Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kellah Grace {17 Months}

On the 17th, Kellah was 17 months old, but I didn't get around to blogging that day.  Then, yesterday, I was all excited to sit down and write about her newest accomplishments but couldn't find the camera with the pictures I wanted to include in the post.  Well, I found the camera today, in my purse, and discovered that I had already downloaded the pictures anyway!

So, I'm a few days late, but I've finally got my act together -- or at least enough to make it look like I do!

Just a few weeks ago, our Parents as Teachers representative came over for Kellah's screening.  She asked me a bunch of questions about what Kellah can do verbally, physically, etc.  The list included things like:
*Does your child frequently take steps on his/her own?
      Um, yeah, got that one covered...for the past 8 months now!

*Has your child started to climb on objects?
      The child has no fear and would climb up the wall if physically possible.

*Does your child take a pencil or crayon and write on paper?
     Yes, she likes to help me chart for It Works, take notes in Daddy's journal, and help me write out my grocery lists.  Oh, and jump right in for the craft times I do with the older kiddos.

*Can you child stack 3 blocks?
      I knew this one was coming, so we worked on it in advance, just so I could say yes :)

I certainly wasn't worried about any of Kellah's milestones in regards to what she can do physically.  But then, the PAT person asked me if she could throw a ball.  Nope, just roll it, seeing as how that is what we do with balls in the house and I haven't encouraged Coralyn throwing balls at her little sister outside for that matter either.  Well, now we had something to work on.

Let me just tell you, Kellah must have caught on that she was supposed to be able to do this because in a matter of a few days, her favorite game had become "Throw the ball down the driveway, say Uh-oh, and smile really cute as Mommy runs down the street after the ball."  She does this over and over and over again.  Thank goodness we live on a cul-de-sac!

After her motor skills, we turned to her verbal skills.  Yes, she can communicate and let us know what she wants, no doubt about that!  But, when the PAT person asked if she had more than 8 words in her vocabulary, I was coming up short.  Again, something to work on.

Again, Kellah must have sensed that she was "supposed" to be talking more, using actual words, because in the past 2 weeks since the PAT rep came, Kellah has become a talking machine.
T-Bone (our cat)
Dog (when she hears one barking) 
No (no, no, no shaking her finger at me or pushing whatever I am giving her away)
And more I am sure, but with Coralyn pleading for me to paint her nails, I can't seem to focus and think of the other words Kellah has started saying out of the blue.  It's like she adds new words every day!

She's a smart little thing, catching on quickly to what's going on around her.  She brings the daycare boys their shoes when their moms come.  She tries to carry the daycare baby's diaper bag to her mom.  She knows to go to her chair when I say it's time for lunch.  She knows to grab her shoes if I tell the kids we're going to play outside.  
Sometimes she grabs TWO pairs!
She runs up the stairs when we announce it's bath time.  She will even open her drawers to get out her pajamas or clothes if I say we need to get dressed.  She's even started going into the bathroom and sitting on the potty (not too many actual "successful" trips yet, but we're getting there).  She knows to wash her hands when she is "done."  She lunges at Coralyn when we finish our Bible story at bed time and say "Sister Hugs."  She is getting good at giving both hugs and kisses now.  Sadly, though, she was kissing the daycare boys earlier today. :)

My Kellah Bear is growing up quickly!  

Part of me is happy, and part of me is sad to see that my baby isn't my baby anymore.  I guess that's why we have more children :)  But boy is Kellah going to have a big change coming to her when baby #3 arrives this fall!  She gets so jealous if Coralyn sits in my lap or even looks in my direction.  She wants nothing to do with me holding the daycare baby or letting one of the boys sit next to me to read a book.  I am HER mommy and not to be shared with anyone!  Like I said, she'll have a rude awakening come November!

For now, though, I am having lots of fun with Kellah and Coralyn.  I love how the girls love each other and play together so well, for the most part.  

I am so blessed to be their mommy!  I can't get enough of my two precious girls!!!!

Big Miss Independent insisted on picking out her outfit for the day
Little Miss Independent insisted on feeding herself

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pop Beads or Pearls

Lawrence took the day off to work on his grad school classes that are both finishing this week.  With two finals, multiple projects, and lots of essays and papers to write, he just needed the whole day to get everything done!  Ironically enough, he won't be with his students on National Teacher's Day!

He left early this morning to write out his sub plans, and when he came back, we were all playing outside.  Even the daycare boys were excited to see him, running out to greet him and shouting right along with  Coralyn and Kellah, "Daddy!  Daddy!"

Kellah ran full speed to greet her Daddy, arms waving in the air, already wanting to be picked up before she even got to him.

Coralyn, on the other hand, had just gotten her turn on the much sought after tricycle.  She was torn.  She wanted to run and hug her daddy, but she didn't want to give up the bike.  And so she did her best to have the best of both worlds, she drug the bike behind her, making sure no one else would snatch it up in the few seconds it took her to hug Lawrence.

As I watched my child cling to her toy in fear of losing it instead of running full speed ahead to greet her daddy like her carefree little sister had done, God spoke to MY heart.

He whispered in my ear, "Oh my dear child, you do the same thing."

I hung my head, ashamed to admit I do.

How often do I want to hold onto the things of this world instead of fully surrendering everything so that I can  pursue my Jesus with every fiber of my being?

How often do I cling to "stuff" that seems so precious at the time, when in reality I am losing on on that which is the most valuable thing in the universe -- time with my Heavenly Father?

How dare I try to keep my toys and fear losing them when I am sacrificing something far, far, far greater?!  How that must hurt my Daddy's feelings!

I don't know if Lawrence noticed Coralyn pulling the bike behind her on the way to greet him or not.  But I did.  God didn't let that little act go unnoticed.  He had to use it to teach ME a lesson.  An important one.  One I must not soon forget!

As I sat down to write this blog post and tried to come up with a catchy title, the story "Pop Beads and Pearls" immediately came to mind.  I first heard this story back in high school on a missions trip in North Carolina.  We were at the Wycliffe JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) headquarters and participating in Jungle Jump Off program.  Every day we got to see and experience a new aspect of missions.  On this particular day, we watched several short videos, one of them telling a story about a little girl and her father.

I believe they were a rather poor family.  The father had to go away for a trip or something, but before he left, he gave his daughter a string of pop beads -- colorful plastic beads that snap together to form a necklace or bracelet.  The girl treasured this gift, holding it close to her chest and hugging it tight.  Every day, she would play with the pop beads and remember her daddy.  Not only were they her favorite toy, they were her most precious possession of all.

One day, the father returned from his trip.  As soon as she saw her daddy, the little girl ran to greet him with a hug and kiss.  Almost immediately, he asked her to go get her pop beads, which she did.  Then, he asked her to give him the necklace.  She couldn't.  She didn't understand.  So, instead, she clung to them, pulling back from her daddy, startled at his request.  She tried to hide the pop beads behind her back, holding them so tightly her fists began to turn white.

The father didn't force his daughter to give up her precious pop beads.  He didn't try to grab for them.  Instead, he kindly asked her again to give him the necklace.  To trust him.  Finally, at long last, the little girl looked into her daddy's eyes, full of love, and hesitantly surrendered her plastic necklace.  In its place, the father gently placed a string of beautiful REAL pearls.

You see, he couldn't give her the pearl necklace until she gave up her plastic pop bead one.

The same is true with us, as sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.  He longs for us to give everything to Him, not to be mean or take away everything important to us or ruin our lives.  Oh no, quite the opposite!  Just like the father in the story, He wants to give us something in return, something FAR more valuable and precious than anything we could have on our own.  Whatever we are holding onto is like the girl's plastic pop beads in comparison to the things God has in store for us, if we will just trust Him and let go of everything in this world.  In return, we get something even better than a pearl necklace!  We get eternal life, that starts NOW!  We get to spend each and every day in God's very presence, talking with Him and letting Him take care of every single need we have.  We can be filled with peace and joy and hope unimaginable.  Nothing the world has to offer -- money, cars, houses, clothes, prestigious jobs, jewelry, or anything else man/woman may value -- comes anywhere close to what God has for us!

It's been quite some time since I heard that story, but it still remains deep in my heart.  God bright it to the surface this morning as I watched my own little girl hold tightly to a silly tricycle instead of running full speed ahead to greet her daddy.  May I learn from my daughter and not make the same mistake in my relationship with my Heavenly Father!