Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hints of Spring

Our peach tree is in full bloom! It is prettier than this picture shows, but I am sharing it anyway.
Yesterday our high was 88 degrees. We tried to take the boys for a bike ride/walk after Steve got home, but they didn't want to go. They had both taken naps and woke up grumpy. I thought about taking them this morning, but they still didn't want to go. I guess that was a good thing because when I checked the weather, the wind chill was 34 degrees. It looks like we will be riding the weather rollercoaster this week. That probably means lots of stuffy noses, coughs, etc.

Right now I am hearing Evan making chomping/dinosaur noises and Joel saying, "Don't want brother to eat me!" It would be nice if they could go outside and get some energy out. Maybe after lunch.
Saturday, February 23, 2008

Catching up

It's been a while since I have written, and the reason is that I took a little trip out of town. I went back to my old stomping grounds in Mississippi and got to visit a lot of family there. The occasion for the trip was not so nice since I was going back mainly for a funeral (for my sister-in-law Aundrea's mom), but it was nice to get to see my family. I didn't get to visit everyone that I had intended to, but I was glad to get good reports on those that I did visit. Since I have two 2nd cousins graduating in May, it looks like that will be our next trip back to Mississippi. Hopefully then we will be able to visit even more of the family. {I am sure that Aundrea and her family would appreciate your prayers during this time. There was also a lot of sickness going around MS, too, so the family there could probably use some extra prayers, too.}

Steve took off from work to stay home with the boys while I was gone. I think that they had a lot of fun. They played outside on a playground and inside on the Wii - with a new game that they found while I was gone. I sure did miss them all while I was gone, and I was glad that they seemed happy to see me when I got back home today. They even made me a huge "welcome home" cookie, which we were all delighted to enjoy together.

You might remember that a few posts ago I mentioned that I was starting an exercise program. The first two weeks went really well, but the third week I got sick so I got a little derailed. I had planned to make this past week my official 3rd week (of the 6-week program), but the travels messed with that plan a little as well. I was able to do all of my walking for the week, but not all of the strength training. The diet was a little off, also, since I enjoyed the MS foods that I don't get very often. I am still counting it as week 3, though, and tomorrow will start week 4. I really hope that I can stick with it all this week and see some real progress!

Well, guess that's it for a while. I am caught up now, except on sleep, so it is time for bed. Good night!
Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day (Belated)

We had a busy, but fun, Valentine's day. We started the day off with a breakfast of heart-shaped French toast (with a little Nutella on top - a chocolatey spread), eggs, and bacon. This was Evan's favorite part of the day, although I only have a picture of Joel with breakfast.

For lunch we had heart-shaped cheese, turkey, and crackers. This was Joel's favorite part of the day. In the afternoon we had to go to Target to get some supplies for dinner. On the way there we stopped at Sonic and got cherry limeades. They weren't heart-shaped, but the were pink. For dinner I made pasta with bolognese meat sauce, strawberry spinach salad, and toasted strawberries stuffed with chocolate for dessert. (To sum up: the theme for today's food was hearts and the color red.)

After Dad got home we got to open our presents. The boys each got a treat tin and a book to share. Evan declared that he didn't like the book before it was even read. Oh well. I am pretty sure that he will like it once he reads it. He did like the card that I made for him, although he wasn't interested in what I had written inside. ;)

I had actually gotten my present earlier in the day. When I walked into the kitchen that morning I was greeted by a vase of beautiful red roses and an even more beautiful note from Steve. This was my favorite part of the day!

I showed the flowers to Evan and his eyes got big and he said, "I'm going to give Daddy a hug when he gets home!" Such gratitude! I liked that part of the day, too.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Party boys!

Today was the big day ... the Valentine's party at Evan's school. Since Joel is basically considered a part of the class it was a party for him, too. They both had a really good time! They got to make Valentine's "hugs", and Joel used the glue stick by himself. Their favorite activity was decorating and eating the cookies, as you can see by the following pictures.
The best part of the party for me was when I got the "flowers" that Evan had made for me. He is getting very good at crafts.Steve took us all out for dinner tonight and I enjoyed that, too! Tomorrow I am planning to make lots of fun Valentine's foods to have an all-day celebration.
Sunday, February 10, 2008

Night-time picnics are fun!

We were having nice weather today and I wasn't really excited about cooking something for dinner, so Steve offered to fire up the grill for hamburgers and hotdogs. That sounded great to me! I had to run to the store to get some buns and other groceries, so Steve and Evan took care of the cooking while I was gone. On my way out I heard Evan asking if we could cook the hotdogs on sticks. Steve passed on that idea, but we did eat outside. They were all set up and the boys had already started eating by the time I got home. The food was great and it was a really nice night to eat outside. We had fun looking at the moon and the stars. The only problem was that after Joel found the moon, he asked to hold it - twice. Steve asked Evan if he would like to go camping someday, and Evan said yes - in the yard. I thought that would probably be a good start for us, until Evan volunteered to gather the sticks for the campfire. Maybe we need to go over the ground rules for camping in the yard-frequently. ;)
Saturday, February 9, 2008

"Just" another week

Another week has gone by, and it doesn't seem like there is a whole lot to report. We had a conference with Evan's teachers and got a good report. He is pretty much ready for kindergarten, so we will proceed with that in the fall. He is apparently more independent at school than he is at home, so I will try to "help" him be a little more independent at home, too (ie. snapping his own pants and zipping his own jacket). He seems to be ready to read, and is interested in it, so we will start working on that a little more diligently and purposefully at home. His teachers said that he already had a few sight words down, which I didn't know.

Joel is still trying to be just like his brother. He is talking up a storm and understands more than we realize. We were watching The Little Mermaid the other day and when King Triton appeared for the 2nd or 3rd time I asked Evan who it was, just to see if he remembered. Joel quickly said, "Santa Claus!" (In case you don't remember he has long flowing hair and a long white beard.) He also thought that the bad pirate in The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything was Shrek. He was a fat gourd with warts and the same shade of green as Shrek, but that didn't really make me feel much better when Joel yelled, "Shrek!" every time the pirate came on the screen.

Steve has gotten to enjoy his guitars a little more lately. In fact, he pulled the electric out for the first time the other day. Evan was so excited he said, "WOW! Who's guitar is this?" He wanted to know when Steve had gotten it and from whom. He was very taken by it. Steve even let him play some and here is a little video of it. By the way, Evan let his monkey play, too. We call this movie Evan the Guitar Hero.
video

I have been working on Valentine's cards more than scrapbooking. There are only 4 other kids in Evan's class, so I helped him make their cards. He also made a card for his dad all by himself, which I think he enjoyed more than having me help. The boys also made some Valentine's shirts the other day, and today we made Valentine's rice krispie treats. So to share the Valentine spirit, I thought I would share a picture of the boys. (Joel is trying to hit the "tickle stick" that Dad is using to help me coax some smiles.)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Laughter is the best medicine

Hello all! Well, it has been a fun week around here. Well, some days were fun anyway. At least some moments were fun. ;) Seriously, I don't think that I have laughed so much with my boys in a while. I can't remember all of the things that we/they have done that were so fun, but it is so nice to laugh at/with them instead of getting on to them. I do remember a a couple of stories that I can share.

At our Thursday Bible class the teacher was telling the kids that when they grew up and became mommies and daddies they would tell their kids about God. She then asked a little girl next to Evan if she would be a mommy or a daddy and she replied, "a mommy!" The teacher then asked Evan. I was silently pleading, "Please get this right, please get this right!" Much to my delight he smiled and said, "a daddy!" That night before bed he was talking to Steve and told him that he (Evan) would be a daddy before Joel. Steve tried to explain that before either one of them could be a daddy they needed a mommy. Evan replied with a bit of confusion, "We already have a mommy." It was like you could hear him thinking that his dad had lost his mind. I busted out laughing (in another room). Steve tried to explain again, but without getting too deep into it. I wonder who ended up the most confused.

Last night Joel was getting in trouble for something. He knew he was about to get a spanking on his bottom, so before I could reach him he laughed and sat down. I guess he forgets that I can just pick him up to get to his bottom. We thought that it was a great try for a 2-year-old. And the spanking was not very hard since I was trying not to laugh, so it was somewhat effective, too.

Joel has started reading books to himself. He even read one to one of his animals the other day. Today Joel sat still long enough to let Evan read a book to him. How sweet to see the brothers like that! I didn't pull out the camera because that is a sure way to get it to end.

This week has been a big one for me because I decided to get serious about my health and weight and start working out. I have been complaining for a while, but now I am actually doing something. I have been walking, stretching, and doing some strength training. It hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be to get the exercises in. Sometimes I use the Gazelle glider for the walking, and sometimes I push the boys around in a stroller or cart before we start the actual shopping. I do think that I feel better with the increased activity. I also make better food choices after exercising (usually). I am following a 6 week program by Denise Austin and so far I like it. I hope that by the end of the 6 weeks the exercise will have become a habit and I will be able to keep it up. I would also like for the laughter to become more of a habit. I bet the rest of the family does, too. ;)
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