Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Physical Time

 Lexi needed a physical to start her Summer program.  For some reason, she really wanted me to take some pictures.  She liked this art on the wall.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jayvan's First Drive-In

 We decided to take the kids to the drive-in.  I had a rental truck, because my car was in the shop, so we brought the air mattress and snuggled up in the back.  The kids were pretty much asleep as soon as the movie started, but it was good times nonetheless.  It was Jayvan's first drive-in.  We watched Avengers.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Musings on Attending a Black Church

My best friend attends a Black church that is about an hour from our home.  We've gone on a few occasions, but last Sunday was the first time we went with Jayvan.  I remember the first time we went. I was slightly dumbfounded.  I thought that type of worshiping only happened in movies.  Woman shouting and dancing in the aisles and stomping their feet hard enough to make the whole church shake.  Men with their heads tilted toward Heaven and arms raised as they sing from the depths of their beings.  Children joining in and shouting whenever they felt so inclined.  The service felt organic as it followed no known timeline and people wept and sang and shouted until they had enough.  Lexi was shocked by how loud it was.  But. . . It was awesome.  It was so freeing to see people uninhibited and praising God as they saw fit.  It was refreshing and fun.  While we got some funny looks as the lone (solely) Caucasian family, we were ultimately welcomed and shown love.

So, on Jayvan's first visit to an all-Black church it was really fun to see his reaction.  He is walking now and he walked right up to one of the deaconesses and she swept him up and danced with him, all the while smiling at us and singing along to the music.  When the music picked up tempo, Jayvan jumped and yelled in delight (which is of course perfectly acceptable there).  I thought of how in our church, a noisy baby is often met with sideways glances and pursed lips. Matthew 18:3 came to mind:

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
How would a little child who hasn't been instructed on the "proper" way to worship behave in church?  How would they react when the music starts?  Would they stand still and listen silently or would they move their body to the beat and exclaim any sound they could make with joy and elation?  Are we doing a disservice to our children by tucking them away in a Sunday School class while we sing along to a predetermined song while being careful not to sway to far to one side or the other and "respect" the people around us?  Yet, even in this Black church, the children were dismissed just before the sermon and I find that appropriate.  As he explained, we do try to make children grow up too fast sometimes.  We need to let them be children and perhaps become a bit more like them.

Don't get me wrong here.  I love our church.  I love it dearly.  My daughter is excited to go to church every weekend and my son's teachers adore him (and the feeling is mutual).  It is just such a stark contrast to attend our suburban Non-Denominational Church on a Saturday night and then attend an urban (Black) First Baptist Church on Sunday morning.  In one service the Pastor preached about the difference between Calvinists and Arminians and in the other the Preacher-Man preached about pimps not being allowed to be members of his church (I laughed to myself as I pictured the jaws dropping in Southern JoCo).  He went on to explain that a pimp is someone who wants all of the benefits without doing any of the work, and to be a part of their small church you had to be willing to help in the church.  Our pastor often preaches about finding a place to volunteer within the church, but I'm pretty sure people would be shocked if he called them out as pimps. 

After the service, there was a baptism (my friend's daughter) and Jayvan walked up toward the baptismal.  The Preacher-Man picked Jayvan up and we joked about not believing in infant baptism, but maybe in a few years he'll make his decision.  More members of the church took their turns loving on our little man, and eventually he needed his Mama to reassure him that I wasn't far away.

We went on to fellowship with our friends and their family over lunch, and I thought about how much this day meant to me.  I won't forget the women sharing their testimonies and the young woman rededicating her life to Christ. I watched people come up and surround her and hug her and pray for her.  I didn't sit with my head bowed and eyes closed while the Pastor asked for anyone who had made a decision for Christ to discreetly raise their hand.  I rejoiced with people who were rejoicing.  I cried (I'm a crier if you don't know that about me) when others cried.  I worshiped my Lord.

We will still attend our church that we love.  It feels like home to us, but I'll look forward to our visits to the other side of town from time to time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Day of Kindergarten!

 Lexi's first year in elementary school seems like it just flew by.  I got a little teary-eyed when I dropped her off at school for the last time (well, until August).  She has matured so much this year.  She's always been a compassionate and loving little girl.  This year I've seen her grow academically and emotionally.  She's able to express herself in new ways.  It was really fun to look over her writing from the beginning of the year and then compare that to the end.  She's reading and writing independently and it seemed that each month her spelling improved.  She loves to do math in her head (she probably got that from her mom) and she's a great problem-solver.  By the end of the years she had 3's (the highest you can get) in every area.  Yes, I'm shamelessly bragging about my little girl.

The picture on the left is the last day of Kindergarten and the picture on the right is the first day.  She looks so much older to me.  It makes me a little sad.

After school, Matt asked Lexi what she wants to be when she grows up.  She answered, "A swim instructor."  I think the fact that she is really loving swim lessons these days may have something to do with that answer.  It will be interesting to ask her that question at the end of each year and see how her answer changes.  So far this year she's wanted to be a ballerina, doctor, coat designer, and now swim instructor.

We also put together some gifts for Lexi's teachers.  They each got a beach towel, sunscreen, and a handmade card.  We hope everyone has a great Summer.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nana, R.N.

 Nana finished nursing school and we couldn't be more proud of her! It takes a lot of effort and dedication to go back to school after being out for almost thirty years.  She is living proof that you can achieve your dreams at any age. 

On Thursday night, she had her pinning ceremony.

 Then on Friday, there was the big graduation and celebration.  We are so proud of you Nana!

 Jayvan got to go swimming outside for the first time.  He loved it!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LOST tooth

 Lexi has had a couple wiggly teeth for a few weeks now. One was particularly wiggly.  She's tried pulling it and she let Daddy try to pull it too.  It just wasn't quite ready.  Then one day she was eating lunch at school and realized that it was gone.  We assume she swallowed it with a bite of food and we did not go searching for it.  So, she wrote a couple notes to the tooth fairy.  She folded up the notes and put them in her tooth pillow that we made on Mother's Day (just in time).  The next morning she had five dollar coins in her pillow in place of the notes.  She was so excited!

She looks so adorable without her little tooth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Last Kindergarden Daisy Meeting

Lexi had her last Kindergarten Daisy Scout meeting.  Ms. Cathy led the girls in some games for the last meeting and the girls were so excited to get to go on a scavenger hunt around the school.  In June, they will be going on an aquarium field trip.  Lexi can't wait.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012

On Saturday, we went out to a little celebration for my mom's upcoming graduation.  She was presented with her honor's sash and tassel.  
Then we spent some time at the park and ate Chinese together.  Mom had to study for her last finals on Sunday, so we called that our celebration.

 On Sunday we went to brunch with Matt's family.  We took a little time to snap some family photos after we ate.

 Then we went out to visit Matt's mom's grave.  We had never taken Lexi out there and she has started to ask a lot of questions about her.  Matt's Aunt Nancy gave us a bunch of pictures of her at Easter, and I think that has sparked the questions.  We are Christians and so was Pat.  Lexi asks, "Where is Grandma Pat?"  We can answer that she is in heaven looking over us.  Her body on Earth was really sick and now she is healthy and happy in Heaven waiting for us.  "But why can't I see her?"  Because she is dead and her body was buried about fourteen years ago.  Lexi wanted to see where she was buried and Mother's Day seemed like the appropriate time.

 I thought Lexi might have some more questions about it when we were there, but she just looked at the gravestone and then asked if we could go for a walk.
 On the way home we picked up the material to make Lexi's tooth pillow.  Matt and I both had them when we were little and Lexi has a tooth that is so close to falling out. 
 After a little meltdown over a lost bobbin (don't worry, I calmed down eventually), Lexi is the proud owner of a pink flowery tooth pillow.  We decided to add a ribbon so that she can hang it from her door and the tooth fairy will have no problem finding it.  Now we just have to wait for that tooth to fall out.
 Lexi also gave me this adorable piece of art with a sweet poem on the back.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dentist Visit

Lexi had a regular dentist check-up.  Who wouldn't love a dentist visit when you lay on your back and watch a TV on the ceiling?  She got a great report with no cavities, but the dentist is concerned about how crowded her teeth are.  It looks like the orthodontist is in her future.

 Jayvan was very interested in all of the equipment.

Field Day 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring at the Arboretum

Lexi had an early-release day from school, so we went to the library and then decided to go enjoy the gorgeous weather at the OP Arboretum.  The weather was perfect for a day outside.  Lexi wanted to pose for lots of pictures.  I only wish I had brought the big camera.