Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time, Memories and An Octopus

Several years ago a friend encouraged me that there was/is enough grace and time in every day. Some days that seems to match reality and others, I wonder. For years I've told Jason that time is his best friend and my worst enemy. I'm certain it has something to do with all those years of neglect and procrastination through high school and college. Jason, however, must have been treating it right. Yellow lights stand still for him, clock numbers bow at his feet. Me? They taunt me with every tick. Finally, after probably my thousandth time grumbling that time keeps refusing my friend requests, Jason let me in on his secret: "You don't make time your friend, you make it your slave." Aha!  The needed paradigm shift and, a timely one, with three littles needing attention.

A few things have occupied that precious commodity of time in these last few weeks. 

Like Thanksgiving break adventures in the woods, 

Road trips and I love yous from our youngest, 

And fun picking out a Christmas tree for our apartment complex.

Gumby legs courtesy of Mama
Helping scout for the perfect tree.

This year we did something new by taking pictures with Santa at our campus Christmas party. We have no intentions of being Scrooges but when it comes to the red suited man we do have some issues. While we don't stick our heads in the sand and ignore cultural celebrations, we do shake things up a bit. On St. Nicholas day we read about the real Nicholas talking about his story then and now. This year we even gave in to party pictures. But really, REALLY, we want to have a blast with our kids anticipating Jesus. The last thing we want communicated is that Jesus isn't enough to celebrate and that a red-suited man has to be added to make Christmas meaningful and fun. How culture wants to scream that to us in every area of life...that He could never be enough for fill in the blank but how terribly far that is from the truth. So, again this year Mary and Joseph are trekking through our house to be found each morning doing crazy things with messages about family activities and questions about why we do what we do at Christmas. This morning the couple was on a train heading to the pantry for some treats. In the evenings we're reading through an advent plan that's taking us through the Jesus Storybook Bible. Lights, trees, stockings and gifts all have their place, but hopefully we'll come out of Christmas with full hearts because there is a baby at center stage instead of tinsel, mistletoe and a red suit trying to fill a God-shaped hole.

In the midst of this Christmas season, Reshma continues to thrive at public school while Levi, Lerah and I hang out at home doing preschool and around-the-house chores. It's a tricky business with a four year old that requires an eagle eye around his infant sister. He's all boy and my fears of him being raised sandwiched between two girls have been all for naught. Some examples lately: asking his sister if she wants to watch him gag;  getting caught asking SIRI to show him pictures of poo; and handcuffing his sister while I grabbed a pen in the kitchen. And those are just the things I can share... He's full of life and quite entertaining in his living. Meanwhile, Lerah has started giving genuine smiles and all the more when Levi isn't carrying out one of his many schemes to startle her.

Just this past weekend at our college's graduation while I was talking to a graduate, Levi kept interrupting Jason. It seemed Levi had uncovered an octopus in the bushes. Not believing him Jason skipped the Don't Interrupt Adults speech and went to see what in the world Levi was talking about.

Sure 'nough! And what would any little boy do with a really dirty, life-like octopus? Terrorize his sister with it?? You got it!

Hungry baby plus screaming ten year old plus determined boy plus laundry piles equals a whole lot of making time memorable even if I have yet to master it! 

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