Thursday, August 17, 2017

The attack on the Ramblas

The words of Christ, the peace of his promises and the unshakable love that he both offers and bestows in us -- are our hope.  Sure and steadfast, firm and unmoving.

We live about a mile from where the Ramblas attack happened this afternoon, the sirens are still wailing past our house. We walk those streets.  

To be honest, we moved to this city knowing that this day would very likely come.  And that we could be walking the streets when it did.  Almost every time I am in a crowd with my children, I consider the possibility.  Today, it happened.  We were in a museum looking at dinosaurs with my mom, who flew in yesterday. In God's mercy, we are safe.  

Many were not.  

Pray for the peace of Christ to break into this darkness.  And remember with us that we already know the end of the story.  Evil does not win. Cowards will not reign.  

The God of Justice and Might sent a Rescuer.  He wins. And all eternity is in His care. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

the unity shirt

Sometimes you just have to enjoy the little things in parenting.  Like when you're dealing with mid-summer sibling squabbles, and the best way to squelch them turns out to be a bit of humor, as opposed to a lecture.

I've turned to the "unity shirt" this summer.

No, it wasn't my idea.

But I laughed out loud when I saw a picture of someone else's kids stuffed into a shirt.  So it began.  My boys hate it, but in a hilarious, giggling under their breath way that refreshes those attitudes that have run amok. I usually require them to do a task together such as build a block tower.

Occasionally, I require them to stand together and sing that old Baptist chorus, "We are one in the bond of love." It cracks me up every time.

Perks of parenting. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Happy Hollisters

While all the cute first-day-of-school pictures pop up from the US, we are still in the throes of summer.  We're barely even feeling bored yet. I know that mid-September will creep up on us though.

Currently, Jude is completely enthralled with The Happy Hollisters series.  His face is glued to the pages.  I actually have to make him put it down to eat.  Isn't it amazing that a book written in 1953 can still evoke that in a little boy in 2017?

Tonight, hopes are running high in our house.  I said "maybe" to the picking out of a matchbox car at the big department store near the Plaza.  If this momma can get up the courage to take all three boys down to the tourist district in mid-August.  It's wild down there, ya'll.

Summer, summer.

Carry on with your back to school pictures.  We're still watching cartoons over here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

city bikes

Did you know that Barcelona ranks in the top 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world? People really do bike almost everywhere here. It's a city goal.  A lot of people have these crazy fold-up bikes that they take right into their office with them. Even the traffic laws are aligned so that it's legal for you to get pretty much anywhere by bike.  There's a city bike service with bike pick up points that tons of locals use. You buy a card for the year and have access to bike pick ups all over the place.  This week, our card came.  Most of David's work is within a couple miles of our house, so for him, this will probably be a major mode of transport now.

Usually, I have a kid or three with me, so I doubt I'll be on a bike too often, but today I went for a ride down to Plaza Catalunya.  I could be wrong, but I think it's been somewhere around 5 years since I rode a bike. I had to get up my courage in an alley way before I hit the streets.  (Don't worry, I stayed within the guarded bike lanes.)  It was soooO fun.  

Here's to a little more time for city exploration this summer! 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Parc de Laberint d'Horta

If there's one thing that I've learned after seven years of mothering little boys, it's this: if you don't run them, they're gonna run you. Tuck that bit of wisdom away for all the lads in your life.

This week, with four boys seven and under in the house, basically, the entire goal has been to expend energy. As much energy as possible.  

We were going to make them climb a mountain today.  Seemed like a really good plan. But the car had a flat, so we made needed to make a last minute change of plans that could be carried out via Metro.  I've been wanting to trek up to this labyrinth since I first heard about it. It was a huge hit! They just ran around shouting at each other and getting lost and found and lost again.

By the time we got home, they settled in for quiet time with no complaints and remained perfectly docile for most of the afternoon. 

And now, it's scooter riding until dinner.  

P.S. Asher has a bad case of heat rash, hence his shirtless state.  Don't judge;) 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday Tid-bits

1. Let's start with the caramel cake.  I've made it on three continents now. And it's a sure win everywhere. 

2. Tid-bit number two is that we are keeping someone's seven-year-old for a couple nights this week.  Of course, it's a boy.  I am surrounded.  Completely outnumbered.  It's my fate in life.

3. We visited the Natural Science museum this week (because they have a/c:) and the boys were enthralled.  Favorite moment was when they looked at the animals of the Amazon and hubs started telling him stories from his years in Peru.  They were enthralled.

4. While we were debating on whether or not it would be a good use of money to put in an air conditioner to help us survive the summer, our landlord offered to buy one and have it installed to upgrade the apartment.  Who does that?!

When I see her next, I will kiss her (because actually, I kiss a lot of people here...on the cheek:) and tell her she has contributed to my survival in the Spanish climate.  It's only in the living room so we're still sleeping in hot rooms. You don't want to be in my path when I wake up.  But it makes all the difference in the world to be able to come in from outside and get a cool breeze going. Thankful!

Happy Tuesday to you!