Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's December!

     I can't believe it's already December!  Where did this year go?!  December is always a very busy time for us...and I'm sure all of you as well!

     This month started off with a great baby shower thrown for us by some great friends.  These people are some of the most generous I know, and they go all out for this type of thing!  I thought I'd share a few pics I took so those of you who couldn't make it wouldn't feel left out!  We received so many blessings that I am going to be writing thank-you notes until the baby is two! 
Super-cute "sleeping baby" cake!  Almost too adorable to eat!

Variation on a diaper cake--a diaper baby bathtub!

Fruit baby in a fruit cradle! 

     Of course, school is always busy this time of year!  With field trips, Christmas parties, and oh, yeah, schoolwork, all the students are winding up for the Christmas break.  The closer it gets, the more of a challenge it is to keep them focused until the end.  And don't think the teachers aren't looking forward to a break too!

     We haven't begun out family Christmas preparations as of yet. I have some guilt about this, but there are a lot of things taking up our extra time these last few weeks.  And I really don't want it to be a hurried, "let's get the tree up fast 'cause we have something else to get to" experience.  So, we are waiting a little longer this year, with the hopes that when we do get to it, it will be enjoyable, not torturous!  Besides, everyone seems to be rushing into the holiday season, with the emphasis being on rushing.  So we can be a little behind everyone else and enjoy ourselves, rather than being all "Christmas-ed out" before Christmas is even here!

     Because, let's face it---that's what the season is all about, right--the joyfulness of God's Son being born.  If we rush around buying, wrapping, traveling, cooking, decorating, and collapsing, then what joy have we shared with others around us?  If we are so frazzled with the commitments of the season, we can very easily lose the chance to give (and receive) blessings to others.  One verse I really like for this time of year is found in Luke's account of the birth of Jesus.  "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)  This always reminds me of the importance of quiet reflection and meditation--even in the busiest times.  And, let's face it...Mary was busy!  She was away from home, living in a barn, with a new-born!  Yet she made it a priority to think about the blessings in her life and thank God for them.

     So, in your busy holiday season, leave some time for the quiet moments of reflection on the blessings of the season.  Don't worry...the excitement will still be there when you get back to it!  Have a great (not-too-busy) holiday season!  :) 

 P.S.  Go visit the other Joyful Moms and see how they handle the holiday craziness!  :) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions!

     The Thanksgiving season will soon be here, so a post about family traditions seemed like a great idea when I heard about this week's "Joyful Mothering" theme.  For those of you who know me, you know that fall is my favorite season...and Thanksgiving is the main fall holiday.  So, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  It seems to be less "stressed-out" than Christmas, and it is a good time to help your little guys remember to think about all the things God has blessed us with! 

     When I was a child, we did not have the blessing of living around my extended family.  So, my mom went out of her way to instill special traditions and times for our family even though we could not take place in larger family celebrations.  I am very grateful for this, because it taught me the importance of having traditions for your own family, even if you can't take part in traditions in your extended family. 

     Thankfully, we live by family now, and so my boys have the extra blessing of being able to take part in larger family celebrations and traditions.  One of our main traditions at Thanksgiving is going to my parent's house and eating Thanksgiving dinner with them. Because my mom took the time to have our own traditions, there are certain things that we do every year that make it special.  We always have turkey, and we eat on the "best" dishes--the ones that only come out a few times a year.  But there's something important about tradition--it doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive!  One of our favorite things as kids was that on Thanksgiving, we always made celery sticks with peanut butter in them to snack on while we waited for lunch to be ready.  This is not a complicated thing, and it is something that can be done any time, but because we always did it at Thanksgiving, it has stuck in all our minds as a tradition.  Even if we have them at other times of the year, I always think of Thanksgiving when I see them!

     And that's really the purpose of traditions--at Thanksgiving or any other time--the memories they create.  I'm sure you can all think of something that makes remind you of a certain holiday or season whenever you see it, even if it's at a different time of the year.  Building these memories is why we have traditions--it's so important to pass on a sense of belonging and togetherness to your kiddos!  Kids love traditions...they thrive on the security of being able to say "It's this time so we get to do this thing."  If we didn't have celery and peanut butter, it just didn't feel like Thanksgiving! :) 

    So practice some of your traditions this holiday season!  Go check out the other mom's ideas and traditions.  And if there's something you've always wanted to start, now might be a great time to get that tradition off the ground!  Don't worry if it's not always perfect...you never know what will stick in a kid's memories--like celery and peanut butter!  :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Joyful-Mommying: Our Inspiration

     This week's "Joyful Mom" theme is Scripture passages that have helped us on our journey as moms.  I have blogged about some passages that have struck me at different seasons in my life--here and here.  I have also blogged about why we do what we do as moms--that was a two-parter...you can see those here and here.

     One passage that has always been an inspiration to me has been Ecclesiastes 3: 1-9.  This may seem like an obscure passage for inspiration, but the realization that there are seasons in our lives has always been comforting to me, especially when I am in a "trying" season!

     As moms, we are very familiar with different "seasons" in our lives.  If you read this passage with the eyes of a mom, you realize quickly that sometimes the "seasons" change within days of each other!  Birth and death, planting and harvesting, and building and breaking are all part of our daily lives.  One week you may be comforting a child over the loss of a favorite pet, and the next week be preparing to bring a new sibling home from the hospital!

     Planting and plucking up that which has been planted, times to kill and heal, and times to break down and build up can of course be physical occurrences in our lives, but to me they have a spiritual impact as well, especially in the area of child-training.  We as moms are constantly planting seeds of Scripture in our child's heart, and we have to be on guard to "pluck up" things that are planted by the world in their minds and hearts.  "Kill" is a pretty dramatic word, but maybe this should be how much we want get rid of sins such as lying and rebelliousness when they crop up in our households.  And of course, healing is a big part of being a mom--from Band-Aids on cuts, to heart-break over lost friends.  Lastly, every mom knows that it is a constant struggle to maintain the right balance between "breaking down" the sinful, selfish natures of our kiddos, and "building up" their good character traits and qualities.

     I encourage you to read this passage, and as you do so, don't just focus on the physical applications that seem obvious, but delve a little deeper to find the spiritual applications God has for us.  I think you will find that no matter what season you are in as a mom, wife, single girl, or wherever else God has you, it is encouraging to remember that God has a plan for us, and no "season" lasts forever.

     And I have to say, as a mom, this may be the most encouraging thought of all--NO season lasts forever... The new baby will be here soon!  Potty-training will be accomplished!  One day, everyone in your house will be able to buckle their own set-belts!  Reading can be learned!  Times tables can be memorized!  So hold on--season change is just around the corner!  :)

     Don't forget to visit the other "Joyful Moms" to see what inspires them!  :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

    Well, it's definitely fall around here, and I couldn't be more excited!  I have always considered fall to be my favorite season--the cooler weather, changing trees, fire in the fireplace, and the holiday seasons are coming up!  For this Monday's "Joyful Mom" post, the theme is "family fun", so I thought I'd share some of our family's favorite fall activities. 

     One fun thing we like to do every fall is go to a pumpkin patch.  It's not always the same one, and sometimes we do it as a school field trip, but we enjoy doing this as a family.  It's fun to watch the boys pick out their pumpkin each year--as they get older it seems to take a little longer to find the perfect one.  This year we went as a school field trip to a working farm, so they not only got to pick out a pumpkin, but they got to see animals, do a hay-maze and corn-maze, and pick cotton. 
Two of my "turkeys" (background)  looking at a turkey!

Levi picking cotton--unenthusiastically.

Levi checking out the cotton crop.


     Of course, after we have all those pumpkins, there's only one thing to do--carve them!  While we don't really celebrate Halloween as a family, I have always enjoyed carving pumpkins with the boys.  It's a fun activity, and it doesn't have to have to be scary.  (Although, the bigger boys sometimes like something a little scary, but I don't let them get too carried away.)  This year we invited Aunt S. over to carve with us, and she carved us a great Lego man pumpkin!  Here's what the finished products looked like...in the closet with the lights out.

Our Lego man pumpkin, and the pumpkin Mommy carved this year.

Here are the boy's pumpkins...carved with a little help from Mommy!
Middle Biscuit wanted the Pac-Man ghost on his, while First-Born wanted a ghost with a graveyard.  (No making fun...this is the extent of Mommy's artistic ability!)

     When we get done carving the pumpkins, I always take some time to roast some pumpkin seeds.  The boys have always thought that these are a great treat.  I made some savory ones this year, along with some cinnamon-sugar ones.

     Another event in the fall that I try to take part in every year is heading to a ladies retreat in Pensacola.  This is less a family-thing than a Mommy-thing, but I figure if it's good for Mommy, it's good for the whole family, right?  It is always such a blessing to be able to attend, and I am always able to glean many things for my Christian walk.  An added bonus is that everyone (especially Daddy) is very excited when Mommy gets back!   Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

     Well, these are some things we enjoy about the fall.  Remember to take time and have fun traditions with your family...it's what they will remember when they are grown.  Check out the other "Joyful Moms" posts for today, and make sure you have a joyful Monday!  :) 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joyful Mommy-ing--Organized!

     Well, it's my second post for "Joyful Moments", and the topic is one that is near and dear to my heart!  Organization!  Ahhh...just thinking about an organized life is bliss!  I freely admit that I am slightly OCD about a few things around here.  But when you have a Hubby, three boys, a baby on the way, teach full time, manage a house and want your kids to have clean clothes occasionally (they start the day out clean anyway!), then you have to give some thought to organization!

     The methods I have used have varied from time to time, and necessity will often motivate a change in how things are run, but basically, being organized helps me stay on top of things, rather than things staying on top of me!  Actually, I was going to take this post in a whole different direction, (more how-to rather than why) but this morning in church, the preacher (not my Dad this Sunday, but the youth pastor of our church) preached a very good message on priorities.  And that sent my line of thinking down a whole different road.

    Because, let's face it, we organize our life according to our priorities.  And also, if we are not organized, it won't be long until our priorities are out of balance--the "loud" things drowning out the more important things.  God in a God of organization, but He has a specific end result--Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."  (Emphasis mine.)  So I was thinking this morning, "How can being organized help us keep first things first?"

     So here are a few things in a list (yay for lists--very helpful for being organized!) that may help you the next time you are trying to organize (or re-organize) your life. 

      *Your personal spiritual life.   As moms, this is often the thing that slides to the bottom of the heap of things to do in a day.  We can sometimes manage to squeeze in a snatch of Bible reading as we end our day, but often this leads to being hit in the face with the Bible because we are falling asleep!  (Not really how God wants to commune with us, I'm sure!)  Recently, this is one thing I have been trying to work on for myself.  I am not a morning person, but I have been waking up a few minutes earlier every day, (hopefully before the kids are up) and having my Bible study time first.  It has been working well, and I find I am able to ponder things I have read throughout my day, which helps me keep things in perspective.  So, remember to make God first in your life--the other things have a tendency to fall in line after that!

      *Your family.    This is where the "rubber meets the road" when it comes to organization as moms.  And most people would think it would not be an area that our priorities can get out of balance, but I have seen (in my life, as well as observing others) that this is not the case.  One example is that sometimes moms forget that they were wives first.  They put the kids before their husband, and things quickly fall apart.  Another example is that moms forget their first ministry is to their own family.  They allow their other "ministries" to command all their time and effort, and their family begins to suffer.  So, it's important to organize your life so that your family takes the place that they were meant to have by the Lord.

      *Household management.    This is a fancy word for "chores."  That's right, all the stuff we do that no one seems to notice or appreciate, but it has to be done.  I struggle in this area--mainly because I focus on the chores, rather than the reason for the chores.  A put-together house is important to me.  Really important.  Can't-go-to-sleep-if-there-are-dishes-in-the-sink important.  (*Sigh--I know, I know, I told you I was OCD!)  But I forget that sometimes the floor can go unmopped if it means a child's heart is encouraged.  Clothes can stay unfolded for a while if it means that I can spend some time in a teachable moment.  This is a difficult challenge for me...OCD, remember?  The biggest thing as far as being organized in the chores (how-to moment!) for me has been assigning each day a specific task and trying to get that thing done that day.  For example, now that I am away from home for a large portion of the day, all the laundry doesn't get done in one day like it used to. (!!)  So, I try to get at least two loads done on Monday when I get home, and try to finish the rest on Tuesday.  Straightening is done daily, with "actual" cleaning done either on Thursday afternoon, or first thing Saturday morning.  (Lately, Saturday morning has been working quite well--I'm thinking of making this a permanent change...)  I try to reserve Friday afternoons for "winding down" time from the long week of school. 

     *Fun times.     Who organizes or prioritizes fun?  Doesn't that-well-take the FUN out of it?  Not for this mommy!  If I didn't organize for fun and make it a priority, there would be many times that days would go by without any fun whatsoever!  It's easy for me to fall into a trap of always finding another chore that needs to be done, or something that needs to be taken care of, to the detriment of moments for rejuvenating.  Especially during the busy-ness of the school year, when the days are shorter with more things to fit into them.  So I have been trying to work on this with a little more consistency.  I have noticed that the kids get less frustrated if they realize that there is a time when the work will be finished, and they will get to have some fun.  One thing recently (how-to moment!) that has worked well for us has been a personal list for each of the boys.  I jot down the things they need to accomplish and roughly how long it should take, and hand them the list.  They like being able to see exactly what they need to have done to earn their recreation time.  Plus, they can cross each thing out, and I am not having to constantly ask, "Is this or that done yet?"  This has an added benefit of teaching organization and time management to the boys as well, because if it's not done by supper, then they don't get the recreation time.

     Well, there's a lot more that can be written on this topic, but this post has been long enough!  I hope it was an encouragement to you, and that it helps you to remember that organization is part of God's plan for a well-ordered (hence peaceful!) life!  Check out what the other moms have to say on this topic as well!   It might be fun to get in touch with your inner OCD tendencies, and see where it will take you!  :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Moments of Joy in Mommy-ing

   So, my S-I-L who also blogs has started a "Joyful Mom Monday" blogging series where people can link up their blog to hers and we can all read what the other wrote about mothering.  (At least that's what I think it means...I haven't delved too deeply into the blogging experience, other than to figure out who to work my own...barely.)  Anyway, I wanted to see if I could actually figure this out, and also wanted to encourage her in her new venture, so I am going to attempt to take part in this--periodically.  My blogging has suffered lately--I think it's because I'm a little busy right now--haha!

   Since I decided to try to take part in this, I have been thinking about being joyful as a mom, and as a "regular" person.  For those of you who may not know me, the sort-of theme of my blog is taking the time to look for those little moments of joy and fun in your life--the "Lego" moments.  Like opening your make-up drawer to find a Lego pirate man looking up at you.  :)

    I think a big part of being joyful as a mom--and as a "regular" person too--is looking for those moments.   Some people may think that mothers are just full of fun and joy because, after all they are moms.  I mean, you're surrounded by happy, funny little people all day, who love you and need you more than anything else.  Your life must be overflowing with joy and happiness, right? 

     Well, yes, in some sense.  In the sense that children are a blessing from the Lord, and therefore a source of joy.  In the sense that they are gifts to be nurtured, and that God has entrusted you (me!!) to train and care for them.  But these are the more--hmmm, how can I put it--ethereal aspects of the joy of motherhood.  The kind that are there, but it's-sometimes-hard-to-see-it way.  The joy you think is going to be a part of your everyday life when you become a mother--and then you bring your baby home from the hospital.

     And you quickly realize that mommy-ing isn't what you see on the Johnson&Johnson commercials.  You know--the beautiful, swaddled infant contentedly snuggling with his miraculously slender post-baby mother.  It's more about 3am, walking miles in your living room with a writhing starfish that used to be your long-awaited baby.  That's when you have to start looking for the moments of joy.

     But I think this is true of any person's life.  If we do not look for the joys that are in front of us, then it is very easy to miss them.  In the hustle and bustle of "the daily grind" we have to be actively searching for the moments of joy.  Sometimes it's easier than other times.  There are days in mothering when you are surrounded by happy little people and it's easy to have joy.  Just like in life, when things are going great and it's easy to think of those joyful moments.  Then there are other days.  Loss of a job, unexpected illness, or one of the many other difficult things life may hold for us.  Those are the times when it's difficult to see  what we can be joyful about.

   As Christians, our example in all things is Jesus.  He is what we aspire to be like.  And He had to look for the joy in the difficult circumstances in His life as well.  In Hebrews 12:2, it says "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Emphasis mine.)  To me, this verse is telling me that Jesus had to remind himself of the joy that was to come during the hardest time in His life.

     So, be encouraged mommies!  It's okay to have to look hard for the joy some days.  Just so long as you are looking.  Because that's what's important...to look!  And you'll find them more often than you think...like Legos scattered in your house!  :)

     Be sure to check out the other "Joyful Mom" blogs for today as well!  Because, let's face it, Mondays can always use a little more joy!  :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just Checking In!

     It's been a little while since I did a "just checking in" post.  I thought it would be good to run down what we've been up to lately around here! 

     The kiddos:  The boys have been doing okay lately.  We seem to be going through a "phase" or two, especially with the eldest and the youngest.  It has been the topic of many late-night conversations between Daddy and Mommy.  We don't dismiss the boys behavior as "just a phase"--it is something that needs to be recognized and dealt with accordingly.  But we like to determine if there is a root cause for the behavior that stems from something else going on in our lives.  We have had a lot of changes, and there are several more big ones coming up, and this can cause upheaval in little ones' lives!  Which they act on the only way they can--by acting up!  Our biggest issue right now is speaking respectfully.  First-Born tends to be precocious for his age, and very verbal, and doesn't think the things he thinks (and then says) can be disrespectful to those around him.  Especially to Mommy.  He has definitely out-grown the "little boy" stage of his life, and has required Daddy's firm hand several times recently.  One of the most difficult things to instill is to think first, and speak second--there are lots of grown-ups who still struggle with this!  Stitch is at that 3-year old talkative stage, and has picked up "answering back" from big brother.  *Sigh--it's funny--undesirable behaviors are like germs; they get passed around!

     The Baby:  Things are going well with the upcoming little one!  We are already being blessed with little girl things, and the shower isn't until December!  I was thinking about the blog, and realized I need to think of a good code name for her...any suggestions?  The doctor said things looked great at the last check-up.  I admit, I asked him if I was measuring bigger than normal, because I've been feeling huge lately.  He said I wasn't, and that it was just fourth-baby issues.  Baby's getting stronger though--Daddy got to feel her really kicking the other night!  :)

     Our ministry:  This is something I have to keep reminding myself...sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis.  This is not a job...it is a ministry!  This keeps me from getting frustrated with being outside the home, feeling like things are slipping through the cracks, or dealing with one more behavior issue at school.  In moments of complete honesty I must admit that I miss being a "stay-at-home" mom.  Looking back, life seemed so much simpler then!  Now, I am feeling pulled in a million directions at once!  I know Satan can use these thoughts to discourage, so I pray a lot through the day for wisdom and strength. And I keep reminding myself that this is God's direction for our family right now, and He will give us the strength to persevere!  

    Well, that about wraps it up for what's going on around here in our day-to-day life!  It's time to jump back in--two little boys need their baths, and then it's bedtime for three rambunctious boys and one not-so-rambunctious Mommy!  After lunches are packed, and laundry is put away, of course!  "Little by little, inch by inch..."  :) 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Much-Needed Family Fun Time!

     This weekend we were able to get away for a little trip as a family.  It was First-Born's 8th birthday last weekend.  One thing we have found that works for us is to take the kids on a trip somewhere for their birthday instead of buying them another "thing."  (Because, believe me, we have enough toys to stock a store for a week!)  They tend to remember it longer as well.  This works especially well for First-Born, because he is a "see-and-learn" kind of kid, rather than a "play-with-a-toy" kind.

     So, we decided to take a family member up on their invitation to visit and spend the night, and then head to a wildlife preserve and natural science museum the next day.  First-Born is our budding naturalist, and really enjoys learning about God's creatures and creation!

     After a fun visit with family, and a yummy breakfast of French Toast, we set off on our adventure.  We went to the wildlife preserve first, to beat the heat of the day.  This preserve mainly focused on birds, and we were able to see several different kinds of birds, plus...an eagle's nest!  This was VERY exciting to the boys, as they love eagles, and have never seen a nest that big before!  Here is a picture of it from the car...

     We also went for a hike on one of the nature trails that was a part of the preserve.  We always enjoy hiking together, but Daddy said it will obviously be a little while before he can take the noisy boys hunting with him!  :) 

     After the hike, we let First-Born pick where he wanted to go eat lunch.  Thankfully for our budget, he picked Arbys, which has a great dollar menu!  (When you have a growing family, you judge restaurants based solely on the caliber of their dollar menu.  Our favorite pick is Wendys!)  So, after a good lunch, we headed to our next destination.

     Cooks Pest Control Museum was the next stop.  I know, I thought is was odd for a pest control company to have a museum as well.  But we had heard good things about it, and it was FREE, so off we went.  It turned out to be a really neat place!  They had a lot of interesting exhibits of local AL wildlife, plus a good collection of rocks and minerals.  The boys thought it was really great, and spent a lot of time looking at each thing.  One of their favorites was the stuffed alligator that was right on their level.  They just HAD to get a picture doing this...

And this...
And don't forget this!
     Then we hopped in the car to head home, with a trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream cones.  Mommy was even brave and let the boys eat their cones in the car!  There were no messes though, much to my relief!  All in all, it was a really great family day...the only problem is, when you have one fun time like that, you always want another one!  Hmmm, when's our next day off from school...? :) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaching (and Learning!) Trust

     Trust is a topic that has been on my mind for a little while.  We have had lots of opportunities to both practice and teach trust in our household lately.  There have been a lot of changes that have caused me to realize that a more active trust in God was the only way I wasn't going to go crazy!  In reality, I am not much of a worrier.  I have a tendency to take things one day at a time, and try not to stress about the "unknown."  However, I am a planner.  Which means the unknown is sometimes frustrating simply because I don't have a concrete plan of action.  This is where the trust comes in for me.  I have to remember that God has a plan, even if I can't write it down in my book, and He's working things out for me.

     But in my opportunities to learn more trust, I have had to remind myself that I am not the only one learning this lesson.  I have little eyes and ears that are watching and listening to every seemingly small conversation about the finances, school/new baby changes, and the million other little things that have changed recently.  And I remind myself that I have to teach trust as well as learn it!

     Kids evidence fear and worry in different ways.  For First-Born, the thing he worries about the most is the weather.  (I wonder why...?)  Any storm warning, weather siren, or  news story about the weather and he is asking a million questions about where and when.  Of course, we have reviewed the verses about "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." and "Fear not for I am with thee.."  And he knows these--intellectually.  But that is not where trust is grown.  So, we are working on the believing part of trust with him.  He is getting better--he was actually unconcerned about the storms we had last night!

     Middle Biscuit is our quiet one.  The "go along to get along" kind of kid.  His trust issue has much more to do with him trusting too much.  He is the believer in the family.  Which is a blessing in one sense, but he will have to be careful not to be gullible.  Our focus with him will definitely be trusting people--who can fail you--too much.  "Wise as serpents, harmless as doves."

     Stitch is just growing into his "issues."  He is now big enough to notice what's going on around him, and to question Mommy & Daddy about these things.  He is the most like his Mommy of the three boys, and needs a plan.  Recently, with the impending new arrival, he has been very concerned about things for the new baby.  "Do we have a car seat for the new baby?" "Do we have diapers?"  "Do we have clothes for her?"  These have all been questions I have fielded in the last two weeks.  So, I take and show him the car seat, diapers, and clothes which seems to ease his mind.  And I tell him that God will help Mommy and Daddy take good care of the new baby and of him.  One step at a time...

     So, which kind of trust issue are you working on?  Needing a plan?  Worrying?  Or maybe you're too trusting of people who let you down?  Remember, our Heavenly Father has control of all our circumstances...and don't forget to pass that trust on to your "little watchers!"  :) 



Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's A . . .!!!

     Okay, so right now I should be working on grading the thirty or so tests that were taken today...but I thought I'd do this instead!  A rare moment of procrastination from me!  But it's not like I don't have a little news to pass on!

     As some of you may be aware, today was the "find out what you're getting" doctor appointment for us.  So, we let school out early, packed everyone up, and headed off.  We had been talking about it for a couple of days, so the boys were pretty excited.

     We got there and-of course-we had to wait a little while.  I am always a little nervous with this appointment...making sure everything is good with the baby and all.  Or, maybe it's just because I always really have to go to the bathroom...since they say have a full bladder for the sono!  Thankfully, we actually didn't have to wait as long as usual.

     As the sono tech got to work (she's really great--we've had her for all the previous babies), I relaxed a little.  They like to tell everyone at once, so she didn't turn on the monitor so I could see ahead of time.  After she did all the "work" shots, she called in the rest of the family.  We got everyone situated, and then she started "the show."

     She didn't go straight for the "informational" shot, but spent some time showing the boys the baby's face, and little feet and hands.  (Always so cute!)  Being as this wasn't my first rodeo, I immediately noticed that it seemed less, umm, "crowded" than my previous sonos.  Sure enough, the next shot she went for let us know for sure--it was a girl!

     Needless to say, I was surprised!  This was the first real surprise feeling that I had being pregnant.  I hadn't let myself speculate on this issue.  Lots of people were sending pink thoughts our way though...I was just glad I didn't have to "disappoint" anyone! :)  (Not that they would have really been disappointed!)  Stitch was very happy--he had been wanting a girl baby!  First-Born was a little grumpy--he figured "Why mess with a good thing?"  Middle Biscuit was just glad he would still be the "Middle Biscuit!"

     So, everything looks great, she (SHE!) looks healthy and is just right on schedule at 18 weeks.  Now, we have to find the perfect name, and I have to stay completely OUT of the baby shoe aisle!  (It was bad enough when I had boys...baby girl shoes are going to be even harder to resist!)

     Thanks for the prayers and good wishes, and keep them coming for the rest of the time!  Because now, we have a whole new world full of things like hair bows and baby dolls to figure out!  Good thing they have those pink Lego sets now!  :) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Update from the First Week of School!

     Well, here I am again--a month between posts!  In all fairness to myself, though, this past month has been insanely busy.  Even more insane than usual...which is saying a lot!  But, I had a few spare minutes after house cleaning and before I start supper, so I thought I'd better take advantage of them!  I hope I get done in time...

     The biggest happening around here has of course been the start of the school year.  All the boys are in school this year, (this is what happens when Mommy and Daddy teach there!) so we are all busy with school and new schedules.  So far, it seems to be working out pretty well.  (She said optimistically the fourth day of school into the year...)  I guess we will see how things keep progressing.

     The week before school started, Mommy, Daddy, and Middle Biscuit were all very ill with a stomach bug.  I can't complain too much, because I can count on one hand the number of illnesses of that type we have had in our family.  But all I will say is that I have literally never been so sick in my life.  Maybe it was being pregnant and being sick at the same time (also a very rare thing for me) but I have never been so glad to be well before!  Thankfully, we were all mostly better for the first day of school.

    School is much more interesting this year.  We have doubled enrollment again this year, and are now up to twenty students.  So, because of the way our school is set up, and how our curriculum works, it is similar to a home-school setting.  So, Hubby and I, and Mrs. H (the kindergarten teacher), and Mrs. F (our new helper this year) are pretty busy all day.  Listening to reading, helping with Math, challenging students to retain information, and most of all, instilling Godly character are the things we strive for every day.  We have students from very different backgrounds, some with special learning challenges, and it is our job to train them up in the way they should go.  Such an awesome responsibility!  Sometimes, I have to take a step back and say "Lord, you know I can't do this on my own..."  There is a different level of pressure than home-schooling, I feel, because you home-school your own kids.  They are already your responsibility.  But parents have entrusted their kids to us for a large portion of their day--you don't want to "mess up" someone else's kids!  :)  But God has truly blessed and given strength beyond measure for this undertaking.

     Two of the boys were excited to start school this year.  First-Born didn't want to have to do his school work--doing nothing all summer was much more fun apparently!  But they were all up and ready to go for the first day...after some cajoling by Mommy!  I think I even got smiles from everyone in the "first day of school" picture!

      Of course, the most excited one this year is Stitch!  He is finally big enough to go to "real" school.  He very seriously told me that he needed a backpack, lunchbox, and a "big blue box" (pencil box) like his brothers had.  Also, two pencils, markers, and new crayons.  Oh, and his own scissors and glue stick.  He was very excited to take his picture all by himself...he actually pushed his brother out of the picture because it was his turn! 

      Baby L. seems to be handling all the changes well also.  Mommy is finally feeling a little better, or maybe I'm just so busy I don't have time to notice it anymore!  We should be finding out what we're "getting" at our next appointment, which is in a couple of weeks.  I don't have any "leanings" one way or the other right now...people keep asking me if I want a girl this time.  I'm not sure if I would even know what to do with a girl at this point!  :)  The boys all want another boy---I guess they think "Why mess with a good thing?"   Stay tuned for the big reveal in a few weeks!

     I thought I would end this post with a funny Stitch story that happened this past week.  We were eating supper and I had told the boys to eat with less talking because it was Wednesday, and we had to get ready for church.  Well, it was quiet around the table (a rare occurrence!) and all of a sudden Stitch gasps and says, very excitedly, "Mommy! Do you know what my brain is doing?!"  Of course I had to say no--that is such a loaded question from a three year old!  He then replied, "It's singing "Trust & Obey" all by itself inside my brain--right here!"--pointing to his forehead.  Then he said "See?" and stares me dead in the eye--like I could hear inside his head!  Well, I didn't want to hurt his feelings by laughing, so after much inward struggle, I was able to reply that it was great that his brain was singing such a good song, and God likes to hear him singing all the time!  He is at the age of discovery--and it sometimes his discoveries are hilarious!  Definitely a "Lego moment!"  :) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bumps and Blessings!

     Well, it has been exactly one month since my last post...so sorry Faithful Readers!  I promise, I had the loftiest of intentions to blog more faithfully during the summer months!  I compose blogs in my head, and never seem to be able to get to the computer to send them along!  *Sigh*

     The theme that's been running through my head lately has been "bumps & blessings."  (Hence the title!)  By now, if you have read this blog for very long, you know that I like boring.  Lately, however, life around here has been anything but boring!  In fact, it has been very "bumpy."  I seem to be hitting all the potholes in the road of life!  As soon as I bounce out of one, it seems like I'm heading down into another. And it seemed like I was hitting them in all the different areas of life--marriage, kids, health, church, work....

     I want to be real on this blog.  I don't want to "roll around" in my problems, but I don't want you to think as you read this blog "She has it all together...nothing ever seems to happen to her like what happens in my life..."  Because that's definitely not true!    As humans, and therefore sinful creatures, we all have our share of trials and temptations that we face.  The hard part is learning how to handle them properly, according to Scripture.

     So, as I was saying, life has been bumpy of late.  And I was getting discouraged.  I mean, don't-want-to get-out-of-bed, what-is-the-point-of-trying-anymore discouraged.  Then I realized something.  A simple, straightforward, should-have-already-known-this something.  (Side note: you know how we get tired of saying the same thing over and over to our kids?  Do you ever think about God sitting back and saying, "Now, how many times have I tried to tell you that?"  Thankful for a Perfect, Wise, and most of all Patient Heavenly Father!)  God sends the bumps in our life so we are forced to seek out the blessings. 

     It's so easy to forget God's continual blessings during the boring times.  Bumpy times narrow our focus, forcing us to concentrate on remembering God's blessings--most of the time just so we can go on living!  And as I went through these bumpy times, I was forgetting to do that.  So I was getting more and more discouraged, wrapped up in my issues.  Then I was thinking one day about something that has happened in my family's life recently that has been an answer to a prayer of ours for a very long time.  Then I started thinking about other things that have been happening in our ministry here.  I realized then that Satan wants me to focus on the bumps.  If he can get our focus on ourselves, and our problems, then he knows the battle is half won in our life.  Discouragement is one of his biggest weapons.  Because discouraged people are halfway to being quitters.  And Christians who quit won't do anything to further God's kingdom.  Which is exactly Satan's plan.

     I started listing things mentally that have been happening that have been furthering God's kingdom.  Families in our church who have committed to live their lives for the Lord.  Kids in whose life I have had a small part coming to the Lord for salvation.  The exponential growth of our school this summer.  And I realized...this is why we have bumps--so we can remember the blessings.

     So, if your just coming out of a bumpy time yourself, or may be heading into one, I want to encourage you.  Look for the blessings.  Don't let Satan get a foothold of discouragement in your life.  Give your disheartening moments to the Father.  And soon you'll look back and see what God has accomplished during your bumpy time.  Then you'll be able to give Him the glory!

    Oh, and sometimes, the bumps can be blessings themselves...in fact, we have a "bump" that is growing into a "blessing", and should be here in about six months!  (Is that too vague?)  :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Slow-Down. . .Yeah, Right!

     I had the highest of hopes for a more regular posting schedule for my poor, neglected blog this summer.  But then reality intervened, and well, let's just say lately we're lucky to get meals around here!  I realized that the busy-ness was getting a little out of hand one morning, about a week ago, as Hubby and I were sitting at the kitchen table after breakfast.  We were both filling out our respective to-do lists for that day and the rest of the week.  We both had lots to do, and not much time to do it in!  But we survived that week, and we're almost done with this one as well!  I'm glad to say that later on that evening, when that day's work was done, we promised ourselves that we would take some time for a "vacation" in a couple of weeks.  You don't know how often that thought has kept my sanity for the last few days!

     We've had a couple of big happenings around here since my last post.  Probably the most exciting thing was the fact that First-Born decided to get baptized!  He was saved about two years ago in our tent revival. (You can read about that here.)  He knew in theory that he should be baptized, but as he put it, "I'm just not brave enough."  Well, he finally found the courage, and two Sundays ago was baptized by his Pa. 

     I found this great pic from Middle Biscuit's birthday celebration.  I just had to stick it in here...
Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like six candles on an ice-cream cone!  
     We've also had a new addition to the family.  Some of you may know about our new kitten.  He is quickly becoming "one of the guys."  He's pretty feisty, which is a must around here, and all the boys love playing with him.  He was named "Chip" for the spots on his belly (they looked like chocolate chips), but we quickly realized that name was a little too "cutesy" for this particular tough guy!  So, the boys amended his name, and now he is known as "Chip Norris--the toughest cat in the world!"  He and Stitch are especially good buddies, and spend lots of time chasing each other around! 
Gotcha! :)

     Even though we've been busy, we have found time to do a couple of fun things.  Family zoo trips, picking the garden (well, the boys think it's fun!), celebrating Father's Day, picking blueberries, and making some cakes have all been little ways to have fun as a family! 

*First-Born working diligently on icing his cake...he wanted it to be just right!  (You should have seen them after they ate that cake...they looked like mini-vampires with all the red around their mouth!)

     *Middle Biscuit and Stitch worked together to ice their cake.  Well, Middle Biscuit worked to ice the cake.  Stitch realized that the knife was an excellent icing-eating tool! 

    This week we are in the middle of Cub Scout day camp.  Let's just say that it has been an adventure.  But then again, I guess anything that involves large numbers of boys under eleven is an adventure, right?  Tomorrow is the last day, and I'm not even going to pretend to be sad that it's over!  It's a good thing that we only have it one time a year!  Lol...

     I'm glad I've had the chance to catch you up with our crazy life!  I hope your summer is going well...and it's not too crazy!  :) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Start-Up!

     The first week of summer is officially over!  We were glad to have a relaxing week, recovering from the craziness that was the last week of school!

     I really don't want to waste the summer.  I have all these things in the back of my mind that I want to get done before school starts.  Things like cleaning, organizing, and stuff that never seems to get handled when school starts up!  So, in that spirit, I got up this morning and organized and cleaned out all the cabinets in my kitchen!  I was so glad to get this much-needed task done!  Now, if I can only get the hoodlums and the Hubby to help me keep it this way!  :)

     I don't want the boys to waste the summer either.  They would be perfectly happy to sit in front of the TV watching movies and playing video games all summer!  So, in the interest of not turning their brains into mush, we have signed up for the summer reading program at the local library.  They keep up with how many books they've checked out and read, and then at the end of the summer, they get a prize pack from the library.  We did it once, two summers ago, and the boys really enjoyed it.  We have read a lot of books so far!

     We are also working on some Cub Scout projects and electives as well.  Today, First-Born made a weather chart, which he is supposed to use to track the weather for two weeks.  Middle Biscuit will be working on his Tiger Track over the summer as well.  One thing you have to say about Scouts--there's always something to be working on!  They've learned that bored kids get into trouble!

     Hubby and I were talking earlier this week about that idea as well.  We want the boys to be busy learning and growing.  It's kind of scary to think that you really don't have that much time to teach the important things to your kiddos!  (Of course, some days it seems like they're never going to grow up!)  But there are so many good things to learn, and, unfortunately, there are so many things everyone else will want to teach them---and most are not good!  We have to be so vigilant to be the first to fill our children's minds with good, profitable knowledge and wisdom, before the world can fill it with mindless fluff and garbage.

     So, just a word of encouragement---be your kids' teacher!  Try to impart some small lesson in wisdom everyday!  Spend some time thinking..."What do I want my kids to learn from me today?"  Because they will learn something--no matter what!  It's our job to make sure it's something that nurtures or admonishes!  :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Middle Biscuit Is Six!

     Hello my poor neglected readers!  I literally have not sat down at a computer in about two weeks...pretty much since my last post!  Now that summer is officially here in this household, I hope to be a little more faithful about my blogging!  At least until school starts back again...

     I couldn't let the day go by without posting about our Middle Biscuit!  He has been doing a lot this weekend...and today is his sixth birthday!  Last night was his graduation from K5 as well!  He is officially a first grader, Tiger Cub, and six-year old!  We found out that the five baby lion cubs' birthday was today too, so we decided to head to the zoo for a fun birthday date!

     Middle Biscuit was probably my scariest baby.  I was convinced that even though I was doing fine with the first one, there was no way I could do two!  One was easy...but two was another story!  I spent many nights during the pregnancy going over all the "what ifs."  "What if they're both crying for me at the same time?"  "What if the baby's eating & the toddler needs his diaper changed?"  "How am I going to take two of them somewhere?"  Hubby patiently encouraged me all throughout that things would work out.  And sure enough, he was right!  Soon our little family of three was a family of four!

     Right from the start, Middle Biscuit was a happy, content little guy.  He's still pretty laid back--probably the most calm one in his family!  Nothing much riles him up, and he is happy to play by himself with his toys.  He's our artistic one, likes to spend time drawing and coloring.  He almost always has a happy smile--when he's "plugged in" that is!  He spends a lot of time in his own little world...oblivious to what is going on around him!  And when the TV is on you may as well forget even trying to get through to him!  :)

    *Happy Baby!  

*Fun on the beach!

                   *Jump for joy--now we're six!
     So, happy birthday to our Middle Biscuit!  And here's the poem we read to our six-year-olds on their birthday.  :)

The End

When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two, 
I was nearly new.

When I was Three, 
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four, 
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, and clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

More Adventures in Scouting!

     Time has really flown since my last post!  If I remember correctly, the last time I checked in with ya'll, we were getting ready to head out to Cub Scout camp.  Well, THAT was an adventure, so we may as well start there!

     Early in the week a 24 hour stomach bug had been through the older two boys.  Not really a huge thing, and they were feeling pretty well by week's end.  But then, Thursday night at bedtime, it hit Stitch.  He lost his supper, and then a bit more, but slept all night, and seemed fine Friday morning.

     I had already planned to stay home from school (we were only having a half day that day) and pack for our trip.  We were supposed to meet some other Scout people at 12:30 for the trip up to camp.  I woke up not feeling well at all.

     Let me jump in here and say that I can count on one hand the number of times I have--to put it delicately--gotten sick.  Let's just say that if I was one of those poor moms who spent their pregnancies getting sick, we would probably only have one kid!

     Needless to say, I laid very still in the bed with my teeth clenched, trying to hold it together.  And it was working--until Stitch (who got left home with Mommy while Dad and the boys were at school) said "Mommy, I need to go potty."  I mean, what could I do?  I had to get up and help him...and it was all over then.

     After a few very unpleasant minutes in the bathroom, I felt a little better, and decided I'd better get some packing done while I had the energy.  I figured that if I was to sick to go, at least Daddy could take the big boys and they could still go.  So I very slowly packed things for the weekend.  Poor Stitch--he hadn't ever seen Mommy like that!

    Well, I had it mostly done by the time Hubby and the boys got home.  I then proceeded to lay down and hope everything got to the van and nothing got left behind.  Since we knew the virus was very short-lived, and I had gotten sick any more, I decided to tough it out and go.  I got some very concerned looks from the other Scout people when we drove in the parking lot to meet!  I must have looked half dead--and I felt worse than I looked!

     I slept the entire trip up there--about two hours.  Which was enough to get me through unpacking, and supper.  We then went to bed and I slept off the rest of the virus.  Saturday morning I felt a million times better, which was a great relief!

    After the initial bumpy start, camp was great this year!  The boys were able to enjoy it a lot more since they were older.  Stitch was funny--he spent the entire time Friday saying "Can we go home now? I want to go home!", and then, as we were heading back to the campsite to pack up our stuff Saturday night to leave, he says "Daddy, I love camping--can we stay here some more?"  You should have seen the look on his face when we told him it was time to go home!  

      Here's almost everyone who was able  to make it from our Pack.  This was about an hour after we arrived at our campsite.  Notice the "structure" in the background.  All our little Scouts decided to whip up a quick "lean-to" to use as a fort...so they scavenged pieces of wood and gutter that had been hidden behind this boulder.  I'm sure when we left the camp people were wondering "What in the world...?"

     The weekend had a pirate theme, so the boys got to decorate "pirate hats" for craft time.  Arrgghh, Matey!  
     During Outdoor Cooking, the boys got to make "Biscuits-On-A-Stick."  These are not complicated, (canned biscuits, wrapped around a stick) but when you put 15 five to ten year-olds around a bed of coals about the size of a hubcap, things get interesting.  Very interesting. 

     Aww, aren't they cute?!  It looks like they had a pretty good time!  :) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family Fun Times!

     I can't believe it's only been a week since Easter!  So many things have happened to keep us busy over the last week that it feels more like a month!

     The Saturday before Easter, we took Grandpa & Grandma to the botanical gardens.  The weather was gorgeous, and the boys had a great time checking out the bee hives, the early roses, and the nesting Canada goose.  This has been one of my favorite places to take the boys since they were small for several reasons---it's FREE, there's lots of interesting things to see, and it always makes for some great photo ops:
Like this--

      Or how about this one:
Hubby and his mom at the gardens
    Here's a few fun ones:
Stitch chillin'!
Looking over the bridge and watching the fish swimming by.
Super-happy face!  :)

Mommy and Stitch under the gate to the Japanese gardens. 
     We also had a great time as a family celebrating our Saviour's Resurrection Day.  We don't really buy into all the hype about eggs, bunnies, and baskets, but we do like to dye eggs, and the boys always get a lot of candy and presents---usually from other people!  I have always tried to bring out the symbolic meaning of the eggs as a picture of how we can have new life because Jesus died and rose again.  Even the vinegar that is used to prepare the egg dye can help kids remember Jesus on the cross!  So, here's our finished product for this year:
 Hands and eggs with dye! 

     All the eggs together! 

      Last week, we also got to do something else we enjoy as a family.  We got to go to a baseball game!  It's the minor leagues, so there is usually a way to get tickets fairly inexpensively.  This time, we were able to get our whole family in for $5!  Plus, it was fifty-cent hot dog night, so we got to eat fairly inexpensively as well.  It's always pretty fun, and the boys usually enjoy it.  We had to cut the night short though, because it was a school night.  We decided to leave at the end of the fifth inning.  It was a good thing too, because the game went for eleven innings!!  Baseball is fun, but it's nine innings for a reason!  :)

     This weekend we will be heading up to Camp Comer again for Cub Scout Campout.  We had a great time last year, except for a scare, which hopefully we won't be repeating!  Tomorrow we head out after lunch, and Mommy is praying for warm, dry weather!  Look for an up-coming post about our adventures this time! 
      I hope you are remembering to take advantage of the fun times you are able to have with your own families.  Because that's where lots of  "Lego moments" can be found! :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why We Do What We Do-Part Two

     Last week, I wrote a post to remind myself what it's all about.  As we approach the most joyful holiday in our walk as a Christian, it caused me to re-visit this topic in my musings.

     Yes, the people in our lives are important reasons to do what we do.  And yes, the Bible does have plenty of things to say about our duty to train our children up in the right path.  These things are important motivations to "keep on keeping on." 

    But, today especially, I felt it important to remind myself of the most important Reason of all.  Our Saviour is why we do what we do.  Good Friday is traditionally the day that we take time to reflect on our Lord's ultimate sacrifice.  And Easter Sunday is the day we rejoice in His conquering of death and the grave.  But we should strive to remember--today, Sunday, and every day--that Jesus is the reason we do what we do. 

    Remember the fact that He did what He did so we could have the blessing of forgiveness of the Father, fellowship with His Son, and the fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit indwelling us.  His death on the cross allows us to experience His blessings in our lives.  He did what He did for us.  It's not a lot to ask that we do what we do for Him. 

    So, when life is crazy, and circumstances seem out of your control, take a minute to focus on the Saviour.  Ask Him to help you remember why you are doing what you are doing.  Is it for yourself, or for Him?  Allow His peace to permeate your soul.  And remember why we do what we do!  :)  Happy Resurrection Day!  :)

 *This is what was out our front door yesterday!  :) 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Why We Do What We Do

     So, this has been a tough week around here.  We started back to school, and everything was going fairly well.  Monday.  By Tuesday I was already ready for it to be Friday, which is never a good sign!

     Do you ever have those moments as a parent where you envy those people who let their kids do whatever they want, simply because it's easier?  Why go through all the trouble of making them clean their rooms, or do their school work, or be nice?  Just put in a movie, and leave them alone.

     Raising kids is hard.  Really hard.  Actually, raising kids isn't that hard, I guess.  Training them them is.  There is a difference.  Bringing up kids "in the nuture and admonition of the Lord" is hard work.  Because it can't be all "nurture" and no "admonition", which would be easier on the parent.  And it can't be all "admonition" with no "nuture" either, because that leads to bitterness in the heart of the child.  Finding the balance is part of the challenge.

     Yesterday was definitely an "admonition" day.  Both the boys had a terrible day at school, and Stitch is not feeling well, which makes him extra "attitudinal."  Plus, we have been dealing with an attitude problem in our eldest for the last couple of weeks.  Think a thirteen year-old trapped in a seven year-old's body...  So, "Mean" Mommy had to make an appearance last night.  But afterwards, I sat down with both the boys and we talked about how much they had been given by God, and that they have a responsibility to follow His commands just like Mom and Dad do.  Then we all prayed together, and the rest of the evening went better.  I'm hoping today will be a "nuture" kind of day.  It's Friday, a majority of the work is done for the week, and I think it's going to be pizza and fun time tonight.

     So, why do we do all this?  Well, obviously, if we are Christians, our first responsibility is to raise up Godly families.  Also, we don't want to have a house full of juvenile delinquents running around.  You know--the family everyone thinks of as THAT family with THOSE kids!  But mostly, we do it for them.  I mean, how else are they going to learn to be God-fearing, responsible, adult citizens who are not solely focused on themselves?  (Which, if you look around, is becoming quite an epidemic in our nation--but that's a whole other post!)  If we don't take the time to train in unselfishness, thoughtfulness, or obedience, then guess who will?  No one.  And there are plenty of people out there who will be glad to teach them all kinds of other things.

    I guess I wrote this post as a reminder to myself---even after the bad days, don't give up!  Remember why we do what we do! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break=Time to Blog!

     It's officially spring break here, and I couldn't be more excited!  Not because we have big plans for a beach trip, or Disney world like a couple of years ago.  Mostly because we don't actually have anything planned...a rare occasion around here lately!  So, I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch up on life around here! 

     I spent today--the first day of spring break-- doing laundry and going through the boys' clothes and switching seasons and sizes.  Yep, that's my glamorous life folks... :)  Does any one else get nostalgic when they pull the little clothes out of the closet?  "I remember when we first got those jammies...First-Born loved them!"  "That was Middle Biscuit's favorite t-shirt last summer."  That is one thing I enjoy about the job...and the boys like finally getting to wear certain longed-for items of clothing from their big brothers! 

     We had a catastrophe yesterday.  We had just finished lunch at Mimi and Pa's (our Sunday afternoon tradition), when we heard a blood-curdling scream from Stitch.  It seemed to go on forever!  Of course, we all dash in there (Mommy, Daddy, Mimi, Pa, and Grandma & Grandpa, who are back for a visit) to see Stitch holding out his hand.  Upon further inspection, we see that he has had his hand shut in the bathroom door, and when he instinctively jerked it out, he managed to rip his entire pinky nail off.  Having never had this happen to me, I can only imagine the pain.  I mean, they do use this technique as torture, so it can't be a very pleasant experience.  There's not much to really do for it, so he has it wrapped in Neosporin and a bandage now.  It's his right hand, so he is now learning to do things with his left...I wonder if it will turn him into a lefty?  He is definitely the one who stuff happens to in this family.  Earlier this week he had managed to fall off the bed he was jumping on, climb on a box next to the piano and hit his bottom lip,  get some kind of bug-bite on his face, not to mention all the scuffles he gets into with his brothers.  If he makes it to adulthood, it will be a miracle! 

     We want to get our garden put in over spring break as well.  It's not going to be very big...last year we put too many plants in too small of an area.  We got a few things out of it, but we hope to do better this year.  We want the boys to learn how to do these things as they are getting older.  Think redirecting some of that excess energy.  Besides, food tastes better when you have worked hard for it, right?

       Speaking of re-directed energy, Pack 247's pine car derby was a success this year.  We had a great turn-out, and First-Born's car won "Most Realistic" for the second year in a row.  This probably has nothing to do with the fact that he insists every year on making his car look "like a real race car."  He asked me why he won the same award this year as he did last year...*sigh. 

     Well, that about wraps up this spring break post!  Hope you are all enjoying your spring-time fun with your families!  :) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Boys Scouts and a Baby!

     This past week has been a busy one for us!  *Sigh*--it seems like I start every blog post with those words!  :)  Thankfully, the runny nose/coughing bug has finally vacated the premises!  Yay!  Every time we have a sickness, it makes me all that much more thankful that we are a healthy family overall!  

     Monday was our Blue & Gold Banquet with our Scout troop.  This is one of the highlights of the Scouting year.  The Scouts try to earn their rank badges by this time, and invite their families to see them get their award.  

     Scouting has become a bigger part of our lives over the last year.  Originally, I kind of intended that it would be something Hubby was able do to with our boys as "bonding" time, but the pack needed helpers, so guess who recently got recruited to be the Wolf Den leader?!  This is the den First-Born is in this year, and it also happens to be the largest group we have in our pack.  (Hmmm...now I'm wondering if that was the plan all along...?)  
     So, every other Monday, we all pile in the van and head to Scouts.  By the time the little boys are old enough to actually join, they're going to have earned all the badges already!  But, Scouting's a good thing, and it's one of the few extra-curricular activities that still has an emphasis on traditional family-centered values.  

    This year's banquet was a success, and all our Scouts did a lot of hard work toward their Scouting progress.  

    First-Born at the banquet.  When I see him in his uniform, all I can think of is the movie "Up!"  "Mr. Fredrickson, my knee hurts..."  :)


     Receiving his awards.  He earned his Wolf Rank, a popcorn-selling badge, and a Gold Arrow point. 

     Also on Monday, we got a new cousin!  My little brother and his wife had their first baby on Monday night.  We got to meet her on Tuesday.  She's such a cutie, and she helps even things up in the cousin mix.  Now we have two girls and three boys.  Welcome, Baby K!  :) 

     Meeting our newest cousin!   It's so funny...Stitch loves babies!  We were at the Science Museum the other week, and every time he saw a lady with a little baby, he asked me "Mommy, can I pet her baby?"  He and Daddy are teaming up to convince Mommy we need a new little "mini-figure" around here!  :)

        So sweet!  Those hospital pacifiers always look so big in their little mouths! 

   Well, that about wraps up this week so far.  This weekend already promises to be busy as well...with a birthday party and a wedding on Saturday!  Still haven't quite figured the logistics out for that one yet...  Maybe we'll have a day with nothing going on--but I just can't see it any time soon!  :)