June 29, 2009

Cleaning Day

I took on the task of cleaning the boys' room which included picking up Legos, K'nex, Playmobil, odds and ends, lots of trash, organizing the bookshelf, vacuuming, putting away all their clean laundry, and sorting Nathan's clothes by removing all the 3T and replacing them with 4T.

Josiah was helping me. His assignment was to search out and pick up all the Legos. I let him do it in his creative ways such as being a digger and scooping them up or making a piece of track into a slide on which to place the Legos to go into the box. At one point he thought my job looked better. He said, "Why do I have to pick up all the Legos? Can we trade jobs?" I said, "Sure! I'm picking up the K'nex, the Playmobil, and the Legos too. Are you sure you want to trade?" "Oh. Never mind.", he says.

When it looked like we were making progress I asked him, "How is it looking to you?" Josiah answered, "It looks like break time."

Finally, the task is complete. It's so satisfying to see a job well done. I have more lofty goals tomorrow but I may end up scrapping them to take the boys on an adventure. To clean or to play, that is the question.

June 27, 2009

Cairo's Story

I'm a dog and I like people. I have two people who adopted me when I was just a pup. I don't remember much before that - just vague feelings of being licked, squished, and nuzzled. Since I've been here they have brought home three tiny people one at a time. These little people give me a lot of food.

Even though my person bosses me around and tells me to sit, lay down, come, get off, and stuff like that, it's a good gig. I mean she feeds me, tells the little people to be gentle, keeps the water fresh, gives awesome ear rubs, and has finally started taking me for walks every morning. (She does have a strange habit of "cleaning up after me" on our walks, if you know what mean. Whatever.)

Yesterday the little people sprayed me with the hose, rubbed me down, and sprayed me again. It wasn't as bad as I let on. Everything was normal as I lounged in the yard until I noticed it was getting pretty late. Usually my person lets me back in the house by now. She always wants me by her side in the evenings.

I took advantage of my alone time combined with my expanding knowledge of my neighborhood. The fence is no challenge to me and once my adventure was underway, there was no stopping me! Let me just tell you that squirrels are as fast when I am leash-free as they are when I am leashed. Cars don't seem to yield when I am not with my person. And the people with the scaredy cat didn't let me in their house either.

Next time I may just wait for my person to walk with me.

-The Dog (The people call me Cairo.)

Walking Solo

The phone rang as I was getting ready for my morning walk. According to the caller I.D. it was Holly and I assumed she was calling to make sure I was walking this morning since I was late.
The phone call went like this:
Me: Hello?
Holly: Hi. Do you know that Cairo is at our house?
Me: *confused* What?
Holly: She's on my porch.
Me: *bewildered* MY DOG is at YOUR HOUSE?
Holly: At least I think it's Cairo... Let me check.
Me: Alright.
Holly: Yes, it's Cairo. Her name is on her tag.
Me: *amazed* Okay..... Well, I'm about ready to come over.
Holly: I don't have a leash. Will she stay with me?
Me: You can try. She might.
Holly: Okay. See you soon.
Me: Bye.

I went outside to ask John if he had seen Cairo this morning. He says, "No. Was she outside all night?" Then I relayed the phone call to him. (At various times I have woken up in the night wondering if she was still outside but always found her sleeping somewhere in the house.) Apparently Cairo stayed outside all night and at some point in the night or early morning walked to Holly's house which is one mile away. "Somebody is going to let me in..."

This is Cairo laying on Holly and Micah's front porch.

Here she is home again, sticking her tongue out at me.

So I met Holly and Cairo for our morning walk. Cairo was so very happy to see me or so I imagine. As we walked, I wondered which path she took to Holly's place. Did she meander? Did she know the direct way by walking home from there? Did she look both ways before crossing the streets? Were any dogs mean to her? I noticed that she was jumpy; she is usually so calm and cool as we walk, ignoring most distractions. I checked her for injuries but she seems fine other than being a little skittish. If only I could hear her story.

June 25, 2009

Summer Fun

The swing set is happy. The weather is beautiful and the boys only have eyes for the outdoors. Even though the swing set must share time with the bikes, the kiddie pool, and the water hose, I can almost hear Swing Set sighing in contentment. Or is that just the squeaking of swings? No matter.

Caution: Anyone who stops by runs the risk of getting shot with the Super Soaker or the water hose, whichever Josiah may be holding at the time; however, we have a new clothesline on which to hang your things out to dry. Thank you, Felicity!

What began as two lines was expanded to five by Josiah. He loves rope.

What is Your Focus?

I love to share the joys of life. Life can be very hard but I choose to emphasize the beauty, fun, joy, wonder, and victories in our lives. Nearly everyone knows that life has its challenges; it seems that most people need a reminder that life is good too.

It is about focus. When you have a quality camera lens that focuses on the desired object, the things in the background are blurred because they are not the subject of the photograph. In the same way, we can place our focus on the blessings in life and relegate the hardship into the background or we can focus on the disappointments of life and miss out on the beauty.

At the same time, we mustn't ignore the bad. Deal with the challenges and refocus on the joys.

When that child whom God entrusted to you is driving you crazy, recall his good qualities. When someone has offended you, remember all the admirable traits they have. When your spouse doesn't do something right, don't forget all the things at which he or she excels. When you are going through challenges, know that there is an end. Sometimes victory is all the sweeter because of the challenges we overcome. If we dwell on what we don't have, we will miss out on what we do have.

Some of the poorest people in the world are joyful while some of the richest people are miserable. Why is that? It may be that riches are not truly measured by how much money you have but by how much love and joy you give.

Though I have challenges, I choose to place my focus on the blessings of life and the Giver of life.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things." Philippians 4:6-8

June 23, 2009

Needed: Clothesline

Summer days full of warmth, sunshine, a kiddie pool, squirt guns, and a broken sprinkler result in dripping, soaking wet boys asking for dry clothes before returning to the outdoors to once again succumb to the tantalizing water and all its sogginess.

The joyous squeals of delight (as well as the occasional indignant shouts of "He got me wet!") are continually heard until the request for dry clothes is renewed. The cycle continues.

Summary: I need a clothesline and some clothespins.

June 21, 2009

Prayers and Ankles

Our family prays together each night in Josiah and Nathan's room before the boys go to sleep. Recently, Nathan has asked me to pray for him after we've already prayed together and given hugs and kisses. "Mommy, pray for me...." One at a time, I have begun to pray for each boy specifically and thank Jesus for them.

After I prayed for Nathan tonight, Josiah asked me to pray for his ankles because they were hurting and so I made sure to pray for his ankles.

As I was leaving the room Nathan says, "I've got ankles too." Time for one more prayer...

I hope "ankles" isn't contagious.

June 19, 2009

Father's Week

Opening the present wrapped in ice

As soon as Josiah heard that this Sunday is Father's Day, he began looking for presents to give to Daddy; however, he has been unable to wait to give his gifts. Josiah's packaging has been creative. One day, he gave John a construction hat, hedgehog beanie, a light saber and a glow stick in a game box. Another day, he found a gift bag to package a snake beanie. Wednesday, they broke apart a block of ice to free the gifts. Inside the ice was a plastic knife, two little ladders, a plastic frog, a penny, and probably more. Yesterday, we painted and Josiah made his artwork for Daddy. It's hard to give enough to the person who gives so much of himself.

For the fun times,

the first times,

the comforting times,

the helpful times,

the hard at work times,

and the together times,

we thank you and love you.

June 17, 2009


I bought a bike and it only cost 300 cents! Seriously. What a deal. (Did you think I was going to say 300 dollars? *much laughter*) Josiah is ready to try riding without training wheels and Nathan is getting close to the age where he will want a bike too. After spotting the little bike at a garage sale, Josiah and I walked back to have a closer look. I determined that my three dollars would be a good investment.

John and Josiah prepared the bike for riding by inflating the tires and checking the brakes.

Josiah likes Daddy helping him the best. Apparently, I didn't do it right because I refused to hold the steering wheel and would only hold the seat insisting that steering the bike himself would help him learn how to balance quicker. He's a good boy ... taking my 'No More Injuries' rule so seriously. Even when we haven't been able to help him, Josiah has been outside practicing and telling me of his triumphs when he rides a few inches or feet. Way to go, Josiah!

There is one set of training wheels between the two small bikes that we now have. Nathan will ride one with training wheels when Josiah has learned to ride his bike without assistance. Which bike will be whose is still in question but there's no need for a quick decision since Nathan has something against pedals. He prefers to power his riding toys by foot power much like the Flintstones. Nathan also has something against sitting on a swing and insists that he swing on his belly. He has a few little humorous quirks. Who doesn't? I love how uniquely God creates each of us!

Did I mention this is a stunt bike? See? It can even stand upside down. Amazing, I know.

Did you notice the helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads? When I was a kid, the neighborhood would have ridiculed, laughed, or at least gawked at anyone wearing all this gear. "Poor kid. His parents must be really paranoid.." I remember riding my bike with training wheels until they literally fell off. My remaining wobbly training wheel, which had acted only as a sort of security blanket, fell off while I was riding down the steep, block-long hill on Karen Avenue. I remember being so proud of myself when I realized that I had conquered the hill and the cross traffic after the hill without assistance. That was an awesome day. It was about time! Nevertheless, I'm thankful for the protective gear these days and I even think it's rather cute .... but not cute enough to get my own set.

New Stain "Treatment"

I have discovered a way to end frustrating laundry stains! Have you ever pulled things out of the dryer only to realize that a stain made it through without your knowledge and that the clothing is most likely relegated to "play clothes"? This outstanding method cuts the cost on water, detergent, and even pre-wash treatments. It is truly amazing! See below for details...

*This method may not be suitable for everyone.

In other news... Notice that Noah's lip is healing phenomenally.

June 13, 2009

Good News

Hurray! Noah's lip is healing wonderfully. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for him.

We returned to the doctor on Friday for the follow-up appointment and everything looks good. Noah has one more appointment in two weeks but we don't see any problems with how it is healing.

You can see the daily progress here in the update section.

Noah will NOT have any stitches after all; therefore, the lesson of the week is to change the rule to "NO MORE INJURIES." "No More Stitches" was not sufficient.

Yes, that sounds very reasonable to me.


Aw! Look at those cute toes. So little. So ticklish. So crossing over themselves.

These are Nathan's toes. The doctors at Shriner's Children's Hospital took a look at his toes this week to determine if anything should be done to correct his crossing toes. Apparently, this condition is known as "Curly Toe." The tendons in the middle toes are too tight for some unknown reason and pull the toes down so that they are curled all the time. Meanwhile, the index (?) toes move over into the open area much like my husband takes over my side of the bed.

The doctor said that this can be corrected by a simple out-patient surgery which cuts the tendons and allows them to heal at the proper length. Then the toes move back into their proper position. It is supposed to have a super fast recovery time. I like simple. So someday soon Nathan's toes will be straight again. I hope they don't mind "being like everyone else." Maybe I can come up with a new name for them. Wiggly Toe?

I'm still trying to come up with a procedure to stop my husband from hogging the bed.

June 11, 2009

Not A Chance!

As I was trying to get things done around the house today, I checked up on Nathan. "Whatcha doing, Nathan?" He replies, "Um .... are you going to take a shower?" I immediately had a mental flashback. "NO" was my resounding answer.

I don't know what he was planning but it wasn't going to happen on my watch ... again.

Just Coming

As I descend the basement stairs I hear Nathan saying, "Wait for me! I'm coming." My errand is so short that I don't wait as I tell him to come along. Nathan continues to talk to me as I retrieve a towel from the dryer. "I'm coming! I'm not cutting my lip; I'm just coming." I love how his mind works.

Speaking of cutting lips....
Noah's lip looks a lot better today. The hanging chad fell off during the night. The specialists will examine him again tomorrow and determine if they think surgery would be best. I just want what is best for Noah.

Since Tuesday, Nathan and Noah have been feeling sick. It's that puke-on-your mom-and-in-your-bed-don't-feel-like-moving-or-eating-want-to-be-held-feverish kind of sick. Thankfully, they are on the mend! Lots of cuddles and prayers and Gatorade later, they are longing to return to the Great Outdoors.

They want to join Josiah outside. Just a little more rest, guys.

I realize that this morning's post may be somewhat jumbled and unfocused but that tends to be how I function when I don't get my quota of sleep. Besides, life doesn't usually hand us one thing at a time and it is the multiple facets that make most things beautiful.

June 10, 2009

Morning Surprise

As I returned home from my walk this morning, Josiah greeted me in the kitchen. He said, "I made something for you!" and went upstairs to retrieve it.

I thought it must be one of his many crafts. He loves to create something new out of something old. As he is upstairs looking for his "craft" I start drawing a picture for him since he absolutely loves getting notes and pictures. (He still has birthday cards from years ago.)

After a minute, Josiah returns with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! He knew I would be hungry after walking. He said he made some for Nathan and Noah too for when they wake up, and Daddy "even though he probably wouldn't want it." I could not refuse such a thoughtful gift and thankfully ate a generously loaded peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast.

Then we visited about how to best draw a motorcycle (the motorcycle I was attempting to draw was lacking an engine, gas tank, and more) and I shared with him the qualities that I see in him. Josiah is thoughtful, intelligent, fun, creative, inquisitive, resourceful, funny, compassionate, and friendly to name a few. I'm so thankful that Josiah is part of our family and I am excited to be able to spend more time with him during the summer!

June 9, 2009

Still a Little Cringey

I took pictures this morning of Noah and his lip. He just wants to go about his day as usual, but I want to put him in a bubble to eliminate any chance of him bumping his injured lip. That same lip about which he seems to be oblivious. The thought of an additional injury makes me cringe. When I snapped this I thought I had a good picture before I realized that he had used "The Hand".

"No more pictures, please!"

June 8, 2009

Self Haircut

Josiah cut his hair with his school scissors on Friday. First, he cut his hair. Secondly, he's not even supposed to use scissors without permission. Two wrongs. They didn't make a right.

I saw his head and said, "You know I'm going to have to cut your hair very short to even it out some. Why did you do that?" He didn't know, of course. (He never seems to know why he cuts things with scissors....) So this is as short as we went. Heh heh heh. He has been very fond of hats the last couple of days, more so than usual.

On Saturday, Josiah wasn't feeling well. He was so tired that he was just sitting in one of his brothers' strollers. After eating a blue Popsicle, his lips were a very pale blue. With the hair, the fatigue, and the lips, he could have been a poster child for some disease! At least it won't take long for his hair to grow in.


Nathan and I had some special time together. As Nathan and I were leaving a store, he turns to me and asks, "Did you have fun?" Yes, I did. Thank you. Did you? "Yup!"

John and Nathan were watching golf yesterday. Nathan had a running commentary. This is a snippet: "Oop! It's gone. It went in the hole. Ah! He found it!"

Lack of Communication

Apparently, Noah didn't get the memo. You know? The "No more stitches!" memo?

He fell and busted his lip. He is at the hospital right now. My heart is aching for him.

I tried to stop the bleeding, administered some Tylenol, and gave him an ice cold juice bottle. He was calm by the time he and John left. Little ones in pain have an extra helping of compassion from me. All they know is that it hurts. I hope that this passes quickly for Noah.

Update: The doctors in the E.R. had John take Noah to the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists to see a doctor with plastics experience. The first specialist to look at him wanted to do surgery today but the second doctor thought we should wait and see how it heals on its own. Since he is so little, he would have to go to the surgery center and be put to sleep for the surgery. The surgery they are talking about would be some sort of skin graft. On Friday, we'll return to the specialists to see how things are progressing and if any further action is necessary. As of now, they prescribed an ointment to put on twice a day *cringe* and warned us that things will look a lot worse before they start looking better. Noah is doing fine and seems oblivious to the state of his lip.

Day 2 ...... and ..... Day 3

Day 4 ............ and...............Day 5

June 4, 2009

Eight days later....

Nona came over to remove Josiah's stitches. Of course, he was willing to wait yet another day but the time had come.

Josiah was nervous at first; however, when the first stitch was removed without him feeling a thing, he relaxed.

It's okay to wince. I did.

Hurray! Now he can take baths and run and quit using all the bandages...

See the three little stitches?
Now we have our very own stitch removal kit but like I said before, we won't be making a habit of this. Seriously. No more stitches please. I told John that I want that stuff they shake onto those gaping wounds in the war movies so that I can just put that onto any cuts and everything will be A-Okay. You know the stuff I'm talking about, don't you? Is that too much to ask? Hm. Probably. Okay, let's just not get cut.

So Funny

Recently, Josiah asked Daddy, "Why are you so furry?"

A naked Nathan comes into the living room this morning to get dressed and says this: "This is my peepee! My peepee is gonna hide in unwear (underwear) now."