Ted Lasso- Leadership, Love, and Laughs. I’m a huge fan.

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to write a review about a TV show before. Sure, I’ve ranked Oscar movies from the perspective of a casual viewer with the truth that I want most movies to give me warm fuzzies, but once-a-year-I-watch-nine-movies-that-wreck-my-world-and-do-indeed-leave-me- knowing-new-things, appreciating-different-perspectives, and cheering-on-the-creatives.

[I digress. I miss the Oscar season.]

Today I have to write so I can get Ted Lasso out of my head and into the world. I’ve lived with this show for three weeks and find it applies to almost everything. The show is well-made, hopeful, surprising, earnest, funny, heartfelt, human, godly, convicting, inspiring, and again, hopeful. Because tonight it’s nominated for some Golden Globes, our local newspaper published a commentary by a New York Times writer who captures much of what I want to convey.

James Poniewozik writes,

“Being nice in Ted Lasso, is not a naive denial of the darkness of life. It’s a clear-eyed adaptation to it. The series recognizes that nice guys do sometimes finish last. It just argues that other things are more important than finishing first.” Poniewozik also highlights Ted’s positivity as a secret weapon, affirms his decency is expressed in assuming good intentions in the motives of others, and that he earns his niceness not by glossing over or denying the hard things in life because instead “his optimism and generosity are informed by the pain that’s made them necessary.”

Well said, James. Thank you.

In the bonus material for the show, streaming on ApplePlus TV, Sudeikis and team admit the humor hits you first but the call to kindness and goodness is what stays. His coaching style encourages acceptance of hard truths about yourself (especially when they come from mostly quiet but always watching Nate) and the support of others on your team. Against negativity and actual brokenness losing teams often have, Lasso encourages the team to believe. “Believe” matters in the psyche of self-confidence as well as a belief in the good of others, and the possibility of hope when those things come together.

Sudeikis says he bases Ted’s character on his dad and hopes it’s the kind of dad he is.

Sudeikis affirms a major premise for the whole show is to uphold the dichotomy of ignorance and curiosity.  In interviews, he says, “the worst combination of a human man is one that’s ignorant and arrogant.”

In one of the last episodes of the show, I was undone when Ted blatantly quotes, and exhibits, the  Walt Whitman quote, “Be Curious, Not Judgemental”. Right in the middle of being belittled, he upholds dignity. Goofy, broken, but absolutely self-secure and kind- he’s a picture of meekness- strength under restraint.

In a show about a team of men and two male coaches, the two lead females carry many of the themes of friendship, fortitude, forgiveness, teamwork, and honesty forward with grace, style, strength, and beauty.

I cannot appreciate enough the way the show lands in the middle of a divided America to highlight the values of God’s kingdom. The setting is sports and the language is adult but the messages supersede what can often become extra, cheap, or divisively distracting.

My favorite things seen in the show are:

  • Friends who stay themselves even if their closest blokes believe and act differently
    • (Seen through: the big black guy in the threesome at the bar)
  • Apologies that don’t defend intent.
    • (Seen through: Higgins, Rebecca, Ted, Nate, Keeley and Roy who say I will hold that. You’re right. I’m sorry. I should not have done that. etc..)
  • Boldness to approach someone for a relationship that is threatening to you. Each character makes it possible because of their own self-awareness and security
    • (Seen through:  Keeley and Rebecca, Ted and Rebecca, Roy and Jamie)
  • Cultural intelligence- the army guy didn’t work for Sam from Nigeria. Despite Ted’s good intentions, he took the cultural lesson learned. When American expressions fall flat and are acknowledged as knee-jerk, easy things, to say because we’re nervous- cultural intelligence and decorum increase.
    • (Seen through: Ted in the locker room- “I don’t know why I said it. Nerves I guess.” Such self-awareness at the moment)
  • Owning what you’ve done wrong and offering genuine regret and desire for repair to the offended.
    • (Seen through: Ted owning his anger towards Nate that hard night. Most would have justified it by the despair he was in. Seen in Sassy pointing out Rebecca’s ownership in her own withdrawal and imprisonment and Rebecca taking it. Relationship changing when Keeley apologizes to Roy for using him to get at Jamie. Relationship changing when Rebecca comes clean to Higgins for repair.)
  • A genuine interest in others and space for their ideas and input despite title or status.
    • (Seen through: the push to celebrate Sam in a way that honored his history and involved others in the party to raise the morale for all. Seen when Ted asks Nathan his name, remembers it, tells him the truth about a suit, takes his scrap paper idea, and gives him the locker room floor)
  • Rightly ordered anger.
    • Seen in: Roy Kent. Anger is a good emotion given for improving relationships. When righty ordered, Roy’s anger protects the vulnerable, energizes his talent gone aloof, or shakes off a snoopy photographer. In disorder, anger removes people, instead of the obstacle in the relationship. I love Roy’s character change. It might be too soon but I believe it was buried in there all along and is actually what’s most true about him all along.
  • The positivity that is heartfelt and other affirming and community embracing.
    • Seen in: Every episode, especially when Ted is kind and believing the best, despite the deceit waged against him.
  • A coaching philosophy that elevates character formation, self-awareness, growth, and camaraderie for a team over goals of winning.
    • Seen in: All of Ted’s decisions as head coach. Affirmed at the end when he says, “This is a sad moment. Really sad. But there’s something worse than being sad, and that’s being sad AND alone. No one here is alone.”
  • When Ted says something like, “I’ll be there”, or “I’m grateful for this time with you”, or “I believe in you”, or “I really want to get to know you” or , “Yes I’ll come to your restaurant” etc.. HE REALLY MEANS IT! The affirmation of his positivity is so genuinely decent. It softens even the hardest heart, Trent Crimm’s.

If you don’t have Apple TV, I’ll give you $5.oo to buy it for a month so you don’t have to take my word for it. You can cry and laugh your own way through it and walk away uplifted, closer to Jesus, and more informed about KC bbq.

Can’t wait for Season 2!!!

Congrats Jason Sudeikis on the GG win for best actor!!!

 

 

 

 

Musings at a Decade Change

 Drew worked the hardest to give me a really special and very fun 40th birthday. Thanks to many for the kind words that made my leaf bouquet so special. I had a great day on my actually 40th birthday mostly relaxing and reminiscing on Wednesday- I connected with lots of family and my kids made me feel very special.
Then, we did a weekend away at a boutique hotel this past weekend. Just Drew and me Friday night and then my sister and her husband joined Saturday afternoon. It was perfect- lots of outside time, pool, relaxation, fun, good food, finished a novel, saw a sunset, felt like I was a million miles away and only had to drive 40 minutes! I am very grateful the pandemic changed the plans…seems like this was just what I wanted.
Since I’m keen on looking back, taking full advantage of the right now, and dabble occasionally in dreams submit this list of the ways I’ve built my life so far.
A few life rules of Lindsey…because of, practiced with, sustained by, and learned from: God, my parents, Drew Osborne, my in-laws, my sibling friends, and connected community of friends past, present and future:
Say thank you.
Go outside.
Give respect.
Be kind.
Wear a helmet.
Apologize genuinely.
Forgive earnestly.
Do hard things.
Sit at sunsets.
Let Jesus love you.
Worship God.
Take vacations.
Get naked.
Help when you can without being asked.
Be honest.
Let other people be honest to you.
Choose Joy.
Gratitude is a choice that changes your life.
Use less plastic.
Be curious, not judgmental.
I’ll stop there and get back to my carrot cake birthday leftovers and snuggle with the ones who have loved me despite many occasions of not following my own rules.
Here’s to being free, 40, and willing to grow…
Love,
Linds

COVID-19…IN our Home in KC

Leading up to Thanksgiving, we spent hours conversing, arguing, sibling idea sharing, FaceTime phone calling, whiteboard listing, and renegotiating. We wanted to heed the science and respect the communal and national health efforts. We wanted to honor family and relationships, especially with those we haven’t seen for a long time. It was a Colorado Thanksgiving year and we haven’t ever thought of changing or switching up that schedule. It would affect us and all the extended families!

Drew and I couldn’t agree for days. Listening to each other and reading what we read made for some discussions fraught with emotion and tension. It was tiring. Our kids are thoughtful, opinionated, and involved members of our family decision making. What they think deserves a hearing and it is hard to make a decision with five strong personalities involved.

Eventually, we decided not to go to Colorado. Even our hostess was on board with a household-only celebration. It was unprecedented and unthinkable but it was the right call and we got on board. Onboard until…Park Hill decided to move to virtual school after the break. If we weren’t worried about returning to school, why not go to Colorado?

Andi and I reopened the negotiations. Drew raised great points even if I wouldn’t fully agree…yet.  Other close advisors were on the other side of my desires with their own convictions and wisdom. I didn’t want to win. There were risks either way. I was trying to prioritize what I believed and obey for the greater good.

Weighing significantly as well, was my commitment to serve as the funeral officiant the Friday before Thanksgiving for my extended family. It felt like an essential service to provide. I tearfully came around to the other side. By the funeral, we had laid the going to Colorado idea back to rest.

Our renegotiated plan was to hang with our KC Sustad/Bruce family. Only them. Our bubble of daily contact meant we were basically one household anyway. We would share the cooking load and brainstormed many fun weekend activities for our two families.

And then…Drew slept horribly Saturday night and woke up feeling less great on Sunday. By Sunday night, Drew had a fever, chills, body aches, and felt faint. He slept downstairs and we found him a test for Monday afternoon. Cold medicines helped and he wasn’t losing his sense of taste so COVID still felt like a far-off possibility. There was no known exposure, Drew had been so careful.

When Drew’s test came back positive Wednesday morning, he had already been isolating and we moved Eli into isolation as well with similar symptoms as Drew’s.  We were really surprised. We were sad.

As of Monday morning, the Thanksgiving plans were renegotiated once again. We would share food with the Bruce’s but just eat the five of us at our own house. Instead of the 30 people Colorado table, we’d be cozy as our own little family of five. And then, with the test result on Wednesday, our table of five became three.

Oaks dabbled in a fever, never above 99.1, and took a Tylenol one night. Andi and I never so much as sniffled.  Alas, I cooked and baked and did the dishes and tried to care for Drew and Eli on their two different floors. It’s a hard scenario we keep finding our marriage in, Drew the stubborn, tough, really-sad-it’s-him, sick person, and me, the reluctant, whiney, contemptuous nurse. Tis the thorn in our wedded flesh. And Thanksgiving made it worse.

However, we were surrounded by love, support, prayers, food drop-offs, encouragement, and kindness. I couldn’t name enough needs for the offers of help that came in. We had great times Face Timing Drew over dinner while he ate upstairs in his room. Eli was super kind and then very tough to sleep in the basement so I could have his bed upstairs and everyone could spread out.

The hardest part was not the sickness- even the sick guys would say that. It’s the questions (Where from? What did I do wrong? Why me? What now? Should we do this? Test again? Test them? Who do we tell? What is the timetable? What should we’ve done differently? Is it safe now?)

Also challenging for us was the distance inside such a small space. For a cuddly couple like we are, to sleep separate is cold and unsettling. Because we hug everyone around here often, there was often a hard stop when we’d want to reach for the sick guy walking by, in a mask, to put his dishes in the sink. To be alone with just our family when we had planned on playing with friends was really lonely. Because we partner so well and give our kids lots of jobs, losing a partner and one worker made a difference. In those ways, the days dragged on.

For us, we got better fast and never had it that bad. It didn’t spread to the others we were around on those unknown contagion days. Drew and Eli didn’t complain and healed well. We were so grateful for the deliveries of food, messages of hope, and helpful errands ran by our family and friends. Wow. So humbling. Our kids noticed the non-transactional, purely kind gifts from others. It was a shaping experience for us all.

Now, the compassion I have for anyone who has experienced the impact of COVID-19 has increased 100 fold. There is no way to know how deeply the ailments of sickness, anxiety, regret, isolation, loneliness, anger, bewilderment, and fatigue will affect you or your family, the only response should be prayer, support, and encouragement. The powerful gift health care workers are giving to us all is unbelievably selfless and important. I have never heard our family practitioner’s nurse sound so weary or know my good friends to be so seriously wiped.

We were taking it seriously and we were trying our best, and still the virus found its way into our bodies, into our house. We still have a lot of questions and are unsure of all the next steps.  On the other side (almost) we are beyond grateful we fared so well and we ache more severely with the ones we know and love who still, or might yet, struggle. We pray for and hope for the best for all those we don’t know who will find themselves in the middle of what they were trying to avoid.

 

 

 

 

 

Before and Afters. Remodel 2020

The pictures are at the end!!!

I wanted to move my microwave off the counter.

Drew wanted to fix the falling down parts of the fence.

So we made a list of what we wanted in a back and forth manner. The list included:

  • new back door for the deck
  • move the microwave
  • fix dry rot
  • fence/gate repairs
  • trees
  • remove the half wall
  • cabinet reconfiguration (for the microwave)…and by the end of it…the fridge!
  • hardwood floors (the whole first floor? just the kitchen and family room?)
  • get a gas range (at the end I was getting greedy)

Since we made that list in April, we have crossed everything off except dry rot (no fun in that and besides- it’s hidden behind the fern), and getting a gas range! We have remodeled our whole first-floor flooring (minus the entry brick and power room tile.) We moved all the way out of our first floor and back in with lots of cleaning out and reorganizing.

We’d like to thank our hardworking and talented contractors: Laverne Shlabach (door), Marcus English (fencing), Brandon (trees), Todd and Daniel with Benchmark Flooring (floors), and H&S Cabinets (cabinets).

We’d like to thank our design and idea team: Nancy Henke (get rid of the peninsula), Laura Bruce (put the microwave here), Natalie Sears (wainscot inspiration and many a design question facetime assistance), John Sears (switch the fridge and cabinets)

We’d like to thank our expert in residence– he does it all folks- from tile demo to detailed trim…James Bruce. We are also grateful to the Bruces for the food and coffee on those days we couldn’t use our kitchen.

We’d like to thank our kids for taking out all those screws under the tile, moving things up and downstairs, sharing your birthday and your dance recital special days with project messes, having lots of design desires but yielding when necessary, helping (I love help) and having fun even with the disruption.

I’d like to thank Drew for saying yes and working hard after working hard at work. For carrying the load of family and tax season and projects with strength and willingness even when it was a crazy change I had just decided on while you were away…

Alas, it’s not done yet but darn close. We need paint. I’m so happy. It’s lovely and feels like it hosts more completely how we like to live here.

BEFORE: 

The half-wall behind the table…with spindles. Note the carpet in the family room.

The microwave, the peninsula countertop behind the table.

The fridge in the corner of the kitchen, a tight hallway to the dining room.

DURING:

We had demo-ed the tile, removed the half-wall and the H&S crew was cutting the countertop and moving the cabinets.

Silly me. I cut my hand on the bottom of the couch on hardwood floor move the furniture day. I got a tetanus shot and some glue.

The white oak material drop day!

Two days to lay the planks

While the wood is not yet installed in this section, we move the cabinet block to the hallway and the fridge to the middle of the kitchen. James and Drew tackle the challenge themselves and trim it 3 weeks later.

We pick a stain- provincial, natural, fruitwood, or rustic grey. We choose fruitwood. So many kid opinions.

The fridge lived in the hallway and the rest of the furniture went to the garage or upstairs. Eli’s bday and most of our meals happened on the deck.

AFTER (ALMOST DONE): 

New island. Fridge in the middle. Microwave in the far cabinets. Furniture back in!!! We love it!!!

We decided to do the living room too. Yahoo.

COVID 19- The Journey Continues

We broke quarantine and staying home in June. We went to Colorado and stayed in the homes of our family. We had an amazing 90th birthday family picnic at a park for my gorgeous Grammy.

In July I went to a Young Life small department essential meeting. I flew Southwest. It was thrilling. I was grateful for the chance to work together, have hard conversations, and be in the beauty of Colorado Springs. I was back in Colorado 10 days later when tax season finally ended and we did our first ever Osborne-Original-6 plus-families (we were 18 people, 4 kids 2 and under!) vacation in Keystone. Cousins, wildflowers, hikes, bike/skate/scooter adventures, and sweet family time were a few highlights.

Back at home in June and July, we got the great gift of a virtual swim season with the Coves. We practiced and swam with safety protocols in our home pool and competed against other teams with times computed and compared online.

On the way home from swim practice, Oaks has to go up one big hill. Really big. Being new-ish to biking and short-ish as a human, the hill is taxing.

To get up the hill, I tell Oaks, “Just do one pedal. Then another pedal. Then another pedal. You can always do one more pedal. Don’t worry about the top of the hill, just the next pedal.”

He’s seven and has strong emotions so sometimes he’d give up saying, “I’m not getting anywhere! That doesn’t work.”

By the end of the month, however, he would face the hill with a new resolve. The one pedal at a time method moved him slowly but deliberately up to the top.

As COVID continues, so do the questions, the uncertainty, the pain, the charged emotions, the division, the community, and the blessings.

They just announced a delayed start to the school year and a hybrid schedule for middle schoolers. With the start of school now still a month away (Sept 8th), these new plans might change again.

To think about when it’s all over or when things can be “normal” again is to yearn for the top of the hill from the bottom. Instead, I’ll just do one pedal. Be patient. Stay balanced and hold on.

 

Other notable summer moments: 

  • Oodles of work on our kitchen (see another blog post)
  • Colorado family here in KC for Drew’s birthday and the 4th of July
  • Black Lives Matter and Do Better Young Life
  • Andi’s first Diane’s School of Dance Recital happened July 10-11th. Cousins Lena, June and Henley were great fans, as well as her brothers, GG and Laura. It was a great uplift and Andi was confident and awesome on stage.
  •  Eli’s 14th birthday!
  •  Lots of Wyldlife fun in June with a field day and a yard games hang out night.
  • New friends with similar interests- Sam Oetting and scooters, Schieber’s and Andi’s new penny board, June, Henley and, Oaks play, fight and love almost daily.
  • Our garden, flowers, and grass are growing with gusto!
  • Did I mention the home projects?!

Grammy and her offspring…the legacy of grace and beauty we inherit is a gift.

Maama with 7 of her 9 grandkids at Evergreen Lake.

One of Eli’s presents and a dream come true- a scooter session at Woodward Copper.

Oakley’s first ride on a chair lift. We had a great hike down all together.

Andi danced two jazz dances and one hip hop dance. We loved watching you on that big stage Sister Soo.

 

All the Osborne’s during our mountain top experience family vacay

Also in July- our 16th wedding anniversary. We returned to the engagement spot at Chicago Creek on our way home from Keystone.

 

Covid-19- Stay Home KC Week 9 and 10

May 18- May 31st.

I don’t have much time or soul to write more than list. The days are full and the blessing innumerable. On the other hand, there is some fatigue and sadness that simmers and sometimes bubbles over.

In the past two weeks…

  • We hosted a field day on the Terrace with distance and sanitizing and a gorgeous May day.
  • We recorded some virtual content for our church’s elementary kids. With the team, “Flipping out” we recorded trampoline flips, laptop flips,  book page flips and some recitation of Philippians 2. Drew and I taught about Jesus’ ascension and the Spirit’s presence.
  • We finished school. The last day was, Friday May

    Eli wanted to try some jumps and mountain bike trails so Drew took the kids to Stocksdale.

    22nd. The laptops went back to school and we picked up locker content. Thank you, school personnel, for packing up carefully and making sure there was closure through online award ceremonies, team Zoom chats, and a classroom goodbye.

    Choose your own treat for the last day of school! One for mom and dad too. goodbye. 

  • We celebrated a lot of family  the last week of May: Aria, Wilson, James, Kimberley, Gayle and Steve, and finally Crosby’s big #1! Binny and Bonnie too. To “mail it in” is no longer a cop-out but a great privilege in celebrating. We got to drive by and drop off love for some and did enjoy a BBQ feast on the deck for James, complete with an amazing Task Master competition. Thank you Laura.
  • Our kids got to sleepover with Geeg and Pops so Drew and I basked in the quiet and enjoyed the heck out of each other and some Indian food.
  • The uncertainty and disruption of the pandemic took a backseat to the destructive and devastating effects of racism and division. The creation groans and fractures. God’s presence surely fills the deepest despair, but not until the mourning, grief, and anger is felt and heard. We are filled up with sorrow and hold onto hope and want to do something.
  • On the last day of May, we went to an outdoor wedding for a YL kid from Park Hill 2008 and a gym friend from 2019. It felt good to celebrate and show up but the questions of what’s socially appropriate or responsible are ever so muddled.
  • Today was the first day of swim practice and our summer “schedule”.

    Bonnie and I took our boys to the path for blades, bikes, and scoots!

    Camper finally got a haircut

Signing off with my third day of pesky heartburn (see bullet 5 above, the Indian food?), the sun shining brightly, and half of our neighbors tree in our backyard (see bullet number 6 above…fractures and fallout and what do we do now..)

Peace. Please peace.

 

 

 

COVID-19, Stay Home KC Weeks 7 & 8

April hours (of staying home) bring May flowers (of messy growth and brightness).

Week 7: May 4-10th

Prayers answers, precious arrival, pure joy…on May 4th Ada Drew joined our family. We were so happy Zach and Christine could safely partner together to bring their daughter (Surprise! It’s a girl!) super cute and healthily into the world.

While watching the Young Life State of the Mission address on Friday May 8th with my three kids, I couldn’t help but weep. The scope of hope around the world as people believe, without assurance of an end date and in the midst of hardship, felt so profound. Young Life is a tiny piece of ministry with worldwide reach and seeing and hearing hope in different places and languages moved me. So did sitting in the sadness of loss with seniors who have missed milestone moments and vulnerable kids losing even more when so much support is cut off.

We got to enjoy a special surprise gift of meeting Ada outside, in masks, on Friday night. Then we were even more blessed to connect with family on Mother’s Day at HQ.

The questions of precaution, wisdom, protection, boundaries, priorities, and permission continue to befuddle us. So much unknown, unproven. We didn’t embrace each other but we did embrace proximity and oh my, we got to hold that baby!

 

Week 8: May 11-17th 

Work, Weariness, and Wonder

Work. Work. Work.

Mom and Dad had tons to do (ADS2, Staff conferences, Training Department meetings, reopening contingency plans, tax preparation, firm functioning) and little ability to help each other. Hours and hours of needing to focus, prepare, present, and lead left our kids to motivate and learn on their own. Only 10 days of school left means every effort matters and each assignment will have an effect on what grades come out of this crazy semester.

Work on our house?! We started gathering bids and asking for help with ideas for a new deck door, new flooring, less walls and fixed fence posts.

Weariness. 

Heard around the house:

  • “I’d really like something to look forward to…even if it’s what we are having for dinner…Yay! Spaghetti!”
  • “We can do a sleepover with our cousins who’ve been careful right?”  “Okay.”    “Actually no.”    “Well, if….”  “No.”
  • “I’m sad.”… “You’re annoying.” …”I’m frustrated.” …”I’m over it.”
  • “I’m lonely.” …”Leave me alone.” …”I really, really, really need to be alone.”
  • “I’m counting down the days til we don’t have to do this anymore.” 

Wonder. 

  • Those baby geese huddled together at the big pond.
  • That train track James and the girls built that Oaks got to enjoy too.
  • The smell of spring flowers. And my beautiful bouquet from my kids for Mother’s Day.
  • The notes we get in the mail.
  • Eli learned a standing backflip! And built three grind rails.
  • The promises of God made real in the lives of people staying strong. Way to go single moms we love.
  • That first workout back at the gym. CFN opened with precautions Friday May 15th. Yay. Ouch!
  • All the creative and generative work of people in my house (Andi makes soap, Eli makes movies and mods scooters, Oaks builds LEGO and draws Mechs) and all over the neighborhood, KC, and the world.
  • Wondering what God is revealing in us and our usual agenda being upended. Thanks Pastor Tim for ideas about apocalypse (a revealing of what’s hidden) and discernment (seeing God revealed through Jesus in our life’s pain or problems).

While work, weariness, and wonder, filled these past two weeks, we weren’t without watching. After hours outside and getting all the work done, we, all together or in some groups, enjoyed:

  • YouTube skate park trick videos
  • Church online, Youth Group online, Boy Scouts online, Wyldlife Online, YL senior club online
  • The Greatest Showman
  • Late Night 
  • Little Women (1994 version)
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Five Feet Apart
  • Shawshank Redemption 
  • Clone Wars
  • Nailed It.
  • Task Master
  • SGN
  • Frozen 2- because Drew still hasn’t seen it.

 

Eli’s custom-built scooter, riding a custom-built scooter!

Visiting Binny’s backyard on Mother’s Day. They came, they climbed, they flipped in the grass and recited Philippians 2.

A “fireside chat” discussing gospel presentation with Area Directors over Zoom

Ada and Andi

Cousins getting a little closer again…safely, smiley, simply.

Mother’s Day Code Names game

 

COVID-19, Stay Home KC Week 6

Week 6 of being home brought us the chance for a creative, surprising, and super special quarantine birthday for our super sweet Andi. Andi turned 12 and we had a really meaningful, memorable day to mark her moment.

April 29th, 2020

8:30am- Andi was not surprised to see PopTarts on the You Are Special Today plate at her seat. She WAS surprised to see the massive sign set up in the yard!

12pm- Lunch on the deck with homemade rolls dropped off by GG and Chick-Fil-A nugget catering brought home by Dad. We had Bruces on their half and Osborne’s on the other and blew the candles out inside. Wind!- a guarantee on Andi’s bday.

After an enjoyable afternoon of school work, new presents (cute clothes, diamond painting kit, soap making kit), and Fortnite…

4pm- We had a surprise drive-by birthday parade. So many signs. So many sweet people who honked and even played Happy Birthday on guitar, in their mini van, (#James), and drove from midtown (#Jacob’s Well leaders who love Andi), and 2 pregnant people! There were beautiful chocolate-covered strawberries and sweet distanced time with great people.

6:30pm- Swedish pancakes with Nutella!

7:00pm- Andi’s Candies Bar- the brothers got to fill 2 bags!

7:30pm- Virtual Escape Game-ish puzzle.

And all the way through, Andi was invested in the people, grateful for the surprises, enjoyable as a birthday girl, and a completely personable and intentionally grateful girl.

 

In other news of last week, Oaks has a whole aisle of Lego boxes to peruse in his room and is finding ways to build, create, and play for hours and hours each day. And we’re talking Jane Goodall, tree types, plane shapes, and handwriting of course.

Eli did a week without film. He loves tricks and loves sharing them with the world. They are amazingly cool looking and showcase skills like air-awareness, a tight tuck, and complete obsession with scooters. He has lots of fun footage or not with his flips, spins, jumps, rides and scoots.

We did a 12 mile bike ride at Smithville Lake on Tuesday. We are listening to A Wrinkle in Time with a mix of interest. We watched Little Women from 1994 and Hook. We watched Late Night andAnt Man and the Wasp(without the kids) We watched a new remake of The Pilgrims Progress and loved our afternoon of old AFV.

Digging deep into the tedium and the discouragement at times. Other times, loving the invitation to enjoy the difference of these days for all the joy, privilege, and blessing they bring.

COVID-19, Stay Home KC, Week 5

This is almost a week late. Time does fly even if it’s only within a few walls or a neighborhood block or two. Of course virtual meetings and gatherings take us through the screen and into different states or countries. How special to celebrate Andi’s 12th birthday and her second cousin’s 35th on a zoom on Sunday since they share the April 29th birthdate! Did we mention this special second cousin lives in England?!

Week 5 made me think… (no quotes from experts or cheeky comments…no time for research or extra reading- just real life)

  1. My kids can throw a wicked fit when they don’t want to do something. And if they are being more teenager-ery, they just say, “I refuse” or silently walk-away. Ugh.
  2. My kids can get over said fits and rise to extremely challenging challenges.

I asked them to give up candy, desserts, and sweets for the 10 days before Andi’s birthday. They did so without so much as a question about whether cinnamon graham crackers counted. (They don’t.)

I asked them to memorize Philippians 2:5-11 one verse at a time and they are doing it well and helping each other learn. Oaks asked me one night what it means to “cling” to something. As in, “Jesus, though he was God, did not demand or “cling” to his rights as God.” I cling-ed to Oaks for a minute and kissed him goodnight.

I asked my kids to run sprints, copy sentences in neat handwriting, write in a journal weekly, and send notes to people on each Monday morning.

In all the ways we’ve had to mix our emotions of frustration, disappointment, sadness, joy, gratitude, overwhelm, and fatigue together, we’ve said a lot of “Yes”s to each other and grown in our capacity for challenge.

We have what we need.

I’m proud of these small people.

Oaks set up an epic battle scene and acted out scenes for us. There is LEGO everywhere…I mean it, everywhere.

We went to well kid visits. It’s verified, they are “big kids” as in almost 3 inches taller than a year ago.

Andi made homemade french fries. So yummy. Thanks Andi!

A Koala hug! Eli keeps winning Wyldlife zoom challenges like this one.

Camper “helps” haul rock for a garden border. We planted 3 kinds of tomatoes, 1 sweet pepper, 1 hot pepper. Here’s to growing!

 

COVID-19, Stay Home KC Week 4

We’ve had our puppy Camper for almost 3 years! We look forward to celebrating his big #3 on June 4th. This week however, when I saw Camper all cuddled up in his brown bed, laid out flat in the sunshine on the family room carpet, and seriously sprawled out in the grass, it hit me that he has it pretty good. Then I thought, “Wait a second, so do I…”

How My Quarantine is like Camper’s Everyday

-I feel like laying down and sleeping more than usual

– I get really excited to see the same “people” (it’s just Drew) come back into the house each day.

– We eat more of the same foods over and over and do indeed hover over the empty bowls wondering when it’s time to eat again.

– We bark at, er I mean, back away from people at the front door.

-I don’t go for car rides, or drives.

– Home is where I do all my activities all day. Plus the backyard.

– I really have taken to walks. Longer and longer routes around the neighborhood are highlights of entertainment and socializing.

-I seek out the sunshine on cold mornings and move my body to soak some up in whatever room has it.

Because Camper is the most Christ-like character in our house most days, there is an invitation for me to learn to be even more like him. I think I could stand to rest more, say less, never bark at my own family, and listen with my head at a tilt and love in my eyes.

In other news, the kids were relentless this week. 

  1. Eli was relentless with energy to talk about, ride on, watch videos of, and tinker with scooters. 
  2. Andi was relentless with reading! She consumed nine books. When we couldn’t find her, she was reading. 
  3. Oakley was relentless with attention for building and playing with Lego. He built a brand new Iron Man set he bought and played literally everywhere in our house- even the bathtub.

Camper was not relentless- read above. He’s mostly just flexible and sleepy.

Finally, we watched more Task Master episodes and created our own family tasks at home. We celebrated more April birthdays for some really special people (Granddad, Maama, and Kiley) and Zoomed through work and Wyldlife.

Easter Us.

Calls and such with Maama. We love you!