Friday, May 28, 2010

KJ's big day

On May 27th, KJ Turned FOUR!

And he also celebrated the last day of his very first year of preschool.  He loved being a "Little Boulder" with Ms Val and Ms Megan.


Daddy and Mommy were so proud of our big 4-year-old and how much he learned this year!

 And he is so proud of his mad skills on his brand new bicycle.  So proud that he had to show off before his program, then one more time after getting ready for bed.
 What a difference one school-year-makes.  Look how little he looked on the first day of school compared to the last.

 

























 
He (and little brother) are counting the days until "fall"...and Cbug gets to join KJ at one of his favorite places PRESCHOOL.  At this rate, I know it will be here before we know it.
ABL

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's a bird....it's a plane...

...It's a four-year-old!!

And learning new "super powers" every day!

Happy Birthday, Super KJ!  Every day you make me more proud to be your Mommy.  You granted me the title of "mom" four years ago today and at the time I thought I couldn't love you any more than I did the first moment I saw you.  Boy was I wrong.  I loved you in that instant just because you were mine.  Now I love you because you are mine AND because of the amazing little boy you are becoming.  I love that you are so concerned about others and can often be found on the play ground making sure others feel included.  You are such a rule follower (sometimes to an extreme)...like when you remind teenagers and adults to "please go the speed limit."  You take your big brother role seriously, protecting your brother and sister.  I also love that your little mind is constantly working, from the moment you wake up, until you go to sleep, you are soaking in new information...and sharing it with anyone who will listen.  I'm amazed that you can now write your name (with a little help on the 'K'), can do some simple addition, and are learning to sound out words. You love school and love to learn!  You also play so hard- wearing your "fast shoes" and going going going.  I sure wish I could bottle and sell your enery, buddy.  You love to play "superhero", do puzzles, play with cars and be outside.  One of your favorite places to be is still RHCC.  I love that you love to go to church and that you love to recite bible stories and verses.  As your write the Word on your heart, I continue to pray that the impact it makes will guide your every step.

Big boy, if your first four years have brought us so much joy, I can't WAIT to see what is next!
I love you more than I can say!
Mom

Monday, May 17, 2010

MMM: catch-up

At the beginning of my plan to "makeover my Monday" I'll admit to being a little over-zealous.  In theory, the concept was genius, but the pressure I put on myself to come up with a plan almost outweighed the benefits.  Now, I think I've come to a really good middle ground.  I try to find intentional time on Mondays to spend with the boys while Lou is napping and we try to do something that we wouldn't normally do otherwise.  But I don't stress out if that is just going to a friends house or watching the trash truck (still a Monday favorite around here).  I think it has made the whole thing better for everyone.


So, even though it has evolved over time, MMM is still alive and well.  I just haven't been blogging about it.  Until NOW.

I just did a bunch of catch-up posts this week, but I back dated them to the Monday on which they actually took place.  So, if you are interested, or looking for ideas, here are the links:

Froot Loop Fun (and is Cbug colorblind?)

Daddy's birthday surprise (Dr Pepper no-bake cookies)

Backyard Obstacle Course

Going away party for LC and a mini-scrap book

Flower pot painting and planting flowers

And happy Monday!
ABL

countdown

I can't believe we are already on the countdown to Princess Lou's first birthday.
At eleven-months-old, she is just an absolute joy.

She still loves to smile for the camera!


She can stand up all by herself...and definitely has a flare for the dramatic.
(check out those two top teeth. I'm thinking these were definitely the reason for the bluebonnet tears)


Lou really REALLY wants to walk. Her desire is slightly ahead of her balance, though. In the meantime, she loves pushing her brothers' tractor around. I think it is hilarious to see her girliness bobbing behind John Deere. Its also funny the noises that she makes while pushing the tractor...shew, it is hard work. Enjoy this snippet.

video

ABL

MMM: Yard Art



Recently, we did some major renevating in our front yard.  I thought our Monday project would be a great way to get the kids involved and also a neat way to leave a piece of their sweetness in the yard.

This project ended up spanning two different Mondays (and one Sunday trip to buy flowers).

First, I let the boys paint the pots.  We have found, over the course of our Monday projects, that we really do our best work in our pajamas!
 

















 I've also learned during these projects, that the more freedom they have to create on their own, the more excited they are about the finished product.  Sometimes, it is hard to let go, let them make a mess, and see the project turn into a glob of paint...but the look of pride on these sweet faces is well worth it.  And in the end, I LOVED the finished product, too!

The boys had so much fun helping choose the flowers that would go in their pots.

And were also a big help when we planted them  Let's face it, anytime there is dirt involved, these boys are gung-ho!

Their new favorite thing around our house is watering the flowers.  They LOVE to help with this job...which helps their Momma remember to do it, too.  I sure hope they end up with more of a green thumb than I have!

 Not only was this a great way to makeover our monday (and our yard), it thrills me each time I walk out the front door and see their sweet flower pots at the edges of the porch.  Love it!

ABL

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My mom is..

My mom is patient,
There are many lessons I've been taught by my mother...many of them have required me to be taught OVER and OVER and OVER. I've seen her sit with my children for hours playing games that they make up, read the same book 1000 times in a row and intently listened to stories they tell. Patience.

and she is kind.
My mom has always shown a heart for others. She shows great compassion whether leading the women of her church in bible study, teaching 4-year-olds, or nurturing those in countries like Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Paraguay. Her kindness abounds in all situations.


She does not envy, does not boast, is not proud.
And because of that she would never tell people of the many hours, prayers, phone calls, errands, lunches, LOVE she has put in while my Dad tries to recover his business after the destruction caused by the recent flooding. My Daddy is so strong and he has worked for more than 30 years to build a business that he loves. A business that he uses to bless so many people. But even he would say, she has been behind it (and him) from the beginning. And especially now. (Insert here a prayer for both of them and for Bradfield Stage Lighting, its emloyees, office space and equipment. Join me in praying for many more years of weddings, Swan Balls, "gel gifts" to teachers, concerts, plays, lighting installation projects in churches and schools and so much more).


My mom is not rude,
My mom spent three long years taking care of her mom after her stroke. Her mom was not the same after that stroke. Sometimes she said things to my mom that we all know she didn't mean. We love to tell the story about Gmomma "throwing shoes" at the staff at the nursing home. She was not herself. While this season was so difficult for my mom and all of our family, I never heard my mom I never heard my mom speak a rude word about the situation or her mom. Sure there were things she wished were different and there were days that were hard to understand. But she was never rude.


is never self-seeking,After spending years taking care of her own children, teaching other people's children and then caring for her own mother, my mom CHOSE to take a job at a nursing home to love and care for others. She is so selfless I can't even begin to do this justice.

is not easily angered,I used to wish that I would actually make my mom mad enough to YELL...it never happened. Instead, she would get very quiet, stay very calm and collected and correct me compassionately. I hated it :) but loved the example it set for me in parenting. ]

and my mom keeps no record of wrongs.
and heaven knows there were plenty of wrongs to forgive from three of her favorite children...like the time we thought it would be a good idea to climb out of the second story window, slide down a drain pipe, and ride our bikes in the ally at night. I'm thankful now that 1) our plans were foiled when we broke the screen on the window and never made it past that point and 2) that my mom is so quick to forgive.


My mom does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.My mom prayed with us and for us from birth. My mom literally REJOICES in stories of the Lord's sovereinty. She loves to tell about ways He is working in her life and the lives of those she loves. And because of that she is leaving a legacy of faith with her children, grand-children and no doubt with her grandchildren's children. This is her greatest gift to us, and to generations to come.

She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
My mom would always "go to bat" for us- protecting us when she could, but not in a way that would detriment our growth. She taught us to make good choices, and therefore TRUSTED us to follow the path the Lord had set out for us. When we made mistakes or strayed, she has always prayed and HOPED for our return to His will...she PERSEVERES in that with us and on our behalf.


Her love never fails.
EVER. Nothing can change it.



Love you to the moon and back, Momma (and so do RRL and these three munchkins)! I'm so thankful to call you MOM, especially as you shine during this difficult season.

ABL

"4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails..."

I Corinthians 13:4-8

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Games we play (literally)

My boys love just about anything that you call "a game". I am choosing to believe that is because they love the fun of it and interacting with me. Surely it has nothing to do with inheriting their mother's slight sense of competitiveness. Surely.

I use "lets play a game" constantly for distractions. Both boys want the same toy, or are arguing from the backseat of the van or are just driving me crazy, and a quick "Let's play a game" can divert all attention and energy in a quick hurry. Because of the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method in which these games are drudged up (is that a word?), they must require zero prep, very few supplies and must "travel" well (anywhere, anytime).

I'm sure those things only happen at our house so this post may be completely irrelevant to everyone else. But humor me (and help me, too). Here are a few of our favorites.

1) I spy ("I spy something that is... fill a color" then everyone guesses what it is)

2) The cloud game ("I see a cloud that looks like..." our kids haven't really figured out yet to look for actual clouds that look like actual things. we pretty much just drive along making up crazy things that a cloud could look like)

3) The opposite game. KJ recently invented this (or maybe learned in school...but he says he "figured it out himself". always questionable). You just say something and he figures out the opposite. Sometimes that just means adding an "un" or "not" to whatever you say, but for the most part he really is amazing at this game. Some of the most impressive ones that he knew were full/empty, upside down/right side up, black/white, messy/clean. We've never done this before so either he just "figured it out himself" or they've really been working on opposites at school. Either way, I'm impressed. Then again, sometimes he's just plain creative. Some of my recent favorites...
Q: What is the opposite of Aunt B?
A: Uncle J
Q: What is the opposite of nobody?
A: Yesbody.

4) The can you find a (fill in the blank) game? This is my normal go-to in the car. I just say, "Hey guys, tell me when you see a stop sign, a cow/horse/dog, a blue truck, a letter 'W', etc" They get really excited. We were playing some version of that game on our recent trip to see the bluebonnets. Here is a video.

video

Ok, so here is where you can help. I'm running out of ideas and the ones I've got are starting to get old. What are some games you like to play with your children, especially in the car? Remember mine are 3 and 2 and can't read yet. It should be something that has quick turn-around (neither of them have patience to wait very long for it to be their turn); and its best if it doesn't involve touching each other (this quickly escalates in the car to punching each other).

Thanks.
and remember to let the kids win once in a while
ABL