Life After Bigger Dirt

Life After Bigger Dirt

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

I am writing tonight after a long but glorious Christmas Day filled with excitement, surprises, and typical chaos that only a family this size can understand.  Our home is strewn with the evidence of opened presents, Nerf bullets, tiny Lego extras, and now exhausted and content kids.  Two of six have literally fallen asleep where they sat, with two more close behind.  Only the teen and baby brother hold out, but hopefully soon they too will allow us to find our own sleep.  Truthfully, by the time six kids have opened presents, grandparents visit to see the treasures, and meltdowns over whatever major issue that affects young children occurs, we feel exhausted and quite stressed.  We know tomorrow brings the clean-up of all the wildness.  Someone is bound to complain that they were slighted compared to another, or some gift request was missed.  It's hard not to lose our cool, let alone our minds.  
In the middle of the day today, I walked around my house looking for the kids.  I found Adaline in her room playing with her new dollhouse and dolls, laying on her new rug, perfectly quiet and content.  Wenhao was in his happy realm, playing Skylanders on the Xbox.  He had waited for weeks to get this game and was so excited to play all by himself.  He later came to get William to play with him, and so proud to show his brother what he had already learned and discovered.  Corbin fished in his new kayak with his first baitcast rod and reel.  He chased us all with his huge Nerf gun and built a great Lego tower.  Allie found an awesome surprise in her stocking, keys to her first car.  She drove half her siblings around the block before presents were even opened.  William, who is always the most excited and emotional, got his first rifle.  We had to go to Pop's to try it out, though he had to wait several hours before we left.  Mr. Beckett loved the day.  He loved his brothers' kayaks and Wen's new bow.  He didn't care much for opening presents, but after the chaos settled he played with every gift he could.  Even now he is playing with square magnets, making his designs and aligning them just so.
I sat with Beckett and swung on the swing set for several minutes today.  I realized how relaxed and happy he was, just to sit in his daddy's lap and swing.  I so would have sat there all day if possible.  
My greatest gifts were my time with each of my kids over the past few days.  Whether shopping with Allie and letting her be my driver, or target shooting with my sidekick in the hunting world, or building a Lego pagoda with my rapidly maturing 9 year old, I absolutely loved my time with them.  Adaline and Wen sat with me to watch a movie tonight.  That's a rare treat for me.  I finally finished the family swing set last night, which made Wen so happy and stopped his insistence that I work every free moment I had this past week.  
Melissa and I are so blessed by these kids of ours.  They are loud and emotional, and fight like siblings do, but they are amazing and awesome kids.  They make us laugh and smile, melt us with their hugs and snuggles, and full our hearts with their love and perfect spirits.  I cannot imagine our lives without this chaos.  
Merry Christmas to all who read this.  I pray you experience the love and joy we share, and see the perfect Reason for this season through your chaos and craziness.  Jesus came to this earth to live perfectly and die selflessly for our imperfections, so that we can experience and live in His righteousness.  This is why I have joy and peace in the hectic lives we live.  I choose joy, because He chose me and gave me His joyeous, perfect Spirit.  This is my prayer for you all this Christmas.  God bless you all.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Birthday Baby Brother

Over the past 6 months the Smith home has been blessed with our Baby Brother, Beckett Asher.  He joined our hearts the moment we laid eyes on his first picture, but oh how this little guy has changed our world!  He is such an amazing, intriguing, awesome little guy.  We still find ourselves just watching him, hoping to understand him and so thankful at the strides he has made since he first came into our lives.  Tomorrow he turns 3.  We do birthdays big in this family.  It is the one day when our kids pretty much get away with anything and we focus on how precious and special they each are.  For Beckett, a huge party or big dinner night would absolutely overwhelm and stress him.  No, we are not having a big blow out party.  He won't eat cake or ice cream.  I doubt he cares much for presents.  But I do know he will smile, laugh, play, and make our lives joy-filled.  Part of me wants to cry knowing we will celebrate him differently than our other kids.  But my sensible side knows we will make HIS day special and perfect for HIM.  We will rock some Christmas lights, play The Voice on TV, and sit back and be amazed at him as he shines in his little world here at home.  I'm not sad because I can see the incredible growth he has had in the short time in our home.  We are so amazed at how God and love have transformed a weak, scared, quiet boy into this busy, jabbering, always smiling Awesome son.  I melt when he runs up to me, holds up his hands so I pick him up and he squeezes my neck, saying "Da."  He knows how to get his mom to do anything with his smile and "Mamamamama".  This little guy who wouldn't bathe for weeks now runs to the tub every time he hears the water.  On Sunday he wore a hood, twice, without fighting to get it off his head.  He ate Kool Whip.  He wore socks and shoes this week.  It may sound silly to some who don't know Beckett or understand autism, but these victories are HUGE in our world.  Every day, literally every day, he does something that amazes us, something that reminds us how awesome Our God is, and how blessed we are to get to be Beckett's mom and dad.  I love this little guy just as deeply as each of my other 5 kids, and feel honored beyond measure to be each of their Dad.  And I so look forward to celebrating Beckett and our blessings we have gained with him in our lives.
Happy birthday Baby Brother, we love you to the moon and back!