Sunday, May 31, 2009

Signing Off....

Not for long...just for the month of June. I know, I know....I've tried this before and have always F.A.I.L.E.D.

During the month of June for the last several years our family has unplugged the TV, video game systems and have made an attempt to unplug the computer as well. There is just TOO MUCH to do during the month of June...who has time for television! It's also been a time of creativity on the kids parts and some awesome family bonding!!!

Last year during June we were looking for a house in which I used the computer for and then ended up breaking my fast elsewhere in cyberland. BOO! This year My Sweetie and I do have a talk to prepare for which I will make an exception for that time period. But for the rest of the month the computer is going to be folded up and put in the cupboard...less temptation that way!!!

I will have some "work" things to do, but figure I can use the computer at church for such church work that needs to be done.

So to my "average of 6" readers a day...I'll see you in June. I'll take lots of pictures....don't worry!!!

Have a BLESSED JUNE!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Youth Retreat

I had the awesome privilege of hanging out with a group of amazing youth at a retreat center this weekend. The Boy has gone to this retreat 3 other times and this was his fourth time. It was a FANTASTIC weekend, to say the least. And even though it was geared for the youth who were attending, wouldn't you know, God was speaking to me also....

...God showed me once again how blessed I am to have such a GREAT son. I got to hear good things that warmed my heart from the adult leaders at the camp about The Boy. You could just tell that he was at ease there. He feels accepted and loved and that is a good thing for a momma to see. The older boys were impressed with his Ultimate Frisbee skills which helped his confidence and made him feel good.

...God showed me even when I'm trying to not be "THE MOM" that I will always be "THE MOM" which means you can never get a private shower!!! The Boy was knocking on my door just after I had stepped out of the shower; he was looking for money for the soda machine! HA!!!! The Boy still wanted to sit with me during meals and worship and wanted me around during the afternoon activities. God Bless him!!!

...God showed me how important this retreat is to the youth from our parish/church.

...God lead me to the retreat center just for the purpose of the prior statement to tell me that I needed to step up and make it a priority to get our parish/church youth down there after the Pastor C's are re-appointed.

...God showed me that the Pastor C's are going to have just as hard of a time leaving as the youth (and some of us grown ups too!) are going to have saying goodbye. Thank God they aren't going too far away!

...God spoke to me through the Pastor C's in the little "you can do it" pep talk Saturday night. God Bless them!!!!

...God introduced me to some amazing, inspiring youth leaders who are not ordained.

...God just told me as I was writing that last sentence that no I'm not off the hook here. But that I should still pursue the candidacy for ordination process WHILE being the amazing youth leader that He will equip me to be in the meantime.

Philippians 2:13 continues to work in my life. God is so good!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Magnificent Monarch Days

Last Friday was one of those days that makes me glad that I'm a stay-at-home mom. I got to spend the whole morning at school with BuhBuh.

He decorated Butterfly Cookies...

Made a Monarch hat...

Painted a Habitat sign....

Decorated a stepping stone...

Then we enjoyed an indoor picnic (it was raining like CRAZY!!) together....

It was truly a magnificent day!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2 Years Ago...

...we were all sitting around the table having dinner. I was kind of in a rush because My Sweetie and I had a Church Council meeting. I needed to get everyone fed, food cleaned up and everyone out the door and our our way to Church. Meeting nights when we BOTH have meetings can be a little stressful...especially when they are on school nights.

The Boy who was sitting across from me at the table asked for the MILLIONTH time about when his friend who was in town visiting was going to be able to come and play. The Boy's friend had come into town with his family. His dad is in music ministry and had done a performance the night before, Mother's Day. I had thought about going, but I just didn't feel up to if for whatever reason. I can't even really remember what we had done that Mother's Day.

The Boy's friend and his siblings were being left with a family, 2 Pastors from our parish and their daughters, while their parents went on a much deserved vacation together.

So after the MILLIONTH inquiry about the where and when their much anticipated play date was going to be, I kind of snipped at The Boy telling him I would talk to our Pastor friend who I would see the next day at Bible Study.

Fast forward to the beginning of our Council meeting. Just after the devotion and just before the prayer our Pastor asked for us to keep a family in our prayers who had lost a child. He didn't give us any other details because there were still people who did not know of the loss. He told us it wasn't anyone from our congregation, but a family we all knew. I thought nothing else of this after.

Fast forward to the next day, the 15th. I arrived to my Tuesday Bible Study to see my Pastor and his wife rather than the other Pastor who typically led our study. After we had all arrived, he told us that The Boy's friend had been killed the day before in an accident with a horse at our Bible Study Pastor's home where he and his siblings were staying. I remember 3 of us all reacting the exact same way with an audible gasp and our hands brought up to cusp our nose and mouth. My stomach sank, my heart ached.

He didn't have very many details for us. I couldn't even imagine what or how I was going to be able to tell The Boy. Much of the rest of the day I was an emotional mess.

We learned that they were holding a memorial service later that day. My Hubby went to school and picked up The Boy and told him what had happened to his friend. We took BuhBuh to a grandparents house and took The Boy and Little Dude, who wasn't even a month old yet, with us to the service.

There aren't words to describe the service. The dad, a worship leader and music minister lead the service. It was probably the saddest thing I've ever experienced in my life to date. I was sad for the family. Sad for their loss. Sad for the family who was caring for the child and had held his hand as he died. Just sad as watched the the father stand over his son's body and played his guitar and sang the song he had written about his son a couple of years ago. Then we heard his father, the one who watched his son come into the world, say the final committal prayer of the body.

The other part that was almost a little eerie to both My Hubby and I was that as we listened to the father speak of his son, just how alike and how much in common our son had with his friend. I remember during their visits and times together how grateful and thankful I was that they had met and become friends. I remember the time he spent in our home and at church with us. I remember and how much I loved listening to him speak with his Australian accent.

To this day The Boy still can't listen to one particular song that we sang during the service. I can listen to it, but I think of him every time. Whenever I hear the song I can hear his youngest sibling singing it at the top of his lungs through his sobs.

If anything, the death of this amazing young man reminds me of just how fragile and precious life is. It reminds me that sometimes tragic accidents happen to good people. I am certain that his death was not part of God's plans. Sometimes accidents just happen. (But I do believe God can work in us to use tragic events to continue to do His work which He has done for the families involved) It also reminds me of how important it is to live in the moment and to love our children and spouses and families for who they are and where they are in their lives because you just....never...know.

It is my prayer that someday, The Boy will be able to listen to the song we sang at the service without having to leave the room because it is just too painful for him. I hope he is able to listen to the song and think of his friend and smile at all the good things he was able to do in his short life; I hope he is able to listen to the song and recognize that the reason the parents chose the song was because God is still lovely, worthy and wonderful even in the midst of tragedy and will continue to be so even in eternity where the boys will one day play again.

Light of the world

You stepped down into darkness.
Opened my eyes, let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days
oh, so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came
To the earth You created
All for love's sake became poor

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me

I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
I'll never know how much it cost

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another First....

Little Dude had his first hair cut today! I told My Sweetie that I would cut his hair when he turned two. That was almost a month ago! I put it off as long as I could, but realized that it was indeed time.

The big brothers also needed a hair cut so we had them go first so Little Dude could watch and I talked to him about what his brothers were doing and how he was going to get his hair cut too.

He was not going to sit alone. So he sat on mommy's lap. Just what I wanted....a front row seat to the baby hair being cut off my baby! It was OK. It kept me focused and I wasn't able to be sad because I had a job!

Here we are before....

He was pretty wiggly because he just wasn't sure what was going on...

The barber worked fast and did a good job. When we were all done the barber picked him up and carried him to the candy bowl! I thought that was a good move on the barber's part!

My baby now looks like a big boy.

And he certainly enjoyed the chocolate that he got afterward!!!

This picture is a good profile of all that is gone. He looks so different from the back now! **Sigh** But very adorable and handsome nonetheless.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

The greatest name I've ever been called is Mom

Mother's Day 2009

I didn't get breakfast in bed, or a spa day or even a morning to sleep in. But it was perfect nonetheless. All I really wanted was some quality with my family.

Saturday after 2 windy, cold soccer games and a birthday party we dropped Little Dude off at Gma and Papa's house and went and had dinner and a movie with the big boys. It was nice to not fight a two year old and give the big boys some much deserved attention. I told BuhBuh since Little Dude wasn't with us that HE got to be my baby for the night. He didn't mind at all!

Sunday after Church we went to a restaurant just down the street from us and they were serving a Mother's Day brunch. We came home and the boys all did yard work. I sat outside and watched and read a book.

The Daddy and BuhBuh made a rhubarb pie. And just before bedtime, I snuck off to a couple of stores to do some grocery shopping. Although that might not sound like something one might do on Mother's Day, the fact that I got to go alone AND get one of my weekly chores out of the way was indeed a TREAT!

When I came home Little Dude was the only one still awake and I was able to sit down and enjoy a piece of warm pie. YUM!

I spent a lot of time reflecting throughout the day about how truly blessed I feel to have been given the awesome privallage of being a mom to these three sweet, adorable boys. I wouldn't have ever been able to imagine a life quite so perfect if I had tried.

Hope all of you mommies had a wonderful day too.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Praise to The Boy

The Boy has been somethin' else lately, let me tell ya!!!!

Oh, don't worry, it's a GOOD kind of somethin' else.

This week I have found him teaching BuhBuh how to play Chess. He's been patient with him and they've both been nice to each other.

Also this week when Little Dude wanted out of his chair at dinner time The Boy picked him up and put him on his lap and got him to more!!!

Then after dinner and big kid showers, The Boy offered to give Little Dude the bath that he was begging for. He ran the water, got Little Dude undressed, washed him and sat with him while he played. It allowed me to get the breakfast casserole put together for Teacher Appreciation the next morning.

The past two mornings after he has gotten himself ready for school he has packed The Daddy a lunch to take with him to work. During The Daddy's "busy times" he doesn't stop to get lunch. So the last two days I think The Daddy has enjoyed having some food with him. Although he did say the The Boy packed him A LOT of candy!! LOL! I'm certain that The Daddy still ate it!! :)

I've been giving him lots of praise and telling him how much I have appreciated all of the nice things he has been doing for everyone this week and how I've especially appreciated his help and patient and time towards his younger brothers. It is such a breath of fresh air to not be nagging!!! Sometimes I feel like a grouchy mom ALL THE TIME!!!! I'd much rather be dishing out praises than punishment.

In addition to his recent help in the home, he is sporting a new sense of confidence from school too. They've been playing some tackle game at recess and several different times he has tackled some of the kids. This one kiddo who is a football player would tease the kids that The Boy would tackle saying, "HA! HA! YOU just got tackled by a soccer player" Well just this week, The Boy tackled him!!! OH! Did I mention that this kiddo is at least 6 foot (maybe taller!) as a 6th grader! The kids at school have taken notice of his tackling abilities and thinks he should play football. I'm ok with this being a short term thing that he does just at recess. EEK!

He also got asked to go to College For Kids this summer. In order to qualify for this you have to score well on your standardized tests. You are only able to attend as a 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grader. Last year he did not get asked. This year he did! We made sure to tell him what an awesome earned privilege it is to be able to go. I hope he sees that The Mommy and The Daddy DO know what they are talking about when they tell him that hard work really does pay off.

All in all, it's been a good week in our home. I'm hoping he is taking note of how well he is getting along with his brother and how nice it is not to be in trouble for talking back and how much easier things can be. Since he is the oldest I do expect him to be a role model to the other two boys. I see both of the other two learning more from him then they learn from The Mommy or The Daddy. Today I had a bonus kiddo here with us this morning before school and BuhBuh took out the chess board and was teaching this other kiddo how to play and offering him praise for the good job he was doing. Just a couple of positive moments between BuhBuh and The Boy this week clearly has already rubbed off on BuhBuh and shared back with others. It makes a momma smile, that is FOR SURE!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cinco De Mayo

We just HAD to have tacos for dinner last night. It was, after all, Cinco De Mayo. No, I don't have any Mexican heritage, I just simply LOVE Mexican food!!! Any and All!!! Since it was a soccer practice night and My Sweetie didn't have time to eat with us before practice I just made simple tacos and made my meat in the afternoon for quick and easy assembly of tacos in shifts as needed.

I also decided in honor and celebration of Cinco de Mayo that I would give the kids a treat that was a little more special and fun than the normal fruit that we eat for our bedtime snack.

So I created these...

Sombrero Sundays!!!! My attempt was to make them look like Sombrero's....hmmmm??? I might need more practice.

Regardless of my attempt to be artsy and creative with food, I think the kids liked them......

Seriously, looking at these pictures makes me think we need a lesson in manners! LOL!

I really didn't think they'd eat the WHOLE thing.....

But they did.

Monday, May 04, 2009

April Photo Dump

I just checked my calendar. Did you know that it's MAY!?!?!?!

April has kept us busy, to say the least. This is everything else that has happened that I haven't posted about yet.

The day before his birthday he met his friend Little Buddy at the zoo. We looked at the animals and then had a chance to play on the playground. Do you know how HARD it is to get a good picture of two two year old boys????

We did our traditional birthday morning celebration. We woke up Little Dude and showed him all the birthday decorations, he opened his gifts and we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

We also had a family Sunday lunch to celebrate as well.

Here he is cheesin' it up! I can't believe he is TWO!!!!

He doesn't quite understand the concept of blowing out the candles so he had some help from his big brothers!

He does however know how to EAT his cake!!! He ate the whole piece and LOVED IT!! His cake was made special by his Great-Grandma.

I'm not sure if you've noticed a change or not in The Boy from other posts in April, but he started wearing contacts this month!!!! He has done AMAZING with them. Not only that, but he looks SO handsome and mature and, UGH...! What happened to my little boy??!!!

This past month he has kept busy with soccer. They got some pretty sharp lookin' jerseys!!! I'll have to get some pictures during his next game. He also had his 6th grade field trip which he said it was OK for mom to chaperone. (YAY!!!) He very sweetly thanked me on our way home for going and bringing him lunch from Subway. Even though he's eye to eye with me and looking oh, so grown up. There are still plenty of opportunities where the "little boy" comes out to shine. Like for instance, when The Daddy brings home bubble wrap.

The other day BuhBuh was outside playing with his brother's old skate board. When I looked at him on the skate board he looked like a mini skateboarder with the "skate" shoes and his zipper hoddy.

hmmmm....might need to invest in some pads for this one.

I got him to pose for this one.....and then I saw the expression on his face and just HAD to get a close up.

Who does he think he is???? Besides hilarious!!!!

Have you noticed the lilacs in bloom??? Lilacs are my favorite. We have a tree in our yard and I love when it is in full bloom as it is now. I also like what the lilacs in bloom mean....

These were the first fruits of our moral mushroom hunt. My Sweetie, The Boy and BuhBuh have all helped contribute this spring. Although we haven't had a ton, we've had enough for about two batches of these yummy treats. BuhBuh and The Daddy spent two hours hiking all over yesterday in search of more.

Now that Little Dude is two, I really need to get him on a better bedtime routine. It is exhausting to let him stay up whether he's tired and fussy or I'm tired and fussy. But, sometimes he is just too funny!!!

"knock knock..."


And even though some nights he is up WAY latter than the mommy would like, he can be just as silly and sweet in the mornings.

"Byebye BuhBuh" he said as said as he gave his brother a hug before leaving for school.


Now it is May. It doesn't look any less busy that April, that's for sure. Soccer will be ending for The Boy and Tball has just started for BuhBuh. School will be wrapping up. It's just as hard for me to make the boys do their homework in May as it is I'm sure for them to do it. The weather is just too nice to ignore. Laundry becomes a little more of a chore as it isn't nice enough yet for shorts all the time but perfectly nice to play outdoors....I'm having to take a few extra minutes to SHOUT the knees of our jeans! Whatever projects that don't get done around the house this month will go on hold until September because my one and only job in the summer is my children. Yes, I do the dishes and laundry and shopping and cooking but my main focus will be on them. I think I look forward to summer break just as much as they do. I love having them home and with me for so many reasons. With another busy month ahead, I'm sure it'll be here before I know it. My plan in the mean time is to enjoy all the blessings that May will bring and not let it go too fast that I can't enjoy and savor it.