Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Yep, that's a pretty good answer

Life is sometimes like trying to camp in white clothes.  There are just going to  be scuffs and marks all over the place.  The only way to keep clean is to not participate which is much worse than getting dirty.
Kids are difficult.  I mean as a parent, I leave a lot to be desired.  It's not that I am uninterested or have a lack of interest.  I try, I really do.  I work at it, but instead of running a race, I feel like I am on one of those gerbil wheels spinning and spinning but really not going anywhere.  As a matter of fact, sometimes in all my work of spinning the big metal wheel I am on, I feel like shrapnel flies off the wheel and injures my kids who are the ones I am trying to help and guide.  
Thankfully, God make my kids (like most kids) pretty resilient.  Tough, and somewhat oblivious to their father’s flailings.  Joseay is more and more interested in asking some deeper questions.  Part of it is that she just likes to talk, and I guess she has learned that when she asks us a deep questions, we talk about it for a while.  So, the other day, I thought it would be interesting to ask her how she knows God loves her.  I was ready to give my kindergartner a great explanation, with verses, and arguments to bolster the belief.  Sounds like a great idea right, I mean what kindergartner doesn't want a list of reference to know why to believe in god. Anyway, I asked, so how do you know God loves you.  We were coloring in a book at the time, and she didn’t look up or really even pause what she was doing, but simply said “because he is God.”  And kept right on coloring. Yep, that's a pretty good answer.  It certainly shut me up and pulled me off the gerbil wheel for a bit.  At least now I could concentrate on the coloring book.  
Thanks God for making my kids tough enough to resist their bumbling father.  How do I know God made them that way?  Because he is God...

Friday, August 14, 2015

First day of school

Can you tell that our kids are getting older and our reflections (at least the recorded ones) are becoming rarer and rarer...

Well, school started yesterday and the energy was infections.  Both kids were fired up about it both before and after the fact.  One the way to school, Joseay said something to the effect of I have been waiting for this since I turned 5 last November.  She was so cute in her dress as she headed into her first day of school.  Kindergarten is going to be a blast for her.  As I was tucking Brown into bed last night, I asked him what the biggest difference in first grade and kindergarten was, and he said, it is very different.  We have a hole (storage cubby) in our desk...  Yes, very concrete this one.

So is it too soon to call this year a success?  At least we are off to a great start.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Olivia and the heartbeat

This week, Joseay bought a ceramic piggy bank at a yard sale with the name of Olivia painted on the side.  The girl who was selling it, said to Joseay “oh, is your name Olivia?”  To which Joseay replied, no.  “Do you know that the pig has Olivia written on it?”  So Joseay simply reasoned/decided that Olivia must be the pig's name.  So now, we have a piggy bank named Olivia who Joseay has been carrying around with her.  Olivia is white with flowers painted on her side. She is quite the lady.  In fact, yesterday, Joseay informed me that Olivia doesn’t poop, she just tee tees because she is a lady. So we had a quick biology lesson.  I don’t think it took.
These kids, not unlike most kids, begin to burrow into your heart and you find new levels of love.  Of course, this is also a risk as this burrowing exposes your heart to pain, to loss, and to heart break. But Joseay and Brown are deeply loved in this house.
I heard a phrase, a phrase I didn’t quite get on a podcast the other day.  I am pretty sure I misheard it, but it triggered in me the phrase “you realize at some point during your kids lives, that your heartbeat no longer emanates from your own body, but has begun to come from your kids.”  I think this is a beautiful statement of selfless love, and though it is “easy” to feel it with regard to our kids, we have to realize that we have been called, chosen and tasked with loving those around us with this same love.  As I feel the depth of my love for my kids, I recognize my extreme failure in loving my neighbor.  So I continue to pray for that heart change, that allows me to love more deeply those who I am not naturally drawn towards.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last day of kindergarten

Friday, May 22, 2015 Early and quite cold as dawn breaks
The house is quiet, and I imagine that it mirrors my expectation for the day - this last day of kindergarten.  A parent’s love is deep.  To hear that without a child, you might think of the deep end of a pool as compared to a shallow kiddie pool.  But  when you actually arrive at parenthood, you soon discover that the depth can only be compared to the ocean, vast and seemingly unmeasurable.  A depth that is quiet and almost scary as you begin to plumb the depths of emotion contained in your own heart.  Brown reminds us of this often. Brown’s love is a more quiet love, so that sometimes it slips in unnoticed and surprises you at the oddest moment. He has blessed us and evidently those around him.  Where my love for him may be sometimes too quiet, his teachers love him loudly and we are reminded of this fact.  And we are loudly grateful.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter adventure

Mid winter, lots of fun around here and want to update at least with a few pictures.  We have had lots of coughing, a little puking, and a lot of mucous around our house for the last month or more.  We will spare you pictures of this.  But we have managed to squeeze in a trip to UVA to visit friends and hit a ball game. We had a small mardi gras celebration, went rock climbing, had a father daughter dance at valentines,Brown creatively dressed up like an astronaut (see grocery bags on Brown). Brown loves taking things apart and inspecting the gears, etc. Lots of playing in the snow especially over the last week - this ice sledding was fast and furious - too fast and too furious at times - Joseays bloody nose was the final straw that finally let Chris’ frozen feet start walking towards home.  There has been lots of chasing around the house, lots of dress up, long warm baths and even some movies thrown in here and there.  Its winter time here at the Chaffins.  Come visit soon, cause spring will be on us, and we will be out of the house!

video video video video

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas list

Each Christmas, our kids take another step in figuring out this whole Santa thing.  Last year was the first year that they really remembered a Christmas past so that the anticipation was big.  This year, that is still the case.  But they have been reading a book where the kids make a list of things they want – a list so long they have to tape sheets of paper together.  So of course, our kids thought, that is a great idea.  So they make their lists, stapling multiple sheets with lists of various toys.  Of course their desire to write outpaces their spelling ability which makes the list even more interesting.  Here is a snap shot of what we are talking about.

Now you may be wondering what the “incepr” is.  If you weren't before, you are now.  This of course is an innkeeper.  I have no idea why my son wants an innkeeper.  I have yet to really be able to parse out what he thinks an innkeeper is.  We keep joking about putting a man in his stocking.  I think finally this afternoon when we were reading a kids picture book of this story that he understood what he was asking for.  He just laughed and said “maybe I will scratch that off my list.”

Good times.  Merry Christmas. Perhaps if we all crossed off the unnecessary things on our lists and tried focusing on others’ lists, this would be a sweeter time of year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Belly laughs and station wagons

This past Sunday, we had popcorn, cheese and apples as per usual during the evening, but we got to share this feast with our friends the fortneys.  We watched charlie brown’s thanksgiving which I was hoping the kids would enjoy.  But I didn't expect the peals of laughter coming from the youngest two kids there.  They were letting loose belly laughs, mostly at the physical humor.  Near the end of the video, the characters all pile into the back of an old school station wagon where the seats face each other.  Like the kind that we all spent countless hours in carpooling to swim practice, soccer, church, school, going camping etc.  Anyway, as the characters on the screen were piling into the couches, Charlotte Fortney said “why is there a living room in the back of the car?”  It was our turn to belly laugh.  This thanksgiving, we have much to be thankful for, big and small.  Big in the sense that we have our freedom, we have friends, and we have a Savior who continues to guide us through life to our ultimate destination.  And small things.  Like belly laughs with our kids.  
May your pumpkin pie be interrupted at least once this season by a huge unexpected belly laugh.