Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When the burden is just too great...

The other night, I was in the bathroom when my toddler started screaming. I of coursed opened the door, to see him about three steps up the stairwell, trying to carry up a large wooden stool (large to him, not to an adult) that had gotten stuck and now he couldn't figure out how to get it up the rest of the stairs. He was very frustrated, but I knew he wasn't a quitter by nature and that he often manages to figure out these dilemmas for himself. So, I let him struggle.

Apparently he decided it was too much for him, however, and after several more seconds of struggling, he stopped screaming and let go of the stool. It tumbled down the 3-4 steps he has previously managed to traverse, and as it did so a look of utter defeat went over my boy's entire body and he started to cry a most heartbreaking cry.

I sat at the top of the steps and invited him to come and get a hug, which he did. I comforted him as best I could.

But, the most surprising-- and gratifying-- part of the story has yet to be told...

My 4-yo took notice of the entire episode, and in a bout of brotherly compassion and love, he approached C and said, "It's okay, C, I'll get it for you." And he went downstairs, picked up the stool, and carried it up the stairs for his little brother. Then, he asked C where he wanted it, and C showed him. And C said, "Oh! Thank you Z!" In a tone that implied, "You are my hero!" And he was happy again.

There is a life lesson to be learned here.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas Letter 2013

Happy New Year!

It's been ages since I've posted. It's time to post my family's "Christmas letter" for 2013. Typically, I send hard copies of this letter in the mail to all the family, but this year I dropped the ball. I hope they can forgive me. Life has been so busy lately, and mostly with good things. But the current of time flows so strongly and so fast and it's all I can do most days to just stay afloat. Every year Nick and I say to each other, "maybe this next year things will slow down a bit..." who are we kidding?

Credit for the pics goes to my sister-in-law. My boys are just adorable :)

Note: is the following copy of our letter, I am using initials for each of my boys: G is my 6-yo, Z is my 4-yo and C is the toddler :)

Merry Christmas from the L____ Family!

2013 was probably our most exciting and busy year yet! It really has been a year to remember…

C celebrated his first birthday early this year. He has proven to be a very active, curious, precocious toddler. He tries to climb up and jump off anything and everything—it’s a miracle he hasn’t landed himself in the ER yet *knock on wood*. We have a joke around here that “it isn’t truly child-proof until it’s C-proof.” He keeps us on our toes, but he’s a lot of fun, too, and makes us laugh on many occasions.

Z is now a four-year-old. Sometimes he still acts like a two-year-old (thanks to the influence of his toddler brother, no doubt), and other times he acts so mature I forget how young he really is. He has an incredible imagination, and an eye for detail. He loves to alternately wrestle and snuggle, depending on the time of day (usually snuggling in the morning and wrestling in the evening, though we often wish it was the other way around).

G turned six at the beginning of the year, and is now in First Grade. He loves to learn and is at the top of his class in reading, even though he is in a multi-age class with first graders and second-graders. He sometimes struggles socially, but he is turning into a very mature and responsible boy. He even does his chores on Saturday without prompting (of course, there is a reward of video game time once he’s finished). He has started learning about computer programming and wants to design video games when he grows up; he has a video game concept he’s been imagining up since the beginning of the school year called “FIG Games,” and if you ask him about it he will be happy to talk about it all day ;-)

Sylvia kept busy this year, first and foremost keeping up with three busy boys! But she also made time in her schedule to plan her ten-year high school class reunion, prepare our condo for market (and later to rent), house hunt, move into our new house, and plan a trip to California. She is going to start giving music lessons in the new year to bring in a little extra family income.

Nick also kept busy with his Scout calling; work; our big move; and going on 50-mile hike with his dad, brother, and sister, into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in the summer. The hike took most of a week, and also happened to be the week Sylvia found and made an offer on our new house, which at first he was not thrilled about (not being there) but he came around—mostly because he loves his wife and wants her to be happy :)

Nick and Sylvia celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary, and look forward to many many more to come.

We also enjoyed two family vacations this year—the first in the Spring, at a condo in Columbia Falls (which Nick’s mom was able to get for us on a time share she owns which she was unable to use this year); and the second going down to California to spend time with Sylvia’s family and to attend her class reunion. We took the train to California, and along the way were able to visit Sylvia’s sister and family briefly in Portland. Sylvia’s parents also took the family to Disneyland for a day, and the boys had a lot of fun—even C. G got to miss two whole weeks of school, but took some school work along and kept a journal which he got to share with his class when he returned to school; it was pretty adorable.

We are thoroughly enjoying our new home—hiccups and all (like some temporarily frozen pipes this winter, but things seem to be fine now). And we are eager to share it with anyone who cares to come and visit us way up here in beautiful Big Sky Country.

All in all, we have had an exciting and wonderful year. We are looking forward to what awaits us in 2014!

With Love,

The L______s