Today marked the beginning of the end of the year. By Friday, I will have whittled my daycare crew from five down to two. It has been a long year, a long challenging year. Looking back, there were some really enjoyable moments. But most days just seemed to be on the border of "I'm absolutely losing my mind!"

I spent my days with some good kids. Individually. It was just when they all got together - and collaborated their backyard shenanigans - that it became hard to enjoy them collectively.

I now know a few things I didn't know before. (Why must I learn lessons the hard way?)

Boys and girls are only related in the sense that God put us together on earth to sustain his greatest creation. Other than that, we couldn't be more different. Boys chase each other around the yard with sticks, yelling "I am a superhero. I have great power over you." The girls, meanwhile, are in the sandbox making cupcakes.

It is very difficult to love another child as if it were your own. This is the hardest part of my job every day. Hands down.

Preschoolers and toddlers have short-term memory. Short as in, about one minute. I said, "Don't jump on the furniture," and "Take off your muddy shoes before walking on the carpet," and "Please don't hit your friends," seven hundred and thirty five times in the past nine months.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned this year, is that time goes by much too fast. My baby boy is almost one year old. My baby girl is scarcely a baby at all. My time at home with my babies is slipping by...

Here are two pictures from our adventure to the park today. We took a picnic lunch and one of the boys' mom brought treats from Dairy Queen. (There's one extra in this picture. We invited a friend to come along. And his mother. I'm not that crazy!)

After a nap and a change of clothes, I wanted to take pictures of my kids by the spirea bushes. They are in full bloom, and they are beautiful, just like my babies.

Have you stopped to admire your own flowers today?



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