Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Could Be More Fun?

Cole went to his first birthday party of one of his classmates on Saturday. This was a birthday party of all birthday parties.

First they went into a room with “Build a Bear” animals all over the wall. They all got to choose one and then “build” it. Though it said as much in the invitation, I assumed the bears would be tiny—like the ones in Happy Meals at McDonald's. Oh no. They were regular size and if you've ever bought one (with all their paraphernalia), you know they
are rather pricey!

After their animals were dressed, they headed over to the table for pizza and lemonade followed by birthday cake. At this point they were all given a bag of tokens for the play room (like Chuckie Cheese) where they won tickets to be redeemed for small prizes. Hmmmm, do you think Cole might be a little bit on the short side?

Cole had a blast . . . but can I just say one thing? When it comes to birthday parties for his classmates, the bar has been set rather high!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Majestic Display

Yesterday we were driving home from school. Though it was sunny and bright, off in the distance I could see the sky was quite gray.

Within minutes we drove out of the sunshine and into a massive thunderstorm. All of sudden a huge streak of lightning lit up the sky in front of us, followed by a loud boom. We jumped a bit and then laughed at the unexpected and sudden change in the weather.

From the back of the van I heard Cole exclaim, "Mom, did you see that?! God is doing fireworks!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grab The Raid!

Ashley is collecting spiders for Science class . . . this is just the sampling of the ones she caught living in our yard on Sunday afternoon.

Oh the joys of living in Texas!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

In Case You Missed It

Last week CNN aired a three night documentary entitled, "God's Warriors."
These are the excepts highlighting Teen Mania—incredible!

Friday, August 24, 2007

True Love

You know your husband truly loves you when he agrees to go with you to movies like this.

Though the movie can't hold a candle to works Jane Austen herself crafted, it is a fun look at what her life might have been like.

I wouldn't consider it a must-see . . . but worth the eight dollars if you're a Jane Austen enthusiast—which I am.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Name That Product

Last night when I was playing Jonathan in a game of Scrabble, the unfortunate happened. The pen I was using to keep score with exploded all over the pants I was wearing—which just happened to be my favorite!

I tried everything in my laundry room . . . Shout, color-safe bleach and Oxy-clean. The stain is still there.

Eight years ago, when Jonathan was a baby, a young man came to my door selling “stuff." Not particularly interested in the “stuff,” I did feel somewhat sorry for the young man who seemed to be having a rather bad day. So, thirty-eight dollars later (my husband after all these years has come to expect such things from me) I was the possessor of “stuff." It was approximately a 24 oz bottle of stain remover . . . which I soon found to be the BEST product I have ever purchased in my life!

The young man claimed it would remove ANY stain. My husband just so happened to have an ink stain in the pocket of a pair of pants that had been there for over a year. Since it didn’t really show, he was still able to wear the pants.

Giving the product a try, I picked that particular stain to start with. Within seconds the stain was GONE!! That was the most difficult difficulty I put before the powers of the 24 oz bottle. With flying colors it easily removed all of Jonathan’s babyfood stains, Ashley’s paint, dirt and the like.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for a 24 oz bottle of that young man’s “stuff” today. Does anyone out there have a clue as to what that product might have been? I have no recollection of the name, and I’ve never seen it in stores. But now I’m putting the powers of the internet to the test. Please, someone, name that product.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just One Of Those Days

I scheduled his appointment for after school—bad decision. When myself with all four kids in tow entered our orthodontist’s small waiting room to have Jonathan’s spacer put back in place, I knew something wasn’t quite right. Usually it is empty, but on this particular day there were eleven people waiting. We took the last seats available and settled down for what we knew would be a lengthy wait—not to be disappointed, it was an hour and a half.

Nicholas was NOT in the mood to wait . . . neither was I. But, like the good Mom I am, I tried to occupy my small, squirmy son with the little toys I stuffed in his diaper bag. He wasn’t interested.

After noticing there were nearly a dozen dead grasshoppers on the floor of what is usually an immaculate office, I felt compelled to contain my child who refuses under any circumstances to be contained. Unfortunately for me, it was obvious the mood of the room was rather tense and our orthodontist's impatient patients were less than thrilled with my overly energetic brood.

Like all good moms, I can force my three older kids into a somewhat angelic composure with a certain look I have . . . but Nicholas—after the first 30 minutes I was at my wits end as to what to do with him. Why was everybody staring at me like I had brought a hyena into the room instead of happy, bubbling baby?! Most of the parents in the room were there with their teenagers—long past the baby stage. Since I wasn’t receiving any empathic looks, I guess they didn’t remember how is was when their teenagers were one.

After a few minutes with the orthodontist, Jonathan’s spacer was put back in place and we were finally able to leave. Unfortunately, the spacer once again came out that evening . . . so, of course, it is back to the orthodontist.

So I’ve been wondering . . . is it just me? Since it’s so much more fun to laugh than fume, has anyone else had a bad day lately? Pleeeease share.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Remember

It just so happened I was among the many at his last and largest concert at Market Square arena in 1982. I remember the day of his death like it was yesterday—I was a teenager.

My youth group and I had just gotten back to our little church following a few nights on a retreat. When I walked in several of my peers were openly crying.

On learning that Keith Green had died earlier that day in a plane crash, I too felt the world’s loss.

A few weeks ago was the 25 year anniversary of his death. Many articles were written highlighting the event—if you’re an avid fan like me, I think you’ll find this interesting.

He left a lasting impact on so many lives including mine. Thank you Keith Green. Your “No Compromise” message still hits home today!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An Era Has Come To An End

Ashley recently donated all of her dolls and doll paraphernalia to Grammy’s playroom for her younger cousins to enjoy. For me it’s like a sweet era filled with imaginary tea parties, being a pretend mommy and making an attempt to be just like me, has come to an end. In just one short year she will be a teenager!

Where have the years gone? I miss pigtails and big ribbons, frilly dresses and patent leather shoes—Ashley’s WAY to cool for cute. Though occasionally Ashley will play Candyland with Cole if he begs, she has definitely moved on to bigger things like her mp3 player, her ifish, webkinz, and dare I say boys? Maybe I’m in denial, but David says she has definitely discovered their existence . . . yikes!

For me the handing down of those once beloved dolls was a sad moment in time. But in the midst of their departure, Ashley got a sudden look of nostalgia in her eyes and pulled her favorite doll, Abigail out of the mix. That sweet, spontaneous act did my heart a world of good. Sure she’s getting bigger, but she will ALWAYS be my little girl at heart.

So goodbye little dolls . . . hello all things tween!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nicholas Turns One!

Has it really been a year?! Sweet little Nicholas turns one today! Since Daddy’s out of town we’ll have a belated birthday party.

Whenever someone asks how old he is I say, “He is almost one but he thinks he’s ten!” There is NOTHING this child won’t try. He never seems to mind when his attempts at walking, climbing or wrestling one of his brothers aren’t quite so successful—he just loves pushing the envelope on what he can do.

I’ve decided Nicholas only has one disposition—he is simply happy ALL the time. If he’s not grinning at you he is laughing hysterically. This child is the epitome of a positive attitude.

Happy Birthday Baby Nicholas! You are the best surprise God ever gave us!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Goodbye Summer

It's that time of year again . . . yesterday the kids headed back to school.

Ashley is in the 6th grade, Jonathan in 3rd and Cole is in K-4. Hello early mornings, overstuffed backpacks, sack lunches and homework.

Contrary to what is looks like in the picture, Ashley is not so happy about going back to school. Jonathan is overjoyed and Cole is nearly beside himself with excitement. Yesterday I peeked in on Cole just before their lunch break. His eyes were big, his face solemn and I could tell he was trying hard to take in every word his teacher was saying.

It is so hard to make the transition from being the center of his world to letting him start down the road of eighteen years of education. Though I'd rather have him here with me, I know we are making the right decision. His teacher is incredible and he will be reading by Christmas. We have never regretted putting Jonathan in this program. It provided him with an excellent foundation to build on.

Those are the kinds of things I keep telling myself . . . and now that it's in writing I can keep reading it over and over again. I guess part of me hopes I'll get a phone call asking me to come and get him—that he's just not ready; give him another year. I must admit, when another little boy cried and cried yesterday and wouldn't let his mom leave, I was a little envious.

But, this morning Cole assured me that indeed he DID want to go back to school today. So now the house is strangely quiet and it's just Nicholas and I holding down the fort. Can you imagine the basketcase I'll be three years from now when it's Nicholas' turn? Let's not even think about that!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sleeping One The Job

We are very careful about what our kids watch on television. Tivo is a mom’s best friend in protecting little kids from a lot of garbage they shouldn’t be watching. With the help of such wonderful technology, we don’t even let our kids watch commercials . . . which is why the following interaction in the van the other day took us by surprise.

Cole: Hey Mom, there’s the number you can count on.

Off to the left we could see Cole was pointing to a Super8 motel sign along the freeway. Totally surprised that he would know their advertising bi-line David asked,

“How do you know, Cole?”

I saw it on a commercial when you and mom fell asleep.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Ashley and David are home from Romania. Though Ashley was kind of jet-lagging and could have really used some sleep, we headed off to Dallas yesterday to celebrate her 12th birthday!

Happy Birthday, Ashley! We have so greatly loved these last twelve years of watching you become the beautiful young lady you are today.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Movin’ On Up

So the night before we were planning on leaving to spend a few days in Dallas, I was doing some last minute washing and packing. Suddenly without warning I heard a very loud crunching/groaning sound coming from my washing machine.

I immediately thought of Heidi Jo who would certainly call a repairman. But after David took a shot at his repair skills—followed by a shower of nuts, bolts and an assortment of other seemingly important parts cascading onto the floor . . . we decided to take a little trip to Lowes.

Drumroll please: This is the FIRST time in our lives we have ever purchased a BRAND NEW washer and dryer. And since I do laundry non-stop 24 hours around the clock (okay maybe I exaggerate, but sometimes it feels like it) just to keep up with this large household, I am VERY pleased with our selection. The salesman told me you could not possibly put too many clothes in at one time.

It truly does hold a tremendous amount of laundry. And, since they are front loaders, evidently our purchase will pay for itself in the amount of money we are suppose to save on water and electricity—needs less water and takes a much shorter time to dry. Most of all, I will be able to do more laundry in less time. Woo Hoo!!!

So although I have become an avid fan of Heidi Jo’s wit and wisdom, I’m hoping she will understand—I think we made the right decision this time. But, you'll be proud to know, a repairman is coming out this week to work on our oven. See Heidi, I really DO take your advice!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

She's Here!

Sam and Lisa had their baby!

Bridget Mary
"Blessed Strength"

Born July 31, 2007

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
—Psalms 27:1

She is so tiny and sweet with lots of hair. Simply beautiful! Both mom and baby are doing great.