Friday, July 30, 2010

Diggin' Deep

It's time, once again, for me to show you just how fun I can be. Excited? :)

Last night, Chris had to work late, so we were on our own for entertainment. We ate dinner, bought some popsicles, (that I didn't even have a coupon for--livin' on the edge!), grabbed our sidewalk chalk, frisbees and golf clubs and took them to the front yard (you like how I mixed it up--wow, I'm so fun!). It has been so unbelievably hot, this was the first time my kids saw the sun today (except, you know, longingly through the window...). Even our neighborhood pool feels like bath water. No thanks! I thought about pulling out the sprinklers, but that was a bridge too far for me last night. :)

Look at those baby blues:

Sweet girl. She is amazingly good with the Frisbee. It goes exactly where she wants it to, a good distance away.

I didn't even freak out about spills and drips. (they had me at "slow drip"--Dora popsicles have some gelatin in them, brilliant.)

Check out other fun mom ideas for Fun Mom Friday, over at Moriah's blog.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some quotables with a dose of random thrown in

Ryan: "boppy, boppy, boo!" all while waving his pirate sword! ("bippity, boppity, boo!")


AK: "Umm, my friend, Mary Martin [pretend friend] told me that I was in charge of all boys, so I'm telling Ryan to give me his sword now."
Me: "I'm in charge of Ryan, actually."
AK: "Ya, but Mary Martin said I'm in charge of boys, so what are we gonna do?"


AK: "Mommy, you be grandma-Kathy. I'm Janelle and these are my boys. My, you are doing such a lovely job of taking care of my boy Jack. You can just go put him to sleep now. What a helper you are!" (I wonder if I sound that patronizing?).


Anna-Kate continues her fascination with heaven. Yesterday she said, "I did not beary much know your brother Mark. Did he have Jesus in his heart so that I get to meet him when you and I go to heaven?" I told her he did and that we would (as I cried behind my sunglasses). She said, "I need to tell my friends about Jesus so He can live in their hearts too so we can all go to heaven together."
...thank you Jesus for her sweet, sensitive heart to You!


I got a shower (and, bonus, my hair washed, dried and flat ironed) all three kids fed, dressed and to the dentist 1 minute early, at 8:59. I was astounded. Once there, we were shown our own personal room, with a door (not the open air multi-chair area that the non-hysterically screaming kids with "doesn't do well" on their charts regular people get). About 5 minutes in, a sympathetic nurse came back to shut the door. Thankfully, Anna-Kate did decently this morning, but there was a time that all three were crying. Sigh.


Highlight of the day was our trip to Publix. I handed my cashier my coupons, she looked through them and said, "don't you have that $5 off coupon from the mail to give me?". I had totally forgotten! Sweet, that helped. :) Then, this week was a special, "buy theirs, get ours free" (ie, buy sunmaid raisins, get publix brand free). I obliged, we can do some damage on a big thing of raisins. It wasn't showing up in the system and they were trying to track down the manager about it. I told her just to take them off as I had to go and the troops were melting down. She took them off and sent me home with both for free! Love the people at Publix!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekend with Nana and Poppy!

I drove my kids down to my parents' house last Thursday, where they spent the weekend (and mom drove them home on Monday). Chris and I had some wonderful time to spend (relatively) uninterrupted. It was so easy to just have 1 kid--to be able to enjoy being a "first time mom" but be confident and laid back. We went out to dinner and I got a lot of work done. A girl I went to college with ordered four jon-jons from me, so I made and monogrammed those--then, I tackled the attic. The unorganization in my attic was really getting to me (I know, it's sick) so I dragged all of my bins downstairs, went through them all, refolded, replaced, labeled the bins and then put everything back in the attic (actually, Chris put it back up there, I was extremely sore from bringing them all down--so heavy!) then I washed, ironed and tagged all of the rejects for consignement sales. (All told for my two upcoming sales, I have about 200 items to sell! Hoping to make some money!!) I then got it in my head I needed to clean and organize my laundry room. Well, that eeked into my hall closet, which eeked into my craft drawers...needless to say, my house looked like a bomb had gone off for a while. I'm happy to report that everything is nicely in its place now.

Well, while I was doing all of that, Anna-Kate and Ryan were having a blast at Nana and Poppy's house! Some of my kids' highlights were the little wooden train set from Marshall's my Mom scored, that Ryan loved, some little people, a tent and tunnel set, and the ever popular sprinkler/baby pool/slip 'n slide combination! They took a trip to my aunt and uncles' house on Saturday and swam in their pool (which Ryan especially loved) and mom and Anna-Kate worked on making jewelry. The kids had such a great time (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

Ryan is totally my water baby! I love these pictures of him absolutely loving life (and thanks, Julia and Doug, for having them down!). Ryan combines his love of water and his love of "shoops" (shooting hoops).

Poppy and Ryan

Swimming with Ryan is a full-body sport and not for the faint of heart. You will not have a dry centimeter on your body.

Aunt Julia with the kids and Ryan on cloud nine watching bubbles!

You can see the (tinkerbell) bracelet she made for herself. Here she is making me a necklace. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Laura Ingels, I am not.

If you know me IRL you know that I'm not outdoorsy. I don't hike, I don't camp, I don't do "roughing it". (Chris knew that getting into this!). :) Hey, at least I was upfront about it (much like he was up front about getting a dog. URGH, but I digress).

So a few weeks ago we had a few bouts with losing power (for hours on end). I found myself highly annoyed. The kids were at my parents' house this weekend (more on that tomorrow) and wouldn't you know it, we lost power again. In some senses, it was good that they weren't here as poor Ryan gets so hot he can't sleep, but I had a to-do list a mile long and that required power (to see, be able to breath, sew, embroider, organize...). It finally came back on. We decided to enjoy the flexibility of having only 1 child (ahh, to be a first time mom with confidence...) and had a spontaneous date lunch on Saturday at our favorite pizza place. Moments after our food was delivered, the power went out. Of course it did. Jack didn't enjoy the heat (and I assure you, I did not either. Keep in mind, it's pizza, there were 4 huge ovens open to the restaurant exuding all sorts of heat waves!). Thankfully we had cash to leave.

I swear, we must be bad luck for electricity. Even when it doesn't stay off, it often flickers every few days. It's just not normal how often I have to reset every blasted clocks, ovens etc.

Rant over. I need to go reset my clocks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

He's a growin'

Jack had his 4 month well-baby appointment yesterday. I forgot to schedule it until Thursday. How sad is that? With Anna-Kate, I booked those puppies the first day the offices' calendar allowed me to. I lucked into a cancellation yesterday (I'm big on shot schedule, so glad to get in "on time").

Any-who. He is 14 lbs on the nose (35%) and 25 1/2 inches tall (70%). I guess he isn't husky anymore, huh? (Ugh, Kaiser...) He cried with his shots, but recovered before I could even pick him up. What a stud! :) (sidenote, he's not so much a fan of bandaids. He had 3 when I put him to bed. I came in after his nap to find one on his hand, one in his mouth--yuck--and one MIA. Thankfully, Chris found it later.).

Jack is the sweetest, happiest, smiliest baby. He is a total charmer. Chris and I joke that we'll have to have a fourth child because he would be spoiled rotten if he was our "baby". He cries so rarely that when he does, I go running! He spends his naptimes and nights fast asleep without fussing and his days smiling, cooing and giggling--what a joy you are sweet Jack!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I can be fun...

So my friend Moriah has a weekly bloggy carnival, "Fun Mom Friday". Sadly, I've been trying to participate for the last 2 weeks, and failed. Evidently, I'm not that fun. :) So, here we go--down to the serious business of being a fun mom!

I had to run a few errands on Wednesday. I had been putting them off for a while. Let's be honest, getting in and out of the car with 3 little ones isn't fun (or time effective). But, we made a couple of stops then went to Petsmart to visit the animals (and, BONUS, it's air conditioned. Yes!). My kids love seeing the animals--they get to tap the glass of the aquariums and about give the fish heart attacks, jump up and down in front of the doggie daycare and get them all riled up, see snakes, lizards, turtles, rodents and try and sing with birds (no, I'm not kidding. Yes, I'm sure Petsmart employees are thrilled to see us walk in the door.).

After that bit of excitement, we were hit up for money. Not to be deterred, we went to Toys R Us for Anna-Kate to spend her birthday money (after she and I had found a coupon for the toy she wanted. OK, not so fun, but getting the toy is fun, right?). The kids love putting their hands on every toy in sight seeing all of the toys. I even let them play on the car things at the exit. They don't know you are supposed to put money in. Why would I spoil that innocence? :)

On the way home we drove through Chick-fil-a. If I were a "funner" mom we would have stayed to play, but the baby needed to be nursed and I was tired. We brought it home for a picnic. (Funny, eating on the floor is not my idea of a good time, but the mere mention of the word "picnic" evokes shrieks of joy from my kids!). Sadly, I didn't have my camera all morning, but I was able to snap a couple of pictures around the mouthfuls of chicken.

Ryan really does like chicken, he is highly annoyed that I actually asked him to stop eating and smile. :)

After Jack ate (not chicken. Sorry, buddy.) he got in on the "picnic" action too. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take me out to the ballgame...

...actually, don't (not so much a fan. I like sports that involves excitement, as defined as, something happening). However, Chris took the big kids to a baseball game last night.

The kids thought they were big stuff going to an evening game and staying up late. Oh ya, and the bag full of treats that their daddy took didn't hurt either. :) Anna-Kate came home raving about the cotton candy, peanuts and cracker jacks they had.

Before they left. Isn't this the sweetest picture of the big kids and their awesome daddy!?!

Poor Ryan, he is so hot natured!

Evidently, Anna-Kate loved every second of it. :) Such sweet memories for them!

Chris' highlights from the night:

AK: "daddy, which part should I watch, the green part (grass, ie outfield) or the dirt (ie bases)."

Chris: "uh, the dirt?"


Chris gave a 5 minute warning before they were going to leave. Anna-Kate, as is her new thing, asked for seven more minutes. Being a nice daddy, he obliged. Then they began the 5 block walk to the van. Chris was carrying Ryan (as it was about 9:15 at that point) and Anna-Kate was walking (and, evidently, her steps were getting more and more shuffled).

AK: "Daddy, you know how I asked for 7 more minutes to watch the game?"

Chris: "um, ya."

AK: "I think I should have asked for just 1 more minute."

She fell asleep immediately upon Chris beginning to drive.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What do you do?

Feeling high on my horse today. I took all three kids on 4 errands--and there were no tears or tantrums.

The thing that caused me to blog, was my frustration about a super sceezy (is that a word?) loiterer/man asking for money. He was (allegedly) a WWII veteran who needed $.72 to add to what he had to buy a meal. My gut instinct was to ignore him as he walked up to me in a parking lot with my three kids (only half of whom where in the car). Is it sad that my first though (other than, "really, people still carry cash?") was that if I went for the $.72 he would grab my whole wallet? I told him I had no cash and he rolled his eyes at me and said, "whatever", eyed me and he walked away.

My frustration is this. 1.) I felt sorry for him, but was more scared of him than sorry for him. 2.) My second thought was, "if you got a job at McDonalds, you could eat for free." 3.) Annoyed with myself that my first thought wasn't to be generous and give to him.

So, my question is, what do you do when a homeless person asks for money (or if you never have beenasked--where do you live--but what would you do?).

Monday, July 19, 2010


It isn't nearly as fun as one might think.

Sure, you can have that glass of wine and sleep longer than 1 hour without waking to go to the bathroom, but there's the pesky business of losing the weight that mysteriously crept up while pregnant and was somehow not attached to the baby. (How does that happen?!) If you know me in real life you know that I loathe working out. I mean, really hate running. I could be on board for a class (you know, that whole accountability thing) but that is neither in the budget nor do I have enough hours in my day. So, even though it pains my soul, I've joined weight watchers (online) and begun modifying my diet. Sigh. (why does growing up have to be so not fun sometimes?). Good news, I'm 2 lbs from my goal. Bad news, it's taking so much longer than before and, it was only my initial goal. Boo.

Anyway, I've been on the hunt for yummy recipes that are filling and healthy and thought I'd pass tonight's dinner on. YUM. (I'm going to post what I actually did next to what the recipe said to do. I'm a rebel like that).

1 lb uncooked lean ground beef (I used venison, it's what I had).
1 c. onion, thinly sliced
2 T. fresh ginger root, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (I used 4)
2 c. bok choy, thinly sliced (I used about 3 and "sliced" them by cutting them then
with my kitchen shears--so fast and easy!).
1 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced (I didn't have one, so I skipped this)
2 c. or 10 mushrooms, thinly sliced (my kids don't like these, so I skipped this too)
2 T low sodium soy sauce (I used at least 4).
Lettuce for wraps.

Coat skillet with pam on medium/high heat and add beef, onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add bok choy, pepper, mushrooms and soy sauce. Cook, stir occasionally until bok choy is wilted, pepper is tender. About 4 minutes.

Spoon into lettuce leafs, roll and eat. It was really quite good, and, if you're counting, only 4 points a serving!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good thing he's cute

Though he has certainly stressed me out lately as he exercises his independant spirit and gets some mileage out of his sin nature, Ryan sure is a sweet little lovebug and makes me laugh, despite constantly keeping me on my toes. :)

He is my hat loving, cuddly boy who makes a sword out of anything, love to shoot hoops and play trains, but is a good friend to his sister, and tries so hard to help me with his brother. I sure do love you, Ryan!

And, just so I remember:

"da mopes"-- the remote controls (in a sentence, "here's da mopes, Mama, watch tee-v please?")
"Ann Tate"-- Anna-Kate
"I caaaaain't" (ie, drawn out a like "ain't")--I can't, quite Southern.
"I uv you mommy"-- I love you
"Mommy lay here (pats his pillow) and go night-night"-- what he says each night when I go in to kiss him goodnight. He puts his arm around me and hugs me and stroked my head. When I get up to leave it's, "two more minutes, K mommy?". :)
Piete's--pirates (a current huge obsession. I'm guessing from Larry the Cumcumber and "the pirates who don't do anything"..)
"pay Jesus"--pray to Jesus (ie, "I pay Jesus for mama, 'thank you Jesus mama, amen.'"

Friday, July 16, 2010


I am in a unique stage of life that demands everything (and more) that I have, all the time--physically, emotionally and spiritually. I'm tired. I get burnt out. But, I love my calling, and don't wish away even one second (OK, so I'd exchange some, not wish them away, does that count?).

As a mother, my job is to teach and protect my children. I am the door by which anything on the outside must enter. I wrote the other day about purposing to keep a tight reign on the words and music my children hear. Here are the other things I purpose, daily, to do.

1.) To speak calmly, even-toned and with kindness--even when my emotions are at a boiling point.

2.) To read with Anna-Kate, just us. There is nothing she loves more than me reading to her. Such a simple thing that I can do to show her, with my time, how much I love her.

3.) To get down on the floor and play trains, tunnels and trucks with Ryan. He is so good at playing independently that I truly have to purpose to spend individual time with him, because he doesn't demand it.

4.) To stop and really enjoy Jack. He is so happy and absolutely lights up and gets "full body happy", giggling and cooing, when I get down on his level to play and "flirt". Sweet special moments I can't get back.

5.) To not be lazy. I love to check my email, facebook and blog-stalk (and, for those of you who read this blog and don't comment--that's what you are, blog-stalkers!). Clearly, I know that as a mother of 3 with a big house to keep clean, kids' clothes to make, and dinner to prepare, my internet time needs to be kept to a minimum. I have to intentionally purpose to stay away from the computer while my kids are awake--and to put my desires on hold--to meet my kids where they are, putting their needs above my wants.

6.) To speak Godly truth, in love to my kids.

7.) To use Scripture in my reprimands and point them to Jesus, not to me being disappointed in their behavior.

8.) To discipline in love, and, to discipline my kids as individuals--not just doing one specific thing that worked on another child.

9.) To not get wrapped up in "my time" and stress bad naps or Chris working late. It's not my time, I've been gifted moments, some just last longer than others.

10.) To remember that my house can always be cleaned tomorrow, but today is the only day I will have these moments with my kids--to remember what is most important.

Wow, reading back over this list I sure feel like a slacker. Praying that my love for my kids will cover a multitude of my shortcomings and that my kids will look back, one day, and remember the sweet cuddles and time reading and playing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mommy's little helper...

...and lovin' every minute of it!

(though, when I handed her the bottle of pumped milk she looked at me funny and said, "so you can just go ahead and put that milk in mine", while lifting her shirt. I explained only God can put milk in mommies. She seemed OK with the bottle, phew!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer time fun!

My friend, Katie, and her kids came over to play today. Ella-Ann is one of Anna-Kate's best friends at church--Anna-Kate has been so excited for her friend to come swim and play!! They got here early and we went straight to the pool. The girls swam, played and traded floats while Ryan made me look like a wet rat as he jumped in repeatedly, Rane floated happily and Jack slept (and all the angels sang, "hallelujah"!).

We came home to eat. The girls inhaled their lunch and ran upstairs and locked themselves in Anna-Kate's room for the next 3 1/2 hours. They played SO well! Katie and I had the best time chatting, uninterrupted, for the afternoon--what a treat! It's especially fun to talk with Katie because we are so much alike. We share almost all quirks and personality traits. Too funny, and so nice to feel so normal, ha! :)

The only picture I got of the girls today.


Yesterday I got a call from Jonathan that Leigh-Ann was extremely sick and could I watch the kids. Of course! So, we had 5 kids under age 5 yesterday. Wow. There was a bit of refereeing at first, but they all played really well together and the little ones napped so well! Yay!

After naps they watched a movie (ahh, the secret to two 2 year olds and 2 four year olds sitting quietly...):

And then, evidently, the girls had way more sway than the boys over the group activity. :)

Discussing their options:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How can it be??

Isn't he cute?

He's rolling all over the place and is getting so strong!

And he is even sitting! He can sit (tripod) unassisted for about 3 minutes now! Wowza, how do they grow up so fast??

Seems like just a few weeks ago that he was born. Sigh.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

(tap, tap) Is this thing on?

So we got home from my parents house on Friday and I had every intention of blogging about the trip, but I had to take Ryan to the doctor. (He had been sick all week and woke up from his nap on Friday screaming saying he was "sickie" and was unconsolable and dazed such that I had to shake him to get him to acknowledge me--scared me!). I intended to feed the baby and then come downstairs, but the power went off. And stayed off until midnight. Of course it did. We had a huge storm that left lasting damage around our neighborhood/area (thankfully, we had none). Saturday our internet was down all day until time for my to go out for dessert with Leigh-Ann for her 30th birthday! When I was dropping her off Chris told me not to rush as the power was off. Again. So, here we are on Sunday. Fun, right?

So, Friday. We went to pick blueberries at a local farm. Anna-Kate, who does not like blueberries, (how is that possible??) was so excited to pick them for her daddy and proclaimed that she would "pick 1,000 for daddy!". She lost interest at about berry 50. I made her eat one off the tree (or bush? It's either a short tree or a tall bush. Hmm.) and she dutifully did, still not enjoying it. O well.

Ryan, who had been sick all week, was sitting in the stroller but got totally into the picking! He picked his bucket about 1/4 full, and then I noticed why he had became so quiet:

After a morning picking berries, we participated in cow appreciation day at Chick-fil-a. (If you are unfamiliar, if you dress like a cow you get free food). The chick was even kind enough to offer free printable cow spots, ears and noses (and signs!). Here are my little bovines:

Waiting on their food with Poppy:

More from the trip tomorrow--better make use of the time...I have a fear of the power cutting off again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pictures, a success!

I've been reading a lot (relatively speaking, like I have time for "a lot" of anything) about birth order. I am textbook first born with a lot of overlap into only child. Are you astounded? :) (Or, as Anna-Kate would say, "I can hardly believe that!") Wanna know who else is classic first born? That would be my mini-me, Anna-Kate. One of the things that distinguishes first borns from their siblings is a specific dislike of change and a need to know what's coming next (Like, we aren't flexible people. If we plan on something happening, it better happen that way. I am becoming more flexible in my old age, thankfully.). Anyway, I had told Anna-Kate that Jack was getting his pictures first and then she would go. But, of course, we were late getting there and Jack was asleep so I asked her to go first. Every one of the pictures she had red eyes as she was barely able to hold in her tears (for the "dangling carrot" of pizza for lunch for sweet/smiling girls!). Jack went and did amazing. He giggled and smiled--I had a really hard time picking what picture to get for him. I told Anna-Kate I wanted her to try again. She did beautifully! She just needed things to go like I had told her, I guess. I (obviously) didn't buy the bad picture, though I wish I could document the difference in the two pictures. Anyway, I was quite happy with how the pictures turned out.

My sweet, smiling boy. It's been a fun 3 months.

My big girl looks so old and mature!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You can't make this stuff up, people!

So this morning was Anna-Kate's (4 year) and Jack's (3 month) pictures. A little late...but who's counting. N-E-Way...We got pictures, (total success, will post tomorrow)I made a coupe of returns, we ate pizza (bonus, Jack slept in his carseat the whole time. This is unprecedented, y'all!)and swung by Kohl's on the way home to return a couple of things. We went in, found a couple of deals, checked out and I began searching for my keys (you know this can't lead anywhere good, huh?). I left the big kids with my mom inside (I had Jack in the bjorn) and we headed out to see if I could see them. Yep, sure enough, they were sitting on the driver's seat. Of course they were. Panic set in as it was 1:05 (naptime!) and, as my kids share a room here, they woke up at 6 am to discuss their joy of sleepovers. Sigh (right before I stepped outside, Ryan laid down on the floor and said, "go night-night now Mama". Yuck!).

I looked up and, low and behold, a locksmith was driving past my van. I waved him down and went running after him (Remember, I had the bjorn on as well, I'm sure I was a sight). Sweet old man, bless his heart, tried to help, even offering to open it for free for me. He was slow as molasses, bless his heart. Mom had AAA, so called them as a back-up plan. It was so hot. Literally, my feet were on fire from the asphalt through my shoes. I was absolutely pouring sweat and there wasn't a stitch of shade to be found. So, I waited outside with Jack, awkwardly trying to block him from the sun, until a sweet lady walked up and told me to go inside with the baby and she would wait with the locksmith. I love the friendliness of the south!

I walked inside to my kids sitting in a pile of Pooh bears and Eeyore's, (Kohl's current $5 stuffed animal at the front) under the table they had been on--you know, their tent. Ryan had no shoes on. I was mortified. They were, however, quiet. Saving grace of the situation?(Evidently, they had previously been growling like dinosaurs until mom told them some people like to shop without dinosaur noise in the background. Glad I missed that part, might have done me in.) My mom walked out to relieve the kind lady just as the sweet old mans' co-worker (who he had called in for help, unbeknown to me) and AAA rolled in, at the exact same time. AAA guy was a little slower out of the car, so got "beat" on the job. The sweet lady came in and carried all of our bags to the car for me (as I had Jack on, holding Anna-Kate's hand and carrying Ryan, as he had no shoes on still). I offered sweet old man's buddy the $3 in cash I had on me (he's lucky I had that, I never have cash!) and we were happily on our way. While pouring sweat. At 1:55.

Now, both boys are asleep and I might try and follow suit. The end.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Be careful little ears what you hear....

I've been told that I'm a bit uptight and somewhat sheltering of my kids before. The comment generally comes on the heels of people discovering that my kids only listen to praise/worship or classical music (and obviously the ever popular "kid music" on occasion). While it is probably true, I am really OK with that.

I always thrived as an auditory learner growing up. I would intentionally record myself and listen to it to aid in memory and always classically have "jukebox syndrome" (you know, where every word you hear conjures up song lyrics and I randomly burst out in song. That's normal, right?).

Evidently, Anna-Kate shares my auditory learning abilities. The other day I overheard her talking to Baby Kate. She was trying to soothe her crying baby and I heard her say, "hear the shepherds' song Baby Kate" and then proceeded to recite verbatim (adapted from Psalm 23):

"God is my Shepherd and I am His little lamb. He feeds me He guides me He looks after me. I have everything I need. Inside, my heart is very quiet. As quiet as lying still in soft green grass in a meadow by a little stream. Even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places I won't be afraid because my Shepherd knows where I am. He is here with me. He keeps me safe. He rescues me. He makes me strong and brave. He is getting wonderful things ready for me, especially for me. Everything I ever dreamed of! He fills my heart so full of happiness I can't hold it all inside. Wherever I go I know God's never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always, and forever love will go too!" (from The Jesus Storybook Bible--it's excellent, fyi, if you are looking for a good family devotional).

That's a lot of words for a little girl to remember. I stood there silently, with tears in my eyes and watched her stroke her little babes' head as she spoke with love. She looked up and saw me and I asked her what she had said and where she had learned that. The book we read at family devotion also came with cd's (which I had completely forgotten about). She listens to them often during her quiet rest time. She has a many chapters of this book memorized!

I do not believe that secular music is bad or wrong. We own plenty of it. One summer during college I decided that for the entire summer I wouldn't listen to secular music in my car. It killed me. I felt so out of touch with what and who was cool. I grew a lot that summer spiritually, and I believe it is, in part, because my mind was filled with songs of praise all day. So, a couple of years ago I decided to purpose to keep a tight reign on the music my kids hear.

So, for any who wonder why I listen to Christian music in the car with the kids, my reason is this. Why not? It doesn't bother me. Whatever I listen to will be stuck in my head, it might as well be something that points me to Christ and readjusts my thoughts off of myself. In addition, my kids are listening. Even if lyrics aren't "bad", why not use the opportunity to fill their minds with higher thoughts?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Clearly, we're confused... to the real day that our country celebrates its birth. Today, the 5th, we had our home group from church over for a big cookout. What a blast! I believe there were 32 people here for the hotdog, hamburger and crazy amount of sides/dessert extravaganza! The kids played out back and the adults had a wonderful time to fellowship and chat--we are so blessed with fun church friends in our area. :)In less fortunate news, I didn't take the first picture, so there is no documentation that today ever occurred. Boo. O well, I'm sure I had more fun not being behind the lens of a camera. :)

In totally unrelated, yet lovely news, this morning Chris took the big kids to the pool and I was able to get some work done while Jack napped. What a great dad he is! Evidently, Ryan's floatie broke, so he was jumping in and going under/kinda swimming with no floats. I need to take him by himself a couple of times and I know he would be swimming. So proud of him!


Yesterday we had problems getting to church because of a race that blocked the street, and thus access, to our church. So, after driving all the way there we turned around and came home. Ugh! It ended up being a lovely day though. We had lunch together, played, while the kids napped I ran to a fabric store with a friend to take advantage of the HUGE 4th sale, the we ate dinner and the kids played in the pool and "sprinkles" (sprinkler) while Chris laid pine straw and I dead-headed (the job that never ends...) my roses. We had fireworks in surround sound as we can see the ones downtown, our local area's fireworks and a couple of random people in my neighborhood set them off last night too. Amazing that all 3 kids slept through them!


I'm taking the kids to visit my parents tomorrow. We plan to get Jack's 3 month and Anna-Kate's 4 year old pictures taken, pick blueberries and see my college roommate and her kids. Should be a lot of fun. :)


This officially ends the most boring, unrelated and random blog to date. Thank you for reading, my apologies and hoping to be more entertaining tomorrow. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why doesn't America eat?

That's what Anna-Kate asked me twice today. Our neighborhood had our first annual 4th of July parade today (growing up we had one each year, and I've been wanting to start this tradition here for my kids--so fun!) and she asked why we were having a parade. I said because it was America's birthday and we were celebrating!

AK: "who's America?"
Me: "that our country, America. You know we live in ___, ___ and that's in America.
AK: "oh. Well, are we gonna sing to America for her birthday?"
Me: "No, probably not."
AK: "What are we gonna eat?"
(I then told her the food we were having at the various parties we attended, but said only we would be eating).
AK: "why doesn't America eat?"

Clearly, I did a poor job of explaining the situation. Would you believe me if I said this conversation happened again? Sheesh.

So, this morning was the parade. I was really impressed with how many showed up for it! We had lots of wagons and some bikes, strollers and bjorns. :) My friends husband offered to bring home the official pace car for a racetrack he works for. So that led our little parade (so fun!). There were Popsicles and a prize for best "dressed" ride. :)

In our decorated wagon. They each got to choose something from the dollar bin at Target to wear--Ryan's hat was hysterical on him and, amazingly, he kept it on the whole time!. Anna-Kate chose a cute little headband with "fireworks" that said USA. As tasteful as that could be, that's my girl!

Aaaand, Jack was there too. :)

In front of the pace car.

He went to town waving his flag.

We came home, put Jack down for a nap and I took the big kids to the pool. Anna-Kate is finally starting to let go a little in the water. She has always kept a death grip on me, but today floated in her hippo tube (while not standing on the steps!). Ryan, on the other hand, is a little daredevil! He jumps to me, goes completely under and pops back up again and begins kicking for the stairs. I believe he will swim this summer. So cute. :)

We came home, the kids' took naps and when they awoke, we headed to a friends house where they throw an (awesome) annual 4th of July party. The men grilled, the girls chatted, and the kids were in summertime heaven! Huge playground, trampoline, bounce house and slip-n-slide! (and not just any slip-n-slide, this is way wider and waaaay longer--Ryan loved it!).

I only had the chance to capture this picture of Anna-Kate as she was not amused this year (though she loved it last year???). I think Chris might have launched her too quickly? Maybe?

Ryan went time and time again (and, subsequently, was asleep within 2 minutes of being put to bed!). Look at the joy on that kids face! :)

He got to the bottom and before he had fully stopped would jump up and run back up the hill to do it again.

Unfortunately, the night ended more abruptly than we had anticipated. Ryan went down (again) and before he had gotten off, another boy (about 7 or 8) came down and crashed into Ryan. My boy had an immediate black goose egg with teeth marks on his forehead. You shoulda' seen the other guy...he lost his tooth! So thankful that Ryan is OK and no one was hurt any worse!

We came home, gave him some motrin, bathed the kids and put them to bed--such a fun day.

And yes, I know the 4th is actually tomorrow. :) Happy birthday, America!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Things come in 3's...right?

In an effort to both be real and to document life as is for my future reading enjoyment/memory, I post today.

So, since it's been 3 days of horrible behavior, tomorrow will be better, right? Right? Have you ever thought, 15 minutes after waking up, "Oh, I wish there were a reset button for today" because you can sense that it's going downhill quickly? Ya, that's been this week.

If you follow my life on facebook you will have seen a common trend on my status':

1) Coffee reheat # 2 and spanking #3 of the's 9:10 am. Gonna be a character developing day, I'm thinking. (Tuesday)

2) How do you break through to a strong willed child? I am dying here. All I do is consistently follow through with discipline with Ryan...isn't there anything else? (Wednesday)

3) I'm in "groundhog day" hell...."tomorrow is a new day" isn't so much ringing true for me. Jesus, give me strength and patience. (Thursday)

It's been trying, to say the least. Today, after Ryan had no nap, and a sore bottom to show for it, I called Chris at 4:20, in tears. Good man was home in 30 minutes (and, bonus, stopped at Publix for me to get some more cheese since I ran out while making two new mommy meals today). I've never asked him to come home early before, simply because I couldn't handle the kids or the discipline. Today, different subject. I had "those kids" at the store. There was an especially unlucky moment when all three were crying at once. I saw a girlfriend at Publix who commented on how brave I was to have all 3 at the grocery. Brave? No. Desperate and needing groceries? Yes. (Another sidenote, I've taken them all many times before, today, I shouldn't have pushed it. I knew it, but I had to get food. What's a mom to do?)

Bottom line, we are really struggling with breaking through to Ryan right now. I try not to label and go all "self-fulfilling prophecy" on my kids, but I guess he's in that notorious "terrible two" phase. He's just a little too young to understand the deeper concept of sin and that sinning breaks the heart of Jesus (and caring) and he's a little too young to remember that no matter how many times he gets out of his bed, he will be punished. (and I don't mean getting up to go to the bathroom. This is get up, turn on the light and play with toys mid nap and during the evening.) So not OK.

We've read Don't Make Me Count to Three, Shepherding a Child's Heart and are in the process of reading Bringing Up Boys (all excellent, fyi). Evidently, I will be borrowing The Strong Willed Child from my parents next week for some, hopefully, enlightening reading.

I've been very encouraged by some responses I've gotten and am thankful for godly friends that speak truth and encouragement to this tired mama! From my friends:

...Janelle, I've had many days/weeks where I felt like a failure due to my parental incompetence and sinful, ugly mouth paired with my toddler's constant battling...when it's day after day of getting stymied by tantrums, poopy blowouts, clutter, and bickering, it's TOUGH. God is working on your character in this way. Do not grow weary in doing good. These are the "good works" that were prepared for you. Ugh! I feel your pain; hang in there! Light is around the corner! :)

...Just keep doing it. Sometimes it takes a long while and you just feel the mean mommy routine is never going to end. Then one day you will wake up and realize it has gotten better.

...find a few occasions (maybe even just 3!) per day to be silly with him, put him in your lap, or read/play with him. Even just a few minutes of positive attention help him to know that you LOVE him despite the great amount of discipline that he requires.

...remember that he's most teachable when his heart is turned toward you.