Bring Bennet Home

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Big Things

This week has been busy around our house, as they usually are in the summer. Something big happened with each of the trifecta, as I call the boys these days.

Tucker played in his first and second wee ball games. Talk about ridiculous! He's way too little to even understand what is going on or what he's supposed to do, but it's been fun anyway. He has really enjoyed getting to run around with his friends and do something that's just for him. It's pretty cute to watch, most of the time. He had two games this week and there was vast improvement from Tuesday to Thursday. He only tackled one kid to get the ball and while it was a pretty good hit, it did solicit a spanking and some tears. It also made him the talk of the fan section! I'm glad everyone else thinks he's funny or we'd have some serious trouble with our rough boy. May wee-football will be more our thing. Who knows.

Bennett Harris turned eight months old on Thursday and yesterday decided it was high time he started crawling. Watching him yesterday was so fun because you could see him figuring it out more and gaining confidence. I won't be able to keep up with our newly mobile second son by next week!

And Casen got to start rice cereal yesterday. We went to his four month check up and he's doing perfectly, except for all the spitting up. Our pediatrician finally gave us the ok to try cereal and then ease into other foods. Case didn't know what to do with the stuff at first. He just held it in his mouth for a while, but once he figured out he was supposed to swallow it he went to town! He loved it!  I couldn't believe how well he did for his first food/spoon experience.

Chris has been super busy this week getting ready for Falls Creek and a wedding he's performing this weekend so we haven't seen him as much as we'd like to. The boys, our leadership kids, the inturns and I all leave for camp today at 10 o'clock. I'm going to drop the little boys off at my mom's and the rest of us will go get everything set up for kids to arrive Monday afternoon.
Here's to another super busy week and life in youth ministry!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bennett's Eight Month Letter

Bennett Harris -
You are the most precious baby the world has ever known. You just smile, sit and play, and love your brothers. You are such a charmer and everyone instantly falls in love with you. You are growing so fast and learning so many new tricks. You are just beginning to crawl. You also scoot on your booty and get what/where ever you want to. You lean over until you're on all fours and you push up and rock back and forth. You also push your legs straight up and push your booty all the way in the air, like downward dog. Pretty funny looking push ups, but also pretty cute! You clap all the time, wave bye-bye and say the words and your patty cake is uber cute. I can't believe how big you're getting and how much you change and learn every day. Being your Momma is truly a joy. I love rocking you to sleep, getting your sweet smiles and giggles and singing songs to you. Precious moments my little darlin'.

You've become quite the little Daddy's boy this month. This is a first for me. The other two have never really picked Daddy over me, but it's such a joy to see your little face light up when your Daddy comes into the room or gets home. If you're sitting on the floor you do your signature moves of flapping your arms and bouncing your legs until your Daddy notices you and comes to get you. I'm so thankful for the sweet Daddy you have and how much you love him.

You still love to eat from a spoon. You've conquered lots of different kinds of food. The only things you don't like are green beans and peas, I can't blame you. Those do look pretty gross. You still really like cereal too. You've also tried fresh baked sweet potatoes, pinto and refried beans, carrots, bread, puffs, mum-mums and corn on the cob. You like it all!

You are wearing size 6-12 months clothes and size 3 diapers. You have the chunkiest thighs! Your little rolls are just so sweet and soft. You are really strong! You still love to stand and bounce. You have also started trying to pull yourself up on things. I think you may walk early for two reasons one because you're strong enough to do it and two you just can't wait to keep up with that big brother of ours. You have four teeth and another one about to come through. Two bottoms in the middle and two top on either side of the middle.

We've been busy busy these days. Summer keeps us on the go and May did too this year. We got Aunt Chelsie married off and added a new uncle to our family. Daddy has already been to camp for two weeks in a row and we go again next week! You are such a trooper in the car and I'm so thankful you like to sleep in your carseat. Because you are the most laid back of the brothers you also get to go shopping and running errands with me a lot.

I can't put into words how much we love you. You are just the best baby. We can't imagine life without your sweet giggles, toothy grin and laid back personality. Your joy is contagious and smiles/giggles ooze out of you so easily. I can't believe eight months have flown by! I can't wait to see what the next eight months hold!
I love you more, 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Casen's Four Month Letter

Casen Cole -
How are you already four months old? I already don't remember so much of these days. I'm sorry Baby. I've really tried to remember and write things down for you. Really I have.
At four months old you are super smiley and still very expressive with your facial expressions. You have huge bright eyes that light up when your brothers are near by. You have long skinny fingers and toes. You are grabbing toys with ease and bringing them to your slobbery mouth. You want to sit up so bad. You lean forward constantly and can support yourself with your arms for a little while. Any day you will be sitting up to watch the action. You are a wiry little sucker and don't cuddle unless you are nearly asleep. You climb up our bodies when we hold you against us just itching to escape our grasp. Your little legs are pretty strong just like your neck and arms. You love to watch TV and will crane your little neck all the way around to see what Tucker is watching. You have started sitting in the bumbo and jumperoo a little bit. You like these for a little while because you can see what's going on.  It's been really nice for me to be able to sit you down for small chunks of time without you screaming. You do not like laying on your back at all. I think your reflux makes that position hurt.

You still spit up ALL the time! We both went through at least four outfits a piece yesterday. Poor Baby.  The doctor says there's not much else we can do. You're still gaining weight with no problems and you love to eat. You just can't keep it down. You have stopped crying about it for the most part which is a gazillion times better. If we could figure that stuff out you'd be a total dream boat.

You are wearing size 3-6 month clothes and size 2 diapers. We just bumped you up to 6 oz. per bottle because you were still acting like you were starving after eating. We go to the doctor later this week to get your stats and I'm also going to ask about adding some rice cereal to your bottles to see if that will soothe you a little more or hold more of what you're eating down.

You have developed a strong loathing for your infant car seat. You. hate. it. Just like Tucker did. You cry after about 2 minutes until we get you out. Whether it's a five minute ride or a 4 four one, you just scream and sweat and scream and sweat some more! It's super fun for all of us! I'm also going to ask our doctor when we can try a convertible car seat because Momma can't handle all that screaming!

On Mother's Day this year we got to participate in baby dedication at our church. It was a special day that was full of family! Nearly everyone was there to show their support and commitment to help you grow up to love Jesus and others.
We've spent a lot of time in Purcell this month. Aunt Chelsie got married June 1st and needed our help getting things ready. You were super cute at the wedding, but I didn't take a single picture so we'll have to wait to get the official ones back before you can model in our trio of handsome matchy matchy boys.
It's a busy time of year for our family. Daddy has been gone to camp for two weeks and will be gone again next week. We're all just trying to keep our heads above water. Granna has been a huge help and we're going to go spend next with her again. But I hope things will go back to normal after Falls Creek.
You are so sweet and your gummy smile just lights up the room. You are so handsome and perfect. I still can't believe we have three boys who are each so special and so unique. We are figuring out life more and more as the days go by and you have been a real trooper. We love ya Casen Cole and we're so thankful for you! You're growing so fast and I can't believe I get to be the one who gets to watch each of  your accomplishments day by day. Thanks for being the best third baby!!!
I love you more,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Transitions in Ministry

Yesterday something unexpected happened that sent me into an emotional downward spiral. My husband is a youth minister. He has been for our entire relationship. When we started dating I jumped in beside him and have been doing ministry with him for the last nine years. I have gone on nearly every trip, camp, meeting. I've helped make decisions. I've taught, set up, tore down, decorated, organized and co-planned every event we've done. Until this summer. This summer I have three babies.   I knew this was coming when I thought I'd just have two children this summer. Last year I joked all summer that it was my farewell tour to youth ministry. And I thought I was ok with this transition. This summer I didn't go to Super Summer. I was going to up to visit one night and all three of my children decided to hate life and probably me and we didn't go. For the third time since I was a junior in high school I didn't go to Super Summer at all. I can't have the same role and I knew that going into having three boys so close together in age. I have been nearly absent from youth events since the boys arrived in October and February. I have distanced myself preparing for what this summer would feel like. But I guess I didn't do a great job.
Last night was our annual Falls Creek parent/camper meeting. This is no big deal to me. I have never looked forward to it or felt like it was a huge part of what my role has been in the past. That being said... this year Chris made a big deal about me being there. He made me feel really needed and despite myself I got excited to have a purpose in our ministry again. I have missed it, but can't seem to manage all my children and every one else's at the same time. So I arranged with the sweet ladies who stay in the nursery to stay late to keep our boys so I could give my usual speech, take money and forms and meet with our leadership students who I traditionally take to camp on Saturday to set up and decorate. After dropping the boys at the nursery I went to Chris's office to help get things together to find our two very capable interns had everything totally under control. I was still good. Impressed even. They had thought of everything and Chris was relatively not stressed. But then Chris asked me to explain how I usually handle the money/sign up stuff to them. As I was talking I felt like the rug had been pulled from beneath me. My job was being delegated again and it hurt my feelings. After everything was set up and ready to go Chris and I went into the service. He could tell something was wrong and I wasn't wanting to talk about it before the meeting, but he kept asking and as soon as I began to tell him how I was feeling the tight control I was keeping on my emotions busted free. It felt like I was trying to explain the events of a death more then a transition of my role out of ministry with him. Church ended and I was still trying to get a handle on myself. It never happened so I skipped the meeting and brought the boys home. All Chris was trying to do was to take as much stress away from me as possible. He wanted me at the meeting to do the dress code talk and make sure he didn't miss anything. But instead of feeling relieved and taken care of it left me feeling useless and replaceable. All there was left for me to do was try to bring light to the fact that the girls need to dress modestly despite the fact they are spending the week with 2,500 eligible bachelors, all the information being passed on is already in the packet in their parents hands. Useless.
I left the church trying to focus on what's important and not my hurt feelings. Trying to see that me being selfish is not beneficial to our students and more importantly to my husband. He isn't happy that I'm not working with him. He misses me just like I miss him and the time we spent on youth stuff. He is transitioning too. He doesn't like being gone three out of four weeks anymore then I do. But despite my best efforts I was still fuming a little by the time Chris got home.
After the boys and I got home I fed Tucker and Bennett. Bennett then puked up everything he'd just eaten everywhere. So then I bathed Casen and Bennett and thought about this stage in our life. I have the better job. Even covered in puke/spit up/boogers/any other nasty thing three boys can come up with. This is what I've always wanted. I love my boys more then words can ever say.
But it's hard feeling left out. It's hard telling others how to replace you in a role that you've always felt like you couldn't be replaced in. It's hard watching other people love kids that you've invested in for five years and feel like there's no room left for you in it. I know I'm having a pity party. I know I should be thankful for the time I had to do ministry with my husband. I know this isn't Jesus's best for our family/ministry/life. But I feel like I'm at my own funeral saying good bye to a life that I've known for the last nine years. I feel like I have to completely close that part of my life for now because I don't know how to do some things but not every thing without feeling like this. I don't want to cry my eyes out and mourn what's gone. I want to focus on my children and our future. I'm not sure how to pull myself out of this slump. Today I'm just sad. I'm praying that I'll be able to focus on things that are eternal and not my petty feelings. That I will be able to encourage my husband instead of pulling him down in his busiest time of the year. I want him to be able to focus on the task at hand without worrying about me and the boys. That's my part.
I recently was added to a group of Minister's Wives on Facebook and I've been so challenged to hear how precious other wives are when their husbands come home from camp. I am not precious. Ever really. I wish I was, but I have never even thought about how I should react to Chris's homecoming because I've always been coming home too. This week as these ladies kept the home front going. All while they dealt with sickness and single mom-ness while their husbands worked with other people's teenagers. They wrote how they tried to make the house look good, cooked a good meal and fix themselves up so their spouses would arrive home to a peaceful environment. These are things I have honestly never considered before. I want to be gracious and helpful to him even if it looks totally different then it ever has. But this is hard for me too. I'm selfish. I want a break when he gets home! That's what I look forward to every day little alone after two weeks apart. So much of the time I don't think my personality is what a minister's wife should look like. I'm blunt. I'm not a sit-on-the-front-row kinda gal. My children don't behave well all the time, especially the three year old in big church. I don't feel like I fit the mold. But if this life is what God wants for our family I want to give it my best shot! I want to become more precious and less selfish. Again lots of hard things.
If you think about it whisper a prayer for us these next two weeks. I have a feeling they aren't going to be super smooth sailing for the Gord's. Motherhood is hard. Ministry is hard. Marriage is hard. Life is overwhelming. But God is bigger. I know that. His plans are better. I've seen that. I just have to trust that this time is no exception.