The Week of Zeke: 6 months (June 17, 2014)

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that something I am WAAAY too far behind in is my monthly letters to Zeke.  So to get caught up and capture all that Zeke has done and become in the past few months, I welcome you to the “week of Zeke”.  Some of these letters have stayed half-written in my drafts folder, and a few have only been formed more recently, but I have done my best to remember and capture each month as it happened.  My hope is to end the week by FINALLY getting his birth story (and video) up here as well. (A girl can dream right?) And of course, if you couldn’t care less about babies, then this week might be a tad boring for you…

Zeke,
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One thing you may learn about your mama as you get older is that sometimes I PUT THINGS OFF FAR TOO LONG. This post is an excellent example of that, as you turn seven months old next week. And while it can be tempting to merge a few of these monthly posts into one letter, I just can’t bring myself to bypass over writing one of, what will hopefully turn into a book of letters for you. Especially one as monumental as 6 months.

I think that’s maybe why I haven’t put any words together to summarize this past month for you – because to me, it seems like a big one, one that deserves an eloquence and thoughtfulness that I so often seem to be lacking these days.

So, here goes. You are 6 months. (I’m just going to pretend the last 3 weeks haven’t happened yet, and I’ll save those for the next post ok?)

You continue to grow and develop in just the ways you should at this age, and although the blog world probably won’t care, for posterity sake, I do need to mention that you learned how to sit up and clap this month. Now, I should probably clarify that I use the term “sit up” kind of loosely. You can sit up, but before too long, gravity overtakes you and slowly lean to one side until your cheek has met the floor. It’s pretty cute.
Now, let’s discuss the clapping. THIS one gets me. You LOVE to clap, and it is dang cute to watch you do it over and over.  You (thankfully) aren’t sick of me asking you to clap for a good portion of each day, and I will likely continue to do this until you actually use real words to say “Mom, I am SO OVER you asking me to clap.  Look, I even learned how to speak in a fully sentence JUST so that you would find something more entertaining than me putting my two hands together”.  

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We started feeding you “real” food this month, too.  Just a few days before your 6 month birthday we pureed up some squash and you became a full fledged card-carrying member of the food-eating club.  You were moderately impressed, but were far more interested in getting a firm grip on the spoon to chew on.DSC_0222  

Probably the most significant event of this month, Zeke, was that you were dedicated at church.  (June 15, 2014)  The first thing you need to know is that you were HANDSOME.  Zekie-boy, you rock the bowtie like none other, and I had to fight the urge to kiss your cheeks even more than I normally do.  You also are a typical baby, and that morning, I got you alllll gussied up and took you to church early with me, because I was on worship.  You (like usual) contently sat in your car seat in the front row of chairs while I practised on the stage. When practice ended, I went over to get you, and in the time it had taken me to sing through 5 songs, you had undone both your shoes, taken them off and thrown them on the ground.  Taken off both of your socks, and thrown them on the ground. (are you sensing a theme here?) and taken off your bowtie and pulled the bow apart and was sucking on it like it was your job.  Message received, son – don’t like dressing up – got it. 
I could only laugh as I put your sopping wet bowtie back together.

Zeke, this day was so special for me and your dad. (And so many others!) We had asked both sets of your grandparents to pray about, and read over you a scripture that they had chosen for your special day and oh my boy, how I wish you know how incredible that was.  It was all I could do to fight back the tears as each of your grandparents read to you words of scripture.  Words that will continue to be prayed over your life, and words of truth that I hope will be an anchor for you as you grow up.

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You, my sweet boy, are part of a legacy of faith that spans many generations before you.  And as I stare at your sweet little six month old face, my prayer has always been, since those first moments I laid eyes on you, that you would be a man of faith.  A man who stands firm in what he believes and is so deeply rooted in the love that God has for you.  

So, it’s true – I still can’t believe you have been ours for a whole half of a year already! But,I know that there are many more months and years ahead, and while there will always be a part of my momma-heart that just wants to freeze time just where its at, just to get one more clap out of you, or one more laugh that makes your chubby cheeks extend far beyond your face, I also can’t wait to see who you become, as you learn more and more about who God made you to be.10411909_10153135805046029_5303761820009670179_n

Happy six months Zekie Boy.

Quoted

I don’t often mention on here the things that Ellie says that are funny or cute, but heck, since I’m blogging every day I figure I may as well fill this space with just a few of the things that fill her baby book, and that keep us laughing.

Back when we were at my parents this summer, my mom was outside with Ellie and Zeke and Zeke dropped his soother.  My mom asked Ellie if she could pick it up for her, and well, something you need to know about Ellie is that she is too smart for her own good.  In an effort to not have to do what was asked of her, she quickly picked up her dress in her hands and said in her perfect, articulate way “I can’t Grandma, my hands are full right now”.    Stinker.

A few weeks ago when I was holding Ellie, she noticed some freckles on my arm and asked what they were, so I told her and we spent the next few minutes finding as many as we could on my arms and legs and hers.  A few days later, she was asking Ben if he knew that she had pretzels on her legs.  So cute.  

Yesterday we had a chiropractor appointment (our first after a summer of being away – we sorely missed our visits!!) and we were getting out of the car and Ellie had her hands full of toys.  I asked if she wanted to leave them in the car because it would be hard to hold onto them while getting adjusted.  She confidently assured me that I could hold onto them for her while she was seeing the trash compactor.   I made sure she realized that the word she was ACTUALLY looking for was chiropractor before we got inside the door.  

Clearly this isn’t WHY you have kids, but good golly are they ever entertaining.

Ordinary Days

These days, post camp, can seem mundane.  There’s no lake to jump into, no beautiful trails to walk down, no deer to encounter.  No dining hall, buzzing with the activity of 100 other people, no deep, meaningful conversations with new friends, no full, rich worship echoing from the teaching lodge.  No teenagers, eager to hang out with my two small children, no inside jokes with others around, and no campfires which cause our hair and clothes to linger for days with that smell that just exudes the essence of camp.

We wake up, and each day looks pretty ordinary.  Meals now need to be prepared.  The toy bins don’t hold quite as much wonder as the endless adventure that waited outdoors. The to-do list that was non-existent over the summer now looms as I choose what to do with my limited hours in my day.  The demands of two small ones are seemingly only met by me. The cloth diaper laundry runs yet another cycle as the diaper pail exudes a smell of its own. And it can be easy to wonder how the days so quickly got so ordinary.

But then I look at pictures like these, and I can’t help but revel in the ordinary.DSC_0713 DSC_0714

 As I look out the window while preparing dinner and see this, my heart is filled with gratitude.  My ordinary days allow me the time to watch these little ones laugh and grow, and learn.  And my husband is a father who gives of his time to these kids in ways they will remember.  DSC_0705 DSC_0702
And while we spend time together as a family before bed and this happens, I again, am thankful that things like family wrestle time are a part of our ordinary.  That there can be things like this that will be exactly what our kids remember when they’re too old and cool to want to play on the floor with their dad.  

These days may be ordinary, and yes, sometimes mundane, but oh boy are they ever wonderful.  

Festival of Hope

As I eluded to in my previous post, the past few days were the culmination of something that I have been involved with for the past year.  My part was small, in relation to the scope of the event, but it was a humbling privilege and a lot of fun to serve with.   

This weekend was the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope (an event put on by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada). On Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Air Canada Centre was PACKED (10 000 + people each night) to hear great concerts and the gospel shared.  It was incredible to witness hundreds of people choosing to follow Jesus, and it was awesome to take in amazing music each night.

I have spent this past year serving on the student leadership team for this festival, which has meant planning meetings, and coordinating the student events throughout this year that have led up to this event.  It was so great to serve on a team of youth pastors and youth workers from around the GTA to help hundreds of students engage with their communities and equip them to share their faith over this past year.  It’s things like this that make me love being a youth pastor.

So really, most of our team’s work was done by the time this Festival rolled around, but I (and most others on our team), still offered our support as volunteers and it was so great to watch this event unfold from “behind the scenes”.  Most of my jobs were ordinary and small in nature, which was great.  I love being able to serve in my small way, knowing that it’s apart of something bigger.  Much bigger.   

I know that a lot of people carry some skepticism when it comes to “mass evangelism”, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go into this year with a few reservations of my own.  (Is it really the best way to share the gospel? Does it really have a lasting impact?) But over my year of serving with the BGEAC, I came to realize that what God really wants is for people to know how much he loves him.  And there are a million and one ways to do that.  So we can either tilt our heads and list the negatives, or we can pray, join in, and celebrate the fact that the heart behind an event like this truly is to spread the gospel as far as it will reach.   (and actually, part of what I did all year was help coordinate events that equipped people and churches to care for their communities in practical and relational ways, so that it wasn’t just about the “big event”)

All in all, it was an incredible weekend, it was exhausting, and exhilarating all in one.  And yes, it was pretty fun to have access to float around the ACC, see all the swanky rooms in the basement, meet some famous people, and snag some super close seats each night to take in the concerts.   I am so thankful that I was given this opportunity and won’t soon forget all that I experienced.  

A few (mediocre at best) phone pictures of the weekend:IMG466IMG472

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Meat-mageddon

Hoo boy – I have totally sucked at this blogging every day thing eh?  This weekend was a wee bit of a gong show on the scale of busyness and I was left with negative minutes in my day to blog here.  (That’s less than zero, in case you were wondering)  

I was involved in this event over this weekend (well, I have actually been involved for the past year), and that meant that since Thursday I have spent at least 8 hours a day at the ACC in Toronto (or getting there), helping with this incredible event.  The details are a blog in itself, but it has meant long days and late nights.

After Friday (the first night of the festival), I had great intentions to double-blog on Saturday to catch myself up, but when we woke up and got our day going, we came across an unfortunate discovery.  Ben headed out to our freezer in the garage to grab a loaf of bread for Saturday morning french toast and came back in and promptly said “I think I’m going to be sick”.  My mind instantly assumed that meant he was going to go barf (which, if you know me at all, would know that would cause my heart rate to instantly increase), but it was actually because he realized that the freezer had been sitting unplugged in our garage for the past FOUR DAYS.  

It was an innocent mistake that led to it sitting without power for the better part of a week, but nevertheless, we were faced with a freezer full of semi-thawed food. Mostly berries (that we picked and stocked up for smoothies to last us through the year!) and large pieces of meat.  Read: HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS OF FOOD. 

We stood over the freezer and it honestly looked like carnage.  Berry juice had filled the bottom 2 inches of the freezer and there were wilted packages everywhere.  We spent the next several hours (with a break for a family breakfast) cleaning things out, re-freezing berries that were salvageable, throwing out things that were just too far gone, and debating whether or not the meat could be saved.

Most of the meat was still pretty much frozen, and while some of it had thawed, it seemed like a huge shame to just chuck what was probably still perfectly good meat.  I also think it’s kind of a first world fear that we have instilled in ourselves that meat can’t be any good if it thaws a little first.  

Anyway – all that to say, we opted to keep it, some of which we could put back in the freezer, but some of it we just decided to let thaw and use up this week.  It’s going to be a carnivorous week in the Bokma household.  At least my meal planning is done.  

Throwback Thursday At Its Finest

Ok you guys, I’m only TWO DAYS IN to trying to blog every day and I’m already kind of cheating.  I was all set to get a fantastic blog written up here tonight, and logged into my account.  I was re-reading the last blog I wrote, and got TOTALLY sucked down the rabbit trail of reading old blogs.  (You know that part at the bottom of the post where it shows you three “related posts” that may be of interest?  Yeah, totally got me)

Anyway, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s pretty lame to spend time reading your own blog, but I’ll confess, I do it.  And tonight, I got sidetracked by some of the blogs from my first years of writing.  And I realized two things:

1) I am SO GLAD I do this.  I actually really love documenting our lives and the ability to look back and see the ordinary and not-so-ordinary ongoings of our days.  (And my, there have been so many days that have gone by)

2) I’m kind of hilarious.  Ok, I should qualify that statement: I find MYSELF kind of hilarious.  This in no way means you will.  And as I stumbled across this particular blog post tonight, I found myself laughing again at a) the things I felt were important enough to share with THE ENTIRE INTERNET WORLD and b) the antics our young selves were up to 6 years ago.  

So if you feel so inclined, come back with me to 2008 and enjoy this recap of the road trip that Ben and myself, Jo and Sarah (our bro and sis-in-law) took out to Nova Scotia for a Bokma Family Reunion.  Pre-kids, pre-responsibility and apparently pre-sanity given the fact that we actually did this trip with four grown adults in a Toyota Echo.  

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Fall Reset

We’re baaaaaack.  We’ve been back from camp for a week now and slowly getting settled into normal life again.  And that means actually opening up my computer for more than 5 minutes a day and getting back to blogging.  There are so many things to write about, remember, catch up on, and share on this little corner of the internet and so, back to it I will get.

I contemplated doing what I did last September and attempt to blog every single day, but then it occurred to me that it’s already September 10th.  But, in normal procastinator fashion, the old adage better late than never can apply right?  

So here’s to a month 20 days of catching you up, remember my summer, reflecting on what I’ve learned, and for the love of everything good finally writing Zeke’s monthly posts.

A few summer pictures to tide you over:

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