Friday, June 22, 2012

Books, Books, Books!

We've been tearing up the books in the Burris home recently!  Jacob, especially, has been on fire and I'm considering starting to teach him how to read some on his own.  In the last ten days to two weeks we've read: The Boxcar Children, Beezus and Ramona, The Velveteen Rabbit, and about thirty or so picture books.  I'm reading my own third fiction novel, and there's no telling how many times I've read every board book we have floating around the house.  Jacob cannot seem to get enough of it and I'm thrilled with that!  He asks to read more, more, more!  We're plugging through his summer reading list for pre-school at a good rate and should have most of those done before July even arrives!  The other day I told him I needed to teach him to read on his own because I just couldn't read any more.  He shoved the book at me and said, "Fine!  Teach me how to read now!  I have to read the next chapter!" 

The fun part is that I never know where I might find a child reading a book.  You can read a book in just about any nook! 

You can listen sitting in the car seat that is waiting to go back in the car...

You can read just in the middle of the floor (I love the look of surprise on her she's been busted).

You can of course read under the sofa table and cozy up between the book basket and the library book bag...easier access this way!

And of COURSE you can read in the kitchen cabinets!  (Joshua isn't the only one I've found like this, but is the only one I've managed to capture on the camera).

Mommy is about to go hoarse from all the reading, but boy, it sure is fun on a hot summer day to rest hot, tired bodies and listen to a good book!

Batter Up!

The much anticipated day has arrived!  Jacob started T-ball!  He is playing through the YMCA and it is definitely a hands on, instructional league...very low key and fun.  He LOVES it!!!

Isn't he the cutest thing ever to wear a uniform? 

They practice once a week and then play games on Saturday mornings at the Y.  So neat to see all the moms and dads out on the field coaching, teaching, encouraging, and pumping these little guys up!

Jacob and Daddy are chilling out between batters in the field.

Chris has been super dad with this league--rushing home to get him to practice each week and helping out on the field at the games!

Jacob has already learned quite a bit!

Of course, no game is complete without some family members there to cheer you on!

"Cousin" Graham came to the first game!

Of course, Joshua was there, too!

And super cool Gracie Beth!

We sure are having fun!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Children's Garden

We took a trip to the new Children's Garden here at the UK Arboretum.  Best $6 ever spent!  The kids had a total blast and could easily have stayed longer!  At first I kind of thought....not sure how they are going to like this or if the babies will even get to enjoy it, but we'll go.  We were able to schedule a date to go with several of our friends from church and that made it even more fun!  The garden was SO neat and 100% designed for children!  There is a neat misting area where the kids can run and play while water mists and cools them off on a hot day, there is a giant dirt/mulch pile with child-sized garden tools and they can dig and dig and dig.  There's a stream they can walk in and fill buckets with water so they can carry it back to their straw hut.  There is a fishing pond complete with cane poles and "lures" so they can catch fish.  There is a tall grass maze to walk through.  There are giant hollow stumps of trees to climb on.  Not to mention flowers, butterflies, bugs, birds and all those other wonderful parts of creation.  The kids l-o-v-e-d it and to be honest, mommy did too!  We will certainly be going back again soon!

Gracie Beth could not get enough of the dirt.  This girl LOVES to dig!!  (I see sand in our future.....)

Jacob loved the time to play with special friends!

Joshua loves to remind me of the wonder of God's creation.  Simple things, like a breeze moving through plants, put him in awe.  Here, he is clapping at flowers blowing in the breeze.

Camp Out!

Earlier this spring, Chris bought a tent and a couple sleeping bags for he and Jacob to go camping this summer.  He has been dying to take him, but either our schedule hasn't cooperated or the weather has been bad.  Finally, this week they got to go and Jacob was beyond excited!  They stayed close to home for the maiden voyage and went out to the Kentucky Horse Park and stayed just one night.  They had fun and learned a few things along the way (one being that the ground is very hard and cold).  Jacob probably hardly slept that whole night, but he sure did enjoy sleeping in a tent for the first time!  I snuck out to visit them (and drop off a couple forgotten items) and got to snap a picture of the two of them.  I love to see them making "manly memories" together.

Epic Failures and Epic Grace

I was hesitant to write this blog post today.  It isn't comfortable to say things out loud that show your weaknesses.  Sometimes it hurts.

I sent my husband an email earlier today and told him someone should take my "mommy certification" away.  I have failed in so many, many ways this week.  I told him it has been a week of epic failures.  In the last week I've fallen short daily and I step back and shake my head, wondering why on earth God gave me these three little ones (two of whom are toddlers at the same time).

I'll air some of my "dirty laundry" just to give you an idea of what has transpired this week.  These things have all happened since Sunday, so just five short days...
  • I took Joshua and Grace on an errand.  I put the kids in the stroller and shopped around the store.  At some point Joshua removed his shoe and threw it on the floor.  I had no idea.  As I continued to shop a complete stranger approached me.  They'd found his shoe and sweetly looked around the store trying to locate a toddler with just one shoe.  They found me and returned the shoe--that I had no idea I'd lost.
  • I've lost my temper and patience with the kids a myriad of times this week, raising my voice, becoming frustrated, speaking to them with harshness.  You know, all those unbecoming things.
  • Somewhere between here and the post office I lost Grace's hair bow.  She likes to throw them out the side of the stroller and I am generally rather vigilant about this because I don't like re-making hair bows.  Well, today she got one past me.  I sure hope someone with a sweet little girl picks it up off the ground and uses it--I'd hate for it to go to waste.
  • I dropped an ibuprofen on the floor without realizing it at the time.  When I DID realize it and went back to retrieve it, I discovered several clues that led me to believe Gracie Beth had eaten it.  I had to call poison control...rather sheepishly...and admit I thought my child had eaten an adult dose of ibuprofen.  Thankfully the poison control people are very nice (and non-judgmental) and sweetly told me that one pill of adult ibuprofen is basically two doses of the baby stuff.  She was going to be fine.  They told me with a baby her weight it would take about 11 pills to do any harm.  PHEW.  She certainly had not eaten 11.  Just one.
  • While playing outside this morning I cleaned rocks out of Joshua's mouth twice.  You'd think after the first bunch of rocks and muddy drool, I'd know to really watch him around the rocks, but within the time of about 10 minutes he managed to fill his mouth twice.  Go mommy.  Guess we won't be surprised if we find rocks in his diaper this week....
  • I attempted to clean the master bathroom while the kids were awake today.  I have to clean the master bathroom while everyone is up because Joshua still naps in the master bedroom.  No nap time cleaning in there.  While I was cleaning, Joshua managed to re-set the alarm clocks in our room and turn over the bed side lamp we have in there.  No major damage, right?
  • Prior to the alarm clock and lamp incident, my very astute four year old came running into the room and told me Joshua had chemicals and was dumping them out.  WHAT?!!  I put all the chemicals up high--right?  Apparently not high enough.  I abandon cleaning to find Joshua has happily squirted toilet bowl cleaner in the hall and in the living room.  Thankfully I caught him before he managed to squirt the couch (or eat any, for that matter).
  • Rather boldly I returned to cleaning the bathroom.  You'd think I'd know better, right?  Gracie happily enters the room gnawing away at something.  What is that?!  Oh dear...she's eaten half a....what IS that?  A post-it note?  Yup, it was a post-it note Chris had on his nightstand.  Sorry honey....hope it wasn't an important note because half of it is now in Grace's belly.
  • Oh, I could go on and on, but I don't want to alarm you with my many failures.
I wrote to Chris and told him all that has transpired in the last week.  How I've failed and want to quit or cry--maybe both.  How I wonder why God saw fit to give us three children (two at once, even!) because I am clearly incapable.  How he should fire me from my post as the manager of our home.  How all of this would be funny in a few hours, but right in the moment I just saw failure, failure, failure.

My husband knows me so well.  He wrote back to my e-mail and sweetly said, well, this is the way life is supposed to go!  If it all went smooth, we'd think we could do it without God! Then he rather sweetly said many of my items on my list made him laugh out loud.

You know, he is SO right.  This IS how life is supposed to go because we simply cannot make it in life without God!  My utter failures this week (and who am I kidding?  This may be a list of failures from this week, but I fail point me to the cross.  I cannot do it alone.  I will fall short....every time.  I cannot be perfect, I cannot be super mom.  I need a Savior.  Oh, thank you Lord, that you have provided me with an answer!  Thank you Lord, for sending me your Son that I might be forgiven of: losing my patience, yelling, allowing Grace to eat random things, failing to catch Joshua eating rocks, not keeping toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet where it belongs....

Perhaps in the midst of all this God is telling me the answer to my question.  Why did He grant me the blessing of these three precious little lives?  Why did He see fit to give me TWO at once?  So that I could fail.  So I could daily find my utter dependence on Him.  To experience weeks of "epic failure" to show me how desperately I need epic grace.