Thursday, September 19, 2013

Barnes Boys - Where They At?

September - the weather is cooling down, school has started (for all three!!) and dinners are being cooked during breakfast (my favorite). We are still adjusting to the new schedule of weekday school/sporting practices and weekend sporting games. I am enjoying the (somewhat) cooler weather, the earlier mornings and the two mornings the little ones are in school- i get soooooooo much done- its amazing!

Bodie O - Soccer star! I missed his first game, but the second one last weekend - he played so well! 4 goals!!! he was unstoppable - i asked him how he got so good, he replied,"because i was zigging and zagging" and bryson walked over and said, "yeah - i taught him how to do that" -so stinkin cute! and bryson was cheering him on the was so sweet - ah brother would never have gone to a dance competition and cheered for me...but maybe that is just my brother and not indicative of sibling relationships as a any rate - bryson was super proud of bodie too - and bodie is just LOVING soccer. he asks me every day if he has practice (he doesn't during the week) but wishes it were every night. Bodie is also playing with Bobby more...which is the good thing...the bad thing is that if Bobby does not wish to play whatever game with Bodie it turns ugly...Bodie feels strong emotions about that.
Bodie also started pre-school again. This is his third (and final) year. He and Bobby go 2 mornings a week for 3 hours. He has Bryson's old teacher and she is finding out how different the two boys are first hand. It's cute!  

Bryson - here he is with his golf coach - Mr. Mike Krantz - eyeing his putting line...or something...Krantz is great for Bryson - very patient and only tells him a couple of things at a time. We have noticed a lot of improvement. Bryson is in soccer and golf - in fact last weekend and this weekend is soccer games on Saturdays, golf tournament on Sunday. Bryan has been super patient with him as well - I don't know how he does it so well - 5 minutes with Bryson and homework and I'm ready to lose it! But Bryson has been doing great in both sports. He wrote in his class little introduce yourself project that when he grows up he wants to be a professional golfer. Speaking of which, he started the second grade...which is weird for me to even write that down. His teacher seems really great - and although he had a rough few weeks in the beginning -he told me the other day that he is actually starting to like school - so yay! that made me happy because my heart was breaking to see him so defeated every morning. 
Every night before bed I have been reading The Magician's Nephew to the boys. Bryson is at the perfect age for this. He gets mad every single night when I finish the chapter because C.S. Lewis does a great job at ending every chapter in some cliff hanger fashion. It has been great to see the correlations he is making on his own about the Bible and the story and it is a great springboard for conversations about big moral questions, biblical questions and also literary devices (i.e. cliff hangers). The last time I read this was 5 years ago and I only know that because I remembered blogging about it way back when. It is just as much fun for me to read it as it is for him to listen, I'm sure!

Bobby - First day of pre-school. He has Bodie's teacher from a few years ago and she is seeing what how different the last two are - ha! understatement of the year. She told us this morning, wow...that Bobby...he can! i think she was trying to find a nice way to say how exhausting he is? We are in the throes of potty training right now. yesterday he wore underwear out for the first time. I had to change him 4 times, then just put a pull up on him before his nap and never changed him out of it. He pooped in the potty 3 different times that morning and then pooped in his pull up before bed. It seems like every step forward we make, we take a step back...I know he will get there - just wasn't expecting him to be our toughest to potty train! I mean...come on...he has 3 teachers! It is hard to stay mad at that face for long. Its pretty pointless actually...he lights up our world!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Shift, A Shower, A Seedling

Photo from Missie's shower this weekend, Me, Missie and my sister - photo stolen from FB - taken by Jennifer Johnson

I had a really wonderful weekend. I came to sit down to work today and read some blogs and had my coffee, which i like to do before i start my day - puts me in a creative/working mode i find...anyway - there were quite a few blogs that had sweeping realizations and lots of reflective posts, which was odd because i have had some thoughts swirling in my head from this weekend that i felt compelled to share here. I have been reflecting on my summer and what was different about this summer- because when i look back at the summer as a whole - it felt really balanced. this is not normal for me - usually i never say no to anything - i overpack my schedule and overcommit my time, but this summer i was super mindful of only traveling a couple weekends per month. of planning on "catch up" days around the house. i did not have a lot of community this summer- not nearly enough play dates and catch up time with girlfriends that i had every intention on doing. But we did have some great camping vacations with friends and a wonderful long weekend with bryan's family, so i suppose there was that, but of course the extrovert in me would always be down for more! I have found my thoughts shifting more and more toward simplicity. There was a big shift last year when we realized that all the material "things" and "stuff" in our house was causing fights, rather than encouraging play - so we downsized on stuff....a lot. Got rid of about 75% of their toys. The things we kept were their scooters, bikes, etc, a few board games and puzzles, and their hot wheels and monster trucks. These are the things that most often get played with, so everything else went to the goodwill. this had an amazing effect on our kids...and seeing that and witnessing how much better they play when there isn't "stuff" made me think about my own relationship with "stuff". i narrowed down too. I took a step back and realized that I have a problem with "stuff". I am not healed of that problem - i have a long ways to go, but there has been a small seedling planted and is now growing - of being mindful with things and cautious and deliberate.

I think my seedling of "simplicity" that started a while ago is really starting to flourish, when i think about my days and weeks and months. I have realized that although i am not a planner by nature, planning has really helped create balance in our home. Being thoughtful and intentional with planning ahead - meals, car pools, etc. has been my saving grace.

I have also noticed a shift in my attitude. The other day I was making these bracelets with bryson and he started getting really frustrated. i told him, "you know bryson, i got you these things because i thought you would have fun making them. i thought you enjoyed a challenge. things aren't always easy when we first start, but part of the fun is learning how to do it and how to do it better each time. It's why i like to sew and knit." and then i realized i was talking to myself because i haven't had that joy each time. I then started thinking about my own attitude and perspective on other "chores" like cleaning and making dinner. I started to desire to not just do it, but to do it and love it and enjoy it. can i tell you what an amazing "aha" moment this was. I took my own advice i was giving to my son and what do you know? i probably needed it more than he did! It has been really powerful to not just get through cleaning the kitchen, but changing my attitude about the whole thing has become a really empowering idea (having uplifting music helps this attitude!).

anyway...i am not always grinning ear to ear picking up the millionth hot wheel on the ground, or trying to pick granola out of a shag rug...or cleaning pee from the umpteenth sheet this please don't let me give you the wrong impression - i am still a small seedling in this area, but my desire is to nourish and grow that little seedling into a beautiful tree - bearing fruit and all...if i can take the metaphor even further, please.

this weekend my sister and i had the pleasure of throwing a bridal shower for our cousin Melissa. It was such a joy to do and i truly loved making each little thing - partly because i enjoy that, but also I knew Melissa would appreciate it since she enjoys the same sort of thing. It was a small family shower and it was such a joy to just sit and chat with all the amazing women in our family. I wasn't the one getting married, but left it feeling so blessed to be from such good stock. to have such support within our family. to feel like no matter what kind of time has passed you can pick up wherever you left off. it was beautiful and wonderful and none of the decorations or food or anything else mattered nearly as much as that.  i am still basking in that love from that day and hope the bride to be feels the same!