Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Competition

First off - Happy Thanksgiving! I know that it's a few days past the holiday, but I hope to make this entire season more thankful and less "I want". (I could go for making the rest of my life like that, but let's start small.)

I haven't posted recently because we were out of town for Thanksgiving week. We took a trip to see Steve's parents in Arizona and were excited that his brother was able to make it as well. We got there early so the boys had a lit of uninterrupted Grandpa and Grandma time. One of the things they did was make a lot of crafts. And I do mean a lot! They had a great time being let loose with the paper, scissors, markers and glue. (Joel wasn't as "loose" as Evan in case you are concerned about his safety.) A lot of the crafts focused on Thanksgiving. One of the first was everyone drawing what they are thankful for, as Evan directed. Grandma and Dad were both drawing the boys, so to avoid giving them a big head I decided to draw the Bible. Evan thought about that for a little while and then drew another picture of what he was thankful for. This one was entitled "that I get to die and go to heaven". I was so proud of him ... until he said, "That's better than the Bible, huh, Mom!" Yes, only my child can turn what you are thankful for into a competition. He must have really thought that was the "best" answer because when we went around the table at our Thanksgiving to share he used that one again. Just so you know, I am very thankful for God's amazing, powerful, merciful, lavish saving grace!

We had our meal on Wednesday night instead of Thursday. We were going to attend a parade Thursday morning, but that didn't work out. Instead I went for a lovely 3-mile walk with my mother-in-law, and then came home and showered. After getting dressed my husband decided it would be fun to go for a hike up a mountain. He assured me that it would be quick and easy, at only 1.2 miles long. He was wrong! In his defense, everyone in the family who looked at the website had the same impression as he did. It's just that the website didn't give that much information. I know I made it past .25 miles, but I don't think it was much past that. I left everyone else on the mountain while I went back down to find a bathroom. Grandma stayed where I had turned around. Steve, the boys, and Uncle Matt (Steve's brother) made it halfway up. Grandpa was the only one who made it all the way up. Way to go, Grandpa! The boys wanted to do it all, especially Joel, but it was just too much for them. Had I not just walked 3 miles and had I been dressed appropriately (workout gear and not jeans) I would like to think that I could have made it. Maybe next trip. Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving Day hike. The last one is of Joel after the car ride home.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What have I created?

Apparently our oldest son takes after his parents and has become a "right-fighter". That may sound like a good thing, but it's not! He believes that he is always right and will argue any point to try to retain his status as "right". This has caused some introspection for me, as I evaluate how he got this way. It could be genetic, but it is probably one of those things he"caught" by observing.

Going along with that, he is also pretty competitive. We have caught him cheating at board games, and we have had many discussions about being a good sport. Apparently the discussions have helped, because the cheating has diminished and he does not throw tantrums when he loses (at least - unless he's really tired).

He is also being a good sport at school, which I was glad to hear. He came home the other day telling me that he played Around the World (with math flash cards). He first told me that one of his friends beat him, but then he told me that he went around the world twice (before he got beat). His teacher brought this up the next day, because apparently he was getting pretty worked up about the game. While he was waiting for the card he was doing breathing exercises that the teachers had taught them. He was "smelling the flowers" (breathing in through the nose) and "blowing out the bubbles" (out through the mouth). The teachers got a kick out of this and shared it with me. I wanted to make sure he was a good sport when he lost and I was assured that he was. I remember playing Around the World in 3rd grade, and the adrenaline rush that I would get from it. So, he takes after me in this respect, too. He did go around the world twice, and his friend that beat him did, too, so they basically tied. He must get that from me, too. ;)
Monday, November 17, 2008

Preschool funnies

Just a couple of stories from the boys that I thought I would share.

The other night I was driving the boys to church. I decided to get into the right lane and the car in front of me pulled into that lane just after me, but going slower than me. I said, "Dude!" and Evan responded, "Cut him off, Mom." I swear that he did not get that from me!

Joel is very "sensitive" about his food. For one, he doesn't like for his toast to be crumbly. He asked for a small piece of toast the other day. Since it was small it got kind of bent in the toaster. He was complaining about me messing it up. I finally got him calmed down enough to explain that it wasn't broken, just a little bent because he wanted it small. He accepted that explanation and said, "It's okay, Mom. I forgive you." I smiled and thanked him for forgiving me. He then told me that I needed to forgive him, too. I did and he ate his toast. All's well that ends well, I suppose. ;)
Monday, November 10, 2008

Joel's Frosty Birthday

This weekend we celebrated Joel's 3rd birthday with some friends and family. Both sets of grandparents got to come for the weekend and Aunt Jenn and some friends from church got to come to the party. Joel felt very loved, but is also very tired today. ;)

We had the birthday party at the park, and it was actually cool outside. It was downright cold in the shade, which we were not expecting, but made the Frosty theme and the Christmas music that was playing that much more fun. (Just for perspective, last year he and Evan played in the sprinklers at the party.) We had flavored snow and snow buddies to snack on, and we played a couple of snowball tossing games. We also made (styrofoam) snowmen and decorated them with things we found in the park. We had snowman and snowball cupcakes, but I don't think I got any pictures of them. The kids also enjoyed playing on the playground equipment at the park. Here are some pictures from the festivities. The last couple are from opening presents at the house.

I want to thank Aunt Jenn for taking a lot of these pictures!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Day

Well, election day is over and most of the results are in. I still can't find out if our local city propositions passed or failed. Any advice?

The presidential election did not turn out as I had hoped and prayed, but I know that God holds all leaders in His hands. So, I am trusting Him in this.

"Daniel blessed the God of heaven, saying, 'Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever. He knows all, does all: He changes the seasons and guides history, He raises up kings and also brings them down, he provides both intelligence and discernment' "
Daniel 2:19-21 (roughly - from The Message)

On a lighter note, Evan's school also had an election this week. (You might remember from an earlier post that this is where I have been using my Political Science degree lately.) Monday and Tuesday were the big voting days to decide between a wolf and a wildcat as the school mascot. We had the polling place all decked out, and the system was much like it as grown-up elections. The kids had voter registration cards which they presented when they checked in. Their names were marked off of a list, and they were given a ballot. They then went to a "booth" (aka table divided by painter's tape) where they marked their ballots. After that they turned in their ballots and received a star stamp to show they voted. Can I just say how cute these kids were! Of course, the little ones (3 years old) needed a little more "guidance" through the whole process, but they all did great. (By guidance I mean direction to the appropriate areas, bot guidance in how to vote.) Just in case you are wondering, Evan voted for the wildcats and that's who won. It was a very close race. We judges were biting our nails, hoping that we wouldn't have a tie.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Be still

Be still and know that I am God - Psalm 46:10

I learned a couple of days ago about the passing of one of my A&M friends. She was in a car accident with her husband and 2-month-old son. They are both fine, but she did not survive her injuries. The friend who told me about it also directed me to this blog for more information. It was sad and awesome to read through the posts and comments relating to Jill (Jarvis) Atteberry's life. As I read I kept thinking, "Oh, how I wish we had kept in touch! Oh, how I wish half of these things could be said about me." She was an amazing person with an amazing love for her family and friends, but at the center of her life was an awesome love for God. I think that the word "awesome" is over-used today, but I have very deliberately used it here. I know that Jill is praising our awesome God in heaven right now. At the same time, down here there are so many people mourning her loss. Please keep this family, especially her husband and son, in your prayers.
Sunday, November 2, 2008

The family that sows together, grows together

We finally got around to redoing some of our front landscaping this weekend. The boys were quite helpful, as I am sure you can imagine. We only had one shovel that really worked, plus the ground was really hard which made Steve think I would hurt myself. That adds to up to me not being much help. But I did watch the boys. And take pictures.

The top pictures are the before and the bottom pictures are the after. Can you tell the difference? The plants need to grow some, and the lighting isn't the best, but hopefully you can see some improvement. I think that we are going to some smaller plants to fill in the area as well. We wanted to see how the big ones worked out first so that we would know for sure how many we need.

Here are some pictures of the work in progress.

removing a plant

putting one in

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat ...

if you don't I'll pull down your underwear!

Imagine my joy when Evan started reciting that little diddy this past week. He even taught it to Joel. Thank you, kindergarten! (BTW, I know that there is a line missing, but this is the way Evan, and Joel, have been saying it.) I have tried to quash this one, but I have only been partially successful.

We did a little neighborhood trick-or-treating last night, and the boys were mostly well-mannered. They knocked on the door - Evan first and then Joel - and stuck with a plain old "Trick or treat!" when the door was answered. Evan liked to take stock of his goodies at each house and tell them whether he had gotten that treat already. It was not mean-spirited, and he was actually letting them know that he was happy he was getting that treat again, but it didn't always sound that way. More often than not I had to remind him to say "Thank you", but things could have been worse. ;)
Getting ready to head out. Joel is looking at the "scary house" 2 houses away from us.

Evan led the way through the "cave", as Joel calls it at the scary house. Joel wouldn't follow, though, so a nice man came out to give Joel some treats.

A small portion of what was in the yard of another scary house

Joel needed a mid-trick-or-treating snack to get himself through it all.

We only went down two streets and there were several scary houses. Joel refused to go to some of them, which was fine with us. Evan was very brave this year and didn't get upset even if he got a little scared. He did it for the candy. If Joel didn't want to go to a certain house, Evan would say, "But you'll get more candy if you go" or "I guess he doesn't want more candy." Joel got tired pretty quickly, so that's why we only went down two streets. Apparently he did want more candy though, because the first thing he said to me this morning was, "Can we go trick-or-treat again?" (This once-a-year thing is very hard for them to understand this year. It came up with the fall festival and carnival, too.)

After we got home we got to hand out some candy to a few trick-or-treaters. We didn't have as many as I thought we would, but Evan and I enjoyed it. He really got into giving candy to our "customers", as he called them.

All in all, this was a treat for our family. I hope the ensuing sugar rush doesn't turn it all into a horrible trick!

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