Saturday, November 15, 2014

tula's heart

A picture perfect Tula.... capturing her personality perfectly!
 if you know me, know tula, or can tell anything from the picture above you can tell tula probably weighs the most on my mommy heart.  you see, she is just so tula.  very independent in what she wants to wear -this was a legit outfit that she fully intended to wear to the pool before nana's intervention.  very independent with what she wants to eat- thus the weight gain problem. and very independent in her thoughts and voices those thoughts loud and clear- think far left, PETA spokesperson opinionated! so tula wears on my mommy heart. we have said for years that she loves harder than anyone but can hate just as hard.  she has the attention span of about 2 minutes. she seems to be a little behind her peers academically. she has a memory like a steel trap for anything daddy and i have ever said but memorizing ABCs or counting past 10 is just not on tula's agenda. but this girl can talk, and her talks with people older than her are the most sincere, sweet, caring talks. and show that her heart is tender beyond her years for the elderly community.
Today Tula did nail care on Great Pawpaw, learning from the best nurse, her Nana.
 God's gift to tula may have not been academics or social maturity (don't get me wrong those things may come will hopefully come by the time she starts school). but for now He has instilled in her this beautiful heart for old people.  she gets old people and is not afraid in the least.  she asks to go visit her great pawpaw with her nana and pops because she genuinely loves it.  she knows the people who live in his home (a place for people with memory loss) and knows the quirkiness behind each one.  each day i learn something new about one of great pawpaw's friends that she has been storing in her little memory and waiting to tell a story about.  she is saddened to hear when one of them passes yet seems to "get" that Jesus has healed their minds and bodies now. 
Tula a year ago, looking at mail with Great Pawpaw.
we don't ever want to imagine our loved ones losing their mind and not being able to take care of themselves, but what if the reason behind it is to reveal the spiritual gift of my toddler.  when pawpaw moved into arden courts, the girls and i would often go with my mom to visit, to keep her company and add joy to her otherwise hard visit.  i can't imagine seeing my parents the way my mom sees her dad. and the craziest thing- it feels normal to my mom.  she is thankful that her dad is in his 80's rather than the early ages that she has lost the rest of her family.  she watched her own mom suffer from a disease that stole her mind in her 50's, her sister fought through a similar battle in her 40's, and last her brother died of muscular dystrophy in his 50's. my pawpaw is all my mom has but she is the best caretaker around. and tula has expressed such an interest in being with great pawpaw that she often gets to tag along, and learn from the best.

4 generations of love
i am thankful for my mom and her calling to be nurse but filling that role in a classroom where she teaches young people to be nurse aids. she teaches them to have compassion for their patients and does that through one of her clinicals at the nursing home.  she exudes joy every day- regardless of the story of her family.  she clings to her faith and knows that her family will be reunited in heaven. and i am thankful she has reminded me over and over again how special tula is for having this genuine heart and connection for the oldest of the old.  tula works a room of elderly people much like her nana- with a contagious smile, genuine conversation, a heart of joy, and like God is showing her her calling at the ripe age of 4.  

we are thankful for the life of my great pawpaw and thankful that tula has created some of my greatest memories of him. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

a lemonade kind of halloween

 sometimes life hands you lemons and you've got to make lemonade.  this year halloween was a "we better make some lemonade" kind of halloween.  joss came down with the nasty nasty hand, foot, and mouth early last week.  while we really knew she was no longer contagious by friday we were still too nervous (you can never be too safe!) to carry on our normal tradition of having the amburgey's over.  so as sad as we were we cancelled those plans but still planned to hit the neighborhood trick or treating.
 so throughout the week, we started to prepare for halloween.  the girls, daddy, and clove enjoyed carving our pumpkin.  the big girls painted their little pumpkins totally independently while mommy cuddled a very sick joss. and then tula enlisted the help of mommy and ivy to make cat cookies for her party at miss gina's.  even though joss was sick we still prepared all week for what we hoped would be a normal-ish halloween (even though we would be lonely without our friends.)
 sick baby=a dozen lemons
friday night weather=a dozen lemons
ewwwwww- what is one to do with 2 dozen lemons?...... i guess we better make lemonade.  when the rain started to come down, temperatures dropped into the thirties, and the wind picked up enough that our umbrella wasn't functional we decided to start convincing the girls of plan B.  indoor trick or treating!! the girls went to the store to pick out their favorite halloween candy. ivy picked a chocolatey mix, tula picked skittles, and joss likes everything! the 3 blind mice got on their outfits, painted little noses and whiskers, took some pictures, and grabbed their buckets to go door to door.  daddy and i hid behind doors as they knocked, shouted trick or treat, got their favorite candy every time, and then ran to the next door.  each time the girls squealed and joss quickly got the hang of maneuvering to the front to pick her favorite piece of sweet deliciousness!

the normal trick or treating turned into hide and seek trick or treat once we ran out of doors.  we laughed and laughed and realized the girls didn't feel like they missed a thing when they collapsed onto the rug to count their candy.  i am thankful for the little things like the joy they get from getting candy put into their bucket.  i am thankful for sticky drool from their first sucker and the pitter patter of bare feet running door to door.  and i am thankful for how resilient kids are.  disappointed- i think not.  they had so much fun!

 i am thankful for a lemonade kind of halloween with the cutest blind mice around.