Tuesday, October 30, 2012

thankful for...

I'm thankful for...
1. living close enough to be at the hospital the day that the newest Poulsen, baby Jude arrived.


(naaaah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, jude!)

2. Western medicine that makes it possible for pregnancies to last full term, and healthy babies to be born to healthy mommies
3. Clara now using "mama" as a substitution for "i want it"
4. visiting an out-of-town church w/ skeptical kids only to be greeted by Snow White & other costumed characters! Quickly learning they were painting pumpkins, wrapping kids in toilet paper & celebrating Fall! My kids donned available costumes before I had a chance to catch my breath.
5. trading babysitting with family. win for cousins. win for couples. win for budget!
6. husband pulling in the driveway earlier than expected
7. inhalers & nasal sprays. turns out running is much easier when I can breathe!
8. baby spread out in the middle. parents clinging to the edges.
9. counting on 1 of 3 to stay in bed each night

10.  "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help...Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."
James 1:1-8 (MSG) Pin It

Sunday, October 21, 2012

the elusive Christmas card photo

"Capture all of the kids, in cute clothes, 
cheerfully looking at the camera
for a Christmas card photo?
No problem."
~said no parent, ever 

PS: It KILLS me that I was too distracted to bump up my F stop so that all 3 kids could be in focus. Instead, because Lilah is closer to the camera, she is the only one in focus.
Okay, back to the out takes. Although, are there still out takes if there never ended up being a "good take"?
at this point we noticed Clara had a dirty diaper.
I've spared you the miserable shots.
While she was gone, I kept shooting

that's enough of that
and she's back

Sometimes you just have to know when to quit.
 And try another day.
or the dog.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Simple & Yummy Chicken & White bean soup

I adapted this recipe from one my mom made for us while I was recovering from a c-section in 2011.
It's a hit with everyone I've shared it with & so easy to make on a weeknight. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A trick & a treat

I got to trick my 6 year old with a treat this weekend. Just before bed, I grabbed him and asked him to come run a couple errands with me. *Note: he was game without question as to what may be in it for him. I suspect time is limited in that stage.
We were in the parking lot of the theater before he figured out my surprise! He sprinted to the door and again in search of theater 5, saying he didn't want to miss a thing! I had no choice but to run with well, behind him.
I'll admit, I got teary-eyed at the thought that we must be doing something right, trying not to spoil our kids if going to the theater is still thrilling.
The notion of joy in giving hadn't felt as real as it did for me that night in a while. I was beaming as I saw his eyes peeled to the screen, shooting me a big grin between trailers, his mouth full of sour candy, his body cuddling closer to mine as the movie continued.
There were a few moments I was uncertain about whether or not the movie was too scary. We saw Hotel Transylvania. Overall, it was a cute flick. As cute as monsters, zombies, and all things creepy can be. There is even a sweet little love poem written by the lady that fell in love with Dracula. The ride home included all sorts of questions and affirmations that he was mature enough to handle the content.

You may recall he has an affinity for monsters, mummies, and Scooby Doo mysteries (impossibly un-relatable to me).

He's been mesmerized by the trailer for weeks. When he learned Transylvania was a real place, the questions became incessant. He brought home library books to learn more about the story & even asked Siri questions on the topic.

The movie's reviews surprised me and gave me the feeling that if he can process Scooby Doo cartoons, he'd enjoy Hotel Transylvania. After viewing, I agree.

Today, I found a bat in the tree in my front yard.

And a baby getting bad ideas
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to handle a meany

My son encountered a meany the second week of school.
He went from "school is awesome" to going to the nurse's office after recess requesting to go home.
I picked him up immediately because last year in Kindergarten he only came home when he had a fever or puked. So I knew it was legit. Suspiciously, he didn't seem the least bit sick when he came home.
When I got a call the next day from the nurse I knew something was up.
And I was right, unfortunately.

For a few days following more tough encounters arose: different kids, different situations.
This is all new to our family.
My heart was broken up for my sensitive, Southern sweetie not quite fitting in at his NY school. We chose our house based on this highly regarded school district. What do we do now?

Enter: how to tell your 1st grader to handle a meany?
a. walk away & play with someone else 
b. tell the teacher 
c. get up & push them down in the mulch

I guess each reaction has it's place, depending on the kid & the whole story. Well, C. may be a stretch but,  stand up to the meany can be the best reaction, given the right circumstance.

This is when believing in an omnipresent, all-powerful God and trusting that He loves your kids even more than you do comes in handy (Ps 139).

As parents, we can look to what the Bible would say about handling every day situations and teach our kids to see things the Biblical way. We're instilling Biblical values in our young children to help them to practice the same values as adults.

Now, let me just say the bullying I'm talking about here was quite minor, run-of-the-mill meany on the playground type of situation. Bullying is never acceptable, but it does have a range. We happen to take it seriously. We are living in an age where bullying, if ignored, can have tragic effects. 

It turns out the Bible is pretty clear about how to treat meanies. 
I like the Message version of Matt 5: 43-48
"I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.  “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Tough? Yes.
If I believe my job is to prepare my child to be a successful adult, making choices independently, I'll teach him that doing the right thing isn't always the easiest thing.
Furthermore, doing the Godly thing is often the harder thing. The last half particularly speaks to me as a grown up. It is hypocritical to ask this of my child if I don't model it myself. Tough? Yes.
I think God asks these things of us because it compels us to rely regularly on His sufficient grace.

We prayed together for the meany at school. We prayed for Carter to enjoy school & for God to lead Carter to friends that make good choices. Imagine my thrill when his report the next day was: the "meany" was nice & he had the best time playing kickball at recess with kids he thought were too tough to play with before.

My son isn't aggressive.
My son has no trouble telling a teacher when someone is breaking the rules.
He was concerned about getting in trouble for tattling. In addition to praying, we encouraged him to decide when he really needed a grown-up's help or when he could find another safe place to play. We also discussed when standing up to the bully. "I don't want you to take my backpack. Don't touch it anymore. Leave me alone." is perfectly appropriate.

Dear child,
Good news! "The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you..." Zephaniah 3:17 (GWT). This I believe, baby!
Love, mom

Now for handling the grown up meanies I encounter...

*photo by sj bridgeman photography, Nov 2011

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