CRAWLING Yup, she's doin' it. Cutest rump in town.
EATING GARBAGE With increased mobility comes improved cleanliness. There's a lot more vacuuming going on around here these days. This morning we caught Jed feeding Zoe vitamin wrappers. Um, thanks Jed. We had a small educational session following that about what babies can and cannot eat. He really picked up on the part where I gave him permission to grab it from her hands and say "NO, Zoe, you CAN'T EAT THAT!" Bossy-ness is very motivating for a three year old. The role-playing went well. Now Jed is watching her like a hawk for opportunities for older-sibling correction.
RIDING Jed finally figured out how to ride his tricycle in the basement this past Saturday. Unfortunately, his distraction level is so high he rarely gets more than a few feet before he's clambering off to shout orders or investigate other, potentially more fun and destructive, activities.
RELIGIOUS ZEALOTRY Today I caught Jed giving Zoe a blessing. She was crying and he wanted her to feel better. I'm not sure the vigorous head rubbing helped her mood, but it sure was cute.
Jed's really into his "scripture stories" from the nursery manual each morning. Guess he actually is paying attention while smearing honey toast all over his face.
HOMESCHOOL Jed's been awfully cranky of late, so we've cut out afternoon Sesame Street (Yes, deeply saddening because now I have to cook dinner with him underfoot, but seriously, the obnoxious whining that television imparts just isn't worth it.) Also, during Zoe's nap each morning we do "homeschool time." Our latest project centers around the book "The Mitten" that he got for his birthday. I found this unit study and he's been thoroughly enjoying coloring and reenacting the story, "sewing" up a mitten, hiding stuffed animals in a "mitten" sleeping bag, etc. I enjoy it as much as he does. And he seems more cheery all day after some one-on-one Mother/Son time.
PRIMARY This past week we had the "Sister Stanfill Show." Since both my counselors had sick families and the music leader was out of town, my mother-in-law and I put on every last bit of Primary and the kids got a real kick out of that. (To her credit, my secretary did everything not in "the show" on her own, she is amazing and deserves celestial blessings and running shoes for pulling it all off!) In happy news, nearly all my callings are filled and we are settling in. Whew!
SNOW Snow snow and more snow. Not a lot, but continual. Isn't it Spring yet? Because I'm tired of green snot and fidgety children.
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.
Since my last post, I've been thinking a lot about my husband as the Patriarch of our family. I think the role of patriarch is grossly misunderstood, generally, and the term has been borrowed and twisted by the feminist movement to mean something far removed from the original meaning.
A patriarch, in my mind, holds the Priesthood of God and uses it in the service of his family. He loves them, and leads out in righteous efforts. He sets the example for his wife and children. He works to support them financially and keep them safe. A man who holds the Priesthood cherishes and serves his family. Here is my favorite scripture, which I think most perfectly describes my husband and his role in our family:
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned. By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile . . . that he(or she) may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
Recently, Michael announced over the dinner table that he decided it's time we stop using the credit cards. Turns out he has been surreptitiously listening to Dave Ramsey (a favorite of mine) at work and finally became convinced that the borrower really is a slave to the lender. Not that we have ever been irresponsible. We didn't even have a credit care the first year or two of our marriage, and after we did get one Michael has scrupulously paid it off every month. But getting rid of it altogether sure will be nice. He just wants our family to be as safe and financially secure as possible.
Because he loves me and wants to take care of me, my husband asked that we institute a budget. He hates budgeting. But he hates our car payment more and he loves me. So we're working together to pay it off early. He leads the way.
Because he loves me and wants to take care of me, my husband comes home after a long day at work and does homework until 10, or 11, or midnight. He doggedly works at it because he wants the very best for me and our children. I am grateful.
Because he loves me, my husband gave me a bonus. That's right -- for my excellent work at home, I deserved it, he said! For his efforts this year he got a few small bonuses at work, and he always maintains that I deserve it more. Isn't he the Best Husband Ever?! Not that he ever wouldn't let me have what I wanted, but I'm such a miser I can't ever spend anything on myself. So I used the cash allotted and bought myself a darling pair of brown Mary Janes that I can put my orthotics in, thus making Crazy Primary Sundays all that more enjoyable! (Don't worry, I got them 66% off. Sweet deal, huh?)
Having Michael at the helm of our family finances gives me a deep sense of peace and security. I see how hard he works and how much he wants our family to financially succeed. I will ever be grateful that he is willing to sacrifice so many of his own wants so I can have the life I always dreamed of, home with my children. He fulfills his role as father with manly willingness and righteous leadership. I am proud to call him the patriarch of our family. He fulfills the patriarchal role exactly as the Lord says he should, with love, humility, gentleness, kindness, all unfeigned and straight from his heart.
My True Love purposely serves himself extra ice cream because he knows I will need a taste. Or two. And he never complains but cheerfully digs me out the biggest, most chocolatey nut-filled bite. That sums up our whole marriage pretty much. I love that man.
This morning Zoe woke up about 5AM, ravenous and ready to play. Her daddy climbed out of bed and sleepily deposited her next to me, right in the middle of the bed. I nursed her, and popped her off, sure she would go back to sleep. Her head bobbed, her legs flopped up and down, and she cheerfully blew some bubbles. I groaned and heaved her up between the pillows, rolled over, and fell back asleep.
About an hour later, my eyes opened. I glanced over. Zoe had managed to wiggle her way over to her daddy, and quietly lay snuggled up against him. Their heads touched, his arm gently lay across her. A peaceful smile on both faces, happy in repose.
I never love my husband more than when I see him love our children. We both felt astonished at how when Zoe joined our family, our love didn't stretch thin, but increased ten thousand fold. Despite all the business and exhaustion, our love for them magnifies our own love for one another. His besottedness over chubby girl cheeks and laughter at Jed's manly wrestling grunts tells me he loves me more than any number of flower bouquets and boxes of chocolates. All I need is two happy, beloved faces pressed together on an early morning pillow.
Three years ago this week, in a quiet, dark room, a pair of large eyes looked into mine, a spirit gazing up at me so familiar and yet so new. Just past midnight, on February 2nd 2007, Jed joined our family. He changed our lives, this new, serene, happy little man, my very best buddy. He's become my closest companion. Grocery shopping seems dull without his clever grin and cart-hugs. Cooking isn't nearly as fun without a little assistant to "dump it in!" The house seems lonely quiet without his constant stream of cheery chatter. Lunch tastes better when accompanied by his fanciful tales and wry observations. Even after just a few hours of separation, I think I'm just as excited as he is to be reunited. Nothing like a flying hug and a wet smooch on the cheeks from that sweet little red rosebud mouth. We love you, Perry Jed Stanfill!
Many of you know I passionately adore Russ Roberts' economics podcast "Econtalk." I mean, really, how else will I keep my brain alive while cleaning bodily fluids out of the carpet. Thus the following video brings me great joy. Gotta love an economist rapper. He also writes economics novels.
PS - I'm still looking for someone to do his Adam Smith Theory of Moral Sentiments book club with me. Please? Please?