our hard work is not done in vain.

We just got back from our trip to Sacramento to spend time with Nick's side of the family. Even for a short one hour flight there is a lot of preparation that goes into travelling with 3 kids, I mean 2 (sorry Nick). Despite all of my nerves with getting all of us ready, I was most nervous about my boys on the trip. Kids are unpredictable and even though my boys have done fine in the past, they are at different ages now and I did not know how they would do.

What surprised me the most was how much my boys (well, mostly Calvin) actually hears what we tell him. On an average day I cannot even begin to count how many times I am trying to teach him manners, respect, hospitality, the Bible, how to behave in social environments, and of course to be kind to his little brother. It can get exhausting, but I know he is worth it. It's my job as his parent to lead him in the ways of the Lord. This trip showed me that all those teachable moments and times of trying to exercise patience does not just go into one ear and out the other.

Here are a few scenarios over the week where Calvin really caught me off guard and made me a proud mama. So please let me boast here for a moment because I truly love this little dude.

  • When asked by the TSA woman before we went through security what his name was Calvin responded: "Hi, I'm Calvin Nicholas Davis." She then proceeded to give me back our ticket and he said "Thank you very much."
  • Even though I am embarrassed to admit it, we went through the drive-thru at Krispy Kreme for Calvin to have his first donut-amazingness experience. After his first bite he said "Mom and Dad, this is belicious (he has a hard time with his v's), thank you so much. I love it!"
  • Nick preached at an OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) on Sunday and Calvin noticed a little boy around his age holding a hot wheels car. He chased him down, introduced himself and then switched hot wheels with him. Calvin's original truck was quite larger (and much nicer!) than his new friends and we had left church without exchanging them back. Calvin in the car told Nick and I "It's ok Mommy, my friend likes my hot wheels."
  • When we landed back in San Diego, Calvin was excited to see my mom as she was waiting for us at the airport. Once we got into our truck he told my mom, "Thank you Nonna, thank you for picking us up. I missed you."
  • Max was crying over something small and Calvin without being told went up to Max, rubbed his head, kissed him, and said "It's okay Max, brother is here, you are SO cute."

I do not share these small memorable moments to say I have the best kid ever, but rather to encourage you. It is easy to get discouraged or to think that our kids don't hear us when they act disobedient or do the opposite of what they know to be right. But we can't let the troubling or trying times keep us from helping to raise them into great children. All that we pour into them now will help shape who they will become. 

Calvin (and Max too) showed me that all our efforts are worth it and that they matter. Each person our kids come in contact with can either have a good or bad encounter. I want my kids to chose kindness and respect always and with everyone. And while I know this will not always happen, I only pray that when it is hard I will remember these proud moments and realize they do hear me sometimes. This trip truly showed me that our hard work is not done in vain. They are like sponges just waiting to soak it all up. Parrots. 

Do your kids surprise you by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors you have tried to ingrain into them? Do you ever feel like you are sometimes talking to a brick wall? What do you do to stay encouraged to raise your kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord?

Here is a huge photo drop from our drip visiting our family in Sacramento:

My husband's family lives on a huge farm where there are lots of quads, tractors, and land...my boys were in heaven.

My husband's family lives on a huge farm where there are lots of quads, tractors, and land...my boys were in heaven.

Calvin and I learned how to ride the quad (we went very slow).

Calvin and I learned how to ride the quad (we went very slow).

We bought both boys a ticket on the plane and brought their car seats aboard. It was so amazing having them in one spot for the whole ride and they seemed to enjoy it too. We received lots of looks for carrying our seats aboard but I would totally do it again. Calvin also made a friend on the plane ride up who sat in between Nick and him and I sat next to his mom and her newborn. 

We bought both boys a ticket on the plane and brought their car seats aboard. It was so amazing having them in one spot for the whole ride and they seemed to enjoy it too. We received lots of looks for carrying our seats aboard but I would totally do it again. Calvin also made a friend on the plane ride up who sat in between Nick and him and I sat next to his mom and her newborn. 

The boys on their way to go see Uncle B

The boys on their way to go see Uncle B

Nana and Papa with all their grand babies. Calvin refers to all of them as "The Cousins"!

Nana and Papa with all their grand babies. Calvin refers to all of them as "The Cousins"!

Max definitely loves to make a scene and smiled at every person passing by as he made a long and slow walk to the baggage claim. 

Max definitely loves to make a scene and smiled at every person passing by as he made a long and slow walk to the baggage claim. 

If you would like to hear about how we traveled with car seats on the plane and how we attempted to make our trip easy with two kids let me know and I might do a post on it.