September 29, 2009

The Good Life

Every Tuesday I go to Josiah's school to help facilitate lunch. My mom has babysat Nathan and Noah the past two Tuesdays; however, today I forgot to make plans ahead of time. Instead of calling her at the last moment, I decided to take the boys with me.

I packed them a lunch. Put them in the car. Went back into the house for the forgotten diaper bag which I ended up not needing but I'm certain the story would have been different had I not grabbed the bag. That's just the way things happen with me.

Nathan and Noah wanted to sit with the school children so I set their places at one of the boys' tables. There they joyfully ate their lunch while entertaining the older children around them.

Between lunch groups, Nathan took a potty break and delighted in the automated toilets, faucets, soap dispensers, and hand dryers! "Ha Ha Ha! The wind got my hair!" Then Noah got in on the action too. Oh, how deprived my boys have been! Have they never before used a toilet that would flush itself? Have they never before turned on a faucet without touching a handle? Have they never experienced the joy of walking by an automatic hand dryer and being blown upon? Have they never had to guess how far the soap dispenser would squirt the soap? Apparently not.

As I think about my deprived children, another example comes to my mind. One day Josiah asked me, "Why does Uncle Matt and Aunt Belinda's toast pop out?". The picture that came to mind was that of an overactive, renegade toaster that is a little too excited about popping up that toasted bread but then I remember.... we have a toaster oven. The concept of toast popping out of the toaster was new to him. I've deprived my child of a regular toast popping toaster!

Now I must ponder what other luxuries my children have yet to experience.

Nah! These boys have it easy!

Hazardous Conditions

We received a phone call from my dad yesterday. He told me that the news was reporting big waves, a lot of debris, broken branches, and flooded roads from the ongoing storm. My parents were going to drive to the peninsula to see for themselves and they wanted to know if we wanted to come too.

What's that you say? Dangerous conditions? Count us in! As Admiral Perry would say, "Hazard is my middle name!" Seriously, it really was. Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry. I read it on the monument at the peninsula but that's another story altogether.

We drove to the beach to see the waves come crashing in. It was beautiful ... and wet.

Hm. I don't remember this little pond being here...

John showed the boys how to throw a stick into the waves to see if it would come ashore again.

These are NOT the sticks John threw. John has not yet perfected throwing logs.

Doesn't Noah look like a little sea captain?

Then we headed down the road to another beach with even bigger waves.

There were a few waves that surprised us and splashed our feet even though we thought we had retreated to a safe distance.
Ah! The promised flooded road!

Not our typical sunset

And not our typical family outing but it sure was fun!

After getting pretty wet and cold, we went to Sara's....

and ate ice cream!

And there was much rejoicing.
and running.
and dripping.
and dancing.
and laughing.

September 28, 2009

Fall Fun

I love Autumn! It's campfire season, football season, soup-making season, chili-consuming season, coffee-scarfing season, beautiful leaf season.... Did I mention that I love Autumn? Oh, yes, I did, didn't I?

I love Autumn so much that I planned my wedding in October to coordinate with the most beautiful week of autumn leaves and an average high temperature of a brisk 62 degrees. It just so happened that a cold front moved in on my wedding weekend and it was only 40 degrees, rainy, and windy. It was SO windy that my beautiful leaves were blown off the trees. No matter. My wedding was fun and went according to plan and I just pretended that my strapless gown was sufficiently warm enough for the outdoor pictures.

See? I'm not chilled to the bone. But I digress. What was I talking about? Right. Autumn ... and campfires. It's perfect weather to have campfires in our backyard.

Josiah wanted a campfire; John built the campfire. Then the boys were asking for marshmallows to roast over the fire. This was an impromptu campfire; I didn't have marshmallows! "Well, we could roast hot dogs..."

And the roasters were satisfied. One hot dog was quickly devoured by the fire. Another was quickly devoured by Noah.

Nathan ate his hot dog while roasting it. "See my hot dog?"

"You do have more hot dogs coming, don't you?"

"Take a picture of me sleeping!"

Ah! Fall. Family. Fun. Food. Fire. FANTASTIC!

I Won!

Can you believe it? I won a contest! A darling baby drew my name from a bowl. Go ahead, click here to see the little cutie! She's drawing my name. Joy!

This tricycle from is the prize. Isn't it great? It's perfect timing since Noah will be turning two years old in just over a month. Thank you, The Football Wife!

September 24, 2009


Nathan might just be the most appreciative little boy I know. He almost always says, "Thank you." And often at times that take me by surprise.

As I'm making quesadillas for dinner, Nathan sees one cooking and says, "That's my FAVorite! Thank you!"

Nathan and I were painting yesterday. As we were looking at our artwork, I gave him a kiss and he says, "Thank you, Mommy, for kissing me." He's so adorable.

Today he is looking for his shoes and I tell him they are by the door. He responds, "Thank you for finding my shoes, Mommy!"

After cleaning up a gross mess I hear, "Thank you, Mommy, for cleaning my poop."

Appreciation is nice.

Sometimes I think God has granted him the gift of thankfulness (and extreme cuteness) to help me better cope with the other "gifts" he has such as boundless energy, willfulness, and outspokenness which are wonderful traits when they are developed properly. So when I get frustrated or embarrassed that he has difficulty sitting still or stubbornly doesn't respond when he is called, I can be thankful that he's healthy, friendly, and thankful.

And someday he will be a bold, strong, energetic, determined, friendly, and thankful young man.

September 23, 2009

An Evening Out

I had a date yesterday. Was it romantic? No. Delightful? Yes! It entailed a movie, diamonds, dinner, and shopping. My date was the sweetest, most imaginative and curious six year old boy that I know. Josiah.

We went to the movie first because, well, it's a school night and a 4:30 showing was our only chance to make it. After all, bedtime comes pretty early for a first grader. We watched the movie Up. It was great! There were happy, sad, funny, hilarious, perilous, and touching moments. We both enjoyed it.

At some point, Josiah started talking about gems and diamonds so I told him that we could go to Uncle Micah's store and see real diamonds. So we did. Micah cleaned my wedding ring for me while we were there and showed us different diamonds. I pointed out to Josiah a ring set that looked similar to mine. He agreed but said the other one was "a lot fancier than yours." Thanks, kid. At least after mine was clean again, it looked fancier than it had going into the store.

Next it was time for dinner. I suggested Wendy's. Josiah suggested McDonald's. Alright. We can do McDonald's. "Can we go to the one with the big playground?", he asks. "Okay", I agree, "but then we won't have time to go to the store." Just as I'm passing Wendy's he concludes, "Let's just go to Wendy's." I think I may have ran a red light turning into the lot! What option did I have? I was already halfway through the intersection to go straight so I did a quick traffic check and turned left before noticing that the left turn lane had a red light. Surely that light didn't apply to last minute mind changers like us. During dinner, we had a fun visit. We talked about the movie, school, television shows, chocolate syrup, etc. It's hard to know where a conversation with Josiah may go.

It was getting close to bedtime by now, but we went to Dollar Tree so that Josiah could choose something. Dollar Tree makes it so easy; everything in there is one dollar! He perused the toy aisle for awhile. When I asked him if he wanted to look at any of the other aisles, he agreed to check them out. He found the perfect item... a bicycle lock with keys! I am certain that we will now make an opportunity for Josiah to lock his bike somewhere.

I told Josiah that I was glad to have this time together with just the two of us. He said, "Yeah, the babies bother me a lot." Thanks, kid. Then in his own way and his own words, he let me know that he really enjoyed our one on one time together too and that he would like to do it more often. Me too.

September 22, 2009

Thinking of Others

Each evening at bedtime, John and I pray with our boys. As we pray, we thank God for His goodness and we pray for family and friends who are on our minds. Before we finish, we pray for President Obama as I Timothy 2:2 tells us to pray for those in authority.

I want to teach my children to think of others. It is far too easy to become me-focused. When we are focused on "Me", we so easily hurt, belittle, or dismiss others without a second thought about it. So the boys practice thinking of others by sharing their toys and letting their cousin choose the movie or use the bathroom first. We go through a lot of Popsicles in the summertime because Josiah will share with all the neighborhood children.

This week I've been thinking a lot about others. A friend of mine, friends of friends, and a friend of heart have all been on my mind and in my prayers. Each one is courageous in the face of immense challenges.

My friend, Jessica, has suffered loss and deep sadness and presses on. She recently shared her thoughts and feelings in a beautiful post.

Another friend requested prayer for a dear friend of hers. Susanna's 3 month old daughter, Piper, was diagnosed with leukemia. The news is reeling and the battle unwanted, but a battle that little Piper's family will wage for her. They have asked prayer for these things:

* Piper would be completely healed
* Her body would not contain the mutation so her chances would increase
* NO infection
* understanding and sensitive doctors and nurses
* Linley would not feel left out and Susanna would not worry that she is neglecting Linley
* Strength in Susanna and Chad's marriage. Any situation like this can strain a marriage.
* More then anything, they would feel Jesus' peace no matter what is going on around them.
Sus has started a blog to keep people informed:

I have never even met the other person. Her name is Myah. She was single, pregnant, and faced daunting news that her baby had anencephaly. The doctors said her baby's condition was incompatible with life. Her story is amazing. Baby Faith Hope lived not just a few hours, not just a few days, but for three months she defied all the medical wisdom and she thrived. I followed their joys and challenges and I wept when I learned that Faith has passed on. Though Faith is no longer with us, Myah is helping to encourage, support, and inform other parents who receive a disheartening diagnosis. This is her story: I pray for her continued comfort, peace, and courage.

Each of these friends has seen prayer answered. And each has need of further answered prayers.

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27

September 18, 2009

Weather Report

After a week of doing other things besides housework, I came into the living room and greeted Josiah this morning. Then I commented while gesturing at all the toys and stuff, "Wow... Do you think a tornado came through here?" Josiah cocks his head, says no, and asks me, "Why did you ask that?" So I explain, "Well, all these toys and paper are spread around here like a tornado could have thrown them there, don't you think." He looks around and says, "Yeaaaaa.... Well. It's a good thing a real tornado didn't come here!" Josiah then goes on to describe his imagined chaos and destruction of our rooms and house had a tornado truly come.

(This is a tornado that did NOT come to my house.)

I love how literal kids take our common phrases. It really makes you think about how you use your words.

Well, while you're thinking about your words and phrases.... I've got some cleaning to do!

September 17, 2009

Talking Points

If you can't get a word in edgewise .... try Nathan's approach!

Josiah had been talking to me in the car for a few minutes when Nathan demanded, "Be quiet! I'm talkin' to Mommy." He then proceeds to parrot something that Josiah had just said as if it were his own.

No, it wasn't polite but it was effective... and it made me laugh.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the story. I just like it.

September 16, 2009

The Grudge

My brother invited us to join him on his boat. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon! We got our swimsuits, our sunscreen, our snacks, and our drinks then we met Matt and the kids and followed him to the boat launching place.

John helped Matt get the boat into the water.

The kids and I waited in the grass until loading time.

We saw a lot of boats.

Then Matt and John told us that the boat wouldn't start and they took it back out of the water!

That boat has a grudge against me! This was the second time I had planned to go on that boat. The first time was thwarted by a blown out trailer tire. This time it was the boat itself plotting the demise of my plans.

Well, I'm not one to let someone or something's grudge effect me negatively! We just did what we did after the first thwarting; we went to the beach. Again.

And we played in the sand...

With our makeshift bucket which was originally a container for animal crackers.

We did some building, some burying, and some swimming.

We even played a little Frisbee. It's a good thing my car is kid friendly. The trunk provided the the Frisbee, shovel, rake, "bucket", and ruler. Yes, that's right, a ruler for, you know, smoothing the sand. Hey, I had to have three sand tools for my three boys.

Unlike the other sandlubbers, Josiah and I went in the water. I showed him all the different swimming techniques that I know how to do. Though not impressive to most any swimmer, my techniques and abilities were superb to Josiah who is just getting interested in learning to swim. Superb.

It was a fabulous day of family fun! The only concern I have is that my boys may start to believe that "going on the boat" actually means "going to the beach."

I'll get you next time, Boat.

September 14, 2009

Play Ball!

We went to the Seawolves' last home game of the season.
We got there early enough to enjoy hot dogs, chips, and drinks before the game began.

Grandpa and Grandma met us at the game.

Mmm... chips.

The crowd was big since it was the last home game AND buck night!
Hot dogs, popcorn, pop, and beer were only a buck.

The game was fun. The Seawolves' first two points were home runs.

Oh yeah, this is niiiice.

I find it humorous when John talks to the players as if they can hear him. I also enjoyed the contests and entertainment between innings. The dancing grounds crew was hilarious!

I asked Holly to take a picture for me. Tah dah! Here's Noah and me hanging out while Josiah, Nathan, and John were getting ready to storm the field. That gentleman beside me had a beer that Noah was convinced was lemonade for the taking. I had to do a lot of blocking during the game. Noah was not impressed with my blocking skills; he found the blocks annoying.

Here it is! The Kid Stampede! Oh the joy of running across the baseball field! Can you see Josiah and Nathan? Neither could I.

Since it was a school night, we left before the game was over but I checked back with Mike and he let me know that the Seawolves won 4-3. Hurray!

Thanks for the tickets, Dad. We had a great time.