dolphin, destructor, and bug boy.

  • is now 6 and a half months old.  That's half a year, people.  Ridiculous.
  • At his 6 month check up, he weighed 18lb 2 oz.
  • Right around the 6 month mark, he started sitting up alone, crawling, and pulling himself up to a stand.  I know.  This is alarming for a couple of reasons.  One, being the obvious:  that he's a six month old.  (I don't want to sound ungrateful for normal development, because I really, really am).  But, come.on.  I feel a little bit robbed of my baby days. The second reason for alarm is that he doesn't have a whole lot of balance yet, so there is a lot of toppling happening.  And then he does this really crazy ninja-type log roll.  So...scary and yet funny.  
  • Has a little stranger anxiety.
  • Now at 6 and a half months, he has TWO teeth coming in (the bottom middle two), he can wave, clap, and give high fives
  • He likes to climb onto the bottom shelf of the TV stand.  What is it with that?  Every kid is drawn to it like I am drawn to Orange Leaf.  (seriously.  If you haven't been, you need to go.)
  • He also makes this really crazy noise every time I am getting ready to feed him.  It's like the anticipation is too much to handle.  I don't really know how to explain it, but I refer to it as the "angry dolphin".  You can use your imagination.  :)

  • says "gotch" instead of "got ya".  So funny.
  • calls black olives strawberries.  ??  Maybe they are equal in deliciousness?
  • is destructive.  That sounds really negative, but I don't know how else to describe him.  He is constantly in to everything and feels the need to create chaos wherever he is.  I imagine that, in his mind, he passes something that is nicely organized and put away and says to himself:  "What's this I see?  Order?  I'll have to do something about that..."  This thought is followed by tipping something over, spilling contents out of a container,  being loud, sitting on something, breaking something, coloring on something, etc.  He is our wild card.  We can't so much leave him alone for any number of seconds.  He is very difficult to keep up with right now.  But I am so thankful for that little stinker.  He is crazy as all get out but he just brings us so much joy. 
  • he loves to look at pictures of himself and his brothers
  • waves with his palm towards himself.  Makes me laugh every time.
  • loves loves loves to dance. 
  • is getting more and more talkative
  • big blue eyes + shaggy red curls = irresistible. 
  • Roman and I have begun the journey of homeschooling!  We are excited to be using the Five in a Row curriculum this year and we have even joined a co-op in Ames that Roman is very excited about.  He asks me everyday if we're going to preschool, but we only meet once a week.  :)
  • Still loves bugs.  LOVES them.  he will even pretend that his grape halves are bugs at lunch time.  Yesterday he caught a katydid, today a dragonfly.  Also, he talks to his bugs.  ie.  "Are you tired, katydid?" or "Are you having a hard day, Red?"  (Red is the name he gave his dragonfly.  Duh.) 
  • He is just really, genuinely in awe of insects.  He can tell you that insects have 6 legs and a head, thorax, and abdomen.  And he will often say things like "Mom, is that a beautiful wasp?"  Who is this kid??
  • saw a baby catfish at wal-mart the other day and was telling Monica about it..."We saw baby sharks and a kittyfish"...she laughs:  "You mean a catfish?".  R:  "Yeah, a kittyfish".
  • One day I was trying to get Judah to point to different body parts, and I thought if I had Roman do it too, he might think it was more fun.  Then this happened:
                  Me:  "Roman, where are your knees?"
                     R:  "Can't you not see them?"
                  Me:  (laughing) "Yes, I can, but can you point to them?"
                    R:   (still really confused) "Don't you see my knees?"
                                          :)  I guess we're too grown up for that game at the age of four. 
  • One day Judah was really grumpy and I kept asking him if he wanted to eat or go outside or do a puzzle, or anything to cheer him up.  Roman came up to me and said "Mom, you just need to let him do his thing right now". 
  • These next couple are from quite a while ago, but for the sake of me remembering, I have to type them out.  One day, I was teasing Joe about something and he said "I can hear the mockery in your voice".  Roman pipes up "imagine that".
  • When we went swimming at the Y in Boone, Roman asked me "Mom, is this Heaven?"  Ha.
  • Speaking of Heaven, I have a more serious topic that I have to write about now:
A sweet little 7 year old boy from our church, Quinn, passed away a week ago today.  He had a tumor on his brainstem and has been quite the fighter over the last five months.  I have a special place in my heart for Quinn because when he was just one year old, he was in my classroom at the daycare I worked at.  Before I spent my afternoons with Roman, Judah, and Silas, I spent my afternoons with Quinn.  He was just learning how to walk, and had the most adorable little waddle and the hugest, cutest grin you have ever seen.  After I left the daycare, I didn't see most of those kids again, but I loved that Quinn went to our church because I got to see him and his family regularly. 

When Quinn was diagnosed, we immediately started including him in our daily prayers.  I didn't go into too much detail when I talked with Roman about Quinn.  I just told him that Quinn was sick and I would tell him if he was in the hospital or at home.  One day, during prayers Roman stopped and asked me "Mom, is Quinn going to die?"  (This seeemed very strange to me because we have had other friends and family in the hospital that we have prayed for for an extended period of time and he had never said anything about those people dying.)  "Who told you that, Roman?", I asked.  He didn't really answer, so after I calmed down a bit I told him,  "Quinn is very sick, Roman.  But we know that God can do anything and so we need to ask Him to heal Quinn's body and make him all better".  That was the end of that conversation and he never asked me that again.

Well, last Thursday we got an e-mail saying that Quinn was not doing well at all and that his family would all be coming to be with him.  So, Friday we prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for him.  (That was one of our favorite prayers to pray for him, especially if we had learned about any complications in Quinn's quest).  Just a few hours later we learned that Quinn had passed away.  I cried as I stood in the kitchen reading the e-mail. 

Roman heard me and came to ask me why I was crying.  This is the conversation that we had:
Me:  "Roman, I need to tell you something.  Quinn went to Heaven today".
R:  (excitedly)  "And he gets to walk with Jesus now??"*
Me:  "Yeah, isn't that amazing?"
R:   "Yeah!  But why are you sad?"
Me:  "Well, I'm sad because I'm going to miss him, but, you're right, we are so happy that Quinn is with Jesus".
R;  "Yeah!  Because God made him all better!!"

*I thought the word "walk" was very significant for him to choose.  Quinn has been in a wheelchair for several weeks.

Here I was, preparing myself to talk about how God does answer prayers, how God is good,  but...
but sometimes the answer is no and sometimes we can't understand God's plan because we can't see everything the way that he does.  When in fact, I didn't need to say any of that. 

Four year olds don't need to be told that God is good or that he answers prayer.  They know it.  They don't doubt it.  It was very clear to Roman that God did heal Quinn's body.  He did answer our prayer. 

I'm sure that we have talked about the fact that there's no sickness in Heaven at some point, but it hasn't been something we have drilled into him.  Children are so perceptive of spritual matters and I just learn so much from Roman all the time. 

Then yesterday, as I was getting ready for the visitation, I asked Roman to pray for Quinn's family while I was gone.  He said "Okay.  But, dying's not sad, Mom."  I smiled and then asked (because I wanted to hear a child speak profound truth):  "Why isn't dying sad, Roman?"  "Because we get to to go to Heaven and be with Jesus". 


Then he added, "And someday, we'll go to Quinn's house in Heaven and say hi to him". 


I am looking forward to that day. 

Praise God that this is not all there is.

(This song has ministered to Quinn's family over last weeks and months, and was sung at his funeral)  Also, I have been loving it everytime I hear it on the radio, and I don't think it was so much a coincidence that I heard it on my way to the visitation and then it was playing on their slideshow when I walked into the church.

PS - Quinn's funeral was heartbreaking but it was also the most beautiful funeral I've ever been to.  What a blessing that his family has been constantly seeking to honor God in the midst of this tragedy.  He was glorified in a magnificent way over the last 5 months, and especially today. 

Father Jim had this icon displayed at the front of the church today (I hope this is the right one!  It works to talk about his sermon, anyway).  He talked about how icons are to the eyes what scripture is the ears.  He asked us to look at Jesus pulling on Mary's veil in this picture and to remember that we have a Grasping God...who never lets us go and who has used Quinn's life to turn us to Him.   
Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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