This week Matt (as well as many other officers) has worn a black shroud over his police badge to honor fallen Police Officer Lee Newbill. Everytime I see the shroud on his badge (which, thankfully, has not been often in the six years he’s served as a policeman), it brings sadness to my heart. I probably think most often of the wives of the slain officers. I know God has ordained what has come to pass, and I believe with joy that He has brought Officer Newbill home to Him. Yet, I grieve for his wife, his children, all those who loved him and so greatly miss him now. It’s strange, I have attended very few funerals since my father’s 7 years ago, and I’ve rarely found myself crying over someone’s death since that time. Yet I find myself grieving for this family I’ve never met. Somehow it hits a bit close to home for me. I can’t help but think of myself in his wife’s place. I am so proud of my husband, and of the many men who serve their city, their country, their God in this line of work (who, if they’re anything like my husband, don’t think of themselves as heroes at all, even though they are). I know God has called them to it, and equipped them for it. I am especially thankful for the strong and brave Christian men who, like my husband, fill this needed role as followers of Christ. As Matt is on duty today, and I am home with sick girls, we were unable to attend Officer Newbill’s memorial service. However, we were both able to watch a good portion of it through live feed – Matt at work, and me at home. I cried as Officer Newbill’s daughter said "Go in peace daddy, your brothers have the watch from here"; when his wife was presented with the Police Cross and her husband’s badge; and again as they played the final service call for Officer Newbill "149 Moscow out of service. Go with God". So now I write this small thank you to all the men who serve God while protecting the people around them – may you be blessed and protected in your work, and may God be with you in all you do. And to my fellow wives of officers and all the others who love them – may we bless, encourage and pray for our men as they follow God’s call on their lives: protecting us and many others. And may we daily be filled with His peace, knowing that our Almighty Father holds these men whom we dearly love safely in His hands.
Even though I feel like I’m barely making a dent in everything, it still feels like there’s little more to life than moving right now! Thus I shall post on a few of the things I’ve become thankful for during this packing process (which I’m sure would go more quickly if I packed for more hours in the day – but the bit by bit seems to be working well for us). We sort of worked our way into a morning routine – I get up and eat some breakfast, then get the girls up. Ooh, speaking of this sort of thing, Kendra wrote a great post on letting our little ones stay in bed for a small while in the mornings. I’ve always done this, and didn’t realize so many other people did as well, so it was an encouraging post to read. I personally have my girls stay in bed till 730 or 8 – once they wake up they can go potty then back to bed to read and talk quietly till I come get them. This is sometimes my sanity, and although I am somewhat of a morning person the main reason it works so well for us is that I get hypoglycemic if I don’t eat early on. It gives me a few moments of quiet in the morning, and a chance to read a bit and start a full day with a full stomach.
Anyway, that was somewhat of a tangent. After I get all the girls dressed, teeth brushed, hair done, tummies full, our chores done and laundry started it’s usually 945. They have some free play tiem to run around in the playroom while I pack a box or so. Then we’ve started doing Baby Ballet together which is the first thing on my thankful list. However small (15 minutes), it’s a chance for me to stretch and exercise a bit and to have a fun time all together with my girls.
Next I let them watch one little movie or play on the floor by me while I pack. Our current favorite, and the next thing on my thankful list is a Curious George movie which also happens to have Frog and Toad stories on it. The reason I love it is because all of the stories follow the text of the book exactly, so I don’t have to worry about what the kids are watching while I’m distracted by packing – I know these stories practically by heart. Another good set of movies which follow the books is the Beatrix Potter set (though my three year old prefers Curious George). They keep even my non-movie watching girls pretty happy, because although they may not care for most movies, they like these since they know the stories, too.
Then we go to the school room and each girl gets to choose one color page to print out. Thus I’m thankful for free coloring book sites. They color together (as long as they can do so without fussing with eachother – otherwise they come sit by me) or help me while I pack boxes in that vicinity – and speaking of helping, four year olds can pack linens and clothes pretty well! And two year olds are great with packing winter coats and mittens.
After this we wake the baby and go for a strollerless walk so we all get to walk slowly, enjoy the day and get a bit more exercise (do you like my baby steps to exercise here?) Then comes lunch, laundry folding, some more playtime and naptimes. During the little ones’ naps Isabelle and I can get more packing done (or put my sore feet up and blog for ten minutes as I am now!)
One thing I’ve learned is that when one of my daughters seems to be having a particularly difficult or grouchy time (as seems to happen more often when they’re being "ignored" more), I am trying to simply stop and have some cuddle time with that one. That five minutes seems to solve so many problems if I spend it with them!
I was thinking how much I can’t wait to get settled in and get back to a normal routine (one in which we actually spend time reading more books), but I realized I am so thankful for some of the things we’ve started doing together (especially ballet, walking and coloring together) that I think they’ll stay in the new routine!
Isabelle was talking to her Grandma Anna today and as they were closing their conversation I overheard Isabelle saying this:
"I love you, and please make sure to say "Happy Mother’s Day" to Grandpa Jon for me."
Sometimes I wonder about my sanity. I was enjoying a bubble bath in my clawfoot tub last night. The faucet has a hand-spray shower head which is very handy for rinsing shampoo and such. You hold the hand sprayer and flip a nozzle thingy to make the water come out of that instead of the faucet. You then place it back on it’s cradle (looks like an old fashioned telephone) when you’re done. Perhaps I was overtired, or perhaps I just have pregnant brain, or perhaps I’m just ditzy. In any case, somehow I skipped the step of removing the handsprayer from it’s cradle, and went straight to the step of flipping the nozzle thing (with the water going at full blast, of course). All of a sudden water was gushing (like majorly gushing) onto my floor at an alarming rate! The sad thing was my brain couldn’t figure out why it was happening. I sat there flipping the nozzle back and forth wondering what was going on. It actually took me a good ten or twenty seconds (which, of course seems like an eternity when you’re flooding your bathroom) to realize the obvious fact that I hadn’t picked the silly sprayer up. Wow, needless to say I spent the end of my evening mopping up my floor with a towel. Maybe packing just makes my brain a muddled mess!
During family worship a few days ago, Matt asked Isabelle if she could remember what God made beside animals on the sixth day of creation. She quite happily (and correctly) said that He made people. Then Matt asked if she knew what He did on the seventh day. She was thinking and thinking, and at a little hint to think about what we do on Sunday, she proudly answered the question of what God must have done on the seventh day: "He rested and ate tacos with cheese!"