Friday, January 13, 2012

cece's first day of skolka

I wish I would have had a video camera this morning to capture the moment as I'm shutting the outside door. Cece with the biggest smile on her face as she says, "bye, Mom, love you too!" I mean it is as though time stood still. I know all parents go through this, but this is the first time I've experienced "the first day of school" from this side of things. Today is Cece's first day of skolka (preschool), and as the pictures show, she was beyond excited this morning.
For months now, I have wanted Cece to have some activities. Also, Brian and I really want Cece to learn Czech now, so that in her later memory, it will be as if she always knew it. We looked into getting her into public preschool this fall, but they didn't have space for her (for kids her age preference is given to moms who work full-time). A new private preschool opened in our little town this fall, and while I was given the idea several months ago, I didn't want to try too hard to get her in because I knew that she would scream bloody murder when I dropped her off.

However, recently, something happened to our "little girl". She started telling me that she wanted to go to school without me, a change of heart from previous discussions. So, I called our dear friend, Katka, and she called the school to set up a tour.

My only real hopes were that it would be a welcoming environment where Cece could make friends and learn Czech. Well, Happy Day Skola, the private preschool, exceeded my expectations. They are basing some of their methods on the Montessori model where kids interact with hands-on activities that teach them academic concepts and skills. Students have choices and freedom to learn and explore. The staff is so friendly (I don't feel completely stupid for not knowing Czech very well, yet). They are flexible, and they promised me they would never brush her hair (something they do for other students after nap time).

Cece is going in the mornings where they do all their learning in Czech (the afternoon is the English program). I'll pick her up after she eats her Czech lunch.

Here's a picture Brian took of her right before he left her at Happy Day; she was very excited to go put her toothbrush away (they brush their teeth after lunch).
I recently posted about how important it is to raise your children unselfishly with the ultimate goal being them not needing you, but needing Jesus, and I am super excited for my "little girl". But, oh my goodness, days like today when you realize how big your kid is getting are a little surreal.

Just one more little story, I was a baby shower awhile ago and all of us where supposed to share something our mom had done well as inspiration to the mom to be. Another JV missionary, Leah Cox, shared that on her way out the door, her mom used to yell after them, "serve the King today!" (Leah's impression was priceless.) I just love that. So, today, I said, "Serve the King today, Cece." I knew she wouldn't really understand, but she yelled back, "I will!" Oh how I pray that she will--you know when it really counts, that she will!

Monday, January 9, 2012

one year ago

Dear Friends and Family,

One year ago, I was laying in a hospital in Belgium recovering from a laser ablation procedure that saved the lives of these two boys (Gabe on left; Alex on right)!

I remember laying in that hospital bed hoping with everything in me that these two little boys would make it (if you want to read what Brian wrote that day, click here). I didn't know that Gabe would be the jolly one, and that Alex would be super focused. I didn't even know what there names would be. And, now here they are a year later almost nine months old scooting all over my living room. Alex playing with anything that makes noise, and Gabe looking for anything that would appear to be off limits (cords, outlets, books, the kleenex box). As you can see from the pictures, they are "all boy"--stretched out shirts, drool all over, food stains from lunch.

Most days feel pretty "normal"--whatever that means with a three year old and nine month old twins. However, today, I stopped and looked at them, and remembered one year ago, and I just had to write to say thank you, and to take a moment to praise God for this miracle!

As Cece says, "they are so cute, don't you just want to eat them?"

We love you,

Aleisha (for all five of us!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

so they won't need me

"We feed children in order that they may soon be able to feed themselves; we teach them in order that they may soon not need our teaching. Thus a heavy task is laid upon this Gift-love. It must work towards its own abdication. We must aim at making ourselves superfluous. The hour when we can say 'They need me no longer' should be our reward." CS Lewis The Four Loves




Though it sounds a little harsh, one of the best pieces of advice that someone gave me when I first became a mom was--from the very beginning, you are teaching your child not to need you. The more I parent and the more I fall in the love with my children, the more I desire to give them this gift.

It can be challenging though--to love them the way they need to be loved and not to love them in order to meet my own needs as a mom.

I've been reading CS Lewis' The Four Loves, and it is reminding me of this old, but simple truth--it's not about me.

I guess more than anything I pray that I would teach them that they need Jesus; I hope I don't get in the way.