Category Archives: Kid Stuff

My Girl Is Ten.

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Had God asked me what I wanted my daughter to be like, I could have never imagined the wonder of you. I could have never dreamed of a daughter who makes me laugh more than you and enjoy life more than you. I could have never imagined a better daughter. A better friend.

I could have never written this story of my life with you.

Anna Takle, you are just always so much more. More of everything that is good. Everyone always hears and reads the hilarious and witty things you say. Trust me, there are many. But, there are stories they don’t hear. Like you coming home from school broken-hearted over a classmate with whom no one really engages. His self-esteem is low. So, you decide to sit right across from him at lunch one day. You tell him he isn’t who people say he is, but he is who God says he is. You don’t care what other people think about it. You don’t care what other people think about you. Instead, you walk confidently in who God created you to be.

“You could change the course of this kid’s life, because of your encouragement,” I tell you.

Tears fell down your face. They fell down mine. You became aware of what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ.

I love the way you ask questions and then truly listen to the answers. You always seek understanding. You are a lover of wisdom.

I love the way you look up to John Henry. I love how even though there are times you come to me with how he disappointed you, you run to his defense so much more.

I love the way you care for Jett. I love how you worry about him in school. I love how you are so proud of him when he learns something new. Especially, when you feared he might “grow up, get his GED, and stay in his PJs all day.”

I love how you know exactly what you like and what you don’t. And, you’re not afraid to tell me that my shirt is “screaming ‘look at me!’” Or how I “might want to reconsider those pants.”

I love how you strive for excellence in everything you do.

I love listening to you play piano. I love how determined you are to play a piece well….no matter how difficult it is. I love how you appreciate music from Beethoven to Jerry Lee Lewis.

I love how you hop on my bed, because you just want to be with me. I love being with you, too. I love how dad came in the room one night, and said, “Someone needs to get out of my bed,” and you quickly responded, “Mom, you heard the man.”

You make me laugh every single day. You make me proud every single day.

I am so thankful I get to spend my days with you. I am so thankful God gave me such an amazing daughter. I know we talk about you staying with me forever. And, I know it’s hard to believe right now, but a day will come and you’ll be ready to head out and take on the world. I call it the day I’ll spend eating boxes upon upon boxes of Junior Mints in my bed while crying.

I’m seriously thankful that day isn’t today.

And, I am so thankful I didn’t write this story of my life with you. Only God could write something so beautiful and fun.

I love you, Anna Takle. Happy 10th Birthday.

Love,

Mom

 

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Twelve: A Soul Well Tended.

Middle School. First year. That’s where we are now. Everyone tries to tell you to hold on tightly. Because, the years are set to mach speed when you’re raising children. And, how well I now know that you are 12 years old. TWELVE. One minute I’m walking you into your first day of Kindergarten.

Then, the next I’m dropping you off and watching you walk into Middle School. And, two things consistently astonish me: how I blink my eyes and you are almost as tall as me…..

and how you continually make everyone around you feel good about themselves.

Someone recently made the comment how you have the unusual ability to make even “old folks feel important.” It’s one of the traits that makes me most proud. Everyone leaves your presence feeling a little better about themselves. Please, son….don’t ever lose this gift. It’s really what the Kingdom is all about. Love. Acceptance. Mercy. I am amazed watching you make these three things the epitome of who you are.

You love people. You encourage them. You accept them for who they are and embrace who they are. And, your mercy is so long and wide. So much so that you remind me often to be a giver of mercy. I can remember one evening you overheard me saying something negative about someone. I was so embarrassed. I went to you and asked you to forgive me. Your response: “I forgive you. Just remember, he is a good man.”

Those words went straight to my heart. Such holy, good conviction that reminded me to allow to people to fail me. To make allowances for other’s faults. To always look for the good in others.

John Henry, your soul is even more beautiful than your eyes. And, that is saying a lot. You tend to your soul beautifully. At the start of this school year I told you I wanted us to begin studying the scriptures together. You immediately went to retrieve your Bible, and we turned to the Sermon On the Mount and began to read. This part of that sermon defines who you are so well:

7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:7-9)

And, God blesses you, John Henry Landreth. I am so proud of the man that you are. I will always miss my little boy. I will always smile when I think about this little face.

But nothing compares to the tears of joy I cry when I look into this face. Full of mercy. Full of love.

 

Happy 12th Birthday, John Henry. I love you more today than yesterday. And, I will love you even more tomorrow.

 

Love,

Mom

 

 

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Captain America Turns 4.

I thought the title of this post was appropriate seeing as how this was Anna Takle’s birthday blog back in 2008. How do I love thee, Jett Takle? Let me count the ways. My friends with three children always told me before Jett was born, “There is just something about that third kid.”

 

I’m here to tell you. There is just something about that third kid.

 

I’ll admit. We don’t enforce some things with Jett the way we did with our first two. Here are some our parenting philosophies that were thrown out of the window after Jett Takle was born:

 

“High chairs are required in restaurants just like carseats are required in cars.” (Now, we just try to coral him within a 100 foot vicinity of our dining table. Shout out to the patio at El Toro Loco.)

 

“Bed time is 7:00, because moms and dads need time to themselves.” (Have you seen those sweet feet in those flannel pajamas and felt him snuggled next to you on the sofa?)

 

“Do not leave the table without asking, ‘May I be excused?’” (Don’t judge me. We get tired.)

 

“Kids should be potty-trained before they reach the age of 3.” (Whatever.)

 

“Using the word ‘butt’ isn’t appropriate for children under age ten.” (Every time he says “butt,” the entire family erupts with laughter. Also true for “crap.”)

 

“One treat a day.” (We stay stocked up on popsicles like Jerry Seinfeld stays stocked on cereal.)

 

“Be careful what your children listen to in the car.” (He knows every word to Zac Brown Band’s “Sic ‘Em On A Chicken.” Again, don’t judge me. We live on a farm now.)

 

“Never leave a child unattended.” (Ok. This is still true. But, we did lose him once. We found him in the chicken coop smashing eggs. Perhaps, we should be careful what our children listen to in the car.)

 

We’ve relaxed in a lot of ways. Perhaps, we’ve relaxed too much in some respects. BUT, we have adopted some new parenting philosophies since he’s been born, too:

 

“So, what if you’re kid stays up a little longer? Some of our best conversations happen at night.”

 

“Don’t stress over the small stuff and hard seasons. They’re just seasons. Sometimes, they just need a few more birthdays.”

 

“It’s okay to be friends with your kids.”

 

“ENJOY every season. You’ll blink your eyes, and they will be in Kindergarten.”

 

Jett Takle, we have all been in love with you since the moment we met you. You are our bright light. Our sweetest snuggler. Our charming smile. Our favorite superhero. The other day you told me, “Mom, you’re a great web shooter.” Jett, you are a great kid. A great little brother. A great son. I can’t even think about your future without getting so stinking excited. Because, you are destined to do great things. Until then, I’ll keep slinging webs and protecting the universe with you.

 

Thank you for teaching me how to enjoy being a mom. I love you so very much.

 

Happy 4th Birthday, Captain.

 

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My Favorite Girl In All the World.

When you were a little girl, you could exhaust me with your determination. Determination to wear fleece in the summer and tattered tights with shorts and boots in the winter. Determination to fasten your own car seat. Determination to complete a puzzle all by yourself. Determination to order your own food at restaurants. Determination to be YOU.

Now, I watch as you are still determined to accessorize on your own. Determined to not let fear grip you when you hop on your brother's dirt bike. Determined to step outside yourself and assist in the birth of a baby calf. Determined to read bigger books. Determined to put Norman's halter on all by yourself. Determined to be the very best student you can be.

Determined to grab my attention and share your heart.

Anna Takle, I love your determination. I love it that you are so comfortable being who God created you to be. I love that you have made a decision to be who you are. Because, I am amazed at who you are. I fall in love with who you are a little more every day. I love it that you come to me and listen. And, you receive. You trust me and the Spirit inside of me. And, that trust blows me away. I think it astounds me, because of your determination to be you, and do things on your own. Yet, when it comes to matters of the heart, you absorb my every word. Just as you have grown to trust in me, I watch you growing to trust in Him.

And, I think that trust in Him makes me most proud of you.

You are beautiful. You are brilliant. You are discerning. You are compassionate. You are hilarious.

You are my favorite girl.

 

 

I love you, Anna Takle. Happy 9th Birthday.

Love,

Mom

 

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His Last First Day.

 

I prayed over them both. I rubbed their backs. I nestled my fingers in their hair. I talked to them about the first day of school. I kissed their forehead. And before I left each bedroom I heard, “Mom, don't walk me into school tomorrow. It's a little embarrassing.”

 

I knew this day was coming. You're just never really ready.

 

Anna's first day of school clothes were displayed across her bed. Every single item new. Every single item very Anna Takle. She knows what she's doing. After all, she's the girl who stops me before I walk out the door with “You need a fashion check?” And, I'm the one who always bites the bullet and says yes.

 

John Henry, on the other hand, had older, a little more tattered clothes poured across his bed. I asked him why he wouldn't want to wear something newer. Something a bit nicer.

 

“Mom, you can't wear your best stuff the first day of school. You can't be the kid who starts off the school year with brand new clothes. I'll throw in some nice clothes randomly.”

 

And, somehow, I actually got it. He didn't want to look like he was trying so hard. I get it.

 

I also get them not wanting me to walk them in. Even if it's a BRAND NEW SCHOOL. Even if I went to bed and cried to Kris and made him relive with me every funny thing John Henry did from 10 months old to age 4.

 

Even if it's the last first day of John Henry's elementary school days.

 

I get it. As much as I love to relive Anna Takle as Super Girl. John Henry as a Buzz Lightyear. Anna yelling out “vuck” to her pre-school class for words that start with V. John Henry peeing on the dog, because, well, it's something to do. Anna telling me, “You're a monster!” John Henry touching home plate and running out to ask, “Did you see that, Mom?” The two of them together playing in mud puddles. Sliding downstairs on an air mattress. Laughing. Fighting. Forgiving. Loving.

 

Being small.

 

As much as I love these years. I know it's better that they grow. That they need me less.

 

Because the less they see their need for me, the more they'll see their need for Him. And, while I will sometimes fail them, He never will.

 

So, grow. Become strong. Become conscious of Who is within you. Become aware that you already have everything you need to do all God's called you to do. Because, HE is with you. Beside you. In front of you. Behind you.

 

WITHIN you.

And, when you need me…..

 

I'll come running.

 

 

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You Make Everything Better.

Jett - 3year wp

Me:  “Remember that summer when I said, ‘Hey, wanna have another baby?’”

Kris:  “Oh yes.”

Me:  “That was a good call.”

Jett Takle, you’ve been more than a good call.  You’ve been the mint in my chocolate.  The creamer in my coffee.  The salsa to my chips.

You make everything better.  Everything complete.  And, I am so glad you turned our world upside down by becoming the caboose to our train.

We may have said goodbye to a four-door sedan for the next several years, but we opened our arms to a super-hero who flies through the sky.

A cowboy who gallops around our family room.

A Buzz Lightyear who takes us to infinity and beyond.

A thumb-sucking, flannel pajama wearing, blankie holding charmer that gets us out of bed to make waffles.

An air guitar that makes me happier than Sting.  (I know, right?)

A laugh that makes us forget any worry that may have crept in our minds.

A smile that lights up our home.

Jett, you make me stop and soak in moments more than I ever have.  Maybe, it’s because you’re the littlest Takle.  Maybe, it’s because I know now how fleeting these perfect moments are.  I breathe in a little heavier when I put my nose to your blonde head.  I place your feet on my cheeks and I leave them there a little longer.  You sit in my lap, and I postpone bedtime.

Thank you for making life so much sweeter.  Thank you for teaching us what’s really eternal.

Father, thank You for placing Jett Takle in my arms three years ago today.  You are so good.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jett Man.

I love you with every single part of my being.

Love,

Mom

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Happy Birthday, Anna Takle.

“Oh, I just love the British!”

That was her response to her new British friends, George and Josh, at a Disney resort back in September.

And, that’s how it just goes in raising Anna Takle.  We never know what she’s going to say.  Or wear.  Or do.  But, I do know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  She’s has been my good time girl, full of wonder and surprise, determination and wit, since the beginning.

She was 3 ½ when I first started blogging.  Today, she is 8.  EIGHT!

Anna Takle,

You somehow always teach me more about myself than I thought possible to learn from one of my children.  I not only love the young lady you are, I admire and respect you.

I admire how you feel comfortable in your own skin.  You’re never afraid to stand out and simply be you.

I admire how you are constantly creating.  You pen beautiful words.  You brainstorm a different way to accomplish a task.  You frame lyrics to a song that inspire me.

I admire how you fear so little.  You take risks.  You put yourself out there without regard to whether you will be embraced or not.

I admire how love to learn.  You love exploring new things.  You keep an open mind about the world we live in.

I admire how you respect the earth.  You take seriously caring for our planet.  You commit yourself to being kind to it.

I admire how you listen to your dad and me.  How you take to heart discipline, instruction, and allow it to settle into your spirit.

I admire how open you are to the things of God.  And, how you are allowing Him to work in your life.  How you have decided you want to write songs that “worship Him.”

You make me laugh.  You keep me on my toes.  You remind me not to judge others.  You stir me to want to be more adventurous.

You inspire me to trust Him more.  Because, you trust Him so much.

I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  I can’t imagine this world without Anna.

And, I can’t imagine all of the amazing things you are going to do.  And, the lives you are going to touch.

But, He can.

Happy Birthday, Anna Takle.  I adore every fiber of your being.  I love you more than you’ll ever know.  And, I’m so thankful you’re my girl.

Love,
Mom

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