Saturday, February 21, 2009

This week in pictures

One of the good parts about being home most of the week was the fun "preschool at home" and playtime the boys had each day.

Here's our President's Day craft- Lincoln's log cabin

Can you see the focus on these puzzle doers? even C
most days are dress up days here

The boys learning to play a game without Mommy playing & practicing manners too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Really nice day

God gives you what you need. We'd had sort of a rough week and I was so thankful to be blessed with such a nice day today. Nothing was terrible this week but we had lots of little things that tested my patience. After writing about trying to view things in light of eternity, I spent what seemed like an eternity Wed afternoon as I waited for over 2 hours at Family Practice when I thought I was dropping off some papers. We did have nany teachable moments there. When K asked why it was taking so long, I told him he could ask God to help us finish sooner. Not long after that things did speed up- I think God may have used my tiredness/ pregnancy hormones/ husband deployed to make me teary and upset and then we actually got good help instead of being told to make an appointment after waiting for 1 1/2 hours. Then C got a rash so we missed Playgroup and went back to the doctor, T threw up at our Fun Fridays at Mcdonald's, the truck wouldn't start, and the shower drain wasn't draining right so I was really ready for a good day today.

I've learned so many things during James' deployment like just this week how to jumpstart a car, unclog a drain, and ask for help sometimes. I called a neighbor and asked if she would take K to soccer just to make sure that Trey was well. (He seemed fine as he played & ate lots of our homemade pizza last night) K was super excited about going with a friend. C was sad about not going to soccer until I told him that his special day with Mommy would include an eating craft. K requested eggs, grits, and toast for breakfast to have extra energy for soccer. We had a really nice morning. I spend some time most days with each boy alone but usually can't spend several hours with one- so today C & I both appreciated our special time. After helping me grind the grain, T & C took a red bath- food coloring in the water made K's leaving for soccer less sad.
can you see how much they're "helping?" (bc I needed another reason to vacuum the floor.) After some playtime, T took a nap and C & I played the picnic manners game- C's birthday present. I loved that he really enjoyed asking "please may I have a token", then matched, and said "thank you." (He played several times later with K too.) Then we made bread together- a couple loaves, some rolls for the freezer, and cinnamon rolls for tomorrow. While the bread rose, C made his Paul & Silas in jail craft- he loved when the earthquake knocked down the pretzel/ string cheese jail so he could eat them. Then we enjoyed a cup of tea together. It's amazing how much calmer & quieter it was with only one boy home awake- we spent time together and the kitchen was clean, laundry put away.

K said he really liked his soccer game but was sad that I wasn't there (that may have been bc C told him he had tea & an eating craft.) We had another eating craft for lunch- this time Paul was shipwrecked so we had Paul on a boat (english muffin with pretzel mast/ cheese sail.) After good playing, we all napped and woke up refreshed. K & C played so nicely together and then we got ready for hopefully our last Home Fires dinner. I've really enjoyed the monthly dinners for deployed spouses but hope to be out at dinner with James March 21st- the next HF dinner. When I changed out of my sweatpants, K said "Mommy you look nice"- how sweet! We all had a really good time- everyone enjoyed dinner, their friends, and a craft. Here's K's snowman and T & C's rainbows.

Monday, February 16, 2009

In light of eternity

So we had quite the busy weekend. Saturday morning we went back to Fascinate-U with our neighborhood friends. It's amazing to see how T has changed so much and is now positive he's a big boy. He did everything the big boys did- even made a valentine's card but driving the trucks was his favorite.The plan was to get boys ready for good napping since we knew we would have a fun, late night. It partly worked- we did have a good morning, and C & T did take good naps, but our biggest boy was fighting a nap and then the doorbell rang. Our neighbor's daughter and friend got locked out of their house and wanted to use the phone. That was a little too much excitement for a 4 year old boy to sleep through so we decided to make the best of it and make cookies with our new friends. nothing like a little practice with 11 year old girls.

That night we started our Fun Fridays group babysitting. Kelly and I watched two other families' kids. I thought 12 kids mostly 4 & under was a good time to break my no TV norm. but the boys' favorite part was still having almost everyone get dressed up- my Grandmother's wardrobe has turned into a great costume spot for our growing costume collection.
We spent Sunday recovering and trying to make the coughing and runny noses better instead of worse. We had church at home- we made smiley face bread to remember when God provided for the widow and her family through Elijah. We all took good naps after our late night which we paid for at bedtime. C was pretty sure he was too well rested to go to bed while I was ready. This was when I remembered I should view things in light of eternity- does it really matter if they go to bed an hour later? but in the moment, I used chocolate to comfort myself.

Monday my tired boys slept until almost 8 am so we headed to Walmart before speech. I thought surely the playing outside after speech would get everyone ready for a nap- turns out it only got T and I ready. A long painful non-napping time followed where I did not view things in light of eternity. Thankfully, when I let the boys get up they played so nicely for a long time & I was impressed by their puzzle skills. We walked in the woods with friends again- C is gradually getting losing his fear of dogs although he still prefers them from a distance, even Peanut who is about 4 lbs and C got to walk him.

Today I was reminded of how thankful I am to get to stay home with my boys as I dropped them off at childcare. It felt like I was packing for a week to get all the backpacks ready and then it seemed to take forever to get everyone and everything into the right spots. Of course, once we got settled I was able to go to PWOC and my ultrasound by myself- both were great. KG is looking good- one last u/s in two weeks and then 2 appts and then her delivery- yeah!! PWOC was really good. The program was "My sheep know my voice" and the speaker talked about listening and knowing if we're hearing from God, satan, or ourselves. She used lots of scripture to help teach how to listen. Funny that K talked about one of her key points at dinner tonight- he said "if you want to hear God talk, you have to be very quiet and listen bc it's hard to hear someone else when you're talking yourself." Out of the mouth's of babes!

Not Me Monday

I was not going to post anything today- I thought I'd wait until after my ultrasound tomorrow- really, but I had a few I mean several things I didn't really do to share.

I would never tell my 4 year old that he could just be cold while we went on a walk since I told him to put on his jacket and he chose to put on a vest instead.
I did not try to hide my little one's zucchini inside his roll because he kept handing it back to me once he saw the rolls.
I have not lost track of how many times I tell boys each day to point things in the potty, no you can't poop on a tree, make sure you aim.
I did not tell my friend that she would find her three sweet girls at the neighbor's house if she didn't come pick them up Saturday night.
Of course, I would never remind myself to think about things in light of eternity and then get extremely grumpy when the boys' wouldn't go to sleep and extremely happy when they were playing so nicely this afternoon.
I did not eat some of the boys' valentine cookies each time I went to tell them ever so sweetly to get back in their beds for naps this afternoon. I surely did not eat their chocolate from friends as I told them the same thing so kindly tonight.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good Visit & Beautiful Weather

Here's our newest roller skater/ croquet player enjoying the good weather!

I really enjoyed having my Mom here to visit. It was nice to have her here & I so appreciated being able to make breakfast with peace & quiet, having someone help with the dishes, help the boys get dressed, going to the grocery store by myself ...

We listened to my Grandmother telling stories on CD about growing up near the beginning of the 20th century. She began with her earliest memory from 1914 as a 4 year old. My Mom and I sat and opened pecans as we listened to stories of cotton and tobacco picking, farm animal care, the novelty of having an outhouse as your outhouse, working together with your neighbors. My grandmother's father died when she was very young- her mother raised the five kids as a single mom. I am not a single mom but these last few months have made me especially appreciate both my husband and what single moms go through. I remember hearing sometime Dr. Dobson talking about how single moms don't want a lot- a little time to themselves- which I can really relate to by how blessed I am when I get to go to a doctor's appointment or the grocery store. I have really appreciate the visits from family which have given me a little time to myself.

We have also enjoyed great weather this week. We've had days in the 70s and spent lots of time outside. I really think God designed little boys to be outside- the boys have been going to their deer spot in our back yard and were super excited when we started going on walks through the woods near our house. They told me we needed to be very quiet so we didn't scare the deer away. Little T and I are getting closer & closer to the same speed. He got to walk on the trail for the first time this week- he would get going so fast and then reach for my hand right before toppling over. We went one day with good friends and their dog. C was torn between being scared & fascinated by the dog, but halfway through the walk he got brave enough to let go of my hand and go in front with big brother and friend.

Thursday we spent most of the day outside- starting at the Pine Valley Play Group. the boys loved jumping on the trampoline- although T wanted to be way up high on the playground equipment lots too. All that playing made 3 hungry little boys and one hungry little girl- the boys were so excited that they got to bring a friend home from playgroup. A little playing outside at our house after lunch got everyone ready for good napping and then more outside time at K's first soccer practice this spring. We had another good day outside today- Fun Fridays at the park and then a big walk around the neighborhood where we got to talk to lots of nice neighbors.

We are so thankful to God for the great weather and for healing our friend's new baby girl. Ashley called last night to tell me that her baby was in the hospital with blood problems. We prayed & asked others to pray. This afternoon Ashley called back to say that her baby had improved. Praise God!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Special Day

I'm very behind on my "blogging" so this Special Day is about yesterday (even though I had several other good days before that I haven't written about yet.) But I really wanted to put this 3D picture of Kayleigh up. (This shows her face with eyes, nose, mouth and then her umbilical cord is in front.)
K went with me to the u/s. C & T stayed home with Nana while I took K to his speech therapy. I got to go in the back and hear K work on "ing" words. He played lots of fun games- I think he has so much fun playing he doesn't even know he's working on things. Then we went to Great Harvest and got coffee (for me) & a muffin- K was very excited and told James he got to go to a yummy store. Then we went to my u/s. K was so good there- he was very excited to see pictures of his baby sister. We talked about belly buttons, umbilical cords, and how babies are born- his view (the doctor cuts a hole in Mommy's tummy) is pretty different from my friend Ashley's kids (she had another home birth Sunday- I can't wait to meet her little girl!) He looked like a kid at Christmas when Jamie (the u/s tech) handed him the picture of Kayleigh. He gave the picture a big hug and said he loves his baby sister. So sweet- one of those moments to remember.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chocolate, Friends, Paint, and Pink

Saturday I was so blessed by the wonderful baby shower that Jenean hosted for me. We went to a spa- I had a parafin dip, pedicure, and manicure and lots of chocolate! Very yummy. It was so nice to spend the afternoon relaxing with good friends. We got beautiful little girl clothes- Kayleigh will be a well dressed baby girl. Jenean made us a great scrapbook for Kayleigh with her first picture (she'd enlarged one of her ultrasound pictures) and great pages already to show off Kayleigh in her pretty clothes! We've never had so much pink and purple in our house! I was really surprised to get a new diaper bag- James picked out fabric and a pattern and Janelle sewed the bag- I love it! She also made very cute Big Brother shirts for the boys. She's got great pictures at her blog
Then I came home to find 3 boys happily coloring with their babysitter Erin. I only wish I'd taken my camera to get pictures of the day. What a great day! Here's the diaper bag:
The boys' big brother shirts & KG's onesie: Here are some pics of the super cute baby girl things from Saturday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Things Accomplished

So I was talking to a good friend the other day and she said she didn't accomplish very much that day. I had words of wisdom (well at least some words) about how we're accomplishing lots by the time we're spending with our children- teaching them about God, about loving each other, about the world. But then I still have the feeling lots of days that I haven't accomplished anything- as soon as I clean the floor, it's dirty again, I do the laundry & there's more dirty laundry, I change a diaper, and you know what happens ... This week I did empty the many weeks' worth of recycling from the garage and finally got took the many months' worth of plastic grocery bags to a recycle spot. (I have been trying to remember to use the reusable green bags.) I clean the floor and it's dirty again- but least now little T can help vacuum.

But soon after I had those thoughts, we got some more beautiful snow- a whole 1-2" of it. The boys woke up and came running to tell me it snowed again. They had a blast playing in it. We did a science experiment- all 3 boys worked on their project of filling a water pitcher with snow to see how it turns into water when it gets warm & freezes when it gets cold. As I sat watching the boys working together and playing so nicely, I thought this is important- more than accomplishing things. I was reminded again as I heard C singing "There were 12 disciples" and K telling me the ways he's going to help me by being a good big brother.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

James is coming home soon!

45 days- who's counting? I was really excited to get an email from James this morning that says he should be home around March 20th- before Kayleigh's arrival 26 March! The boys are still learning about time but are excited that it's getting close!

So K is learning some of my cooking secrets already. We had a typical James deployed week of meals (well- except for the chicken.) We started with red beans & rice on Sunday. Then Monday I cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker- the boys were excited to each get a chicken leg & we'll have chicken in the freezer for later. I had mashed potatoes in the freezer which I made into potato pancakes. Then today we had "taco salad" and tomorrow we're having "tortilla surprise" with the leftover beans, rice, and a few other things from the frig! So at dinner tonight, K said "Mommy you never use the same recipe." When I asked why, he said "when you're missing things you have to change it and use other things." Pretty observant. So is it still "taco salad" if you substitute marinated carrots & frozen spinach for the ground beef and leave out the taco seasoning?

In other big news, C has gotten an M&M every day this week for his pottying success. Yeah!!! Yesterday, my mom did get to hear me answer his question with "no, you can't poop on the tree." the things you never imagine you'll say. T is saying more and more things. He was so excited watching our new DVD of James reading books - he kept pointing and saying Da-Da. He nods yes & shakes his head no when you ask him questions- well, sometimes, if he feels like it. He told himself good job when he used his fork last night. What a big boy! He is definitely becoming a clown. Here he is joining the long grey line of bucket head boys. And his silly dress up brothers.

We had a nice day today. T slept in and K &C played so nicely this morning after breakfast. Here's a picture of K's My. Potato Head creations- they all had names too. I was even able to read my Bible before PWOC. The boys had lunch in the car on the way home so we could maximize outside playing time before naps. We all love being outside & it helps with napping too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

KG's Delivery Scheduled for March 26th!

I had another good ultrasound today. She's growing right on track- I'll be 32 weeks Thursday. Ultrasound trainers looked at her too- and said she has a beautiful heart. They may have been talking about the clarity of the picture and structure of her heart, but I'll claim that blessing of a beautiful heart for our little girl. Other good news was the doctor scheduled my C-section for Thursday 26 March. I think it was more so the fact that I've had 3 C-sections than KG being breech that made her laugh when I asked about a VBAC. They did say she was not cooperating well today since she didn't want to stay still at all.

We had a pretty quiet weekend after three days full of friends. Saturday morning the boys played in the indoor playground while I went to childcare training. I signed up to help but as I thought and prayed about it, I kept hearing that this is not my season for that. We have quite a busy couple months ahead. I really felt a peace as I told the childcare leaders that I would have to wait until later to help.

That night I listened to the Manna cell leader training online and learned the new prayer emphasis in cell groups. Of course, groups were always encouraged to pray, but even more emphasis on prayer now. And I heard a prophecy about this is the time to be bold, not shy, to make mistakes from being in drive, not in park. Those all really spoke to me about the group I'm leading. Then Sunday morning Pastor Fletcher talked about why the church doesn't obey (like Jonah didn't); one reason he said was the church worries about people leaving. All of those things helped tell me I have to step a little out of my comfort zone and really be "in drive" to help bring women together in our group. It's not enough to just coordinate a place, I need to work and pray to help make connections. I think God gave me some blessings to encourage me- as I had two ladies volunteer their homes to host group babysitting nights which will help to bring people together.

Sunday was another good day. We went to church and then spent lots of time outside. The boys "fed the deer" by making presents of sticks, pinestraw, and pinecones which Santa K & Elf C delivered to the deer. They were so excited that the deer "ate their stick candycanes during the boys naps. Our neighbors stopped their family game of hide and seek to talk with us for a while. We are so blessed with great neighbors all around us. Although little T thought we talked too long, he was very ready for dinner & wolfed down several servings of broccoli and red beans and rice. Then we all enjoyed yummy rolls straight out of the oven- Yummy!!