Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sweet Dax

Unbelievable. Dax is almost ONE. A whole year of life has gone by, and I barely blinked! This morning I was thinking about our sweet little man and what sweetness and joy he has brought into our lives, and figured I'd share a little.
Dax was greeted almost a year ago with a sweet song Shea made up, and we still sing it to him regularly. It goes like this. "Hi Dax, welcome to the world, your name is spelled, D-A-X, Go Dax, you rock!!"
I must also include his nicknames. My preferred nickname for him is "Bubba". Most of the kids use this one too. Kurt calls him D.A. or Dax Attax. He's also "stinky" at times (not associated with potty thoughts, people! It's just a nickname!) I think that's all. I occasionally call him "worm" or "squirmy worm". He can NOT sit still.
Dax, not unlike most other Gebhards kids, almost never cries. He is very happy, and all who know us and spend time around us are amazed at his sweet and content spirit. The church nursery loves him, since he never causes a fuss. He easily goes to most anyone, as long as he's not tired. Then he becomes Momma's boy. I love that.
Dax is growing into a little boy! He swings his arms and smacks things (and people too- watch out!), and he has a growing love for balls. He loves to throw (but stresses when the ball isn't in his hands) and loves even more to catch (or at least try).
He LOVES being outside. He's been having some tummy issues and has been a little fussy, but as soon as we walk out the front door, his little demeanor changes and his face relaxes (those little eyes squint) as he looks all around him (and there's usually a ton of neighborhood kids to keep him entertained!).
He's starting to attempt some words...okay maybe just one. He has been trying to say "Kitty" for quite some time now. It usually sounds like a combination of the "t" and "k" sound, with a long "e" sound following. And it's always a whisper. He knows what he's saying, because he says it on his own whenever he sees one of our kitties. He must be brilliant.
He has an uncanny affection for baseball caps. If you're wearing one, he MUST have it. He immediately reaches with both hands, then does a pretty spastic death grip pull (complete with shaking) to get it off your head. We think it's cute. But if you're trying to cover bed-head with your ball cap, you might not want to snoodle him. Or bring an extra cap...please.
You may wonder if he's walking yet (okay maybe just my mom is wondering)...the answer is...no. He is pulling up on everything, and moving rapidly around the house in one of those recalled walkers that they don't make anymore. Everyone in our house has ankle bruises. But the alternative is that we have to keep the floors clean so he can crawl on them. I choose ankle bruises. Anyway, how did we get here? Back to the sweet baby...
Little Dax man wakes up with smiles for everyone, and is greeted by five sweet siblings that absolutely adore their little brother. Mornings are precious. Kurt usually brings him out (of our closet!) and announces his "waking up" to all of the kids who are getting breakfast and getting ready for school, and they all find a way to greet him with a sweet "hello" and a snoodle. He is a blessing to us all, and Kurt and I still say to each other (probably on a weekly basis!), "Can you believe that God gave us another son??!!"
We love our bubba! Pictures to come.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Encouraged, and Passing it on!

What a WONDERFUL day. I just enjoyed one of my favorite days in this short life. God is so kind! I love my sweet friends here in Hickory! There are so many wonderful girls that I love to be with. Ironically, after a sweet day like today having had a great time with some of them, I am brought back to the simple and sweet reality of my life.
I am a mother. I am a wife. My identity in Christ and my desire to live for Him brings me to the simple and sweet reality that this is who I am. A wife to Kurt, and a mother to my six sweet little blessings. My identity as a volleyball player is gone. My identity as a pre-school teacher is gone. My identity as a Little Caesar's pizza employee is gone. (this one wasn't so hard to let go of) My identity as a crafty creative woman is generally now confined to use as it relates to small children. Some of these "identities" were difficult to give up because of my pride. I still find myself clinging to them at times. But there is no greater joy than to pursue God's design for me, and to pursue it with eagerness and trust! He has proven Himself faithful to me as I have "given up" little parts of my life in pursuit of fulfilling His desire for me. I couldn't be more joyful and thankful for how He has worked in me, despite my multiplied failures. I love my life, because God has been at work.
This afternoon, I came home to six little chatty people and a somewhat spent husband. He had patiently dealt with the kids all morning and it was time for us to do a little "tag-team". After homework and chores, we finally took out all of the cereal boxes (and other boxes) I had been saving (our recycling pick-up doesn't take cardboard!!??)- it was time to do something with them. I started building with them and using duct tape for mortar. Soon I had six little bodies all wanting to participate and all contributing their creative ideas. We had SO MUCH FUN! We built a drive-thru restaurant with multiple windows. It's now on my kitchen floor. What a blast.
Kurt then took the oldest three to a concert at the church while I was going to settle the littles down for bed. I was tired. However, they were more tired and resorted to crying and whining as the older three left. Thus began the scolding. "No more crying. Life isn't always fair. If you don't stop crying...." Blah blah blah. AGH!! I had to stop myself once again. This is an ungodly and totally ineffective way to change the tone and bring a sweet aroma of Christ into the home. "Okay girls. I know it's stinky to not get to go with the big kids." (crying persisted) "We are going to have fun." (still crying) "Okay, let's face it. It's not fun to be left behind. It kinda feels like this." I started the whole stick your tongue out of your mouth, puff the cheeks, spit/raspberry noise, complete with crossing of the eyes. I did it as long and loud as I could. And you know what? Both of the girls were laughing hysterically by the end of it, and then joined me for several minutes while we challenged each other to the loudest raspberry noise, then the softest. We had a blast. I sent them up to get their P.J.'s on with the promise of something REALLY fun when they came back down. With all of the energy I could muster, I presented the most fun thing of all time. "A dance party ON the dining room table!!!!!" They could hardly believe their ears. They quickly climbed up on the table as I turned on the music in the kitchen. We rocked out to three songs together (no, I didn't dance on the table this time). They were again laughing hysterically and super giddy. To finish up our most fun night, we did a drive-thru Starbucks. They put on their aprons and chef hats and proudly prepared coffee and hot cocoa for me and presented them through the recycled box "window". Macy even prepared an extra hot cocoa. "Mommy, here you go. This one's for your honey." Wow, where does she come up with this stuff?
Anyway, I am still tired, but so thankful for the encouragement that I received today, and am resolved again to do what God has called me to-wife and mother (yes, I'm using those as verbs!)- with excellence. He has abundantly blessed, and I want to gladly lay my life down to serve Him by serving my family! There is no greater joy!
I know the world clamors loudly in our ears, calling us to not "lose our identity". But in Christ, our identity is found in serving and following Him. And in following Him, He calls us to serve in our homes- to support and respect our husbands, and to love and raise up our children with selflessness and joy. This is who we are. This is who I am. I am a wife. I am a mother. I desperately want to have no regrets in these identities.