A little bit of everything

It’s amazing how much can happen in two months. It feels like forever since I’ve sat down to unload my thoughts; it feels great to be back again, typing away, enjoying the silence of my evening. The kids were tucked in bed by 6pm. Steve is at Young Life tonight. The silence of our home right now is golden. I love it. I treasure the silence.

Seriously I have become so sensitive to the overload of sound. Kids’ feet pounding on our wood floor as they chase each other through the house…..markers falling to the ground from the table as we do artwork….our dogs barking at the back door saying they want in…..Jacob strumming his out of tune guitar….Natalie bursting into hysterics because the egg she cracked for her cookie recipe slipped out of her hand and fell all over her foot….the washing machine running….the dryer running….Steve’s fruit-protein smoothie being made in the roarin’ loud, manly “Ninja” blender he bought…..the coffee grinder grinding beans loudly…..the fan blades of the bathroom exhaust fan whirling around trying to extricate the foul smell of someone who just used the toilet…..a neighbor’s car alarm sounding…..the honking horn of another neighbor’s relative who is too lazy to go knock on her family’s door, but instead lays on the horn to announce she’s ready to pick someone up…..it’s just all too, too much sound for me during the day.

And so right now the sound of my refrigerator humming and my hard drive whirring is golden. They are the only sounds I hear right now. The dogs are asleep. The kids are asleep. The house is all mine to let my thoughts think out loud.

Here are some highlights of the past two months.

  • Today Jacob’s front tooth came out! At school! This is the fourth baby tooth he’s lost, but the other 3 were all pulled out by Grandpa. This one was loose and then knocked out today by his dear friend Matthew while they were playing basketball at lunch.
  • Natalie is excited beyond excited to start Kindergarten in the Fall. She can seriously hardly wait. Today she ran in puddles with girls from Jacob’s kindergarten class. She loves them to pieces!
  • For “Blast to the Past” dress-up day at school, Jacob used Daddy’s afro wig to dress up as part of the 70’s. Turns out that his close friend Xavier came with the same idea. That’s what you get when both daddies are Young Life leaders! A closet full of skit gear. 🙂
  • This was the first time I let the kids chime in for an online clothing order I made through Gymboree. Two hours later and after much deliberating about what they would like to order, we submitted our order. Turns out that Natalie is VERY opinionated about what she would like to wear. She originally asked to put into the cart, a cute pair of pink leggings with a fun snail design. But when she found out that the matching top in her size was not available, she wanted to remove those leggings from the purchase. She likes things to match. So her final decision was this hot pink mermaid top, blue leggings and a matching mermaid purse. She was ecstatic beyond ecstatic when it arrived in the mail! Every day up until then, “Mama, when is our package going to get here??”
  • On April 21st we introduced the game of “Sjoelbak” to the kids. This has been a loooooooooong-standing famous tradition in Holland. It is a very well-known game there! I have very fond memories of playing this game with my grandmother when I used to visit her in Holland. Years ago when Steve and I traveled to Canada to be with my Dutch cousins, I introduced him to the game. He came back from that trip and made me my own sjoelen board (a sjoelbak). Turns out we haven’t played it for over 12 years. We had Dave & Kerry’s kids over for a game night and all of a sudden it dawned on me it might be fun to bring it out. And it was a hit with our kids! Love it that our Dutch tradition carries on. That next week my mom came over and broke the record with 106 points! If you get 100+ points, you get your name written on the back of the board. Woohoo Omie!!!
  • This is Jacob’s first baseball season ever. I love seeing Steve and Jacob out on the field together.
  • Natalie keeping score at the game. So cute. Her idea. Pure love.
  • Like father, like son.
  • I love it that I got to be in Jacob’s classroom! He’s studying “Plants & Pollinators” right now with his teacher Ms. Janette. For the homeschool portion of school, I had Jacob ask my dad (“Dide”) about his experience of working with a beekeeper. I was so impressed that my dad had such a vivid memory of working with the bees all the way from when he was 9 years old. Amazing! He told us all about the man who was the beekeeper (how he had been imprisoned by the Russians for many years during the world war), how he learned to be a beekeeper during his time in Russia, how he came back to Istria and made his living making honey….how my dad would help the man (who had the outfit to protect from stings) but he himself would get stung all over the face and hands and would swell up…..how at one time of the year they moved the beehives to fields of sage…..then another time of the year to the fields of acacia flowers….how they had an extractor machine that they would put the frames in, in order to get the honey out of it. My dad’s job was to turn the crank of the machine and then fill up the jars as the honey oozed out. Then my dad, Jacob and I went on an adventure to Whole Foods looking for different flavored honey. We also went to another shop in Huntington Beach in search of honey combs. Found them!
  • We went back home to my dad’s place and had a honey sampling taste-testing and tried eating a piece of the waxed honeycomb. Oh how I love this kind of homeschool learning!!! That same week I offered to go into the classroom and let all of Jacob’s classmates try the different honeys. Printed out flowers of each of those specific honeys so that the kids could see that the type of honey that is made all depends on which flowers the bees fly to for nectar.
  • Natalie’s newfound thrill and joy at preschool! Her success at the monkey bars. She learned how to pull herself up and tuck her legs into the bars. This girl has some SERIOUS upper body strength. It is amazing! She has experienced her first callouses…..all from her tireless perseverance through monkey bar fitness.
  • Laughter, laughter, laughter……honestly that’s what so many of our homeschool days are filled with. Chortling laughter.
  • Steve and I enjoyed a date night at Disneyland without the kids. That was fun. A time to just enjoy strolling through the park hand in hand.
  • Steve continues to do an amazing job keeping our yards looking awesome beyond awesome! Can’t believe how tall our trees have become! I think back to the camfer tree, liquid amber tree and olive tree when we planted them several years back- they are so huge now!
  • CICLAVIA- love it that we got to participate in this city event once again. Amazing that only six months the kids could only bike for about an hour. This time they biked for just over two hours! It just amazes me beyond belief that my little 4 year old and 6 year old have this type of stamina and confidence to be in and amongst hundreds upon hundreds of adult cyclists! Love that about them! Had a great time with our friends the Seversons!
  • April 14th- Jacob’s 1st time attending an orchestral concert. It was fabulous!!!! He did an amazing job sitting still and listening intently. He most certainly loves music. This was the best of all worlds- getting to listen to beautiful, live music while also watching clips of Disney classics, all the frames timed perfectly with the music pieces.
  • Natalie’s love of keeping a clean room.
  • Playing chase at the beach. The screeches and hollers of pure joy as I pursued them. Every kid’s dream- to be chased and found.
  • Oh how much Charlie & Annie love to go camping with us!! And how much we love to have them with us, as part of the family.
  • Natalie’s perfect rendition of the storm that pounded on our tent trailer during our Spring Break stay at Point Mugu
  • Jacob adores Steve. My heart actually goes pitter patter and gets all mushy at the thought of Jacob growing up to be like Steve. He’s got the best role model in the world!
  • Glorious fun. The joy that comes in the morning after a whole night of storming rain.
  • Homeschool adventure at the Carlsbad Flower Fields. The joy of friendship with Emily & Hannah. The joy of a brother and sister who love each other. Thank you Lord.
  • The joy of a 1st vending machine purchase.
  • My sweet mama
  • The joy of visiting Omie
  • A morning on the patio at church
  • Jacob’s 1st watercolor painting
  • The joy of watching the tiny caterpillar…..turn into a beautiful butterfly. Patience. Lots and lots of patience in the waiting. And the tragic end of watching our resident backyard bluebird swoop down to the grass blades and snatch the butterfly up into its beak. Thank goodness Natalie was not watching! But that’s nature, right?
  • Out to lunch with Dide. A special treat!
  • Natalie- a budding Georgia O’Keefe. 🙂 She loves, loves, loves art. And when I read to her about the life and paintings of Georgia O’Keefe, she asked a few days later if she could try making some of her paintings. Love it!
  • The joy of preschool children. If I ever forget about the joy and innocence and laughter of 3 and 4 year olds, I need to go stop by a local preschool or become a preschool teacher. This is the age group that keeps things real. The utter innocence and complete fascination of the smallest details of life is the gift this age group can give to all of us!
  • Yes. Yes. The crazy, zany Marina is teaching her kids how to do hilarious things. 🙂 I read online that a dozen eggs can withstand the pressure of a small child standing on top of them. So, of course, we had to try it out! And the even more hilarious thing…..is that after Jacob and Natalie took at least 10 turns getting on, off, on, on, off without cracking a single egg…..I was curious beyond belief and wanted to try it myself. Ha! I didn’t even put all my weight on the first foot and crrrrrrraaaaaaaaccccccck was heard loud and clear. Definitely fun times!
  • Natalie read her 1st book all by herself!!!!!!!!!!! Oh the joy and pride on her face.
  • Jacob’s 1st Exhibition at his school DaVinci Innovation Academy. Here he is explaining to Omie what work he’s been doing in Ms. Janette’s K-1 class.
  • Showing us his Picasso work from his art class with Ms. Cordula.
  • And having just read his “Appreciation Flower” to us, he was attacked by a hug from Natalie. He wrote: “I appreciate Natalie, Mama, Daddy. I love Natalie because she’s funny. I love Mama because she reads to me. I love Daddy because he carries me upside down.”
  • How I do homeschool. 🙂 Teaching while eating breakfast. Right? Don’t you think teaching about synonyms while eating cinnamon toast is a great way for the idea to stick? 🙂
  • The meticulousness of Natalie’s fine motor skills!!!! She carefully oh so carefully placed 841 individual perler beads onto these pegs…..so that we could iron them together and give them as a gift to Matthew and Brianna from Jacob’s class. She sat here one morning for hours doing this while Jacob was in school. Her patience, perseverance, attention to detail and generous heart to make gifts like these for others seriously astounds me.
  • Loving my life!!!
  • The kids’ 1st big on-stage theatrical performance! Aladdin! Jacob played the 1st prince as well as a townsman. Natalie played a friend of Abu.
  • The love of Lulu continues.
  • DaVinci High School’s 1st Robotics Competition entry!!!!!!
  • Steve reconnected with his all-time favorite teacher: Mr. Matsuoka. He was Steve’s chemistry teacher up at Saratoga H.S. Now he’s a superintendent and Steve is a principal- so cool!
  • Week after week of music class. Can’t believe it’s already been 6 years of music class. That’s lots and lots of weeks of trips to Music Rhapsody. But man oh man does Jacob love music!!!
  • Natalie seriously cracks me up! I read her a story of an Indian girl who dresses up in her mother’s sari. Natalie loved that story! So then she wanted her own bindi and made one using a teddy bear sticker. Oh she’s a hoot!
  • I just love this picture of Steve and Jacob!
  • Polka dancing at the Fameja Veneta dinner/dance. Happy times.
  • My life is good. Very good. Thank you Lord for these days, for this family, for these happy memories.
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1 Response to A little bit of everything

  1. J Muratalla says:

    love this Marina, you are such a light and an awesome role model of how to be thankful.

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