Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ryan's 1st Birthday!

Wow!  Ryan is already 1!  This little boy has stolen my heart with his wide-mouth grins and blond curls.  He absolutely adores his big brother and would love to be able to talk.  Ryan picked up on walking quickly, so we are having lots of fun watching him weeble wobble around the house.  He is a happy soul and we love him dearly.  Happy Birthday Ryan!

With Ryan turning 1 and really starting to enter the training/disciplining phase of life and with Jacob being 3 I am daily overwhelmed by being a parent.  It is this tremendous task that I feel completely unworthy of experiencing with all of it's joys and pains, trials and triumphs, good days and bad days.  I have been reading a book that encourages parents to take obedience and respect a step further and teach their children honor.  The definition of honor used in the book includes treating people special and going above and beyond what is expected of you all while having a good attitude.  The concept is wonderful and the ideas are great, but wow do I feel ill equipped to teach something that I daily fail to do myself.  

Having children has humbled me more than any other experience so far in my life.  When I first got pregnant with Jacob the focus and excitement was on delivering, bringing home, and loving a tiny little baby.  I'm not sure how much thought I gave to the fact that not only was I responsible for making sure this child was clean and well fed but I was also responsible for teaching this child how to behave, think, act, and respond to this world and the people in it.  Yikes!  It is a monumental task that weighs heavy, but praise the Lord #1 for His new mercies each morning...each moment I should say, #2 for His Word and the tools and principles He has given us, #3 His forgiveness because I am continually in need of it, #4 His creation of resilient children that forgive and forget with such ease at this early age when I am learning so much, and #5 for the people around us who come alongside and encourage, teach us, help us, and remind us that we are not bad parents even when I feel that way.  Praising God for His hand on our family as we trust, grow, learn, and give it our best!

Meet Poonee

Last week, the hottest week of the summer, we decided to tackle staining our deck.  Thankfully in the evenings we get shade on that side of the house and there certainly wasn't any rain, so it was a fairly successful event and the deck looks so much better.  Here are some photos!

The portion on the right is what our deck looked like.  The left side is after a good power wash.

This is the final product!  It took a lot longer than we expected, but worth the effort!
While staining the deck one evening, we found a baby praying mantis.  We have been talking about bugs this summer and reading books on bugs, so the decision was made to catch and keep the baby praying mantis as a pet.  A bug cage and a cricket keeper with live crickets are now a part of the decor in our home:)  A second praying mantis was found and Jacob named the small one Neenee and the large one Poonee.  Now I had read online that praying mantis insects have no shame in eating each other, so I knew we were at risk of this occuring....and sure enough the next morning while we were eating breakfast, Poonee cornered Neenee and had a tasty meal!  Survival of the fittest at work.  Since then, Poonee has eaten several crickets and shed his skin once.  Here's Poonee!