Friday, June 22, 2012

Young Feral Boy with Paint

When Kids are Different

Dietrich. He wants to do whatever he is doing perfectly the first time. When he doesn't, he quickly loses patience and avoids it. So drawing frustrates him. So learning to read frustrates him. On the other hand, he has yards and yards of persistence when he has set himself to master a skill or figure something out. And when he gets it, he rocks it. Dietrich is intense and affectionate and physical and full of stories and musings. He is not easy-going. He has a quick temper and is ultra-sensitive to instances of injustice. Sometimes Brad says he reminds him of a mix of himself, me, and Gonzo. (Sometimes he stands full of energy and expectancy, gutterly panting -- ala Animal of The Muppets.) He is a whiz at memorizing -- especially Bible verses (and he can remember them including references for weeks or longer). He is always watching, listening...and sorting out these things. Once when I lived in Los Angeles, I went to a professional international soccer game with my mom. I think one of the teams was from Ecuador. I remember being amazed at how dramatic the players were when fouled or tripped in some way -- thrashing about on the field with great noise and fury. This is Dietrich when injured - physically or emotionally. Self control is certainly one of the big ones God will have him battle. Sometimes when I have time alone with Deke, I wonder what to do with him. It isn't like taking Atticus out to draw, read, play board games and talk. Maybe we can play with his action figures (he is always making elaborate stories and adventures with his guys) or we can play a ball catching game or we can take his bike or scooter out for a ride and talk. I will try to understand him better, find good ways to connect with him. I am thankful of coming into this new place in our family, where another little one isn't here to pull me in another direction and need the core of my attention and physical strength for that first year and a half. I am thankful to begin having time to spend with each of these children; For Brad and I beginning to walk with a little more grace as parents of four children. A little more. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Atticus loves drawing and painting. Really. And I love sharing that love with him. I don't mind if none of my children grow up to be vocational artists, but I don't want any of them to be afraid of making and drawing. And I would love for all of them to have the joy and freedom to let making art be part of the normal rhythm of their weeks and years. As "normal" and expected and included as reading or conversation or music. So thankful for the regular special times of Atticus and me making stuff together.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Loving Batman and God

Atticus wrote this short story two days ago right before bedtime. After three days of vacation Bible school, he told me he wishes he could add "p.s. Love God p.p.s. Trust God". I love when he hears the important things. I love that he would have those two important things live so cohesively with loving everybody and toys and Batman.

O Third Born, May You Never Get Lost in the Fray

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Let's start at the zoo, shall we?

Of Sundresses, Panties, and Crafty Cliches

So over the weekend I stole some sewing time. I made Thea Belle and her doll coordinating sundresses. I based the pattern (which is super simple with no zippers or buttons and a self-lining on the bodice) on a dress my mom found at a garage sale for 25 cents.  The entire little dress has only 3 different shapes: a rectangle for the skirt, rectangles with sides swoops for the front and back bodice, and a trapezoid-y shape for the top ties.

And my favorite, favorite part is that I made tiny little panties for her doll. Don't ask me why I had a couple pairs of never-worn grown-up underwear in my scrap pile...but...I took a pair and cut it down to size, re-using the original bindings for the leg openings and even keeping the printed back tag in the right place to make them look fancy store-bought. When I was a little girl I loved dolls and their clothes. The very first thing I would do when introduced to a new doll was to look and see if they had underwear that could come on and off. Every time I see Thea Belle's doll there in her cheery dress and soft bright panties my heart is happy in the safest little-girl kind of way. And I don't even care that I am posting this as a stay-at-home-mom craft project. I will be a cliche for this. (Ask me sometime about cliches in mothering and home-making because I have totally had a philosophical/theological break-through as I have worked through thinking about that little sucker.)

Thea's reaction to the new outfit was pretty happy (which is her reaction to most things, especially related to dresses and shoes) but she immediately said "Meow!" and wondered why the panties didn't have Hello Kitty on them like hers do. But thankfully she didn't get stuck on that for long.

Owen Augustine Berget!

Liz and Eric Berget had their baby! Introducing Owen Augustine Berget!!! Isn't he just beautiful! (All pictures by Eric!)

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Atticus had his friend Jack the Scientist from school come play the last week of classes. Jack has a video game of the Ghost Busters and is quite an aficionado of the characters, etc. despite not having seen the movie yet. They were both impressed I had seen the movies and knew so much about them. (Who knew that would ever get me cool points with my kids?!) Jack the Scientist came up with the idea of making Ghost Busting Proton Packs. Atticus added glow sticks onto the wands and I helped staple twill cotton straps onto them. We made one for every boy in the house. They thought my ghost drawing was amazing. Ha! Ha! The night vision glasses were a gift from Atticus' birthday party last month.
How cute is this kid? He told me he wished he had 17 brothers. He sadly told me that all he had was one little sister. Poor guy.

Atticus also made a graduation cap complete with tassel to help make him smarter in his searching and trapping ghosts. Because they are very sneaky, those ghosts.