Momma’s Little Healper

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Beautiful was making Snickerdoodles today.  If you need to look that up on the Internet, I will pray for you.  If you know, then you know how much we all like them because you cannot have a fresh Snickerdoodle and not love them.

Bright Eyes was looking forward to a fresh Snickerdoodle so much, she decided she needed to help Beautiful move the process along.  Beautiful was going through the list of ingredients with her and when she got to “Baking Soda” Bright Eyes, became very excited and said, “Oh, I will get the soda!”

You can see in the picture above the result of her quest.

Momma’s little helper came through in the clutch!  It was not what the cookies needed, but it was certainly what Beautiful needed.

2013 First Day of School

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Life is filled with firsts.  First word, first tooth, first step, first bike ride, etc.  Some of them are a one time first, some are more cyclical.  School is both.

For Thunder and Curly Girly, the first day of school was the first for the year.  For P.C. it was his first day of school ever.  It was a glorious day, and as you may have guessed because P.C. is who is, he had his own first.

When Beautiful was unloading P.C.’s backpack she found all of his school supplies still in the backpack.  After explaining to P.C. that he was supposed to take them out, he informed her that he did.  The teacher told them at the end of the day to pack up their things, so he did, school supplies and all.

So on his first day of school ever he lands another first.  I feel sorry for the teachers sorting through the supplies trying to figure out how they ended up one short on everything.

Some are just born with talent

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There is no way I can do this conversation justice without you having experienced P.C. firsthand.  The boy is a force of nature.  He was just born with talent that I cannot explain.  His talent is rare and frankly is scares me a bit.

It scares me because it is my job to shape his talent and I am WAY out of my depth here.  I had to learn all of this.  He just knows it.  To be honest, I am learning a great deal from him.

Knowing his Mother had a very busy day and was feeling a bit overwhelmed, he bursts into the office.  The veins on the sides of his neck are bulging from the excitement, and you could light a fire with the sparkle in his eyes.  He begins:

P.C.:  “Guys!  I have exciting news!  Just wait here.”

Mother: “Okay buddy, what is your news.”

P.C.: “We are making you a Rrrrooomantic dinner with fake food!”  (Yes he drew out that word – don’t ask me how he knows this).

The picture above is the dinner spread that he and Curly Girly put together for us.  It is on the small trampoline that serves as a low table.  We were to recline at the table (Roman style) while he served our dinner.

Yes,  some have to carefully cultivate their talent in order to give a middling performance.  Some, like P.C., are born with a gift.  Now I have to make sure he uses his Super Power for good!

Time to go take Beautiful on a date.

A Rose by Any Other Name…

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When you have adopted children you will run into all kinds of funny situations that more traditional families don’t experience.  We ran into one the other day when Beautiful and Thunder went to watch some of his peers finish their games.

Beautiful was visiting with the grandmother of one of the other players.  The grandmother had been made aware that we have adopted children because their family has been instrumental in at least one of the adoptions.  Thunder walked up and briefly joined the conversation.  After he walked away to join the other players, the grandmother asked if that was our son with the “Gonzalez” shirt on.  Beautiful replied, “No… our son had a Red Sox shirt on.”  The grandmother indicated that she thought maybe he kept his last name when he was adopted.  Beautiful replied that his last name is ours and was trying to figure out where the Gonzalez came from. 

Later,  Thunder came back to visited again and Beautiful introduced them.  When he turned around to leave it all became clear.  Thunder was wearing his Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox Jersey and the grandmother thought it was his jersey.

Of course, we get a kick of this little story and we are thankful he was not wearing a Big Papi (David Ortiz) jersey at the time.  His game jerseys do have our name on the back of them.  While he might not look like the more extended family, we are proud to see the family name on the back.  He is a great young man and we give thanks every day that he is part of the fun that happens under our roof (regardless of how he plays).

Now I feel old

PhoneBoothIt is easy to forget how fast our world is changing.  There is nothing like children asking about some ancient piece of technology that has faded into oblivion to make you feel old.

Last night, for family movie night, we were watching “The Perfect Game.”  By the way, this is fantastic movie the whole family will enjoy, especially if you love baseball.  It is about THE 1957 Monterey, Mexico Little League team.  Don’t worry, no spoilers here.

Any way, we are all watching intently, and P.C. asks the question (yes, of course it was him – he just has the knack).  He blurts out, “What are they doing in those ‘Cell Phone Houses’?”  I had to laugh.  A woman was using a telephone booth and he couldn’t figure out why the characters in the movie kept doing that.

Yes, our world has changed, and yes I cam getting old.  I am just dandy with that.

Samoan Strong

SamoanSealThunder has always been big.  He is Samoan big, and all the goodness that goes with it.  That means he has also always been strong.  Consequently he doesn’t have to work at athletics the same way that other kids do.

The temptation with strength of any kind is to coast a little bit where others are really having to work hard.  Thunder, like everyone else is not immune to this temptation.  The key for him and how much he will develop has always been whether he learns to “put his foot on the gas.”

Two weeks ago, Thunder asked if I would help him with his workout so he could improve.  He recognized that coasting was holding him back.  After 15 minutes into our first workout and lots of encouragement, he reached down deep and drew from that well of Samoan Strength that he hadn’t tapped.  His bat speed easily doubled and he was crushing the ball like never before.  His hitting was always impressive.  Now it is awe inspiring. 

Fast forward to Monday.  He and his team were working out at a local indoor batting facility because of bad weather.  After he worked out in the cage for a while, one of the instructors there for another team told him that he has the fastest hands he hand ever seen in a boy his age.  Boom.  He gets it.

We don’t all have a well of Samoan Strength to draw from, but we all have the ability to dig down deep and tap that inner strength that frequently goes unused.  Like all of us, Thunder might forget it is there from time to time.  We just need someone to come alongside and remind us that we are stronger than we think. That is really the heart of Samoan Strength.  Yes, they are physically strong.  But more importantly, they are strong of heart and can reach deep down inside and give you more than both of you expect.  That is Samoan Strong.

Fa’a Samoa!

A Penguin in the Off Season

PenguinP.C. has experienced some pain in his hips off and on over the last year.  We are still investigating that with various doctors so we would appreciate your prayers.

He woke this morning with pain in both hips and asked to stay home from school.  He explained to beautiful that he didn’t want to go because, “all the other children will laugh at me because I walk like a penguin and it is not winter.” 

Apparently, it is okay to walk like a penguin when it is winter, but not in the spring.

You have to love that boy’s view of the world!

A Real Name

Today when I was getting P.C. ready for his afternoon nap, we had the following conversation.

P.C.: “You should have a real name, l like me.”

Me: “What do you mean buddy?”

P.C.: “Well, I call you ‘Daddy’ but you should have name like mine.”

After I explained to him about my name, he remained unconvinced.  He is working on coming up with a name for me.  Knowing P.C., it is bound to be something unique.

Children see from a Different Perspective

We have been doing some rearranging in our dinning room in order to make it more guest friendly.  When you have 10 people that regularly gather around your table you need to get creative for even a small family join you.

Last night as we sat for dinner and were preparing to thank the Lord for our food, PC blurted “How did that light move!?”  He noticed that the light was no longer over the center of the dining room table and was now over Beautiful’s chair.  He was enthralled with the idea that the light could move without him knowing it.  We all had a good time with that knowing that the light didn’t move, but the table had.

This funny little occurrence served as a good reminder for me that while our age and past experience usually gives us a more full bodied perspective, there are two important points to remember.

  1. That isn’t always true.  Sometimes our experience causes us to jump to a conclusion that isn’t correct.
  2. Just because we see something (and it might be true), it might not be true for the kids.

We all have experience with number 1.  The important consideration when helping disciple them is that we need to slow ourselves down and make sure we have all of the facts before we charge off with a “solution.”  I know I have committed this mistake more than once and I pray that I remember to take my own advice so it doesn’t happen anymore.

Number 2 is a bit more tricky.  We may be absolutely right as rain about something, but the child may not see it the same way.  This is where we need to really slow down and help bring them along.  All of the “solutions” you provide will be completely lost on the child because they are not on the same page. 

Going back to PCs shifting world for an example, if I had tried to maintain that the light didn’t move, it would have turned into a debate.  He could see plainly that the light was now over his mother and not the center of the table.  In order to help him wrap his mind around it, we needed to show him that the table moved.  At that point, the rest was taken care of automatically.  He was a little disappointed that it wasn’t quite so spectacular, but he was thrilled that his mother now had more light, like an angel.

The real lesson here is that when you disciple your children, make sure you understand their perspective before you fix the wrong problem and create frustration for both of you.  Take the time to understand what they were thinking before you model and correct their behavior.  You will find that showing them that table moved is whole lot easier than convincing them the light did not.

The Man in the Green Shirt

Last night we were blessed with a visit from one of my brothers, his wife and son.  It was a great time and the cousins bonded rapidly because they had a great deal in common.  Coco was also able to join us so it was really a boisterous party.

Since my brother’s family was still on West Coast time, and our little pack had school the next morning, ours went to bed earlier.  A bit later, when all the people still awake were gathered in the living room, my brother’s son mentioned that he was looking for the man in the green shirt to go down to the basement with him.

Coco, my brother, and I all looked at each other very curiously because none of us had a green shirt on.  Coco was the first to figure it out.  He realized that Thunder had a black shirt on with green stripes earlier.  This was incredibly funny to us because Thunder is only 12.

People mistake Thunder for older than 12 all of the time because he is so big and usually acts very mature.  Beautiful, Princess and I make the same mistake in other ways.  We have to guard ourselves from adult expectations of him because he is not.  Even though our eyes tell us that he is the Man in the Green shirt, in reality, he is a little boy that has not even started his awkward teen years yet. 

Some day, he WILL be The Man in the Green Shirt, but for now, he gets to still enjoy being our, not so little boy.