Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gearing up for Christmas

Like everyone else, we've been super busy getting ready for Christmas.  Here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks to get my blog caught up!

We've been dressing festively...

...and doing art projects to decorate the house...

...and going to the park during the brief spells of decent weather...

...and caroling...

...and dressing in our very best for the Sunday before Christmas.

Now, we are really, really, really ready for Christmas! That pretty much sums up everything!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Happiness is...

...throwing portion control to the wind and eating a vat of raisins.

Yes, that is a whole canister of raisins. She carried it around for about 45 minutes munching the entire time.

Happiness, however, is not changing the diaper that came several hour later.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

A Thank You Note

Dear Mamm,

Thank you for the Christmas cut-out cookies. Best - Afternoon - Snack - Ever!!!

Shepherd and Lydia

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


After a wonderful week in Illinois with BJ's family, me and the kids are taking it pretty easy this week.  The one major outing we've had is going to get Shepherd's hair cut this afternoon.  I decided to get him BJ's haircut: short and spiky.  As you can see, he looks sort of adorable.

Lydia's hair is also pretty cute.  She's rocking the side pony tail. It must just be a good hair day in the Gensic household!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Letter to My Wonderful Husband

Dear BJ,

I know that you don't like big bows, so for the past 15 months, every bow Lydia has worn has been about the size of my thumb.  However, when I came home from a brief trip to Hobby Lobby this morning, this was in my shopping bag:

I'm not sure how it happened.  My memory is a bit blurry on the point.  It is possible that I saw it and in a fit of giggles, bought it.  It is also possible that someone held a gun to my head and made me buy.  In fact, I think that is what happened.  Yes. BJ, someone made me buy.  It isn't my fault.  And the receipt blew away in the parking lot, so I can't take it back.  And if Lydia doesn't wear it, it will be a waste of money, which is unethical.  So, that is how your daughter ended up with a bow the size of a kitten on her head.   Sorry.

Your loving wife,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Advocate

Over the past year, I've been reading the Bible with several members from our church.  On Monday nights, about six people join me and BJ to discuss the week's scriptures.  When I first committed to this group, I was terrified of reading my Bible straight through.  I am willing to admit both that I am a fairly typical modern-day liberal and that we modern-day liberals have flaws.  I knew that the Old Testament would offend many of my modern-day liberal sensibilities.  Also, as someone who suffers with anxiety and depression, the gospels have been difficult for me the past few years.  It is very easy for me to see the harshness Jesus directs at the Pharisees as directed towards myself.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved the Old Testament.  When put within a broader context, the aspects of the Old Testament that had always troubled me made more sense.  I was hoping that my fear of reading the gospels would also be unfounded, but as I trudged through Matthew, Mark, and Luke, I was having a really had time connecting with much of anything.  It wasn't until John that I finally had an ah-ha moment that made me fall in love with the Word of God.

I have always read the NIV, but this year, I am using the NRSV.  In the NIV, the Holy Spirit in John is referred to as the Comforter.  This was continually problematic for me as someone with an anxiety disorder.  If I'm having a bad day where my amygdala is shooting like fireworks on the Fourth of July, how could it possibly be that I have a Comforter within me? 

The NRSV doesn't use the word Comforter.  Instead, the Holy Spirit in John is referred to as the Advocate.  This I can grasp.  There is a part of the Holy Trinity that is specifically recognizing the good in all of us in whom he dwells.  This part of God can live inside of my brokenness and see how in the midst of a misfiring amygdala, I am someone who desperately wants to believe.  When you are living with anxiety problems, being comforted often seems out of reach.  How do you comfort someone who at the moment cannot see reason? But when those moments happen when I don't feel comforted by the seemingly elusive Holy Spirit within me, it is nice to know that that same Holy Spirit is advocating on my behalf.       

BJ and I are going to try to get a new group of people to read the Bible with us next year.  I know this makes me sound like an old-fogey preacher's wife, but, people, you need to read your Bibles. And preferably, the Bible should be read within a community.  You never know what it might teach you to help you get through a particular moment. I've decided to commit to re-reading John multiple times this coming year.  It is only natural that different books are going to speak more loudly to different people, and at this time in my life, John seems to be that book. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Reward

My mom has spent the last three weeks studying hours and hours for an exam to get her insurance license.  Today, she passed!  So as a reward, here, Mom, are some cute pictures of your grandbabies!  I know that is what she wants more than anything. Love you!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Eleven O'Clock

Eleven o'clock in the morning is Shepherd's art time and Lydia's lunch time.  Here are some pictures that demonstrates why I shouldn't let them participate in these activities too close together.

When I got back from switching a load of laundry, Lydia was painted black, her cheese was painted blue, and Shepherd was sharing her green beans and quite possibly helping her put them in her hair.  For the record, he didn't get any new pieces on the art wall with these techniques.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Weekend Conversations with Shepherd

While sitting on the couch...
Me (pretending to sniff his feet):  Whoa! Those are some stinky feet.
Shepherd: They are not stinky.  They are just tasty.  They are tasty and good.

While cuddling in his bed...
Me: Shepherd I just love your nose.
Shepherd: I love your nose, too.  It has boogers in it.  Why don't you get them out.

While using a public potty...
Shepherd: Why are you holding my hands, Mama?
Me: So that you don't fall in.
(After he finishes)
Me: Now I have to peepee in the potty.
Shepherd: Okay, Mama.  I'll hold your hands so you don't fall in.

Monday, October 28, 2013


No accidents today.  Shepherd did all of his business in the potty, and I didn't even have to ask or remind.  He just went into the bathroom when he needed to and took care of everything on his own.

BJ and I have won this war.  *insert maniacal laugh here*

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Nightmare Before Underwear

We are trying (I mean really, really trying) to potty train our stubborn (I mean really, really stubborn) son.  It's not working.

The original plan was for BJ to tackle the whole potty training bit while Lydia and I were gone last weekend for a baby shower in Abilene.  By noon of the first day, Shepherd was sobbing on the potty chair that "my legs hurt me!" (he doesn't like the feel of the potty seat on his legs.)  By five minutes past noon the first day, BJ gave up.

When I got home, I firmly said that we were done with diapers as of Monday.  Since Monday, he has only worn underwear during the day.  Unfortunately, he still hasn't actually used the potty in this time.  During these incredibly frustrating three days, I've heard my son wail, "I must poopoo laying down," "No, Mommy, I will not use the potty. Time out," and "Go away, Mommy. I'm pooping" (while squatting behind our couch.)

My sanity in standing on very shaky ground right now. I actually caught myself saying, "BJ, I've got to go poopoo in the potty." What 28-year-old says that?!?!

Unfortunately for Shepherd, his stubborn streak came straight from BJ and I, and we are on a mission.  So potty training in the Gensic house has officially turned into an epic battle of wills.  May the more headstrong win.  And with mine and BJ combined stubbornness that has been honed over decades, that little squirt doesn't stand a chance. 

(P.S. BJ would like everyone to know that he thought of the title for this blog post.  He is very proud.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Shepherd!

I am very tiredly sitting down at the computer after a full day of preparing for and executing Shepherd's 3rd birthday party.  After all the hubbub of the day, I want to take a moment to reflect on 10 awesome things about my son.

1. Shepherd is constantly picking up new skills as he grows.  However, recently he developed a particularly valuable skill: that of cleaning up dead bugs.  In our neighborhood, the fight against roaches is never won.  We have roach bait everywhere, but we still have roaches.  I don't mind stepping on them and killing them, but I HATE disposing of them.  Now, all I have to do is give Shepherd a bit of tissue paper, and he happily picks them up and flushes them down the toilet for me.  If the natural instincts of motherhood hadn't already made me love him, this skill alone would have merited my adoration.

2.  Shepherd is a performer.  Tonight at his birthday party in the midst of about a dozen guest, Shepherd sang "Jesus Loves Me" multiple times to much applause.

3.  Shepherd has big brown eyes.  Yes, they are the same big brown eyes I've been talking about for three years, but seriously, they are something to talk about.

4. Every time I dress Shepherd up, he proudly proclaims, "I look like BJ!"

5. He's creative.  During his "nap time," I had accidentally left markers in his room, so he drew spider webs all over his body so that he could be Spiderman.  This will be immortalized in his birthday pictures from today.

6. He loves Lydia (who he still calls simply "the baby"). When people started leaving the party tonight, several picked up Lydia to tell her goodbye. Every time this would happen, Shepherd would worry that they were taking the baby.  He would get a terribly concerned look on his face and say, "No, give the baby back to Mommy!"

7. He loves to read!  During outdoor time on his schedule every morning and afternoon, he makes me take out a blanket and books and we read.  I don't know that it is exactly in the spirit of outdoor time, but it is his favorite thing to do.  He has several of his books memorized, so I hardly have to read those!

8.  He gives me a sloppy kiss every night before bed.

9. After he gets a time out, he says, "I'm sorry, Mommy.  Hug me."

10. He's been excited about the candles on his birthday cake all week.  When we sat it in front of him, he couldn't possible wait until the end of the song to blow them out.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Gone too long

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  BJ has been sick with a viral infection, and I've been a wee bit overwhelmed.  I'm hoping to catch up my blog this week.  Until then, here are some pictures of the kids from yesterday.  It was the first day that actually felt like fall.  I giggled every time I looked at Lydia in these tights.  Baby girls in tights are as much a joy of fall as candy corn, s'mores, and pumpkin desserts.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Mom Wants Pictures

I have recently decided to do away with my smart phone in an attempt to simplify life, get a little distance from the internet, and be more present in my interactions with people to whom I am speaking.  It has been wonderful.  I can't own a smart phone with out constantly playing with it, but I don't miss playing with it at all now that I have a $15 phone from Walmart. 

The draw back to no smart phone is that I am sending a lot less impromptu photos to family.  My mom has noticed.  After harassing me for several days to send more pictures, I am finally remembering tonight.  I just uploaded photos from the past two weeks of my kids playing.  They chronicle a lot of playing in the mud, Lydia's new-found skill of walking, and plain old hang-out time.  So, here you go, Mom.

 (they really like playing behind our living room curtains together)