and a 4-year-old daughter
and a lovely 18-month-old son.
Everyone seems to love this family picture so I'll throw that in so you can see who is in this family.
Family life is getting better and better. Having one child in diapers is much easier than multiples and we have only ever had multiples in diapers since we began the parenting journey some nearly 8 years ago!
Our eldest continues to be a leader and has impressed us with her maturity in handling many situations. She is such a wonderful daughter and is old enough to help with some things (which she thinks are fun--and are totally helpful to us!) like getting Bennett dressed or putting him in or taking him out of his high chair. We are continuing to teach her to be gracious with others as she is often first done in her school work and we just want her to be prepared for the day when she's not "first"! Thank goodness there is some competition in her class so she can at least be tied for first :) And even with her brother, just reminding her that he is nearly 2 years younger, even tho they are only one grade apart, so to give him time to learn things that she might think he should already know!
Our eldest son has maintained his sweet disposition that has won the hearts of many over the years in our family. He is still so kind and thoughtful. What really stands out about him now is his creativity and ability to conceive and construct amazing things--from a jet pack (made from paper, and tape--always lots of tape) to incredible Lego creations to all terrain vehicles made from paper rolls and cardboard. I came home from a weekend away to a cardboard robot and dog he had crafted for me. These are elaborate things that take alot of time (and tape) and he does them mostly unassisted. And, so exciting for me, he read his first book last night! I am so proud, it was "We share Everything" by Robert Munsch, so there is alot of repetition but he had to sound out some words and got to read some words he recognized too. It was great :)
Our Audrey, has been a sweet and a delight to hang out with as of late. Gone are the days when she could not help but "make trouble" for someone...ahhh, those will be distant memories soon...I am so thankful for the leaps and strides she has made. She is in a colouring stage and boy oh boy was she ever into making snowflakes over Christmas break---so many many snowflakes and tiny triangles of paper all over the floor and table. She is a terrific writer, writing notes of "AUDREY" and "MOM" all the time. She draws such adorable little people right now. I think this stage of drawing is my fave. All the kids have produced similar first drawings of people, but Audrey made these lines over the heads for hair. So cute. She is very boisterous and loud and is learning how to have playdates (its very disappointing when friends want to play what they want, when she has other ideas).
And Baby Boy Bennett--18 months old! I am so thankful we have made it to this point. Its been a tough road, not because of him, likely because of the whole jumble of things that we had to adjust to in the last year and a half. He is a delight. He is so friendly and happy. He is saying many words, and even singing some of them, and says the cutest "More?" for food. He totally lights up when he sees a sibling in the morning or after school--which is great because poor baby doesn't always feel like going for a car ride to pick up from school but I say "Let's go! We've gotta go get Zeke and Diedre." and then he agrees ;)
He loves climbing onto the table so he can get a good look at whatever the big kids might be doing there: colouring, eating snacks, crafting. He is also great with the morning routine of nurse, change diaper, back in the crib to play with toys and siblings :) makes my morning so much more do-able so I can have a shower!
And then there's the parents: tired, stressed, growing, learning...its a crazy life right now. Thank you Lord that You have a plan and Your ways are not our ways...You've got the solutions for our problems.
This was the verse I've been going back to all day today:
Proverbs 3:7-8 New International Version (NIV)
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
When I am reminded that looking at the things that alarm me around me, looking at the problems I can't solve, allowing stress and anxiety to overwhelm me--just make it all so much worse--so then I remember, to look to Jesus. He has wisdom that does not come naturally to me. His plan for my life says to Seek Righteousness and shun evil. Don't spend my time focusing/getting worked up about "evil" but look at and focus on the good things the Lord is doing, has done, will do. Love what is good.