both of us.

On the other hand, Peter's practice is expanding. During the fall we came to the conclusion that he needed to hire an associate. He has now hired a very competant gentleman to come and work with him in his practice, beginning in January. Because my dad and Peter share an office, and our lease expires at the end of the year, all of this came together perfectly...because that's what God is in the business of doing.

We are loving having more time with my dad. My mom called me the other day and said that they had both slept well and slept in. "I think I'm really going to like retirement!" she said. And rightly so.

Hannah thinks she likes the whole idea too. The other day Peter went outside to the swings to kiss her goodbye before leaving for the office. "Daddy," she said "Why don't you retire? We could play together everyday!" His heart melted. He explained that is would be many years before he would retire. She suggested that he wait until he is 41. Wouldn't that be nice, eh?

A few weeks ago I asked my dad if he was excited about retiring. His response was telling: "I don't think excited is the word. Relieved is probably more accurate." He wasn't planning on retiring at this time, but it isn't all that earlier than he had planned, and he's in a good position to do so.

He plans on spending more time on working with the law school, as well as pursuing innumerable projects. He wants to keep his mind active, and his body healthy. Good goals!

I'm excited for him, and happy for me too. God is good, all the time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Speaking His Language

This morning Peter asked me "What are you doing today? Any plans?"

Who can explain the busy life of a mommy of 4 small children, including 1 infant, homeschooling, managing meals, household chores and cleaning, errands, working on the side, topping it off with Christmas and two birthdays?

I replied "I've got triple-booked, back-to-back appointments all day."

He immediately sobered up. "Oh."

Glad to speak his language...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Visit to the Dentist

Today I took Hannah and Daniel to the dentist. Hannah and I had our regular check-ups, and I thought it would be good to take Daniel so he could see what happened there before I made an appointment for him.

We had a long pre-talk in the car about not touching things, and how Buddy and I would watch Hannah first, and then they would watch me.

As soon as we arrived, they called Hannah first, and Daniel and I dutifully followed to watch from a distance. They decided to do x-rays first.

Hannah has not had x-rays before, and had she known that they were actually x-rays, would likely have protested loudly, as she has always had an unexplainable fear of x-rays. Daniel and I watched as they put the little film pieces in her mouth. Then she threw up. Not gagged, actually vomited...on her new sweater from Granny. She wasn't at all upset, but seemed rather impressed with the drama of the situation. The hygenist looked a little disgusted, and a little bothered at the setback. Daniel was more interested with the giant sailfin fish on the wall, so he wasn't bothered either. I pulled him over to the legos while the hygenist and Hannah talked and decided to abandon the x-rays for today.

Just then they called my name. Daniel and I went into the little cubicle area and tried to get him to perch on the dentist's stool and watch. He was very good and didn't touch anything, but the spinning stool was pretty exciting just by itself. When it was time for my x-rays, the hygenist asked Daniel to come out and back over to the legos, which he promptly dumped all over the main walkway of the office. It's a good thing they are used to kids...

When that was completed they began cleaning my teeth. I was trying to relax, knowing that my 4 and 5 year olds were roaming the office, hoping that they wouldn't fight or turn on any drills, and listening intently for some sound of them. The hygenist made some comment about "Careful, I don't want this sharp instrument to cut you..." when I opened my eyes to see Daniel hovering about 2 inches over my mouth, watching with wrapt attention.

"I'll bet you've never seen your mom from this angle!" the hygenist said. By then I was cracking up, the hygenist was continuing to work as if nothing were out of the ordinary, and Daniel wasn't moving one ioda. This only made me laugh more. I had to close my eyes.

Daniel spent the rest of my check-up right there, occasionally leaning down further to give me a gentle kiss. (I love my Daniel.) At one point the hygenist asked him if he'd like to be a dentist. "No," said Hannah, he wants to be a lawyer."

"A lawyer?" said the hygenist somewhat incredulous that Hannah would come up with such a suggestion.

"Yes, he has to be. Daddy is a lawyer, and so is Papa and Grandpa." she said logically.

Daniel had no comment. Apparently he'll be what Hannah tells him to be. He's a good sport.

From there we went out and got frozen yogurt together before heading home.

Now he can't wait to go back and be the one to sit in the chair and have the dentist look in his mouth (and then hopefully go out for yogurt).

What a nice start to dental work.