Sunday, February 17, 2008

Life with a toddler

Miriam's 2nd birthday is fast approaching, and with it the realization that we no longer have a baby. Our little girl is a full-fledged toddler now. What a bittersweet blessing to watch her grow up! The difficulties of toddlerhood are well-known...the desire for independence, the struggles with communication, the occasional tantrum. I was (at least somewhat) prepared for the negatives. What I didn't hear as much about are the joys of this age. Yes, communication is limited, but -WOW! - she can talk! She can answer questions and express desires. It is amazing to realize we are having "converasations", however brief, with our daughter. Another beauty of this age is watching the imagination bloom. We have pretend tea parties every day. She takes care of her baby dolls with tender care. And her current favorite game, strangely enough, is pretending to sleep. One more amazing part of toddlerhood is seeing her develop a sense of humor. Miriam sends the most magical laughter through our house multiple times a day. Putting a washcloth on her foot at bathtime and pretending it is a baby - that's funny. Hiding behind the curtains and waiting for us to find her- that is also funny. Trying to wake up a "sleepy" Papa - very funny. Yes, there are moments in the post office or the grocery store where I think...."Everyone is looking at us and thinking 'I'm never having a kid'". But most of the time, truly, I find toddlerhood full of beautiful surprises. Enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Valentines and Volunteers, by Sarah

Today we had a Valentine party for the teen girls. I’ve been planning this for a while, and accordingly, ordered items from Oriental Trading Company. I felt quite pleased with myself for being so organized and allowing plenty of time….however, the mail system or the company or something, must have sensed my smugness. I waited and waited. No package. I was forced to make a last minute shopping trip to purchase all the items that were sitting in a box somewhere in the post office. The package arrived, literally, half an hour before the party began. Far too late, of course. Nonetheless, we had a great time with the plan B purchases. (And I have learned to always have a plan B!)

We also chose to invite the 4th and 5th grade girls to come along for the fun. This is the second recent activity that we invited the younger girls to attend. The older girls have a chance to show some positive leadership and the younger girls get a taste of “youth group” life. It also helps me envision where this girls’ group will be in a year or two. It’s a good thing.

Our teen girls group has been through some transitions lately, namely 3 of our girls moving. Only one moved completely out of town, but the other two, for various reasons and despite our efforts, are less connected now. They were very much missed at the party today, not just for the extra hands, but also because of what they each add to the group as individuals. We were, however, really blessed to have lots of adult volunteers. There were 4 other adults there, not counting myself. Praise God! Bob and I have often been in situations where we were IT – the adult presence, period. It is through the grace of God and the many good women here in Tulsa that we had so much help today. Having extra assistance is especially wonderful because every girl that comes has to be picked up and taken home. This adds considerable time to every event we plan, and my car will only hold 3 girls. So thank you, Lord, for sending so many kind and eager women my way.

Having a daughter of my own now, I am beginning to see how quickly time passes. These girls will be women in such a short time. Please, please pray for them. They have so much good in their hearts.