Saturday, June 23, 2012

Recent Happenings

Our Family.  We really do feel more like a family every day around here.  Less like us and them

Some of our latest happenings include David starting up a small group at church of foster families to support and encourage one another, Mimi being FULLY potty trained!, Baby Girl starting to speak with a slight lisp because she is aware (from talking to other five year olds) that she cannot say her s's like everyone else.  These among many other things.

Also I had surgery to remove my appendix and right ovary.  And the kids are having to live with not sitting in momma's lap and letting me hold them!  It's really hard for me because I can see them pulling away a bit, not sure if I am still the same toward them.  So we will be around Mimomo's and Nana's and Mamaw's and Aunts over the next couple of weeks so they can get some proper female lovin' :)  I love my kids!

Also, I want to show so many pictures right now, but alas, I must wait until the children are fully ours before doing so.  And on that front, we have a court date in late July for a two-day hearing.  Then a judge will decide if the kids get to go back with their biological parents or stay with us.  This is the major thing happening and not happening in our home right now.  It both consumes our thoughts at times, and yet, feels very far into the future.

We are trusting in Him who works all things together for the good of those who love Him.

Please be praying July 25 and July 26 for our family!

On a somewhat lighter note, here are some sweet things the kids are doing and things I'm discovering about them:
  • Bubs will usually wake up and scream "Mama!  Mama weah AYE oooo?" in sing-song.  It means "Mama where are youuuuuu?"  It's super cute, but it also sounds just like his "aye AYE ooo" (which means "I love you").  So I pretend he is waking up and the first thing he says is ""Mama, I love you!".  It's hard for me to not let that little rascal become a total mama's boy.  We have definitely bonded, which leaves me feeling bittersweet at times.  I love that I have been able to attach to him- just before the necessary independence stage needs to take place and he no longer wishes to cuddle cheek to cheek each time he awakes from his nap.  However, I realize (through my relationship with him) how much I have missed out at bonding in that special way with the girls.
  • I wish so badly that I could show you the video of Bubs reading himself Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  If you are familiar with the book, there is a part where the teacher, teacher sees the children.  Whenever Bubs gets to that part he points to the corresponding pictures with each of his family members.  For the most part they make sense.  Mim's is the darker girl with curly black hair, Baby Girl has dark features but straight hair.  "Buba", as he calls himself, is a pretty close look-alike for him, and I am the wierd looking sideways blond haired girl in the orange shirt.  But for David he picks a latino looking dude who happens to be sitting right beside the "me" in the book.  I think he will go for the blonde haired blue eyed one on the first row, but every time- it's Latino David.  I wonder if that's how he really sees his Daddy, David.  It cracks us up!
  • Baby Girl's love language is "special time".  The other day I took her out for lunch, which happened to be at an outdoor mall, The Avenues.  As I have been posting, I have had realizations lately that I have some excessive tendencies that I usually justify some way or another.  So I thought this time after lunch would be great to give her an education on how the world of consumerism really works.  So we went window shopping, which turned into real shopping, which turned into both of us trying on clothes and me buying some cheap pants and a shirt!  Whatareyagonnado?  Needless to say, she loved the day, and I don't think my anti-consumerism lesson sunk in :)
  • Mimi has started calling her little brother "The Bubs".  I guess she has heard us call him that from time to time.  She will say, "Mama, The Bubs is asleep," or "Where is The Bubs?"  At least she has stopped calling him a her :)
  • "The Bubs" has also started talking so much more.  Now when I come in a room he says, "Heya Mama.  How u doooen?"...almost Joey from Friends esque ;)
  • Mims is doing so well going to the potty.  She has really grown up a ton since mastering that skill.  When she is well fed (and well napped) she has become such a prim and proper little girl, giving slight nods of the head when she does something she is pleased with.  She is our Mimi and we love her!
  • Baby Girl is really excited to start kindergarten.  She has taken on a lot of my high maintenance-ness with food, though.  When her Mimomo came to help out when I had my surgery, she had to have a certain kind of tea as well as a drink with her breakfast.  In her defense, I usually have two or three drink like things at breakfast too.  She tells me sometimes, "Mommy, it's OK for you to have tea and kefir and water at breakfast because you're the adult right?"  And I look down at my highfaluting  breakfast and say, "Yes, that's right" :)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Our Family's First Shabbat

Shabbat Shalom!

We decided to have an impromptu Sabbath dinner tonight.  I did a quick internet search and found some of the rituals from a Messianic Jewish site.  It was neat to kick off our first family Sabbath day.  (I'm not too sure how the whole no house work thing will go with three small kids, but I'm hoping we can do it!)
The spread with gluten-free Challah and everything!
We aren't gonna be too legalistic with it, but we are going to try and take a day of rest.  But I think my most favorite part about enjoying the Sabbath is the kick-off meal!

Baby Girl helped me with the challah, and the pie.  That little girl loves to help me out in the kitchen.  And she cleans up well too!  She even washed the table and vacuumed some of the kitchen floor.  It was her first experience removing the kitchen rugs her mama never removes when cleaning the kitchen floor.  She lifted one up and hundreds of crumbs got all over her clean floor!  Sorry, BG- your mama's a slacker!  I did help her clean it up :)

Mims and Bubs also helped David out washing the floor.  Then David and I shared in the rest of meal prep and setting of the table.

The neatest part of the Sabbath rituals for me was blessing the children.  They thought it was great, and Mims had this serene look on her face as if to say "Yes, Dad.  Great call on blessing me with joy and victory.  I see the wisdom in that."  Sweet girl!

We sang the creation song and David told the story of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt.

It was so great to have everything right there and no getting up 20 times during a meal!  Parents of small kids can I get an "Amen"!  The only thing I will change next week is to not have the dessert right next to Bubs.  He asked about 100 times if he could have "bu-nana eye cream" and almost put his nasty fork in it sever times!
Our dessert- get recipe here :)

The Excess

So as I mentioned in this post, we have decided on some things that we can permanently (or semi-permanently) go without to balance out our lives and live more simply.

I loved the line in 7, where Jen Hatmaker says that there is "liberation that only exists at the bottom, where I have nothing to defend, nothing to protect."

We spend our days trying to protect our evening TV/ fun time together; we put forth a good deal of effort trying to protect our prized possessions from damage, wear and tear, and even destruction by little hands; we spend our emotional and mental energy trying to protect our images or the ways that others may or may not perceive us.  I guess this is where the Jones family is headed.  Trying to get to a place where we are free-er, living more simply, and having less to defend and protect so that our energies (and money!) may be spent more on Kingdom activities and things that are near and dear to the heart of our Creator.

So here's the list:
  1. Remove: super-long get-ready times (limited to special occasions like our first date in 9 months!). Only 5-10 minutes per day (this really applies only to me- Eryn).  So far I have been following this for several days now and no one really notices that my hair is not fixed.  Wierd that everyone is not sitting around and critiquing my hair style :)  Actually, I have found that I have wavy "hippie hair" as my husband says and I'm kind of diggin the no-hair-dryer look!
  2. Remove: all media except necessary internet from our lives.  Last night David sent the TV on an all expense paid vacation to the basement.  He's down there with all the DVDs and our recently broken DVD player (think the Lord was trying to tell us something :).  The look on the kids face was shock then anxiety as they realized what was missing from our living room yesterday morning.  Then they all immediately flocked toward our tiny Acer computer as if to say "well we at least have an 11" screen with which to watch random British cartoons on HULU with!" (as we don't have Netflix, etc.).  This will be a trial of a week and then we will see how we want to go from there.  But for now, a large Family Portrait sits where TV used to, and I love it!
    what has replaced the TV and DVD player
  3. Remove: really long, ridiculously high maintenance foodie grocery lists!  Since I currently have ___________ items in my pantry/ freezers/ refrigerator/ etc, we decided to start a 30 item a week grocery list.  That's only 30 items a week!  I thought I couldn't do it, but it's week two and I have successfully fed our family of 5 on 30 simple whole food items,  Now, I actually plan out what we eat instead of wanting to have a small grocery store at hand in case I just want to make whatever.  I find that I plan more simple meals, and in turn have more time to spend with my family.  And I spend much less each week on food.  And yet we still eat and are full- who knew!  (this area was inspired by our only eat 7 things for 10 days which we did a couple weeks ago)
  4. Remove: excess spending.  I'm going to try the wait 30 days and see if you still want/ need it rule for things I see at stores while out picking up things we actually do need, like diapers.  Just today @ Target I went in for a baby shower present and floss and saw several other things I "needed" while I was there.  No, I don't need that cute new dress for the beach.  And no, we don't need 4 different kinds of sunscreen depending on the wetness level of our kids for goodness sake!  But when you're there, those tricksy Target genies know how to play with your mind and make you think you really have to have some of those things or your life will somehow be less than.  And we are rebelling against that.  So today, I went in for 2 things and only came out with 3 (I forgot I really did need diapers for BeekBock :).  And our recently broken DVD player (wanted to run right out and spend 50+ on a new HD one right away because I was in a panic!)- not being missed much right now.
So that's about it.  Just these four main areas.  Maybe we'll add more, maybe we'll adjust them.  But right now we are loving having less to weigh us down!  And, yes, this means we are getting weirder :)