I took my first vacation day in six months since I started my new job. I had plenty of days off during the Christmas and New Year's holiday, but when Ouma and Oupa come around it's time to make good use of those days off so I can join in the adventures.
On some occasion I can't remember why, Layla and I were left at home while Kendra and Easton were gone. I asked what she wanted to do and she asked to play battleship... so we did. and she beat me. I'm not sure why she chose this game instead of the dozens of other board games in the closet. Here is what I said to her, non-verbally:
Your voice matters and I value your input
I want to spend time with you
Having fun together is important
In order for our relationship to grow we must have quality and quantity time together.
The sun poked through the clouds a few times this week. I've been waiting on one of these days to make progress on the garage clean-out effort. The twins found some party gear in one of the boxes and they asked me to put it on and dance. so we did. I shamelessly silly danced and they dressed me up to match their hula skirts and leis.
On another sunny day Kendra asked me to get the patio furniture set up on the front porch because it has been in storage since we moved here. She decorated with a few flowers and wanted to sit on the porch, greeting neighbors as they walk by. so we did. We are taking the whole "love thy neighbor" thing to a whole new level. We are introducing ourselves and finding ways to connect with the people who are literally our neighbors.
Easton has a dozen or so neighborhood friends. We are having some great discussions about what it means to be a follower and Christ and what it means to say you're a Christian, as a label. Some of the local buddies say they are Christian, but their lives don't reflect that. It's a good time to talk through these lessons of what it means because he has real-life examples to see the actions play out.
Easton dressed up as an immigrant for a school project where they act out what it was like for some people who arrived at Ellis Island back in 1922. He has a sport coat and a vest on, which is a first in his lifetime. He's looking older and more grown up every day.
Ouma and Oupa are here! We've been couting down the days for weeks and we finally get to have them in our house. Kendra is soaking in every moment and the twins are having plenty of quality time since they are on spring break. We took a leisurely family walk through some woodsy areas and I forced our group to stop for a picture because I am often overwhelmed with gratitude for moments like this because just a few months ago when Kendra was in the hospital it was pure hope and faith to believe Kendra could go for a hike with us. now i get to experience this.
The twins still like to wrestle and rough house with Oupa. They get a kick out of poking him (literally and figuratively) until he grabs them and prevents their escape. I am glad they have grandparent influence and time during these crucial years of development in their lives.
Easter is next weekend, but this past weekend all of the city-wide events took place. Our next door neighbors invited us to go with them to the local egg hunt. So we did. Kendra was not excited about the crowds or the cold or the lines, but I'm glad we joined in with the fun experience for the kid's sake. The cherry tree blossoms are eye-catching all across the Seattle area.
The twins waited semi-patiently for the coutdown to gather eggs. It was a site to behold... All those kids acting like freshly shaken bottles of soda just ready to explode when given the word "go".
The moment came and the eggs where all scooped up in a matter of seconds. it was like watching a school of piranhas feast. Layla stuck to the strategy of putting down the basket and using both hands to load it with eggs. Easton didn't. He laid down on a section of the field and claimed ownership of all the eggs under his body.
Everybody left with more eggs and candy than they needed. I have no idea why Layla is throwing up gang signs. I'm sure it was more of a celebration than a shout out to her 'hood.
There is a common theme of "so we did" because it is the response to "why not?", which is a way of living we are developing in the twins. I want them to ask "why not?" and learn how to determine whether something is valuable, Godly, and healthy. if the response to that question doesn't conflict with being valuable, Godly, and healthy, then the response should be "so we did".
The only difference between the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 is what they did and didn't do. There are many things people do out duty or ritual or historical reasons. Some are even good reasons, but I want our family to be known for our active love that is a result of God's presence instead of a manipulative or ritualistic motivation. It's a work in progress, no pun intended.
see you soon!