Dean Family Blog

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Sure, the kids are doing all kinds of fun new things, but this post isn't about them. Philip has been working really hard lately around the house and as I drove into my clean garage after shopping this morning I was just so grateful for it all. Before Josiah was born he surprised me (while I was out of town) by sheet rocking, painting and hanging shelving in the garage. Then came our first little blessing and we've been too busy ever since to organize everything in there. With the arrival of our second blessing he lost most of my help in the yard and woods and has been diligently working at clearing out underbrush and fallen trees so the kids would one day have a place to play with some shade. He's gotten it to the point that we're ready to have someone come in and level the ground a bit before we spread some grass seed and prepare an area for the playground (that's currently sitting in boxes in the middle of our very clean garage). In all his 'spare time' he's also gotten the garden ready to plant...which has been no small feat since we've had 30+ mph winds up on our hill ever since it warmed up.
Thank you, sweetie! You done good.


When You Ask Why...
...sometimes God answers. I got my answer in my bible study last night. As I reviewed the chapter I'd read I saw this passage and realized instead of being frustrated with my chores I should be content to serve my family. While cleaning is only a small part of this, it certainly is included.

'I can tell you from experience that if you devote your life to advancing your family's happiness, the rewards will far exceed the sacrifices. It may be awhile yet before you receive many of your rewards, but being kind and doing good today will yield sweet fruit in the latter years of your life. Marriage will become more precious. Motherhood will grow more dear. The rewards will start coming--with bigger and bigger returns.

However, our greatest returns are still to come, and they will far surpass what we can fathom here on earth. Ephesians 6:8 promises, "the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does." As John Bunyan elaborates: "Whatever good thing you do for him, if done according to the Word, is laid up for you as treasure in chests and coffers, to be brought out to be rewarded before both men and angels, to your eternal comfort."

So regardless of who takes notice in this life, God is watching. He is recording every expression of kindness and every act of goodness. What greater incentive could there be to advance our families happiness?'

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Mondays are cleaning days. By about 11 am our house is looking pretty good. By the time Philip gets home you can't tell I did anything. I mopped...they ate. I vacuumed...there are Cheerios and grass there already. I did laundry...Grace pulled all the folded clothes out of the basket. I did the dishes...the sink is full again. I washed windows...the hand prints (and lick prints) are already back. I washed towels...they were so gross after lunch they needed a bath and the towels are already used again. I organized part of the kitchen...Grace is pulling all the recycling out and trashing the same corner I just cleaned. And going for the laundry again. NO!


Wow, BG is making itself known. My hormones are a little crazy and the fatigue this time around is rough. We went outside to check on our nest of baby birds, only to find that they had been blown out of the nest in our storms yesterday and are dead. Josiah was confused ('Why didn't the mama just use one wing to pick them up and one wing to fly like you do?') and I was fighting tears. It was sad, but crying over the birds might have been a tad much. Josiah's been great about me not feeling so great some days, but he warned me today as we headed back outside that I probably shouldn't lay down out there...the grass would feel bad and the sidewalk is just too hard. He's probably right; next time I'll bring a blanket.

A Little Independence
He's learning to play by himself! In the past few months Josiah has really started to embrace some of his 'big boy' privileges and it's great to see. He will now draw (mostly) by himself instead of dictate what should be drawn and will go play in the backyard by himself for short periods. We've been working on adding some responsibilities as he becomes more able, so he has to help with his shoes, blow his own nose (you wouldn't believe how much he's fought this), put his own milk away and put utensils in the dishwasher after meals. He's getting closer to being able to get himself into and out of his car seat and is much better about picking up after himself. As he learns to do more things by himself we're trying to make sure we come up with some more privileges. Lately, we've declared Grace's morning nap as "Josiah's school time" and we get to do science lessons from his books, go explore outside (we found new baby birds yesterday!), do his bible study or work on some of his Hooked on Phonics books. One of them is about Spanish and he's got his numbers down and is getting close to learning the colors and several phrases. I find it's really easy to get frustrated by all the stuff we're trying to teach him that he just isn't getting yet, but when I take a step back and realize how much he's changing right now and how quickly he's learning it blows me away.

Ah Da!
All Done!

First Words
Ok, Grace officially has some first words. She's been trying recently, which is really funny since nothing she says makes any sense. But this week she is definitely saying 'yeees' (yes), 'hi' and 'ah da' (all done). All done is funny because she says it with the hand motions I taught her, only slightly exaggerated. It's fun to see her learning new things, but I think I'm more excited that she's learning to tell us she's done eating in other ways than throwing her food on the ground. My mop has been getting a real workout.

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