Learning and Growing

While much of life around here is learning, most of it is not done in a structured “unit study” fashion.


Brian and I are learning how to parent three toddlers. Keeping all 3 busy at once is no small feat but Brian is a whiz at making fun happen.


We are learning how important it is to have purposeful training times (like using pancakes to learn about Adam and Eve) as well as having “margin” in our lives which allows us to handle situations as they arise with (mostly) less stress.


This is “blanket time” where each kid quietly plays on their own blanket. Lance and Ivy are old hands at this but they happily participate as Flora learns. This comes in handy when we need to nap the kids in a new place and is preparing Flora for sitting quietly in church with us. I’ve always been surprised at how fast the kids catch on to the concept. I then begin to increase the amount of time spent on the blanket – we’re at just over 20 min right now.


The kids are learning how to interact with each other and follow our instruction. A happy moment of playing together – a giraffe, polar bear and frog.


We’ve had a few issues between siblings and while I was pondering how to cut down on selfishness, I ran across an article suggesting that the kids serve one another as a way to learn to love one another. If someone is being mean, they have to do something nice for the offended. Usually it means reading them a book.


I also have them set each others plate on the table, or take over each other’s dishes. Most of this is parent directed at this point, but yesterday I got a glimpse of their heart taking over: Ivy was sad so I suggested to Lance that he might offer her the chance to ride in the preferred stroller as we took a family walk. He did this willingly and happily, which is huge for him. Ivy later reciprocated on her own by offering him a choice of car seats (there being a favorite one of those as well).


Obviously, angels don’t happen over night, or even over years. Sometimes, it serves to reveal a lack of the angelic in the heart of the parent. When I found this mess – all MY stuff wasted – I was very angry and when it came time to make up with the guilty child I confess feeling very unforgiving. This allowed me a chance to see how great is God’s forgiveness when I sin against Him and ask for pardon, not fully realizing what I have cost Him, and He freely forgives – every time!


I love the moments where I can watch my kids just be kids. While we work to train social inhibitions into them (don’t throw food on the floor, say please and thank you, wear your clothes facing the right way, etc) It’s also fun to see what pours from their hearts in the uninhibited moments.


And like Flora, who rejoices over finding all the “treasures” the older kids left out, I rejoice to see my children growing and learning to walk in obedience to us and to God – each bit of progress a ‘treasure’ to delight in and bring to God in thanks!

5 responses to “Learning and Growing”

  1. Lori

    Never a dull moment!

  2. Brian

    Wow. Just wow. so fun to see all of these little moment… the singing was probably best. To the outside observer, they’re really growing up fast.

  3. Alicia Jones

    Looks like you’re doing a great job! I’m curious as to how you introduced blanket time. My Mom did that with us (actually our beds), but I’ve been doing some small blanket time things with Greg to eventually work into the idea.

  4. Catherine Overby

    Thanks for the encouragement, Amy!

  5. Anne

    You’re doing a great job, Mommy! Daddy, too, with those hungry hippos. Wow, Flora reminds me of Stacie, coming in for the treasure after the big kids left.

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