When my Grandma passed away several years ago, I inherited her collection of poppy seeds. Actually, I inherited my Great-Grandma Gertrude Lulu's poppy seeds that my Grandma had kept and planted and whose seeds she harvested again and again. These special poppy seeds are so called...because they are at least 50 years old, and apparently, from what I understand, different from poppy seeds sold these days.
No, we will not be naming our next daughter after her....though her name does have a certain charm to it. :o)
But back to the poppy seeds--I have always had a hard time using something special. I keep it, and keep it, and keep it....for just the right time or occasion. A year or so ago, I started changing my philosophy about using special things. After all, there's no time like right now! I decided to embrace today and live for now. Not in the future. Not in the past. True contentment comes when we can rejoice in what life is, and not what it could be or should be.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I have always been amazed at Paul's words above. Could I honestly say what he did about contentment? Could you? When he wrote those words, he was in prison, facing execution! Life was not easy for him, yet he insisted on keeping His eyes on God. It is important to remember that he did not do this on his own. God was his strength.
Well, as you can see from the pictures below, I finally got around to planting Great Grandma Gertrude's poppy seeds and I am so glad I did! What a beautiful sight they are for my eyes. I am enjoying their fairness every day.
I have tons of pictures of Liv with my dad, who is affectionately named Papa Snail. When she was a toddler, he was always up for wrangling the wiggly girl, and he has always been able to match her silliness for silliness. They make a good pair and have always been buds.
See what I mean?
Holland, though silly like her sister, operates on a much more mellow level, and has had some recent sweet times with my mom, who is affectionately named Nanette. Nanette will always answer Holland's pleas for conversation, snuggles, and hand holding. Thus, the sweet pictures below, taken in April during their trip to come see us:
The girl's maiden soccer season was a huge hit. They now, at least till next year, have a perfectly fun view of the sport. Holland can't wait to lounge the sidelines again....clad head-to-toe in her soccer gear. Ah. The joys of belonging to a sport without doing any of the work. That is how I feel when we ride our tandem. But, shhhh. Don't tell Brian. I want him to think I'm actually working back there!
But I digress.
The last soccer game Liv played in, she made 5 goals. This made her extremely happy. Remember: she's the competetive one. I wouldn't say she bites and hits on her way to the ball, but she's dangerously close to that reality. I assure you: your child is safe playing on the field with her. If she does resort to biting and hitting, we will seek some kind of intervention, or maybe enroll her in C.A. (Competitors Anonymous).
Her friend Alexander ran up to Liv after Soccer was over and asked Liv, "Hey Liv! Did you win?"
Happy for a reason to share, Liv responds, "Yes! I won! 5 whole times I won!"
We're now focusing on teaching her that soccer is a team sport. And that a goal does not count as a "win", but rather a means to a team triumph.
Progress, though, has been made in the Wieber Game Room. Our oldest will now consent her loss to her younger sister with a unsolicited handshake and a "great job!" shout out. I repeat. We are making progress.
Here is a fun picture recap of our last Soccer game: Our Soccer Cutie.
Soccer buds...and a "camera-shy" Holland.
And a very happy Mary. (She just saw her dad :o)
And here Mary is with her dad and our friend, Troy.
I love this picture of Sharon with her handsome little guy, Harrison.
And her rosy little girl, Emma. Don't you just want to gobble her up?
Trevor is intently listening to dad's words of wisdom, while Mary tries (really she does try) to stand still. :o) Trevor looking way too grown-up with his foot on the ball.
And you gotta love this shot! Check out Alexander's intense tongue curl. Talk about concentration. :o)
That is exactly what was said to me during a recent trek to Fred Meyer, by a well-meaning, older gentleman before me in line.
But first, let me set the stage: He first asked when I was due. I could tell by his expression that he expected me to say "next week." When I said "August" (aka: 3 months), he was more than a bit taken back and his eyes got as big as my belly at 6 months pregnant.
Ok. I get it. I do look like I'm carrying a basketball in my tummy. And really--I don't take this all personally. I figure, if I'm going to have a baby, I may as well look like I'm going to have a baby. But telling a pregnant woman that she is going to have a humongous baby makes her mind go places she doesn't want it to go! The horrors my mind has gone through ever since that fateful comment! Exactly how big will Reesie-girl be?
I know I am being irrational, but I'm pregnant, and that is how I roll when I'm pregnant. So the irrationality of it all continues. I have already "heard" the doctor's words when she arrives:
We were wrong about your due date! You were supposed to be due sometime back in June!
Better call the Book of World Records. This one's a doozy!
You may need some help out to the car with her. I called for the fork-lift operator to meet you out front.
Yes, this is all exaggeration. My husband would be so proud of me for my embellishments. But exaggeration or not, I now have braced myself for a big baby all because of this man's comment.
But it's not all because of this one man's comment. Everywhere I go, people keep asking if I am due this month. Manual doors now open automatically. People part ways for me quicker than the Red Sea.
I was at Winco and was placing veggies on the conveyer belt. It was a quick trip and I didn't need much. In fact, if Winco had an express line, I would be in it. This man in front of me asked me 3 times if I could handle placing my groceries on the belt myself. I felt like telling him I was pregnant, not disabled, but instead thanked him for asking. But no, I do not need help lifting this jalapeno. Or this bag of lettuce. Or small 1-inch baggy of bulk cumin. I still wonder how he thought I had gotten these "heavy" items in my cart in the first place. Yes he was being nice. I'm just having fun.
I also went to Costco yesterday and got a smattering of groceries. It has been my experience that Costco does not provide help with large loads. In fact, a few years ago I purchased a playhouse and had to lug Brian back with me later in the day to help me get it home, as I was told that they do not provide assistance with large items. Yesterday was different. Upon exiting the building, the nice man who writes smiley faces on our receipts insisted that I get some help and instructed me to drive my car up to the front. When I arrived, my basket was promptly emptied without so much as a lifted finger from myself.
I've said this before, but frankly, I cannot say this enough. Our girls have made this pregnancy SO MUCH fun.
I am enjoying the kisses and daily greeting of "I Love you Reesie-Girl!" that the girls give my belly.
I will never forget the afternoons spent cuddled together--watching my belly move sporadically, while the girls shout with glee.
I will treasure the wistful wanderings of the mind as we offer up our guesses as to what our sweet Reese will be like.
The girls ask all sorts of questions. Some are very serious--such as whether or not she can hear us or not. Other questions are super silly like whether or not Reese will be born wearing a sweatshirt, if she has toys in my belly, or the fact that they hope she is born with braids.
Holland can't stop talking about getting to carry her up the stairs and place her into the crib. Our faint-hearted Holland, though, can barely bring herself to the top of the stairs, much less a sister. But we will let her dream for the time being.
Yes, our family has already changed forever and it's just so sweet to see it all unfold in our daily life.
I was tucking the girls in to bed the other night and mentioned how fun it was to have all 3 of us girls together. I was chastised for forgetting that there are now 4 of us gals.
But my favorite moment of sweetness happened a few weeks ago at church:
I introduced the girls to a woman I just met.
"Hi Sandra! I want you to meet my daughters. This is Liv and this is Holland."
No sooner had the words left my mouth when Liv sang out, "MO-OM!!!"
Looking at Sandra with an apologetic shrug, Liv explained: "She forgot her other daughter, Reese." Then she proceeded to pat my belly.
Reese is one beloved little girl already.
Here, Holland and I compare bellies in the mirror.
Our sweet gal #3 will be named Reese! While Liv and Holland's names were quick to fruition, Reese's name has been changed a number of times before we finally decided on it. Her actual full name, though, will be Georgia Reese. Georgia was the only agreed upon 2nd name, and it flows much better in front of Reese, than behind Reese.
Reese means "enthusiasm". This has caused both of us to chuckle. I can hardly imagine what another enthusiastic girl will bring to our family! I can't wait to meet her!
Enthusiasm is a word actually formed from 2 Greek words: en = in, theos = god. So the literal meaning of enthusiasm is "God in". What an important calling! If God is in the effort, think of the tremendous work that can be done!
My favorite synonym of enthusiasm is "readiness".
One of my favorite things to do after naming our children, is to find that one verse that brings even more meaning to their names. I love the following verses, but haven't chosen one yet. If you have any additional verses that speak to you, please post in the comment section!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…"
Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2 Corinthians 8:10-12 And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
Nicknames are plenty with this little one. Already the girls call her:
little chicken (Liv's creation, but please do not hop onto this bandwagon :o)
After deciding on her name, Liv wanted me to tell her what other names we were considering when she was a baby. I couldn't remember, so I looked back at my journal. I couldn't believe it! Her final name choices had been:
1. Liv (0bviously)
God had planned for these 3 girls well before we had!
What a privilege it is to be a mom. Ever since my first Mother's day 5-1/2 years ago, this blessed day has become my absolute favorite holiday. I love to celebrate my loved ones on this day....to bask in the wonderment of having these unique, beautiful, and and fascinating beings in my life. I feel such gratefulness each Mother's day: to God for allowing me to be a mother in the first place and to Brian for joining in this journey of parenthood with me. He is a patient and loving example and I am so happy to get to raise our girls up beside him.
Brian got the girls together to help make Mother's day special for me. I got prepped the night before by Liv:
Mo-om! You know what we were talking about in my room with daddy? Your Mother's Day surprise! You can't know what it is, but you had better be laying in bed when we open the door in the morning! (hmmmm....could it be breakfast in bed, perhaps?) :o)
So the next morning, sure enough, breakfast in bed was served...Brian made me one of his famous meals (well, famous according to my palate anyway). He calls it his breakfast skillet and had sauteed red and green peppers, onions, and white and red potatoes together. Topped with cheese, hot sauce, and sour cream; it was amazing! The girls helped arrange sliced pears, apples and bananas on a separate plate and sprinkled them with lemon juice and powdered sugar. The rest of the day was spent at church, in the yard, and my favorite: a hike up tablerock. It was a blissful day. One of my favorite souvenirs of the day were Holland's Mother's Day sentiments, transcribed on a card from Brian. But before you read it, remember, we don't have a kitty cat. Also remember that Holland is 3.
You should also know that Holland is very generous with her words and is not afraid to indulge in "Soap Opera", or senselessly dramatic, language and this is actually how Holland talks to us daily:
I grew a deeper appreciation for my own mom after I became one myself (I do feel bad that it took that long...sorry mom! :o) This woman can do it all. She came over a few years ago to teach me some of our favorite family recipes and had 4 meals going at one time. Brian was in awe. His wife can only cook one meal at a time and it's still a 50/50 chance that the meal will come to completion without the apple pie catching fire, (true story) or some other catastrophic event. (Note: Actually, to my credit, I can now talk to people and cook at the same time without losing my train of thought or place in the recipe, or for the safety of myself and others to be compromised. This in itself is a monumental feat!) One of my favorite stories of my mom was when she lived on our farm. Newlywed and without a washer or dryer, she scoured garage sales all Summer long for old oak furniture badly in need of attention. She then took a lot of elbow grease and refinished them. Afterwards, she held her own garage sale, sold them all for double what she paid, and purchased her own washer and dryer set. That set still exists. (Boy....appliances just aren't made the same sturdy way anymore!) But more importantly, it outlines the characer of my mom: relentlessly hardworking, self-sacrificing, and intelligent. She is also generous beyond belief. That's my mom. I am grateful to have had such a resourceful mom to teach me her ways. However, the greatest impression she ever made on me was her absolute insistence that we kids treat the low man on the totem pole with as much respect and dignity as the high man. We would be expected to help the host/hostess at each event we were invited, and lend a hand when needed. She taught us to always remember the elderly, bring a token of appreciation and love when calling on a friend, sit like ladies and gentleman at the restaurant--being careful to not leave a mess. And meanwhile, thank all who served us--especially the bus boy. Still to this day I carry with me these valuable lessons and hope I can do half the job as my mom did to instill these important values!