Friday, February 29, 2008

Whirlwind Wednesdays

This is what my kitchen looked like on Wednesday. Stuff scattered everywhere. Dirty dishes and random other objects on the table. Groceries to be put away and more dirty dishes cluttering up the counter. The long bench piled with various items, from backpacks to a box of diapers from Costco. Ugh, what a mess. Looks like a mini-tornado swept through.

Unfortunately, this is actually a common scene in our house on Wednesdays. Though the items vary, inevitably stuff accumulates on every available surface where it could possibly be set. This is due to several factors: Jeff is off work on Wednesdays...our routine is out the window...we often go shopping on that day and bring home things to be put away...I'm usually tired after we run our errands (for some reason, being out of the house like that wears me out like crazy!) and reluctant to expend much energy cleaning up...Tuesday afternoons and evenings are busy with Josiah's choir class on that day, so I don't always have a perfectly put-away kitchen going into Wednesdays. All of this combines to create a chaotic kitchen, which drives me nuts!

The good news! After some hard (but fun) work on Thursday, my kitchen looked like this! Ah, much better!!!

I'm learning that this Wednesday whirlwind and resulting chaos is just part of the rhythm of our life these well, as Thursday being a clean-up and catch-up day. And although it may seem silly to record it here, I'm sure that sometime in the future, I'll look back and wistfully smile, as I remember these times...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another One

Shortly after Tobin was born ("shortly," meaning within a few hours of his birth), Jeff asked me, "Are you ready for another one?" He was teasing, of course; but if he had been serious, my answer would have been a resounding, "No!" Even though my labor was better/shorter/easier than I had ever experienced before, better even than I could have imagined, that last half hour of agony was enough to make me more serious about adoption than I ever had been before! :) And even though my physical recovery went very smoothly, I've never been one to bounce up off the hospital bed and say, "I can't wait to do that again!" :) So, at that point in time, there was a serious sense for me of "Maybe three is enough," and "If we do add to the family, it won't be me birthing this baby!"

But...we brought Tobin home, and I continued to fall in love with him. As I held his curled-up little body, as I smelled his sweet breath, as I gazed at his form and wondered how he had ever fit inside me, as I cared for him in the deepest way one human can take care of another, I thought, "How could I not want this again???" How could I possibly think I was "done"? How could I never have the experience of holding a little tiny baby--my baby--and getting to know him--his every cry, his every expression, his every everything? How could I not want to go through this again?'m realizing how much work it is to care for a little one--and more than that, to care for a big one and a medium one and a little one. Different stages, different abilities, different needs--but, oh, such needs! I think more than ever before, I'm realizing how challenging it is to parent multiple children--and keep the other plates in my life spinning at the same time.

This is ironic to me: before David's birth, I was pretty concerned about how we would all adjust to him. Life was in turmoil in a multitude of ways that year; and looking back, I realize that I thought it would be harder than it turned out to be to add another child to the rhythm of our family. This time around, I thought it would be easier than it feels at the moment (although, my goodness, does it ever feel easier than it did just a few weeks ago!). I thought, "Here we are in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for us. Here we are just up the hill from my parents. Here we are with a more developed support system than ever before. This can't be that hard!" has been hard, harder than I thought.

Don't get me wrong: I adore Tobin...I couldn't, for a minute, imagine life without him...I feel inexpressibly blessed by the gift of him in our family...I know God put him in our life at just the right time...I wouldn't change a thing!

But I do feel a new sense of soberness when I consider having more children. In the past, I've been the type to ALWAYS want to be pregnant. I think ever since we officially "started trying" 2 and 1/2 years into our marriage, there haven't been too many months that have gone by without me secretly--or not-so-secretly--wishing to be pregnant (when I wasn't pregnant already, of course, or nursing an infant). I love being pregnant! I love having children! I'm living the dream I've had since I was a girl--to be a wife and mother. So it would be like me to think, "Oh, I can hardly wait until we can have another one," and to envy every pregnant woman I know or see. I don't yet feel that way though. (Aren't you glad, my pregnant friends?) :)

At the same time, I don't have this sense of being finished (despite my thoughts in the hospital that three might be a good number!). I don't feel like our family is complete. I don't know what God has in store for us, but curiously I actually feel very patient about finding out--at least, at the moment. God can take His time; I don't need to know the future yet! And that's a new feeling for me. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

His Hand

Jeff has the high honor of playing the part of Jesus in our church's Easter drama this year. Perhaps that is what inspired him to sit down a few evenings ago and mold some clay into this sculpture.
~ a simple, but powerful, reminder of the biggest sacrifice anyone could ever make

Monday, February 25, 2008

Boys in the Bathtub

Rub-a-dub-dub, three boys in the tub...and no little boy parts visible! :)
~ Last night, for the second time, I gave Tobin a bath in the big bathtub. It's really convenient for me to pop him in there at the beginning of the big boys' bath, and yesterday both Josiah and David thought it was fun to hold Tobin in the bathtub (of course, I kept my hands on him at all times, too, even if you can't see it in the bottom picture!). After Tobin has a bath, I simply cannot stop smelling him--there's nothing like that fresh, clean, baby smell!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Joyous Invitation!

You are invited to…

A Celebration of Life!

~ honoring Tobin Ezra Fisher,
son of Jeff and Davene Fisher
~ benefiting the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center

We rejoice in the birth of our third son, Tobin; and we thank God daily for the precious gift of his life. As part of our joy, we want to gather as a community of those who love him to corporately bless him and express our appreciation to God. However, being a third son in a family of boys, Tobin doesn’t need a lot of “stuff,” so a traditional baby shower isn’t what we desire!

When we lived in Israel (where our second son, David, was born), we learned that baby showers before a child’s birth are not given there (because of superstition about the health of the baby). However, after the birth, a party is held to celebrate the life of the child. To fit into the culture of that country, that is how we welcomed David to the world and into our family. Now with the birth of Tobin, we thought, “Why not do the same? And why not use it as an opportunity to share what we have with those who are less fortunate through the ministry of the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center?”

So, come…celebrate with us…and use this opportunity to reach out to mothers, fathers, and babies in need. Any gifts brought to this celebration will be given directly to the Pregnancy Center.

Here are some items that the Center needs:
~ Diapers, sizes 1, 2, or 3
~ Infant clothing, up to 12 months
~ Similac formula
~ Wipes
~ Baby bath items
~ New bottles
~ Blankets
~ Socks
~ Anything else that a baby needs

Gifts do not need to be wrapped. And, of course, a donation of money is also very useful!

The details of our celebration:
~ When: Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.
~ Where: Shady Oak (the fellowship hall of Weavers Mennonite Church)
~ Who: Everyone--men, women, and children--is invited to attend this non-traditional shower of blessings

I am SO EXCITED about this!!! Shortly after Tobin's birth, the idea to host this party popped in my head; and I felt strongly that it was the right thing to do to show love to Tobin and to others in our community. time went by and I saw how unable I was to do everything I want to do as a mom of three!...I got a little discouraged about pulling this off. God is gracious and supplies all our needs; and in this case, he brought along my friend Amy who eagerly jumped on board and has been helping me coordinate this. In fact, she's running circles around me! What a relief to have a great friend to take the initiative and dive into planning headfirst and with a great attitude! Thanks a million, Amy!!!
If you are reading this blog and got an email about this event and would like to attend, feel free to RSVP to Amy at the contact info provided in the invitation. I did not decide to post her personal info on this blog because I'd like to give her a little privacy. :) So if you're reading this and did not get an email invitation and would like to attend, you can email me through this blog to let me know you're coming. And of course, if you have any questions, you can contact me with those, too!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The New Big Brother

Tonight was Family Night in honor of David--a perfect opportunity to write a blog post about this special little guy.

Oh, did I say "little?" I mean, "big guy." See, that's the thing. One minute David is saying he's a baby and wanting to be carried, and the next minute he's declaring that he's going to do something "BY MYSELF." Such a common scenario, so I've been told, when a new baby enters a family and the former littlest one suddenly becomes a big brother.

I love, love, love the way David acts towards Tobin. David will randomly go over to Tobin and say, "Hi, Tobin!" Or if Tobin is crying..."It's OK, Tobin." But David isn't usually content to simply talk to Tobin; he wants to touch him, too. Sometimes David will hold his hand (whether or not Tobin is a willing partner in this hand-holding depends on whether he's asleep or awake!). Sometimes David will pat or rub Tobin's head. Recently David had this pattern of touching Tobin that consisted of briefly touching each of Tobin's ears, then each of his cheeks, and I forget exactly what else David touched...but it was almost like David was checking to make sure Tobin had all the required parts of his face! Time for roll call. :)

David, being a typical two year-old boy, is not exactly gentle with Tobin all the time. His pats on the head can be a little too rough; and when he wants to hold Tobin's hand, he doesn't really consider whether or not Tobin wants that. :) But unless David is doing something really damaging, I usually let him go ahead and be himself around Tobin. I don't want David to ever feel like Tobin is off-limits...or, even worse, to feel like he always gets in trouble because of his relationship with Tobin. I don't want David to always hear "no" when he approaches Tobin. It was interesting to read on another blog recently that, in another family with 3 children, the baby adores her brother, the middle child, even though that boy is sometimes a little too "rough" with her. Maybe babies aren't quite as fragile as we sometimes think. In any case, I want to encourage David's friendliness to Tobin, not discourage him from showing love.

Other things about David that stand out to me at this stage of his life:
~ he continues to ask, almost daily, "Can he (Tobin) walk yet?"
~ he asks, "Can I hold him (Tobin)?"...invariably he asks this when I'm nursing Tobin, and I have to explain that no, he can't hold Tobin right then, but in a little while he can
~ he still says that he has a baby in his tummy, and he likes to lift his shirt to show us his baby Tobin ("like your baby, Mommy!")
~ he often starts his conversations with, "Do you know what?" and then goes on to say whatever is on his mind
~ if he sees his grandma or grandpa heading towards the door to leave, he runs after them and says, "Let me hug you!"
~ yesterday morning, he woke up and came into my room where I was nursing Tobin...then David told me, "I said, 'God, will you please be in my bed?' and God said, 'Yes'!"
~ David patting Tobin's head...after this, David got a book and pretended to read to Tobin, although all his words sounded like "gully, gully, gully, gully"...that's how he "reads" these days :)
~ David's version of multi-tasking: sucking his thumb while holding Tobin's hand
~ a Family Night game of Candyland after our supper of macaroni and cheese...David, as the honored guest, got to pick the food and the activity...David kept getting stuck on the squares in Candyland where you get stuck (I forget what they're called at the moment), so he came in last place...but he was still a happy camper, simply glad to be with family and play a game together :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting Out

It was a good feeling today to be able to load up the car with all 3 boys and head out for an adventure--fresh territory--a new memory to make as a family. Not that we haven't been making memories all along during the past month and a half! But I've been such a homebody recently and have hardly wanted to go anywhere, so we haven't had too many excursions further than church and Wal-Mart since Tobin's birth, it seems. It was time to change that!

Today's expedition wasn't really that far away, just to Massanutten resort on the other side of town from us--up a mountain, to look at what is there. It actually wasn't entirely fresh territory for me, since I had gone skiing there a few times as a teenager...but that was a long time ago. :) And none of the other members of the family had been there. A lot has changed since I was last there!

Despite Josiah's initial statement that he didn't want to go to Massanutten, by the time we were there, he was clamoring to get out of the car and ski...never mind the fact that he wasn't wearing ski clothes and doesn't know how to ski! But today we mostly just drove around and looked, gathering information for future trips to participate in the activities there. The two things that interested me the most were the snow-tubing hill and the indoor waterpark.

David kept calling the place "Passanutten," which prompted Jeff to make good-natured jokes about "yeah, we're passing nuttin' " and "this is a mass of nuttin'." I suppose the fact that he comes from the mountains--the 8,000 foot kind--of southern California where the X-Games are sometimes held...and the fact that, as a teenager, he worked at a ski resort and got to ski everyday for free there...and the fact that at least one of the slopes at that ski resort was a mile long, far beyond the length of what we saw today...all that gives him the right to make fun of our lowly little ski resort. :) But I'm a big fan of our bunny slope; I have good memories of learning to ski there during Monday Night Madness! Those were the days...the days when I didn't mind falling down!
~ I was so excited to see a woodpecker as we drove through Massanutten...we don't see these right around our house, and it was unusual enough that we actually turned around and drove back to where I had seen it, then stopped in the middle of the road (obviously, no one was coming!) to try to take pictures of it
~ Jeff was able to get a closer picture of this woodpecker with his bright red cap
~ when Jeff and the older boys went into a General Store for a few minutes, I had fun taking pictures of the skiff of snow that fell today...the snow didn't stick around for long, but it was pretty while it lasted, and I liked the way it landed and stuck to the curves of these rocks

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You Know You're Tired When...

The effects of sleep deprivation, it seems, are catching up with me. I knew I was tired--that's par for the course in the first months after a baby is born--but I didn't realize just how tired I was until these things happened to me:

1. I realized today that when I get to heaven, for about the first 100 years or so, I'd just like to sleep. Say hello to God first, then head straight for a bed.

2. I was literally falling asleep, sitting up, reading aloud to Josiah and David.

3. While sitting there reading, I would "memorize" the sentence, then close my eyes while I said it, then open them again to see what the next sentence said, then close them again--trying to get a little bit of shut-eye--and that was a little bit!

4. My most fervent prayer of the day was, "God, please help Tobin to sleep longer so I can sleep, too." Forget about world peace--I'm praying for sleep these days!

5. When late morning rolled around, I found myself imagining how nice it would be to have someone in the house who could make me a sandwich--actually, any food that I didn't have to make would be nice; but in particular, I was longing for a sandwich like Jeff's mom makes, piled high with all the goodies. Of course, we didn't have any of those ingredients in the house, but I was still thinking how nice it would be to have that. Taking the effort to fix anything for myself just seemed like too much work. An apple cut in half, cored, with peanut butter in the middle? Too much work. A fried egg sandwich? Nope, don't have the energy. A Girl Scout Cookie? Sure, that's quick and easy. :)

6. Recently in the middle of the night, I couldn't remember what my baby's name was. David? No, that's not David. Evan? Um, that doesn't sound quite right, so it must not be that. Hmm, what is his name? Let me think...oh, yeah, it's Tobin. Hi, Tobin! (Jeff is sitting here watching me type this; and as he read what I wrote he asked if I was kidding or serious. I'm serious. This actually happened; I'm not making this up!)

7. The thought of getting all 3 boys ready to go to Josiah's choir class today was enough to drive me to tears. I called Jeff at the shop and asked if he had any appointments scheduled for the time of the choir class. He did, but being the best husband ever, was able to rearrange things so that he could come home early, get Josiah and David, then take them to choir and then out to eat, so I could sleep and have peaceful time here at home. What a huge help! I knew I was being so silly and that I really could manage to pull myself together to make it to choir; but I'm realizing that in my sleep-deprived state, I tend to reach a point of being weepy about anything. When that stage hits, I KNOW it's time to call in reinforcements and tuck myself in bed, no matter what else I could or should be doing.

The strange thing about all of this is that Tobin's schedule is not really that bad. After his late night feeding (10:30 or 11:00 pm), he almost always falls asleep quickly in his bed, then sleeps until 3:00 or 4:00 am, wakes up to eat, then again falls asleep quickly in his bed and sleeps until around 7:00 am usually. So I don't think I should be as tired as I was feeling today! But I guess the cumulative effect of lost sleep was hammering me; and since I can't go to bed early to catch up (because of Tobin's late feeding), I felt like I was falling further and further behind in the area of sleep.

However, I'm happy to say that after a one-hour nap this morning and a two-hour nap this afternoon, I'm feeling like a different person! I think I'll let Jeff give Tobin a bottle in the night tonight so I can get even more sleep.

One funny thing that happened during my nap this afternoon is that I was letting David sleep in my bed with me since that's the quickest way to get him to fall asleep; and before I drifted off to sleep, he said, "Are you going to buckle me?" No, our bed doesn't come equipped with seatbelts. :) But in the past, when he's been particularly rambunctious, we've discovered that if we drape an arm around him, he settles down much faster and goes to sleep. Apparently, he's equated that in his mind with a seatbelt!

The verse that has been coming to my head during these exhausting times is Philippians 4:19 which says, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." I know that God knows that I need sleep, so sometimes I comfort myself by thinking, "If Tobin wakes up early, obviously I must not need this sleep!" :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Miscellanies

First, the answers to the weekend quiz...

Obviously, everyone was so scared by these ferocious dinosaurs Josiah drew that they didn't even try to guess! I thought for sure Chris M. would know the answers; maybe he didn't look at the blog yet. :)

The answers are:
1. stegosaurus (with its row of plates on its back and 2 spikes on its tail)
2. ankylosaurus (this one also has lots of spikes and protrusions on its body and is built like a tank, but the tail is really the give-away here because ankylosaurus had quite an intimidating club for a tail)
3. pteranodon (a flying dinosaur who ate fish)
4. triceratops (with a huge bony frill around its neck and horns on its head and face)

Just a few short months ago, I would not have had a clue about any of these kinds of dinosaurs; but my boys are educating me! :) Another advantage of home-schooling: the learning goes both ways!

The other quiz question was about Tobin, and the answers are:
1. weight - 10 lb, 4 oz
2 length - 22 1/2 in.

That good milk he's (sometimes, painfully) squeezing out of me must be doing its job because he's growing at a good pace!


How I know my mother reads my blog:

She swoops down midmorning and announces she'd like to kidnap two of my boys. So off go Josiah and David to Grandma's house for some fun and excitement! Hmm, where did she get the idea that I might need a break? Maybe from last night's post?! :)

Thanks a million, Mom!!!


For the first time this year, I saw a robin. I was changing Tobin's diaper this morning and opened the blinds in his room a little to peek out. Lo and behold, there was a robin hopping busily about. (This picture below is not the robin I saw this morning, because I definitely didn't have the camera at Tobin's changing table...but this is one of the robins on our land last spring; Jeff captured his--or her--image on film one peaceful Sunday morning last April.)

Robins are my favorite bird--not because they're so flashy or colorful, because we have other birds around that win the prize in that category--but because they're a sure sign that spring is on the way! And spring, as I've mentioned here before at least several times, is my favorite season of the year. :)

When I told my mother about seeing the robin today, she told me that when she and the boys were outside last Friday picking up shingles that were blown off our roof in a recent storm, they saw a whole group of robins. So they get the "official" award for seeing the first robins of the year! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Good Dad, Bad Mom Moments

Storytime at the Fisher household tonight...David, obviously, is an "active learner" so he preferred to do somersaults over the arm of the chair while listening to the story...meanwhile, Josiah held high his sword (made out of a stick and some duct tape) to defend the family...what wonderful boys! :)
Two days ago, I dropped by the barbershop to take a gift and some food for a shop potluck in honor of one of the girls who worked there but will soon be having a baby. While I was there, some of the other girls who work there and some of the customers who happened to be in the shop were admiring Tobin...and one of the customers asked me if Jeff was getting up during the night with him. I said, "Well, no...but he IS doing a great job of helping with our bigger boys--reading stories to them, getting them ready for bed, etc." The people who were listening laughed and teased Jeff about shirking his duty; but truthfully, Jeff is doing exactly what is most helpful for me, and I'm immensely grateful for that. Jeff has offered a number of times to get up and give Tobin a bottle of pumped milk in the night if I want him to do that; but really, I don't want that--at least, not yet. I actually feel a little selfish because I am treasuring these feeding times with Tobin and don't want to miss out on these special moments. Plus, even if Jeff feeds him, I still have to get up and pump so it's not like I could really sleep all night without interruption anyway. But I do appreciate Jeff offering to do that for me, and I may take him up on that one of these nights!

However, the most helpful thing that he can do for me now is to love and care for Josiah and David. Especially on days of caring for the 3 boys--days that sometimes stretch out and seem very long--I find it refreshing in the evenings to be able to sit down and focus on my baby, knowing that the older ones are well cared-for by their daddy--and they love the time with him!

This morning in the nursery at our church, I had an interesting conversation with a woman there (who happens to be the mother of 3 girls). It was the first time I had ever talked to her; but in the course of our conversation, she mentioned that, from her own experience and from what she has heard from the "experts," it is a "common" thing for a woman to (almost) shun her older children when a new baby comes along. It's as if the most protective part of her nature rises up to care for and nurture the littlest one. This woman today admitted that it had happened to her, and it definitely sounded familiar to me as I thought back to the first few weeks postpartum and how intensely I enjoyed my time with Tobin and how easy, in a sense, I found it to care for him...but how frustrated and impatient I became with Josiah's and David's demands on me.

It grieves me to admit this, but I even remember one time when I let a very negative comment about my older sons slip as I was talking with Jeff one hormonal night. Thank God, Josiah and David didn't hear it. As soon as I said it, I hated myself and wished with all my might that I could take back the words. And then, the huge burden of guilt crashed onto my shoulders and I thought, "What kind of a mother am I?!" During the roughest of those times, I had to consciously remind myself that both Josiah and David were, once upon a time, my cherished baby in whom the sun rose and set...and I still felt that same deep level of love and devotion for them as well as for Tobin.

Now that 5 weeks have passed since Tobin's birth, I really feel that the earth is beginning to level out again! :) And recently I haven't been feeling this overwhelming preference for Tobin like I did at first...because my joy in all my boys has been high. (Although, I do still get an almost giddy feeling sometimes when it's time to feed Tobin--even though breastfeeding is still somewhat painful--because I think, "Yay, I get to sit down and relax and do something productive and have an excuse to not get up every minute to pour milk for someone or look for a lost toy or whatever...")

But my point is this: I was so glad to hear from a fellow mother today that what I was experiencing was actually normal. So many times I find voices in my head saying, "I can't believe you did it. You're not good enough as a mom. You should be better than that. Nobody else would do that, etc." It is truly reassuring to know that I'm not alone and that these issues, although "common," can be overcome as I learn to juggle my role as mother to each of the treasured sons God has given me.

My other point is this: Jeff is an awesome dad, and I don't know what I would do without him. Even when he thinks he's not doing enough, he's actually helping me more than he'll ever know. His sons adore him, and I do, too.

* I almost didn't want to write this post because it's hard to admit what I perceive to be shameful feelings of favoritism (even though I'm basically past that stage). I also don't want Josiah and David to ever be hurt or offended by what they read in this blog. I want them to feel secure and confident in the steadfast, unchanging, deep nature of my love for them. However, I think that my love is evident over and over and over in the words of this blog, even though realistically I can't even express--in person or through writing--how much I love them and how highly I think of them and how I would do anything for them. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, another mom out there who is reading these words may have gone through a similar situation or may in the future--and maybe it will help her to know she is not alone.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Weekend Quiz

This first picture has nothing to do with the following quiz...I just threw it in here for fun to show what my big boys were up to this morning: trying to ride Josiah's tricycle together. (It didn't work very well, just for the record!)
Josiah got inspired this morning to draw some dinosaurs, so he asked for some big sheets of paper and then got out a pencil and some of his dinosaur books to look at while he drew. These four pictures are the result. So here's the quiz. Can you name the type of dinosaur that he drew in each picture? I'll give you a clue about the 3rd picture since it's not as clear. At the bottom of the page is a lake with two fish in it; the dinosaur is flying at the top of the page, ready to swoop down and eat the fish. (If you have trouble seeing the pictures, you can always click on them to enlarge it.)

And since I'm such a nice teacher, here's a bonus question. At one month of age, how much did Tobin weigh and how long is he?

Answers will be revealed on this blog on Monday! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Grandma Duties

Besides all the "fun" duties (folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, etc.) that a live-down-the-hill grandma gets to do to help the household with a new baby, there is also the joyful task of getting to hold the baby! My mother doesn't hesitate to lend a hand when I say, "Mom, Tobin is a little fussy. Could you sit in the rocking chair and hold him please?" :)

During this particular evening (on Wednesday, Feb. 13), my mother noticed that Tobin was maintaining more eye contact with her...and he even smiled at her 3 distinct times. That was the day that, in the morning, Jeff saw Tobin smile for the first time...and then Josiah, as he rode by Tobin on his tricycle, saw him smile, too. For some days, I had been noticing that Tobin's mouth curled up in a smile at random times; but I knew it was the unconscious, unintentional kind of smile. However, I was very glad to hear that family members were seeing on-purpose smiles...although I still haven't seen one yet and am eager to do so. Saying in a sweet, sing-song voice as I hold him, "Tobin, my boy, smile for your mama," doesn't seem to be doing the trick! :)
~ on the day I took these pictures, I was upstairs putting away laundry and could hear my mother singing softly to Tobin as they rocked...she covered a lot of ground--from "The Alphabet Song" to "Jesus Loves Me" :)
~ my favorite part of this picture is the way Tobin is holding on to his grandma's fingers
~ safe in Grandma's arms

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Valentine

What fun it's been today to reminisce about my own dear sweetheart. What a love story we've had! Here are some pictures from the last 2 and 1/2 years, although our story began years before that. I love the adventurous side of my husband; God knew I needed that (as well as so many other characteristics of Jeff that help to complete me).

Oh, the places we've been...and Lord willing, the places we'll go!!!

~ Jeff with Jordanians playing the bagpipe(!) and Jerash in the country of Jordan
~ Jeff with a barely 3 year-old Josiah and 2 months-old Tel Aviv, Israel...a few blocks from where we used to live
~ our family at the Furness Abbey in England...truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been
~ Jeff with a rattlesnake he killed in hero!

~ Jeff helping Josiah walk on a wall...somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico...this was during our cross-country trip in September of 2005
~ at a B&B in Virginia in 2006, celebrating our 9th anniversary

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Egg and Spoon Race

This morning Josiah was marching around, boasting that he's the best in the world at egg & spoon races. Never mind the fact that he had never actually participated in such a race! After a nice little chat about the foolishness of pride and the excellence of humility, I decided to let him experience the difficulty of keeping a roly-poly egg on a nice little spoon while trying to travel at high speeds. Since the weather outside is a bit on the frightful side (and the fire--in our woodstove--is so delightful), we staged the race indoors: with empty plastic Easter eggs instead of the real thing. So much easier to clean up! :)

Josiah was originally holding the spoon in his hand as he raced...until his daddy showed him how much more "fun" it would be to hold the spoon in his mouth!
Of course, whatever Josiah did, David did as well...except the little wise guy realized that using his other hand to hold the egg on the spoon actually worked a lot better!
It was a nice diversion on a chilly, rainy day, to have such a fun activity inside! And it was a good reminder for me of the need for laughter and silliness in the life of a family. Which reminds me...

When we lived in Israel, a friend of mine was reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by the Coveys. I've never read this book (GASP! A parenting book I haven't read??? Quick, let me add it to my must-read list!!!)...but from what I remember from my friend, one of the habits is laughing together. I think at the time, I thought, "Laughter, schmaughter. Sure, it's good to have fun together, but really, we need to take this parenting thing SERIOUSLY...and not laugh away misbehavior! Discipline is the important thing!" Silly me. I had no idea how important fun and laughter would prove to be. What can I say? I was firstborn son was young...and I had (and still have!) so much to learn in this parenting journey.

Now, however, I have seen over and over how a little bit of lightheartedness can turn the mood of a family from grumpiness to cheerfulness. In my role as a woman, wife, and mother, I know that many times I set the emotional temperature of the I feel the need to grow in this area of joviality (is that a word?). But let me tell you--I have experienced many times when Jeff was the one to insert a joke, do something silly to crack us up, or otherwise make us laugh and change the mood. Even this morning, he demonstrated this when, after the good humor brought on by the egg & spoon race had diminished, Josiah and David were acting a little squirrelly. I wanted to go off and take a shower but decided to check in with Jeff first to see if it was a good time to leave him with the care of both of them (he was also making taquitos at the time). When I asked him, he said teasingly, "Sure! Better make it a long shower!" And I responded with, "OK, I'll see you around 1 o'clock then!" (which is the boys' quiet time). Just a simple exchange like that, done in good humor, can lighten the mood and brighten the room.

Even on a gloomy day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One Month

Happy one month birthday, sweet Tobin!!! We love you dearly and thank God for the precious gift of each day of your life!

Monday, February 11, 2008

As If I Needed Another Reason to Cry

Today my mother and I were talking about some issues related to one of the books I mentioned in my recent post about reading: Tending Roses. (My parents are my most faithful blog readers. They even print out every single post and save them all in a big notebook--or, rather, several big notebooks. Dad likes to keep me informed as to exactly how many pages I've written! They are usually not, however, blog commenters...except in person, which is nice because it has sparked some meaningful discussions.) Anyway, Mother shared with me today some things about how she cared for my grandmother when my mother was the "younger generation" and my grandmother, the "older" one. Now that some years have gone by, my mother finds herself in the older role and I am the younger one. I'm so very grateful for my mother's ability to communicate with me about various issues related to aging, so that I can learn from her and we can help each other along life's paths.

Tonight my mother showed up for dinner carrying a pink notebook which contained a hard copy of the presentation found here. After things had settled down tonight and the house was quiet, I sat in a rocking chair with Tobin in my arms and read it. And then I cried. And then I came to the computer and watched it online. And then I cried some more. To be holding my newborn son in my arms as he fell be reading and thinking about my parents' aging be considering my own life journey and what the future may was, to put it simply, a poignant moment.


We've had our own batch of "wise men" (and women) who have come to admire our newborn, baby. They never fail to bring the gift of their presence, showering us with joy and sparkly laughter; and many times they bring presents, too. :) Here are some of the latest visitors (and if you were some of the earliest and you're wondering why I haven't posted your picture yet, well, all I can say is that I still plan to do so, so don't give up!). :)
~ Vicky and Leanna came by on Saturday evening...Josiah and David LOVE these girls (we all do!), and we were so glad to see them!
~ this is Tobin's utterly relaxed, casually draped over the shoulder look...I melt whenever he does this to me, but of course I've never been able to capture a picture of that...I was glad to catch him in this pose with Vicky though
~ on Sunday, we had Omar over for lunch (and we missed his wife Anna Kathryn who was out of town)...David calls Anna Kathryn "Eby Grandma" and is (obviously) very fond of Omar, was so odd to cook a real meal again, because I literally have not had to do that in a month...we have been blessed beyond measure to have meals supplied--mostly by church friends, but also by the incredible Myers family and the amazing McClay family--this first month of Tobin's life...fortunately, I had not forgotten completely how to cook...the best part of the meal though was the conversation, and Omar always adds a lot to any discussion of which he is a part!
~ this is my Aunt Elaine, one of the most jovial people I know...she came by this morning, and we thoroughly enjoyed her visit!...she brought such cute, thoughtful clothes for Tobin (on one outfit were two dinosaurs, one for Josiah and one for David, so they'll always be close to Tobin...and on the other outfit was, as Aunt Elaine put it, "Tobin's ark"...sure, she's taking a few liberties with rewriting the Bible, but I've got to admit that "Tobin's ark" has a rather nice ring to it!)...she also brought four kinds of cookies--FOUR!--and they're all scrumptious (I had to sample one of each kind, of course!)

All of these people (and so many others that I want to write about--Nell-Marie, Valerie, etc.) bring such unique blessings into our lives! Thank you!!!

Only One???

New Mom, in a comment on my last post, asked me a REALLY difficult question: if I could only recommend one parenting book as an "if you only read one parenting book in your life, read this one" type of book , which would it be?

I have no clue.

See, this is how it is for me. I have read such a wide variety of parenting books--from the very conservative (i.e. To Train Up a Child by Michael Pearl) to the "less conservative" (i.e. Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay & Charles Fay). And in almost every book, I find something that I don't agree with or that doesn't fit into the way we have chosen to live as a family...BUT, in every book, I also find "tools" for my parenting "toolbox." In some situations, when building a house, you need a hammer--but not if you need to cut a piece of wood--then, you need a saw. But if you need to measure something, a saw won't work; and you need a tape measure. The same thing is true in life, I believe; and the same thing is true in raising children. Having the wisdom to discern which tool to use in each circumstance is the tricky part--and that's where a huge level of trust in God's Spirit to lead us is absolutely essential.

So...besides the books I've already mentioned in this blog, here are some other books/authors from which I've learned helpful tools:
~ Dr. James Dobson -- so many books, so much wisdom -- a classic figure in contemporary Christian family living -- and actually, not as lopsidedly conservative as I once thought :) -- Dare to Discipline, The Strong-Willed Child, Bringing Up Boys (that last one is on my nightstand to re-read soon) and others are good
~ Elisabeth Elliot -- The Shaping of a Christian Family comes to mind, in particular -- but such Godly character in this woman, and such good advice in her teachings!
~ Dr. Kevin Leman -- I've only recently discovered him, but I like what I've read so far
~ Gary Chapman -- The Five Love Languages of Children is excellent! -- if you had asked which marriage book I recommended most, this one (The Five Love Languages) would immediately have sprung off my tongue -- as far as practical marriage application that has helped Jeff and I the most, this would have to take the cake, I think -- and the application to raising children is no less profound, I believe

However, New Mom, if you and I were sitting down together over a cup of tea to discuss mothering and other adventures, the one book that I would hand you without a second thought would be Small Beginnings by Barbara Curtis. I read this for the first time when Josiah was a year and a month old, and it absolutely revolutionized my thinking about the toddler years (and, no, "revolutionized" is not too strong a word for this). Instead of giving into the myth of the "terrible twos," I instead saw the beauty and the wonder and the joy and the excitement of that stage of child development...and I eagerly anticipated and embraced all that was coming in the next few years of Josiah's life. Now that I think about it, I really should go back and read it again so I can have that same inspiration for David's life... :)

Of course, I have no idea how you, New Mom, are feeling about your son's current life status! Maybe Small Beginnings wouldn't be nearly as meaningful for you as it was for me, and that's fine. God works in so many different ways through different voices to lead and guide His children! But since you asked, that's my recommendation... :)

I'm sure the other moms reading might have a thing or two to say about what their all-time favorite parenting book would be! Isn't diversity a beautiful thing? :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Recent Reads

One of the positive "side effects" of the 4+ hours that I spend nursing Tobin every day is time to read--although, as I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of times when I sit down to nurse him and end up so distracted by the marvelous sight that he is, that I never get around to reading. And, of course, some of the daylight feedings are done when Josiah and David are awake, so some of the reading I get to do is about dinosaurs or Thomas the Tank Engine! :)

But still, there has been "extra" time for me to read for my own pleasure recently, and I have truly enjoyed that. I don't remember doing this as much when nursing Josiah, although I must have read some; but I definitely remember reading during the nighttime feedings with David. In particular, I remember reading Poland by James Michener, a rather lengthy book, but extremely interesting. I'm a big fan of Michener's books, but that's another theme altogether!

This time around, here are some of the books that I've read while nursing Tobin:

~ Jerusalem Vigil - by Bodie & Brock Thoene - this was entertaining reading, as the Thoenes' books always this particular book, it was fun to read about places with which I am very familiar...the school in Jerusalem where Jeff and I met and began our courtship is actually mentioned in this book, so it was extra special to read about that!

~ Shepherding a Child's Heart - by Tedd Tripp - I had read this book almost 6 years ago, as I was awaiting the birth of Josiah; but it was good to read it is an excellent, straight-forward, God-centered book...I especially like Tripp's point about how we need to set high standards for our children; BUT when they don't reach them, we can use those opportunities to point them to their need for a's actually a good thing, a very necessary thing, for them to realize they cannot make it on their own, they can't be good enough on their own, they need power from beyond themselves...otherwise, children raised in "good Christian homes" can easily feel self-righteous and self-sufficient...I've been trying to incorporate some of these themes into recent discussions with Josiah...he tends to be such a perfectionist, and I long to ease the burden that perfectionism is for him...I want him to learn to relax in the grace that God gives...anyway, good stuff; I highly recommend this book

~ Tending Roses - by Lisa Wingate - this is a novel that my mother actually bought at a used bookstore when we were on vacation in North Carolina last year...she read it and passed it along to me, and I was looking forward to reading it as a "light" novel when I couldn't handle anything too heavy (like in the middle of the night when I'm struggling to stay awake while holding Tobin!)...was I ever shocked to realize what a powerful message this novel contained! summarize the story, it's about a granddaughter caring for her aging, feisty is an excellent book for helping the younger generation understand the older one (and probably, helping the older understand the younger, too, although I'm speaking from my own perspective now so I focused on what the granddaughter in the story was learning) I read it, I could hear echoes of things I've said to my mother (trying to be loving), and how it may have come across to her (as completely the opposite)...I needed to read that book, and I didn't even know it

~ Safely Home - by Randy Alcorn - I know he is a very popular author in some Christian circles, but this was the first book by him that I had read...I've actually had this book for a while, but couldn't bring myself to read it since I always started crying simply from reading the Dedication page in the front!...I knew it would be powerful, and it met my expectation...briefly, it's a novel about the persecuted church, particularly in! convicting...but also so uplifting as it gives an eternal perspective to our life here on earth--and to our true home in heaven...I give this two thumbs up, for sure, and encourage others to read this book

~ What Kids Need Most in a Mom - by Patricia Rushford - I just finished this book today and enjoyed reading it very know, it's funny, I've read so many parenting books (and plan to read many more since I can always learn new things in my quest to fulfill this God-given role of mother), and I find that a lot of the same principles appear in each of them...two unique things stood out to me from Rushford's book, however...first, she REALLY emphasizes getting rid of the guilt that we feel as mothers; in fact, one of the chapters is called "An Unexpected Tour of the Guilt Factory," and it paints a vivid picture of the burden of guilt we often carry, no matter how well we're actually doing as moms...second, Rushford conjures up tremendous word pictures to get her points across...for example, her chapter called "If Time Were Diamonds" begins this way: The door opens easily. Sunlight scatters shimmering prisms of color through the room. Can you see them? Millions of sparkling diamonds suspended in time. I hear the ticking of a clock. With each ticktock, a diamond disappears. I watch, powerless to interfere. Helplessness, anger, and regret battle in my mind. "Stop!" I cry. But nothing stops. The diamonds, seconds in time, melt silently away, fading swift and sure into memories...this mental image of time being diamonds that are disappearing was a fresh and inspiring reminder to me to appreciate the moments of THIS phase of life, because as so many older moms remind me, this season of life when my children are young will pass so very quickly...and someday I'll long for these days of exuberant outbursts and sticky hands...these days are even more precious than diamonds

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Grandpa & His Youngest Grandson

It's becoming quite a tradition for my dad to eagerly volunteer to hold Tobin in the evenings. Since my parents almost always eat dinner with us at our house...and since Dad is one of the fastest eaters around! works out great for him to do this. I'll often sit on the couch and nurse Tobin while the rest of the family is eating. When Tobin is done with his dinner, I pass him off to Dad and then I get to eat my food. Thank goodness for a microwave to warm up room-temperature food! :) It's really special to me to see my littlest son cuddled up with his grandpa...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Verse for Tobin

Shortly after Tobin was born, I read--with new eyes--these verses from Psalm 22:

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

I actually "found" this as I was looking through Tobin's baby book (which I love), and these words stood out to me as if they were written in flashing neon lights. I was actually surprised by them because when I think of Psalm 22, I think of the way it begins: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" And I remember Jesus quoting it as He died on the cross. So I wasn't really expecting to discover an inspiring verse for my newborn son in this particular psalm!

But, wow, what powerful, uplifting thoughts! To be "thrust into [God's] arms at birth"! I love that imagery. I believe with all my heart that it was God who brought Tobin safely from my womb (especially this week as friends of ours lost their 3rd son at 20 weeks of pregnancy and my heart has grieved for them, I've been reminded of God's hand in Tobin's could have been us that lost our son, and it hits very close to home).

My prayer is that someday, Tobin himself will say with full confidence and unending gratitude: "You led me to trust you at my mother's breast. You have been my God from the moment I was born!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Since We've Been Home...

...from the hospital, these are some things that I have noticed about our new life.


David seems so heavy. The first few times I lifted him after Tobin's birth, I was shocked by how heavy David felt. And he also seems sooooo long, especially when I see him stretched out when he lays down for a diaper change (yes, David still wears diapers). I remember that after David was born, I experienced the same thing with Josiah: the surprise at how very long he looked when lying down and how very huge his diapers looked next to David's newborn ones (yes, Josiah still wore diapers when David was born). And now the same thoughts are occurring to me--only this time, they apply to David's size v. Tobin's.


When David was born, I remember occasionally calling him "Josiah" as I slowly adapted to having two children in our house. And now--no surprise here--I sometimes catch myself calling Tobin "David." Interestingly, I haven't yet called Tobin "Josiah," but I guess the fact that David was my baby and is being "replaced" means that once in a while, I'll call Tobin by my middle son's name. I'm not alone in mother-in-law STILL calls my husband "Greg" (his older brother's name)! :)


I had forgotten some things (things which, in the midst of experiencing them, I'm sure I thought I could not possibly forget). For example, I forgot how much extra laundry a newborn can produce. Between spit-up and other bodily fluids that routinely project from Tobin, he can easily go through numerous outfits every day--and night. Plus, there are blankets, sheets, burp cloths, etc. that also need to be washed. All of that creates a tremendous amount of laundry, and I'm finding that the only way I can stay on top of it is to do at least one load every day (and often, more than one load). The other thing that helps immensely is having my mother's assistance in the never-ending laundry saga. Our routine has become that every evening after dinner (which my parents usually eat here), my mother asks me if there is any laundry to fold, I always say "yes," and she goes up to the guest room to fold it and put it in neat piles on the guest bed. She does this EVERY evening. Without her, we'd all be rummaging through piles of unfolded laundry to find what we needed, I'm afraid!


Another thing I forgot is how delightfully expressive a newborn's face can be. Tobin makes such funny faces! I sit, simply enthralled, watching him. Sometimes when I am nursing him, I plan to reach for the book next to me just as soon as he gets latched on. But then I start looking at him and I forget to stop! He nurses, I admire him, and the book goes unread (which is just fine because I know these days are fleeting, and I do treasure these moments).

Besides his amusing expressions, I had also forgotten about the sweet baby noises that a newborn makes. Obviously, there are times when he cries, and that's not so much fun...but there are other noises that are so unique to this stage and are such a joy. Little squeaks, grunts, snorts, noisy breaths, etc. Sometimes he sounds like a horse...sometimes like a little piggy. A week ago, I was sitting around a table with some other parents, and several of the moms commented to me about how much they were enjoying listening to Tobin make his infant noises. It reminded me to really listen to him and enjoy this stage before it's gone.


My first favorite thing about Tobin was his hair. Before he was born, I had no expectation of whether or not he would have hair, and if so, what color it would be. But I was thrilled to see such a head of dark hair, and I still love looking at it, stroking it, smelling it, combing it, etc. I actually think it's starting to get a little lighter so I'm not at all convinced he'll keep his dark hair. For now though, I'll enjoy it. :)

My second favorite thing about him was the little rolls of fat on his arms and legs. Compared to my other boys, Tobin was already a rolie-polie when he was born; and he continues to be that way. This morning I was sorting through the pictures we took of Tobin in the hospital, and I also watched a little video clip that Jeff took on our digital camera very shortly after Tobin was born. In that clip, I was remarking about Tobin's fat rolls on his limbs, so that really is one of the first things (besides the hair) that I noticed--and loved--about him.

Of course, I love EVERYTHING about him!!!


One of my favorite things that Tobin does is snuggle against me with his head on my shoulder and his arms flung over my arm or shoulder or against my neck with such abandon and such relaxation. He seems perfectly at peace--spread out against me without a bit of caution or restraint. I love to see his arms flung out like this. His legs, on the other hand, are still somewhat in the little ball stage, and he often tries to curl them up as I hold him. He reminds me of a koala bear as I cuddle with him, and I call him that. (Another of my often-used nicknames for him is "puddin' pie." Why? I have no idea!) :)


Josiah and David have said some funny things since Tobin's birth. For example, during the first two weeks or so, Josiah kept forgetting that when I feed Tobin, it's called "nursing" or "breastfeeding." Instead, Josiah called it "milking." (Well, yes, sweetheart, that's actually a very accurate description of it; but for some reason, we don't normally call it that!)

David has asked repeatedly in the past week or so, "Can he walk?" I guess he has heard us talking about how Tobin is getting bigger, so David assumes that soon he'll be able to walk! The other thing that David has picked up from us is how to croon to Tobin when he fusses. I'll say in a sing-song voice, "Tobin, it's OK. We're here..." And David will get right in Tobin's face and YELL, "Tobin, it's OK. We're here!" Not exactly the soothing effect I was hoping for... :)


One thing that has come back to my mind since Tobin's birth is a prayer that I prayed a lot during some tough times early in Josiah's life. I have particularly vivid memories of praying this during the LONG flights from Israel to the States and back. It's so easy to cry out to God for help and deliverance when things are rough (i.e. when you're trapped in an airplane with other tired and grumpy passengers, and suddenly your baby starts wailing), but it's harder to remember to thank Him for the good times (i.e. when you've suddenly discovered that if you read Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton over and over and over to your baby, he'll be quiet and other passengers will stop giving you dirty looks). So this prayer formed in my mind: Thank You, God, for this moment of peace. Another moment passed and Josiah was still quiet, so again, "Thank You, God, for this moment of peace." This became, for me, one of those prayers that can almost be as natural--and constant--as breathing.

Since Tobin's birth, I have resurrected this prayer at times, as a way to acknowledge God and thank Him for his constant providence (of which we are often unaware). When I put Tobin in his crib awake to teach him to fall asleep on his own without sleep props and he peacefully goes to sleep..."Thank You, God, for this moment of peace." When Josiah and David decide what they want to play and sweetly share their toys with each other..."Thank You, God, for this moment of peace." When my raging hormones calm down and I can relax in waves of contentment..."Thank You, God, for this moment of peace."


Tobin has actually outgrown a few outfits, and this Mickey Mouse sleeper was one of them so I had to take a picture of him in it before I packed it away. Seems strange that he's not even a month old, but already too big for some of his clothes!
Just as Tobin continues to grow, so does my love for him grow and grow and grow. It's hard to contain it, much less describe it...

The Ever Encouraging, Endearing Evans Family

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of visiting some very good friends--and eating a delicious lunch with them. Ever had bison meatloaf? No? Well, since we're so fortunate as to be friends with these fine folks, we had the opportunity to eat it at their house...and it's really good! (And healthy, too!) :)

I know Bob and Cindy don't look old enough to be grandparents. :) But they do have two grown, married even though they don't have grandchildren yet, it could happen. And in my opinion, it should happen. These are people that need to have grandkids because they'll just be such great grandparents! In the meantime though, we're more than happy to have them practice on our kids... :)
~ Cindy with Tobin
~ Bob's turn
~ Tobin wearing an adorable shirt that Bob & Cindy gave him (and because they're so awesomely kind and generous, they also had gifts for Josiah and David)

Monday, February 4, 2008


At the end of last week, we were blessed with a storm that brought rain--and freezing temperatures. I say "blessed" because a.) I didn't have to go anywhere so I didn't have to worry about slippery roads--although Jeff didn't have any trouble at all on our road so that wouldn't have been a problem, and b.) the ice that accumulated on EVERYTHING outside was simply gorgeous! It turned our world into a winter wonderland. I got so much pleasure from soaking in the sight of ice-covered branches, leaves, blades of grass, wires on the fence, etc. Amazing!

If you know me well, you know that winter is actually my least favorite season. It's not that I hate it, because I don' fact, I really enjoy getting a few snowstorms each year. But I always get eager for spring (my favorite season) to come with its warmer temperatures and blossoming plants. Winter can become a bit monotonous--bare branches that look the same, grass that's old and brown, no flowers to open and change day by day. But in the past few weeks, I have noticed the variety that we have had this winter.

First, when Tobin was born, it was sunny and fairly warm. Then, the week after his birth, we had snow. That stuck around for a little while--longer than it does sometimes--but of course, it eventually melted. At that point, I was actually glad to see the bare ground because it didn't seem so cold when I looked outside! But after having brown ground for a while, the ice came along and covered that up with sparkling beauty. This week is warmer--current temperature is 55 degrees--and this morning, I noticed birds singing outdoors. It's so refreshing to have changes in the weather!

This particular winter has been different for me personally than any other winter. For one thing, I looked forward to it more than I've ever done before; Tobin's due date accomplished that! :) I was grateful to have a winter baby; and as winter approached, I didn't have my usual tinge of sadness at the loss of warmth and light because I was thinking past all of that to the marvelous gift I would receive in January. Plus, the cold didn't bother me because of my own personal internal heater!

In the weeks since Tobin's birth, however, I have realized that, now that the big event is over, I do feel a little blue this winter. I do feel cold now. I am eager for the daylight hours to be longer (and excited that each evening, it does indeed stay light a little later!). I look forward to warmer days when the boys can run off some of their energy outside. I anticipate being able to dress Tobin in fewer layers of clothes (which is not really a big deal, but when I finally get him dressed in several layers and then he spits up all over everything, it does take longer and require more effort now to change him and get him fixed up in dry clothes than it would in the summer when I could simply put a onesie on him and he would be fine!).

The biggest thing I've noticed about winter and my moods recently is the peculiar feeling I often get at twilight. I'm certainly not unique in this; but I admit that as light slips away and night draws closer, there are times when I feel inexplicably sad and lonely. I remember one evening in particular about a week and a half ago, I was at home with the 3 boys and all I could think was, "I feel so lonely. I can hardly wait for SOMEONE to show up and be with me!" On that particular evening, I was expecting 3 arrivals: a lady from our church with food for our dinner, my parents who had gone to get milk for us, and Jeff who had not gotten home from work yet. I could hardly wait until one of them got here!!!

Fortunately, the past few evenings have been less emotional for me in this way. Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting used to my new life as mother of three. And for sure, this winter has been the best winter of my life--one that I'll never forget!

And now, some pictures from last week...
~ ice-covered maple tree
~ fence around our pasture
~ clothesline with numerous icicles
~ when the sun came out, how everything sparkled!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Brother Pictures

I have so many thoughts I'd like to write down--and so many pictures I'd like to share. But time is scarce, and I feel like I'm getting further and further behind in all areas of life, including this blog. I did want to post a little something tonight though, just to check in and say that we're still here. :)

~ I love this picture of Josiah and Tobin from earlier this week.~ I took this picture tonight before we went down the hill to watch the first half of the Super Bowl at my parents' house. I'm so blessed to have these three little men in my life.