Thursday, June 25, 2009

Man Up

Gavin does not like to get dirty. He doesn't like dirt on his hands, feet, leg, name it. He sees a smudge and cries, "Oh, no mom! Wipe it wipe it!". He'll dig in it and play in it, but does not want it to touch him.

Now, I believe Shawn holds me responsible for this phenomenon. I am a little, how shall I put it, obsessive compulsive about being clean. (Although if you really know me, it's more about looking clean than actually having every speck of dust and germ removed...I just like the appearance of tidy.) I do make Gavin "wipe wipe wipe" a lot and make Gavin pick up his stuff a great deal. He's two, though. Old enough to put his stuff away if he wants to get something else out and old enough to clean up his own spilt milk. I really did not see the problem in teaching my son to use a napkin until now.

Now, I am actually becoming one of those moms who is a tad worried her son is going to look like a wimp. Not because I care so much about him being manly and getting greasy, but because I am already protective of him getting made fun of. I don't want that. So I go back in forth in my head about wanting to say, "Man up" or encouraging him to just "Wipe it off if you don't like it."

All that to say, we are now actually trying to play in the dirt more, using popsicles without napkins and working to get Gavin accustomed to the "yucky stickies" he abhors. Poor Brayden gets dirtier than most kids, because when he falls down, we let the dirt stick to him, so he gets used to it. (Another part of this probelm is always having to have wipes so Gavy doesn't go ballistic if he accidentally gets dirty.)

The other day at a birthday party Gavin just got really dirty. Most of it was on his face, so he didn't know, but I will made me happy to see!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Flamingos...more common than we thought

Our youth group is doing a Flamingo Fundraiser. Last night we got "flocked" and woke up to a whole bunch of these exotic little birds in our yard. Gavin was so excited and exclaimed, "Look mom, the zoo!" He couldn't wait to get out and check out his new feathered friends.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I miss work. Well, that's an ironic statement, because I definately work. Work and work and work. I am afraid with my job there are no mandatory breaks or union required lunch times. You work straight through here at Ryan house. What I mean is, I miss going into work.
Seven years I spent as a Director of Children's Ministry at the church we attend and for the first time since I stepped down, the other day sitting in church, I missed it. Oh, I still volunteer, quite a bit actually (Shawn likes to say I do work, without the monetary benefit), but it's not the same. I am not even sure if I miss the actual job itself. I miss going somewhere in the morning. I miss having my very own office. Well, actually in the end I shared it, but with a grown-up who kept her stuff relatively (sorry Steph, it was relative) clean. I miss going down to the coffee pot and getting a cup of coffee, already made. I miss chatting with co-workers and catching up on life. I miss having people count on me to do something...not everything. I miss To-Do lists, that actually got done. I miss getting caught in conversations with people and actually getting to continue it. I even miss staff meetings. Yes...I do. (Ryan you do too, I am sure).
In my heart, I know I am doing what's best for my kids and for me. My husband works hard to make sure I can stay at home and I even watch another little boy twice a week to make ends meet. But there are days like today, when I have fed three kids breakfast, gotten them dressed and set them up to play in their respective room times, when I look around hear the quiet and feel the sense of accomplishment. Then I realize, I am all alone in my glory and it is really relatively short lived. If someone wants my opinion on something now days it's on "How did you potty train?" or "How did you get your child to sleep through the night?". My big decisions of the day are what's for dinner and if my children have been eating to much PBJ or chicken nuggets. The To-Do lists continually grow and are usually repeated weakly. And conversations, well, they are rarely finished. Staff meetings are usually in bed, sometime after ten, when dad and I have fallen onto the sheets exhausted.
Maybe there is a little bit of pride involved. I would like someone to notice what I've done during the day, would like a finished product, would like to use my brain or maybe have some recognition that I still have a brain. I am just not one of those people that revel in play dough and can't get enough of creative play.
But I love my kids. I am grateful for the opportunity to be with them in these years. I know I am doing my life's best work in these days at home. I see the importance of my work as they learn and grow and as this world becomes more and more in need of good men.
And so, I remind myself...there is no one to impress, there is no recognition needed, other than the Lord's. My only job is to glorify Him. To be honest, somedays, this is hard to live with. But in the is what helps me to be a better parent and person, for that matter. Maybe that's why God took me out of the work force in the first place, to learn this lesson. Because I am pretty sure, God will be far more glorified through two boys who have been raised to love other's as He loved us, than by my completed to do lists, my beautiful spread sheets and my organized office.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Below is the embrace Gavin and Maryn had for each other as they met at the trout farm for their fishing adventure. They were quite excited that for father's day we we were going to go fishing with Papa. However, as it turns out, they do NOT like fishing. After fish number one went buck wild in the net and bucket, both kids were not going near the poles again. Maryn would at least bait the hook, but Gavin pouted and refused to stand by. He also learned from my neice the words "scared" and "afraid". (I am afraid he has been using them far too often!)
They both seemed to enjoy feeding the fish. (It's a tad ridiculous how many were in the pond, but amusing to watch them all swim over each other to catch the little kernal of fish food.) But all in all, I think fishing is going to be put off for a few years. I feel kinda bad that 5 fish lost their lives so my son could sit on a rock wall whining.'s some of the glory of our adventure.
There is Gavin looking forelorn because he didn't want to be by the fish, Maryn and her Uncle Chuck, Our first catch, and Gavin and Papa.

School's OUT

I am 31 years old and I believe I may be more excited than ever for school to get OUT! Yes, I remember sitting in a portable, in the sweltering heat, thinking, "Really? My grades are already in, why oh why, do you have me here?" But the agony of that is nothing compared with the agony of being in charge of two toddlers bedtime and bathtime routine for weeks on end and having to answer the question, "What daddy doing?" one more time!
Shawn has been working as a Dean (this is what the schools call Vice Principals who they pay a teacher's salary to) and as the Principal for the District's Elementary Summer School Program. It is ridiculous the amount of work he has been juggling and the amount of politics in schools. (After watching him manuver, I think I would never make it in a public school, because my mouth would get me fired on day one!) He has been busting his rear and I truly am so proud of all he has implimented, organized and accomplished for BOTH his jobs. However, I am soooo excited to have him home and so are the kids.
Shawn is their playmate, their book reader and their bath giver. He's the entertainment while dishes are done and the wrestler for those last 20 minutes of the day, when mommy doesn't have it in her anymore. He's my listner, because I have so many words I need to say a day. He's my partner in vegging and my mutal lover of late night nachos. We miss him.
The other night Gavy asked, "Mom, what daddy doing?"
"He's at work Gav."
"Oh...Mom, I like daddy."
"Me too, Gav. I love him."
"Gavy love daddy too."
"That's nice, Gav. We'll tell him."
"Gavy love daddy. Baby Brother love daddy (yes, we still haven't gotten him to call Brayden by his name). Mommy love daddy. And Gavy love daddy."
I am not sure you love him twice as much as me, buddy, but you've got it just about right!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I got the flu. All night, twelve hours of puking every hour. I haven't thrown up this much in, well, I don't know how long. It was horrible...the ab workout from hell. To top it off, Gavin joined me at 2 am. Fortunately, he only threw up twice. However, it covered quite a bit more surface area.
Daddy was an allstar. He cleaned it all, did the laundry, stayed home and took great care of us all, to spite his horrible gag reflex. No complaints or anything. He really was a trooper.
I haven't been out like that for a long time. Literally, in bed for 24 hours and tired after eating two bites of toast. It was crazy. Gave me a whole new perspective on how healthy our family is and how God has blessed us in this way.
I am back and moving now. A little slower, but moving. Apparently when a mom gets sick, the laundry doesn't get put on hold and the kids are not miraculously more cleanly. Alas, the world keeps turning. But for once, I am thankful to be up and doing laundry. I will take it anyday over the flu. Thanks for the reminder God, next time maybe we could be a tad more subtle?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

God Song

Gavin has this little "Quiet Time" book that has a short verse, an explanation, and an application on each page. We don't do it daily, but we do read through it sometimes. The other day, as we were reading I read the verse,
"Sing praises to the Lord" yes, they are quite paraphrased for the kids. "God likes it when you sing songs to him. Today, sing a song to God."
I was about to turn the page when I hear Gavin start quietly in his small voice, "God, God, God, God. Gooood, Gooood, God, Goooooood."
Both Shawn and I stopped. It was so sweet. His high little voice, singing away.
"Oh, Gavin, God likes that song," I praised.
Louder now, "Goooooood, God, God, Goooood".
It was horribley off pitch, terribley simple and wonderfully perfect. I am sure God's heart swelled, mine sure did.
Gavin may not quite know what it means to praise the Lord, but at least he was listening to God's Word and doing his best to stop and obey. Gavin's God song will never be on a hit worship album, but I think my kid had something right...a willingness, humility, simple abandonment as he enjoyed praising the Lord. I think I can learn something here. Thank you Gavin for sharing your God song.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

I walked into our room last night to find a chainsaw on top of our armoire, right next to the flowers and the wedding photo. We are too busy, right now and doing what we can to survive. I guess that means the chainsaw sometimes ends up on our armoire, because the shed, apparently was just too far to go. But if that means we have even 5 more minutes to catch up on the day and be a family...I guess it's worth it. And I am sure someday, this will be all the rage.

Why, yes, we do wear our sunglasses at night!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I feel like sometimes I am part of a generation that has lost respect for elders and authority. We are taught to be independant, challenge "the man" and fend for ourselves. Somewhere in that, I think common courtesy flew out the window. Here are somethings I have noticed about many people in my age catagory...
We rarely use "Mr. or Mrs. Last name"
Men don't open car doors for women
People don't open doors nearly as often for elderly and women with children
We feel we have the right to question authority and don't often question it in a humble manner
We hate the word submission and refer to submissive people as doormat, having a hard time ever viewing submission as respectful
We don't RSVP
We don't regard senority as a valid reason to give a person a job, a place in line, or even a chance to speak into our lives
We always speak poorly of "the man" whomever he may be in a given situation
We don't even like the word authority, because frankly, it sounds too authoritarian

Now, I am not saying there is not a time and place to question authority or stand up for yourselves (anyone who knows how opinionated I am can vouch for this). When power is abused, it should be put into question and challenged. However, I truly want my kids to respect authority and's Biblical. God calls us to it and there is nothing wrong with it. If authority or seniority are abused, God also gives us tools and ways to deal with it. Therefore, I don't understand why somehow it has been so hard for our generation to place value on what those over us say and to give preferance to those who have lived longer and learned more, without labeling us doormats. Humility can be a beautiful thing and does not have to mean you get humiliated.
Yesterday at an assisted living place I witnessed a man walk in and not bother to hold the door for an elderly woman, or for me and my children. I don't want my boys to grow into that man. I desire to instill in them a sense of respect and honor for those around them, especially those in authority and with seniority. It's going to have to start with me though. I am going to have to do it myself, and frankly, after all I have been taught in this world, it's going to be hard. I am going to have to stop cringing at the words authority and humility. I am going to have to be more consciencous of holding my tongue around my elders and listening to what they have to say. I am going to try harder to follow those in leadership over me, without having to always know every detail and why, trusting and honoring their leadership. And lastly, I am also going to have to start RSVPing in a timely manner.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More sunny days...

Visiting our friends pool and using the floaty.
All wrapped up after a swim.
Always ready for treats.

Sharing a boat ride.

Sunny Days...

Gavin helping out with the plants.
Brayden enjoying the pool and his new toys.

I had a hard time getting pics because Gavin never wants to look at the sun.

Brayden getting his flower fix.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sweet Boys

New favorite toy...the bag. It can hold many fun things and makes a great shhhh sound as it drags across the floor.
Trying out my new camera and capturing a happy moment with my big boy.

So cute!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Summer in WA state has arrived. A full week in the 80s. I laugh at us Washingtonions. We complain about the rain, tote our umbrellas, consider anti-depressants and then bam, one week in the 80s and we are buying stores out of fans, considering $3000 airconditioning systems (for about 8 weeks total) and complaining it's SOOO hot. It really is kinda funny, but you are only allowed to whine if you live here. Otherwise you'd better keep your trap shut. It's our right, for putting up with the weather patterns in this place we call home. (By the way, the mountains, lakes, ocean and views make up for it all).
Anyway...due to this heat, my kids are having a hard time sleeping. I can believe it. They are in only diapers but they toss and turn and then decide it's time to talk to each other about it. By this, I mean scream, laugh run around on their beds and have a regular hay day. I have officially put them back to bed at least 5 times a night. THIS HAS NEVER OCCURRED BEFORE. It's horrible really. I feel bad for them, but worse for me. Just because they are uncomfortable in the heat (yes a mere 80, which is winter in other parts of the world) does not give them the right to disobey and simotaneously torture me.
The worst part is, prior to my entrance to their room, they are really quite happy (except the one time Brayden got his leg stuck in the crib slats...don't think that stopped him though). Bouncing around joyously, singing and laughing, until the grump lady comes in and sucks the joy out. I would prefer them to go to bed right after I tell them "Mommy loves you daddy loves you and Jesus loves you." It seems like such a nice last thought before closing your eyes and drifting to sleep. But it is not to be. Instead it's "Lecture lecture lecture, now go to bed."
Sometimes it's so hard to hold a line, especially when told duct tape would be considered abuse. I want to give up and let them dance on their beds until 9:30. Alas, I believe this is a battle worth engaging in...the war is on. And so, I am off. I have some joy to suck out of the next room.

Monday, June 1, 2009

New camera

So...we finally got our new camera and this is what I have been waiting to capture. Brayden and his goggles. He is obsessed with them and I was quite afraid that he would lose interest and I would lose my opportunity to capture this one on film. So, here he is in all his goggle, crazy outfit's good to be a boy!