Sunday, June 25, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #420 (April 17-23)-- Back to Our Favorite Places


This was such a fun week in New York. We didn't have anything big planned but we ended up hitting up a bunch of our favorite places- Cousin John's, The Bronx Zoo, The Museum of Natural History, and Central Library and Prospect Park. It was lovely!

We started out the week with a low key day on Monday. We all got up pretty early and I made both beds and then we cleaned up around the apartment. Peyton did dishes and I helped the big kids in their room where they had dumped out their Easter baskets. I hung up some clothes and did a few other things. Sallie was so fussy and I finally got a shower and had a snack. Peyton did some school with Graves and got a bath and Annie did her independent work and then we all got ready. We headed to brunch at one of our favorite places, Cousin John's, and then went to another playground.

I got to share my favorite brunch- the blintzes fro Cousin John's- with my favorite baby girl. She's a real big fan of whipped cream and she's real rotten. It's funny because, for the most part, we weren't doing anything especially exciting but I loved being back so much. It just love the vibe and it clicked into place so much faster then it did on our trip last year. I'm not sure if it was the weather or having the kids here or what.


Bud and Babes enjoying the playground. I know it's expected, but Sallie's SO much more grown up than Graves or Annie were at ten months.



One of the things that makes Happy Little Sallie the happiest. 

She is loved hard. Literally.

 "Imma eat anything off the ground in Brooklyn that's in reach. Just FYI."

 Annie told me that morning that she loved this dress on Sallie. She does have a thing for florals (I guess botanicals are a close second behind animals) but I asked her why she loved it so much. "The purple color reminds me of evening- it's like a sunset on a field of flowers". What?!? I adore her weird sweet self.She also told us that she has started to like Sallie more, partly because she's more fun to play with now and partly because her hands aren't so drooly. I guess now that she was actually cutting two teeth, the five months or so of "teething" she did were over for a bit?!?

We got home mid afternoon and the big kids had media time while Sallie took a nap.
 Graves ran directly into the street without looking (he was following Peyton and Annie but they were pretty far ahead of him AND instead of crossing and then turning and crossing left he ran through the intersection at a diagonal). This is why he was in a Tula at three anytime when I had him and Annie by myself. Anyway, big discussion (directly following discussion on where people who smoke cigarettes go when they die-- (likely) in the ground but that's not the end of the story because of the cross and the empty tomb). And he was back to holding a hand for awhile. Annie volunteered and I was ever so grateful. I had been holding his wrist because he's FILTHY. I actually had to move away from him on the train. Along with self control, personal space is not his strength. I do love to cuddle with him when he's nice and fresh but unfortunately these days that lasts about five minutes. Fun Herrington Quirk- I used to joke that "lack of physical touch" was my love language. Actually, Annie and I are just alike- we love to snuggle but it has to be on our terms. 


Minnie didn't know what a bodega was when I reference one so I had to get a pic. Ha!

Peyton and I just relaxed and then we both did school with the big kids. Annie and I did some grammar, vocabulary, and dictation and then Peyton cooked supper. We ate and P and Sallie went to Trader Joe's.
 
 It's one thing to use the plates, utensils, bath towels and bed sheets at your Airbnb. I mean, obviously. That's what you do. But it's a whole 'nother level of Voluntary Simplicity whenn you find unopened steaks in the freezer from the previous guests, double check the date, and then cook them for your fam.

Annie did a little critical thinking and I did some math with Graves. Graves had his media time and Annie played and I did a few things on the computer. I got them settled for bed and read some and Peyton got home. I changed Sallie and nursed her and got her to sleep.I read to the big kids- Bible, a devotion, and a chapter of Trumpet of the Swan. We did a history lesson and ethics lesson. They went to sleep and P and I ate and watched TV. I checked several math lessons Annie had done and Peyton went to bed. I read some blogs and worked on a post and went to bed.

I got up on Tuesday and scrubbed the tub and made beds. Peyton did school with Graves and everyone had breakfast and I did a math lessong with Annie and then got my bath while she worked. Peyton got ready and he and Graves ran a couple of errands. It took me a LONG time, but I got Sallie down for a nap and Annie and I did a bunch of English- phonics and spelling.

It's​ so interesting to me how Annie's mind works. I FINALLY got Sallie to sleep (at this point, Peyton said he thinks she slept about ten hours in twenty four on average and I pushed back but I was starting to think maybe that's not undershooting it) sohad some time with just Annie while we did school. I didn't rush her as much as I often, regrettably, do. Anyway, she told me that the "ers" have different personalities. "Ur" is mean and burns things, cuts fur off animals, and turns away when people are talking to him. Really the only nice thing he does is going to church. "Ear" is kind and searches for his lost sheep even though he has ninety nine more. He loves the earth and yearns for it to be better and everything is heard by him. "Ir" is more ambiguous and can be good or bad. As I mentioned often, she's not near as vocal as Graves (Goodnight, who is?!?) so I love it when I really get some time to hear her imaginative, delightful thoughts. 

We did some reading and Peyton and Graves got home. Sallie woke up and everyone had media time. We were going to head to Prospect Park but it was really cold so we went to a bakery and got some treats instead and Peyton stopped at a used bookstore. We came home and Annie had a big meltdown. We all just had some chill out time and I cooked supper. We ate and then I cleaned up the kitchen. I did the big kids' nightly reading while Peyton got Sallie to sleep. Graves went to bed and I did school with Annie. I went to bed super early and woke up with a headache in the middle of the night.

Wednesday was a big day- we were going to the Bronx Zoo- and I felt SO bad. Peyton had gotten up a bunch with Sallie but I was so tired and had an awful headache. I got my bath and did a few things and got dressed. Peyton helped me get Sallie dressed and I fed her and grabbed a snack and we got going. I felt a lot better once I got some fresh hour but the train ride was kind of rough. It was over an hour. I ended up texting with Carrie and with Minnie a bunch. When we got there, we grabbed some muffins at a shop and headed to the zoo. We stayed several hours and saw a lot!


 Big day back at the Bronx Zoo

 
We saw this trumpeter swan at the zoo and Annie was so fascinated with him. In fact, he was mostly responsible for a mood shift after we had a thirty minute stand off over using the potty ("Hi, my name is Sarah Denley and the Lord is working on making me more humble because I have three kids and my eldest is eight and we're still having the 'if you see a potty, you go try at places like the zoo' arguments").
I overheard two guys talking and one said "I'm not taking a picture of that" (sidenote: sooo many phones and tablets in front of people's faces; it was kinda convicting). Then the other said to the kid with them "that's just a regular bird". I felt a little defensive, partly because, due to hunting, they ARE rare but also because he made me think of Louis, the "defective" trumpeter swan with no voice that we've been reading about in our current read-aloud.

 Graves's biggest thing at the zoo was wanting to see a tiger. Not only was the tiger really cool himself, but there were several neat interactive things in the exhibit. Both kids loved the poacher truck that showed various threats to tigers in the wild.


 Another tough bird day...

We got home around five thirty and the big kids had supper and media time. Graves took a bath and Sallie played and had a big snack and I Instagrammed some pictures. Peyton had a conference call and I played with Sallie in our room and tried to get her to sleep. He got off and we traded and he got Sallie to bed and I snuggled with Graves while Annie took her bath. Peyton ran to the grocery store and we talked a little when he got back. I went to bed pretty early.

Thursday was a nice day. It didn't feel too busy, but we got a lot in. I got up and cleared my reader, took a bath, and straightened some and then I headed to the laundry mat. I washed a bunch of stuff including the sheets from our bed and the big kids' bed. It took a couple of hours but I read a bunch while I was there and got a lot folded. I got home and put up a bunch of stuff and made up the big kids' bed. Sallie was sleeping and when she woke up, I ate lunch and did my make-up and we got ready and headed to Central Library. We had a great time and then went to Prospect Park to play a little.

 Spring. (No filter cause the grass (and her eyelashes) really looked like this).

 Reminds me of the old days (Peyton jokingly gave him a paci the other day and when we took it back he got so upset and said, basically through tears, "but it still tastes so good"). He AND Sallie are both always gonna be the baby.

We stopped at McDonalds on the way home and then got the kid settled.

Sallie's first time to visit Central Library, Sallie's first time to play at Prospect Park, and Sallie's first time to eat a McNugget in Bed-Stuy.

Peyton tried to get Sallie to sleep and I read to the big kids a bunch and then nursed Sallie and got her to bed. Peyton and I got take out and I sent some emails and Facebook messages I needed to and we talked and snuggled and went to bed.

Sallie was up a couple of times but overall it wasn't a bad night. I slept about half an hour later than everyone else on Friday and then got my bath and dried my hair. I went through my email and reader and made a to-do list for May.

Guys, if your janky eight year old stroller breaks at the handle sometime after you've checked it on the airplane, don't call it a total loss, it will still function as a perfectly good high chair for the baby who's been eating off the floor in your Airbnb for two weeks.

I got something to eat and then we all got ready and headed to the Museum of Natural History. Sallie slept the entire train ride (about forty minutes) and I read a little bit.

 So NYC.

We had a good time there. We actually split up and P took Graves to see some animal displays and I took the girls so Annie could look through an Indian exhibit.


When we lived here, she was OBSESSED with Native Americans. Like wore her hair in braids and hopefully didn't appropriate too much. One of her absolute favorites in the city was visiting the displays at the Museum of Natural History. But she always gravitated towards the Southeastern/plains exhibits. This trip, we encouraged her to check out the Northwestern Indians. It's a little more intense as you can probably tell and has less of a "storybook" vibe. She was never scared of this area but I think it was just a bit over her head or something (incidentally, Graves had zero interest in it today and he is the age she was then). At eight, she loved it and soaked up information like a sponge!

We met back up in the gemstones area. We were there a couple of hours and knew we'd be back the next week, so we headed home. We all ate and then Peyton took Graves and Sallie to a park and I did a good bit of school with Annie. She did some math and I straightened and swept and then I worked on spelling and dictation with her. Peyton, Graves, and Sallie got back and he took a quick shower and then got Graves in the tub. I tried to get Sallie to sleep and Peyton left to see a play. It took a long time. I let her fuss (scream) for a bit so I could finish up some grammar with Annie. I worked on getting her to sleep some more and finally, after an hour, she conked out. Annie added some words to her spelling journal and then I showed her a few things on Instagram. Graves finished up his bath and Annie finished her media time and I started working on a post. I read to them for half an hour and then got them to bed.

I finished up my post and Peyton got home. We talked and Sallie woke up and we went to bed.

Poor Sallie had had a runny nose and on Saturday she got worse. She was coughing and fussy. Peyton ran a quick errand with her and I slept a little more since she had been up a lot in the night and I had gotten up with her. I took my bath and did a few other things and got the beds made while the big kids had media time. Peyton and Sallie got back and I got her down for a nap. Peyton and I talked some and I did Annie's math lesson and then worked on several posts while she did an exercise. Then I did English with her- we did some grammar and dictation and a bit of reading and then critical thinking. Peyton did school with Graves and Sallie woke up and played and had a snack and then took another short nap.


Motherhood in general, but specifically homeschooling, will never stop being full of surprises. In this activity, I read one of the the two words that are next to each other and Graves picked the correct one. He told me another halfway down the page that he didn't need to actually read both words he just knew that "a or whatever says it's long sound when there's an 'e' on the end". I really, really thought he'd more or less internalize all the rules and understand them but not be able to explain them whereas Annie would be the one who could describe why a word works the way it does. Honestly, I'm confident that when she was at this point, she could not have articulated this so well and certainly it wouldn't have occurred to her to save herself the trouble of actually reading the words by just listening for the vowel sound and looking for the silent e. Getting such a great look into how their little minds work is such a delight.

After we finished school, P and I played with the big kids some. Sallie woke up and we all got ready and went to the park for an hour even though it had been raining and was soggy.



When you're used to having a backyard and having outside time is kinda non-negotiable or your behavior becomes deplorable...trip to the water park across the street.


[FWIW, Peyton swears rainy, cold weather does NOT make kids (or adults) sick, it's being cooped up inside that does that. Just so you'll know my rationale behind taking my sick baby to the park. And also that she needed mentally healthy parents and we ALL needed to get out.]

We got home and the big kids had baths and supper and we got everyone settled. We talked some and watched an SVU marathon and I fell asleep for about an hour and then woke up and was up until one. Sallie woke up at two thirty and was up until four thirty.

P got up with the kids and I got up at nine on Sunday. He and Sallie stayed home from church and Peyton helped me get the big kids ready. I got my bath and dried my hair and got ready and we got on our way. It was a wonderful service. When we got home, I visited with Peyton some and then I took a nice nap while he took all three kids to the park. When they got home, I did some school with Graves and he ran to the grocery store. He cooked supper and we all ate and then I bathed Sallie. We got everyone settled and I did my reading routine with the big kids. I called Minnie and worked on a blog post and read some.

 Pulled out the sleeper sofa since Sickly Little Sallie was content in our room. Another reminder of our old days in BK!

Come ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready stands to save you
Full of pity, love, and power.

"The good news of this text is not 'don't be a doubting Thomas'. The good news is that Jesus will not be stopped by our locked doors." - Ben DeHart. It was good to be able to soak up so much beauty and truth. 


Weekly Happenings Post #419 (April 10-16)-- Holy Week in New York


This was our first full week in Brooklyn. It was also Holy Week, which was one of the two reasons I wanted to go in April. Easter Sunday ended up being tough, but overall it was a wonderful fun week in the city and we had a really great time.

Monday was a fun, low key day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up a while later. We all had breakfast and did some school and I attempted to get Sallie to sleep, but she wouldn't take a nap. I got my bath and got ready and cleaned up the apartment some after I did some English and math with Annie. Peyton took Sallie to Trader Joe's and the big kids had media time and I did a few other things around the apartment. I took the big kids to the park and we had a great time and then met Peyton back at the apartment.

 Beautiful day in Bed-Stuy. 

We had snacks and then went to the library for a bit.

 Family stroll to the neighborhood library.

 Only took Peyton a hot second to get back in Brooklyn Dad mode. LOLOL.


We met a little friend at the library. Sallie is such a magnet (not surprising to me but I'm super biased) and even more so here. My hypothesis is that it's a because people don't have as many kids and therefore babies are less common. I love that she's number three and I know (or Graves has proven to me) that she's not super fragile. She's already licked the subway pole a la three year old Graves, so I'm letting go of germ worries, too. The cute little girl's momma was on a library computer and as best I could tell, searching for housing. They rushed out when she found a great deal. One of my favorite parts of being here- getting little glimpses intoother people's stories.



Man on his stoop to Graves: "Hey, Shorty!"....loving the everyday street things here so very much.

 We went by another grocery store and came home and the big kids had baths and then we had supper. I read to the kids- the Bible, a read aloud chapter book, and history. I did an ethics lesson with them and P and I discussed the religion book we got for them. We got them settled for bed and I got Sallie to sleep after a long time. P and I watched TV and I uploaded pictures and worked on a blog post and then went to bed.

Tuesday was another nice, relaxing day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up shortly after them and got my bath. I did a bit of school with Annie and Peyton did some with Graves and Sallie took a short nap. When she woke up, we all got ready and went for a walk. We got a snack at a coffee shop and headed to our old neighborhood. We spent a long time at a park and then got a hotdog and headed home.

Another day, another park. (This time in our old neighborhood.)

 And no way was Spunky Little Sallie going to miss out on the action!


 Nursing break at the park. These little sneakers are on their last leg (no pun intended), but gosh I still love them.

We stopped at Walgreens and P took Sallie and Graves to the grocery store to get Graves a cake and pick up a few other things. Annie and I came home and I texted a friend and worked on a blog post. Everyone else got home and Sallie took a nap and Peyton fixed a snack supper. We all ate and then got the big kids settled. I started a blog post. Sallie got up and Peyton and I with her awhile and then all went to bed.

Wednesday was Graves's birthday and we had his special day. He wanted to go to a new park and do "jedi training". Peyton picked out a fun park they he had taken the big kids to once when I was at a writing class. We weren't doing any school that day, so we had a slow morning. We all had breakfast and I made the bed and then got ready. I took Graves's monthly pictures and we headed to Central Park. We found the playground and the kids had the best time. We stayed for hours.


 A bit of "jedi training" in Central Park, per the birthday boy's request. 

 Snack.

We finally headed back to the apartment late that afternoon. The big kids had media time and Peyton went to pick up some groceries. Sallie took a nap and the big kids took baths and then we all had supper. Sallie woke up and I fed her some sweet potatoes and bathed her. I took her monthly pictures and we played with her some and then got her to bed.

 Somebunny ready for Easter.

Peyton and I watched some TV and went to bed ourselves.

We all got up and got going at the same time on Thursday. It was around eight. We had breakfast and I made the beds and swept the floor. Peyton had done the supper dishes from the night before and I washed breakfast dishes. Peyton did school with Graves and Annie had media time and I got my shower. Annie and I took her math and went to the laundry mat to do the wash. We got it done more quickly that I had thought and came home and regrouped.

Laundry day in BK. Pretty sure we were the only ones there doing Singapore math and had the only machine with Peter Rabbit jams in it.

We all had lunch and headed to the Children's Museum. After that, we came home and I nursed Sallie and then went to the Maudy Thursday church service by myself. I got home pretty late and only Annie was up. We talked and then she went to bed. Peyton and I watched the news and Sallie woke up and I fed her. We got her back to bed and I worked on a blog post and went to bed myself.


I've had this picture for months and for obvious reasons, it seemed like the perfect Holy Week throwback. I didn't share it then in part because I didn't want to hurt anyone with the accompanying thoughts (that I saved as a "note" on my phone)...Graves put a crown of thorns on Luke Skywalker and crucified him and we had lots of good (and exhausting) conversations. I really felt like he had a better grasp on this stuff when we lived here in New Yorl. Lots of factors- he had this reality whispered in his own tiny ear every Sunday when he took communion, I was better at getting him to focus during services (which were shorter), and to be honest the theology was more cross heavy at Calvary than at Northside (hopefully it goes without saying we LOVE Northside, it is what it is, and honestly it's my working assumption that the theology at Calvary is more cross heavy than just about anywhere and while that was, and is, deeply important to me, I've had to keep my expectations within the realms of reality and I've found myself deeply grateful for what we HAVE found at Northside). Back when I took this picture, Annie asked how Jesus really defeated death if Granny had died (it was weeks after that happened) and I explained that death just meant her life here was over and I'm as certain that Granny is in heaven as I've ever been of anything in my life. If I'm honest, I often struggle with if I'm doing enough in this area. Graves loves to tell me that Heaven will be "awfully fun" but he also told me this week that he thought the pagan gods ancient people believed in were real; so it's REAL touch and go with him. Annie will say frequently (often when *I* need to hear it the most) that she knows that God will never stop loving her no matter what she does and that she knows Peyton and I will never stop loving her either. There's a lot more I hope she understands one day but her (and Graves) feeling secure in that love is what I most care about right now.

Friday was Good Friday and we woke up and got moving. Peyton helped both the big kids get baths and then he got his and I took my shower. We all got ready and had breakfast and then headed to St. George's for a children's Good Friday service. We realized halfway to the train that Annie had left her backpack. Peyton and Sallie turned around to get it and the big kids and I headed on. Peyton told me later that he saw us getting on the train but he couldn't make it in time so they had to wait for the next one. Anyway, we were a little late, but we made it! It was a beautiful, special service. After that, we visited with some friends and I fed Sallie and then Annie and Graves played on the church playground a bit. We headed to lunch at Chipotle. We realized we had lost Graves's stuffed frog so we went back and checked the church and the restaurant. We never did find him and then we headed to Strand. We couldn't find any books we wanted and Peyton got SO stressed out. It was kind of huge and overwhelming and Graves kept getting away from us and wanting everything. Anyway, we started to head home and popped in a Goodwill on the way. Peyton really wanted to get the kids a couple of books to read at night/during down time. They didn't have much of a selection but we got a couple. I nursed Sallie and we headed home.

Sallie had been SO tired on the train but refused to nap at home. We tried for awhile and I took a nap and the big kids had media time. We ended up just letting her play and have a snack while Peyton did school with Graves and I did school with Annie. We got a lot of phonics and spelling done and then some math. Peyton fixed the big kids some supper and I got Sallie to bed. She woke up twice the next two hours but went back to sleep. Graves talked to Cookie on the phone and then I read to him and Annie- we did the Bible, Trumpet of the Swan, an ethics lesson, and history.

Saturday was so much fun. We got up and had a slow morning. I made the beds and got my bath and had breakfast. Annie did her independent work, Sallie played, and P and Graves did some school. I finished up a blog post and started drafting a new one. Sallie had a snack and I swept and then we all got ready and headed over to the TGC Easter festival. It was so much fun. The big kids had a blast and Peyton and I got to visit with a lot of old friends.



The kids were big fans of the petting zoo at the Easter celebration at Trinity Grace Crown Heights (we also went to church there when we lived in Brooklyn). So much fun getting to visit with old friends!

 This one ain't scared of much.


 I never thought I'd see the day I said this, but I think he's SO cute in his little Levi's. 

 And of course this girl just had the best time being around a bunch of people...


...and being doted on by her brother! Nothing like having your best friend bounce you. 

 Love their matching shoes...And faces. 

We came home and Sallie took a nap and we all relaxed a bit.


 Brooklyn's blooming.

One of my most favorite things about Brooklyn is the murals. They are everywhere and when we lived here I loved finding new ones. I just think they're amazing and add so much color to an already beautifully vibrant place. I think ones depicting famous people are interesting but I'm often more drawn to the murals that represent the ordinary humans who together make a community. And I love that those two folks at the front of the truck got to be part of it again for a month.

 Sammy the Owl and this castle in the middle of Bed-Stuy.

Graves and Annie played and I got on IG for awhile and ate some lunch. Annie and I did a bunch of school work (mostly grammar) and Graves had media time and Peyton went to the grocery store. Sallie woke up and Peyton got home. Annie and I finished up and Peyton cooked some supper. We all ate and got the big kids settled. Annie had her media time and then they played a little more and went to sleep. Peyton and I talked and played with Sallie and then got her to sleep. We watched TV and Peyton worked on pool stuff.

Minnie texted P at one in the morning, texted us both at six am, and called me twice at eight...Because there were no Instagrams the day before and she was worried. Ironically, I posted ELEVEN on Saturday. This was the last one.
Sunday was Easter and we all got up pretty early and got going. I took my bath and made our bed and got everyone's clothes out. I wrapped up Easter presents and ironed and Annie had a meltdown because he dress was too tight. Peyton bathed the big kids and then I bathed Sallie and fed her. We finally got out the door and were late, despite us all getting up early. There were train delays, but we finally made it there.


 Pretty much the way I felt most of the morning. I woke up in tears for reasons I can't even articulate. I think I was tired and it also partly had to do with Peyton mentioning that it's been almost a year since Sallie was born and it might be time to think about getting off anti-depressants, which sort of terrified me. (Aside: I'm a big fan of an SSRI when necessary. A BIG fan. But I'm also just as convinced as I've ever been that we are a culture that pathologizes and medicates way too much- normal, low risk births; neuro-typical little boys who function absolutely appropriately for their ages and developmental level; and so much more. And I would like to push back against it when and where I can.) Then Annie cried because the dress I tried on her a month ago was too snug and uncomfortable. I was particularly frustrated because I DID try everything on because I knew I wouldn't have a closet full of backups, because I don't buy the girls a ton of matching stuff, and because Annie and I had made a very clear agreement that she'd wear the Easter dress I picked and could wear her bird and bunny dresses the other Sundays we're here. I know this kid and I know she just wouldn't even think to tell me something was uncomfortable when she just wanted to wear something else. She's blunt and she tells things like they are. She literally told someone at church today "sometimes I do; sometimes a I don't" who asked if she liked having a sister. She don't care. And yet...I raised my voice and asked if she was lying to get out of wearing the dress I wanted her to. And then I cried more because I decided I didn't blame them if they didn't like me much. And then Graves ran I to a bodega and tried to hide from me when we were already running late and Peyton had ran back to get my phone. And then a bird popped on my dress I was wearing for the first time. But He WILL wipe away every tear and everything sad and terrifying is becoming undone and He's making all things new and that day and everyday I remind myself of that. 

Re: them not like me. That week Annie said, without realizing at all that it could bother me "well, I like Momma's rules the best, but Papa is my favorite". We discussed why this was (the former is because I don't make them get up as early as Peyton the task-master does and the latter has a lot to do with his knowledge of Star Wars and how he plays rough with them) and Peyton later talked to her about how we love how honest she is and it wasn't a big deal in this case but it could hurt other people's (e.g. grandparents, friends, ect.) if she talked about who was her favorite. And then Graves told me how he thought Peyton was a better cook than I was and explained that it shouldn't hurt my feelings; I just wasn't as "skilled". When I asked if I was more skilled at anything, he replied, very earnestly, that I had the squishiest tummy of anybody in our family. When he realized maybe that wasn't the response I was hoping for, he tried to redeem himself by saying I had the most "glittery eyes" (you know, because none of the other four people in our family wear eye shadow). I kind of let it go at that point. None of it devastated me, which I'm really proud of, but both interactions did sting a little. And Sallie is becoming more and more of a papa's girl by the day. Peyton reminded me that their preferences will change a lot over the years and Minnie did the same- I think there were plenty of phases where Cookie and I preferred one of them and also many phases where they preferred one of us and I'm so glad that was a normal thing and not something any of us obsessed about. But Sallie is SUCH a momma's girl and if I'm honest, she's kind of my security blanket in some ways, too. So I'm gonna be real sad when she discovers that I'm not the fun parent. I'm just holding out hope for when the hormones hit and they need a sweet, sensitive parent more than a fun parent again. Cause I'm that one.

 Back to the day, though. It was a beautiful service and afterwards we went to brunch at Jake and Mel's and then there was an Easter egg hunt. We got home around four and the big kids had media time. Peyton and I relaxed and Sallie napped. Annie and Graves ate their Easter candy and played and then had supper. Graves took a second bath and Sallie got up and played awhile. We got the big kids settled and P and I talked. I got Sallie to sleep and we watched TV.

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! 
The best shot of the lot. I had a plethora of "not my finest" moments that morning but I realized this was my first Easter ever spent at Calvary-St. George's (the first year we lived here I had JUST discovered it and the second year I had sick babies and P was working). Reminiscent of those days, it took just about everything in me to get there and equally reminiscent of them, it was worth it ten times over to gather with friends, come to the Table, and hear the Gospel boldly proclaimed.