Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A loves words

A has been enjoying writing letters in the past few months and she's gotten really good at making words too. We got her a dry erase board that has letters under it that she can practice on and she loves it. In the car today she was asking us how to spell words so that she could write them. She can write a few words on her own and sometimes she sounds things out to write them on her own, but many times she'll come and ask us to spell something for her.

So in the car today she was drawing some pictures to go along with her words. She asked us to spell 'cake' and 'eat'. Then she asked us to spell 'hell' and I thought I'd heard her wrong, but when I asked her again she said 'how do you spell hell'. So I asked her why she wanted to spell hell and she said:

"You know mom, HELL-O-KIT-TY"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grantisms

Some things G has said/done in the past few months that I just don't want to forget:

He was about to get in the bathtub but the water was too hot. Hubby asked him if the water was too warm and he said "It's too watery"

The other day he was fussing about not getting a toy or something he couldn't have and he was upset and whining. Then he said, "I sound tired" and I asked him if he wanted to go take his nap (it was still 20 minutes until naptime) and he said yes and went and grabbed his lovey blanket and came back to pull me off of the couch so I could go put him down for a nap. What a sweetie! He loves those naps! A also offered to put him down, to tell him a story, sing and pray. She's a big little helper.

In the party section at Walmart we went by some Little Mermaid stuff and he said, "Mom, look, it's the Little Mer-mi-nade". The lady near me just laughed and said it was so cute.

Me: "G, you need to say in your room and go to bed."
G: "You can't defeat me!"

When G wants a drink he says, "I'm Firsty"


This little guy cracks us up all the time!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feliz Cumpleanos!

So this year we had their birthday parties together again. It is so much easier to do a big party one time than two small parties. Plus, so many of A's friends have siblings that are friends with G and visa versa. So they'd all be coming to both parties anyway.

This year the theme was Dora and Diego, a good gender neutral theme. I made the invitations using my StoryBook Creator Program. Fun and easy.



I made the cakes the night before using the Wilton Dora and Diego Cake pans. I'd bought a cake pan for the Elmo party I did for A's 2nd birthday, but these were a lot more labor intensive than I'd thought!


They didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but the kids liked them and that was the important thing. And at 10 pm I was sure I was going to run out of icing, finally finished the cakes up at 2 am and took this picture. Glad I learned that lesson from the VeggieTales cake because the Dora cake got bumped on the way to the party and she lost her nose, mouth and part of her shirt. I was trying to decide how angry I was about that as I smoothed her out and fixed her up. Even though Dora looked a bit demented, I decided I wouldn't be too angry about it.

Here's the group shot in front of the mural I painstakingly hung up the night before with a friend. It was left over from VBS and went well with the Dora and Diego theme.


For games Hubby put together a fun scavenger hunt based on Dora adventures. The kids had to read clues and run to find the next clue that would lead them to the Pinata. They had to go over the bridge and talk to the Grumpy Old Troll.


Then they ran off to find clues in the sanctuary and in 'Mouse's House' on the playground. Then it was back to the field to 'Chocolate Tree'


where they all got some chocolate and their last clue. In the Youth Building they found the pinata and what do you know but Swiper was there, trying to swipe the Pinata. The kids had to say "Swiper No Swiping, Swiper No Swiping, Swiper NO Swiping" and he said, "Oh man!"


Then it was Pinata time


And everybody got a few hits at it and no one was even close to breaking it open. So...


We just had to rip it open. But the kids liked it anyway. It was a fun party and I hope the kids enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed planning it!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Sharing 'Toys'

I must have really goofed somewhere along the line on teaching the kids to share their toys. They are both quite strong willed and when they see the other one wants a particular toy, something in them goes off and says "I wanted that toy too!" Or if they were playing with a toy ten minutes ago, but left it and are happily playing with something else, they are suddenly outraged as the other decides to play with the forgotten toy, "HEY! I was playing with that!"

The other morning things sunk to a new low. I heard G crying his sad cry from the kitchen table where they were both eating breakfast. I went in and asked him why he was crying and he said, "A won't let me have a lightsaber." Now, this would be a pretty normal thing to hear except for the fact that we don't own toy lightsabers (surprise!). They were fighting over PRETEND toys!

Now, it gets better. I didn't really know what to do at this point (besides laugh and go tell Hubby), but I came back and asked A if she would share a 'lightsaber' with G. She held out her empty hand and 'gave' him one. He says.... "NO! I don't want THAT one! I want the OTHER one!" Meaning that he wanted the one in her right hand! So I asked A if she could give him the other one and she did and went off screaming as if I'd robbed her, while G trotted away happy with his right-handed lightsaber. She proceeded to 'steal' it away from him and I did what the logical parent would do....I 'took' all the lightsabers and put them on top of my dresser.

I don't remember exactly how we worked this out. I think it had something to do with Hubby explaining to her that he could make two of the same lightsabers, one for her and one to give to G. And also I reminded her that if she couldn't share pretend toys with her brother, how could I send her to school and expect her to share real toys with her classmates.
Gee whiz!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If you want me to

Here is a song that reflects my heart right now.



The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Chorus:
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

ya oh oh no

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to

(There is another verse that she's added in the live version)
And when I cross over Jordan
I'm gonna sing and I'm gonna shout
Gonna look into your eye and say
'You never let me down'
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to you
And I will walk through the valley if you want me to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Death of a Laptop

So I've mentioned that my kids break things. My laptop is just the next thing in a long succession of things that have fallen prey to their inexperienced hands. It's really not entirely their fault. Please, step into my 'office'....



My couch doesn't really make for a good office, but it's the best I can do without monopolizing the kitchen table. It's a good place for me to get some work done while I watch the kids. But the couch is also fair game in their play area.

So the other day Amelia was sitting on the couch waiting for her friend to come over. There was still an hour before Jacob was supposed to come over but she just wanted to sit by the window to watch for him. I was doing things around the house and as I came back by the living room she says, "Mommy, I put your computer back on the couch, it fell off."

I went to check on the computer and it was not registering power to the battery even though it was plugged in. I knew exactly what the problem was. How is this you ask? Because it's been broken 2 other times for the exact same problem, but before the change was gradual. I'd notice it switching from battery to AC power even when the cord was plugged in. I called the warranty people at Dell to let them know I had a problem and they sent someone out to fix it. My warranty ran out in July. Awesome.

It really put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I knew that this time it was done for, no hope left, no flicker of power connecting whatsoever. So a few days later I turned it back on to use the 1 hour of battery power I had left to back up all my files. I didn't get them all so there are some things still left on my hard drive. I wanted to assess the problem, to see if there was a way to get the motherboard port to reattach so I took apart the computer.



I got it all back together and there was a tiny flicker of power, but I couldn't get it to last. Now I have to figure out how to a)recharge my battery b)borrow a hard drive reader to move the files OR c)find someone who can fix the port on the motherboard.

As much as I'd like to blame this on my kids I knew it was bound to happen eventually. And I'm starting to believe what Amelia said ('No I didn't bump it Mommy...No, I wasn't jumping on the couch, it just fell off'). For instance, I found this strange notepad message on the hard drive when I was cleaning everything off:

Dear Lark,
There are so many reasons I have to do this. I'm sure you will understand. You know you've wanted more memory anyway and I just don't run as fast as I used to with all your graphic heavy programs. You are already using that external hard drive and it feels like betrayal every time you plug it in. Is 60GB not enough for you? I'm also tired of the abuse. I think I first felt this way when your son took off my letter 'F' key. It may not be an important letter to you, but it's part of me. And my display screen was never the same after it was colored on. And sure you got me fixed when I was under warranty, but what now? Am I obsolete because new parts cost more than a brand new model? Do I mean nothing to you?

I just can't take it anymore. Goodbye Cruel World!

Sincerely,
Inspirion 1300

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Introduction to Kevin's movie loves

The stage: Hubby is playing music from different movies, including Lord of the Rings...

A: Daddy, who is that?
K: That's Gandalf.
A: Is he a bad guy?
K: No, he's a good guy, you are really going to like these movies one day. They have to destroy a ring.
A: Why?
K: That's the only way to defeat the Dark Lord
A: Is the Dark Lord a bad guy? (quivering voice)
K: (laughing) Yes, the Dark Lord is a bad guy.

Later..Star Wars theme begins...

A: Aghhhh!
G: I'm scared
K: You can't be scared of this, it's STAR WARS!

later...
A: Wow, daddy, you have a lot of Star Wars movies, you must really like Star Wars!

Hubby then tells them all about comic book heroes and they watch a few non-scary Spider-man scenes.

A: What does it feel like to get bit by a radioactive spider?
K: I don't know honey, probably it stings like a regular spider bite.

A continues the questioning, wanting to know everything about all of them. I'm starting to think this is the stuff that nightmares are made of and start making signals to Hubby.

K: Honey, these are all pretend stories, they are not real. Some of these stories are too scarey for you. You don't need to know about some stuff.
A: Like what stuff?

Now they are getting ready for bed and Hubby is making up a Spider-man pretend story. I told him to keep it non-scary and suggested he tell them about how Spider-man went to Publix. He said that would be lame, but if HE made it up it wouldn't be lame. Now they are calling Spider-man on the telephone.

He is a great Daddy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Best Daddy Award

A's BEST DAD IN THE WORLD AWARD!!!

My dad, Daddy, is the best dad in the world because he loves me and really knows how to wash the dishes and always gives me love. Every morning he makes breakfast and that makes me happy! Whenever I need rest, my dad always reads stories and he never does what's wrong...sometimes he does what's wrong, but he never makes dinner, that's for sure, unless Mommy is out of town. His biggest talent is telling pretend stories and he can do voices like no one else. One day I hope I can be a good Mommy just like him! I love when we have daddy-daughter date nights together because I feel special and happy just being around him. Whenever we go on vacations he takes good care of us and is the best dad around. I don't know how I'd do anything without him. I want him to know that he's the specialist dad because he's a very good dad.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Say Wha?

The other day the kids were calling their friend Caleb a 'Weenie'. They weren't doing it tauntingly, just being silly like when they rhyme words and make up things. Later at lunch they said it again and I had a chance to ask them about it:


L: Where did you guys get the word weenie from anyway?

A: The guy with the monkey mom!

L: (thinking) You mean Curious George?

A: (laughing) Nooooo!

L: Okay, well what guy with a monkey are you talking about?

A: You know, the guy with the monkey and the girl with the tiger!

L: (lots of thinking) Guy with a monkey and a girl with a tiger? What?

A: Yeah, the guy with a monkey and girl with a tiger!

L: (more thinking) You mean Aladdin?

A: Yeah! The guy with a monkey says weenie.

L: You mean GENIE?

A: Yeah the guy with a monkey and the Genie!

L: (laughing) Ohh, I see.


So, Caleb, after all they were just calling you a Genie. That's not so bad, eh?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mischevious Messes

I've been sick for the past few days which means the kids have had a little more 'unsupervised play time.' They generally play pretty well together, but all moms will agree that when they are playing quietly, THAT is when to be worried.

So the other day we had just given them each a new toy because of G learning to use the potty. We told him when he kept his pants dry all day we would get him a new toy. And A had helped him a lot along the way and had done a good job encouraging him as a big sister.

I was resting on the couch and they were playing in G's room. I thought they'd be occupied pretty well with their new toys and I heard them banging on closet doors and playing. It wasn't until I heard A say, "Now rub the baby powder all over too" that I jumped up from the couch and ran to see what they were up to.

They had found a bag of maternity clothes that had baby powder and also Lashinoh lanolin cream in it. G had rubbed the lanolin all over his tummy and A was putting it on a metal folding chair. If you don't know what lanolin is, just imagine Vaseline and you are on the right track. Very greasy and water resistant. Awesome. So I tried to wipe them off with a wipe but it wasn't working so I just put G in the tub and soaped him off. I didn't take a picture of that mess since the cream is mostly clear. However, I did get a chance to take a picture of another mess later on that day (aren't I lucky!?).

I put G down for his nap and then put A in her room for quiet time. She wanted to bead some necklaces so I cut her some string and gave her beads and asked her to stay quiet in her room until 3pm so I could lay down and rest. Around 3:15 she still wasn't out of her room so I thought, 'how sweet, she knows I'm not feeling good and she's letting me rest.' I was planning to tell her how proud I was that she stayed in her room the whole time and didn't wake me up. Well, I walked in and saw this...



Glitter, glue, and water. I really don't know why she thought adding water would help her picture.



I think the Lord allowed this to happen when I was sick because I didn't even have enough energy to get mad and react in anger. I just made her sit in my bathroom until I was finished cleaning it up.


These weren't the same day, but here are some other recent messes I had to take pictures of:


G loves to have 'water time' in the bathroom. Unfortunately I've had to say "This is a bathroom, not a waterpark!" more than once.



And they really love to find the baby powder high up on the shelf above the dresser.




Fortunately baby powder (without lanolin) isn't too hard to clean up, I just wipe it off and pat it around, and it actually leaves a nice smell in the carpet.


Isn't that an awesome baby powder hand print on the couch? Thanks Messy Kids!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Did you know dishwashing detergent expires?

Me either.

But trust me, if it smells funny and you happened to get it from your Grandmother's house (who rarely used the dishwasher) and it could be 3-10 years old, just don't use it. Really. It's not worth it.

I started my dishwasher with the old liquid dishwashing detergent (not regular dish soap, I learned that lesson in college) and then started icing a cake. After icing the cake I went to put the knife in the sink and saw lots of bubbles. Then I turned around and saw this:



After a few shreaks and dancing around I turned off the dishwasher and then grabbed my camera (of course). Then did some google searching and found out that yes, dish washing detergent can go bad. Something about the liquid separating from the detergent agents or some kind of chemical reaction.

After googling some remedies I went back to figure out what to do. I realized the machine was still on the pre-wash cycle and hadn't even opened up the full detergent box. So I scooped all that out and tried starting it again.



Unfortunately there was still enough of the soap in the pre-wash part that bubbles still came pouring out of the bottom. I had to catch them with a couple of 9x13 pans that I had to keep emptying out and switching out.



So I stopped it again and took out the bottom rack and scooped as many bubbles as I could out and tried running the rest of the cycle out like that. Finally I got it all cleaned out.

Positives were that it happened during nap time (don't need to make the kitchen floor a kiddie water park thank you) and the floor did need to be mopped anyway. I tell ya, if it's not my kids making the mess it's me!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rainy Days

I'm trying to be a good mommy and relax on rules and such and just let the kids be kids. Today we went on a bike ride and the wind was picking up and sky was threatening rain. But it didn't look too imminent so we went around the block. A wanted to say hi to a friend across the street so we went in her house for 2 or 3 minutes until her mom looked out and said it was raining. The bike was still out front and she let me borrow an umbrella. I couldn't hold both kids hands, the umbrella and push the bike home so I just told the kids to run quick across the street.

We all got a little wet and then I just decided to let them play out in the rain, what the heck. They thought it was AWESOME! They had a great time running and splashing in the gutters (and laying in them, which I wasn't thrilled about..eww). I was having a good time just watching them run back and forth in front of our house.






Ah, and when we got into the garage I helped them get undressed. While I went to get a towel I could see Grant needed to pee, but I'd told him not to come in the house while he was wet. So the poor fellow looked for somewhere he could pee and so he peed in Amelia's shoe. I'm not talking about standing and aiming for the shoe, he got down on the floor and peed in it. I stopped him mid-stream and just made him pee on the outdoor rug instead. I didn't know whether to laugh or what! Who pees in a shoe? Really?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2009...

My best friend's mom died last week. After thinking about how this was the third funeral I attended this year I started thinking, "Man, 2009 has been a bad year!" After saying that I thought of all the good things that have happened through this year through all the pain.

We've lost loved ones and now we face an uncertain future, we've had to deal with the junk of this world and the sin that so abounds here (in ourselves and in others). But through these difficult few months I've grown leaps in my relationship with God. As Kevin and I try to figure out what job He wants us to pursue for next year we've grown closer together and attacked the creeping separateness that encourages us to live parallel lives. Through the painful circumstances I understand more about the Bible, about life, and how to deal with difficulties. I've learned how to better endure hardships and pursue peace. I can relate to others who are going through hard times. I cannot insulate myself from pain so I must grow from it.

This year may have been a difficult year so far, but not a BAD one. A bad year would be one in which I sat on my bum, did nothing for God, and did not grow as a person or learn. I can pursue comfort or I can pursue God, not both. I can rate my year on how happy I've been or how holy I've become.

In the funerals that I've been to, one thing I'd thought about is that the person had fulfilled their purpose on earth. This encouraged me that those of us still living are not done with our purpose, we've still got work to do! A few weeks ago I mentioned how much I'd rather go and be with the Lord, but now I've realized that was selfish. I just wanted to be with the Lord because it would be easier and happier, to just get away from the problems and pains of this life.

I'm always telling pregnant moms not to be consumed in yearning for pregnancy to be over because there is a miracle inside of them. Once it is out it can't go back in! I also encourage engaged couples not to wish away the period of engagement. It's a special time of waiting and preparing for the wedding day that they'll never have again. Well, I need to take my own advice. I'm going to live the abundant life and see it as a precious gift, even though it'd be easier to be with Him. I guess death is similar to both of those things. We know it's going to happen, we just don't know exactly when. So my time here is like being engaged but not knowing when the wedding date is.

Well, heaven is not God's current plan for me so I need to live courageously, the way He wants me to live. I shouldn't just endure, I should Enjoy! Going through pain and waiting isn't something we would choose to do voluntarily, but when I'm faced with the choice of living a mediocre life of comfort or a brilliant life with pain, I'd choose the latter.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Third time's a charm?

So after my failed attempt in January to potty train G I decided I'd wait until the summer to try again. There is no real rush, but diapers are expensive and he has to be trained by August for his preschool class. So this week it's been really rainy and there's no end in sight to the amount of days we'll be stuck at home. What better time to try the potty again? So Wednesday we tried some informal potty stuff, I told him to pee pee on the potty and he did, so I kept him in underwear for the day. Here's how it went:

Wednesday:
Pee on potty, Pee in underwear, No underwear-pee in potty, Put underwear on-pee in underwear. Agh! Seemed like he'd only pee in the potty when he was totally naked. And unless we were going to stay at home and not accept visitors this wasn't an option.

Thursday:
Pee on potty, pee in underwear, no underwear-pee in potty, training pants-pee in potty when asked, pee in potty when told, no underwear-pee on floor, pee on potty when told. Seems like one step forward one step back.

Friday:
Well, Friday morning he peed on the floor even without underwear so the stay naked technique wasn't even working.

I'd had it with that so I pulled Potty Scotty back out and decided to do the whole training routine one more time. In my head I decided that if it didn't work I'd leave it to Hubby to potty train him. The 'Potty training in less than a day' book is what I used with A and while very specific and instructive it is overly optimistic about child temperaments. My kids are strong willed so it's a little tougher.

So with much trepidation we began again. Teach Scotty to use the potty, Scotty goes potty. Here's how it sounds: Yay Scotty! You are a big boy, you get a treat. Oh no, Scotty wet his pants. We don't like wet pants Scotty. We love you, but we don't like wet pants. Daddy doesn't like wet pants. Mommy doesn't like wet pants. Thomas the Train doesn't like wet pants. Are your pants wet? We must practice, practice going to the potty. We must practice fast, run to the potty Scotty! Good job, do it again...

Oh my gosh I'm going to go crazy typing out all that dialogue. But after G trained Scotty successfully it was time for him to have his own turn. My entire Friday was spent repeating that crazy mommy potty lingo of simple sentences and remembering all the techniques. Poor G, the best part of potty training for him was that I was feeding him non-stop crackers (to make him thirsty) and juice (so he'd have lots of chances to go potty). Having too much juice produced...shall we say 'soft' bowels? Having the big D doesn't make for easy potty training cause as a 2-year old ya really don't know when that is going to come out. So for lunch we had lots of cheese, and whole wheat bread and no more juice for the rest of the day!

So anyway, the point of the book's training is to get your child to go from you telling them to use the potty, to suggesting they use the potty, to mentioning the potty, to not mentioning the potty and then they are doing it on their own. It was late Friday night and G had not gotten to that last phase. I'd stopped suggesting he go to the potty and was waiting for the breakthrough that he decide to go. He's done it before, either underwearless or in the pool. But once again he wanted to play instead of potty so we had to do the whole practicing which he didn't like.

Practicing is a series of running from one room to the potty and practicing going while wearing the wet pants. You have to do it 10 times from different spots in the house to help them remember to go fast to the potty. Plus it's a deterrent, if they know they are going to have to practice if they wet their pants, they might just decide it's easier just to go potty than interrupt playing with all that practicing.

Saturday morning: I put him in underwear (diapers still for bed) and after a while he wets his pants again. More practicing. He's crying saying, "I can't do it!" But I know he can and I tell him that he can because he's a big boy and he's done it before and he's going to get it, I know he can! Then I sing him the little Elmo potty song that I mentioned in my last potty progress post. Then we do all the other techniques and have him change into dry pants.

Finally! A BREAKTHROUGH! About 45 minutes after all that practicing he is playing and says he needs to use the potty and he runs to the potty and uses it! The Hallelujah chorus begins in the bathroom and there is much rejoicing in the Kelsey household. I'm serious. We are all four dancing and running around the kitchen as we get the celebratory M&M. This is a big deal folks.

And what's more, G stayed dry the entire rest of the day! In fact he stayed dry all of Sunday too, even though we had to go out to church in the morning. The only time he had an accident was when the kids were playing in the sanctuary after church. The nursery worker told me he used the potty two times while in nursery, that he'd told them he needed to go (she did mention he needed to improve his aim, ha!). So I figured he'd be okay while we talked with friends after the service. He ended up pooping in his pants, but I could understand with being in a new place, not knowing where the bathrooms were, perhaps it was okay to poopie in pants...just not pee? So I took him and changed him and then after getting home we did a few practices and made it clear it wasn't good to pee or poopie in his pants. Later today he made three other important steps that I think are good milestones. He said he needed to pee even when there was a video on (TV is like kiddy crack for my children), we were playing outside and he went inside so he could pee, and during dinner he needed to poop and he went to the potty.

I am so relieved that he's finally getting it. I get pretty stressed about this, so it's good to have the main part done. We are all proud of our little guy. He's really getting bigger and if he stays dry all of tomorrow we are going out to the store to find some Lightning McQueen underwear or some kind of toy. Yay G!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Siblings

The kids love playing together and even right now they are laying on their tummies reading a book together. But A most times is calling the shots, telling G what they are going to do next. I keep trying to tell her that she is not the boss of him. When he won't do something that she wants she'll push him down or try to make him go where she wants him to go. Obviously she gets a time out for these things and I again tell her she can't make G do something he doesn't want to do.

So from the kitchen I hear the usual, "G, no! Go right here" (Bang) (Crying)
That's when I intervene but A comes running out of the kitchen, "Mommy! I feel repentant!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Interview with A and G

I saw this and thought it would be fun to do with A and G. The bold parts are the questions I asked and the rest are their answers.

My Mom
By A

I really love it when my mom takes me out to the mall.

My mom likes to wear pretty dresses.

My mom always tells me, that she loves me.

The best thing she does is put up Gator decorations.

It makes her happy when when I do good things and good choices.

My mom loves to relax by laying on the couch.

I like it when she takes me out to the park.

The best thing she cooks is spaghetti noodles.

When my mom shops she likes to buy pretty dresses...I mean, clothes for me.

My mom’s favorite household chore is putting laundry away.

My mom’s favorite TV show is North and South.

If she could go on a trip, she would go to to Hungary.

I love my mom because she's special to me.

My Mom
by G

I really love it when my mom clean up.

My mom likes to wear underpants.

My mom always tells me, -

The best thing she does is -

It makes her happy when when I -

My mom loves to relax by -

I like it when she toys.

The best thing she cooks is dinner.

When my mom shops she likes to buy books.

My mom’s favorite household chore is sleeping.

My mom’s favorite TV show is Norf and Sauce.

If she could go on a trip, she would go to Rocket can turn into a submarine.

I love my mom because because I...yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Uh...do my kids watch too much PBS?

Grant was saying this in the kitchen, unprovoked:

"Dwagon Tales is funded in part by the corporation for public broadcasting"

A corrected him by saying:

"No, no, it's: Dragon Tales is funded in part by a grant from the corporation to publix broadcasting through funds from the US apartment of education. Oh, I mean veggication."

Wow.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Feeling sooooo loved...

So Hubby was gone for a few days for a pastor's conference. The morning he was gone I gave lots of extra cuddle time with A because I knew she'd be missing her daddy. We were snuggling together and talking about it:

A: Mommy, I miss daddy
M: I know honey, I miss him too
A: I wish he didn't have to go to Chicago
M: I do too, but it's part of his job and he works hard for us.
A: I wish it was you that had to go to Chicago.
M: (To self: Hmm. Thanks.)


Then there are those lovely times I've come to pick A up from school or Sunday School and she has a fit when she sees it's ME picking her up and not Daddy. It's such a blast to pick her up off the floor and carry her to the car.

Then today I was visiting with a friend in the morning while she was at school. When I walked in the door I was greeted with, "Aww, mommy I didn't want you to come home." Thanks honey. I told Hubby, "You didn't hear what she just said about me did you?" He said, "Yeah, she's been saying that a lot since we've been home." Lovely.

Oh well, girls and their daddies. I told my mom some of these things and she said that I did those kinds of things with my daddy. Poor mom, she didn't even get a little boy to love on, she had two girls.

I have a little boy who lights up when I come to pick him up from church and who comes to MY side of the bed in the morning to snuggle. I just have to work on loving A through this stage and not taking it personally.

I told Hubby that A is a lot like I was as a child and he thinks G is a lot like he was as a child, so perhaps that's why they are attracted to the opposite parent. Or maybe it's all Freudian and A  wants to marry her daddy and take over. That wouldn't actually surprise me either. I guess I'll have to wait for 20 years. My mom and I are good friends now and I totally appreciate her more than I did I'm sure when I was 4 years old! Man, is parenting a lesson in patience or what!?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things I never thought I'd say

Most moms when they say "I never thought I'd say that" are talking about things their mom used to say and now they are hearing themselves say it even though they swore they'd never say that.

I, on the other hand, find myself saying ridiculous things to the kids, only realizing how strange they sound after I say them. Anyone else with me on this?


1. Put that cantaloupe back in the fridge (well, that's not too strange, but it's not something I was expecting to say while I'm checking my email. You never know what the kids will get into when they see me open my laptop)

2. G, stop eating my power cord! (yes, he was chewing on my laptop power cord. Awesome.)

3. Ham is not a bracelet! (I guess you can get the visual on this one)

4. I thought I said 'No more sharing' (A was trying to get G to 'share' his dessert with her even though she'd already finished hers and I'd told her to stop asking him for it, because he'd give it to her!)


Ah, look at all the wonderful lessons they are learning from me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Scary Hebrews - Shadowfeet

I have been studying Hebrews over this past year and honestly I haven't liked it because I can't fully understand many of the difficult passages. I told Hubby, 'I don't like Hebrews, it's scary.' He and I joked that I could be like Martin Luther and just take Hebrews out of my Bible like he did with James. Some of the passages seem really harsh and there are many strong warnings. In some of them God seems so far away and so wrathful. "Our God is a consuming fire" isn't a verse you often see hanging on plaques in Christian homes.

Then a series of small bad events happened in my life that made me further see that I and others are far from perfect. I made a bad choice here, or someone wronged me there, it all makes me realize that I'm not going to ever be perfect until I'm with the Lord. I so long to be with him, to be done with my sinful self and having to deal with the sinful world we live in.

Then a series of big difficult events happened, like a friend's two year old boy passing away suddenly without warning. We had three funerals in one month's time and other hardships to struggle through personally. About this same time we had a lot of bad weather, severe thunderstorms and tornado watches at night. I felt like the weather really reflected the storm going on in my own life and how I was viewing God. Very threatening, powerful, not very personal. Listening to the storms at night scared me, but thinking about a powerful God who was causing those storms was even more frightening.

So fast forward to now and I've been studying Hebrews 12. In this chapter it alludes to the time when Moses took the people to Mt. Sinai to receive the 10 commandments from God. Here is the passage from Exodus.

Exodus 19:18-25, 20:18-21

Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. "Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, or else the LORD will break out against them."

Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, 'Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.'" Then the LORD said to him, "Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break forth upon them." So Moses went down to the people and told them.


(Between these verses God speaks the 10 commandments to the people.)

All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die."

Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin." So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.


Yeah. Um. That sounds a little scary to me too. I don't know if I'd get braver as Moses says 'Do not be afraid.' I can totally relate to the Israelites at this point, God seems pretty powerful and scary.

But I've also been reading The Peacemaker for my Sunday School class and the chapter for this past week was God's Sovereignty and God's Love. We have to hold both of these things together to trust him with our circumstances. If God is sovereign but not loving then he can be scary, but if God is loving but not sovereign then he is, like J.I. Packer says, "A heavenly Santa Claus, well meaning but not able to help." But if we believe that God is both sovereign and loving then the things that happen out of our control we can trust that they are not out of his control. Knowing that he loves us we can also trust that he will use them for good.

So this week's study on Hebrews 12 was encouraging because it talks about how we have come, not to Mt. Sinai, but to Mt. Zion (which is the heavenly Jerusalem). We have come to Jesus. It also gives another warning about how we should not turn away from him and then says that He will 'shake the earth.' The next verse explains that this means He will remove the things of this world, in order that the things that can't be shaken will remain.

That is why I go on. For the kingdom that can't be shaken. It's is the reason I run this race of life with endurance, with faith and hope. I know God better through these trials I've been going through. I know that he is both good and sovereign and that he knew about them.

But going through these trials is hard and I eagerly look forward to the day that I can see him face to face. Until then I will persevere and allow the trials to sanctify me and make me into who he wants be to me.

Recently this song, Shadowfeet, by Brooke Fraser has encouraged me. The 'You make all things new' is from a verse in Revelation 21:

"And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new"

Ahh, no my tears, no more pain. A new kingdom. I can't wait!



Shadowfeet
Brook Fraser

Walking,stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when I began
and I have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

[CHORUS]
when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

[CHORUS]

You make all things new

[CHORUS]

[CHORUS 2]
When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

North and South

If you've talked to me in the last year you've likely been subject to my proselytizing. I've fallen in love with the BBC and in particular a series called North and South. Now, if you are thinking of the 80's TV series about the Civil War, please don't tell me. My husband likes to tease me by saying "Oh, isn't that one about the Civil War?" because he knows it drives me nuts.

What started in early 2008 as watching a few Jane Austen adaptations on PBS led me to seek out other period dramas. Somewhere in the 38 different movies I watched last year I discovered North and South, and it is my favorite of all of them. Now, I don't even know if I can call it movie, since it's 4 hours long. It is about a girl in the 1850's who has to move from a country town in Southern England to a Northern town known for it's cotton industry. It's based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell. You may not have heard of her, but she was friends with the Bronte sisters (she wrote Charlotte's biography) and with Charles Dickens who published her novel as a weekly series in his magazine.

Since I have such a love for this movie series and relatively few people have heard of it, I decided to have a girls movie night where we could watch it all together. We started around 6:30 last Saturday and we finished up around 11pm. We had a great time and I think everyone enjoyed the movie (if they didn't I don't want to know!) It was neat to see it on a big screen since the first time I saw it was on youtube.com!





And if you are interested in seeing this (you'll love it if you like Jane Austen/Charles Dickens) you can find it on Netflix, your local library, or just save yourself the trouble and buy it online. I only owned one DVD before I purchased this one, I just don't buy DVDs, but I HAD to have this for my own.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I mustache you a question....Why!?



Some priceless pictures of my hubby. Story goes that he spent 3 weeks growing out his beard just because. Then when he was tired of it and ready to shave it off he decided to have a little fun with it. At first with the beard he looked like a lumberjack.



Then he wanted to go with the chops.



The he chopped the chops and went for the goatee.



Then of course, the stash. Wow.



When he came out of the bathroom like this...I was speechless. Then he struck this pose and that smarmy smile, I could barely take the picture I was laughing so much. We have gotten A LOT of laughs out of this photo. Some people thought it was seriously disturbing, but everyone thought it was hilarious. But really honey, I think it's time to change your facebook profile picture. Yikes, I'm glad the mustache only lasted 5 minutes!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Boba bites the dust

Hubby got a fish tank for his birthday, in the shape of R2D2 from Star Wars with a little beta fish and he named it Boba. On Monday last week Hubby took put the tank together in his office and put Boba in the tank. A was fascinated with Boba and kept asking about him and wanting to go to the church to see him all week to say hi to him.

6 days later Hubby took the kids to the office to pick up some books and change the water in Boba's tank. Somehow as he was changing the water, something didn't quite agree with Boba and he floated belly up. Hubby told him that he was 'sleeping' and got them into the car and then went back and flushed him.

When they got home Hubby was telling me the story and we were talking about the best way to break it to her. She asked if we could go back and see if Boba was awake. We said he was probably still sleeping and she announces:

"I think he's dead."

She wasn't sad or anything, just more matter a fact. We just kinda laughed and said, 'well honey, I think you are right.' Later that night she told Kevin that she prayed that God would bring Boba back to life. I don't think we are going to have a Boba 2. We are glad she's not really upset about it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Breaking things

My children break things. Lots of things.

It seems that everyday I'm throwing something out that is broken or patching something up. The superglue keeps making appearances.

So I decided to do something about it. The other day I recorded it through pictures. First I just went around the house and look for things that were already broken. Then the kids must have gotten wind of my photo project and wanted to help out...



Every set of blinds in our house except two are broken. Only the 2 in our room remain intact. This set of blinds in the living room took a hit from the kids pulling so hard on the cords like it was a jungle swing. I'm not planning to replace them because the new ones would get broken too! So I just tucked the cords over the rod and covered it with the curtain.

Now that we can't pull up the blinds this is what the kids look like in the morning saying bye to Daddy:



Another blind bites the dust. Luckily my mom is replacing some wooden blinds at her house that just happen to be the same size.



Okay, what else is broken around here? Ah, yes, this became a stool instead of a toy holder. Since it doesn't hold water or sand we are still using it.



This is where my 'office' is. This poor thing has been pushed off the couch many a time. It's missing the clasp at the top that 'locks' it closed. Oh well, it could be worse. At least I have my space bar...



Oh, my swivel sweeper. I love this thing, it's pretty shot though. I did find another one on the clearance rack so I have a replacement for it, but I'm waiting until it REALLY is broken. This is just partially broken right?



This is our bedroom door vent. A's door has already been fixed, but you should have seen it before Hubby fixed it (the 3rd time). We called it her doggie door because it was just a big hole and she loved crawling through it. We soon will have a doggie door if the kids continue to pull on it.



While I'm going around taking pictures of things that were already broken, A brings me her doll stroller that they have been pushing each other in.



So I fix that up....sorta, and they go back to playing. Then I notice this behind G's chair. Not previously broken. Man, I liked this picture.



So I was going to finish this post the other day, but tonight's breakages were just the topping on the ice cream. G slid the duckie soap dispenser off the counter and on to the rug. I just threw it all in the sink so I could clean it up later. This was not our first duckie soap dispenser, this has happened before.



Last but not least, while I was doing dishes and the kids were sleeping in their rooms...well, I guess A wasn't sleeping because I heard a crack. The light was on in my bathroom and I saw this.



Ah apparently the towel bar became a monkey bar for the little girl sneaking out of her room.

Sigh. Are all kids this destructive?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Potty Progress

Well, I bet some of you are wondering how potty training is going ever since I entered the 'Land that shall not be named'.

I am in a most frustratingly relaxed state. Hmm. Not possible? Let me explain.

After our 'potty training in a day' took about 2 weeks, we still have not arrived in 'successful toileting land.' In those two weeks we had him wear only underwear during his awake hours and tried everything we could think of to help him. Could the potty be the issue? We tried the big potty, big potty with seat, little potty, different little potty, standing, sitting, etc.

I've washed all the rugs, mopped the floors, and have probably sprayed every square inch of carpet with pet cleaner. I found myself singing Elmo Potty songs while making dinner. I had a load of laundry going perpetually since there was always pee on something, and don't even get me started on the poopie accidents. [shudders]

After 2 weeks of that I decided to quit. I just couldn't do it. I knew in my head that if I stuck it out another week or so that it would be over. But then again the crazy voice came back at me and shakily said, 'what if it's more than a week, what if it's a year!?' I decided to salvage my sanity and just put him back in diapers. He wasn't progressing. He would go on the potty if we told him to go sit on the potty, he just wouldn't stop what he was doing to go to the potty if he needed to pee. And sometimes I'd suggest to him to go potty and he'd say no and 2 minutes later he'd pee in his pants. Aghhhh! How incredibly frustrating!!!!!!!!!! (extra exclamation points for emphasis)

So back in diapers he went, but then he kept taking them off and trying to use the potty. He wouldn't let me not keep potty training him! I was past the point of no return, I had to keep going. Nooooooooo!

So, now we've resorted to training pants. I used to think they were potty deterrents, just diapers that a kid could pull down if he so chose to use the potty. Amelia would pee in them rather than go to the potty, but wouldn't pee in big girl underwear, so we didn't use them with her. We just went cold turkey with her.

But boys, so I've heard, are different. G is taking his sweet time with figuring all this out, and that's why I can say I'm now in a relaxed state. I'm going to let him take his time. We've just been putting him in training pants and encouraging him to use the potty and not stressing out about it. The other day he announced, 'I need go use the potty' and he did it! So now it's just a matter of doing it all the time.

I'm going to just go with the flow...er, um. I'm just going to be patient and let the wise words I've heard from Elmo Potty sink into my consciousness as I think of G:

Music intro..."Boys do it, girls do it, big kids all around the world do it. You'll do it, you'll use the potty.
Grownups, oh yeah we do it, folks as far as we can see do it. You'll do it, you'll use the potty. "
(Take it to the bridge Grover!)"All of your friends and your neighbors, each in their own special waaaaay! Doctors and Waiters they do it everyday!" (Doctors and waiters too huh? Well THAT's good to know!)Grandparents do it, teens do it, even famous kings and queens do it. You'll do it, you'll use the potty!
(Spoken)"Baby Bear: Hey! Everybody, Curly bear put her woo-woo in the potty for the very first time!
Curly Bear: Yeah, yeah! Curly woo-woo in potty!
Elmo: Elmo knew Curly could learn how, after all, everybody does!"
(if you want more info on the 'different potty words segment' you'll just have to use your imagination)

"We're talking sisters and brothers, each in their own special way!
(Do you guys have some other 'special way' of doing this that I wasn't taught?') Fathers and Mothers, they do it everyday!
There's so many kids who'll do it, believe me someday even you'll do it! You will do it. You'll use the paaaahhhteeee! "

After that rousing encouragement, how could anyone worry about their child?

But seriously, I am taking this whole potty training thing much less seriously and thus I am able to relax and just realize he's taking his time and it will all come out okay in the end...er, um, turn out okay.

I better end this now before I stick too many puns in it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh the land of potty training....

....where there is always a load of laundry going and the carpet cleaner doesn't have time to get put away. This is the land that I've been living in the last week and I'm reminded that potty training is probably my least favorite part of motherhood.

Give me pregnancy hormones, give me nursing, give me spit up all over my clothes. I don't know what it is about potty training that just gets under my skin but it's pretty bad. I can go from 'good mom' to 'freaking out I must leave my house mom' in zero to three wet pants. I called Hubby the other day to vent and found myself yelling at him because he was offering suggestions of things for me to try. Suggestions! What was he thinking?! The nerve.

The only other thing I wouldn't trade it for is sleep training. Waking up in the night is a form of torture and it makes me into a weak bad mom, my natural state without 100% of my mental facilities and self-control. What is it with these training things, teaching our kids something new and then getting frustrated when they aren't getting it right. Like we should just be able to tell them once and POOF they are good to go. G's been peeing in his diaper for 2 years now and all of a sudden we don't want him to do that anymore. I'm sure it's going to take a while to understand that. The books don't help though when I'm perusing through "Potty training in less than a day" and reading other accounts of moms who used this method and only had 2 accidents. What kind of kids are these? Really, are there kids out there with such temperaments that they just are calm and accepting of what their parents want them to do? Both my kids buck at pretty much everything I tell them to do.

So potty training came along for G last fall when I borrowed a "Potty Scotty" doll from some friends. I was just bringing it inside the house to put away until he was ready, but he wanted to play with it and so I ended up doing the training with him that day since he seemed interested and eager. He got the hang of it right away and showed that he was able to control when he went and went on the potty 2 or 3 times that morning without accidents. Then that afternoon I changed 10 wet pants and told myself that even if he was ready, I was not ready to deal with it and decided to put if off until the new year.

Well, here we are and our guy vehemently didn't want to put his diaper on the other day. He loves to run naked through the house, but we don't want him peeing all over the place. So we asked if he wanted to wear underwear and he did. So since then we've been going full force with the training and it is wearing me down. It's tough when you just don't see a light at the end of the tunnel telling you you are almost there. I told Hubby that it would be about 2 weeks of wet pants all the time and 1 week of those weeks is up.

Plus this boy potty thing is totally throwing me off. That thing is like a fire hose going all over the place and not much of it actually in the potty. I'm not talking about when he stands, when he sits too. It took a week of working with him until Hubby finally told me that he has to point it down when he's sitting. Weeeeell GEE! Thanks for informing me of that, I don't know how to work those things!

Today we borrowed a potty with a type of 'shield' in the front to help the pee from going all over the place and that has really helped. I must persevere! And I must get some training pants for when we go out places. Today we went out shopping and he did a great job, at first. He used the potty when I went at Bed Bath and Beyond and then went again when we were at the mall. I must have underestimated how much he'd had to drink because I thought he'd be okay for a while...but then I saw him pulling his pants down on the mall playground. I must have looked like superwoman jumping up from my seat, I didn't even bother to put on the shoe that I'd taken off. There I was, dashing across the cushy floor with one heeled loafer and knocked down a kid in the process. When I got there he had his pants down and the stream was flowing. I kept saying, "No, no! Tell it not to come out!" And then I knew how my dad must have felt when he and my sister went on the Gravatron ride and she started puking. He just put his hands out to catch all her vomit and I did my best to 'catch' what he was weeweeing. As I saw that wasn't working I lifted him up and out of the playground onto the mall tile so at least the mess could be cleaned easily.

Ahh, motherhood, the things you learn that you can do.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wedding Pictures


My sister just uploaded these pictures of her wedding from the professional photographer. I only took 1 picture at the wedding with my camera, I was too busy running around. The decor was beautiful, like something out of a magazine.





I didn't take many pictures myself because I was sure the professional would get all kinds of good pictures. Particularly of my kids. What photographer doesn't love the flower girl and ring bearer? Don't most photographers go overboard and take lots of cute shots of them just standing around or playing or lovingly looking at the bride? Well, not Sis's photographer. He's a single guy and ended up taking lots of shots of the cute bridesmaids. I did ask him at the reception to take some shots of the kids and us and I'm glad I did or I wouldn't have gotten much of them at all.