July 29, 2012

Safe In My Arms

My Noah
I woke up to "THEY CAN'T FIND NOAH AT CHURCH!" John was distraught. My mom must have just called. I searched for my shoes and starting praying aloud. "Jesus, you know where he is. Please protect my Noah."
I came downstairs when the phone rang again and John was sobbing, saying "They found him." Where? "He was hiding." Is he okay? "Yes." I sat down. John stayed on the floor, relieved and overwhelmed.
We are so thankful that our son is safe. I'm thankful for friends and family that care and searched.

April 21, 2012

A Personal Challenge

My friend shared this quote with me a few days ago and I've tried to keep it in mind since.


It is such a simple thing. Yet. It can be a challenge.
So many things compete for your attention.
Things that need to be done.
Things you want to do.
Voices everywhere. From your spouse. From the television, the computer, the radio, your internal monologue. Even books are excellent at grabbing attention.
We practice tuning things out in order to concentrate on the priority.
So. My challenge must be to make people and especially my family my top priority.

It seems obvious.
But in the moment when a show is at its climax, when a book has sucked me in to the drama, or a blog post is in progress ... an ant, play dough, or a candle just don't seem as important. And, really, that stuff isn't; however, my child is. My husband is.
People are what matter. And they share themselves in little ways.

My personal challenge:
Listen. Make eye contact. Engage and respond.
I want my family to know that they are important to me.

January 18, 2012

Making the Most of It

As I was packing the lunches for school, Josiah reminded me to send the cookie cake with him. Cookie cake: less messy, more delicious celebration snack for birthdays at school.

I got the treat down and set it on the counter whilst it was still in the grocery bag.

Josiah asked if I had seen the cake. Not grasping the fullness of his question, I pointed out that the cake was there ready to be taken to school. He clarified. "No, look at it. Daddy bought a GIRL cake! He said that was the only one there."

Behold, the flower cookie cake with PINK. Yes, even though Josiah loves to dig and plant... there was no denying that this was indeed a GIRL cake.

We had a few minutes before the bus would be coming so I told Josiah I would see what I could do. I thought about just removing the flowers completely and covering the entire cookie cake with chocolate icing but didn't think the teacher would appreciate the results of the extra sugar. So I did this:

A little transformation and .... it's an aquarium cake! Happy Birthday, Josiah. Enjoy your formerly GIRL cookie cake.

P.S. I know that there's still some pink around the edges. I did say I only had a few minutes. Sheesh.

December 20, 2011

A Different Perspective

Immediately after he farted (stinkered, passed gas, flatulence, broke wind, tooted, let one rip, cut the cheese, heard barking spiders.... you know what I'm talking about) Noah exclaimed, "My butt sneezed!"

Yes, it was new for me too.

December 9, 2011

Christmas Prep and Suspense

I took Noah to pick out and purchase gifts for his brothers at the school's Christmas shop. They even wrap the gifts there and make tags so the gifts can be a surprise for parents too. While we were having Noah's gift choices wrapped, we talked about the presents being a surprise for Christmas. I thought it all went well.

Then we went downstairs to wait for Josiah and Nathan's dismissal. When Nathan joined us Noah proclaimed, "I bought you a gift, Nathan!" Of course, Nathan asked, "What is it?" I told him, "He isn't going to tell you." at the exact moment Noah blurted, "BUBBLES!"

Oh well.

Surprise. You still have to wait 'til Christmas, Kid.

December 8, 2011

Christmas Prep Step by Step

Our Christmas tree went up in stages this week.

First, John brought the tree out of the basement and put it together. He also brought down the boxes of ornaments. (Yes, down. We don't store the tree and the ornaments together. *rolls eyes* That might make too much sense. Actually there is a very logical explanation for this. I think.)

Secondly, (or is that thirdly or fourthly if I count all the steps John did and whether I give him credit for two steps with both the carrying up and the putting together?) I "fluffed" the tree, you know, put the branches in the proper positions to look like a real tree but without the weathered imperfections. And I strung the lights. All the while Noah, the youngest little gentlemen, was telling me not to forget about the tree. (What can I say? I'm a multitasker and he was getting a bit worried that I wouldn't finish in time.) After the lights came the angel and ribbons. What? Ornaments? No, that would be the next step undertaken by the boys.

Sixthly, (That's giving myself credit for the entailed tasks within my step, of course.) the boys adorned the tree with ornaments. Red, gold, old and new, store-bought and homemade, they all went on the tree. I thought there may be clusters of ornaments but Josiah actually directed them to spread things out. And they did it! They did a fabulous job on the bottom 2/3 of the tree.

P.S. Nathan later led the mission to cover the treetop by throwing little red and gold bows as high as he and Noah could so that they would land in the tree. I left them where they stuck. For now.

Enjoy this Christmas season!

December 7, 2011

The friends who saved the snowman jewel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once a group of friends had a job from the king and it was to protect the snowman jewel. They had to stay up all night and drink coffee to stay up and guard it all night and which they did not like but he payed good every day they got 1,000,000,000,000$$$$$ and that's just one day you know.

Well maybe not. They might as well go to sleep. They just look like they're sleeping and well you might just be right if you look close enough you can see it better.

Now that is what i want to look like when I grow up.

Ah,ah a pirate he's trying to steal the treasure and he was soon caught.

Soon his death came and it went well but not for him though.
And doggy's dream came true to some day blow off some pirate's cap. And doggy for some reason just yelled, "Kiss your butt good by!!!!!!!!!!"

Today's story was courtesy of my 8 year old son, Josiah. He set the scenes, took the pictures, and wrote the accompanying story. (I did a bit of grammar editing to separate some run-on sentences. Next time I'll leave it as is.)

November 3, 2011

Paper, Rock, Legos

Last week I began Autumn Cleaning Day. Psh. If only it was one day!
The major undertaking was the boys' playroom. Things were all jumbled together in the big bins, miscellaneous papers were mixed into the chaos, and a play table that no one used anymore took up a big portion of play area. And so the sorting and cleaning began.
First of all, I banned the children from the room. (Very important step) Then I made a bigger mess by dumping out the bins. (One by one, of course, I'm not crazy!) And I methodically made my way through the mess. Legos here, lightbrite pegs there, K'nex here, Erector there, Mr. Potato Head .... you get the picture. I had to force myself into evaluating the papers and I got rid of most of them, keeping only the most memorable for myself or the respective boy who created it. (That one was a tough one. There is a major guilt trip put on moms to save every piece of "art" created. I don't know who is responsible for the guilt but it's there! Okay? Okay.)

Nona purchased several shoebox size plastic containers for us which worked wonderfully for organizing games, building sets, and more. Thank you, Nona! John built the shelf for us. The plan is to add another shelf soon but the one shelf is doing the job fabulously for now. Thank you to you too, John.

At the end of the day, that's Day FIVE, all was organized and cleaned for the grand reopening. I'm so glad it's done! It's so worth not having to cringe as I walk by the playroom and the boys are loving being able to easily find the toy they want.

Now the rest of the house has been/is being gradually Autumn Cleaned too but that's nothing compared to the playroom. *satisfied smile*

P.S. Did I mention I threw away multiple rocks? Yeah, I don't know who was sneaking those things in there.

September 5, 2011

The 1,2,3's of Potty Training

Here is the simplest advice I have for training your child to use the toilet.

First: Learn to count higher, much higher. In my experience, this ain't no 1,2,3.

Second: Teach your child to change their own diaper. Yeah, they don't like it either.

Third: Encourage your child to always seek out your spouse for the needed diaper/pull up change. If this doesn't help enlist your spouse's potty training assistance at least it will spare you some diaper changes.

Fourthly: Don't give up. It will happen eventually.

Fifthly: Try bribery. Chocolate and stickers can work wonders.

Sixthly: If your child has successes after coming home from someone's house, send them back there often.

Seventhly: Don't give up. I know that was number 4 but sometimes you need a reminder.

And, finally, when your child does get it (which they will... eventually) and he says, "I'm going to go poopy on the potty. Will you be so glad?" respond emphatically, "I WILL be SO glad!"

Congratulations, Noah, on your achievement!

June 23, 2011

The Bestest Place

We had an adventure at Niagara Falls on Memorial Day.

We enjoyed a picnic with my extended family and explored the Three Sisters Islands.

The American side has beautiful areas to walk, climb, play and enjoy for families.

It is one of my most favorite places to go. (If you have children you will know that there can and seemingly must be many "favorites".)

It made an impression on Nathan who is used to playing in Grandma's little backyard creek. He exclaimed, "Niagara Falls: That's SOME creek!"